My Sanity Issues

Here’s something I find interesting. When I posted my mega list of stuff I want to do before I die, I fully expected that there would be fall out or blow back in the form of feeling overwhelmed, pressured, inept, inadequate, or otherwise crushed under the weight of it.

That did not happen!

Instead, I am feeling really good about myself because I realized that, with two notable exceptions, I spend the major part of every single day working on one or more items on that list. When I wrote the mega list, I thought I was flailing around not doing much of anything, and that is not true. Whatever I find myself doing at any given time is probably somewhere on that list, and knowing this is like a huge sigh of relief! Huge!

The exceptions?

  • Occasionally I find myself staring mindlessly at the television.
  • Getting sucked in to those stupid games on my phone.

I’ve also noticed that now that I have my list, it’s way easier to stay off the phone games. And the mindless television watching? Well, I just grab something simple to do while I watch. Like making bows for Heavenly Pets, knitting those pesky scarves, sketching ideas for my 100 things…

I wonder what would happen if you made a really long list of all the stuff you want to do before you die, including all the stuff that would make life easier while you work on completing that list… Would your results be the same as mine?


So, yesterday I was talking about my Book of Demons, and today I thought I would expand on one of them. As part of the book project, I wanted explore how this Demon helps me, when it is useful to conjure him, and when it is better to leave him sleeping and unaware.

Who is this guy? He’s The Nobody. His presence becomes quite noticeable when I find myself saying or thinking one or more of the following:

  • Nobody buys my art.
  • Nobody hearts my stuff.
  • Nobody comments on my posts.
  • Nobody visits my website.
  • Nobody helps me do anything.
  • Nobody reads my Facebook.
  • Nobody shares my amazing updates.
  • Nobody understands me.
  • Nobody does what I say.
  • Nobody cleans my house.

So, as I’m reading these invocations, it occurs to me that most of them are NOT TRUE, not even a little bit true. And some of them sound really a lot like someone feeling sorry for herself. And I really don’t like the idea of being a “feeling sorry for myself” type of person. Because, hey! What’s to feel sorry for. I’m not sorry! Not at all.

As a matter of fact, the only one that actually IS true is the one about how nobody cleans my house. And it’s only partly true because I do clean it, sometimes… like… I dunno… once a year. Anyway, it’s the middle of a pandemic, nobody is coming over anyway… lol  NOBODY again. And actually nobody cares if my house is clean or not. Nobody except me, and only sometimes… So…

I’m thinking that The Nobody is a really good liar! Also he is astonishingly good at dampening my enthusiasm, and stopping me dead in my tracks. Every now and then he inspires me to try even harder to get some attention, but for the most part all he does is pull me down.

The best way to conjure him up is to have unrealistic expectations.

For example, sometimes I upload a really cool piece of artwork to my Redbubble shop, and then get really disappointed when it hasn’t had any hits, hearts, or sales by the next day. And when he shows up, and he inevitably will, sometimes I do actually try to promote my Redbubble stuff either on Facebook or here on my website. Which can be even more disappointing when I still don’t get hits, hearts, or sales right away.

I suppose it could be said that The Nobody is helpful in keeping me humble. “Pride goeth before a fall” or so they say. So maybe he keeps me from falling too hard on my ass. I guess that’s a small bonus.

He also pushes me to do more self promotion, and while I do totally suck at advertising, he is largely responsible for some of the traffic in my shops and websites. So I suppose I should thank him for that.

What else do I want to say about The Nobody?

Well, appropriate an appeasement offering would be sour grapes, which is what a lot of his invocations sound like ~ sour grapes.

And if I am really wanting to get friendly with The Nobody, I suppose I could post something really stupid, something worthy of ZERO comments, hearts, or hits. Alternatively, I could put something really cool on Redbubble and put the settings to it on PRIVATE. Nobody would see it then.. guaranteed.

Another way to live in harmony with The Nobody might be to start calling him on his shit. Do some fact checking, give him credit when he is right but hold him accountable when he isn’t. And when he is right, it might even be useful to say, “Thank you for pointing that out.” Or, and this might be even better, “Yes I know, and I don’t actually care.” But that’s only better if it’s true.

On second thought, that all sounds like a lot of effort on my part… fact checking… it sounds so laborious and boring!! What if I just respond with and eye roll and an “Oh really?” I could even follow it up with, “Would you like some tea?”

I know that I’ve mostly talked about The Nobody in the context of my online shops, Facebook, and my website. I think that’s because it’s where he generally tends to hang out. Social media is his favorite place to be. Does he hang out with you too? I bet he does.

As for the image I used to illustrate this post, it is a bad photo of a visual representation of The Nobody. I drew it as part of my art class project. At some point I intend to scan the original, tweak it to make it awesome,  and upload it to my shops. Then I will sit back and wait to see if Nobody will see it, like it, heart it, or buy it.

One of the things I mentioned in my mega list of stuff I want to do and or finish before I die, was my Book of Demons. I had this idea several years ago, and I think I am finally ready to make it a reality thanks to art classes with my granddaughter.

The idea is to think about the things that scare you, aggravate you, and deter you from living the life that you want to live. The things that kill your creativity, destroy your relationships, or are in any other way toxic or at the very least, problematic.

In my experience, if I am able to identify and quantify something, I can then make friends with it. And if I can make friends with something in my life that seems to stand in my way, I usually find that we can work together to solve problems and live in harmony with one another instead of constantly bickering and fighting.

Way back in the day when I was a full time dog trainer, Worry, Guilt, and Fear rode with me pretty much every where I went. When I tried to avoid them or actively tried to get rid of them, they only got stronger and more determined. Then one day I had an epiphany.

It occurred to me that Worry is what impelled me to take excellent care of my family, my pets, and my stuff. Guilt made sure that even though I was self employed, I did show up and do my work every day even when I didn’t want to. And Fear kept me safe, stopped me from being too reckless or careless, and made sure I was thoughtful and careful about what I was doing.

So that day, when I got in my car to go teach a class of brand new students with crazy out of control dogs knowing that we would all be together in a small room and they were depending on me to know what to do, what to say, and how to actually help them communicate and teach their dogs basic manners ~ on that day, I said to my three new friends who were all sitting in the back seat, “Hi guys, it’s going to be an adventure. Anyone want a sandwich?”

And it was like a miracle. I knew that my new “friends” would keep me safe and on track. My anxiety level dropped by several degrees. The class proceeded as the classes always did ~ meaning it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

I have different demons now… Worry and Fear have pretty much faded into the background, much like Facebook friends that comment on my goings on periodically, but we rarely see each other. Guilt has lost pretty much all of her influence. Now she’s like one of those nagging robo calls, calling every day but I just hang up. Hmmm… I wonder if that’s why nothing is getting accomplished around here!

As for my current demons, we haven’t actually made friends. I haven’t yet sat down and had a talk with them, nor have I tried to figure out how they help me. I have no idea how we could ever get along with each another.

The Book of Demons is my way to find and identify them, learn about them, figure them out, and then make friends with them. I’m hoping that it will also help me to be on the look out for new demons as they show up so that I can extricate my self from my current state of continuous fight or flight. And as an added bonus, I will have a whole new series of paintings, and a book! So it’s a win win!

When in doubt, do something new!

Yes, that’s pretty much how I do life. So this morning it occurred to me that I must be riding a wave of doubt because I have started a bunch of new things. I have started so many new things that it’s getting ridiculous and problematic to try to keep up with them, and just yesterday… I started planning and talking about yet another new project.

I wonder if it’s because I am feeling doubtful about my ability to keep up with everything I have going on in the moment! I wonder if it’s intervention time!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a six page list of all the things I want to do before I die. I don’t know if it was because I was feeling mortal, or because I was depressed and needing a reason to keep on keeping on. But SIX PAGES ? Seriously?

Those six pages are currently pinned to my refrigerator, and I think I’m going to post them. Because why not? Here’s the link to the mega list, in case you are curious about the extremity of my ambition. It is a very ambitious list.

And if I really do want to get all six pages of stuff done, I’m going to have to get started on them right now. No more mindless games on my phone. No more Facebook surfing. No more wasting time on ridiculous bullshit.

I feel like I need a plan of action. An executable plan of action. A practical plan of action… Maybe even a list… I know! A six page list of how to get that six pages of stuff done before I die. So, yes, an intervention is definitely in order.

Maybe I need to wash the dishes. That might be a good idea, since every single dish in the house is dirty. Maybe I need to clean the litter box, put away the clean clothes, vacuum the floors, and do a little bit of housekeeping… ok… let’s be honest here. It’s probably a lot more than a little bit.

I wonder if this endless cycle of stuff I want to do, stuff I am doing, stuff I plan to do, stuff I wish I had done, stuff I should be doing, stuff I probably will never do, stuff I would do if only… I wonder if all the doing and the stuffing is simply me trying to cope with the pervasive loneliness and angst of being a human person, of missing the oneness of the All That Is, trying to get back home to the wholeness from which I was born.

And if that is true, then it follows that at some point I will get back home to the All That Is, and when I do make that trip I wonder if it will all have been worth it. Did I learn what I wanted to learn? Did I experience what I set out to experience? Did I accomplish my goals?

So now we are back to the stuff I could of… should of… would of.. done. Maybe that’s what my dharma is. I wonder. It seems to be in my nature to be a doer of things. Apparently it’s my calling. Maybe it’s my struggle, my impediment, my mountain to climb, my valley to cross. I don’t know.

What I do know is this. It’s time to get a move on. I’ve got things to do and stuff to accomplish.


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I think it's time to go shopping... maybe even buy some really cool stuff at my online shops!!

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