Archive for the 'questions' Category

Setting Goals

I’ve been setting a lot of goals lately in different areas of my life. I’ve learned, for fitness and weight loss goals, my best bet is to set small mini goals and not look at the big picture very often. For me, the big picture can be so overwhelming as to be discouraging, instead of exciting.

Recently, I’ve been getting nudged to think about writing again. For some years now I’ve accepted the fact that, while I can be a good writer, I am not a driven writer. This was made especially clear to me after reading On Writing by Stephen King. Five thousand words a day, every day. Every. Single. Day. He did it, he had to do it. He still does it. Real writers can’t stop writing.  I can stop writing. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to fit writing in.  So, therefore, I’m not a real writer. Right?

But maybe there is room for the kind of writer I am…somewhere.

Through a strange series of events involving Twitter, and NASCAR, of all things, I was introduced to an organization called Delve Writing. Their premise is intriguing and I have signed up for a two week trial of their services. Today I will be sitting in on a “check in,” where those in the group have a weekly chance to say how they are doing on the writing goals they have set for themselves, whatever those might be.  In preparation, I have printed out their “Intention” worksheet. There is a large blank square to write my long-term vision in the present tense.  I’ve been staring at it for a while.

I know what I’m supposed to want to write in that box. I’m supposed to be excited to write “I am a widely published and sought after author who writes bestselling books.” That would be cool, wouldn’t it?  But I can’t write it, because I’m not sure that is my intention.

So I try to picture what I’d like my writing life to be like. What I picture is a full inbox of email. Some are asking me to edit novels (because I have no doubt that I am a real editor–most of the time).  But a lot of those emails are asking me to write things. “Dear Lori, can you write us a humor piece on weight loss? Hi Lori–Do you remember that article you wrote last year on being a female who likes motor racing? Could you do a follow up on….”

But how do you write that as a goal? Is that even a legitimate goal? I haven’t written that one down either, because I have no idea of the steps I’d need to take to get to that place–which is the next part of the worksheet.

I had wondered if maybe I was just too scared or feeling too small to write that I wanted to be a published author, because it was such a big picture goal. But now I really think that’s not necessarily what I want, although I would certainly take it.

But maybe all that means is that I’m not a real writer. Round and round I go…

Warning: Eggshells Ahead

One of the things I’ve found hardest about turning the corner from “I could totally still be in college” to “I don’t even know what music the kids are listening to these days” has been the gradual reduction of single friends.

And this isn’t even going to be a whining post about how everyone is in a relationship but me. I’m going to whine about something completely different: the trecherous path of being friends with guys who are married or in a committed relationship, when you are not.

If you knew him before he paired off, there’s the awkward fact that you probably know more about him than she does. That you know how long his average relationship lasts. That he called you and read you bad poetry when he broke up with Tracy and this girl is even more messed up than she was. Did he tell her about that time you guys kissed? Or maybe you haven’t known him quite that long and it’s more a matter of re-learning boundries. Am I still allowed to hug him? Would she think this was flirting? I guess she has to go everywhere with us now.

Another subset is when you become friends with married guys at work. You know that more than likely you see them more per week during their waking hours than their wives do. Is it weird to go out to lunch alone with him? Should you make him stop telling you when they are fighting and what about? Because, seriously, you wouldn’t your husband sharing that kind of information. How do you even bring that up?

Has any one else found this to be an awkward situation? Maybe I just over-think things. Is it the same for guys?

The Vortex

What if you knew someone who had two close calls? And finally she said “no more, I quit.” No more___. Whatever.

“That’s it, I’m done smoking” she might say. And at first she does OK. She looks really strong. You think she is going to make it. Soon, though, you catch her with a cigarette between her lips. “But I don’t light it,” she justifies, “I just need to know it’s there.”

What would you tell her then? Would you wonder why she was tempting herself?

“That’s it, no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” he could say. “They’re much too fattening, and I’ve eaten my last one. ” And while you knew how hard this would be for him, because he ate one every day that you had known him, you cheered him on. “Be strong!” You gave more good advice; you told him how strong you knew he was. How much better his life would be if he could just get past his need for the PB&J. How he could make it this time because he finally saw that the sandwich was not getting him where he wanted to be. But then, when you asked him how things were going he said something like “oh, it’s great. I haven’t had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in months!” And when you congratulated him, you asked him what he had found to eat and he said, “I have peanut butter on bread in the morning and some bread with jelly on it at night.”

What would you find to say then? Would you wonder if he were fooling even himself?

Would you think they never meant anything that they said at all? Would you wonder why they had bothered trying in the first place?


Lori

A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)