Thursday, March 23, 2006

Argh. Not Again!

Yes, here we go again. I am AGAIN putting what “ought” to be done, the shoulds of the world, the “good ideas” ahead of my heart, my truth and what feels right for me. WHAT IS THIS QUICKSAND? What is the siren’s lure to these rocks? Or am I just crazy? Is it a pathology, something I need some help with? What, what, what is up with this on-going, virtually compulsive behaviour?


Right now I have a whole bunch of things that “need to get done”. One really easy example is that I want (so when does that turn itself into a need) to get a blog post out tonight. I have it, it is ¾’s written, it is all about humour, laughter as medicine, it is pretty cool. It just needs a little tweaking, a bit of research, and it’s set to go. But even just looking at the possibility of the idea of starting it, makes me itch, makes me break out in hives, makes every fiber of my being scream “NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO”.

Well, isn’t that unfortunate. So, what am I going to do? Tie myself down to the chair and FORCE myself to write something funny or profound. Yeah, I haven’t found that to be the most effective way to call the muse. She isn’t good with force. So, shall I pretend I don’t care, “Oh, I don’t really want to write tonight anyway, no big deal”, and hope that entices her, curious, wanting to know why I am indifferent (it seems to work with Maggie, but she is no muse, that aggressive little minx, but rather a persistent distraction). Perhaps I can analyze this new resistance? Gee, do you think that will help anything? Or just take up time and create new tools to beat myself up with? Is there no help for me? Maybe this is what the oyster feels when the sand first comes into its space, “Ah, what’s that? What’s it doing here? How do I get it out?” Yes indeed, how do I get out of this discomfort? Or do I just make friends with the discomfort and use it?

There is this other nasty little thing I do. I can manage to turn joy into a chore. So the thing I know I love, that is totally going to be fun when I get to it, I hold it out like a treat, the thing I get to do when all the crappy stuff is over and done with. The cinnamon bun that I get at completion (obviously that was in the day when I still ate sugar, and it just doesn’t quite do the same thing when you offer up something like, say burdock root, as a tasty treat reward, but you get the idea). Well, you guessed it. By the time I have waded through all the junk, all the dirty jobs (can I offer taxes as a current, pending example?), I have run out of steam, run out of fun, and the exciting reward task has become just another thing on my god damn To Do list. And I can even tell you the heart of the matter, the real source of the problem. There is a general lack of Fun in my life right now. But guess what, trying to find and organize something fun to do, that would be a task I put on my To Do list, as well as doing the fun thing itself, and then, it would suck and it wouldn’t be fun anymore, because I would resent it.

Pause – I have to let Maggie in so she can run around to the back window and leave the house again. Don’t go away.

All I am doing it driving forward. Hard. Both hard in the sense the I am driving hard, and that it is feeling hard, well, and there is a third one that just came to mind, it is hard on me. And I will tell you part of why I am driving so hard… I don’t think I have the luxury to waste a single day. I was given this huge gift of being alive, and I don’t want to let a single day of it pass without value, without meaning. Tall order to fill, for a fairly short woman. And related to that, and probably creating even more fire for me, is that with what I am doing, taking a stand against cancer, and the passion I attack it with, and the compassion I have from being through it myself, people come to me and tell me about their dear friend who has cancer, or the infant they know who is doing chemotherapy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to stop telling me, it is just that it leaves me feeling like I don’t have that extra day, because they don’t have that extra day. The stories remind me of the urgency of the situation. Our, and I mean everybody’s, relationship to cancer MUST change. And it must change NOW. “Not a single day to waste.” But even writing those words leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Which makes it clear to me that this is a gremlin, and yet it feels so compelling, seems so reasonable, partly because there is true in it. But not the whole truth. Back to "Forgetting to Live", if I don’t keep the balance in play, then I have lost the plot, lost the ball, and next, will have lost my mind.

So, how do I, do we all, do self-care here. Here in the place in the face of it all, in the moment, or circumstances where it seems wasteful to take the time to refuel. Here, in the middle, of our own crazy stories, our own crazy lives.

What does self-care look like today?
And how do we do self-care sitting in the middle of a fire?
And what is it going to take to learn this once and for all?


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