My small family has been embraced by the Wrightwood Community and the surrounding area from Day One. It never fails to remind me of the small town I was raised in, High in the Wyoming mountains. With the five-year anniversary of our arrival approaching, it was a pleasure to be asked to write something for the Mountaineer Progress.
“What subject would you like me to cover? Movies? Books? Entertainment?”
“Write about whatever you want.”
This is the equivalent of being asked to order from the 18-page menu at Jerry’s Deli. Everything looks good. What am I hungry for? With a complete dictionary at my disposal, which words would I choses? The blank page stared at me with expectation.
So, I will write about writing on this initial journey into the eyeballs of you, dear Progress readers. As novelist Sydney Sheldon put it, “A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling you how hard it is to be God.” Every morning when we open our eyes we have that blank piece of paper in front of us. Writing is a fantastic way of removing stress, remembering what we might otherwise forget and giving order to the chaos of the world around us. Let’s take a look at a couple of approaches to “everyday” writing. . .
Wait a minute. Before you open the computer to try any of these practices I’ll let you in on a bit of information from the scientific community. Aside from the fact that your computer is a Portal of Distraction with its pop-ups, bookmarks and the possibility of a really good cat video, the use of a keyboard and screen doesn’t engage our brains in the same way that paper and pen do. Writing longhand promises more comprehension. Our thoughts flow more freely. Putting pen to paper stimulates a part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System. Writing longhand is a workout for our motor skills and memory. It keeps you sharp as the brain ages. Find a good notebook and a quiet place to try one of these daily writing exercises:
Gratitude Pages - With the challenge you face each day ranging from what we see on the news to the commute through the Cajon Pass, it can be easy to forget what is important. Beginning and ending every day with a few things that we are grateful for can release stress and alter our mood dramatically. Author Melody Beattie put it very well when she said, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Seek out what you are thankful for and write it down. It will make you happy.
Dream Diary - Writing down your dreams when you first wake up is as close as you can get to having a conversation with your subconscious. It can even help you toward more of what is called “lucid dreaming” and put you in control during your night time travels. One important thing to remember -write them down immediately. The trip to the coffee maker can allow the waking world to invade and the dreams to dissipate.
Brain Dump - Also called Free Writing, this is just stream-of-consciousness, clear it out, write-without-thinking, writing. You put pen to paper and don’t stop to think. It will clear your mind and focus your thoughts. Great ideas might pop out. Hidden stress will be exorcised. Patterns in your thinking will emerge. Like your garage after that deep cleaning, you’ll be able to find things more easily by throwing out what is unnecessary.
These are just three approaches to daily writing. Like a golf ball, the blank page just sits there waiting for you to hit it. Take a deep breath and swing away.
Written April 30, 2018
From the desk of Tom Pinard,
I read Wes’ reply to the Mountaineer-Progress editorial/column on the WWCSD. It was well thought out by Wes and clearly states how our local government has got to get a handle on our community owned facilities.
Thank god we have the WWCSD, and not a county agency, 30 miles away, making the decisions, or not making the decisions, on our local facilities. As the local WWCSD folks have peeled away the onion skin after taking over our local facilities they have found the smell that was a county agency that was not performing in our best interest.
These are our tax dollars and the sooner we get a local handle on them and budget and operate in an effective and conservative manner, the better off we’ll be. I argued, back as a Timberline Lions Club board member, that the entire community should help with the cost of the Community Building, and not just the donations that the Lions worked so hard to obtain. It was my thinking that the Community Building was a tremendous asset for the quality of life in Wrightwood and that everyone should contribute for its service, even though some might not use that service (as so many don’t).
The argument worked and our board voted to donate the building to the CSA 56 (not the county as some are saying, but to our locally governed, at the time, CSA 56). The County took over operation of the building after the Jarvis Proposition passed in 1978. The County did away with all the self-governed CSA’s (including our WW Fire District) and developed a single Special Districts Department in SB, with staff and control under one roof. Gone was our local control.
The bringing back local control to our community will, as good Conservatives know, win in the end. The County was pulling a shell game when they operated the parks and recreation (community building). Even now we are not totally aware of how much of our tax dollars, paid annually to the County of San Bernardino, are going for worthwhile maintenance and improvements in our community (roads, dog catcher, police, etc.)
As Conservatives, and we all should be Conservatives when we send valuable dollars to any government agency, should have accountings on how our money is spent.
By the way, the Community Building rental, as well as the public parking lot to the north of the building, should have a fee schedule that is fair but not a giveaway. While everyone in the community benefits from us having a Community Building (the quality of life thing), it should not be an additional burden on the majority of taxpayers, who do not use the Community Building, to underwrite someone’s use.
Government closest to the people is clearly the best government. We are seeing that in “spades” these last few weeks as our neighbors who have volunteered to serve as elected Wrightwood CSD Board Members wrestle with keeping the Community Building and other park facilities functioning while at the same time working through budget shortfalls. The “County” that some would want our local facilities to re-take is the County that has for years screwed over the community of Wrightwood.
Supervisor Lovingood, at the urging of a few of us in the community, made the idea of a CSD come alive for Wrightwood. The voters approved it, and we should all be working to make it work. Not that we can’t question, it is our right, and we can do it at local open board meetings, right here in the community.
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961