Better Late Than Never, eh?
I started this post on Monday, but I got busy and never finished it. So, it’s rambling and has lots of parentheticals and I don’t know if the two halves really go together, as they were written several days apart, but here it is!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Aaron has been busy most evenings and weekends working on projects for classes so I’ve had a lot of time to myself. And while having too much time to one’s self can be dangerous (I’m an overthinker. Too much time thinking can cause various kinds of spirals.), I’m finding ways to keep myself occupied and I’m getting better at avoiding the blues. This is kind of a breakthrough to me.
As I have mentioned, we are looking at some big changes in our lives in the next year or so and while that is daunting, it’s exhilarating as well. One of the things that will be happening, if all goes as is planned, is that I will be moving off on my own for 5-6 months while Aaron finishes school. I’ll be taking the cats and I’ve got some childhood friends in the area that we’re looking at (the Seattle area of Washington). But if I’m not capable of making use of those lonely hours and not getting bummed, like I had been, then being on my own for months was looking like a bad idea.
But, thanks to the magic of college, I’m getting to “practice” having massive amounts of time alone. (Yay…) To be honest, I was getting a little worried. Ever since the health problems and resulting diagnosis of the summer and my grandfather’s death in the fall, I haven’t really been feeling like my old, (mostly) positive self. But here lately, I’ve been trying (and mostly succeeding) to focus on positive, constructive things instead of being passive. And let me tell you, the changes so far, though small, have been profound.
All the health nonsense, stress from work and losing my grandfather, on top of my already fragile self-esteem, left me feeling pretty bitter and powerless. Plus there’s the stress of having to make BIG, GROWNUP DECISIONS that will alter the course of our lives. All of that had been weighing on my mind in every moment of alone time and I responded in one of two ways. I would either worry myself into a state of despair (despair spiral) or do something mindless to help me ignore said soul-crushing despair (sloth spiral). Then, in either case, I would feel bad about either the sloth or not being able to handle the stress (shame spiral). (I have a thing for ______ spirals.
So, now instead of indulging in self-loathing or laziness, I’m learning to find something else to do–something that doesn’t come with the previous feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I bought a ukulele and I spend a lot of alone time playing and learning new things. (I love my ukulele! But I forgot her name…) I’m also spending a lot of time getting educated about health and fitness and that makes me feel better as well. As Witless Exposition alluded to in a comment on my last post, there’s a lot of unfounded (i.e. not research based) blame and assumed causality involved with PCOS that if I hadn’t taken the time to do my own digging, could have lead to a very dark, guilt-filled place.
So, in short, I’m learning how to use my time alone in a constructive way and improving myself at the same time.
The future looks awfully bright when you don’t focus on the shadowy bits!