Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Gloom needs Grey

   I've begun to make October poppets.  It's a practical thing in that it gives collectors time to plan.  I have to think about what I spend my money on and plan ahead.  I get that, wholly.
  But it's also a thing of the spirit.  I've said time and again that this desert summer is hard on me.    I start to dread it in April and it never lets me down.  This year was no exception and even harder.  The air got so hot that I couldn't save my little garden, even with shade and water.   The brutal desert summer. Yes, I'm still in it and it won't begin to cool until late September (if then.) 
  But at least I can now imagine relief coming and my October work leads to October thoughts, which are like a cool blanket of comfort against the oppressive heat.

  I want clouds!  I want rain and grey and gloom!  Because against a steel sky, an idea shines like a bright yellow balloon.  You see, it's not that I have anything against the sun.  I have something against too much sun.  Like too much of anything,(rain or snow) it can have us begging for relief.
Humans need change.

And those of us who feel sadness or fear don't feel so alone in grey as we do in an over bright place filled with leather skinned tourists in pastels.

The summer sun.  That stone I talked about last time that for me has become permanently linked with my worry about the environment.    I mentioned that sometimes I wake with this fear.  Sometimes I take it to bed with me.

  Coping with our fears isn't easy.  You're probably sick of hearing me say I'm writing a book about it.  I'm sort of sick of saying it too.  I want to get the thing done!  But the truth is that this is easier said than done and I chip away at it as I can, trying not to let the frustration of no-time-after-the-day-job make me give up.
  But that's another issue.

  I told you that when I wake up with these fears - fear for the planet, for us silly humans, fear of aging and dying - I talk myself down, make a plan for the day and focus on that.
And on other people.  Something to do and love.

What do you do?  When you're down, when you get discouraged, depressed or anxious.  What are your very best coping tools?  This is a good time to share.  Let's help each other out.

What works for you?  No answer is too silly.  I promise.  There are those who read here that could use the help and friendship right about now.  (Those who write here too.)


Kelly said...

What helps alleviate the sadness? If I knew a sure fire way to do that, I wouldn't be in the pickle that I'm in at the moment. Supposedly doing things for yourself is a good place to start. For me, right now, that means doing something I once enjoyed (writing) on a more regular basis- at the suggestion of my therapist.

There is also this little place in the woods that is soothing to me- but not when it is hot (I'm in TX). Swimming can bring me a temporary relief, but I have to get to overcome the sadness to get to the pool before I can enjoy any relief.

I'm interested to hear what others have to say...

lisa said...

Kelly - I hear you. When I can't find any immediate relief, sometimes I just hold onto knowing that it won't last forever. Because evidence and experience show me that things (including sadness) are always changing.
I think you're on to something with the writing and the key to success there is your "more regular basis." The more you show up to write, the better it will be.
Getting into the groove is the hardest part.

lisa said...

From Facebook:

Laura Binninger When that happens to me, my thoughts are that it has been way worse, and if I don't work to move forward and get through the day, it could get worse again. Then I appreciate that it's not as bad as it's been, and have hope it will get better. Love you, xo

about an hour ago via mobile · Unlike · 1..

Robert Johnson I'm wondering if breaking something might help. Probably the wrong approach.

about an hour ago via mobile · Like..

Lisa Snellings Robert - unless it's the sky! And some rain would fall out...

59 minutes ago · Like · 1..

Robert Johnson You need strap everything on your car and drive east and north.

58 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1..

Lisa Snellings Robert - Ahh. Sounds good. Our goal is for next May when Orion is finished at his current school. We aim for then and try to enjoy the days in betwen.

56 minutes ago · Like..

Holly Costa Or west and north, although the sky currently matches your mood

48 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1..

Randi Mason Short term cures along with coffee may involve red pandas and corgis.

ETA: You may want to listen to that without the volume on; the humans are rather silly.

InfiniteLooper - Welsh Corgi Mocha's First Mirror Reflection
Welsh Corgi Mocha's First Mirror Reflection, youtube loop

36 minutes ago · Edited · Like · Remove Preview..

Christine Blake Locking myself away for 10 minutes and screaming it out

3 minutes ago · Like..

Lisa Snellings Christine- reminds me of Jack in "Lost" counting out 5 seconds of terror.

about a minute ago · Like · 1..

Ivy Bromius said...

"What do you do? When you're down, when you get discouraged, depressed or anxious. What are your very best coping tools?"

Being proactive has always been my best tool for both feeling better and getting to a better space. Note, this doesn't work for everyone but it works great for me and may for you.

So, you want to move? Do you know where? If so, you start doing little things that say "I'm moving." If not, you start deciding where to move (I recommend the Pacific Northwest).

The act of looking, researching, thinking, stating intent, and so on all help a) create the future you want to get to and b) make you feel better in the meantime while you get there.

Small moving intents that don't use up lots of time or money:

Finding a place:
* Crowd source recommendations with reasons.
* Create a spell to ask the universe to tell you where it needs you to be and where you need to be. Document your synchronicities and omens.
* Get a map and put pins in your top choices.
* Have the chamber of commerce in those places send you "moving to our city" guides.

Getting to your chosen place:
* Local map, one pin -- write "my home" with a big arrow.
* Send a postcard to yourself in a vague downtown address in your chosen town (1000 Main St.). Don't put a return address so it can't come back to you. Write "Dear (your name), Congratulations on your move to (wonderful town). I know you will love it there."
* Rent.net / Remax.com -- future house porn.
* Local school research.
* Set up your computer / phone to tell you the weather and current events in your future place. Reach out to people there who you might know or want to know (organizations, meetups, etc.) and ask for information. Say "I am moving to your city and would like to..."

If you for sure know where you are going and really want to push to get there ASAP:

* Start cancelling local publications and memberships.
* Check into any utility deposits to see how you get them back.
* Purge purge purge all the stuff you don't need.

Hang in there and good luck!

Diandra said...

On scary days, I go running. Or make bread.

Anonymous said...

being in natural spaces always, always helps, in my experience at least. but that is really being there--being fully present and immersing yourself in that space, not just walking through. slowing down and looking and wondering and smelling and just breathing, surrounded by trees and plants and water and critters...natural stress relief! the last couple of times i've gone to this tiny little forest (don't have much near here) it just allows for a release, even crying a bit when i arrive without anticipating that reaction, and then leaving every worry that is just of our short human lives at the edge and going forward in a different space. it can take forcing myself to go, knowing that it will be good, while loathing every effort it takes to get there. it's always worth it a million times over.

also writing maybe too-honest notes to a close friend, that you don't even send, can help, i find. just thinking about reaching out and then putting down your thoughts can be a big enough step. knowing that you can reach out if you need and want.

lately, though, i've just been grateful to experience sadness without it being wrapped up in panic and anxiety. sad is okay sometimes, and can also help us see what is important--however silly it may seem to someone else. sometimes schedules and persisting at work is good, sometimes letting yourself take a break is good, but only you will know which is right.

one final thought: rescuing fresh flowers from a flower shop's refuse can bring a wonderful kind of light, made even brighter by scattering them at others' doorsteps.

DavidK said...

When down, I turn to the comforts - I cook comfort food, I watch a favorite movie, I re-read a favorite passage. If none of those are possible, I go for distraction - anything to take my mind away for a while. Usually work-related, but other projects can substitute nicely.

Up here in Minnesota I've been very concerned about the environment. We've had lots of weird fluctuations from the norm. Still, none of it comes close to the issues that your locale can experience. Up here the problem has been the cold, and that's not likely to get worse, so the overall situation here will not be as nasty going forward. Overall it's one of the nicest places to live, in my opinion.