Can’t keep up? I’ve got an idea…

Oh my gosh. my simple desire is to keep things simple. Seriously. Everything is so complicated, especially in my head.

Over thinking. Over analysis. Over emotional.  Over budget. Over time. Over craziness. Over under.

whirlwind

My brain…most of the time

What?!

Exactly.

It’s too much. We put all of these demands on ourselves, on others, on our lives and can’t keep the fuck up. What is our problem? Everyone at my work is stressed. My boss snapped at me because she can’t keep up. My collegue runs around red-faced and tense like a firecracker about to blow. I whip home after an hour or so of overtime, to arrive just on time to take one kid to piano, drop the other one at piano. Run in the grocery store for the desperately-needed items we can’t live without one more day without the school calling about my malnourished children, go back and get the first kid, back to get the second one – the third kid screaming “THIS IS BORING!” from the back seat because some law tells me I can’t leave a 7-yr old at home alone (what’s that about?!) – to get home to have what for dinner? Eggs? Again? If I remembered to pick them up. Nope, I didn’t. Damn. Well, have some toast and be done with it. You’ll live.

And then, I’m not writing, but just obesessing about writing and wanting to write and what I should write about and what’s my brand and will anyone read my shit anyway and am I even good enough and when do I even have time to write and how can I leave my job so I have time to write, but then I won’t have any money, so maybe I start my own business, but doing what because that will take time and money I don’t have and I need to pay my mortgage and wish I could just write and make a shitload of money, but that’s not realistic because we all know the success rates of poets and writers and artists. So where does that leave me?

Not writing and becoming a bear, a beast and a bitch.

Yeah, it’s too much.

My husband just shakes his head at me at my latest temper tantrum break down because I complained, cried and cursed that I don’t have time to write and I can’t keep doing this. He just said “You do this to yourself. You do your whoa is me thing saying you need time to write and that you’re miserable, but then 2 hours later you’re telling me everything we need to do this weekend – all things you are choosing to do that we don’t have to do.” Of course, my reaction is that he clearly doesn’t understand and there’s no way that’s right and we need to do something about this whole time thing and you’re not really hearing me…blah, blah blah. Until the next morning, when the sun’s out and my girls are playing happily and I have time to sit and sip my chai latte, and pull out my computer,  and finally see his  simple wisdom. Fuck. It’s all totally on me. My choices. My decisions to fill up my time with things from the outside rather than to fill my time with things that fill me up on the inside.

So, here’s the big earth-shattering realization that this post is all about:

Can’t keep the fuck up? SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!

(Not only the theme of this blog post, but clearly my latest idea for an inspriational coffee mug.)

So, here’s the advice I now have for you after going through these latest self-affirming moments of torture:

  • Know what your thing is that fills you up on the inside.
  • Look at your day/week/month and figure out what you’re doing that you don’t really need to. You know the things – they’re usually guilt-driven or procrastination-driven.
  • Look at what is taking up space in your brain. What are you obsessing about and becoming bitchy about?
  • Ask yourself “Do I even ever play, like at all?”
  • Now, speak up to those around you and say “Enough! I’m done! I need time to just be.” Bring them into it. So they know where you’re at so they can help.
  • Then do it. Take enough pride and honour in yourself to do your thing simply because it’s your thing and you love it.

That’s it really. That last bullet. Slowthe fuck down by starting to simply do your thing just because you love it. That’s it…

…and its working. See? I’m writing again.

That’s my simple desire.

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Oh the new year

Happy 2015!

Everyone is reflecting on 2014: thinking about the new year to come and making plans for how this year will be better than the last. Maybe some promises have been made, some goals set, and some resolutions underway.

I, too, have thought about the past year – a year of reflection and an attempt to find ‘moi’. While no doubt the reflection will continue in 2015, my simple desire for the coming year is…well…to make it more simple.

I desire to simplify each day, my goals, and my writing.

My whirling dervish of a brain took me a lot of places this past year. While I learned a lot, the biggest learning was how easily I made life complicated. I tried to take a zillion steps all at once and ended up like the Tasmanian devil – and never caught that damned Bugs Bunny.

Sure, the spinning wasn’t all for not. I learned the value of breath, clearing space, taking one step at a time, and trusting that’s enough.

So here’s to more of that: a simple 2015 with many more simple desires.

Sweet inspiration, you came back!!

Oh sweet inspiration, what you do to me! My heart is racing. My fingers are tingling. My mind is flipping cartwheels out of utter joy because you have come back to me (refer to last post)! I’m also so glad you caught me when I raced into your arms at first sight – like my 5-year old when I come to pick her up, ecstatically yelling my name, trusting I have my balance when the full weight of her body thunks against my thighs.

I stole this image from http://www.schuitema.co.za/blog/?p=1608 (hope they forgive)

Stolen from http://www.schuitema.co.za (please forgive)

And I saw the grin in your eyes when you knew I saw you. You were happy too! (Hee hee. I really do look like her right now →)

In fact, you haven’t left my side since we reconnected. Maybe the reason you left was to restock your idea fridge because the other night you kept me up until almost 1:00 a.m. with your new notions. I could barely keep up. And then, in the middle of work yesterday, you appeared out of the blue and got me all riled up I had to jot some quick shorthand just to capture what you were saying. And now tonight, you caught up with me again starting at my aunt’s 80th birthday party, which I almost didn’t go to. But then, I think you whispered in my ear I should make the effort to go and see the family I haven’t seen in many, many months. And upon seeing many of them, I quickly realized why. You reminded me that I come by my artistry honestly. It’s in my blood. As I looked around the garden, I began to take in the passion and creativity I’ve been surrounded by my whole life. My uncle, for example, has music for blood in his veins. He is a past opera singer with the Canadian Opera Company and a current vocal coach and incredible pianist. (By the way Rudy, I confess to touching your stunning piano. My fingers couldn’t help themselves…) Rudy’s two siblings were near by, one a cellist, the other a singer. My own mother and father inspired writing and music in me from the beginning and pursue both themselves in different ways. My cousin is a writer making his way and following his heart. My other cousin is a photographer and film editor. My aunt’s brother was there too, and he’s an actor and the former Artistic Director at Theatre Passe Muraille among many other accomplishments. I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. Thank you inspiration for knowing how good that would be for me.

And then, my sweet, I turned to find you schmoozing with their inspirations. Friends I guess you have not seen in so long either. Based on how fast you’re making me type, I think the party was just as good for you as it was for me. See? We do make a great team. We’ll keep this simple desire thing of ours alive yet.

So, this is a shout out to you for hearing me and not giving up on me. For reminding me who I am and that I never should have doubted you in the first place. (Yes, I see you nodding fervently like I should have known all along.) I was all worked up for nothing, as per usual. Here’s to you. I hope you enjoyed the cookies (refer to end of last post).

Yours always,

Andrea

To my sweet inspiration:

1_crying_girlI miss you. I’ve been feeling empty inside without you around. Maybe lost is a better way to describe it. I’ve been looking all over for you, but haven’t been able to find you. I don’t know where you’ve gone and I’m like a lost child at the mall desperately seeking her mom. My eyes are welling as they dart from side to side each time I think I’ve caught a glimpse of you. My hands are trembling in fear you might leave without me. My stomach is churning in nervousness you might never come back.

What happened? I thought we were doing so well. Remember that time you brought me the “lone nut” video? Remember that? We were so happy together that day. You sat beside me as I wrote, encouraging me with every word like my own personal cheerleader. I felt like I was soaring. We giggled. We hugged. We were like inseparable teenage BFFs. I thought we’d be together forever.

But recently something has changed. I haven’t heard from you in such a long time despite my efforts to call you. Are you screening my calls? Did you change your number? Are you ignoring me? Are you mad at me? Please don’t say you’ve found another author to share your genius with. Please don’t. It would kill me. I need you, but every time I look around all I see are other artists with their inspiration walking together arm in arm, cavorting and living with such ease in the moment. They only remind me of my loneliness without you. Each word I type feels hollow. Each idea trivial. I sit, near lifeless, in front of my screen longing for my sweet inspiration to return to me.

Maybe I was too distracted when you came to me with your latest vision. Maybe I’ve let “life” get in the way of a true connection with you. Maybe I didn’t say “I love you” enough. Maybe another artist is treating you better than I ever did and you’re finding fulfillment in someone else’s heart. I don’t know. I wish I knew.

Please tell me its not too late for us. I can change. I’m ready to change. Please know it’s my simple desire to be with you always. Let me show you I’m worthy. We can change the world together. I know we can. When I’m with you my world is magical. You always leave me spellbound and blissful. I want to give that to you too. Please give me another chance. I beg you. I am nothing without my inspiration.

In hopes you will come back soon.

Yours always,
Andrea

P.S. I made homemade chocolate chip cookies for you.

Must write or beware my inner wolf

Some days – OK, most days – OK, every day – all I want to do is write. It’s my simple desire. I yearn for it. My heart pumps faster just thinking about it. My brain swirls with thoughts, ideas, and possibilities for new composition. Just knowing a chance is coming to sit down and let my fingers begin their dance, my soul arouses as everything I look at, hear, smell, read, digest, becomes fodder for my next creation. I am titillated in anticipation of what will come. (Hee hee, I used ‘aroused’ and ‘titillated’ right after each other – even though I spelled the latter wrong the first time.)

The reason I’m reflecting on this right now is because I don’t always get the luxury to write to my heart’s content. I mean, it’s already been 10 days since my last post, which bugs me. The thing is, in order to write, I sometimes have to be stealthy and cunning, like a wolf stalking its prey. Because even though I am a writer, I also have two other important vocations: a wife and mother. Each of which come with their own supplementary job titles we’ve all heard before: lover, breadwinner, nurse, shopper, gardener, pool cleaner, taxi driver, social worker, chef, and more. Some of these jobs I do well, others with varying levels of success (hopefully the lover part isn’t a fail! – hmm, what’s with the sex talk today?!)

Gray wolf from www.all-about-wolves.comAnyway (I say as I give my head a shake) I would not be the writer nor the woman I am today without the gifts I gratefully receive from these two other parts of me. Being a wife teaches me commitment, loyalty, depth of friendship, forgiveness, and true connection. Being a mother reminds me to be present, nimble, responsive, loving and patient. The trick becomes finding time to be the wife, the mother, the writer and just Andrea at the “right” times, and that, my friends, becomes a delicate dance even the wolf must master so as not to scare away his next meal.

I’m not always that good at it. My attempt at stealth is sometimes too conspicuous and ill timed. Sometimes, I stupidly think it’s enough if I have my laptop on my lap (aptly named), my eyes clearly fixed on the screen before me, my wrists poised on the keyboard, my fingers tapping in rhythm, that those around me will glean I’m trying to write, and perhaps avoid approaching and head for safety. But, I’ve been a mother for over 10 years now and a wife for over 12, I should know not to be surprised by any “out-of-the-blue, suddenly-urgent, I-have-to-ask-you-this-right-now-or-the-world-will-crumble-and-we-will-all-die-a-horrible-suffering-death-because-you-aren’t-paying-attention-to-me” moments from either husband or children that conflict with what I’ve attempted to deem as writing time. I should know, but too easily I forget and leave myself out in the open and exposed.

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic using the wolf analogy, but I actually did growl at my husband on the weekend after his 5th question to me related to whether I was still planning on trimming the hedge, or if I could help him fix the gate, or if there would be time that day to go out and get some beer. I can’t even remember what it was about, and it doesn’t matter. What I do distinctly remember is the deep rumbling sound that started in my chest and was emitted in my throat as my lips snarled in the direction of my life partner: the wolf staking claim to her fresh kill as an intruder nears. I felt utter exasperation by yet another interruption, and it brimmed over. In my head I thought, “Are you kidding me with this? Can you not clearly see the brilliance oozing forth at this moment with every inspired fingertip touch to the keyboard?” I guess the profundity of the words I was so beautifully weaving together at the time were not transcendent enough to touch his soul – only mine. Ultimately it’s my fault for not pre-defining to my loved ones what “writing time” means: stay away or beware my inner canine.

Writing is my escape. It’s my discovery. I’m literally sitting here grinning as I type these words. I’m not kidding, and I don’t even know if this is a decent post. It might suck. The world may not be shifted in the least because of these reflections I’m sharing right now but I don’t care! At this moment, I simply don’t care because I am elated to be typing here with a goofy grin on my face, in an quiet sleepy house (aside from my sleeping dog who at any moment could destroy the quiet part of this description by jolting awake in a barking frenzy at some random sound that likely only took place in her head). Ah, the zen of it all.

So I know I have to hone my hunting skills because if writing gets tossed to the bottom of the Andrea pile, my wolf will begin to starve and who knows who will be her next prey.