The Pleasure Report. Week 15. The commitment edition.

Week 15 in the year of pleasure.

The Pleasure

Twenty three points. Thirty four last week.

That sounds like it wasn’t such a great week but I’m very happy with my twenty three.

And a 7:1 pleasure to pain ratio.

A selection of the pleasure

Back in touch

Someone I’ve not seen in ages appeared on Linked In.

Such a warm woman, I’m so pleased to be back in touch with her.

Love

Michael Franti & Spearhead

It was our anniversary this weekend, my gentlemanfriend and I.

I found this song on Jamie Ridler’s blog and the perfect celebratory spirit in it grabbed me and we shimmied round the room.

I love the way I found it too. A whole string of wonderful connections.

I think it started on twitter where I ‘met’ Leah of Creative Every Day. I love her coaxing of creativity.

Leah wrote about Jamie Ridler’s annual Shyne like a star day of dancing. (If the link to last year’s hula hoop video is still there…have a look….so happy making).

Someone posted the song on Jamie’s blog and I found it as I looked around.

More happy making that started on twitter. Thank you yet again twitter.

An ideolectic and a coulibiac

Pardon? Otherwise known as a poem and a Russian fish pie.

Both gentlemanfriend made, surprise anniversary gifts.

Both were wonderful. And we both thought the lemon in the coulibiac was the making of it.

The Pain

Letting the pain be felt and the need be known.

(This is a long one….consider yourself warned)

It’s been a good thing, to feel the pain. It was only a minor meltdown, measuring 3 or 4 out of ten on the meltdown scale and was worth it to understand the needs that lay at the root of it.

Commitment and security. Who would have thought it.

When my wee man was actually wee (rather than the affectionately named 6ft 2″ 18 year old ‘wee man’ that he is now) and I was a single parent in full time work, I just wasn’t seeing him enough.

I decided I needed more freedom to decide the hours I worked, to be around for him.

My way of getting that was to set up in business on my own as a consultant, trainer and coach and that’s how it’s been for 11 years now.

It meant maximum freedom and zero security. I always managed the zero security well. Always pulled something out of the bag, had another idea, tried something new and it’s always been fine.

As far as my wee man was concerned, I was also very careful about dating. I didn’t want him to encounter a series of ‘uncles’. And so it was yeeeaaars before I met anyone I felt happy introducing as more than ‘my friend who also likes jazz’. 9 years actually. Plus I was kind of busy.

Next month my wee man finishes 6th form and will have a year off, working and travelling and then to University.

I think it’s safe to say his need to have me be around for him has changed significantly and will change even more next year.

And now. With my permission slip written to let 2010 be the year of pleasure, the year where I drop struggle, I’m allowing myself to feel everything rather than numb it out and just carry on.

And I can feel just how much of a struggle it’s been trading security for freedom.

I couldn’t have done it differently as I didn’t know then what I think I know now and hadn’t the faith that I have now.

The faith of the February miracles. Where a gently held desire for something to be different can sort itself out quite nicely as long as you’re able to keep the  ‘push, push, make it happenness’ out of the way.

And the dating. All that time without.

I have a gorgeous gentlemanfriend now. It was our third anniversary this weekend. (See ideolectic and coulibiac above).

We don’t live together and we don’t plan to get married. BUT I feel committed. And I like it.

That inner commitment gives me a sense of security, a sense of belonging and a longer term safety which I didn’t know I wanted till I had it. (Like the opposite of you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?)

And now I’d like my work to have it too. Commitment. Me to it and it to me.

My wee man needs me in a completely different way now and I can commit to and do want, the deeper satisfaction of longer term work.

I don’t know what shape it might take and I’m in the very happy position of being free to explore all sorts of creative options.

  • A sponsored Phd in pleasure.
  • A part time or even full time employed position researching pleasure and the impact of it, or the lack of it, on employee health, business culture and subsequent customer satisfaction and sales.
  • A collaborative research project on a long term self employed contract.

Join me in the sparking of creative options as to how this might happen.

I would love to hear any options that spring to mind for you.

I have in mind

  • Working in a happy, supportive atmosphere.
  • A company, if one is involved, that trades ethically and never (knowingly) does harm to man nor beast, nor environment.
  • A boss, if one is involved, with whom I can form an encouraging yet healthy mutual admiration society.
  • And I still have a mortgage and would like any position to be on a well paid rather than volunteer basis.

Well. This is exciting!

It came out of the weary, weary part of me that had been fine for quite some time but had lately been hankering for commitment and security.

And now, in the year of pleasure, when it was positively de rigour to say you might like things to be different, it  could confess the weariness and ask that we find a new way.

And it was also alright to have some quite gentle melting down at the relief of it being alright to want security and commitment.

The pain I did something about.

I let myself feel upset. Even when I didn’t understand why. I didn’t take myself off in private and give myself a stern talking to. Or try to pull it together or brush over it and just keep going.

It meant being confused for a while, upset but not really knowing why. Unable to explain to anyone, myself included. That can be difficult to be around.

Commitment and security are such unfamiliar needs to my independent self so it’s not really surprising that I was confused for a while. I’m not sure how long they’ve been around and not speaking up but it doesn’t matter. They’ve spoken now.

All in all

I think this may be the biggest week yet in terms of significant needs unearthed and understood.

I’m more committed than ever to the year of pleasure and this practise of giving consistent attention to my needs on a daily basis.

How about you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Your pleasure, pain or pain you did something about?

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Pauline

    Interesting thoughts on the security element. I think there’s also a need to recognise that our needs and values can change over time and with changing life circumstances, and that’s ok. We don’t have to be the same person we were years ago. Only our expectations of our self and from those around us can make it a challenge to say we’re moving on. So good for you. I like your ideas. Are you signed up to the academic jobs website – http://www.jobs.ac.uk? Might be worth doing. That way you’ll get to see what Phd opps and related roles are out there.

    Pleasure
    I marshalled at Grendon Triathlon on Sunday (husband was racing). I didn’t have to jump into cold water, I got to chat to the nice amateur radio helper, and I got paid £30!

    Pain
    I appear to have some form of hayfever…

    Pleasure and pain
    I’ve bought a Shakti Mat on the recommendation of my yoga teacher’s husband. It is a modern equivalent of the bed of nails. I’m still not able to lie on it au natural (which is what you’re meant to do)but it does seem to be assisting sleep and relaxation.

    I’m thinking coffee and cake might be in order in the next week or two.

    [Reply]

    Pauline Reply:

    Paid £30 and no jumping in cold water required. Nice work. 🙂
    Shakti mat…oooo interesting.

    Coffee and cake. Mmmmm.
    I’m a raw food bar carrying love handle losing being at the moment but coffee and raw food bar would be great!

    [Reply]

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