Here we are at the end of August, 2014! Where DID the time go? It seems like it was just a few days ago that the snow finally melted and the grass was turning green We waited so long for the trees to leaf out and now those very same leaves are turning color and starting to fall into the yard.
Today would have been my husband’s 70th birthday! What a milestone that would have been. I can’t believe that he isn’t here to celebrate it. I had trouble sleeping last night and woke up this morning with the song HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY in my head. So I turned to SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach to see what she had to say about this date.
Interestingly enough, her essay is about the times when your creativeness has run dry and you don’t have enough energy to feel like you can do it again.
“One must also accept that one has “uncreative” moments. The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will pass. One must have the courage to feel empty and discouraged.” ~ ETTY HILLESUM
“….One morning you will wake up, put the coffee on, begin to prime the well to continue in the re-creation of your authentic life, only to discover that the well has run dry. It might be disconcerting to end this month on a downbeat, but accepting uncreative days as part of the creative cycle is critical to your serenity. Uncreative days are real life.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach goes on to say …”Once in the middle of a creative drought, I sat in New York with my agent and confessed that for months I had been unable to dream. I couldn’t fantasize, visualize or even make a wish. Since I’m Irish*…the inability to dream is the emotional equivalent of a chemical imbalance in my soul.”
*The comment about being Irish really hit me. I’m partially Irish too and although I do dream…I usually don’t remember the dreams entirely when I wake up.
“What should I do?” Sarah asked her agent. “You don’t do anything.” was the response. Wait it out, accept the period as graciously as you can and get ready for a quantum leap in creativity or consciousness.”
“This does not mean that you quit. You still have to go through the motions, keep showing up. Prepare for the future. But, defer from making any life-altering creative decisions until you are ready again. Keep replenishing the well. Resurrect any old projects that may have fallen into the sinkhole of second thoughts.” Give them another glance and another chance.”
Most of my life, September has been my favorite month. When I was in school, we started back to classes the day after Labor Day. So, for me, Labor Day and September represented a new start ~ a do-over ~ a chance to do better ~ an opportunity to succeed. In checking Simple Abundance for September, Sarah Ban Breathnach entitled September 1st as TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF.
“Since ancient times, September has been viewed as the beginning of the new year, a time for reflection and resolution.Change in the natural world is subtle but relentless; seasons seem to give way gently to one another, even if the monthly motion is so swift we don’t realize it. But when the leaves are finally turning colors, it’s time for turning over a personal new leaf too. Time to restore our life.
In 1949, Elizabeth Fite wrote “Why do you suppose so many of us waste the autumn? Why don’t we make the effort that would provide something new in our lives? What do you want more or less of in your life so that you can love the life you’re leading? It could be as simple as seeing friends more often, setting aside time for adventures with your children, rekindling romance, taking an hour every day just for yourself, or just taking more walks in the Autumn sunlight.”
Be open to positive changes. I can try to do that and so can you.
Today is a good day ~ even the sunshine smells good.
So, here’s what I have been doing. I’m still following the Nutrisystem eating plan, even though I have put the next box of food on a delay until October. I am finishing up the NS food I have and supplementing other foods too. After being stuck at a 9 lb. loss for several weeks, I lost 3 more lbs as of Friday! Yay!
I am volunteering as a Smithsonian Institute Digital transcriber and have been working on various diaries from the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.
I am still planning on writing another novel in November for the NANO Challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days. For now, the working title is INDIGO DREAMS.
And I am planning on reading more books.
And speaking of books, here is what I read since the last blog.
I’ve read previous novels by Jennifer Weiner. Usually they are light-hearted in my opinion. This one was difficult to read. A young mother who thought she was handling “everything and everyone” finally came to the realization that she was abusing prescription drugs. As the reader learned more about her; it was obvious that she was in denial. Some people, including her husband, tried to talk to her but she got so used to telling lies that she couldn’t “hear” what they were saying. Finally it got bad enough that her husband put her into rehab. Of course, at first she resisted and insisted that she didn’t belong there, she could stop on her own, this wasn’t a problem, she was in pain….all the things that people tell themselves. Although her story didn’t turn out perfectly; there was a happier ending.
Here’s the book description…
Allison Weiss got her happy ending: a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder: Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class, or if your husband ignores you? She tells herself that the pills help her make it through her days; but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
Hailed as “a witty, realistic criticism on the modern age” (Boston Herald), this remarkable story of a woman’s fall into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful, moving, and celebrated work yet.
Here’s another reader’s review…
I have read many books by Weiner so I expected a fluff, funny, beach read. It was not what I got. This novel follows Allison who is a blogger about women/mothers, wife, mother to a five year old, and daughter to a distant mother and a father who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She throws out her back and gets Percocet to help deal with the pain and discovers that it deals with emotional as well as physical pain. As time passes, she finds that she needs more and more pills to maintain her ability to cope with the pressures in her life. Her house of cards eventually comes tumbling down when those around her realize that she is just not herself anymore. Where do you go from here?Although the topic is a serious one, Weiner was able to add some touches of humor. To me, the story seemed realistic. I know that some feel that some of the characters were not well developed but I believe that she really wanted to concentrate more on Allison and her fall. I do think that the book is worthwhile and does a nice job of depicting how your average middle class person can become an addict.
And I read
I’m glad I read this book about Candy Spelling. She mentioned in it that most people don’t like her or think she is cold and unfeeling. That’s what I thought too until I read the book. She came from an average family but they didn’t show their feelings to each other. She was always criticized by her mother and always felt like the outsider. When she married Aaron Spelling, he was just beginning his road to success. He wanted her by his side all the time. She embraced being a wife and mother and was known as Mrs. Aaron Spelling…not Candy Spelling. She took care of him during his last years of illness and protected his image. Once he was gone, she decided to reinvent herself. She was very good at mixing well with the Hollywood crowd and worked tirelessly for charities and other places in need. She also talks about her relationship with her daughter, Tori. She admits she made mistakes but said all the family did as well. She also dispelled the rumor that Aaron did not leave Tori much money. She said both children got advances from trust accounts over the years. Also all the grandchildren have education funds that will help them in the future.At times I felt she didn’t really understand how tough the world is if you don’t have a lot of money but I think she really works hard to do the right things.
Here’s the book description…
After thirty-eight happy years of marriage to influential producer Aaron Spelling, raising two children in Hollywood, and co-managing one of the largest estates in the country (finally selling Spelling Manor, as detailed on her HGTV series, for $85 million), Candy is now adjusting to life on her own—downsizing to a Century City condo. She’s ready to share the most intimate details of her life with Aaron; how his illness caused her to question her identity; and how she’s reinvented herself as an independent woman, businesswoman, and television personality. Along the way, Candy reveals all-new dishy stories including those of Hollywood friends Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Michael Jackson, Janet Leigh, Dean Martin, and Elizabeth Taylor (her lifelong rival over their jewelry).
Engaging, heartwrenching, and hilarious, Candy at Last shares her story of how family, friends, and her husband’s inspiring advice to “follow your dreams” has made her determined to live life to the fullest.
And another reader’s review.
This is the second book by Candy Spelling, her first written about 5 years before. I have not read the first, which may have helped fill in some gaps with this one, but maybe not. In this book, Candy documents a bit of what her childhood was like, her time as a single woman (which was really not very long, she was married at 19 to another many years prior to marrying Aaron Spelling and married Aaron Spelling pretty quickly after that). Each chapter is short and discusses some small event or thoughts on where she is or was in her life. She does address her complicated relationship with her daughter, Tori, but does not make it a main issue addressed, unlike Tori in one of her books. The book is easy reading, like Tori’s books, they are fine for airplane reading or beach reading. Nothing too complicated or heavy.
Candy addresses her own shyness on several occasions, but she seems anything but shy. She also pats herself on the back for accomplishments that seem less like successes than minor events that weren’t complete failures (as in the stationery store she and a friend owned that lasted for 2 years, her shows on HGTV that ranked higher in the rankings than 3 other channels, like TLC, and a TV show that ran one season on E!). However, if she wants to look on the positive side of things, than who can fault her for that. Perhaps she’s a glass half full kind of person.
She discusses her husband’s passing and says he had Alzheimer’s, but much of what she describes sounds much more like he had a series of strokes that impaired him. Furthermore, he was never officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as he did not go through the entire battery of tests, so it seems a bit sketchy and disrespectful to people who really do have Alzheimer’s when she explains some of his behavior as attributable to that, such as paranoia, when her daughter has accused her of having an affair with Aaron’s attorney and having him change the will just prior to his death when he wasn’t well enough to protest. Candy never addresses the alleged affair at all, though she does talk about dating after her husband’s death. Also, not all dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s, but she seems to have convinced herself that is what he had. She really paints herself as the ever-loving, ever-vigilant martyr of a wife during his decline, while somehow still forcing herself to get out for lunches or Mah Jong games with her friends.
I was left ambivalent as to her as a person. It is difficult to get a grasp on who she really is rather than the experiences she has had. Overall, this book is light reading- that I’m glad I purchased for 50% off- that allows Candy to applaud herself on her excellent taste, the importance of having a decorator and a gift-wrapping room and what a strong woman she feels she has become. So, best of luck to her as she continues on her path in life.