All the worries

Strange times indeed.  I am acutely aware that the habit of writing these short pieces was helping me through previous odd times, which were nothing compared to this.  Come back Brexit!  Obviously that is a joke – a society divided is no fun either, and actually in ways was more worrying – for me anyway.  I have tried not to consume too much news over the past few years, an hour or so of radio news in the morning and that was pretty much it.  

I decided that I ought to be more in tune with news at the start of this year.  Mainly because I am keen to be a thoughtful part of current leadership elections.  So, one of the squares on my habit tracker was encouraging me to read the news.  

In the last couple of weeks of course, reading the news has becomes as compulsive as it has ever been in my life.  And frankly it is driving me nuts.  Most of the headlines are about what possible measures may be put in place, or what has been put in place in other places, or what someone thinks should be the official advice here.   It is not clear at all, it is frightening and confusing instead of reassuring and clear. 

I know this is unprecedented in my lifetime (gosh I write that and assume it is – I would not have forgotten a pandemic in my childhood would I?), so there are no comparisons.  This is not the same as wartime, natural disasters are awful, but again not the same. Political uncertainty makes us feel unsettled and worried, but the fears are very different. 

I know it must be hard for anyone to decide what to do, hence all the opinions that are flying around.  For now, I am trying to simplify and turn down the volume on the emotional reactions and listen to official guidance and less to everyone else who is now thinks themselves an expert epidemiologist.  And I have crossed out that habit tracker line to read more news.  Less news, more fresh air, more thinking about other people is the order of the day.  Until that guidance changes of course.

Stay healthy, look after each other.

A mithering sense of worry

My computer insists that the word ‘mithering’ is not correct and keeps auto-correcting it to ‘withering’.  Which feels quite apt actually, because I have spent this weekend with a mithering worry in mind and it is withering my relaxation and sense of happiness.  

It is just a mither though – nothing too serious and nothing we will not cope with, but still there and bothering me.  The dog is not well.  We know the dog is not well – he has cancer of the adrenal gland which has made him unwell for well over four years now.  But just over four years ago he was given somewhere between weeks and years to live, and he was properly poorly.  He has, in his own poodle way, taught us to approach every day of his life with an enthusiastic wagging tail and to look forward to whatever meal, walk, cuddle is right in front of him.  Not expecting more, just loving whatever he has.  It has been a good lesson in life.

It is a lesson I took to heart a few weeks ago when we decided to have a mad celebration of his tenth birthday.  Having never been sure he would make it to ten, we thought it fitting to celebrate what was there in front of us.  We baked a dog cake, we bought presents.  In fact we seem to have taught the old dog new tricks – unwrapping presents and emptying gift bags – unfortunately he has no way of differentiating between his presents and those intended for others.  Oops.

So, I do feel we have enjoyed every moment as much as we can.  But this afternoon the vet wants to re-run some blood tests as they suspect the poor dog has a second very rare disease.  That would colloquially be known as sod’s law.  

It turns out that although I thought I had made peace with him not lasting forever, the sadness of having to actually face this is definitely pervading my mood.  Time to just accept I am worried and get on with the day being worried and doing other stuff at the same time. I am hoping that naming it helps that process.

New blog routine

Up until now, all of these have been written first thing in the morning.  But it’s the busy season at the moment, with various commitments and a lot going on, and frankly sleep is slightly more beneficial than blogging.

But sleep is making me blog this evening instead.  Or rather lack of it.  I am a great sleeper, it’s definitely my top skill in life.  It’s also the canary in the mine of health and wellbeing.  If I stop sleeping, there is something wrong. And I stopped sleeping a couple of nights ago, not in a huge way, I just keep waking up.  I can drop off again, because I am determinedly not engaging in a thought process, but that ability will wear off as I get more tired, I know.  So instead of having the day start with getting thoughts in order, tonight I am going to end the day with this habit.

Now, to work out what is keeping me awake.  I think it is an accumulation of things and I don’t really want to give credence to my fears. I am feeling overwhelmed, by a quantity of issues, rather than one thing in particular. I suspect what I am not doing very well is writing down everything I need to get sorted and then working out where to start.   In a peculiar way, my fear is writing everything down, because then I may just realise that I can’t do anything.

The problem with feeling overwhelmed is that it becomes harder to find a way to get the job done.  I am starting the inevitable downward spiral into feeling that I can’t do anything, I am hopeless at everything, the best thing to do is run away.  This is my very typical dramatic catastrophising of everything into something way bigger than it should be.  Tonight’s catastrophe is that someone has criticised something I put in place and I feel bad about having to deal with a difficult situation and potentially hurting someone’s feelings.  I seem to think that running away will help.  I know it won’t, but right now, that flight instinct is huge.

To add some perspective, I have handled the situation well.  Two things went wrong tonight on my watch, one was solvable this evening and so it was resolved and hopefully all will be fine.  The other issue felt much bigger.  So, I did what I will hopefully come to accept was the right thing, I listened to the concerns and I promised to deal with them.  And I will deal with it at another time, when I am not feeling overwhelmed, not today.

And meanwhile, I need to remember everything good that happened this evening, because lots did. Perfection is not mine on this occasion, but I need to not forget the good stuff, there was much much more of that than the bad stuff.

full frame shot of text on wood
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