One of my rituals for each new year is to choose a word to influence me for the year. My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT. To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year.
I bought my first lottery ticket this week.
That may not seem very experimental to you, but to me – it was HUGE! I’m not against lotteries. I have just never joined in the adventure. When I was paying for a cup of coffee at a local convenience store and saw that the Powerball jackpot was up t $245,000,000 I thought, “what the heck?” and handed over an extra dollar.
I didn’t win.
Then again, I did. I had SO MUCH FUN anticipating. I spent the evening imagining who I’d call first after I won. That would be my sister. Mari and my dear departed dad LOVE contests/sweepstakes/gambling/lotteries. They both used to subscribe to a magazine all about sweepstakes. My dad won a riding lawn mower once. I think Mari’s won a few hundred dollars over the years. It was worth it to them.
When Mari’s kids were young, one of their family New Year’s Day traditions was to pretend spend the million dollars they’d pretend won. Pretending can be good. It’s like denial-lite.
Not a bad place to visit – even though we don’t want to live there.
How does pretending serve you?
4 thoughts on “week #45 in an experimental year…”
Hope I’d be the second person you would call!! I love to think about how many people I would love to help if I ever had a large sum of money. I do hope one day I won’t have to pretend. BTW, you would be the first person I would call! I know you would be the best at helping me handle it!
For the past several years, I have pretended to be happy, when in fact I really wasn’t. Such pretending kept my life “together” and allowed me to get up and face the challenges of each new day.It allowed me to push down and forget the miserableness that I was really feeling. It allowed me to stay stuck in a life that I felt I couldn’t change.
Well, life changed for me and as a result, I have discovered that my pretending kept me from being all I could be and from being happy. And now that I am no longer pretending and trying to convince myself I am happy while in fact I was miserable, I have learned how HAPPY really feels.
In this case, pretending was survival, but real is living! 🙂
Sometimes I feel like I’m just pretending when I am teaching my students about the joys of being an “artist”; about how it makes you look at the world differently, and the smallest things in life itself become so much more meaningful. I look at my life and think, “Why on earth am I encouraging young people to believe that the life I have chosen (or that chose me?) is something to desire? Enhanced sensitivity to not only all the wonder and beauty, but also to the ugliness and the pain. But then something like my 6th grade class last Thursday happens. It was SUCH a perfect day; so I threw away my lesson plan, took them outside to sit in the grass and simply be quiet; writing down everything they could see, hear, touch, and smell, and the tastes that this kind of day brought to mind. The experience now reminds me that one aspect of pretending can be, “Fake It ‘Til You Make It.” As I led them out and sat them down (temporarily frustrated, because in their middle school goofiness they could not even manage to figure out how to sit in a big circle!!), I faked confidence that this would work; that they would have a meaningful, positive experience. And what do you know—after hearing some of their comments later, and reading what they wrote, I think I might have “made it”! Maybe I’m just pretending when I think I’m NOT doing what I’m supposed to do in my life? Pretending that life would be better if I lived somewhere else, had a different profession, different house, different everything? I don’t know…By the way, it feels great to sit in the grass, pick up a dried leaf, hold it close to your nose, shut your eyes, and just inhale! (: