Admissions

Admissions: 

  1. a statement acknowledging the truth of something.

  2. the process or fact of entering or being allowed to enter a place, organization, or institution.

In the spring I saw a play with our son.  It was an off-Broadway, preview play called "Admissions".  It was shown in a small theater at Lincoln Center.  I liked it.  I thought that it gave great food for thought.  Since seeing it, I have read two online reviews.  As with all ideas, there are contrary opinions.  One of the reviews thought the play was good and the other review thought that the playwright didn't do the topic justice. 

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The story centers around the Mason household. In her 15 years as the head of admissions at Hillcrest, a not-quite-first-tier boarding school in New Hampshire, Sherri Rosen-Mason has increased the student body’s diversity quotient threefold: to 18 percent from 6 percent. She and her school head master husband, Bill are quite proud of their influence in changing an old-white-boy-network-prep school to reflect a more diverse society.  Three other characters weigh in on the thoughts of the schools progress: an older, "legacy" administrative assistant; a woman friend of Sherri's- the wife of English head and mother of Sherri and Bill's son's best friend, Perry;  and Charlie- Sherri and Bill's son.  All are white.  But from the first scene, questions are raised about what is equity, diversity and inclusion?  

The play takes place over a series of six months, during Charlie's senior school year.  Charlie does not get accepted to his absolute first choice of school - Yale (a childhood goal and dream)  while Charlie's best friend Perry does.  Perry's "SAT scores were not as good as mine.  He took 2, AP classes while I took 3."  Charlie questions that Perry might have gotten in because Perry has a black father and he, Charlie does not.   So begins the questions about society and race, privilege, position and using one's natural advantage to get ahead.  And, what hypocrisies do we all bring to the table? 

The one reviewer thinks that the playwright tried too hard.  That as a white writer and as white theater attendees, we might be better served not to be the ones talking about this topic. Our mere talking about it makes us seem hypocritical.   Because, as the story unfolds, the liberal parents are liberal as long as it doesn't affect their son.  When the son tries to make amends and bring the dialogue to a new level of discussion, the parents are outraged and default back to the "who do we know so that we can get our son ahead?"

Yet, through out the play, there are statements from all sides of the argument that seem plausible and understandable.  

I think the person who gives the reflective poor review has some valid points.  But I think that the play's topic is appropriate for our times.  We need a venue to talk about all sides of the diversity and privilege debate.  It is only through art that sometimes these topics can come up.  It allows a civil discourse.  

While none of the characters "admit" their biased views, I think the playwright is asking the audience to reflect and admit his/her bias.  He asks us to to recognize and admit our bias for what it is worth and then look at someone else's point of view.  Whether he is asking for a confession on the audience's part, as one reviewer has suggested, might be interpreting too much. The author might be asking for just an acknowledgment of the problem from the audience: any new journey begins with the first step.

What about you?  Have you ever wondered about what you bring to the diversity table?  Preconceived ideas? Unrecognized privilege?  Use of the network system?  Never thought about it?  Below are some links to resources that might give you some food for thought. (As one commenter to the privilege video replied, “Privilege is sitting on a MacBook and commenting on a buzzfeed video about privilege.”) There are always multiple sides to any situation but I believe it is our duty as world citizens to be open and considerate of others and their situations.

Resources:

Video demonstrating privilege walk

Privilege Walk Lesson Plan

Another point of view on the privilege walk lesson plan

All I Need to Know... I Learned From My Dogs.

 Professor Marley

Professor Marley

Lately it occurred to me that I have been struggling against life.  Not one particular strife but life in general and not a huge struggle but large enough to prevent me from doing what I need to do.  I can get myself all tangled up in thoughts:  Why do I get so overworked over something that in the long run doesn't  mean anything?  And then I get worked up for getting worked up.  Why can I not be content?  Why do I waste time by wasting my time worrying and kvetching over things I cannot control?  I feel like a protagonist in a Woody Allen movies - so much angst and mental turmoil over nothing.  

As is many things, I learn about life through the life of our dogs. I see how our dogs behave and I realize that I am doing the same in a human way. 

They loathe getting a bath, especially Marley. If he sees his littermate being carted down stairs, collar taken off and hears the water running, he will hide behind the nearest chair.   Something that should only take a few minutes (they are small dogs after all) can be extended for seemingly hours and can result in water going everywhere.  Once he gets "caught" from his hiding place, he squirms, tries to get out of the stationary tub, and in general makes it very difficult with his struggling.  If he would just relax and let me give him the bath, the process would be so much easier and I think he would even find it enjoyable.

Looking back on the meandering path of my life choices, I see all the times that I tried running away and hiding or struggled in my situation. Some times I seemed to have control over my path's direction and other times I found myself on a path not of my choosing. Sometimes my response to life's choices  was influenced by the calm or frenetic response of others while other times I felt that I couldn't help myself in my response.  Either way, it is my choice on how I respond. I may not have control over the direction but I do have control on how I travel in that direction. 

Lately I just felt a sense of peace, calm and understanding. I can relate to the Hebrew wisdom, "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad."  When I feel the anxiety bubbling up and taking over, I think of Jesus' words, "...do not be anxious about your life."  In fact Jesus has a fair amount to say about anxiety/ worry and it involves all aspects of our lives: our physical possessions and our emotional/spiritual well-being.  

I realized that it is all about relaxing and not struggling with the hand that is dealt us.  It is such a waste of time.  I think of how many lessons that I had to revisit because I wasn't listening or understanding due to my squirming and whining, "Why is this happening?  It is not fair."  "Why? Why? Why?" It seemed that all my wrestling with God involved "not getting what I think I deserve".  Thank goodness for God's mercy and that I  do not get what I deserve.  Jesus reminds us that all we need to do is seek the Kingdom of God and everything else will fall into place. 

Looking back I realize so many times I just didn't get it.   At the time, the things that caused me to be all hot and bothered have not been significant at all.  They are just distant and fleeting thoughts.  I am painfully aware of this when I meet extended family members or distant friends.  They might ask me how is so and so or how is the situation?  I have to furrow my brow and think back, "What are they talking about?"  Situations that, at the time, seemed so important are relegated to the recesses of my mind. 

What about you?  Do you worry over your worry?  Is your life filled with angst?  Looking back, what were some of your concerns- 10 years ago?  5 years ago?  1 year ago?  Do you remember what it was?  What can you do to be content?  What are you seeking? 

I pray that I am entering a new stage.  A stage where I can just relax and enjoy where I am, what I am doing and with whom.  I am actively trying to be present for all that I am doing. Which is what Jesus is saying with His wisdom in Matthew 6. 

 All the angst, all the worry and the extra worry of the original worry have done nothing in helping me achieve any goals.  It just prolongs the agony and makes a huge mess. 

Just like Marley's bath. 

 

 

"No Accountin' for Taste..."

 Vivien Oswell's,   Little Petunia in an Onion Patch

Vivien Oswell's,  Little Petunia in an Onion Patch

All art should inspire and make us think about life in a different way.  This little artwork does so for me.   Currently it is hanging in front of me as I sit at my desk. I know that it is an odd image (as my brother-in-law would say, no accountin' for taste...) but the whole process of acquiring the painting, the life and value of the artist and the subject itself speaks to me and encourages me. 

I know that it is not very aesthetically pleasing.  But some things in life are not.  As much as we want things to be otherwise, we can get stuck in the muck and dirt.  It can be very humbling especially when we picture ourselves as a beautiful flower in an idyllic setting and think we are above the mud.  The reality is that we are more in the dirt than we think.  Humble and humus come from the same root words- from the earth. Humility is not a weak character trait;  it is one that cultivates growth. The painting reminds me to be humble in all my endeavors.

Sometimes we are placed in situations that just don't seem to fit.  We are flowers that for whatever reason- circumstances, choices, temperament- we find ourselves growing in a totally unlikely place. We may want to cry over our situation but we can also think of our placement as necessary.  Necessary to maintain balance for ourselves- remaining humble despite what we think we deserve.   Necessary for others to see life in a different way- one can bloom even when the environment seems hostile.  We are called to make the best out of our lives and sometimes we have to live that adage, not just say it. 

The artist always felt that her talent was God's gift to her.  She has been faithful to that gift most of her life, continuing to paint even in her nineties. I first saw this painting three years ago when I had strolled into an artist's guild studio in one of the little villages on the Cape.  At the guild, each artist takes a turn at the sales desk so on the day I visited, Vivien happened to be behind the desk.  I liked her other paintings but was struck by the oddity of this subject, flower and onions against her boating, beach and floral scenes.  When I asked her about it, she said that she wanted to try something different.  She even sang the song to me, "I'm a Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch" on which the picture was based. We had a lovely conversation about art, the sense of calling and how one needs to persevere in the art practice.  At the time I debated purchasing the painting.  It wasn't "attractive" so I didn't.  Yet over the last three years, I would think about it and think of Vivien.  I would recall her story and it would encourage me.  "Next time I am at the Cape I need to see if I can get it." 

 The original sheet music.  Click here to hear it.

The original sheet music. Click here to hear it.

This year, I decided to go back to the guild and purchase it.  When we went in, we found Ms. Oswell's collection but this painting wasn't there on the wall.   I was so disappointed.   When I asked the artist in attendance about the painting and if Ms. Oswell was still painting (I didn't want to ask if she was still alive, for she is 95 after all)  she said that Vivien had suffered a cardiac incident but was recovering at home. She then suggested that I contact Ms. Oswell to ask her about that specific painting.  When I finally got up the courage to call her (it is daunting to contact an artist, especially one not well), Ms. Oswell answered the phone and said to come on over to her house/studio. She was all excited saying she had the original.  We made an appointment to meet at her house.  When we got there, she was up, alert and didn't look at all that she had any health issues.  She was sitting in her living room/art gallery.  There were wooden bins of prints and paintings all around the perimeter.  Various sized canvases were stacked against the wall.  There appeared to be hundreds of her works scattered all around.    She proudly showed us a painting of a bowl of petunias. While the painting was beautiful it was not the one I wanted.   I was crestfallen!

I then asked- what about the one with the petunia in the onion patch?  Generally I am not that bold as to make specific requests of others but at that point, I was not going to let any stone be unturned.  She thought for a moment and then immediately sprang out of her chair- no walker for her- and sorted through a collection of paintings leaning against her fireplace and produced it.  I felt such relief,  joy and satisfaction in purchasing it.  

Sometimes we need to pursue that which inspires us and makes us happy.  The item might not be hanging where we first saw it and so we have to ask questions and do a little digging.  We need to pursue those inspirations because we need reminders of why we are doing what we are doing.  We may find ourselves feeling out of sorts and in the wrong place so we need that encouragement of a word, a quote or even a picture. And sometimes we need to remain where we are and bloom regardless of how things are situated around us. 

What about you?  Have you ever been inspired by a painting, picture, quote or word?  What was it?  Why do you think that it struck a chord with you?   

 Another Vivien Oswell's in our upstairs hallway.

Another Vivien Oswell's in our upstairs hallway.

It is HERE!!! The Anthology Can Be PreOrdered!

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Fifty nurses share their poignant and inspirational stories. What is it like to be a student nurse? What are the joys, the stresses, the transcendent moments, the fall-off-your-bed-laughing moments, and the terrors that have to be faced and stared down? And how might nurses, looking back, relate these experiences in ways that bring these memories to life again and provide historical context for how nursing education has changed and yet remained the same?

In brave, revealing, and often humorous poetry and prose, Learning to Heal explores these questions with contributions by nurses from a variety of social, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds. Readers meet a black nursing student who is surrounded by white teachers and patients in 1940, a mother who rises every morning at 5 a.m. to help her family ready for their day before she herself heads to anatomy class, and an itinerant Jewish teenager who is asked, “What will you become?” These individuals, and many other women and men, share personal stories of finding their way to nursing school, where they begin a long, often wonderful, and sometimes daunting, journey.

Many of the nurse-authors are experienced, well-­published writers; others are academics, widely known in their fields; but each offers a unique perspective on nursing education. Notably, an essay by Minnie Brown Carter and an interview with Helen L. Albert provide valuable ethnographies of underrepresented voices.

Through strong, moving essays and poems that explore various aspects of student nursing and provide historical perspective on nursing and nursing education, all have stories to tell. Learning to Heal tells them in ways that will appeal to many readers, both in and out of the nursing and medical professions, and to educators in the medical humanities.

It is finally here!  The nurse anthology that contains a story of mine, "The Mr. Magoo of Nursing School". (That was the working title, do not know what the editors finally chose.)  Click here to read a review.

  Preorder at Kent State University Press.

Change

Just because it is, doesn't mean it should be.

~Lady Sarah Ashley portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the movie "Australia" . 


Sometimes I have to remind myself that just because things are so, doesn't mean it has to stay that way.  It is so easy to get discouraged and settle for how situations are.  When we do that it becomes a vicious circle: we are not happy with ourselves for passively allowing things to be. We then get more discouraged so we become more passive and don't even feel like trying which gets us even more discouraged.  We don't have to do that.  We don't have to live in that cycle.

For change to happen, a person, government or ideology has to be uncomfortable: the uncomfortableness of being where you are, makes you move.  Our two Jack Russells are examples of how this works with their daily "discussion" of finding the best physical spot to lie down.  Generally our male, Marley will be all settled in a spot.  It is in that exact location that Millie, the female decides she needs to be.   In order to make Marley move, Millie will sit in front of Marley and bark continually in his face.  He will just turn his head away and pretend she is not there.  Unfortunately, Millie can keep it up indefinitely with the result that Marley will eventually leave and she can move into the now unoccupied spot.  Marley gets to the point that his litter mate is making life too uncomfortable for him to enjoy his nap so he will leave and find a new location. 

Personally, we may not have someone barking in our face, but we may become so uncomfortable with a bad habit, a difficult job, or an unhealthy relationship that we decide to change our current position and have to move figuratively or literally.  

Politically, I think we are in the same type of spot.  I am concerned that terrible policies are being written and that no one is speaking out against injustice or speaking up for those who do not have a voice.  It seems that we (I am in that collective too) are complacent with what is going on in our government.  If we are vocal,  we are not being heard.  Where or how can we speak to be heard over the incessant barking of our leaders?    Are we uncomfortable with what is going on politically?  Are we ready  to "move" in order to be heard or at least to speak up for others? 

Spiritually we can be in a wallowing place of inertia. Places where we are just stuck in muck- feeling bad about ourselves and allowing that feeling to draw us under.   We tell ourselves that the Creator isn't happy or interested in us.  The father of lies likes us to think that way. He wants us to be settled with that "reality".  Just because we are in that place doesn't mean that is it is so.  God wants us to be out of that place, to move towards Him where He can tell us the truth: He loves each one of us and wants the best for us. He has created you and me for a purpose and with a plan.  Somedays I have to begin my way out of this funk by renewing my mind through scripture.  One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:8: "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."   The other day I was wallowing in the muck of self-pity and was getting tired of my own barking thoughts.  I had convinced myself that I was an outsider to every group in which I am involved and that I had nothing to offer. I had to change my attitude and the only way I could do it was to repeat these verses.  I had to tell myself that my mucky thoughts were not true- that God was present in my life, I have purpose and that I did belong to a community of friends. 

What about you?  Do you find yourself stuck?  Uncomfortable?  Ready to move?  If not, what would it take?  Do you live in the reality of what is, is how it will always be?  Or do you believe that just because it is, it doesn't mean it should be?  How do you go about moving into that reality? 

Bullet Head

Back in the 1970's during the running craze, a twenty something young man was running a marathon in Wisconsin with the hope to finish under 3 hours in order to qualify for the Boston marathon.   He was running fine, meeting his time goals when around mile 16 he felt something hit the top of his head.  He thought it might be a stone or something and when he felt the top of his head, he felt an "egg" type swollen area.  He didn't give it too much thought but just kept plugging along.   As he advanced along the course, he felt like he was running slower and slower and just didn't feel right but he plugged along and finally finished.  When his wife saw him at the finish line she was concerned because he didn't finish in the time they had thought.  Only when she questioned him did he mention the thing that hit him on the head.  She convinced him to see the race doctor who said that he saw something shiny in his skull and needed to go to the local ER.  While there, the doctors determined that he had a bullet in his brain and very carefully dislodged it. It was in a position that was just right for removal- any other place- either deeper or shallower would've created considerable health problems. 

It was only a couple days later that he received a call from a gentleman who wanted to know what the he, the runner looked like.  The caller was supposed to run in that Wisconsin marathon but didn't since he knew that "bad people" were after him.  Turns out the runner was shot in a misidentification mishap. 

What struck me was the humor and fortitude of this guy.  He eventually did run in the Boston marathon as well as many other marathons and extreme marathons.  For a time he even wore a running shirt with his nick name "Bullet Man" on it and was once on the show "To Tell the Truth".

 Dennis Rainer was shot in the head while running a marathon in Michigan. He kept running, finishing the race in just over three hours. (Courtesy of Dennis Rainear)

Dennis Rainer was shot in the head while running a marathon in Michigan. He kept running, finishing the race in just over three hours. (Courtesy of Dennis Rainear)

 

He said that having the bullet in his head was a blessing and curse.  Of course, no one wants to be shot- the curse. But, he said anything after that incident pales by comparison:  at times when he wanted to give up running he would think, "I ran and finished a race with a bullet in my head.  How can I stop this time just because I am tired?"  He applied that fortitude to other areas in his life. 

It made me think of things that have happened to me that, at the time I found were a pain (literally or figuratively) and could be seen as a curse.  Yet, because I could press on through the incident and "survived", I can use that milestone as a reminder to keep going:  If I could get through in the past, I can get through in the present. 

What about you?  Any "bullets in your head"? What did you learn from that experience?  Are you still learning?  How can you reframe your bad experience into one that has shaped you in a better way? 

"He has a real job..."

This past week I was meeting some folks, and as the usual first time greetings go, was asked, "What do you do?"  Sometimes when people ask me that, depending upon the tone of their voice I really am tempted to say in a snarky voice, "precious little.

I really shouldn't feel so defensive about it.  He was just asking.   In this conversation, I explained that I was a writer, which then prompter him to ask what I have published?  And then he proceeded to tell me about his son who writes, but he has a "real job" doing "xyz" (something lucrative and other than writing).   

Oy vey.  Here we go.  I cannot tell you how many people over the last two and a half years who just don't get the creative life.  Sure, there is not a weekly paycheck but there are still set hours each day that are spent writing, creating or doing research.  It is a sit down job. I have heard back from people who say that (in no particular order) I am, "retired, ill, or moving", that it "must be nice to be a lady of leisure", or imply that I have "loads of time to do....." (you fill in the blank).  I want to counter- what is a fake job? Working for no pay?  Is a real job one that only exchanges money? (Then by that logic you can see there is a problem between the difference of prostitution and monogamous married sex?  Which is "real love"?) 

To be fair and if I am honest I have also been judgmental over someone's work.  I am ashamed to say that in my younger working years, I would think, "Gosh.  Must be nice to have a cushy (fill in the blank) job" where it seemed as if the person didn't have too many responsibilities, too many hours or too many physical demands.  Boy was I naive and stupid.

The thing is- work is work.  Regardless.  It doesn't matter what the type of work it is. If it is satisfying a calling, producing a good or service, helping another, providing an outlet for creativity and beauty for others in the world, it is all work. I like the google definition: work is an "activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result."

While I may bristle about the "real job", I am pragmatic enough to understand the whole concept of "starving artist" and "real jobs".  At the end of the day, you cannot eat your artwork or prose.

It is just that so many jobs nowadays are not "real" or regular in the sense of the nine-to-five jobs of yesteryear.  The way we do jobs have changed.  No longer do people have to have face to face meetings; you can conference anyone, anytime, anywhere around the world without having to leave the comfort of your home.  There is medical technology where the doctor can be on one continent and control a surgical robot performing on a surgical patient in another continent.  Money can be transferred from one bank account to another with the swish of a finger. 

I know I need to chill out over this issue. I guess after this latest encounter I am becoming a little less antagonistic.  When people make comments, they don't really think about others' sensitivity and the comments are generally made for conversation not for any harm.   I also am getting more comfortable to say that I am a writer.  (Although I haven't gotten to the point where I truly believe it- I will need a little more professional recognition for that.) I guess I am defensive because I would like to say, "Yes, by gum. I am a very successful writer.  I have name recognition, speaking engagements, and lucrative advancements."  Falling short of that,  I need to comfortable with my current situation and my sense of calling.  Like so many things in life, if we feel self-assured then we are more likely to be open and gracious to others regardless of what they may or may not say to us. 

What about you?  What is your job?  Have you ever switched careers?  How did that work out?  Did you feel that you had to justify it to others? Do you feel that you have a conventional job?  Does what you do involve a mental or physical effort to produce a result or achieve a purpose?  Do you pre-judge people based on their work?  Do you feel comfortable with your calling and your work?  How did you get to that place?  

 

Putting Off...

There is a comedian, Tom Papa who does a regular routine on Live From Here, called "Out. In. America."  Part of his spiel is that he tells a story of meeting different individuals across the country and then poses questions,  "Have you ever....?"  which moves along the preposterous story he is telling by his replying with a deep pause and resignation,  "I have." 

In the tone of Tom Papa, "Have you ever put off doing certain projects or activities?   I can certainly say, " I have."  

Sometimes I wonder, "why?".  I know all the right techniques, thoughts and attitudes to jump on things and get things done: do the hardest thing first thing, break it down into smaller details,  reward yourself upon completion.  Try as I might,  procrastination is still my default.

Lately, I have a couple of big projects that I need to do yet I am finding that I am having difficulty either starting, or in the case of some of them, difficulty in the finishing.

Have you ever felt that way- stuck in the not-yet or frozen in the not-done?

I have.

It seems as if I am paralyzed with the not-yet.  Part of it stems from the not-knowing.  Projects that I have to do are not fully formed in my mind; I cannot see its entirety- start, middle, end. I am not quite sure how to start much less what it will look like as I go through it and finish it.   I get paralyzed with that blurry unknown.  I don't want to start lest I do something that needs redoing. 

Other times I am paralyzed with the not-done.  Part of this stems from a lack of excitement over the project.  Many times a project has been long and drawn out and I am just tired in thinking about it, much less wanting to actually work on it and complete it.  There is a loss of "newness" in the project and subsequently a contempt of the familiar.  It is only when the balance is tipped in that I am more "fed up" with something hanging on my to-do list then not, will I finally complete it. 

To get myself engaged, either with new or old projects, sometimes I just have to trick myself into doing it. 

Kind of like my approach to entering the water.  When I was a kid, I was one of the first ones in the water (whether it was the pool, sound or ocean) and one of the last ones out. As I have aged, I am ridiculous in my avoidance of getting wet.  It is not that I do not enjoy the water.  I do.  I love to swim and dive in and out of the waves.  Once in, I am fine. It is just the inertia to get into the water.  I feel quite comfortable being dry, warm and sun-kissed as I sit on the sand and don't have any desire to move. 

But there will come a moment in our beach attendance when I need to go into the water. (e.g. All the other family members are going in, I am getting way too hot on the sand, or I just need to move and get up from sitting/lying down.) I approach the waters edge, stick my toes in, look out into the dark, vast ocean and think, "Ahh, not today. I am going to sit back down."   Then I think, "Don't be ridiculous. You do not have that much time or opportunity at the beach.  Take advantage of this beautiful day.  Just go in.  Once you are in, you know you will enjoy it."  I am paralyzed in the overthinking of the dark, vast and reflective expanse of water in front of me. All sorts of silly ideas float in my head along with the Jaws soundtrack.  The water before me seems so ominous.

Yet, I know that when I exit the water, all that water between me and the land looks so inviting and warm. It is green, clear and seems so familiar.  Not at all like the dangerous seas I imagined as I first looked out in the distance. It is just my perspective.  The water hasn't changed. 

So, in order for me to first enter the water, I will walk in, turn backwards looking at the beach and the "pleasant" water in front of me,  lean back into the water and voila.  I am finally in.  Gone are the days when I would immediately run and jump in.  I have had to try another method to achieve the same thing. 

When I cannot get my act together for a project or activity, I have to trick myself into thinking that I am either in the middle of that project or almost finished with it.  If I don't worry about the start, but just go right to the middle, I can get over my paralysis of the not-yet.  Many writing experts give the suggestion of just jump right in the middle  when you feel stuck in starting a writing project.  For instance, if one is starting a novel, one might get overwhelmed to have the perfect opening line.  Sometimes it is better to begin writing a "middle" chapter and then go back.  We trick our minds so that we do not get paralyzed in perfection and in having to know how it will all work out from the get-go.  Sometimes a different approach keeps things interesting. It gives us a little mystery and unfamiliarity which helps keep things fresh. 

What about you? What are your "have you ever..." experiences?   Have you ever had to change your method or approach to looking or doing something?  What was it?  

Do you feel currently stuck in the not-yet or paralyzed by the not-done?  What can you do to freshen up your approach to it? 

Have you ever wondered why you put off a task?