Tuesday, April 20, 2010
A desperate list I couldn't even finish.
In the past couple of months I've renewed my obsession with reading self-help books. This was something I used to do all the time from the early 2000s until about five years ago. I stopped for two reasons. One, almost all self-help books tend to say the same stuff in different ways. So, after you read about three of the things you're going to keep getting the same info over and over.
The second reason I stopped was my own odd tendency to feel like I'm accomplishing something when I'm actually procrastinating and hiding. What do I mean? I mean that reading self-help books has the same effect on me as entering contests online, somehow I feel a little like I'm earning money when I enter, even though I know that's a stupid feeling. When I read self-help books I feel like I'm working toward my goals, but in actuality I'm just reading a book and not really doing concrete work to fulfill my dreams.
I started up again because I was so depressed about working yet another job I loathed, but even more than the last one I hated. I felt I needed a little boost, and this has turned into me reading about six self-help books in four months.
Here's where the oh boy comes in. I've been reading a book called The Joy Diet. There's a part that tells you it's necessary to give yourself small treats for taking risks that will further your goals. The writer has you do an exercise where you list 10 things that make you smile, so you can use those things as treats.
Do you know what? After writing three things, I completely stalled. I started to think of all the stuff I like or even love: organizing the house, getting rid of things we don't need anymore, cooking, writing, photography, watching movies, reading fashion magazines and tearing out tips and photos, reading books, HUBS, the light at sunset, the light at sunrise, watching good tv...None of these things make me smile all the time. They make me feel good at least 90% of the time, but they don't make me actually smile.
It was months ago when HUBS told me I never smile anymore. I conceded that I'd been moody/angry a lot, but, Of course I smile!, I said. And now, trying to make this list, I see that he's likely very right. I absolutely love taking pictures and writing; why the fuck do they not make me smile? If nothing makes me smile, what does that mean? What have I become?
This is why HUBS so often knocks himself out doing goofy, ridiculous stuff in an effort to make my mouth turn up at the corners. I'm really not smiling anymore.
HUBS. I've become a huge drag. I'm sorry.