Friday, February 18, 2011

The Art of Procrastination

So, yesterday. . .I did nothing. Nada. Zippo. Really, I'm not lying. I sat on my comfy couch with my decaf coffee and read. . .ALL DAY. And boy, do I feel guilty about it.
Not because dust bunnies are still hiding in hard to reach places. Not because the dishes didn't get done, the floor swept, the front steps shoveled or the book cases dusted. My guilt hangover comes from the fact that I didn't write. Not one word. And I had the house all to myself.

How crazy is that?

I had six hours of nothing. . .of peace and quiet (no kids running around, no dog howling...yes, mine likes to "sing" in our backyard) and yet, I zoned out. But man--despite the guilt this morning--it felt so freaking good. No pressure to get that word count in, my blog written or tackle anything on my endless to-do list.

So, I started thinking. Is down time (or what we like to call procrastination) always a bad thing? We like to think of it as the evil of all evils. But hang on a minute. . .is it really?

My answer to that question is no. Sometimes I need to take a break, to slow down, to not push so damn hard. I don't do it often or for very long, but I need it. To shut off my brain for just a little while and disappear into the ether. To let someone else's story take me away, out of my own. It has nothing to do with avoiding my work. . .honest, it doesn't. What it is about, however, is giving my battery pack time to recharge. About coming back refreshed and excited.

So, tell me.  Do you let yourself take a break every once in while?  Because, when you think about it. . .procrastination becomes an ART FORM when used to shovel more fuel into your engine, helping you come back stronger.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Not quite two weeks into my blogging life and I've received an award. Wow, I'm loving the blogosphere and all the great bloggers in it.

So, a big shout out to Heather from Pen, Paper, Lots of Coffee for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award.  Thanks a ton!  

Ah, but what, you ask, did I do to deserve such an honor? Well, not much, really. I just came out to play. Regardless, let me share with you how it works. In order to accept the award, I have to do a couple of things.

1.) Thank and link back to the person who gave the award
2.) State 7 things about myself
3.) Pass the award to 15 recently discovered bloggers

So, here goes. . .7 things about me.

1. I'm a diehard chocoholic.
2. I love museums. I could spend hours wandering around the exhibits. . .art, history, it doesn't matter. I love it all.
3. I was a goaltender on an all guys hockey team right through my University years.
4. I'm a big sports fan.  Any sport will do (yes, even curling. . .pathelic, I know), but I especially love hockey and NFL football.
5. Call me crazy, but winter is my favorite season.  I love skiing, snow shoeing, skating. . .okay, you get the picture.
6. Thunderstorms are one of my favorite things.
7. I still sit down everyday at 4 p.m. and have a cup of tea--a throwback to the times I spent with my Scottish Grandmother.

Now, time to pass the award onto 15 ultra-deserving new bloggers.  And they are. . .drum roll, please.

Tanya Reimer (Life's like that)
Tracy Buscemi (Forever Endeavor)
Michael (In Time ...)
Rachel Morgan (Rachel Morgan Writes)
J.C. Martin (Fighter Writer)
Autumn Shelley (Magick, Alchemy and Love)
Michelle Merrill (Perfecting The Craft)
Liz Fichera (Liz Fichera's Blog)

Congrats to everyone and thanks again, Heather!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beware the Road Ahead

You’d think on this day (of all days) I would write about love. About the force of it. The need for it. Its healing power. How those we love add depth to our lives and enrich our worlds.  
But, no. Not me. There isn’t a fluffy sentiment to be seen around here.
What, you say? No candy. No chocolate. No diamonds or cards?  
Nah. Today, I have something more important to chat about. Potholes. Yes, you heard me right, but just in case, I'll say it again. POTHOLES.
The little buggers always start off small. . .so unthreatening you hardly notice them at all. But as time passes that innocent looking scrape becomes a crack. The crack turns into a tiny hole then a big one until one evening while on your way home, driving the same route you always drive and. . .whammo! You’re ambushed. The casualty? Your right front tire.
Now, you’re hobbled on the side of the road (swearing because really, the experience wouldn’t be the same without an explicative or two) and you’re thinking. . .“Oh, crap, I’ve been hit! Where the heck did that thing come from?”
Well, my friend, it was always there--festering on the once pristine asphalt. You just never noticed the gap was widening.  
Relationships are like that, aren’t they? The bumps in the road sneak up on us. All the small stuff accumulates into bigger stuff until, yes, damage is done. Sometimes, it’s irreversible. Most of the time it isn’t. The pothole can be fixed, the pavement repaired and love endures. . .with some work and a whole lot of understanding.
So, this Valentine’s Day vow to make appreciating your partner an everyday thing, instead of a once a year occurrence. Pay attention to the condition of the road and, I promise, you’ll see potential potholes coming from miles away.
Hmm.  I guess I lied. . .the sentiment was there all along.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red-zone Crazy

Pet peeves are dangerous things. If you don’t have any, your humanity is called into question. If you react too strongly when they are committed against you? Well then, you enter through fiery gates into the realm of Witchy-ness. In which case, you are either called one to your face or just plain labeled one behind your back.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m willing to cop to a few.  
Like all good pet peeves, they make absolutely no sense. Why, for instance, does my head want to explode when someone talks to me while I’m brushing my teeth? Silly reaction, right? Yet every single time I feel my blood pressure rise, the inevitable snarly response poised on the tip of my tongue. . .“Why the hell are you asking me that NOW?  Can’t you see I’m busy?  It’s not like I can answer you with a mouth full of Colgate.”
Okay, I’ll admit, I almost always take a deep breath, swallow the snarl (along with the toothpaste) and sanity prevails. But, honestly. A little privacy please.
Another that drives me nuts is the absence of soap in the shower. The last thing I need when I’m rushing in the morning is to get in there and find I don’t have the necessary tools to get the job done. The second last thing I need is the arctic chill when I get out, dripping puddles of water on the floor (which, you guess it, I have to clean up later or suffer a cracked skull when I slip on the way to my closet) and fumble to get a new bar out of a box that never wants to give up the goods. My DH is a habitual offender in the soap department.  He’s since learned what it looks like when my head explodes and does it less. Thank you Lord.  
So, what drives you past crazy into the red-zone? Share, please. I want to feel like I’m normal

Monday, February 7, 2011

Diabolically Good

I love movies. Always have and, I expect, I always will. It’s about the escape for me. A good story takes me away, lands me in another time, another place and, best of all, gives me someone’s else life to slip inside of. . .if only for a little while.
Some movies are pure entertainment. Some are transformative. A great movie is both. It makes you want to be a part of a character’s life. What would I say to so-and-so, you ask yourself?  How would l react if he did that to me? It’s all about leaving the world you live in behind and moving yourself into someone else’s reality. . .somewhere, perhaps, a little more exciting, a little less stressful, a little more je ne sais quoi than your own.
The King’s Speech is one of those films.

I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about it when I first sat down in the theatre armed with my M&Ms. I like a little more action with my drama, but from the word go, I was captivated, right there in 1930 England cheering on a man who didn’t want to be King.  
He reminded me of something important. A truth that I hadn’t exactly forgotten, but haven’t visited in a while. Hard work and perseverance are the underpinnings of success. Hope is what drives both.
So, hold your hope high, keep it shiny and new. Fuse it with hard-nosed, never-say-die perseverance and everything you’re dreaming of will follow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Out in Deep Water

Normally, I'm nowhere near neurotic, but being new to the blogosphere (look at me go...I've got some of the lingo down already) has brought out a bit of the freak in me. The commitment, the responsibility, the need to succeed--when I have no idea what I'm doing--are all taking turns inside my head.

So, yeah, you guessed it, I need some serious help navigating this great new world.

Enter the Second Writers' Platform-Building Crusade. It's the brainchild of Rachael Harrie, and it's a fabulous idea.

So, let's break it down. What is the crusade all about? It's about forming connections, paying it forward, helping others build their online platforms while you build yours. And for a newbie like me, there's no better way to learn than from like-minded people who are not only savvy, but also generous with their time.

Sink or swim. . isn't that what they say? Well, my swim stroke isn't very pretty yet, but hey, I'm in the water. Come and check out the crusade. You can find us at Rach Writes and maybe, just maybe, you'll find yourself joining us. We'd be glad to have you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So, You Want to Start a Blog?

Hmm, all right. . .yes. Though it's not a very resounding one. And I guess the hestitation comes down to this. . .I'm not sure I'm qualified for the job.

I like blogs. I really do. The ones I follow are interesting. The people posting them always have something to teach me. . .some bright spot of inspiration that makes me go hmmm or ah-hah! Will I be able to do the same here? Not a clue. But, I'm willing to try, and I guess that's the point, isn't it? To break out of the comfort zone, stretch self-imposed limitations, and create new ones. It's freeing in a way, but scary too.

I'm not sure what I'll feel like chatting about on a weekly basis. Whatever strikes my fancy and captures my imagination, I suppose. Writing and the books I am reading will certainly be among the topics, but as the blog title suggests, I'm a bit of a rambler. I see things and wonder. . .

And so, E.C.'s Ramblings is born. Now, all I've got to do is stick with it.