So this week marked the end of my third month ~ 90+ days of practice. My six word memoir project has taken on a life of its own. I created a separate blog to chronicle just that exercise WHICH also includes an occasional picture. (Check out my proverbial “microblog” HERE!) I have enjoyed the momentum the project has gained, both for me personally and with other people. I have heard from several folks who have been inspired to use this exercise in their own lives ~ a couple of friends, as well as a English teacher who is using it as a writing assignment for her class. I think that’s pretty cool.
It’s becoming easier to write these snip-its, and I actually look forward to seeing “what I’m going to say,” 😀 ~ oh, so clever girl that I am! In addition to the daily exercise, at the end of each month I take a look back at see what trends and insights might be revealed. It’s almost as much fun as writing them, and today’s the day!
This Month’s Lessons
One of the things that I’ve become aware of is how “rules” can hold me up. I worry about such things as proper punctuation and word counts. (For instance, should phrases like “Farrah-Do’s” or “San Francisco” count as one word or two?) Wanting to do things “right” often keeps me from acting at all. This is true not only in a writing exercise, but in other areas of my life as well. Interestingly, this is even reflected in one of my entries: “Failure to act makes a decision.”
There were a couple of days in November that I added addendum, a second helping of 6 words for the day. I kind of see that as cheating, but have done it anyway, albeit with guilt. (Side note: Guilt is a chronic condition for me. It is funny how a small six word practice can reveal so much about your personality.)
The most important lesson this month? Just Do It! It doesn’t have to be perfect or grand, just consistent. And THAT can make all the difference. Recently, I read something about integrating a practice or habit into your life which said it’s more important to do something small regularly than to make a big effort sporadically. Certainly everyone will agree, but many (and especially those of us with “all or nothing” personalities) still fail to act. Some examples:
- After not running for months, I start back with a 5 mile outing, and end up so sore that I don’t go out again.
- A friend has a baby and I want to take food over, but instead of just taking something, I want to plan a big meal and end up doing nothing.
- My disorganized office is so overwhelming that when new things come in, I don’t even try to put them away. I just add them to the piles contributing more to the chaos.
Ironically, I was thinking about yoga when I wrote: “Key to Sanity: Regular, Consistent Practice,” but REALLY it’s true for just about everything. This simple writing exercise has taught me that if you just do SOMETHING with regularity, it will start to take hold and make a difference. (It CAN keep you sane.) Whether it’s with writing, exercising, nurturing friendships, or cleaning house, just do it. In the words of Issac Newton, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest; a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” Or something like that.
Today it’s writing 6 words … Tomorrow THE OFFICE!
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Overview: Gratitude for Family, Thanksgiving Celebration, Frustration with Disorganization
- SportsCenter more fun when we win. (11/1/08)
- Self-discipline is really self-love. (11/2/08)
- I married better than my husband. (11/3/08)
- “Yes we can!” Hope he’s right. (11/4/08)
- Family Dinner: A Feast of Conversations (11/5/08)
- Cool software makes my heart race. (11/6/08)
- Happy hours, happy friends, happy ME! (11/7/08)
- Sometimes I DO steal his glasses. (11/8/08)
- The first waffle never turns out. (11/9/08)
- Nobody had ever asked me “why?” (11/10/08)
- Promises too much. Delivers too little. (11/11/08)
- They all said it mattered … didn’t. (11/12/08)
- Reflecting on friendships, Farrah-do’s and Facebook (11/13/08)
- Waiting a long time for NOW! (11/14/08)
- Exhilaration: Shopping at Night at Wal-Mart (11/15/08)
- Lost keys, phone and my mind! (addendum to 11/15/08)
- Light the Sky ~ Fog the Windows (11/16/08)
- Howling at the Moon with Friends (11/17/08)
- Her “Thanks” ~ Better than the gift! (11/18/08)
- Wise salesman once said, “Presentation’s everything!” (11/19/08)
- I’m many things, but not that. (11/20/08)
- Key to Sanity: Regular, Consistent Practice (11/21/08)
- Puppies & Friends: “Paws” to Celebrate (11/22/08)
- Failure to decide makes a decision (11/23/08)
- Purple Haze: Planning for Thanksgiving Photos (11/24/08)
- “Once,” he recalled “it was clean.” (11/25/08)
- Family Oriented, Storytelling Dishwasher: Apply Within (11/26/08)
- Gratitude: Family, Food & Stretch Jeans (11/27/08)
- Thanksgiving … Not like this for everyone?! (11/28/08)
- Some Kind of Record: Nobody Cried! (11/29/08)
- Four Words: I Love My Family! (addendum to 11/29/08)
- Science Fair Project: Will Child Live? (11/30/08)