This week’s blogging challenge from fellow program participant, Kath, asks us what (other than food) brings us joy.
I did a similar post in my ’30 days of self-love’ blogging challenge. Then I wrote about the fact that (like so many people) the things that brought me joy (over-eating, drinking, veging in front of television every night, hiding away from people in a little cocoon) also brought me great harm. I ended up 40-50kg over my ideal weight because I comforted myself CONSTANTLY with what satiated me. Albeit temporarily. But I’m not an idiot (a fact which may surprise you). I know that the past habit of instant gratification cannot continue. And, quite frankly, it should not have continued for the 20 or so years that it did.
In the old blog post I talked about all of those (dare I say, former?) bad habits, but I struggled to identify ‘healthy’ things that bring me joy. I settled on reading, watching television, spending time with family and friends. But that was about it. God, how glib and superficial do I sound?! Yes indeedy, I am an intelligent, evolved and relatively cultured person…
Later ’30 days of self-love’ posts about ‘purpose’ had me again questioning the meaning of life and the like. Even now in my early (just) 40s, I still wonder what I want to be when I grow up AND I have already had a myriad of careers. I wonder if I will ever find my passion – both professionally and personally.
I aspire to live a more creative life and envy those who do. Several times now I have started a self-help type book called The Artist’s Way. It’s almost two years ago that I last picked it up and back then I vowed I’d continue working my way through it. I didn’t. Of course. So again I wonder if it will do the trick; if it will open my mind to a bigger and brighter world? Perhaps.
Perhaps I find it hard to ‘find’ joy in this world because I can’t find it in myself. As I said yesterday and have said before, I can be a bit of a misery-guts and I’m very much a glass half-empty person. But I do try to force the joy. Each night I list those three or four good things that happened that day. I try to ‘fake’ it. I’ve written here about the need to be grateful and the desire to feel awesome in a wondrous child-like way. It hasn’t worked. One of the comments I received on yesterday’s blog post quite rightly pointed out that I have a LOT of questions and need to think a bit more about the answers. Very true, and I suspect I need to go even further than that and think more about strategies to start ‘doing’ and stop just ‘talking’ (or writing as the case may be) about my problems and shortcomings.
I’m still not walking the talk. Or walk. Whatever.
I’m still not in the headspace that allows me to feel more positive about myself and my life, but there’s still time. I can identify my faulty thinking and beliefs (which you know because I harp on about them all of the time) and I suspect that’s half the battle. Well… I bloody hope it is!
October 6, 2011
I, too have picked up the “Artist’s Way” and put it back down again! I do understand what you mean about forcing gratitude. Today, I’m simply grateful for the rain – I don’t know what it is about rainy, grey weather, but I love curling up and daydreaming when it’s like this.
October 6, 2011
I think I hope The Artist’s Way will suddenly incite me to think outside of the box or act more creatively or take more creative chances… or something. Again, it’s probably a JUST DO IT approach. I’ve already taken steps over the last 4-5 years to ‘write’ for example; doing courses through the Writers’ Centre, starting my blogs etc. Am not sure what the next step is. Perhaps a professional change? Perhaps a lot of my current frustration isn’t just my weight-loss failure, but more about the rest of my life.