Mental Wellness Challenge, 2020, May 08

Mental Wellness Challenge – 2020, May 08

Hello Blog and People… I am getting far to used to communicating in this way… emails, texts… I miss a good old coffee and a cup of BS…

Last week I carried a part of a challenge forward for myself…  the part that I carried forward was the piece from the previous week where the challenge was to:

“Tell three people that you are connected to that they are important people in your life.. That you love them and that you are grateful for having them in your life.”

Well, I made sure that I did that… INTENTIONALLY…  I took some time to make sure that my two grand daughters know that I love them and that my kids know too.  I try to make certain that I tell my wife that I love and appreciate her each day – sometimes I slip on that too… but I did OK this past week.

Last week I challenged you to:

  1. Get outside – go for a walk.
  2. Practice gratitude and perspective.
  3. Talk to someone you love about something that is on your heart.

On getting outside and going for walks – I haven’t been doing as well as I should have… my nerves (anxiety) has been bad the past couple of weeks and that affects my gut… and I don’t like being too far from the… facilities… so I don’t go out much… I have other ways of taking exercise… and I know that I should, but it’s a matter of just doing it…  (Argh… it’s a freaking circle… I know I should take exercise, I know I feel better if I do, I just don’t seem to be able to motivate myself… For me – this is an indicator of stress and depression – and I better get off my butt and do something).

 

On practicing gratitude – I am trying – its hard… There’s so much crap going on in the world… its hard…

 

On sharing with someone I love stuff that is on my heart… YES, I have been doing this.. sometimes I worry a bunch that my sharing of MY STUFF, might rub off…so I sometimes get into the hermit mindset… and close up… but yes – I have been sharing my concerns with my rock.


This week – I’m going to start with a story… a story about a fella sitting on his front step looking out on the wonderful expanse before him, the super awesome view of the world he has from his perch…

So there this fellow is – on his stoop, enjoying the view.  Across the street from the guys stoop is a huge maple tree… its spring time and this maple tree has yet to “come out”… so there’s lots and lots of light coming through the branches and the fella’s view of the world is, for the most part, un-obstructed.

The fella is able to sit on his stoop, look out at the world and enjoy the goings on.

One morning, the fella notices that the tree is starting to bud and at this point in time – the budding of the tree doesn’t obscure his view of the world too much.  The fella continues to look out onto the world… and things are OK.

Life happens and the fella is tasked with doing things that take him away from being able to set out on the stoop… and well, that’s life…

A few days pass and the guy is able to set on his step and contemplate his place, his view, his perch and the world around him… The fella notices that this tree across street is really blocking out the light – he can’t see the mountains as well – they are still there – but they are obscured by this tree.

This goes on for another week and this monster maple is now in full blossom and all leaved out.  All the fella can see is the tree, and the tree is obscuring his view of the world from his perch…

Now, this tree isn’t his to deal with… there’s NOTHING that he can do to thin the branches or, goodness gracious, even cut the tree down… He has zero influence on this neighbors tree…

This fellow – well, he starts to stew about the tree – almost fixate on it… if only there was some way to get rid of this tree – so that he could see the world as he used to…


That fellow – as you have likely surmised – is me… and the tree is the stress and concern that this pandemic is brining into my life.

I know the simple answer to the problem – go have a look at the world from the patio in the back yard – but there’s something about this inescapable, pervasive, EVERYWHERE virus that has set upon the world that keeps me sitting on my front step – staring at that stupid tree…

I know that, come the fall, the tree will lose its leaves, the season will change and the view that I have off my stoop will return to something like it was before – well COVID-19… I know it… but I am having one really hard time rationalizing “This too shall pass.”

The ever present, unrelenting pressure from the stress that this pandemic is bringing into my experience is really taking its toll on me.  I am super short tempered, I am having a really tough time sleeping/resting effectively, the “stay at home” isn’t good for me… (I can actually stay at home – be on my own really well, the isolation is BAD for my mental health.)

So – ya, I have been trying to change my view… I have been trying stay off the front stoop, I’ve been trying to spend time NOT LOOKING AT THAT TREE…

The reality of this, for all of us, is that tree – well – it’s casting its shadow everywhere… There aren’t really many or any places where a fella can escape it…

So – what do I do???  I work as hard as I can at trying to distract myself from the pandemic.. I can’t change it – there’s zero I can do about it… well, ok, so I can do the things that I can to be responsible with regards to contacts… hands, distance, etc…

I have real fear for how this is all going to play out… some governments around the world are taking responsible steps, some are using the pandemic for their own political, personal and financial gains…  My mind, my brain – I don’t do chaos really well… and that’s what this feels like… so I am struggling with all this…

A colleague shared with me today that one piece of their perspective on this is the hope that things always change – and this will change to… its going to pass… and I suppose that is a truth…

I wish I had an end to this story – but I don’t… I don’t know how its going to end… I know that will continue to do the things that I need to do keep my family and myself safe.. I know that I will do my very best to slow the anxiety tornadoes or spirals that I am experiencing down – slow them way down… and I know that even though, I can’t do anything about the tree across the street – I can try to enjoy the view from my backyard patio…  change my perspective.

I sincerely wish that telling myself “It’s going to be OK, you are going to get through this, there’s an end to this.”, would somehow sink in – the truth is – I am struggling with it..

I have my work, I have my family and I have my health!  I am fortunate for all that – and I am grateful for those things too.  (I find it funny – the first thing I listed here was that I have my work…  Apparently – I have some work to do there too… clearly there’s some priorities that need shifting…)

I suppose I could look at the “tree” with the perspective that the tree can bring about good things too… the tree could provide for birds and other critters… and who knows what else… just as this pandemic has brought the good out in some, the best in others…

I’m going to end this here – I know there’s more to this story…


This week – I challenge you to:

1. Be intentionally kind. 

We have no more of an idea of someone else’s burdens than they would of ours… 

Personally, I am too quick to judge and to cast pall…

2. Shut the news off… maybe even shut all the technology off…

3. Take a little time to check your perspective…

That’s it, I challenge you.

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