This week will be a short one. I’m scheduled to work just two days with the option for a third. I might take it, I might not. It sounds nice, but the tradeoff is that this week is also the week of Thanksgiving and the unofficial U.S. holiday known as “Black Friday”. When I’m not working, I’ll be stressing over making time for friends and family and making sure I’m doing enough to maintain my sense of self-worth. God, I hate the holidays.
This week I want to:
Practice gratitude. It is the week of Thanksgiving after all and while I don’t particularly like the way that US history has been warped around this holiday; the sentiment is useful. It is good for the heart and the spirit to take stock of all the good we gained and all the people who have helped us gain it. Look around and find contentment for a change in your little happinesses and comforts. There are many who don’t have nearly as much.
Update: Perhaps I should have written a post about it, perhaps I still will, but though I didn’t share I still took time to reflect on everything in my life that is good, even the things that don’t always seem good at first but are the kind of problems and stress that only the privileged have. I have a good life. I’m surrounded by good people. I have a good job. I have a good future ahead of me. I have a lot of good to give others and a so much more good yet to receive.
Write 1000 words a day. I just finished reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and it left me with feeling enthusiastic and focused once again on writing as my true life’s work. Much of the book centered on the concept of simply sitting down and doing the work until the work becomes automatic and you can relax and allow your best ideas and prose to come forth. He advises it will take 1000 to 2000 words a day for several years to get there so it’s best to start as soon as possible.
Update: It was a rough week. Between the holiday, and shopping, visiting family, and all the rest I needed there wasn’t much time left over for more than a couple of blog posts here. I really shouldn’t have tried to do so much the week of Thanksgiving but I didn’t realize just how busy I would be and just how much chronic illness would take out of me. I’m disappointed because I know there won’t be much more opportunity than what I had this week for a long time to come.
Make some art. I didn’t think my little collages and poems really counts as art but my wife has been working hard to convince me otherwise. She enjoys them and she can see i enjoy making them. I’ve heard writers should have hobbies that do not involve working with words, perhaps this can be mine?
Update: The same as writing except perhaps I didn’t try as hard. I’m still working through the feeling that creating art is not considered productive nor a worthwhile way to spend my time. I know those things aren’t true but I don’t feel like those things aren’t true, you know. Whenever I sit down and make something my mind races with the work or the writing I could be doing instead. I’m trying to try harder.
Rest as much as possible. December starts next week, and that means a heavy work schedule, Christmas shopping, time with family and friends, and the start of a new year. It’s going to be busy and this will be the last week I will get to take so much time for myself and with my health declining little by little I think it’s best I take all I can get while I can get it.
Update: I probably needed more but absolutely made sure to sleep when I needed to and to do nothing when doing something felt overwhelming or exhausting. Have you ever noticed that it is harder to rest than it is to work, to clean, to run errands, to work out, to go out, to do anything else at all? Have you noticed how guilty it makes us feel to care for ourselves? It kills me every time to feel so useless, lazy, and weak.
Begin a body weight workout. I’ve been trying for months to start a simple workout routine at home but I never can seem to find the space, or the energy. When I get home, from work, without even thinking, I end up in the living room, on the couch, in front of the T.V. my weights and my goals forgotten in the spare bedroom. This week the weights are getting moved. I’m bringing them into the livingroom where I can see them and be reminded.
Update: Obviously no. I was able to move the weights into the livingroom and I even spoke with my wife about making time to work out together after work. I entertained the idea of waking up just a half hour early and started to really feel good about the idea, but my body will not cooperate and I know that exercise, being a kind of stress, would not be a good idea while I am feeling poorly. Perhaps in a few weeks?
This week I will work on being proactive rather than reactive. The best way to fight anxiety is with a plan, the second best is with action. I won’t let my mind run wild and I certainly won’t put my worries in charge.
P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 47.