Thursday, February 6, 2014
Days go by...
I've taken up activities designed to draw me into a more mindful life, one of which is to journal just the days' events in chronological order. The initial purpose isn't to reflect, it is to notice things as they happen. Eventually, I find myself reflecting more on some things, but because I don't have to, I find it easier to keep this kind of journal.
When I was a teenager, I used to journal reflectively with ease. I used to pay attention to my life; I was totally present in it, but I didn't realize it then, nor did I realize that a time would come when I lived in more of a stupor, with everything often muted and myself somewhat numb. Not always, mind you - I am a very optimistic person and I experience joy all the time, but in shorter bursts over the last few years. That's what therapy has been helping me with; aside from dealing with my anxiety, I am trying to find my way back to the self I knew who once experienced things much more fully and intensely. Life was magical and I didn't even have to try. But I guess it's like all things that come easily: we take them for granted.
So a sample of what my journal page would look like for today would be:
"I woke up still extremely tired, but my IHeartRadio alarm was playing "Your Love" by Outfield, which I love. I got myself out of bed, despite feeling groggy, and I gave Merlin his last can of wet food, mixing it with water to make it soupy. He was pleased.
After a few minor online errands (small payments I needed to make, updating my bank log and my planner with "save the date" events from Facebook), I packed up my laundry bag onto my roommate's "granny cart" and strolled down to the M & M Coin Laundromat. Once there, I packed a month's load of my clothes into one of their jumbo machines, got quarters from the change machine and put in the requisite $3 to get it all soaked and washed. Once it was washing, I went over to Dolce Casa, bought a coffee & grilled cheese and hunched over my laptop for 40 minutes until I had to go transfer it to the dryer."
Pretty mundane stuff most days, you know? But every once in awhile, I will read it back to myself and find a little gem of reflection or snark:
"I'm all for self-acceptance, but sometimes, changing yourself IS what is better for you. All roads sometimes lead back to you; you are the common denominator in your life's dramas. If you find yourself constantly being dumped by friends and no one seems to want to be around you, maybe you should remember this: WWTWD? And do the opposite. That's "What Would Tommy Wiseau Do?" -- would he ask inappropriately personal questions? Yes ("So, how's your sex life?")! So don't do that! Would he make an overdramatic scene about everything? Yes ("You're tearing me apart, Lisa!")! So don't do that, either!"
And I'm finding that this journaling habit is catching on, allowing me to take a moment with myself every day. That's valuable all on its own. Time doesn't seem to be passing me by as quickly without notice, and that's a start to making me feel whole again.
Tune in later tonight, when I will post the next installment of Turn To You!