Thursday, March 14, 2013

Talking to Myself . . .

Funny little conversation with myself this morning -- you have those too, no?

Anyway, I have two "breathing spaces" in my work schedule, Tuesday and Thursday mornings when I don't have a class 'til 1. There's always prep and/or marking to do, of course, but I don't have to get up so early these mornings and I have enjoyed having time to get a decent run. Lately, the running schedule's changed a bit (more about that in a soon-to-come post), and my "free mornings" have been shangaied for a variety of personal appointments -- my year-overdue Pap and general physical, my months-overdue optometrist appointment, unavoidable if I want a new supply of contacts, and this Tuesday, my every-five-weeks hair apointment.

This morning, then, I was debating whether to let myself have a bit of a lounge on either side of the run I'm determined to fit in. The chatter with myself went something like this:

Me: I haven't had loose time to myself for over a week, and I think I need some to move my shoulders a bit away from my ears. 

Other Me, Made of Sterner, Bossier Stuff: Oh, for heaven's sake. We're just out of the weekend. Remember the weekend when you had time to relax. Don't be so whiney.

Me:  Quiet for a moment, a bit shamed, but then . . . Hey! I stayed with my Mom Friday night 'til Saturday midday, then I visited my daughter and worked her through her crying jag, then went to the opera and got to bed late after Guinness & pizza with Paul and friend. Then I woke up Sunday morning to get robbed, dealt with that reality for a few hours, visited another daughter & granddaughter, then took the ferry home with Paul, and let my new week begin. 
No longer quiet, less ashamed, beginning to shout. . . And Tear-prone New Mom Lovely Daughter is bringing my baby G-Daughter over for an extended weekend break. The break will be for her. Not me. And next weekend I'm going over to help with Mom again. If I don't take a break RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. I won't get one for the foreseeable future. And my shoulders will be above my ears which, anatomically, is Not. Good.

Other Me, Bossy, Stern, but now Put in her Place. For Awhile:  Momentary Silence, Then: Oh, you're right. Okay. . . . 

So I'm using my break time to chat with you a bit after having knit several rows of sheep on my Kate Davies blanket (progress pics also to be posted soon) and right before I go for a run. After that, I am going to firmly ignore the marking I could be doing (It will get done on the weekend -- I'm breaking my pattern of always handing papers back in a week, and I'm deciding that is just okay) in favour of another cup of tea and, perhaps, a dip into this month's Harper's Bazaar. . . .

My question to you . . . . you do have these conversations too, don't you? Which various selves tend to emerge in such conversations? Which one generally wins?

16 comments:

  1. Oh there's a little bit of that "Sybil" person in me. My sterner self frequently looses the battle. Self care is higher on my list these days which justifies more knitting, more reading more...me time. I find if things fall be the wayside, I'll get to them eventually and no one is harmed...but I am saved. I'm so impressed with your knitting!! I'm doing boring "idiot" knitting these days which allows more wool gathering in my mind.

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    1. Part of the problem is that my Bossy self is backed up by my employer . . .
      And you know well that knitting goes in cycles. . . and mine includes some boring stuff as well -- which, yes, leaves more mind-room for wool-gathering!

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  2. For starters, my daily/weekly schedule is not nearly as hectic as your´s.
    I can´t understand how you manage it all. Perhaps it is a question of personality too.
    I stick seriously to my schedule. Without a tight one, I´d fall into pieces.
    I perform everything with a routine, without a brake, so I do have my leisure time daily, a time for a nap every now and then.
    This winter has been long and dark, so not feeling overly energetic at all.
    Could not imagine myself knitting at all (;

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    1. Oh, my schedule is tight enough to keep me in order, but sometimes I need to resist it just a bit. Take note that my domestic standards are not so high as yours -- I could never keep my place as neat and tidy and beautiful as you keep yours. And my husband does almost all the cooking, including getting groceries. . . .

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  3. I have those conversations, too, though less often now that I've escaped from externally-imposed work schedules (great for the soul, hell on the bank account, but the aggregate change has been for the best).

    It's also helped that I'm learning to replace "have to" in my speech with "want to." The attitude change resulting from the realization that I don't really have to do anything, but that there are many things I want to do has been wonderfully freeing. And if it feels like a forced fit to say I want to do something, I wonder if it's worth doing. Many times I just don't.

    When I do find myself in the middle of a conversation like the one you've shared, however, I tend to tell Bossy Rubi to shut the f*&k up.

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    1. I like the replacement you've made in your thinking pattern -- I also remind myself regularly that I've chosen what I'm doing, and I could choose differently if I really wanted (hence the thinking about retirement at the moment).
      I may borrow your language when next speaking to Bossy Rubi! ;-)

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  4. When my bossy side starts telling me that I "ought" to do something, I listen but then mentally go back over what seems most important to me right now. If my "ought to" is one of the top items, then I make time to do it; if the "ought to" falls below other items, then it can wait its turn. If you need to keep smiling and support other people in your life right now, you can't do that very effectively if you are feeling tense and tired yourself.

    And, incidentally, when I occasionally had to explain to my students why they might not get an assignment back within a week, I never had a single student stand up and demand that I ought to keep up with my usual schedule. As a matter of fact, my explanation usually resulted in more than a few students stopping by after class to tell me that they appreciated that I was one of the few instructors who actually tried to get their graded work back to them within a week.

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    1. Yours is really practical advice -- Bossy can't just be ignored, but sometimes can be overruled. I could never get through my week without her help paying attention to the "musts" but she's not always right in evaluating relative priorities.
      And btw, my students didn't blink an eye when I said the papers would be returned next week instead -- I suspect you're right, that my practice is out of their usual experience anyway. Thanks for the support!

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  5. Myself and I have our best chats (and arguments) when I walk alone. Lots gets settled that way. The theme of our chars is often why I should or shouldn't say 'no' to some work related or extended-family related request. It sounds to me like You and Yourself worked that one out satisfactorily!

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    1. So those lovely photos you posted today probably represent some two-way conversation or other between You and Yourself . . . ;-)

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  6. Of course the word is 'chats' - but my thumbs are getting sloppy.

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  7. Further to Rubii's point, I have had some ahas by saying "I want to, because I value/need/long for...", in other words, going to the need behind the "want"- for example because I need rest, quiet, time to refuel, time to mourn, etc. There is absolutely no nobility in denying yourself some rest.

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    1. You're right. Martyrs can be pretty tiresome. . . I'll make sure I tell Bossy! ;-)

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  8. Bossy Me generally wins those discussions, but I'm finally learning that it's not a good thing always to be busy and never to have downtime. This week I woke up on Monday morning with a full allergic reaction and decided that it was the Universe instructing me to step back. I didn't do any work for two days, and the bare minimum of domestic stuff. I spent lots of time reading, knitting and watching chick flicks by myself. By Wednesday I was back to my manic self, but somewhat re-energised - which is just as well as the rest of the week has been hellish!

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    1. Oh dear! Your body gave you a very clear message, probably having tugged at your skirt repeatedly for weeks before collapsing into a full kicking and screaming tantrum. Glad to hear you're feeling better but hope you find a day or two to chill again soon.

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  9. My internal conversationalists tend to be maddeningly deferential
    (after you, my dear - no, please you go first)which means we can discuss and sort through options all day with little friction but sometimes little resolve. There are times that I wish one of me were pushier ;-)

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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