Where is a good self-help book when you need one? Too many of them seem more like the books on the right side of this bookshelf…
I’m searching for a ring for my finger than says “think think, think!” just like Winnie the Pooh would say. I want it large enough that I can read it so that, at the moment of decision-making (something I find a wee bit impaired with my MS of late), it would remind me to take a moment, chew things through, maybe reconsider.
It’s not that I’m making bad decisions, exactly. It’s just that I distrust my judgment.
Part of it is being an orphan. My parents died so long ago I barely remember what they would say to any of my brilliant schemes. They were already ill with cancer when they were my age. This would, no doubt, change their perception of what was important, much like MS has changed mine. I miss their advice, though. Often it would make me mad or frustrated or guilty or sad, but at least I had something to test my ideas against.
Right now I fall back on the old Tarot card reading stuff – not that I believe in it, but if the cards say “don’t do this” and I argue I need to deal again, I at least know what I want to do.
I’m on my own a lot, too, with naught but a parrotlet for company. She’s cute but prefers to dance along when I sing along with sad songs and not offer solutions to my problems. So I rely a lot on books – “helpful books” – to gain experience and thoughts about life, the universe, and everything (okay, perhaps relying on Douglas Adams wasn’t such a good idea). Ideas that seem distinctly brilliant and doable in my solitude show their cracks and duct tape patches in the searchlights of friends and family.
And, while I struggle with my own issues, there are so many people around me also struggling, and I have to rely on my imperfect knowledge to try to provide solace. Advice is hard. I feel like we are lined up like those Betta fish, each in their own little cup. No one has the same fishbowl as anyone else – the best we can do is peer through our own glass and try to spot them through theirs. Sometimes we can see the cat’s paw approaching, but most of the time it’s just murky. On both sides. Maybe if I just waggle a fin in support?
I’m heading into a big decision time. Well, at least one. I find myself feeling that layer of excitement that you feel creeping over you as you ratchet up the slope on a roller coaster for the first time. Not sure how the ride will be, excited to think about it.
My friends are split with their advice. My mind is also split. So I look at the ring I’m wearing – one with purple amethysts, the stone of dreams, and think, think, think. And hope for guidance, divine or otherwise. And also hope that those I’ve stumblingly tried to help haven’t been too damaged by my heavy-footedness, that perhaps some of what I know came through the murk.
The books on the right remind me of an old work buddy, Wendell, who had a similar sense of humour to mine.
He once mused how, if there are life jackets to keep you afloat, there ought to be “death jackets”, full of lead weights, for those who WANT to sink.
My son Maxim at about age 14, saw a store window sign stating “Sorry, We’re Closed”, and told me that there could be stores which sold Bad Things, and they could have a sign reading “Sorry, We’re Open!”
Love the image of individuals as betta fish in separate bowls. Advice is hard…best I can offer is to fall back on programming – sometimes a big decision can be broken down into a series of smaller ones.