During the 61 Mile Yard Sale of 2015 (which I spent more than I should during), I picked up some great books on Laura Ingalls Wilder and related folk. Thanks to my ADHD/ADD, I tend to obsess on a topics for brief but furious amounts of time. While it is not a full-fledged obsession, I have been watching Little House on the Prairie TV show episodes and reading a lot of the Laura Ingalls Wilder nonfiction I picked up and some of the fiction I hoarded over the years.
Just like I felt the books were a serendipitous find, I feel the following quote from Little Town on the Prairie was particularly meant for me at this time.
“I don’t see how anybody can be prepared for anything,” said Laura. “When you expect something, and then something else always happens.”
“No,” Ma said. “Even the weather has more sense in it than you seem to give it credit for. Blizzards come only in a blizzard country. You may be well prepared to teach school and still not be a schoolteacher, but if you are not prepared, it’s certain that you won’t be.”
This scene is soothing for someone who is starting to feel some stress symptoms, mostly over changes looming on the horizon like that aforementioned, unexpected blizzard in Little Town. You would think an ADD/ADHD person would be able to handle change well; after all, don’t such folk flit from one thing to another? Isn’t that a sign of ADHD/ADD?
But change still stresses me, and Caroline “Ma” Ingalls’s advice is probably the best method for stress management: be prepared. I don’t do well thinking on my feet. I don’t do well with surprises. My ADHD/ADD may growl at preparations, but I think I am motivated enough to try.
What about you? What do you think of this Little House quote? What do you think works best for stress management?
I like to keep an eye out for potential devices that improve the writing, or the portable writing, experience. This one, a roll-up keyboard, sounded impressive: LG Rolly Keyboard for the tablet computer. However, the review on The Verge seems to pop that bubble. According to that site, it sounds like the area where the batteries are and the magnetic keys down the sides get in the way.
I can get used to different-sized keyboards. For example, it took me a little bit to get used to the smaller keyboard that comes with my tablet, but I’m not even 70% percent sure I could make my tablet computer my main writing computer. It isn’t as comfortable as a laptop keyboard or a desktop keyboard over long periods of time, and face it, that’s what writers need: something that will put with a lot and not make us put with a lot.
Anyway, LG’s Rolly keyboard is tech to keep an eye on. Maybe once it comes down in price (it’s not too far off the price of my tablet) and after the bugs are worked out, I’d check it out. Until then, I’ll make do with what I’ve got. What about my fellow writers? Or tablet users?
Earlier this year, I got into a purging kick in part because of the show Hoarders; later sites like Mr. Money Mustache and Project 333 inspired me to continue. Twice I managed to get rid over a $100 worth of DVDs at a resale shop. I donated trash bag upon trash bag of clothing. And my new perspective has leaked over to my yard sale purchases: I used to drop money on things I didn’t really need, which buried the things I did really want and need. And that’s the key to all it: Because it was cheap, I bought things because of the “ooh, shiny” factor or the “I might use/need/want this one day” factor. Impulse and fear, excused by a low price barrier.
I’ve been making headway on this, but now I’m facing a big temptation in the form of the 61 Mile Yard Sale, a three-day bonanza for us sale fanatics. I look forward to it every year, but this is the first time I’m on the path of minimalism. The next few days, I’m going to peruse some of the sites above and find others to help keep my eyes on the prize: not buying less, but buying better, buying happier. I’ll update you on my progress once it is all over.
I always like reading about the mind, how it works, and how to make it work better. An interesting “mind” tidbit from my latest read, A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink, relates to creative work and what inhibits or frees the creator.
The “know-it-all left brain” can get in the way right brain. In the context of the book, the left brain is the logical, sequential, analytical, computer-like side. The right side is more about the big picture, context, simultaneity, and intuitive.
Pink actually got this from another work, a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.
And the reason I bring it up is because I recall a pulp-speed aka prolific writer talking about a similar topic, shutting down the “critical” side of the brain so the creative side can go to town when it needs to. The question is how to do that, and I hope the book will show how.