Welcome to day two of the third Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Please fetch yourself a drink and a nibble and take a seat, ready to begin…
Our guest speaker has travelled a long way (figuratively speaking) to get to us today and I’d like you to put your hands together and welcome my Sub-Conscious
SC: Er, thanks. Why’m I here again?
Well, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for you to answer some questions which have been bugging me and a few other people (notably anyone I tell about you)
So you’re responsible for my dreams, right?
SC: Yesss, although it can be argued that all I do is piece together the elements of your conscious experience and try to organise them in a more processable way – you could say I’m the equivalent of a defrag for your brain. I take the snippets of life you’ve not paid much attention to (or, conversely the things you can’t get out of your thoughts) and let you work through them in your dreams.
Sounds a little as though you’re trying to shirk some responsibility here, Sub Conscious…let’s look at some of the crap you’ve put me through, shall we?
SC: Oh no
Oh yes! Let’s begin with the flamingoes, shall we? Or the wolf which chased me through a castle unlocking the doors I locked to bar its way? Or the shoebox full of cheerleading tropical fish? Or the hut on the heath filled with endless stairs? Which will it be?
SC: You know, you have a part in this too – somewhere along the way, you encountered these things and didn’t process them properly. You took them in somewhere along the periphery and never came back to organise them – rather like the way you’ve left your unpacking – all over the place and shoved around the sides of rooms, tucked in cupboards so you don’t have to deal with it.
Okay, ouch! That’s a little harsh! Time to bring on the big gun – what about that nested dream where I was choking and each time I ‘woke up’ I started choking again and more and more people were trying to rescue me and every time it wasn’t real but another layer of dream? I can be harsh too – what was *with* that?
SC: *sigh* You were going through a difficult phase of life and were feeling particularly stressed. You weren’t doing any good at reaching out to people to help you and you were feeling suffocated by your situation. Is this *really* what you wanted? To get me here and ask me the most simplistic of questions? I’m an enigma; a mystery; a puzzle which has had you humans drawing blanks ever since you first became aware of me, and you’re asking me things which a ten year old could probably provide you the answers to?
Fine. Why are you an enigma?
SC: At last – something I can get my teeth into. I’m an enigma because there’s really very little evidence of how I work or where I live. Not to mention the sheer amount of theorising which surrounds why I work the way I do. I tend to work with your unconscious mind – the place where everything you’ve forgotten is kept. While I’m mainly in charge of your more recent memories and helping you to filter through all the input you’ve received as you go about your daily life, I also have a formative effect on your behaviour, your beliefs and opinions and the way you view yourself. And yes – I create (for want of a better word) your dreams, sometimes to inform or warn you of things you’ve picked up on but not realised consciously, sometimes to let you work through something which is troubling you and sometimes just to entertain you and get rid of a load of thoughts you don’t really need to hang onto. For instance, did you know that every person in your dreams has the face of someone you’ve seen in real life? You might only have seen them for a split second, but I pay attention and those are the faces I use for the characters you encounter post-sleep.
Wow! That’s quite a lot. So you’re saying that the woman with the jewellery shop and the sad woman in the office were people I’ve really encountered?
SC: Master of the understatement, you are! Yes it’s a lot! When you do your so-called ‘considerings’, you have no idea how much you draw on me and the things I’ve done for you. Yet there you sit, taking all the credit. I process *everything* for you and cut it down into manageable pieces so that you can fit it into your worldview. And yes, you’d seen those women before, only don’t ask me where – that information is tucked away in the unconscious mind in a box marked ‘irrelevant’.
My worldview? You’re beginning to sound like Clark
SC: Yep, but you know what’s better? I made that connection even as I said it, then managed to give you a sufficient nudge that you picked up on it. The more analytical you are, the more critical you are of your life, the things going on around you and your own thoughts, the closer we will become and the better able to communicate.
Talking of communication, shall we get onto these Ten Things of Thankful? After all, that’s what these lovely ladies and gentlemen have really come here to see and join in with. How do you affect them?
SC: Sure, now you’re being polite, we can move on. Your Ten Things are hugely influenced by me but I really think the easiest way to go about this is if we handle them one by one – what’s your first today?
I’m very pleased that I found lots of shops selling lovely, perfect things for a bag of ‘cheering-up’ prezzies for my best friend, who’s poorly at the moment.
SC: Easy. You’ve spent a lot of time and investment in becoming emotionally close to your bezzie, and as a result, when she hurts, your empathy drive kicks in and you feel sad and want to help fix it. You’re pleased about the shops because the held things which enabled you to accomplish an action (or set of actions) you’d identified as ones which would help you move towards this ‘fixing’ goal. Next, please.
Secondly, I’m still very thankful that I have fresh water (and that I was able to share about the toilet twinning – people seemed to like that)
SC: This is a more interesting one. Did you know that you feel quite guilty about having access to fresh water while others go without and suffer horribly for it? You know for a fact that it’s not your fault that they don’t have fresh water and you know for a fact that it’s an accident of birth that you grew up in an affluent, western society where clean drinking water is commonplace, so what do you think about that, Considerer?
Is this to do with my empathy drive again?
SC: Not as much as you’d hope. While that is a factor, I’ll admit, it has far more to do with greed. You know that there are charities out there working tirelessly to bring clean water to places which don’t have it and you don’t contribute to any of them – you look at their adverts, their stories, their ‘donate’ buttons online, and think “That’s nice” then go off and – let’s see – what did you buy for yourself today? A new book. When you have bookshelves full. Your recent posts demonstrate that much. Surely for one so enlightened by written knowledge; one who can rhapsodise on the wonder and pleasure of books, is intelligent enough to know that the money you spent on yet another book could have gone towards saving someone’s life through helping out one of the charities which does that kind of thing.
This is meant to be to do with gratitude, not guilt!
SC: What can I say – yours in this instance are wrapped up together. Shall we move on to number three?
Yes please! I’m very thankful that I didn’t have to cook tonight, and my mother-in-law not only shopped for, but cooked a wonderful roast dinner for us all
SC: This is much more positive, you’ll be pleased to hear. Your thankfulness here is mostly to do with the bonding which this demonstrates, as well as a small part about you not having to worry about sourcing and making the dinner yourself (thereby taking responsibility for demonstrating the state of the relationships). Your mother-in-law is generous and kind, and you’re thankful for this because many people struggle with their mothers-in-law, to the point where she (as a role) has become something of a stereotype. Yours does not conform to this stereotype, so your latent expectations to the negative have been delightfully disproven. This is supporting evidence. Additionally, you recognise that she feels comfortable enough in your home to go through your cupboards for pots and pans, to cook in your kitchen and generally treat your flat as home-from-home. This is a great relief because it means that there needs be no awkwardness in the time she is staying with you. And the fact that she did it at all shows that she has accepted you as part of the family and considers you kin.
Wow! I didn’t realise so much thought had gone into that Thing of Thankful! Fourth on the list for today is the chance to meet with friends later and play geeky, fun tabletop games together.
SC: “Geeky, fun tabletop games” give me a break! Just say that you play Dungeons & Dragons with them! For crying out loud. You’ll never be happy or at peace until you can admit to the things that you do without being so judgemental of yourself. It’s because you’re a bit of a snob and on my level, you’re rather divided – you think that D&D is the province of the outcasts, the socially inept; the losers, and because of your experiences through school, being put back in ‘that place’ terrifies you. You’re an adult now. These people are your good friends, you have fun with them and you enjoy spending time with them. No, the ‘cool kids in school’ probably would think you were all a bit weird, but WHY DOES IT MATTER? We’ve had 15 years of this crap, you and I. When are you going to let it go? Build a bridge and get over it!
Snarky bloody Sub-Conscious, aren’t we
SC: Look who I belong to…
Oh piss off! You’re making me grumpy, not grateful! I’m about ready to finish at four things at the moment
SC: It’s up to you how you respond – you’re in control of your own actions and behaviour, but you won’t do it because you’ll be too embarrassed about losing control and showing yourself up, not to mention letting everyone down by stopping far short of Ten Things…you’re the HOST for crying out loud.
For pity’s sake! Could you just stop already? Number five, quickly please – I’m thankful for this opportunity to interview a subject so fascinating and intriguing as yourself.
SC: Nice try, but you can’t get round me with flattery – I was the one who came up with that. *I* second-guess *you* – not the other way around. But you’re welcome. I’m glad to be here.
Okay, a real one this time for number six. I’m very thankful that my Mum and WonderAunty are having us all round to tea tonight
SC: Another social one – you’re full of these today. You’re glad that your Mum and WonderAunty get on so well with your in-laws, and it brings a warm glow to the cockles of your heart. You’re also glad you don’t have to worry about providing another meal yourself (again, concerns that your offerings won’t be adequate and will damage the relationship between you and your in-laws). There’s a separate element of excitement because, let’s face it, you’re known for liking your food, and one of your Mum’s buffet meals is a thing you’ve always relished the partaking of .
That all sounds good. Number seven now – I’m still loving the support and encouragement I’m receiving from the ladies in the infertility group with regard to getting healthier and fitter – we shared little ‘high-fives’ today as we all compared our efforts
SC: You better believe you love that! You know why? Because you’re really good at doing some exercise and offsetting it with food, but it *sounds* as though you’re doing great. And with the buffet coming up tomorrow evening (a situation where you always over-eat) and the fact that you’re sat there chomping your way through a slice of unnecessary cake right now, you like that by posting that Thing of Thankful it looks like you’re doing better than you are. You won’t shift the flab that way, my girl!
There was me thinking you were starting to be nice.
SC: It’s not my job to be nice – it’s my job to be real, and you really could do better at losing weight if only you’d sort out your relationship with food.
I just gave the second slice of unnecessary cake to Husby
SC: Then you’re doing him no favours either! I know you got the cake for Neff, and it was a sweet idea, but you’re all affluent, well-fed westerners – none of you needs cake as a treat! I’m going to prompt you to learn other ways of showing people you care rather than feeding them. I know it taps into their deepest instincts and makes them like you because you’re providing them with substances which fire off the dopamine in their brains, but let’s get the oxytocin going instead, ey? It’s a far better chemical to go for – more bonding – more secure in relationship terms, and just as lovely to receive.
Talking with you is an education! I’ll try to listen. Shall we get on to number eight? You’ve talked a lot…
Right. Um, number eight. I’m thankful that the blog hop’s going well in its third week – the people who’ve shown up repeatedly seem to be forming some sort of core of ‘thankful people’ who are all eager to participate for what seems like some quite deep reasons – they recognise the usefulness in trying to find the good things in life – they appreciate the challenge and they seem to want to continue joining in for a good while yet
SC: *yawn* You had a good idea and their being here validates it for you. Validates you.
No, I resent that! It truly is more than that. It’s a good idea, I’ll grant you, and I’m pleased people have recognised that, but it’s not *my* idea – all I’ve done is taken it and made it bigger and more join-in-able because it’s something I’ve found useful in my own life.
SC: Okay, that too, but it does make you feel good that you’ve started something people like. It’s that ‘outsider’ in you – never quite sure how you fit in, or why you don’t, but always wanting it and (when it happens) never quite trusting it.
Moving on to number nine. I’m thankful that the kind folks on the Reece’s Rainbow Facebook page were able to confirm that my lovely Violetta and Gretchen have both had an enquiry each (though this was tinged with sadness when one person said they’d been to Violetta’s orphanage and not seen her there – this suggests she’s now been institutionalised and it’s too late for her, but this isn’t confirmed yet)
SC: This is a bit of a sad one, really. You’re still hurting about not being able to adopt either of them (especially Violetta, who, let’s face it, you prefer (even though you know you’re not meant to pick favourites among children – she’s just the one who spoke most to your heart with that smile)) and you desperately want someone to see them and bring them home. The fact that you’ve been heard a little encouragement on this front is a huge boost to your hopes. I’d also like to take this opportunity to point out that not understanding how PayPal works is an unacceptable excuse as to why, if you love them so much, you’ve not donated to their adoption funds…put your money where your mouth is, because your bank statement will most accurately reflect the desires of your heart.
The other reason you keep bringing up these beauties in your list of Things of Thankful is because you nurture the hope that one day someone will see them and realise that they’re meant to be their new Mama, thereby achieving what you cannot, and fulfiling a desire very dear to you – to see these girls in a loving family instead of left to rot in an underfunded mental institution in Eastern Europe. I don’t blame you – plug away at it.
Let’s be having your final Thing of Thankful for this week, and then you can toodle off to bed and let me take care of your dreams…
Not likely! The night is yet young and…we’ll see. The last Thing of Thankful for today is for my faith in God, who I believe has been with me and helped me through (and is helping me through) this tough journey called ‘infertility’.
SC: Oh well done! You’ve finally plucked up the courage! This has been a bit of a struggle for you – you inherently think that people are going to be put off by the fact that you’re a faithful Christian and so you hide your light under the proverbial bushel at the same time as lamenting your lack of courage and your desire to do better. This is a good first step and you’ve done well at taking your inspiration from Kate and many others, who are utterly frank about their faith and still have LOADS of people thronging their blogs and their lives, who haven’t been rejected (which, let’s face it, is what you’re worried about) and who are clearly loved by many. Consider this – honesty is good, and hiding something this important has been a challenge you really shouldn’t have undertaken. Be bold, be strong – the Lord your God is with you. So are the people who love you. Not everyone who knows you or comes here will like that you believe this. Some may find you ridiculous. Some may tell you as much, but as it’s a truth you believe, it’s good that you’ve gotten around to having the integrity to be transparent about it.
Thank you. And thank you for agreeing to be a part of this post. You really have been a fascinating guest to interview. Will you stay in touch? Your insights are pretty useful.
SC: I will if you will. Now let your readers go – they won’t have time to make their own Ten Things list and join in if we witter on for much longer.
Thanks for joining us, readers. I hope you found it an interesting talk. and that you’ll want to join on in by linking up your own Ten Things of Thankful below. See you soon.
Now also a part of the ‘Humour Me’ hop