The summary goes like this: We all know what we *should* do - let me illustrate using one of my barrier issues - vacuuming (keeping the living quarters clean and tidy). The mental script goes like this: I should vacuum. What happens: Nothing. Why? There's a barrier. Possibly several. The psychology comes in when you look at the gap between what you say you want and what you actually do. The goal is to identify the obstacles keeping you from acting and remove them so that you take action.
It's actually applicable to this week's topic of celebrations.
Something odd happened when I hit some major milestones. For years, people who weren't writers had told me 'the process should be it's own reward, not getting published'. When I got the call and my first contract, those people were some of the first to congratulate me. My sister and her daughter decorated my birthday cake that year as a book with my name on the cover. My husband took me to dinner at a restaurant we love but choose to afford only once ever few years. The first book came out. It won an award. It finaled in the RITAs. I was invincible. And unhappy. I mean, how the hell do you follow THAT? Especially when you aren't entirely certain how you did it the first time? Still, it took awhile for the unhappy to sink through the buzz. After all, I was riding high on people who weren't related to me saying nice things about my work.
But just like a steady diet of chocolate cake loses it's appeal after awhile, the buzz started to wear off. I needed more and more celebrate-y stuff to feed the 'I'm a princess' delusion. I don't know when I figured out that celebrating major milestones was dangerous. For me, it had become a barrier. I chased after the ego-boosting, distracting high and then wondered why I wasn't writing much anymore.
I did the barrier psychology analysis. I embraced being mortified by my behavior. And I went cold turkey on the celebrating. Briefly. Because in the analysis I found out a few things.
- There are good 'drugs' and bad 'drugs'. Writing, for me, is good. Celebrating, for me, has a few issues.
- Each day has a gift to offer if you're awake enough and willing to look for it.
- Major milestones *can* be celebrated - but on a small scale.
- Big celebrations belong to the family, not the individual.