Realizations and “Ah-Ha!” Moments

same heart

It seems that every-so-often, my heart and mind shift gears, and I realize that there are these things that I thought, these ideas that I had, have had for years, that are as incorrect as can be.  I’m surprised, I’m sad, secretly, I’m relieved.

I can remember the first time I was told to “not sweat the small stuff.”  It was my dad that said it, and he was quoting this book someone had given him for Christmas, and that was the book’s title.  I didn’t buy in.  It was a fine concept, as long as it was just a thought or a concept and not something I would actually be expected to implement into my life.  I think I was around the age of ten or so, and I was already a world-class worrier.  Dad went on to say that it was *almost* all “small stuff.”  This really didn’t vibe with my pre-teen self.

don-t-sweat-the-small-stuff-quotes-gzfa8jjpTo me, everything was important.  Every feeling, every tear, every perceived slight, judgmental look, backhanded comment.  To be more clear, what other people THOUGHT of me, was in no way “small stuff.”  To be fair, it wasn’t necessarily what other people thought or did or said, it was what I (often wrongly) thought that other people thought of me.  And so it went, pre-teen to 20’s Rosa to late 20’s Rosa to current Rosa.  I cared far too much of what other people thought.

That has changed.  Dramatically.  Within the last six weeks, dramatically and, to link in the general idea of this post — I have also come to lower my expectations of other people.  In not caring quite so much what others thought, I found a freedom in releasing other people to be horrible and terrible and, in some cases, simply not as perfect as I had previously thought they were.  I have come to understand that I cannot hold other people to the standards I try (and fail) to hold myself to — they are impossibly high.

The next step of the journey, of course, is to stop beating myself up for not being perfect, for not getting the results out of a project that I want, for not having children, or keeping a perfect house, or being able to handle any little bit of garbage that the world has to throw at me on any given day.

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From now on, I cut up my journey into bite-sized pieces, and while I will tackle what the world has coming toward me with gusto, I most certainly will do my best to not spend much, if any time dwelling on how I just don’t measure up.  I have plans, and I have written thoughts about those plans, and my plans have plans.  There are a lot of plans, and I vow not to be too hard on myself when a plan doesn’t come through, as I had envisioned.

love-processThe beauty of the art I make is in the process, not in the final product. These new tiny bits of information that I learn and adopt as my own on any given day, they are part of my process, and more than anything at this time in my life, I absolutely LOVE the process, and I will let all of those negative thoughts settle upon the leaves moving down the stream of my consciousness, and wave to them as they float away.

 

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10 thoughts on “Realizations and “Ah-Ha!” Moments

  1. That’s my secret too. Not caring so much, I mean. It’s a gift of getting older, but it took me about 30 years longer than you to get there. When you stop trying to be what other people think you should be or what you think they think you should be (because do we ever really KNOW what anyone else is thinking?) … life gets a lot simpler. That being said, people still surprise me in very unpleasant ways. I expect people to be honest and I expect that when I behave as a friend, they will be friendly in return. When that doesn’t happen, I’m always surprised. Still. After all these years. You’d think I’d learn, but maybe not entirely.

    I have stopped worrying all the time. One day, probably around the time I discovered I needed massive heart surgery, I realized that all the worrying I had done was a total waste of energy and effort. I never worry about what’s really going to happen and what does happen always whacks me from behind. So, now, when I can’t fix it, it do my absolute best to make it go away. I’m getting better at it. Not perfect, but better.

    You’re WAY ahead of me. Decades.

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  2. Wow, so much to say here… Ok, first, T-Bone told me once that if you don’t have any respect for someone then why let their opinion of anything affect you? It’s something I’m still working on, but it makes a hell of a lot of sense. Two, there are two different schools of knitterly thought – process vs. product. Some people who knit do it purely for the love of yarn and needles and the joy of creation. The others do it for the finished product. Neither is wrong, they’re just different. ❤

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  3. I find that trying not to care too much is harder than you think. Even today I worry about the small stuff more than I should. I love the pictures that you’ve put with this post – they certainly ring true with what I’ve been going through the past few days.

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  4. This is very wise, Rose: “In not caring quite so much what others thought, I found a freedom in releasing other people to be horrible and terrible and, in some cases, simply not as perfect as I had previously thought they were. I have come to understand that I cannot hold other people to the standards I try (and fail) to hold myself to — they are impossibly high.”

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  5. I wanna be a smart ass and say, “Are you hypomanic?” UT I had a session with my psychiatrist today and that very topic was covered about how we (bopolar- we) view others differently than other people. We read in a little more into words and actions. It didn’t make me feel any better then it you’ve made me feel better now…..and I’m so glad you’re writing again. I had missed you. I have to catch up though, I’m so behind on your posts ☺

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    • Ha, actually, yes, hypomanic to mixed to severely depressed, all ending up in a five-night stay in the local crisis house (a step before hospital). I am always glad to see you, and you have spurred me to post on more than one occasion with well-timed comments. ((hugs))

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