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I like to blog. Really, I do.
It does seem that lately, though, I spend much more energy thinking about blogging than actually blogging.
Instead of going on an on about how awful a blogger I am, I am going to use this as an opportunity to practice not beating myself up. I get these opportunities a lot, it seems. Another way to phrase that would be that the habit of self-berating crops up almost everywhere I look, but I am more and more on guard and more and more learning not to fall into that easy pattern that kills me not so softly.
I read a great blog post today about this “inner tyrant,” and about harnessing it’s energy for something positive. I also tried to make a dietary change today (no, not going on a diet, just changing one thing—hint: it has to do with a certain sugary caffeinated beverage). I have realized that I need to make this change more slowly, to ease into it a bit. I had planned to go “cold turkey,” so to speak, but it seems that’s not such a good idea. That tyrant, who always seems to be with me, wants to tell me that this is a failure. I am choosing to see this as another example of slow change, another way I can care for myself.
I said, “another example of slow change.” The first example of slow change is somewhat silly, but it has stuck with me and comes back to me over and over as a reminder to not expect immediate and dramatic results the minute I decide something should be different. “So what is this example?” you ask.
I have been playing quite a bit of spider solitaire these last couple of months. When I started, I could win on the first level every time, but it was pretty boring. I tried playing on the second level, but I would rarely win. So rarely it seemed like I never won. In a very un-me-like move, I decided that winning didn’t matter, and I would play the second level because it was more fun, even if I lost nearly every time. Then something weird started happening.
I started getting better.
The spider solitaire game on my computer will tell you your win/loss statistics after every game. When I started playing, I was winning about 2% of the time. I didn’t pay too much attention to those statistics until I noticed that they were going up. Before I knew it I was at 7%. Then 10%. Dear readers, I now win 26% of the time (um, I played a LOT of this game while I was recovering from my surgery). The thing is, normally a 75% loss rate would normally really bother me. In light of the 98% loss rate when I started, 75% doesn’t look half bad.
The spider solitaire is serving as a good reminder to me that change comes slowly, that I don’t have to go from 0 to 60 overnight, and that beating myself up doesn’t make me go any faster, anyway.
I’m hoping there’s a way to get this inner tyrant to remind me to be gentle, to remind me that if change comes at all, it comes at a creeping pace, so slowly that we scarcely notice it.
Meanwhile, I’ll be playing some spider solitaire. 27%, here I come!