Saturday, July 14, 2012

Life is sort of a game of solitaire sometimes maybe

I've hit a bit of a dry spot.

I know that if I want to write, I can't just sit around playing solitaire on my Kindle and then lie to myself that I'm not writing because I'm too busy.

I think I'm not writing this week because everything feels too big and scary and I don't want to think about the big and the scary.

I want to put the Queen of Hearts on the King of Clubs and the two of spades on the ace of diamonds and call it a day.

Recently I went into a little book store here in my little town and while looking for a travel guide they didn't have, I found a nice book about writing, The Writer's Idea Book, by Jack Heffron.

He's a good writer.

It's good to read about writing because I can fool myself into thinking I'm working on my writing.

But really I'm lying on my bed with the fan on, casually flipping pages and letting every helpful bit of writerly advice evaporate away as soon as I get to the end of each paragraph.

So tonight I have a few minutes with my thoughts and I'm fighting the urge to pull up a nice mind numbing game of Solitaire.

In an effort to focus on writing, I'm blocking the sounds of my children with headphones and some distracting music. No irony there.

And I've poured myself a glass of wine, a gift from a friend, so it's actually good wine, not like what I buy myself. See me continue to distract myself.

Clever of me.

I have pulled out Mr. Jack Heffron's book in the hopes he'll help me come up with an idea that has nothing to do with the big scary stuff that keeps hounding me.

The prompt that I opened the book to was, "Explain your philosophy of life..." and then he offered a paragraph of very good suggestions for the task, but I'm too antsy to read the rest of the paragraph.

So, here it is, off the cuff.

My philosophy of life.



I'm imagining that I should write the idealized version of my philosophy, not what my philosophy looks like in action.

I could check back with Jack, but I think I'll just wing it.

And so:

1. Just wing it. I believe in just winging it instead of planning too far ahead.
 Life is unpredictable, why waste precious time making plans when you could be playing solitaire.

2. Hug your kids. You may suck as a parent most of the time, but if you hug those dear little weasels, hopefully they will forgive you when they are 40 years old and sitting in their therapists office. You'll likely be dead or senile by then, but hey.

3. Tell the truth.

4. Re-define truth to suit your needs when ever necessary.

5. No, number 4 is a joke.

6. Remember you are not perfect. You're not even close. Strive every day to be as perfectly imperfect as you can be.

7. When you feel sad, listen to music.

8.  Sing to your kids.

9.  Books are good. Surround yourself with books. Also, read them. 

10.  Attempt to forgive assholes.

11. Give yourself credit for at least trying to forgive assholes.

12. Attempt to forgive yourself when you realize you've been an asshole.

13. Try hard not to be an asshole.

14. Admit when you are wrong.

15. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Don't make excuses. 

16. Don't wait for the day to come when you're smarter, prettier, thinner, stronger, happier, to do the things you want to do. That day may or may not come.

Heck, let's just go out on a limb and say, the day won't come.

You're as smart and as thin as you'll ever be. Who cares.

Your smarts and your looks and your size and your emotional state are irrelevant.

Attempt the things you want to do.

Do that now. 

You're adequate.

You'll look back and regret the time wasted.

You'll kick yourself for wasting all that sitting on the couch playing solitaire.


Paul Pickering said...

Out of "the Green Mile" the John Coffey (like the drink, but not spelled the same) character.
1. "Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to each other. I'm tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There's too much of it. It's like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can you understand?"
2. and the point where he opens his mouth, and a cloud of flies comes out. That cloud of flies is what we carry around, all the wounds and angst and accumulated scratches - and if we could only let out that cloud, we could be so much happier....

Margaret said...

Thank-you for your thoughtful and thought provoking comments, Paul.