Monday, June 6, 2011

“Making a living and having a life are not the same thing.”

My Book trailer (You might want to turn off my loud website music on here before you watch it)

I have this habit of staying up very latish before my birthday so that I can reminisce, and think about where I've been, and where I want to be.
As a rite of passage, or as a way of holding on to the last moments of my younger self, I watched as the clock ticked its way dangerously close to twelve. Then, thinking that just watching the lock was a little lame, I turned out the lights, turned on my flashlight, got in bed, and read the children's book, "Oh the places you'll go," By Dr. Seuss. It's my favorite Dr. Seuss book. It's very applicable to life/writing and anyone struggling to overcome mountains in the game of life. I highly recommend it.

Also, to celebrate my Birthday and my wonderful family and awesome friends, I'm going to give a gift to ya all. I'm posting the link to my new website, and book trailer for my upcoming fantasy novel!! On this website you will find the first chapter to my upcoming book. The main character's adventures begin on his birthday, so I thought it fitting.

My website is here," Just a reminder, my pen name is Ivory Autumn for those who may be confused. Also the site is still being worked on. So keep checking in to see when my book is actually out. :)

Now back to the subject of my Birthday----My Birthday has always made me feel a little special--yeah, I know everyone's birthday makes them feel special. The difference for me is that when I was born, I wasn't breathing. My parents were worried that I wouldn't make it. But then, because of really cool doctors, and little miracles, I'm alive today. To be alive is a nice thing. And because I'm still very much alive, I like to think that---especially on the days when I feel like there's no point, that I still have a mission to fulfill, because God has a plan for me. And you.

My wonderful Aunt Connie just recently passed away after battling cancer for many years. She will really be missed. Her life wasn't very easy. She lost her husband to cancer when she was a young mother, with three boys. She had financial problems, and a host of other obstacles that she overcame. She was one of those people who really made you feel good about yourself. She was creative, passionate, and she did what she loved, and relished the the moment. The passionate way she lived her life reminds me that time is a gift, and we must use the time we have to create---to create a beautiful life, to do what we love, to do what matters most. A quote I read somewhere says it best---the basic message of it was (I can't remember it word for word) that many people often believe that you must be miserable, and do what you don't love in order to do what you want to do. But if you don't take the moment, and do what you love now---you will never do what you love, you will trap yourself by living a lie, and things that are really meaningless will take up your time, and you'll feel cheated. So do what you love now. No excuses. Because doing what you love gives you joy, it creates a force to be reckoned with---a force and power for good that will be remembered.

Another thing I want to touch on is the question that many people ask me (that really bugs me) "What do you do?" Or in other words, how do you spend most of your time? What it really seems like they're asking is, please tell me why I should like you. Tell me what good things you are doing. If you are doing something that makes me look good by being your friend, then I might take a chance to get to know you better. But if you're not---then see ya later pal.
It's rather upsetting.

I was writing a letter to a friend, which says it best, so I'll include a little blip from it, so I don't have to explain it twice.

Here it is ---I suppose I have a different paradigm than most people, because I’ve learned a lot of stuff on my own, not because someone taught me---but because I wanted to know how it worked. It’s kind of a neat feeling. It’s funny, how when you first meet people they ask, “What do you do?” Last week in the singles ward, we had a get to know you game, where everyone answered the question, who are you, and what do you do?
Everybody kind of exaggerated, or under exaggerated, depending on their self esteem. You could tell everybody was very uncomfortable.
I really dislike the question myself. I get the feeling if you answer it wrong, people will slash an ugly check mark on your forehead and say, “Next.”
One of my favorite authors, Robert Fulgam, says it best, “Making a living and having a life are not the same thing.” He went on to say that we are a lot more than just how we make money. He told some person who asked him what he did for a living that he was a respirator---or someone who breathes in and out.
*Ha* If what we do is about how we spend our time, the truth is, most of us spend half our time sleeping, the other half eating, and then going to the bathroom. So go figure. Another truth is that most of us, at one point in our lives, are many things. So to answer that question correctly, Last month, judging how I spent my time, I’d have to say, I was a landscaper, janitor, goat milkier, cook, explorer, singer, (sad person, cus my favorite aunty just died, and we had to go to her funeral) musician, writer, friend, doctor, athlete, cowgirl, mosquito masher, treasure finder, councilor, and, accidental comedian, dreamer, cheese cake tester, author, repair woman, and rain flood rescue worker for drenched animals.

Thus to sum up my life in the smallest possible words, A J.R.R Token Quote comes to mind.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king


So, now, I ask you, from my heart? What do you do? What gives you joy? Don't play yourself down if you don't make a lot of money. Money really is meaningless. All it is, is a tool. No one should base who they are on how much money they get, or how much learning they achieve in this life. Real wisdom is learning to listen to that small voice that's inside us---to the voice of truth and following our own path. Real wisdom comes from taking time to live---to really live.

I want to close this blog post by challenging you---be you young, old, rich poor, famous or invisible, to see yourself and others in a new light. To get to know the people in your life by really delving deeper. When we get into groups and speak of money and position, education, why don't we talk about ideas, dreams, the small things that make up our lives. Because those things are the things that really make us who we are. We are much more than what we do, and we do much more than most people will ever know. "Be the change you seek in the world"--Gandhi

So I'll end with some awesome quotes that made me feel something when I read them. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do. Reading quotes helps remind me the why and how of it all. Helps me to remember that even though my art, writing, and the little things I do every day will aren't perfect, or ever will be, that what I do matters.

A lot of these quotes came from a book called The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I highly recommend it as well.

We tend to think being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength.” pg 126

“Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead.” pg 119

“Creativity lives in paradox: serious art is born from serious play.” pg 112

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." --Pablo Picasso

The best use of life is to invest it in something which will out last life. - William James

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of readiness to die. - G.K. Chesterton

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong. - Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (b. 1918)

"Everyone has a purpose in life ... a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals." - pg. 93, "The Law of Dharma"

Failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. - B F. Skinner, American psychologist (b. 1904)

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.

~ Martha Graham ~

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

~ Colette ~

Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.

~ Paul Hawken ~

I don't have a lot of respect for talent. Talent is genetic.
It's what you do with it that counts.

~ Martin Ritt ~

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.

~ Edgar Degas ~

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