Thursday, March 22, 2012

out of character

I have been reading "the four hour work week," by - oh, I don't remember now and I don't feel like getting up to check. Anyway. It's largely creepy, if I think too much about it: the general gist is your business should both dupe and use people so that you can go about your merry way cheating, drinking, and carousing while making loads of money. However, there are concepts in this book that have been really striking me. Odd ways of looking at old practices. New ways of thinking. The concept, for me, of divorcing what I do for income and what I do as daily work - that's a big one.

One of the phrases I've taken from this book is "analysis paralysis." In my work life, I am and have been such a Thinker: Consider.Every.Single.Possible.Angle.and.its.ramifications before making any movement at all. I've done a few things since reading that that are completely out of character, saying no to some things and pushing for some others. It's a little bit cavalier, this current attitude of mine. Ultimately, I think it's useful. As I used to tell clients who were too accomodating and polite: if you feel like you are being rude, you are probably right on target: "too rude" in your mind is actually well-boundaried and appropriate.

Hearing other peoples' ideas and plans for me, I almost constantly tell myself I am not doing that, and later need to extricate myself from something I knew from the outset I didn't want. Matt was fantastic at telling people Out Loud, right from the very start, sweetly and with such true gentleness, "I am not going to do that with you." It's out of character for me to start using my inside voice as an outside voice.

I think it is widowhood-related irritation: a definite "who the (*&! cares what they think," a brusqueness I do not typically have. If I have to live here, if this is the life I have, then I am not doing things I do not want to do, and I am not tiptoeing around. If I want something, I am going to ask for it without thinking too hard about it. A real sense of - seriously? With what you have lived and are living, you are worried about, well, anything? Just do it, don't think. It feels pretty brazen to me, which means I am probably right on target.



  1. For my own part, I just do whatever feels right to me. Much of the advice that I've been given isn't really very applicable. I've had to learn to make my own rules -- the rules that work for me. Each of us has to find a path that makes sense and has meaning.