This post includes a selection of my very favorite Austin wildflowers. These photos all come from my morning walks with Leben, and bring joy to my heart.
In trying to get back to blogging again, I’ve found myself struggling with perfectionism. I put pressure on myself to write “meaningful” content, to come up with “unique” ideas, to post ever-more-frequently, and to increase my site traffic. The pressure is overwhelming, and I procrastinate without posting at all.
In acknowledgment of these urges, and in defiance of them, I choose today to post a simple self-update. May authenticity grant courage and strength!
A couple of days into my “new” life, I finally got the chance to stop, breathe, and evaluate.
This is a practice that is incredibly important to me. I usually trek on without pausing to notice how I’m feeling mentally, emotionally, or physically. This leads me to working myself into the ground.
Moments like these, moments of purposeful self-awareness, are what keep me afloat.
This week, I have taken note of little indicators of my wellbeing:
I spend minutes at a time playing with Leben
I go to the kitchen and cook for myself upon arriving home
My laundry is clean and put away
My pantry and fridge are full of fresh groceries
I wake up in the morning without sleeping 2 hours past my alarm
Food tastes good to me, and sometimes it tastes delicious
I hum and sing
Stories captivate my attention
I have new ideas
2 and 3pm pass quickly and without sleepiness
I choose to do things I’ve been avoiding
My room is clean
I call my family just to chat
Letters are leaving my mailbox every other day
I try new recipes
I let myself buy Cap’n Crunch Berries
When I’m hungry, I eat a snack that I’ve prepared
I linger in how good comfy clothes make me feel
Little things inspire me
Books are getting finished that I’ve been reading for months
My grocery bill is normally-priced, and I’m not impulsively buying unnecessary things
Music fills my car instead of silence
I take the time to appreciate moments of physical touch
I arrive to work and leave from work with pleasant thoughts
I notice the weather
All of these things were noticed in the midst of one of the hardest weeks in our country’s recent past. Amidst murders, tragedy, fear, and anger, I managed to stay afloat. Existential crises remained blissfully out of my mind. I felt and experienced the pain, but I did not ruminate. I survived.
[I do know that my experience with these tragic events is minimal and laughable compared to those individuals directly impacted by these circumstances. However, world events usually effect me more than I would like. Especially with one shooting occurring in my very home town, I am shocked that I am not completely wrecked right now.]
This week I also endured a personal disaster of sorts: Leben, my baby, had to go to the emergency vet and be hospitalized due to a severe gastro-insult of unknown cause.
I may have had an anxiety attack in the vet’s office.
I may have been basically incoherent trying to explain to the staff what the problem was.
I may have come home and frantically cleaned my entire apartment, too full of anxious energy to sleep.
Despite all these things, I managed to function. I reached out and accepted comfort from my family, I kept going to work, I followed up on my puppy’s strenuous medication needs.
This did not break me.
This could have (would have?) broken me only a few brief months ago.
For that, and for Leben’s health, I am very grateful.
“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” ― Jon Krakauer