Well It Goes Like This, I Shredded My Past. Hallelujah!

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Bifocal glasses, not mine, left on a picnic table in the park. Someone is not reading the fine print today.

• • •

SO LAST WEEK while stuck at home because of this, I decided to go through all the writing ditherage I’ve kept over the years.

Much of it was in boxes in the basement.

Lots of it was spiral notebooks from the late 90s to mid-2003 filled with my handwritten Morning Pages a la The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

I was diligent about my daily 3 page writing practice for a while there.

Just about all the notebooks contained a repetitive selection of whiny, self-absorbed, humdrum scribblings that suggest to me now I was stuck and unhappy during those years.

My inner muse had not caught my attention yet.  

• • •

AFTER SAVING THE few good or funny thoughts I’d captured years ago in these notebooks, I had an epiphany.  I thanked the writing practice for guiding me to today, then as a way of making my life lighter I shredded these notebooks.

Every last one of them gone.

Thus I’ve freed myself, literally and spiritually, from a bunch of heavy negativity that I’d been saving in boxes in the basement for over a decade.

I tell ‘ya, if you’re feeling burdened by life I recommend shredding outdated thoughts.  It may sound corny, but doing so has lifted a weight from me.  And I feel free to get on with that which needs to be written now.

Muse, lead the way.

• • •

Of Hummingbirds & Humility

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-7-41-34-amI was dive-bombed by a hummingbird the other morning.

I was wearing a bright pink fleece jacket, sitting outside on our deck in the sunshine, drinking coffee from a red mug.

I was lost in serious thought pondering what I might write about next on this blog, when *flutter, flutter, flutter* a small energetic little bird started diving at me.

I knew that the bird was a hummingbird;  there are lots of them in the wooded ravine behind our house.

They flit around.  You cannot miss them.

I knew that to this little bird I must look like the biggest darned flower in the land, a doozy of a good find.

I tried to sit still hoping that the little bird would tire of attacking me, but you know what?  That little bugger just kept going.  The Energizer Bunny should be so determined.

Eventually I decided to *shoo* the hummingbird away from me because I needed to sip my coffee while it was hot to get my brain going.  I had important things to think about like the topic of my next blog post.

But of course my brain, that can be a tad self-absorbed and egotistical, was blinding me to the obvious.

That is, the topic of this post was making itself known, quietly, right in front of me.  A humble little idea showing me the way, while at the same time reminding me of the basic premise of The Spectacled Bean.

A premise I explain thusly:

  • be here now;
  • make sense of what you’re seeing | feeling | experiencing;  then
  • write about it.

In other words, PAY ATTENTION.  Life is in the details, and that’s where you’ll find the best stories.

Always.

The Iceberg Illusion: Reflections Upon The Occasion Of My Return To The Blogosphere

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WELL… I’m back.

August turned out to be every bit as hot and humid and hateful as I anticipated it would be.  Just a miserable excuse of a month during which I did not do much of anything except think about what I will be doing in the future.

Planning?  Or procrastinating?  You decide.

Whatevs.

Bottom line?  I’m here now with a renewed sense of purpose.

To wit, I’ve decided that blogging gives my weeks a bit of much-needed structure, provides me with a way to process the details of my life, and overall it’s fun.

Plus I’ve concluded that I’m doing something right and helpful here, considering how many people follow me and make the effort to comment.  Thank you.

So I’m going to keep on keeping a blog.

~ ~

BUT… I’ve also realized that writing a quirky personal blog, such as The Spectacled Bean, has morphed from a hobby into an unpaid part-time job that has a certain work-y-ness to it that you, my gentle readers, don’t see.

Rather like an iceberg.  Much going on below the water line to make this blog engrossing and twaddle-y, so to speak.

I’m not complaining, mind you.  Just explaining that if I disappear from the blogosphere from time-to-time, it’s not that I don’t love you all to pieces.  I do.

It’s just that I’m an introvert who occasionally doesn’t know what to say.  About anything.  Here.

Or in real life.

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U Is For Upside-Down Cake, You Know

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.02.33 AMPiece of [upside-down] cake

… is my modified version of a slang saying that means something is easy to do.  Not tricky at all.

I’ve added “upside-down” to this saying because I have nothing for the letter “U” within my theme of Food: Talking The Talk.

I guess you could say that finding something to post for the letter “U” … [wait for it]… has not been a piece of cake. 

• • •

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 7.56.44 AMIn fact, if I might, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you, my gentle readers, that this challenge has been, like I suspected, a great deal of work.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but I want to be clear that for me doing this challenge with a theme, as per the guideline suggestions, takes more effort than merely showing up to my blog each day– and writing something.

• • •

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 5.08.19 PMMy only regret is that I can’t visit + comment on more A To Z Challenge bloggers’ blogs.  Each day my stats page shows me that people from around the world have visited The Spectacled Bean, many of them leaving comments or liking what I wrote.

But instead of having the time to return all the visits, here I sit at my desk each morning writing, researching, writing, adding links, writing, editing, writing, adding images, writing.

Just saying.  No disrespect intended.

Proverbial Wisdom, Pithy Thoughts, And My Perfect 2016 One Word

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.35.14 PMI found this proverb while researching something else and I think it is charming.  Obvious wisdom, of course– but delightful nonetheless.

I like it.

And inexplicably this proverb has reminded me that I need to decide what my 2016 one word will be.

~ ~ • ~ ~

[Pepper comes to mind, but I think that might be a bit too literal for the uplifting abstract nature of the one word concept.]

[Besides if I used pepper this year I’d feel obligated to use Sneeze next year– and that would never do at all.]

[Unless I wanted to commit to Tissue the year after that.  😉  But I digress…]

~ ~ • ~ ~

Last year my word was RECLUSE and I’m all the better for it.

Using it as my catalyst, I politely detached from most of my social obligations, then used the time I gained to reflect upon how people in my life, real and virtual, were treating me.

The result?  Users + negative people everywhere are no longer welcome in my life.  Sincere + friendly people, whose actions showed them to be on Team Ally, are now my sole focus.

~ ~ • ~ ~

This year I’m confounded about what word to pick.  2011 was SMOOTH.  2012 was NURTURE so that’s out.  2013 was BALANCE.  2014 I didn’t even have a word.

So far this year I’ve thought about: harmony, rejuvenation, dream, plan— but those words sound pretentious to me, too vague, too much like what the smarmy voiceover says in a prescription medicine TV commercial.

No, what I need is a word that gets me focused on getting things done and enjoying that which I accomplish.  A word that is easy to remember and implement in all situations.  A way to know I’m on track to achieving my goals.

A word, perhaps, such as FORWARD??!

~ ~ • ~ ~

[Why yes, that would do nicely. Why didn’t I think of that before?]

[Because it is only through the process of writing that you, Ms. Bean, figure out your life. Don’t you know that by now?]

[It would seem that I’m learning.]

~ ~ • ~ ~

So there we have it, my gentle readers.  A scintillating thought process explained. An encouraging word chosen. And a pithy blog post written.

Oh, ’tis a happy day– forward I go into 2016!

When It Comes To Blogging, Sometimes I Wonder About You People…

ACCORDING TO THE stats provided by WordPress, the following is when you, my gentle readers, most often show up here to read The Spectacled Bean.

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I’m happy to have loyal readers, make no mistake. Fans, followers and lurkers are good.  But as much as I enjoy writing and connecting with you, I’m a little nonplussed about the day and time that you are most likely to be here.

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AS THE FOLLOWING shows, this is a blog written by an well-meaning, but slightly scattered, writer, who according to Typealyzer, is an artist.  This, I do believe, explains how it is that I started to write this post, intending to publish it today, Tuesday, at 8:00 am, but failed to do so, thereby risking the chance of disappointing you, my gentle readers.

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SO I ASK of you, my gentle readers, what say ye about showing up here, oh say, an hour later– at 9:00 am? And allowing for the possibility that Wednesday or Thursday make lovely most popular days of the week?

Not that I want to be the sort of blogger who tells you what to do, but I think you people are crazy. Tuesday? [Tolerable, if we must.] 8:00 am? [Decidedly uncivilized.]

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A Week In Which A Mellow Bean Lets It Go

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I’m hiding in our home office this morning.  Adjacent to the foyer and away from the kitchen, it’s a room with French doors that I can close when need be.

Like today, for instance.

This is a morning when I’m trying to ignore the dreadful whiny motor sound of our dishwasher as it cleans the dishes.  Our dishwasher has, of late, become cantankerous.  Still doing that which is asked of it, but making certain that I know that it’s working hard to do so.

Old age affects us all in different ways, I suppose.

This week I’ve spent more time in the home office, or study as the builder referred to it, than usual.  Fortunately it’s a lovely room replete with my desk, my computer, a large over-filled bookcase, a funky old occasional chair and, of course, a potted pothos so that there’s another living organism in here with me.  It’s a writerly space.

From here I’ve watched this week’s happenings around Chez Bean.

I’ve overseen the AC being serviced, the windows being washed, the plumbing being inspected, the neighbor’s tree being cut down while using our driveway as a service road to get to their tree, and the gutters being cleaned out.

I’m exhausted from all of this work!  😉

But you see, that’s what’s going on around here.  Me, simply letting go, watching optimistically as other people and machines accomplish things.  While I research + write stories and essays that may, or may not, find their way into this blog.

If life is best lived by focusing on how you do things, then this week I’m one mellow positive bean, letting it all get done one way or another without my interference.

Come what may.