Tag Archives: mind

Getting Overwhelmed

I woke up “early” today, at 9:39 am to be precise, and I am, in this moment, trying to transition from the anxiety of nighttime to the, hopefully, calm state of daytime.

Sometimes it feels like my brain is my own worst enemy.  For example…

Yesterday turned out pretty cool. A friend and I drove to Rochester to pick up our t-shirts that we will wear when we belly dance on Saturday in a Shimmy Mob for the first and last time. But oh, the stresses attached to this endeavor.

My friend found this program last year when it was too late to sign-up, so we vowed to sign-up this year. In the meantime, we split from our troupe and had to deal with that issue all year.

Naturally, when the time came to sign up for Shimmy Mob, our old troupe suddenly decided to participate here in our little town while we decided to join the team in Rochester. Awkward!

Then the choreography turned out to be a bear to learn, meaning that we had to put our own personal dancing on hold for the past two months. We had questions for our out-of-town team that were hard to get answers for. Well, we could have just stayed with our old troupe for that!

It was looking like everything would be last possible minute and that was quite stressful.

Then yesterday we got word that we could pick up our t-shirts early. Yippee! We would know early if they fit and could actually do something about it if they didn’t. We’d know what color so we could plan accessories accordingly. We could talk to a team member instead of meeting them all for the first time on Saturday. And as a bonus, she lived in a part of the city I have been to frequently, so our trip was uneventful in a good way and I could have that added feeling of accomplishment yesterday.

Every day I wonder if normal people just take things like this in stride and waste not a moment of thought or worry on tasks such as yesterday’s undertaking: The Great T-shirt Unveiling!

Years ago I was one of those people who could just drive to “the city”, meet a new person, get a t-shirt, drive home, and let the experience melt into the past without dwelling on it. How I miss those days and that self.

There has to be a happy medium somewhere in there. Maybe that is a definition of wellness: Doing things with some kind of presence of mind and without getting stuck in the fear and worry.

Saturday will come and go as does every other day of my life. Shimmy Mob will be memorable for what happens and for what I learned. It will turn out to be not as bad as it felt at times while we struggled with someone else’s choreography. And I will have no desire to try it again. Not because it was hard but because my time will be better spent on my own creativity which I tend to put on a back burner far too often in this life.

Then again, nobody knows what next year will be like and maybe it will be something else altogether.

10 Comments

Filed under anxiety, art therapy, decision making, depression, emotional health, exercise, friends, growth, healing, human nature, planning, pressure, progress, stress, Uncategorized, wellness

Out to Lunch

Today I took myself out to lunch at our local Wendy’s.  It has been three and a half years since the last time I ate there.

Wendy’s was the nearest place for lunch when I was still working at the Terrible Job.  Back then, I went there most days for lunch.  The last few weeks before I quit, I’d sit at my table furiously eating my spicy chicken sandwich and fries and looking at Facebook on my phone.  I mean that I was actually furious.  By the time my lunch break happened, I would have already had a lousy day and it would have been about six hours since last eating anything.  As hungry as I was, I never finished my meal either.  It was during the time period that I was restricting my food intake–sort of an act of aggression but directed at myself.  I’d eat about half my food and then angrily throw away the rest of it and drag myself back to work.

Yes, I was quite a mental mess by then.

Since today is Sunday, I knew I would not run into any former customers or former co-workers.  It would be safe for me to eat there.

Growing up I was of the mindset that I had to go where I likely would be treated badly.  I didn’t really have a policy of avoiding troublesome people.  Well, often enough there was no other option.  I was a kid, I had to go to school.  Going to school involved walking on public streets.  I was just a kid.  What else was I going to do?

Some unhappy kids skipped school, did drugs, got into fights.  Those did not seem like good options for me.

As an adult, I kept up that habit of staying in bad situations.  Often I volunteered for such.  Then came the day when I was at the end of my rope and I decided to go home from the Terrible Job.  I promised myself I would no longer do things that were sure to end in trouble or unhappiness for me.  No longer do I tolerate toxic people or situations.  Sure, it limits where I can go at certain times of the day in this small, crappy town.  But this is my little gift to myself.  I no longer participate in my own victimization.

Today it is Sunday.  I can go to Wendy’s if I want.

I ordered my spicy chicken and fries.  I ate until I was full.  I people-watched.  It felt so normal and safe.  It felt like taking back a little bit of my life, but on my terms.  No self-judgment or self-criticism.  Nobody prying into my personal life.  No having to explain anything to anyone.

It’s really hard to basically start life all over again but not moving away to do it.  Old habits and old distractions and old dangers are everywhere.  I am new, or at least I want to be, and I am surrounded by old.  It has been a very good exercise in letting go and learning how to be detached in a healthy way.

I can do this thing.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under anxiety, boundaries, bullies, decisions, depression, emotional health, enemies, getting along, growth, healing, human nature, peer pressure, progress, PTSD, self-care, self-respect, social phobia, Uncategorized, work

Weeping Willow

One morning last week I let the cat in through the back door and then just leaned against the window panes for a bit and absent-mindedly stared at the autumn all around.

On the west side of our back yard is an old apple tree and the compost pile.  In the center is a little flower bed.  And to the east is a huge old willow tree.  Except on this day it was lying on its side with roots in the air and branches and limbs strewn over ours and our neighbors’ lawns.

I love our trees the same way I love our pets.  Seeing the tree destroyed like that made me want to find a way to set it back up and let it somehow live for a few more years.  Magical thinking.

Later on I went outside and was able to look inside the termite damaged trunk.  There was a cool spray of dust from the roots slowly falling around me while I was in there.  Then I walked around checking out the full  length of our old willow and found dozens of bees freaking out near the ground under some limbs.  I guess their lives got mightily disrupted because of this.

It must have fallen during the night.  Neither my husband nor I heard a thing.  It was a complete surprise.

We’ve lived here for twenty-three years, so there are some memories attached to this willow.  We had a tire swing in it for awhile.  Our cats had chased squirrels up and down it over the years.  Lots of birds nested there, naturally.  One time, my husband set part of it on fire!  By accident, of course. And another time it lost about half its limbs due to a freak October ice storm.  That tree just might have had a more interesting life than I have had so far.

My husband and his friend made quick work of it with their chainsaws the other day and I have checked out the new piles of future bonfire wood a couple times.  It is kind of satisfying to see the orderliness of it.  Plus, we both thought this clean-up would take months (having had experience with only cheap, crappy chainsaws in the past).  Instead it took only a few hours with a couple of new, deluxe chainsaws.

Since the carving up, I haven’t been out there at all.  I’ve been busy and other things have been on my mind.  When I do see the tree from a window every so often, it still surprises me but not with the same twist in my gut as on the first day.

This is the kind of thing my life is about now.  And for the time being, or maybe forever, I prefer it to the tedious grind of being out there in the world of work, side by side with mostly strangers, and letting the external pressures of every single thing in the universe take over my poor brain.

3 Comments

Filed under anxiety, depression, emotional health, family, grief, growth, healing, love, pressure, self-care, social phobia, Uncategorized, work

Share Your World Questions

I love quizzes and questionnaires and usually want to answer them when they come along. I have been this way for as long as I can remember–probably because it is a way to quiet my mind.

Sometimes it is very hard to make things quiet in there. This morning, for example, I woke up with Brad Pitt’s “Oh Yellow Wo” song in my head and it is STILL banging around in there…. hopefully this quiz will shut it off!

Alright, it’s time to begin….

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

If I didn’t know any better, I would think I was about 27. That’s less than ten years out of high school and I have noticed that is when people (who have their act together) start to have kids and houses and decent-paying jobs. And it is only just recently that I have felt really ready for any of those things. Of course, I actually did those things a long, long time ago. The kids are long since grown up and moved away, the job went poof a couple years ago, and I’m rather sick of the house and am ready to have a house that feels more like me. This house has been our home for over twenty years but it never quite matched my way of moving and doing things. It was always just a tad off-center. Too many doorways and windows for arranging our furniture around, cupboards too high for such a short girl, not enough closets… just an ever-so-slight awkwardness to the place.

Are you left or right handed?

Most of the time I am left-handed. I have always used scissors with my right hand. Once I began to work, I had to make decisions about handedness. Work stations are always set up for right-handers. Do I make a big stink about it and get everything rearranged for me? No, I never do that. And usually it was impossible anyway. Cash registers are shared and have furniture that is nailed down in place. Computers are often shared and the mouse is always set up on the right side. Everybody else is right-handed. My last workplace was unusual in that several left-handers worked there. Your work station was your own and could actually be adjusted for “handedness” to a certain extent. If I wanted to, I could have done everything left-handed even to the point of being inconsiderate of the next person who came along. But, I just didn’t want to. It was actually easy for me to learn to do things right-handed and that is because I rock!

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

I’ve always been partial to the name Rachel.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

Fortunately, people rarely come over. However, since I try to keep the place in decent order every day, I don’t have a go-to hiding place for spur of the moment clearing out. This is bothersome to our hoarder-type visitors who would feel better if we were as messy as they are. But we would never pass a white glove test, either, so the neatniks will generally be critical of our house and wish they could clean it up a bit. People make my brain tired. It would be nice not to know what some people wish we would do.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week was busy and I thought I might need several days of down time and extra sleep in which to decompress. But I did pretty good and took it in stride for the most part. So, that was very cool.

This week is extra quiet and that is very cool as well. I feel good which feels weird. But it’s a good weird.

Oh yellow yellow yellow wo, oh yel-low wo….. No, it’s not really stuck anymore. I just like to end each blog a little bit like the way it began.

Leave a comment

Filed under anxiety, depression, questionnaire, quiz, stress