Dan put a name to it – Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon – while entertaining me with one of his literary adventures.
I just call it ‘a sign’. Those times when something appears at the exact – usually unexpected – moment to validate you are on the right track, nudge you to pay attention, or indicate you need to change direction. Or even to tell you your stars are aligned, if just for that instant.
I take creating titles for my posts seriously. The titles don’t have to be serious, but I want them to be enticing, imaginative, perhaps with a touch of whimsy. While it might be wasteful to spend much time creating titles – after all, it’s not as if readers are scrolling through a list of titles to choose their ‘reads’ – I get ‘juice’ from my titles, and they often help me organize my writing.
My daughter-in-law taught me her stress crutch – using a factor of Five to decide if what you are stressing about deserves the attention you are giving it.
Will it matter in 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days?
If not, let it go. It’s as simple as that.
It’s like letting the air out of an about-to-burst balloon.
I was recently berating myself for how much time I waste, and thinking about a tool I could apply to utilize my time more effectively – without going all drill-sergeant on myself. Deciding I could extrapolate from DIL’s factor of Five concept, I came up with Two by Two: use time blocks of 2 minutes, 20 minutes and 2 hours. I thought Two by Two would work as a title, wondering where I had heard it before.
Was it a song? A movie?
Turns out it’s a 1970 Broadway musical, starring Danny Kaye, about Noah’s preparations for the Great Flood.
Bingo! It’s a sign!
If it was good enough for a Broadway musical, it’s good enough for me. Plus the Great Flood – a stressor that WOULD matter in five days – ties in nicely with DIL’s ‘does-this-particular-stress-need-my-attention’ segue into my Two by Two idea. Not to mention, those animals boarding the Ark two by two.
Hence I unveil my 2015 Two by Two plan for ‘re-purposing’ wasted time:
If I have 2 minutes: empty half the dishwasher; vacuum one room; clean one toilet. Where is it written that housecleaning has to be a 2-4 hour slog? I hardly notice the effort when I use the 2-minute-drill. DON’T ‘quickly’ check email or WordPress!
If I have 20 minutes: do some stretching; walk around the block; practice a tangle; read a chapter. DON’T ‘quickly’ check email or WordPress!
If I have 2 hours: practice keyboard; start an art project; practice writing craft. DON’T ‘quickly’ check email or WordPress!
If it’s 2am: sleep; dream; practice good health. DON’T ‘quickly’ check email or WordPress!
A snowball’s chance in hell, you say?