Although I thought it would be easier post-pandemic, I still find guilt and difficulty in resting, in taking time to do nothing, unless I literally cannot do something. I tend to push myself, ever the perfectionist. And I realize that, like OCD, although it can be difficult to get past that tendency it’s something I want to do for myself.
For the past two days I’ve been off sick. I’ve missed 12 hours of work and two music production classes that I was really looking forward to. And it’s been difficult to believe in myself that without going to class, I can still get my song done. That taking time off when I’m not feeling 100% – before I’m at 0% – isn’t going to make my world fall apart. That I have time, that everything doesn’t have to be “perfect” all the time. That I don’t have to be “perfect” all the time.
It started as un-caffeine-atable exhaustion on Monday in the mid-morning, then chills, then a decision to go home that I was able to make without feeling much guilt or worry, to two days of on-and-off guilt about binge-watching Manifest and eating everything in sight instead of working on my fanfic, calling my family, calling the insurance, working on my song, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
I’ve decided to treat my guilt similarly to my compulsions; I will do my best to not give into actions performed to silence my guilt. Of course I wanted to go to class, but I’m not going to let the guilt about the money the course cost or self-doubt that I can’t build a song on my own push me to burnout. I used missing class as an exposure and honestly it took me most of the day to half my anxiety. But I’m doing this for my health and happiness; I’ve had hormonal and physical, emotional, and binge-eating issues lately and I’ve felt like I’m in a bit of a spiral. I want to give myself the rest I need, and the honesty with myself that I need, to be happy as I deserve.
So I did the best I could to responsibly care for myself today. Made a huge pot of healthy chickpea pasta (and ate most of it), made plenty of cups of tea with local lavender honey, drank plenty of water, set up a second humidifier, sat around and watched TV, let myself feel bloated and out-of-it and enjoy a cheesy puzzle TV show for the entire day.
Sometimes, it’s just what you need. And I am working to trust myself to see what I need, and what I want.
Little things add up. It can be difficult to notice the pileup in a world where, even post-pandemic, the push is to go and go and go. I also know that I and others have been conditioned to play the Trauma Olympics – those “It could be worse” thoughts that keep us running a rat race.
Today at work, I was reading comms where all of my male coworkers on a certain project were mentioned by name – but not me, who’s been doing the brunt work of this particular project. My name was left out and the work I alone have been doing relegated to “work being done by the team” at large.
This isn’t the first time this has happened in my academic and/or work career:
In work meetings I have been told that what I said was wrong, even though all I had said was what was relayed to me by a different coworker.
I’ve been mansplained more times than I care to count, as well as had things that I’ve made clear I don’t care to learn about taught to me by men who think I must care about what they care about.
I told a teammate that the issue they were seeing in their graph was with the axes being switched, and they told me I was wrong – we lost points on that project because they left the axes, and they were indeed switched.
Now I don’t say all this to get anyone down or even to complain. I say it because these are little things that the folks doing them probably didn’t even mean unkindly, and frankly they were things that in the moment bothered me but didn’t affect me greatly. The issue is that as I go through a period of transition in my life (right now) I hear my inner dialogue often doubting myself. I’m working hard to change this as I realize that microaggressions like these, as well as my childhood experiences and current adulthood as a Former Gifted Child underlie much of my self-doubt.
Practically, I can’t change what other people do. And I will no longer force myself to feel a certain way about what people do. No more “Well it could be worse so I shouldn’t be upset,” or “I’m sure they didn’t mean it that way and I’m just overreacting”. I am trying to kindly and empathically assert myself and protect my energy.
But how to wind down when the world upsets and stresses you? Personally, I
🐦Surround myself with things that calm me or bring me joy, including close friends and loved ones, my cats (when they’re behaving), plants, and quiet
🐦Roll with it. I let myself feel the hurt or the anger or the whatever instead of trying to meditate or breath-work it away.
🐦[but also] Do some breath work, or sit in silence. Sometimes, like I said in the bullet above, I don’t do this and I just stop trying to silence an actively running mind. But sometimes my mind just wants peace and quiet.
🐦I try and remain calmly true to myself. If someone tries to tell me that what I care about is wrong or doesn’t matter, even though that makes me angry I don’t react at them in anger. I may end the conversation – or even the relationship – but I don’t explode.
🐦[and in order to not explode] I spend time with myself, doing what I alone feel like doing. Sometimes “time with myself” is actually going to a loud bar with a couple good friends. Sometimes it’s silence and a book. Sometimes it’s a long walk in the woods. I listen to what my body and mind and soul say they want us to do. And then I feel more in control of my journeys, and less likely to lose my mind/explode.
🐦I try to be in “beginner mind” – humbly accepting that I, and all of us, know nearly nothing.
I find beginner mind hugely helpful in enjoying the day-to-day. When I felt like I always had to prove myself, had to know everything, nothing that I tried “for fun” was ever actually fun because if I wasn’t an expert immediately, I hated it (re: Former Gifted Child). Learning to laugh at doing things poorly has changed my life. I try my best – whatever my best looks like that day – and enjoy the process.
Let’s end this on a note of a process I enjoyed particularly today – planting a few new plants. I had a bit of extra capital this week and decided I could use some new friendly faces around the apartment:
A “white fusion” calathea – the person at the nursery says these take the same care as any calathea but can be a bit more finicky, so we shall see!
I also planted a new rocket-ship-looking cactus and placed a new, grassier-looking air plant with my medusae. Not yet pictured!
It’s never been can or can’t with you, it’s will or won’t.
My dad’s said that to/about me since I was a little girl. I used to take it as an insult, meaning that I was too pigheaded, too stubborn, too lazy. But now I’m looking at it a new way: I set boundaries, I do the things I want to do and not the things I’m told I should do.
It has been very hard to be true to myself lately as it doesn’t feel like my career is going in any clear direction. I’m studying music production, project management, biology and ecology, paleontology, and arbortry on my own time because I enjoy these things, but of course (like my brain) the timing is haphazard and I gravitate by the moods I’m in. And I’m fine with that. It can just be difficult dealing with outside influences telling you there has to be a specific goal, the goal has to be to make money, a job is supposed to be a bad thing. I don’t blame people for having those views or wanting me to have a clear path, for my own “safety,” but I just don’t. This is where I am.
The plan was to wake up, eat well and sip a coffee, work my half day, go home and go to class. But as happens at least once a week, things didn’t go to plan.
I woke up later than I intended to, and calmy rolled with that – but then found out I’d been first-hand exposed to COVID. I ended up heading to the office earlier than I needed to, donning a mask and feeling like it was 2020 all over again. Then I spent hours with back-of-the-mind stress about how to be responsible to others for their health and to myself for my sanity.
And then I found out that my class tonight was actually canceled, which is actually a beautiful bit of serendipity for my day as I was likely going to miss tonight anyway – I’m starting to have mild but real COVID symptoms, and I’m exhausted from a long drive yesterday and a broken toilet last night.
The interesting thing is, while I pondered skipping my class tonight (prior to knowing it was rescheduled anyway) I kept thinking – I could skip one class and just play around with music production software on my own. That’s sort of what I feel like doing. But if I skip the class I’m shooting myself in the foot, I’m going to lose interest, I don’t really care, I’m going to miss good information and never be any good at this…
Ah, there’s the perfectionist in me! I have such an obsession with being perfect, whether to myself or to the perspective of others. Lately it’s been to the point where a pile of clean clothes not put away makes me feel like I’m failing at life itself. As you know if you’ve read my older posts, I’ve been in treatment for OCD for about a year now – and it truly is going well. But the perfectionism that comes along with it is still being uncovered, layer by layer, inside of me as I go on recovering.
I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that perfectionism can be a good thing. I know I’ve felt myself thinking, If I work hard to be perfect, I’ll do so well no one will be able to touch me. But it’s not worked that way for me. Always there’s something unforeseen, some change, some unexpected hurdle. And because I get so obsessed with being perfect, with nothing getting in my way, if I’m not careful I can spiral very quickly into a depressed, anxious, overly-stressed mess.
A question that’s helped in my OCD recovery so far is this: Can you handle it if it DOES go wrong? I do feel like a lot of my obsessions were avoiding any potential mistakes, any potential going-wrongs, because I thought the only way I and those I love could survive is if nothing goes wrong in the first place. But of course, things go wrong all the time, even if I’ve done all the things I need to do on my end. So now I’ve started trying to ask myself: Can I handle this if it does go wrong? Can I handle things if they aren’t perfect? Can I enjoy going out on a date if the clothes aren’t put away? Can my cats be alright if we run out of wet food for one night? And months ago, I always thought the answer was no. Now, thanks to lots of exposure therapy and setting a goal of believing in myself more, it isn’t always no – in fact, it’s very often yes. I’ve proven to myself that I can be an agile thinker, that I can act in an emergency if need be, that I can go with the flow as I need to – because no one can anticipate everything. No one can be perfect.
I’ve started back up with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy lately, in addition to my ERP therapy directly for OCD. And it’s made me think about where and how I spend my energy, what feels good to me, and what energizes me. Thinking about how I start my days, I’ve come up with an energy hierarchy for myself:
The idea here is that the bottom tier takes the least energy and is the basis for doing the activities at the upper tiers. So, for example, I won’t have the energy to exercise or relax into cartoon watching if I don’t get out of bed and feed the cats first. (I’d like to mention that depending on the day, coffee fits under basic survival 🤪) Then if I spend a ton of time just sitting around and not exercising, I won’t feel much like working on a painting. And if I don’t spend time doing something creative and spending quality time with myself, I won’t feel like spending time with others.
I imagine everyone’s energetic hierarchies would look different; some people are energized by socializing, for example, whereas I like to socialize but it tires me out.
I’m happy to be able to know my current self in this way. I think it’ll not only help me prioritize my time & energy, but also help me pick myself up when I’m feeling low.
It’s the first day of summer and despite a beautiful sun-filled sky, warm breezy weather, and cloudless blue, I’m not feeling up to snuff. I’m feeling lethargic, down, and although lonely I have no desire to go converse with folks.
Days like this are…depressing. It’s like, I wake up looking out at a sunny morning world and feeling like it might all be alright today. And then by mid-afternoon I feel like a zombie. Not tired, persay, but energy-less.
I did this two weeks ago for different reasons, but this evening I’m going to try and smoke-out the stale energy from my room using a flower want I got from my friend’s herbalist shop. I love using her stuff because I know the love and care she puts not only into making her products but also gathering the ingredients for her products. You can feel the love and kind energy in an ethical harvest.
Routine & rituals are things I revere greatly but that I’ve had trouble focusing on lately. A simple energy cleanse is at least a simple ritual that helps me. I want to mention that I’ve found there are a few important things about spiritual rituals:
💐They make YOU feel something (i.e. they aren’t necessarily prescribed by a religion, governing body, etc.)
💐The practice aligns with your values (i.e. if you value sustainable living, you only use sustainabile items in your practice)
I’ve also found that sometimes I just have to be open to not feeling anything. I’ll usually wait around to practice a ritual until my mind feels steady and focused – which makes it really easy to fall out of the habit. And only when I’m regularly practicing rituals does my mind feel more steady and focused. It’s a vicious cycle. So I’m trying to get into that opposite action mindset and just do the thing that I put together to bring me joy or cleansing or feeling – even if doesn’t do so that day.
aLike, for example, I normally love a good walk in the woods. Usually it helps clear my mind and bring a smile to my face. But some days I don’t feel like it’s going to do anything and I have no momentum, so I just don’t go. And it’s fine to just sit around some days, but I do start to miss my woods walks! So, like today when I’m feeling down, I’m going to go in the woods even if it’s just for 10 minutes with my headphones in blasting a podcast to get my butt out the door! Rituals don’t have to be perfect. Like a small-venue concert where the guitarist forgets a chord, sometimes the imperfections make you smile the broadest.
And so I wish you all, readers, a day with joyful imperfections.
I’m in a transitional phase; a season of pruning. I find myself craving severing poor ties; not craving forced conncetion over joyful solitude any longer. I still want to share of myself with others but I feel much more discerning about whom and how much, in a way I sometimes worry may come off as cruel when my only real goal is to protect my energy.
I was raised a people-pleaser. I grew up doubting my decisions; I was raised taking the “higher road” of self-sacrifice for others, to baby others because I was “smarter,” “more mature,” etcetera. I was raised to bite my tongue when angry and dissect every interaction, every thought before it became spoken word. I was a priveleged kid, I have privelege now, my family is good and kind – but I would not say I’ve ever been fostered for who I am. Supported to a point, but it’s that classic Catholic-school conundrum – if you went to Catholic school most of your life, you probably understand what I’m getting at.
I got in trouble for humming in school. Even though I was the top student, never got in trouble, and that meant I was supposed to get to play Mary in the school pageant in 8th grade, the part was given to one of the worst-behaved students to “help her out” – because her mom yelled the loudest. I wasn’t allowed to play a Who in our Christmas pageant because I wasn’t “small and cute and Who-looking enough.” (This is all just elementary school, mind you.) I was told I couldn’t be an actress because “I’d never look like them.” If I’m being honest – and it’s hard for me to be, because I feel that someone-else-has-it-worse sense of guilt every time – I was bullied quite a few times. And I wasn’t really listened to, either. I feel like I’ve always been fighting something and I didn’t know what; now I’m realizing maybe I’ve been fighting myself I grew up feeling bad about myself.
But enough complaining – that’s not what this post is about. I’m working on transitioning out of that old me, starting a new timeline of wild self-love and enjoyability. I’m “re-parenting” myself. The Artist’s Way taught me to treat my inner child, to love and support it now because now I’m both that inner child and the adult who can give that inner child support!
So I’m doing the things I love to do, even if they seem scary or pointless. For the joy of the day, the moment. This ties into “opposite action,” to be discussed if you read on. I’m
🌿Making art and music
🌿Hanging out with my cats
🌿Spending time outside
🌿Spending time with a few close friends
🌿Cooking tasty, healthy meals
🌿Eating farmer’s market cherry pies
🌿Singing along with Spotify
🌿Hitting the bars
🌿Going thrifting for new clothes
and more. Because these are things I enjoy, and when greater Society feels pointless, these things are there for me.
Like I said, [capitalist] Society feels pointless. A friend once told me he was happier when he was homeless, and I don’t doubt it. I can imagine a feeling of surviving for yourself and for your circle; every complaint now, when I’m above survival threshhold, feels measly. And of course that’s because survival now looks different than it does to my monkey brain. Survival may be different now but we have too much – or at least too much of the wrong things. That’s why landfills are overflowing and I had to drop $15 for the only recycled toilet paper option. That’s near an hur’s pay literally down the toilet.
I’m certainly not advocating that anyone should go without home or comfort, I just hope we as a Society change our values and actions a bit. I’m tired of hearing “sustainability journey” and the other green-team buzzwords. This isn’t a holiday. This isn’t just for fun. This isn’t a round-the-world fun cruise “journey.” We’re literally trying to change the way we function so that we and our children and our children’s children will be able to have home and comfort.
Sometimes, between OCD and depressive symptoms, I struggle with momentum. There are many things I want to do but I sometimes feel like a lead sinker in the middle of the ocean; stuck and heavy.
I recently learned about opposite action and as I understand it, it’s basically pushing through mucky feelings and doing the opposite of what your anxiety/depression is telling you will feel the best. For example:
🧠I’m feeling down on a Sunday afternoon and I want to just sit in front of the TV and binge Supernatural. Instead, with opposite action in mind, I put on something light and happy (like Bob’s Burgers), stand up, and stretch out while I watch.
🧠I don’t feel like going outside. I just want to sit around the apartment. So thinking opposite action, I throw on some headphones and go for a walk around the block.
🧠I don’t want to take a break from staring at my computer screen doing work. So – because opposite action – I get up and wander around for a few minutes just to shift my mindset.
🧠I’m anxious about getting together with anyone, but I also know that sitting alone in my apartment for days won’t feel good – even though it seems easier. So – thinking opposite action – I set up a time to see a close friend for an hour or so.
🧠I worry that my bass-playing won’t be good enough and I’ll get grumpy, which makes me not want to pick up the instrument and play at all. But opposite action: I pick it up and play anyway.
What’s important here, I believe, is to notice the layers of want. Take that last example for instance. I both want to play the bass and want to not be grumpy/feel bad about my bass playing. And this is where my values-driven opposite action comes in. I value creativity, I value the enjoyment of playing music. So I push through the anxiety – I’m nervous that I’m going to feel bad if I don’t play well – and I play anyway.
In fact, a values-driven opposite action practice is going to inform the rest of this post – 🧠I really do not feel like taking care of my plants today because I’m nervous about getting dirt all over the floor or realizing that a plant is dead. But the health of my houseplants matters to me, so I’m going to do it anyway.
Cactus & Succulent Care
It’s the summer now, and warming temperatures mean an updated watering schedule for my cacti and succulents. Of course they still don’t get watered very often; I’m a proponent of rare and heavy watering for these types of plants.
Increased temperature and more intense sunny days also means I can remove my grow light setup for my adult desert plants.
As you can see in the image above at right, the vacuum will need to be broken out after all this.
My echeveria got a coffee treatment today to lower the soil pH. Luckily, I had some leftover bean juice I couldn’t finish and that just got funneled right into the soil. Plus I pruned away the dried-out flower stalks just so my cat wouldn’t chew on them and inadvertantly make a mess.
I’ve also still got my little infant jade plant going. I suspect she may need a larger home to grow into soon, but for now she got some very-diluted fertilizer and water.
Care for all the other plants
First things first, my own care. I stopped to eat a chamomile flower – I love the grassy-yet-sweet taste of these little darlings.
We start with the easy things to do. My kitchen window basils get misted, my recently-pruned celery gets checked on, and my epiphytes go in for their bath. My crispy wave fern goes in for its shower.
While the gorgini sit in their 20-minute warm water bath, I get to the rest of the plant care. The parlor palms also get checked on, and they seem plenty watered and happy. Next the ponytail palm gets checked on – same situation there. Take a look at the closed terrarium – all good, seeing some growth there. White willow sapling gets a good drenching from the watering can. All spider plants get a watering. Peperomia gets a look-see and since the soil’s dry down two inches, a good watering is had.
Gorgons come out of the bath, and look – these two are hugging are they dry!
Next comes two bigger undertakings: (1) Pruning and cleanup, and (2) Re-seeding. These primarily take place for my bedroom and bathroom plants.
Check out the before-and-after of cleanup in my bedroom window:
You might notice that a wheatgrass is missing in both photos. All of my wheatgrasses needed replanted. With grasses, regular pruning/cutting can help keep them healthy and green, but I fell off with my pruning because wheatgrass just grows so fast! So I saved what I could and re-seeded.
Now, one of my bathroom plants died and so I had to prune the rotted-out remnants away. Someday, in my dreams, I’ll have somewhere to compost this type of thing. But otherwise I make sure all the bathroom plants are dust-free, doing well, and watered.
I suppose life is always up in the air; my life feels particularly up in the air right now. That’s not really a complaint, as years of therapy for OCD in particular have taught me to live with the maybe’s. It’s really just an observation, something I’m sitting with. What other choice is there? I find a lot of beauty in uncertainty, as much as it does cause me stress at times – depends on what I’m uncertain of.
There are so many creative endeavors I want to pursue. My wonderful houseplants are, I suppose, an endearing creative outlet for me; I get to care for lovely living things while arranging them to beautify my home, and it brings me much joy and acts as a bolster to my mental health. I gave my plants their first actual shower the other day (yes I literally put them in the tub and turned on the shower) and I like to play music for them and sing to them sometimes. There’s evidence that stuff really helps them. I also saw recently someone dances around the house with their plants to mimic wind, and I’ve started doing that a bit. I love to dance.
I suppose there’s this bit of my creative side that wants to make in order to be known. I want to show myself, be vulnerable; at the same time I have no desire to be vulnerable. I feel like I have a history of being too generous with others and not generous enough with myself. I’ve been the one to do a lot of emotional work.
I’m thinking of myself like a little fruit fly. If I zig-zag to land on every surface, sure I could hit a sweet flower – but I could also hit a sticky trap. I’m trying to not force a landing on “what I should do next” but rather just be okay with the uncertainty.
I’ve been doing the so-called “little things.” Making myself nice dinners; going to the farmers’ market; making art; daydreaming.
It has taken all of my self-control not to buy a 42nd houseplant! I just can’t handle learning the care of a brand new plant baby right now. Especially when I have some work to do:
I need to give my crispy wave fern diluted fertilizer. It’s becoming pale because there’s not enough nutrients in its home.
I’d like to figure out what’s going on with my peacock plant. It’s suddenly gotten really droopy, and it has been watered and the humidifier’s running. It also got coffee yesterday.
I’ll re-seed the wheatgrass and clean up some dead plants/do some pruning.
It looks like my spider plant needs a good watering.
The three air plants need a full soak watering. They got misted a few times over the week since my apartment’s air is dry.
The celery appears to need some sort of treatment, possibly neem oil. Suddenly the leaves don’t look right – little white dots and they’re off color. I’m guessing spider mites but I can’t understand yet how that could’ve happened.
I’d like to consider moving the little baby jade propagate. Now that it’s warm I’ll bet it wants to grow. I have to read up on what it might need at this little baby stage.
I have so many creative ideas bouncing around in my head; I swear, plant care and having plants around helps my brain work.
🌹 I could make lo-fi music. I even have some song titles in my head, and I know how to record and stuff. I could learn to mix; I have the time!
🌹I could sell plant propagates in cute thrifted containers. I saw someone doing this at a craft market recently and I thought it was a lovely idea. They were selling all succulents. I’d probably focus on all varieties of pet-safe plants.
🌹I could somehow share the art I’ve been making.
🌹I could continue work on the children’s book I’m writing with my dad. If only I could convince him to do the illustration…
🌹I could learn how to screen print. I’m pretty sure there are local classes.
🌹I could write a play. I’m not really a big theater fan and yet I always loved Shakespeare. And there are a few choice plays that I adore.
🌹I could do some gardening out on my building’s shared lawn. I wouldn’t plant anything edible because I’m not the one in charge of lawn care and I don’t know what chemicals are used, but some native flowers would be nice. I did seed-bomb it earlier in the spring.
I wonder if part of the loveliness of caring for plants is how easy it is to feel happy for them. It can be hard to be proud of other humans who are thriving, especially when you’re just surviving – it takes practice. But it’s easy, at least for me, to be happy when my celery grows a new shoot, or my parlor palm grows taller, or new spiderettes appear off my spider plant. It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in, those things make me happy and proud. I suppose that’s why plant care is such a labor of love; we can give them so much, and although they do it quietly they give us so much in return. They give us fresh air, calming colors, beauty and life all their own. Unlike with people, I don’t feel like my plants take from me. Of course, they literally do – they take my water, the food I give to them, carbon dioxide that I breathe out. But this is symbiosis. I’ve been hard-pressed to find that with people, although I do have it with a select few folks. And so for now I live happily among the houseplants.
Two things I struggle with: 1. Fearing – and thus feeling – my emotions 2. Assigning an absurd amount of meaning to my emotions.
Fearing my emotions: in some ways, I’ve felt this was justified. I was an angry kid and sometimes I acted out because of overwhelming anger. But what I realize now that I’m older is that it wasn’t my anger itself that made me act out – it was that I didn’t know any healthy ways to address my anger. And, though many of my reasons to be mad were justified, adults in my life would try to explain away my anger. Trying to explain away an emotion does nothing but make it come back stronger an hour later. Because I didn’t let myself feel or felt guilty about the feelings, I started throwing things instead of throwing tantrums.
In a society that tells you “You’ll know when he’s the one,” how can we not over-assign meaning to what we feel? I never understood that assertion because time and time again I’ve “known” things that turned out not to be the case – thanks, OCD brain. Also, divorce rates are high, so that’s bullshit. There are all sorts of reasons why that’s bullshit; don’t get me started.
But anyway, how do I deal now? I share this because a few folks I was talking with earlier found this coping mechanism I use really helpful. When an emotion comes up – be it anger, sadness, joy, loneliness, whatever – I don’t sit there trying to figure out why I feel the way I do or what it could mean. I just feel the feeling.
What’s that look like?
I want to address, of course – this doesn’t apply if someone’s approaching you on a dark street corner and you feel afraid! But in a way I guess it does – you don’t need to rationalize that fear, right?
I do not always need to rationalize my feelings. I can feel them and if there’s a non-urgent, compassionate (and self-compassionate), useful way and reason to address them outside of myself, I can do that too.
I’m realizing that I am, and usually have, refused to take anything but the best for myself in my life. And that’s beautiful. And I hope I can expand that mindset while holding on to my compassion and gratitude.
I went on yet another woodland excursion the other day, and what a time I had. I’ve not once regretted heading out to the woods. Or to the ocean. Or playing music. Or singing along. Even when I’ve thought I didn’t have the energy. I hope for you, reader, that you have or find something in your life that brings you that kind of joy.
So while out in the woods, I followed a small relatively quiet trail farther than I’ve ever taken it. I got to revel in the gurgling sounds of a little creek with little waterfalls, and I saw a rogue windchime out there! Normally I’m not into adding unneeded extravagance to natural landscapes, but something about this windchime, out there on a quiet still day, painstakingly hung there and hurting no one, was… beautiful.
The whole scene was the stuff of my dreams, down to the old cobblestone bridge and the clay cliffs. In fact I’m working on painting it.
On my return from a sunny afternoon in the woods I drank the stinging nettle tea I’d started steeping that morning, and look at this mountain-dew-esque color! Exquisite (although Mountain Dew is not exquisite).
My woodland walks are my wonderful time for myself. I’ve noticed that I’m much grumpier when other do their own thing when I haven’t given myself space to do my own thing. And I’ve also noticed that when I am taking time and energy for my own creative and comforting efforts, I get very annoyed when people take out their own lack-of-making-time-for-themselves on me! It’s all about taking & making space for yourself.
For me tonight, that looks like [quietly] blasting Lady Gaga and Flock of Seagulls and prancing around with my bass guitar, playing it badly and singing. And writing this post. May you have as blessed an evening.