It has been one light snowfall and an unused sled since my last confession. I have been busy with writing and creative thoughts.
Last night after watching one of my very favorite movies ever-- Midnight in Paris (with Owen Wilson, a must-see if you're a reader or writer) I had a literary dream and I confess I did not write it down, I can't remember the exact authors I spoke with, but I know they had interesting and inspiring things to tell me. I am so bummed I have forgotten. Note to self: Do not trust that you will remember the dream in the morning.
But there's more, so to the confessional--
I confess I recently heard Oprah say this quote and I so believe it--
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
I want to add something more here, to say something interesting about this quote, but I think it speaks itself better than I do.
But it does also remind of this quote I love: If you see crazy coming, cross the street.
I confess there's a snowstorm coming to our state and I'm thrilled. We don't get a lot of snow, but I love how snow makes you have to stop and slow down. We plan to go sledding and take long walks followed by hot chocolate (I better get whipped cream, I think we're out). I love being home and "stuck" in the house.
On a recent writing date with Susan Rich, I told her, "I know this might sound weird, but I'm looking for new ways to be productive, creative and to also support myself financial without having to leave my house." She laughed and said, "That doesn't sound weird to me at all!"
Susan also loves her house, being home, and appreciates her alone time as well, she's a writer. I'm realizing more and more, my favorite place is home, I prefer it over adventure, over exploring, or going for a drive.
If you've read Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, you may have noticed that part of my anxiety was causing me to become the next Emily Dickinson (not in sense of writing, but in her reclusiveness). I could be the woman lowering bread down from my bedroom woman to the children below. And I think, in certain ways I moving towards that.
But this other love of home and solitude, comes from a healthier place. It's not that I'm afraid to leave the house, but I am just so happy here, I make sure I only say yes to things I really want to do.
My present-time optimistic self is always signing my future-self up for events I don't want to do. My optimistic self thinks-- how much fun, yes I'd love to do that. When the event comes around, future-self rolls her eyes and says, I'd really like to stay home. I'm always seeking that balance of extrovert activities vs introvert activities. It shouldn't be so hard to do, but I struggle with it.
I confess some of this love of home and solitude comes from my introverted side in needing alone time to recharge. For every hour with people, I need about 2-3 hours to myself. I know, it's kind of crazy, but I realized it.
I'm not someone who loves big groups. I like one-on-one time with people. A large group to me is anything more than four. It took me quite a long time to realize this about myself. I hadn't understood why in high school, I used to hope we didn't win the football game because then my boyfriend wouldn't want to go to the party afterwards. When we lost, we stayed home and watched movies...and I loved staying home.
I think this learning about yourself and always remembering your future-self is so important. Sometimes, when I'm about to do something half-arse, I think about my future-self and how annoyed she'll be that I didn't do it right when I had the time to do it.
Here's a great article called The Rise of GroupThink from the NY Times that begins "Solitude is out of fashion..." But Susan Cain writes:
Solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence. “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” Picasso said. A central narrative of many religions is the seeker — Moses, Jesus, Buddha — who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community. . .
Privacy also makes us productive. In a fascinating study known as the Coding War Games, consultants Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister compared the work of more than 600 computer programmers at 92 companies. They found that people from the same companies performed at roughly the same level — but that there was an enormous performance gap between organizations. What distinguished programmers at the top-performing companies wasn’t greater experience or better pay. It was how much privacy, personal workspace and freedom from interruption they enjoyed. Sixty-two percent of the best performers said their workspace was sufficiently private compared with only 19 percent of the worst performers. Seventy-six percent of the worst programmers but only 38 percent of the best said that they were often interrupted needlessly.
Anyway, lots to think about on this snowy day. And I can, quietly, as the snow continues to fall.