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Latest Blog Entries

  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    camp—it’s
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
    Readmore...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...
    Readmore...

Parentheticals

A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.

Becoming an Introvert

Posted by: julia

You know what’s weird (besides Leap Day)? I think I’m becoming an introvert. I know, I know...those of you who have known me for more than, let’s see, 30 seconds are probably snorting liquid out your noses right now at the suggestion. Believe me, it’s tripping me out too. Me, an introvert? Me, the one who loves all kinds of people and their stories, who is perfectly comfortable in a crowd, throws big parties, loves a good gabfest with friends and will happily start chatting with complete strangers? The one who’s trying to create a social movement around claiming one’s authentic, true freakiness and broadcasting it to the world? Please to explain, I hear you saying (or perhaps sputtering, if you haven’t gotten the nose-liquid thing under control). Ok, let me present the evidence for my outrageous claim:

1) I spend a lot of time at home, by myself, doing solitary things like staring into my computer or iPad, or puttering around the house in a never-ending effort to control the clutter that threatens to invade every surface. Ever since we downsized (and finally let go of) our entrepreneurial efforts at running a small business last year, I don’t go to an office anymore, and I don’t go out to client meetings or networking events. Especially since the beginning of the year, I’ve been increasingly serious about the pursuit of my creative dreams, including devoting large chunks of daily time to my writing (though apparently not blogging, I hear you say. Ok, fine, you got me there. Now stop poking and pay attention.) Writing, as I’m sure is stunningly obvious, is generally a solitary activity. It requires dedicated chunks of time, quiet (or at least no un-chosen audio distractions), focus and lots of checking Twitter and Facebook staring off into space. If it wasn’t for my kids and their activities, my occasional volunteer activities or the need for groceries and self-care appointments, I might spend days in a row here in the same couple of rooms, just me and the computer (and now, the cat, because every writer needs a cat). Ok, yeah, Josh is often here too, but he’s usually staring at his own computer. And I’ve grown accustomed to that. I like it. I like my house (unless it’s especially messy) and my computer and my writing time. Sometimes I get irritated when I have to leave and go do other things, even the ones that are fun.

2) I’m having an increasingly hard time with communication, e.g. using the phone or responding to even the relatively reduced amount of email I get. I used to be really good about proactively reaching out to friends and family, checking in and making plans, but these days, I often put it off or at least don’t prioritize it. Relationship management is overwhelming now in a way that it didn’t use to be, or at best it’s a lot less attractive to me. Even Facebook interactions (which used to be a great “quick hit” of connection and catch-up with my various networks) are sometimes so overwhelming that I ignore social media for days at a time.


Pinball Wizard

Posted by: julia

Tagged in: solipsistic , reflect , metaphorical , life

Please insert ritual apologies for having not posted in far too long here. There haven't been any crises or upheavals preventing me, just the usual struggle to cram the too many things I want to do into too little time. I've mostly been spending my time writing fiction rather than blog posts, which is a great change of pace and I'm glad for it, but I do feel the tug of wanting to produce more content for poor Parentheticals. All of which leads me to today's metaphorical musing, about being a Pinball Wizard.

I started thinking about pinball the other day as the perfect metaphor for the two-sided feeling of bouncing back and forth between two tendencies, with all the shiny noisy rewards and perilous pitfalls one bumps into in between. Specifically, I was thinking about how I'm constantly flipping the little silver balls of my time and attention back and forth between a driving desire (and sharply-honed ability) to Get Things Done, and an appreciation of what's already been accomplished (not to mention an appreciation of all the little pieces that had to align in order for those accomplishments to happen, whether or not it was me that aligned them or they Just Happened). Sometimes my balls run into obstacles and head off in unexpected or unhelpful directions, and sometimes they let me rack up tons of GTD or Appreciation points, and sometimes no matter what I do or how masterfully I flip (or shake the whole game while cursing and railing against fate and luck), that ball just vanishes into the dark void and I have to start over. 

Now, I am a pretty good "pinball" player, but I still have to think about it too hard. (Do this, do that! Appreciate how far you've come! Try to head for that corner over there, it'll give you way more points. Head up that ramp! Now down! Hey look at that shiny light! Cool, by doing this I got even more points! Can I do it again? Aw, look at how many points I've already racked up, I really am a wizard!) What I want is to get to the point where I'm like the Pinball Wizard from the Who song, who plays by intuition and wins because he doesn't get distracted by all the shiny noisy. I want to get to the point where I just *know* when it's time to push and use my Juggler superpowers to get things done, and when it's time to be my own cheerleader and hang out in appreciation mode. Of course, the only way to get to that point is to wean myself away from the shiny noisy distractions, or at least to pay more attention to the flippers (that actually *are* under my control) than to the variety of things my balls collide into or the unpredictable ways the balls bounce. Hey, Pinball Wizardry isn't a school of magic for everyone's tastes, but it's what I'm studying right now...


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