Establishing a Writing Habit (Day 13) ✍️

true story
Renaming pain does relieve a portion of it for me.

I’ve got an interesting headache just now, lowering the brightness seemed to help. I read a book “The Yellow World” by Albert Espinosa

“Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about surviving cancer, so he didn’t. He wrote a book instead about the Yellow World. What is the yellow world? The yellow world is a world that’s within everyone’s reach, a world the colour of the sun. It is the name of a way of living, of seeing life, of nourishing yourself with the lessons that you learn from good moments as well as bad ones. It is the world that makes you happy, the world you like living in. The yellow world has no rules; it is made of discoveries.

In these 23 Discoveries Albert shows us how to connect daily reality with our most distant dreams. He tells us that ‘losses are positive’, ‘the word “pain” doesn’t exist’, and ‘what you hide the most reveals the most about you'”

– Good Reads Review of the Yellow World

This was the only book I’ve read based on the recommendation of a personality quiz by Visual DNA, (I almost said a computer, but that would be wrong, because I sometimes read books recommended by Good Reads which uses other books you like to recommend books that actually worked very well for me).

What I found very interesting was the belief that pain does not exist I don’t agree, but at the same time am a curious open minded person, so I tried his activities out to re-frame pain. They work well, like this head ache, when I think I have pain it hurts more, when I think of it as a “pressure” or “pinching” it hurts less. Each time I wonder “does pain even exist” it seems to drop the pain level, to a point. I don’t know if that point is my limit of controlling my opinion or perhaps pain just really exists, but the interesting thing is that I can drop my pain level some amount.

me plus you for ever
Being a romantic sometimes creates unmet expectations, but it also drives you to keep trying and keep believing it is worth it to keep trying, it’s a trade off, but I think worth it.

When my husband came home I asked him if he had ibuprofen or Excedrin, he didn’t but I asked for a kiss and noticed that dropped the pain about 2%.

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Funny thing, I delivered my son with no medicine and then happened to have a headache and the midwife gave me a Tylenol for that and I just took it.

Right now I find it funny that I’m that analytical that I take note of those things as they happen, but I am and I’m also noticing the humor takes a lot of the pain away.

Of course the pain could also be passing and I am just perceiving it as going away, but I don’t think so, because I’ve had this headache for about four hours and it didn’t shift at all until just now.

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13/14 Days am I a writer yet?

My goal right now is to make peace with all the excuses that I blamed for preventing me from writing in the past, it didn’t start that way, but that is what this habit from day 1 – day 14 of constant writing for an hour has now become for me. So when something “bad” does come up, like Monday I was sick, I in a twisted way am getting all excited over the challenge.

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I was sick, but passionate to challenge myself as planned.

If I hadn’t been sick Monday I wouldn’t know I enjoy writing pretty well when I am sick. If I hadn’t been tired one day I wouldn’t know it’s not too terrible writing when tired, better than driving! If I hadn’t of had brain fog I wouldn’t believe it was possible to write through brain fog. I was also afraid one or two days. Worried about loosing followers if I wrote my honest opinion one. Writing to a screaming baby once, I tried to settle the baby, made sure nothing crazy was going on, like hair tourniquet, the baby was clean, fed, warm, safe, but even being rocked wasn’t helping so there was no point to not writing since my full attention wasn’t helping the baby.

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The way I view myself is changing.

I’ve noticed so many things during the past 12 days, about reasons I thought I had for not writing not actually being able to stop me from writing.

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Past me trying to write (I don’t know when, but recently I stopped expecting myself to be perfect…).

Fears about not knowing what the perfect thing to write were the hardest, wanting a rotating scheme of topics to already be a habit, when they are not was the second hardest, wondering if it mattered at all for me to write in a world with so much great writing already available.

One thing that helped me was how many people live and die each day.

150,000 people die each day, if I like writing why not write?

360,000 people are born each day and roughly 8 billion people are alive (I think some people don’t get counted because like human trafficking ext they wouldn’t be counted). Ok, 7.53 billion, but who know the real number when so many people are being born and dying each day?

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Going to need a lot more cake, happy birthday x 360,000 x 365 days a year!

Anyways, 360,000 people born each day, it doesn’t matter (too much) what I do. I have the freedom to fail, plenty of other people can make up for my failure or possibly my effort will inspire people more than what I am actually working on?

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It’s just very hard to understand such a large number, it helps to imagine 360 giant people who are made of 1,000 people each, or 3.6 extremely huge robots that need 10,000 people to staff each robot.

With nearly 8 billion people, maybe my writing will be just the right thing for one of them, also in the future people have access to the past. I read Marcus Aurelius from ancient Rome as much as anyone modern, I think in the future people will find an interest in knowing about our era, no one knows yet for what the writing we write today will be used. For history, for information, for curiosity, inspiration, humor, to save a life, to improve a life, to torture students with outdated prose (hopefully a joke).

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My writers block looks like: I love the articles and books already out there and there are a ton, so why even try?

I guess I am facing my own biggest writers block, which is that I don’t know what my writing will be used for, if it will be useful at all, if it will be lost with time or saved, if it will have been a waste of my life, if by not doing another line of service or craft the down fall of all sentient beings ensues (kind of a joke).

Too often I put too much pressure on myself to try to use my limited time in the best possible way, that sometimes it doesn’t allow me to move forward in the best possible way.

“One often meets their destiny on the road they take to avoid it.”

– Jean de La Fontaine
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I am a better person because of writing.

Something I will never regret about writing is the way it seems to elevate my thoughts. I always hated writing essays for school because I wasn’t allowed to pick the topic I was passionate about, now that I can pick anything, it’s kind of mentally daunting. I hated how much of school was writing essays, citing information (which almost eliminates and discourages innovate thoughts in my opinion), but now what I enjoy doing is writing essays.

It’s very funny to me.

What I once hated most, became one of the things I love most. But a big difference is choice.

Here in the U.S. some kids cry because they have to go to school and in China some kids cry because they can’t go to school.

Stress is caused by adverse events especially when you lack control and knowledge about when the stress will end (uncertainty).

Getting surprise cookies you can’t control and have no idea when they will end wouldn’t be too stressful (unless you don’t like cookies than it could very well be).

Getting surprise beating you can’t control and have no idea when they will end was really stressful, it happened to me. My mother had untreated bipolar disorder, she beat me seemingly at random vs in response to house rules, my husband’s mother beat him as much or more, but in an understandable pattern. He knew when his beatings would happen and when they would stop, I had no idea. My mom looked fine, her face didn’t redden, I walked in her direction to use the hall on the way for a book or something and suddenly she would block me and punch my face or grab my throat, or not. Most of my life I was very against the idea of using violence to discipline children, but recently I’ve seen there is a big difference between parents who do it like a cue, like a very slight touch to call attention to the situation vs what my sister and I grew up with. I’m not advocating for hitting children, but I’ve very recently seen that reasonable force isn’t always violence.

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I forgive my mom, I know she did her best, I wish her the best, but I don’t want to have her in my life. My husband loves and has an improved relationship with his mom. So if you do beat, beat the kids in a understandable way! (Joke)

Today my daughter head butted my hard three times, the third I pulled her head off mine by her hair, it wasn’t done in anger, it wasn’t done hard, but it didn’t feel good on her end and she sulked. I had already asked her to stop, but sometimes my words seem to fall on deaf ears. It’s not what I wanted to happen, but I don’t think it was unfair, I don’t think it was shameful to not try to be more gentle in moving her and I don’t think it would have taught a beautiful lesson of love to keep letting her head butt me until one or both of us had a slight or moderate concussion. I think unfortunately force sometimes begets force and although I would use restrictive force to respond to violence, I think as a parent you sometimes find these bad situations that hypothetical parenting tips or general philosophy or ethics doesn’t address in a realistic way.

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A lot of parenting advice is horribly unrealistic to actually execute.

We are born with a beautiful soul, but there is a phase of life where kids are dangerous to themselves or each other, validating the potential and wanting to respect them as adults sometimes leads to wanting to be able to give children more respect than they can safely handle.

There is a saying not to cast pearls before swine, I think meaning that the swine would not appreciate them, but it would be worse to cast pearls before toddlers for they would probably choke.

I was told my parents called the fire department for a bead I had stuck up my nose at 2 years old, I can’t recall it.

Some kids are exceptions, but mine were not. They liked to experiment and both wanted to chew electrical cords.

My headache is completely gone now. Somehow it feels like writing soothed it, but who knows when it would have just passed anyways.

So, sometimes treating some one you love with more respect than they deserves is bad for all parties.

heart ripped out
Even when you want to be well, some healing takes time.

I think one case was when my husband went on a bachelors party in Costa Rica two months before our wedding that still needed to be planned. I really wanted him to stay, I was going through some health trouble, was hoping to get a ride to a procedure that required anesthesia with him vs someone else, really wanted to plan our wedding basics that everyone was asking me about before and not after he went. I couldn’t have controlled his decision, but I could have controlled mine. I could have said, if you don’t want to work together with me on this wedding that you asked to have (I had wanted a private wedding with just us two in Yosemite) than I don’t feel comfortable having the wedding. But I didn’t. I hoped he would read my mind, I hoped more than anything that he would decide on his own to support me, and he didn’t. We shopped for my wedding dress two weeks before the wedding (me with a broken ankle), got a color that I didn’t think went well with his suit and over all rushed choices that were not reflective of us being a team or of either of our values or preferences.

As much as I want it to be water under the bridge now, it was the beginning of an uncomfortable acceptance of an unhappy marriage probably for both of us.

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Forgiveness is a step, but it doesn’t fix the damage all by itself.

I love my husband, I loved my husband, I’m grateful to my husband, but if you had a sports team and the team wasn’t performing well together you can say, they aren’t doing so well, it’s okay to say that. We are not doing horrible, but since we had “the magic” for so long in the beginning and since I’ve seen so many old couple’s still in love I know it’s possible. It may not happen again for us, but I know it’s possible because I’ve seen it a few times.

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Some people say romantic love is silly and modern, but without it I wouldn’t do my husband’s laundry for free and sacrifice my career goals when they conflict his!

Yesterday I watched some Ted Talks about relationships (this applies to all relationships I think):

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Perhaps I can learn what I don’t know yet and live a better life. Worth a try.

John Gottman who made the 5:1 rule (5 positive interactions to each negative is enough to buffer the bad and keep a stable relationship). That’s interesting to any math fans because he has data and formula and quadrants and can tell accurately if people will or will not get divorced from many things including stonewalling and how people argue.

 Dr. Andrea & Jonathan Taylor-Cummings covered 4 habits that were helpful and easy to apply:

1. Be curious, not critical.
2. Be careful not crushing.
3. Ask don’t assume.
4. Connect before correcting.

And there was one more that I can’t find that covered “emotional responsiveness,” this was the moment where I found fault with myself.

My husband likes to gossip about work, I hate gossip, so I hit this bad part of the day where he comes home and wants to talk and I don’t want to hear about his coworkers lives. He wants me to want to, I think maybe sometimes I want to want to, but I never want to. I was told it’s not nice to gossip, at some point it became ingrained, I don’t know if it’s a belief I should or shouldn’t keep, but it definitely created a problem in my marriage over time.

My biggest complaint on a daily basis is my husband either being mean or making mean jokes about me and I know his is my lack of enthusiasm for what he wants to talk about (celebrity gossip, work place gossip, political slander based very little on facts).

We love each other, but today was the first day in as long as I can remember that we had a conversation I enjoyed.

I think it’s largely my fault, because I don’t know how to say nicely the problems I have in our team dynamic, it seems taboo to even voice any complaints, but if we were a sports team it would be okay. I could say, hey you could use some time working on defense or free throws or pretty much anything and I could take the critique as well, bring up your speed, work on you left side ext.

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The first rule of marriage fight club is we don’t talk about marriage fight club (joke).

It’s so taboo to me to discuss having problems with my marriage it’s the last thing I wrote about when my ideas were done. But I don’t in any way want to slander my husband, I think we are pretty typical and I wonder how things could be better.

I’m so comfortable talking about habit change in any other realm of life, perhaps the discomfort about talking about relationships is part of the reason I don’t communicate better to my husband directly? I feel like I have and it didn’t work, but usually I don’t let anything stop me so easily from making my life better.

There was a wonderful painting I think called “The Wall Between Us” with a hand reaching through a brick wall with a small hole, I wanted to find it, but I can’t find it tonight… too much U.S. Mexico wall “news,” ironically my husband was born in Mexico and I in California so there was literally a wall between us…

Anyways I am always trying to be a better person and restore to wholeness the broken things in my life, bit by bit, so I am going to try the eight things that I have learned. Calm, trust, commitment form John Gottman, curiosity, being thoughtful of other’s feelings, asking questions, adding more connection and the one I don’t like to do “emotional responsiveness” and see what I can do, if anything, I say that not out of defeatism, but because a marriage like a team is not controllable by one person alone. I can do my part, but I can’t have my way over something bigger than me alone. I’ve gotten marriage counseling without my husband once and worked on all the homework and it didn’t improve the relationship, so that is a reason my normal optimism is a bit tempered in this matter.

Many thanks

To all of you who take the time to read this or any of my writing, thank you so much, if any of you are happily married and have tips I would not mind the advice! And too all of you thank you so much for helping me grow as a writer, I would go on with no one watching, but the support changes the process and gives me a feeling of connection to the world that I’m very grateful for. 💐

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