New responsibilities at work
I’ve been moving into a period of more responsibilities at work, probably because I’m seeming more stable lately. I don’t mind, but I have to make sure I don’t a) procrastinate; b) overwork myself.
Work is a balancing game for me because of my bipolar disorder and because of my writing. I have office work to do today. And a meeting with a therapist. And part of my outline for It Takes Two to Kringle. Luckily I’m working at home today and I can get the work stuff done before I do personal stuff in the late afternoon.
The work unnerves me when I look at it all in one piece. Which, I guess, is a good reason not to look at it all at once.
Time for rest
I have to work on this one. I get plenty of sleep (this is necessary with bipolar) but I don’t always feel rested. I think a lot of this is psychological — when I’m faced with a pile of work, I fret about whether I’ll get it done, and that makes me tired.
I need to work on resting my mind, which comes from things like meditation, time management that includes free time, and sleep without dwelling on things. Empty mind, in other words.
Time to quit writing and do something
This is a hard thing for me to write about, because I feel the guilt of all the times I broke my commitments because of depression.
My enthusiasm (and hypomania) would carry me into trying to do something but the depression would keep me from following up. I overcommitted, I underperformed.
It took the medication for me to see who I wanted to be. I don’t over-commit these days, knowing that the only thing that keeps me from mood swings is a precarious balance of medication. But I do commit — to my job, to my marriage, to the things I believe in.
Commitment defines me. I am not just what I embrace, but what I follow through on.
I’ll be honest — I don’t understand prayer anymore.
By “anymore”, I mean “not since I got put on medication for bipolar disorder. I have bipolar II, and my prayer life spun between being elated and feeling like I had a pipeline to our perception of God, and being depressed and praying in vain. Things are evened out, and my logical mind has taken over and made me question praying.
Does God grant our prayers? I wonder what happens when two football teams pray for a victory. Does God pick his favorite team? Does God bribe the referees? Choose the team that prayed the best?
If God grants our prayers, we rejoice that our prayers are granted. If God does not, we don’t say a thing.
I’m not completely skeptical about prayer, though. I think prayer helps us find something within ourselves, strength or comfort or acceptance. I think that prayer fortifies us to help us face an unfair and unfriendly world.
And prayer helps me find my keys in the mornin.
Does anyone out there suffer from the winter blues? I’m suffering from the winter blues right now. My mood tracking app (Daylio, which I think is available for both Android and iOS) has been registering me as “Meh” the past few days.
I manage to stave off the winter blues through the holiday season because, well, holiday cheer. I love Christmas, with its carols and greenery. But once January comes, there’s two whole months with nothing to look forward to but the end of winter.
What am I doing to deal with the blahs? Not nearly enough. Usually at this time, I’m very involved with seedlings for the gardens at this point in the year, and this helps me keep on an even keel. But we’re working on getting the weed infestation out of the raised beds, so no seed starting.
I’m drinking lots of coffee and eating spicy food. I’m eating too much and need to lose weight. I’m writing, and that always helps, but I don’t feel like writing much.
So what strategies can I use? I happen to teach a positive psychology class, so I have some ideas here:
- A gratitude journal — three things I’m grateful about and why
- Doing good for other people
- Using my signature strengths (link to find out here)
Be sure that I’ll put at least one of those into my repertoire.
So I’m hopefully giving platelets today.
The process behind giving platelets involves doing nothing for two hours while having a needle in one’s arm. You sit in the most comfortable lounge couch with warm blankets and pads and a tv screen in front of you.
I’ve gotten pretty good at surfing the internet one-handed on my phone, and the only tv I ever watch is during these sessions.
Sometimes I meditate, because it’s pretty quiet in there. Sometimes I watch with wonder as the machine works its magic and seperates the platelets from blood and plasma and gives me back those fluids.
It’s not two hours wasted. It’s a two-hour break from my mind, which always wants to be busy. And I may be saving someone’s life.
A space exists beyond the mundane, one untouched by everyday drama and the pursuit of worldly things. As humans, we are allowed fleeting glimpses of this place.
Some spy it in the forest, when a ray of light pierces the canopy and illuminates the path. Some discover it in service, when the Divine has touched their understanding of the Other. Some find it in prayer, others in meditation, yet others in solving a difficult problem. Many stumble across it without seeking and are dazzled by its singular beauty.
But only for a moment. We were not meant to dwell in the transcendent, for to do so would destroy what makes us human: our drive, our basic needs, our social connections. We would starve to death in beauty.
Best we go back to our mundane world after touching the transcendent, to live our lives with a little more grace than before.