A Personal Challenge… and a few random thoughts on a rainy day.
This past week brought…
- Rain every day.
- Completion of the first floor walls.
- A bear on our deck.
- Our goose in the air. (I did not specify gracefully…)
At the same time, two dear friends are diagnosed with cancer; a third with pregnancy. The first two I truly believe will bravely battle, eloquently conquer and be triumphant while friends and family grow closer in support. The third, well, the lifetime of an up and down roller-coaster ride of frustration, exhaustion, endurance, sleepless nights and the most intense selflessness, beauty, love, compassion and comprehension one may ever experience that becoming a mother entails (adoptive of course included) … it is just beginning!
Thoughts blur and swirl while looking through streaked glass panes at brown waters swelling down the muddy road. Clothes hung indoors alongside cast iron pans by the wood cook stove to dry while the dog lies right beside it. Sticky, heavy boots left just outside the door. White noise of loud rain pounding on the metal roof does not quite my mind.
I am working on personal improvement. Seems like I always am. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and hopefully a long lifetime to keep me busy. Why would I not want to be the best I can be? Why would I not want to better myself and my world? Seriously, who truly believes “good enough” is good enough? I’ve never strived for mediocrity. I want a great life. And no one can make it that way but… me. One can accept the middle ground if that’s their thing. It’s not mine. I encourage you to not sit back and accept it either.
This is not therapy. That’s a topic I tend to stay away from. Today can be scary enough! Looking back, figuring out the reasons why… maybe some day… but today, my hands are full.
We all can blame someone else for our own misery, lack of love, lack of success, (fill in the blank), because surely it’s not MY fault.
Except, sometimes it is. And that sometimes might just be now.
When we start to accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions and our lives, we can begin to make changes.
Life is all about change.
So… with this in mind, I present to you one simple step towards self improvement:
The Thirty Day Internet Limit Trial
For the next thirty days, we have committed to the following:
- One ten minute e-mail/internet check before exercises, cooking and breakfast.
- One five minute check after cleaning up.
- One ten minute check at lunch break.
- One ten minute check after work.
- A little more time to surf the web, do research, check weather, touch base on social media, whatever… after dinner. (See, we eat so late, this won’t last too long for me, as I’m ready for bed right after we eat!)
Still sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
I justify this much as we have no phone service, so this is a reasonable compromise which allow us to keep in touch, run our business, do our work, and do all those fun things we’ve learned to love – and can’t seem to live without – on the internet, without it ruling our lives.
See, I swear we got to the point where the computer was always open just in case some important news came in and surfing social media became a brainless break for the boys no better than TV (which Forrest never had, and Bob had to give up when he married me). It became a crutch, and a waste of time at best. At worst, something which made us emotionally distraught (well, that might just be me…).
Maybe it’s worse for many. The folks texting during meals, posting what they eat for all to see, and interrupting face-to-face conversations because they are or the matter is so important they just have to respond now. We’re not that bad, but worse than I’d like to be. Maybe you do worse, and maybe you don’t care. We do, and we’re doing something about it.
Thought I’d share this with you for two reasons. First, because those of you who might just realize you have a problem, you might just want to do something about it, too. Go ahead. Try it. Just for thirty days. See if you survive!
I’m also telling you this too to give you fair warning: you may not get an instant response from me if you write. You probably won’t see much from me on Facebook unless I’m sharing book news or business. I’ll only be blogging once a week – which is about what I’ve managed to reduce my blogging to now a days anyway. (Instead I make my posts looooooonnnnng. Go figure.)
So, today begins the trial. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping it may help in two ways – mental peace and more time to do more positive things. As an added bonus, maybe it will also improve communications, team work, and productivity as my husband and son are joining me.
Want to give it a try?
In the meanwhile… life goes on… back on the ranch… back to the mountain.
The rains bring on the change of season, heavy and thick it hangs in the air with clouds lingering on her side like little children clinging for comfort.
Arousing the state of dormancy.
One season begins to bow. Another approaches. Anticipation as the land tires and leaves fade and summer sounds are washed away in the steady rains. Mushrooms flourish in withering land and light. And I wonder what the tree squirrel will eat this winter without a pine cone in sight. Such are the things which trouble me.
She begins her long slow deep exhale
And with her, I breathe in unison.
I need to remember this one, as I have believed it but thought perhaps I was wrong:
Wendell Berry: “I’ve known writers — I think it’s true also of other artists — who thought that you had to put your art before everything. But if you have a marriage and a family and a farm, you’re just going to find that you can’t always put your art first, and moreover that you shouldn’t. There are a number of things more important than your art. It’s wrong to favor it over your family, or over your place, or over your animals.”
What a wonderful word. Eco-biography.
Think about it. Hold it in your hand, roll it around in your mouth, savor it.
A story about person and place, and the intimate intertwining of the two.
Author, farmer and activist Kayann Short coined the term. In her review of The Last of Living Blue on her blog, Kayann honored my work with this term. Ecobiography. A phrase I am honored to write about; a new genre I am proud to be a part of.
For more on Kayann, her writings, her farm and the art of the Ecobiography, please be sure to tune in on Friday to Colorado Public Radio (CPR) for Random Acts of Culture.
It’s about slowing down… I enjoyed the opportunity to write a guest post for fellow author/blogger C.M. Mayo (for those who saw this, you’ll note I didn’t get it right the first time, but just one more excuse to keep on writing! I finally got it, and Madam Mayo posted this on her blog last week. I hope you enjoy.
That’s all she wrote this week. Until next time…
And don’t forget to consider giving it a try… Stay away from the darned internet, and see what happens…