Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Month: January, 2012

Days Like This

More like weeks like this…

I guess I could’ve seen it coming though, with all those anxious / uppity feelings running through my body at the start of the month. Now, it’s the opposite, but very equal action of down down down, pulling in and collapsing emotionally. But I don’t want to try and spell all of those deeper feelings out word for word tonight. No. Instead, I want to write down a list of the tools I rummaged through and pulled out in the past few days to my own rescue (and surprise):

  • I took a day off. A full day, just for me, which included lots of reading and doggie cuddles.
  • Called friends. Even leaving a voicemail is a relief, a sign to the kid in me that I’m able to handle my shit, reach out and ask for help.
  • Exercised, but without forcing myself to do so.
  • Was honest with someone about how crappy I’m feeling. Was honest with another about needing space.
  • Wrote a “brain dump” which helped relieve the racing thoughts a bit, and gave some perspective on what I really had to work on next.
  • Chose one thing that was bugging me, one doable task, and completed it, start to finish. Today it was work receipts, but it could be anything from cleaning a room, to running a load of laundry, to finishing a book.
  • I gave myself time to create: journaled, blogged, took photos and made valentines.
  • Let myself eat cake and drink lattes, but also listened to my body when it was full.
  • Got sleep. Still could use more of this.
  • Read… a lot. Reading is like a salve for me. It helps so much in my busted brain.

And with all of that, and a grande latte, I’m feeling a shit ton better this evening than I was even 12 hours ago.

In extra happy news, my sister (one of my favorite people in the world, if not my favoritest) received and accepted a job offer. Congrats Ricky!

Last, but not least, I want to start a few repeating topics. Today’s debut? FAVORITE TWEET TUESDAYS. This one in from Erin Michelle (@TheDesignLush):

…because that sums up my love of reading completely.

PTO

This is what a day off looks like… and since I never take them just for me, I made sure anything I did was purely for me. A-maz-ing.

Sleeping in till 7am. Waking up without an alarm.

Writing morning pages with the doggie sleepily looking on. 3 pages of long-hand, snapping a few pictures in the quiet. Exhibit A:

Feeding and watering both myself and the pup. Then out for a 3 mile run with lots of stops for him to sniff and pee and me to catch my breath. Listened to “Fresh Air” interview with Louis C.K. It did not disappoint.

Then on to a real breakfast, now that we have a kitchen full of groceries. Not since Thanksgiving has the fridge been this full. Fruit, eggs, spinach and a few corn tortillas. And lots and lots of reading.

I spent most of the morning reading – blogs, Harry Potter 4 (which I finished!), and few other books on the e-reader. I spent it cuddled up in an arm chair with this guy:

I didn’t check email, Twitter or Facebook. No TV or phone calls. Hell, I didn’t even leave the house. I showered around 1pm with the intention of taking myself out for writing and coffee, but just didn’t want to go. Lunch was eaten in too:

It involved a whole avocado, an entire tomato and more tea. Literally, wholes foods.

I perused Liz Lamoreux’s blog, especially her journalling videos, Chookooloonks’ blog, and got lost in the depths of Nothing But Bonfires‘ site before fiance was home and I was cooking dinner. Then it was crafty time, which is so-not-me normally but what can I say? I’m pretty inspired by Elise Joy’s blog lately, and I figured, I feel better when I make things, so why deprive myself of this tiny pleasure?

They’re going to be valentines. I’ve sent Christmas cards for the past 5+ years, but this past year it became something that needed to fall off the list to make room for things like work events, wedding planning and, um, sleep… so when I saw this adorable pack at Paper Source, I just had to have ’em.

Not sure how many hours it’s supposed to take, but I hope to get them out in the next few days. Luckily, this week is wide open in the evenings, so I’ll be making my way through the project. It’s important to note that this type of thing can so quickly become a “to do” that I’m working to keep it a “project” and not a “have to”. Something fun and relaxing, not torture. Something that will make other people happy, but is filling my well at the same time.

I don’t know why I didn’t just take a day off last week, when I needed it. Wasn’t acknowledging it somehow. That old “knuckle down” habit. So glad I did. I can feel another day would just be amazing, but tomorrow I’ll be able to return to work with energy, knowing that I took care of myself today.

Fragility

Tucked into an armchair with cookies, warm milk, the pup and Harry Potter book 4. I realize this makes me seem 8 yrs old, but that’s exactly correct. That tiny-voiced, pure strained of me inside is crying out for attention, naps, and warmth.

Time has passed – I have not written. The holidays were both purely enjoyable and utterly exhausting. Looking back, it was a blur. Wedding planning was accomplished, flights departed and arrived, gifts were exchanged. Sadly, the trip disintegrated into drinking each night to numb out the anxiety. I dream of a full 10 days at home with the fiance and dog and holiday celebrations. Some day…

But, that’s not where I’m at right now. Now, even more time has passed – the first month of the year is almost over – and I find myself knocked out again. With two major events in 4 days, and lots of administration in town, the pressure I put on myself was reminisce of the old days. As in, back when I thought my work was my worth, the hustling was ridiculous, and the pressure unreal. All internal, I may add.

You can tell me my star is shining bright (as a colleague did), and yet, I see myself at the bottom of a black hole.

Here’s a small list, since I can’t get into all of it right now:

  • I’m super sensitive. Tears have sprung forth from eyes that were, moments prior, shining with happiness. It’s a deep, wet cry that shuts off slowly. A cry of exhaustion, of surrender. (Requires loads of tissues.)
  • I crave warm milk, especially before bed, and copious amounts of tea. In better news, I’ve stopped putting sugar in my tea, tuned into the blood sugar fluctuations and effects on my mood.
  • I want it to be snowing and cold out, so I’d have an excuse to hibernate and cuddle in. At the same time, I want to stretch out in patches of sun and bake.
  • I have a small idea of what narcoleptic symptoms must feel like – my energy levels change rapidly, going from “cruising along” to “passed out” in the matter of minutes.
  • Sleep has been really deep and delicious, but accompanied by stressful dreams, one where I was bleeding to death and another where I was escaping a city being bombed (can we say, not a relaxed mental state?)
  • I feel a drawing-in that includes not wanting to be social, answer emails or pick up the phone. Quiet and still seem to be the right way.
  • In general, I just want to be left alone.

And look, I get it – I can see where most of this is coming from – the events, the pressure, the opposite-yet-equal reaction from being on on on  to literally shutting off. Yes, I managed the stress of the past month better than the me of last year could’ve, but it was still demanding, pulling on reserves that were already low. Things will even out, even if it doesn’t look like “bouncing back”.