A loss of momentum

What is it about winter? I'll tell you.

  1. It's cold.
  2. It's messy.
  3. It takes forever to get from point A to point B.
  4. All you want to do is stay in and be a sloth.
  5. The exposure to inspiration drops to an all-time low.
  6. I eat pizza allll the time.
  7. I don't exercise.

I think that's enough to bring someone's spirits down. Keep in mind, I recognize my own first world problems. And yes, this isn't Russia. Therefor my toilets work, winter won't be forever and we have bourbon instead of vodka. I'll be okay.

But this particular winter has made me not only a believer in SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but also a self-diagnosed sufferer.

 

Dear Sun,

When again will I bask in thine glory? When again will my dog's walks not end when he starts to lick his paws? When will I be able to frolic through the polluted city air and rid myself of these horrid muffin tops? WHEN?!

Genuinely yours... forever... upon your return, Sara

Don't stop

I breath in and hear a digitized melody. Clear to me, more than before, that perhaps not everything is as it seems. Not a new concept. A knew concept.

Simple facts have complicated history, while history is not so complex.

Boil it down to black and white and there will always be a trace of gray. No need to add color.

Routines, circles, back and forth, round-trip journeys. Old, stale, expected.

Bring on the new.

That melody haunts me. It reminds me I've become anticipated, mechanical and robotic.

It's time to stretch. It's time to warm up. It's time to light that fire under my ass. It's time to push beyond the point of comfort.

Go.

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It's only one day after today

Here's to 2012 and the good things that happened. Seems like people have been down on 2012 for many reasons. But the thing is, settle down. I get it. Sometimes shit goes sideways and sometimes it hits the fan. But don't be down on an entire year of passing time. I'm all for the optimism of 2013, I really am. I just think that it can be easy to overlook the good things.

So this next year, make the most of it. And take a few extra moments to stay positive and be glad.

This message has been brought to you by Pollyanna.

Happy New Year.

This Year's Presolutions

The holidays are a very bad excuse to indulge. The general trend in behavior is, “And the diet starts tomorrow!” But that never works out. And then we end up fat, lonely and depressed in the middle of winter with no more holidays to look forward to. Additionally, cold weather is such a buzz-kill to throw on top of all that short-lived motivation. So what can be done? Nothing! It’s hopeless.

To a point.

I didn’t mean to sound so pessimistic about it, but I’m coming around to a realization. Making New Year’s Resolutions is essentially setting you up for failure. The whole idea is supported by lazy dreamers. If there is something you want to be doing or you should be doing, why does an arbitrary date make any difference? It shouldn’t.

I’m here to advocate the Pre-Resolution or the Presolutoin, if you will. (And you will, damn it.)

Figure it out today, right now, this second, what it is you want out of your life. Is it the ever-constant desire to lose weight? Start now by just not gaining any over the next three weeks and start your New Year off right.

Plus, there’s always the truth that you might die at any moment. So… there’s that.

So go for it. Sky’s the limit. You can do anything you want and you can start as soon as right friggin now!

Me? What will I be doing?

1)      My first Presolution was to exercise more – something I’ve been doing consistently for well over a month now. Check!

2)      Another Presolution is to find more time to create. I started a new blog combining my love of drawing and puns – it’s fun, fast and gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Check!

3)      For my third Presoution, I’ve decided that I’m going to read whatever the heck I want! I’m not going to shy away just because a book may be on Oprah’s book list, nor will I feel ashamed that I too enjoy a bit of chick-lit from time to time. Check!

4)      Fourth Presolution. Honesty. It’s ongoing and it’s my biggest challenge. I’m not out to be insensitive towards others, but I am out to de-coat the sugar from what I say and how I feel.

5)      Five golden rinnnnngs! No, the fifth Presolution is to throw myself into work more. As long as I'm spending about 35% of my waking hours at my job, why not get the most out of it? I'm trying to do more, stay productive, generate new ideas, be more assertive, mingle with co-workers and generally kick it up a notch. Working can become ho-hum, but if you're lucky enough to work somewhere you're excited to be and have the opportunity to have opportunities, roll with it!

I feel like that’s enough for now. There are always things I can do to improve myself and even more, my enjoyment of life. And the thing is that I’m the only one standing in my way from making those things happen.

You are too. So get off your ass.

(Ahem. If you’re already off your ass, nice ass. Keep it up.)

The Inspiration Onion

Creativity is a strange beast. I don’t know what I think in relation to other people and what works for them. What works for me is solitude; when I’m forced to be me, to make all the choices, to be held completely responsible; when I’m forced to answer the question, what do I want to do? Step one: Be alone. Personally, I’m screwed up. If there are other people around, my view is automatically skewed. What are they doing? Should we be doing something? Let’s do a group activity. Are they having a good time? I can’t do this/that right now because they’d be bored. Who’s hungry? Et cetera. If my focus isn't 100% on me, it’s hopeless. Creativity calls for an insane amount of selfishness.

Step two: Wait. I’m a big believer in inspiration and I know it’s hard to find. Sometimes it feels as mythical as a unicorn. But you can’t rush it, you can’t force it, you have to wait for it. (I keep saying “you,” but I mean me. Deal with it.) I don’t think it’s divine intervention, however. I think it’s something we’re all capable of, but it’s a matter of finding your route to it. Kind of like learning to masturbate.

Step three: Create. When the stars align and genius takes hold, there’s nothing quite like it. Boredom dissipates, time vanishes and the body can run for hours on the magic created from that one spark. I’m definitely calling it magical. Having those moments where you’re inside yourself and pure creation is spewing out of every orifice –nothing makes me feel more like the me I want to be.

There's that school of thought that you even if you don't feel inspired, you need to keep working at it just the same. I do agree with that - I hate it, but I agree with it. In a way it's like peeling an onion, you need to cut through the paper and the too-purple, overripe layers to get to the meat of it. This will likely involve tears. It's not easy. This isn't to say that inspiration will be reached by just working at it.

[sad trombone] I just realized that I've come full circle and have no other choice than to say something clichéd. Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Luckily I'm a very sweaty person so I achieve success with great speed.

The sadness of it all is that those moments are few and far between. Life, my life, doesn't allow for frequency of those moments. But that’s okay. I’m not upset and I don’t necessarily want anything to change. Because at least this way, I know how fucking special it is when it happens.

Happy New Year, Me!

It was my birthday last week. Everyone at work passed a card around and wrote co-worker happy birthday wishes in it. I hate being on the other side of that. Should I be funny? Wait, I am funny. But will they think I'm funny? Yes, their birthday becomes a dilemma for my personal insecurities. I should just start signing, "Happy Birthday! I hope you know I'm funny."They're so pointy Anyway, most people stick with "Happy Birthday," "Happy B-Day, "Have a good day," I hope it's a good one," etc. Someone let me know I share a birthday with Mahatma Ghandi; trivia is always welcomed with a smile. Some people put in inside jokes like, "I look forward to many awkward bathroom stares," prompting someone to write below it, "What? I don't want to know."

But someone wrote, "Happy New Year!" and that's right, motherfuckers. It's a new year. It's my new year. And for whatever reason, that gives me a boost of inspiration. I'm a sucker for inspiration. It's the wind beneath my wings. So what do people do at the mark of a new year? They write out their goals, call them resolutions, get excited for change for about 3 days and then fall off the wagon.

Too much pressure is put on the idea that the New Year will bring something completely different. Things don't change that drastically and even less so, people.

So, here I am all excited about being excited about something, but slightly discouraged because I feel like it's setting me up for failure.

So what can I change in my life that will be slight enough that it is achievable, but drastic enough to be a visible improvement down the line?

That's a great question if I do say so myself.

I'm setting weekly goals for myself. I've got a weekly calendar I carry around and inside it, I've created a list with check boxes. Obviously, if I achieve one of my goals, I get a check. Filling in check boxes gives me a great sense of satisfaction so that's just like a dorky bonus.

Things on my list for this week:

  • Exercise (5 times)
    • Ubiquitous resolution, but important to keep noted.
  • Write fiction for one hour (3 times)
    • It’s hard for me to stick to this. I get myself all worked up about the fact that I never write and it stunts my motivation even more. So I need to just do.
  • Do something new (5 times)
    • I thrive on routine and new things scare me. This resolution could just as easily be called, “Do something that scares you,” but that seems too scary a thing to commit to.
  • Tell a lie (3 times)
    • I’m not talking about stealing or killing or breaking any laws. I’m talking about exercising my ability to screw with people. This is an actual goal. I find myself feeling obligated to tell someone the truth and give them all the accurate information. Why? It doesn’t matter. So, for my own entertainment, or just because I’m bored, I’m going to lie.
  • Be brutally honest (daily)
    • Although it seems contradictory to the previous resolution, it is not. On the flip side of the honest coin, I know that I’m never as honest as I could be about my feelings in the moment. I bottle things up, creating issues for later. Fuck that. It’s exhausting. It’s keeping me from being me.

Yeah, that’s enough for one week. It’s all about keeping the goals achievable. I can’t realistically say, “And now, I will completely change and be the kind of person who speaks her mind, isn’t afraid of change and works out every day forever!”

Set yourself up for success. It needs to be fun, fresh and exciting. Otherwise how can someone be expected to care or stick with it?

They can’t be.

Also, I have absolutely no authority on the subject. I might fall off of this wagon even though I've gone and prematurely painted it.

But for today, maybe even this week, I've got inspiration on my side. In fact, I'm adding a new item to this week's list:

  • Be inspired (daily)
    • If I'm open enough, it shouldn't be a chore to let inspiration find me.

And now, I shall release a butterfly into the cosmos.