An Experiment in Living
This is an experiment in living. Do you follow excitment?
I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. That may sound impossible given the state of the world. The news has been dramatic lately. I will say there were months of being under water with all of it. Last fall, after finishing a project, I didn’t go back to writing. Days went by without touching the keyboard. I let it all be. No forced enthusiasm.
Six months elapsed, during which I didn’t push myself to write or to do anything with my free time I didn’t feel like doing. Without forcing anything, my days took on a certain shape, things I like to do emerged. One of those things was an increased interest in the news, even though the news was bringing me down. I didn’t fight it.
I drilled down…
into all the stories, increasing my understanding of events and history as it unfolded. I became a bit more active, following the votes of my elected representatives and communicating with them. I carefully chose what I would do and not do so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. That bit of action lifted my head above water. Now I limit my new intake to twice a day, which also helps. If you read or watch the news and it bothers you, I recommend finding some way no matter how small to participate. It’s a known way to avoid depression.
In the quiet space of not forcing myself to do anything during my free time, another feeling, subtle and powerful, grew. I missed writing.
I want to write
But how, and what? I want to write what I’m most excited about writing. I want to live in a way that I’m always doing the thing that is most exciting to me in the moment. Sometimes that is writing, sometimes that is photography, sometimes it’s learning about history. Sometimes it’s taking a nap or reading a book.
Doing what you’re excited about is an incredible way to live. Try it.
I know I have more free time than average. But even when I worked seven days a week, I would try to do tasks that excited me first and then yes, I would have to force myself to get started on other tasks.
A trick I learned
Tune into inherent excitement even in dreaded tasks. When working and having a lot of chores, there is an element of manufacturing excitement, at least at first. But checking things off a list can be exciting. Here’s a tip that you probably know but it’s a good one for dreaded tasks. Dreading something is usually caused by being overwhelmed, the thing being too big. You can trick your mind into not dreading it by breaking off the smallest bit possible to do first. That gets you going. Then keep breaking the whole thing down into small achievable steps.
Experiment with doing whatever most excites you in the moment. Concentrate fully on that moment. With writing, I’m doing that, and it’s amazing. When I sit down to write I work on whichever project most captivates me at the moment. It’s turning out to be something different than I’ve written before and quite challenging, but I’m breaking it down. Every day I open the file and add ideas to the brainstorming page, do some research, add ideas. I’m not putting a deadline on the process. Since it’s new to me, it may take a very long time, and that’s okay.
Wherever you are in your life
try milking each moment for what you enjoy, whether it’s washing the dishes or working on a project. With your free time, try to not make decisions about what you will do with that time and see what it is you enjoy the most. It might be different than you thought.
Here’s a book I was very excited to write and publish last year. I drew on what I learned from helping take care of my mom when she was disabled. Cara Cruz and Jason Ward both love his mom, who is disabled, and taking care of her turns out to help them find their paths in life.
Third Strike’s the Charm
Super student Cara Cruz made it all the way through her prestigious MBA program only to choke on the last final. Ordered by her advisor to take the summer off and clear her head, she’s home in Lobster Cove for some fun before retaking the exam. If she fails a second time, she will lose her dream job offer in Chicago. Meanwhile her best friend happens to be her ex-boyfriend’s mom, which means close contact with the man who broke her heart. Twice. This time she’ll protect her heart no matter the cost.
Ex-major-league baseball pitcher Jason Ward blew his money, his elbow, and his love life. Now at home taking care of his mom and working on a new life plan, he wants Cara back, but he already struck out, didn’t he? Maybe not, and now his mission is to win her back without telling her the truth about why he really came home.
Winning at love will be the only be the only play that counts. Nicci
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