Hidden Things

What are the hidden things in my mind and heart? What drives me to do things I do? What prevents me from doing things I want or need to do?

I often seek occupation with a hobby. I have tried to get involved in several different types of arts or crafts. I don’t get much further than buying some supplies. Sometimes, I do a project or two. But, then something will come up and I will have to put the supplies in a box and clear the work area. Nothing more happens. Things stay boxed up until I get rid of them. I seem to associate pursuit of artistic things as with my father’s mental illness. He would often reach for the arts when he became manic. Perhaps that is why I won’t let myself like arts and crafts enough to keep going with something. Perhaps there is some other totally different hidden thing that gets in the way.

I make lists. I have written of this before. I make lists and remake lists. I have lists of things I need to do. Lists of things I like. Lists of chores I need to do regularly. I recently noted in my journal that I feel if I could ever get the list right, or get the right list, my life would be all worked out. Life would not feel so hollow. Not sure if that is the right word. There seems to be something missing in my every day moments.  This compulsive behavior has both good and bad properties. In a sense, I rely on the lists too much. I spend too much time working on them. On the other hand, the lists keep me on course to get chores completed, to keep my nine-to-five job duties prioritized, to keep my home supplied with essentials like milk, eggs and toilet tissue. I don’t know why I list. Fear of forgetting. Struggling to put order to my scattered thoughts. I don’t know why I do this either.

I refuse to ask for help. Not in a stiff-necked way, but in an “I don’t want to trouble anyone with my incompetence” way. If I ever do ask for help, I am usually so far gone I don’t know what to have someone do for me. So, I just don’t ask and give up until I can go again. I let myself go with unmet needs because of this.

I did not learn this from my mother. She was a five-star general at getting people to help her get things done. She did it with love and honesty and great home cooking. “I want to do project X. Y’all come Saturday and I will cook a roast and some beans and make a cake.” She would get everything to do her project and to prepare the meal. Extra hands would help in the kitchen and on the project. We made grand memories in the process.

Why won’t I even ask him for help with simple things that I struggle with? Little chores around the house that I may be behind on or just need to get ahead on. I don’t know about this one. I have realized I never asked my childhood friends about anything either. They were putting on makeup and I was too embarrassed to ask how they managed to apply eyeliner. That sort of thing. I don’t know where they learned things. I just figured I wasn’t clever enough to figure it out and they were.

He gave me a generous gift card for our anniversary. I spent almost all of it on shoes. What I needed was pants. Shoes and purses don’t depend on my size. Most blouses and tops will go from one size to another without much problem. My top half doesn’t change sizes that much when I am thinner. But, my pants size will change if I ever get my diet and exercise going in the right direction. My crazy mind thinks if I buy pants now, I won’t have money to buy smaller pants. Or that it means I am giving up getting fit. Or what? What is the hidden issue here? Why won’t I buy clothes that I really like and want to wear that fit me now?

I wonder at my quirks. I don’t mind having the more harmless ones. I want to know why I do what I do. Why I behave and respond the way I do. What makes me withdraw into myself and not allow others too close. I want to know why so I can undo the more harmful ones. Even knowing why may not help me change things. But, it is a start.  I want to do better for myself so I will have a better starting place to do for others.

I don’t know why I love the full moon so much. I love her rising over the lake. Is it because my grandmother would come to visit when the moon was going to be full just so she could take us down to the lake to see her rise over the water? Did she really time her visits that way or did it just work out that way very often? My mother’s mother is the reason for many of my favorites. Full moons over the water, jungle print fabrics, canna lilies, pampas grass, cemeteries, red “tennie” shoes to name a few.

I went down to see her the other night. I had almost given up when she appeared from behind the low clouds. I still feel excited anticipating her appearance and restless when her light shimmers around me. Restless to walk along quiet, white sand roads, listening to the voices of the past echo through the stories Granny always told me. Laughing and playing. Yes. I do know one certain reason I love the moon. My granny who loved me and understood me so deeply bound me to the full moon rising over the lake by loving me in the beams of light shed from the evening sky. Here is our August moon, Granny.

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Lists

I am a compulsive list maker.  I think I have written about this before.  But, it has come up again in my thoughts.

I have lists of all kinds of things.  I have books of lists I have made over the years.  I don’t just make lists of things to do.  I make lists of things I like, things I want to learn, books or movies or songs I want.  I make lists of favorites such as colors, flowers, animals.  Places I want to go, meals I want to cook, stories I want to write.  Lists of values, strengths, weaknesses.  All kinds of things.

Why? I often ask myself that question.  I don’t know if I am trying to remember things or trying to figure out things.  I used to get frustrated because I didn’t have a single favorite color.  I didn’t have a single favorite flower.  I always thought that was a flaw in my mental processes.  That it meant I was unable to decide or to commit to something so simple.

Finally, I resigned myself to being uncommitted and discovered my favorite color is aquamarine and my favorite flower is the orchid.  One of the wall colors of our bedroom is aquamarine.  The empress of flowers has so many faces; it is easy to love her.  Enough variety and color to satisfy my ever changing mood.

I make lists of outfits and define elements of styles.  Clothes, home décor, gardening.  Anything is subject to being listed.  Pinterest boards are magical picture lists.  I go through phases of collecting, rearranging and discarding pins and boards.  My dream come true site!

I have common lists of things to do each day and tasks or special projects I am working toward.  The items on those lists are marked through when completed or when I have talked myself out of it.  Sometimes an item will get transferred to a long term list.

I suppose I have benefited from the lists.  I have accomplished many things through the years.  I keep my home and its business in pretty good shape considering my life circumstances.  I have worked through some problems and figured out some issues.  Some resolved, some simply defined.

I hope to be able to understand what drives me each day to do the things I do.  I don’t want to get to the end and not have at least tried to know myself well enough to behave well toward others.  What does having a favorites’ list have to do with that?  Nothing really.  It is simply an offshoot of hours of day dreaming and digging into my thoughts.  Always wondering and pondering and wrestling with the mental and emotional world inside.

Always trying to be better at being Me each day.  One list at a time.

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