Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Cats are Visionaries

I am a visualizer. I know that if I can see an end result and really feel it, it will come to pass. I've seen it happen time and time again with everything from meeting deadlines for work to buying a house. Today I feel particularly motivated about a couple of projects and have been diligently envisioning successful results as well as creating concrete action plans that pave my path.

My cats are equally as excited about their own projects and are very diligent in the art of visualizing outcomes. Take a look...

Cosmo visualizes the perfect toy for his morning shenanigans. Something catnippy that will absorb drool, perhaps...

Phoebe's visualization has already materialized -- she has once again successfully persuaded me to remove her food from her bowl and feed her on the floor. Seriously...that's the only way the cat will eat.

And sweet Saffy....when she's sleeping, she's visualizing her next meal and when she's eating, she's visualizing her next nap.

next visualization: a clean house. Hmmm...Saffy seems to have a lot of time on her paws...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Muddy Puddles

Now that my schedule has slowed a bit, I've been thinking about what I want to do with my time. Of course, that kind of thought process calls for a list. Do you really think I make any sort of decisions without listing and overly processing every piece of the process? Have you only just met me? If so...Hi, I'm Angie and I'm an obsessive list-maker and manic thought-dissector. Nice to meet you.

Anyway, I feel inspired lately to focus on creative projects, but as soon as I start to think about what I'd like to create, I become overwhelmed. Here's why...I find I have a difficult time with hooking on to one thing at a time. I want to do everything at once and then I get frazzled and then it's rare that a single project is seen though to completion (please see my previous post where I babble about dabbling).

So I have to break it down (said like the rapper that I am) into manageable portions, parcels, and pieces so I don't combust into a creative conflagration. I have to work at the slow-burn, minding the kindling of creativity. To some, this may sound like a simple process, but every day I work at keeping myself from drowning in my own ocean of overwhelming thoughts. Lists help.

I'd like to focus on writing -- maybe some fiction. It's been a while since I've written a short story or any serious poetry and that might be fun. I'd also like to sew some summery whatnots, design some new necklaces, and maybe make a fun mini-movie. See...I want to do all of this today and just thinking about it makes my breathing quicken and my chest tighten. So I think I'll just focus on writing for now. This week I will write a short story and call it good. I won't even think about the summery whatnots until next week.

I'm not even sure about the purpose behind this post, except to process what is going on in my brain and maybe share my inner struggles and how I wade through my often-muddy puddles of thought. I've found that when I add enough clear water to the mud, the puddles aren't so thick and mucky anymore...soon they are pretty transparent and I can see everything underneath them. Clarity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dabbling in Fastidious Daydreaming

I've previously written about my challenge with sticking with a project or hobby. I exude so much enthusiasm when I begin something, but in a few months (sometimes days) the feverish fancy fizzles and I am stuck with a tub of art supplies, beads, or some crazy thing that I swear I will pick up again later. I decided to embrace this part of myself and instead of labeling myself a "quitter," proudly wear the badge of "dabbler." Seriously...I possess partial skills in so many areas, but am not truly excellent in any one area. In my entire life, this blog is the only creative project with which I've stuck -- and I've been blissfully blogging for 16 months.

I was thinking about other ways I could turn my shortcomings around into more constructive classifications...

  1. I'm not procrastinating -- I'm meditating on possibilities.
  2. I'm not flaky -- I am a fastidious daydreamer.
  3. I am not impatient -- I am results-oriented.
  4. I don't create piles of paper on my kitchen table-- I am just really skilled at stacking things.
  5. I never throw out important receipts, gift cards, and money -- See #2.
  6. I'm not moody -- I am an emotional symphony.

There. I feel much better now -- much more positive about my quirks and imperfections. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some very important paper-stacking that is waiting for me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Word to your Mother!

Yes, it's Mother's Day...that wonderful day of the year when we honor those special women in our lives who gave us life (biologically or otherwise). Hallmark and friends keeps the stores stocked with countless cards (cheesy and otherwise) that are supposed to express our true feelings for mom. We never know what we'll find in a card these days...corny poems, silly and irreverent messages, pictures of animals dressed as people, music, and even recordable devices, with which you can create your own personalized message.

You may have seen the MOTHER poem -- it's been around forever and falls into what I'd call the "cheesy" category.


"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

I just learned today that the poem is actually what you call a "backronym" because an acronym takes an existing set of phrases and creates the word from the first letter of them. This poem does just the opposite. Am I the only nerd that thinks that's kind of an interesting nugget of knowledge? Food for the brain...derived from cheese (cheesy poetry, that is).

Anyhooooo.... I was thinking about this cornball, cliche of a backronym and how I could create something a little more realistic and less cheddariffic. Here goes:

M-O-T-H-E-R (the slightly less cheesy version)

"M" is for the million socks she picked up for me,
"O" means optimistic -- she's the queen,
"T" is for the trouble from which she saved me,
"H" is for the house she keeps mostly clean;
"E" is the edge of sanity she's always walking,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be, (I'm keeping that line!)
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

That poem seems a little more realistic and modern to me! Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there (cheesy and otherwise)!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lost and Found

There's always such an odd little collection of things in a Lost and Found: a single mitten, a pair of sunglasses with one missing lens, a Beanie Baby, a lone key... I love it when I actually find something that belongs to me. It tells me that someone cared enough to pick up a wayward item, think that someone may miss it, and then take it to a safe place where the person may come looking for it.

Delivering something to the Lost and Found is a way of showing human kindness toward someone you've never even met and will likely never be able to thank you in person. I think that's pretty cool. So return something lost and find some good karma, friends.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Normal is a City in Illinois

I've been keeping sort of an erratic schedule since March. Between the shenanigans surrounding my 40th birthday, helping direct the school play, and the general madness that comes with family life, I sometimes feel like I'm barely hanging on with the tips of my anxiety-gnawed fingernails. And for someone who loves (obsesses) about structure, this kind of routine really wears on me like an itchy, ill-fitting corset (made of yak hair).

Just recently I thought to myself, "I can't wait until things get back to normal again." Normal? Is there really such a glorious thing as normal? What does normal even look like? At the time I hatched this pie-in-the-sky thought, I suppose I was thinking about a schedule in which I knew what to expect every day (insert eye roll and cackle here). I know, I know...but I at least like to know sort of how my day will present itself. I enjoy balancing my time between work, rest, and leisure activities. I could absolutely never be one of those people who races from one thing to the next until falling into bed, totally spent. This is especially important because I live with an autoimmune disease that rears its ugly head when this balance becomes...ummm....unbalanced.

To add an extra little crazy to my already special demeanor, I wrestle with anxiety and my ongoing, sometimes relentless pursuit of attempting to control my schedule (and well, most everything), and then experience stress when things don't work out just-so. This stress affects the autoimmune hoo-ha, thus creating someone I call Crazy Angie (although I'm certain my friends and family have chosen other endearing names for her).

Crazy Angie is not especially fun to be around and, as you can imagine, I do my best to avoid unleashing her too often. I'm sad to say that she's made her share of public appearances in the past couple of months, hence my longing for something I call normal. It's such a funny word. I never, ever like to think of myself as normal. I like my quirky outlook on life and I guess I'd even be somewhat offended if someone considered me normal or boring. So wishing for normal with regard to my personality or viewpoints would be silly. To me, weird = normal. So maybe I long for a boring schedule? Is that it? Do I really want to be that person who becomes so inflexible with her schedule that she can't meet a friend for an impromptu cup of coffee or game of Scrabble? I really hope not. I think normal is such a subjective word and maybe I just need to pick a different way to describe what I want to experience. Maybe it's just plain balance. And balance for me is different than balance for you or anyone else. I can still be quirky and off-center within the confines of balance. I can learn to say no if my schedule feels too full for me and my health feels out-of-sorts and I can work on releasing feelings of guilt surrounding all of that. I can know that my mental and physical health outweigh other people's expectations of what I should be doing.

I feel pretty self-aware and just have to remember to keep myself on track. I am also eliminating the word normal from my vocabulary. Normal, schmormal...I'd just rather be a very balanced Crazy Cat Lady.

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