My blog this week is about my prompts from Paul. I write at least one to two full pages every day on whatever prompt Paul has left for me, but this week I wrote more. The words were all interesting and very different.
My first prompt was local. This word made me realize how grateful I am for the wonderful women I have met here in Roanoke. I already had quite a few close friends when I moved here last year, but none were local. Many times I prayed for someone in the area who I could connect with. I wanted friends to do fun things with, like lunch, coffee, a hike, or just sitting around having a glass of wine and talking. After being here for six months women friends started showing up, one here and one there. Some I met at cardiac rehab, one at a pet show, one at my acupuncturists’ office, and one through the local writers group. As I’ve gotten to know these beautiful women, I’ve come to love them. My life seems fuller when I have a group of women to share it with. ♥ ♥ ♥
My next prompt was ice. After making a list of what ice is used for, I got down to the nitty-gritty, which is how I sometimes think my brain is frozen. There are moments when I’m in the middle of writing something profound and creative, and I get stuck for a word or a phrase. I’ll sit for a while trying to pull it out of the air, where it seems to be circling above my head, but I usually can’t rope it in. It’s only when I’m willing to give it up and move on, that I can finally get the word. One time, I called my husband into the room and told him that I was looking for a word. I read the sentence with a blank where the word needed to be and asked him for help. He must have given me at least five words to fill in that blank, but none was THE word. I laid the article aside, had a martini, then went to bed and forgot about it. When I awoke the next morning, there on the tip of my tongue was the word, censor. That was it, that’s what I had been searching for.
Why does my brain sometimes feel frozen? I’m not sure. I’ve thought this might be the onset of dementia, or maybe I lack certain grey cells, maybe there are some things I just don’t know, or maybe there’s a fog blanketing my head. All I know is my brain sometimes feels like it’s on ice.
Expense was the word for Wednesday. I immediately thought about the times I made choices in my life that were fueled by irresponsibility and a total lack of self-worth. I had no concept of what my choices were going to cost me down the line, nor did I care, I just did what I felt like doing at the moment.
The expense for some of my escapades was exacted from my life in money and loss of relationships, and usually it was paid for with shame and regret. I’ve thought more than once, “If I could do it over again, and know what I know now, I’d sure do it differently.” And yet, even though the cost was high in most cases ,and I suffered a lot, plus I created suffering for my family, every thing I’ve ever done has led me to this point. Perhaps it would have been nice to have a Pollyanna life, but I believe I’ve had the life I was meant to have.
On Thursday morning he left me the word treat, I made a list of what was a treat for me at each stage of my life. When I was a child, most of what I considered a treat was about sugar. Some of my favorite treats were having a snowball filled with flavored syrup on a hot summer afternoon, a hamburger and a chocolate malt at the soda fountain at the drugstore, hot, freshly made donuts from the local bakery on a Sunday morning, my mother’s peanut butter fudge, my brother and I going to Mr. Miller’s store and buying candy, cookies, and a Coke and charging it to my mother’s account, and my Aunt Madeline’s homemade peach ice cream.
When I compare what was a treat to me when I was a child and what’s a treat today, there are few similarities. For one thing sugar usually doesn’t tempt me. What I do consider a big treat is having my out-of-town girlfriends come and spend a day or two with me. Getting up in the morning and sitting around in pajamas having coffee and talking with a close friend is something I love. Just as delightful is being on the back of our motorcycle with my beloved, and riding down deserted back roads and forests and through mountain passes. Being that close to nature fills me with bliss. Spending time with my family is a treat, because I have no family in this area, so we don’t see each other as often as I’d like. A good dirty martini in the evening is something I wait for. I savor every sip and look forward to the next one. What’s a treat for me today is more about people and feelings. However, every once in a while I do enjoy a good dark chocolate raspberry truffle.
We ended the week with heat. Besides the extreme hot weather we’re having , I thought of the saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” What this means to me is, if you can’t cope with something you should leave it to someone else, or if the pressure is too much, walk away. I’ve had many times in my life where I’ve felt like I was in a pressure cooker that was getting ready to blow its lid. However, no matter the amount of heat I felt, I still persisted in staying in the kitchen. I thought that if I left the kitchen it meant I was weak and I was a failure. It’s a wonder I didn’t stroke out over the way I drove myself. I’m convinced that the reason for my blocked arteries in my heart was because of the high stress levels I put myself under. I’ve had a lifelong habit of taking on too much, in an effort to feel better about myself and to please others. “No”was not a word in my vocabulary.
I still have a tendency to take on a lot, but the difference today is I’m learning to get out of the kitchen when it gets too hot. I’ve finally developed the coping skills needed to maneuver my way through my life. Because I have a lot on my plate right now, I’ve consciously chosen to divide my day into segments. Throughout the day, about every two hours or so, I get up from my chair, put my computer screen on hibernate, and I stretch. Then I either go for a short walk, take a nap, sit and rock, sit out on my patio and just breathe deeply and have quiet time, or read a little. Learning to stretch my body throughout the day, and taking time out from what I’m doing refreshes me, so when I go back to my desk I feel lighter.
Besides keeping up my house and spending time in my kitchen (I enjoy cooking), I spend the greater part of my day writing, studying how to write, researching topics on writing, working on my book, and/or creating consciousness raising products. None of this is physical labor, but it is intense mental labor. I hate to call what I do work, because I’m following my passion and doing what I love to do, so I get huge doses of pleasure from my work. But, no matter how much I love what I do, I ‘ve learned the benefits of being proactive and getting out of the kitchen before it gets too hot.
That’s it for this week. I’ve completed the rough draft on the first three chapters of my book and I’m loving the process of creating. I’ve also gotten a Twitter account, http://twitter.com/brendamarroy, and Paul and I have designed a business card for my Streams of Consciousness endeavour. I’ve set the wheels in motion to start a women’s bonding circle here in Roanoke, and I’ve begun the design on my greeting cards. The river keeps on running and I’m going with the flow. I wish you a delightful day and a week filled with conscious living.