Changing the Way I Share

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 10 June 2014 | 6 Comments

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Past the halfway mark, I have learned that recharging one's body and spirit is possible and quite doable, but there is no drive-thru or microwave version. Homegrown, home cooked, time-honored and daily are the only ingredients that will work. Conditioned now to chafe at a 10-second download, the work this week shifts again from sensory engagement to strength exercises - of both muscles and patience.

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Back to work, Ready or Not

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 9 June 2014 | 16 Comments

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Two weeks after hitting pause on my book, I dusted off my publisher hat and got back at it. Was I scared? Eerily so, but I was more afraid of letting that fear control me. As much as I need a break from all things stressful, I need to be clear about the source of that stress. The two weeks away have helped me see, and appreciate, that I do love my work. As I read the manuscript, the nagging doubts melted with the hours. I was lost in the story, clarifying it, fixing it, polishing it. I ended with a list for tomorrow, and left my desk in time to catch some afternoon rays, cook supper, plant more seeds in my container garden, bounce, play some music with my son, and watch a little TV. It was a good day.

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14 Days, 3 things I know for sure

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 8 June 2014 | 22 Comments

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   It has been two full weeks since I promised myself and all of you a 30-day search for little things to cool the burnout and recharge the joy. Here's what I've learned:

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Lucky Number 13, telling a writer to read, and other anomalies

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 7 June 2014 | 26 Comments

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My precocious character Rose invoked the ire of her Catholic teachers and dismissal of her mother by her insistence that 13 was a lucky number. Why did she have to explain the obvious? Baker's dozen, an extra loaf of bread just in case, in her childhood world there was nothing luckier than that. Then she grew up, and 13 faded to nothing special, no longer on her mind. With me it was reading. I was devouring books long before I started school, I'm told. I was a voracious reader until the teen years. Then reading became a chore for school. After graduation I began my career as a paid writer. Who has time to read then, and why should I? I'm creating my own stories now. 

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Day 11: Honouring Friends

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 5 June 2014 | 3 Comments

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   I started the morning feeling completely drained and totally alone. Two hours later, I am not only still alive but writing, with a smile. That is the power of friendship. My gift to self today: valuing my friendships by trusting them and sharing our energies, wanting good for both of us. It started at 8 a.m. with a meeting with my business partner, the legal term for a relationship so simple yet too complex for either of us to describe. I had to look him in the eye and tell him what I shared with all of you 11 days ago; that there would be no book launch this month, maybe not next month either. That we would have the book in hand when the lilacs bloomed was a promise I had made to the both of us. The lilacs blossomed in full force overnight, but it seemed we were now both too exhausted and distracted to do a new book justice.  I burst into tears. He handed me the tissues. "We don't need a book to smell the lilacs," he said, holding my teary gaze, "and you know, they'll bloom next year, too." In that moment he was a pure friend, and I wouldn't trade that feeling of being valued and connected for a bestseller. OK, maybe the New York Times list ... But the point is, we both admitted to our overload, discovered we were on the same page, and made a plan to move forward that didn't hasten the drain on both of us. That gift will see us both through the next several months of chaos and transition that is the current reality of our lives. 

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A scent in time: KISS Day 10

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 4 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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  Today I almost gave up on it all. I awoke with the dull threat of a headache and a queasy stomach. It threatened rain outside. A day to call in sick and stay in bed, but of course, I couldn't. My client's annual conference was today. I had to set up, take notes, help with logistics, all those back end jobs that help make an event shine. I would get through it, but completely ignoring my body and spirit in the process. By the time I got back home this evening, my mind was completely spent as well. I popped some Motrin and fell on my bed, wishing for nothingness. 

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Say it with a song: Kiss Day Nine

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 3 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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    Week One of Keep It Super Simple evolved into nourishing the physical: water, food, exercise, rest, sleep. With essentials covered, it seems my body is ready for more emotional input. Two days ago, I actually looked forward to writing. Two nights ago, I had a memorable dream for the first time in six weeks. Yesterday, I heard a noise that at first I didn't recognize. I was humming. The surprise of doing it was sad enough, but that I had forgotten what it sounded or even felt like ... how much we lose when slowly consumed from the inside out. 

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My Favourite Things, almost forgotten ...

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 2 June 2014 | 8 Comments

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My daughter looked at me with a sadness and fear I've seen too many times in the mirror. She had to speak in front of the class. What if she couldn't remember a word, or say it properly? What if, what if ... I asked her to pick a lucky charm to take with her, and the what ifs stopped. She searched. She brightened. A tiny porcelain sheep became Lucky Lamb, or LL cool lamb, a rapper who would be at her desk cheering her on. That is why our world is given children, to sustain the human race in part by reminding us adults of connections between our power within and the objects around us. 

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Seven days: three lessons learned

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 1 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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   And on the seventh day, He rested. Regardless of belief or religion, that line from the Bible makes sense. Review and reflection are part of recharging, and of smart planning. I'm writing this a bit later today, and my gift for myself today and every Sunday is just that: time to look back on the week, build on the lessons and throw out the trash. So, here's what I've learned so far.

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S is for Saturday, S is for sleep

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 31 May 2014 | 0 Comments

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It's been five full days of little changes. Coincidence or not, I had the energy last night to take in an evening of amazing performances by young musicians at our provincial music festival: solo performers, high school students, forcing air through brass instruments in ways that made your spine tingle, or offering up musical theatre performers that made you think,for a moment, they were really an unwed father, a waitress, or Fanny Bryce. As unique as their selections, disciplines and adjudicators, there was one unifying piece of advice. Keep it simple. 

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