*(I know I haven’t formally recorded any DO/AOs for a few weeks, but I have been attempting to keep it up, so I’ve counted those weeks, which would make this weekend number 23.)
This weekend marks the end of the year and beginning of a new one. The weather will be too hot, I am unemployed and in debt, and I don’t know what I will be doing for the next year.
I’m sure it’s ridiculously idealistic to decide that things are going to suddenly change on the 1st of January, but I do feel as if now is the time to make a bigger push to pick myself up. Most of this year, for me, has been about getting through, trying not to drown and learning to be less negative. Despite many attempts to really feel healthy and positive, it’s been an effort just to do the necessary things. There is about a month until school goes back and so, unless I find another job in the meantime, I have a month of no responsibilities. I feel like this is the time to really put effort back into my body and therefore my energy and therefore my mental health.
This weekend, I want to start by adding exercise and yoga and stretching and meditation. It will be hot and everything will be closed, so all I will be doing is hanging around the house and enjoying the air conditioning. I don’t mind not being productive, but I don’t want to just sit around killing time because that is a negative cycle for me. I end up with a headache, feeling lethargic, and unable to sleep. Normally, I try not to add too many things in one weekend because I want things to be managable, but this weekend I don’t have study, I don’t have Christmas cooking to do or presents to make or shopping to do or cards to send or work to do or choir rehearsals to go to, I can’t ring up to inquire about jobs or go to the bank and I can’t afford to go out with friends – so there is nothing else to do. I don’t mind releaxing and doing some bludgey things, but I want to also pick myself up and make myself do regular physical things when I am being blob for want of anything better to do. I want to start to feel light again in spirit as well as body.
Since Mum died, there’s been a heaviness and a sadness beneath everything, even when I’ve been focusing on other things and even enjoying myself. I suppose I will always be a little more ready to cry than I was before I knew such grief, and I suppose things will always have a touch more bittersweetness, but I think I may now be ready to allow myself to let go of my heaviness.
When Mum first died, I noticed a song lyric in by Crowded House’s Love This Life that goes “maybe the day will come when you’ll never have to feel no pain” and it made me realise that I feel such deep pain and sorrow because I experienced such great love. The hurt I feel is testament to how wonderful a mother I had. If I hadn’t loved her so much, if I hadn’t had such love and support from her, and if we hadn’t shared such wonderful and special years together then my grief would be less. I am sad – devastated – that she is gone, but I have been so, so lucky to have had 29 years with a gentle, caring, funny and supportive mother. I wouldn’t want to not hurt and grieve over her death because it would mean I hadn’t had all of that. I will always miss her, but I think I’m ready to carry forward the love and joy she gave me rather than the heaviness of her death. I suppose you could say that’s what I’m dropping.
I’m not completely sure how I’m going to do this, but I know that the first step is to pick myself up every time I’m being a blob and to do something physical. I can cheer myself up or indulge myself or try to be mindful and positive, but I know I will never really feel positive unless I fix up my physical health, too. I want to lose weight but, even more, I want to be fit. I can remember going overseas in 2006 and being able to walk all over the cities of Europe – I remember walking ten New York blocks without a break.
I know all these things don’t necessarily spring into place in a weekend, but I really want to try. I’m not normally interested in New Year’s resolutions, but it feels like this is the right psychological moment. I’m ready to be light again, lighter in body and lighter in spirit.