Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.
Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.
2. You’re the star of your own movie.
It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.
You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.
I have had the pleasure of making a new friend in the form of UK author, Ian Probert. He has recently published his latest book, Johnny Nothing, a rollicking, enthralling book for ages ten and up (mind you, my eight year old daughter absolutely loved it, and was doubled over from laughing in parts)! It is reminiscent of Roald Dahl, and about the poorest boy in the world, who has the nastiest mother in the universe. It is available on ITunes and Amazon. When did you make the decision to become a writer? “I never really decided to be a writer as such. It was a gradual process. At school I was good at Art and English. I used to fill up exercise books with stories about vampires. It must have driven my English teacher to drink. I come from a working class family and becoming a writer was never really an option. After failing most of my exams at school I went from one dead-end job to another. I was a draughtsman, a waiter, a landscape gardener. I worked in KFC, in motorway service stations, telephone sales, in clothes shops. I was pretty aimless until I managed to get into art college to study painting.It was there that I started keeping a diary and discovered that I could write reasonably legibly. After art college, I managed to blag my way into a job at a newspaper. Somehow, they employed me as a sports writer. After that, I actually ended up editing sports magazines. My articles got longer and longer until it occurred to me that I ought to try my hand at writing books. I was very lucky. I got an agent almost instantly. A publishing deal followed soon after. I was rather blasé about it. In retrospect I didn’t realize how fortunate I was. As you know, it’s very difficult to get an agent to even look at anything you’ve written, and its even harder to get a traditional publishing deal.” Where did the inspiration for Johnny Nothing come from? “It’s a long story, the tale behind its birth. Basically, I was ill for almost 15 years without being really aware of it. I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It’s not exactly an uncommon condition, but can have catastrophic consequences for your life. I did this article for the Guardian on the illness. The end result of this was that I lost my ability to concentrate. I didn’t have anything published for more than a decade. I tried writing things, of course, but would always give up after a chapter or two. I thought I was getting old or something! When I was diagnosed and given drugs to combat the condition, I got the proverbial burst of energy. I wrote a lot of things very quickly indeed. Johnny Nothing was written for my ten-year old daughter. I think it was to prove to her that I could actually write. For years she had been hearing me drone on about how I used to be a published writer. I wanted to give her something that would make her proud of me.” What are you planning next? “I always think it’s a little reckless to tell people what you’re writing. The problem is that one can be really excited about a new project and bore family and friends to death talking about it. Later, when you’ve decided that the idea was actually pretty crappy, you then get people asking you how its going and you look a complete fool. These days I only tell what I’m doing to people whose job it is to know such information. That would be agents and publishers. Over the years I’ve never learned to show anything I’ve written to people until it’s actually on the bookshelves, or nowadays, on Kindle. There’s nothing worse than a friend telling you that they’ve written a book and asking, ‘can you read it and tell me what you think?'” Ian has produced a masterful story, full of darkness, hilarity and light. The hero will have you cheering as Johnny Nothing ends up being everything.
Well, this year has gotten off to a hell of a start. Not only for myself and those I love, but also in relation to the world. The first two weeks have been reduced by big problems with no easy solutions. The best thing to do is nothing at all at this point. I can hear the little bird’s in the laundry, their melodic song heralding dusk. I have been the subject of vitriol and of love. I have been subjected to confusion and clarity. As I review the first two weeks of January, there are images and words that appear. Hope. Strength. Survival. Renewal.
Whatever the outcomes, I am okay. When you don’t know what to do, put your bundle down, and leave. Go for a walk then rest. The bundle isn’t going anywhere. It will wait whilst you seek restoration. When you feel trapped, know that they haven’t access to your soul, nor mind. Revisit the bundle with fresh eyes and a clear perspective. That is what I intend to do after another week of friends, craft, guinea pigs, birds, nature and rest.
You know that feeling when you have so many things going through your head at once not good or bad not linked and not important and it doesn’t worry or concern you. And if anyone asked you what’s happening or what are you thinking about and all you can do is look back at them blankly and say “nothing”. Yeah like that’s believable your off in another planet and you’re thinking about “nothing” or are you really thinking about everything and your brain shuts down in protest ? Perhaps it’s the pain meds talking or the fact that I’m blogging at 3am??? It’s almost like then we feel the need to find something to think about, something important that’s going to revolutionize the way we think about the core of our existence. Maybe I should be pondering important controversial topics like the meaning of life? Maybe I should be contemplating…
I went out New Year’s Eve, to where a beautiful gathering took place. Children having fun, and friend’s talking about their dreams. New Year’s Day, I needed to go to the ocean. Sit by it, bathe in it. Wash myself clean. Last year, I had no time. My day’s consisted of working, educating a loved one, keeping someone else out of hospital and alive. The year consisted of helping friends and the community, listening and trying to be there. I have thin bones, and a large section from the side of my teeth broke off three months ago. I have had no time to get to a dentist, nor to a hairdresser, nor to my specialists. No time to meditate regularly as I desperately wanted and needed to do. Why have I put myself last? Why do any of us? We are full of good intent, and determined to see these things through. There is always something pulling at us, and we follow. I tried to iron the other day, and was in bed for two days afterward. Now, ironing is horrid, and should be banned for everyone, but when one is fused from the shoulder’s down, it is excruciating. I took stock of my life as I lay in bed, my body wracked with pain.
There are things I have to do each day to keep myself healthy, to stave off the risk of complications to my health. As I look to the future, I yearn to be as fit as I can be, and out of a wheelchair for as long as I can. In the hectic manner of everyday life, I lost sight of the fact that it’s what is done everyday that produces the building blocks for the future. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that not only did I not make myself and my health a priority, but they weren’t even on the list. Having thirty minutes to be in silence each day is now factored in, as are repairs to this physical vessel I call home. Some invitations I will be able to accept, and others I won’t. I lost my friend/sister a little over a month ago. I need time. My mind is overflowing with grand plans for this year, and secret fears. I really don’t think I can fit anything more in there! That is, unless my mind is given the opportunity to expand. It can only do so by being carefree, having fun, and opting out occasionally. That is where refreshment lays.
I took my little girl to the Art Gallery of NSW, to the POP Art exhibition. We explored, we talked and we played. We went to Myer and her Godmum bought her a Cabbage Patch Doll, which she adores. We even got to walk up George St, not a car in sight, as it was undergoing repairs.
We didn’t need to talk, just soak in the experience. I think we all need more of that. Just to stop and be. So I am going to go see my dentist in the next month, have a haircut, and visit my specialist. I hope you also take the time to do what you need to for yourself. You need to undergo maintenance if you want to give 2015 all you have!