I hate unfinished tasks. It makes me feel like a failure. I will berate myself with words like, “You mean you couldn’t even get that small thing done?” or “Why’d you set so many tasks when you know you usually don’t finish them all.” But do I ever say anything nice to myself when I’ve finished a task? Well, not until January 1st of this year. Before, I would just ignore any of my successes, or not put too much emphasis on them. No pats on the back. No rewards. Now for every task I complete, no matter how great or small, I reward myself with something – a tv show or movie to watch, some pampering ‘me’ time, or even a nap. If a task doesn’t get completed, I simply leave it for the next day. If I can’t get it accomplished in a week, it must not have been that important anyway. I am tired of spending my life regretting things and feeling like a failure. It is simply unproductive.
I have to have order to simplify my life. That means a calendar so I can map out my days, weeks and months. I also need to keep notes. I have three notebooks. One for writing ideas, one for keeping track of my diet and health, and one for general notes to remind myself of things I need to do, like bills to pay, groceries, etc. Another of my tricks is to keep a timer nearby. If I have a lot of projects to work on, I will give myself an allotted period of time to work on them and the timer comes in handy. I’ve been using my timer a lot lately with reading. I have so many books to read and try to read at least two at a time. I give myself an hour on one and then an hour on another.
I often end up resenting myself for being so structured, but I know it is for my own good. If I didn’t have structure, my life would either be chaotic or I would just turn into a lazy slug. Sometimes, when I get off schedule (like today), I feel like such a failure, but I am trying to overcome that. It’s good to be structured and scheduled, but I also need to remind myself that I don’t need to have something planned for every minute of the day, that I need to leave room for life and randomness, and that sometimes I just need some ‘me’ time.
Imagine finding this figure drawn in the sand.
Is it a circle?
The letter “O”?
Relate this figure to your life.
What does it me to you?
It would definitely be a sign from the Universe that my life has come full circle. I’ve spent the majority of my life searching for meaning, love, acceptance, and my own self-esteem, and at 50, I think I’ve finally found most of those things. I left home at 17 thinking that I just wanted to get out there in the world and discover everything. At 48, I ran back home because everything I’d discovered had left me exhausted and broken. Two years on, I feel like I’ve made a decent recovery. I will always be searching for something, but I no longer feel like I am running away from things in my life. I’ve made peace with myself for the first time ever. I feel more whole and complete, another way to view the image above. I’ve discovered so much about myself over these past couple of years and I know I still have a long way to go to fully understand everything, but I am okay with that. In these waning years, all I have now is time and with such an inquisitive mind, I am enjoying this exploration period of my life.
I am pretty sure I’ve addressed this in other posts. I don’t feel loved. Never have and probably never will. I think if anything, some people merely tolerate me and those who cannot, exit my life. I’m just really not good with people and I don’t pretend to be. I think that makes people uncomfortable around me and prevents people from getting close enough to me to show me genuine love. And because since childhood, I’ve never felt wanted or that I am a burden, I don’t give out love easily and I don’t trust those who claim to love me. It is all so dreadfully complicated. And as such, I’d really just rather not bother with it all. I am better off being alone, and just loving myself.
Now there are ways these days that I show myself love. This is a relatively new thing that I’ve been trying out for about a year. I tell myself daily that I love myself, usually while looking into the mirror at her, and reminding myself that, for better or worse, she and I are one. I buy myself little presents to brighten my day. And I allow myself to have what I call “spa” days were I pamper myself. All of this is better than living a life devoid of any kind of love.
There are a lot of things that fascinate me because I have an inquisitive nature. Here is a small list:
- birds soaring
- different cultures
- Russian history
- ancient sites
- serial killers
- Hitler and the Holocaust
- the flicker of a candle’s flame
- plants growing
- my own bones and veins
- classical music
- abstract art
- the ocean
- whales and dolphins
- world religions and spiritual paths
- my own existence
I know there are more, but I am sure you get enough of a picture here to see how weird and quirky I am.
Close up of depressed and frustrated businessman on the phone
The top left has probably just been told about some poetry magazine that’s accepted my work. She looks excited and seems to have two phones up to her ears. Probably hearing it from me and one other friend. Though, this is doubtful. Neither of my friends could give a crap if I published a poem, even though they are both poets.
The lower left has probably heard the same stories about me over and over again from family. Your aunt was never there. She always did her own thing. She had multiple lovers both male and female, blah blah blah. I am sure he is sick of hearing it all for the millionth time.
The one on the right has probably just learned that I am interested in her (she is my type *wickedgrin*) and she doesn’t know whether to be insulted or flattered. She’s probably flattered, but would turn me down if I asked her out.
Is there one thing that YOU want most out of life?
For my written words to matter to at least one other person – whether it be my life stories dealing with Mental Illness or living with a Narcissist, or one of my fiction pieces or poetry. I just want someone out there to remember my words. I guess that means I need to start writing something of significance then.
I don’t like the idea of impressing people. I know it is necessary if you are applying for a job, but I always hated that. Made me feel like such a phony. Embellish, I was always taught, but there is only so much hype you can spill about yourself before you come across as a fraud. Instead, I would usually underrate my abilities and achievements. I figured if I came across as moderately skilled and successful, it was better than mediocre, and I could always dazzle people with my skills later if hired.
This woman looks like a business woman who is sizing me up, determining if I am lying or telling her the truth. I would definitely not embellish myself around her. I would keep it simple. Yes, I know computers and some software programs. I am sufficient in Word and Excel. Yes, I’ve done tech work. Yes, I’ve worked in a call center before. I have sufficient customer service skills. Yes, I’ve done team work before. I prefer tedious jobs, so sure, I can work alone too. Hobbies? writing, art and research. No BSing this woman, just straight-forward answers.
Perfection is saying and doing all the right things. It is maintaining order. Staying on schedule. Keeping routines. There is no room for flaws, no tolerance of mistakes, no deviations from set plans. It is a cold, strict world, one that I’ve lived in the majority of my life.
This world was initially forced upon me by my mother. She expected everything to be done perfectly – house work, school work, the laundry. Swift punishment came if anything was imperfect, usually in the form of tirades, berating, humiliation, and intimidation. As I grew older, I heard my mother’s words in my ears and rebelled against them. That lasted until I was about 25 and began college. I had to return to the perfectionism that my mother instilled in me in order to cope. I became my own tyrant, berating and humiliating myself for imperfections. Since I never received rewards for accomplishments from my mother, I’ve rarely rewarded myself for them either.
Perfectionism is a soul-sucking monster. It does not care about YOU, it only cares about what it can get from you. It is a nasty beast that steals your self-esteem, your worth and your life. It deserves to be slaughtered, hacked into pieces, boarded on a space ship and cast into the vast emptiness of space.
Still working my way through Calen’s challenge based on Roberta Allen’s The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself
I don’t think there is anything that makes me stand out from others. I am usually the one obscured by shadows, lurking in quiet, dark hallways. I am the one that doesn’t want to be noticed. That generally means that only people like myself gravitate toward me. I can’t sing, play instruments, dazzle people who my charisma, or entertain the masses. I am just a little nobody who likes to be alone, writing my little stories and reading my books. Nothing shinny about me.