Sunday, April 29, 2007


I have learned something useful about myself lately - well, a few things.

1) I am not a good middle-of-the-process person. I'm very good at the planning stages of the project and very good at the finishing touches at the end, but not so much in the middle. I get overwhelmed by all the things left to do. This happened last year with the magazine - I enjoyed coming up with concepts and ideas, but in that middle part where everything was in confusion, half the contributors hadn't handed their articles in and half the images hadn't been sourced, I was a nervous wreck. Then I'd perk up again when everything was in and all we had to do was treat the pages and proof-read. I've noticed it again while working on my manuscript assessment this month. Good to know, eh? I guess if you're aware of such things, at least you can shrug them off a little and say, "oh well, I know that's how I tend to react. It's not because I can't cope, it's just the way my personality is wired."

2) I tend to compare my insides with other people's outsides. That is, I look at people and on they surface they seem great - happy, self-assured, good skin and great hair, or whatever, and I compare that with how I'm feeling. I'm feeling confused, or unhappy, or just a bit blah, and I think, "I wish I was like that." Which is ridiculous, because they might be feeling that too. And I might look great on the surface to them. So it's a really silly way to judge your own life.

3) The things that I don't like about my life haven't changed for years. Which is depressing. If I look back at a diary I wrote three years ago, I'll be saying the same things - I wish I spent more time on my relationship with God, I wish I put more time and energy into my writing, I wish my life was in better order, I wish I wasn't so critical etc, etc, etc ad infinitum. So evidently, it's about time I prioritised these things.

4) There is no magical point in the future at which everything will fall into place and be perfect. If I'm going to be happy and do the things I want to do, I have to do them now. I can't wait for everything to be harmonious. For example, saying "I can't possibly write a novel now, the house is a mess. I'll wait till we move" is silly because when we move things will be in even greater chaos for a while. And then something else will come along to help me procrastinate. So my insight here is: there is no point in the future when I will be slim, fit, have perfect skin and hair, have harmonious relationships with everyone in my life, be fulfilled, happy, tidy, clean and generally perfect. It's impossible, and striving for it will only make me anxious.

5) I think too much.
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