Thursday, November 10, 2005

Day 10: Beware the unexpected

As if awaiting the onset of NaNoWriMo-inspired Nausea weren't bad enough, this morning I woke at a woefully early hour with flu-like symptoms: chills, wooziness, and an overall "weak as water" feeling.

So instead of trudging off to school, I cancelled classes then hunkered down in bed, where I've been intermittently napping, sipping tea, and otherwise being Unproductive all day. (It's nearly 3:30 in the afternoon, and I've just now changed out of pajamas and made the lengthy commute from bed to couch: so, how's your day?)

Since I'm sick, I've officially given myself the day off from NaNo'ing...but since I don't have a TV in my bedroom (or a working TV anywhere in my apartment, come to think of it, only DVDs), I did a little bit of writing on my laptop in bed before calling it a day. Maybe if I'm bored later, I'll write some more, but I'm not counting (words or otherwise) on it.

As much as I've written here about daily word counts and goals, part of the reason I'm such a stickler for such details is I know nothing in life is more predictable than The Unexpected. Right when you think you have your life Planned and Ordered, something unforeseen happens to throw everything off. If you've approached your writing or other High Priorities with an attitude of "I'll get to them when the time is right, eventually," these tasks will be the first ones thrown out the window when Real Life Chaos descends.

I don't keep (or try to keep, mostly) a routine writing habit because life is predictable. I keep (or try to keep, mostly) a routine writing habit because life is anything but predictable. Since I've been making decent progress with NaNo so far, I'm not wildly freaked about missing a day or two due to sickness. And since I'm not wildly freaked, just quintessentially flu-like, today there was nothing standing in the way of me making some (if not great) progress.

Life's unpredictable, so sometimes you have to adjust your goals. But having goals to keep you on track on the days when life is predictably mundane is what gives you the gumption to weather The Unexpected. Or so I keep telling myself...

So, what Unexpected obstacles have appeared on your branch of the journey, and how have you responded to the Universe's "reminders" of its unpredictability?
Word count: 16,428

Last line: "It's not his duplicity over his lover that is the biggest find," he explained. "It's the secret they shared between them."


At 11/10/2005 4:49 PM, Blogger The Misanthrope said...

Hope you feel better. It sounds like the flu is now making the rounds.

At 11/10/2005 7:30 PM, Blogger Lorianne said...

In college at least, there's always *something* going around, so it's only a matter of time before I get sick at least once each semester. :-(

At 11/10/2005 7:44 PM, Blogger leslee said...

Bummer. Hope you feel better soon.

At 11/11/2005 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to hear you're under the weather ... take care of you, and hope you are back to your pre-yucky-poo-flu days soon. Grab an extra blanket, or an extra pillow, and definitely do whatever soothes the soul. Take care, Lorianne.

(and still you manage to blog? ... you're not only disciplined, but obviously chock-full of perseverance as well ... you are amazing, even on your icky days!)


At 11/11/2005 7:56 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Hope you feel better soon. You're a wonderful advertisement for how steady practice and pacing your energy opens up the space to give in to the unexpected.

At 11/11/2005 9:20 AM, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

Feel better!

Hmm, the unpredictable tends to happen during the day, so by getting up a bit earlier each morning and doing NaNo pages first, before anything else, I'm managing, so far, to handle both.

Unpredictables have included my mother's health problems, some health problems of my own, people coming in to town unexpectedly, and worry about upcoming theatre work.

I deal with them AFTER my day's NaNo goal is hit.

So far.

I'm well aware it could change at any moment.

At 11/11/2005 8:16 PM, Blogger Lorianne said...

I'm feeling "somewhat better" today: no more chills, and I actually walked the dog. But I'm still tired, weak, & not venturing far from my couch or bed. :-)

ntexas, the fact that I blogged while sick says more about the level of *boredom* I attained stuck in a house without a TV than it does about my perseverance. Had I been able to watch re-runs on cable TV, I would have done *that* all day! :-)

Jean, I just wish the steadiness with which I've been approaching my writing practice these days could carry over to my meditation practice, which is lagging. For some reason, I'm having a difficult time balancing the two: if I do one, I don't do the other. One of these days, I guess I'll achieve the meantime, I'm wobbling all over the fence! :-)

Devon, I think you're smart to work first, then be preoccupied with unpredictable "stuff" later. I know I prefer to write first, or meditate, or whatever is the priority for that day. Once I get started with teaching tasks, for instance, it's much more difficult for me to get back in the saddle with artistic & other endeavors.

At 11/12/2005 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, the more I read you, the more I think about getting rid of my TV ... a while back, you mentioned not having a TV, and it got me to wondering ... I can't remember a time EVER of not having a TV, and I've been giving some serious thought to testing the waters of how my life might change if I removed TV from the option list.

Just ONE of the things that you've got me thinking about ... not sure yet I can force myself away from the box, but the idea is certainly percolating in the quiet side of my brain.


At 11/12/2005 8:53 AM, Blogger Lorianne said...

I do have a TV...I bought it about a year ago to watch DVDs (it's a combo TV/DVD player, and the DVD player on my laptop had died).

When I got it, I tried plugging it into my cable to see if that would help with local reception. (I don't have cable, but I have digital Internet through my cable company, and someone had told me that sometimes includes basic channels.)

At first, I got a weird assortment of basic channels, including a FOX affiliate through Boston. This meant I got to watch from my own couch the Red Sox win the World Series last year (woo-hoo!)

Months later when I turned the TV on again, I didn't get *any* channels *except for E!* So when I say I have a "non-functioning TV," that's what I mean: I can't get local stations, but for some reason I get the Entertainment network!

For me, the Internet is temptation/distraction enough, so I don't miss TV (mostly!) Whenever anyone asks me how I manage to get so many things done, I typically answer that I don't have kids & I don't have TV. Given the freedom from those too demands, I have more time than most folks to do things like write, etc.


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