What Now?

I think I overdid it a little bit on the blog posts this weekend, thanks to my demon PapaFreeak's calling me such lovely names.  But it is a good thing (I said he was my friend!--ahem): it has helped me clarify a number of things that have been rattling around in my head these past several months as the work on my book has proceeded apace.  I really meant it when I said this morning that I have now confessed all of my deepest, pettiest, most envious thoughts.  My therapist and I have been working on the biggest, scariest ones over the past couple of years, including several that are still (and will remain) TMI for such a public confession (ha! Take that PapaFreeak--I'm even worse than you think!), and I find myself suddenly at something of a loose end having told you yesterday about the oldest, deepest, and ugliest of my sins, my envy of my sister's physical beauty.  I rather suspect I am not yet done with that one, but of the others that I have been working on, well, there's not much left to say.

Every so often I still think about having a house or getting a promotion, but with nothing like the urgency that I used to.  I'm not sure it would really make much difference to me anymore, now that I've learned how to deal with the demons that attack when I sit down to write, which is all I ever really wanted to be able to do.  If you'd told me five years ago that keeping this blog would see me through not only some of the most difficult personal times of my life as well as teach me how to write without drama and to fence without losing my concentration, I wouldn't have believed that it was even possible.  And now look at me: all my prayers answered, and then some!  Okay, so there are always going to be some stragglers among my sins, just itching to catch me up, but the big ones have nothing like the hold on me now that they did even a year or so ago.  I know, I know, don't tempt the demons (I am sure PapaFreeak will be back to test me), but it is possible to learn how to arm oneself against them, just like the monks of the desert always said.

Which makes me wonder how best, if at all, to continue with this blog.  I am loathe to give it up, it has given me such comfort over the years, but I am not sure that I can continue with the same tone.  Even I don't like listening to myself work through my anxieties much anymore.  There was a time, not so very long ago, that this was the only place that I could come for relief, but perhaps you've noticed the drop-off in posting over the past couple of months.  Most of the time, if I feel a bit anxious, I just repeat my mantras: "Brief, Regular Sessions.  Deliberate Practice."  And then I'm ready to write or fence or play my fiddle again.  Frankly, having learned these lessons, I'm not quite sure what else there is to say, except "Practice, practice, practice, a little bit every day.  Practice with attention and the willingness to be uncomfortable as you learn something new, using the discomfort to point you to things that you need to work on."

Hmmm.  That's a little long for a mantra; clearly I still need to work on articulating the lessons that I've learned.  But the lessons are good ones, very simple, but profound, as all the best lessons are.  But, here's the question, do I need to keep writing about them?  Or should I just concentrate on practicing, without spending so much time trying to put things into words?  Except that that is what I do, put things into words.  Plus, this was never meant to be so much a self-help blog (in the sense of providing advice for others) as it was a place for me to explore what I needed to work on, and I very much doubt that I am entirely finished with myself.  How sad, no longer to be a work in progress!  So maybe I will keep writing, even if it sets PapaFreeak's teeth on edge.  (Isn't it fun having my own personal demon?  Write so as to drive your demon crazy--now there's good advice.)  But I do think that I need to find another frame for writing some of the other things I've been thinking about, something a little less personal than a confession.  I know: another blog!

I'll let you know when I have it up and running....

By the by, this was my 1003rd post!  "A Demon of My Very Own" was no. 1000.  Which makes me wonder: have I really become that strong that I have conjured into existence my very own demon?  Wow.  St. Anthony would be impressed, don't you think? "'O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'  She chortled in her joy!"

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