“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”
A perfect opening line, in my opinion. I’m currently only about 5 pages into Stephen King’s The Gunslinger, so I don’t have much to else to say about it. Except that King definitely has my attention.
A few things led me to hit <buy> on my kindle. I recently started re-reading King’s memoir/instruction manual On Writing and The Shawshank Redemption was on TV last night. A coworker is a Stephen King fan, and we’ve discussed many times his different books and what we like and don’t like about them. My coworker has talked about The Dark Tower series on a number of occasions, so I thought I’d go ahead and start.
Side note: I’m also a huge (huge) fan of the television series LOST, and I know that the show writers were huge (huge) King fans. Lets be honest, my love of LOST is why I love the opening line of the Gunslinger. “Hi there, Man in Black” I imagine that I’ll see some of the Dark Tower influences in LOST as I go along. And that intrigues me.
I love reading. Have for as long as I can remember. Growing up, Mom would take us to the library all the time. We’d check out crates of books – literally. My sister and I each had a milk crate that we’d fill with books to take home. Each summer we would read a record number of books – and not just for the free Pizza Hut Personal Pan pizza (anyone else remember the Book It! program??).
What was shouted in the house before dinner? Not “Turn off the TV and come to dinner!” It was “Put that book down and eat!”
My parents read a lot too, and I’m sure that seeing them read books influenced us as well. And as a parent, I hope that I’m influencing Miles. We read every night to him. One, two sometimes three books. He definitely has his favorites – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, One Blue Fish, Otis and some others – and he does like to “read” to us.
So, back to The Dark Tower Series and Stephen King. A year ago, I had just finished 11/22/63. What a story. I absolutely loved the book. And the characters. And the story. However, for all the things King does well, I have a major problem with how he ends his stories. (re: Under the Dome // see: Deus ex machina // me: frustrated) I’ll give The Gunslinger a chance. If I move on to The Drawing of the Three, then you’ll know where King stands with me.
1. Unable to do a proper “chicken * bird * soldier”, Miles will probably not pass Tadpole this go around.
2. Because we had the time, Carol and I walked to yoga class Monday night.
3. JJ is currently planning his trip to the US Open.
4. He’s also still looking for a car.
5. I’m on Week 2 of the Couch to 5k program. 90 seconds of running followed by two minutes of walking.
6. Unhappy with the look of the raised bed in the front yard, we (ok, it was JJ) ripped out all the plants. We think they were weeds.
7. Today I actually wore make up. However, I still can’t find my lipstick.
8. Miles wrote his name in chalk. I’ve never seen him do that before. He also wrote “mom”.
9. I’m 78% done with A Dance with Dragons. Then I can be DONE with Game of Thrones until either Book 6 or Season 4 comes out.
10. JJ had a po’boy at Prohibition after seeing the place featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. He said it was good.*and five random photos
Thinking that I should know where I’m going.
Wondering if lacking motivation equals unhappiness.
Knowing that it doesn’t.
I read somewhere, I can’t remember where exactly, that lacking direction equates to a drop in satisfaction or happiness. I’m not so sure I agree with that. (I’m right back with the should aren’t I? See, I’m still struggling with letting that go.)
There are so many areas I’m currently navigating and I don’t know where I want to go – work, running, – areas where the end is just so far away that I don’t even want to think about it. Maybe I’m circumventing instead of navigating? Who knows.
Take inventory – I haven’t done this in a good long while. Its paralyzing. At least for me. Which means I don’t act. I don’t think. I don’t decide. When there is no clear direction, my actions just seem to float. They are certainly not grounded in any idea, purpose or intention. I just go and do. They are just out there, being done. I’m mostly operating out of habit.
But I’m not unhappy. My life is really good right now. Yet following me is this lurking shadow of Purpose.
In that I need Purpose.
In that I’m floundering and wasting time because I don’t have Purpose.
What a load of shit, my friends. I’m not going to set a goal just to say I’m working towards Purpose. I’m telling myself that I’m perfectly content in habit. I run when I feel like running because I like to run. Not because I registered for a marathon. I practice yoga because I like yoga. Not because I need to master Adho Mukha Vrksasana. I bike because… well, I guess I do have Purpose there.
Eventually I’ll get there. I’ll get to a point in my running where my feet stop hurting and I can run further than a 5k. Once I’m there, I’m positive that I’ll register for a long race and I’ll then have Purpose. I may never be able to do a handstand in the middle of the room, but I’m ok kicking up against the wall.
Eventually I’ll find a career opportunity that is just right. And then I’ll put a plan together and work towards that Purpose.
I don’t know which road to take right now. But that grinning cat says it doesn’t matter.
Alex, our yoga instructor, shared this centering thought a few weeks ago. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
For the past 6-8 months or so, I’ve been attending yoga classes pretty regularly – at least 2-3 times a week. I credit my sister for my attitude change towards yoga. She’s been practicing for years, and her yoga is strong and fluid and well, pretty. My yoga, well, lets just say its not as pretty. I used to approach yoga as a supplement or addition to my running and biking and swimming. If I made it to class once every two weeks, I considered that enough.
True, I mostly attend class for the physical practice of yoga. But Alex also encourages a spiritual practice too. And the Monday night yoga+meditation class has been good. And I’ve accepted her challenge to go there and self-examine. And going there…well, I seem to circle back over and over to what I do most of the day. And that’s work. I’ve come to realize that I should let go of professional ambition.
I often struggle with ambition. I feel that my life has taken this trajectory and that I really need to stay on it. To hit accelerate instead of brake.
I went to a good school. I had a great Army career. I do well in my current position. I have potential. I volunteer for special projects and they let me run with them. I apply for positions, mostly in Boulder a 45-60 minute commute, that I don’t really want because I feel like I should. That I owe it to what I’ve already accomplished or earned. That I owe it to my potential. Shit, that I owe it to women. Whatever that means. (Thanks Sheryl Sandberg and for talking me into leaning in.)
However, I always sit back after the fact and go, Why? Always, after applying for a position of increasing responsibility. Same question. Yet, I continue to apply. And interview. Then I enter a panic phase that goes along a “Oh, shit. What if I’m offered the job.” And JJ and I repeat the same discussion:
Him: You hate commuting
Me: But I won’t mind it for this opportunity
Him: You really hate commuting
Me: Well, maybe there’s some flexibility in where I work.
But I know. I know a lot. I know my job. I know my people. I know that I enjoy my current flexibility and the proximity to home and family. And while an increase in responsibility (and promotion along with it) would definitely be the challenge I crave (and lack in my current position), I do so enjoy so much about where I am now.
So, here’s to being enough. To having enough. And to letting go of where I think I should be and recognizing where I’m supposed to be.
Oh man, what a night.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters played at Red Rocks Amphitheater Wednesday evening. Two days later, and I’m still flying high from it – though it may very well be the contact buzz from being literally surrounded by people smoking all kinds of stuff.
My love affair with Led Zeppelin began in 1992 when my friend Brandon made me a mixed tape. Songs he included were classic Zeppelin – Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Stairway to Heaven, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. We made a trip to California to visit family and I remember listening to that tape non stop on my walkman. Oh yes. A walkman.
I remember, at 15 or 16, watching concert footage from the 70s of Led Zeppelin and thinking, “I was born too late.” I would have loved to have seen Robert Plant live and on stage when he was in his 20s – the man ooozed sex. Stage presence – check.
In 1994, I saw Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on their No Quarter tour. At 50-something, they were old – right? I was 17 and anyone older than 30 was old.
At 70-something now, Robert Plant isn’t moving around stage as much. A few more wrinkles. His long hair definitely grayer.
But that voice.
Man, that voice.
He still sounds amazing.
And this venue? Red Rocks Amphitheater is truly awesome. We are so fortunate that we live so close to such an amazing place, and that the entire summer is filled with great shows.
This is the current state of my room. Messy piles. Water bottle half full. When I turn on the fan, a quilt block detaches from the design wall and floats to the floor. Where it may or may not stay for days. I’m getting tired of putting it back up there.
I’ve got fabric piled on top of boxes full of fabric. With an unfinished quilt back stacked with the corresponding quilt top on top of all that.
I’ve got in-progress summer stitching and hexagons in a ziploc baggie.
A yoga mat and towel and toiletries not in the gym bag, where you’d expect, but on the floor next to the bag.
My garmin and ipod are still plugged in their chargers from Sunday, thinking this was the week I’d start easing back into running. Has anyone seen my running motivation? I thought I caught a glimpse of her earlier this week.
Its the post-vacation-inlaws-still-in-town chaos that’s manifested itself within this corner of the house.
And I’d like it gone.
Not because my room is messy – I can deal with the mess. Besides its been too hot to actually work in that room lately. I’d like to not feel crazed and chaotic and out of control. So I’m letting go. I need to let go. Let go of routine and order and wondering if my kid has eaten anything else today besides Funyuns.
Wow. I can’t believe that tomorrow is December 1st. November was an awesome month, even if it did go by quickly.
Update on my goals….
Yoga. Unfortunately, I only made it to one yoga class. Hey, I ended up traveling and then Thanksgiving. No excuse, right?
Running. Um, yeah. Didn’t kick this one into gear until the 21st. So hard to get motivated when the weather is inbetween. I hate overheating during runs. I have some really great cold weather clothing, but nothing for the inbetween. Since I’m only running around 3 miles at a time, I’m suffering through any bouts of overheating. But I don’t like it. I should get a pair of capri running tights. Like these over at Lululemon. *sigh* I love that store. I keep telling myself that I’ll buy more clothes from there when I get skinnier. Been saying that for a year now. Moving right along….
Eating clean. Clean! I’m committed, much more than before when I was marathon training. Lots of fresh fruit and salads. Good quality lean meats. Not a lot of grains. Not a lot of sugar.
Work. Is just that. Work. We’re super busy right up through February. I could complain about the workload, but truthfully, I love being busy.
Sewing. I did not finish (or even start) my pay it forward projects. But I did get done with these….
- Bee Blocks
- Zip Bags
- Supply Pouch
- The last photo is just some 1/2 yards I bought. For what, I’m not exactly sure yet
Wow. It seems like I did so much more this month than that list. Just a little discouraging, but I learned something with each project.
I’ve got some ideas in store for December. A few WIPs that I’m just about to wrap up. And some other projects that I might just take apart. A race or two. Squeeze all that in between work and family. Wish me luck!