Now is not the time to make any major decisions

When I woke up this morning, I wanted to:

  • divorce my spouse
  • quit my job
  • take off down the road
  • change my name
  • work my way across the country, moving from town to town, earning enough to survive on by fixing people’s websites, washing dishes in restaurants, and doing odd jobs

Every now and then I have this same impulse, and it usually involves getting a stray dog and a beaten-up old pickup. Somehow, it all seems so much… better... than what I have going on in my life now.

Then I think about winter. And I think about getting robbed. I also think about not being able to shower for days on end, and what that might mean for my job prospects.

And I realize how very tired I am.

The past several weeks of going non-stop has torn the heck out of my system. I’m definitely not myself, these days. Oh, I’m myself — but the parts of myself that I can usually manage to moderate when I’m reasonably rested, are jumping out all over the place, like they do when I am on Prednisone. Steroids make me a crazy-person, and so does stress and lack of sleep.

So, I need to factor this all into my world view. And not make any major decisions until I can sit up straight for extended periods of time and walk a straight line when I get up, without needing to rely on this adrenaline rush to keep me functional.

In 24 hours, I will be on vacation. This is good. I will have a full week to unwind, do absolutely nothing at all, if I so choose, and only do the things I really want to do. There will be none of this jumping to assist someone who has brought misfortune to themself and everyone around them… none of this fixing things that others break… none of this covering for people who are not interested in doing a complete job… none of this working overtime to decipher and accommodate unreasonable requests.

At least, I hope not.

But if there is, I will have had plenty of sleep to keep up with it all.

My plan… Sleep, get up and eat breakfast, go for a walk outside, stretch and exercise, come back to the beach house and relax… then sleep again.

Sounds good to me.

I will also have time to read up on some of the things I have been unable to get to, because of my schedule. I have some really interesting reading I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t been able to, because of the mind-numbing stupidity at work. Seriously, the work is so mindless and rudimentary, it has not helped me at all. Plus, I’m surrounded by people who are far more consumed with food and shelter and feathering their nests, than with the intricacies of the human condition.

Looking back, I can see how the last three years have really dumbed me down — a lot. No, not dumbed *me* down, but the quality of conversations each day haven’t really held a lot for me, intelligence-wise. Come to think of it, my neuropsych is the one person I’ve been able to talk to about really transforming my life, at a level that I’m comfortable at. We’ve had some seriously good discussions — some of which have irritated the crap out of me, but that irritation has helped me define further in my own mind the things that I truly believe.

So, that’s been helpful. But I’m in serious need of more frequent mental stimulation than that — and along different lines than what to eat and how to fix up your house.

And for the next week, I can get exactly that — more stimulation of the type I need. I’ll have time to unwind and let my mind expand… get uncrimped from the contortions it’s been going through, and go in directions that are of my choosing, rather than necessity. I know, deep down inside, that I can make any situation into anything I want, yet I’ve been so tired lately, I haven’t had the ability to think outside the little box that I seem to be in.

So yeah, now is not the time to decide to change my life wholesale. It’s not the time to make any major decisions about relationships, work, living situations, or really any major aspect of my existence. It’s time to kick back, take stock, think about what I truly want my life to be like — what sort of qualities I want it to have — and give myself the freedom to just feel good in general.

Rest and relax. Unwind. Uncrimp. I’m sure there are better times ahead for me, I just need to make certain I don’t jump the gun and burn a bunch of bridges… and make things worse for me, just because I’m stressed and tired.

Onward.

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More talk about resiliency

There seems to be something in the air… Human resiliency in the face of trauma is on my radar again.

Over at the NICABM blog, there’s a post about Trauma Recovery with Tibetan Monks that I found really interesting. The video is a short blurb/(promo?) for a teleseminar with Dr. Michael Grodin who is the co-director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. While I’m not a huge fan of using YouTube as an advertising vehicle (I like to watch videos that are self-contained “units” of really useful information — like some of the TBI education videos I’ve watched), I did find it interesting to hear about different sorts of therapy being used to work with survivors of torture, imprisonment, and other trauma.

I also found it informative to hear a little about what can happen to a Tibetan monk who is thrown in jail by the Chinese authorities. “Free Tibet” comes to mind…

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a great deal about my own resiliency, lately. Not only thinking, but living it. The conversations in the back of my head about what I need to do and how and why and when have given way to a more instinctual kind of flow. Even though I’m in a lot of pain, my ears have been ringing at an unbelievable rate, my balance is off, and I haven’t been sleeping as well as I’d like, that’s not stopping me. I’m just going with what seems right to do at the moment, these days, and doing what I can to keep up with my “self-maintenance” and mindful living, and it all seems to be working out pretty well. I’ve got projects in the works I can be proud of, and that I’m quite happy with. It’s good. Very cool things are happening, that are totally unexpected and unpredictable… but still good.

See, that’s the thing — I never know when things are going to turn around for me. Maybe I’ve been hit in the head too often to have a good sense for when things are going to get good again, or maybe it’s just the human condition to be unaware of the Good that lies just around the corner. Whatever the case may be, I’m constantly surprised by good fortune, and it saves my ass time and time again, as I’m slogging away… I just have to hang in there. Eventually, if I keep trying and keep going, chances are good that I’ll happen across an opportunity that will work in my favor.

You just never know…

Yes, times have been tough. Yes, I’ve gotten knocked around a great deal. Yes, I’ve lost a lot and have had to build back my life several times over. Yes, I was homeless at one time. Yes, I worked my way back from the street to a great job and a good profession and the kind of life I can be truly proud of. Yes, I got “body slammed” again, and yes, I cluelessly burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars I’d earned back… in record time. Yes, I’m struggling on a regular basis to find my footing. Yes, I have to work pretty hard at things that others find easy.

But you know what? That’s okay. I’m learning a lot in the process, and I feel smarter as a result –  tho’ whether I am smarter, is another issue ;). If nothing else, it builds character. I know that the idea of character is somewhat nebulous in this 21st century. In fact, it’s pretty much fallen off the radar — nowadays, the ticket to success seems to be popularity and marketability, not so much what you’re made of inside. But that’s not stopping me from developing my own life and my own character… even if it doesn’t make me instantly popular or famous.

Ultimately, what matters most is not what others think of me, but what I think of myself… and the real results of my life.

That’s what I’m focusing on.

Now, back to work…