labelleizzy: (Default)
Q: What prevents me from getting started?
Q: What are the obstacles and impediments?
Q: What are my goals?


I'm keeping myself accountable for this writing by way of a facebook post where I asked friends to say: write the thing! and give me a number between 1 and 9, labeling each writing prompt with a number in my ADHD journal.

Actually the goals part is the most difficult, so it's appropriate to use it for last.
shall I write about writing? or about this therapeutic process to address the impact of adhd in my life, now that I know something about that being a THING for me?

I think I'd prefer to write about the therapy process and unpack some ideas or thoughts or just basically ... well, hopefully do better than just word-vomit but I shan't make any promises tonight. I have 10 prompts I've culled from the group on monday and therapy with Lara yesterday.

Q1) What prevents me from getting started?
--- Interest. Now that nobody's making me do shit, now I'm not accountable to a boss, a schedule, a clientele (well not precisely) I mainly spend my days doing what I want with a few commitments per week, mostly self inflicted. There's stuff that I know I COULD be doing, even SHOULD be doing,
...and I don't. I don't do them.

I used to judge myself on that, but I don't. I used to tear myself up about that, but I don't. Thank god, I used to literally be my own worst enemy that way.

---Accountability. For reasons that I hope to be able to dig into later, accountability is huge in my motivational force. If I promise to someone I will do something, I will do it solely BECAUSE I SAID I WOULD and that seems to be sufficient. If someone asks me to do something, and it's pretty direct, like Jeff asks will I pull out that part of the garden full of aphids, and I say I will, that seems to be sufficient.

However. If I don't have some kind of outside accountability, I don't do things on any kind of coherent timeline. Which is maybe not always important, but like, it feels like it would be good to shower three times a week, but I can't always hit that. And sometimes that's the depression, but also that I don't get enough human f2f feedback to notice and then to feel embarrassed when I stink.

I've actually planned to chain the showering habit to the working out habit... but haven't been successful. I don't at the moment know how to force that.

Maybe I could find a depression/neurodivergent partner, who also has a not-daily habit they want to build, and we could encourage each other.

It seems that I am better about keeping other people on track than I am at keeping myself on track.
also I am better about staying on track if I have someone else helping me stay accountable.

The last writing prompt out of ten, is, why is it more effective to have Lara or anyone else, tell me what to do, than it is for ME to tell me what to do, in this accomplishing tasks.

1) The oldest part of my brain says because what I want doesn't matter. Because you're always supposed to put other people first, because you can't figure stuff out on your own. (interesting that I chose to use second-person there...hmmm) There's a LOT of old messages there, traceries of a former self. What my friend Chelsea recently called... something like spent seed pods, or carapaces, or used envelopes.

what I want DOES MATTER. I don't ALWAYS have to put other people first, I am ALLOWED to be first on my own priority list godsdammit! and I definitely CAN FIGURE STUFF OUT ON MY OWN but I do have old learned helplessness and my constant fight against distraction to get the stuff figured out, and then the steps sorted out, and then get the shit DONE.

2) when I was teaching about study skills (bear with me a moment, it will become relevant) I had the kids take a test which would help them figure out what their learning style was like. Howard Gardner had a theory of Multiple Intelligences, for which there are Varied tests, now available on the internet. (gosh that would have been much more easy and fun to do on the internet! but it was nearly fifteen years ago that I started that unit, & in an inner city school with limited computer resources.)

I suspect that I have a deep need for interpersonal learning. I'm only sometimes good at teaching myself new skills; I hunger for someone to see me and teach me. I love dance class and working with my trainer for that... but having a teacher teach me and walk me through the material, help me build skills? so much more satisfying than YouTubing my way through something new. (I bet Jeff has a strong intrapersonal learning drive. It would make so much sense.)

What are my goals?
  • I want to feel productive, truly productive, every day.
  • I want to help other people every day. (I can be the person helped, it's allowed. *smile*)
  • I want to feel like my mind and my time are under my guidance and control.


That last item is going to require a new skills base, or a return to old skills (Flylady or Franklin-Covey 7 Habits territory), probably some new skills base. My needs are different now than when I first learned those, ages and ages ago. My mind is different.

Okay. that's enough for the first two prompts.

Thanks for listening, hopefully this isn't too much of a plate of scrambled spaghetti noodles for anyone but me to find benefit in.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I never used to think of myself as an artist, which is funny and sad on a number of levels. I had this image of myself as a fuckup, someone who does stuff half-assed, has trouble with completing projects, and I wouldn't let myself justify costuming or calligraphy or writing as "artistic". I'm almost entirely self-taught in those realms, which was part of the problem.

Finally I decided I could call myself an artist once I'd become a part of the Waldorf teaching tradition. My program follows one of Steiner's precepts, that the Teacher as Artist is a goal to strive toward. And it's made clear that the artistic technique is not just meant for the Art of Teaching, though it's a part. I struggled hard to make my work "artistic" as my teachers requested, characterizing rather than defining, showing the gesture or direction of an idea rather than delineating it.

I also struggled with comparing myself to my classmates. I have always been an enthusiastic maker of images, but I had never had much instruction with regard to technique, while half my classmates produced what seemed like masterworks in comparison to my own clumsy efforts.

The first teacher training art class I felt at home at, wasn't even an *art* class.
The second half of the High School Mathematics curriculum taught to the Waldorf Teachers-in-training is Geometry, including the artistic component of Geometric Drawings.
There is a real peace in learning how to be precise. We were explicitly taught the steps and stages for any geometric construction. Bless Patrick for a meticulous teacher, breaking down the techniques with ease and clarity, having us practice until we understood.

24PointConnection GeomDrawing
(image of a 24-point geometric web)

Once I began the process of drawing a geometric figure, I found myself in this incredibly clear-headed space. Like a life-long weight of self-judgment had lifted. Liberating!
I can't even really explain how it felt, what it did to my head, to my sense of self, to be able to grok clearly and completely how to construct this precise and beautiful thing.

flowery fun with geometry
(image titled "Flowery fun with geometry" using many interlocking circles and colors and shading to create a flower shape.)

Being able to create these complex and meticulous drawings sent me into a very Zen space. My head quieted, my focus narrowed, and all there was in the world was me, my hands, the paper, tools, and pencil. Completely "in the Zone", completely in flow-state, I very rarely wanted to stop or even pause in the process. It seemed *easy*, and was definitely FUN.

I had a paradigm shift. No longer could I tell myself "it's too hard, I can't do that, too complicated, too detailed, I'm not ____..." where ___ could be anything from "that kind of artist" or "precise" or "clever like that" or "skilled like that" or even the base canard, "good enough". Those evil little brainweasel voices couldn't be heard over the all-consuming focus on the process of construction, the flow that somehow seemed so easy in such an unexpected place after so long striving after it.

SimpleGeomFlowrWNotes
(image titled "simple geometric flower with notes", seven interlocking circles filled in with blue, pink and green.)

Why am I not doing geometric drawing all the time? It's lovely, it's satisfying, and there are thousands of possible projects to practice.
Why NOT do a thing I enjoy, and that brings me peace? Why NOT enjoy exploring my skills, expanding my image of myself to include calm precision and creation of beauty?

Every day we grow and change. We all transform ourselves into new people, a little at a time. Sometimes the transformation is consciously done, sometimes simple passage of time creates the transformation without us thinking much about what we're growing into, what we're becoming.

If the time will pass regardless, why NOT be intentional about what you choose to do with your transformation?

I wanna get GOOD at the art. And I know it doesn't just happen, I know I have to work at it. I have to LET myself get good at it. I have to be willing to fail and to suck and to throw stuff away sometimes. I have to go GET what I need to get better, I have to take lessons, write scripts for comics, watch YouTube instructional videos, practice little chibi drawings, start doodling on my tablet computer, and with the watercolor paints, and just allow myself to practice and experiment.

And I have to remember that nothing worth having is birthed all of a sudden.

ComplexGeomFlowr1
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 1", initial shading and coloring)

Art in particular is part of a slow and steady process, a conversation between me and the paper, or the clay, or the paint or fabric or the computer screen.

complexGeomFlowr2
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 2", intermediate stage of shading and coloring)

Art for art's sake is fine, I think it's a worthy goal just to bring more beauty into the world, to provoke conversation or thought or change. Art has the ability to wake people up to something they may be unaware of in the world.

complexGeomFlowr3
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 3", completed shading and coloring)

Art can serve an even higher purpose though. Art can bring a chance for transformation and healing, rest and respite, community and peace.
All of these are things that the artistic process has taught me, has brought to me.

This, this making things, making art, changing one thing into another thing by channeling ideas and images THROUGH ME, this is one way I can contribute to the world.
And to make this contribution, means that I can give myself permission to learn these skills properly, to practice the crafts that I love: writing, art, communication, teaching, healing. I can give myself permission to practice them until I am properly good at those skills and can then use them out in the world to the end result of community and healing.

There's so much pain in the world and not nearly enough beauty. Too much loneliness and not nearly enough love, compassion, and beauty.

I can do this. I can remember, and use as fuel for the work, the fact that the things I HAVEN'T done are the things I have most regretted.

Face the Fear and Do It Anyway.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Not sure how to make this post coherent. Perhaps a list.

  • Test results received late last night/early this morning before I went to bed. Congratulations, it's Diabetes! =(
  • Congratulations, it's also high LDL cholesterol! (fuck.) At least Triglycerides and HDL were where they're supposed to be.
  • Good workout today with Tal, and I told her about the blood tests. She is being strict with me, she wants me to up my gym visits to four times per week, to make SURE I do ten to 15 minutes of interval training on the treadmill Every Time I Come In, because cardio is my big challenge. We talked about Metformin and researching my situation (which is both hypothyroid/Hashimoto's and diabetes) and about seriously building my stamina and strength.
  • as a matter of fact, one thing Tal said deserves its own bullet point. I'm not to use the elliptical anymore for my warmups, I'm to use the treadmill and do the interval work for fifteen minutes because "the elliptical is fine for people who are just starting or who are recovering. You are neither." This pleases me MIGHTILY.
  • Wonderful to run into [livejournal.com profile] wrenb at the gym, we had time for a cup of coffee and a chat that I found very nourishing and therapeutic.
  • On a related note, my brain weasels are still telling me that DIABETES=DEATH (because my dad had diabetes when he died) so I will encourage EVERYONE to share diabetes success stories if you know any. Stupid damn brain weasels. At least I know they're there, so I can deal with them.
  • Feeling strong and warm and sore, had a wonderful workout Wednesday and today, and a serious chiseling-out massage yesterday because Danniel is back working at Massage Envy. And he's added some new strokes to his repertoire. And I gave him a double tip yesterday because that was aMAzing, and because I could. Whew, I was flying on endorphins!
  • I've gotten some links from [livejournal.com profile] sarahmichigan re: hypothyroid and I'm working on finding reliable info on diabetes and "eating diabetic".
  • Doctor's office has me in for three appointments next week: I get a blood sugar monitor and a lesson on how to use it, I am seeing the optometrist or opthalmologist (not sure which) so they can check out my eyeballs and (one assumes) start a baseline, and there's a class on, I think, diabetic nutrition. I'll be busy looking after my health next week, what with extra workouts and everything.
  • And, since ten things makes a list, I'm going to go find something delicious to have for lunch. And now I know how to balance the plate: 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, 1/4 hopefully complex carbs.


Life. Is complicated. I've never been so happy to be unemployed in my LIFE, except when I had the knee surgery and could just spend my time recovering and doing PT.

Honey, [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42? I'm sorry I'm not working but I'm glad I can narrow my focus and Deal With This as completely as possible.

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