Tuesday, December 20, 2011

[New Year, New You] My Response to Making Way

Apparently my Muse likes pin up girls.
I blame all the American  Horror Story.
The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation.  Please see here for how to participate! 

I've been reading and commenting on everyone's responses to the first prompt, Making Way and encourage everyone to get to know your fellow Charmers whether or not you're doing the Experiment yourself.

I think it's a good idea for me to post my own workings with the prompt before posting a new prompt so you can see what I'm doing instead of me just handing down proclamations (. . .which I'd frankly prefer to be doing because I'm exhausted all the time right now but share share and all that's fair) as well as any observations from reading everyone's work.

In terms of general observation on everyone's work, the pattern I've noticed the most personally is that most people were good on two of the three items and the third one was invariably reacted to as ". . . shit."  But you all did some serious reflecting on your troublesome third aspect and started figuring out ways to deal which is v. v. good.

Clean House
For me, at the time of writing the prompt, my house wasn't too messy but as the week wore on and all the holidaze prep paraphernalia and a few days later I was feeling like a big ol' hypocrite because I was surrounded by mountains of clutter and feeling more and more stressed out.

We made plans to clean and decorate but, you know, that's hilarious like a reliably funny sitcom to our god/dess/es overlords so needless to say that even though Jow and I generally get along disgustingly well, we totes got into it on Friday (My bff (scandalized) : You yelled at Jow?  Me: Yes.  AND WAIT UNTIL HE COMES HOME!  She: Um . . .wow) when we were supposed to clean/decorate and have a romantic night in.  Now lest you think we're mice, Jow and I both have fearsome tempers and used to have Epic Battle Royales with our exes but we both got sick of living like that and do a lot of conscious work to not be like that anymore.  And for both of us, we're much happier not living life at a tsunami level of constant rage.  But once in a blue moon when our buttons get pushed in exactly the right sequence, it's on like Donkey Kong.  So we spent our Friday night sifting through that and eating shitty food from Applebees that made us both feel ill because we're not used to eating shitty food anymore.

This time of year is particularly difficult because if you were raised with Christmas (and possibly Hanukkah), there's this egregore that this is the most wonderful time of the year doing battle with your actual experiences of some of the most magical holidays and the holidays where your alcoholic father was in a horrendous rage and made everyone cry for Christmas (insert your own trauma here).  In fact, it's been proven that it's impossible not to be depressed this time of year.    Once you really sit with that, dealing with the holidaze becomes easier.

So yesterday we cleaned our house, I cleansed with my cleansing incense, we hung evergreen roping that makes our house smell bizarrely like the McKittrick, we cloved oranges and arranged them in a bowl with Miss Martha ornaments, cinnamon sticks and a particularly prancey reindeer.  We put out a poinsettia that I didn't kill unlike its mate and a basket full of pinecones.  We decorated a ridiculously tiny bonsai evergreen with garland and ornaments.  We listened to A Darker Shade of Pagan and drank mulled red wine that I made and ate clementines and chocolate cherry bread and had the best night possible, given the crushing weight of the holidaze.


My computer's post it notes have been having post it babies.  But I feel like I've been using my time as wisely as possible as it's being spent dealing with holidaze related errands and work when I'm not working.  Also, I'm doing this Experiment which is time consuming and alternately wonderful and terrifying.  I have not been screwing around the intertubes much as there's just no time for it.  I'm going to work on getting through the new year and then restructure from there.  Things are getting checked off my to-do list slowly but surely (there's a finished quilt and 12 jars of ginger peach jam in my fridge so I think I'm doing okay).  While I'm a terrible gossip and reality show whore, I found my Platonic Euro Husband's link to an article on Not Listening v. useful.  I've frankly been much happier with just news snippets, Jezabel and articles I read off of my Facebook/Twitter feeds verses the full court NPR/CNN barrage of despair.  Yes, everything's horrible, I know, I know.  I've been better for not rubbing my face in it on the regular.


This holidaze season has the heightened excitement of both being engaged and being without a few people who were close to me.  My Senior Druid's description of the holidaze ("I'm laughing!  I'm laughing!  I'm crying!  I'm crying!  Oh god!  Oh god!") is particularly apt for me this year.  It's been a hard adjustment, I miss them but we're all better off without each other.  For me the hardest rock to lay down wasn't the wrongs that had been done to me but to forgive myself for the things I did wrong to make those relationships toxic.   As the adult child of an alcoholic, my reaction to a toxic situation is to bathe in that fucker and figuratively drink myself sick on it because that's all things I understand.  I tend to want to just let that relationship keep getting less and less healthy and more and more mutated until all it is is an exercise in emotional cutting.  I'm trying to stop doing that, I'm trying to stop engaging and learn to give myself a clean break and release old fetters but it is not a natural impulse.  But I've been doing a lot of work on that since my divorce and even more work on that since the fall.  Because I need to, otherwise I'm so full of word vomit (I could hear people getting bored with me. But I couldn't stop. It just kept coming up like word vomit.)I don't know what to do with myself and I'm so full of toxic yuck that I can't do anything productive because everything I do is tainted and reactionary.  So I'm working to get off the merry-go-round with the understanding that I'll get back on it sometimes because it's in my lizard brain to do that.  But working at it and being vigilant is important and forgiving myself when I'm not stronger than it is even more so.


Gordon White said...

I'm so glad the article helped you. James is always good for what ails...

Also: I owe you an email. You can read it over breakfast tomorrow!

Peeps said...

Your fabulous holiday season sounds like mine, fighting with the fiance and all. Setting down the NPR and backing slowly away is one of the best things I've done this year.

The best is probably letting the toxic roll on by and using some Buddhist techniques from a teaching I heard by Thich Nhat Hanh. Just acknowledge an element of that person popping up, say hi, and release it without really engaging with it. It's awesome. I used to suck in all the toxic, roll it in misused gifts for seeing things in people, and throw it back at its source, Mortal Kombat "finish himmmmm" style. While I miss the high of that kind of anger sometimes, it's definitely better to be a kinder, gentler Peeps.

Unknown said...

But who doesn't like pin-up girls, really?

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