Sometimes I wonder what I have done with my time. I seem, at times, to exist in an alternate universe or on two planes at once, and I never really know what I’m doing on either one. Time passes quickly by, and what do I have to show for it? It’s been two weeks since I last blogged, and I’m wondering why. What have I done that was so pressing that I couldn’t sit down to write?
I suppose the answer is that I have been working quite a bit at home. I designed the newsletter for the gym. I got hit with it at the last-minute, and I’ve been learning on the fly how to use GIMP in order to put out something decent. It isn’t a perfect effort, but I did what I could, and it was a huge improvement on the previous design. My style is clean and elegant. A little playful. Not only did I have to design it, I had to write it. Normally, I wouldn’t mind at all. But I don’t particularly like to be rushed, especially when writing. Overall, I’m dissatisfied with the whole thing. And that needs to stop. 1.) I completed it; 2.) I looks pretty damn good; 3.) I’m trying to be proud of my effort. What more is there? “Good enough” is damn well good enough. Perfection is subjective and perfectionism is not my friend.
Who is my friend? I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships lately. When my grandmother died, my mom lost her only true friend. Friendships have always confounded me. They are not easy to traverse. They seem to be full of booby traps and pitfalls and pratfalls. I am confounded by people. One moment everything seems so clear, and the next it is as murky as a riverbed churned by a cattle drive.
The amazing Dr. M. did give me some advice, although it’s difficult for me to apply it to my life. As always, I was asking her about her relationship, and what she does when she’s disappointed with her husband. I believe I mentioned before that she lets herself feel whatever it is she’s feeling–disappointment or anger. But before acting, she waits.
That’s the difficult part for me. I need resolution so desperately, my anxiety level is so high, I feel I need to act immediately. It feels like if I don’t do something, I’ll explode–whether it’s talking about my feelings or deciding that you can’t bear the hurt I am feeling. So I eject people from my life, never really knowing if it’s the best thing to do–only knowing that at the moment, it feels like the only thing I can do. Makes relationships a bit stormy. Everything is sunny and wonderful when it’s going well. When it’s not, it’s fairly intolerable.
What are good boundaries to set with people? Certainly I don’t want people in my life who behave in a judgmental way. That is one of my issues. I CAN’T STAND that. I don’t want people in my life who mock or ridicule me. I do want people who are loving and kind and open. I want people who like to laugh and who I can make laugh and vice versa. I want people as willing to help me as I am them. I want people who want me because I am someone they don’t want to let go of. I want people who are thoughtful and want to spend time with me. I suppose that everyone’s ability to be this way will be sometimes compromised by life, as it often is with me. Sigh. Why does it have to be so hard? Why is so easy for some people? And why do I agonize over people who aren’t agonizing over me?
“When it seems that everything you do is wrong and everyone is against you–it is the most opportune time to wear your ‘I-don’t-give-a-damn’ tutu and glide gleefully on the dance floor of ‘this is me and my life.'” ~ Dodinsky’s Garden of Thoughts.
Jane Bluestein, a PhD with a web page (obviously I didn’t take the time to find out more about her), divides people into bulldozers and doormats. she writes,
“’Bulldozers’ may appear to take care of themselves, but their version of self-care does not take other people’s needs into consideration. Bulldozers need to win, to have their needs taken care of, and feel entitled to do so at the expense of the other person.
“This is not boundary-setting. Boundary-setting considers the needs of the other person, although it does not always accommodate them. In other words, ‘My way or the highway’ is bulldozing, not boundary-setting.
“‘Doormats function as though they had no boundaries. They are agreeable, nice, FINE. (At least until their resentment builds up to one nasty tolerance break, after which they can make the meanest Bulldozer look pretty tame.) Doormats are terribly accommodating, but do so at the expense of their own needs. They tend to be on the losing end of most conflicts. However, by not sticking up for themselves, they can not only avoid many conflicts, but they also get to ‘look good,’ be self-righteous, and validate a self-perception of helplessness and victimization. So when you think about it, there’s a great payoff for being a Doormat, but there’s also a high price to pay in the loss of one’s self.
“Clearly, these patterns have nothing to do with boundary-setting, although Doormats often function in the hope that being ‘nice’ enough will inspire the people around them to figure out and accommodate their needs. Boundary-setting always takes one’s own needs into account and relies on honest and direct communication, (rather than manipulation and clairvoyance).
“Growing up with either or both of these models, we receive a number of messages that present obstacles when we attempt to take care of ourselves in relationships with others, messages that connect our worth and loveable-ness to our ability to please others. If most of the people in our lives operated on some form of win-lose method of conflict resolution, either by violating and disempowering (as a Bulldozer) or by self-abandoning (as a Doormat), it can be hard to imagine win-win solutions that consider the needs of all parties involved.”
Huh. Food for thought. Well, I’m going to take a page from the empowered standpoint and ask all of you to call me. Please. I’m feeling quite lonely, and I need a friend or two or ten. How’s that for honest and direct communication?
I have been completely emo for the last few weeks. I suppose that’s understandable. Things aren’t exactly going my way, and my female parts are in an uproar. But yeah, I’ve been having a hard time finding my center since I was sick a couple of weeks back. I need to use my toolkit. I always have to remind myself, and find it all over again. When I’m upset, I need to exercise. I need to use EFT. I need to make sure I’m taking my medications regularly. I need to eat well. I need to journal, meditate, blog, and see my therapist. It all boils down to those very simple things–using what you’ve got to get you through whatever is going on with you.
I spent some time last night putting together a new photo album on Facebook. It’s called “Please End the Hate.” It’s groupings of photographs and images and the theme is love, beauty, and peace and end to hatred. Beautiful flowers, quirky animals, people bereaved over the loss of loved ones in the war, people protesting, tolerance. It’s something I felt compelled to do and some of the images are breathtaking. I needed a cohesive sense of what is important to me, and the only thing missing are pictures of my loved ones. Take a slide show tour of it if you like. I’ll give you a sample here. Much love and joy to you all.
Oh, how I wish we could end war.
1.) My children, always. ❤
2.) My friends and family who love me. I love you back. ❤
3.) My little job. ❤
4.) My furry babies. ❤
5.) Words. ❤