Monthly Archives: August, 2015

Creativity

I finished out one blog today, and was immediately led to another…that kind of had to do with the same thing…my time…and creativity…and things I WANT TO DO!

God, I so WANT to spend the remaining time I have in life…being creative!  Perhaps that’s a little…arrogant…of me, but at least trying to be creative from my perspective.  Spending my time doing all those things I WANT to do, instead of just spending my life doing things I have to do or that other people want me to do.  Opening my mind to the millions of possibilities of life!  Thinking and writing and drawing and coloring and building and making…whatever comes in to my mind!  Doing what I want to do.

I suppose the case could be made, that “who says that doing what you want to do is creative?  I guess I could agree with that…depending on what someone wants to do.  But just for the sake of argument, let’s say that doing the things in life that one really wants to do…is creativity.  Of course, I know, there are always those who would pervert the purity of doing what one really wants to do.  So we have to define it, and qualify it and on and on.  What I am thinking of is doing what one wants to do that does not hurt anyone else in any way.  The purest sense of doing anything.   Doing what one wants to do is not pure if it hurts someone or something else.

Some may not even understand that.  They are the ones who have lost creativity completely.  And that brings me back to my own creativity and doing what I would lie to be doing.

As we drove all around to see some of our favorite types of things the last two days, I could feel some relaxing.  I could feel the sparks of creativity fanning up my own flames of creativity again.  I even thought of a new story that I think I would like to pursue…some day….when I get a chance…if I get a chance.

Amazing how I feel the pressure of ‘have to dos’ coming down on me.  A phone call from someone who wants to see our available rental house.  I put them off for another hour, because I wanted to at the very least, finish this thought process.  But even with he extra hour before I need to get up and go show the house, I feel a whole different…feeling…in my body and my mind.  I feel my day, my time, chopped into pieces.  I wonder if I will even be able to get back in to writing after I come back from showing the house.  I had penciled this day in for me and what I want to do.  But one of those nagging HAVE TO DOS has popped up.  I have to show the house because we need to get someone in and get the money flowing again.  The money is important in keeping our lifestyle as reasonable as it is.  Too many months without adequate rent will create a burden on us, especially after spending so much remodeling the one house and being out of that rent money as well.

That actually plays in to this creativity thing anyway.  I was going to write about how my creativity has  been stifled with my job and the other things that HAVE to be done.  All the HAVE TO DOS in life seem to cram creativity back down into the farthest recess of our brains!  You feel a spark of creativity and HAVE TO DOS come stomping it out and dumping buckets of water on to it until there is almost nothing left.

I say almost…because it still has not totally killed me yet.  I still WANT to do creative things.  I still even NEED to do creative things.  With most people…you’ve got to wonder.

It’s getting time that I’ll have to go on over there in the next few minutes.  I think this will end up being a short blog.  Just as well.  I got to zoning out a little earlier and it’s not about the size of the entry anyway.

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What! to do.

I think today, I hope, that I can have most of the day to do…what I…want to do.  And I want to do some writing.  I feel, like I’ve discovered, that this blog can fill a gap in my writing that I have been missing.  A chance to write small segments of stuff…that I like to write that has nothing to do with any stories or other projects that I might want to do, but feels to me, like I need to write it.

As I was thinking about how I might spend today, like usual I go over my list of things…to do…  Is there anything that I absolutely HAVE to do?  That I MUST do?  I don’t feel anything.  Things that have to be done include responding to work related concerns.  So far, no calls this weekend.  Another is to follow through on any kind of promises made, such as we are supposed to go and visit someone or do something, or have visitors, or a project that needs to be done because it will take more time than I have on an evening, or has an immediacy to it…like leaking plumbing, or a car that won’t go until I fix something.  Funerals, weddings, family events, etc.  Those kind of things.   Fortunately, can’t think of any of those either.

Then there’s things I SHOULD do, like mow the lawn, or fix something less urgent than leaking plumbing.  Yeh, the lawn needs mowed, but I can usually put it off, even if its three weeks past due.  Our grass doesn’t grow so fast that I can’t put it off another day or two…or even week or two.  I should also do a little cleaning and reorganizing after our last work project…but that also can wait.

Of course there are always things I OUGHT to do.  I ought to clean up my room and my workspace.  I ought to do some odd jobs that have been waiting around for me to get my motivation up to do them.  They will wait also.

There are things also that…I absolutely DON’T WANT to do.  I don’t want to piddle my day doing unimportant things until I’ve piddled the day away and haven’t gotten to do anything I want to do.

I’ve lost a lot of what I wanted to add into this post because it took me a while to get started from the time I thought about what I wanted to write until I actually got to my blog page.  And then there is the rest of the stuff going on around me that distracts me from what I am trying to do.  Such as my wife bustling around cleaning up stuff…asking me questions as she goes.  Many times, she will even want me to do stuff for her taking me away clearly from my limited time to write on my own.  But even just the bustling around in the same proximity, it distracting and discouraging.  I get to feeling that she would much rather have me up and going and working on something that she thinks I ought to do.

They are kind of in the ought to do column, but mostly there are in the HONEY-DO area.  We all know about honey-dos.  They are of course the things you do for your honey to let her know that you care.  Without asking, or even telling her, I feel like I’ve done my share of honey-dos this weekend.  Did not do any work type honey-do projects, rather just spent Friday evening and all of Saturday doing what she has been wanting to do for a long time.  “Let’s do something fun this weekend.”  Been saying it for months but we have been working on rental house projects that we HAD TO DO.  This weekend, we had no such projects, so we were able to take the time and do something fun.  I hope.  I think she had fun.

Today, I wanted to take some time for ME, to do something I WANTED TO DO.  And I didn’t want to have to ASK her to let me have the time.  I want her to WANT me to have some time…like a whole day…to do anything I WANT TO DO.  As I enjoy being able to take her places and do things for her that she wants to do, sometimes even when I’d rather be doing something else, my pleasure comes from doing something that makes her happier.  I want her to feel the same way and to feel that I deserve the time to do what I want to do.  I love it when she sees my need and tries not to impose on it.

A blog, especially when it is coming so freely, does not take a lot of time comparatively.  Maybe an hour or so as I carry through a line of thought.  And to tell, the truth, this line of thought hasn’t gone as smoothly as I would have liked it to.  Quite a bit of distraction.  The ideal setting is, I get that notion of what I want to write about, and I go sit down and write fro that hour unbothered by any distraction.  no one else around, no calls of nature, no barking dogs going crazy over who knows what, no troubles hooking up to my computer, no problems, concerns, distractions, interruptions or anything to disturb me from my train of thought.

Such times are rare in my life.

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This Side of Death

Now this is not intended to be a maudlin piece.  The title is more…a simple statement of fact.  We went to a visitation earlier this evening for my oldest sister-in-law.  She was 74.  Kind of young by a lot of standards these days, but still very common.  She lived a good long life, had seven kids, I don’t know how many grandkids and even great grandkids, and was married for more than 50 years.  A reasonable length of life.  Three score and ten plus four.

And she was very ready to go.  She’d been battling several serious illnesses for years.  Her husband, my brother, died about 2 1/2 years ago, and she made the best of things.  But she was ready she said “to go be with him.”  Now, honestly, I don’t know if she really will go be with him.  I don’t know at all what happens after death.  but religious folks will tell you that its all hunky-dorey in heaven after you die.  And people believe it.  Who am i to say any different?  Like I said, I don’t know.

And actually, I’m kind of suspicious of anyone who says they do know, but…the idea brings great comfort to people who believe it, so, live and let live I say.  Let them believe what they will.  Me, I’m not so sure.  It would be nice to be so sure, but I do not have that comfort.  I’m not really sure what I believe, if anything, about after death.  I’m not even sure it matters what I believe, or what any of us believe, because whatever happens, will happen whether we believe it or not.

What does matter, it THIS side of death.  What do we believe on this side of death?  Actually, that’s a much better title.  I went back and changed the title from “Another Funeral”.  You would not have known that if I did not tell you, and I think that is pertinent.  Anyway…what does matter…is what we believe from THIS side of death.  That matters very much.  I’ve seen that for myself…many times.  There is empirical evidence, that what we believe, DOES matter to our lives.  And especially to how we face death.  My sister-in-law was just the most recent example I have seen.

We went to visit her a couple weeks ago as she was preparing to leave the hospital and go home with hospice services.  She was very clear and lucid, and we talked openly about it.  She was ready to…let go…I say.  I think that best describes it for me.   She was ready to let go of her struggle to stay alive and ready to give up on trying to keepd her life above the illnesses she was fighting with.  And most of all, she was ready to…go be with her husband of 50+ years.

She was smiling broadly the whole time we were there and talking with her.  She was pleasant and cheerful and happy that she had made the decision.  She was at peace with the world and with her life…and with her death.  I was happy for her.  And I’m still happy for her.

She had been a Registered Nurse in her adult life.  Cared for many I’m sure who were nearing death.  Not sure if that had anything to do with her outlook, but it always gave me a way to relate to her as she spent many of her working years as a nurse in nursing homes.  We talked frequently over the years about the business.  usually not about life and death matters.  It was mostly about the day to day challenges we dealt with in the business.  And our birthdays were a day and 11 years apart.  Some say people with similar birth dates have things in common.  Not sure what they were except the obvious birthdays, and oh, we did both have a variation of red hair, but I really don’t know a whole lot else.

Funny.  I’ve thought alot recently about getting a chance to write a blog post again, and what I might write about.  I always think its best when i just write what’s on my mind.  But I thought about a lot of things I wanted to write about recently.  A lot of different things even just today on the drive home.  None of it was what’s written above.  I actually don’t even remember all those things I thought about.  And even as I was getting ready to sit down and write…I didn’t know what would come out.  Now, I’ve written over 750 words about it, and i’m feeling like I should explain myself somehow.  So that was it.

Tomorrow we go to the funeral.  A couple of months ago we buried Cotton.  Haven’t really been able to let go of him.  He was a much bigger part of my life than Barb as he was around in my day to day a lot more.  He was a different family link, and lived in town.  We spent more time together over the years.  He was another one who had made peace with his coming death.  He wasn’t grinning like Barb, but maybe that was because he was leaving his wife of 40 years…behind him.  he was not going to join his spouse like Barb was.  But I don’t know that for sure.  Only know that he was as ready as he ever would be to die.

It seems like there ought to be some conclusion I could draw from this writing…but I’m not sure what it would be.  I suppose it has to do with the line where I got my title.  That…it matters what we believe…on this side of death…

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