Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I know. I know. It's Tuesday. Why did I still title the post "Motivation on Mondays"?
I did that because I want to keep the column consistent, so you can find back posts should you care to review them in the future.
Of course, now you'll want to know why I failed to post yesterday, right? Easy answer. Yesterday, Monday, I spent six hours in the Emergency Room with my BF. He'd been sent there because he'd been having a back pain that had escalated and a very high blood pressure reading, and was thought to be having heart attack.
Yes, it was another stressful day, and I wasn't anywhere near a computer nor was I thinking about being anywhere near a computer once I took the call just before the lunch hour. Of course, he told me I didn't need to go. But what do you do? Sit around and wait? I'm not good at waiting. So I went over to meet him and stay with him--to make sure he was going to be okay. The words "heart" and "attack" are not words that roll lightly off the tongue, as you can imagine. So I wanted to be there with him, in case this was that serious.
After having every kind of test imaginable--EKG, Cat Scan, X-rays (but no MRI)--the ER doc determined it wasn't a heart attack, but he does have a heart issue he needs to see a cardiologist about later, which I don't see as unusual after 55 years of organ operation. But, whew...it was a scare until we knew. It seems he's somehow pulled a muscle in the top mid-section of his back, and he can't figure out where or when. They gave him some meds for that and follow up instructions. But it's good to know that if you ever have such a pain in the back that doesn't go away and, in fact, escalates, it could be a heart problem. You should see your doctor or visit the ER.
So that was my day yesterday. No work to speak of. All stress. And finally relief.
Now, to the actual check-in...
These chapters are really sending a lot of serendipity my way. With Chapter 7 being all about connection, and my losing my dog that same week, there was a lot of that going on. It began with the eulogy, and then moved on to the assignment I had that was due last week. It involved connecting with an historic event. Even after a really short trip there, I was able to feel very connected to this place and time--the Civil Rights Movement.
In fact, I was able to use an actual event that I discovered occurred on my 1-year-old birthday in the story itself. I was able to connect with the gospel music of the times. I was able to put myself in the place of the protesters because of the interactive elements involved in the tour I was on. It was all very experiential. And that really helped me write a story my editor had little to edit away.
Later in the week, I was able to find more connection to my dog, after I picked up her ashes. I went back to that pile of pictures I'd been sorting through on the day I had to take her to the vet hospital (and where she subsequently died), and I found several pictures of her. Pictures I hadn't seen since we'd first gotten her. So I gathered them all and shared them with friends. I miss her. Last week was all about finding some kind of connection with her. I didn't have to work too hard at it. I am still finding this in every room of my house. I very much feel her presence in my office, as this is where we both spent the bulk of our lives together. I haven't yet picked up her toys or removed her bed from the floor. It's all very comforting to me.
And this week, the connections are extending to the human beings in my life. My BF, for example, and the visit to the ER. There was nothing else I could have done but be with him during that scary moment in his life. It was good for him. It was good for me. It was good for us to feel a connected during such a scare. It's what helps bring two people together, when you know you can count on each other. That's the point of connection, I believe, and that's not always easy to do when trying to protect your own time and space and your Artist Self (which is mentioned in this week's chapter).
Further understanding of "connection" occurred this past week when I wrote a short story that involved lost connections. Though it wasn't an animal-based story, I'm sure it was a cathartic release, and also a sign that I am definitely giving my Artist Self the time it needs to explore and grow. I like that. Are you seeing any similar events/experiences unfold in your own TAW work?
Of course, the chapter is further realized in the way I'm reading my daughter's phone calls. Every time I hear her ring on my cell phone, my first question before "hello" is: "Is it time yet?" She's about to give birth any day now, and I'm so in tune with that and preparing for the big moment that I can't help myself but jump at her every call. It could be the one. Ah, yes, connections. I'm glad so many exist in my life, and truly, I've been touched by this chapter.
As you can imagine, however, I only wrote Morning Pages two times last week and am counting my picture sorting as my Artist Date. If I took another one, I can no longer recall it, as I spent the bulk of the week too busy stressing about finishing my story for an editor when all I really wanted to do was grieve my dog. I managed to do both. I suppose writing a short story could count...
I did highlight a few things in the chapter and was surprised to see so much that still matters to me, as it did in previous readings, things such as this (paraphrased):
_Listen to your intuitive voice (This came out in my short story, and I needed it in order to manage the health of my dog).
_Letting go is a normal part of creativity.
_I have been that person who wouldn't do something unless I was sure I could do it perfectly. I have learned over the years to take the risk and do it anyway. Some of the things I've taken the risk to try: improvisation classes, reading my poetry in public, a spontaneous vacation. Things I'd like to try that were on her list: whitewater river rafting, figure drawing or watercolor painting and trapeze classes.
_I come up with book ideas and write them in the margins of my TAW book. It's fun to see what I've written in the past. I added two more to the margins in this chapter this year. One I'm working on already, but I like the title I came up with this past week better than the one I already had.
_I liked what the chapter says about jealousy, that it's a mask behind the fear of doing something you're not yet brave enough to try. That's a good point and something to be reminded of when that green monster rears his ugly head.
As far as exercises, I didn't take much time to do them this week and only did one or two.
I'm really glad to be in "Chapter 8 -- Recovering a Sense of Strength." Perfect timing, if I do say so myself.
Be sure to post your progress here, and tell us how you're relating to the last few chapters. Are you seeing the growth you might expect? Are you surprised at what you're experiencing all because of this one little book and the time you are choosing to give your Artist Self? Share your thoughts here.
Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at annarbor.com, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.