Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Must Revise Your Life

This is the title of a William Stafford book about writing and writers.  I have it, but can't say I've read it...someday maybe. Anyway, I like this notion: you must revise your life.  You must revise your life!  This is another good mantra for me, much like 'suffer the little children.' I think it's an important thing to try to do every day.  Ask yourself, 'Am I living the life I want?' and then adjust accordingly.  I have an old book of epigrams and there's one in there that says, 'The way to begin living the ideal life is to begin.'  Same idea.  This whole notion of revising and making your life ideal is really doable I think.  Now, of course there are some things, many things out of our control that we have to contend with. But if you cain't change it, change the way you think about it  (somebody said that, I don't know who). 

Maybe that sounds simplistic.  But I believe in it.  The more I can pare things down, the better.  Add pleasing things and remove stressful ones.  And work on the ol' attitude about what I can't change.  Instead of thinking of it as the daily grind, see the purpose and value in the work. And don't waste time; it's simply too precious. 

OM and I were walking and talking yesterday and thought we should perhaps come up with our own Ten Commandments. Although we wouldn't call them that. We'd call them something like Ten Good Ideas to Try and Live By or Ten Ways To Go or Ten Suggestions for Livin' the Good Life.  It's really sort of in the idea stage, but the few we are firm on so far are 1.Don't waste time and 2. Embrace real work.  If we ever finish our list, I'll maybe write about it here. Or else we'll write a book and be wildly successful, enough to quit our day jobs and go in on a communal farm together, while doing book tours in the winter time.  You never do know! 

Yesterday I was able to recharge the ol' batteries. I had the opportunity to go listen to Wendell Berry speak, but I turned it down; I just couldn't do it.  My friend who offered the ticket said that Wendell Berry would approve of my decision.  I wish I would have been up for it, but I was sooo worn down by the end of the school day. I thought for sure I'd take a nap when I got home, but nope, it was so sunny and pleasant, I got busy in the garden and didn't stop 'til almost 8.  It was simply delightful. I made a little bean tepee in a barrel and planted more beans, I transplanted zinnias and calendula, put in over 100 sunflowers, got some more tomatoes in the ground (black cherry and sungold), transplanted 2 pumpkins from N, and put in some more beans by the front steps.  The chickens were nearby the whole time, making their gentle chicken noises that I love.  When I was all done, I sat down on the bright red Adirondack chair The Bobster made for me and just took it all in.  I looked at my pretty little garden beds and my shiny and fluffy black chickens and the setting sun and it was just right; ideal.  So today, I try again, revise further, and do my best (that might need to be Idea #3).

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