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It is still here, and I am still here. Sometimes, like these times, I get swept into a maelstrom of seemingly endless focused work hours and no sleep, and the last thing I feel like I can do is get on a computer when I finally set the work computer down for a two or three hour trifling doze of dreaming about work. Between overload and overtired, it almost took me down this time, to the depths, but MKL proved his wonderfulness again…when I called him, choice in hand, and said, “I need you to talk to me,” he didn’t ask what was wrong or why I needed this or what he should talk about. He just talked, about his day, about a phone call to his parents, about S3’s new car. Just talked. And listening to his deep, comforting, seductive voice talking about normal things that happen in lives when you have a normal amount of hours to live a life, made me choose to empty my hand and look forward to the prospect of holding his. It’s a strange thing, not living in the same house as a married couple (and yes, we’re working on it…we have a new plan.) We are not bound by the day-to-day battles over clean kitchen tables or piles of laundry or car parts, but we have made a point of identifying what our individual triggers are, and strategized on how to make it good for each of us. We’re being grown up about it. But now we are getting impatient, and more lonely for one another, and as sad as that sounds, it is a good thing. Adventures are in the offing, and I have so much to say. For now though, I may have half a day to breathe, and then back into the thick of the fray, so I thought I’d pop by to say hello. And bring you some flowers.
Quote of the day: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” — Neil Gaiman (one of my favorite authors)
The golden hem of the sunset’s slip against the black mountain’s silhouette
Lights reflecting out of chrome and steel windows
My head on MKL’s shoulder
My boss reading me a poem an old campfire poem – “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”
My fuzzy moose robe that feels like a hug from my husband
A dinner of Merlot and a lavendar bath
Since I fell to pieces at the end of last year, my depression has been up and down, sometimes weekly. I’ve made no secret about it on this blog. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. But since the spring, I’ve had a really good therapist. Therapy, if used properly, and with the right person, can be extraordinary. If not, it’s just paying someone to listen to your problems, and a bartender or a cab driver can serve that purpose at a much lower rate.
I’ve had several over the ins and outs of my therapeutic career. This one is different. This one is realllllly good. Or maybe I am realllllly ready. Or maybe a combination of both. She challenges me, and she incorporates (and agrees with) my committment to the “Unseen”. Between therapy and writing and introspection, I’ve been identifying – and resolving – some issues that have been lifelong millstones around my neck.
One of the things I’ve been to understand and work on – and it’s been a huge challenge for my entire life – is my lack of self-discipline. On the surface, this seems rather ironic, since I have been disciplined enough to work and support my family and myself since I left home, with little to no help. But in the last year and change, I am finding that my inner motivation is lacking. I become apathetic about exercise, about trying to be self-employed, about submitting my writing and photos for publication. I’ve been lazy about things like housecleaning forever, but that’s all part of the same issue.
I told myself that it was because I wanted a partner, someone who would work with me towards a common goal. That’s totally true and totally human, but I also have always thought of myself as a strong and independent person, which is why my lack of initiative is puzzling even for me.
Is it an issue of self-confidence? Is it really laziness? I know that part of it is that I was not raised with a lot of discipline. No chores, no childhood responsibilities, not a lot of structure. So it didn’t lay much of a foundation for planning, organizing, and even goal-setting. And I don’t like that. It’s holding me back.
And so, it’s time to do something about it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life hoping my actions will carry me along the path I want – or just wanting the path along which I am carried. One of the ways I tend to fail in this kind of thing is by making grandiose master plans and trying to take giant steps, then failing on the second step and giving up altogether. So, it’s a matter of wisdom: wise planning and baby steps.
Perhaps I have talked about this before. Perhaps I am all talk, no action. All I can do is try. But as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” So I guess all I can do is do. If you don’t help yourself towards your dreams, the Universe doesn’t help you either.
I’ve been putting off writing this post — just kidding.
How many of us are lifelong procrastinators? It starts with delaying brushing your teeth when you’re five, progresses to waiting until the hour before it’s due to type your term paper, matures to waiting until the last possible day to pay your bills, and concludes with the ultimate procrastinatory act — hanging onto a last thread of life when you should have died weeks ago.
I am guilty. Yes, I am. Have I passed this gene onto my daughter, or is it just something that comes naturally to her? Or just something that comes naturally to teenagers, as a way of expressing their independence?
She has become a “just a sec” person. You ask her to do something and it’s “hold on”, “just a sec” or “in a minute”. What to do with this behavior? Yelling seems pointless. Punishment doesn’t work. I am on the fence about it because I KNOW it’s one of the few ways she has to express that she guides her own life at this age. And because I spent so many years not saying “how high?” when my ex said “jump.”
She had a project due today. She’d had it for a month – read a book, do something creative to show the content, and answer eight questions. She started one book, and switched to a different one midstream – I can understand that – it happens. Especially when the first book is “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. But I told her last week that I did not want her finishing this at midnight on Tuesday night. She’s had plenty of time. So what did she do? She finished it at 11:00 last night. Perhaps I was not specific enough?
I told her yesterday that for the next project, things were going to be different. I don’ t know HOW things are going to be different, just that I need to do something to try to drill some conscientious homework discipline into her.
And then I ask myself why I feel the need to be drill-sargeant in this area. Do I have any right to, since I was the one who stayed up all night typing term papers until the ten-minute mark to class? Am I trying to keep her from the discomfort of my own experience? Am I trying to help her succeed? She’s had straight A’s for years. And some people do their best work under pressure – I’m one of them (at times) – perhaps she is as well.
I’m not a control freak Mom – in fact, I’m about the farthest thing from it. I’ve got more of the hippie approach – live and let live, make your own mistakes, etc. And I don’ t really feel that putting me off with “just a sec” is disrespectful (although her dad does.) Maybe it’s that I want her to understand that some things, like your work, deserve a certain level of importance and attention. She’ll find other things in life that do too, things that should not be treated with the same cavalier attitude, the attitude which implies that something else matters more than the task that duty requires. Being a bit verbose, aren’t I? I guess I’m trying to work this out in my own head.
It may tie to my pet peeve of taking responsibility for your own actions, your own things. It may be one of those lessons she’ll have to learn on her own when it backfires on her and she DOESN’T get the grades she so prides herself on. Either way, I suppose I need to let her own the problem (as my buddy says), but that’s not what Moms do – though maybe it’s what they need to do.
I was going to say that I trust that she’ll figure out what’s most important, and I was thinking that means work and duty and conforming to the requirements of society and adulthood. Huh. To that, I say “Bah!” and perhaps “Pah!”. She’s already got her priorities straight. Do your best, love the people around you, make time for nature and friends and follow your own star. Isn’t that exactly what I’m fighting to do now that I am breaking out of the corporate coffin? And isn’t that what we want our kids to do? I don’t want her to be CEO of Nestle (though that would imply all the chocolate I want). I just want her to be happy and independent and comfortable in every sense of the word. I want her to be able to toss her hat up in the air, having made it on her own.
Just the things I have been procrastinating about for the last fifteen years. Go figure.