Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nothing? Really!

Today I commented on a recent blog entry posted by a new friend.  The post was about how everyone thinks it's easy to write. A major fallacy, I agree.  My comment was about how it's two-fold in that we not only have to be adept at the craft of writing to be effective but we also have to have something to say.  While I stand by my comment, it certainly got my head gnawing on the grizzle of that statement.  Having something to say.  I talk plenty. And I can write plenty too.  But what do I actually have to say?

This past year, most of my posts have been focused on the change in my view of how I found sustainable happiness (my passion drummer).  Most people that aren't following a passion drummer, which is pretty much every person I know except for Jason and Roger, really don't "get" my posts, even after repeated explanation.  And Jason and Roger read it and go, "duh, of course!"  So it's been more an effort toward my own self-exploration and I'm not entirely certain that needed to go public.  But who's counting the cows after they're already out of the barn.

Those that know me understand that I'm not one for small talk.  I am not a girly girl with lots of flowery language and attempts to make others think I'm sweet and charming and likeable.  I'm not sweet or charming or even particularly likeable most of the time.  I am not the flibbertigibbet type either.  There hasn't been much whimsy in my life.  I am strong, logical, and just a tad bit driven. (Yes, that was a joke!)  And I'm certainly not particularly funny; although, I love to surround myself with people that are by nature funny because I pick some of it up by osmosis, or at least I like to think that.  Anyone that's met me remembers my (shall we say distinctive?) laugh.

I also don't feel that I have a particularly sharp eye in catching the engaging moments of my day.  The only topic that comes to mind today that had me off on a tangent was while unloading the dishwasher (now isn't that engaging). I used to have a flatware service for 14.  I now have 9 teaspoons, 11 tablespoons, 13 knives, 8 large forks, and 10 salad forks.  I should be upset since those buggers cost me $75 for each 5-piece service, but it serves me right (really doesn't it?) using the good silverware for everyday.  So how on earth did I lose my utensils?  Did a fork get thrown out in a pizza box?  Did a spoon on a paper plate hit the trash-bin without notice?  Did a guest inadvertently take home their dish-to-pass with my tablespoon stowed inside?  Did a nurse turn the garbage disposal on with a fork down the drain and chuck it before I saw it?  Did a knife slide down between the cushions of the recliner, never to be seen of again?  Or are there such things as utensils gremlins?  Or perhaps flatware fairies?  I don't think so.  I'll never know.  But these are the types of mundane happenings in my world.  Not much to say.

Most of my time is spent at work, in a class, reading, or creating something.  I don't sit around and if I do sit, I'm most certainly making something while I watch tv or listen to an audiobook.  Forever the multitasker, that's me.  But I honestly think I exhaust people talking about my daily activities.  Or at the very least alienate myself because others feel that they don't measure up some how.  Like my class addiction is some sort of thing to aspire to!?  Seriously?  I don't know many others with 17 classes scheduled for the month of October, plus new class designs to complete, an old job to quit, a new job to start, and a bunch of other crap on my to-do list.  And I don't know anyone that would actually choose that for themselves except for me.  But doesn't that just mean others should think me crazy instead of amazing?  I do. I'm okay with being a bit odd though. But it isn't something I find particularly interesting to talk about.

My sorted past is fairly interesting; however, I can't much write about it without fear of a libel suit. So not much to say there.

So what do I have to say, I ask?  Can you hear the crickets? Me too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Week Off Between Jobs

My last day working at AMD was last Friday.  I start my new job at next Monday.  This week off has been absolutely glorious!  I've had a chance to read, write, take plenty of classes, attend a few meetup group meetings, work on the website, lay out by the pool, and craft.  Tomorrow is Friday and is my last official day off.  I could get really used to not working with all the interests that are yet to be explored and/or revisited. But I'm very excited about starting the new job. I'll start getting nervous on Sunday morning.

Abby's health has remarkably improved since the vet prescribed steroids.  She can't stay on them, but at least now it's quite certain that she's suffering from allergies.  Bosley's back is back to normal.  Ruby is Ruby...I came home to find that she'd lifted a pair of basketry scissors off my end table and taken them over to another room to chew the protective slip cover off of them.  Well, at least she didn't chew the handles so the scissors are intact and there's no blood so she must not have cut herself.

One of the meetup groups that I've started attending is Reading for Writers, and I'm actually making progress on character development and plot outline for the idea I have for a novel!  That has me pretty jazzed.  I'm thinking that I'll continue with the meetup group, reading all the assigned books and participating in the meeting  discussions, and hopefully next year around this time, I can push myself to do NaNoWriMo since that seems like an effective way of getting that dreaded first draft out of the way.  I'm hoping to find a few trusted friends that read voraciously to assist me along the way in terms of feedback and troubleshooting.  So far I've read Ann Lamott's Birb By Bird and Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel.  Donald's book was extremely informative to me and it really helped me see how much I need to learn about novel writing.  First of which is that I'm seriously unread!  There were very few book examples that he sited that I've read, or have even heard of before. I hope to compile a list of the books that Donald sited throughout his book, and put them on my audible wish list.  I also need to compile my notes from his book so I have a synopsis of points that I can look to as my novel progresses, so I don't have to read the entire book again to refresh my memory.

But all that lovely stuff has to wait right now as I have 3 new classes that I'm teaching in October and of course being the procrastinator that I am I've waited until the week before the first 2 classes to start the instruction manuals.  Two are done now except for photos.  One manual is 19 pages without the pictures. The second manual is 14 pages before pictures.  I haven't started the 3rd manual yet, but that class isn't until the following weekend thank heavens!  Yet, with the new job starting on Monday, well, it's going to be "interesting" if I don't get all the manuals done before this Sunday when I teach 2 of the 3 classes for the first time.

I'm enjoying my basketry classes the most at the moment.  And I really feel like I'm progress in terms of skill which is always gratifying.  I've only had one negative class experience recently, but another teacher, Rita Ross, was able to help me learn what I failed to learn in that class (not her class!) so that is the important thing.

I'm really hoping the class addicts website takes off and that other class addicts in Austin will use the forum and share info.  If I'm the only one that has 17 classes scheduled for the month of October, well that just proves I'm the biggest class addict of them all and deserve the right to own the website!  I ordered business cards so that should help get the word out!  Maybe I'll offer some sort of prize/drawing for new members, or for submitted forum posts, or for pictures posted or something.  Heaven knows I have plenty of things that I've made sitting around the house that could use a new home!

I'm finally starting to meet people that aren't co-workers too which is great.  The meetup groups are seriously helping on that note.  It is so enriching to be around others that are smart, creative, talented and motivated!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where's Tracy and What Happened to "2010 - The Year of Body"?

While 2010 is quickly coming to a close, I've realized that I hadn't really finished my work with "2009 The Year of Happiness" in 2009.  I had hoped this year would be about taking care of the physical me (2010 - The Year of All Things Physical), but I'm finding that my focus was continually brought back to the happiness factor.  Since I didn't really find my passion drummer until October of last year, it's just now been a full year that I've been exploring this new window through which I see my world.  It has profoundly changed me and it continues to do so.  My work.  My play.  My relationships.  But mostly my happiness.

What I've learned over this time of self-exploration is more of what I already knew.  I am creative.  I love to learn.  I love to problem solve.  I am social.  I like to perform.  I like to teach.  I like to write.  Nothing new, but somehow it's all more fulfilling now.  Why?  Possibly because it's not just a hypothetical discussion any longer.  Now it's part of who I am, what I do, where I focus my attention, and where I find personal fulfillment.  It's less about where I live, what I drive, how much I earn (don't get me wrong, living comfortably is important but it alone does not equate to happiness), and less about what others expect of me (the parent, the mate, the daughter, the employee, etc.) and more about did I have fun today, did I learn today, did I do something that I found personally fulfilling and do I have plans to do so again soon. 

I'm reading again.  That has me wanting to write again.  I've joined an aspiring writers group.  I have an idea for a novel that's been knocking around in my head since 2002.  I am excited to think that I may actually start writing it at some point.  I have wonderful friends who've volunteered to read my work and give me feedback.  I'm surrounding myself with the things that will nurture me and my creative writing.  It feels good.

I'm teaching for the first time.  I didn't go looking for it.  It came to me from no action of my own control, a teacher approached me and asked if I might like to teach.  I agreed to try it.  And I found I love it.  I love designing the classes, planning them out, drafting the instruction literature, preparing samples, and creating a class environment where students can relax, have fun, learn, and laugh.  I didn't seek this out, but I did honestly pursue what I love to do and, as I have predicted, the universe provides me with experiences that are rich and fulfilling in return.  How very Zen.

I continue to take classes on subjects all over the board. I continue to meet others like me that love to express themselves in creative ways and love to learn.  I am still toying around with my social network and hope to have a workable format soon.

I don't know if I want to put a theme to 2011.  I'm not driven like that any longer.  It doesn't seem like much fun. If you know me, you understand that I've never been an under-achiever and that's not likely to change any time soon.  However, I don't need control of myself like I felt I needed to before.  I'm just enjoying the ride and working hard at having fun so I'm totally prepared for the next big wave that comes my way.  Life is the journey, stopping to smell the roses isn't an item on my to-do list but a way of living, and I'm excited about my future!  I'm pretty sure it will be better than I could dream up and put into reality on my own with a checklist, a goal, or a "2011- The Year of  ".