top of page

The Day I Thought "I've Been Wrong..."About Life

Thursday evening I looked for a quote to add to one of the many acrylic poured paintings I've made in the past 2-3 months. I found this one:

"The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do."

This stupid quote is haunting me. (Also the comment my mom made years ago. Something about always looking for the next improvement instead of enjoying the latest one.) I'm 54. I'm still annoyed when my mom is right and I realize that 20 years ago that wisdom just shot right over my head. Not because she was right - she's my mom. She's supposed to know more than I do, right? It's annoying because I suddenly see I was oblivious to my wrongness.

I grew up without much, so the tiniest effort produced change and improvement. Challenge accepted. No matter what difficult situation I found myself in, there was always information available - self help books, magazines catering to that stage of life, and for years there has been Google, LifeHack, YouTube, Pinterest... One can never run out of things to improve, try out, or become dissatisfied with.

My own list goes on and on - face creams, new hair colors, becoming "highly effective" with a mission statement, new crafts (and supplies), business ideas, yoga, training my dog, decorating the house, gardening, a different car or cooking apparatus (there's a Kitchen Aid mixer on my counter, next to the blender I've only dusted for 8 years, and the recently added Instant Pot, and the slicer purchased to make apple chips... which I did. twice.)

I have tried paper crafts, improv classes, quilting, gardening, website development, sewing, sculpting, acrylic painting classes, crafting of a zillion different types. I've started businesses selling used books, vitamins, auction finds, crafts, personalized children's books, and so much more. I bought a course on buying real estate with no money down. It's in the attic right now, VHS tapes most likely melted into a brown puddle. Last month I explored online drop ship sales. Last week - selling craft supplies and charms on Etsy.

Over the years those ventures have enriched my base of knowledge. I use much of it. I learned to make and meet goals (important in my job today), how to use social media to expand one's reach and improve marketing efforts - and I've used that in my current job and also my work with a non-profit. I know what glues to use for a project, which perennials bloom a long time, how to make my own hummingbird food, and what sprays you should and should not use on the blueberry bushes. I know how to prevent my walls from developing that orange peel appearance when painting a room and which house paint is the best - except now it isn't and someone told me to try Valspar...

I know how to put insulation up in a basement.

I can speak in front of a crowd without anxiety.

Anyway - I'm 54. I didn't learn all this overnight. It's been years of learning and exploring. Lengthier than what has just poured from my stream of consciousness this Sunday morning. And under it all... dissatisfaction. The feeling that I haven't learned or tried the "right" thing, or done well enough at the things I do.

The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do.

For 2 days I've answered every thought with, I have all I need at this time. (And yet, yesterday I downloaded 3 free Kindle book sets while my husband was in the bank.)

There is one thing I need. Acceptance. Accepting that right now, I don't need anything else. I don't need to "DO" anything new. Acceptance that I didn't finish my book in 2016 because my world, as I knew it, turned upside down. Acceptance that I can have peace without feeling guilty that I'm neglecting the "right thing" which is completely unknown to me.

Try Googling "why do I always strive for self improvement" and you'll find a million articles on how to improve yourself.

"Why does everything you do have to be productive?" Shannon asked. (My super amazing therapist.)

"I don't know. I think I enjoy being productive. I don't enjoy being unproductive."

"Why do you want to take something wonderful and make it painful?" My best friend Diane asked. (I was planning to sell something I'd learned to create in my studio.)

"Umm." I thought to myself - because then it's productive. That's what makes something valuable, right?

The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do.

Recent Posts
bottom of page