Positivity Journal

I usually apologize when I haven’t been on here (or anywhere) for a while. I’m not going to do that this time. I’ll explain, and explaining will (eventually) get me to the title of this post. This is going to be a long one. Proceed if you dare . . .

I posted something about a month ago that I really didn’t want to, talking about how I (mentally) was not doing so great. Then I posted about two weeks later that I was feeling better (in comparison). The in comparison was key there. The fact of the matter is that the not-so-greatness has been going on for well over a month and a half now. I’d usually rather not say anything like that, and I believe I’ve only done so on here a small handful of times. No matter what sort of stuff [going on in my life] I talk about on here, this is ‘work-related’ to me. This blog has my ‘author name’ on it, my ‘author photo,’ etc. This isn’t a space where I toss my deepest feelings out into the abyss of the interwebz. I don’t toss my deepest feelings out anywhere, really, apart from in one-on-one conversations. That’s just me. So apart from saying, “I’m in a weird/bad/whatever headspace,” there’s usually not anything like that. That might change one day, but I’m not holding my breath for it.

The only reason I ever post things along the lines of what I did a month or so ago is when whatever headspace I’m in starts impacting my work rather than my life outside of work. It definitely has this time.

Typically, when I get in ‘a mood,’ I’m so preoccupied with work that I don’t even have the time to think about it. I have such a one-track mind and get so focused on what I’m doing that whatever else is going on in my life sort of slips somewhere behind a closed door in the back of my head. Sometimes (like when I’m writing), I’ll get so caught up in what I’m doing that the door doesn’t even have the chance to get opened again. Then, by the time I might’ve gotten around to it, whatever was causing the unpleasantness has usually lessened for some reason or another. (Issues getting resolved or me just calming down about whatever it was.)

This has probably been the worst mindset I’ve been in for . . . a very long time. I tried just about everything to drag myself out of it. I wrote. (I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK.) I did (a few) non-writing work-related things. I got out of the shed. (A lot of that was due to a messed up sleep schedule/sleep related issues and it being too hot for me out here.) I played video games. I watched some TV. Did (a few) things outside (and got a good reminder of why I enjoy being indoors). I EVEN GOT OUT OF THE STATE.

I really tried just about everything, and no matter how okay (and even sometimes great) I would be doing at any point, I kept mentally backsliding. Now, we all know (and I have no problem with admitting) that I am a very negative person. (Not outwardly, but inside my head.) I used to consider myself realistic, and I don’t think it really hit me just how much I was kidding myself with that until pretty recently. I do believe that I look at the glass as neither half-full nor half-empty, only that there’s a glass filled to the midway point, but I’m always worst-case scenario. I’m always planning things out and trying to mentally prepare myself for whatever horrible thing that’s next on the path. That’s just me. And really, in a way, I’m totally fine with that. I wouldn’t be me if my dad couldn’t make jokes about the sky falling and me responding with something like, “If [whatever] happened . . . it could.”

I don’t have a problem with that sort of thing, but I WILL admit that I’m getting worse about it, and I don’t like that. I feel like in a lot of ways, my anxiety has even gotten worse. And I’ve been trying to push myself out of my ‘safe bubble comfort zone’ for a while now.

And it’s so freaking weird, because at some point along the way, I’d slowed down all the negativity in my head that I was really worried about – the negativity that pertained to my work. The, ‘What makes you think you could ever do this?’ sort of questions. The, ‘You know you’re not good enough for this,’ remarks. The responses to those had turned into, “Because I can,” and either, “Yes I am,” or, “I’m doing it anyway.”

So what’s been with the mood? I’m still not really sure, but I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve kind of been a wreck lately. I’m sure pretty much everybody knows there are some times that are harder than others to put a (figurative or literal) smile on your face just because you have to. It’s been hard for me lately, when trying to take care of all the stuff that needs doing. So I didn’t do much of it.

I cry a lot over weird things. Movies, TV shows, sometimes music. Sometimes commercials. When I say cry, I mean tear up. I don’t actually cry often. (You may think it’s not weird to cry at the things I mentioned, but it’s what sets it off that makes the crying so weird. If I watch LOTR:ROTK by myself, I’ll sob when they’re all riding into battle. It’s just so epic. Even after watching it more times than I even know, I still fight against sobs.) I cry REAL GOOD (getting all Southern there) when I’m writing/editing sometimes. The point of saying that or even bringing it up at all is . . . I don’t cry about my real life often. Once in a blue moon, usually when I’m extremely frustrated over something that makes complete sense to be up-in-the-air about. So when it gets to the point where nothing in particular has happened, and I’m just feeling nothing short of completely broken down . . . that obviously means I let myself get past an okay point to be.

I don’t really have a solution for it. (Though starting to re-watch Merlin drastically improved my mood.) I can’t magically make this workload go down. Even working on it doesn’t really put a dent in it. This isn’t a story in a book I’m writing, where I can depend on fake people to fix something. This is my real life. I’m just a feeble, little human. And no matter how I feel about my books, or my work in general, sometimes I need a good reminding that I’m more important than they are. (Because I can’t get them out of my head if I’m not in a place where I can.) It’s easy to forget sometimes, and it’s just as easy to beat myself up over needing to get whatever done and not doing it when I think I should.

So while it almost feels like it killed a part of my soul (I say that about a lot of things but rarely mean it like I do here) to not work as much, or as well, or as efficiently as what I ‘should’ have . . . I needed the break. That’s why I really can’t apologize for missing the posts I’d JUST set a schedule for, because I needed to take care of myself. And you know what? It’s been really freaking nice to spend some substantial time with my husband.

I’ve realized that I can’t stick to any sort of actual schedule right now. I just can’t manage it, and that’s okay. (Did more of that writing up posts on here and not posting them stuff.) Trying to do that didn’t actually help like I thought it would. It just made things worse for me. So I’m just going to post about whatever, whenever (like I’ve done pretty much forever on here). The sky isn’t going to fall down. People might have issues with how long it’s taken me to comment back, but I WILL comment back. And I’d rather say what I want to say when I can say it than say what I can say in a small space of time. (That makes sense in my head. I know I could’ve worded it better.)

Anyway, the whole point of all this is the title. I read an article today, and it was almost like something clicked in my head. I really feel like I’ve been in this cesspool of negativity for FAR too long. (I don’t like not being able to work.) I thought of an idea earlier.

I’m going to start a positivity journal. Not like a real journal, with feelings and all. More like a list.

I wrote however many words today. I actually went to the gym. I got whatever done. This happened. So and so said this to me. I laughed about some event.

And not all positives either. I’m going to put the negatives in there too. (Herald’s E-key broke. Husband fixed it.) Because when you break down your days, you might have one massive negative, but you’re going to have a crapton of small positives thrown in there. For someone who naturally focuses on negatives . . .

I just don’t want to do that anymore. I feel like writing it all down might put things in a different perspective for me. I’m hoping so.

I’m just a feeble, little human, and my feelings are relevant. Being down, or overwhelmed, or sad, or angry . . . that’s relevant. But those are the things I naturally cling to. Those are the things I typically remember when all of this other stuff slips out of my head. (My memory is so bad.) And I would really like to remember everything else.

Husband and I had a talk about [something awesome] today. It really meant a lot to me.

I accomplished this today.

So I’ll be able to look back at some point, and I’ll remember the moment of writing it down if I write it down, meaning I’ll actually remember the event. (I remember almost everything that I actually write down.) One thousand words written might not seem like much, but they add up. Add about 90,000 more and you’ve got a book. All the days broken down.

I don’t expect doing this to change me. I’m the most self-deprecating person ever. (If you want to challenge me on that, we’ll lose together.) I’ve mastered getting in my own way, and I’ve lived most of my life like that. (What a skill to master!) So I might have a day where the sky is falling down inside my head because my anxiety is intent on pulling the damn thing down, but that doesn’t change what’s going on around me.

My feelings, no matter how relevant, do not undermine my accomplishments, my dreams, or the good things that happen to me.

I’m not aiming to fill my life with only positives. I’m too realistic (there’s that word again) for that. I’m aiming to acknowledge and accept the positives that already exist. That’s all, and I think this is a good start.

I know there are a lot of people like me out there, and really . . . I just wish so badly that we could all let ourselves focus on the good. Good things happen. It’s easy to forget sometimes, overlook. I just don’t want to do that anymore. Whatever struggles anyone else is going through . . . I hope you find a way to overcome them. I really do. I’m working on my way.

No matter what I’m working on, I just have to remember that my most important WIP . . . is me.

 

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Bucket List

When I was younger (probably 17-18 or so), I wrote up a list of things I wanted to do in my life. That list, unfortunately, has been lost – along with any and all the endless amounts of notebooks I’ve had throughout the years. Shame. It’s an even bigger shame that I can’t remember the things on the list. Not really.

There were probably things like, Get a tattoo, or Travel to [some unknown place]. I’m sure it’s baffling to at least one person out there that I can’t even remember where I wanted to travel to seven or eight years ago. I can say that it likely included destinations where my friends were located then (as I used to have a LOT of friends scattered across the country, and still have a few of them, actually).

I can say that, since that time, I’m sure I’ve done a lot of the EASIER things on my list. I didn’t do things like, Bungee jump, or Skydive. I don’t want to do those now, and it baffles me why I ever wanted to.

I have several tattoos. I’ve been a lot of places (outside the continental US, but haven’t had my feet off American soil). I’ve lived in five states since age 17, and right on the border of another. I’ve visited more states than I care to count right now, for one reason or another (almost always involving seeing people that I knew more so than doing THINGS). I’ve gone snowboarding more than once. I’ve been to the top of a mountain (driving, not climbing, but that’s one experience I don’t care to do again as I was nearly having a panic attack the entire time). I’ve seen the northern lights in person. I’ve gone whitewater rafting. I’ve been in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. I’ve gone snorkeling. I’ve driven to the point of being utterly lost and found my way home without a map or GPS or smartphone, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve written a book (quite a lot more than a), which was always on the list.

I’ve done some things in my life. I used to do so many things on a whim. I’d get an idea in my head and just . . . do it. It made for some amazing experiences, I can’t deny that, but it also made for some amazingly bad experiences along the way.

I’ve realized that – most of the time – when you reminisce with people, you filter through the memories. You laugh about the good (laying on a blanket around a bonfire with some of your best friends, staring up at the stars, while people play guitar and make up ridiculous songs sang in a Schwarzenegger-like voice), and skirt around the bad. You skirt around the bad and the REALLY bad is rarely ever acknowledged.

It’s better that way, I think. You know what happened and why talk about it when you can laugh instead?

BF and I often reminisce, as we have about 16 years or so of life spent (mostly) together to reminisce over. I realized that . . . most of the time, when I speak with people who have been in my life for a long time . . . reminiscing is involved (as long as there’s time to catch up and get past the ‘how have you been the last several months?’).

I have a lot of things that I still want to do, rather than talking about things that I’ve done before. They’re different wants than they likely would’ve been when I sat down however many years ago to write the old list. Then again . . . I wouldn’t know.

I’ve seen a few people have those sorts of lists on here, and it made me really think about it.

Rather than randomly spout off the things I still want to do, I’m going to make a new list and put it on here. I will cross things off when I get to them. I may never get to most of them, but I’m going to try.

It’s much more difficult to do when you get older and have so many things to take care of, but it’s not impossible. It’s much more difficult when you set your sights higher, but it’s not impossible.

It might take me a few days to get it up, but that’s the goal.

Aim for the stars.