Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Contentment Project, Day Four: List #3

Day 132
233 Days Remaining

Now we move on to List #3: Things I don't want in my life.  As I did with List #2 yesterday, I have to go through this list and choose the following three things:

1. Choose which one is the most important (and make a plan as to how I will work toward eliminating it from my life).
2. Choose which one is the least important (and let it go).
3. Choose which one I can easily do something about right now.

I think even as I was deciding what I would put on this list, I had already started working toward ridding my life of a few of these things, but I`ll still go through it and make sure I think it through and work through it thoroughly.  I can always benefit from a little more reflection.

LIST #3:  What is in your life that you DON'T want?

1. Men
2. Tension with past roommates
3. Worry, stress, and fear
4. Negative people
5. My job

Now, obviously, when I say I "don`t want" men in my life, that's completely opposed to what I said on my "wants" list, when I said I want a man to be my partner in life.  I love men.  But that's the thing: I don't want to need them.  And when I find my very important and necessary yearlong dating sabbatical being jeopardized because I am too needy and insecure to just let all the men I see on a day-to-day basis float by without thinking a second thought about them, and instead start focusing too much on a) the ones that have already shown me that they don't want me and b) the ones that I don't actually want that much, there's a problem.  It's why I started the dating hiatus in the first place: I need to learn who Lisa is and not derive my self-worth or self-satisfaction or happiness from a person just because he has more testosterone than I do (we hope).

So, as you can guess, I have chosen #1: MEN as the most important thing for me to get out of my life right now.  That means past men, current men in whom I may see some potential, and imaginary men.  Not good friends who are males (and, surprising for someone who has always managed to size up every guy she meets as a prospective partner, I do have several very good male friends who have always been platonic and always will be), and not people I go to school or church or work with...but in very basic terms, I must stop myself from seeing a possible partner in every man I meet.  I must stop thinking that perhaps things eventually will work out with me and HB.  Or me and Stu.  Or me and Fig.  Or me and the guy who cleans my gutters or the one who delivers my groceries or the one who happens to be sitting in a car next to me at a red light.

My plan to just be strong isn`t working, and I am aware of this.  Talking to Stringer, reading back over past posts and seeing how things have evolved between me and Fig just shows me that I am not making myself accountable enough.  So I have a new plan to help me during this next 233 days:

I`m going into counseling.

I`m going to see if I can find someone who specializes in relationship addiction, and I am going to go talk with that person and see if they can help me with some specific ways of ridding myself of this need for someone in my life.  I have already done a search and sent a message to a clinical counselor.  This is something I definitely should have done a long time ago.

As for which is least important on this list, I choose #2: Tension with past roommates.  They are gone; they are out of my life.  I don't need to worry about them or what they did or what I did or how they affect me.  If I get a piece of mail addressed to one of them, I can leave it under the mat and send them a text letting them know it's there.  I wash my hands of it.

And for the third choice, the one I can easily do something about right now, I choose #5: My job.  Unfortunately, I am not in the position to be able to completely let go of my job, but fortunately, it is a job that is extremely casual and I am not locked in to any particular number of hours.  While I've been at school these past few months, I have worked three evenings a week.  It was a bit of a stretch, but I managed it.  However, with this new semester coming up, I need to cut back a little bit.  And so, I am going to email my scheduler and cut my availability back to one to two evenings per week.  (And the best thing about that is, if I suddenly find myself with more time, energy, or need for money, I can always expand my availability on a temporary basis.  This job is too flexible to let go of at this time!)

So, open email; type; and...Done.  Easy.

And here's my list of things I need to get rid of now:

1. Men (in progress)
2. Tension with past roommates 
3. Worry, stress, and fear
4. Negative people
5. My job
So much smaller and easier to handle.  I heave a sigh of relief, and look forward to tomorrow, when we'll focus on List #1: What I Have Now.


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