There are a bunch of things I feel like I ought to want, but I don’t. I don’t want a tattoo. (My attention span is too short). I don’t want a horse or a baby or a monkey. I don’t want a glass of wine or a beer or an espresso or a chocolate bar or a cupcake or a bag of chips. I don’t have a wish list of action figures or t-shirts or special shoes. I don’t want a diamond ring and I don’t want to go sky diving. There are all kinds of things I DO want, and I’m extremely specific about them, and I generally get them within a four-year timeframe. Usually these ‘things’ are not tangible material objects.
The reason this is important is that most things do not operate at the level of the Heart’s Desire. I simply can’t be bothered wasting my time, energy, money, resources, or mental focus on things that don’t particularly interest me. I’m the worst person in the world to watch TV with, because I can’t sit still or shut up for five minutes. I don’t play games because holding the mouse too long makes my hand ice cold. I don’t “shop” so much as go on brief buying trips when necessary. I buy clothes with a written shopping list. I generally don’t buy magazines or snacks or toys or anything that has a high likelihood of becoming clutter when I lose interest in it.
The other thing I don’t do is work a day job. More on that later.
Fantasies are real. 1. Most fantasies are nearly universal, and many people have successfully lived them out. 2. Fantasies exist in your mind in real time, meaning they consume your energy, so it’s best to choose fantasies that are either totally fulfilling AS FANTASIES or that you desperately want to become reality as soon as possible. 3. Be careful what you wish for, in the sense of being conscientious about the tiny details.
I am currently living the Pajama Fantasy, in the sense that I work at home and I have definitely spent days at a time in my pajamas. The reality of this fantasy is that living in your pajamas starts to feel like being an invalid, a condition I know and loathe, and I now get up early in the morning and put on real clothes. The other reality is that if you have work that really interests you, and you make your own rules, you start to find yourself working twice as hard and twice as many hours as you did for a boss. If what you really want is High Quality Leisure Time, you may be better off selling your 40 hours a week to someone else and maintaining some free time.
The Travel Fantasy is another common fantasy that is chock-full of a whole lot of reality. I recall riding a bus and scraping the last dregs of expired peanut butter out of the jar with tiny bits of cracker shrapnel while crying fat cold tears somewhere in the south of Iceland. The travel fantasy is loaded with bad weather and sleepless nights and delays and inconveniently closed doors and obsolete guidebooks. Yeah, it’s still totally worth it. Of course it’s worth it. The inconvenient bits are probably WHY it’s worth it, because anything that doesn’t offer a high rate of return on wisdom and character-building probably isn’t worth it.
Is the fantasy about pulling toward or pushing away? Is it about something you MUST HAVE and will do anything to accomplish? Or is it just about getting away from something unsatisfactory? Most managers are ineffective, and most people quit a bad boss rather than a job per se. Learning to tolerate subordination to arbitrary authority is a useful life skill. Every city in the world has annoying aspects (and people) and relocating from one place to another is trading one set of annoyances for another. Loving a flawed human being is the same way; choose a crazy you can live with. It doesn’t matter what you pick, whether it’s a life mission or a romance. You have to commit to it, warts and all.
I do what I want every day. The downside to this is that nobody but me is responsible for whether what I am doing is satisfactory or fulfilling or happy-making or boring or a stupid, pointless waste of time. There is no next level where someone comes along and gives me instructions. A lot of the specific activities I do every day, such as exercising and housework and memorizing flash cards and typing for many hours, look suspiciously tedious and difficult. In other words, doing what you want is a lot like work. The reason for this is that real work is always the most interesting, challenging thing you can be doing.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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