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The Frustration of Focus & The Benefit of Flow

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This is the first time in my life that I’m focussed on doing what I love. Being my healthiest self, and focussed on focus.

I’ve never been a believer in having it all, at least not at the same time. Now more than ever I’m sure of that.

Life has stabilized after a handful of years getting settled as a nearly-empty nester, a coupled up singleton, and one of the more experienced of a great group of colleagues.  Life has finally opened up into a chapter of more breathing room to focus on what brings me joy.

I’m not talking about my child or my lovely partner, or the beautiful friendships that I’ve nurtured throughout the years. I’m talking about what brings ME joy; nurturing a healthier, more active body, and carving out time and space (have you seen my awesome little writing space?!), to focus on writing.

I’m SO focussed. I spent an entire afternoon plotting 12 months of writing submissions. I dug out all of my old writing and put it in one of the drawers in the two desks I need to keep all of my scribbling organized. I consulted with a life coach. I became accountable to myself. I took a project on my winter beach vacation. I give a shit about letting my precious, wild, creative ideas get away from me without nurturing them.

“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

It’s spring, so I had to take a break away to plan and plant my garden, welcome my baby boy home from uni, and spend more time at the yoga studio. All this joyful living has made me jolly. Trying to focus on family, health and the garden has made my writing suffer. So frustrating!

How fortunate am I to be frustrated that I don’t have enough time between my good job, spoiling my adult son, being a loving partner, and keeping up with the people who have buoyed me up all of those tough years, to write all day, every day? Very. I’m very fortunate.

Focus is wonderful, but so is a blessed life. And I don’t want to forget that as I scroll through my insta-feed of minimalist works spaces and uber-achievers.  My big, messy, patchwork life of love and vitality is more than a lot of people ever dream of having. And I intend to go with it. To flow. To savour every second. Nothing lasts forever.

Focus is something I can come back to again and again. So here I am, in a window seat at the coffee shop, keyboard and second draft of my novel ready for a serious workout.

If you haven’t quite made it to this place in life where you can see your blessing manifest and you feel like a suffocated artist, buy yourself  Big Magic . It saved my creative spirit, and kept me plodding away when I had too many bills and not enough time or space to feel justified in spending the extra time to create.  Just keep going. Just keep telling the universe what you need, and somehow you will pass from survival to thriving. I promise.

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It’s Time to Listen: A #MeToo Breakdown For Men

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It’s my staunch belief that the #MeToo movement was born the moment Trump was elected POTUS. That was a bitter pill to swallow for everyone with a pussy to be grabbed.

The men in my life are wondering what the hell happened. Men are speaking up with sheer obliviousness about how they feel they no longer know how to communicate with women. Good.

Try listening. If you can’t listen, and you want to evolve past the shameful state of the pussy-grabbing POTUS, or even just avoid some life-ruining sexual harrassment lawsuit,  take some advice; Read a book and start listening.

Books are a good place to start.  As Elizabeth Renzetti is quoted as saying in a recent Toronto Star article by Tara Henley,

A book forces you to think deeply, to think profoundly, to think at length about issues that don’t just flash before your eyes as you’re scrolling through your phone. It forces you to actually confront, and acknowledge , and come to terms with, issues that are quite complex, and that need the space to be examined.

Women have lived their lives since the dawn of time, surrounded by Donald Trumps – affluent old pigs who get away with whatever they want because they pay for it.

Anger is just frustration that doesn’t feel heard.

And a lot of us are angry.

Saturday night I went to bed angry. My other half, who is obsessed with CNN, and therefore the asshat known as Donald-Useless-Twat-Trump, officially got on my last nerve.

“Turn that shit off! The last thing I need to listen too all weekend is CNN talking about Donald Trump fucking porn stars!” I stomped up the stairs, and before I slammed the bedroom door shut I finished off my rant with, “…and don’t you dare wake me up when you finally get enough of that garbage. I deserve to be able to relax too!” Slam.

With an icon of misogyny elected as the leader of the free world, it was really the last straw.  Seriously how much could any intelligent woman take? Pussy hats dotted the streets lined with millions of women for the Women’s March on Washington, and women everywhere started to speak up for one another.

The #MeToo movement was a tipping point for women to step forward into the light, and claim their power. As survivors of sexual abuse, we all know that speaking up has traditionally been taboo. No one wants to hear that stuff. It’s akin to the visual of watching someone be disemboweled.  The pain is incomprehensible, as is relating to the victim or the perpetrator.

The tsunami of women coming forward during the past year has been overwhelming. For most men, really thinking about their sisters, girlfriends or mothers being raped or assaulted, is nearly incomprehensible. But I guarantee you, a woman you love has experienced this.

Now is the time to listen.  We need to stop being distracted by sensationalism. Turn off the twaddle blaring from CNN and reflect.

Just listen.

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None of this F*ing Matters

nothing mattersIt was a comment on my desire to keep a tidy, welcoming, cozy home.  And it was correct.

In the end nothing matters.

We’re all on a path to the same destination; our mortality. I mean, who better to realize this than a mortician? Who better to appreciate libertine values?

In the end, does anything really  matter?   I suppose not, if you think about it. We all end up dead and sure as shootin’ the world carries on.

Who cares if your dirty undies take up space next to a sports bottle that has leaked on the white carpet? Only an asshole I suppose. I mean, after all, we’re all just getting older, and we all just want to be happy, right? So, who cares if all of the linens, dishes and groceries get tossed in various and sundry places? It keeps things exciting right? Besides, what’s life but a grand adventure?

There is no better quality of life than looking for shit because you haven’t the time to be organized or respect shared living space. Joie de vivre etcetera….

Bullshit and wrong. Absofuckinglutely wrong.

The same people who who claim to be chill, free spirits are the same people who expect you to respect what does f*ing matter to them; golf, football, bubble baths, not being woken up during their weekend naps, a welcoming home, the daily crossword, listening to the weather, being on time, morning coffee, evening tea…which means they expect you to respect them.

I was reminded that people who do not respect me do not care about what f*ing matters to me, and that costs me precious time.

“None of this fucking matters. I just want to be happy and live my life. You should try it.”

If you hear this, be sure to remind yourself that if you are loved and if you are respected, the little things that f*ing matter to you, will f*ing matter to them. The end.

 

 

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A Reason To Keep Writing

decisions todayI read a very short blog entry this morning at kelzbelzphotography about people criticizing the blog, topics and the writer.

It’s true, not everyone loves everything we write. I even get nasty comments from people I know, and people who only have the courage to identify as anonymous, the poor feckless arseholes.

I’ve even had a few rather threatening comments, and a few blog-stalkers, of whom I know their identities and whereabouts thanks to my obsession with the statistics page we have access to.

It’s important that we feel safe here, in the blogosphere of free speech that we are damn lucky to have. It’s also important to be brave, courageous, and supportive to other writers we feel a kinship with. For the others, in my case, the bigots, morons and close-minded, I either ignore them, or leave my opinion in a non-threatening way. You know, something delicate like, “Pull your head out of your butt hillbilly.”

You see, in this little space, many of us post our heart’s desires. This is where I come to tap out a few lines because I’m too busy to crack open the notebook on a new novel I’m writing. These few minutes launch me into my day and sate my proclivity to daydreaming and wasting my days away leaving the mundane to pile up like a big wad of anxiety in my mind.

We show you our stories, works of art and poetry. This is where we come to live out our creativity, and as you know baby-cakes, creativity is no mere sixth sense. No, it is the sacred expression of the human spirit.

The weekend blog-posts are written at my little writing desk with the morning sun streaming through the lace curtains and falling on the hearty green leaves of my beloved shamrock. From here I see the world and my future unfold where others might only see a weathered obelisque and the hyacinths beginning to poke their green heads through the grey-brown muck of early spring.

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Blog Dating

" You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know." ~Unkown~
” You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know.”
~Unkown~

Blind dating, on-line dating, serial dating, I’ve done it all.

I’ve dated until I’m out-dated, fed-up, and quite seriously amused by the absurdity of it all.

Having grown tired of primping the girls and spending cash on twenty-dollar martinis, I had left the speed and direction of Cupid’s arrow up to the fates.

I’d been feeling kinda sorry for myself lately because my dating life had been derelict except for the occasional younger man, and acquiescence to boredom with no good intention other than not getting into my flannel nightie until after 10pm.

Having given up on-line dating a few years ago after having dated someone for almost three years who turned out to be trolling on-line dating sites prior to our break-up, I decided that the caliber of man to be met ‘on-line’ was not really the quality of lover I wished.

I’d decided to stick to real, in-the-flesh-men-brave-enough-to-have-a-face-to-face-conversation over the ones you meet on-line from gawd-only-knows-where, wanting gawd-only-knows-what.

As luck would have it, it’s the young ones who are ballsy enough and not-yet-jaded-beyond-hope who have done the asking. That’s a wonderful turn of the sheets darlings, but nothing that can satisfy a woman of a certain age for more than a couple of hours at a time.

This weekend I had my attitude adjusted just a little bit. A fellow blogger posted the sweetest, most sincere blog about his desire to find companionship and love. He inspired me to rethink going after what I want. Hell, I do it professionally, why not on the beautiful, river of love?

Ralph, author, master and keeper of  BlueFishWay,  posted his heart’s desire to find true love. Please click-through the link, because who knows, you could be the next Mrs. Ralph, or know someone who is interested.

Now, Ralph, the master of BlueFishWay, was not shy about letting the world know that he wants a companion, someone to share his life and joy.

This past weekend, I went to visit friends, and they had kindly invited a possible mate to their home as well. The Possible Mate was unfortunately tied up with family commitments in Quebec, but nonetheless, they had thought of me. Much appreciated. Please try again.

Seriously – keep trying!

So, for all of my friends out there, or readers who have single pals, do your duty to introduce us to eligible partners.

Caveat; you may be held responsible for either party being disappointed. More Significant Caveat;  you will be held responsible for dealing with our dead bodies and dozens of cats if you fail at this social duty.

I’m available for coffee, dinner engagements and social outings.

Darling, have your people call my people, and let’s make this happen.