In Thoughts on Writing on May 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm
What do you do every two days? I bet it says the most about you. It’s the thing that’s the most important in your life but that others don’t see as integral. It’s not your work – it’s what you do to refuel. It’s your work in the sense that it’s your life work. It’s the thing you make resolutions about, wanting to do it every day. And you know that if you did it every day you’d reach some place greater. Maybe you did it every day for a while and you felt changed. But it’s the thing you do every two days because every two days is realistic and it lets you keep doing the thing that you love.
When I first started this blog I decided I would post every two days. This seemed like a natural goal: it would keep what readers I had interested because there would almost always be new content but never an overwhelming amount. It seemed manageable. If a blog post takes me twenty minutes to write, then I could spend an hour a week on my blog.
image from blog.jetbrains.com
It wasn’t until I placed into my life a new activity (a full time job) that I noticed that every two days gets reserved for one thing. Maybe I go to yoga every two days. If this is the case, then I’m probably writing here every three. If I am intent on focusing on my novel, I put this off for the sake of that. I even started meditating in the morning. If I did that every two days, I felt complete. I forgot that I had a responsibility here.
We can’t do everything every two days. We obviously can’t do everything everyday. But what we choose to do with the time that isn’t spent on our work – what we choose to make our lifework – is what defines us. When I’m not here every two days I hope I’m at yoga. I hope I’m writing my novel. I hope I’m not watching a new season of Community every two days or visiting various Dollar Stores for teaching materials. I hope I am reserving the precious time in my life for what I once believed, and still believe, is the thing that I am meant to do.
In Inspiration on January 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm
I think I have more black outs than the average person – not faintings, but moments where I forget myself. I am always in the process of remembering something that feels long forgotten: oh, I have a blog. Oh, I’m a writer. Oh, I am in the middle of talking to somebody. I wake up every morning waiting for some kind of list to fall over my memory: this is what I am doing today; this is who I am going to be.
I’ve started sitting on a block for five minutes every morning, fulfilling a New Year’s Resolution to meditate. For most of the five minute I think about things. This isn’t meditating. Meditating, yoga people keep telling me, is about acknowledging and then calming down my thinking. It’s about acknowledging that I have thoughts and then dismissing them. At first I thought this was ridiculous: I am my thoughts! Then I was told explicity: you are not your thoughts. It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with that.
It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with that because sitting on a block and thinking for five minutes every morning is actually useful. I am able to decide things, like today I will be nice. Today I will move with control. Today I will speak what I mean. Today I will have confidence. Today I will breathe.
Then there are some mornings where I stop thinking. I sit there and I’m not sleeping but I’m smiling, and I’m looking up at something that’s either the sun or the rainclouds through my window, and I am not worried that I was either a victim or a perpretator in three different dreams about shooting the night before, and I’m not worried about how I have to go to the bank, and I’m not counting down seconds until Reema Datta stops singing.
I’m just sitting there and I’m taking four seconds worth of breath in and four seconds worth of breath out and I’m completely aware of who I am and what I’m doing that day because I’m just me and I’m just going to be here.