Monthly Archives: May 2013

in which i reveal the secret of my sandals

IMG_0954Today this arrived.  I am desperate to start reading but instead it is sitting on the table next to me as I write.  Tempting me.  However, I have decreed that I will not even open the cover (though I can hold it and feel it) until I have done at least half of today’s list.  That includes writing today’s blog post.

Has anybody else noticed the slight contradiction yet?  I have a new book, a new thing, a new possession.  Yet the possession in question is a guide to simplifying my life; a guide to reducing the things and the stuff which clutters and suffocates.

I am a reasonably sensible, well educated woman who took on board the refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle mantra long before it was considered normal let alone essential.  I turned into my mother at an early age; keeping the plastic bags that magazines and catalogues came through the post in, carefully storing yoghurt pots for the seedlings and cutting up plastic milk bottles to make seed markers.  I never bought dusters I just cut up old sweat shirts and I could make a roasting joint last for up to three meals plus sandwiches (roast, shepherd’s pie and stovies since you ask).  I have never actually cut the toes out of my children’s crepe soled start-rite shoes to turn them into summer play sandals however.  There were some depths to which I would not go.  Yes, reader, I wore such sandals for playing outside when I was a little girl.  It was the sixties, I think she can be forgiven.

 I have a collection of household books and life simplification books that would not disgrace a small public library. Why?  I really doubt I am going to find anything totally new in this book, yet I can’t wait to curl up with it.  What is going on?

What I think is going on is confirmation.  I can read this book and I will feel good because even if I’m not doing all of it, I will be doing some of it and I will have thought about doing some of the rest.  It’s the feel good factor.  I am a good person. 

I don’t think the same applies to other genres.  I also have substantial collections of gardening books, cookery books, knitting/sewing/craft books.  I have books on organisation (from homes to minds) and a vast array of books on self sufficiency from keeping hens to how to survive Armageddon.  Another corner of my library houses books on the desert fathers, monasticism and meditation.

All of these offer me something new.  I know that I will learn new skills, tricks and develop new ideas every time I pick them up.  I am not so arrogant as to say that this particular book will teach me nothing, but put another way – I probably don’t really need it and the irony is in purchasing it I am committing the fist sin by not refusing something I don’t need.

But I do know I am going to love it and love transcends everything.

Advertisements

Planner Hall of Shame

While undertaking some therapeutic displacement activity I discovered a whole new genre of planners.  Planners designed specifically for writers.  I felt that my heart should have leapt, but instead it sank.

Surely the planner junkie in me would be whooping (much like the way the Inner Goddess cartwheels through Fifty Shades).  But instead it sighed and clicked somewhat despondently on the link.  It was not disappointed.

What do writers need in a planner that engineers, dancers, doctors and flower arrangers do not?  Answers on a postcard please, or you could just write on the back of a stamp.  When was the last time you saw a planner dedicated to the needs of a butcher?  I rest my case.  We all have appointments, commitments both one off and regular.  We all have to do lists (even if those of my husband are always, without fail, on the back of an envelope) and some of us have goals and monthly targets both practical and emotional.

Most of us need planners.  Actually we all need planners, but sadly some people believe themselves to be exempt from this rule.  They are the ones whose necks have been wrung on a regular basis (in fact I could even schedule the neck wringing in my own planner).  What we do not need are twee quotes “to encourage you along your journey”.  I’d love to see what would be selected for a planner dedicated to an abattoir manager.  Okay so I am edging on the edge of facetiousness but I hope you get my point.

There are a lot of things that as a would be author I need to know.  I can find them all in the wonderful Writer’s Yearbook, or on any one of the excellent blogs and websites dedicated to the writing process.  I do not need them in my back pocket or taking up valuable space in my planner.

So here is a sample of the Hall of Shame.

 A working writer’s daily planner – your year in writing  I note this is the 2011 version ……

Mslexia Writer’s Diary   I love Mslexia but why oh why did you stoop so low and why does it have to have a twee yellow flower on the front ……

Writing World    Fortunately I suspect that most people would have lost the will to live just trying to find the link to the planner.

Personally I find it all bit condescending.

wheelbarrows and trust

 

Trust2I read this today.

There was a man entertaining the crowds with his tightrope act, pushing a wheelbarrow across the rope over a deep abyss.  He asked the crowds “Do you think I can do this?”  “Yes, we believe you can do it!” they replied enthusiastically.  “Okay,” said the tightrope walker, “Who is going to get in the wheelbarrow?”

The difference between trust and belief.

How often do we confuse belief with trust?