Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Experiment - Day 4

Despite my initial overwhelmed feelings, Day 3 of my Experiment (where my 10-year-old daughter Rebecca gives me tasks I must complete), went swimmingly well, even though I felt poorly most of the day. My guts have been in a scramble - probably detoxing due to the special diet I'm on, so it was a little difficult at first to spread out a picnic blanket and eat lunch under the butterfly bush - but once I was there, it was very relaxing!

There wasn't a cloud in the sky, so I couldn't look at those. But there were little butterflies - or were they moths? - chasing each other around as they sapped the last bit of nectar from the remaining blossoms on the butterfly bush. I felt the urge to determine what these insects were - but I remembered that the spirit of Rebecca's directive was to avoid hyper-analyzing the things I noticed, and just enjoy them. So I stopped wondering about genus and species and simply watched the winged creatures flit about. Ahhhhh.

I ate my lunch slowly and savored the wonderful flavors. I listened to all the late Summer crickets - one of my favorite sounds - and savored them, too. Fall weather will arrive all too soon and the crickets will be silent until next year.

Sketching went well, too. Many decades ago, I kept a daily cartoon sketchbook, but fell out of the practice. I mostly focused on my aching guts, but that's not a bad thing - keeping a sketchbook is a great way to pour frustrations onto the page so I can release them internally. And it's also a good place to record notions, inspirations and ideas for later use. Rebecca is recommending I keep up this practice - daily, if I can. After all these decades of relying on the computer mouse, I'm encouraged that I can still draw a little bit!

The "extra credit" assignment was to play my fiddle for 30 minutes - and lucky for me, Rebecca confirmed that my band rehearsal did count as fulfilling that task! 

Rebecca was a little concerned that I had to work an hour later yesterday evening. She incorrectly assumed her tasks were the culprit, but really, it was due to the band rehearsal that cut into my work day. She has also expressed trepidation about how I may react to her suggested tasks - she wants me to be delighted throughout the process.

We had a chat, and I think I was able to convince her that the tasks she creates are great - and that it's natural for me to feel some initial resistance to a few of them. Mostly, my resistance percolates during the period leading up to the moment I finally get off my hind end to address the task. Once I get started, however, I end up thoroughly enjoying the experience. Rebecca said it's like her resistance to showering. She drags her heels beforehand, but once she's under the warm spray of water, she feels great. That analogy helped her understand my process regarding her tasks, and that any resistance I exhibit is no reflection on her amazing, insightful assistance.

Speaking of initial resistance, here's my directives for Day 4:
  1. Do something I've never done before or haven't done in a long time. Whoa! The open-endedness of this task gives me pause. I caught myself thinking that whatever I do will feel uncomfortable because it's new or something I'm unaccustomed to doing. Unfamiliarity! So what do I choose? Rebecca is suggesting I dance, but I'm still feeling a bit touchy internally, so dancing might be problematic. I could pull out my harmonicas and play them - I haven't done that in decades. But that's something I used to do regularly - it won't really take me outside myself. Hmmm. I'm still ruminating... but the fact that it's a challenge means it's gonna be a good one!
  2. Write in your gratitude journal. Another thing I used to do frequently that I no longer keep up. Hey, could that count as fulfilling #1? Something tells me Rebecca would see that as cheating a bit.
  3. Extra - sketch some more! 
As usual, I'll let you know tomorrow how today's tasks go.


  1. Yes, I recommend dancing as well, if your are in pain, you might as well have fun and be in pain, as to sit around doing nothin in pain. And I would love to hear you play harmonica(s).

  2. .....I have been carrying around a G harp in my pocket.....often when i play my pup sadie 'sings' with me....its a sweet escape...
    I enjoyed your cartoon and am excited by this experiment as I read it through after the fact

  3. Well, I have been playing my fiddle more - does that count?


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