Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reflection – Did I see the light?

If you’ve read my blog a lot in the past you know I like to think back on things and see what effect they’ve had on my life. This is a skill I learned late in life. It was something I had to do for some college classes and believe I’m much the better for having gained it. The process was called reflection.

Reflection has given me lots of awareness on how things affect others too. When I was a child I didn’t spend time analyzing other people’s actions or emotions until it affected me and then it was usually a frenzy of trying to look at why they did or said whatever it was that had hurt me so badly. That’s not socially helpful, but it let me express my angst till I’d owned it and come to a better understanding of the situation. Thankfully I’ve grown some since those anxious teenage years. These days I try to understand the other person’s needs or behaviors based on what I know of them and not how I feel. It helps a bunch because I’ve come to love harmony in my life, a gift from Mom, and hopefully that longing for peace and harmony makes me more of a peacemaker than an irritant to any situation I run into.

This morning I was reading an article from WebMD that talked about a study researching the effects of darkness on people’s behavior. It said that when the room is darkened, not lightless but dim light, or people wore sunglasses they might behave in a less ethical manner. I found that very interesting and suddenly I was imagining what I might say to a child who wanted to wear sunglasses all the time because he, “thought it made him look cool” because another kid he knew wore them and he thought that kid was cool. I guess our teachers were right; you shouldn’t wear sunglasses all the time. Since the eyes are windows to our heart and mind, if someone feels you can’t see what he’s thinking or feeling he feels anonymous and can thus act in ways that might not be right but won’t be attributed to him because of that self perceived anonymity.

I think I can understand how a kid might want to be anonymous if he’s constantly being corrected for things he does. We probably all experience times like that as adults too. But knowing this means it’s important to look people in the eyes to really know them, that it can’t be done by just hearing their words without knowing the emotions behind them, or maybe the experiences that have generated their response to a situation. That’s not always easy to know even when you do look someone in the eye, but it gives you the opportunity to ask them for more so that they can express themselves and feel heard. I think that’s called active listening today and we all know how much we want to be heard when we are struggling.

I want to go back to that darkness article and think up some more ways that it can affect us so I guess I’ll find a friend I can discuss that with, or maybe my counselor since he’s good at role play too. If you read the article on darkness and come up with any insights I hope you’ll share them.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Man, I’m really happy today!

It’s true! I’m almost giddy I’m so happy. This isn’t because of anything that’s happened. No major event triggered this. I think it’s the result of some small changes I made in my routine recently that have just triggered a good feeling within my spirit.

The changes I made were very small. I’ve been dealing with depression ever since my marriage broke up in ‘99. I have a good counselor and maybe a very smart psychiatrist who prescribes my medication. So for the past 3 days I’ve been on a very small dose of Bupropion. Just 100 mg a day, extended release. This dose is small enough to not cause that edgy feeling that this drug is known for but it helps lift my spirits. I think it is taking effect. But I don’t think that alone has triggered this surfeit of happiness.

The next change I made was last night’s routine. It was cold in the apartment so I took out time in the middle of the evening to draw and take a warm bath. I washed my hair and when I was through I put on comfy clothes and went to bed at my usual time, hair still wet but combed. When I woke up this morning I had more time in my routine to do stuff I wanted to do instead of feeling the need to get ready for work. My hair was dry and fluffy, call that wash and sleep. LOL More time gives you a relaxed feeling about your day so that’s going to become a more regular change I think. Bath at night and ready faster in the morning. Plus I think I slept better for that. Good sleep gives me a much better mood.

Then I elected to dress comfortably for work. I work in a business casual environment and some of my coworkers wear suits. I would have loved jeans today but it’s not jeans day so I pulled out an old pair of loose fitting pants that still looked good and topped them with one of those thin flannel shirts that gives you lots of room to move. Added a belt and I”m ready for for anything and can move comfortably without care to whether I’m sitting like a proper lady and feeling cuddled in that flannel. I think that finished the mood lift.

So clean, rested, comfortable, and ready to face the day. I attribute some of this to the Happiness Project. And I’m going to continue to read that blog because I keep finding good suggestions in it that lift my mood. Hope your day goes as good as I anticipate mine will.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Two Cat Nights

Even though they’d been sniffing noses through the screen door and seemed interested in being friends, when I adopted Hooboo, rescuing him from his “stray porch kitty” status, he and Hyram developed an instant competition. They fought, Hyram stole Hooboo’s food, Hooboo would steal the wrap around my ankles time, and they’d rarely share a bed together. Hyram actually kept watch for Hooboo’s arrival and left when he entered the room. That is until recently. I don’t know what changed but for the past two nights I’ve had both cats on the bed. Sunday night it was one on either side of me. Last night they were actually sharing the comforter and less than a foot apart. Dare I hope that I’ve now got a cat family?

In other news I’m fighting a cold and it’s taking its usual course. Following a nurse friend’s advice I was trying to “let it run through me” and avoiding decongestants until the need for sleep precluded that and I gave in. Prayers for health are appreciated.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!