Disappointment

Last Friday was supposed to be the relaunch of Invincible Summer..

I was holding off posting for days, waiting to post a pointer to my first post there.
Unfortunately, Life happened to the owner of the blog and the relaunch was pushed back, first a few days, then maybe next month, and now. . . I don’t know. She says:

I suppose I just wanted to write a note telling you that I’m still here, but I’m not sure where I’m going. And this blog is still here, but I don’t know where it’s going.

I completely understand where she’s at. I completely understand that she bit off more than she can handle right now.

I’m certainly guilty of the same thing, fairly often.

But I can’t hide my disappointment.

I was looking forward to working on more creative stuff. I do better when I have a deadline than when I’m working for myself.

Her following is larger than mine, and so is her mailing list. I was looking forward to greater exposure.

Now, I have a lot going on, too.

And I could be doing other stuff to promote my blog (I want to submit a guest post to Wild Sister, for example).

I’m about half-done writing up a workbook I want to put up here.

I haven’t even asked people here to look at the Inspired To Do Lists that I made or put a link in my sidebar.

On my To Do list for two weeks has been to create a page of the places I’ve signed up for affiliates and clean up my sidebar. That won’t really take me that long, but I’ve avoided it.

I haven’t listened to several of the more recent talks from the SSSBR. I also need to create a video and write up a piece about what I’ve gotten out of it, and I’ve been putting that off.

I’m putting it out here for accountability. Kick me in the ass. 🙂

Clearing and releasing

A couple of weeks ago I talked about reorganizing my living room.

It only took a couple of days, and it opened up the space so much. I’m really pleased with it. It feels much more comfortable in here. It’s been years since I’ve felt this comfortable in my own home.

Now, I just have to get C to pick up after herself. She’s almost never here, but still manages to leave a mess. But that’s kids, right?

I got rid of a ton of stuff and took a few things to storage. I shredded a stack of papers. I packed away the heaviest winter clothes.

It feels like I’ve cleared out my brain, especially how open the living room is now.

And it’s still going. I cleared a few things out of storage, too. And I’ve moved some stuff we’ve never used since living here either to storage or completely out of the home.

It just feels so much more relaxed. I’m almost kicking myself for not tackling it sooner. The thing is, though, I knew all along that I would feel this way about it. I talked about it last summer, even.

But for some reason, I was unable to actually make a move on it until now.

There’s still some clutter, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was.

Several years ago, lots of people I know were really excited about Flylady. I wanted to follow it; I wanted to like it. Lots of things about the site and her process (small chunks daily) are fabulous and do-able.

But I couldn’t get past polishing the sink and getting dressed all the way to shoes.

I don’t like shoes. I don’t wear them as often as I can get away with it. When I have to wear shoes, I prefer to wear ones that kick off easily. When I had an office job, as soon as I got settled at my desk, the shoes came off.*

Now, I understand her reasoning.

It’s a cue to your brain that you’re fully dressed and engaged in Real Life for the day.

But I hate shoes, and there’s no way I’m wearing them in my own home.

I’ve realized in the last few months, though, that I do have a mental cue about being dressed and fully mentally engaged for the day. And anyone that knew me in my 20s and early 30s is really going to laugh at this**. . . . a bra. . . . if I’m wearing a bra, I’m ready to Get Shit Done. If I’m not, nothing important is getting accomplished.

But now, I’ve discovered Unfuck Your Habit. Maybe it’s the profanity that speaks to me. Or maybe it’s the starting with making your bed.

For at least a decade now, whenever I’ve tried to work on issues of self-discipline, this is where I started – making the bed.

When I’m really depressed, I’m napping all day and tossing and turning all night, so I never really make the bed. When I start trying to turn things around, making the bed as soon as I get up is the first thing I do. After a week or two of that, I start to add in other things.

Really, Unfuck Your Habit isn’t that much different than FlyLady. But for some reason, I like it more.***

What does this have to do with releasing?

I’m releasing fears.

I’m releasing attachments to the past.

I’m releasing the idea of being STUCK.

I’m releasing expectations (and that one is fucking HARD).

Changing things in your environment around in a major way can help change your perspective.

Have you made any major changes lately?

*When I was a student at the local university, one of my math teachers was famous for walking around without shoes, ALL THE TIME. Made me smile.

**I notoriously went without a bra (and sometimes without a top) as often as possible. So, this makes me giggle.

***Zen Habits has some suggestions on where to get started in clearing clutter here.

Mood States and Memory

One of the things that surprises me is how I can’t remember what it was like to be in the one I’m not in.

Ok, that sounds weird.

Right now, I’m not depressed. In fact, I suspect I’m running a bit manic, due to some impulsive issues I’ve had recently.

Right now, I feel a lot like I did in my 20s: confident, sure of myself, strong, happy most of the time, adventurous on occasion. I still have problems, but I’m pretty sure I can deal with them.

When I was depressed, I could remember that there was a time when I felt that way, in a vague sort of way. But I couldn’t remember how it FELT to be that way.

Now, I’m having trouble remembering what it was like to be so depressed. Why the hell couldn’t I get off my ass and get a job when I really needed one? Why couldn’t I study? Why did I waste so much time doing NOTHING, and so much money on stuff that didn’t do anything to help us?

I remember that I didn’t feel capable of doing anything, but I can’t remember how it feels to be that stuck.

And it’s not like there was some magical moment that turned everything around. It was small steps taken over months and years that pulled me back to . . . well, to ME. A lot of those steps are chronicled in another forum, but I don’t feel connected to all that floundering. I know it was me. And I remember taking the steps. But, again, I don’t remember what it felt like along the way.

This is very strange to me. It’s like I’m disconnected from my own feelings. My emotions are always in the moment. The rest of me isn’t, but my emotions are.

How can I help someone else who is in the (to borrow a word from Havi Brooks) stuckness if I can’t remember it?

Being stuck and fear

At Get Rich Slowly today, April Dykman wrote about doing nothing.

She was talking about being stuck. And barriers.

People throwing up barriers of their own fear and projecting it on you.

It’s so easy to come up with reasons to NOT do something.

I’m a master at this.

I have a million reasons why I can’t do anything.

  • I can’t exercise until I find the headphones for my ipod. Then I have to have the right clothes, the right socks, new shoes.
  • I can’t start a real business until I get out from under my debts and have a huge amount in savings.
  • I can’t be a real teacher until I finish this schooling.
  • I can’t be a writer because I don’t have original ideas or an interesting life to talk about. I can’t start a blog because I’m not an expert in anything.
  • I can’t help out with my kid’s school because I don’t have time, and I’m too introverted.

See, millions of them.

When I’m depressed, these thoughts take hold, and I can’t get past them. For years, I was stuck, unable to do anything, even simple things like the laundry, much less the complicated stuff.

When I was in that space, people telling me to “Just Do It” didn’t help. In fact, it was infuriating. I simply couldn’t.

My friend N has commented several times lately that she’s amazed at how much I’m doing lately. I know this is because she remembers when I just couldn’t do anything.

But I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special. In fact, I’m not even doing all the things other people do (witness how messy my house is).

I’m not sure how I started turning things around, but I’m really glad I did.

I know that part of what helped me was taking steps to start tutoring in January, 2007. I just put up an ad on craigslist.

It was scary to meet my first couple of students, and I was unprepared for some things. But people gave me money. And asked my advice. And looked at me as an expert.

It was a kind of ‘high’. That gave me enough energy to start making other changes.

And I don’t even remember what upset me enough where I actually made that first craigslist ad.

April’s un-stuck moment came after she did an informational interview with someone. I’m not sure that’s something that I could do. When I’m stuck, contacting other people is very hard.

What kind of things get you unstuck?