Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The one where I reflect about reflecting

Since the end of October, on what would have been my mother's 80th birthday, I've been trying to bully myself out of my seasonal blues. I told myself, "You're no better than Pavlov's dog. You think because you've always been sad at Christmas time (or at least since 1993) that you should be sad at Christmas time this year, too. But I'm not going to let you! Just stop it! Be happy!"

Well, I'm a dog all right. Despite my terrible nagging, I caught up with my sad self.

My life is more filled with joy than sorrow. But the two do stand side by side, each one creates its own portal to those "thin places" where we or I feel closer to whatever Deity I believe exists. Denying the sorrow just made me crazy. It's crazy to feel ashamed because one feels sorrow.

(note to self: remember the phrase "Pavlovian sorrow." You think it's hilarious and quite accurate)

(la de da)

All this reflection I've been attempting for Reverb 10 revealed some stark truths I already knew that seem uglier when I shine a spotlight on them.

I don't know if that makes any sense. It doesn't really matter, I suppose. I'll just write this like I'm writing it for myself. Ultimately, it's all self-indulgent anyway even if I share it.

I'm not sorry for the reflection. I needed the focus. I needed to pay attention to where and how I seemed to have failed. Although the Reverb 10 prompts have been all about joy, comfort, wondrous moments, achievements, healing, doing, things being OK, lessons, friendship, all these good things that make life beautiful, what I've discovered inside the prompts, because I'm a Warped and Negative Witch, is another avenue for self-criticism. It's just the way I am. You telling me (or me telling me) to stop it doesn't help.

Normally, I criticize and move on, get stuff done, live, laugh, laugh, laugh.

This month, I feel like someone dropped a boulder on my arm and I'm too cowardly to saw it off (sorry. I haven't seen that film and won't because I can't stand to go through that hell with that lovely man (127 Hours)) so I can stagger to safety.

I suppose it's all right to accept that I'm ending my year "stalled" as long as I focus Saturday again. (my "one words" were "stalled" and "focused")

I'm a little bit superstitious when it comes to New Year's Day. This is another of those traits I inherited from my mother. I believe if I make sure to write on New Year's Day, I'll write all year (there's no question of writing. I always write. It's more a question of finishing and than sharing). Of course the teen New Year's Eve party my daughter was going to attend elsewhere has moved to our house, which means concentration will be impossible at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2011. Good God! Why did I say yes?

I said yes because I can't think of anything more joyful that having a house full of teenagers the moment 2010 becomes 2011, that's why.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to the Negative Witch thing so I don't want to tell you you aren't one, or not to feel bad about it because it's not very helpful when people say that to me, but I do want to say that I think that reverb10's warped & too shiny new age wellness has a lot to do with bringing the dark side out of people like you and me, people who don't want to close our eyes and turn away from the things that hurt, because we know that they are there. Some people prefer to ignore it, prefer to focus on the shiny happy things. Others don't.

    At the very least, I think it is suspect that a review of an entire year doesn't include reflection on a single thing that may have been painful or which people might consider a mistake or a failure.

    Anyway, despite the way it hurts, I'd still rather be the sort of person who doesn't try to ignore pain.