Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

Odds and ends

 

Some odds and ends, thoughts and moments from this week:

*Sometimes the line between looking forward to something and dreading it is very thin for me. I have moments where I’m like, “I’m excited for this but I really wish it wasn’t happening today. How many hours do I have before I have to go do it?”

*After telling someone “I messaged them [photos] to you,” I realized that in today’s nuances of technological communication, ‘messaged’ could be interpreted as “Facebook message.” What I really meant was that I texted them to her.

*Sometimes, add another few moments of mindful meditation to my day can be really helpful. I generally do a few minutes in the morning; one day this week, I also took a few minutes in the afternoon. When I’m feeling anxious, reconnecting with my breath can be so important.

*I tend to forget that I enjoy woodworking and working with power tools. Granted, I don’t have the opportunity to do it much anymore. I volunteered yesterday at the YMCA as part of a city-wide volunteer event, and we were making playground equipment and a full-size Jenga set out of wood. And even though it was warm, it was nice to be outside, doing something physical, and creating something.

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Magic

I heard this recently one of the owners of a local pagan shop/community center: “Magic is solving a problem without creating a new one.”

What is magic to you?

 

 

 

A post-election post.

I’ve been limiting my time on Facebook this week, which I started on Monday. I didn’t want a play-by-play commentary on returns, I was tired of people jumping on each other for both minor and major differences in belief. After the results came in, it was challenging for me to read because I was dismayed and disappointed at the results and it was heartbreaking to read about people’s reactions.

I continue to limit my time on Facebook. Throughout this election cycle and before, I’ve watched other people use it as a platform to state and share their political beliefs. I haven’t much – I prefer to keep my profile more personal, although the political and personal can overlap. Sometimes I am afraid I am not saying enough, or being too silent about issues I believe in and care about, but I also wonder if Facebook is the best place to discuss these kind of things. What if the discussions on Facebook prevent us from having in-person contact and conversations about these issues? I also recognize that frequent use Facebook can have a negative impact my emotional and mental health; I’m limiting my browsing time and what I share for my own piece of mind.

A bit about me: I identify as liberal, left of Democrat. I am pro-choice. I am a feminist. I am a white bisexual female from the Southwestern United States. I am a millennial. I am married, in a heterosexual partnership. I have a neurological condition that limits my ability to work a full-time job. I both have and lack privilege. I am concerned about what might happen with Trump as president. I am especially afraid how his administration may affect minorities. And at the same time, I don’t know what it will be like.

I’ve heard that hateful comments are coming from all sides. That some protests have turned violent. That there have been several instances where Muslim women have been attacked. This is all sad and disheartening.

I have also seen some people express the desire to understand how other people think and feel, and why they voted the way they did. I think we need more of these types of conversations. What I would ideally like to see in post-election dialogue:

For people to state their opinions without being accusatory of others’. I know it’s easy to react and respond without thinking, especially when emotions are high. Still, I would like there to be more respect. I would prefer that people say they disagree without accusing someone else of being wrong. I would like people to say they disagree with someone without attacking (whether verbally or physically) the other person and personally insulting them.

For people from both sides being willing to listen. We often surround ourselves with people who think like us. And while it’s good to have supportive communities, it’s important to understand why and how people think the way they do.

For people to distinguish feelings and opinions from facts.

For safe spaces for people to feel how they feel, and say or write what they think.

No violence, no hate speech.

While often cynical, I am an idealist at heart. I want to believe that it’s possible for people to share dialogue freely, without fear or danger.

Breaking free of the concept of normal

It’s hard for me to break free of the idea of normal.  As much as I know that there is no real setting or standard for normal. Perhaps there is a typical, a median, but not a normal in the sense of “this is the right way to be.”  Or as in, “Why are you doing that?  That’s not normal.”

I don’t consider myself typical in many ways, either.

Still, I measure myself against social standards, against my own high standards, and often fall short.  I have been the overachiever type, the perfectionist who tries and tries and succeeds.  However, I generally lose momentum and stamina eventually.  It’s not that my effort is wasted, exactly – I have had experiences where I have learned so much – but it’s exhausting.  I have worked hard.  And I have been striving at the cost of myself and my life force energy.

So far, I have burnt out five times in my adult life, to the point of feeling fatigued, ill, and/or depressed.  Last year was the worse, and a breaking point for me.

I don’t want to do this anymore.  Perhaps I am being cautious, but I fear that I will never be able to hold a “normal” shift-oriented job, at least not sustainably. In a culture where “What do you do?” comes after an initial introduction, I find it challenging to accept that I may need to find another way, at least for now, and maybe in the long term.  Knowing more about myself, in terms of sensory processing and mental health issues, has helped.  But still, the thoughts that I should be pursuing something else, something more, nag at me.

I am finding another way, I tell myself.  I am doing my art and jewelry and building up my business. It may not be that profitable right now.  I have time.  I have a small source of income, enough to cover my bills. I have a partner who supports me in finding and having a vocation that is supportive for me. I am currently living with a parent who is also supportive.  I am doing therapy and occupational therapy.  I am regularly doing Nia.  I am doing a lot, and I am doing things that will help me in the long term.

It’s challenging not to feel discouraged.  It’s challenging not to push myself.  I know that thinking in terms of “I can’t” and “never” aren’t helpful.  And it’s also important to be realistic:  it may be best for me to work and live in an environment I create for myself, or at least where I have autonomous control.  That may require creativity, supplemental education, and persistence.

I know the rabbit hole of rumination, doubt, and discouragement can lead to a much darker place.  I don’t want to return there. The idealist in me wants to believe.  The cynic in me says, “Hold on, wait. Look at this, evaluate it, see what’s practical and feasible.”

In the end, I don’t have to be normal or typical.  I am figuring out what it means to have my particular gifts and limitations.  I am learning how to advocate for myself.  I am building a life that makes sense for me.  I may need to remind myself of this again and again, and practice acceptance until it really sinks in.

Rachel S. Schneider of Coming to My Senses recently shared one of her articles – a letter to adults newly diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.  This line struck me:  “The power is in the cognitive shift from I am a disaster to I am unique, from I can’t handle anything to I can handle many things a certain way.”  

I am learning how to handle and do things my way.  I am learning to value myself for who I am, not who I strive to be – and that is what matters most.  

Ability, capacity, and capability

Ability and capacity are described as synonyms in many dictionaries. I’ve skimmed through some articles on this, and there are different perspectives. Many discussions also included the definition of capability and made a distinction between the three. Some discussions got quite philosophical.

This is some of what I’ve gathered from my reading:

Capacity refers to the extent – the maximum amount – that something or someone can perform.   There is a limit to capacity – like once a glass is full, it cannot hold more water. It has reached its capacity.

Ability refers more to the skill, talent, means, and/or opportunity that someone is in possession of in the present.

Capability refers to the potential of being able.

I think about limits, what I am capable of doing vs. my capacity. For example, I may be capable of holding down a 40 hour a week job, but I may not currently have the capacity to do so. There may be limits to my energy and resources that may compromise my ability to do the job well.

Can I increase my capacity? Perhaps, it depends. But that takes intention, time, and energy, kind of like adding rooms to a house so that more people can live there.  I hope that the sensory integration exercises will help increase my overall capacity (in general, not just for work), but I don’t know what that will look or feel like.

I’ve been thinking in broad terms about the times in my life when I said “I can’t.” In the past, I’ve had others suggest that I have  a negative core belief that I am not able or capable due to my sensitivities or whatever else.

However, it’s possible I doubted my capacity more than my abilities. There’s the whole, “you’ll never know what you’re capable of doing until you try.” And I did try. I tried hard, and I was fairly successful for a time. However, there was a large energetic cost – I went over my capacity, over my therapeutic edge and stimulation threshold. So in that case, “I can’t” could have been more of an expression of “I’ve reached my limit and it would be extremely challenging to continue right now. I’m overstimulated and I’m shutting down.”

I didn’t have the words then. I’m starting to now.  The more I know about myself, how I process information and stimuli, the more I can communicate about what I am experiencing.  I realize that increased self-advocacy has the potential (the capability!) to give me more power and agency in my life.  And that’s pretty exciting.