Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Simple and Profound Pleasures


Have you ever had one of those mornings when you couldn’t make a decent cup of coffee?  This is not, I realize, a trouble of epidemic proportions, but still, I like a good cup of coffee in the morning.  It makes me feel rich and content.  It’s a simple pleasure and therefore one of the best.  I could write about other simple pleasures in life but taking that route in my writing seems overly sentimental, forced and insincere.  It’s not that I’m ungrateful for simple pleasures.  It’s just that as a writer I know that sometimes I can’t always write about the first thing that comes to mind.  I need to wait, to be more patient and to see what feels right.
This is part of the writing process, or at least part of my writing process.  I don’t always know what my Muse wants, other than to see me grow and be happy, but I do know when she doesn’t want something.  I can feel it.  So, I could write something like this: 
I’m grateful for the following simple pleasures:
·      A good cup of coffee.
·      A good night’s sleep.
·      A warm place.
·      Breakfast.
·      Quiet.
·      Time to write.

And all of this would be true.  But it seems, as I said, too easy, too sentimental.  Sentimentality has its place, but it rarely requires much thought.  I’d like a little more depth in my writing.  I’d like a little more thought going into this work.  Of course, I should probably relax, too.  And I should trust myself.  The conflict I’m experiencing at this very moment, as I write these words, is deciding on the right thing to do.  My problem is exacerbated by my ADHD, which causes my mind to consider several possibilities at the same time.  My mind has a dialogue that Agoes like this:
A:  Should I write about gratitude?
B:  No, that’s too easy and everyone has done it.
A:  What’s wrong with gratitude?
B:  Nothing, but it’s just not the topic for this blog.
A:  Then what do I write about?
B:  Just keep writing.  It will come to you.
A:  Can’t you trust me?
B:  Can’t you trust me?
C:  Hey, guys!  I have an idea!
A and B:  NOOOOO!!!

And so it goes.
This is how my mind often works and it can sometimes make the simplest decisions complex and painful.  Fortunately, I recognize it now and I can breathe, drink water, pray and/or tap.   I can step back from the voices.  I can silence the dialogue and just wait for my Muse.  While I’m waiting, I can write about gratitude or ADHD or anything else.  There are no life-altering decisions here.  I’m just writing a blog.  Very few of my decisions are life altering.  I just need to do my work, to the best of my ability.  Everything will be fine.   I don’t need to allow stress into my life.
When I think about stress and fear and all the things that have troubled me, I realize that most of those things were not worth the attention.  Things turned out fine.  I still don’t like being rushed or late, but everything has turned out fine, or it will.  That’s more than a simple pleasure.  It’s a profound one.
So was this blog about simple pleasures, or ADHD, or the writing process, or something else?  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I did it and I did it well.  Perhaps I will come back and look at it later and make some changes.  Or maybe I won’t.  The important thing is that I remembered to Get Started and Keep Going…and that is both a simple and a profound pleasure.