Afternoon Pages: September 13, 2020

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“September 13, 2020

I didn’t start off my morning with morning pages. I’m not sure if I’m cut out to be a morning person on any given day, but certainly with the wildfire smoke, and my inadvertently spending too much time outside {in it} picking tomatoes, then cutting back the plants to harden them off, I have been dragging all day.

I barely woke up in time this morning for my 10am Zoom church service! Thank goodness {my dear, sweet husband not only took out the dogs, but also made us coffee so I could attend my service on time and without interruption} we’re still on Zoom and I can attend in my nightgown and robe without drawing too much notice {and I’m thankful for having office space to put that on!}. I never turn my camera on. I like the option to leave it off. It feels too vulnerable and invasive to have it on, especially since I am not participating – merely attending – the service.

I luxuriated in being able to come down to my own space and have my computer, journal, writing utensils, and everything ready to go. It’s not perfect, but it is SO much better than schlepping my stuff in bags and backpacks – with all my tools strewn throughout the house.

I’m realizing how much extra *stuff* I have: supplies, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, books, and stickers — and I’m still deciding how I will use my space, so I’m decided not to part with much {of it}. Yet. My journaling, thinking about and writing goals, will help me determine how to use my space and what I need to have to help me reach my goals. I know I want to streamline a lot of my life and focus on studying and taking classes. I want to learn to be a better writer — more importantly, a better editor — to refine what I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t found the time to do. Less social media and more content creation is key to this.

I have thoughts, I begin to write the words. I pull the resources, but I seemingly have a hard time finishing. How much is enough? What skills or tools can I learn and use to make the process faster for uploading to my blog? IG {Instagram}/Twitter? My dabbling in *all-the-things* may make my life fun and unscripted, but leads to a thin layer of knowledge in many things without the depth and breadth of mastery. Maybe that’s what I’m looking for – the patience, the determination, the gumption to dig deep and focus – with intention – on gathering the deep skill sets to be a ‘master’ of a certain topic, art, or study.

I feel like I’m good at many things, but lose interest when I’m ‘expected’ to do something. My ‘rebel’ tendencies fly in the face of what I think ‘traditional; roles and attitudes may be. Finding the very solid edges, then choosing to step over them anyway is how I’ve found myself behaving for years. My goal in home educating my children was, in many ways, my “FU” to ‘the system’.

I saw a quote earlier this year about tradition being a thing you do to live up to dead people’s expectations. I think of that often – particularly in my own home. Are we doing this because we want to do it, or are we doing this because we always do it? Reflecting on this for many months, I’m surprised it’s actually more the latter in my home.

{For instance,} I don’t like to cook meals no one in my family wants to eat, so I drag my feet when it’s time to start dinner. I know at least one person will likely refuse what’s offered, so then there’s the mad dash to warm up leftovers, make a PB&J, or have one person not eat. Sometimes that person not eating is me. Frustrating. So we’ve worked hard over the past year to find a sampling of items we’ll all mostly eat. I’ve also brought in some help, reinforcements if you will, to be my allies during mealtime. I’ve recruited {my own} family members to help prepare {the meals} — but in most cases, take over food preparation for me. Now, if I could just get excited about doing dishes, that would complete the circle.”

My {Morning} Afternoon Pages then go on at length about what dishes I despise doing {cleaning the crockpot, even though it’s the easiest way to ensure we all eat the same thing at the same time} and how I can overcome that despise {focusing on creating healthy, tasty meals most of the family will enjoy without that last minute rush}; and how at this time of the year {autumn}, I can talk myself into it more easily since we’re all wanting warm soups and stews several nights a week {and to warm up as lunches on our own}.

The thing is, having a running dialogue in my journal helps me get out of what’s bugging me in my head, those nagging thoughts – but more oftentimes than not, uncovers new things that I didn’t even realize I was thinking about – such as my being ready to transition to autumn crockpot meals. Then I prattle on about a number of other things on my mind right now – but isn’t it a great feeling to get it out? It is for me – my days are instantly better if I take a half hour or more to just brain dump the ramblings in my mind.

At the crux of my daily writing, which is all done by hand in a journal for my flow, is lately I’ve had a nagging irritation that I’m not focusing on what’s important to me: Writing something publishable. The writing could be on my blog, but someday, maybe something more. I don’t often type what I’ve been writing – the stories, portions of books. It feels very private and personal. It feels like I’d be oversharing thoughts and goals, dreams and passions, I’d have to live up to and may fall short. If you noticed in my writing, I’m good at rebuffing expectations – even my own. I’ve discovered those expectations unfulfilled in my mind present as failures. That failure, as a recovering perfectionist, is something I reject fully.

Until today, I hadn’t really given myself the credit that I am doing the hard work, having the patience, and putting in the time to hone my craft. It doesn’t really matter if I am published, but doing the work daily is my practice. It is my creative outlet, the way I feel like I’m taking care of myself and contributing to my family – albeit through refining my thoughts, words, and ideas.

I have hundreds and hundreds of blog posts that I keep working on – and I’m looking forward to carving out the time to get them out to you to read! In the meantime, I’m thrilled to be starting a class to cover the first 6 Chapters in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, this week. Refocusing my energy on a class with optional on-camera participation is exciting! I can’t wait to see where it’ll lead me!

I like to use the Leuchttruum 1917 dotted medium hardcover journal with my favorite pen – the Pentel Gel Ink Pen, Retractable Gel Pen, (0.3mm) Needle Tip, in black ink. What you may not see is I miswrote the date – that was corrected with a Pentel Arts Milky Pop Pastel Gel Pen, 0.8mm Medium Line, which I purchased in a 3 pack from my local art store.

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Happy Writing 🖤Χ🖤Χ


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