Chaos Attraction

Does Being Positive Pay Off?, Part Two

2014-02-01, 9:31 p.m.

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Okay, so I'm writing a sequel to the first entry, because I have been pondering this all day.

So as part of this idea of trying to be More Positive! this month, today I tried to stop insulting myself so much. I picked a thing to do today that ah, pretty much challenged that right off the bat.

I had a rare free day with no sorts of plans going on (Jackie called me later in the day and was flabbergasted at this), so I figured I should go over to the CC and go work on my sewing projects. I started this rain skirt out of waterproof fabric months ago and then decided to get kr8tiv about it by adding insert panels from a broken umbrella. One of them sewed in fine, the other has just gone HORRIBLY. So even though it's not exactly needed at this point in time, I thought I'd give it a shot. Adding to the fun, I found some gorgeous green tie-dye fabric scraps that turned out to be an abandoned pair of pajama pants. Wondering what the heck was wrong with them that they were thrown out, I thought, "heck, they're pajama pants, I can attempt to figure this out for myself." The textile manager said they'd been thrown out from youth programs, so maybe some kid couldn't get the hang of it.

None of my sewing went well. I looked at the pajama pant legs and thought it was odd that one was cut larger than the other. I "deduced" that I should sew them together so that the smaller panels went with a larger panel so that the butt would have more coverage. After sewing them together like that and putting in the crotch and trying them on....um, I don't think that was what was intended. As for sewing the skirt, that fabric really, really wasn't intended to be so much as pinned, much less fucked up and had the threads seam ripped out OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I ended up cutting out my inserted umbrella panel, sticking in another one, repinning it....and then accidentally folding some fabric onto the seam. Just nothing went right.

Can you believe I used to teach sewing? ME EITHER. Sewing is a hard craft in its way. The actual act of running fabric through a sewing machine is easy, but when you've sewn the wrong thing to the wrong thing (or if they just won't line up At All in the case of the skirt points), or if you just can't logistically picture how sewing something inside out and flipping it is going to go...it's very hard.

And on a day like today when I just got nothing right and spent three hours picking out seams on fabric that was very difficult to do this on....I just want to call myself stupid SO MANY TIMES because this is how I feel and I am 35 years old and have been sewing since like middle school or something and shouldn't I know not to do things like this by now? Really? Because that's my trigger: things that literally everyone else seems to know and yet I am the doofus who doesn't.

It is really, really hard not to be calling myself names about this today because I am mad at how this was going. Instead, I stomped out of the CC for a few hours to enjoy the weather, did some reading and made some phone calls--ranted to Merry for awhile and talked to Jackie about getting together tomorrow in Vacaville. Then I went back and spent another two hours laboriously picking out stitches that didn't want to go. I never did get back to trying to sew them again.

I was also posting on a thread about cursive on Metafilter today and made a comment about how people should have signatures that are harder to forge so that "even an idiot like me could forge that," and then forced myself to use the edit function to take out the i-word. Even though I want to leave it in because I want to make the point that I am no Mr. Bates and don't know anything about forging other than having to fake L's signature for Fed Ex when she was on vacation.

I have come to the conclusion that the thing about believing positively is that while you are still waiting in limbo, it makes you feel happier. That's where the benefit comes in. But once the bad news comes in, or things don't go as you figure, I just don't think being Positive! influences it.

Last weekend I bought a book at Urban Outfitters: Instructions for Happiness and Success: A Step-by-Step Mind Manual for Creating the Life You Choose. Sounds great, right? But the more I read it, the angrier I was becoming at it.

Let me give a rundown for you of this book, along with every hippie self-help manifestation type of book ever. They all end up saying the same thing.

(a) MEDITATE, MEDITATE, MEDITATE. Meditate constantly, meditate for hours a day, it's so awesome!
(b) Never, ever, on pain of death, say something bad about yourself or anyone else again.
(c) Create a vision board! These always work! It's right up there with--
(d) Make a list of every single thing you want in a man, or a job, or whatever. Soon the universe will be lining up to give you every single one of those things!
(e) Write a gratitude journal! Be grateful, dammit, for all of God's blessings upon you!
(f) Be happy! Just constantly think happy thoughts! Because if you think happy, happy will happen to you!

Oh yeah, and this is how you manifest stuff:
(a) Make a list in great detail about EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT.
(b) Fantasize and imagine, in great and loving detail using all five senses, what it would be like to have that. Do this multiple times a day, i.e. as much as you're meditating.
(c) At the same time, give up all attachment to actually like, having what you want. Yes, seriously, they expect this.
(d) Be grateful, grateful, grateful!
(e) Be happy!!!!!

Frankly, all of the THINK POSITIVE AND HAPPY AT ALL TIMES!!!!!! was making me angry. If I was the sort who actually did this naturally, I wouldn't be buying this book. And...it's just freaking hard to be all HAPPY!!!! all the time, especially when things are going wrong about you. And then while I was reading this book, there was a crazy homeless woman wandering around having a conversation with an imaginary person and I felt like a (insults redacted) for being all privileged and spoiled and not homeless yet. I shouldn't be whining about being bothered by my job or anything else when at least I have one. GRATEFUL!!!!!!!! .... in a "lack of stick hitting my head" rather than a "enjoying this yummy carrot" sort of way, though, which is probably not conjuring up the whopping joy I'm supposed to be feeling about my gratefulness.

For the record, things I've tried:
(a) mediation--helps to calm you down when shit is happening, but otherwise, I don't know. I used to have psychic intuitions while doing it, but none of that panned out, did it?
(b) vision boarding--I love doing collage, but I've never gotten anything I made a collage about.
(c) making a list. Never, ever have I even gotten close to getting anything on a list.
(d) gratitude journalling. Hated every minute of that one and it felt like an annoying chore.
(e) fantasizing and believing. Didn't work either, started to feel like a real chore as well. And finally, they don't acknowledge the problem of "how do you imagine you got what you wanted when you don't know how you'll feel when you get it?"

I may want to change my life, but.... yeah, I have serious doubts at best, which are wandering into full blown cynicism and burnout and anger at how this stuff never seems to go beyond manifesting small shit to happen.

I was going to go to a hippie fair tomorrow....but I'd rather hang out with a visiting Jackie. I'll probably get more out of it than feeling like a (redacted) because I believed.


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