Wk 1: nurturing myself
Woke up thinking about how I had only just gotten warm enough (after sleeping under 4 blankets, in all my clothes, next to Spouse) because “my body’s temperature regulation doesn’t work the way it should”, and then I realized… my body has always been this way. It wasn’t NT, and then changed. This has always been my reality. So why am I describing it — even/especially to myself — as “not as good at (hypothetical) other people’s bodies”? It is the body that I have. What if I prioritize dealing with my actual reality? Stop fighting myself for being unusual? What if I accept myself?
Well, I need to do something different to stay warm during the winter. I’ve ordered flannel-lined jeans, and a pair of flannel pajama bottoms.
Eventually, I hope to find a different pair of warmer slippers, and maybe even some woolly socks.
My circadian rhythm is… odd. If I didn’t stay up all night (like I did last night), I generally wake wake up at 9:45–10 a.m. I often lie in bed, thinking aloud, until 11:30 or later. I gradually talk myself into getting my daily activities underway, but it may be 2 p.m. before I’m ready to leave the apartment.
In the winter, that means I have a scant 2–3 hours of daylight/”business hours” to accomplish things.
Instead of hating on myself for being so ‘inefficient,’ what if I accept that this is my actual reality? I’m not lazy or (particularly) unmotivated — I just need a different schedule than most people are on.
What if I stop thinking of my needs as (annoying) options that I should really wean myself from wanting?
What if I stop apologizing for seeking ‘weird’ stuff?
What if I allow myself what I actually need?
First thing this morning, I did a hard thing I’d been procrastinating on for months: I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Phone call was an excruciating 19.5 minutes long, but scheduler was able to fit me in for next Friday!
While I was at the post office, I picked up some Kwanzaa stamps — such a colorful and attractive design. I even got a friendly clerk!
Impromptu “coffee break” at the mall, treating myself to an orange scone. Visited the adjacent store, and found a lovely scarf (that I’d admired over the summer), on sale for $15. Bought it.
Picked up 10 movies from the library.
More experiments with paper snowflakes.
Realized some counter-intuitive things about my worldview (compared to other people’s). That new self-knowledge helped me stay centered and positive when Spouse came home from work with a migraine, and was in a difficult mood for our usual Friday night dinner out + groceries.
Spouse needed my help for an unanticipated errand before dinner, which perilously taxed my own mental energies — when I was already hungry and feeling depleted. To self-soothe, as I walked across the parking lot afterwards, I let myself notice strings of numbers on license plates: if divisible by 3, I factored them. Numbers (especially primes) and long division are so calming.
Later, interesting conversation with Spouse about movies.
My taste in movies doesn’t overlap with Spouse’s taste all that much. When I have a full stack of movies to watch, like I do this week, I default to watching them during weekdays when he’s at work. But tonight (Saturday), after we watched a movie he wanted to see & then he went to bed, I watched another movie with the sound down low.
On weekends, I tend to get out of bed pretty shortly after waking up — even though I don’t like doing that — because that’s what Spouse both does, and expects me to do.
Today, I stayed in bed thinking, the way I prefer.
The night before, went to bed at 9 p.m. (absurdly early for me), and slept until 11:30. Lots of strange dreams, as is usual when I sleep so long.
Did not allow myself to feel guilty.
Realized that I must have said to other people 100x, “Extroverts gain energy from other people, while introverts gain energy from being alone”… without truly understanding where in that continuum of energy I reside. As a kid, 10,000 commands from every adult I knew to “sit down and shut up already!”… eventually I turned myself into an introvert. I do enjoy a lot of time alone, but not all of it. I actually crave being around people. People who are interested in listening to me (at least sometimes — I enjoy listening too) would be ideal, but these days Spouse is depleted by the social demands of his new job. Our interests don’t overlap a whole lot anyway.
Wondering if returning to magical thinking might help me not give in to despair. Create some new imaginary friends. Pretend that my social prospects could actually improve in the future.
Went to the library to exchange movies: returned 7; brought home 16 new ones.
Debated with myself whether growing up with parents who genuinely try to help you be happy and successful [per movie #3] maybe makes you boring because you don’t ever have to struggle to figure out what works for you. Adults helping (child) you is unfamiliar enough, but parents? Helping? The idea just boggles my mind.
Movies 1 & 2 were both about family secrets. The first one was 3 generations of train wrecks, and no redemptive arc for anyone. No characters (that I found) particularly sympathetic. Just sad. The second one was really intriguing actually, with lots of interesting people intersecting in different ways. The filmmaker not only wielded the power of telling the story she wanted to tell, but compelled everyone else, old and young, to go along with it. But… she was a child of the family, and clearly well-loved and valued by everyone. That’s its own sort of power, and I don’t have it.
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Baby tapir figurine arrived from England, and it’s adorable. May be my new writing buddy.
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I’ve gone 238 hours without reading books.