Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's shakin' bacon?

Truth: I am creative. I am also a very high-speed thinker. So naturally those two things often collide. They attack each other like two wild eagles that dance in the air desperately clinging and spinning as they plummet toward the earth. My creativity and my speed are mortal enemies. They can make sweet love and make beautiful babies of creative projects that I knit/sew/paint/draw/write. You'd think they are symbiotic like that most of the time- right? But no!

SO my brain's "ability" (disability) for conjuring up lists of projects and inspirations has me planning all kinds of lovelies. All the lovelies that Grace could ever wear, look at, shove in her mouth, shake, rattle, puke on, poop or pee on, and generally look very cute in. The list keeps growing every day!!

As a consequence, my anxiety grows and my guilt grows and my need to nest grows. It's annoying. I'm actually sitting here, annoying the hell out of myself. Ironically, I don't make apologies for myself very often. I don't look at me and say, "well I really hate that about myself." Instead, I act like I would with my own sister. I ignore me and hope it's just a phase that goes away (it always does). I realize I'm a perfectionist, people-pleaser, over-achiever, know-it-all, do-it-all.

Can I really be hard on me for being me? Is it not enough that I put up with me and then forgive myself?

I hate the... "well that's just Sophie" attitude. I feel like that means people think I can't change. Or that I wouldn't care to if it was important to the development of a relationship. It is also a cop-out for sincere and honest communication with someone. You make an excuse for them and somehow pretend the thing that bugs you doesn't bug you. But at the same time, I don't want to change for the wrong reasons. I also believe anytime a person changes, it's their choice and it takes time. But there is always a catalyst, and that sometimes is someone else. For me right now, I'm telling me... you are annoying me. Quit and just go make something, read something, or go for a walk and figure it out. I wonder if she'll listen...

A few years ago, way back during my last term at UO, I wrote down a list of my values. I clarified in my head and for myself the motives behind all my actions and future actions. Namely, I made some values very low on my list. Prestige, materials, and wealth were the lowest. Health, happiness, family, and living within my means were the highest. I made a life choice then to have all the decisions in my life reflect these values... they haven't lead me astray since.

I recognized that I take pride in making and picking and producing the products I use. I'm starting to realize the luxury that is (because it requires time and patience), especially with a baby on the way. Sure I'll make my own MILK! (In fact, I already have been... but that's another story). I'll make a loving family. I'll make plans and break them more times than I can count. So the material things I think are important to show my love (ie little things I sew) are among the things I love to make but that ultimately are just things.

Alas, I believe I'm feeling a parent's guilt. Over how I eat, how I sleep, how active I am, how productive I am, how responsible I am, how disciplined I am. It is all adding up to a good (albeit neurotic) parent, but the fact that I care to be so hard on myself means I'm headed to good places. Now just to shut that voice up and tell her it's ok to not be 110%... I think working on her will take time. And maybe therapy. At least a good self help book.

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