Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Twenty-Seven Things I Wish For

1. I wish I had thicker eyelashes.

2. I wish my BIL would move out of my house.

3. I wish I had some “alone” time each week.

4. I wish I could get more writing done each day.

5. I wish our finances were better organized.

6. I wish I had more time for friends.

7. I wish I could write for a living.

8. I wish my sister and I lived closer to each other.

9. I wish I were a tidier person.

10. I wish I had better eating habits.

11. I wish I didn’t have to take so many meds.

12. I wish my back and knees would stop hurting.

13. I wish my potbelly would go away.

14. I wish I were more physically active.

15. I wish I could grow attractive fingernails.

16. I wish my husband weren’t so needy and in demand of my time and energy.

17. I wish I were more of a risk-taker.

18. I wish I had acreage so I could have sheep and goats.

19. I wish I lived in California again.

20. I wish I had more confidence in myself and my abilities.

21. I wish I could learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes.

22. I wish I was better at standing up for myself.

23. I wish my teeth were whiter.

24. I wish I weren’t so forgetful.

25. I wish I’d stop procrastinating about sending out my work.

26. I wish I’d get published and hit the NYT Bestseller list.

27. I wish my mom and dad were still alive.

This started out as a simple writing exercise from the book The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron. At first, I had a really hard time thinking of things to put down, but then I just relaxed and let the thoughts come to me and surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) I learned a few things about myself.

There are a few things in there that are pure vanity…like the eyelashes, the potbelly and the whiter teeth. But who doesn’t desire to be their most attractive self, even in “middle age”?

There’s definitely a self-confidence issue at work here. (See items 17, 20,22,24 & 25). These are things that I absolutely have the power to change in an instant, but for whatever reason I haven’t yet.

I’m also very jealous of my time. I resent it when my time is spent on things that aren’t personally satisfying to me. I find myself getting angry when I’ve set aside a certain amount of time for something and had the rug snatched out from under me and I’m stuck doing what someone else wants me to do. And I think it’s mostly because unless I’m sitting in the car, driving to or from work, I’m NEVER TRULY ALONE. There’s always someone at my house (see item # 2) and the job I have now is so time-consuming that I have very little, if any free time besides weekends, and sometimes not even those.

This is a nice segue into the whole “needy husband” thing. I believe I married the most dependent man on the face of the planet. I love him and it thrills me that he wants to spend time with me, but at the same time, it drives me bonkers that he doesn’t have any male friends to hang out with occasionally. On top of that, when I do assert myself and demand time to do things by myself, he does his level best (consciously or unconsciously, I have no idea) to make me feel guilty about it—which in turn, feeds back into the self-confidence issue.

I also have a VERY bad habit of letting thoughts that pop up in my brain flow out of my mouth without thinking of the damaging effects it could have on me—or others. Sometimes it’s gossip, sometimes it’s an opinion (and you know what they say about those!) and sometimes it’s just plain old yakking.

For example, last week, I got a “counseling” form written up on me because I failed to follow protocol at work. I signed it without really thinking about it, and went right back to my duties. As I worked, I thought more and more about that form, and my ire grew. It was so unfair! Terry, a new TMS, happened to be close by and I mentioned it to her. The next thing I know, I’m being pulled aside by the acting TMS (not Terry) who told me that if I have a problem with something, I’m not to go around discussing it with staff. As much as I love Dora, I’m still a little annoyed, as I felt I’d been falsely accused in that I didn’t discuss it with “several staff members” as she said—only one and she was a TMS also and I’d asked her advice on how to handle my irritation.

But I digress…the point is, I don’t know how to keep my big mouth shut. It’s almost as though if I DON’T say something, I’ll explode. I’m at a loss as to how change this.

There is also a sense of longing for what most likely cannot be in my wishlist. I know perfectly well that unless hubby wins the lottery or I hit the NYT bestseller list (in hardback no less!) I’ll never move back to California and have enough land to keep sheep and goats while I write for a living.

And nothing is going to bring back my parents…no matter how much I miss them.

“So what do you do?” to quote Shirley Valentine.

What you do is you keep on keeping on. You do your best each day. You pray for patience, for persistence, for guidance, and you live each day to the fullest with the knowledge that there might not be a tomorrow.

Relatives and co-workers may irritate the life out of me, but at least I HAVE relatives and I have a job. I have the ability to write and if I persist, someday, who knows…maybe I will hit that NYT bestseller list. But if I don’t write, I’ve completely omitted that option forever.

So, what do you wish for? Leave a comment and let's talk about wishes.