Patience Trumps Writer’s Block

The discouraged Nenene suffering from writer's...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think writers are best defined as mentally bipolar. Either you are up or down, there’s no in-between.

I have little time for writing and when a great opportunity for uninterrupted creativity arises, I’m usually at a loss. My cycle of inspiration gets out of sync with my opportunities. Maybe I’m trying too hard? Have I used up all my genius already?

ADD of the brain makes me want new exciting projects once I have dabbled and have felt adequate at a writing task. My gut reminds me that dedication and toil separates those who want to be authors from those who are. I don’t really believe it though.

Instead, I wait. I don’t stop thinking…but inspiration has its own timing and I believe if it is pursued too aggressively, it can dissipate like a cloud observed for scientific study rather than one noticed by a dreamer.

This post, this day…I refuse to give up…What I can do is wait.

Learning patience…

I don’t know what came first, my high level of patience or two very “sporty” uncles who trained me in that very art.

Dealing with toddlers has been a knack of mine for quite a while. Patience is the key to surviving a career around kids. When I was 12, I was lucky enough to have two uncles who were a little more than 15 years my senior. Their absolute favorite sport was playfully tormenting me. I enjoyed the attention immensely and learned the ways of practical jokes. “If you are going to dish it out, you must be able to take it.” Wise words indeed.

After three “dunkings” in the lake, while fully clothed, I put on my very last set of dry clothes. Certainly, there would be mercy shown after they had soaked me all day. NOT. I was in the family canoe wearing overalls and a tank top. Yes, it was much to warm for overalls but that was all that I had. They approached me in the boat with evil grins…”Hey, this isn’t funny any more!” , I shouted. Secretly, I thought, yes this is funny since it would be so horrid to take. Well, moments later, I was laughing, gulping,and choking under the weight of wet overalls. I was a good swimmer so it was not dangerous but totally exasperating! As I sat wrapped only in a towel, I just couldn’t feel angry.  THAT had been the perfect crime for sure!

So there my reign began. Getting even, instead of angry.

Covering the toilet with cellophane was cool. (You must loosen the bathroom light bulb in advance.) A layer of peanut butter on the toilet seat works well under those conditions also. Vinegar added to Listerine  and rocks in the pillows were winners. My best one was the muli-joke. Planning your victim’s moves were ever important. Once you have them “on guard” the rest is so easy.

My uncle cautiously put one leg into his pants. Then the other leg…no sewn up places…he was safe! As he reached to fasten his belt, a gob of ointment was well placed on the end! Yucky! He walked to the bathroom considering that he had been HAD. Grabbing the soap, he found more ointment smearing over his hands. The soap had an ample supply of the sticky stuff too! The ‘ole gotcha x 2!

That evening I climbed into bed still feeling on top of the “joke war”. There was an awful crunching and a rough scratchiness met my bare legs. I found a note under the sheets as I jumped out in shock…”There’s a spoon under your pillow, hope you enjoy your corn flakes.”

Well, there you have it. Squirt guns are for amateurs  and patience  for the “little” things has to be learned 🙂 .

Facinating as we are…

When I point out differing opinions, it is never meant as a criticism. In fact, I find the emotional lives of people fascinating!

Yes, if we didn’t like the way we related to the world individually, we would change. Changing people is not my mission nor would it be possible. I wish everyone to step back and appreciate our differences. It is impossible to have patience with others if we don’t recognize that differences are real and not right or wrong.

Who knows what makes us tick?

The people who I feel are most similar to myself are not the ones I necessarily love the most. If I am remembered for one saying (probably said by others many times) ,”What we love most about others is usually what we dislike most about them.”

Example:

I am not terribly interested in the order of things. This makes me spontaneous, creative and fun for kids.

Being disorganized affects my paperwork and housekeeping.

Everyone has there own priorities and no one is perfect.

We all strive for perfection but value different aspects of our day.

The hard part comes along when we measure others by our own standards. We all have areas that need work and you could never convince me that being organized is a bad thing. I wake up in the night wishing to become more organized! As day dawns, I can not help but stack dishes and put off paperwork in favor of “playing with my kids”. It IS my job to make sure their days are happy and productive. Some might put them in a row on the couch with TV and snacks and organize away…what I strive for is a happy medium.

This post is my way of talking, out loud, to myself. You may comment away as I enjoy the thoughts of others!





Artwork is a process not an outcome.

Messy and fun go together!

Kids need to have access to many kinds or artistic materials.

The problem with many of us is that we expect them to “make a picture”. That’s not the way it happens…

Kids need to explore the materials and unless you are able to allow a few messy moments, they won’t really learn.

I remember one day care friend of mine who refused to put paint brush to paper for the longest time. She’d dab colors onto her brush then happily rinse them in the water to watch the color change. No problem! She got around to the paper eventually and with a healthy “eye” for color, I might add.

If you stand back and watch, the kids really do know what they are doing. It probably is not what you expected but let them go. Paint does not only have a color, it has a texture too. Adding water or using sponges to paint with, makes for great fun and learning.

In the beginning of my day care career, I expected a pretty picture to send home to Mom and Dad. Being an artist myself, I quickly realized that those muddy brown ones were the best example of an artistic learning experience. I inform all of my parents of this and they enjoy knowing that artwork is a process.

There are predictable levels of developement that parents should know.

  1. muddy messes need to happen.
  2. watch for the artwork to begin to fill the paper.
  3. watch for colors becoming more divided.
  4. watch for doodles that are named after creation.
  5. watch for the planning of a picture before doodles.

All these things can keep the parents’ interest and, after all, that’s what is really important to the kids.

Offer to post your child’s artwork on the refrigerator for viewing BUT don’t if they resist. They know the difference between work that they are proud of and just a mess too.

Interacting with the kids when they draw or paint is the most important part. Resist that temptation to give them paint,paper,water and back to the TV you go. (Once in a while it’s OK.) The kids really enjoy feedback as they play.

  • “What lovely colors!”
  • “That looks like a fish.”
  • “If you don’t want a hole through your paper, try using less water.”

If you are patient and involved, those beautiful artworks for the office bulletin board will be masterpieces and you’ll have had a lot of fun!