live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

So Many Pencils... So Little Time

The best part of the pencil... 
the ERASER!!!!!!!

Today is PENCIL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  I talk with many people throughout the day, and almost everyone chooses pens over pencils to write with when given a choice.  I guess I'm just one of those weird exceptions.  When the other kids were discovering ink and permanent writing - I was still using my pencil and the eraser - thankful I had an eraser to use! 

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead.  - Robert Brault

When I began taking piano lessons at 3 years of age, I've been choosing to use a pencil instead of a pen.  Musicians are taught early on that they need three items at the piano with them at all times:

"The Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music", a Metronome and several pencils.

You're asking, "Why several pencils - why not just one?"  Well, if you are a lazy musician (and most of us are), you don't like to keep getting up to sharpen your pencil - so, you use a pencil until the lead is barely useable and then you reach for a pencil that is sharper.  Finally, when you have no sharp pencils, then you take them to the pencil sharpener and sharpen them all at once.  Yes, I do have an electric pencil sharpener.  Yes, I do empty the shavings - when I think about it or when they begin to overflow onto the floor. 

When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.

 - Michael Leboeuf

Just for fun, I counted how many pencils I use in the course of a day.  I also counted how many times I sharpen pencils in a week.  I took the liberty of writing this all down so I could easily transcribe it here today.

Let's see...  I have an eyebrow pencil.  I have no eyebrows if I don't use it.  Very essential pencil!  I sharpen it about once a week.  My eyeliner is also a pencil and gets sharpened about once a week.  My lip liner is a pencil.  It gets sharpened about twice a week.  I keep telling people my face is drawn on...  NOW do you believe me???

I keep a journal and I use colored pencils to write in it.  It's my journal and I can do whatever I want, k?  The color I choose helps me determine what type of mood I am in and gives me insight into my feelings.  Hey - Don't knock it until you've tried it.  I have 48 colored pencils at my disposal and I think I've used almost all of them.  Depending on which ones I use most, a particular pencil may get sharpened once a week maybe.

Do you doodle???  I doodle in my journal sometimes when I'm waiting for my train of thought to leave the depot.  Experts say that what a person doodles says a lot about what they are thinking and a lot about their personality.  I like to draw stars - I just put stars all over the page sometimes.  All different colored stars.  My husband is a bit more complex.  He draws 3-dimensional boxes.  It would be interesting to know what that means.  I think it means he's a very private person - which is true.  Me - I'm just OUT there - but he is not.

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.  - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
I'm so imperfect - every day.  I know everyone is - but I really am!  It almost gives me a sense of freedom to know that I can use a pencil to write and not have to worry about messing up.  I have that handy little eraser on the other end - so life is good and there are no worries!  The only time I really use an ink pen is when I have to endorse a check or some other official document. 

Most of the time my pencils get thrown away once the eraser has been completely used up.  In my humble opinion, a pencil without an eraser is dead and needs to be tossed.  It makes me almost crazy to see a pencil still in use that has no eraser on it!  I want to stand up and scream "What is the point???"  It's sort of like drinking decaf coffee...  I just don't understand.  I don't get it!

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.  - Joyce A. Myers
I record my blood sugars in pencil, not pen.  Some of them I wish I could go back and erase and put in a different number - but I don't.  I'm honest about those numbers.  When I write down my carb intake I also do that in pencil.  

I like mechanical pencils and try to keep those hidden for myself.  My husband tends to let too much lead out and then gets frustrated when the lead breaks.  Well, you're not supposed to click on it fourteen times before you use it.  I keep them tucked safely away in my piano bench.  Shh...  don't tell.   

 Map out your future - but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip. - Jon Bon Jovi
A pencil can be your best friend but you have to take care of it.  I have a few pencils here in my studio that obviously went through some stressful situations with me at the piano.  They have teeth marks on them.  You know - you don't want to actually put the pencil back in the holder so you just sort of pop it in your mouth then play a little bit, then grab it back so you can jot another note on the music.  A musician never writes on music with ink.  There should be no written notes in ink - ever!  You always want to be able to erase written notes from a piece of music.

When I taught piano lessons I always wrote in the student's notebook in pencil.  My teacher wrote in my notebook with a pencil and I'm sure her teacher did the same thing.  So much of what we do is because we are conditioned to do it a certain way.  It all depends on our background and our interests and how we are taught. 

Most people think it's just silly that I prefer pencils over pens.  Well, let them think and me...  well - I'm gonna write and draw and make all the mistakes I want to - and use my eraser and just be happy with that.   
Ideas are elusive, slippery things. Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away.

- Earl Nightingale
My friend, Lucinda Berry Hill and I were talking the other day about how it's important to be able to write down our ideas right away. I shared with her that I keep a notebook and a pencil on my nightstand just in case during the night I get an idea and want to jot it down quickly. I might mention, the older I get, the more quickly I need to get that notebook and pencil working.
If someone approached me and said, "You can no longer use a pencil for anything - now you have to use a pen all the time" - I think I would freak out!  I'm pretty sure I'd have to go somewhere and have a quiet little pity party.  There might be tears.

Pencils are a large part of what makes me... me, actually.  So, today I am honored to talk about why I choose the humble pencil over the widely chosen ink pen.  A well-sharpened pencil is reliable, dependable and has a nice eraser so I can erase mistakes with it!  How many things in life have that kind of guarantee?  Not many.  A well-sharpened pencil is much more reliable than any ink pen I've ever used. 

Most of the time when I get ready to use an ink pen, I begin to write and the ink doesn't come out!  Really???  That's not cool.  

In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.

- Vincent van Gogh

What gets me is those ink pens that are chained - like at the bank.  You pick it up and begin to endorse your check - and - no ink.  I'm thinking, "Why do you even bother putting a chain on this?  Nobody in their right mind would walk off with it!" 

The bottom line is - pencils rule...  ink pens drool.  There you have it.  Another pointless discussion that educated no one about anything having to do with wellness.  Hey - I have my moments.  Some days I just want to be silly.  It's Saturday - give me a break.

My friend, Richard Vaughn, wrote this and I want to share it with you.

Pencils and pens, pencils and pens,
that is where the writing begins.
The words will flow, it never ends,
Send them to your dearest friends.

You missed your calling, Richard.  You should have been a poet! 

Here's "The Flying Pencil" (if you like stupid-funny, which I do).



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