Most of my life, my self-imposed to-do list has been treated as a burden. And boy did I make sure everyone knew about it. I’m not the wilting flower type, so when I say they knew about it, they also were made to feel responsible for it.
Sorry. That’s a crappy thing to do. I didn’t mean to be crappy to you, but I believe I did. Sorry.
There’s an easy to follow cause and effect on how I attained this habit, but regardless the end result is the same. The bottom line is, I’m tired of it. I bet everyone around me is, too. My friend David told me once “You are bold” so here’s some bold thoughts (read: I don’t totally believe it yet, but am willing to give it a go):
“I am pulling my weight even if I enjoy what I’m doing.”
“Good people will stay in my life even if I don’t make them feel sorry for me.”
“My pursuits have validity if I’ve thought them through, not because they make me a martyr.”
Okay, that’s enough for now.
The converse of these bold statements aren’t a constant in my life. I do recognize them as a fall back position, though. There have been chunks of my life that I’ve waded through by feeling martyred and by sharing the accompanying misery.
It all comes down to reconciling enjoying what I’m doing with the validity of the pursuit. Somehow, the element of joy tinges the value of the pursuit regardless of how well thought out it is.
How stupid is that?
I wonder if that was a sabotaging element in my dead faire career? I managed to be joyless in the creation of a joyful experience. It took work, but I managed it. No, I was not alone in enabling the death of that joy, but I bought into it. I nurtured it. No, I can’t sum up a career by pointing at a single element, but I can look at it honestly and ask myself if it contributed.
Why do I care now? Because I’m forging a new life, a new career, and these old habits are rearing their horny heads. I want joy to be essential to it and that desire is in conflict with my habits and experiences. Ergo, I have 2 options: Embrace the old habit and call it valid or Dissect the old habit and chuck it with yesterday’s cat litter.
So, joy (and optimism) as a business strategy. I know that I’m able to more efficiently and effectively figure stuff out when I’m feeling good about it to begin with…
Susan Scot Fry
Update… Here’s a great reason to allow joy in my daily pursuits. When I feel real joy versus forcing myself to have a good attitude, the grasp is less tenuous. So, I’m able to be much more considered in evaluating best approaches, pros and cons, etc and choosing the best course of action. Conversely, when the joy is grasped with both greasy hands, it’s so fragile that I can’t run the risk of criticism or it will die.