Morning pages and my old friend, The Grumps.

Every morning my goal is to write three pages of thought stream. Sounds easy enough, but I can’t tell you how hard it is not to sensor myself! Even in a piece of writing that no one will see, I judge. I worry. I think too much.

It has gotten better especially when I wake up too late and run out of time to finish before an impatient toddler wakes up! On these days, it is easier to just rush through and not think about it!!

It has been such a great way to get the crazies out and get through to the real stuff that is in my head. My day goes better because my thoughts are clear.

So here is the thing, on the days when I do my pages, I can be positive! It turns out that letting all the crap out of my head leaves space to be positive and grateful for this life. It helps me smile more and frown less and hopefully laugh more with my beautiful family.

I am a worrier by nature, but this simple act of writing every morning helps me be a nicer and kinder person to everyone, including myself.

I don’t like new years resolutions because I find it so hard to stick to something (that is for another story!), but my goal this year is to keep up my Morning Pages so that I can share the best part of me instead of the part that is clogged up with grump.

More writing, less grump. Here’s to 2013!

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Through my Window

Through the back window of our London house, I can see snapshots of other people’s lives in the windows of their homes.

I can see the young couple who fight in the kitchen over who is washing and who is drying, who takes the garbage out, who stays home for the delivery man.  I can see the mum who planned a birthday party for her daughter, where a guy from the London Zoo came over to the house with different lizards and chameleon type creatures.  The children tried to act like they were too cool to show their excitement, but I could feel their eyes shining.  I  see the single guy who eats alone every night, but has started working on a rooftop patio conversion.  I see the old lady who watches the news every night and then falls asleep on the sofa.

Everyone packed so tightly into the converted apartments of the Victorian home, where only a wall divides you, but you barely know each other exists.  If this were a game, I would pluck you all from your homes and place you where you should be.

The old lady invited for dinner by the family with two children.  There she could tell them how she once was a marine biologist, studying the lives of dolphins.  Now that would impress them!

The single man invited to a house party at the home of the fighting couple where he meets his future partner – the brother of the woman – and they soon celebrate their first anniversary on the newly finished patio.

If I could, that is what I would do for you.

Learning from a Master

“If you hear a voice within you say “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
― Vincent van Gogh

I am sure we hear this voice all the time. In fact I just spent a day trying fight past those words just so I could get done real words down on my page.

This Spring, F and I had a rare trip together without Little Bee. Of
course I missed her, but she was in good hands. My mother took care of her for two nights while we adventured through the city of Amsterdam. Pure heaven to be free of little feet for a few days! The freedom was good for my creating soul and I did lots of writing while free of household worries and to-do lists. And the long wine filled dinners with my handsome date, helped a bit too!

We visited the Van Gogh museum and I learned so much about this amazing artist that I have loved for so long. The thing that remained with me was his determination to get better. He refused to believe that he could not paint. His early works were highly criticised, but he kept on at it until finally he was a master. He maintained that the more he did the unfamiliar, the better he would get. The only way was up, basically.

Now why do I want to be perfect the first time? What makes me so special that I don’t need to practise?

The masters of creativity were great because they believed that they could succeed through hard work and determination.

And they never listened to the voices that told them that this plan wouldn’t work.

I have been writing! Gasp!!

I really have!  There were a few wobbly days….and those were the days when I missed my Morning Pages (free writing).  Getting those out of the way really clears my head to be able to write down what I really want to say.  I have been lost in a world of pirates, princesses and a naked tree, actually!  (Er, yes, I am writing for children!)

When I first made the commitment to write, I found it so hard to get the up momentum to start the actual writing.  I guess I felt frozen. Now ideas are really flowing well (touch wood).  I am excited to sit down at the computer and spill all that is in my head.

I guess what “they” say is true.  The more you write, the more you write!  I think I found it hard because I was writing stuff that I didn’t think was good.  I want to be good right away….I am impatient about getting through that practice stuff….the learning stage.  Odd, coming from a teacher, I know!  I want to be great right away.

But lately I have just been trying to get it all down, un-perfect, un-edited, even though this is hard for me because I need things to be neat and tidy.  Then I will come back to it in a week or so and see what I have written and it seems to either be total crap, or sometimes, it’s something I quite like!  So far, this is working…..

Space

I just need some of it.  No laundry, no talking, no Pinterest, no email!  All of it just causes a blocked brain…..I need to empty it of everything so that I can think of a something.  Everyone has gone to sleep and the house is so soft and quiet…..my thoughts start to unfold, finally.  Exhale.

And I promise myself for the hundredth time that I will get up early tomorrow, in the space before the rest of the house starts to yawn and stretch, and I will write write write.