i typically write when i have a clear idea of what i want to say. those moments are loaded with energy, excitement, readiness and there’s almost an urgency–these words must be shared.
so when a day like today rolls around, a day without “ah ha” moments to speak of, it’s easy to find more joy and purpose in Pinterest. but i’ve challenged myself to post at least once a week. i’ve even set up a reminder and as we speak, an email sits unopened in my inbox. it’s from WordPress and says something along the lines of, “hey, you haven’t written yet this week.” i didn’t want to read it lest its unmarked status encourage me to forget. and being the avid email-checker that i am (and don’t need to be) i’ve seen the email many times now in the last 24 hours. i’m coming!
sticking to things that appear negotiable or optional is hard. there are enough required pursuits in a day to fill a decade. this creative stuff can wait. it’s not my job. it’s not my marriage. it’s just a nice idea. sure, it’s something i get to be proud of, but for what? so that the number of visitors to my blog can increase?
i’ve recently taken to cutting stuff out of my life–unread books, old shoes, receipts, bitterness, the words “i can’t”, filling a glass jar daily with slips of paper that detail what i’m grateful for. you wouldn’t think so but that last one was the hardest. as i tossed out the few pieces of paper that had successfully made it into the jar (during early 2013) and read my words, i felt bad for not being able to complete a really great initiative. i toyed with the idea of keeping the paper so that i could remember what i was grateful for but quickly tossed the idea and the paper in the trash. after all, the point is to be reminded of God’s goodness and that’s evident every day not just last March. and, i’ve got far too many slips of paper in my possession that do absolutely nothing for me or the world.
though i knew my actions were right for me, i had to fight the feeling of guilt. yet again, i’ve been unable to finish something. yet again. thanks to how i relate to Pinterest, i now battled inadequacy. if i could just manage my time more effectively, i’d have time to fill this jar.
suuuure. i’m sure that’s true. if i kept a stricter regimen, there’s a host of activity i’d be able to engage in where now there are only, like, 3 things. sure.
i washed out the jar and asked my husband to place it on top of the kitchen cupboard alongside the other glass jars. it’s an Ikea jar, the kind with a cool clasp that seals tightly and keeps air at bay. it’s the kind of jar that’s good for raisins or flour…or simple decoration. just like some moments in the day, it doesn’t need to be filled.
as for the moments that should be filled, i’d like to stick to activities that breed life and not misplaced guilt. like writing. writing isn’t for all of us just as Brussels sprouts aren’t for all of us. (BTW, did you know there’s an “s” on the end of Brussel like the city? all my life i’ve said “Brussel sprouts” until just now when i googled the name. #mindblown #wellnotreally)
writing is how i process, how i make sense of life. the more i write, the more i understand. and because i spend so much time in my head, i need to take time to get out and distinguish what matters from what’s noisy. i could only journal but those words are my prayers. blog posts are different. aside from being public, they challenge me to write for more than myself and to end well.
and for the times when neither of those happen, i’m just glad i’ve tried, that i didn’t quit early. it’s easy to quit early.