[fr] Journal. Retour au travail, découragement, rythme toujours agréablement ralenti, de la vie seul ou à deux. Et des fumeurs.
Demain, j'écris en français, promis.
A day back at work, or a day back home. It hasn’t been easy, to say the least. I’ve been feeling very discouraged by the state of things and the amount I have to accomplish.
What has changed? I still feel slowed down, in a good way. I’m rushing less. Taking more time to do things. Particularly silly things like make food, brush my teeth, go out on the balcony to look at the storm. Retrospectively, I feel like I used to be rushing around to scrape every minute I possibly could and get back to being “productive”. That’s not exactly what I did, of course (gosh, no), but the fact I remember myself like that pre-holiday is an indicator of my level of stress then.
I’m less stressed. I see a slightly larger picture. You can’t spend days in the mountains and stay stuck to your internal screen. A dear friend of mine showed me that, long ago — with the lake, not the mountains. When anxiety goes up, that life seems too hard, and troubles not manageable anymore, go by the lake and look out. Lots of water, and mountains on the other side. It helps gain some perspective.
A bit like this phrase that hit me, and stuck with me, from Eight Principles: “Think about what’s worrying you the most now. A month from now, will it still be important? What about in a year? In ten years? in 100 years — will anybody care?” It helps me not take everything to heart. Everything in my life tends to be a matter of life and death. Dealing with life and death situations from morning to evening is very, very stressful. It takes some effort to remember that these are not life and death situations. They are small problems.
Problems which will not matter much ten years from now, or even a year from now. I’ll have moved on. I always do.
One thing I’ve realized, now that I’m alone with cat again, is how much easier being with somebody makes certain things. Eating, for example. I ate late today. I managed to conjure myself up a nice lunch, but dinner was… well, there wasn’t much in the fridge or cupboards, so I made do with what I could find. When there are two of you, there are two people to think about / provide the impulse for things like shopping, cooking, taking breaks, going to bed, getting dressed.
Alone, it’s all on my shoulders. I have to make all the effort. I have to lead, always, never follow. If I’m hungry, I have to cook — each time. There is no chance for somebody else to say “I’m hungry, let’s make some food” before I’m starving.
It’s a bit (in a positive way) like the mutual encouragement smokers are subject to when there is more than one of them. Being a non-smoker, I’ve often noticed how my smoking friends smoke reasonably little when they’re alone with me, and often more than double when they’re together. Each time one smoker reaches for her pack, the other lights one too. They are not just following their pattern of need/desire, but adding to it that of the other.
Being a social animal has its advantages — saving energy.