September and October were full of To-Do lists. I dedicated any free time to household projects, improvements and organization. Those months were arduous and hermitic, but also an exercise in meditative work. And doubly beneficial because the dreaming part of my creativity is given a wider berth when I am involved manual labor. Not only was I working toward a tangible end goal (fix house up/sell house/get new dwelling with more than one bathroom, maybe a dishwasher, must have front porch), but also I was giving my creativity space to stretch out and move a bit. I learned this lesson a number of years ago when I realized that almost every song I’d written had been, at some point, brought to life during time spent doing dishes or folding laundry or raking leaves.
November is the month of my birth and so many incredible memories in my life. And since it’s been awhile since much conversation has happened here, I’ll make this the month of rebirth on the blog. First, re-introductions.
*I’m a list maker. No, not for the love of the list itself, but for the love of the freedom of mind to think on other things once the ideas have been jotted down and are safe.
*I love the easy access of city-living (variety of people, culture, ideas, food, opportunities), yet have been living in a small town for 9 years. Easy access to nature and solitude are a bonus here, but I miss engaging interaction the most.
*Faith/religion is important to me, yet I am typically disinterested in attending church or discussing faith in most of the usual places. Faith has always been at the top of my “Essentials” list, but involvement in our local church has dropped off my list. Of course, I’m still wrangling this…but I’ll explain my meh feeling with this example: For half of last year, I worked Sundays and was unable to attend. On my first Sunday back, one of the first conversations I had started off with “I could really use you on guitar in a song next week” and shortly thereafter a request to join a recurring service effort. And this experience over and over again, without any kind of depth of knowing me as a person. To me, church should be defined like this: any people who come together with a shared purpose of worshipping their creator and to foster community with one another. I don’t feel much sense of community when I’m asked to do tasks before being asked “Tell me about your new job? How’s school for the kids? Do you like bagels or donuts?”. Quite honestly, any question is better than none. So I hesitantly attend the church, knowing that every week, so long as I leave directly after the benediction, I won’t have the same thing happen again and feel disappointed that after 9 years, it’s the same task-over-knowing story. Clearly I’m still working on this one.
*I have been writing a lot over the past years. My first focused effort was in the form of a memoir. I realized it was “too soon” for the memoir, which has now taken the shape of a novel. The novel, however, feels the same way. More time is needed, more wisdom and healing, and distance. So I’ve tabled my bodies of work for the time being and am moving on to a children’s book (more on that later).
*My primary occupation relies heavily on verbal communication and listening skills. I’m listening to problems, asking questions when details have been committed , figuring out what my client ultimately wants, and then developing a plan to help them achieve their goals. The tools I rely upon most heavily are the keys to success in any area of life: Communicate that you’re fully interested/willing to help. Ask relevant questions. Actively listen to the answer. Ask follow-up questions until you gain full understanding of what’s happening. Humbly provide options for the solution.