Caffeine, please carry me through the year.

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If you are a drinker of alcoholic beverages, you may know the phenomena that occurs when one has had an excess of the adult beverage. Your confidence peaks and wondrous ideas fill your mind. You feel as though you are – to quote one Leonardo DiCaprio character – ‘King of the world!’

Yes, then you go to bed. When you wake in the morning, the wondrous ideas that filled your mind are replaced with a pounding head. The idea to start a company selling ice cubes doesn’t hold the same appeal as it did the previous night. The passionate and thought-out plan to ‘stick it to the man’ suddenly sounds like a death sentence, and you scrap the idea. Continue reading

Realizations of a Writer

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Not too long ago, I came out as a writer. That is I declared myself a writer based on the facts that I write and I like to write. I let go of the belief that one need be published to hold the title of ‘writer’. Weeks later, I find myself questioning my desire to call myself a writer.

As days pass and life fills my time with things that do not include writing, I feel less like a writer. Instead, the respect I have for those devoted to writing and sharing grows.

As I work at my desk, pulling up my blog during a lull in the workload, I lack motivation. Instead, the respect I have for those motivated to write on a daily basis grows.

How does one keep up the pace?

Continue reading

What is your passion?

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What is your passion? About what are you passionate?

I was asked those questions last week during a job interview. My answer? “I don’t know.”

After saying I didn’t know, I looked left, and I looked right. Then I asked out loud, “What am I passionate about?” (Please ignore my poor grammar, Mum.)

“Writing.” I said quickly – assuming responding to the question 8 minutes later is considered quickly. “I love to write. I’ve always loved to write.”

“Have you ever been published or paid for your written work?”

Oh sure. Try to put my writing in a box. My passion is pointless unless I’m paid or published, eh? I thought to myself.  “No. I haven’t published anything. I wrote for a local magazine for a couple of years, but it was not a paid gig.”

“Do you have any other passions?”

“Do I have any other passions?” Again, I look to the left, and I look to the right. And again I respond, “I don’t know.” Continue reading

Quitting a 40-day Journey

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Call me a quitter; call me weak. Regardless of what you think, I am ending my 40-day journey today, weeks before day 40. This is not to say I won’t read the rest of the books; I will continue reading, but I am no longer going to blog about my take on the readings, etc. [I can hear the applause and cheers. I’m applauding, too. I wont miss my overly dramatic (and boring) take on the messages of Warren and Tolle.]

Due to several moments last week, my viewpoints changed. Which, really, my viewpoints are in a constant state of change. I am a woman, after all.

Beatrice Potter said, “There is something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they will take you. Mine took me here. Where I belong.”

I am here; where I belong. I don’t need to continue traveling down my self-proclaimed 40-day journey. The following thought may seem trivial, if not obvious: I was consumed with myself during this journey. And, while consumed with myself, I had friends and family suffering greater challenges in life than whether or not one eats too much ice cream. My self-centeredness seemed inappropriate and rude. (Hmmm…is it ever appropriate to be self-centered?)

I remember when my Dad died, I wanted the world to stop and acknowledge the pain and sorrow felt by my family. The reality is – death and suffering is all around us all the time. It isn’t until we feel the sting directly that we ‘get’ the grief. And, we get the triviality of self-made problems.

Am I saying we should spend each day thinking of the sorrow being felt by nameless, faceless people in the world? No. Although, I do think putting things into perspective on a daily basis is helpful. And, if that means, realizing pain and suffering surround you, so be it.

I do not like the spotlight. As much as I babble about myself and my life, you may find the previous statement hard to believe, but it is true. Instead, I want to be there for my family and friends. And, I don’t need books to find my purpose in life. My purpose in life is to help others. I thrive when I believe I am helping. Granted, times exist when I thought I was helping, but I was merely sticking my nose where it did not belong. Plus, there is a fine line between helping and nagging.

Before someone suggests that I find it easier to worry about others because I do not want to worry about or deal with my own issues, I say I do not have issues when I stop and compare my gripes to the meatier things in life. Unless I am facing a life or death situation, losing my home or loved one, going without food for an extended amount of time or some other true tragedy, well – I think I am OK. More than OK.

Do I battle depression? Yes, and I take a pill for that battle. Am I cranky sometimes? Yep, and I get happy again. Do I get overly emotional? Obviously. Do I think PMS sucks? You betchum; then, my period starts. Does my family think PMS sucks more? Yeah, and the two weeks of normalcy is never long enough. But, I am alive, and my family is healthy. I’d rather spend my time and energy allowing myself to help those who need it most. Who knows, one day it may be my family.

While it may be important to focus inward from time to time, sometimes enlightenment comes from a place outside of yourself and has nothing to do with yourself. Someone recently posted the following quote, from the Dalai Lama, on her Facebook page: “Once you shift your focus from yourself to others and extend your concern to others, this will have the immediate effect of opening up your life and helping you reach out. The practice of cultivating altruism has a beneficial effect not only from a religious point of view but also from a mundane point of view; not only for long-term spiritual development but even in terms of immediate rewards.

Amen.

From Ben Stein’s Lips to My Blog

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The movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was my first introduction to Ben Stein. I remember various commentaries by Mr. Stein after the Ferris movie, but my next big memory of him comes from the game show ‘Win Ben Stein’s Money’. Suffice it to say, I was drawn to Mr. Stein, not by his wisdom and intellect, but by his involvement with mainstream and pop culture. Thankfully, over time, I learned more about Mr. Stein, his history, his philosophies, etc. He is more than The Shaq’s Comcast buddy. He is more than the bland teacher in the Ferris movie.

I heard Ben Stein’s commentary on CBS Sunday Morning (a show I love). If you didn’t see or don’t watch CBS Sunday Morning, I encourage you to click here, and read Ben’s commentary.

Mr. Stein, I have decided to live. Well, I’ve been living, actually. I’ve lived over 40yrs so far, and I hope to continue living for many years to come. But more to your point, Mr. Stein, I am writing. And, I am sharing my writings with the public, for better or for worse.

Since I was a kid, I have wanted to write and share my writings with anyone and everyone. As I have stated in previous blogs (and will state again and again in future blogs), I’d like to seek and obtain a book deal. And, I say ‘I’d like to’, because fear holds me back. The though of putting together a manuscript and sending it off to various publishing companies is a daunting task. Who knows, maybe I will be offered a book deal by some publisher who stumbled upon my WordPress blog. That probably happens all the time, right?

Do I really expect to have my big break because the right person stumbled upon my writing? No. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. To what Mr. Stein said in his commentary, I did not pursue my writing dream via the job market with vim and vigor. Instead, I took jobs where writing opportunities could have been classified as ‘other duties as assigned’. And now, though  my current job has proof-reading opportunities, it has less writing opportunities than all of my previous jobs.

Still, I love my current job, and I have no intention of leaving it. Plus, the flexibility of my current job affords me time to write. Plus, I am at a point in my life where I actually take advantage of the time I have and use the time to write. I treasure my writing time, and I milk it for all it’s worth. Moreover, I am putting my thoughts out there – in the blogosphere. I no longer feel the need to hide my written creations. (Though I suppose some readers may want me to get back into the closet.)

In the video commentary by Ben Stein, he referred to feedback he received from his therapist. And, his therapist was of the opinion that happy people are people who pursue their dreams. So, Ben summarized the overall viewpoint by saying, “Choose to live a life you want to live, not one that’s safe or what someone else thinks you should do. Decide to live.”

I started this blog earlier this year, when my marriage was floundering and my depression had a stronghold on me. Through my writing (and medication, and ice cream, and . . .), I’ve reconnected with the love I have for my husband and our marriage, as well as the love I have for life. Through my writing, I have decided to live. And Mr. Stein, because I have decided to live, I believe wholeheartedly that my blogging will lead to a publication or publications. Well, just because I have decided to live does not a book deal make, but I’m working on it. Oh yes, I am working on it.

“Hey, you wouldn’t happen to be a publisher, eh?” Just thought I’d ask.