Saturday, April 6, 2013

Click -- Writer's Poke #440

Sometimes change is thrust upon us, yes, but I'm much more interested in the changes we initiate ourselves.  

Why do we initiate change in our lives? We can walk in the same direction for years, but then all of a sudden, we decide to walk in a different direction. It’s likely that there’s a build-up leading up to the moment we make the decision, but the moment itself “clicks” us in. After the clicking moment occurs, it will take another series of events to ever cause us to change direction again.

Sometimes the clicking moment occurs because we’ve experienced a significant event. For example, I stopped biting my fingers this year; that wasn’t one of my planned goals, but after getting a bad infection and having to visit the ER at 2 a.m., I discovered it wasn’t all that difficult to stop.

Most clicking moments don’t include a visit to the ER in the middle of the night; most changes we make originate from more subtle origins, and sometimes the reasons behind the “click” aren’t immediately clear.

Have you ever experienced a “click” and although you recognized the change in yourself, you didn’t fully understand why it occurred? Were you curious enough to examine what led up to the clicking moment, or did you take the time to create a story for yourself that explains why you changed?

“Every now and then, I strike something that just goes click, you know, in my head. As Gertrude Stein used to say, it rings the bell, and I fell this is great.” – James Laughlin

Friday, April 5, 2013

The X-Men Effect -- Writer's Poke #439

The Chinese have a saying, “May you live in interesting times.” It’s supposed to be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, I suppose, because at least you’ll never be bored. A curse, perhaps, because you will always need to be alert to both dangers as well as change – no matter how positive those changes might be.

I heard another saying on the radio yesterday, but I didn’t catch where it originated. Maybe Russia. Anyway, it goes something like this: “May you get the life you want.” Again, the idea behind the saying is that it can be both a blessing and a curse. If we are in charge of our lives, then we need to be careful, very careful about what we want. For as the world-famous philosophers The Pussycat Dolls remind us, “Be careful what you want ‘cause you just might get it.”

This reminds me of one final saying, which I’ve always assumed to be taken solely as a blessing: “My cup runs over.” That’s from Psalms 23:5, and yes, it’s about definitely about blessings. But on a literal level, who likes it when a cup overflows? The first thing you have to do is clean up the mess, right? In other words, you can even have too many blessings – or at the very least, you need to invest in a larger cup. 

Take stock of your life. Do you live in interesting times? Do you have the life that you want? Does your cup run over? For me personally, I would answer yes to all three questions. Even so, life remains challenging, stressful, and at times, a bit overwhelming. I’m glad for my blessings, but I’m also still trying to figure out how to handle the costs involved.

How do you deal with blessings?

“Why has God given me such magnificent talent? It is a curse as well as a great blessing.” – Albrecht Durer