Saturday, May 06, 2006

Today is National Scrapbooking Day and Mark took the little ones out of town for the day. I decided to stay home and have a free day to do as I please. The only problem has been that I haven't been able to decide what to do with myself! I started designing a bit but my computer was sluggish so I decided to back up and defragment the hard drives. I should have chosen something different because I have to say that is one of the most stressful things I ever have to do. I start shaking and my stomach starts churning as I try to decide what needs to be backed up and what combination of folders will fit on a dvd. If I could pay someone to manage my back ups for me, I would! I check and recheck to make sure the dvd's are good, but as I hit the delete key to send those files to the recycle bin I might as well be sawing off my right arm. I just hate it. The "things" I treasure most now all live inside this computer in the form of my photographs and my designs. And anytime I think about the likelihood of their being damaged or lost, I just get sick inside with a paralyzing fear and guilt. I have been shooting digitally for years now and still have not found a good way to only keep the really good photos and a way to know what is where. I have researched options and asked questions, but I still feel this way. So I decided to blog about it because I know myself well enough to know if something is troubling me this much it has become a psychological and spiritual issue for me. It is a matter of stewardship (what is the BEST way to take care of these files?) and a matter of fear (who would I be if I allowed something to happen to my memories by not knowing the BEST way to protect them?)

I emphasized the words BEST for a reason. I have been following FlyLady long enough to know that my perfectionism paralyzes me. And lots of times I end up doing nothing because I feel no assurance that my plan is certain. I know life is full of risks. I know that things happen that we do not plan. But I know the risks of losing digital files. It can happen so fast. So why haven't I dealt with this a LONG TIME AGO? (Another key phrase for me.) If I don't do things early along in the time when I think I should, I quit trying and just start beating myself up for not having done it early. Not on time, but EARLY. What is that about? I have no idea! Could someone tell me please? LOL

My life is very different now in lots of ways. I am incredibly busy with my family, this remodel and move, and my designing. I am not getting a lot of time to scrapbook which is the slice of life that I used to enjoy the most. But I am finding great joy in the designing. It is such a mental and emotional challenge to come up with fresh new textures and patterns.

I have finished sorting through my entire studio this week and have given away or trashed everything that I didn't love or think I could use in a non-profit community studio. That alone is such a huge feat if seen in light of my past that I should be blogging with great joy and confidence. I cleaned and organized my computer desk, my paper scrapping desk and shelves, a large 4 drawer file cabinet and all my sewing, quilting, knitting and crocheting supplies. WHEW!

But today I feel gripped by fear and restlessness. I know the hard drive clean up is the source of most of it, but I think it goes deeper than that. Maybe it is just because the house is completely quiet and I can actually choose my thoughts and my activities today. That doesn't happen very often. But I think that I am still very scared of succeeding. I am very unsure how life would actually be if I achieved the things that I have had as goals for a very long time. I am unsettled when people tell me that I am inspiring.

No, inspiring is all the books and journaling I would read when I was in the deepest funk that would make me want to carry on living. Inspiring are the people in the roles that matter where I have always wanted so badly to be but that was totally out of reach. I just can't think that I could be THERE.

I just don't know how to think about myself anymore. I am trying to replace so many of my negative thoughts with compassionate, merciful ones. I am trying to take things very slowly and consider all the sides of the opportunities I have laid out before me. Part of me rejoices and says, "Jump, baby, jump!" And another part of me says, "Whoa! Careful now, you might not have inside of you what you need to achieve that dream!" I hear the latter much too often. I try to listen to my friends kind words instead and the comments of those who say they really like my designs and ideas. I think they are being honest with me. And there are lots of my creations that I really like. But what does it all mean? I really don't want to be so self-doubting. But I know so many women who are that I figure it must have some very deep psychological roots. When does it begin? And how can we overcome our paralyzing fear?

I know in the depth of my anxiety and depression, I realized that I had to give God that fear. Not just once! But minute after minute. Until gradually it melted away. Is that what I should do again? Or is this just a normal part of self-discovery and art?

I would love to ask others who have "made it" if they ever quit hearing the doubting voices. I would love to know if they are still able to do the things they love the most in the middle of the success. I would love to know if they ever have a sense of peace about their accomplishments or if this restlessness is just part of the creative and entrepreneurial spirit. I would love to know if success really has anything to do with fulfillment after all. Does anyone know?

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