What in the world? I know I’m not sure I know what is going on either.
But what I do know is I haven’t had a chance to slow down since early December. It’s been over 7 weeks since I felt like I had a few minutes I could take for myself. Getting on a plane and flying to see my grandson was about me and my family. But it wasn’t relaxing in the “I’m on vacation so get out the margaritas’” kind of relaxing.
Spending time with my grandson surely counts as self-care on some level.
The extreme cold and then getting reacquainted with the routine of an 18-month-old toddler was energy-consuming. And I loved every minute of it. But I really need to go back to the gym to keep up with him. He is all energy, all the time until he gives in to a nap or bedtime.
We did fly up and back, instead of driving the 10 to 11 hours to visit my grandson.
This should be an energy-saving portion of the trip. But we need to allow 2 hours to drive to the airport. Then we must park, walk into the airport, and get through TSA before heading to our gate. On one of my days off in early January, my wife and I were digitally fingerprinted and received our KTN or Known Traveler number.
Now, having the TSA Pre-flight information on our boarding passes ensures we can go through the shorter TSA line.
And there are other perks like not having to take off my belt or pull my laptop out of my carry-on. But once again, I am spending my day off driving, waiting, filling out forms, and then driving home. It was an investment to shorten our time getting through airport security. But getting it took a few hours.
So here I sit, spraying my energy out over every possible scenario.
I am not taking control of what I can control. And that is my attitude towards events. I am playing the blame game. I am allowing myself, once again, to be the victim and not believing I have a say in what happens to me. My depression gets me to think in this way.
Self-care went out the window in early December and I haven’t seen it consistently since.
For many months prior to December, I was in control of my thinking. This resulted in my being able to relax and take some time for myself without feeling pangs of guilt. Instead of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” I have been able to focus on the future instead of wallowing in the past.
Why have I allowed myself to give up my control over what happens to me?
Instead of playing the victim, I should be the captain of my ship, the driving force in my own future. It is very much easier to let the chips fall where they may and announce that “they” have done this to me. It absolves me of any feelings of guilt over my situation. I can comfort myself by saying “if only this had not happened to me, I would then be able to live my life according to my plan.”
My body is telling me that I need to spend time in self-care.
Having spent 7 years going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week, I miss that. So, I have been blaming the pandemic on my not going to the gym. Worse, I am using the pandemic as an excuse to not even do some simple workout exercises at home. Collecting the information, even printing out an at-home routine, hasn’t been effective.
I tell myself that I need to be stronger so that I can keep up with my grandson as he grows.
And I come back from visiting him full of the vision of getting back to a workout regime. And then life happens. Pretty soon I am back to allowing my days to be planned by the whims of the moment. I give up control of my thoughts and my ideas about what I want, and sometimes need, to do.
And I play the victim, which lets me wiggle out of any responsibility.
I’d like to tell you that I ended this blog post and raced off to the gym. But I am not that certain. However, I am going for my annual physical exam this afternoon. Perhaps I can find the strength to pool my needs with the outcome of the physical exam?
If my doctor says I am ok to exercise, then why don’t I use that as the reason I am starting again?
Hmm? This could be a way to start. After 21 days, I will have created a habit. I did print out my weekly plan today, which gives me a structure for my week. I have written in some activities I need to do but will need to expand this to include my time (self-care) activities.
Giving myself permission to take self-care time for myself is a crucial step towards reclaiming my control over my life. So, I will see how I approach the day. This can lead to how I will see the rest of the week and then develop that feeling into a regular self-care regime,
Feeling guilt for not doing other things is something I will need to guard against. I know that my depression will want to thwart my efforts and derail my efforts to control my own attitude. Being aware of the possibility is a good first step. I have done this before and can face it again.
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