Browsing Tag

time

Anxiety, depression, Guest Posts

The Woman Who Stares at Clocks

November 6, 2017
time

By Tasha Kerry Smith

I wake each morning to the sound of silence and stare at the clock. Plastic, pink, old-style alarm clock with big numbers. The little hand crouches at nine and the big hand is in between the 2 and 3. I will wait till it hits 3, exactly a quarter past, before moving. Starting every activity on a concrete number helps me know where I start and finish. In the waiting minutes the voice speaks its filth: You’re worthless. Lazy. The world would be better off without you.

My morning is unremarkable but carried out at a tense pace, as if I have an A.M. conference call with the UN though I’m freelance and set my own schedule. I eat a small breakfast standing by the sink; brace myself for the dog walk. On bad days, when the voice is loud, I don’t like going outside. Too much activity. Too many people. Deliverymen shouting orders. Shoppers running errands. Dogs barking. Horns honking. Every noise hurts. I weave through them, head down, and make for the beach, where the dog can roam and the voice creeps into the quiet: Worthless. Hateful. Bitch. It’s takes physical strength to restrain it. My mind is shot.

To cope, I watch the clock, plan my day, giving each task a time slot. If I complete a task within the allotted time, I relax. If I don’t, I panic. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Self Love

Venus Envy

November 16, 2016
scale

By Michelle Riddell

A woman’s primary nemesis is a scale—not the bathroom variety, though its adversarial powers are fierce—I am talking about a balance scale, the kind whose likeness is etched in bronze outside a courthouse. The kind of scale that compares the weight of one thing to another and registers the slightest sliver of inequity by dramatically tipping its arm. A woman imagines herself standing alone in the little gold dish on one side of the scale. She is weighted, grounded, secure. She wins if she is more, and she is more only if the other side is less. Like a zero-sum game, the outcome is distributive, never integrative, never shared.

In the second gold dish, on the opposite side of the balance arm, stand other women. Women she knows, women she loves, women she has never met yet knows intimate details about. Women who hurt her feelings back in high school, women who pretend to be interested when she talks, yet can’t bring themselves to ask her about her life. Women who begrudge her success in whatever realm it may be: another pregnancy, weight loss, a promotion, a good manicure. Women who complain about her behind her back, or don’t invite her, or don’t bother to learn her name. Women she is “friends” with but who won’t “like” the pictures she posts of her daughter’s first tooth or her tenth anniversary. Continue Reading…

Contests & Giveaways, Guest Posts

Essay Winner of Scholarship To Emily Rapp/Jen Pastiloff Vermont Retreat.

September 21, 2015

Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder of The Manifest-Station:

This was not easy. This is not easy. I had one spot to give away to our retreat (and yes, we will do it again next year as this is our third year leading the Vermont retreat.) I had one spot which then turned into FOUR, thanks to various generous donors including Lidia Yuknavitch, Amy Ferris, Elizabeth Quant and three others.

And yet and still, we have 70 essays to get through. You read that right: 70. In just a few days, 70 essays piled in.

I sat reading through all of them with eyes spilling over. I was so moved that I decided I could not stop here. I would keep giving and finding ways to be of service. My teacher and mentor, Dr. Wayne Dyer, passed away last week- that was his big message. How many I serve?

I intend to carry on that legacy.

I decided I could not stop at these 4 spots to Vermont so I am giving away 3 spots to my New Years Retreat in Ojai, California as well. Nothing makes me feel better than to do this.

And yet and still, there are so many others that were not chosen. There was not one essay that didn’t move me. There was not one essay that did not want me to push through my computer screen and embrace the woman who wrote it. Not one. I had a team helping me as I could not do this alone. I think we need to remember that more often: we cannot do this alone.

How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.

Melanie McNair has been notified and will be attending the retreat with Emily and I next month in Stowe. The retreat is sold out. Congratulations to Melanie. I hope you all will be moved to share this. I know I was.

At the end of my life, when I ask one final, “What have I done?” Let my answer be, “I have done love.”

Love, Jen Pastiloff

ps, I am writing this from the air as I head back from New York. The launch of my labor of love, my Girl Power: You Are Enough workshops, was this past weekend in Princeton and NY. It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I will keep you all posted on the next one. This movement is so needed.

 

Time Time Time
By Melanie McNair

 

  1.  If one more person tells me it’s all for the best, I might resort to violence.

 

  1. In May, I was in New York, having a meal with some of my favorite women. My friend Jeanne was next to me and she asked in her quiet, thoughtful way what I was up to. I replied with the list of big life changes to come the following few weeks: graduate with an MFA, move to my hometown with the love of my life to start building a life together in a beautiful place, turn forty, marry the love of my life.

 

“Everything is coming up Melanie,” Jeanne said.

 

I winced. It didn’t feel that way even though I knew it was supposed to. There were other details. I was at the lowest I have ever been with my confidence in my writing. My brother and sister were not coming to my wedding. My father was coming, but that was all he would be able to do. He was absorbed with taking care of my stepmom—his second wife with cancer. My mother was long dead and I felt her absence keenly.

 

I didn’t want to lay this on my friend. Jeanne had lost weight since I had last seen her. The chemo she had undergone since before I had met her was a broken levee.

 

Besides, I still had the love of my life. Whatever happened, we would laugh before we went to sleep at night. We would always be okay.

 

  1. Three weeks before our wedding date, before our boxes had arrived in our new home, I opened my laptop when my fiancée was at work and saw that she had emailed a newly composed song to another woman. She had also told that woman she loved her. She had also made plans to be with that woman when she went out of town for a gig.

 

  1. I turned forty back up north where I went to take shelter with a friend while my ex stayed in my hometown with her parents. They had booked flights from Australia for the wedding and it was too late to cancel.

Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Marriage, parenting

All In.

March 12, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

By Ryane Nicole Granados

For anyone who has been married for any reasonable amount of time you know that time is one of the biggest commodities you have to offer your spouse. It’s more valuable than wild pearls, more rare than a royal flush. Time. It’s a game changer, a bartering tool, a poker chip in the name of love. Whose turn is it to change the baby? Whose morning is it to get five more precious minutes of sleep?

“What do you mean you watched one of our favorite shows without me?”

“The DVR was getting backlogged and I knew you wouldn’t have the time.”

“Your betrayal is profound.”

Time is in a constant sprint while you’re kicking with all of your might during the uphill portion of life’s marathon. Each day ends much like the one before it. Victory is the hot shower to wash off the grunge of the day met by the letdown when you climb into bed to find your wife partially clothed, one leg peeking out from under the sheet because she can’t decide if she’s hot or cold. She always claims to be cold, yet to you her skin is warm like fresh baked bread. You tell her so, but she is already asleep drool collecting in the corners of her mouth. To wake her would make you the boor of the century, so you convince yourself it’s not the right time. Instead, you set your alarm then watch the remainder of the episode you missed so that the two of you can be all caught up. True romance is about catching up and relishing those moments when you’re perfectly in sync. I’m the one leg in one leg out sleep drooler and my husband is the guy who catches me when I least expect him to.

“Babe, do you think it’s possible to breathe life into an inanimate object?”

“What?” I scream over an inconsolably crying, sorely teething baby.

“I said, do you think it’s possible to breathe life into an inanimate object?”

My husband is always asking these esoteric questions and while we’re both artistic in our own mediums, he never seems to be impacted by the poor timing of his inquiries.

“Yes I guess you could do that. Like with characters in a book you mean?”

“Nope that’s not what I mean at all.”

And with that he walks confidently up the stairs with a mission to show me exactly what he means. Weeks pass and I don’t think much of his question. Schedules begin to get particularly hectic and phone messages get subsequently longer. Texted to-do-lists interspersed with sexually laden punch lines serve to remind us that despite it all, we still actually like each other and that is a feat worth celebrating.

Even more weeks turn into months and the calendar rounds the corner to a new year. Time continues to fight against the white knuckled grip of our harried existence. This time, over the sound of our 7 year olds’ drum practice, I shout, “We should go to Vegas.” My revelation carries with it a tone of immediacy. I envision us boarding a plane following a spirited game of freeze tag where we zoom across Nevada state lines before our frozen embryos even know we’re gone. My husband sensing my urgency yells, “Like, now?” His sarcasm rings louder than the 8th notes of our son’s rendition of “Welcome to the Jungle.” Continue Reading…

Awe & Wonder, Guest Posts

There’s Not Enough Time (& Other Crackpot Illusions) by Melanie Bates

June 26, 2013

There’s Not Enough Time (& Other Crackpot Illusions) by Melanie Bates

 

I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately. Specifically:

Where has it all gone?

How can I get more of it?

Why’s it moving so damn fast?

I have none.

Is it really possible to bend it? (Keep reading.)

Last week I had a short coaching session with one of Martha Beck’s Master Coaches – the slathered in Awesome Sauce, Jen Trulson. I won’t get into the boring details of the whining which led up to my takeaway, but essentially I have a deeply ingrained thinking error that says, “There’s not enough time.”

There’s. Not. Enough. Time:

… for me to take in sustenance.

… for me to pant on the treadmill for a measly 10 minutes.

… for me to shave my legs (and most definitely not for the subsequent braiding of the leg hair from lack of said shaving.)

… for me to take time off (ponder that one, folks.)

… blah, blah, blah.

But the thing is, I know, at the deepest level of my core, that time is a man-made construct. Who’s the asshat who came up with Leap Year, people? I have long believed somewhere inside of me that time is an illusion. Maybe part of a 42nd dimension that we just can’t comprehend yet. I started to get an inkling of the proof of this (from what my tiny brain could understand) when I first read Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – essentially that “the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers.”

Say what?

At first, I thought the trouble boiled down to my vacuum which is like 12 years old, the belt constantly smells like burning rubber regardless of how often I change it, and the rotors are so mired down by hair and bundles of dust that it doesn’t pick up. Jack. Shit.

My brain was really stretched thin, however, when I read what it now my favorite explanation of “time” from The Complete Conversations with God:

A true understanding of time allows you to live much more peacefully within your reality of relativity, where time is experienced as movement, a flow, rather than a constant.  It is you who are moving, not time. Time has no movement. There is only One Moment… Your science has already proven this mathematically. Formulas have been written showing that if you get into a spaceship and fly far enough fast enough, you could swing back around toward Earth and watch yourself take off. This demonstrates that Time is not a movement but a field through which you move…

Ding, ding, ding… “what have we got for Him, Johnny?”

Add to all of the above thoughts the Buddhists’ wisdom of living in the present moment. Samiddhi, a disciple of the Buddha, says, ““I, friend, do not reject the present moment to pursue what time will bring. I reject what time will bring to pursue the present moment.”

I’ve often had moments wherein I’ve thought those Buddhist people were smart as hell. But what really lit my brain fire was when I started thinking about this Buddhist way of living as opposed to our American way of living (my way of living) – multitasking. For the longest time I thought I was an adept multi-tasker. But the more I tried to do it, the more I realized that multitasking is just one more big, fat illusion. Wethink we’re multitasking when, in reality, we’re dissipating our energy so that one task does not receive our full attention which causes us to feel scattered (and a bit crazy, really) and the task itself is done sort of half-assed. But, the real zinger, came when I realized that by focusing my attention, fully, to the onetask at hand actually expanded time for me.

Bending Time?

Here’s how it works for me. If, in the morning, I wake up and immediately repeat this mantra a few times, “I have plenty of time” and “I have all the time I need,” and then go about my task of answering my four gazillion emails in a focused way, doing only that task, time does seem to pass more slowly. In fact, if I just focus on my email (without moving on to a website I need to make changes to, or a call that needs to be made) I can look at the clock feeling like it should be way later than it is for the amount of work I’ve gotten done. Read: Holy crap, it’s only 10:45 a.m.?

I’m totally awesome. I ROCK. Nope, I BOULDER.

Alternatively, if I wake up in the morning and think of my gatrillion emails, the website I need to build, the calls I need to make, the fact that I need to register my car, the payroll I need to cut, blah, blah, blah and I go about my day weaving in and out of all of these tasks, moving from one to another without ever really completing any one thing, I look at the clock and it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’ve accomplished notta. Nothing. Zip. Read: Holy crap, it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’m a totally worthless pile of dingo dung.

This is physics, people, I don’t fully understand it. My brain hurts from trying to write this post and actually convey any semblance of rational thoughts.

The Leftover Bits

Just like in any task I take on, putting together my own IKEA bookshelf, for example, there are always a few bolts and baubles left sitting on my floor. Here are the questions I’m left to ponder:

If movement were to stop, would “time” stop altogether? Are clocks only measures of relative motion? Am I bending time when I focus, fully, on the NOW? It sure feels like it.  Think about it: If it’s you moving through time… Are you running? Are you frantic? Are you calm and centered? Are you fully present in that moment or are your thoughts dwelling in a future time while your body is where it is? Maybe it’s our thoughts that do the time traveling and we all know we can’t be in three places at once… Or can we? I dunno, but I’ve definitely felt the magic of tinkering with time and stretching it out and I’ve also felt the effects of letting it run all over me – harried and chaotic.

Before he died, Einstein said “Now Besso [an old friend] has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Exactly.

photo

Melanie Bates is a writer, a nomad, and a nondescript heathen. She dons geekdom like other girls shoulder a Fendi. She works with visionaries who are setting the world on fire as a Virtual Assistant to Powerful Women (& a Few Kick-Ass Men.) In the wee dark hours you might find her with her nose in a book, hands on a game controller, or toes in the dirt.

Melanie’s most joyous moments in life, however, come from “applying ass to chair.” She began her writing career at the age of seven when she penned her first brilliant short story about witches with carbuncles. She is currently working on a young adult novel which she plans to finish this century-ish.

She’s moved over thirty times, hence the nomadic nature, but for now resides in the Wild, Wild West with the loves of her life – her boyfriend and So-Kr8z & Sancho the pups. To some this urge to move might seem exciting, however, there have been times when she has ended up in the deepest bowels of our great Mother Earth. For example, she spent a year living in a greasy town in Wyoming where she was blown back and forth across the road and where she ran home from school every day on the lookout for dark vans that kidnapped children. She once peed her pants while frantically searching for her latchkey.