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Thread: Becoming authentic

  1. #11
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I really liked how Alan put it ("analysis paralysis") but it nagged at me a bit that you (CL) know what to do; it's just a matter of getting it done. Then I read Ultralight's post and realized that this was it.

    My college degree is in journalism. As students, we were responsible for producing news for the college's TV station. We all wanted to write Pulitzer-worthy news stories. But the reality is that, at 8:23 every morning, the news had to be on the air. We learned to do the best job we could in the time we had allotted to us. An accurate informative report at 8:23 was vastly preferable to several minutes of dead air or "Please Stand By" because we weren't done writing or editing the prize-winning version of the report. It was a good lesson for life. Give yourself the permission to prioritize the important stuff so that, in the end, progress is made. Make sure all you want to do is realistically do-able. But once you've determined that, move. You'll probably look back happily realizing all you achieved (even if it was not perfect).
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  2. #12
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    Part of it is having confidence in my decisions - being secure in the idea that it is ok to do the thing I want/plan to do. I am paralyzed less by fear that it won't be perfect and more by fear of others' imagined reactions.

    my list system is working pretty well. Painting is at the top for tomorrow. I can get everything I want to do every day done - but my weeks are four days long - lol! Dh seems to be ok with it.

  3. #13
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Part of it is having confidence in my decisions - being secure in the idea that it is ok to do the thing I want/plan to do. I am paralyzed less by fear that it won't be perfect and more by fear of others' imagined reactions.
    I identify with this a lot. An example: Last weekend was the monthly potluck at my favorite farm. I love these potlucks and I've only missed a couple over the last 3 years. DH was not feeling great; plus, he's not as into these events as I am. As I start to reclaim my "inner hippie" as I get older, I sense it creates a little bit of a rift between us. He sometimes makes fun of the Portlandia-style crowd, but I love them.

    He told me to go if I wanted to, but I didn't. I'm still a bit annoyed at myself for not going. But it was totally the same type of paralysis.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #14
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I identify with this a lot. An example: Last weekend was the monthly potluck at my favorite farm. I love these potlucks and I've only missed a couple over the last 3 years. DH was not feeling great; plus, he's not as into these events as I am. As I start to reclaim my "inner hippie" as I get older, I sense it creates a little bit of a rift between us. He sometimes makes fun of the Portlandia-style crowd, but I love them.

    He told me to go if I wanted to, but I didn't. I'm still a bit annoyed at myself for not going. But it was totally the same type of paralysis.
    This idea that we first evaluate what we think we are supposed to be by the measure of others instead of embracing who we really are.......well, that leads to a false reality and an internal contradiction. You end up sacrificing yourself on somebody else's altar. If you are linked with a stronger personality it can be hard to assert yourself and it can frustrate you to the point of indecision.

    I came to terms with this when I realized I did my best work when I disregarded other people's opinions. I just quit asking and did what I wanted to. I gave the important people in my life credit for wanting me to be happy.

    Hey, Catherine.....Going Up the Country? Favorite part is when the nun flashes the peace sign!

    https://youtu.be/Hf0Dm-OaTNk

  5. #15
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    This idea that we first evaluate what we think we are supposed to be by the measure of others instead of embracing who we really are.......well, that leads to a false reality and an internal contradiction. You end up sacrificing yourself on somebody else's altar. If you are linked with a stronger personality it can be hard to assert yourself and it can frustrate you to the point of indecision.

    I came to terms with this when I realized I did my best work when I disregarded other people's opinions. I just quit asking and did what I wanted to. I gave the important people in my life credit for wanting me to be happy.

    Hey, Catherine.....Going Up the Country? Favorite part is when the nun flashes the peace sign!

    https://youtu.be/Hf0Dm-OaTNk
    Hey, nuns can be peace-loving people! If I had done *exactly* what I wanted to do when I was younger, I could have been one of those nuns at Woodstock.
    I'm actually getting BETTER at doing what I want regardless of what people think, but I have a long way to go.

    Another song that keeps running through my mind when I'm not thinking of anything else is Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road..

    So goodbye yellow brick road
    Where the dogs of society howl
    You can't plant me in your penthouse
    I'm going back to my plough
    Back to the howling old owl in the woods
    Hunting the horny back toad
    Oh I've finally decided my future lies
    Beyond the yellow brick road
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #16
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    Lol Catherine, I turned the radio on in the studio yesterday and the Avett brothers "head full of doubt" admonished me
    "If you're loved by someone, you're never rejected
    Decide what to be and go be it"

    but Williamsmith, I think you hit the nail on the head. Dh is definitely the stronger personality, and I want to please him. He doesn't give me a lot of feedback, because he really isn't interested in controlling my life, so when he does say something like "Are you going to paint today?" I start over analyzing and read into it and throw a whole bunch of weight behind it that probably isn't there. Then eventually all the imaginary pressure gets to be too much and he mentions the painting (current example) and I start ranting about how I really need to work in the studio today, and he looks confused and says something like "so work in the studio."

    i feel like I used to have a stronger internal focus. Sometimes I wonder if all of those years when my primary (wanted, chosen, and loved) identity was "Mom" undermined me by programming me to meet the needs of people who couldn't clearly articulate them for themselves, so that now I'm searching for clues about the right thing to do for people whom I could just ask. It may also have given me a sense that I am more important than I actually am. (There was a time when my actions and decisions shaped the world of multiple people, now they mostly affect me.)

    so, it is Thursday. 15 out of the 30 small things I want to finish are drying. (Some of the variations are not things I want to produce right now) I know what the other 15 will be, and the three large things are pieces I have done before so they should be one and done. But today I paint (for about 4 hours or until everything has a first coat of primer, whichever comes second - I have to paint around the ends of all the beams on a ladder with a brush which is slow), take my examples to the woman running the sale so she can take advertising photos, buy pine pellets for the rabbit's litter box (across the street from photos), and work at the food bank. Pus a few small housekeeping tasks. If I get all of that done pottery will be on the top of the list tomorrow.

  7. #17
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, I think your analysis of your internal life is fascinating. You seem to hit reality right on the head. I really like reading your posts.

  8. #18
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    I noticed that in our marriage, the empty nest years have led to a lot of changes in the dynamics, reevaluation of power dynamics in relationship, changes in how we communicate, etc. etc. etc. I think it is the norm when the kids leave home. We find we are much more on the same page now that the kids are grown, although of course we still see things differently at times.

  9. #19
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    Getting he kids out of the house has been fantastic for a marriage that was pretty darn good already. It's just me who is foundering. - I need to shed self imposed expectations that aren't serving me any more.

    i remember looking at dd when her sister let for college and saying "maybe it's not such a good idea to achieve all your life goals at 45. She jokingly said "well, you can die now." I told her "I think I'll get some new goals."

  10. #20
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    "maybe it's not such a good idea to achieve all your life goals at 45. She jokingly said "well, you can die now." I told her "I think I'll get some new goals."
    Ha! Love it! That's why I make a new goals list every year on my birthday retreat.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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