Feeling a sense of wonder about learning or pursuing a goal is a way of celebrating in advance — and it can help you get there, too.
Outside my house there’s a long, steep set of stairs to the top of a hill. Up there, you can sit at a picnic table and look out on a beautiful view: green hills, little white houses, and beyond them, the ocean.
When I moved here six months ago, I was so out of shape I couldn’t walk up those stairs without stopping to rest. I avoided them, because it was unpleasant.
Equating self-care with entertainment or temporary fixes makes light of women’s real needs.
Please understand, I’m not belittling spa days and chocolate. I love them too.
I’m saying that we need a clear concept of self-care for women.
We need to understand our real needs. We need to know that chocolate, while delicious and fun to eat, does not in any way meet our needs. Spa days can be one small component of a fulfilling life, sure. …
Self-care is a key to happiness, health, integrity, and good relationships. But it’s common to resist it — either feeling that other people are required to meet your needs, so that you don’t have to, or, on the flip side, feeling undeserving of or disconnected from your own needs.
Self-care means taking responsibility for knowing and meeting your own needs, in every area of life — physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial — not just for bare survival, but for growth and fulfillment.
Self-care isn’t selfish — only an abuser would say that it is. Self-care recognizes that all people are…
I know a woman who rearranges her house constantly. When I stayed with her, I would leave to go out to a movie, come back, and all the pictures on the walls would be in different places. Or the furniture moved around in a new configuration. If I went away for the weekend, half the time I’d come back to find the living room a different color.
I liked it — it kept me on my toes.
A trick that writers use: When they’re looking for typos, they read over a manuscript once, and then print it out on different-colored…
There are times when something is staring you in the face and all you want to do is walk away — ignore the issue, hope it will go away somehow.
Like, ending a relationship. Talking to someone about a sensitive subject. Confessing to something you’re ashamed of. Admitting to yourself that you just can’t make ends meet and are going to have to ask for help, or even be homeless for a while.
Or it could be a task you can’t avoid that involves a large amount of effort, or having to experience unpleasantness or pain. …
It breaks my heart when I hear people say they’d like to travel but they can’t afford it.
Or worse, they’re older people and they say they WOULD have liked to travel, but they didn’t because of financial constraints.
Many people just can’t travel, because of obligations and responsibilities, their health condition, priorities, and dozens more reasons. I get that. And I understand and respect that not everyone even wants to travel.
What I want to make the case for is that someone who would like to travel, and who otherwise could, but isn’t mainly because they believe they can’t…
“A wise and honest assessment of what it is like and what is necessary to become a writer and stay a writer.” (Raymond Carver)
John Gardner was a novelist with an obsession for literary workmanship and a belief in the power of art to enrich life. He wrote fourteen novels and story collections, as well as poetry, children’s books, literary criticism, translations of medieval poetry, and two books on writing. He taught at Oberlin, San Francisco State, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), and Binghamton, and he was a popular teacher at Bread Loaf. …
Admitting you’re wrong can be one of the best ways to look good and impress people.
Years ago, I was talking to my boyfriend, John, on a cordless phone, while a summer storm thundered outside. He told me we should hang up because I might get electrocuted if lightning struck nearby. I reminded him that I was on a cordless phone, so that couldn’t happen. He said, actually no, I could still get shocked.
This is completely wrong, of course. But this was a long time ago, and I thought all he needed was for me to point out the…
When you’ve been standing on the edge too long.
“Just do it” — great advice, unless you’ve been repeating it to yourself for hours…or days…or years…and you still haven’t done it.
There’s a million reasons why.
I’ve written about how I have executive function deficit and learned to use a task management tool to get myself into action. It’s great, and it’s worked on many levels.
But when it comes to some important — essential, even — aspects of my life, I’m still standing on the edge of the pool. Longing to jump in. …
You can stop doubting yourself now.
If you’re drawn to writing,
if it gives you pleasure,
if you value the written word and are amazed by the power of writing and want to participate in creating it,
if you feel born to write,
whatever your reason,
if you want to write —
you’re a writer.
Period. That draw/pleasure/value/desire/feeling/reason makes you a writer, all by itself.
If you’re not writing, it doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. The idea that “writers are people who write” can do a lot of harm — because in reality, writers often don’t write. Avoid the…