Thursday, July 20, 2017

Superhero Training Part I - Why It's Important to Make Your Bed

Rarely do I dare to disagree with my mother. She is always right, I mean, always, to the point where it is almost freakish and would be considered annoying had she not saved my bacon on so many occasions! Recently, we were discussing the importance of teaching children to be tidy, making their bed in particular.

My mother has always said that a neatly-made bed leads to a neatly organized room. While I saw some sense in this, I just couldn't bring myself to believe that teaching your children how to make their bed was an all-important thing. I argued that children can learn responsibility and neatness in other areas of the home, that their own room can come be a sort of a "messy haven" if they choose. My mother disagreed.

I have a confession to make... I hate making my bed. I just do. I shouldn't! I am an adult with adult responsibilities, and at this point I feel like I should be able to make my bed without a second thought. I do make my bed, but maybe not as often as my mother would like... I guess I still haven't gotten over that "This-is-going-to-get-messy-again-so-why-bother" phase. It also doesn't help that I am not a morning person...
I have discovered through talking to several people is that I am not alone. Many friends and acquaintances my age and even older seem to have a hard time with keeping themselves organized. Why is this? Lack of parental insight? Personal preference? Laziness?

As to parental insight, I can attest to the fact that my mother was almost excessive when it came to neatness, so that was not a problem for me. Between messy or neat, I actually prefer things tidy. My mind feels freed to think, and when everything is organized it is much easier to complete tasks and projects. I pondered things for awhile, and realized that my desire for a "messy haven" was born out of laziness...

Laziness kills creative energy and productivity. Especially as an artist, when you are the sole manufacturer of your work, an idea without follow-through is actually a dangerous thing. Coming up with ideas can lead you to believe that you have done something when really, nothing has been brought to life. These are stillborn ideas, miscarriages of the mind.

Oftentimes, when I hit a mental roadblock, I allow tasks to slip by undone. Sometimes this is done out of fear, but sometimes it's due to laziness. I would rather not, and so I don't. This, of course, only leads to greater problems down the road. So, how does this tie into the importance of making your bed?

I realized today that making your bed is not just making your bed. It is doing something you don't want to do, a forced productive action, a discipline. This is the reason the military is so perfectionist when it comes to the barracks! Since human beings tend to have an extremely difficult time being self-governing and self-disciplined, any small training ground should be seized as an opportunity to strengthen oneself! If I want to become a "superhero," or in other words a reliable, trust-worthy, life-giving person, I must have follow-through on the smallest tasks.

So, as always, my mother was right... Needless to say, I will be enforcing a neat and tidy bed rule with myself from here on out!

Essays and Stories Coming Your Way!

Hello Readers! 

This summer, I will be sharing various essays on topics, mainly dealing with art, life, and philosophy. In the series, "Superhero Training," we will explore the deeper meanings of character, orderliness, and creative power as "super powers." We were not made to sit back and watch the world go by, we were created to leave the world better than we found it. With discipline, imagination, hard-work, and the help of our creator, we can become the people we are made to be! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dreams in the Making

If you've been following this blog since it's inception, you know that I have been working towards becoming a published author (hence the blog name, "There's a Book Out There"). This year, I felt more prepared and more propelled than ever into the world of writing. I realize that I have time to write at the moment, and no excuse not to sit my little butt in a chair and just do the hard work of sorting through sentences and trying to make sense of an almost four year old manuscript. If I don't finish this now, I never will.

So, for the past few days, I have been in writing bliss. Editing has never been a passion of mine, but my fear of editing is gone! When I was younger, I was so obsessed with having each little sentence being perfect that I could never finish anything. Now, I don't care if I have to turn my story inside out, cut it open, dissect it's heart, and splice it all back together again. I no longer fear criticism. In fact, I welcome it! It gives me an opportunity to do better. I suppose the biggest hurdle I have jumped in this whole process is the fear of failure. For so long, this poor manuscript has been waiting to be finished because I was too afraid of failing. But, I will fail. I will fail over and over again. The words will come out wrong, the sentence structure will be terrible, the plot will take wrong turns, and characters won't be the way I want them to. But, I can always improve as long as I keep going! And I mean to keep going!

Much love, ashley

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