Today I have four asks for my Very Personal Ad. And they are all about applying lessons that have been floating around in the atmosphere of this past week of much transition. Things that I once had that I want to regain. Things that I tried that I want to make more intentional.
Won’t you join me?
Thing 1: Intentional Internetting
What I want: A better relationship with my internet time
You know how it goes: everyone has their own little circle of frequently-visited websites. It seems like my little circle has grown lately, and I’ve begun to think of them in this problematic way — like little gardens I have to tend. (Perhaps this is the most apt part of the metaphor…internet content as weeds?)
None of it is truly necessary. So I want to bring more intentional behaviors to my internet time, especially at work.
How this can work:
Oh dear. Well first of all, I can remember that this worked very well with Facebook already: when I stopped visiting it so frequently it stopped being very interesting and then I had no desire to visit it every day. Still don’t. I can take lessons from this: experiment with time away, and see how it feels.
I could stay away from setting punishing and impossible goals or walls.
I could use filters in my web browser to turn off certain website if I need extra help.
I can do some thinking about why I feel a particular compulsion at a particular time. What is it distracting me from in particular?
I could find that simply thinking about it more brings enough awareness to help me stay away from the extra distractions.
To not let the distraction-need take over without at least examining why I want a distraction and giving love to that part of me, no matter what it’s feeling.
To do some chronicling in my journal (or maybe on 750words.com!) if I need to work through some particularly thorny or grumpy moments.
To notice that my need for more productivity requires as much love as my need for less internet.
To be a detective of fun: to find alternate fun things (because the internet is not actually that fun) like coffee with friends, walks around campus, or simply spending some time in the sunshine and fresh air.
Thing 2: Progress on the holiday issue
The Thanksgiving holiday issue. I’m just going to go ahead and be cryptic with this one. Stuck lives here.
Ways this could work:
Go ahead and have those hard conversations, dang it. They have to happen.
Find some more space in the vein of finding-good-stuff rather than focusing on the avoiding-of-bad-stuff.
Some other ways I haven’t thought of. It could always be surprising and delightful and easy rather than gloomy and hard, of course.
To separate this out from the related December holiday stucknesses and issues.
To figure out whether I am truly okay with either outcome.
To not trick anyone into having any of these hard conversations. To not scare myself OR others, because that’s just a ticket to nowhere nice.
To make sure there is space and safety and intentionality around the whole thing.
Thing 3: Very careful listening
About a month ago I wrote about something that was hard to talk about. I moved through some of the stuck about it in that entry I just linked to, but unfortunately I kind of lost my way to its awesomeness. (Sorry, this is sounding cryptic again…but bear with me!)
Basically, I want to listen more to a certain inner voice I found. It’s shy. It’s hard to reach. But it’s there and I need it and I don’t want to lose it.
How this could work:
I could write more invocations to it!
I could explore non-writing ways to listen to its awesomeness.
I could use my commute time as a dedicated space to talking to it, asking it questions, giving it love.
I could do some research to find out other ways of accessing it? Like perhaps there are other books or blogs or worksheets that might help me along.
I could start a Book of the Voice (like the Book of Me), recording some of the things I learn about ways to access the voice, or listen to its guidance a little better.
To not trample on the voice (or myself) by not listening to it when I hear it, if it’s simply “inconvenient.”
To make sure to ask for something else to do when it tells me to avoid something.
To be patient with this process since it is still so new.
To go back and read what I wrote in my journal the last time I tried this.
Thing 4: Domestic competence
This will be the first week that my spouse and I will be back in the same household together, after two weeks of first me traveling, and then him. Awesome! But also: confusing.
Because, you see, I often feel more competent when I’m alone, both in running and keeping the household and in parenting our little person. It kind of makes me grouchy just to realize this fact.
Some of this is left over from when my back pain was at its worst, and I really couldn’t do a lot of the household things without help. But even though that’s not the case right now, I find we slip into these old patterns. And it doesn’t feel good.
But surely there is a way to bring this week’s feeling of domestic accomplishment and sovereignty into this week, yes?
Ways this could happen:
I could work on noticing when/why I let the mask of incompetence take over. The whiny I thought you were going to take care of that or the distant can you please take care of her while I do this thing. Because neither feels good. Nor does anyone any good.
I could be more vocal about things that I do want or need help with, and making those expectations and requests clear.
I could simplify dinner plans in order not to have too much kitchen-y stuff to do in the evenings when the little person is very anxious to be carried around and played with.
I can do some journaling to inquire about what I am really expressing a need for: is it help I need? Or some kind of more meta acknowledgment of the past pain? This bears exploring, I think.
Surely there is some more easeful and sovereign and relaxing way to accomplish this. I will be open to surprises and joyful realizations.
Well, to try all of this. To bring more attention to that itchy feeling when things aren’t going so well. To not let go of this good feeling. To talk to the spouse about it and make it a happy, fulfilling, togetherness-feeling, not a lone wolf survivalist thing, cause that’s no fun.
And to report on last week’s VPA…
Well, little did I know just how insistent last week would be with the whole in transition thing I noticed in last week’s VPA. It was all over the place. It was like I was drowning in a sea of transition, but then I magically grew transition-gills and learned how to breathe the transition and not fight against it. Or something.
Perhaps the aftermath of the scary conversation kind of took over, because I sort of spend more time thinking about my relationship to my work from a don’t get fired perspective, rather than I should I explore other options perspective, to put it mildly. But I’m definitely working on bringing my whole self into my work, and not avoiding things, and committing to doing my job and not half-assing things until I figure it out. Because I can’t just drift along and wait for inspiration to find me, you know? I have to actively cultivate it.
And I do want to do that. Maybe I needed a kick in the pants to get back into the groove. Maybe I’m in a holding pattern until the right path reveals itself, and I can’t even see the holding pattern. I’m trying to stay away from labeling it or pushing too far at the hurt parts, because whatever and wherever this transition is taking me, it has to be gradual, with balance and awareness and rightness.
Happy Sunday, friends. It’s blustery here, perfect for curling up with tea and a toddler and a spouse newly returned from traveling. Hope you are enjoying your Sunday as much as I am! Xo.