Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 16: Living in the Now

I had a long talk with my husband about my "Never Good Enough" feelings.  I read something (sorry, not published, so no link) talking about consumerism in relationships and it made me realize that this is where my fears come from.  I have this belief system that if you somehow fail to live up to someone's expectations for you, they can just replace you, like they would a lamp that didn't work or a mobile phone that had just been made obsolete by a newer and shinier model.

Just talking about it out loud made me realize how crazy it sounded, but at the same time, there is a lot of cultural support for consumerism. When I looked for links on "Consumerism and Relationships," I found an article explaining how Boomers' values are changing from a consumerist mentality to a focus on relationships.  Nice, I thought. Then I clicked on a link and it was an article about how certain retailers could market to this new group of values-conscious boomers:
“This study unveiled that baby boomers feel vulnerable as significant events have emotionally affected their lives, due to aging, home equity and investments disappearing, and global competition. These values shifts have created a new consumer niche that can provide business opportunities for some.” 
Health spas and real estate opportunities were some of the industries that could capitalize on this new "values trend."  It probably isn't surprising that this mentality has leaked into my psyche if even a return to more relationship-centered thinking is a marketing opportunity.

So how to combat my self-doubts? A couple of things. Talking about it helped, as did posting and getting such great, supportive, and empathetic comments.  I also remembered Geneen Roth's recommendation to focus on inhabiting the body instead of looking critically at it as if from outside.  

Karen's post on anxiety today also helps, because it reminds me that I shouldn't focus on trying to eradicate these feelings like a weed so that I never feel them again, as if I could "fix" a deeply-rooted and irrational fears by rational means.
“Never again” is not possible.
It is possible to acknowledge the feelings and move through them, as Shauna suggested:
,,,when that kind of defensiveness pops up, I can observe it in a bemused I see what're you doing there kind of way, then move on.
Getting outside, getting work done, getting on with it is really the only way to go. The more I am actually out doing things and the less I'm sitting home worrying about them, the better I seem to feel.  Just because I have bad feelings once in a while does not mean I have to set up my home inside them.


  1. Wow, does everything have to be a marketing opportunity? I understand advertising, I worked in the business before I retired. But marketing and advertising are subtly different and I guess I didn't realize that our corporate culture can capitalize on just about anything. Blech.

    Love the last line of your post ... so true.

  2. That last paragraph sums it up nicely (except for the marketing part). But it gets the essence: go and do, not sit and stew. I'm glad you had that long talk with your husband. Love ya!

  3. Amen, especially re the consumerism and marketing , which is all set up as a means to make us compare ourselves to others anyway! And not only that, but they've set it up so that we're comparing ourselves to things that aren't even real!! ARRGH! This is precisely why I don't watch TV at all (because it's not just the ads that involve marketing) and why I am careful as to what other types of media I "consume." It's given me a much better sense of myself.

    And yes, your last paragraph is spot on!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07