Monday, November 08, 2010

Working Lunch


I got the anxity.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would tell me it is because I'm not autotelic enough. My goals and aspirations are externally motivated, and I have not jettisoned these artificial goals for intrinsic goals of my own that allow me to experience flow states in my everyday activities.

Maybe he's right.


Anxiety and a melancholic moodiness seem to be hard-wired into me. I don't know why, and perhaps it is silly to try to eliminate them, or even alleviate them in any way.

I should accept them, I suppose.


Unless they are, like Csikszentmihaliyi asserts, symptomatic of a kind of failure on my part to live a truly engaged and authentic life. 


I dig my rut a little deeper every day.


Maybe it's enough that I try to handle my failures with a little grace. 

Maybe not.





Blogger Craig Sorensen said...


Unless they are, like Csikszentmihaliyi asserts, symptomatic of a kind of failure on my part to live a truly engaged and authentic life.

How to define a "truly engaged and authentic life?"

If life is a river, sometimes the anxiety means the difference between steering clear, and running square into the rocks.

You've got to be true to yourself.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

" What is it that is most important?...To ask, what is most important. "

There is a post that has turned into an accidental tradition: every November I write at some point about the flux inside of me this time of year. The moon changes, the landscape dims, the wild things emerge from their television boxes and far off borders and creep closer round the house. Tender hearts like us feel this and have these things inside. They wake like dormant babies and give their turning bodies a try; we feel this and have to fight to keep our heads up and eyes open. You stay with us.

5:02 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


True that. Anxiety can be a good early warning system.
And sometimes being true to yourself involves kicking your own ass.

5:10 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


You put into words the secret experience of it. The world is doing something very disturbing. Not bad exactly, but unnerving.

I'll hang in there. Thank you so much for your comment.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

'unnerving' is the word for it, Tearful.

5:29 PM  
Blogger melissashook said...

damn, it's all hard and my knees buckle....
thank you

5:36 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I did not really know what anxiety was until I hit my fifties. I am thinking that humans aren't supposed to live this long and so our wiring gets frayed and we get afraid because that precious wrapping is undone.
Just a thought.
I thought you made up Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and had to look him up.
I don't understand what he's talking about. What artificial goals? You don't seem to me to be the sort whose aspirations are eternally motivated.
And Maggie's right- this world has crazy things lurking in the darkness and besides that, we have to drive in five o'clock traffic.
Chemicals. These things fuck with our chemicals. We get anxious and depressed. We have not biologically evolved to keep pace with the world we have created to live in.
You're authentic. Don't worry about that.

6:37 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I don't know. Hydraulic seems to sum it up.

7:49 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

If I get more anxious when I turn fifty I'm going to kill someone.

I can't get more anxious.

I'll implode or something.

Fifty is when i'm supposed to start figuring things out, right?

I sure hope so.

7:50 PM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

the world is doing something. and you are hyper tuned in. sometimes anxiety is just not knowing.

not knowing what or why or how and trying to keep your head up and your heart strong anyway. trying to just take the next breath and the next, and after a while things are manageable again, even though nothing visible has changed.

but we have changed, are changing all the time. sometimes i just stand outside myself, fascinated by how mercurial my mood chemistry can be. but it aches too.

you never figure things out. you carry yourself into fifty. that's what i figured out when i turned fifty. but you'll be better than fine.

someone once told me to just rock with it on hard days. its a curious comfort all these years later. rock with it.

i kind of love they way you feel the world all the way live. fully engaged as you say. rock with it, my friend.

we're here with you.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope someday you make art with a nervous poodle and a gun.


3:47 AM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

just as angela says: you dont figure things out.
what happens ... from 50 into 60 and beyond is that the landscape shifts. things that loomed no longer loom; things that you never bothered to examine seem worthy of attention. for me, it's been good. anxiety doesnt go away, but, possibly--not sure about this--the message it brings is easier to decipher. or, i can tolerate sitting with anxiety longer until i am able to hear the message. i think, scott, that you already have practice in sitting with bad stuff, yes?

5:31 AM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

Tai Chi is a great outlet for anxiety. I did it for about a year or so, and have been wanting to get back to it ever since. (My life keeps changing radically)

Anyway, it massages the internal organs as well as the muscles of the body. It also sort of demands focus because it is very precise and slow moving... it helps slow everything down. And you meet really cool folks.

I hope you find your peace.

6:04 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

I have no advice, none, just wanted to hang around a bit and say hi. Your fire is a good one.


8:00 AM  
Blogger Radish King said...

I can't get more anxious.


love you

7:16 PM  
Blogger Marylinn Kelly said...

The photos with the empty rooms give anxiety something for the mind's eye to grab hold of. How does being anxious equate with an inauthentic life? To know and name one's state seems wise and honest. It is the adrenalin, the body response, that is the highest price of disquiet. Peace I wish you as well.

11:49 AM  
Blogger james said...

i don't have anything to add about anxious, but the play of light and shadow from the window is just great. one wants to go stand there, but alone, and no sandwich.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(sometimes when you don't post for awhile i worry)

(then again, that's my nature. gotta get it under control!)

(um. hope everything is a-okay)

4:28 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

How's your anxity hanging friend?

No pressure, just stopping by to say hi.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

These times are more than uncertain. Something is terribly wrong. We have fought this in our lifetimes, and our grandparents fought it, too. It may have missed out now 70 something parents. But there is a craziness out there. People who should know better have somehow just disappeared. No forwarding address. Those of us who have not fought this battle may be left on our own to meet this strangeness--people are weird now. I mean 1930s Germany weird. The 1930s of America weird.

It isn't the 2012 stuff--that is horoscopes and tea leaves. I mean people are losing the ability to direct their anger and fear into something positive. There is a huge defeatist attitude and it is frightening. There are snake oil salesmen in the media promising the answer to everything and they are making it up as they go. Where are the reasonable people?

I feel it. This has been the most difficult year of my life personally and I don't make it work everyday. Somedays I just float and I want to hide.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Photocat said...

I have not found your place that long ago, but whatever I read on your blog so far seems pretty authentic to me... Keep going on the path you are trading on, you have attention for what is truly important in life, and is this not what authenticity is about?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

it is enough, of course it is.

8:04 PM  

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