Friday, July 5, 2013

Cooler Days and Battles with My Inner Critic

The heat wave finally broke -- today was 15 degrees cooler than yesterday.  It's like every living thing outside breathed a sigh of relief.  The forecast is for temperatures in the low to mid 90's through next week.  I'm hoping like crazy that the temperatures stay like this for the remainder of the summer.

I have been so busy with my work at the Writing Institute that I've neglected things around Frogpond.  This afternoon Bruce and I took a slow walk around the pond and I enjoyed paying attention to what was going on around here.  I also realized that I have a lot of work to catch up on.

These pictures are of the area by the pond where water flows from the pipe connected to the solar-powered well.  The willows are rampant because I haven't had time to prune them. The flowers look happy though.

We went into the Dodge Ford (edit: Damn!  Stoopid monosyllabic words with an "o" as the second letter)  dealership in Escalon this morning and signed the paperwork to order a truck.  The old Jeep is ready to fall apart and we've needed a vehicle for hauling stuff for a long time.  We were able to get quite a deal on one and it should be here in about 6 weeks.

Other than that, we've been sticking close to home.  I've been working on writing the pieces that will be in the Institute publication.  The goal is to have five finished ones but I'll be happy if I get three ready by Monday when they're due.  I've reached that awful place where I'm unhappy with every piece of writing I've produced that I'm almost paralyzed by it.  This is a common enough phenomenon that it has a name -- yes, it's my "inner critic" that's been bashing me about for the past three weeks.  All I can say is that if I ever catch this inner critic dude, I'm going to wrap my fingers around its skinny neck and... Luckily, both Mama and Bruce are helping me with the editing of my pieces and have done a lot to calm me down about all of this.  Cousin Anke, from far away Germany, has also helped just by writing several comforting, sensible emails. It helped.

I never expected that participating in this institute would create such an inner storm of self-doubt and failure.   I truly have learned a lot and know that profound change and growth can be painful.  If I went back in time and could make the choice again to do this, I'd sign up.  That said, I'll be glad when this emotional turbulence has died down.

I've missed the freedom of writing in this blog and look forward to getting back to it.  Next week is the last week of the institute and things will be winding down.  Our writing pieces will be mailed to the secretary by Monday and she'll print and bind the books.  On Tuesday, our matching Great Valley Writing Project polo shirts (light blue, I believe).  Wednesday is picture day.  We'll also have various presenters sprinkled in on these days.  Thursday, all of us will be participating in a day-long writing marathon -- in small groups we'll wander about the campus and write for ten minute stretches in various locations.  Then we'll read what we've got to group members and set off to write in another place.  This should be an interesting day for my inner critic.  Friday is the last day  that will end with a barbeque in the afternoon.  And that will be it.

However, did I mention that early last spring (in a moment of ultimate optimism) I signed up to take a Google technology class in the Bay Area?  It starts the very next day; on Saturday.  My inner critic has let me know that this was a stupid thing to do.  In this one thing, I must agree.

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