Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peanut butter, four rooms, and random facts

I've been having a hard time being creative lately. I don't know why, exactly, but it feels like... it feels like I'm dry inside. Like peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth. Can't write, don't feel like acting, and my words just don't come out right, even when I'm talking.

I'm not really sure what this means. I am getting lousy sleep, that's for sure, which Benni helpfully diagnosed as "Nightmare Insomnia" the other day. It means I don't have any trouble falling asleep, but a few hours later, I will wake up screaming and crying from a bad dream, then go back to sleep, then wake up from another bad dream. My brain just isn't processing things right. I'll put it this way - I'm sleeping as much as I drive each day - about two hours. I have the patience of a 2 year old that's permanently in need of just a really good nap. And since sleep and appetite are linked, I haven't been eating much either. Joy.

BUT - I have started working out lately. Which is a GREAT thing. I already feel stronger. I started up again with Escrima (Filipino knife fighting) and found an instructor who combines Escrima with Wing Chun (a hand-to-hand form of martial arts that utilizes grappling mostly), so that's been challenging and fun. And, for those days when I'm NOT feeling violent, I took up Yoga. I had my first class on Monday. 

I have an inkling that my dry spell has something to do with the Four Rooms. This quote sums it up best:  

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.  - Rumer Godden in A House with Four Rooms

I definitely only live in one room at a time. And visit the others, oh, every other month, maybe. I tend to be very singularly focused - get one thing done at a time. Problem is, life doesn't exactly work that way. I can't be awesome at 1/4th of my life and then ignore the other 3/4ths all the time. It's just not balanced.

So my new goal is to go into each room at least once a day and take care of something - anything - that I can in that area. I'll let you know how it works out. In the meantime, I've decided not to push. All my life I've pushed myself, and rarely just stayed in a place that was sucky and uncomfortable. Doesn't work anymore. So here I am, sitting in it, letting it wade around my ankles, and hopefully it'll move along sometime soon. And I know I've sucked at leaving comments and posting because I sit in front of the monitor after reading all of your posts and... nothing comes out. Nothing. Just...nothing. I am dried up inside. It's weird.

To make up for this being the most boring post in the history of blogging, I thought I'd make a list of five facts about me that you might not know. Because maybe if I'm an interesting person that'll make up for it. (Fingers crossed.)

1) I don't like to waste time on books I don't like. If I can't connect with it, I don't care how many people rave about it (Finnegan's Wake, anyone?), I won't finish it. Life is short. Spend it on the books that move you to tears or make you shake with laughter. This goes for movies too, only the rule I apply here is - no dead animals. I don't care how beautiful the story is or if it has the best acting in the world. If the main animal dies at the end of the movie, no, screw you, you can't make me watch it. I won't. Animals die horribly every day. I don't need Disney movies to drive the point home.

2) All my life I thought what I wanted out of a partner was someone who would sit through the entire credits of a movie with me; someone who would hold my hand while one of us was driving; someone who would sit in silence and listen to the entire song I just told him that he NEEDED to listen to without interrupting or moving on in the conversation. But I got it only half-right - what I really wanted was someone who just naturally did these things, someone who did them before I had to ask him to do them, because it was just who he was. And now that I'm with that guy, it's pretty damn awesome.

3) I'm thinking about shutting this blog down. Because it feels like this world is just kind of over it, you know? No one cares anymore. Having followers used to mean that they'd actually comment. And maybe that's my fault for creating inconsistent, stilted content that doesn't exactly inspire people to visit or leave feedback. But maybe a fresh start is what I need. Not sure. I think I'll give it to the end of the year and if I don't sense anything but a huge wave of apathy when it comes to my blog, maybe I'll just shut it down and invite the 25 or so of you (you know who you are) who have become my blogger family to go meet me in a field somewhere else, under a different blog name. I guess we'll see.

4) Part of what I meant by the words don't come out right can be applied to my last post. I think people interpreted it that the moral of that story was: accept that you're a doormat, then continue being a doormat. Oops. I suck. That's not what I meant to say at all. What I meant to say is: when you love yourself unconditionally, you stop putting up with other people's shit. Which is exactly what happened, and that particular ASS in my life now floats in a completely different boat, in a completely different ocean, than where I am. This person lost all ability to affect me in any way because I took the first step in accepting myself unconditionally and then looking at this person with compassion and saying, "You don't deserve to have my attention." And it was that simple. 

5) I have a random fear of dropping important papers down into the crack between the floor and the elevator. I can't explain it, and I don't think they've named it as a proper phobia yet, but every time I'm in an elevator and I am carrying papers, I clutch them tight to my chest like a freak and take a huge step over the elevator/floor crack of doom.

I never claimed I was normal.

22 comments:

JJ said...

Phoenix: I identify with much of what you express. One thing that helped me tremendously is that I convinced myself years ago that I was blessed with a 200 year life span. I intend to sleep the second hundred. It really makes a difference. Nothing is ever "wrong" in my life.

Robin said...

I think that maybe that maybe the four room thing will take care of the peanut butter thing. BTW, I really like the four room quote. And the whole idea of it really. It just resonates with me right now. I also enjoyed your five facts, even though I never suspected you of being boring.

I didn't misunderstand your last post, but I am glad to hear that you have managed to completely disengage from the A.S.S. who had popped up again. I think that each time one of those folks reappears now, it will be easier to disentangle. Practice makes perfect and all that. Or maybe it just gets really clear on how important it is to do it quick and neat. No muss, no fuss. You have important work to do and no time to waste on this silliness.

Interesting about that crack in the floor... I really hate escalators. Not the whole ride. Just when you get on and off. I am horribly afraid of falling on both occasions. Have I ever fallen? No. Seen anyone fall? No. Don't ask me why this scares me so much. Don't know.

Liza said...

I think it's possible I am in a similar place as you...struggling to write anyway. And those rooms? I'm pretty sure I've got most of the doors locked and although I could get the key if I wanted, it's way up high and I'd have to find a stool and climb on the counter and even then I might fall. I'm going to think about getting that key anyway. This post has done that much for me.

Hang in there. Life is filled with down and up cycles.

Marion said...

I think it's a summer slump thing, Phoenix. I recall the sheer freedom of being a country kid in the summer: exploring the woods, the Red River, picking blackberries, swimming in the river, sliding down the levee on cardboard, reading Tom Sawyer all day...and then comes adulthood and damned if that childhood freedom doesn't just disappear...

I hope you don't close down your blog. I've felt the same way as you have at times about leaving blogland. I hope I'm on your list. I can't imagine this 'imaginary-necessary' world without you in it. Sending love & hugs, sweet friend. Take care and hang in there. xoxo

Along These Lines ..... said...

Vitamins and probiotics. And if they don't work, gin.

Two Tigers said...

I am with you on so much of this, Phoenix. I get the nightmare insomnia thing too and know that it leaves you with a bruised psyche and soggy brain the rest of the day even if your body can somehow exist without its necessary nightly healing time.

By the way, I love your blog, I love your posts, I felt a slight clutching panic, not unlike the fear of losing important papers down the crack of doom, at the mere thought you might shut it down by year's end - I read quite a few blogs but yours I actually experience as a conversation with a real human being somewhere out there living the examined life and good enough to share it with us - brain fog, social awkwardness and creative doubts and all.

Sending you some good sleep vibes. Herbal tea two hours before bedtime and a little meditation (versus medication) sometimes work for me...

Bathwater said...

Sometimes it takes a move to shift your blogging and revitalize things. My first move did me wonders, the second one to private not so much.

I remember George on Dead Like Me actually dropping a file down the crack at the door of the elevator! It can happen.

Katherine Alice said...

Selfish of me I know, but I do hope you continue to blog. As I told you before, 95% of the time I come here, read what you've written and then leave without making a comment. It isn't because what you've said isn't interesting to me; it's the exact opposite. I leave without commenting simply because you make me think so deeply about what you've said that I don't feel I can leave a comment that would do it justice. Which is a long-winded way of telling you I'd miss you!

Chris Okelberry said...

Great post and a great reminder. I've also recently been feeling a lull in creative passion in my life...I've heard the "four rooms" concept before (though not in the proverb form) and I know that everything works much better for me when I try to not only activate each of those places in my life, but take them to a fulfilling balanced level.

Your new "facts about you" are fun. You ought to try and come up with a name for your phobia. Your #2 is very sweet and lovely...I love it. I don't know you in person but I do enjoy reading your thoughts and adventures so if you do shut down this blog and decide to do something somewhere else, by all means, link over to it for prolonged stalking. ;) j/k

Here's to a boost of good sleep and increased creativity. Best of luck. :)

Lira Kellerman said...

I had a moment last week where I broke down sobbing with how unhappy I was because I just stopped feeling creative. "I just need an idea," I sobbed.

Let's hope we're at the bottom of the rollercoaster and on our way up soon.

And work on fine tuning Pixel. Use the note card section on Celtx.

Denis Verdecia said...

Creativity and Ideas are dying. It's not just you. I see it all over. I am also experiencing quite the peanut butter on the roof of my mouth feeling as well. I haven't written in my blog in over a month.

Maybe I will dust the cobwebs off today, but really...like yourself, I feel that I just have nothing to say...nothing to contribute...as if the tank were empty.

Hang on to hope. Don't close this blog..just walk away for a while. Blog for you and not for the attention you get from us.

It'll come to you...I just know it.

Red Shoes said...

All in all, it just sounds like you are in a slump...

Life is good... enjoy each and every day... :o)

~shoes~

Anthony Duce said...

Sometimes a fog forms over the visions, the future, all the running around and energy was being spent on. Lack of vision, the second guessing, any thoughts of wasted time will slow you down. My best answer is to push through the fog.. Read the book, it may improve. Don’t make too many ultimatums. Time in the end isn’t as big a factor as you would think. There will be a lot of time someday, and what you accomplish now really does make the time at the other end much more enjoyable, even though you will want to read and do everything again along with what you don’t get to now.

Anthony Duce said...

Sometimes a fog forms over the visions, the future, all the running around and energy was being spent on. Lack of vision, the second guessing, any thoughts of wasted time will slow you down. My best answer is to push through the fog.. Read the book, it may improve. Don’t make too many ultimatums. Time in the end isn’t as big a factor as you would think. There will be a lot of time someday, and what you accomplish now really does make the time at the other end much more enjoyable, even though you will want to read and do everything again along with what you don’t get to now.

Snowbrush said...

"I'm thinking about shutting this blog down. Because it feels like this world is just kind of over it, you know? No one cares anymore. Having followers used to mean that they'd actually comment."

I care, and I would miss you. I have too many followers to begin to keep up with them, even the ones who comment, yet I still come here to your blog, and I am overjoyed when I see that you have left a comment on my blog because you write from the heart. I really don't want to lose you.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. I see that 14 people have left comments to this post. How many would it take for you to feel cared about? For my last post, I doubt that I have more than seven . You really can't chase that kind of thing because even if you had 1,000, it probably wouldn't be enough because you would most likely say to yourself, "Okay, now I have 1,000 readers who leave comments, but I don't get that they really read my posts thoroughly. In other words, the carrot will always be out in front of you instead of in your mouth. To remedy this, I'm just trying to focus on the readers who have been faithful to me and who I enjoy most. Wherever the secret to having enough is, it's not in numbers.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Don't fret too much about being creative. Sometimes it rains, sometimes there's a drought. Sometimes jokes are funny, sometimes they fall flat. Sometimes your appliances work, sometimes they don't! It's part of nature.. roll with it! Forget about creativity, go do something else, and it will soon return fresher than ever!

And if you shut down this blog I will hunt you down and scream at you continuously in Russian until you start it up again. So don't do that. And also, I wonder, have you been blogging on other blogs as much as you used to?

Behold the Metatron said...

I agree that sometimes blogging feels like a chore and why bother? There are so many other bloggers out there that can fill in the gap. But keep it live. You never know when you might want to pop back in and say something!

Snowbrush said...

Hi, hon, I just dropped by to be sure you're still with us. I hope you stay.

Kaylen said...

It does seem like blogging used to be more interactive with readers. I ca see that people read my blog (most times) but very few people are commenting. Maybe twitter and facebook are just taking over.
I remind myself to blog even when I'm super busy because I feel like it's the best way to keep track of my life. I often reference my blog for remembering things that I had forgotten.

Nightmare insomnia sounds horrible!! I hope it isn't a lasting thing for you. :(

Gwen said...

Okay. I'm so far behind but I would be so sad if you shut your blog down. I love coming by and reading your words. I will miss you entirely too much! I hope you are enjoying your summer my friend. And I hope to talk with you soon. XOXO

Robin said...

I dedicated something to you on the most recent HERE'S TO YOU post. I hope you like it....

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