There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting Rid of an Old Shell and Defining My Own Success

Wow, I am a moody cuss. I had been having one of my periodic down times, and was perversely making things worse by reading the news, reading newspaper comments about the huge layoffs at the place where I am working now, listening to coworkers bemoaning stuff, and wallowing in all the bad news my friends and family are having.

(For example, Lee has ill relatives, Tuba Boy lost his job today, and yet another friend was laid off here.)

I told myself I need to get a grip on my attitude, and shed off the negativity shell just like our cicada friend in the photo shed its irrelevant shell. That means I have to focus on whatever positives I can come up with, and most important, get myself a plan. Once I have a real plan, I always feel better.

I have found some jobs to apply for, which I will do tonight, but a listing about Microsoft training that I saw on Craigslist reminded me that there’s no reason to not contact that nice training place I used to freelance at NOW to see if they have any openings. Well, that was an easy fix. They will be happy for me to do more for them! At least this means there will be SOME income after I transition out of this contract! I can still interview, teach knitting and see if I can do freelance editing, too. Whew.

I also decided to make a list of my successes. So often we view ourselves as successful vs. unsuccessful only based on what our capitalist US society deems important: how much money we make, and our job title. When I look at myself through that lens, I am inclined to feel pretty bad about myself. I went from a director-level job that paid well for a nonprofit to the lowest person on the totem pole doing my lowest-paid contract position so far. I appear to be sliding down.

Defining Your Own Success

But, maybe we need to define our own success, like my friend Diana did with her book on breastfeeding. Women with supply issues may not have a standard "successful" experience, but, if they define their own success, they can feel really good about what they can do. So, in that spirit, here are things which I have decided prove that I am a success!

  • Given instructions, I can knit almost anything.
  • I have raised two sons, one to age 18, who have not been arrested or fathered their own children.
  • I’ve learned to identify many of my negative patterns and to intercept them early (such as panicking when I have no plan).
  • I have finally found a partner I truly love and want to stay with the rest of our lives.
  • I’ve learned to be happy with what I have, and how to enjoy life, even with fewer resources to draw on.
  • I can cook a holiday meal all by myself if I have to.
  • I pay all my bills online. That makes me feel really successful and way less forgetful.
  • I have practiced treating people kindly, and meeting malice with kindness. And now people seem to like me a lot more.
  • I have made a commitment to peace and have stuck with it. I have a consistent viewpoint on that, which spans all sorts of areas of life.
  • Great progress has been made in my effort to avoid us vs. them thinking and to not lump all members of any group together. This has led me to have interesting friends and acquaintances from many cultures, races and religions, not to mention political viewpoints. I feel very successful about this.

OK, that’s plenty. If you are having trouble with feeling down on yourself, try this exercise. You may well see yourself in a very different light.


Lee said...

Additional note for the second bullet: They are also very nice, intelligent, and articulate, even if they sometimes forget that a sentence is more than a monosyllable.

Sam said...

Another attribute? You are one of the most genuine and generous womyn I have had the honour of knowing. Thank you for being your wonderful self!!