(Smelling the flowers)
I’ve been thinking again… not always to be recommended, about how I help myself feel better when I feel down. I’ve read a lot of books about this and talked to a lot of wise friends and I am now convinced that we have a choice of ways to help ourselves but we tend to go for the same things every time. Even when those things don’t work. So, for example, I head to the kitchen. A biscuit or a two or maybe a packet. Something sweet always makes me feel better… while I’m eating it. But then I feel bad again and in fact worse because now I feel guilty about those carbs. A glass of wine has less carbs but I have to wait until the afternoon and one glass isn’t working as well as it used to…
(Appreciating the lichen)
Then there’s planning. Planning is another of my choices. I love planning. I plan a new trip or a new pair of shoes or a new project. The problem with the planning is as soon as I’ve planned something the down feeling returns, because I have to wait until I get what I was planning. Shoes are a great plan because as long as the money is available they can arrive straight away. Great, I feel better. Until I feel guilty about buying the shoes and how could I think shoes would make me feel better? And now I feel bad about the money and the cause of my feeling down is getting more complicated. A trip, planning a trip is much better… go away, forget everything. I can’t wait. But I have to wait. I can’t wait to feel better, only four weeks to go and I’ll feel better. Yaa! I can’t wait. Pity I have to wait so long to feel better. I feel down. Life is hard.
(Can’t have too many flowers!)
A big project, a big project is probably my favourite choice to feel better. It’s grand. It promises wealth, purpose, meaning. Yes a project always makes me feel better. I’ll plan a project. I’ll write another book and it’ll be great, it’ll say exactly what I want to say and it’ll be really easy to understand. I can’t wait until it’s written and published and bought and… oh, it’ll be great when I feel good about having accomplished that. I’ll have plenty of money and I’ll be able to buy those shoes I was thinking about… oh, I can go on a permanent holiday so I’ll never have to wait to go away. I can’t wait… to feel good about writing a book… It’s a pity I have to wait so long and what if it doesn’t sell or what if no one understands it? Oh, I feel a bit poorly and purposeless and meaningless and down. Life is very hard. I’ll have biscuit. What time is it?
Boy, this is complicated.
(Or too much lichen!)
I mentioned earlier about the books and the friends and the more choices for me which all led me to finding a new and very simple way of feeling better. I just have to choose it. Why wouldn’t I choose it? It’s simple! It works! Well, although the old ways don’t work they are very familiar and they’ve become a bit of a habit. Not to mention biscuits taste so good, wine is so much fun, shoes are so pretty and having purpose is so attractive… But they’re complications plastered on to cover up a feeling. Biscuits don’t change the feeling. Wine doesn’t change the feeling, it even makes it worse. Shoes don’t change the feeling. Concocting a purpose doesn’t change the feeling. The simple solution to feeling better… is to feel. Just feel. It won’t last long, about 90 seconds. Then I’ll go back to doing what I do, writing or making. The feeling will come back, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to turn this new simple choice into a habit. But I won’t have complicated it, I won’t have plastered stuff onto it, I won’t have forgotten that it’s just a feeling and feelings pass.
Feeling the feeling, Mairead.