Pollyanna Thinks She Just Wants to Have Fun, if That’s Okay with You

Hey, Anna-Liza here. The title most likely applies to Lyda too, but this post is all about me. I invite Lyda to chime in all she wants. (This is a two-headed blog, but she still gets shy about chiming in on my posts. Go figure.)

This post by Victoria Brouhard (another thought-provoking blogger) sounds exactly like me, except just possibly for the coaching part. I don’t want to rule it out completely, because it’s in the range for me, but I’m still figuring it out.

What I Want, that is. Is this sort of pathetic, or what? Here I am, in my mid-forties, and I have no idea what I want. I have had some specific things that I really knew I wanted. Darlin’ K, for example. Having a long-term, deep relationship with him was and is something I knew, for absolutely sure, that I wanted, and it has lasted and deepened for going on 12 years now. When I get really clear, I’m pretty damn stubborn (which comes as a surprise to people who only know my “go with the flow” aspect).

Thing is, though, I’ve spent pretty much my whole life doing what I think I should be doing, or what other people think I should be doing, or what I think they would think I should be doing if they were thinking about it.

I had a little mini-epiphany while I was sitting quiet after Shiva Nata this morning (the first of what I think will be many, and bigger epiphanies). As difficult as this practice can be (sort of a really interesting mix of easy and difficult, if that makes any sense), the hardest part for me recently has been sitting quietly for at least two minutes after the active part of the practice. I don’t normally have problems sitting in meditation, once I get started … but … and here it comes … I feel guilty just sitting, even if that’s what I really want to do. For my ownself, sitting quietly, meditating or thinking or just sitting, is something I really like. But with the job, the kids, the kittehs, the overwhelming amount of cleaning/reorganizing I want to get done … I just feel like it’s okay to do something that is related to “exercise”, but not okay to sit and appear to be doing nothing. Even if it’s just for two minutes.

And that would probably ‘splain why, even though meditating is something I really look forward to, I eliminate it from my schedule at the least provocation.

The reason I call this a “mini-epiphany” is that I’ve been having this realization in a number of different forms recently, but this one kind of made it a little more tangible. It’s related to another, bigger epiphany. Have you ever seen or read the book Five Wishes? By Gay Hendricks? It’s pretty awesome, and Darlin’ K found it incredibly helpful to him in figuring out what he wants and what his highest priorities are. I thought it was great, but had the hardest time working with the (very simple) exercise in it to figure out what you want. And I had an even harder time when I took Insight and went through an exercise where I had to just ad lib what I wanted at that moment (could be a mocha, could be personal enlightenment, could be anything as long as I wanted it). 

Because I had no freakin’ idea. Every time I come up against the question, phrased ever so adroitly, indirectly, or directly, “What do you want?” my mind goes absolutely blank. (It does that at other times, too. Like when someone asks me “What are you thinking?” As soon as they say it, whatever I was thinking about goes right out of my head).

Oh, I should say that I met Darlin’ K at that same Insight seminar, and I knew in a sort of subconscious way that I really wanted him, but I hadn’t gotten to the point where I’d fully admitted it to myself, even. Besides, he was my partner in that exercise, and it just would have introduced all kinds of complications if I’d just blurted out “YOU!” Or not. Maybe it would have prevented some. But on the whole, I think it was quite fine that I didn’t happen to mention it just then.

I should also mention that, if you get a chance to take Insight, jump on it like a duck on a Junebug. Yes. Really. You think I’m screwy now, you should have seen me before Insight. Oh, wait, you might think I’m more screwy now, but believe me — I’m just a lot more honest about it now, and therefore less conflicted. But I digress.

So anyway, I’ve been working in every way I can think of to hammer, chip, pry, and/or melt away my established bad stupid not-so-functional patterns and reconstruct them into patterns that will be more functional for me, short of actually paying a coach or a counselor (no spare money, see “Darlin’ K got laid off” somewhere back in the archives). Apparently it’s starting to pay off. ‘Cause I did find out one thing that I want that I really really want.

I want to have fun. A lot of fun. A lot more than I’ve been having, and a lot more than I have allowed myself to have. That last bit? Well, you know. All the obvious reasons–too much responsibility, too little time, too little money, I don’t deserve to have such a good time, blah blah blah.

And why I didn’t realize that this is a big fat priority to me? Well, aside from the responsibility/no time/no money/don’t deserve it part?

It’s fucking embarrassing, that’s why. Think about it. Again, mid-forties woman, house, job, kids, marriage, responsibilities, plus being a borderline genius (well, used to be. Think I’ve lost some ground on that front over the last twenty-odd years. And yes, Groucho, they have been very odd years). And my big I-had-to-have-not-one-but-a-whole-series-of-epiphanies-to-get-it priority is Having Fun.

So there. If posting it all over the internets doesn’t cure me of being embarrassed about it, I have no idea what will.

Mock if you like. Now I get to find out what “Having Fun” actually means.

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10 thoughts on “Pollyanna Thinks She Just Wants to Have Fun, if That’s Okay with You

  1. Victoria Brouhard

    Are you sure you’re not me?

    I had the same deal – where I had no trouble committing to my husband (“yes, he’s the ONE!”), but takes me forever to commit to anything else.

    And the guilt of doing “nothing”.

    And the difficulty with “having fun”. I’m still working on that one! Lots of issues with Using Time Productively wrapped up in there for me.

    I hope you’ll blog about having fun – I think it’s awesome. Because what the hell is life for if you’re not having fun? (Like I said -I have work to do in that area, too…)

    And I’ll bet the more fun you have, the more that other things you want will come into focus.

    Reply
  2. KSD

    Don’t feel like you’re on an ice floe here. I’m closing in on 50, and if someone asked me what I want, I’d only be able to give them short-term things. The other’s tough.

    Reply
  3. Anna-Liza

    Oh yes, I’ll definitely post about having fun! And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one like this. All the “find your passion” advice out there–which one? There are so many options! Geez!

    Reply
  4. Donna-Maria

    My lack of professional ambition troubles me now and then cuz I think I am not fulfilling my potential. Maybe not quite the same as ur struggle, but the idea that I am happy to be a wife and mother gets me a lot of disapproving looks. My job is my job, and I have hobbies out the wahoo. But my central satisfaction in life is when Hubby and Kids are all around me having a conversation. It took me a long time to figure it out, but that’s what I always wanted. I guess it’s all downhill from here?
    This post surprises me about u. I thought u always went after what u wanted. Seemed like u were always having more fun than I was! I hope u find ur fun. (I think this weblog might be part of it.) Luvya.

    Reply
  5. Anna-Liza Post author

    Yeah, D-M, I have finally decided “Fuck ‘fulfilling my potential’. Whose decision is that, anyway?” And, not to say I’ve never had fun. I’ve had a lot of fun, but I realize now that I have always held back and also been willing to sacrifice my own “fun” for everyone else. Not saying that it doesn’t need to be done sometimes–any parent knows that–but I’ve got a pattern of doing it when it’s not actually necessary and might even be a bad thing to do.
    And, as for what you always thought–well, I think I’m pretty good at hiding all this stuff. I’m finally realizing that we *all* do that and we all have something else going on behind what we show the world. I used to think it was just me that was a big fake!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Pollyanna Hits the Road « Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

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