Monday, October 25, 2021

Setting the Winter Up for Success

When one of my girls was in high school, we took this DBT class together in conjunction with her therapy. I don't know how much she got out of it, but I got a lot! One of the parts that I think about frequently was this section where we were talking about Distress Tolerance -- what to do when you're upset.  And there were these three pages with ideas on how to Distract yourself, how to Soothe yourself, and how to Improve the moment that you're in when you're feeling overwhelmed.

I return to these often.

In WW, we talk a lot about setting yourself up for success. The time to come up with a list of Things to Do Instead of Eating Ice Cream when You're Mad is not when you're mad. You aren't being kind to yourself by waiting until then.  The time to come up with that list is when you're not mad and you have a little bit of space between Current You and Not Sane You -- SO THAT it's already there and ready to pull from when you need it later.

It's full into Autumn here in the Northwest. And I don't know if it actually IS, but it feels like it's gotten gloomier faster this year. I'm kind of the Point Parent for getting us through the dark wintery depression season -- which, admittedly, is ABSOLUTELY like the blind leading the blind. But, I need to set myself up for success.

So, I'm working on a "What I Need to Fill My Cup" list.  It's a work in progress.

  • Give yourself permission to leave the laundry undone, and spend that time immersed in a book. YES, work your way through your TBR shelf -- but this is the season to bring out your old favorites and spend time with old friends. Roland Deschain, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, Samwise Gamgee, Anne Shirley, James Herriott, Mr Tumnus. 
  • Is it raining outside? No? Put on your sneakers, please.
  • Go do the dishes. It takes 10 minutes and you feel better when the kitchen counter is clear.
  • Write. Even if what comes out is dumb and no one cares but you.
  • Make all the online shopping wish lists you please!
  • Get a massage.
  • Watch your favorite old movies. Kick anyone out who complains or makes fun.
  • Get brave enough to make TikToks just to piss off your kids.
  • Listen to the music you love.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Hi, remember me?

*tap tap* Is this thing on?  I thought I'd see if this place still works. I've been moving into my own office/reading/writing space, and I'd like to get back into writing again. Don't expect anything fancy... probably just some prompts out of my writing jar to start. But I feel good when I'm expressing myself more. I can't promise that you'll always like what I have to say! But it would feel good to have a space again.

I've really been enjoying driving around lately -- just normal driving around town and errands. My town looks so pretty right now with the orange and red leaves, and the pine needles that have changed colors ready to be purged.  We have a wind storm coming today, so they'll probably mostly be gone tomorrow. But it's sure pretty right now.

One of the things I really love about autumn is yes -- the change in colors -- but I think they serve as a reminder to me about the circle of the seasons, and how there is a purpose to each of them. This time of year is for harvesting, but also of preparing for the winter, which in turn prepares us for new growth. I need that reminder sometimes. Not just in what the earth needs each year, but it reminds me that the same is true for the seasons of my own life. That sometimes life is sunshine and beach parties and sometimes life is a little barren and sometimes life is preparing for both of them. And that, even when it feels barren and harsh, there is a reason and a purpose, and it truly is just a season.