Oh, what a metaphor of life. Except it doesn't always work out where you climb for good and slide for bad. Sometimes, you get shoved down the chute and you don't know why. You just know that you're on your butt, it's bruised, and it hurts like hell.
I think my last blog entry makes it pretty clear that we hit the big chute, folks. This one has been unexplained, bumpy, scary, and banged us up pretty good. So here we sit, probably at a low level that we didn't even know we were capable of, without a clue of how to get back "up there" again. That spinner isn't working in our favor. It looks like we're going to have to do this the hard way. And, given my discoveries in the last entry, we're going to have to do it ourselves.
That's life. You can't count on other people to pick you up. In a chaotic world where everybody is too mixed up, busy, or sidetracked with their own issues. Remember that end scene in Age of Ultron, where Thaos said "fine, I'll do it myself"? Sometimes the villain is right (even if it's for the wrong reason). Fortunately, we can realize that and turn it for good. I don't know about you, but my bruised butt from that chute hurts too much to keep sitting on it. I think I'll get up, and start taking my turns with that spinner again. If everybody is too busy with their own problems then --
Fine. I'll do it myself.
But I won't do it in a void, because I invite you to join me on this journey. I'm not saying that I think therapy of counseling is useless. In fact, there are very real issues that only a professional can take care of. But I will say that there's a lot that is completely within our control, and we don't have to wait for their schedule to clear or for them to have time for us. There is a great deal we can do ourselves. It might not take us back up that big ladder to help us instantly regain the ground we lost, but the truth is that you're going to have to do some work on your own, and it's going to start with small steps. It might be a space at a time, or you may hit some of the smaller ladders that elevate you a few levels. You'll definitely backslide and tumble back down a few levels, but the good news is that it won't be that big chute that just dumped us back at the bottom. We'll gain and lose ground slower, but we can do it. Eventually, we'll get back to where we were - wiser, happier, more content, and with a ton more wisdom than we had before.
What are my credentials? Real life, folks, and the fact that I'm here with you and am willing to share my journey and suggestions, right here in this blog, free of charge. The people with credentials don't have time for you or, at best, will put you on a waiting list. If you want credentialed help, that's ok. But don't you want to at least know what you expect from it, and to make some progress while you wait? Doesn't your butt hurt, too?
So today, I'm starting a blog series on being your own advocate and taking small steps to regaining that lost ground. We're going to start taking our turns spinning that wheel, and focusing on moving forward a step at a time. We might have missed the big ladder, but we can aim for some of the shorter ones that will bring us to new realizations and breakthroughs that help us make daily progress toward rebuilding a better life.
In preparation for this journey, I want to share with you some personal resolutions I've made to put some structure back into my life. I encourage you do to the same. Here's my list:
1. Develop a daily routine. I got off my daily routine working from home. While I'm certain that I will fall right back into it when that time comes, I need some structure for my daily reality. I've taken note of what needs to be done, and I'm experimenting with the best way to establish a routine that works, but is flexible enough for me to "bend" when I need some wiggle room.
2. Compartmentalize. I tend to overthink and ruminate on things. While this can be good while writing a novel or when you're in a good place and doing it based on gratitude, it means your mind is not your friend when you face challenges. I need to learn to focus on what's proper, when it's proper. Work when I'm supposed to work, and focus on that. When I work out, that's all I focus on. When I write, that's what I do. When I get a call or message, I set aside time to focus on that. I can think things over at appropriate times or talk to people when it's time for that. But otherwise, no feeling sorry for myself while I'm tending to the business of life.
3. Schedule self care time in that daily routine. A lot of people think this means pampering yourself, and that's wrong. Self care is actually doing what's best for you. So this means doing my daily Bible reading, sticking to my exercise routine and eating better, getting enough sleep, working on my writing and cross stitching periodically to take breaks, reading, taking breaks with Rick, the birds, and family and friends, keeping up with chores and errands, keeping the house up, etc. Basically self care means having a well ordered, balanced life.
If you're taking this journey with me, then this is the first step: think of three things you can do right now to improve your life. They don't have to be big, or even new things. It can be as simple as getting back on track with things you were doing, but fell down the chute with. In fact, that might be just the place to start. Pick up what you let go of, or go back to those New Year's Resolutions and consider taking them back up as mid-year resolutions. It's never too late to do what's right.
I'm going to follow up with four more entries in this series:
1. Back to Basics - we'll talk about making sure your foundation is firm.
2. The Yo-Yo of Emotions - we'll talk about finding and dealing with triggers.
3. Take Small Steps - we'll talk about how the small things lead to bigger things.
4. Backsliding and Refocusing - life isn't perfect and it's going to happen. We'll talk about having the tools you need prepared to return to a more positive, focused, mindful lifestyle.
In preparation, you might want to go ahead and buy a notebook or journal. You should also apply for a library card online and get the Hoopla and Overdrive apps on your computer or tablet, if you don't have them already.
That's all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.