A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude.
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Prescriptions for Life
Posted Aug 07, 2010
These are the exact same things I do when I feel down. So often I think creative, interesting, happy children grow into defeated and sad adults. There was a time when our lives were ahead of us and every dream was attainable. When you are "grown up" there are so many naysayers telling you your dreams are silly and not practical. Who are they to tell you that? It's time for adults to continue dreaming and to take charge of their own lives.
I love that line: "Creative, interesting, happy children grow into defeated and sad adults." In my experience, that was absolutely true. I had boundless creativity and a marvellously grandiose sense of possibilities as a little girl - when these were squelched and I was shown what I "should" do instead (academia), I became a sad child, sadder adolescent, and eventually suicidal adult. When I look at my school pictures from the first, second and third grade (eyes sparkling) and compare them to my eyes in the eighth grade and upwards, it hurts my heart and I wish I could tell that sad teenager that she will be dancing again and loving life, 15 years later. Thank God I was able to resurrect that little dancing girl, she saved my life! Any one of us can resurrect that sense of fun, play and possibilities, any time. Thank goodness!
I was the same way, as a child. It helped that I had positive role models. My teachers all encouraged me to embrace my uniqueness and pursue whatever made me happy, which included writing, drawing, singing, and acting. After high school I pursued a degree in Psychology until I met my husband and stopped going to class. Now I have a secure job as an analyst in the air force. I have plenty of time to finish my degree or take classes that interest me. The biggest roadblock I have encountered is people who don't understand my need to make my life better. It is going to take all of my might to break out of my routine of going to work, the gym, and then home to watch mindless television. Of course, I think I should probably continue going to work and the gym every day. I might just throw in a class or two or attend that church my husband refuses to go to. They might even have a space in their choir for me. :)
Thanks so much for sharing your story - it sounds like you are in the perfect position to start reclaiming various corners of your life. For many people the challenge is finding the time, and you have it! I don't recall if I mentioned this in my post, but when you start living authentically and taking time for things that you love, you often set free others who are around you (the ones who often are initially complaining the loudest about your changes). Not only do they end up applauding the changes you've made, but they start pursuing their own passions as well.
You may find that your husband starts to join you at church (mine did, and he eventually started saying things on Saturday night such as "We ARE going to church tomorrow, aren't we? We'd better go to bed early so you're not tempted to sleep in again" - ! ). Of course, it's possible that significant others won't ever fully support you - but when you're happy and fulfilled it's far easier to get along with people in general, so overall the quality of your relationships will probably improve. Mine did, immensely.
Get off that couch! Do what you love! I'm cheering you on : )
Susan Biali Haas, M.D. is a physician who speaks and writes about stress reduction, burnout prevention, mental health, wellness and resilience.
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