Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

Character Flaws and What to Do About Them March 4, 2008

Filed under: Anecdotal,parenting,Weight — Addicted to Yarn @ 12:49 pm
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I would like to write but I’m having a hard time nailing down a certain thing to write about. I’ve been researching home birth and have stumbled across a nest of rabid anti-homebirthers. You think homebirthers are crazy? Check out the opposition. They are crazy, too. I mean, they’re really out to get DEM (Direct Entry Midwives). Calling names, slandering, bickering, skewing of statistics, commenting on every article regarding homebirth on a blogsite. Yeah, they’re nuts, too. That’d make a fun blog but it would take a lot of researching and I just don’t have the time.

I talked on the phone with a friend for about an hour about discipline and spanking and general parenting. I would like to write about theory of parenting; each family must find the methods that work for them; consistency is always good; spanking vs. not spanking; how much do you let the expectations of others affect your parenting style, etc. But I only know what’s worked for us and I don’t really feel ready to back up anything. All I can do is spout about what I think. I don’t really know anything.

I’m also reading this interesting book called “Odd Girl Out.” It explores the bullying and cruelty of girls. It’s horrible scary. I’m realizing, first of all, that I really didn’t have, and still don’t have, any idea what’s going on in other females’ heads. It’s made some things I’ve gone through make more sense and has made the way I parent a little different. But I’ve not finished it and so don’t feel like blogging about it yet.

I’d like to write fiction again but I don’t have any stories fighting to get out. I’d kind of like to explore Mystique‘s mind again and maybe even continue the story I started with her. I think, if I do, I’m going to have to do Chapter 2 over again. I don’t like where I was taking the story and I don’t think it really worked.

Oh, I thought of something I might blog about. Israel helped me come to a revelation about myself. I want the end result, right now, and am unwilling to do the work to get to the result. Example: I started studying German and thought, seriously, that I would master it within about nine months. Certainly by the time we got onto a transAtlantic flight. So, when I hit a spot where learning German was no longer easy, I quit. I wasn’t going to be a German linguist in less than a year and so I gave up. That’s not cool.

Another example: I want to write. I want to be a good writer. I bought a book and started working through it. I never said this but in my heart, I thought that by the time I worked through the book, I would have a completed novel ready for publication. Naturally, that wasn’t going to happen. But I didn’t understand that so when I got to a chapter that was hard for me, I shut the book and haven’t opened it or my writing notebook since. Again, that’s not cool.

There have been a few things that I did master quickly. And grew bored with them just as quickly. Embroidery was easy. I made a beautiful Christmas quilt. I embroidered nine different Christmas pictures onto remnants from my wedding dress (Windsor satin) and then framed them with some Christmas material and sewed them into a quilt. I did it in about two months. The last three or so pictures I did were done so well and the stitches so small and perfect that it did not look as though it had been done by hand, by someone who had only learned the skill two months previously. And after I finished the quilt, I’ve never picked up an embroidery hoop since. I have no interest what so ever. I’ve mastered it and so I’m bored.

I can’t think of a single thing that I’ve really strived for that I’ve not given up on because I wasn’t an expert immediately. I wanted to train horses and when I got bucked off, I quit. I wanted to crochet and when I couldn’t make a mitten, I quit. I wanted to be a photographer and when I didn’t blow my teacher away with my innate talent, I never took another class.

So, what do I do? How do I change a character flaw that has plagued me for as long as I can remember?

I think the first thing for me to do, is to admit that I am not a prodigy. I must decide that something is worth the work of working. I need to put my nose to the grindstone and tough it out instead of taking the easy way out and quitting.

I’ve made a plan with weight loss. I’ve set a series of goals for myself. I’ve got about eighty pounds to lose. I’ve made a chart with fifteen pound increments marked and at each goal, I am rewarded with the noted reward. The first goal is 230 and I’ve only another five pounds to go before I meet it. When I meet it, I am going to get my lip pierced. When I hit 215, my eyebrow; 200, hair cut; 185, tattoo; 170, two piece swimsuit; 160, belly button piercing. I know that losing about a pound a week is the ideal amount for long term results so that’ where I’m aiming. This means I’ve a little over a month to save up for the first piercing and another fifteen before the next. Then I’ve got over six months before the tattoo, which will be expensive. So, by setting these goals, not only have I spelled it out for myself that I’m not going to be wearing a size 6 at Christmas, I’ve also set up goals that encourage me to keep working even when the going gets tough.

Unfortunately, learning German is not so quantifiable as weight loss. It’s not like I can say, “When I’ve learned 10% of the German language, I get a day at a spa. When I’ve learned 20% of German I will get a manicure. It just doesn’t work. It’s not measurable.

My quest right now is to figure out how to stay on task even when it’s not fun in order to have the fun of mastering a hard thing. I believe it is very important to enjoy life and live life to it’s fullest. I don’t believe it’s good to do thing you don’t want to do. It’s important that you reap happiness or joy from the things you spend time on. Time is one of those things you can never get back and it’s paramount that you love as much of your time on earth as possible. That said, it’s also important, at least for me, that I have more to show for my life than a bunch of immediate and temporary pleasures. I will really enjoy knowing another language. I will reap many, many rewards and benefits and warm fuzzies from being being able to converse with German’s in their native tongue. I will gain much pleasure from reading Wolfgang Simson’s Houses that Change the World in the original German. I think I will enjoy knowing German more than I would enjoy goofing off for four years but when I am presented with the choice of playing or studying, playing seems so much more valuable.

I don’t think I’m going to come to any conclusions today about all this. As Israel likes to say, “There’s nothing to do but to do it,” and I think he’s right. I must remind myself of the ultimate goal and acknowledge that it will be a process to get there and not an instantaneous transformation.

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