Had a very long talk with a close friend yesterday after work. They said some things that were hard to hear, but it was very good. And they helped, even if I can’t quite see my way clear yet to have an easy go of it.
Change is so difficult, for all of us. And I’ve reached a point where I’m truly at a fork in the road. I can stay as I am (and be miserable, or at least less happy than what I’m fairly sure a different choice would make me), or I can brave the scary unknown, make a leap of trust and change. And be so much happier with that change.
Really simple, right? Why would I want to stay unhappy when I know the changes I need to make to alter that state of affairs? When there’s a path laid out for me with red carpet and neon signs flashing, saying “DO THIS AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER”??? Fear. Of making the wrong choice, of failing at whatever choice I do make, of . . . well, so many things.
And the sheer number of very small changes the one big change would entail. Serious, very serious effort on my part, for years and years and years. To establish basic, simple things so many people take for granted. For those of you who find organization and daily structure second-nature, I applaud you. I do not. And I’ve tried routines (the longest I’ve managed is one week). I’ve tried charts and systems and index cards and so many things. And then I wonder, if I have such trouble staying organized right now, if I can’t manage that now, why on earth do I think I might be able to do these great big things later on? I can’t even manage this one little thing.
I stumbled across this article in the Huffington Post. It is an excellent reminder that we are not what we own, and that the most important things in life are not material. I particularly love this quote: “We cannot accept an expensive gift if our hands are full of cheap baubles.”
What is most valuable to you? If you came across that, and it was available to you, would you recognize it? Would you see the love, the acceptance, the friendship, the joy, the peace being offered to you? Would you be willing to let go of whatever you were holding on to at the time, to reach out and accept it?
I’m not sure I would recognize it. Or have the courage to let go of what I cling to, to have the courage to reach out and take what was being offered to me. Something else to add to my journey.
So. If any of you have read the post from yesterday, you know my weekend did not go as planned. However, I was able to finish the scarf I mentioned in that project! I’m very pleased, and hope the recipient will be as well:
The lighting, unfortunately, doesn’t show the true beauty of the yarn. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Georgia O’Keefe (a gorgeous deep teal-blue), and Malabrigo Mechita in Musas (a lovely, highly variegated purple). I wish the color in the picture was better . . . It’s lovely, and I’m so pleased! The fringe really ties it together. I hate fringing scarves–it is very tedious (I know, I know, knitting isn’t?), and when the knitting itself is over, I just want to be done! But that finishing touch ties everything together for this one, and the fact that I will be able to give it to its recipient next week as planned? Priceless! And just in time, because I ordered more yarn, for two more scarves (for other people!), and that yarn is due to arrive tomorrow 🙂
Sometimes I forget that stuff happens unexpectedly. Tasks take longer than planned, things “come up,” plans change on short notice. I was supposed to spend some time with a close friend today. Planned since Friday, though they had given me the caveat, “IF all goes well.” Apparently, all did NOT go well. . . haven’t heard from my friend since then.
My friend is fine, but I’ve spent the day feeling sorry for myself. Busy, yes–working on a scarf I really need to finish (was supposed to be a Christmas gift 2 Christmases ago–oops!). So yes, busy, but my head has taken some really strange trips. Not been the best of days.
I’ve alternated between feeling very sorry for myself, thinking this is proof that no one wants to be my friend (yes, I have other friends, who do enjoy my company. And yes, this has happened before with this particular friend, and I know they still like me, and we’ll see each other at some point–it’s never about me. But my brain is idiotic I have trouble remembering that when going crazy waiting for the phone to ring in the throes of disappointment). Where was I? Oh yes, alternating. Very much like the stages of grief, I suppose–from anger to resentment to self-pity to resignation. All over a few hours of time I did not get to spend with someone. Through no one’s fault except the fact that life sucks occasionally and plans don’t always work out.
So yes, I’m feeling stupid. And a part of me still is stuck in crazy-cat-lady land self-doubt. But this will pass. And maybe tomorrow, since it’s a long weekend, I’ll finish this scarf (it’s almost done, since I spent so much time on it today–small blessings), drop off some CFL light bulbs at Lowe’s (I hate them, because they’re a pain to clean up if they break, so I replaced all of the ones in my apartment with LEDs. More expensive, but at least I don’t have to worry about toxicity), and think about soap again. Made a lovely batch of experimental soap a few weeks ago; need to expand on that so after this month is over I have something to sell! And stop feeling sorry for myself. Hopefully I’ll stop being an idiot someday. . .
One of my favorite films is A Beautiful Mind. I am constantly amazed at how the human brain can work. How it is we process information, how we come to decisions. Likewise, one of the more informative and amusing books I’ve read on the subject is Imagine: How Creativity Works. I find our thought process, and the endless variations of thought patterns, fascinating. For somewhat the same reasons, I enjoy reading business news–how and why Enron went bust, the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008. How, and why, do we think what we do, and what actions follow from that?
Earlier this evening I stumbled on this TED talk by a self-described ‘researcher-storyteller,’ who spends 20 minutes talking about how human beings perceive themselves, personally and socially. It is not simply a presentation of her research, though she does present that. It is one of the most human, humane, personable, sympathetic and understanding discussions of our lives as social individuals that I have ever come across. I hope someone here finds it interesting and helpful.
I can practically see the weekend–one more day in my workweek. I have tickets to see “Spotlight” over the weekend; I’m looking forward to it. The reviews I’ve read have all been good, so I’m curious to see for myself. Who doesn’t love 4-day weekends? No one I know!
I hate it. I like routine, like being able to plan. I like knowing what is ahead. And right now, for the next few weeks (why does it seem like an eternity?), I have to deal with so. much. change. Mostly personal stuff, but isn’t that the hardest to deal with? Old habits die really, really hard. Even if I know they have to go, even if I know the change is good. Part of me still clings to the old, the familiar. . . even if doing that isn’t truly helpful. 😦