Yesterday afternoon on the beach I encountered a pair of Sooty Oyster Catchers. I managed to 'shoot' one of them but attempts to get them both in the frame close enough to create a worthwhile photo were fruitless. Still I enjoyed trying and I loved watching these delightful maritime avians pottering among the seaweed looking for snacks. So free are the birds.
|Sooty Oyster Catcher - not worrying|
|Sooty Oyster Catcher - still not worrying|
But life has tossed me other things to think about and I have created some pretty negative feelings in response to some of those. I need to give myself a mental overhaul to get unstuck. Do you ever find your thoughts going in circles around a subject? And then when you extricate yourself from that round-a-bout it finds another issue to do the same with. And another. At present my mind is a showground comprising the following round-a-bouts (how honest can I allow myself to be here? how vulnerable?):
- money - my supply is dwindling fast. I took a year off and well, money in a bank account only goes so far. Why haven't I won the Lotto yet? Hence,
- work - to do some supply teaching? (am I ready to go back to work yet?)
- work - I have a job ready to begin in February which is exciting but also daunting until I get my head around the details. It will be part-time so there will be room perhaps for...
- business - am I brave enough to launch into massage therapy again? I have only to secure insurance and I'm pretty much ready to go. But feeling fearful is getting in my way. Do I have the energy to give to this?
- work - could I work in retail for a while just to get some cash flow? Can I get a resume up and send it to some retailers (everything is online these days or I would have done this earlier). Currently my computer doesn't have Word so I haven't put my resume together. I could do this at the library. I have to return some books today. I could do this today.
- home - is currently with my mum. It is so kind of her to have me here. I look forward to one day having my own place again. But I have to be working to even entertain this idea. And I've needed to rest.
- health - I am stronger and more resilient than I was at the start of the year. I'm not sure yet if it's enough. I find it easier to manage my health when I am in one place. It requires my constant attention to create an environment for healing. I am too easily distracted from my goal of optimum health. I self-sabotage often, but I am on the right track generally. On, on with this one. It is the foundation for my life.
- relationships - with family, mostly great. One very sad separation from my son and this has continued for almost two years now. It is hard but I understand. I hope for re-connection in the future. My daughter is almost 28 and I love her dearly. I appreciate every time we are able to spend time together on the phone or when I can visit her on the mainland of Australia. Mum is amazing. I am 60 and back home with Mum. It's not what I expected from life. I've learned you don't get what you expect, but I'm also learning that there are things I have control over and mostly that is how I respond to life. I'm smiling more at this end of the year than I was at the beginning so that's a good thing. I am so grateful for the hugs, laughs and conversations I have with other family, both close and extended. I am lucky to have you all in my life.
- relationships - with friends, interesting. I don't have a great many close friends and many of those live distantly from me. I know a lot of people and embrace them as beautifully human and sharing this life journey bumping in and out of my life. I love it when I see them. If there's time for coffee and chat, great. I'd love to spend more evenings chatting around a campfire, outside. I have been single for a long time. Relationships with friends change when you don't have a partner any more. It's something I've noticed. Sometimes it's hard. But mostly it's given me a massive opportunity for personal growth. I'll be a better partner if there comes a time, simply because I have grown so much from being alone.
- men - feelings. fear. excitement. fear. fear of what exactly? change. commitment. loss. grief. I've spent a lot of years building walls and recently started dismantling them. It's scary as hell but there is more of life to live, and being inside a fortress might be safe...but how limiting. I like men. I like their company. They are good people. Most of them. Most of the time.
- vulnerability - there is a lot of talk about being vulnerable. As a woman I have to keep myself safe. it is not safe to be vulnerable. There is a clash here of sensibilities. One must be safe but to be safe one must not entertain risk. relationships. the nature of them is risk. risk being hurt. risk suffering loss and grief and that soul-sucking loneliness that follows. That feeling of not being good enough or of being knocked down again. I am the one that leaves. I have to learn to trust myself again. To know that what I have learned is that I can ask questions and risk the difficult times in order to grow in a new way and to stay. I am wiser. But I need to learn to trust that wisdom.
- shiny things - this is my metaphor for all the things on the periphery of life that grab my attention. They take my eyes off the prize (whatever that is) and split my energy into ever smaller fragments. My passion, if you like, is learning. I am interested in almost everything that shows up and like a bower bird, collect bits of paper, emails, addresses, phone numbers, course numbers, print-outs, ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas and other things and then feel constantly frustrated by an overwhelm that brings me to a standstill and I don't get to do any of them. I sometimes wonder if a bullet journal would help. Or is that just another shiny thing that I would use for three days and lose on my desk and feel guilty about (wasting time setting it up, spending money on it, etc)?
- travel - I'd love to do more. I've been a bit of a gypsy this year and I love it! But I need...return to top of list.
So, I have a poster I made up titled 'How to Stop Overthinking'. I can't remember where I got it from now - I made it as I listened to a pod-cast I think. There are 11 tools to help me. I look at it often and sometimes it helps. I share them here for those that might get some help from them and with due respect to the original author. I may have re-worded in some cases but it is not entirely my own work by any means.
- Look at the big picture - what could go right?
- Set a deadline - any action is better than no action.
- Start your day right - have a morning routine.
- Take action - paralysis robs us of living our lives.
- Accept that there are things beyond your control - centre and focus on what you can control.
- Ask for the time to think - use time productively.
- Don't get swallowed up by your fears - fears almost never come to life.
- Exercise your way to a clear head - go for a walk.
- Sleep - equals time to process information and work on solutions subconsciously.
- Make an effort to be present - if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Be mindful but don't fill up your mind - deal with one thing at a time.
Wise advice and all of the above apply to me. I torture myself on a daily basis with circular thinking around my troubles and it can be utterly exhausting. Thanks to the person who came up with this list. It really is very helpful. (If anyone knows who the author is please let me know and I will give due credit).
In some ways, I expect a lot of these issues will resolve themselves once I take action. Too much time sitting and stewing is not a healthy thing. So here I am, sitting and writing down what might otherwise do my head in today. Can I consider myself free now that it is done? Perhaps not as free as the birds, but at least a little freer than I was before I began. Writing always helps.
Wishing every one of you a fabulous day. Let me know in the comments what you think...or are you lucky enough not to be stuck in your head? Can you just 'Let it go, let it go'? If you can, I think you're one of the lucky ones!
Cheers for now
I'm off to have a cuppa with a gorgeous friend...
and maybe then I'll go bird watching again.