We all get overwhelmed. Life can be a whole pile of overwhelming. Next time you’re on the verge of imploding/exploding/ode-to-joying, remember that there are a number of situations in which it is perfectly acceptable to have a meltdown.
A handy guide:
- When you’ve tried to spell “receive” incorrectly 5 times in a row
- When the saran wrap tears leaving you with an endless strand of plastic 1mm in width
- When Blockbuster is out of the next season of Breaking Bad
- When traffic stops you from going more than 10 city blocks over the course of two hours
- When things end
- When new beginnings arise
- When you can’t decide which way you should part your hair
- When someone asks you what your favorite book/movie/restaurant is and there is no possible way to pick just one
- When you have too much
- When jealous folks get rude and catty
- When that new song you love becomes that overplayed song you love within the course of a week
- When you think you feel a spider on you but there’s none there
- When nothing is happening
- When everything is happening
All good problems to have.
Allow yourself all the feelings. Each and every one of ‘em. You’ll be glad for it at the end of the day.
How many of us can say that they’ve actually got around to reading Melville’s novel, easily considered a treasure of world literature?
Peninsula Arts with Plymouth University have made the daunting task a little easier with their 21st century-friendly project, the Big Read. Readers such as Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry embellish a chapter of Moby Dick each with their voice and skill. The project also curated 136 artists to create an accompanying illustration for each of the chapters of the book.
No better way to revisit a classic than by bringing it to the arts-hungry culture in such a digestible format.
Should you need me these next few days, I’ll be diving into these deeper waters.
An important tidbit from Silverstein this Monday:Image Source
Whether writing books, plays or screenplays, this lady’s always won her way into the heart with her wry humor and ability to say things that others wish they could say:
“Here are some questions I am constantly noodling over: Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it’s your last, or do you save your money on the chance you’ll live twenty more years? Is life too short, or is it going to be too long? Do you work as hard as you can, or do you slow down to smell the roses? And where do carbohydrates fit into all this? Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in American is so unbelievable delicious? And what about chocolate?”
- Nora Ephron
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Stuck mulling over the same ol’ field of thinking? Getting restless is a good sign.
It means your brain is craving for something more.
Get that Ivy League education you always wanted. For free. Online. (Welcome to the future y’all)
Devour books old and new like they were going out of style. Kindle, you ain’t got nothing on nostalgia.
Remind yourself of Jefferson’s Democracy in less than 15 minutes with amazingly accessible YouTube crash courses.
The world is only getting larger and more easy to tap into every day.
What seeds of ideas have you planted lately?
James Rhodes gave up the piano for 10 years, trading it in for the promise of the City and searching for some sort of security. Then decided his dream of becoming a concert pianist trumped all.
From the Guardian’s recent article:
“What if rather than a book club you joined a writer’s club? Where every week you had to (really had to) bring three pages of your novel, novella, screenplay and read them aloud?
What if, rather than paying £70 a month for a gym membership that delights in making you feel fat, guilty and a world away from the man your wife married you bought a few blank canvases and some paints and spent time each day painting your version of “I love you” until you realised that any woman worth keeping would jump you then and there just for that, despite your lack of a six-pack?”
Image before editing: Alan Cleaver
From one of the best funny ladies out there, a little thought to take with you into the weekend:
“You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.”
- Carol Burnett
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“Yes, there are times when the gold medal only goes to the winner. But not in the race of life, where the winners are those who are superior not to others but to their former selves.”
- Robert Cooper
How have you bested your former self lately? How have you strived to learn more and crave less?
Have you checked in with yourself when you heard yourself complaining? Have you pouted at the thought of working harder? Had a First World Problem whinesesh (not the good kind with a cheese plate in tow)? At every moment you have the option to remain static, give up, or move forward. And your path will only be your own.
Empower yourself by winning at your own game everyday. You are your own best competitor.
- Get up early, go sit down and write
- Journal without editing yourself
- Find seeds of great ideas in the piles of subconscious ones you’ve just laid out for yourself
- Repeat until it no longer feels like a chore, but a part of your day you anticipate with excitement
- Continue ad infinitum
- Make time for people that matter to you
- Send a note to let them know you’re thinking about them what big or little life events pop up (“Good luck on that interview!”, “Hope you fly safe!”, “That recipe you gave me is le bomb.”, etc.)
- Show support when good things happen to them, and even more support when the bad sneaks in
- Refuse to let distance be an obstacle. There are a million ways to stay connected nowadays. If Facebook isn’t cutting it for you, agree to start writing each other postcards. No one gets real mail anymore – just think of what a treat it would be to get something worthwhile in the mailbox.
- Continue ad infinitum
- Stop comparing, stop complaining, stop selling yourself short
-Continue ad infinitum
There’s something to be said for keeping your wits about you during times of struggle. And I happen to think this lady says it well:
“Some people have such a talent for making the best of a bad situation that they go around creating bad situations so they can make the best of them.”
- Jean Kerr
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For even the smallest hole may feel bottomless
if carved out by another’s less than gentle hand.
Every fluttering page, brick, case, or feast
that you’ve used to mend the hollow
only makes weary walls creak
beneath a pressure never invited,
now a (not so welcome) guest.
You’ve even learned to ration your love
into morsels no larger than pencil shavings,
feeding your ravenous craving with meager meals
not fit for any budding soul.
Were you to just abandon the dread
that you think keeps you from a famine,
you would find that full banquets of love
never diminish from returning visits,
but only surge and grow
as you help yourself to more.