Monday, July 20, 2009

I forgot to laugh... and it's been Hell!


I'm in the kitchen, cooking dinner tonight (nothing really good and fresh, gourmet and full of herbs like I so often used to make) but... at least I'm cooking! For myself!! This is the really impressive part (Jhon's working tonight and I almost never cook for myself lately-- takes too much time from work, and I'm always behind it seems). All of a sudden, our normally quiet little neighborhood is transformed by, not one, but two cars revving until the engine nearly screams, squealing tires, screeching brakes, ya know... agressive sounds. I start to think of bad things like them hitting my car, or my neighbor, or doing something malicious, or... "Stop it," I think to myself. "Think of what you want, not what you don't want. Think of something good."

So... I did, I thought about what I want. Though I've half-heartedly talked about what I want lately, I've not settled down and really just thought about what I want. I haven't really visualized it, and felt the good feelings of it. Looking back over some of my blog posts, especially the last, my feelings of being overwhelmed, as opposed to excited are obvious. I know the problem, and, in theory, the solution. Yet somehow, I've been unable to implement the solution lately.

But tonight, I did visualize something good while cooking, and it made me come up with a great idea. As I sat at the table eating, it occurred to me that I haven't had very many of those lately either... I've just kinda muddled along, working hard on the ideas I was having before I started working so hard. That's when I remembered the importance of balancing "doing" with "just thinking." How could I so easily have forgotten that that's when all my good ideas come?

Fast forward to after dinner...
I took tomorrow off (well, "off" of travel to get home/internet work done), so I give myself permission to relax and enjoy tonight. I scan our bookshelf, looking for a bit of something to fit my mood tonight, something uplifting... I need to get back on track here... something I can just kind of read a chapter or 2 of, and then get to bed at a reasonable hour...

My eyes stop on "Life's Greatest Lessons, 20 Things That Matter," by Hal Urban. Using a bookmark placed years ago, perhaps shortly after college since it was a graduation gift, I surmise that I've read Chapter One (SUCCESS IS MORE THAN MAKING MONEY) and Two (LIFE IS HARD... AND NOT ALWAYS FAIR). Really?? That's all of "Life's Greatest Lessons" I read?? It seems unlike me, and not very encouraging. "Hopefully I've learned more than that on my own," I think.

Commence, Chapter 3 (LIFE IS ALSO FUN... AND INCREDIBLY FUNNY). How ironic... I've had so little time for play, fun, or laughter lately. Now, I won't spoil the best quotes and gems of the chapter for those who love a good read, but it talks of the author's pursuit of serious disciplines and cultural movements that left him too serious and unsatisfied. It discusses scientific proof of the powerful health benefits & healing properties of laughter, as well as giving examples (Edison, Einstein) of the necessity of rest, play, and laughter in accomplishing large, arduous undertakings. Apparently, "Both discovered early that to work too hard or to think too intently for an extended period does more harm than good." Edison kept a cot and many notebooks of humor in his lab, enabling him to endure all the frustrations and long hours he passed through in his work. Another gentleman, Norman Cousins, designed his own healing program involving delving daily into all positive emotions (faith, love, hope, laughter), after being given a 1: 500 chance of surviving more than a few months. What he went on to accomplish after that is quite a story. Basically, the chapter discusses the importance of laughter, play, and rest to our health, head, work productivity, and relationships. Thinking back on the last year, and especially the last few months, I realize that I have figured out more than chapters 1 and 2... I knew the importance of all these things, and the balance of them... I just forgot. Forgot to balance work and seriousness with laughter and play. Both are good... but not to the exclusion of the other.

And I think of the good ideas I haven't yet accomplished, and those I have. I realize the importance of trying something thoroughly, but also the importance of allowing yourself to give up on a good idea that isn't working as well as you had hoped. That's the only way you have time to pursue (and create) more good ideas. And for the first time in a while, I stop feeling so overwhelmed. I'm ok. Better than ok, I'm proud of my accomplishments, grateful for my good luck and the kindness of others, and I'm excited... excited to sleep well and wake to begin a new Chapter tomorrow. The book chapter is WE LIVE BY CHOICE, NOT BY CHANCE. And we shall see what the life chapter brings...

And then, as I close the book, reflecting on all these thoughts, I hear the screech of tires, skidding around the corner, the engine whiiiIIINING to accelerate our short block, then tires squealing to meet the STOP sign, starting the cycle all over again.

And I think, "Thank you..."

15 comments:

Bonnie, Original Heart Studio said...

Sage advice. Isn't amazing how sometimes you open a book - anywhere, at random - and there you find just what you need.

Ram Das says, "The next message you need is always right where you are." Your post is proof of that.

Celtic Cat said...

Thanks, I need advice like that!

Char said...

sounds like a book I need to read.

Felicia Kramer said...

Great post! Food for thought for all of us. I think I'm going to buy the book.

Danangib said...

I'm glad you're more relaxed now. I've learned that (to relax) moving here in Gibraltar where people are more relaxed than I've ever seen in my country. I learned also this from my partner - just last night he told me trying to make me to enjoy a Feria ( a Spanish fiesta) : "Everyone has a child soul deep inside him/her". Yes, play more and the relaxation will come - your work won't be overwhelming anymore, will be a joy.

Kathy said...

Ah yes...thanks to a couple of great books by Eckhart Tolle I am learning to live in the present...not in the past and not in the future...but in the "Now". It's a great way to live. Glad you are feeling more peaceful.

Lyn said...

Soemtimes it's like the books are magic -- opening at just the page we need the most. The universe is speaking ... and you listened. Nice post -- and I share many of your feelings.

Allie said...

What a gift for you and for all of us reading your incredible post! Thank you, Kenna!

Julie Magers Soulen said...

Lovely post Kenna. And a good reminder too. My Dad used to say, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I think that holds true for girls too. :)

Allie said...

Hi Kenna,

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog - especially as busy as you are! Thank you also for your kind kind words. Now you are making me blush! :)

Jo Bradford said...

Laughter is the best medicine as they say!! I make sure I take time to do things that make me happy and tick off things on my list that I really want to so workwise and homewise too. It seems like ages since we spoke - I hope you are well?? I finally got half way though unpacking my home and studio into our nwe house... why did i think it was a good idea to move both at once.... disarray ...in a word!!

much love xoxo

Sylvia said...

You have one of the most beautiful Blog. Magnificent images.

Rebecca Anne said...

I need to find that book.
This was good for me to read this morning.
Very good.

I hope you are well~

Music - Movies - Famous Actor - Famous Actress said...

The pictures in your blog is wonderful !!!

Elise said...

Oh WOW, this is a great post & you have the most gorgeous site here. I had to stop by to leave this comment for you – and to say hello of course ! Your posts are creative and original and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect ! Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes....