-- Lao Tzu
Finnigan says he's sorry for waking me up. I dunno... Does he look sincere to you?
It’s hard to write right now. I’m feeling a lot of strain about what’s going to happen with my future. And I guess a little depressed, too.
After the next five weeks, I have no foreseeable income. I’ve already written about this, but it is what’s on my mind, and it makes it difficult to focus on new blog post ideas. I have a Word document with about seven pages of ideas; there just aren’t any that seem appealing today.
It’s times like these when I just want to hole up and give in to whatever fate brings me. But I doubt that Fate – without some participation on my part – is going to bring me anything of much use. Giving in usually doesn’t produce good results.
And so I try to practice what I preach and turn to the ten Basics I’ve been taught: good food, good sleep, making sure to take my meds, laughter, relaxation, exercise, affirmations/positive thinking, spirituality, journaling and reaching out. I’ve discussed four of the “basics” in my posts so far. Let’s see how I’m faring with them today.
It’s noon and so far I’ve had a mocha and a scone to eat, not necessarily “good” food as far as being healthy for me. I should go eat lunch, but I’m just not hungry yet. Good sleep? I’m babysitting my grand puppy Finnigan, and he decided he just had to see me at 4:30 this morning. I never got back to sleep after that. Meds? I haven’t taken my a.m. meds yet. I guess I’ll go do that now.
Okay, I’m back. Where was I? Ah, yes, laughter. I still haven’t gotten that one figured out. It is amusing to watch the dog and cat play together, so maybe that counts. Relaxation: the Basics handout they give us at the intensive outpatient program states that relaxation is “any activity that slows breath, calms the mind, relaxes muscles and lets your heart rate slow down.” I’ll do a post about relaxation soon, probably. But for now, I’m going to need to make a concerted effort to plan something calming today.
What’s next? Exercise. I took the dog on a walk this morning, so I’m going to count that. Depending on how antsy he gets this afternoon, we may go out again. Next on the list is affirmations. That’s so hard right now. I’m going to skip that one, because… well, because I just don’t want to do them. Maybe I should make that a blog topic real soon, too. We supposedly learn more when we try to teach something. Not that I’m teaching, but I will need to focus on it if I’m going to write about it.
Spirituality: I’ll think about that one. Journaling : I suppose writing this post counts for that. And reaching out: no plans for that. That’s one of my major downfalls when I start to slide. I can isolate better than a bear can hibernate.
So, I’m aware of the basics, but implementing them on days like this is a real challenge. At the treatment program, every afternoon they had us write down one small goal for each of the ten basics, some simple step to be completed within the next 24 hours. And then on the following day, we looked at our goals to see whether we accomplished them or not. It’s a good accountability tool, if used earnestly.
Actually, I’m feeling a little better just since beginning to write this. Maybe thinking about short term goals helps to bring us back to the present. I’m not exactly feeling the peace that Lao Tzu refers to. I still have no clue as to how I'm going to sustain myself after next month. But at least I’m hungry now, and that’s a start. I’m off to find some “good” food.