Interlude #1

Interlude #1

I have to get up extra early tomorrow for a training meeting I am running at work, so I don’t have enough time to write about what I was originally going to write about and give it the thought it deserves. So instead today I decided to share my daily reflection, my one positive thing a day project I wrote about yesterday.  Here goes:

Today a co-worker approached me to ask me a question, referring to me as a guru on the topic; it always makes me so happy to a knowledgeable resource to others.

Merry Go Round

Merry Go Round

Time really gets away from me sometimes. It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotony and repetition of each day. The pattern of hurry up and wait.

It baffles me sometimes how weeks and months just past by. I lose touch with people. I feel like I’ve been less than productive. I look back sometimes, and it’s like life is going by in a blur.

It’s like when I was a kid, playing on a merry-go-round. When you’re on a merry-go-round, everything goes by in a streak, and eventually, you get a little dizzy. But you can always put your foot down, like an anchor, let it slow you down until you finally come to a stop. Sometimes, I just want to put my foot down.

 

This feeling of the world going by too quickly and slipping out of my grasp is one that has plagued me for years. I can’t help but think there has to be a way to regain some control over my life. A few years ago, I had an idea that I thought might help. I decided each day to write one positive thing about my day–something good that happened, or that made me happy, or that I learned. Something unique and positive about the day.

My theory was that this would allow me to connect with each day, to recognize each day as unique, even if in small ways. I believed that by reflecting on each day I could more fully experience it, remember it better, and not let it pass me by. I also felt like it would help me cultivate positivity, gratitude, and mindfulness.

I stuck with it for awhile, and it really made me happy. But as frequently happens with habits, eventually my positivity journal lay abandoned. I revisited this concept multiple times but never with any real longevity.

The idea has always been in the back of my mind, and at the beginning of this year, I decided to return to it yet again.

On New Year’s Eve, I was at Powell’s (my favorite bookstore, ever), where I saw a beautiful Thich Nhat Hanh themed journal. The timing was serendipitous.As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts and feelings, and at this time, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed (by both wonderful and less than wonderful things) and was actively seeking some kind of inner peace. I’ve considered myself Buddhist for nearly half my life at this point, and have admired Thich Nhat Hanh and his writings since college.

I bought that journal, and since January 1st, I’ve been using it to write down something positive every day. Sometimes I fall asleep or forget and miss a day, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I just take some time the next day to reflect on the day I’ve missed.

It’s only been a month and a half. I honestly don’t know if it’s made much of an impact on my life. I think it’s probably too soon to tell. But that’s a month and a half that I’ve stuck with it, and for that, I am proud of myself. And more importantly, it feels right and it makes me happy.

Photo Attribution: By Eddau (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Word Art Wednesday: What I’ve Been Doing

Word Art Wednesday: What I’ve Been Doing

Word Art Wednesday is my new project designed to help me practice my hand lettering and calligraphy skills.

The goal is to post examples of my lettering and calligraphy practice once a week. Every Wednesday I will show off what I’ve been working on for the previous week, good or bad.

I came up with the idea as a way to encourage myself to spend time every week on both my writing/blogging goals and lettering/calligraphy practice, allowing them to reinforce each other, while I work on improving my skills in each. I also hope that having a visual representation of my progress will keep me motivated and help prevent me from being discouraged during those inevitable moments of doubt when I think I’ll never improve.

*

Hand lettering and calligraphy are old hobbies of mine. Hobbies that I haven’t thought much about in a long time, until recently. Sparked by an idea for a gift for a friend, my interest has been reignited. And as often happens, I’ve been so enraptured by it that I have barely been able to focus on anything else.

And for this, my writing has suffered, and I’ve neglected this blog.

have been writing these last couple of weeks, but not as much as I would like. And I haven’t been sticking to my posting schedule for this blog. I’ve been unable to focus.

I decided I needed a way to stick to my writing and blogging goals, while still allotting some time each week to practicing my calligraphy and hand lettering.

I have a tendency to become deeply enthralled in something for a brief period of time, before abandoning it entirely.  I don’t want this to happen. I enjoy lettering, but I’m not especially good at it. Besides, I haven’t done it in a really long time. I need to practice.

That’s why I’m starting “Word Art Wednesday”, which would probably be more adequately called “Word Art Practice Wednesday”, but that’s a little cumbersome.

 

The idea is to bring the two things together, to allow them to work together and reinforce each other. By working my new hobby into my blog, I hope I can work it into my writing plans and goals for the blog, without too much added stress and anxiety.

With that said, here’s what I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks.

Calligraphy:

I’m using a fairly wide nib, which is recommended for beginners because it’s easier to see what you are or aren’t doing properly. The font I’m working on is Roman minuscule, modern 2. I chose lowercase because for some reason I was finding that much easier than uppercase. I’m pretty happy at the moment because I’ve been practicing for just about two weeks and I feel like I’m already improving. This week I plan on working on some capital letters as well, so I can write proper sentences.

Lettering:

I’ve been doing a lot of doodling and experimenting with pens, pencils, and fonts, mostly. This is a small (and the best) sampling of what probably appears like bunch of random scribbles to anyone but me. There are many options with lettering and I’m still working on what direction I want to start with.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8263540@N05/9169068026″>Pen and Paper</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Lessons in Invisibility

Lessons in Invisibility

This is what I’ve learned:
Rule 1: Stay out of the way. If someone bumps into you, you’re cover is blown.
Rule 2: Don’t bump into anything or knock anything over. It doesn’t matter if they can’t see you, if you start making a ruckus.
Rule 3: While we’re on the subject, be quiet. Wear clothing that doesn’t rustle too much, walk gently, and don’t breath too heavily.

I’m upstairs in the bedroom when I hear noise in the kitchen. I got home from work early and came up to change. I finish dressing quickly. This is perfect. I prepare myself. I check my reflection in the mirror and it isn’t there. It’s weird not having a reflection, but that’s how I know it’s working. Continue reading “Lessons in Invisibility”