Where have I been? I’ve been in a hole. It’s been dark and a little damp, maybe. But it’s been cozy and for a long time, I didn’t mind. Then I remembered that there’s a whole world outside of my hole and for the first time in a long time, I told someone “I’m not doing so well.”
I’m not out of the hole, but I’ve got plans. I’m poking my nose out. I’m seeing more light that I had seen for a while. It feels good. But honestly? Also exhausting.
Because I think I do okay with challenges (only ones I present to myself)– I’m going to try something. I haven’t been writing, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but I guess my hole has poor wifi reception? Anyways, I read something about someone else trying to post on their blog THIRTY DAYS IN A ROW. So I’m going to try.
At first I thought, I’ll do it in January. But you know what? That’s just as arbitrary a date as today. Plus, it gave me a few weeks to back my way out of the challenge. I really won’t be going for quality, here. Just sheer quantity. And that’s supposed to be the opposite of the way you do this, but I think I need to get my butt in gear. I need to open my laptop and log in to this blog every single day. It’s like an exercise routine, but for my brain.
So my apologies for the short posts, the random thoughts, and for the silence before this. Join me in my arbitrary month of posts!
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!
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?
I’m leaving my office job, I’ve talked about it here before. Next week is my very last week. For the first time in nearly 5 years (just 2 weeks shy!), I won’t be employed there anymore. I was telling my friend this yesterday, and after a bit of chatting, he asked “how are you feeling about it?” And I told him, quite honestly “well, really good– until I just told you about it!”
All of a sudden, the anxiety came crashing in. I’m a creature of habit and comfort. I like knowing, I like schedules, I like routine. I like being good at a thing.
And stepping into the unknown is scary. So scary. Especially as I don’t have all the pieces in place yet. So my anxiety is growing– I’m having trouble sleeping, my heart keeps racing, and I’m falling into the familiar thought patterns I call “rehearsing.” This is my brain’s way of trying to cope– I go over things. I go over schedules, I go over plans, I go over all the things I need to do, I go over how I’m going to do them, I go over all the near-misses. Over and over. Anxiety growing. Pre-medication, this is how my brain operated about 90% of the time. It’s exhausting.
Stepping away from this job is the right thing. It’s the right time. I’m ready to spend my time and effort on my own dreams. I’m ready to create my own life. But it’s so scary.
I know things will work out. I know change takes time. I know things will fall into place. It’s just trusting that it’ll all fall at the right times, which are often just a little bit further away than I’d like. So this week (and probably next), I’m doing everything I can to keep calm– deep breathing, lots of rest, lots of distractions, lots of journaling, and even CBD oil.
Wish me luck and happy thoughts in the upcoming weeks! Change is hard, ya’ll!