Time is Slippery. Watch Your Step.

Today the streets are slick and wet and the sky is one enormous grey cloud. I am sitting in my car waiting for a spot in the gym parking lot. An occasional droplet of water slides along the glass windshield.  Across the street, on a rooftop ledge, sit a row of birds- pigeons. Black and grey winged creatures that are also slick and wet.  Several of them. It feels eerily like they are staring down at me.  Watching. “What are you doing lady.” They seem to ask.

Well dear pigeons, I am feeling crushed by the slippery nature of time. That’s what.

From my purse, I pull out my hot pink idea notebook (where I try to grab my ideas before they fly away forever) and my purple pen (a small homage to my 3 year old daughter and her favorite color).  Two bright small things, just objects, but in my hands they bring a sense of relief on an otherwise very grey day. I start writing.

Today is the first day of my Blogging 101 class offered by the lovely folks at The Daily Post. After I dropped my daughter off at preschool and before I headed to the gym I read my first assignment in order to give myself something to contemplate. Essentially it is- who are you, why are you here, why should anyone care? Quickly, I go back to my original About Becoming Vivid page and my About Me page (aka Oh- Hello). Yep. That is it. Assignment done. That is why I am here- to chart my journey of personal transformation and connect with others.

Until something snags my attention- the date. Was it really almost exactly two years ago that I posted my About Becoming Vivid page? TWO YEARS! TWO YEARS! Time is a slippery muddle of undone things if you don’t watch your step.

In two years, not including this one, I have only written eleven posts. Not enough. Not nearly enough.  Where is the growth I speak of, the progress, the imperfection, the struggle, the transcendent moments laid bare? Even though I am pretty certain Langston Hughes was talking about a societal struggle much deeper and more important than my puny little life I still can’t help but hear his famous poem “Harlem” in my head:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

 

Or does it explode?

Source: Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Random House Inc., 1990)

Well…. How about, where I am concerned, we don’t find out. In order for some people to change they need to hit rock bottom.  I am not interested in rock bottom. I am interested in now.

Privately, I have actually made some small steps toward progress but I haven’t written much about it. For the past five months I have been working out five days a week.  It has not transformed my body into that of a Victoria’s Secret model but it has begun to shift my thinking.

In order to keep going on the treadmill, or in a class, you have to talk  yourself through it- “I can do this… keep going….just make it through one more song….the  pain will be worth it… make it count.” We love to think we can compartmentalize everything but we can’t. Thoughts and beliefs always bleed from one area of life into the others. The fact is I am stronger than when I first attempted this blog. I’ve also learned a thing or two about developing a new habit. And because I have done it- it is reasonable to believe I can do it again.  This time I plan to make a habit of writing.

I recently read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  In it he says one of the most powerful forces in creating a new habit is the belief that you can. And what helps people create and foster that belief? Community:

When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real. For most people who overhaul their lives, there are no seminal life-altering disasters. There are simply communities- sometimes just one other person- who make change believable. (Duhigg 89)

I started this post feeling as grey and as dismal as this winter day and now suddenly I feel a glimmer of hope. Like a bright red cardinal on the bare skeleton of a dead looking tree- a reminder that spring is coming.  It occurs to me that by taking Blogging 101 I have found a community that believes change is possible.  It is a start.  It is a step, a carefully planted, carefully thought-through step.

And so to my fellow classmates in Blogging 101, and to the staff at The Daily Post-especially Daily Post Editor Michelle  and Happiness Engineers Velda  and Jeremey – and to anyone else taking the time to read this post I would like to say thank you for this community.

Thank you.

WORKS CITED:

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. 2012. New York: Random House, 2014 Random House Trade Paperback Edition. Print.

Hughes, Langston. “Harlem.” Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. Random House Inc., 1990Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (Random House Inc., 1990)

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it’s been a while but you really do have a great voice. Hope to be seeing more from you!

    • Banana
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      Thank You, Marissa! I hope so too!

  2. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What a way with words!

    • Posted February 4, 2015 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      Thank Faraday’s candle for the great compliment!

  3. Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Hello!

    I started my blog out of a bad situation. I was laid off like many were a few years back. I was filling out applications and going nowhere and like you, I wanted to shed some of the chains from the past. During this time, I read a blog and decided why not write one myself. I joined WordPress and guess what? I published 3 posts on private. Then I got the balls to do it for real. My first year crushed it with 318 views. Then I decided to do more. To really write. I ended the year with 6,000 views. A better effort.

    Blogging is not like reading or writing a book. It is a community and you can actually interact with a lot of cool people. I have learned a lot from my followers and sometimes a person pops up and I think that I have nothing in common with a person who bakes or films moths and later I can see how we share some commonalities.

    So thanks for the like on the other article. It is a good way to meet people and bring them to your blog.

    Keep moving forward! Even baby steps are better than being stagnant!

    – Steve

    • Banana
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Steve! Thanks for your kind words of encouragement! I sure wish I was surfing right now! Not that I know how but I would love to be in the water giving it a try…. 🙂

  4. Posted February 10, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Always love your posts, even though infrequent. I took suffer from the same–so many things to write about but I don’t hit publish often. And now I’m about 3 months overdue and wondering if I should keep going. Your post makes me think, probably, but in our own time, whatever we can muster is a good thing. Congrats on developing your workout habit–that’s a full time job in itself, and I find sometimes for me, conflicts w/writing goals because writing makes me inactive! Take care and look forward to your updates!

    • Banana
      Posted February 10, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Robin, Thank you so much! I can’t believe it but I have actually become one of those people that “has to” go to the gym. Winter is always hard for me and I realize that regular exercise has helped with my moods more than I could have anticipated. You have SO MUCH on your plate right now but I really do hope you don’t completely stop writing. I really enjoy reading your perspective on things.

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