Dogs | Woman on a Journey

2011 – A New Year

“Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”  — Samuel Beckett

One can strive to make changes in their life at any time of year, but a new year seems to bring with it the promise of another chance to do this year better.

My head has been pinging around like a pinball game. Remember those? So many thoughts about what I want more of and less of and what I want that is completely new. So much thought that it makes me feel panicky, like an hour has been wasted thinking when I should be out there doing if I’m going to make all these things happen. But the last thing I want to feel is rushed, worried, or panicky.

I’d love to have world peace, but I’ll settle for this being the year of mind-peace.

Another trap I’m tempted to fall into in a new year is believing that I need a week off to get my act together — some kind of reassessment retreat. While I’m not questioning the value of getting away from things to contemplate, my problem is that I think that after a week of staring at my navel, I’ll have figured everything out, I will have a complete plan in place, I will have my act together, I will be organized and focused, and I will never have to feel disjointed again and have the need to sit down and rethink things because what I come up with will be the epitome of ultimate perfection.

As you can guess, I’ve tried to achieve this divine state of being before.

My friend, Sue, wrote in her blog that one of her friends had commented that she seemed to really be about empowerment. It made me wonder what I was about. Probably fear, but the things I’d like to be about include: being a good friend, standing up for the marginalized (sounds hoky but it’s important to me), humor – lots of humor, and living an adventurous, daring, and awe-filled life.

But when I mentioned to Sue my question about wondering what I was about, she replied with her usual insight,

“As far as being about stuff– I was flattered this friend thought this, and would like to be about empowerment etc, but also about being open, and taking chances, and having ambition, lots of things. A lot of times I’m just me though, swearing and being bad at things, and being self-centered and all the other ~bad~ qualities. I guess it’s good to strive for being about the lofty things, but to realize we’re all just human huh?”

She’s right of course.

Another wise friend, asked me, “Seriously, if you met yourself Maery, wouldn’t you like you? You have to deprogram all that garbage that has been spoon-fed to you over the years and plug in a new set of beliefs.”

That message wasn’t easy for me to take in. I have never had anything like the love and support in my life that I have now. It’s wonderful but also frightening. I don’t exactly know what to do with it. I’m afraid like many things in my life that it’s not real or will disappear. That is so insulting and unfair to my friends, I know. It’s just so hard to believe.

Yes, my biggest challenge may be to learn to take such words and actions in. To believe it. To feel I deserve it. To trust that even if some hard stuff comes up, I will not lose everything that I’ve gained.

This doesn’t mean I get a free ride. Friendships only last if you take good care of them. And that’s the fear really, that I’ll wreck things somehow. And the really bad thing about that kind of fear — of wrecking things, or becoming tiresome, or doing or saying the wrong thing — is that it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I will hold myself away or back to stay safe, or I will be tentative or reserved trying to measure and edit my words so I don’t say the wrong thing or to make sure that what I say is funny, brilliant or amazingly insightful. I know this holding back can make people feel uncomfortable or like I don’t really like them when it’s all just the opposite — they are SOOOO important to me that I think I will never forgive myself if I hurt them or make them angry or worst of all — bore them.

I need to take some lessons from Java who is anything but reserved, self-conscious, or worried.

When she meets someone she likes, it’s completely obvious.

As is her utter joy.

She never worries that she might appear silly.

She is just herself, in all her glorious Javaness.

What Sue said about “a lot of times I’m just me”. Well, that’s the best thing to be, isn’t it?

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11 Comments

  1. Oh, the lessons we could learn from our dogs! And all good.

    “Friendships only last if you take good care of them.”

    Agree. And yes, that is hard. Each one requiring a different level of attention. It’s hard to find balance. But I have found friends who fit in with my “imbalance”, so to speak. And that helps.

    I enjoyed meeting you this past year via blogland, Maery, and look forward to following your journey.

  2. Love that happy photo of Java, running with abandon.

    My wish for 2011 is prosperity … but not just the $$ kind … in everything we need be it love, peace, confidence … or even just the rewards of having things we do and put time into … to prosper.

  3. I accept you in all your glorious Maeryishness! Yes, by all means, take a cue from Java– just don’t try to sniff my butt.
    Seriously, my *real friends* know both sides of me, the energized, positive, world-by-the-tail one, and the depleted, empty, shorted out one with very little to offer and nearly incapable of simple conversation. They’re willing to carry the water when i can’t and just let me hang-out until the fugue passes. See what you’ve signed up for? *Awesome* huh? The good news is– you get the same deal hon. 😉

  4. Love the Java photos.

    Maery Rose…are you overthinking? Let your life happen…you have done so well lately. Concentrate on that.
    Waiting for something to go wrong all the time is a huge burden and does not let you feel lightness. Think about all those quality times you have had with your friends, Luke and Java (and Kitty). Let that other stuff go once and for all. You are special and have a lot to give.

  5. Maery, I have stick-to-it-tiveness (that looks odd) so I am not going anywhere. We all fail, so maybe to “fail better” is a worthy goal. You are so willing to take the blame for everything that goes wrong in your life and that is just wrong wrong wrong! Sometimes things just happen and there is no real blame, it is just the universe doing its thing. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that Charlie gave me a few years ago that says, “I wish you could see what I see when I look at you.” That is what I wish for you. I see a beautiful, smart, funny, loving, vulnerable, little girl/woman that has no idea of her true worth. I vacillate between wanting to take you in my arms and comfort you and wanting to ‘take you down.’ Just kidding:-) Sorta:-) No really. If you are ever able to own your empowerment you will be dangerous because there a lot of people that should dread that occurrence. The best ‘revenge’ is a life well-lived, so grab the tail Maery, the world is your oyster! You have all you need except for the belief that you deserve it. Java is a smart girl ~ assume everyone wants to play with you and be your friend. You are as irresistable as she is, but if you expect me to scratch your belly, I will have to say no. I’m with Sue…tribes stick together you know:-) Kathleen

  6. Tammy – I have enjoyed following your Horsetrailriders blog and could relate to your “In With the New” post. I was told once that there was nothing really wrong with me, I just needed to find other people who are as unique and “interesting” as I am. =D

    Roxanne – That sounds good to me. Hopefully it will be a fruitful writing year for both of us and a way better health and less stress year for you!

    Lori – Over thinking? That’s actually what I put as a blurb when I put a link to my post on Facebook. But I felt much better after writing what I wrote because it allowed me to look at my thinking and laugh at how ridiculous it is. I am taking things way too seriously worrying about all those “what ifs”.

    Kathleen and Sue – Yes, I think you and Sue have stick-to-it-iveness. You are my being-myself test pads. Aren’t you lucky? So far that’s been working out pretty well. What you guys tell me does help me to see a more realistic picture of myself and that certainly has been a big help to me. And I am in total agreement. Java is a good example to follow, but there will be no scratching bellies or sniffing butts.

  7. Maery…I don’t see fear when I see or think of you, I see courage…lots and lots of courage. I still look up to you for what you have accomplished in your life and how you continue to evolve. I wish you could see yourself through the eyes of your buddies. You’re the best Maery there is!

  8. Coming from a background that was not nurturing, I can understand your fear. I know what it’s like to suddenly have love and support and to stand there wondering “why.”

    I guess it’s a part of the process of changing from that neglected child to an adult with caring relationships. I think as long as you are questioning your fear, you’re still moving along in your process. When the day comes you just accept it and let it rule what you do, then is when I would worry.

    In the meantime, trust your friends. I think the day will come when you do see in yourself what they see now in you.

    I’d also like to add that what I see in this post is a kind, caring, honest person. Who else but such a person would expose themselves in such a manner. You have my admiration for taking such a risk.

  9. I guess this is what we work towards during our whole life: to be us, to accept and love ourselves and then to go and do good in the world through our actions and words.

    Your dog is just wonderful!

  10. I think that if we could all be more like our dogs, the world would be a better place.

    I’m with your friends – I think that you need to accept yourself as the nice, caring, fun, and inspiring person that you are. If you can just see yourself as you really are, you’ll be much happier!

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