Friday, May 30, 2008

Farewell to a Friend

Okay, I’m on a roll—three days in a row of posting! Yesterday I kept thinking of tons of things to write about. I thought my idea well would never run dry. Now today, when I have time to write, my mind is blank. What were those brilliant blog ideas???

One of the things that has been on my heart since yesterday is the closing of our local independent bookstore, Danner’s Books and Gifts. This breaks my heart. This bookstore and the three women who owned and ran it have been such a big part of my life for a long time. They made the store more than a store—it was a gathering place for anyone interested in books, writing, reading, life, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, local events—you name it, they provided a space for it. They have the gift of making each customer feel like the most important person in the store—even when we were in the midst of a big group. For the last few years, they had added yarn and jewelry and other gorgeous things to their inventory. They provided classes and tutoring to anyone who came in with a question outside of class time. They even convinced me that I could knit—and taught me how (even though I doubt that I’ll ever be a whiz at it!) They provided space for different groups to meet, including the journal workshop that my friend, Sherita, and I lead. His Majesty, Leaf the Cat reigned over the entire kingdom. Going to Danner’s was more than just going to a store—it was a visit with family and friends and just plain fun! I’ll miss you Danner’s.

For another entry about Danner’s leaving, read my friend Sherita’s blog entry. She has written an eloquent tribute to Danner’s. She’s a just-starting blogger who has been my best bud for over 20 years. And she’s a wonderful writer too.

See you on Day 4!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Shift in Perspective

Martha Beck may have altered my whole mind set! In her book, The Four Day Win, which deals with weight loss, she challenges the readers to write a history of our weight without using any form of the verb “to be:” as in is, am, was, had, etc. Don’t say, “I am fat,” say “I carry extra weight;” or don’t say, “I was skinny,” say “I under ate.” I did this exercise, and it WAS hard! She said that switching from that passive identifying mode would let us see that our weight changes—so we can change it.

So I did the exercise. And yesterday, when I started to write in my Morning Pages, again, “I AM having a hard time waking up,” a little bell pinged in my head. Do I say “I AM…” or do I say, “I hit the snooze alarm several times today.”? The first says that I equal/am/become a person who will always experience difficulty waking up. “I hit the snooze,” says that today I made this choice, which implies that on another day I can choose to get up quickly. A subtle difference, yet so profound.

Martha’s advice for weight loss is advice for any area of our lives where we need change or improvement.

We’re told when making affirmations to make them present voice and positive, as in “I am…” So saying “I am having difficulty” is a negative affirmation that perpetuates itself. And we never even realize that we’re saying it. This explains why people say to examine how you talk to yourself and others in your daily language.

I know I’ve heard this before, in “As a man thinketh,” and “The Secret,” and all the positive thinking books, tapes and advice. But this time the light bulb went on, and I can SEE, I KNOW what it means.

This is more than slapping a positive coating on top of negativity. This is a major shift in life view. From passive to active. From helpless to powerful. From static to changeable. And I choose action, power, and change. Thank you, Martha Beck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thanks For The Nudge!

How do you start writing on your blog again when you’ve let it lapse for much too long? Well, sometimes you need a nudge from the universe, God, a fellow blogger—or all three! I’ve been thinking “I’ve got to start blogging again—but what will I say?” So today, I went to my new friend’s blog, Llama Momma, and found that she had tagged me for a meme. Dilemma solved! Now if I can figure out how to make the time during my day to sit down and post!

The meme is to tell six random things about myself. Hmmm.

1. I love books. I carry one with me almost everywhere I go. I have bookcases (filled) in almost every room in my house and I still have piles of books on tables, chairs and the floor.
2. One of my favorite things to do is browse my bookshelves. I’ll start a search for one particular book and start scanning all my shelves. As I go, I see titles that catch my eye and before you know it, I have an arm full of books to revisit. My husband used to ask “What are you doing???” Now he just shrugs and shakes his head.
3. I have a great memory for faces. I can see someone that I haven’t seen in years, and I usually remember who he or she is. Even if I met them in the first grade—and trust me that is a long time ago!
4. I love ’57 Chevy’s. I just love the look of them. If I owned a Classic Car, it would be a ’57 Chevy. Or maybe a candy-apple-red ’57 T-Bird! Vintage cars are on my mind because we went to a Cruise-In last weekend, and I saw tons of older cars. Fun!
5. I love office supplies. Paper, pens, gadgets, copiers, staplers, hole punches—I love them all.
6. I love fountain pens. I love journaling with a fountain pen; I love the way the ink flows. I love the way fountain pens look and feel. When I graduated from university, my friends went together and bought me a marbled blue Parker DuoFold fountain pen and I loved it. I carried and used it for years. One day I lost it, and I have been heartbroken about it ever since. I really loved that pen. I posted flyers, searched everywhere that I had been, looked through all my stuff at home. No luck. I never found it. And I still miss it after all these years.

I think I’ll tag my friend at RiverWrites. She’s a fantastic writer who is fairly new to blogging, so this will be a learning experience for her too. Thanks, Llama Momma—I needed that nudge!