It was impossible to be in a bad mood yesterday if you lived in the NYC vicinity. After a week of vortex talk, we had a glorious springlike day. Temps in the fifties, sunlight galore, nary a winter hat or glove in sight. I practically skipped down the street. All was right with the world.
But you see, the past five weeks have not been like that for me. I tend to get a tinge of seasonal affective disorder, or as I call it, the winter blues. I start January on a high, and them I realize that there are ten weeks of crappy weather ahead. I get very into my head. As this year I was practicing mindfulness, I really hit a loggerhead. How could I be mindful if I was feeling so bleh?
Being the overcompensater that I am, I immediately went into closet curation mode. This was a fairly large project that would encompass my mind and my body- I had to think about what I wanted to do, and physically move things around. I accomplished my task of not brooding, but I also wasn’t facing my reality. That’s the problem with overcompensating- you start to micromanage one area and you let everything else go.
I was not a great blog friend- I wasn’t reading as many of them as normal. I started Instagram with a bang and then quickly fizzled because I was thinking what’s the point. My attitude was lousy, and if you have a lousy attitude you will not accomplish anything. Attitude is everything. I was being wishy washy about many things that I love.
Of course, my daughter getting deferred at her first two colleges didn’t help much. I was playing a blame game thinking that I could have done more to help my daughter get into school. Rationally I know this line of thinking was wrong, but in the moment it seemed right.
And last week I decided I needed to snap out of it. I think accomplishing my closet task really helped because I felt that I had done something: I had set a goal to reduce my wardrobe to a manageable number and I did it. Victory, no matter how small or trite, is a great motivator.
I am realizing that mindful doesn’t mean not thinking or avoiding, it means clearing the cobwebs out so that you can think more logically and thoughtfully. It means acting with intention, focusing on what is happening around you at that moment. Figuring out how to accomplish that is proving the hard part.
What I have started doing is REALLY dumping all my thoughts in my little notebook- and I mean everything. I wrote down “empty dishwasher” the other day, because even though I know this is a rote activity, it was on an endless loop in my head- empty dish, empty dish, empty dish, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else because I was so bogged down. So my first suggestion to mindfulness is grab a notepad and write everything that is on your mind in that notebook. You can review it later and make appropriate actions. Like emptying the dishwasher.
Becoming more mindful of my actions is going to be a process, but I can foresee the benefits of paying attention and slowing down. I know I’ll do a little better each day.
(FYI- I have committed myself to some 365photochallenge, so Lawakinguponthewrongsideof50- Instagram me!!! I need a little accountability!)