Friday, November 10, 2017

Needing and not

There are things I need*

(*And I am not going to argue the shades of meaning between literal "need" and mere "want." I do that to myself too much: "You don't need to go to Sherman for bigger, better grocery shopping." "You don't need to take time off now," "You don't need that item that would make your life easier or you happier." Being raised by a frugal parent and a workaholic one is good in some ways - diligence - but it does also make me question my need for rest of downtime or all that)

And there are things I don't need.

Some things I need (some aren't things):

More sleep. I feel better this morning after sleeping longer last night. I think during the week sometimes I get sleep deprived and I can really feel it.

More downtime, where I can just be quiet and do things like knit or quilt. My mom's hat is a little more than half-knit; I want to get it finished this weekend and maybe start the AAUW hat.

To finish a lot of the ongoing projects. I am going to work on this after I get the two necessary parts of Christmas knitting done.

To laugh more. I haven't laughed much this fall, and I need to laugh more.

To spend more time around people somehow. I have work and I have church, and once a month I have AAUW, but that's it. I need to try to find more people who are congenial to my interests or who I am to hang out with - but it's hard, locally. (Because I don't generally fit in places - and there's no knitting group, and the quilting group I know of meets while I am in class)

To "tar my boat" again - that is, in the sense of how Eugene Peterson used it:  "All the water in the oceans cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside. Nor can all the trouble in the world harm us unless it gets within us." I've let the world's troubles impinge on me too much - getting down over stuff I have no control over.

To remind myself that because a person is older, more senior, or more powerful than I, that doesn't necessarily make them wiser or less prone to throwing tantrums or being petty. It also means I don't have to join them, it's not my fault they're doing it, and I don't really have to condone it or do more than maybe keep my mouth shut and extricate myself from the situation as quickly as possible.

To develop more energy/motivation to clean my house.. I am telling myself that maybe Sunday afternoon after church I should put on some loud music and tackle the sewing room and my bedroom and clean them up.

To remind myself that just because the good I can do seems very small, I shouldn't stop trying to do it or despair. To think of things like Go Fund Me, where thousands of people sending in a dollar or five dollars each solve a problem....and that my little bit of good is my contribution. And also that it's not my responsibility whether or not other people try to do good.

I don't need:

To keep being so influenced by other's opinions. One thing I kind of dislike about myself is that I care so hard about what other people think. This is good, sometimes - in that it makes me more thoughtful and more prone to be polite and keep the Golden Rule in practice. It's good in the sense of "I care about how other people feel so I'm going not to be rude, and I'm going to try to consider culture, etc. when I talk to someone." But it's not so good in cases where I leave some situation and I wonder to myself, "What are they saying about me now?" Probably the answer is "nothing," given the usual level of human self-absorption, but still, I wonder - having, at an impressionable age, had a couple instances of overhearing people I thought were my friends saying not very nice things about me when they thought I was absent.

To worry so much about sleep. I woke up last night at midnight after being asleep a couple hours. Got up for the loo, got back in bed, and couldn't go back to sleep immediately. And I got a little concerned (I have a history of insomnia, though it's more often a case of not being able to shut my brain off to go to sleep the first time). Then I told myself, "this is just the gap between first sleep and second sleep." There's a hypothesis that people slept in two shifts - borne out by written accounts of people doing stuff in the middle of the night, everything from praying to...uh...making babies...between the first sleep and second sleep. Apparently before electric light (or even oil lamps), people went to bed earlier, and slept until about midnight or 1 am, and then woke for a bit, and then slept again. And probably this is unfamiliar to us because we're all so sleep-deprived, and we've also been told "if you can't get back to sleep right away GET UP OUT OF BED." And while in some cases (monks going to pray), yeah, they did get out of bed, there's evidence that married couples would lie in bed and talk or....make the aforementioned babies... (And I did get back to sleep fairly quickly. And what I did in the intervening? Like the monks, I prayed. Because I'm alone in bed and God is the only one I've got to talk to.)

To despair so much at the state of the world. It's always been bad, there have always been bad people doing bad things. We probably hear it more because (a) the 24-hour news cycle and (b) what is fundamentally a good thing: a lot of the people doing bad, exploitative things are finally being called out on it and are seeing some pushback. And maybe this will lead to things getting better?

To think that when things aren't ideal now, that they will always be so. Maybe I'll make a new friend here in town. Maybe some fun new store or new group will open up.  Or that somehow finances will get better in my state. Or that attitudes will change and people will once again have some respect for education.


I started the squeezy-exercise last evening - where I take the breadloaf thing (this is one of those Japanese squishy toys) and squeezed it in each hand for 90 seconds, with three reps per hand (trading off). That's the protocol given. I did it again this morning.

90 seconds is kind of a long time. If nothing else, it will strengthen my wrists - I won't have any further trouble opening jars, I suppose. Of course it's too early to know if it will affect my blood pressure - they say it took six weeks for the participants to notice an effect. But if it works, it's worth doing, because I really REALLY would like to reduce my dose of beta blocker; I think some of my recent woes about having less energy and feeling "sad" may be partly tied to the side effects of that.

I will say I feel calmer this morning but I cannot tell if that's the effect of having the rewrite essentially done (student researcher is looking it over and will give comments on Monday) or the squeezy exercise. I suppose it's the former but I wish it were the latter because that kind of thing is easier to control than the whole worrying about "am I doing enough at work"


I also needed this today, apparently, seeing as I've watched it thrice already:

Yes, it's an ad. No, I don't care that it is. Note that it's an ad that doesn't really push a particular product so much as it pushes an IDEA - the idea of giving. (And, I suppose, the idea of the redeeming power of Paddington's firm goodness - he does not even entertain the idea that "Santa" is, actually, a thief).

I suspect British Christmas ads are better than ours - I have already seen too many "Buy your loved one a car!" ads and while, I don't doubt that if you're planning on getting a new car anyway, maybe making it a family Christmas gift is a good way to go.....I tend to think of Christmas gifts as smaller, less expensive, and more personal. Like a book the person hasn't read. Or a new winter hat. Or even an amaryllis to start so there's some color and brightness during the cold dark winter.

(I also need to get down to Kopper Kettle and see if there's any good small additional gift for my sister-in-law. In a pinch, I could do an Amazon gift certificate, but that feels quite impersonal, and I'd rather have a nice *thing* to give than some electronic bits representing currency.)

No comments: