Monday, December 13, 2010
Prompt #2: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
I was going to say work, since all it does is impede my time and I preeetty much blame everything on work. But actually...that's all I've blogged or tweeted about recently. And writing is writing, even if it's in the form of 140 characters or a quickly shot off blog post. So really, work is the reason I'm writing? (That is a strange thought.)
I realized though, something I do every day that doesn't contribute to my work: make excuses. It's not procrastination - it's shoving blame off on other things. I work too much, I'm too tired, I won't have enough time to write something worthwhile, I have to leave in half an hour...the list is endless. I can make any excuse for any situation. I simply take the easy way out, and I'd rather like it to stop.
As much as I don't want to admit it, yes, of course I can eliminate this. It's difficult to accept blame, isn't it? Maybe it's just me. In any case, I'll have to face a lot of things to eliminate this: that maybe I'm not as disciplined as I like to believe, or that I'm not as confident as I seem. But I know that this is necessary, and that I need to work on it.
Prompt #3: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors)
I didn't want to go down the steep, wooden stairs. They looked rickety and honestly, the thought of it made my stomach drop. And then as soon as I got down there, I'd have to walk the dark pathway that extended maybe three feet around the cliff's edge...two steps in the wrong direction and I'd find myself in the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, 30 feet below at 1 in the morning - not a situation I'd like.
Five minutes later, I'd gone down the steps and forced myself across the pathway - now I was standing at the edge of a jutting cliff, staring out into the darkness of the ocean and watching the waves crush against the rocks below me. My friends were behind me - I could hear them yelling at each other and hollering dares and horsing around - and in front of me was the ocean...and it felt like the entire world was at my feet. Salty air, fresh wind, the voices of people I love and people who love me close enough to feel like I'm grounded but far enough away where I felt on my own...that small dip in your stomach as you look past the cliff and know that if three pebbles under your feet move your entire life will change somehow, some way...it's one of those moments where I know that my life, whatever the hell I'm feeling and thinking and wanting and needing...I know that my life is a life I want to live.
Prompt #4: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
For the majority of this year, I was unemployed. And most of the time, I was pretty much lost and hopeless and listless and, as much as I'd like to not use the word, depressed. But during this time, I also recognized how blessed I was to be given a time where I was financially cared for and, while yes I was incredibly worried and stressed, I had all the time in the world. And I used that time: I explored San Diego and facets of my life I never had before. I went to beaches I'd never been to, walked into stores I didn't normally go into, found libraries and buildings and secret hidden landmarks of San Diego I never thought I would. I had a pitiful attempt at GeoCaching that I would like to revisit in the new year.
Most of all, I went about my routine with new eyes. I started to pay attention to the tennis courts I went to, I started to look around the libraries I was constantly at, really listen to the customers while I sat at Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Panera. There's so much gone unseen and unnoticed in our daily lives, and for a brief few months of this year, I really made an effort to take it all in.
It has dwindled as I've gotten more and more caught up in work and family and holidays and the drama and daily doings of life, but I hope to remember this feeling as my life continue. That I'll take at least an hour a day or a day a week or a week a months to really look around and keep my eyes open.