You’re not the same as you were before. You were much more…muchier. You’ve lost your muchness. (The Mad Hatter, portrayed by Johnny Depp)

In the words of the Mad Hatter from the movie Alice in Wonderland, have you lost your muchness?  Are you ready to claim it back?  I’ve decided to take the muchness challenge, courtesy of the Positively Present website, and answer six questions. Here is my shot at it.  How about you?  Are you ready to get your muchness back?

What did I like to do when I was younger?

A lot of my memories from early childhood revolve around playing on my own.  This doesn’t really inform me too much about my current life but I do also have memories of enjoying art and crafts projects, going to art class and visiting art museums. I also liked to be outside in beautiful gardens and by the ocean.

Why did I stop doing or continue to do those things?

I don’t make visits to gardens and seaside locations as much of a priority as I should these days.   I do remember that I enjoyed being outside as a child, going for daily walks to a seaside park on a cliff and rambling in gorgeous Irish gardens.  As a result, I’m making it a priority to try to get my children outside as much as possible, even if the weather is not ideal.

I also don’t get to go to art openings or shows very often as I don’t have childcare and I don’t see a visit as having potential if the children will get the wiggles two minutes into entering the exhibition.  When I visit an art show I like to spent a lot of time looking at each picture.  As my children are getting older I will need to find a new way to appreciate shows with them as they will have their own way of looking at the art work.

I have set up a studio in the house and I now have to whip it into shape so that I can start painting and making creative projects.

Who did I think I would be when I grew up?

Whatever major plans I had have long since been forgotten.  I did find some predictions about my future that were written by my school friends when I was in high school. None of the ideas were ones that I had ever shared and they didn’t really make sense for my life and my life options. At one point in my pre-teen years I thought I would like to work for NASA.  NASA!  I hadn’t a clue how to make that goal come to fruition.  Since I attended 15 schools and changed schools twice during my high school career, my science and mathematics background was weak and I was not at all prepared to undertake the type of programme that would be required to go into a career working for NASA.  Towards the end of high school I thought I would like to go into textile design but at that point I was finishing up in high school and didn’t have a chemistry credit.  Science, once again, proved to be a barrier to my career options.  It appeared again later when I considered a programme in art restoration. I  knew that taking chemistry at a catch-up programme wouldn’t work for me.

How am I like that fictional version of myself?

I don’t think that my career path in recent years has anything to do with these ideals that I held in my younger student days.  Based on my abilities as a painter, I think I could have been a talented art restorer. I’ll never know!

What attitudes and beliefs did I hold as a kid?

Growing up I believed that the world could be a fair place and if you worked hard you would get ahead.  I also believed that people in positions of authority in your life had your best interest at heart.

How have my attitudes and beliefs changed?

I discovered that oftentimes people get ahead – or get a leg up – simply because they know someone and/or are more competitive .  To my horror I also realized, after reading old journals, that it was possible for a teacher to smile and be influential in your life while secretly harbouring an opinion about you that is not particularly savoury.  My way of coping with this reality is to keep positive people in my life and distance myself from negative and sarcastic forces.  My first hand experience with favouritism and other unfair advantages in the workplace and life has made me work and fight harder for what I wan.  Let’s face it – not only can aspects of life be unfair, but for some people in the world life can be brutally unfair.  Looking at my situation,  I see that I have a lot of positive opportunities

***

At first these questions seemed inadequate for the task of regaining your muchness.   Then I realized that I hadn’t really thought about some of these topics for awhile, if at all. If you take the time to reflect on each question and give a detailed answer, you can start to revisit the past and see how it informs the present, as you engage in life and make way for future opportunities.   I would add one question:

Considering your past habits and perspective, does your current life need re-alignment to incorporate earlier pasttimes and ideals that you would like to re-embrace?

For many years I’ve relied on photography as my creative outlet as it is more accessible and easy to take on.  I need to make it a priority to create time and establish my physical space to create artwork and related craft projects.

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre Lorde

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Daily Dish Archives
: Pamela Chan/Publisher, BCfamily.ca

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