NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 11
Huh, had I thought my spontaneous commitment to a post-a-day would turn me into a prolific blogger, I’d need to think again (and let’s not mention the still more or less fictitious 25k).
Two days ago, my brain went on strike. The best I could do was to upload one of my emergency posts: Why?
Yesterday, after having written a longer comment (a tip for learning a foreign language), life took over…
… and I admit I was about to skip this post as well, when I realized that I could do exactly what I do with writing: Mark The Gap or problem for revision – and go on as I feel appropriate right now.
What I intended to do
In October already I took notes on my blog post for 11th November, to post on the 10th: Remembrance/Veterans Day, A Minute For Peace, and in some parts of Germany the official beginning of the German Carnival Season (Why in November, when carnival marks the beginning of lent? Well, you need a few months to organise the fun, of course…). I was looking forward to the challenge of linking these topics, but not so much to the research involved (as I wantedthe article to be).
In case you’re curious how the carnival fits in with war and peace, here a few of my bullet points:
- “carne vale” = “good bye, meat” = the beginning of the spring fast, a physical and spiritual cleansing (“detox”, in modern English)
- driving away the evil winter spirits by going over the top (the Basler Fasnacht (“fast night” = “Eve of the Fast”)
- to minimize going over the top, carnival is usually organized in troops, with floats or without, and at least in Germany, Switzerland and Austria occasionally in army-inspired uniforms, (some dating back, as far as I remember, to the times of Napoleon Bonaparte, e.g. Rheinish Carnival in Cologne)
[This represents the gap – to be filled in next year, maybe…]
What you get instead
…is a real-life, real-time example of how I write…and how I strive to live: adapting to internal and external change – not by simply caving in, neither by letting myself being pushed around by shoulds and musts, nor by giving up, and not any more by beating myself up, but by choosing how to go on now, “after the fact”, and staying open for revision, sooner or later.
“Commitment”, “self-discipline”, “pushing through the barrier” are great helpers – as long as you like them and believe in their value. After almost 40 years of allowing them to get the better of me (and having developed a distinct aversion, not to say allergy, against pressure) I have, for the past 10 years, turned from struggle, building up resentment, self-punishment, self-reward and the “that’s how it is -there’s nothing I can do about it” of the 16 basic desires connected with intrinsic motivation:
- If I don’t like it, I can choose again (that is I stop to ask myself what learned from this experience, then let go and move on)
- If it’s one of those things where I feel “I haven’t got a choice” (there always is one alternative: “to do or not to do”) I go with whatever leads me towards the life I want to live – if I still don’t like it, hard luck, I’ll do it anyway
- The result is the reward – the only one and the best one
- I choose consciously which desires I give in to – or not
Instead of fighting or cajoling my Inner Schweinehund* (and wasting a lot of money on sausages) I open the gates and let him run wherever he wants, and get on with what I want to do NOW 🙂
By the way, embracing change get’s a lot easier with practice – and can even turn into fun 😉
*In German, referring to someone as a Schwein or Sau (female pig) can mean that person is externally dirty, but also (perhaps even more so) dirty-minded, foul, mean, lazy.
The Schweinehund was originally simply a dog that guarded the pigs = “pig”herd dog. During the 19th century, “Schweinehund” found it’s way into student’s language as an insult, referring to someone who is lazy and/or a coward.
Der innere Schweinehund would be that part of us that keeps saying “nah” or “later” and finding or making up excuses…
My word count Day 11: blog posts: 860 – novel: a big Zero – with : for eyes and a D for a grin 😀
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