There's something about coming across one of those irrepressible Pollyanna types that messes with my aura - no matter how much I inwardly shrivel, they could be a good six feet away and it would still feel way too close. Like staring into a mirror from an inch away on a 'morning after' - everything goes fuzzy and the gut reaction is to wretch or shout woah, and then stumble backwards.
Let's just gloss over the awful truth that what we despise most in others are traits that we have been scolded for, or otherwise decided to condemn in ourselves. Its like being an ex-smoker - the defense mechanisms go into overkill because its a tendency of your own that you therefore have to strive to avoid.
OK, so much for glossing. Bygones.
So much for an intro, too.
Some time ago somebody gave me a book that taught me not to make lists of things to do, but lists of reasons why things were improving. Its a trick - a glass half full perspective - its easier to build on positives than it is to chip away at a mountain of negatives.
I have this tendency to run off half cocked (or as my mother used to put it "You never finish anything!"). Its true, I get the gist and rush off to play, so I have more of the book to return to. The truth is that this method worked so well for me, I gave up on it before it became habit, like stopping antibiotics half way through the course because you feel better.
Time to go back to it, I think. Here, then, is my first new 'Things are better because' list, barring anything that's been written here already in the past week.
- I'm not so far up myself anymore. Fighting the education system for five years on account of Son (not too long after fighting and losing on behalf of Big Son) has made my personal life the one where I am at my most businesslike, most analytical, most emotionally repressed if you like. There is a buzz to forging ahead, researching, negotiating, playing diplomat, that would be there whether or not I had fallen into the trap of making it my whole life. I have no idea whether this is a defence mechanism or an addiction or simply that, like many homeworkers, I got used to not switching on and off between 9 and 5, failed to worry if a bright idea woke me at 2am. Anal, geeky, over-intense, call it what you like.
- I have accepted some goals. This is a biggy, I've been looking for goals, for something to inspire me and get me out of a rut for quite a while. You may have noticed the cringeworthy impression of a puppy that just got smiled at, every time someone suggested I write a book, or called one of my brain-to-page rattlings an 'article'. As it happens the goals that my inner child has been wailing for have been here right under my nose all the time. Its been a Dorothy moment. As soon as I stepped out of my brain and into my whole self, I was able to read what was already there, and more than that, honour these little needs instead of dismissing them as fanciful.
- I've worked out that people who tell the truth are more gifted than anyone else. Go on, tell me you have never sat in church or anywhere that meant something to you, and felt like the speaker was addressing you personally. Tell me you've never had one of those 'higher power' moments that put a chill through you, like God/destiny/karma/your subconscious had just spoken so loudly it was almost audible, rung you like a bell, resonated right through you. Changed the colour of everything. Tell me you've never blurted something out that was true in your life all along, except that saying it somehow helped it to crystallise and change your world.
- Blogging is a precious mirror. So you dare to publish this issue or quandary or pain, one that you have tucked away and refused to analyse but that suddenly pushes to the fore. It is always, always easier to see the truth (or lack of truth) in the comments you get back, than it is too see the substance of this thorn in your side. Too much blood in the way, I guess. Whether people approach you with support or advice, sympathy or criticism, something in your gut either makes you feel better, or twists and turns in confusion, like being a child praised/accused to the hilt for something they didn't really do. Absolute bloody discomfort, just a knowledge that its all wrong. How fantastic is that? Its like working out where your heart really is on an issue, through a process of elimination. Even wrong answers slice away the muddle around the core of a worry. Every misunderstanding becomes a blessing provided you are not looking for sympathy, but looking to understand yourself.
That's enough for now. You think?
As for the title of this post - I forgot to include that - last week felt like a pile of steaming horseshit. Now I know why, I'm growing roses.