Last night, I got home from work, exhausted and unmotivated. I was fully set to lay on my bed, skip dinner, and hide from the mess that is my apartment. Thankfully, a couple of calls with people got me moving.
While I still only managed a bowl of Cream of Wheat for dinner, it counts as eating right? Starting around 9pm, the cleaning bug bit and my kitchen, clean clothes, and a few other things are now taken care of.
When do you get inspiration? Mine shows up at some of the worst times for my schedules of work, sleep, and responsibilities. I worked at 7:30am this morning and ended up getting to sleep around 11pm. Do any of you have tips for getting the most out of ill-timed inspiration, when your to-do lists is seemingly endless and your energy is regularly low after working?
I’ve been dealing with some health difficulties on top of the normal stresses and “excessive heat” advisories of the past week so thank you for reading my short update, a day after I wrote it.
Wishing you health and inspiration this week, friends and strangers.
I’m sitting on my patio, iced tea creating a wet spot from the sweating on the cement next to me. Clove is tethered to my ankle, free to explore the length of her leash but close enough that I can be there before a dog or hawk. It’s a perfect 73 F only partially spoiled by hesitant grey skies and light mugginess.
Weather like this makes me sleepy and unmotivated to do anything except lay in bed and scroll TikTok or Pinterest. Actually, that is exactly what I was doing before this. I came across a TikTok of someone who was told that if they feel that way, to go for it, just outdoors at a park instead.
I have found that taking care of others is vastly easier than taking care of myself. Why that is, I’m not quite sure. I do know that the way I perceive things has a large sway on their impact. I have used my imagination to escape from real life as longa s I can remember and never once did it occur to me until this week that I could use my imagination and creativity to actually change my reality instead of escape from it.
“Bad” feelings are still meant to be felt. Greif, pain, anger, are not meant to be ignored and pushed down. Instead of beating myself up for feeling more than happiness all the time, I need to learn to process the emotions that are generally frowned upon, remind myself that they are ok to feel, just don’t wallow in them.
Maybe you came to this realization long ago or maybe you don’t relate to my same feeling of needing to escape life at times. Either way, I hope you’re finding a way to take care of yourself.
To make a dent in my never-ending to-do list, sometimes I have to trick myself with external motivation or a reward system. If I do a load of laundry, then I can eat an extra tasty meal instead of whatever is around. If I haul my trash out, I can sit and pet Clove for a little while and not think of anything else. A clean and organized living space is sometimes reward enough in itself. Attempting to push myself to get back on my grind today, I put on some upbeat music and blasted through cleaning my kitchen. Finishing that up by leaving an old potato in the little patch of forest behind my apartment, hoping that it will deter the critters there from feeding on my newly planted herbs for a little bit longer, it struck me. I really wanted to climb a tree.
So I did. Sap welcomed the grip of my hands on the branches and bare feet, testing my weight with each new step. The feeling of being a child again washed over me and I couldn’t help but smile as the breeze lifted a strand of my unrestrained hair to catch the bark. Looking out at a different height, far above my usual, the sun broke through the clouds and all of the little spores and seed fluffs floated past me, like a flock of fairies, merrily on their way.
I plan to climb that tree more often. It totally counts as exercise and certainly provides outdoor endorphins! Why is rock climbing normal for adults to do but it’s kind of weird for us to climb a tree?
I wish I could bottle the feeling that I was given climbing that tree barefoot, package barely noticing a scratch on my leg as I perch, transported to a different world within my own. That really is the idea that lives, nebulous in my head, if I ever start a business: Small boxes that give people a taste of different adventures through products that capture that essence. Include a written glimpse of story to go with it and suddenly you’re baking bread in a cottage while your cat swats at a butterfly through the open window. You’re perched in a tree, unafraid of falling because you’ve lived in the forest your whole life. The hem of your cloak follows your steps down the corridor of the castle as you make your way to convene the council. It is a beautiful (and far more detailed) goal in my head but there is much to do before starting a business. Maybe someday I can bring that dream to you in the world we live in.
Thank you friends and strangers for coming on this current adventure with me. Do something that revives the child in you this week, okay?
Social media in general, tends to culture the belief in us that other people have their lives all together. Beautiful spreads of food, made up faces, cloudy skies displayed through a filter, they are all lovely beautiful moments in people’s lives that we get to see. The thing is, there’s always so much more to the story.
This past week and even the week before have been really rough for me. I have had very limited interest in anything at all and my work/life balance is tremulous at best. I struggle to find and cling to the beautiful in my mundane let alone accomplish basic requirements of being a functioning human. I thought about posting a beautifully edited and put together picture of my first and closest attempt to a charcuterie or snack board, complete with some kind of witty weekend caption on Instagram today. The truth is that I was so tired and brain fried yesterday that I didn’t eat dinner, went to sleep late, stayed in bed until 1pm today, and then didn’t eat that pretty plate until about 2:30pm after a decent amount of frustration creating it. I’m not going to detail the level of tired I am but I can’t pretend that my weekend has been full of productivity and relaxation.
Writing this is not for anyone to feel bad for me. It’s my responsibility to better my own life. I’m writing this so that the beautiful aesthetic and happy things I try to bring to light on my social media don’t fool you into thinking that I’ve got it all together. Don’t compare your life to what you see of anyone else’s because so many times it’s not the full picture.
Reframing my perspective of life is a constant area for potential growth and being honest about things that aren’t pretty, inspiring, or exciting, is not comfortable for me. Also, not every happy or beautiful thing in life needs to be documented and shared to social media. It’s entirely possible to cheapen your own real moments by thinking instead about how to prove to the internet that your life is enviable. Really, I’m reminding myself. I don’t know what your experience is.
What are your thoughts on the “instagram lie” or this new version of keeping up with the Joneses? Do you find yourself trying to find things for social media to paint a pretty picture for your life instead of actually enjoying them? Would you prefer the glossy, happy version of life displayed at all times?
What do you think friends and strangers?
If you are trying to take care of your body but also want chocolate, I definitely suggest the easy recipe for chocolate hummus I made today. It’s over on thegutnursery.com as Brownie Batter Hummus.