Tag Archives: what makes me special

Ordinary Sparkling Moments

A special package arrived in the mail today. A little over a year ago, I volunteered to be a “Book Fairy” for Christine Mason Miller’s project to spread the message of “Ordinary Sparkling Moments: Reflections on Success and Contentment.” I write about my Book Fairy experience in this post (click HERE).

Anyway… back to now. A year has elapsed and I find myself struggling to find the sparkle in most everything. Or rather, it’s a daily chore for me to find the sparkle in the ordinary moments of my life. A relationship that I’d invested a year of my time in recently fizzled out like old ginger ale. What is left of my “professional life” is equally lifeless, and the fact of the matter is, it never had much life to it in the first place.

You see, it’s because like Christine, I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I didn’t make any other contingency plans, and after my plan A fell through (through no other fault by my own), and so many other plans that followed never amounted to anything, I continue to want to be something I still feel I am not… not quite. I certainly make art, in some form or other, but I have never made a living at it. Instead I drift, much like a gypsy, from one job to the next, never finding a niche in anything because the truth of the matter is I just don’t fit anywhere, really, especially an office.

I’m quiet, and thoughtful, and slow, and reserved, mostly, but wild and brash in ways that might surprise those who have not seen that side of me. And I have a temper, too, and as I age, it is getting more difficult to reign in. And I get bored really quickly if I am not fully occupied, and have further come to discover that an eight hour work day is just too long of a time to spend sitting at a desk, in front of a computer.

So where does that leave me? I don’t know. I am still searching for some sort of balance between my extremely active mind, creative spirit and insatiable curiosity. Why… WHY was I born this way? It’s excruciating.

While I ought to be busy working out the details of what kind of data to input into a spreadsheet, my mind drifts to a million things…

It was sunny today, so I could smell the spring in the air. In my mind, I spent a portion of the day wandering the streets of Vancouver, feeling the sun on my skin and smelling the thickening pollen in the air. Amidst meetings and email replies and spreadsheet tweaking, my mind juggled several story ideas, alternately fleshing out both of them, watching my characters become more animated and alive as the day progressed. I envisioned myself tending to bee hives and harvesting honey. I saw myself straddling a potter’s wheel and throwing perfectly proportioned mugs, and carving faces and bees into clay to later become beads and embellishments. There were molded bath bombs made and ceramic boxes in which to store them, and the inkling of a logo developed, as well as an etsy shop. My mind never stops…

And yet… by the time the evenings arrive, after an hour long drive and preparing dinner, I am usually too bushed to start on anything. So the wonderful ideas that I’ve harboured all day become stored in my memory banks (or my iPhone notes) for when my energy levels catch back up with the rest of me. Some days I forgo the cooking (or slap something together very quickly) and decide that I must do something. So this evening, with the arrival of the book, and the fact that it was such a beautiful sparkling sunny day, I’ve decided to write a blog post. Long neglected blog that it has been.

Unlike Christine, and her desire to be an artist, I have never felt the need to inspire others in a tangible way. I have no need to encourage or cajole others into being their best selves. I can barely manage to do that myself, so how can I deliver such a message convincingly? I thought, for a while, that I ought to be a creativity coach, and do just that. But the fact of the matter is, my mind wanders far too much. I read five books at once. I have multiple ongoing projects (many unfinished), and flit from one thing to the next like the bees I so wish to care for. I frankly don’t want the responsibility.

On the other hand, if what I write manages to inspire someone else, simply by sharing my own experience or by telling a story, then I can certainly do THAT sort of thing. I don’t know what inspires others… what makes them tick. We are all so similar in so many fundamental ways, and yet so different.

A friend of mine posted something to her Facebook page today, this widget thing that shows you how rich you are compared to everyone else in the world, based upon your annual income. I was the 231,544,348th richest person in the world, based on my earnings last year. Well, that’s nowhere near the top, to say the least, but even though $73 could buy a new mobile health clinic for AIDS orphans in Uganda, my grocery bill for two runs me about $200 a week, not counting incidentals (like toilet paper, etc.). It’s all relative, isn’t it?

So anyway… back to the sparkling moments. Life has been so much something other than smooth sailing for so long. If life was a bed, I definitely woke up on the wrong side of it. Not that it hasn’t been good at all. No… some incredibly awesome things have transpired. My son, for instance, is a treasure. Some of my friends are the most amazing and awesome people I have ever had the honour to journey with. At times when I was the most disheartened, complete strangers have materialized to reinforce my lagging faith in humanity. And I’ve seen beautiful things -natural or otherwise- and lived in amazing places.

The funny part is that we always think someone else has it better than we do, and that our lot is by far worse than everyone else’s. We’re always the most hard done by, in our minds, in comparison to everyone else. The truth is, though, that we all carry burdens of one sort or another, and they are equally weighty in the end. And those sparkling moments? They’re hard to see, from all of the detritus that litters our lives, sometimes, but if we dig a little bit, we can usually find the gems shining through the rubble, no matter how much crap they’re buried under.

So… in gratitude of the gems… and the sparkling moments, one of which, on this day, happens to be the arrival of this most excellent book.

How many lovers does it take to screw in a lightbulb… and other musings…

What a crazy week it’s been. After being in the body shop for a little over a month, my car was ready on Friday. They called me on Friday morning to let me know, and of course I had to figure out some way to scrape together the $1,000 deductible. So it will be a very meager next several weeks indeed, until two pay cheques from now, as the next one will be gobbled up by the rent. Anyway… enough of my financial woes…

The good news is… I have a car again, with a half tank of gas.

I’ve been trying to work on some painting (without much success). And some writing (and aside from this here blog post, and a number of emails, those efforts have been largely unproductive). I’ve also been not particularly muse-infused lately. I’ve also decided not to beat myself up about it all.

I’ve been feeling really – tired – tired is the right word. Tired of many things, but mostly of my flailing about. I feel like a drowning man, thrashing around in oceanic murk, trying to avoid the inevitable pull of the deep, only to finally give in anyway, watching the last stream of my little air bubbles float upward as I sink to the bottom despite my best efforts.

I’m so tired of being broke.

I’m tired of investing so much time into things that bring me little (or no) pleasure or improvement.

I’m tired of feeling like I have no direction, or rather, of having lost my way (and question whether I ever had a way to begin with).

I’m tired of wanting something better but not being able to get to better by way of my own resources.

And I’m tired of wondering what better is, in the end.

I’m tired of thinking, even.

So… how to go about remedying the sources of all of this fatigue. Helpful suggestions are welcome.

My leg/groin strain is finally starting to feel better. I went to see the doctor on Wednesday and was given a prescription for Naproxen. Perhaps the healing was delayed because of muscles spasming and now that the pain cycle is broken, things are finally starting to right themselves.

I’ve recently read (and have previously ruminated on, via my own) blog posts that speak about how we as humans have become separate from nature and the natural world’s cycle of birth-life-death, decay and renewal. That we fear change and hold on to things long past their usefulness or for our better good. That the concept of long-term relationships is an unnatural adherence, requiring a prodigious (yet perhaps futile, by these accounts) amount of effort to hold on to things that are ever-changing. How monogamy goes against the very grain of the laws of nature.

Oddly enough, despite what we think (citing the notion that we feel we are unable to focus our affections on only one person) we naturally tend to behave in such a way, and the superfluous “others” tend to fall off by the wayside; shed themselves like so much dead skin from the snake’s back. Until a new fancy surfaces and our interest wanes. I muse (and amuse myself immensely) that we have the notion that we are able to sustain multiple intimate relationships when even one requires fairly gargantuan effort to keep things running smoothly. I mean… I barely have enough time and energy to get through my work week, figure out new and creative (and cheap) ways to relax during my time off, be emotionally and physically available to my son in a caretaker/mom capacity, and still have a bit of “me” time. Maybe others are better at multi-tasking than I am.

But this life is a great experiment, and I long ago earned the title of Absent-minded Professor (coined as such by my mother), so I’ll go on experimenting, regardless. She was also the one who used to tell me not to ride two horses with one ass (when I was spreading myself too thinly, and not accomplishing any task with any great measure of success). And I have always mostly done what my dad always told me not to do, and did things the stupid way (as opposed to the smart way), learning best from my own mistakes (rather than those of others). But I digress.

Are humans basically fear-based creatures, having separated (perhaps even elevated) ourselves from the “natural world” and its impermanence–its cycles of birth-death-renewal? I think, perhaps, that if we run on the premise that all is meant to end or change, and that whatever we are experiencing in This Moment is doomed, then we don’t live fully. We live with the notion that this moment is not worth investing in fully, because it will be replaced by another one, shortly, and it may be better, or it may be worse, but it will definitely be different. It’s the ADHD phenomena afflicting humanity on a grand, emotional, scale. It smacks of nihilism and hedonism. It’s the epitome of blasé. And if it works for you, great. But does it, really?

I think, personally, viewing life in this way does a great disservice to the process of watching (or experiencing) the evolution of something (a relationship, for example). The evolution is never given a chance to develop because the focus is only on the now (the new?), not much effort is invested into it, certainly not much thought is given to how to make a joint collaboration unfold into something of greater potential over a period of time. I’ll use a big word here: trust. It’s short, really, but weighs on many of us.

It seems to me that there is always a sense of self-preservation present–an unwillingness to remove the governor–to really take the risk of something being good, despite the perceived cost, because there is an underlying notion that it will all go to pot, eventually. Better get it while the getting’s good. It seems to me that the same fear that plays on one human’s need to cling also plays on another human’s need to not cling. Same fear, different coping mechanism. It is the inability to relax into trust. It is my struggle, and many others’ as well, it seems.

This striving for something greater than the sum of its parts is what pushed humanity onward to reach great heights. It’s what has kept the species alive and has made us thrive. Evolution happens (in nature) over the course of a very, very long time. Small, tiny little incremental changes occur, so that they are almost imperceptible unless looked at with a keen and knowing eye, in retrospect (mostly). It seems to me that perhaps we ought to heed the natural laws in their entirety, and embrace the very things that have elevated us above the rest of the animal kingdom–our ability to discern and measure and hope and build and work together coherently and collectively–for the betterment of a greater whole. It is our compassionate nature, and our ability to link our hearts with our minds (and each other’s), that elevates us to the top of the animal kingdom.

I find it laugh-out-loud-funny that, in our misguided sense of spirituality, we can in one breath claim that we are all One and yet also claim that we are all Alone in the end. I am guilty of having made both of these postulations, sometimes in the same discussion. Others have as well. So how do we reconcile this sense of duality, this separation and yet Oneness that we all experience to varying degrees, at varying times? Is this the tug-of-war between ego and soul? Why should there be a war at all? If we can’t get our own parts to reach a sustainable state of peace, how can we hope for the Rest Of The World to follow suit?

This idea of being “alone” has led to most of the environmental and socio-economic issues that plague humanity. Perhaps it is because of our short life spans. This allows us to unconscionably shit in our own backyards because who cares what happens in a century (or on the other side of the same globe upon which we live)? We’ll be lucky if our kids will be around to see it come around. Besides, in the meantime, a very large meteor can hit us (or a mega-volcano could erupt) at any time, and send us into the next ice age or perhaps to our fiery demise. Or maybe beings from another galaxy, universe or dimension will want to take over this cesspool we’ve created and finish the job if we haven’t done it ourselves.

In the meantime, I need to find a ladder so I can reach that lightbulb…