Friday, October 13, 2006

I Have a Thinking Problem

I do. I think (there I go again) I have a problem with authority. Certainly all outside sources of authority are subject to questioning, at the least, and outright rebellion, at the most. But what about when you rebel against your own source of direction? I have a battle going on in my head over what I "should" do. That direction of "should" is self applied! I am telling myself what I want to do and then promptly challenging that telling with "I don't have to, who's gonna make me!?" It is maddening, I tell you! Nothing is getting done around here.

And it is all the fault of unschooling. Or I should say it is a result of the shift in thinking that occurs when you adopt the unschooling lifestyle. First, as you begin exploring the concepts behind unschooling, you discover that life is choice-based. That the "have to's" in your head are not really required, unless you need to do them to meet a goal. And that those goals are self chosen. You are nudged to examine the voices in your head that are telling you what you "should" be doing and to get rid of the ones that are not based on your chosen goals. So, I did that. It was great! For a few years. I reveled in the freedom of life on my own terms, which essentially meant I did very little of what I had previously thought was "required", and a lot of what I thought frivolous. And I enjoyed myself.

But now, I can't shut up the voice that thumbs it's nose at my attempts to introduce some structure into my life. You know, like regular yoga/meditation and dinner, or something food-like, cooked daily. Or a craft/artsy thing each day, both for me and the kids. Heck, I'd settle for a garden planted before I lose the window of opportunity for a fall garden. The "fun" stuff is no longer fulfilling my life goals. Shoot, the stuff I want to replace it with is fun, too, but can I convince that tyrant in my head? Noooo. I've swung too far on this pendulum. I'm too far over on the spectrum. I need some centering!

Really though, when I think of it, I am probably not alone on this. It takes a while to get the voices out of your head that try to control your life. I mean, in my 35 years, I have had 26 years of being controlled. Then a few years of going about my business without real thought as to who was in charge, beyond the obvious fact that the Air Force did not control me anymore. So, for one seventh of my life, I have had control. Can you blame me for snubbing the idea of control, even of me over myself? It takes a while to get it out of your system.

I discovered unschooling and the structures I had in my head were torn down, by me, and the party began. I realised I was in control and I could call the shots. That was the easy part for me. Now I desire a change in my life, a breaking of the habits I have formed over the last five years, and a building of new life structures.

Now that I see it, I can do it. If I can shut myself up, that is.


justine said...

Darn, now I have something else to think about....

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever had this problem because I've never had that much authority over myself. Ha!

I was thinking though, that you could make a conscious effort to replace all the "shoulds" in your head with "wants." At first, do it indiscriminately, to all the shoulds. Let them sit there like that in your mind for a few minutes and if they still feel right after that amount of time, then you really do want to do it and you can feel free. If the want feels like it really was a should, you can let it go.

And there's my unasked for advice. Perhaps easier said than done?

Anonymous said...

This post reminded me of one of my favorite sayings on my 'LOOK Board'. It's from the show 'Roller Girls'. It says...

"I don't have a problem with authority. I have a problem with people telling me what to do!"