SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW NOT TO LIVE & WRITE LIKE A MAD HATTER

I feel this morning’s darkness in me.  I stretch to receive all that is good out there.  I make my cup of Chai.  Do you know that today is October 6 – 10/6?  It is Mad Hatter Day.  To celebrate I leave my morning bed head alone.  I am such a lucky girl.  I have at least 3 cowlicks.  My head of hair looks quite like the mad guy’s hat every morning.  I will spare you a picture.

Inhaling and exhaling a few times has ushered in a breath of joie de vivre.  The darkness is gone.  I’m myself again.  Rituals and habits of quigong and a rich cup of Chai gets me moving.  I’ve discovered through trial and error,  I work best in 15 minute stretches.

IMG_1505It makes a lot of sense for me.  I am impatient and have a short attention span and fuse.  I interrupt people a lot.  Details drive me mad.  I live life in a whoosh, what is also known as The Big Gulp.  Remember those?  I don’t think we’ve recovered from that.  We are still in the BIG of things, the more of stuff, the faster the better all the time.  If I click enter and nothing happens, I get pissed off PDQ.  I get rude.

When I lived like that, there was no savouring, no discerning of nuances.  Everything  struck me with full force – right smack in the face.  I reacted and bounced off walls.  Then it was over.  I scratched my head, wondering what the hell had happened.  It was too late.  I had done myself harm.

I’m trying to do different now.  I’m stretching and exercising my left brain.  Calmness and orderliness would be a good change of pace.  I don’t want to live by emotions alone.  What Lola wants, Lola gets.  That’s how the song goes, right?  I’m having some success.  Let me see if I can lay it out for you.

It’s not the sort of thing that I’m good at.  I’m not skilled at articulating a process.  I’m not good at teaching or giving instructions.  I’ve never mentored nor asked to mentor a student or a novice nurse in my 30 plus years as a nurse.  It’s not that I’m not a team player. It’s that I’ve never been asked.

IMG_1506Is my nose a little disjointed over the fact?  No, but it is a little sore.  I have the belief that I’m lacking.  I’m not good enough. There’s a bit of shame, too in not being an elder.   Let me not wait any longer for someone to ask  tell me to do something. Let me do it, practice a weakness/a want – working in 15 minutes or as Anne Lamott says in her book BIRD BY BIRD, writing down as much as she can see through a one-inch picture frame.

I’m finding life and writing much easier and palatable in small bites.  I put my focus in that 15 minute/one-inch frame. There is no room or time for me to get irritated and frustrated.  My energy is contained and directed.  I am safe, creating in my sacred space.  I let go of all else for that time.  There’s time enough after for all else.

I keep the promises to myself, staying committed to the 15 minutes, writing at least 500 words/day.  If things are flowing the minutes stretch a bit, of course.  Practice does make better.  Thoughts, ideas, or pictures that come in smoky vapours are jotted down because I know what happens if I trust that to my memory.

A caught word, a phrase, a sentence or two work magic for me.  They have prompted me to write a couple of hundred words upon rising the next morning.  When I’m stuck, I get up and do something else.  There’s no sense in wasting time pushing myself and getting frustrated.  I use those frustration times to stretch, do a load of laundry, tidy up my desk… Little things add up to a lot of housework done, leaving me more free time and feeling mellow.

This morning after I had written 300 some words, I had breakfast.  Then I put the makings of chicken soup – carving the carcass, washing and chopping up vegetables  – on the stove to simmer while Sheba and I went for our walk.

IMG_1507We’re back and I am putting the finishing touches on my instructions.  Not great, but I’m trying and practicing on thinking logically.  I hope there’s sense and order in the directions.

The chicken soup is ready.  Do you find this helpful in any way?

 

About hafong

Hello! My name is (Leung) Hafong alias Lily Leung. You always say the last name first….that is the Chinese way. That is my partner lurking behind me. Since this is my blog, I won’t mention his name. But this is a rather cool picture. You see me and yet you don’t…sort of the way I feel about myself most of my life. So this blog is a self-exploration, an archeology dig of some sort. My tools…..words of a thousand or so at a sitting. I will try for that.
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7 Responses to SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW NOT TO LIVE & WRITE LIKE A MAD HATTER

  1. fruitbearer says:

    No, I didn’t know that it’s Mad Hatter Day :). Good advice on taking breaks and not letting ourselves get frustrated. Enjoy your chicken soup! It looks delicious.

  2. Laura says:

    Good thoughts! I will remember the 15 minutes (or more) to sequester the world away for those days it’s hard to make myself sit and write.

  3. Thanks Lily,
    Reading and wondering about your thoughts today provided my 15 minutes of repose just now. 🙂

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