I have just now emerged mostly victorious from a wicked bout of overdoneness that has led to me being sidelined for the past month. 2011 was such an exquisitely ugly year for me personally that I needed a rest from it. A good long rest from everything.
2011 came on me hard and fast and I resolved to take it on with all the gusto I could manage. It was a year of “one damn thing after another” and I’m glad that it’s over.
I did however learn a great deal from my experiences of the past year, though many of the lessons learned still haven’t begun to gel in my stubborn brain. Perhaps some reflection is needed here or at least a semblance of reason on my behalf. What follows my attempt to do so:
I’d like to start with the bathroom scale. this haughty and taunting device has plagued me for years and I have thrown it out. Yes I have. Really, and I will never get another one.
It’s destructive influence led me to exist on a steady diet of black coffee and nothing. That is bad enough but when mixed with constant and unusual stress, adding a few generous dollops of sleep deprivation, stirring in a flurry of creative manic activity with equal parts of needless worry and anxiety and you have the recipe, well I had the recipe all right, for a total breakdown of all systems.
Stress can be a killer and sometimes life can throw a lot of it at you. That cannot be helped. What really matters is how you react to it, what you do with it. I bottled it all inside and it turned to anger and that can poison you if you let it. I’m trying to learn not to let it.
I’m also learning not to worry so much. I am learning to let go of the things I cannot change and to act decisively on the things I can. Be it about money or whatever, nothing is as important as my loving family and my health…nothing. Worry is useless and it’s toxic.
And sleep..sleep is wonderful, its wonderous and it will do wonders. Seven or eight hours a night really does the trick. I used to think it a waste of time, but no more, it’s vital and very kind to my 42-year-old face. Perhaps now I could pass for 35? With a full night of sleep behind me I know I feel 25. I cannot say enough good things about sleep and I recommend it highly.
I have turned off the morning news programs and the stock market reports. I have replaced them with relaxing music and good old-fashioned silence. I allow myself time to ponder. I have stopped being so damn hard on myself and I have turned off the ringer to my phone.
I have resolved to eat sensibly and try to find time for important issues such as bubble baths and naps. Life is not a race or a contest, it’s a journey and I got a little lost but now I have found my way once again.
I have learned that I am not remotely as smart or as powerful as I thought I was but I also learned that I don’t have to be. I can sing just as loud. I don’t have to know everything or be everything or do everything, I can just exist and be happy. Money cannot buy you that.
Happy to be back,