11 10 2018

images-43“The problem,” says Elizabeth Gilbert, “…is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.”



But then, Neil Gaiman (a person I gush over regularly, unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, who, though okay, is given to bromides) says: “Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”

See, I like that philosophy! One of my email names is Dabble, after all. And I DO dabble – trying this, attempting that, fooling about the edges, usually bailing when I start to get good. The last part is where I get cross with myself. It’s like I doom myself to endlessly dabbling without ever seriously contending.


Sometimes it isn’t my fault (except if you believe in the psychogenic source of disease). I really HAVE developed an allergy to wool and it annoys me terribly. How’s a wool sculptor supposed to work if I’m sneezing all the time and scratching my hands? Sheesh.

But then there are all the other things I’ve tried. Like my books. Or solo road trips. Or …

Well, there are lots, and I suspect you, gentle reader, have a bundle of UFOs (Unfinished objects) as well. I have a cowl I started knitting some years ago until the numbers of mistakes I was making made me give up and put the yarn in solitary until it learned to IMG_5678behave. I’m sure by now it has developed a psychosis from too much solitary confinement and will simply tangle itself as soon as I look at it. I have three embroidery tasks on the go. I have a couple of felted animal commissions I should finish or say I can’t. And I have at least two books in the burner, waiting for some love.

Unfortunately, Gilbert is right about there not being time to do everything. Unless I become a complete hermit and stop gaily gadabouting with friends (which I enjoy tremendously) and allow my cat to pine away, I can’t possibly do everything. Plus, where do I fit the pleasures of reading, the joys of a kiss, the enlightenment of a walk on a fall morning?


As my lived life gets longer and my expected left life correspondingly shortens, I wonder, what will I leave behind? In a way, a pile of UFOs would be appropriate, as I’m sure I’ll leave before I am finished with this planet and the people it holds. But I feel I need to pick a horse and ride it.

Then the lazy one on my shoulder whispers, “You’re retired! You should just be having fun!” Alas, for me, fun involves accomplishment.

So I think I shall decide to aggressively schedule myself. Not that that has ever worked, but let’s pretend, shall we? Writing in the morning, when my brain is perky and happy to be in front of the computer, coffee to the right side for thoughtful pauses. Bendicks, my cat, has a long morning nap after breakfast, so that lets me off cat duty. Friends, crafty stuff in the afternoon and evening. With breaks for general foolishness and walkies.

And deadlines…I always do my best work with a deadline. Especially if it is a short one. Otherwise, the following might happen…deadlines-are-approaching-i-am-therefore-leaving-immediately-for-nepal-13331918

(graphics from the incomparable Ashleigh Brilliant and the genius Blackadder)


The New Year…

1 01 2014

As Anne of GG said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it?”
And how much more so for a new year, fresh and shiny and full of life as yet unlived. My autocorrect changed “unlived” to “unloved”, and I suppose that is true, too.
I teach a course that advises against resolutions or goals. Instead it breaks down life into “action plans”, essentially baby steps towards a larger direction, but small enough you can succeed at them.
Failure is SO demotivating.
It works, that plan.
So I’m going to follow the idea.
This photo is of my hotlist of books I want to read, books I’ve bought and, as Francis Bacon would say, have only tasted and/or swallowed, not chewed or digested. They slip between mysteries to poetry to philosophy to literature to non-fiction to self-help. Some are funny, some are sad, some are deep, some dip their toes in life and shake off the chill. I think all of them are so-called “good books.”
Anyway, my den is FULL OF BOOKS. It’s hard to figure out where to start in reading and so I find myself wandering off and watching TV instead or tinker on the computer. Time to stop that. So my “action plan” is to read at least an hour a day not just before bed, when I can actually concentrate on what I’m reading.

And write reviews of the books so I can remember their contents.
And (gasp) write marginalia and underline if I feel the need.

Other action plans? Well, I have three. One for writing, one for physical activity, and one for family.
Let’s hope I can make it through the next few months without any mistakes in them…
As for love? I started the New Year profoundly grateful for the friends and family I have. I don’t think that will ever change. Love to all…

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