Tag Archives: creative writing
It was a good idea to meet up with my friend and her dog to walk the lake today. The weather was perfect, crisp, slightly warm from the weak winter sun and the winds hadn’t picked up yet. We walked briskly, catching up and keeping up with her dog Pink. Ellen and I have been friends since we were 13 and that’s saying a lot. A lot of time and water under the bridge. We have been in and out of contact and manage to stay connected somehow. We chat and observe the people, old immigrants, young children still on winter break, men fishing or playing with remote-controlled boats on the lake. We pass the different areas; the playground, the bridge crossing the tumbling water, the bird-filled trees that sound like an aviary as we pass underneath and the benches inhabited by people reading, talking, resting and daydreaming. We see children frolicking as they run from the large geese and tease the smaller birds with crumbs. We hear people speaking many languages. What is that? Russian, Spanish, Italian? There is a melding pot of people all out for a day in January, starting the New Year with a stroll, a walk hand-in-hand, in workout gear, new sneakers, old walking shoes and jackets, with arms pumping and quick breaths, with hands holding canes to steady plump bodies breathing slowly. For this hour, we walk in this moment in time. Old friends sharing, enjoying the beauty that exists within a busy city.
I am going to summer camp! Well, virtual summer camp in the form of a writer’s camp called Teachers Write! The camp started today with quick writes, lessons and an assignment entitled “How do you find time to write?” That is perfect for me because other than deliberating about what to write, I am constantly fighting time to set up a writing practice. This first assignment is filled with good ideas about finding the time to start a writing practice even starting with as few as 15 minutes. I read the post with more intent this time having found a place to write-my new living room perched in the tree house of a house I am currently living in. The light, the view and the different seating options make this the perfect writing room. The assignment is to create a summer writing schedule and a school year writing schedule. This is the first time that I’ve been in a writing group that was completely made up of teachers and I am excited to get the ideas to keep a writing practice going throughout the year. The first task is to cut something out of my day to create the needed time. That is a easy for me, cutting out 1 hour of TV per night will give me plenty of get started with my writing. The next part of the assignment, telling my family, won’t be too hard since all are aware of my desire to write. In the summer I can write during the morning, but when I am teaching, it will have to be when I get home in the afternoon or evening. So, with this new found time, I am hoping my muse will arrive and inspire me.
I went to the Topanga Film Festival this morning to see the documentary Happy and I started thinking about happiness, the concept, the reality and the possibilities. I have been following The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for about a year now and enjoy the daily quotes and reflections, but I wondered, how can I spread happiness, encourage happiness and find areas in my life to insert happiness?
Encouraging signs are popping up everywhere, for example, my husband was given the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert awhile ago and it was mentioned in the movie today, and this quote that showed up today on Facebook from Weight Watchers:“Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself!”
So I know what I can do to make myself happy:
incorporate a healthy lifestyle into my daily life,
allow creativity to be a priority
spend time with my family
connect with my close friends
practice kindness and toleranceNow I want to expand by giving more happiness:
sharing what I have to give
helping worthy causes
creating more happiness in my home
creating more happiness in my classroom
It is a commitment, but also a choice, to surround oneself with happiness. It is a road I am choosing to walk.
My New Year’s Day tradition is to create a collage visualization of my hopes, dreams and plans for the New Year and so this afternoon I sat down at the kitchen table with my husband and youngest daughter (who is 19) and spent a pleasant couple of hours scanning magazines for inspirational words and photos. My 2011 collage has a theme: Create. That is also the word that popped into my head during a Winter Solstice meditation with Diana Lang two weeks ago. I take it to mean that I can create the life I want, and it doubles as inspiration to create art and the written word. My plan has three categories:
1. Create health & peace of mind
2. Create and maintain relationships
3. Create art
I will create a more healthy lifestyle by developing the habit of exercise at Equinox and Curves and integrating it into my daily life. I have chosen the 10,000 Steps walking program and I have my spiffy new pedometer to track my daily steps. I have realized that if I walk (either on the treadmill or an extended walk with Charlie, my dog) for an hour, I can rack up the steps fairly easily. I am also committing to yoga at least twice a week. This also helps with creating peace of mind, but is definitely a good strength training routine as well. I will continue with resistance training to help build bone strength. The big news is my recent re-acquaintance with Weight Watchers. I am attending weekly meetings and making daily use of eTools to track my food. I have come to the conclusion that tracking creates the discipline I need to succeed. I am proud to say that In the past month I have really become mindful of the food I eat and am excited with the 5 lb. weight loss!
I will create peace of mind by tracking my spending and saving habits too, and will continue my money education and devotion to becoming money-wise. By tracking my habits on mint.com I will have a realistic visual of where my money is going and how I can gain control even in these tough economic times, taking into account furlough days and the cutbacks imposed on education by lack of State funding.
I am open to creating new friendships and devoted to maintaining those I have. I will continue to nurture the friends and family I am blessed to have in my life presently and appreciate these relationships. I am taking a positive path to relationships and plan to focus on positive aspects of relationships while attempting to eliminate gossip and other negative habits that are detrimental to honest friendships. I will practice patience, support and giving.
I will create art by focusing on my writing through my classes in the UCLA Writers Program, this blog, a daily 2-minute journal and various writing experiences. I will expand my creative experiences through any art form that becomes available and will be open to opportunities to express myself through music, art and crafts.
2011 is a blank slate, a new beginning and a chance to “Embrace the art of living.” My vision is clear and my plan is in place. Feel free to share your plan for the New Year! May it be a truly happy year for us all.