I love working out ideas in my graph paper notebooks - so I wanted my blog page to have a graph paper background!
When I'm sketching ideas on those graph paper pages, I feel more creative, and the ideas just flow!

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Fear of Running Out

 


I got busy in the last quarter of 2016 and didn't blog much. My excuse was "I'm busy." But now that the hubbub has died down and I sit in front of my keyboard, I see my excuse for the lame soldier it is. For three months it has stood serviceably in front of my real reason.

Perhaps I'm not alone in keeping on hand an army of Useful Idiot mercenaries whose job it is to let me avoid facing stuff I'm scared of. I bet we all have our favorites. My brother-in-law used to term them "socially acceptable excuses": a group of reasons for not-doing that no polite person would call him out on. I've got a headache/a term paper/a sick grandmother/a case of night blindness, agoraphobia, pink eye...whatever gracefully eases me out of the task or engagement I'd rather not attend to.

Anyhow--why, I ask myself on this gray January morning, would I dodge writing? And I feel around in the pit of my tummy where fear lives and pull out that puny imp: I'm scared I'll run out of ideas.

Now this is remarkable on its face. I have a wildly inconsequent mind that will chase every metaphor, every chuckle, every pop-up event that presents itself to me. I take notes on these things in my journal, to the exclusion of major world and family events. My style of thought is one big idea-chase. My daily pursuit is to snag the little suckers when they zip across my mind. There's never a shortage even if I spend the day in bed.

Turning the fear around to examine its hindparts, I see it how it plays out across my life. I get nervous if there's only a dozen eggs in the fridge; I print out recipes for fear they'll disappear from cyberspace, I have a drawer full of white turtlenecks, I keep a CD collection so I'll never lack a favorite tune from 1967. Y'never know, say I to me.

But that's the point--we never do know. Last month dear friends of mine lost all their possessions in a house fire. They are challenged now, but have a deep joy and sense of purpose going forward, because their identity was not in their material abundance. No amount of stockpiling--or avoidance--can protect us from life's vagaries. I've paused to examine my heart--is my abundance in my stuff? When I really think about it, the point of having plenty is to give, not to shore up my life against impoverishment.

I think the way I'll attack the issue today is to write this blog post. And another one next week and so on, trusting that ideas will be there. This may morph into an abundant mindset that lets me live with fewer eggs and sweaters, but I know it's not wise to think I'm going to renovate myself with some New Year's resolution. Real change comes as we recognize and respond to the challenge in front of us at the moment. My fear of lack is not a function of reality, but a knee-jerk reaction I need to toss out of my life--with one idea at a time.

 

 

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