Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Truth #8: Something happened to me today…

Today, for the first time in a really long time I have had a proper productive writing day. I don’t know what has come over me but finally, after a long wait the words just kinda eased off my fingers onto the screen and the ideas were just pouring out.

In the last week or so I have been trying to decide what to give up for lent. I was considering smoking but the thought was just too scary for me. Though I have to admit that the last few nights I have been waking up with the feeling that I had an ashtray lodged in my throat. It’s a terrible feeling and I am hoping that soon enough it will force me to quit this nasty habit (but, those smokes are so good, they calm me down, and they give me a reason to step out for some fresh air once in a while.) I considered giving up carbs as well (like I did last year which did wonders for my weight) but as I am now an habitual runner I am dependant on those carbs and I just can’t let them go. Then I thought that maybe I should give up meat. But no, just can’t do that.

I spoke to a friend of mine a few days ago and asked her what she was planning on giving up. I must note, that I am not a religious person, and though I was raised as a Catholic I have pretty much severed all ties with the religion. But living in Croatia, in a predominantly Catholic society, their rituals and beliefs are all around and very prevalent in both the media and in every day life. You just can’t avoid it. What point here now is that though I don’t consider myself Catholic, I do like the idea forty days of fasting (normally associated with food, but we live in a modern world where these types of activities can be expanded to other forms of abstention), it’s a good method of self-discipline. So as I was saying, I was asking my friend what she was planning on abstaining from and she said that this year she was planning on giving up anything but instead decided to use these forty days to do something good for herself, such as preparing her lunches at home and taking them to work everyday so that she wouldn’t be left to snacking on junk throughout the day. And I thought, that’s a good idea. And then I wondered what it is that I can force myself to continuously do for forty days straight and hopefully make into a GOOD habit. But I hadn’t come up with anything.

Until yesterday, or the day before, I am not sure, when I went onto Allan Woodrow’s blog 
The Shelf Life
 and read his advice for successful writing his blog about how three days had passed and how he was ripping his hair out not having been able to write. And then there was Twentington 100’s blog 100 poems in 100 days. Yes, there is another person who is working every single day on his writing. This is what I need to do too.

So thanks to Allan and Twentington and thanks to Lent I have committed myself to write every single day. I’m hoping to average at least a thousand words a day and if I knew how, I would set up a tracker on this blog to record how many words I had written every day. By the time Easter rolls around I should have approximately 40,000 words which is almost half a book!!! Which is AWESOME!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Truth # 7: I really want to quit smoking...


I realize that smoking is a complete waste of time and money, it’s detrimental to your health, and it stinks. I don’t even like the way I smell when I come home from a smoky cafĂ©. But I’m just not ready yet.

I am writing this now because lent is coming up soon, and though I am not a religious person, living in a predominantly Catholic country makes me want to join in on the I-have-to-give-up-something craze. It would be lovely not to have to rush down in the middle of the night to find an open kiosk when I’ve just run out; it would be awesome not to have to hang my clothes to air out off our balcony; it would be great to get rid of those empty plastic bottles filled with water that I use as an ashtray instead of, you guessed it… an ashtray. I use them to remind me of how horrible my lungs must look, but they don’t seem to be having much of an effect on me.

I don’t want to go to the pharmacy to stock up on gum or patches or whatever it is that they recommend these days to help quit smoking. I don’t want to spend the money and I want to spare myself the embarrassment of having to admit to the pharmacist and the old women who pack the pharmacies that I have ‘a dirty little habit’ I’m too weak to get rid of on my own. I considered forcing myself to drink a glass of water every time I felt the urge to smoke but considering how often I get the urge I’m afraid I might just drown myself in it – you can die from drinking too much water believe it or not! I also considered chain smoking to the point of vomiting but the thought of vomiting just puts me off the whole idea (but not off of smoking of course.)

Cigarettes are my little treat, that’s how I try to justify them. No, I’m not addicted, I just like to have one here and there to reward myself – like after I do the dishes, and after I walk my daughters to kindergarten, and after I chopped the vegetables but before I go and cook them, and then of course I have another reward after that… you get my point. I need to find myself some other kind of reward – but I fear that would mean chocolate…

Point is… I’m just not ready yet. See you out on the balcony...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Truth # 6: Taking care of someone else’s baby is so much easier than taking care of your own…

I haven’t had much experience taking care of other people’s children, primarily because most of my friends don’t have kids. But a few of ours do and today I took care of a young little boy aged about 9 months. Now, I don’t know why, but I managed to put him down for a nap, prepare him lunch and have loads of fun acting silly and stupid just to keep him entertained. And it was fine. He cried a bit, and tried to throw a bit of a fit, but I took it all in stride. And I don’t think that the experience of having two children of my own helped me that much. Sure some things are easier done when you have done them before (i.e. changing nappies, etc…) but I really felt like the whole thing was a piece of cake.

The crying didn’t bother me, and really, making gurgling noises just to copy him was not much of an issue for me. So why was it such a big deal with my girls?

I think that as parents, we are too protective of our young. Every time my babes would cry it would just break my heart. Maybe they’re sick or scared or something worse… god forbid they cry. The thing is that at that age, that is practically the only way they can voice their concerns. Or they just like to protest. But 99% of the time they are perfectly fine, just looking for that extra little bit of attention.

Today, I knew the little one would stop crying eventually. It was nap time after all, sooner or later he would have to nod off. And he did, and it only took him about 16 and a half minutes. NOTHING! I wish I had this sort of approach to my own girls. But I didn’t. And unfourtunately I still don’t.

Let them cry. They’ll stop eventually…