I don’t think I have ever shown you guys the note board I have over my desk, but I figured maybe that would be a good thing to talk about today. It looks like this:
My dream list is posted to the left, and there are my to-do lists on the left side of the board, and a birthday card Diva made me on the right, along with a couple of other lists. Those other lists are a direct result of one of the chapters from The Artist’s Way, and those are the ones I want to talk about today. See, they are probably pretty important, because when the book said to post them where I could look at them, my immediate response was “heck no!”, and it took me a couple of days to go ahead and do it. The chapter was basically about the ways we punish ourselves and prevent ourselves from realizing our potentials and dreams. It was pretty eye opening to read, and even more eye opening to respond to. If you’ve worked through the book, I know you will know what I mean by that, because we trick and thwart ourselves so very easily, all in the name of being “good” to and for everyone else. So here are my lists, and the titles are as telling as the items on them.
FORBIDDEN JOYS These are, of course, the things I do not allow myself to do, for reasons mostly not understood even by me.
- Carry my camera around for a week.
- Sit in silence and write something besides Morning Pages.
- Sit in silence and read.
- Draw, because I can’t do it “right”.
- Play with beads or puzzles when others are around.
- Take a long bath.
- Drive, just drive.
- Vacation alone.
See, all of these are things I love to do, and want to do, but in order to do them, I am not available at the drop of a hat to whomever calls my name. I’m answering my own whims instead of everyone else’s. And that’s just WRONG, see. Because for some reason, I don’t deserve to make myself happy, only other people. That’s stinking thinking, you know? And I am discovering just how stinking that thinking really is on a daily basis, as I deal with one of my children. She’s having a hard time lately, and it’s frustrating all of us. She wants more, more, more, no matter how much she gets. More bending to her desires, more coddling, more princess. It’s reached the point where she has hurt the feelings of everyone who lives in this house with her, and I am spending a great deal more time doing damage control that I’d like. I’m trying to help her, and I am trying to help the others cope with the nasty things she says to them, and also trying to remind myself that she really doesn’t mean the horrible things she says to me.
The good news is, I have a little perspective these days. In truth, I know that she doesn’t really hate everyone in the house, but she can’t figure out exactly what it is she’s needing, so she can’t ask for it. Hmmm, btdt, and visit far too frequently still. Yeah, I feel her pain. We are a family, and when one of us struggles, we all suffer. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m somewhat happy that she feels safe enough to lash out at us all. I was never able to do that as a child/teen/young adult and look where I am now. Maybe she’ll have an easier time of it than I am having now. And, ah, how did this article come to be about my daughter when I meant to to be about me, me, me? Is it because I see so much of myself in her? Maybe.
So these are the ways I deny myself pleasure.
On to the next list, which is even more telling. These are the ways I actively sabotage myself.
Cass’s Rules for Meager Living
- Do the needful first.
- Don’t make alone time important enough to use (this means that even when I get it, I don’t use it effectively).
- Don’t develop your pictures.
- Don’t let the kids see you being crafty.
- Don’t get the house clean.
- Never act without everyone’s approval.
- Don’t get alone.
- Don’t pray.
- Don’t eat right.
- Let people yell around you.
Yeah, that last one is kinda odd, I guess. But to hear other people yell, even if they aren’t yelling at me, just really messes with me. My inner child just wants to hide.
So, anyway, I’ve been staring at those lists for a couple of weeks now, using them as impetus to treat myself a little better, to invest in my own fulfillment and happiness. And today, I added this little goodie, right over that board.
I believe I am worth it. And so, as Fall approaches and we start taking out the sweaters and hoodies, I’m also taking a fresh look at how best to meet my own needs. It’s a good thing. Hopefully by Spring, I will be living riotously instead of meagerly. While still meeting the needs of everyone around me, of course, because I am, after all, still Wonder Woman.