Don’t Fear the Chaos Climax and Other Thoughts on Change

 Everything you tolerate drains your energy, makes you irritable, and wears you down. Talene Miedaner

 

Is this true? Is Talene correct? Does everything around you that you just “tolerate” drain you? Bring you down, and suck your energy?

I am talking about the little things. That broken door jamb. The light hanging from a cord in the ceiling in the bathroom.  Chipping paint on your front door.  Flat surfaces covered with piles of paper- some essential and some worthless. Does walking by these little annoyances as if they do not exist, or seeing them and wincing before moving on drain your motivation and deplete your resources?

I am going to say- yes.  YES! And it is a terrible catch 22.  The more little irritating annoyances around you the more drained, overwhelmed and paralyzed you feel- making it harder to get rid of them.

I started this blog SIX MONTHS AGO. I have not published a post in almost two months and not nearly enough has been done to reach my many other goals. Becoming Vivid has been moving much too slow. However, reflecting on my humbling (and embarrassing) standstill has illuminated a few things.

If you want to change:

Expect pain- or at the very least, expect serious discomfort and expect it to last longer than anticipated.   I made a pretty major life change in the past when I went from being a totally lackluster student in high school to an honor student in college.  I always told myself, “I could if I really wanted” and when I got to college the stakes were too high not to try.  My first year was painful.  I had to learn habits and skills I should have learned and maintained since fourth grade.  I thought my intelligence would carry me but my success came down to grit.  I had to make up for a lot of lost time. I had to just keep pushing. I had to avoid distractions and the comfort of my old patterns.  It hurt.  At one point, I felt like I had ropes all around me and I was rubbing against them to get out- or rather to stay inside the new constraints and demands I had put upon myself.  I felt very raw.  Until, I toughened up.

If I want to stay true- or rather really get down- to the business of this blog I need to accept that the next six months (at least) will be very uncomfortable physically and emotionally.  There is an element in our culture which suggests we should be aggressively happy all the time.  This is just BS.  Not only is not possible but I would venture it makes people lazy too.  Sometimes we really NEED to feel uncomfortable.  Sometimes comfort is a trap holding us back from a better future.

Expect things to appear worse before they get better.  The blank page is so perfect, so limitless, so clean, until you put your pen on it and mar it. Or how about moving? Anyone moving houses will tell you that there is a point in their packing process where the disorder and workload seems worse and more out of control than before they even touched anything.  Fearing the chaos climax will only keep you from a hurdle you really need to cross. (I am talking to myself of course.)

Expect every single little step to take longer than you estimate.  When you manage to get your task done in the time allotted you can give yourself a pat on the back.  You can even feel a little smug. However, remembering that things which seem simple from the outside are often a bit more tangled once you get into them can help prevent frustration and burnout.  Exercise is a good example of this.  Everyone wants the quick fix but it can take months to see results.

Do something every day.  Start somewhere every day- even if no immediate results seem imminent. This is the numero uno.  At some point you will turn a corner. I really believe this to be true. And I am going to prove it to you.

Becoming Vivid is both an internal and external process.  The initial excitement of starting a new project or committing to some form of self- improvement is great.  The time almost immediately after that- when the journey is still almost all up hill is difficult.  Once the rush of embracing your new vision wears off- you are left with work, much of it tedious.  Pushing on in the face of no apparent results can be challenging.

Right now, as a motivation, I am embracing the idea that if I continue to put one foot in front of the other into the darkness and chip away at these little annoyances I will also be chipping away at a metaphorical boulder resting on top of me.  Eventually, enough weight will be removed I will feel flooded with energy- free to soar.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Posted June 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Right. Why tolerate anything? Love it and embrace it or do something about it. Good luck with your goals.

    • Banana
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Marissa! I don’t know where the last two months went…. Embrace it or change. I like that. It is good to be back…. Love your latest, “Evil Eve in Eden”!

      • Posted June 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Banana! You know I had a book when I was a girl that I loved, loved called Anna Banana. Is that a reference?

        • Banana
          Posted June 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          I definitely should have had that book- it is what a lot of people called me…

  2. Posted June 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I know much of life is pain, but to a great extent, it is owing to my sensitivity. Does it mean I should not be touchy? No.

    I had to heal myself, and even make myself immune.

    I found some antidotes for myself:
    1) When in trouble, I recite, “nipil, nipil, nipil, …”
    That is ‘nothing is permanent in life’. Most of the time it works. I mean, not as a charm or magic, but, life has a way of taking unexpected turns. You just have to bide your time for the turnaround. And, while you wait, why not pray, repeating something which may be total nonsense, but gives you faith?
    2) I have developed a capacity to forget the painful, and remember the enjoyable. If I have had a bad day and ended up with a headache, I sit still and remember some good old past, full of mirth and laughter, and surprisingly, the headache goes away!
    3) I have learned to create my own world. In my FB account, in my blog, and in my laptop directory, where I write down whatever comes to my mind, and gives me a kick to put it down in the most beautiful way I can.

    I agree that we should do a little everyday. But, before that we must segregate the important from the trivial. If I have a thousand things bothering me, I need to first jot down in a list, those little things that will make me feel happy, and give me a real sense of personal achievement.

    (Phew! That was quite long winded.)

    • Banana
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Mikupa, Thank you so much for this really thoughtful response to my post. I am going to try some of your suggestions in the coming months.. And yes segregating the important from the trivial is essential. One of my problems right now is I feel like I have a whole lot of trivial things that are getting in the way of the deeper things…. On the surface they don’t seem that important or deep but taken all together they make my mind and life feel cluttered and inhibited. As I go through the tedious steps to get rid of them I am going to try to come up with my own mantra too. Thanks again for this. you’ve given me a lot to think about…

      • Posted June 27, 2014 at 2:09 am | Permalink

        If I may be permitted to say this, people need an identity, people need to own themselves, they need not be seal-effacing just because they think they are not doing the real thing, like earning money, or going out to get noticed.

        Maybe for a start, one should change one’s nameless, faceless profile picture by something that represents one more truly.

        I apologize if I have trespassed … I tend to stray.

        • Banana
          Posted June 27, 2014 at 2:32 am | Permalink

          No apologies please… You make a valid point. In part, I am hiding… You have given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

  3. Posted June 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey you, just so you know, i saw this post and didn’t even think about the fact I hadn’t seen a post in awhile, all I thought was “oh wow, there’s one I want to read, because Becoming Vivid is always interesting! I worry about not being able to publish as often as others too and just had my longest between posts–a little over 4 weeks. UGH. But, one of my friends told me that those who like to read my post will get used to my time rhythm, and whatever we can muster, as long as we are relatively consistent, is fine! Have to say, that calmed me, and I have found that to be true. No, I don’t have thousands of readers but thankfully those who do read seem to like it and come back. Love the comment above–great ideas. As for writing more often? I actually started another kind of anonymous blog where I can write short, quick posts that are kind of more for me–and I don’t publicize it. That’s kind of a nice way to get more practice in w/out putting out posts that are off-topic or not very thought out, or on just days when I want to ramble…that’s kind of fun too. Anyway, take good care and it’s good to hear from you!

    • Banana
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Hey Robin! Thanks for your kind words!!!! You are very sweet. And I guess it is true that regular readers will get used to our rhythms. That is good to keep in mind. However, one post every two months that isn’t a rhythm I hope to continue. Haha. I really want to create a more regular practice even if I am never as prolific as other bloggers. Reflecting more on this post more I think it is probably my most depressing. Everyone wants to be all psyched up about their goals but sometimes it really is just about slogging through, sometimes it is more of a grind than a wild passion…. In certain areas that is where I am- it is time to put my head down and just push. However, writing this post really helped me. I don’t think it is my best or and it isn’t my favorite but the process was good and it reminded me that making time for this sort of work- for me- makes all the other stuff easier and also helps puts it in perspective for me. I need this space.

      I understand the anonymity freedom. This blog is semi-anonymous right now to give me the same freedoms you mention…. Thanks again for your comment. I am glad to be back!

  4. Miriam
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree that it’s better to fix the small the things that wear at you. But there are bigger things that sometimes we have to tolerate- if I had my way I’d change everything immediately but I’m also learning that I have to be patient sometimes- life is complicated.
    Change is hard, for sure. Working toward a goal is hard, but it’s so worth it. Sticking with blogging has been intense for me, but one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve learned so much over the time I’ve been committed to writing regularly and putting it out there. And it does get easier- that’s the nice thing about being consistent with something we want to get better at.
    Life is short though, and there are many choices for how we want to spend our time, so you have to decide if it’s important enough to you, or if you’d rather do something else. I’ve seen so many bloggers come and go, and I’m sure they have good reasons for moving on to something else.

    • Banana
      Posted September 16, 2014 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      Miriam! Thank you for your thoughtful message. Patience is a hard thing to learn but it is essential in so many worthwhile endeavors…..

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