Thursday, December 05, 2013

November Lessons

Back at the beginning of July I participated in a linkup with "Fifteen Things I Learned in June." It is, of course, kind of a regular thing. A monthly linkup. And I'm participating again! Finally! Here's the linkup at Chatting at the Sky, "Let's Share What We Learned in November."

From the serious to the silly, here's a taste of my November:

1) I need to limit my choices, duh! Sorry, it might be more "duh" to me than to you... it's a personality thing. I'm easily overwhelmed by decisions and things. My reminder/flash of revelation came courtesy of Modern Mrs. Darcy (also a strong INFP, yay!), in this post, "Concrete changes I've made because of MBTI and enneagram insights."

The question, now, is just how to go about limiting my choices... I can get so exhausted by decisions and I have so many options I want to keep open, even deciding how to limit the choices is difficult! There are so many things I want to do! How do I build routines that take that into account? Routines to change up the routines? I feel like I need a template for a template for a template. Yes, I know I'm ridiculous.

Related, but not quite the same:

2) Better to progress than to not act because you're trying to make the perfect choice. I guess I already knew this, but I attempted to take it to heart this month. I think. If I'm remembering right. Hey, I'm including it in November, okay? It's my post and I'll include this if I want to. So there.

Um. I mean, I've heard in a few places recently, like the book Quiet, that our society values action over careful decision too highly, and those of us who sit around contemplating really have something unique to offer, and often make better decisions.

Sure, but I've got it bad, and I can take forever just on daily minutiae. This is to help me dial back. (Er, dial back on the pondering, not the acting.)

3) I have a tendency to either run from myself (With books! Facebook! Twitter! Blogs! TV!) or attempt to control every last thing about myself (Plans! Schedules! Goals! Rules!). I swing back and forth between the two.

(Yes, even though I'm an INFP I have a bit of J in me, too -- I do like schedules and rules and things. At least... in theory. I love the idea of them. Carrying them out not so much. But oh, how I can dream!)

When my desires turn to addictions turn to digging myself into scary holes, I become so terrified of myself I try to plan and box myself into perfection. (Spoiler: doesn't work.) Two different kinds of running, really, and two different types of lying to myself.

I don't want to do that anymore. I want to be present, here, now. I want to show up and face my life. All the clichés! They're cliché for a reason. There are some things I should try to plan for (see above, about limiting my choices), but I don't want to plan all the things because I'm afraid of any desire or emotion poking out.

Hot baths always seem to reside in the middle, at least. Even though baths are so wonderful that they turn into something I "should" do, which normally brings the danger of the controlling-myself-to-death type of running, I can't seem to lie to myself in a hot bath. Though, I'll admit, I can compose overly optimistic future plans while soaking, even if I'm not actively running away from myself yet...

Great birthday. Thanks, Beth!
4) The Hyperbole and a Half book is SO. Awesome. It's like, one million awesome. Seriously. I think it might be the funniest book I've ever read. Plus there are serious bits that are also awesome. "Depression Part One" and "Depression Part Two" of course, though I already knew about those from her blog. And "This Is Why I'll Never Be an Adult." Classic. But also new ones (I think?) like "Motivation," and "Identity" Parts One and Two. I think. I can't double check right now because I've loaned the book out, but in some ways they struck me as sort of different takes on the issues surrounding "This Is Why I'll Never Be an Adult." As you might notice with #3, I can relate. Though again, different take. (And hers is better.) Similarities. They have them.

Also this song:

It came out in December, but that's okay, because I'm not counting it as something I learned. I'm just saying it relates to the other stuff. That's all. Don't judge.

5) I absolutely love Joss Whedon's version of Much Ado About Nothing. As it turns out, I had seen the play before, but it'd been quite a while. This was a magical way to be reintroduced to it. I've watched it just twice now, once with subtitles (because baby distractions); and it was even better the second time, with the subtitles (because Shakespeare). Oh, and watching it with the enthusiastic audience of a sister also helped. I DO love sharing things. Which makes the subtitles doubly helpful, as they probably helped Melanie's understanding too, thus the enthusiasm. Next I want to watch the commentary. I love the music, I pretty much love everything about it. Oh, and Amy Acker is brilliant. Many of the actors are, really, but Amy Acker, especially the "That I were a man" speech... *swoons*
Also great present. Thanks, John!

Technically, I watched this for the first time at the end of October, but I watched it a second time in November, so it counts. Because I didn't really learn how very much I loved it until the second time. Yeah.

Oh, and found this review of it later, while writing this post. Yup. In agreement.

6) I can actually publish blog posts on three days in a row! Woo! At least if I try to just make them short little posts. Of course, I might then only post up one more thing in the entire remaining month... Oops.

7) Taking a little partial break from the internet and such? Feels So. Good. Not checking one's phone, not reading blogs as much... I mean, I love blogs and such, I do. And I want to keep up with ALL THE BLOGS, which is impossible, and even when we talk about what I really mean, just keeping up with all the ones I like, it's still hard, because there's a LOT out there that I like. And I have a little girl, and etc. etc. But I am not quite exactly like some other textroverts I know -- unless I have some space away from the internet, it gets where I can't hear myself think anymore. There are too many voices in my head.

8) Baby (or maybe I should call her Toddler, now?) seems to like cats more than kittens. Huh. I guess it makes sense -- they're almost as big as she is. If I could see tigers up close, with no fear they'd hurt me, I guess I'd like that better, too.

9) Nirvana has an Android app now! "Enthusiastic cheer!"

10) Oh, how quickly a toddler can gain speed and comfort when she really starts to walk. Girl's getting fast. Also: Awwww! Kawaii desu yo!
Obligatory baby picture. Sorry it's not better. Did I mention she's fast?

11) We have a truly insane amount of onesies and rompers.
Board books for a sense of scale?
That isn't even all of them. There's a smaller stack of long-sleeved onesies behind that stack. There are more in the laundry hamper, and presumably more in the garage. Haven't finished going through all the boxes I'd packed away for when she'd be older, yet. She's older, now.

12) Stayed away from my baby for a whole entire night for the first time ever. It was... uncomfortable, still, as far as needing to pump a lot and it not being enough, but, ooh, it was worth it. Could have been better, as circumstances made it impossible for me to go to bed very early that night, but still. I woke up a few times, smiled, and went peacefully back to sleep. Bliss. Thanks for the birthday present, John!

Er, what I learned was that it's surprisingly uncomfortable still, but still awesome. I guess. I mean, I suspected as much, mostly. But hey, now I know!

13) WOW, is my girl introverted and sensitive. I mean, I knew that already, too, but it's rarely demonstrated with such high contrast as it was last Saturday.

My sister stayed the night, and Gracie hasn't seen her often, as she lives in Oregon. That morning as soon as Gracie woke up her emotions were all over the place, from joyful squeals to despairing cries. I thought at first she was on edge because of the stranger in the house, but no. In the middle of her crying we went out to the living room, she saw my sister on the couch, and... instant silence and calm neutrality while she observed the stranger. The edginess was just from being around the crowds of my extended family celebration for Thanksgiving on Friday. Recovery. She needs it.

14) Learned some things about intersectionality and what feminism looks like for people of color. I think I want to learn a lot more before I talk about it much here, though. Maybe I'll post a few links, soonish.

15) I'm better at Dutch Blitz (can also be played with regular playing cards under the name of Nertz, among many other names) than I used to be, many many Thanksgivings ago. Also, two-player is fun, provided game play is adjusted properly. If each person plays with two decks instead of one, you try to get rid of 20 cards instead of 10, with the assistance of five stacks instead of three.. yeah, it's fun. Also makes three-player seem pretty easy, as those five stacks make it feel like there's a ton of stuff to keep track of.

16) Not only is Toddler growing well now, as in the "Fifteen Things I Learned in June" post, but she even jumped up to the next growth curve, she's not on the very bottom line anymore! Woo!

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