Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm 96 years old

And I've been asked to look back and to answer three questions:

What do you wish you spent less time doing?

I wish I had spent less time:
- trying to make my family be the family that I needed
- taking my anxiety producing 'what ifs?' so seriously (OCD)
- avoiding things because of fear, anxiety and uncertainty (OCD)
- waiting for my hearing to get magically better
- maintaining relationships that were frustrating and draining
- hiding under my duvet
- thinking that I was ugly
- thinking that I was inherently unlovable
- and feeling like a mistake who should not have been born

What do you wish you spent more time doing?

I wish that I had spent more time:
- sticking with important stuff even when times got difficult
- traveling and exploring
- learning the skills to express my creativity
- seeking and being with people who understood and appreciated me
- accepting that pain, sadness and anxiety are unavoidable in life
- learning about art, art history and film making
- being more clear about who I am with myself and others
- doing something that mattered to me that was meaningful
- and making a positive difference to something or someone.

What do you wish you had started doing when you were 41 years old?

I wish that I had started:
- to figure out how to live fully despite OCD fears and anxiety
- using my strengths to help me with my weaknesses
- a fire under my ass! ;-)

Edited - I should have made it clearer that most the anxiety that I'm discussing above is OCD related.


  1. I suppose it all comes down to anwering the question when feeling anxious of "what is the worst thing that will happen if I do..."

    If the answer that I will be uncomfortable but that I won't actually expire, then do whatever it is and be uncomfortable until that particular comfort zone is established...or vow never to do it again.

    Something done, even if never done again, is better than something not done and forever wondering or regretting.

  2. Then there are all the things yet to do . . .

  3. Then you would be a twisted fire starter. Ouch! It's too late to write anything serious. ;)

  4. - thinking that I was inherently unlovable
    - and feeling like a mistake who should not have been born

    These two seem crucial to me marnie. Someone, somewhere planted the seed that you were a mistake, which possibly led to you feeling unloveable? The rest trickles down from that.

    41 sounds just the right age to draw a line under that somehow. :wink: Hugs for some more good sessions.

  5. >>>>>>> making a positive difference to something or someone <<<<<<<

    You were a significant source of inspiration to me as I was making the transition from my safe but wrist-slittingly constrained life in Calgary to my amazing new life on Vancouver Island.

    I just looked at how you lived your life, and thought, "Holy crap, I've got to do something."

    The other day a Facebook friend posted a remark about being bored and not knowing what to do with her day. I was taken aback. I had to really scratch my head to remember an occasion or occasions during the last year during which I had been bored.

    I could think of two times. One was a seriously foggy day when I felt as if I was in a sensory deprivation chamber. But I managed to shift the mental / emotional lens through which I viewed my foggy surroundings, and I appreciated the magic. The other time was the day that I wore ear plugs to simulate being hard of hearing. But, other than that, boredom has disappeared from my life.

    In the last year I have felt happiness, delight, joy, love, ecstasy, gratitude, confusion, frustration, anger, fear, sadness, panic, terror, regret, resentment, and exhaustion.

    But boredom? Except for those two occasions mentioned above, I had basically forgotten that such a phenomenon as boredom existed.

    Another experience that is practically gone from my life is loneliness. I have the company of interesting people, and I also have my own company, which I enjoy. When I am on my own, I do not feel lonely.

    In the past, I have had experiences in which I was with someone and felt incredibly lonely. I experienced that as a painful phenomenon -- being with someone and simultaneously being lonely. But that too has been banished from my life.

    Marnie, I am really serious when I say that, even if you were unaware of it, you played a major role in my creating a life in which boredom and loneliness to all intents and purposes do not exist.

  6. I see the edit but at the end of the day, pushing through the anxiety is the only way as it is in your head and noone else can get inside your head to "fix" it.

    No wonder people sedate themselves in many different ways, so much easier.

  7. Most times, the only way out is through. No back track, no side turns, no short cuts.

    You know. I've never met you and yet you are one of my best friends and have been for a few years. You make a difference to my life. I value you being you. OCD warts and all.

  8. Thanks for your comments, people. :-)

    I'm not really sure what else to say!