As I've been checking in with myself today and this morning my mind keeps wanting to wander to all the things I'm not doing. Such as "you're not running, you need to go running...you're not making enough money, how are you going to make more money?...you're not focused enough, when are you going to focus?" You know the drill. My mind is re-running all the "I'm not good enough scenarios with plenty of examples" and it's starting to get a little old. I'm pretty happy that I'm not buying it all today, but I guess the fact that I'm mentioning it won't convince you that I'm totally over it, that I feel nothing towards these incessant ramblings. Truth be told, I want to not buy what the thoughts are selling, but I do a little. And that feels icky.
Feeling lost, or somewhat directionless for me is nothing new. I've felt this way pretty much my whole life. When I got sober, I got some much needed direction, structure and purpose. And though that is my Primary Purpose, it is not my entire life. The same can be said of motherhood. As all mothers know, we were and still are whole and complete people, with aspirations, feelings and entire lives. I sometimes have to just reiterate this point, mostly for myself, but also for any naysayers who think mothers should just go raise babies and be grateful and not have opinions or want anything more out of life. As I sit here now, my daughter is doodling next to me, each of us doing our work. She is better and I am better because her mother wants to keep pursuing and keep creating things that give life meaning.
But you see, I grew up so distracted (my watch just dinged with a text, so it continues...). I watched TV show after TV show that "programmed" my thinking. I wasn't completely uncreative, but I lacked the space to be bored for long. I grew up in a city and longed to grow up in the country, and looking back I think it was the space and the quiet I craved. Even though for the longest time, prior to, and in the first few years of my sobriety it was torture to be left alone with my thoughts for any length of time. I was so identified with all the garbage rattling around in my brain. I was convinced (programmed) that I had to be sexually attractive to all men, an overachiever, a "good girl", appropriate at all times, giving, funny, and this was the currency for you paying attention to me or giving me your time. I didn't think I could be whoever I was, taking up space in the Universe, in whatever state of being, and be worthy of anyone's time. That time and attention and deservedness are inherent in being alive. And no, I'm not suggesting that you have to give everyone your time and attention. I'm just saying it is a human right to be "seen, heard and valued" (Non-Violent Communication). I learned in 12 step meetings that you cannot go to emotionally unavailable people for emotional support, which was revelatory for me as I'd been on this fools errand for my whole life. I want to add the caveat that I do not blame my parents for any lack of ability on their part. I had just simply been barking up the wrong tree. I'd been bringing them my list of life complaints and they did not have any more mental or emotional real estate left for any of my baggage. They had their own lives! The thing I was just advertising at the beginning of this article.
And so I write. I write because when I am lost, it seems to be the only thing that makes sense. That, and I quit Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix and what the heck am I supposed to do with my life?! I mean really, that's my question. Without all the constant distractions what will I (can I?) create? So far, I've learned how to throw pottery, I'm training for a 50k (31 miles!), I started this blog, I made a YouTube channel and have made and started to learn to edit videos, I stopped shopping (other than essential food and the occasional clothing item), started reading again, I'm a more present and happier mom with my kids, and I have a huge food garden. So things are going pretty well. But the old productivity bug keeps buzzing. I am pretty sure I'm on to him though. I think the more I pare down, the more I get rid of the things that no longer serve me, the more I keep checking in with myself to see what is true for me that day, the more I will get rid of these old nagging ideas. Amen