Tuesday, 24 April 2012

sustainability-following my bliss

Right now I am exhausted.  Thankfully it is the exhaustion of activity and not the exhaustion of stress and anxiety.  I am working hard on one of my new years resolutions: Take Action.  Being an inveterate procrastinator I decided to adopt that motto for this year.  Call it an annual theme that I work on.  I like to use mottoes to keep my main goal to the forefront.  My use of mottoes stems from one year at work when I was working very hard and doing loads it seemed that people only saw what was not being done.  I adopted the motto, What did (insert company name here) ever do for us.  

But I digress.  I chose take action specifically to combat my tendency towards procrastination.  The main action at present is clearing out all the stuff I no longer need of want.  That can be quite and emotional thing.  Last night I discovered from my 15 year old daughter that it was my father and not my mother that chose my career path.  I wanted to follow a totally different career, I had no interest in perusing a 9 to 5 existence and yet I am.  As parents we have wisdom, knowledge and experience of the world and we only want the best for our children.  This can unfortunately translate into parents living vicariously through their children.  my eldest daughter want to follow the career I wanted.  I was concerned that she was only doing it as it was what I had wanted at her age.  This is something I discussed with her as I did not want to be one of those kind of parents.  I probably unconsciously influenced her anyway but she has real talent.  I was not as good as her at the same age.  And so after I discussed her choice with her recently and my concerns, she spoke to my mother about it.  I then found out that it was in fact my dad who put his foot down.  I recall the exact statement even 30 years later.  No daughter of mine is going off dying her hair oink and hanging around with those hippies.  I wanted to go to art college.  I went to school right next door and every day I saw the students with their canvas covered in paint laughing and happy.  I loved drawing and went to art classes when other children chose sport.  When I was told to drop art as a subject for my leaving cert so that I could do chemistry the art teacher gave me private lessons.  Looking back on it now I realise that she did that not just because I was good but so that I had some joy in my life.  It was pretty much the only thing I liked at school.

The parable I hate the most in religion is the parable of the talents.  I hate it almost with as much passion as i hate the bureaucratic nature  and misogyny of the church hierarchy.  I was pushed to use talents that I had but really wondered why I had to work so hard on things I did not like just because I was good at them.  It will be hard for me to forgive my dad this time, but I will work on forgiving myself for doing as I was told and putting my own wished last.

I have not been attending my counselling sessions recently as I had a block and now I know what it was.  Maybe he did what he did for the best, so that I could have a stable job, which I have, but what about happiness and joy are they not important too.  I like my job and I am happy doing it.  It is quite possible that I would have found my own way to engineering as art college would probably have been to airy fairy for me as I am such a practical person.  It would have been nice to have made my own mistake thought.

SO today think about the sustainability of what you are doing. Does it require lots of your energy to keep doing it.  Is it something that is automatic of must you work hard at it.  Hard work pays off but are you working on the rigth thing.  For so long my life was unsustainable and I exhausted myself pushing myself to be something I was not and trying to fit not quite a square peg in a round hole , maybe a dodecahedron peg in a round hole, almost fitting but only touching at  the edges. Bu now I know its OK to be myself and still do those things.  I am myself.  SO maybe I can come to terms with this new knowledge.  I forgive myself for doing things to please others.  Now its time to please me.

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