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Job Satisfaction. Thursday September 3, 2015

I predict reactions to this blog: ‘What a prig this woman is’.

Remark: ‘How lucky you are to speak so many languages’. No luck, except a retentive memory – then application.

Remark: ‘I’ve always been scared of meeting you, heard all about your activities, how do you do it?’ Only answer, impossible to give, was ‘Get up in the morning’.

The catalyst for this lot is a course I attended on ‘Time Management’. For a week before, we had to log our day’s activities, down to the last phone chat. Try it, you’ll be shattered.

My dearest and most disorganised friend said ‘I’ve always wanted to play the piano’. Me, ‘Why not?’ No time. She had two ‘tidy’ children, a husband abroad half the year, and no money shortage. She could have learned half the orchestral instruments in her life-time.

Am I satisfied? Yes. Until five years or so ago I never went to bed without thinking I could/should have done more, and done it better. I’ve managed to stop that – but my sons, who can turn their hands to anything and have excellent brains have yet to reach that stage – I hope they can do it earlier than I.

And lists! I made lengthy lists, unattainable when they were written, without any glitches or spanners. The undone bits haunted me. Conversely, I love deadlines – last minuter, of course - it adds a lovely spice to life.

Have a nice, satisfactory day.

The Gardener.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Lex Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 8:25am

Dear Gardener
If you've discovered the way to gain freedom from the tyranny of the ought, please share!

The Gardener Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 9:23am

I'd forgotten this blog! Lex, get the 'oughts' out of the way pdq if you can (shaken by my own blog, and acted upon it). A German guy had a theory - divide your day into half-hour segments. Take half an hour as a unit. 1 unit a soap opera episode, two a documentary, four a film. Four sit in the sun with a good book. 2 a 3 km walk. One a page of vocabulary. Modern day has put paid to this with computer games. I settle with a cuppa and solitaire to 'de-stress'. x units pass, it's dinner time, and I'm stressed! Real reason to use time to the hilt is pure greed - get as much as possible out of life. In deference to a husband and 5 kids I passed on learning to fly, gave up riding dangerous horses, but clung to sports cars as long as possible. Best aide - keep a diary.

Anonymous Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 9:25am

Impressed and terrified - as well as deeply envious of your innate organisation and efficiency. Are you able to provide details of your Time Management course - or can you offer a Skype tutorial please?! I have fallen at the first fence already by spending too long on the 'phone...

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 9:41am

Not a prig - just being yourself It took me decades to realise that other people exaggerated: what they did, how hard it was, how extremely hard parenting was, how exhausted they were, even how little they weighed. However, I also cottoned on in the end that the tidy, rhythmic way that you so easily achieve (and that is what I would look like too) still takes energy. In short they: did less, may have found it difficult, didn't realise parenting is more observation than control, may not have slept enough, and really weren't even being honest with themselvs.

So for us that 'things appear so easy' ... tolerance of others, and respect of our own needs is all that's 'urgent' :)

Anonymous Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 9:56am

You're right, hard to react positively to these remarks, which inevitably sound a bit holier than thou. Think you could have made your points with more subtlety, modesty, compassion etc... Actually, what is your point?

Julia Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:03am

Hello Gardener
Your blog today seems so different from previous ones you have written. Today you present another facet of your personality? Do you agree? It's interesting and good if I am right. I see myself as multi faceted depending on how I feel each day and I suppose it raises the eternal question who is the real me!

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:15am

Oh dear! So sorry if I have offended Anonymous 9:56. My point is that we are all human with different talents and weaknesses. The Gardener for all her talents mentions "The undone bits haunted me" - this sounds more like someone judging themselves at that stage in her life rather harshly. Surely, understanding of ourselves is the skill that could be the most useful. Such candid comments from the Gardener take courage - who loves the person at the top of the class. Always two sides to every coin. I am sad to be called lacking in subtlety, modesty, compassion etc ... I clearly have much still to learn. So, I was merely partially identifying with some of these remarks, not so much 'holier than thou' as 'a different issue to resolve'. If my communication failed in this I would comment that I was responding to the Gardener and what I read in her text.

Sue Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:24am

I found this a very insensitive post - so unlike any other post I have read on Moodscope. As someone else has already said - what exactly was your point? To make the rest of us feel inadequate compared to you? Not very helpful really.

susan Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:35am

Hi Sheena, I don't think Anon at 9:56 was referring to your comment, but rather to today's blog.

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:46am

Hi Susan and thank you! Your sensitivity to my perceived and real hurt is much appreciated. It just shows how being criticised affects us all, however careful we try to be when expressing ourselves.

The Gardener Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 11:04am

Oh dear, I have started a hare running. PS to Lex, try binning the 'oughts' and see what hits you. Of course, if he ought to clear the leaves from the gutter, and does not, it blocks up, floods the house and brings the living room ceiling down, then perhaps? The course was run by the Agricultural Training Board, included Instructional Techniques and Man Management. For those who think I am 'Wonder Woman' think again, I was useless at the last two, luckily family members took the reins before disaster struck. Real meaning behind today's blog? I think, if you want something, go for it. I apologize to those with serious depression, knowing how impossible this might be - and to those who think it was high-handed, it was, Sorry

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 11:21am

Now Susan has alleviated my personal hurt on this one ... it's rather an interesting hare. Isn't exhaustion the common issue in depression and going up? To release another 'hare' ... Is there more sympathy for a depression than a high?

Frankie Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 12:10pm

Hello Anon 9.56 and Sue;
Like you I wondered about the message in this blog and was tempted to post an immediate negative reply.
So I am really relieved to see from your comments that "it's not just me"!
This is one of the things I most appreciate from our wonderful, Moodscope community so thank-you.

On re-reading the Gardener's blog 3 hours later, a different message leapt out at me:
"And lists! ... the undone bits haunted me".
Oh yes, me too ...! SO good to know I am not alone;
thank-you Gardener.

This makes me think about the difference between reaction (so easily and often understandably negative) and reflection ...
Oh it is so easy to talk about reacting in a measured way, and often so much harder to put into practice when someone hits a nerve and we perceive a criticism or an insult ...

My current preoccupation is with a difficult family situation - which has me recognising and responding in a mature, reasoned way ... sometimes; yet more often reacting like a child and getting really emotional about things I cannot change or make better - which means that I need to grieve properly about this ... and I am avoiding it ... not good, I know ...

Wishing everyone peace of mind and heart, as ever

Mary Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 1:11pm

Anyone writing for Moodscope uses Moodscope, yes? Therefore, looking between the lines of today's (inspiring, if hard-hitting) post, I see the cost of relentlessly driving oneself to do more and more and (gasp) yet more. The cost of over-achievement is often anxiety and depression. When I was going through my own diagnosis process with the mental health professionals they kept asking if I was an over-achiever. I kept on saying "Of course not. I should be doing so much more to fulfil my potential, I should be far more successful, I should.... I should.... I should.... Many other people, looking at me say "but you do so much! How do you do it all?" Hmmmm. Yup - but I could do so much more, if only I were better organised, less easily distracted, more focussed, more dedicated, more disciplined. I am the gardener's friend who wants to play the piano.... just maybe not enough to get around to organising lessons!

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 1:27pm

Dear Gardener, not a prig...a sprig of your learned wisdom handed over to us I think.

What I read the second and third time of reading/re-reading (see my name??) is that you have overcome certain aspects of your personality and you were sharing the facts that, yes, for you for example, it is easy to learn lots of languages... you found it easier because you have a natural anyone in awe of that accomplishment can see that with application, they might get there too, eventually.
You admit to making lists, lists and more lists....but they weren't always a success, so I think, if peeps can re-read your post, they might get something else from it.....
And tiredness...oh my, that's one of the biggest things I have blamed over the past years because it's like torture...lack of sleep for anyone can cause problems, but for those with depression and young children, it's like a deadly weapon! I know I don't function so well without decent sleep so I am grateful at the moment that I am actually getting fairly good sleep....not bragging, just pleased!!!

Sheena, I think there probably is more sympathy for a depression than a's sort of human nature to help nurture and take care of or be kinder to someone who seems low, sad etc. But if someone is on a high, then depending how the 'high' is showing...people either think the person is extremely happy/busy and they are ok, so they don't need help?? Not sure if that makes sense!

Frankie, I do hope you are able to overcome some of the awful things that are happening within your family. It's is very hard when close family starts to divide and everyone gets angry and upset with each other. Have been going through similar for the past year or so.

Frankie Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 1:58pm

Thank-you Bearofliddlebrain (- no, that should be Bearofwisecaringwords)

Sadly we can't overcome this; merely witness and be there should help be requested ... I have to keep reminding myself that the only thing I can change is my response to the unfolding situation ... and to (try and) keep the doors of communication open, even though they keep being slammed in our faces ... and then we are accused of not caring ...

Good luck with your lot!

Di Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 2:49pm

Dearest Gardener ~
You are not a prig. You are authentic. You have come to know yourself, well. Thank you for sharing your exquisite brain and heart.

mary Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 4:32pm

Your comments would be very appropriate as responses to those people you mentioned in this blog post who wondered how you found the time etc. They aren't very helpful here, where some of those reading suffer from moderate to severe mental illness, and are already struggling with guilt, self blame and lack of understanding from others as to why they dont just 'get organised' or 'get over it'.

Your achievements no doubt required hard work and determination, but you obviously are lucky in at least one respect in that you are not struggling with severe mental illness. If you were all your hard work and determination would be required just to get through the day.

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 7:10pm

Dear Gardner - what blog you let out today! I've jst returned and come back to see what has been going on. A vertitable and worthy discussion. Thank you Bearofliddlebrain - you are spot on with your comments on people's views of highs and lows. I think this is why 'over productive' types can go for decades without drawing attention to themselves - apart from perhaps some who may resent such achievement.Their depressions can look 'normal' to normal types.However, it not only comes at a price but also has to come from somewhere - often childhood 'depression' that passed unnoticed.

The Gardener Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 8:02pm

To Mary (2nd one). I don't think there was any 'snap out of it' intended, more that in all of us are hidden resources - we all need help and encouragement - that's what Moodscope's about. If somebody says 'if she can do it, I can do it' fine. I've been through my Slough of Despond, curled up in misery in Depression, driving everyone crackers when manic. I have a new Slough of Despond, dealing with Alzheimers. There's always hope to climb out of the well of depression, given the strength and right help. Alzheimer is a 'no through road', and only through loving support and endless communication can you face another day. This blog has thrown up what response? Mind-bending, thought-provoking - quite a lot of heart-searching, I think, and, awesome.

Sheena Thu, Sep 3rd 2015 @ 10:04pm

Spot on The Gardener it has been awesome :). Manic depression as it was called when I was told first, 45 years ago that I had a 'severe and enduring' mental disorder is misunderstood even by trained professionals! It's a no win to have such a diagnosis when so often even at work colleagues see only the 'irritating, invincible' aspect. I wish you all the love, support and resources you can muster as you face your next challenge. I admire your courage, integrity and resilience.

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