The Paradox of Busyness

Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Jobs, Randomness, Sass | 2 Comments

Creativity and inspiration are tricky things.

I go through spurts. I picture my levels of creativity like an erratic EEG monitor. I’m all over the place. As some of you may have deduced, I’m back to an *interesting* work schedule (which, mainly, is me sitting in my pajamas, looking for jobs and doing some freelance writing/private practice stuff). I’m busy, but not steadily busy. I’ll have a couple hours of work, an errand to run, more work, a doctor’s appointment, etc. My schedule is flexible and leisurely. I don’t really like it. I’m a gal who yearns for structure.

I’ve noticed during these times, I don’t really feel like writing in this blog (sorry, just bein’ real and shiz). I feel like I have nothing profound to say or nothing I really feel like sharing. I don’t feel inspired and frankly, I’d rather sit and draw or paint than write in the ol’ blog. Maybe it’s because drawing and painting don’t have to have a point. Writing in here has to have a point. I’m not going to mindlessly ramble at you 5 days a week. I don’t want to waste your eyeballs or my time. I like writing when I have something to say or a thought to express.

It’s frustrating though because if there was ever a time in my life where I had the time to write a million things on here, now is that time. When I have less time, when I’m out working my booty off, traveling all over, talking to a bunch of people, then I’m sitting there tapping my foot, scrawling notes on paper or typing them into my phone, itching to write a post the moment I have some time to myself. It’s weird. When I’m busy, I want to be more busy. When I’m not as busy, I have nothing to say. It’s a weird paradox of busyness. I guess it’s kind of like the law of attraction.

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I keep thinking of that TED Talk from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) who speaks to the beast of creativity. She basically gives a short history lesson of how creativity has been viewed in the past and how we look at it now. In the past, we viewed it as an external influence, something that would just pop into our minds, maybe inspired by a god or some nymph bestowing a genius idea upon us. Now, there’s an internal view of creativity, that we are responsible for how creative we feel and choose to be… to some extent I agree with that. I need to do things to nurture my creativity (like get busy!), but I also feel like sometimes stuff just pops into my head with little perceived control over the process. I suppose I believe you can influence creativity, but you can’t spontaneously create it. Some of it is kind of divine or cosmic.

So, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m trying to find ways to be busy, while also wrestling with this desire to just not do anything. Life.

The Case Files: Silver Linings Playbook

Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in The Case Files | Leave a comment

I don’t really go out to see movies. My philosophy is generally TV > Movies (sorry, movie buffs) and any movie I want to see will be on Netflix or Amazon Instant Video (oh man, I love Jesse’s job). Plus, it’s become increasingly clear over the last few months that I’ve missed out on seeing like 95 percent of all the “greatest” films. I have a backlog.

But, I was going to see Silver Linings Playbook. I sort of knew what it was about, I love Jennifer Lawrence (duh, Hunger Games Case File), and it looked kind of quirky, dark, and romantic, which are probably the top three qualities that I look for in any movie to deem it a favorite. Once it was nominated for an Academy Award, Jesse said he’d go see it. Winner.

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HOLY MOLY YOU GUYS. Such (such!) a good movie. I may have some spoiler alerts in here, so don’t read ahead if you’re trying to see it.

So, it won’t be a traditional Case Files because these people aren’t real. What it will be, is a celebration that even if you feel a little off, a little weird, or a little crazy (I have felt all separately or in unison at one point or another in my life) then this movie will give you hope.

The plot follows Bradley Cooper’s character, Pat, after being released from a in-patient hospital after assaulting his wife’s lover, which he discovered after walking in on the two of them mid-coitus, while their wedding song was playing.

Ouch.

So, Pat nearly beats this guy to death and basically has what he later learns is a break with reality as a result of undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Upon leaving the facility, the movie chronicles his experiences in therapy (P.S. I don’t think this is a good representation of a therapist), his battle avoiding meds, his desperation to get his wife back, and his slowly growing relationship with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), whom he befriends because 1) he doesn’t get much choice in the matter, 2) Tiffany can get in contact with his estranged wife (who has a restraining order against him).

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Tiffany, is also quite challenged. A widow who lost her husband in an ironic dose of tragedy, she copes by sleeping with anyone she can. Once Pat turns her down for casual sex, she ardently pursues a friendship with him, bartering Pat’s role as her dance partner in an upcoming competition, as a way to justify her assistance in helping Pat win back his wife.

That’s your short summary and I’ll avoid going into any of the more intricate details because I don’t want to completely spoil the movie or detract from how subtle somethings were that I feel really made the movie for me. There’s one scene that I just loved and it made me chuckle and smile from ear to ear.

Pat is visiting his friend’s house for dinner, who happens to be Tiffany’s sister. This is where the two meet. Tiffany knows Pat’s story, but the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Tiffany kind of owns her crazy and immediately begins probing Pat about his past. Pat displays some typical behaviors of someone who is unmedicated bipolar, in that he’s super impulsive, he barely has a filter from thought to words, and he’s just really erratic. The two begin bonding at dinner over which meds they’ve taken, discussing the finer points of Seroquel and Trazadone.

When you’ve worked in an inpatient facility (which I have), you become familiar with these meds. I’ve had countless clients explain the nitty gritty details of taking meds for a variety of reasons, but most of them rejoiced in the way they felt on their meds. Sleeping is easier and being awake is more difficult, but when you’re depressed or going through a tough life transition (death of a husband or new bipolar diagnosis), sleeping a lot has its perks.  It reminded me of my old clients and it gave me a nice warm feeling inside.

The Case File

Straight up, this movie (for me) was a commentary on mental health. Sure, I was looking at it through that lens, but I don’t think the message was lost on others who weren’t. When you realize your mind is different, whether you’re in a tough life transition, you have a mental health diagnosis, or you just feel a little… out of sorts, you immediately begin to worry about the likelihood you’ll lead a normal life and most importantly, find someone who will not only tolerate your quirks, but love you because of them. This movie proves something I’ve known for a long time; we don’t have to have it all figured out to find and feel love. Also, the more we find someone who can understand us, the more likely we are to be happy. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being perfect for each other.

Find someone who can call you out on your stuff and then help you get through it. That’s a partner worth sticking around for.

We’re Moving!

Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

All packed up and ready (mostly). Patronus is feeling very uneasy about all of this. I hope its his last move for a while. He’s really enjoying playing with all the random scraps of trash lying around and chewing the edge of our cardboard boxes.

Meanwhile, I’m already decorating our new house in my mind, staring with my home office. I’m pretty sure I will gratefully inheret a desk from Jesse that is emerald green and black from Ikea. I went on Design Seeds last night and started picking out palettes. I think I like this one most:

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As you can probably tell, I like really loud, bright, and bold colors. You think this is too much? I was also contemplating black, silver, aquamarine, and this emerald green color. Something peaceful… I don’t know. I get design paralysis and everything ends up being a mess. I need a design goddess to help me.

In other news, it’s FRIDAY! I am so glad this week is over, mostly because the anticipation of waiting to move has been killing me. You know I’m just so patient (um, not). I can’t wait to organize the kitchen, decorate our bedroom, and figure out the furniture placement in the living room. I seriously LOVE that stuff. Can’t get enough. When I was in high school, I’d have nights about every six months or so where I’d just stay up until 3 a.m. moving furniture around and organizing my room. Did anyone else do that?

Oh, hey. Don’t forget about the puppies.

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Make this day a good one, kiddos. I’m going to yoga again. Hooray!



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