Streamlining

Decided to deactivate my Facebook account because once they made it impossible to shrink the ‘mini feed’ (showing you your activities) it became impossible to deny how much time I’ve been spending online!

And no, not doing research or keeping up with events/friends but playing scrabulous (okay… even that might be construed as keeping Alzheimer’s at bay), sending people virtual plants, eggs & hugs & (worst of all) tending to my virtual pets–I’m going to miss them. My ‘live gifts’ Caroline, Chloe & Beatrice & my penguin Rafael.
But there are definitely more important things to worry about in the world than whether I need to buy virtual sushi for a virtual penguin or play ball with a cartoon frog to keep her happy!

So–no more Facebook.

Yes, there’s a lot of work to be done. Not just on the novel though I’ve done YET ANOTHER turnaround & am back to 2 chapters. I keep feeling the voice is wrong after a while & having to change. But perhaps next time I’ll set it aside & work on something else for a week instead of deleting 5 chapters immediately…

But yes, I do feel it’s reading better than two drafts ago or five drafts ago.

This morning after practice, James (James Figueira of Yoga Shala) said I want to do everything at once & used writing as an analogy: that I was trying to write him a full novel in a day, complete with characterisations, plot, locations, colour, humour… he was talking about practice, how I should accept where I am as where I am first, & keep working on that, on breathing, with stability & gratitude that I am here now.
I am going to take that and try to apply it not just to yoga but to writing as well!

This weekend (almost over, but–) I have to/ want to / will try to 1) edit & polish an interview with a former prof for a year book 2) proof read 2 stories & bio for an online magazine (ReadTheseLips out in June–hoorah!) 3) proof read the forward to my book of plays (KK Seet wrote a fantastic intro–was very very impressed by his picking up stuff, especially the ‘redeeming’ side of some of my male characters that previous directors seemed to have missed completely. I had assumed it was just my writing, that it didn’t come through enough so this feels very very good.) 4) Come up with Q & A to attach to the 8 different plays that will be in the book…

And I was hoping to play with Illustrator & come up with my own cover design because I’ve already got a great idea–drew it out & scanned it yesterday. If I can finish it I can try to talk the publishers (Enoch Ng at FirstFruits) into considering it!

Great practice yesterday & today. Yes, my chakrasana is coming back–slowly. & I am sort of sort of getting the hang of straight leg jump throughs. But like James says, I am where I am–make it a good place to be.

Fantastic surprise party at Hooper Rd (Orangedot hq) last night. I actually got there on time to be part of the surprise despite turning off wrong exits from Newton Circus 3 times.
4th time I just kept going round & roung the circus till I SAW where I wanted to go, gps & street directory & road signs all coalesced… & I found it, yes.
Can’t say more here but it was a very special occasion. The guest of honour had to leave soon after the surprise/dinner/speeches/balloons/flowers/tiara/wine & champagne/ but I think we managed to make him feel how much we appreciate all he’s done/been for us through the years, in spite of not having had such an easy time himself.

And yes, I missed church service this morning. But between going to FCC & going to yoga, right now I want to go to yoga more.
The people at church are nice, but I really don’t have any points of connection with any of them. I used to think I ‘needed’ a home church, & if that was the case, FCC is probably the only church I could consider.
But perhaps I don’t.
Lately going to service has been more draining than feeding because I find it difficult to worship with the songs they use, because I’m not comfortable (never have been!) with being told what I am & where I ‘should be’ in relationship to society and because–like some of the other gay people I’ve met–most of them are heavy meat eaters…

Corny, I know. But after asking several different people whether they’d join me for lunch at the vegetarian cafe instead of the hawker centre (with no veg options) and being told vegetarian food is too bland/boring or “I need my meat” I’m realising they are serious–a meal without chicken/beef/pork is just not a meal to them. They’d eat with me if I joined them at the hawker centre (so I hope it’s not me they object to!) but make comments like “how can just rice with vegetables be enough” or “the stalls probably put meat stock in their veg dishes so you’re still eating dead animals”

But yes, FCC was there for me when I was transitioning away from Wesley, and I needed them then. The acceptance of me as I am was very important to me & helped a lot. But now I think part of ‘streamlining’ my time my focus & my priorities means it’s time for me to move on.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Gartenfische, I’m wondering now whether our struggles are really a ‘bad’ thing. In my ‘ideal’ world, we would all automatically gather in our own neighbourhood churches/own homes for our weekly/daily/monthly worship, because what we want to celebrate & remember is that God is everywhere.
    And ironically, my previous church, as part of the Methodist structure, was very concerned about people not getting too attached to individual pastors–that would lead to cult of the pastor’) or practices/teachings & so would switch pastors around from church to church (maybe I just found source of my distrust of super rich mega churches!)
    I do believe though that if I’m to find a ‘home’ church, God will bring me to one despite my own blindness/stubbornness. And if not–well, by example, Christ went into a quiet place by himself to pray…

    And yes, yes yes! (to the heavy meat meals) I think it’s part of wanting to reinforce that they can be strong in spirit without giving up the flesh!

  2. When I first came to a Christian church (Espiscopal), I was surprised that every meal they served was meat-based. For some reason, the churches seem top-heavy with meat eaters! Weird.

    I never joined Facebook for the reasons you’re leaving it! I spend too much time online as it is.

    I, too, go through struggles with church and vacillating on needing a “home” church. Not for exactly the reasons you do, but for the same basic reason—not quite fitting in.

  3. Hi Kirsten–we can still play scrabulous on the scrabulous site! My nick there is ‘navasana’. Bit stressful at first because the game there are timed. Then again, good for me cos I can’t stay on too long!
    Hi Jo, so sorry for the unknown human pet thing… but it’s good to know I can be ‘worth’ $ to someone even if it’s only virtual $–thanks for ‘buying’ me!
    & yes Darkorph, there have been some wonderfully sweet & considerate friends. Like when travelling with some of them they automatically eat vegetarian when with me though I tell them it’s not necessary (yes, busy Jean, if you ever read this I mean you!). But it’s just too difficult for most of them, I think. & yes, I think I’m probably the only one there. And yes, I do enjoy eating alone. Though it may be my imagination, people seem friendlier around the veg stalls–I get aunties telling me to try this or that dish when they are queuing up behind me or getting me to pronounce ‘sah mei fan’ (brown rice) properly in Mandarin & Cantonese! & yes again, Enoch Ng of Firstfruits says he’s going to take a risk on my book of plays. As for the slow slow chaps 1 &2, it’s more of trying to find the right register/tone/approach I suspect. Can you believe this is the 2nd draft? & I’ve prob thrown out four or five times what I’ve written??

    & finally, hi again damyantig, I’ve missed you! Thank goodness for tall, wiry guys… (if anyone doesn’t get this go see her blog!)

  4. Feels good to be back here. I have hurt many a friend by not accepting facebook invites, but your post makes me feel vindicated!

  5. This chapter 2 must be very important if it makes you keep going back to it. Good luck on all your projects.

    You are not an octopus. You don’t have to do eight things all at once:)

    I’m not in a good place to judge of course – but it seems to me that you are currently in a place where you are moving on. You are discovering the things in your life that no longer serving you, and you are ready to leave them behind.

    It might be a good sign. But you are the only one who can determine that.

    But of curiosity: Are you the only vegetarian in the church? Sometimes it might be easier to take your meals alone, and work out other alternative for socialisation. These days I prefer to meet up with my meat-lovin’s friends over coffee, tea or desserts. That way they don’t feel “deprived” and we still meet up. At least, that’s how I try to “work around it.” Our culture is too steeped in food – and a lot of social intercourse are centered around eating.

    But in the theme of “streamlining” — being vegetarian has helped me see how insistent some friends can be about their meat. How invitations suddenly stop because I am considered “no fun”.

    It also shows me how some friends can be so sweet and considerate — they actually keep an eye out for places where they can bring me out for lunch/dinner. Because I mean that much to them.

    You win some, you lose some.

    You’re getting your plays published by firstfruits? Good luck with the cover. Their earlier covers not the best, though their more recent book covers the past few years seem to have improved.

    But firstfruits seem to be the only “indie” local publisher still doing the literary stuff. Whatever happened to Ethos Books?

  6. Aiya i am stuck with a unknown human pet on my pet list now ! Hahahaha. All rite u do what is rite for urself.

    Hoi next time u meet up with jean, can u ask me along? I hvnt seen u for too long.

  7. I’ll miss our scrabulous games but am glad you’re doing what’s right for you. Facebook can definitely be a time-sink!

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever tried going to a Unitarian Universalist congregation? They tend to be very inclusive, though there’s a lot of variation from one congregation to the next as to the level of Christian language/practice.

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