Family Life Personal

Like Yvette Says: Nothing You Want Is Upstream

Go with the flow really is the best advice

Isn’t it mad the way you can be looking at something so negatively for so long, and then, snap, you look again and see only opportunity and possibility?

I’ve been very careful here recently with any references to our teenage girl and boy.

With good reason: it’s been, as they say, challenging.

So, there we were last night, my wife and I, in the wee small hours, trying to sleep.

The guys were to be back to school today after their Easter break, and bleary-eyed, we contemplated the all-too-imminent morning cacophony of children-calling and cajoling, dog-walking, school lunch-packing, breakfast …

As our daughter stalked the night like a teenage zombie.

Bedroom doors squeaked and swiveled, bathroom taps were running, books were packed for school … eyebrows scrutinised, revolutions fermented … heaven knows what she was doing in there …

And she hates sleeping with her door fully closed.

A whispered sorry when we told her she was keeping us awake. And so it continued.

Maybe she reminded me more of one of those vampire characters in the old Hammer Horror movies. You know the ones where the colour red is turned up to lurid, and the orchestra is obviously paid by volume?

I thought specifically of Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, a great movie staple on night-time television.

Dr Jekyll is trying to find the elixir of life, as you do, and he injects himself with the serum he is working on.

This serum, of course, comes from female hormones taken from the corpses of dead women. Which I don’t think he buys on Amazon …

This transforms him at night into the gorgeously glossy-haired but evil Sister Hyde, who slinks out of her bedroom to slip her teeth into a little neck artery or two. And bring those hormones back to the lab.

But there was our Daughter Hyde this morning, our fresh-cheeked K again, up and showered after answering that horrible beep, beep, beep of her iPad alarm … eventually.

There was still a fair bit of coaxing and hurrying up, and more than a few hissed words as her Mom tried to get her out the door for her lift to school.

When I came home from work last night it was after 11, and K was there at the kitchen table, still working on her art project.

A was watching telly and the two of them were chatting away, Mom wilting, but K flourishing her art brushes with the gusto and conviction of an orchestra conductor.

We knew she had to be up early, and it took us a while to persuade her to down brushes and go to bed.

Maybe she had taken some of that elixir of life because our girl was not for sleeping, as we would find out.

And so there I was this morning, exhausted after a busy evening’s work and a bad sleep.

I was all ready for a good glower and lecture, but instead I found myself caught in a magical moment of reappraisal.

It’s not as if our girl had made it easy to do so; she was still complaining imperiously on the way out about her horrible lunch, her art folder under her arm, like a right madame …

But I was caught in admiration, not admonition.

I was amazed that this creature of the night was setting about her day with equal energy.

And I have really enjoyed watching the evolution of her art. I see her competence growing from piece to piece, and I love the way she keeps at it, until she is happy.

And I love the girlish way she asks for our opinions.

She is energised and enthused in a way we do not see that often.

We are hardly going to slate her work, and I am careful to frame any criticism in a positive light.

But in truth it is easy to do so, cause I am genuinely impressed.

A favourite blogger of mine is Australian Yvette, who writes as Weave The Future Magical (gorgeous title, eh?)

Now Yvette devours self-help books and popular culture the way some people can’t get enough of Scandi noir detective sordidity, or gardening tips from Monty Don, but each to their own …

But what distinguishes Yvette’s writing for me, apart from its effervescence and general of-beat charm, is the often hilarious, but always thought-provoking riffs she plays around her themes.

So life-affirming, and so Yvette …

But one particular post has continued to resonate with me.

The post is called Nothing You Want Is Upstream

Yvette is writing about the Law Of Attraction, and refers to a book by one Abraham Hicks called “The Astonishing Power of Emotions”

And she quotes:

“We watch you getting more efficient at fighting the current. Your muscles get stronger, your boats become sleeker, and you discover more effective oars. And, always, we listen patiently as we hear a variety of versions on this same general theme of justification for paddling upstream, but then we always explain what we consider to be the most important thing that our physical friends could ever hear from us: Nothing that you want is upstream!” —Abraham Hicks “The Astonishing Power of Emotions”

Nothing you want is upstream!

Basically, Yvette and this Hicks fellow are saying if you have to struggle too hard for something, then it is not right for you.

This has huge resonances for me which I might come back to, but now I am thinking more of our daughter.

Like all teenagers, she is caught in the Murder Machine, as the education system has been described, and there is no way around some of the conventions of what has to be studied, and what grades have to be reached in order to pursue potential career areas.

We have found it very difficult to steer K in the proscribed direction in terms of her school work. It seems like we are pushing her upstream when she always wants to drift her own way downstream.

Some subjects are devoured and others … not.

But maybe she is right … spend more time on her art and do what she enjoys and gives her energy, rather than plodding through things that are never going to be her forte, or light her fires.

Maybe our mission is to help her find a career path that goes with her flow, rather than forcing her to go upstream into something she has to merely work at?

Now if we can just get her to bed at a reasonable time tonight …

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43 comments on “Like Yvette Says: Nothing You Want Is Upstream

  1. I read this post and your reference to Dr. Jeckyl and Hyde is great. I guess family is everything and not a lot of people write about family, including myself. So I guess in a way, I am glad you have the courage to do just that.


  2. Love it…if you have to struggle too hard for something, it’s not right for you! I am going to check out Yvette’s blog. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks 🙏 so much for the gorgeous shout-out! I love reading your blogs too and so appreciate your support. Yes, I am a self
    help junky and Abraham Hicks provide much inspiration. Look forward to seeing what you write about next. Much love 💕 xxx Yvette

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello there. It sounds as though your daughter is finding her way. That’s what comes through to me from your essay. Take care.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that saying. And there’s nothing as exhausting as a teen that can’t sleep. Especially in the mornings….#GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg so perfect. Our teen son too is in a similar situation minus the passion which your daughter finds in art. Unless you count the sports, but even that has dwindled. Still, this post gave me hope and a new perspective. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looking back at my school life, the pressure to know what your career would be to pick subjects for exams and higher education is such pressure for a 14/15 year old. I’ve gone through several career changes in my life already most of which don’t require my GCSE’s.
    I feel for your daughter, if she flourishes and finds happiness in artistic subjects, I’d encourage that and she’ll find her way.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lianne … it is so hard for kids … it’s like being in a huge supermarket, you have more choices than ever, and you end up even more confused!


  8. The teenage years are so hard, for parents and the teenagers themselves. She will find her way and you will get some sleep, I’m sure. #triumphanttales


  9. I really need to check out Yvette’s blog, thanks for pointing the direction. As for your daughter, I think she sounds pretty normal to me. I remember being a teenage girl myself when I would potter around my room at night, unable to sleep, keeping Mum awake until the early hours. Stressing about everything and nothing. Thankfully, I did grow out of it eventually and I’m sure K will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tracey Abrahams

    I think with today’s one size fits all style of schooling its very easy to end up forcing your kids (and yourself) to swim upstream. I don’t envy kids these days with the pressures they have, its no wonder she wanders the halls at night, but im sure with your support she will reach the right destination.



    • Or drive us nuts!! We’re just glad she’s doing Transition Year, and will be able to work without that stress for a while!


  11. Keep being you and doing what feels right X p. S i like my door open as well much to my husbands annoyance #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Daydreamer mum

    Must be so exciting for you your daughter has a passion for something so creative.
    The point of having to work sooooo hard for something maybe it’s not meant to be resonates with me so much at mo. My blogging has floundered and I miss it , I love it but pushing on trying to force words just isn’t working so I’ve had to just take a step back till it flows freely again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah … she also has the creative temperament too!!! I think going with the flow means if you are feeling negative, write about that: that’s a good way of getting over block, AND getting a post done!!! Keep posting, Kelly!


  13. Karen Dennis

    Sometimes I wonder if my family are related to Gekel and Hyde( guess that would make me a relative too!)#thatfridaylinky@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tracey Carr

    I absolutely loved this one Enda and it really resonates with me. Firstly the way you characterize the behaviour of teenagers is hilarious! (scares me a bit though when I think of my own girls getting to that point!) but what really stuck with me was you talking about letting your daughter follow her own path downstream. I just remember so vividly feeling that I had to perform and achieve the highest standard because I was smart and my mum and dad wanted the best results for me. But when it came to going to college I went and did the course that they thought was best for me and not the one I really wanted. I just wanted to study sports and fitness but I was almost afraid to tell them. Doing a smaller course in an IT wouldn’t have cut it. It was only university for me and that was my struggle upstream because I didn’t really want it. I know the pressures of the Leaving Cert system here is crazy and you have to study all these subjects that you don’t even like but in the end if she gets to do what she really wants, like art, well I think that’s the main thing. I wish I could have stood my ground and insisted on doing what I really wanted. Ah, shoulda, woulda, coulda…..! #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    • How kind of you to say so, Tracey. In truth, I have thought about this a lot, both in terms of choices made for myself, but now, when we have a chance, to help our children to find a career path of passion rather than obligation, or duty. Not easy, of course, but let’s hope Transition Year, for our daughter, helps her along this way.


  15. Ahh! I can so relate to this. I have a 16 year old who’s just about to sit her GCSE’s and I have realised that sometimes it is better to go with the flow and encourage the subjects she thrives at and is interested in rather than the one’s that bore her silly.
    I am sure teens are vampires. There is many a night where I am in bed and asleep before mine. lol x


  16. Sounds a bit like my daughter last two year, running up to GCSEs. She took art and it was all consuming at times, as they hit the many deadlines. Not sure it gave her the energy that you described. More focus perhaps, but she loved lots of her subjects. I can see how pushing upstream would drain the batteries, while doing something you love recharges them. I would hate to think that pushing upstream is always a waste of time though. Sometimes it can be the right thing. You just don’t know it yet. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose push, yes, but if it’s upstream all the way, it’s going against the currtent, so hardly worth it. Our daughter is definitely stronger in certain subjects and finbds some too hard


  17. I have so much in common with your lady. I am a night owl who excels at pulling an all nighter with seemingly endless amounts of energy – only to sleepily zombie my way around the next morning for 20 minutes. I also dedicated 15 years of my life to a career that was swimming upstream for me. I excelled at the actual job, but it was misery to me to be jammed into the humdrum of the machine and I slowly felt like I was dying inside. I guess what I’m trying to say is, swimming upstream sucks and I wish I had followed a college path for something I truly loved doing, it would have made those 15 years a bit more fulfilling. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Heather … I guess that’s what we are trying to do for our girl … help her to find a downstream course in life!! And there is an achievement in working at your career for those 15 years, and working well … don’t knock the resilience and character involved, and I am sure it has helped you appreciate where you are now

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does definitely make me appreciate the opportunity I am afforded now! I actually wonder if I would have appreciated it as much in my youth… something tells me I would’ve taken it for granted, because that is what youth is all about.


  18. It sounds like your daughter is finding her path. I feel her on the lack of sleeping. When I was a teenager I always stayed up too later. It was like I couldn’t switch off. Thanks for bringing this to the #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Kirsty … no sleep till school’s out!!!


  20. I am currently struggling with my teenage son who will be a high school senior next year. But not with him rather but with the school as they seem hell bent on pushing things in his direction that he has no interest in. He is going to be applying for college next year and already the pressure to make sure he has recommendation letters and his transcripts are good, well, it goes more into the fact that he is on the Autism Spectrum and the colleges take kids on the spectrum yet, despite his good grades because he has some modified classes they are trying to sell him short. It feels like they are all pushing him to go upstream and I’m not happy about it. Good thing he has a strong advocate for a mother though But I really like the analogy of going upstream. I might actually use that at the next meeting. Thank you for sharing it. #ABitofEverything


  21. Going with the flow is a good lesson – I think we are all guilty of trying to struggle upstream when it isn’t necessarily the best course of action. It sounds like K is really enjoying her art and that’s certainly something great to focus on. Hope you all manage to get some more sleep along the way though. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is a wonderful and pertinent analogy for many of us with teens in the later secondary education years. My daughter is doing her GCSE’s now and we have discussed ad inifinitum the horror of having to take so many subjects and particularly those that she doesn’t like and are encouraging her constantly with kind words of “not long now!” Quite simply she can’t wait to get to A’levels and pursue her passions – her main being film and drama. Interestingly we have also started looking ahead at work experience (the bloody hamster wheel!) and in all her recent interviews she has been asked why she is bothering thinking of going to University as it’s really not necessary. We have never said she has to but she wants to but of course this has opened up another whole line of conversation. Sorry off at a tangent a bit there but essentially it’s so easy to get sucked into the process as parents and standing back and watching them flourish and letting their passion shape their next steps is perhaps a better way forward – not that I am sure we are wholly embracing that yet! Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is pertinent, Jo. That’s all i have ever wanted is for our kids, to find areas of interest that they can broaden into a career, or money-earning proposition at least. Of course, they have to take care of the basic, likes maths and language also!


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