Monday, December 09, 2013

dear summer

Dear Summer,

It was great seeing you on Saturday, and the Sunday before. But I've been thinking that it's time to take our relationship to the next level. I think you should move in. You living in Sydney and only visiting Melbourne once a week is really hard on me. I feel like you're being a tease. You maka me crazy with this game you're playing!

I just...I love you so much and I really want to spend some time with you. Let's go swimming! And have picnics in the park! And play catch! Let's get our legs waxed and run around in short-shorts! It'll be fun, I promise. I won't even make you commit long term. You can leave again in April! Just promise not to leave me alone with Winter. That guy is such a douche.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

scaling back

I've been doing a bit of thinking lately. A bit of thinking about anxiety. I've been an over-worrier my whole life, but I really feel like my anxiety has gotten worse in the past year or so. Or at any rate, I feel physical symptoms of anxiety more readily and more pronouncedly (that's a word, right?)

Three out of my five immediate family members are currently or have been in the recent past on medication for anxiety. I've been thinking lately about what I can do, short of medication, to change my symptoms and learn how to chill out.

My new job has forced me to think about this a bit more. For the past year, especially after reading The Happiness Project, I've been trying to fit more into my day by being more efficient. I've renewed my commitment to writing letters, I bought an entry-a-day journal, I've started learning to sew, I've decided to move forward with trying to start an Etsy hand knits store, I want to post at least one good photo a day to Instagram, and make new friends in this newish city by attending knitting groups and playing softball three times a week. Not to mention making a list of topics to follow up related to global health, in an effort to improve my research career prospects. Oh, and trying to design and secure a phd.

I'll try to be clear here: I was failing miserably at everything on that list before I started this new job (especially the letter writing. I don't think I've written a letter in two months). Those of you who have had a birthday in the past few months will know that I haven't been acknowledging every birthday with a hand-written note. You're lucky if you get an email! Now with the new job, I spend a lot of time in transit and have much less downtime at home than I'm used to. "I'll just bring my work and my reading books and my knitting and my sewing projects and my letter writing paper and my journal on the train!" And then I get on the train and...fall asleep.

What I've realised is that trying to make myself more efficient in order to accomplish more isn't making me happier. It's increasing my levels of anxiety. Surprise surprise, right? If I stop expecting myself to be an amazing knitter and seamstress and letter-writer and photographer and book-devouring intellectual, I'll be able to stop beating myself up for failing miserably at all of it. I might still try to have 15 different hobbies, but I have to stop holding myself up to unreasonable expectations.

I'm just gonna knit. For fun, when I have time. And post photos on Instagram when I see something worth sharing with the world. And journal as often as possible. I'll try to start writing letters again, but I make no promises. And that's plenty enough for the time being.

Now, to write all my Christmas cards and start on my Christmas decorations. :-S