Thursday, September 2, 2010

Run Faster! (part 1)

I've been thinking about being self-indulgent these days.  It started with reading Self Indulgent Saturday.  Funny, as I read that post, I decided that being self-indulgent would be very useful for me, and I hurried into some self indulgent thinking and writing, dreaming and planning.  So much of what swims around in my head gets tempered.  I'll think of doing something then hold myself back, second guess, argue, over-think,... and the moment passes.  Then I launch into..."well, the moment has passed so you can't do that again".  On my self-indulgent day, I just went 'whole hog'.

It's amazing what a little self-indulgence brings.  It was an experience akin to having a baby.  No, not the 9 months of pregnancy, but the actual birthing moment.  Something big and amazing came from inside me!  It has a life of it's own, almost, but I pushed and breathed and worked to help it come out.  What a gratifying experience!  My indulgence could almost be held and cuddled, like a new life.

So with this gratification, why do I hold myself back so much? 

A few days ago, Zach came running into the kitchen and hit his ear on the side of the door as he came by.  Now, this was the 4th (or 5th?) time that day he had hit some part of his body running by some doorway.  I asked a dumb question: "Zachary, why are you hitting yourself so much?" "I saw the door closing and I was running even faster to get in before it closed", was his reply.  I looked at him incredulous.  What kind of idea was that?  "Why didn't you just hold your hand out and stop the door from closing?", was my wise response.  "I don't know", he replied and wandered away.

Zach always wants to do something that I'm trying to temper.  "Can we make a duck out of fruit?  A strawberry can be the beak and an apple will be the head."  I think these are great ideas and if he keeps them up, he will make a lot of money one day.  However, right now they involve my participation so I end up redirecting him ("What about you draw the duck?") so that I'm not inconvenienced.   In fact, a lot of my responses to creative commotion start with "Hey!  Stop that!  What are you thinking?"

So instead of encouraging Zachary to slow down, what if I encouraged him to run faster?  My motivation is for him to be safe.  I have worked on that motivation by encouraging him not to go 'whole hog'.  Perhaps that is one way of looking at things.  Another thought is that as he becomes more precise, has better visual judgement and body control, he won't hit himself.  He certainly won't develop body control while running if he's not running at all... though in the house may not be the place to develop the control...It reminds me of Simonne in gymnastics class.  If she thinks there's a chance she might fall, she decides not to go the activity.  Her gym coach wants her to push through and take more control of her body.  Her mind is overcome by the thoughts of 'what if' and she doesn't start.  Am I asking Zachary to think "What if I hit my ear?" and so not run?

I'm looking at the parallels and asking a few questions:
  • Is there a difference between analyzing various factors and second-guessing?  If it is, what is it?
  • Why use second guessing at all?  Why not just say "I don't want to do this!"?  (Make sure you read Iris' post yesterday)
  • Why not encourage Zach to do what he wants within the limits (no sharp objects, etc) that I give him?
  • As a parent, do I tend to say "No, stop, slow down" more than I say "yes, run, speed up"?
  • If an adult is someone who parents themself, then is my parenting of the kids reflective of my own self-talk?
I'll tell you my thoughts on this week.  Today is my anniversary and Isaiah is wondering what still I'm doing with the computer in hand, especially since I insisted he take today and tomorrow off from work.  This is the start of our 16th year married and I'm calling it The Year of Self Indulgence.

What are you holding back on?  What project, idea, relationship is almost ready to burst out of your being, if only you would let it?  Indulge.  I can't wait to see the new life you create in the process.

1 comment:

  1. Faith, Perhaps the difference between analysis and second-guessing is the motivation: one is looking for the best path through and the other is looking for something that could go wrong?

    Congratulations to you and Isaiah on sixteen years! Happy anniversary! Enjoy a great kick-off to your year of self-indulgence.


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