Nothing is ruined.

No More Counting Dollars, We'll Be Counting Stars

Lately, I've been, I've been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I've been, I've been praying hard,
Said, no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars

A while back Paul and I were talking about some of the amazing advice his super fantastic boss has given him over the past year, and this one phrase really stood out. It is absolutely foundational to the kind of decisions I've been making lately, because the one thing I definitely was not in the past is someone who was kind to myself. I was pretty awful to myself in the future for the past few years and every time I come up on anything I did to future me before around 2010 - with the definite exception of choosing a spouse, that is - I was a total jerk to current me. Everything from how I took care of my body, my finances, my organization of file systems and friends, my spirituality and family and more, was not a pretty thing. There are times when current me is pretty pissed off at past me for these sorts of indiscretions. And continually I keep bumping into missives from past me, cheerfully excreting more things to do on present me. I've actually been handling most of them, a remarkable number in some ways, but it hasn't always been fun. It's kind of a drag.

"Be kind to future you."

Then I actually started considering future me sometimes, and it has made enormous differences. I started therapy, changed the content of what I ate to be much healthier most of the time, and considerably improved my personal well-being.

An article I read today talked about the scientific research about how self-compassion is more important than self-worth. I'm trying to learn how to practice that. Forgiving my old self, accepting my current self, and making changes at the glacial pace that sticks and doesn't send me off the edge.

For example, a couple weeks ago I was pretty upset because I thought I had overwritten and lost all my files from storage related to six sessions and three weddings but it seemed really fishy. Turns out I'd just "temporarily" put them onto another drive, which had been disconnected in a drawer for several months. The kicker was that I hadn't made a note of it anywhere. I spent nearly an entire day looking for those files in a place they had never been, and it was only when I had given up on them that I found them, entirely by the grace of God, on that other drive. It would have taken me 15 seconds to make a note of those files. Today I make notes like that all the time, and more often whenever not making them kicks me in the butt like that. I was not being kind to future me.

These days I think often about the welfare of future me. I spend a lot more time ensuring that future me has notes on recipes from the last time I used them. I make sure future me has snapshots of the brand of dog treats Murphy likes best. I make sure future me has a clearly dated, organized file system on the computer, and scans of all her important papers in storage. I try to give future me a break whenever I can. And I try to forgive past me the many indiscretions making my present life unpleasant.

Everything that drowns me
Makes me want to fly

I continue to struggle to maintain a fairly normal daytime and nighttime routine after nearly a month of nocturnes in December. I'm trying to get used to going to bed when I'm tired, which when you say it like that sounds pretty easy, but sadly isn't that easy. My mental health is admittedly fragile this winter, but still I'm trying to start habits, like being certain to play with Murphy every single day, which improve my quality of life. In the heart of winter, that's not easy, but truly the biggest struggle is giving myself grace, and trusting God with my life. The best I can do is work on it.

While all of this has been happening, I've been trying my best to ensure that I spend time with friends and family.

Tonight I went down to Prince Albert (about an hour and a half drive each way) to go to a high school-aged dance where my friend Corrina, a caricature artist, was working so I could do a time-lapse photography set of her working. The time-lapse project went great, and I stood around bouncing to dance music, as I am wont to do. Afterwards we visited a Tim Hortons and started a talk about life stuff, and I revealed some of the deeper issues I've been having. I've been really struggling these past few months, and struggling to share about it. Heck, even admit it. We talked about some similar issues and shared with each other about struggles. It was good to talk about things.

Now that I'm a couple of days into my official Sabbatical, I'm going to post this year's Sabbatical Focus Points.

Physical: Find and create a habit of activities I enjoy, or mod some to be more enjoyable. Have Care-Days for myself where I pamper myself with hot baths, tea and a book, and such.
Mental: Discipline. As well as looking over therapy action points and considering progress.
Spiritual: Explore the connections between spiritual lack and ED issues, develop some spiritual habits
Social: Spend time playing with and training Murphy. Improve quality of time with Paul. Spend time with family and friends.
Home: The Great Purge. Foray into Meal planning.
Recreation: Glass Etching Project. Board Games. Guitar. Possibly some dance.

Originally I had Going Personally Paperless on this list. I have to give myself and Paul a huge high five about that, because we did it already! I'm actually super disappointed I never took a picture, because we had seven full industrial sized recycling bags full of paper that went out, one large box to be scanned and then recycled, and two very small boxes of things to be scanned and kept, which my personal assistant is doing. We've got three empty filing cabinets and three empty bankers file boxes. It's very liberating.

In preparation for starting a meal planning regimen, I've been looking to my restaurant experiences, and I've learned to make a handful of soup recipes, several of which turned out better than I had hoped. In the past month I've made Cream of Celery soup and Butternut Squash soup, both of which were better than I had imagined and will appear in our lineup again for sure, as well as French Onion Soup, Cream of Tomato Basil, and Vegetarian Chili which were all fine. I think I might be forgetting one, actually, but point being I made a LOT of soups. So many, that Paul, a devoted soup aficionado, at one point said he was sick of soup, but that it would pass by the next day. =) We've also been baking quite a bit - cookies, biscuits and scones. I'm realizing I'm actually a really good cook, and that it's a skill that is really good for life.

So in contrast to my previous Sabbatical, I'm really quite ready. I'm done all my editing, and I only have a small amount of work left to do for my other work related things. I've got nearly everything ready for taxes and I'm just waiting for one or two things.

So in contrast to my feeling bad about things, I'm actually doing quite well, just slower than I'd like the change to be. I just need to remember to spend time with friends to be encouraged to continue on a good path, and time with God to keep my spiritual needs topped up, and I should be okay.

Spring is coming.

The winter can make us wonder if spring was ever true
But every winter breaks upon the Easter lily's bloom
Could it be everything sad is coming untrue?
Could you believe everything sad is coming untrue?
Broken hearts are being unbroken
Bitter words are being unspoken
The curse undone, the veil is parted
The garden gate will be left unguarded
Could it be everything sad is coming untrue?
  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
  • Current Music: Counting Stars