Archive | July, 2008

Live Like Bananas

30 Jul

 

The other day as I was tidying up the kitchen, I happened to notice the back of the Post Selects Banana Nut Crunch cereal box. “We should all aspire to live like bananas,” it said. “They are on a permanent vacation, living in lush, tropical rainforests. From high above, a canopy of trees provides the perfect balance of sun and shade.”

“Live like bananas”–what a concept! My mind certainly feels like it has been on a permanent vacation this summer. As soon as my last Philosophy paper was turned in and my final Psychology exam was over at the beginning of May, my brain has pretty much been on a leave of absence. Since then, I haven’t done anything remotely intellectual.

For the past two months, I’ve fought against my lack of ambition and pummeled myself with guilt. Now that I apparently have more free time to write, the desire is lacking. Why can’t I seem to pull myself out of this ennui? Stacks of unread books sit on my bookshelf and bedside table while my writing output has been a dismal nil.

I think Anne Morrow Lindbergh knew about this kind of lethargy when she said, “The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think. I should have remembered that from other years. Too warm…for any real mental discipline or sharp flights of spirit. One never learns. Hopefully, one carries…the faded straw bag, lumpy with books, clean paper, long over-due unanswered letters, freshly sharpened pencils, lists, and good intentions. The books remain unread, the pencils break their points, and the pads rest smooth and unblemished as the cloudless sky. No reading, no writing, no thoughs even…the tired body takes over completely. As on shipboard, one descends into a deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the sea-shore…One becomes…bare, open, empty as the beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings.”

Yes, I feel the particular beguilement of that deck-chair apathy. In my search for the “perfect balance of sun and shade,” the primeval rhythms of summer have erased all resolution, all hopeless straining, all the good intentions and all mental discipline. I know in two short weeks, that will all change. The empty hours will become all too full again. For now, I’ll live in the moment–like a banana.

Blog Block

23 Jul

I had a good talk with my creativity therapist (a.k.a. my youngest sister) this morning who encouraged me to start blogging again. (Funny to hear that particular advice coming from her since I’m the one that got her hooked on blogging in the first place!)  🙂 With a gentle nudge, she reminded me that the longer I stay away from blogging, the harder it will be to get back into it. I agreed with her and then went on to delineate some of my writing hangups which are as follows:

1. I am a perfectionist. I operate under the belief that in order for me to post anything on my blog, it must be a coherent, meaningful, polished essay. Anything less than that must wait (perhaps indefinitely) in the draft stage until it is worthy to show its brilliant, literary face.

2. I am a “slow-cooker” writer which means that I need ideas to simmer for awhile. I need a lot of time to process my thoughts before I feel they are ready to share with a public audience. This aggravating personality trait is particularly problematice since as a SAHM, I do not have large blocks of time for either solitude of meditation. Hence, my lack of prolificacy.

3. While many bloggers are quite content to be spontaneous, impulsive, and informal, I have this crazy notion that I should be the one to take blogging to a higher level–one that extends beyond the simple, random, and inane ramblings of the masses. As an idealist, I dream of being able to offer my loyal audience a thoughtful composition with some degree of edification whenever I post.

Yeah…whatever. I’m just a crazy INFP personality type that needs to chill out a bit. *Sigh*

“Think of blogging as a conversation, such as the one you’re having with me right now,” my sister said.

Okay, Beeb. I’m going to try to loosen up a bit just for you. And you’ll be proud to know I only spent an hour writing this! Ha!

Family Fun on the 4th

6 Jul

 

This 4th of July, the Hardman family did our usual thing and spent the afternoon at Evergreen lake enjoying the festivities. Of course, Grandpa Woody was ready to shuttle all of us to the north side of the lake in his green Model A. (The kids can’t do without their yearly ride in the rumble seat!) Unfortunately, the Model A had a break down on its third run, but Grandpa got it up and running again! Hurrah!

 

 The 4th just wouldn’t be complete without a half hour of paddling around on the lake. (Understandably, Grandma Ruth was not interested in joining us due to an accident she had stepping into a paddle boat several years ago. She was more than happy to stay with Sam on the shore, though.)

The kids got their faces painted…

 

And we had the pleasure of my 17-year-old son’s company for the entire day. He actually seemed to enjoy being with us and even liked what he called the “bumpin'” music (Sousa marches and John Williams movie tunes played by the National Repertory Orchestra.)

Sam didn’t need much to keep him happy, though he got a little blister on his ankle from walking around in his crocs.

Later in the day, we drove back down to Highlands Ranch for a BBQ at our house and just before dusk, we got ourselves settled in the hot tub just in time to watch the lame firework show put on by the Highlands Ranch Metro District.

All in all, it was a very good day. No sunburns, few bug bites, and no accidents!

Here are some more memorable 4ths (and nearly all of them involve a mishap of some sort):

1. The year my cousin chased me with a sparkler and threatened to catch my long hair on fire.

2. The year her older brother jumped a neighbor’s fence and landed in a cactus garden. Ouch!

3. The year my mother-in-law slipped stepping into a paddle boat and cracked a rib. Big bummer! (The pain from that injury unfortunately persisted for quite awhile.)

4. The year my oldest daughter slipped off the back of our hot tub and hit her tail bone on the concrete pad beneath it. (Luckily, she was okay!)

5. The year my husband and I attended the Stadium of Fire in Provo, Utah and the ignition of 1 million firecrackers just about turned it into a literal stadium of fire. I can still feel the heat from that one and we were on the top bleachers!

6. The year we watched fireworks over Puget Sound in Washington and a boat got caught on a power line.

My Favorite 4th:

Watching fireworks at Adams County Fairgrounds as a kid then on the drive home watching the fantastic lightening storms out on the Eastern Colorado plains.