Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Enough, already!--Month eight

Well, here I am being completely wordy on Wordless Wednesday yet again. It’s the eighth month of my “Enough, already!” project and this month—strange as it may sound—I’ve decided say “Enough reality, already!”

I don’t know if I can explain this clearly, although it makes sense in my own head. It’s based on two concepts I’ve come across in several different places. The first is acting “as if”—the idea is that if you don’t know how to do something, or don’t want to do it, you act as if you can or you want to until you learn how or start enjoying it or get it finished. The second is the idea that your experience of what is going on around you is heavily affected by the filters you see it through, and those filters are based on your past experiences, your relationships with others, and so on. I’ve heard this idea before but lately I’ve been coming across it over and over: online, in magazine articles, in books. I’m taking it as a message from the universe (self-centered, aren’t I, thinking that the universe is sending me messages again?).

I’ve been trying this out to see how I can use it. Take, for example, walking. Not the actual physical act of walking—even though I’m a total klutz and have been known to trip on air, I’m pretty successful at walking most of the time. For the past few years I’ve been wanting to exercise more by going for regular walks. But I don’t have the time. Really, truly, if I compare all the things I have to do with the amount of time in the day, I do not have time to go for walks—I barely have time to go to the bathroom. But since school started, I’ve been acting as if I do have the time and going right ahead and doing it.

I’ve also been spending more time cooking and crafting and gardening. In reality, I don’t have time for them. But I’m doing them anyway and somehow my schedule is shifting to fit them in.

These concepts work in other ways too. In reality, I’m a person who usually heads straight to the cookie jar for a snack. But now I’m acting as if I’m the kind of person who eats some fruit first. In reality, my sewing room is a cluttered mess, a fact that is often enough to stop me from working on a project. But now I’m acting as if I can find what I need—looking until I do and slowly but surely getting things in order as I look.

I’m refusing to accept the reality that I live with psychotic, plant-killing cats. I potted up some cuttings from our never-say-die spider plant and planted seeds for a kitchen herb garden and I will find a way to have plants in my house again (I am staying in touch with reality enough to plant only things that won’t harm the monsters).

I’m also refusing to accept the reality that over the years I’ve become very disorganized. Because I’m acting as if I were the old organized me, I now find myself filing papers instead of piling them on my desk and writing things down instead of trying (and failing) to remember them.

I’m finding that these concepts work well in dealing with people too. If, for example, when I ask my son to take out the garbage, I speak as if I expect him to remember and follow through, he’s more likely to do just that than if I’m thinking “I know he’s going to forget, just like he usually does.” If, when I’m talking to someone I’ve had bad communication patterns with in the past, instead of interpreting this person’s words and actions through the filter I normally use (and reacting accordingly, whether it’s warranted or not) I act as if we are perfectly capable of having a constructive conversation, we are less likely to fall into our old pattern.

So this month I’m going to ignore reality and live in my own happy little world—one in which people are mostly reasonable and cooperative, I’m organized and eat more fruit than cookies, I have time to do the things I love, and, I hope, a few plants escape death by feline.


Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire said...

Welcome to my world. I've been waiting for you!


Margerie said...

Who needs reality checks anyway?? :)

Hope you WILL still make time for the wonderful things....