REFLECTIONS

FUN! This past week’s challenge! I had a modicum of  fun trying to have fun, but I can’t say I actually experienced pure and simple fun. I enjoyed myself, I laughed often, I even played with children who were having fun, but I couldn’t let go of my self observation long enough to experience the joy in play. After watching children play, I realized the difference between us quickly. They do not seem to have the same internal monitor I do…”don’t do that, you’ll look silly, inappropriate, improper”… This self monitoring inhibits the necessary free fall into a state that is not self-conscious, a state that is integral to play. The younger and happier the child, the freer their play seemed.

I realize that awareness of oneself is necessary to transform from children to adults, but do you have to loose the ability to play in the maturation process? I am sure I have seen adults play. If any readers can help on this subject I would appreciate your input.

Can an adult experience simple fun? Can adults play?

At this point I know I can’t play because  I feel at the mercy of an internalized governor. By definition, a governor is a control that maintains a steady speed on a MACHINE. I’m not quite as mechanical as a machine, but my internal governor keeps a steady control on my fun factor. For example when I crossed a suspension bridge with my daughter in Drumheller, in an attempt to have fun while doing an activity, I struck a silly pose. My thinking being that the fun pose made it look like I was really having fun. On reflection, I realized I knew how to look like I was having fun better than I knew how to have fun…subtle but significant difference. When observing the photo, my internal experience is unobservable. But now it is no longer enough for me to make others think I am having fun. I would like to have the real experience.

I know there is no governor on my work factor. But it is time to end the ‘FUN SUCKER’  phase.

Nor do I want to be reliant on mood altering substances to turn me into a ‘fun’ person. More than once I have been told I should drink more often because I am so much fun then! Of course alcohol helps shift me into unconsciousness, where my controlling governor has less influence.

Having just visited The Pas, Manitoba where I spent my first 12 years, I came face to face with my feelings of childhood restriction. I looked into the window I once looked out of. The window’s venetian blinds were my childhood prison bars, because I could only watch the neighbourhood children play while I practised accordion, singing and ‘spoken’ poetry. My Mother had high hopes for me, but no amount of talent compensated for my broken spirit.

As I become more aware of the mechanism that aborts my mission to have fun, I live in hope of finding a more spontaneous me!

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 5 of 52

CHANGING MY CHILDHOOD STORY

When it comes to my childhood ‘story’, I have been a ‘glass half empty’ raconteur. I have recounted tale after tale of the Draconian measures my Mother used, to produce a prize winning performing puppet, who was dressed in reconstructed clothes and fed by the great outdoors!

There’s the story about the hours I spent singing scales until even I had forgotten I had inherited my Father’s tin ear and not my Mother’s perfect pitch. Then there’s the one about how I learned to recite poetry by mimicking my Mother’s every nuance…over and over until I had it perfected. And there’s also the story about playing the accordian even though I had no real feel for the instrument. I would have to practise for hours, to be note perfect while my brother who had real talent, played the song a couple of times and perpetually beat me in the festival.

Then there are the many stories describing my wardrobe. My main whine was that my clothes were hand-made by my Mother. She would deconstruct old suits from my aunts or uncles, and reconstruct them to fit me…to last for the next 3 years. She made huge seams that she let out as I grew. Another hard luck tale I love to tell centres around my fake fur coat with matching Russian styled hat, bought expressly for my first year in Junior High.We had just moved from ‘the sticks’ in northern Manitoba (sorry, The Pas), to the big city of Winnipeg. We moved to a district that was well above the socioeconomic strata to which I had become comfortable in the north. I can’t visualize what the other girls were wearing at the time, being so mortified by my outfit, but I do know that I was singularly odd.

And then there are the countless tales of food, starting with Friday night dinner when Mom would open a can of Campbell’s Soup and add all the leftovers from the week’s meals…voila! Refrigerator Soup! Not a recipe that can be found on Google or anywhere else. Our source of protein came from the bush or the rivers…moose and deer (that hung in our garage, curing,  for weeks) and geese and ducks (whose feathers I had to pluck) and fish (that I watched being caught and then whacked on the head).

And on and on…bleating about my Dickensian up-bringing.

I realized that as part of my exploration of The Other Woman, I needed to re-visit my childhood town, to see if the negativity I harboured about my upbringing still felt accurate. So I drove over 2000 km to get out of my head where the same old stories reside, and experience the town through present day eyes.

So my task for Week 5 is to look at the glass of my childhood, half full.

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