A Mindful Year

Every so often, I make the attempt to get more organized.  I recognize that when I am organized (or moreso), I feel much more accomplished and I actually get things done.  If I plan my day before I find myself in the middle of one, I do much better.  Sometimes I find help in reading specific books that allow me to see myself better, and monitor those actions where I need help.

Last year, I picked up Jennifer Louden’s The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year.  Now I must confess that I have not read it completely, nor worked it thoroughly.  I have made pitiful attempts, and in doing so, I have become more aware of things I do to avoid doing.  I believe that 50% of success in life involves just showing up, which is not a specific problem for me.  But it is the other 50% that I struggle with.  Prolific writers make me nuts.  I want to be prolific, I know I can be prolific, if the details of life would just stop interrupting.  But this is about the avoidance dance.  (wow – dance is at the end of “avoidance”). 

What are my self-initiated distractions?  Where do I allow my attention to wander when I don’t want to do what I must to feel good about myself?  I have the game brick breaker on my Blackberry.  I’ve gotten very good at it.  There are some lessons there (the 10,000 hour thing – if you do anything 10,000 hours, you are going to by force become great at it.  Just saying.)  I can chat with people I will never meet on the internet.  I can find a movie that will fit into my history studies, and spend an afternoon watching.  I can let the lure of the dust call me from my furniture and get up to rid my home of that terrible blight – which didn’t bother me at all when I sat down to write.  I can fold clothes, fill the dishwasher, play with the dogs, answer the phone…my god, it really is endless.

Or – and this is the part that gets me – Or I can follow the plan, spend the time I allot for writing and then – and ONLY then – get to the time wasters.  That is what reading the very small portion of this book has done for me.  I have identified my own time wasters yet I know that when I stay focused and finish doing what I planned on doing NO MATTER WHAT, that I will feel much better about me at the end of the day.  So I will finish this book, and this will be the only book I allow myself during this next three months outside of the books I must read.  As I finish my thesis.

What are your time wasters?  What lures you away from the creativity you truly want in your life.  Google the above book, and see if you think it could help you.

Over 50 and Completely Visible.

I’m a Holocaust scholar.  “Never forget” is a mantra that is repeated often in relation to this horrific historic event.  There are other things we must not forget.  The women who came before us and forged a new way for us to be able to live is something that we need to recognize regularly and honor.  Take a look.  Being over 50 no longer means being invisible.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/01/feminism-suzanne-braun-levine