Friday, June 06, 2008

Lists

Sometimes when the chaos gets too much and I find I start loosing myself, I need to stop and take a moment to figure out where I am and where I'm going and what I need to do to get there. I usually find comfort in writing lists of goals and tasks to help me feel like I'm living a more managed chaos. Sometimes in my life I consistently turn to those lists, sometimes to the point of OCDing all over those lists. Sometimes I have a healthy balance of goals in my life where those lists are more like reminders, casual to do lists. And then there are times, like the last 5 months, where I'm so lost that even the thought of a list and thinking how to get my life back makes me crumble.

Everyday is filled with goals, big and small, and when I'm feeling lost, any task to reach a personal goal becomes overwhelming, tiring, burdensome, and far too hard to even begin. Note I said personal goal. By that I mean anything that is strictly for me or at least mostly for me. So that means laundry still gets done, taking time to connect with friends is still revered, social events are still attended even if getting dressed for that event may include a break down. And my big problem during these times is the sick sick relationship between me and the importance of my job in my life (I could go into that bit of introspection but I'll save that for another day). This is what my depression looks like.

A few months ago I stopped talking, and I don't know really know for how long and to what degree. I didn't stop talking all together, but I was no longer talking about me. Since I need to talk or write to process what is happening in my life, I filled up. I stopped caring about me. I was no longer taking time to be a friend, a daughter or a wife. I stopped cooking, stopped cleaning, I just stopped. The only thing I continued was my work. If I was not working, I was sleeping. And one day I yelled, and cried, and then.... I talked.

This is when I made my first list in a long time.

You might think this list would be long, and exhilarating as I realized where I had gone and was waking up to all of the possibilities. But it was not long at all. It had 3 things on it to do everyday:

Take a shower
Get dressed
Do my Hair and put on make-up

A few weeks later I added to the list:
Walk outside for 10 minutes everyday
At the end of the work day, list the tasks of the next day
Don't work again that day once that list is completed

And yesterday I added:
Office hours - out by 6pm
Take public transportation
Write during commute - Blog, journal, email, lists,etc.
Evening walk with Eric

We'll see how this process goes of finding me and regaining some sense of balance. I may or may not write about it here, and then again I might write it ALL here. I'm giving myself permission to slip, to fail and to just be.

4 comments:

Autumn's Mom said...

lists are very good. I like yours. I hate days when I only have enough energy for work. Today thankfully, I'm ready for the weekend! See you tonight.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Year of the turd, perhaps? ;)

I'm thrilled that you're doing somewhat better. But you're getting together with Dot, which makes me jealous. KIDDING!

Sometimes the best thing that lists do for me is to help me to truly prioritize. Like if I see that I have way too much on my plate, I can realize that laundry isn't really as important as a walk outside, so I dump something.

Good luck on out by 6. And yes, taking a shower and getting dressed is huge. And men don't know the difference hair and make up make to our overall functionality, I think. By that I mean, I function much better when I feel somewhat put together, and that means, hair and makeup too.

Starshine said...

I like that you make yourself stop achieving once your list is accomplished. It's important to schedule in margin for your day, so that you are sure to rest and relax. :)

xo

Angie said...

Sounds like you are well on your way to a new outlook on life, Cherry.

I too have the 'list' OCD - it does help you stay on track, don't you think?

Best of luck with your new list - it looks like a good one.