Inspiration vs Wishing…

I write lots of wish lists.  Sometimes I get carried away with the lists I write, well I guess that’s a matter of opinion as to it being  too much or okay. I write lists out of habit.  I’ve done it for years, and my lists have kept me organised, enthused and inspired.  After Kelly died I needed the comfort of making lists of things to do.

Some of my lists are reminders of what I have to do, others are related to things I’d like to do.   Some of them I never read again after I have written them, it all depends on where I wrote them in the first place.  It makes for interesting reading way down the track when I come across one that’s been written months or even years before. Occasionally a list will look very similar to one I’ve just written, so perhaps I need to look a little more closely at those items.

So what inspires me to write them?  Why do I write lists of things I think would be great to do?  Would someone reading them in a hundred years time be able to tell what type of person I am by the lists I write?  I wonder.

Then there are the days I am inspired.  I can be inspired to clean the house, then I write myself a list of all the things I want to get done.  Usually I’m optimistic about the amount of work I can do, but often surprised by how much I actually get done by crossing off items as I’ve completed them.  Also I can be inspired to plan ahead with things such as craft projects, writing projects or things I want to do soon.

So where does this inspiration come from?  What causes inspiration?

I think I can get a little stale.  I haven’t had a holiday in three and a half years so it had become a priority to actually have one. Nor have I been able to get enthused about anything outside the necessary daily things like work, shopping, cooking and so on.  Just going through the motions really.

Last week I actually booked us a week away, now I’m counting down the days till we go.  But since I made that booking, I’ve been inspired to plan all sorts of things.  I’ve actually felt enthusiastic about planning, doing it because I want to, not because it’s something I should do.

So I think that taking action has inspired me.  Also we’ve had some beautiful sunshine for the last few days, sort of summer as we change tomorrow to the first day of Autumn.  That has been inspiring too.  Looking out into my garden can be inspiring too,

But just taking action in itself can be inspiring and thus it becomes a positive cycle.

What is it that inspires you?

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Memories v Reality

We had an interesting experience on Saturday.  In Melbourne for an afternoon wedding, on our way home that evening we decided to have a look at a house  we had lived in  around thirty-five years ago.  When the time came to sell it, we made the usual extra add ons that you do to make a property more valuable (you hope).  It was always a sore point with me  that the carport was constructed to sell the house and we didn’t really get to use it much before we left.

So we expected there to be a few changes, perhaps there would be a front fence, or the carport may have given way to a garage.  The gravel replaced by paving, or the front garden re-landscaped. So we drove along the street, not recognising it because it had changed so much.  The saplings in the nature strips had been replaced by fully grown trees, some with diameters of eighteen inches.  The street seemed narrower than before, most likely because the saplings had grown making it look narrower.  Then we pulled up across from the house and our jaws dropped.

There was car parked on the front lawn — how they managed to get it there was intriguing; the gravel is the same although I’m sure the driveway is smaller now.  The ‘garden’ was overgrown and I don’t think it’s been looked at seriously in the past thirty years!  An air-conditioning unit has been installed in the middle of the red brick front wall of the house and it stands out like a sore thumb.  Fences are falling down.  We sat there in silence, wondering how the house could look so different from our memories.

Now I know that things change, and I expected change, but not the extreme deterioration we viewed.  So it got me thinking about other memories.

Am I guilty of romanticising some of my other memories?  Do I remember them with rose tinted glasses?  Places and things can be remembered fondly, but revisiting them may be an eye-opener in the reality arena.

Obviously I am unable to see what someone looks like today when they’ve been dead for years, but in some ways it might be better to remember them as they were because the reality of today may be hard to accept.

Perhaps I need to re-think my goal of going back to Hawaii.  I had such a great holiday there some years ago, that I wanted to go again.  Maybe the reality won’t be anywhere near as good as the memory, so I’m probably better off choosing a new destination to make memories in.  I think that  we often suffer from selective memory syndrome, where places and things seem much better than they really are.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to be very careful about re-visiting places that I view very  fondly, and with people and loved ones,  it surely must be better to keep the memories as they are.

 

Unworthiness

Many of us quietly struggle with feelings of unworthiness.  Thoughts that we don’t really deserve ‘x’ or ‘y’.  And many of us hide this from those closest to us.

Often  the internal struggle with unworthiness comes potentially addictive behaviour.  The teenager starts smoking because it is a ‘cool’ thing to do, it shows his peers that he or she is ‘with it’ or someone who doesn’t really worry about those in authority.

The unworthiness or low self-esteem may stem from a variety of causes — child abuse, bullying at school and many other potential causes.

I’ve been invited to speak at a Recovery Course, which is run — in this case — by one of the churches in Geelong, but I believe they are run in many areas.  The Recovery Course is for anyone who has been caught up in the addiction cycle, or who has decided it is time to change their life.  It is a support group, and no judgement is made, you can fall off the wagon and return again to the group and be welcomed.  Or you can just be someone who feels the need to be supported by caring people.  Oh and it is free of charge too.

So last night Ross and I went along to the first meeting for this group, mainly to see what it was about.  We were invited to stand and tell the group something about ourselves, and then stayed to listen to the  outline of the course for the group.

Based on the the principles of the Twelve Steps for Alcoholics Anonymous, The Recovery Course will be quite thought provoking.  Something that struck a chord within me was when the facilitator spoke of helping others.  He said that very often when we help another, we get help for ourselves.  What starts out as a good deed done for someone else, can generate much more than the original intention.

I sat there wondering how I could be of help to this group when I do my talk next week.  What have I got to say to them?  Am I in the right place?

Continuing on this thought path, I realised that I’d been a victim of unworthiness myself for a long time.  I’d made noises about writing a book, many people do, but I didn’t really think I was capable of doing it.  Or if I actually managed to write it, who would want to read it?  And so it goes on.  Then when Kelly died, I knew I had to write her story, because telling it could be helpful to others less fortunate than us.  But somehow in the process of writing the book,  I gained so much more than a published book.  Not just the achievement of finishing what I’d set out to do, but rather accelerating my own healing with my writing.

I’ll probably never be ‘cured’ of feeling unworthy at times, but now when those feelings crop up, I can remind myself that they can be turned around.  Relatively easily in fact, if you allow yourself to believe it.

So next week, when I talk to that group, I will have a message for them, hopefully it is something of value to at least one of them.

You run a marathon one step at a time.