I'm a massage therapist, a bit of a dreamer, and SSRI success story (ongoingly). I'm an outgoing introvert, Hufflepuff, cat mom, avid reader, aspiring hippy, and lover of deep conversations over almost any liquid (y'know, coffee, tea, wine, beer, kombucha, water...)
My goal for September has been to wake up. I’ve talked about why recently, and I’ve talked about a few things I’m doing to push through this sleepy/self-cloistering period.
Another phrase that has popped into my consciousness is dig in. Not like “gut it out” like we hear in exercise (was anyone else a runner?), but like in putting in roots. Going deeper. Getting stronger. Connecting. It feels like time.
We had a “Community Conversation” this evening at the church I call home, and I was pleased to hear that a lot of people are feeling the same way. Maybe it’s the end of summer, which feels free and transitory. Maybe it’s the beginning of “cuffing season,” but people are looking to invest, to dig in, and I’m here for it.
I’m excited to see where it leads. Myself, I have a newly set-up walking date with a friend with a new baby. I’ve messaged an out-of-state friend about having monthly Skype dates. I’m ready to pour into and be poured into. I’m looking for ways to connect and deepen. I feel a craving that not even mac-and-cheese can fill.
Anyone else feeling a shift in the weather? What are you digging in to?
I’ve talked about it quite a bit– going out on my own, ditching the 9-5 office job. And you know what? I haven’t looked back, on that part. But let me tell you– sometimes my lizard brain has a mind of its own, you know? In the month that I’ve been a free bird, anxiety has been NO JOKE.
One of my biggest responses to both depression or anxiety is to SHUT IT DOWN. Meaning, I don’t do anything. I sleep, sometimes 16-20 hours a day, if I can. Yeah, not healthy. But it’s been my go-to method for a long time.
And in the month of September so far, I’ve been woozy and dizzy, and I’ve fully passed out (twice!). Sound crazy? Feels even worse, I can assure you. A few years ago I had heart tests run, and I’m fit as a fiddle. But those psychosomatic responses aren’t here to play– so I have heart palpitations and fits of blackouts. It’s a great time.
I think all this stems from the fact that I don’t transition well and I have so much free time and what if clients stop booking massages and I don’t make any money?! You know, the normal stuff.
So what am I going to do about all of this? Here are my actionable plans:
I have already emailed my therapist to get back on her schedule
I have to get out and do more– I am running a 5k in 2 weeks and I think I may go (alone!) to one of my favorite comedians who is coming to town
I’ve been taking slow walks daily, about 20-30 minutes. Slow enough so I don’t get dizzy, but enough to get my heart rate up and hopefully keep my heart healthy
I need to start advertising and reaching out more. Know anyone in Indianapolis who could use a massage? Refer them to me!!
What do you do to combat your anxiety? How to you populate your free time? Do you have a walking buddy (where did you get her?!)?
God cares about the small things. By small things, I mean my cat, who was lost for over 20 hours outside and for whom I prayed for about 20 hours straight. She’s home, safe, and healthy. I am sure God heard those prayers, as trivial as it may seem.
Speaking of cats– it was Iris doing the “mystery wees” I blamed Sammy, my boy cat, for the mystery pees throughout the house. Only to have Iris, girl kitty, hop up on my bed (while I was in it), happily wee, then cuddle with me until I realized. Hm. Mystery solved. Sorry, Sammy!
Good body mechanics are vital! Full time massage therapy is no joke! I’ve learned rather quickly that I CAN’T be too lazy to hold my body correctly, or I’ll pay for it dearly in the coming days.
It’s good to have connections. So my sister’s friend’s boyfriend works for an HVAC company and as a result I got a pretty sweet deal on an air conditioner! My Grey Cottage is about 98 years old this year and never had central air– until now! It’s going in to the off season, by the way– now is the time to give your HVAC people a call for discounted work!
Show Up. This one meant a lot, and seemed to be a theme from about mid-July through August. I kept showing up, and my schedule filled with clients. I kept showing up, and went deeper with friends. I kept showing up, and have new opportunities coming up as a result. Sometimes, it’s not anything big– just keep showing up!
Uh oh– we’re nearing the end of August and I never posted about the books I read in July. Wanna know why?
Because I didn’t read any.
That’s not entirely true. I started two books. And I didn’t finish them. I struggled. I tried. I kept picking them up. I kept putting them back down. Despite my love of reading, I just did not love these books.
I’m not going to name them, because it’s not the poor books’ fault. I just wasn’t that into them. And you know what? Even though I felt bad, it felt okay when I finally returned them to the library. I told myself “it might just not be the right time for this one” and it made me feel a bit better.
Do you have any unfinished books lying around? Give yourself permission to give up on them. It’s okay, find something that grabs you, instead. Life is too short to read books you’re not into.
One, they do not owe you anything. Two, you do not owe them anything. Three, the one you owe is you. Just like you already know if your love is returned or not, you know the thing(s) to do. Do them.
Be good to yourself. Be good to the other. Move forward, life and love will come.
Sorry for the accidental hiatus last Friday! Last week was my first full week of DOING MY OWN THING and the days sort of got away from me. First, I took a four day vacation (something I never do) to see friends, then I watched my adorable baby niece, and then… I just worked. In my first week full-time massaging, I did 12 massages. Which felt like a pretty good confirmation that– It’s all going to be alright.
But– I am doing pretty badly about the whole schedule thing. I thrive on schedules. So I have been going to bed at a decent hour and waking up… never. Why is waking up so hard? How do people bounce out of bed with hours to spare? The constant rain recently hasn’t helped, either. It all feels like time to nap for me!
I’m not sure actually how to get out of this. I’m working and doing those sorts of things, but things like… say, cleaning my house, or mowing my yard… well, it’s getting left behind in only the way it can with me sleeping on my couch.
I think one of my solutions is coffee. (I mean, what? HOw could that be a solution?) Hear me out. I normally didn’t drink coffee at home on my days off before. A day here or there without coffee, well it hurt, but I could manage. But I AM up early every morning for kitty breakfast and I think I need to just start throwing coffee down my throat at that point– no going back to sleep for me!
But more than anything, what I’ve been reminding myself today is to give myself grace. No name-calling. No chastising. No hating on myself because I was extra tired or didn’t get the yard mowed before it rained (again). Things will come. Schedules and routines will be built again. Yes, I need to put in effort towards that. But when I have a day when it all seems like a failure– that’s okay! I just needed that time off.
Back to getting things done– how do you self-employeds do it? How do you wake yourself up? What is your motivation? What names don’t you call yourself?
The long-awaited last week of employment– here we are! I am officially (as of Friday) not really employed anywhere– eep!
This week, I’ve taken it easy, got to hang out with my baby niece all day Tuesday (#auntielife), got a massage, and generally freaked out just slightly.
The Parent Trap (circa 1998) was easily in my top five movies as a kid. The fashion holds up today. (Abbi, what were your top five? Well, if you insist… Probably ANYTHING Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Milo & Otis, Chicken Run, The Parent Trap, and the Princess Bride)
What do you unnecessarily spend money on? Mine is on food– or, going out for food. I hate cooking at home, or at least tell myself I do, mostly because I wait until I’m “too tired or hungry” to wade through a recipe, so I order out (Grubhub is both my best friend and my arch enemy). Anyways, I’m eyeing unneeded expenses and hoping to cut down. Wish me luck!
I’ve spoken recently about my anxiety and the habit of rehearsing. This article gives some good tips for “over-thinking” which is kind of the same thing? Anyways, I’ve kept a few pages in my BuJo for gratitude and that has helped a lot (tip 6), but the biggest thing for me is to recognize the pattern and step out of it.