Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Closing Out the Notebooks...

I used to keep notebooks of daily activities, phone calls I needed to return, conversations with parents about kid activity, and schedules for myself, the kids, and Joe.

Whenever I completed an activity, I highlighted it or scribbled across the note.  Important stuff I left unmarked.  The notebooks are a really great record of the trials and triumphs of the last few years. 

I haven't used the notebooks in a long time.  Today, though, I spent some time paging through them.  I was making sure everything was closed out before throwing them in storage... or maybe the trash can.

Then again, maybe I'll keep them, so I can remember that often during my day, I think of Jesus.

In one notebook I found some notes I made while reading a book about daughters of alcoholics.  Boy, is this me.
  • She believes she can control chaotic situations.
  • She is always on guard for the worst to happen.
  • She gears actions in outward attempt to control her environment.
  • She is dependent and dutiful with little sense of her own identity.
  • She adapts to the needs of others, neglecting her own needs or she rebels against society.
  • She appears to be a strong, successful woman with a need for power, but feels success is meaningless.
  • She is exhausted and empty.
  • She feels isolated.
  • She becomes a people pleaser.
  • She has rage.
  • She understands personal criticism as a threat to her well-being.
  • She is a reactor  not an actor.
Perfect daughters of alcoholic parents, says Robert J Ackerman, cope in many ways, and "having learned that they must function perfectly in order to avoid unpleasant situations, these women often assume responsibility for the failures of others."

I did that in every arena of my life.  Even while playing the piano.  If a soloist or instrumentalist screwed up, I assumed it was my error that created the mistake.  I did it in much larger ways too - accepting full responsibility for problems at work, apologizing for disagreements with friends, feeling like a failure when my boys were  naughty...


At least that used to be me. 

I'm glad I'm learning a different way to live.  I particularly enjoy my rather spectacular failures.  And I'm thankful when I fail, Joe is there to grin and hug me and say, "Try again."  My boys are good at that too.

My notebooks were always a good place to vent too.  I made a list of "Snotty Little Bitch Persons" one day.  There's only one person on the list, and, boy, did she deserve to be on that list.  The one underneath is a list of My Favorite People in the Entire World.  There are more people on that list, some of whom are no longer my favorites.  Top honors that day went to a guy named Jim from the IRS.  How ironic. 
Come to think of it, I should probably resume my notebook habit.  There are so many benefits.  And didn't Flannery's notebooks get published?  Julia Child's?  Galileo's? 


1 comment:

  1. It's always intriguing to me to see how people organize their thoughts, to-do lists, etc. I love seeing your handwriting and doodles!