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Without a Trace

There's a line or two I love in one of the Martin and Danny stories I like. It's like this, "And it strikes Danny as kind of wrong that he can make Martin hard just by looking at him across a room, can make him come almost without having to touch him, bring him to the edge with a few well-placed words softly spoken against his ear, but he doesn't know him well enough to know how to soothe his pain, to put his self-doubt to rest once and for all. He doesn't know what to say." I think self-doubt is something you mostly get from your parents, and I think it comes through generations of people who don't know how to be honest and real with each other or with their children. I hope I can break through some of that with my own children. We're very honest in our house. I can't put my own self-doubts to rest, and my children are pretty aware of those, but I can fight the doubts, ignore them as much as possible, and do my darnedest to help my children do better than I ever will. And that's cause for celebration. Christmas is coming, one of the best celebrations of all, and I have actually done some of the present-buying two days before the day! It's a miracle. I need a tablecloth though. A white one. For our giant table. Might try Briscoes tomorrow, after Mass. I have a vision for the table...

So let's hope God is present. And for you pagans out there, and there seem to be quite a lot of you, well, I hope you have some pagan thing to celebrate. Is it Solstice? Might as well enjoy the festive atmosphere. Guess that goes for the Jews too. Happy Hannukah. Eid seems to have finished late this year as well. So celebrations all round. I'd better go find a very happy mood. I know I have one somewhere, picked one up in a sale recently...

We all need something to believe in. Hope for. Long for. Love.

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
natesmountain
Dec. 22nd, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks. And a huuuuuuuuuuuuge hug to you, dear Elly-welly xx
ringbark
Dec. 22nd, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
Happy Hannukah. Eid seems to have finished late this year as well. So celebrations all round.
You missed Diwali and Kwanzaa!
We all need something to believe in.
I believe I'll have another drink.
Might try Briscoes tomorrow,
Are they having another sale? Goodness me, doesn't seem like a week since the last one.
natesmountain
Dec. 22nd, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
I forgot about Diwali but Kwanzaa hasn't quite caught on here in a big way yet. I can see it coming though.

-We all need something to believe in.
I believe I'll have another drink.

That doesn't sound like you!

I don't think Briscoes have ever not had a sale on. Ever.
moth2fic
Dec. 22nd, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
Happy Solstice! And Saturnalia. And Yule. And Fledge's birthday. (I saw your lovely haiku card!)

You might as well celebrate the solstice as well! I think all the celebrations started with Eid this year but have got confused/lost my calendar.

If you have a white sheet it will do as a tablecloth. I hope your table lives up to your vision. I can't see ours at the moment (table, not vision) but as it is just the two of us for Christmas Dinner I expect the food will matter more than the setting.

You could try throwing your self doubts in the trash along with Christmas wrappings... Do it properly. Make physical gestures, crumple up all the doubts, say out loud that you're throwing them away.

It's a nice therapeutic classroom game - everybody throws away something about their life that worries them and takes a 'present' of some hope or hugs or whatever. I got it from a short course on Peace Education but it works in any context!! You, as a brilliant teacher, will know how to adapt it for your students but first you have to practise t for yourself!!

natesmountain
Dec. 22nd, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
I never heard of Saturnalia before! I hope Fledge had a good birthday (or is still having over there).

I don't have any white sheets, unfortunately. I did use a navy blue sheet last year. But I want something white and pale mauve-blue this year.

-You could try throwing your self doubts in the trash along with Christmas wrappings..
That is a good, positive idea and thanks! I am not sure those doubts leave one so easily! I could try. In Freedom Writers she had a Toast for Change! And yeah, I know how to do things for my students, and my children, but not so much me! I keep trying though. We never stop learning how to do things better. I rely too much on the people around me to shape how I'm doing. I am very linked to that. I guess the answer is not exactly retreat, but finding a path of my own. And I've been doing a lot of that this year.
moth2fic
Dec. 23rd, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Saturnalia was the Roman festival at the Solstice. The Christians, according to some accounts, arbitrarily decided to hold Christmas then as they hadn't an exact date, and it helped people to turn a Pagan festival into a Christian one. Some of the traditions are associated with it (like the Lord of Misrule).

Hope you found a white cloth/sheet!!

Well, no, worries don't disappear that easily but it helps, surprisingly! And it's an interesting class activity. You have to stress that factual things like illness or loss can't be wished away - just the worries associated with them.

I think finding your own path sounds an excellent idea - I hope yours unfolds to a brighter 2008!
natesmountain
Dec. 25th, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for your information!! Interesting.

-I think finding your own path sounds an excellent idea - I hope yours unfolds to a brighter 2008!
It's really a reminder not to rely on anyone else for my daily joy. I have to do it for myself.
fledge
Dec. 22nd, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
That is indeed an interesting line, could fit a number of pairings I know.

On the subject... "I think self-doubt is something you mostly get from your parents"

This is undoubtedly true in some, perhaps many, cases, and I'm sorry tis so in yours, and I'm sure you'll do better by your own kids. But I have to disagree in terms of personal experience... My parents have always been honest, loving and supportive and while nobody's upbringing is perfect, I really couldn't say where they went wrong as far as my own self-doubt is concerned. There are probably a lot of genetic factors, as I think most of it ties in with my depression, which IS something I got from my parents but hehe not something they could help *g* I only hope Jamie gets more of his mentality from Andrew's side of the family. They seem, on the whole, to be a steadier bunch (no offence mum, if you're reading this ;) Trouble is, I've been taking anti-depressants throughout my pregnancy - on medical advice, but still, one has to wonder about the long-term effects on my poor bean :/
natesmountain
Dec. 23rd, 2007 09:38 am (UTC)
To be honest, I don't think any one factor can probably be to blame in most cases, even though I feel parents have a huge part to play in our adult behaviours, there are friends, family, expectations, failures and successes, adventures, losses, achievements and disappointments, they all contribute to the kind of person we are, and it just depends on a whole lot of things, I suspect, as to how we turn out the way we are.

-Trouble is, I've been taking anti-depressants throughout my pregnancy - on medical advice, but still, one has to wonder about the long-term effects on my poor bean :/
Anti-depressants - well, you have to take what you need to keep going, I guess, weigh up how you'd be without them and that sort of thing. Being pregnant is pretty tricky anyway.
fledge
Dec. 23rd, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Actually I've never felt better in many ways since being pregnant - it seems to suit me :) Let's hope that continues through labour and afterwards >.>
natesmountain
Dec. 25th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
-Actually I've never felt better in many ways since being pregnant
May you be blessed with many many little dragons then...?!
fledge
Dec. 28th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
O_O

Nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.....!

Actually I'm just hoping the mood change will continue on its own and not just go back to the way it was. I may be feeling good mentally but there are physical aspects of pregnancy I'm *not* enjoying ;) And I'm quite sure that looking after a baby is going to be more demanding than fun, although obviously it'll have huge redeeming factors. I think one is going to be enough - maybe two, eventually, if everything goes really well!
natesmountain
Dec. 28th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
-I think one is going to be enough - maybe two, eventually, if everything goes really well!
Three is good! We thought two was a good number, but three turned out to feel pretty ...complete! I think you just get what you are blessed with! Planning doesn't seem to really come into it, based on most families I know *g*
fledge
Dec. 29th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
LOL!

Yes, I can imagine three feeling like quite enough thank you, especially on Christmas morning...
moth2fic
Dec. 23rd, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure my own self doubts were planted by my school, but my parents sent me there, so *shrug*.
fledge
Dec. 23rd, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
If I KNEW where mine came from, counselling might be of more use! I'm pretty sure they're just chemical. Drugs and food make me feel better. And it's not like I can find anything to pin 'blame' on and exorcise. Well the car accident and various horrible work managers didn't help at all, obviously, but as you know I've had these tendencies since before all that.

Had an interesting dream last night in which I was attending a university open day for people going to enrol with the biology dept. It was an absolute maze of corridors and there were NO maps, so we all got horribly lost, and it seemed as though it was some kind of hazing initiative. Then two of us took the wrong lift which turned out to be a service elevator with no outer doors, and I was left clinging desperately to the sides with my eyes shut as we rocketed up about 50 floors into the open air (for some reason it also seemed to open out of the outer wall). I am sure analysts could make much of that dream.
moth2fic
Dec. 24th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they could!! I'm not sure I'd tell them...

And yes, I think your accident etc. just built on previous foundations.
fledge
Dec. 24th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'd rather tell them THAT than all about dragons, and slash, and muses, and penguins, and tentacles, and my pet on Second Life... I suspect most of my interests go WAY beyond traditional psychology training *G*

Although I'd sort of LIKE to tell them, just to watch their faces...

"Bob, we've got a right one here, I'm going to have to pass her along. Might get your Nobel prize winning thesis after all!"

... Poor Bean. His mother is a nutcase XD
moth2fic
Dec. 24th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
As this is Jenny's journal I shall continue this conversation by phone!!!
fledge
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
LOL good idea. But you don't mind knowing a nutcase, do you, Jenny? *g*
natesmountain
Dec. 25th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC)
-LOL good idea. But you don't mind knowing a nutcase, do you, Jenny? *g*
I absolutely adore it, and you, and dear Moth!!! After all, me being so radically normal...
fledge
Dec. 28th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
*Giggles*

Who's your icon?
margaret_r
Dec. 23rd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
That is a very telling line and very sad. Self doubt exists in everyone I think and is probably one of the hardest things to tackle and get past.

My wish for you and for your family is a wonderful 2008 and with the help of your family and friends you triumph over all adversities.

All my best for the season. Hope you find the giant white table cloth:-)
natesmountain
Dec. 23rd, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
I found a tablecloth that was 135x135, which works out pretty well as the table is 150x150 and the same colour, and no overhang for children to get caught up in!

-Self doubt exists in everyone I think and is probably one of the hardest things to tackle and get past.
I never meant to write a sad post. I was just struck by that passage.

And thanks. For the good wishes. I hope you and your family are looking forward to a great 2008 as well.
vivh
Dec. 23rd, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
Self doubt, I think, lingers just below the surface even in the most confident souls, and I don't think any one else can ever really help us with that.... though they may make us forget them for a while now and then....

But wishing you a wonderful, peaceful Christmas, hoping it will be everything you're hoping for and full of joy.
So let's hope God is present. He will be, Immanuel!!!! And that really is something to celebrate!
natesmountain
Dec. 23rd, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Good luck with your new ventures in life.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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