Sunday, December 5, 2010

catching up

I've just committed myself to Reverb10.

That means, among other things, I'm going to write every day.

I have some catching up to do; each day of December has its own topic and I've come a little late to the party.

Here goes:

December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?


My choice for 2010 is not an adjective. No, I'm going for an adverb (and some emphasis): "finally!"

I can explain.

For my whole life, all I've wanted is to know where I belong and get myself there. I couldn't sort it out at university in my early twenties because my mind was too clouded by depression. In my late twenties I diverted from my own path by one dictated to me by fundamentalist Christianity. In my thirties, my mind began to clear and I found journalism. I was good at it and thought I would become a star; a single bad decision led to depression and cost me everything I had.

I got lucky in my forties. I found a job that should have been a short stop along the way except for a single friend I made early on. He got me started on a path to professional clarity. I had to endure a lot of confusion and crap but I got the experience I needed to get me somewhere better.

A year or more ago, I knew I wanted to be part of social media. And, just before my 46th birthday, I got there.

Finally.

I'd like to end 2011 with the word "comfortable". I'll explain it if and when I get there.

December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?


I get distracted. It's that simple.

I start a task with a goal in mind and then I find some article online and I start to read it and then I decide to read another and then I check my email and then I check the news, maybe, and then I decide to watch TV or play a game on my iPhone, and then I decide it's late and I'd better go to bed.

There are so many things I want to give my attention to. To accomplish today's writing task, however, I came to the laptop determined to start and not stop until I finished the whole exercise.

I don't need to eliminate anything to write; I need to add that same focus and determination. I have to accept that other interests have been made secondary now that I have this commitment.


December 3Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).


I'm not sure I've had a moment like that this year

I had a moment of perfect joy a few weeks ago when I did my first run after several months away. The music from my iPhone was invigorating, my body felt so grateful to be moving again and I was so blissful I reached a place of high peace. But I've had moments of aliveness and that wasn't one of them, though it was close.


December 4Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Haha - I didn't realize it was a goal! The question implies it's something I should have striven for, something I should have been conscious of.

Maybe that's not how wonder works. Wonder is a quality that sneaks up and surprises us; it's not something we can watch for. How can we prepare to have life delight and amaze us?

December 5Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Wow.

Well, most recently I've let go of the South African hottie. He's away for a year to work and I believe we both accept that the separation could have a terrible impact on our relationship in the long term.

I was happy to let go of my life in Nova Scotia, especially the job. That company and that centre were killing me slowly but surely, chipping away at my connection to the outside world. I'm living as an adult now, with other adults, and though I'm timid about being in these new surroundings, I'm more grateful than I can ever express.

This was the year for big changes and I couldn't be happier about that. Those changes will force me to rediscover myself and to put myself in the world again.

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