I have just put the following post on Facebook:-
“Tonight I poured a bucket of freezing water over my daughter’s head. I did it at her request and I did it under protest.
I have been nominated to take the same challenge myself. I will not be doing it.
When I do something stupid, I do it because I choose to.
When I give to charity, I do so privately, by direct debit, every month, not when it’s fashionable.
I should not feel that I have to justify my refusal but I do feel that way.
I do not accept the challenge.”
Is it me?
The thing is, if someone wants to do it – and for Heaven’s sake, it’s for a very good cause- my hat’s off to them. Go ahead, I’ll even sponsor you to do it. Clearly, many of the people doing it enjoy it and they nominate people who are equally willing.
But this nomination thing bothers me. For a start, there has been a craze among young people in the UK for “Necking”. For our American friends, this is not hugging and kissing in the back row of the movies. It’s where you down a large drink in one go. And the drink has to be something risky. A pint of vodka, a lethal mix of spirits, that sort of thing. They do it on camera and then challenge a friend to “better” it. People have died. They do it because they know their friends will call them chicken if they don’t and peer pressure is a powerful thing.
I have been nominated twice (For the ice water challenge, not necking.) and I don’t want to do it. The people who nominated me assumed that I would be up for it and that tells me that they did it in fun, no malice, all in a good cause. BUT I don’t want to do it and I feel bad about it. If I had been asked privately, I would have been fine to say no and explain why. But to be nominated on Facebook in front of all my friends and to “chicken out”, that’s not a good feeling. It made me defensive. So, of course, I got mad, threw a wobbly and put the above on Facebook.
But I really do think it is important to be absolutely certain that the person you nominate will be willing.
So I’ve been online, chilling out, so to speak and then, while exploring the Diva’s past challenges, I found one for Brayds, Challenge 82, and went looking at what other people had done. Diana Saxton had done a lovely tile, which I admired a lot but, more to the point, she had opened her page with a quote that I liked. Now I don’t go for inspirational quotes, they annoy me, a lot. They tend to remind me of the late 1960’s, when an entire generation hoped they would make the world a better place and then spent the next 40 years proving themselves wrong. Sadly, I was one of that generation and my disillusionment was total.
But this quote works for me because it puts something into perspective for me. I am very rarely happy with what I produce. This is partly because I am British and was brought up not to “show off” if I did something well but to wait for others to notice. (It’s a long wait, sometimes but there you go.) But maybe there’s a positive spin to it –
“The little dissatisfaction which every artist feels at the end of a work forms the germ of a new work.”
– Berthold Auerbach
That’ll do for me. I’m not being negative. I’m not a miserable old devil. I’m just psyching myself up to do another piece, but better. Amen to that.