Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pandora's Box ....

I've been paging through my personal archives in the last many weeks, written word, online stuff, my poetry, writing, old emails, snail mail, even some significant papers and thoughts I penned while back in college the second time around, old grocery lists, check stubs, etc. ... anything and everything that might help me define my self, or where I left off.

I'm on the verge of making a "to do" or "stick to this" list, kind of like New Year's resolutions long overdue, as part of my "30 days and this will be habit" personal project.

My "Me Project" felt like it had a slow start, which I lamented about yesterday, since I planned to start but felt like I was bogged down at the starting line, even though the gun had gone off.

I've been trying to define the chronic funk, thinking that once defined, I could then attack and be done with it.
Thinking like this, I wondered why the slow start, and how come I can't even come up with a plan of attack, the "to do," or "stick to this" list of personal reminders that will once again become habit.

By defining the funk, I figured it would be easier to dig my way out of it, but I'm realizing now that the "stick to this" list will be a gradual build. It's completion and practice will lead me to a better understanding of what the "funk" actually was, how it got there, took up head space and has been squatting there for years infected the rest of my self.

It's not like I can go to Anne-ipedia and in two seconds look up "Annes Fucked up Funk" and then go to and find the ingredients to fix things overnight.

I had been going about it all wrong, thinking I just had to name it and then fix it. Done!

Sitting here today, having realized the longer processional nature of this journey I'm embarking upon, I was thinking of a talk I saw on PBS a few years back. More than likely, I was "listening" to the talk while also working and doing any number of other tasks at hand. However, some of what was being said I wrote down, so I must have realized I would need it at some point.

In my office, this afternoon, I was able to turn around and reach for the exact notebook where these words were. Weird, I know, because there are A LOT OF NOTEBOOKS!

And I did find the words immediately. It was somewhat remarkable to note, that while I did jot down these things as they struck me, I then continued to fill the notebook with other things, living a life, completing that notebook and starting and finishing how many others? Seven years passed since I jotted down these "notes," but it was obvious I wrote them down knowing I'd know just when I'd need them.

The words I'm speaking about came from a motivational talk given by a woman named Barbara Sher, a life/career coach, although I'm not even sure if that's even close to describing her pep.

Today, I was most struck by two scrawled sentences in that notebook, gleaned from her talk:

"If you like it, there is a reason."

And later on the page ... "Do things while you still hate yourself."

Both statements confirmed for me that I'm heading in the right direction with my "stick to it" list. As I redefine for myself what has worked in the past, this "stick to it list" will be a list of "loves" versus hateful things that have bogged down my progress.

I likely will not write this list in one sitting; it will be a "work in progress," which ironically is the name of my business. So, yeah, bells went off, and a light bulb turned on, and I almost peed myself.

Work in Progress. Doy!

What is also important to note is that re-starting these things that I love, is/has been like pulling teeth. That has been a difficult phenomenon for me. I mean, really?!?!?! If you like something, and it "works for you," doy!!!! Don't you do it all the time, without asking or telling yourself that you should?

Well, you would think so, but obviously I haven't been living like that for a long time, and I'm having to re-learn this whole concept.
As I continued to think about this, and Barbara Sher's talk from so many years ago, I did some netting about. I read a bit into Ms. Sher's newest book on Amazon this afternoon, "sneak-peeking" at what she has to say currently, and also spent a wee bit of time on her website prior to bookmarking it.

I was especially interested in what she describes as "scanners," in that "Scanners love to read and write, to fix and invent things, to design projects and businesses, to cook and sing and to create the perfect dinner party."

She goes on to note that she uses the word "and" here and not "either/or" because Scanners don't love one or the other of these things, THEY LOVE THEM ALL!
She later describes how this might sound lovely, but also consider the fact that Scanners are like a kid stuck in a candy store, with difficulty in choosing just one favorite.

It's easy to see how a Scanner might become hopelessly sidetracked and locked into thinking that they are supposed to pick just one thing to believe in or strive for, when in reality they just need to be organized and stop feeling bad because they essentially love a lot of things.

Later, she also discusses the difference between Scanners and someone with ADD. She also discusses (and this had the most interest for me) the difference between a Scanner and someone who might be otherwise depressed:

The types of attention span problems that have to do with depression are quite different than job-interest attention span. When you get so you can't read a book (and even newspaper articles) from start to finish, you can't pay attention during a conversation, and you have no idea where your keys and wallet are, when uually you know exactly where you put them, then you need to talk to somebody about therapy and medication, both of which work wonders.

If I were to formulate a diagnosis for what I'm going through it would be that I'm a depressed scanner. That's like the double-wammy effect, and I'm here to tell you, the two personality traits (scanning and depression) do not mix well on a daily basis. The fact that my brain "mimics bipolar activity" since my stroke, does not help matters. It has instead reduced me to a scanner who has painted herself into a very dark corner.

So welcome to my world, and welcome to thing one on my "Stick to This" list:

1. Do things while you still hate yourself ... which I guess could be better said as ... Live "as if" while you continue to get through what has been pissing you off. "As if" will become "As Is."

No comments: