Friday, October 05, 2012

Of Books and Potatoes

Scattered week.

Out of sorts. Flu-ish. Black Dog pacing around the house. Far too close for comfort. The ghosts circle and start chattering and I miss the ones who vanish without a farewell or a reason, and then it's a very short hop to self-flagellation. And Black Dog gets within biting distance.

I worked on Grandgirl's afghan.  She never reads this blog so I am safe in saying that.

I knitted a prototype for the book design I was struggling with for weeks. Thanks for all your help, Grannymar.  Now, what do you think?


And then, the best part, some overdue writing for the conference at the end of the month.

And then the jobs that pay my bills.  Without them I would not survive. Freedom 95 I call it. I can't see my way to affording the writing lifestyle, much as I've wanted it for all of my life. This depresses me. Utterly.

Given my druthers I would write all the time. And create knitting designs and read. And play the piano at night by candlelight. And take long hikes with Wonder Dog.

I wrote about routine this morning in my journal. How it can be the salvation of elders. Lay out the day and evening clearly and ahead of time and stick to the routines. No matter what. I thought creative spirits didn't need routine but the research I'm doing shows that it is just what we need. If everything around us is organized and we have a routine it frees up the creative juices like nothing else. Nothing acts more like a distraction than living in a mess and a formless day, or week or month. Then nothing gets accomplished.

So at the beginning of my day today I laid it all out piece by piece and allowed time for all the things I love to do, like write and knit and even meditate and I even put little rewards in for stretches of the bill-paying work. And a good long walk with Ansa.

And later, Leo comes over with the potatoes from the edge of my back meadow.  And laughs and laughs at this particular one:

 
Can you see the face and the big ears and funny hat?

32 comments:

  1. Very true, I also find a basic routine frees my brain for something more creative outside the routine. Although there are other people who seem to live in total chaos and somehow produce brilliant books in the midst of it all. How on earth do they do it?

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  2. Nick:

    I think those brilliant books are probably written by men with women sweeping up after them?

    I'd love to see the workspace of brilliant unpartnered female authors.

    XO
    WWW

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  3. I love it! Is the prototype large enough for the front of a cushion?

    In the last few weeks my routine has flown out the window, and no, I don't like it. Has anyone seen my dining table it seems to have disappeared.

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  4. I forgot... I love the cheeky spud with his tongue sticking out.

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  5. I am not sane without a routine. It works for me. I still work but if I could retire, I would still want a routine. Otherwise, working or not, I end up getting nothing accomplished and there goes the day.

    I love your potato person ... haha.

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  6. love the knitting -you've inspired me to try designing my own pattern too -a celtic knot dragonfly - not getting too far yet- perhaps I do need to get a routine and schedule in some knitting time!
    I love the potato person too - to me it looks like a cheeky old lady with a bun!

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  7. I seem to be all about routine and no creativity except in blog writing and cooking but I'm enjoying myself so much. xox

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  8. How right you are. Aimless days are fun now and then but I feel more creative when I have my day planned out. Those reward times are much more rewarding when earned. Cheerful little spud - save it to eat in the face of the black dog and spit in his eye.

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  9. I love the afghan design!!

    And I guess we'll all head your way for a plate of spud tongues after picking up some local cod tongues to accompany them :)

    xo

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  10. I am not a writer, nor do I have to work any more for a living, but without my routine, I will start climbing walls.

    While till recently I had a set routine looking after my father, after his death, I found myself changing to getting up later and being lazier and sloppy, but after a few days of that indulgence, I was back on my pre care giving days routine or waking up at a fixed time and following a proper routine.

    When I recently went to my cousin's place for two nights, I found myself totally at sea as their household follows a different routine and was glad to be back. I am about to go off on a longer outing for about two weeks and I am already wondering about how it will all be!

    I suppose that I am getting to be the classic old man set in his ways!

    The potato is indeed comic!

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  11. Some people call adherence to routine anal-retentive or obsessive compulsive; I call it the difference between civilization and anarchy. Since I retired two years ago I've written a book for older people about personal finances; a novel; most of a memoir, dozens of poems, started a second novel, kept a daily journal, continued my lifelong study of language, and managed to indulge my love of movies from their inception to the present.
    None of the above would be possible without adherence to a routine. If that makes me a living version of Felix Unger in "The Odd Couple," so be it.

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  12. Third try to leave a comment - Blogger is fighting back!

    Testing.....

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  13. I hope that dark-hued canine is keeping his distance, WWW.

    Re routine - working life's disciplines stay around long after memory of the retirement party has faded.I tend to fall naturally into routine anyway, but one of the joys of retirement is having the freedom to "go rogue" and kick the routine now and again.
    ;-)

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  14. GM:
    It will make a lovely dish/facecloth, I will probably send it to GG alon with her afghan when the time comes.

    I even thought to knit a few for my bookclub.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Carol:
    I'm finding in the last few days that the routine I've worked out is doing me a world of good. I'm getting to love it!!
    XO
    WWW

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  16. Linda:
    If you work out the dragonfly I would love if you felt comfortable sharing it!!
    Glad to inspire you.
    I ate half the wee guy tonight.
    :)
    XO
    WWW

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  17. Irene:
    So glad to hear it, you've come so far through the valley and out the other side you are a power of inspiration!!
    XO
    WWW

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  18. Pauline:
    I followed your advice and he has been halved!!
    Yes routine is beginning to feel wonderful.
    XO
    WWW

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  19. Orla:

    Spud tongues!! Yes! and thanks for the kind words.

    XO
    WWW

    And how was your thyme today? :)

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  20. Ramana:
    I'm not too good at being swung out of my bed and on to a new one either and behaving myself in others' houses.

    I had many weeks of bed-surfing in Ireland recently and I was literally dying for my own pillow of all things. I love my pillow.

    XO
    WWW

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  21. Marc:

    QED. You have demonstrated what a life of routine can do - all your accomplishments attest to it.

    I have managed to fit in all I planned to do today into my day, including a long dog-walk and paddle and it feels just wonderful.

    And no, Mr. Unger does not come to mind at all.

    XO
    WWW

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  22. Nothing wrong with going rogue now and again T, we all need to kick up the traces!!

    I'm liking this routine stuff.

    XO
    WWW

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  23. Thanks for writing about the balance between routine and following your bliss. I'm learning to deal with that now. I've never before had the time to mess with it. Much of my time was spent doing what I had to do as part of my job - with others telling me what to do and how to do it.

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  24. "If everything around us is organized and we have a routine it frees up the creative juices like nothing else. Nothing acts more like a distraction than living in a mess and a formless day, or week or month. Then nothing gets accomplished."

    You are indeed a wise web woman!

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  25. Marcia:
    I can sympathize. Retirement can do awful things to people's lives, diminish brain power and capacity and leave much time on the hands unless careful planning is executed.

    I've seen it far too many times and can fall into it quite easily myself unless I set little targets and time for them.

    XO
    WWW

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  26. Karen:

    Thank you so much. But I come by this by learning from others!!

    XO
    WWW

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  27. Thank you OWJ - I'm sure you have other gifts that more than make up for this!

    XO
    WWW

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  28. Like your knitting creation. That potato is funny, too.

    I found your commentary on routine and creativity to be of interest. I threw routine to the wind following my husband's death several years ago, may have jumped too quickly into new activities and allowed so much that needed doing undone. I'm still trying to get myself back into routine and yet I resist doing so. I realize I'm really making my life more difficult for myself than needs be. Gotta get my act together -- I'm not getting any younger!

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  29. Your amazing potato reminds me of when I was in the boy scouts – I won a crafts competition for a cardboard castle, but I was more impressed by a crude animal some other boy had made by sticking potatoes together with cocktail sticks.

    Here's a pretty good short video I saw recently about the black dog.

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  30. Joared:
    I've found that starting with the small stuff really helps, slight change for me was just getting dressed in the morning rather than ploughing around in PJs till all hours.

    Then planning the walk time, etc.

    XO
    WWW

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  31. Stan:
    Thank you for the wonderful video, it really covers the BD and its hostile takeover of the spirit so very well.
    I like your potato story!
    XO
    WWW

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