Thursday, August 09, 2012

What are you going to do about it?


Awesome in Aviation!
Never married.
I had written most of a post about revising your idea of success, but it got eaten by the internet. I thought about throwing up my hands and giving up on posting something today, but I think I'm too stubborn for that.

This is still a post about success and what that means. Olympic athletes and great inventors have one kind of success, but that's not the kind of success I'm able to aim for. That's not my arete. I can't give up parts of my life to focus intensely on success at one thing. My kind of arete is to continually try to improve my skill at being a human being, to be the best kind of mom I can be, to be the best priestess I can be, and to do my best work when I'm doing science. My attention is divided, but I'm not sorry about it.

I wouldn't give this up for the world.

I've always wanted to be a scientist and a mom. Well done, me! Being a priestess was an unexpected surprise, but I'm not sorry about that, either. It helps me be a better mom, a better scientist, and a better human being.

In order to improve my skill at all of these things, it's important for me to remember that when I am feeling ennui or having some difficulty or another that sitting and bitching about it does nothing. Doing something, even if that something is "just" prayer, is the only way to get through that. Michael Phelps didn't get to be an Olympian athlete by crying in his beer when things were hard, he got up and swam and then he swam some more. Orville and Wilbur went, literally, back to the drawing board when things didn't work out.

Gratuitous picture of flowers in my garden
for no reason other than they're pretty.

I was having ennui and was worried about not having worked enough on all of the things, but remembered that I'm an Action!priestess. If I feel bad, I need to do something about it. Am I eating right, resting enough, have I had enough water, would a cuppa coffee or a couple Tylenol help, is there something I can do to fix the problem? And this is how I minister to others on the rare occasions I'm asked to put my priestess hat on. I'm not great at listening to other people talk about their feelings. I admit that it makes me a little uncomfortable because I don't know what to do with emotions. So, I'll ask the other person, "What can you do about it?" and "What have you done about it?"

"Nothing" is not a great answer. I rarely accept it from myself or others. If the problem is "I haven't been knitting," the answer is "Well, knit then, if you're able." If the problem is "I'm tired," the answer is "rest." There is always something you can do, even if you can't see it right away. To quote the David Wilcox song "Down Inside Myself"

Hey the cure is very simple
And it works in half an hour
Get some sleep, eat some broccoli
Run a mile, take a shower

For me, I tend to ask myself, "Would a nap, a couple Tylenol, a bite to eat, and/or a cup of coffee help?" Often, the answer is "yes." So, have you been down about something? Dismayed? Dejected? Other words that start with D? What are you going to do about it? Do you have a checklist of easy things to do that might help?
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