Wearing the Iron Pants, Sticking to the Schedule, and Staying in the Chair

I don’t know if the muse is going to show up on any given day, but by golly, I’m going to be at my desk every day from 8 to 12 every morning in case she does.

Flannery O’Conner

Yep. Hard as it is to swallow, the only way I’m going to get any writing done is to sit in my chair and do it.

Read moreWearing the Iron Pants, Sticking to the Schedule, and Staying in the Chair

Anxiety Equals Adrenaline

Once again I’m mining the ideas of a podcast for my own posts, and today the nugget of wisdom, this one about anxiety, is from “Happier in Hollywood,” hosted by Liz Craft (who’s also on the “Happier” podcast) and her writing partner Sarah Fain. They are often prone to anxiety as they navigate the roller coaster of being TV writers living in LA. No one has a permanent job within a TV series, because no series is permanent. Let’s see—how long did “Monk” last? Seven years? Something like that. Most are much, much shorter. So you’re constantly having to prove yourself.

Read moreAnxiety Equals Adrenaline

Cutting The Gordian Knot of Possessions

the Gordian KnotAnother insight today from my latest podcast fave, “Need to Know.” More of a throwaway line as the podcast winds down than anything to do with the main subject of this episode. (The relevant section starts at 1:02:30.) Anyway, Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger are talking about whether or not Mona will be hosting the podcast the next week as she’s in the midst of a move. Jay makes the point that in every society that’s been studied, one of several constants is that people hate to move.

Read moreCutting The Gordian Knot of Possessions

The Joy of Competence

hairdresser styling hairIf I were to tell you about all the missteps we’ve had in our very simple renovation/remodel, this would be a very long post. Something seems to go wrong at every step of the way, whether it’s a mistake we make or one that a contractor makes. But we’re soldiering on. Today we finally get a working kitchen, as the (seemingly very competent) plumber is hooking up the faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher. The countertops came in on Monday, and even though they didn’t give us as much 

Read moreThe Joy of Competence

In Which I Decide to Focus Less on Things I Can’t Change . . .

control board. . . and more on things I can!

Almost exactly a year ago, on July 4, 2016, I started posting about the upcoming election on my personal Facebook page. I had never been particularly interested in politics before but had become greatly exercised about the possible outcome in November. My goal was to change a few minds or at least open them a crack. (I don’t post directly about politics on this page or on my author Facebook page.

Read moreIn Which I Decide to Focus Less on Things I Can’t Change . . .

In Which I Am a Bad Sport about a Small Problem

figure unrolling carpetAin’t that just the way it always is? You finally solve a problem after weeks or even longer of delay, but one little thing is still wrong. So what do you focus on? That one little thing, of course.

Yesterday morning the second set of carpet installers arrived and immediately showed that they knew what they were doing. I mentioned to the guy before I left that they needed to check all the thresholds, which he assured me he would do. Arriving home after a great morning of Bible study and fellowship, I allowed myself not one second of enjoyment before going to the kitchen threshold and checking to make sure it had been done.

Read moreIn Which I Am a Bad Sport about a Small Problem

The Marie Kondo of Personal Organizing

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen, available in many editions and formats. Link is to Amazon page. You can also visit the Getting Things Done website.

I’ve heard of David Allen and his “getting things done” (or “GTD”) method a number of times in the past and finally decided to read/listen to his classic book which first came out in 2001. I must have been reminded of him recently in some way, although I don’t remember just how, and I got the audio book from the library. It’s read by the author, who sounds very engaging and thoughtful, and I was really fired up by his introductory chapters. Then he kind of lost me as he headed into the chapters that delineate exactly how you’re supposed to do things his way. Most of his work has been done in the business world, and so many of his examples are drawn from that arena. I think that was part of why I drifted away.

Read moreThe Marie Kondo of Personal Organizing

Progress Made–The Kitchen Cabinets Are In!

Cluttered kitchen cabinetI said last week that every Monday was going to be a Progress Post. Well, today, Wednesday, is the first post I’ve written this week. Monday our peerless contractor and his son worked most of the day on installing our very small number of cabinet units, and I kept thinking that I should run and take a picture, but I wasn’t sure where my camera was. They were actually supposed to be on a much bigger job but they made time for us. I wanted a before and after set of pictures for today, from all the boxes on the kitchen floor to everything being put away, but all I have is this one shot that was taken partway through the process. (Pretty bad shot!)

Read moreProgress Made–The Kitchen Cabinets Are In!

Every Day You Live . . .

Goose and goslings looking at each other. . . is one less day you have left.

Sound morbid? It’s not. I quoted my dear friend Nancy’s father, something said at his funeral and which I wrote about last summer:

“What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.”

Read moreEvery Day You Live . . .

I Am Becoming a Minimalist!

Have you ever seen the pictures of King Tut’s tomb as it looked the day that Howard Carter first broke through the wall, revealing those objects to the light of day for the first time in thousands of years? Well then, you may see a certain resemblance in these pictures. We too have our precious objects all piled up together. But, although you may not think that it looks as if anything has been done except for dumping, but believe you me (as my dad used to say), there’s been a ton of work done (mostly by Jim) to get this far. And now I’m realizing that I can get rid of a ton. (Might have been nice if I’d realized this before the move, but oh well.)

table on its side, desk piled with files

Rack of clothing and piled up stuff half wrapped furniture with piles of clothes

Read moreI Am Becoming a Minimalist!