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The definition of insanity is repeating a series of actions again and again and expecting different results. I guess that means we’re all a little insane. Because nothing changes if nothing changes, and if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll get what I’ve always gotten, and I’ll feel as I’ve always felt.

Well, just yucko to that.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t sit down and make out a list on December 31st with intentions of immediate implementation the following morning. I tried it a couple of times, and it didn’t really work out for me. Instead, I tend to reach this tipping-point, where there is this eternal scream of “ENOUGH!” resonating from deep within my bones, and I get off my duff and do something about it – no matter what day of the year it happens to fall on.

Coincidentally, I reached one of those tipping points as 2010 drew to a close, and 2011’s arrival was imminent. I reached a tipping-point in just about every stinking area of my life for which it is possible to attain that level of weariness and disgust.

And so I started making some mental lists. And then I made some written lists. And then I made some more written lists, expanded with more details this time and more concrete goals. Then I divided my lists into various schools of goal-setting (because I am a sick and twisted list-lusting individual who could probably benefit from professional help). And then I wrote a series of entries in my journal focusing on the areas where I intended to focus my newfound intentions. And then I had a series of conversations with a series of friends, relatives and acquaintances regarding my intention to set intentions and the existence of these gloriously promising lists.

It’s sick. It really is sick. I know this. It’s like the series of false starts I take before finally plunging off the high dive (or would, that is, if I weren’t paralytically terrified of heights, and especially of heights in combination with aquatic conditions, so it’s a metaphorical imaginary high dive experience).

A friend once pointed out that I was a risk taker – but only once I’d what-if’ed and how-to’ed and plotted and planned and provided for every possible permutation of result and accounted for pretty much every exigency. She was right. It comes naturally to me. I should have been some kind of strategist – oh, wait! I am a strategist – of my own life. And yes, I tend to go through this process more quickly than others (though less quickly than some), but I’m finding that skipping that step just doesn’t work out so well for me.

So, back to it – Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes. So I’ve done a bunch of processing and scheming. And this time, I’m heading for sweeping changes, the magnitude of which are kind of freaking me out a little bit. Because I’m sick of “changing” a situation or a pattern or a behavior, and then realizing that all I’d really done was tell myself a really good story about how doing it that way would be different….and then finding out later that it wasn’t so different, after all.

I’m trying not to focus on the freaked out feeling, though. I’m looking at this phrase – Nothing Changes if NOTHING CHANGES – as a call to bravery. One of the friends I sat down with to verbally hash all this out was my move-a-body-friend Char, who can always be counted upon to say something equal parts pithy and wise. She didn’t fail. She told me that while there was nothing wrong with it, I’d always arranged my life so that I had both an umbrella over my head and a net beneath my feet – safe. But without the umbrella looming above me, I might finally see the clear blue of sky…and without the net, I might finally feel the cool green grass beneath my feet.

So, I’m swallowing nausea, and taking chances, and hoping to God I’m right, but not at all sure if I am, and waiting for the changes I’m implementing to alter my landscape. Because I am the only one who hears that resounding cry echoing off the ridges of my soul – “ENOUGH!” And I am the only one I can point to as the reason for its existence, its continuation, its abolition.

Wish me luck people.

 

 

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Come have a look through my kaleidoscope eyes. Come walk with me, as I make my way down the Path of Mastery (complete with fits and starts and pitstops and potholes). Our very impermanence is what makes us burn so brightly, and struggle so valiantly, and feel so deeply – it’s what makes us seize the day, and the moment. Come in, settle in, share a moment with me.

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"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)