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June 06, 2005

fear is the mind killer, and the productivity killer too

I love magazines.

Maybe it's because I have a short attention span, or perhaps it's a fear of commitment, but I like reading short articles, short poems, short stories and short novels. I realize that fear of commitment is pervasive in my life, and oddly the very magazines I read serve to rub my face in the fact. Glutton for punishment? Guilty as charged.

I especially love reading "green" magazines, the ones that tell you where to buy recycled bamboo flooring or non-COV paint for your walls. The ones that tell you to clean your house with lemon juice and white vinegar. That has never worked for me. My house for some reason doesn't seem clean using some of the recommended home-made cleaners, but I really really want to use them. I have a vested interest in being "green" and using alternative forms of energy. I am a hippy at heart I guess. But back to my commitment issues. I was reading Natural Home recently and there is an article about a woman who lived for 10 years in a great apartment with some garden space until the landlord sold the building and the new owner made some toxic changes and destroyed the beauty of the natural oak floors and the original look of the windows and such. She had to pick up her garden and move it to a new place. First of all, what a tremendous effort! But she found a place and transplanted her garden. She mentions that the yard was too quiet, so she put out bird feeders and planted flora that would attract butterflies and other of Nature's pets. Soon she could sit on the porch and watch the wildlife. How I envy her!

I have been in this house for almost 8 years. I just planted some iris in the front flowerbed this winter. I got a landscaper to give me a plan and a quote once, but never followed through. I could do it myself, but I don't. I live as if I am about to move, and have been doing so for the past 5 years. I finally got around to painting my office a couple of years ago, and bought some artwork for the walls. The art is resting against the cabinet in the guest bathroom. It has to be moved gently aside if ever a guest actually wants to use the bathroom for its intended purpose. The guest bathtub is used for storage of a Python aquarium hose that is too long to use (but I might need it someday! Really!). There are two computers in the guest bath just waiting to merge into something that actually works.

The point being that I have all these wonderful ideas of how I want the house and yard to look and I don't act on them because of an underlying feeling of pointlessness. If I won't be here, why make the changes? I know and am impressed by friends who go about making their houses and apartments, however impermanent, a home and a refuge. I make do, I deal, I put it off, I don't invest the time or effort.

My last house was really a great house, but I did the same thing. When it came time to move, we had to fix the place up because the buyers had an FHA loan and FHA has regulations it imposes on the seller. Once we made the changes we were loathe to move but we had already committed. See, it is a bad word! It means not changing your mind, being trapped, loss of freedom.

I am sure that someday I will come to discover that there is actually more freedom in commitment than there is in the limbo state I seem to have lived most of my life in. I just hope this epiphany comes before it's too late.

Life 11:26 AM | Permalink


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Be sure and share the secret if it comes . . . I have the same problem.

Posted by: Anne at Jun 7, 2005 6:37:21 PM

I was just thinking the other day that after 3 years in my place I'm still living like I'm in a dorm. True, I actually use real nails to hang up pictures instead of that nasty putty stuff, but that's it. I suddenly have an urge to paint a wall in some shocking color, just to admit to myself that I can.

Posted by: Ana at Jun 16, 2005 2:34:55 PM

I can top that. I actually *do* live in a dorm!

Posted by: Tvindy at Jun 17, 2005 8:47:29 PM

It's not a commitment, for one thing. It's showing respect for and gratitude to where you are while you're there. And it's process--you know, the journey, not the destination. That applies across the board, probably. Analogy (kind of)--the goal of hatha yoga ain't to perform the perfect headstand; it's what happens to your body and mind while you're learning how.

Posted by: samcandide at Jul 18, 2005 9:12:22 PM

I think the secret of life is taken what you've got and making something of it. If you find you don't have what you need to do what you want, then use what you've got to get that.

There's other stuff, like treating others with respect and owning up for the things that you do, but for me that's just common sense ;)

Found you by following a Google search for "The Cube," and thought I'd say hi. Not two hours ago, I shared it with a good friend of mine, and decided to see if anybody was talking about it online.

ps, hello!

Posted by: Dave at Jul 20, 2005 6:26:19 PM