Thought I’d start off the new year with a post addressing my number one goal for the year – Never Get Depressed. I’ve been having quite a few thoughts about what I need to do, in practice, to achieve this.
One thing I know keeps me sane is writing a journal – here’s last year’s collection
1) the best feeling and the one most likely to get me through from day to day is the satisfaction and security of knowing I’ve made progress the day before. So the best thing I can do to keep my momentum and stay positive is to do today the things I know I should do and touch all the bases on my list.
2) Visualisation. I can’t achieve the things I’ve set out to if I can’t picture myself achieving them. After a year of so many false starts in 2012, it’s an effort at the moment to picture myself at the end of this year or even of this quarter having accomplished the tasks I’ve set for myself so I need to make that effort and get into the habit of doing this. Good times to engage in some active visualisation are when playing the piano, and when swimming, and I guess when walking to work and back – those are the times my head is clearest and emptiest of other concerns.
3) Quite often, especially at weekends, I’ll find myself in two minds, trying to decide whether to rest while I have the chance or to get on and do things. My guideline for this year is to opt for action whenever I am in two minds about it – when I really need to rest I will know about it for sure! I hate to be tired, but getting on with things is the only way I can fit everything in, and I think the sense of accomplishment from having already done stuff will give me energy to get through the day and enable me to cope better with tiredness, as well as helping me to sleep more easily at night. I’m going to try that for now – it’s worked today!
4) I’ve been talking to HH this holiday about family and the root of all these negative feelings, and I think I see now that it is possible to distance myself from the negative sides of my upbringing and that that’s what I have been doing as the years have passed. I used to get very stressed before family meetings and this would manifest itself in bouts of tearfulness and stroppiness for up to a week beforehand. In the past 7 weeks we’ve had four big family gatherings and I have been pretty calm through them all, which I think is an improvement. Also seeing the way they have become, in particular the way my brother has ended up and the price he’s paid for following my parents’ lead, the more grateful I am for having been the rebellious one and all that I went through to free myself from their influence and reach out to other people, even though it was painful at the time. At the same time, I’m trying to preserve the positive aspects of my upbringing, things like my musical training, self-discipline, and so on. I would like to have a break from them for the first part of this year and develop a bit further on my own, so if possible I’ll just stick with the weekly phone calls and try to avoid seeing them until my birthday time in May/June.