Wednesday, January 30, 2013

neurosis in september

Originally posted September 10, 2012

September! I love September. This month has always felt special to me in a number of ways. It's my birthday month (which was a lot more fun pre-40). I love the dramatic season changes that happen during this time of the year. Especially here in North Dakota. You could have a 90-degree day at the beginning of the month and snow by the end. The landscape here is beautiful this time of year and the sunlight in the late afternoon/evenings is extraordinary in how it colors everything so warmly. North Dakota is blessed with constant breezes making the haze seen other parts of the country virtually non-existant. So pretty.

September is also a time of great activity here at b.haven studios. This is my first full season of shows and art fairs and I'm super busy preparing. It forces me to think much more pragmatically than I really enjoy doing. I'm always working up to the last minute, no matter how well I've planned. I worry about whether I'll have enough inventory. I worry about how I will get from place to place and if maybe I should purchase or rent a trailer. I worry about whether the costs of a hotel room are appropriate and whether I will make that money back during the show. I worry that my stuff will not sell well, or sell too well, and I'll have to schlep all the stuff home or race back and produce a ton more items for the next show. I guess what I'm saying is that my neurosis kicks into high gear in this month of change. 

This worry is all a result of my inexperience, I realize. I have to go through all of this in order to know what I'm doing. This is the worst part for me. I'm one of those people that hates not knowing. I badger my poor husband to death when he has a gift for me, and try to talk him into giving it to me early. I ask invasive questions relentlessly of my kids so I know what is going on. I research my father's cancer diagnosis until I can read research papers with medical terminology and understand what it means. I want to all the options for everything all the's exhausting.

In contrast, I love surprises and delight in learning something new, regardless of the subject. I am fully aware that my need to understand and "know" is all part of a desire to control. Control the situation, control the outcome, prepare for worst-cases and best-cases, know exactly what I will do given any situation...simply put, control. I've had to learn to enjoy surprises and appreciate what they mean. The reality of life is that we control nothing except our actions and reactions. We have to trust ourselves to be able to handle whatever comes our way, good and bad.

This is a constant theme for me, if you haven't noticed. I struggle with trusting myself, so I admit it publically as a sort of therapy. We should all admit our weaknesses more often. It's cleansing and shows everyone around us that we are all the same and not afraid to face our issues. And we all have issues. Now, I'm not talking about complaining here, simply admitting to those we love and ourselves that we are not perfect but expect perfection of ourselves....just like everyone else. There is something comforting about realizing that we are not alone in our self expectations, and they are often unrealistic. Letting go of that perceived control lets us enjoy the unexpected, or at least handle it in a more reasonable manner. The fear of "what if" is lessened and our knowledge of ourselves increased. The more we know about ourselves, the better we are able to trust that we can handle anything.

If you struggle with letting go, get a dog. Preferably one with behavior problems that you work out together (like Belle, pictured above). 

There is no better mirror, trust me.

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