Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clarity cake

Three days ago I had a major breakthrough with my recent work on The Artist's Way. I'm talking epic. Life changing. Exciting! Yea for me!!! With the reason for my creative block realized, I'm now ready to take giant steps forward, right? Right?!? Only, well, ever since my revelation, I haven't touched my book. I have not picked up a pen and written a single thing. It's almost like I'm frozen with reluctance. And I have no idea why.

Perhaps it's because my son has developed a nasty cough/cold/minor fever thing for the last few days. You know, the kind of frustrating cough that lasts for an excruciating hour at least twice during the night and you just lay there and listen with heartbreak because there isn't much that can be done to help. I would pay big bucks for a cough remedy that actually works. Last night he was crying and moaning because he was so miserable with the nonstop cough. After several nights of this I'm just so so soooo tired.

Oh, and did I mention the particularly bad pms? Last month was a total breeze, you know, the kind when you get it and you are blissfully like "oh, I had no idea it was that time already?"...tra la la la la. Silly me thinking to myself that maybe this was a sign of things to come now that I'm almost, gasp, forty. But, noooo, oversensitive, overemotional, cranky, tired, craving massive amounts of sweets, avoiding my Artist's Way coursework me is getting the last laugh. Or tears is more like it.

And, AND!!, to top it off there is a scary lack of decent sweets in the house. Oh the horror!!! It's like going to change a baby's poopy diaper only to find out you already used the last one. Trust me, I would love to blame my husband or cat if I could, but it's all my fault - a total lack of proper preparation on my part.

What's a pms'ing girl to do? I can't exactly run to the store when I'm home alone with a sick kid. So, I dig in the waaaaay back of my pantry and find a box of backup emergency white cake mix. Whew! I'm saved!! Less than a grueling hour later (it feels like an eternity), my decadent custom chocolate covered white chocolate chip pudding pms cake is ready to eat, ehh, devour!!! OMG it tastes like the best cake ever made in history of my kitchen. I feel totally protective over it like a starving lioness who just killed her prey after hours of hunting only to be surrounded by a pack of hyenas. Stay away! Stay far far away or else! Roarrrrrrrrr!!!

I'm okay, right? This is perfectly normal behavior for a mostly rational woman? I'm allowed my moments of less than perfect weakness, aren't I? It could be waaaaay worse, I mean white cake isn't that bad since I only used egg whites. Oh, who am I kidding. I can't help but be reminded of the classic scene from Sex and the City where Miranda disgusts herself with overindulging in cake. It makes me laugh every time because I get it. I think most of us at one time or another has been there, too.

At least when we are grownups we can make cake for no reason other than to satisfy a crazy whim (my inquiring kids were wondering who's birthday it was). We can eat pizza for breakfast or pie for dinner or make your husband drive to Fatburger to get your favorite turkey burger and fries that will make it all better. A lot of adult life stuff does suck, but other times it has it's rewards, that's for sure.

I have to admit, though, that after eating MY cake and writing this post and "talking" it out and looking for a positive spin, I am newly inspired to turn off the computer and return to the coursework and deal with my creative block breakthrough. Since I'm home with my sick kid, the laundry is finished, the bills are paid, the cake is eaten, there is plenty on tv for him to watch, I honestly have no excuse to keep avoiding what truly is a huge blessing. It can't be wasted. The pms cake can (and should) go in the trash with a dose of dish soap, but not this. After all, it's only the beginning. I need to stop with the excuses. It's time to get back to work.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The time is write

I just got back from my annual family trip to our local snow covered mountains. A friend owns this quaint cabin in Big Bear and rents it to family and friends on the cheap. So, an extended weekend away doesn't break the bank and we can vacation with minimal stress and expense.

I went to Big Bear many many times during my teen years with my best friend's family, so returning to this place always gives me a sense of calm and warm fuzzy feelings. The school fundraiser I co-chaired was a huge success last weekend, both for the school and for my personal pride. Boy, did I dig deep for that one, but it was worth every bit of it. So, anticipating a well deserved and much needed post-fundraiser getaway to decompress and regroup, I deliberately booked the trip months ago for the weekend after the event. Thank goodness! I was physically exhausted and mentally drained. I love perfect timing, both planned and unplanned.

Two years ago, me and my mom attended a crunchy, but legitimate and popular convention downtown. We didn't go to have our tongue or aura read or to buy goddess clothes or to discover the next miracle pill/technique/invention to solve all of our problems (don't laugh, there were plenty to choose from). We went to see and hear Dan Millman speak. Being huge fans of his books and philosophies, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see him face-to-face, with an added bonus of interesting crowd watching and a treasured day spent together.

With a thick booklet full of scheduled lectures before our main event, we decide to check out a lecture called
"Everyday Synchronicity" by a life coach. We were immediately taken with Mindie and what she had to say - she was young but grounded and positive, insightful but not way out there, and totally made sense. Since she practiced out of state, I signed up for her newsletter, figuring I would keep her on my radar and get some good ideas now and then.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago, in the height of my crazy fundraising stress and frenzy, I get her monthly e-newsletter with information about her new twelve week online class created around the book The Artist's Way . I wish I could remember why I bought this book FIVE years ago, but sadly this unread book sat on my shelf collecting dust all this time. Maybe it's because it's not a book you just read, but more like a guide that takes a lot of work and I wasn't ready yet. Or perhaps I was subconsciously waiting for the remarkable timing of this class that starts the Monday right after the fundraiser. A time where I am newly freed up to, gasp, work on myself and figure out what to do with my mostly neglected creative self. A class that starts the same week I plan to relax and unwind in the beautiful mountains. A class that has my name all over it.

The well-known author, Julia Cameron, claims to be able to help with all kinds of grand revelations and creative breakthroughs. The surprising amount of people I know that have worked the book all have nice things to say about it.
I'm only a week into the course work, but so far so good. I am ready to do the work so I can move forward. You know how you can just feel a major life shift is on the way? Nothing major yet, but I feel a welcomed sense of calm. Or am I just still smiling from a wonderful and relaxing weekend away with my great family? My children are definitely happy that their mommy is back from the land of the time-consuming fundraiser. My husband is relieved to have his way less cranky wife around again.
Funny how they are happy to have the old "me" back, but I'm excited to hopefully discover a new me. Will that new me turn out to be a business owner? A painter? A collaborator? An inventor? A teacher? A (paid) writer? An event planner? Ouch, wait, way too soon to think about that, but, well, the possibilities are endless, right? In the very least I'd love to more inspired and creative, and then I'll just have to see where that takes me.