My life has taken on an absurd whirlwind of insanity. I have prospered in some areas, declined in others, and backslid out of prosperity. Periods of intense satisfaction and the belief that things are back on track (or on track to be back on track) are punctuated by moments of paralysis and second-guessing. This has led to inactivity–a very disappointing state considering the promise and optimism I had so recently felt.
The cycle repeats.
Nothing has truly brought me out of it.
However, I have found some things I can do to help me feel less bad. (That’s really the point, isn’t it? To feel less bad. Once I feel less bad for a while, I’ll focus on feeling good)
Back in middle school, I discovered a local radio station that had Big Band Saturday Night, weekly from 9:00 until midnight. I loved the music. I’d turn on the radio as I fell asleep. The music was relaxing. It spurred a deep love for mid-20th century history and culture.
In the summer before high school, my mom and I (and her friend and her friend’s kids) went on a trip to Orlando. We stayed at a hotel evoking the island-hopping culture in the South Pacific. The lobby played big band music. The decor was so quaintly mid-20th century. Ten-ish years later, I went back to this hotel for another trip with my mom. Both of those visits, just being in the lobby and having that music filling the air took me somewhere deep inside myself. Perhaps tapping into a past life.
All of that to say–the Big Band music channel on our satellite offerings has become a constant companion during the days while Steve is gone. Something about it takes me outside of myself in a most wonderful way.
It doesn’t get words on the page, but it helps lift me out of a setting I do not want to be in. It’s a start.
Secondly, I have been taking pride in my house. One afternoon, I went on a tear and deep-cleaned the house. For the next few weeks, I diligently stuck to my self-imposed cleaning schedule. It’s unfortunately gone to shit since my grandma’s shoulder surgery–more on that later–but I’m fighting back.
I feel much better having my surroundings organized and tidy. I can actually relax when it is time to relax instead of having the mess constantly hum beneath the surface. The prospect of someone just dropping by is less stressful because the house won’t be in a shambles. (Though any intrusion on my seclusion is still unwelcome)
I still have much work to do to truly curate the items in our house. But I am feeling better by taking control of the mess I had allowed to accumulate throughout law school, bar prep, and my dark days of spring and summer.
I hate how backwardly housewife-y it sounds, but I loved the days I would turn on music, clean, and make myself feel presentable so that I could greet Steve at the end of the workday with a smile. (Note–I did these things for ME and according to MY standards; there was zero expectation on his part. He’s actually expressed a preference for my yoga pants.) I learned that part of taking pride–for me–is actually getting dressed and putting on a touch of makeup. I don’t feel good wearing yoga pants for long periods of time. It’s a psychological thing for me. I need to put on real clothes.
What meager success I have made has been made complicated by my grandmother’s shoulder surgery. My mom has been in town most of the past 3 weeks, just sitting with my grandma as she recuperates in rehab. I keep getting guilted into going to the hospital or to run and do this errand. In short–many demands on my time with little notice, no ability to plan. This makes mornings, my peak productive time, unproductive. Even if I am not bothered, I can’t concentrate because I feel like I am about to be bothered.
So many ideas course through my head, but getting them down before being lost to another distraction–either real or self-created–is an impossible feat.
But still I truck on, in the hopes of one day attaining that lifestyle I so desperately wish for.