It was impossible to be in a bad mood yesterday if you lived in the NYC vicinity.  After a week of vortex talk, we had a glorious springlike day.  Temps in the fifties, sunlight galore, nary a winter hat or glove in sight. I practically skipped down the street. All was right with the world.

But you see, the past five weeks have not been like that for me.  I tend to get a tinge of seasonal affective disorder, or as I call it, the winter blues.  I start January on a high, and them I realize that there are ten weeks of crappy weather ahead. I get very into my head.  As this year I was practicing mindfulness, I really hit a loggerhead. How could I be mindful if I was feeling so bleh?

Being the overcompensater that I am, I immediately went into closet curation mode.  This was a fairly large project that would encompass my mind and my body- I had to think about what I wanted to do, and physically move things around. I accomplished my task of not brooding, but I also wasn’t facing my reality.  That’s the problem with overcompensating- you start to micromanage one area and you let everything else go.

I was not a great blog friend- I wasn’t reading as many of them as normal. I started Instagram with a bang and then quickly fizzled because I was thinking what’s the point.  My attitude was lousy, and if you have a lousy attitude you will not accomplish anything.  Attitude is everything. I was being wishy washy about many things that I love.

Of course, my daughter getting deferred at her first two colleges didn’t help much.  I was playing a blame game thinking that I could have done more to help my daughter get into school.  Rationally I know this line of thinking was wrong, but in the moment it seemed right.

And last week I decided I needed to snap out of it.  I think accomplishing my closet task really helped because I felt that I had done something: I had set a goal to reduce my wardrobe to a manageable number and I did it.  Victory, no matter how small or trite, is a great motivator.

I am realizing that mindful doesn’t mean not thinking or avoiding, it means clearing the cobwebs out so that you can think more logically and thoughtfully. It means acting with intention, focusing on what is happening around you at that moment.  Figuring out how to accomplish that is proving the hard part.

What I have started doing is REALLY dumping all my thoughts in my little notebook- and I mean everything.  I wrote down “empty dishwasher” the other day, because even though I know this is a rote activity, it was on an endless loop in my head- empty dish, empty dish, empty dish, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else because I was so bogged down.  So my first suggestion to mindfulness is grab a notepad and write everything that is on your mind in that notebook. You can review it later and make appropriate actions. Like emptying the dishwasher.

Becoming more mindful of my actions is going to be a process, but I can foresee the benefits of paying attention and slowing down. I know I’ll do a little better each day.

(FYI- I have committed myself to some 365photochallenge, so Lawakinguponthewrongsideof50- Instagram me!!! I need a little accountability!)


35 thoughts on “Mindfully Numb

  1. Mindfulness is wonderful, but I’ve found that it’s more an attitude than any specific behavior. So I think you’re onto something with your current iteration of it.

    I’m on Instagram and feel the same way as you. I don’t entirely get the appeal, but I soldier on putting a few photos out there once a week… if I remember to do so.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m trying to figure out what mindfulness means to me….I think there’s something to it without getting particularly new age and spiritual! I’m going to rake one pic a day…if nothing but to improve my skills

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s been fun seeing you on IG! As for gloomy days, ugh. This has been the most gray, rainy, disgusting winter I can remember in Texas. It has been very depressing. And now it’s getting HOT again already! And humid . And more rain. I’m trying not to let it bother me, since I have no control over it, but let’s face it, it does bother me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After a foot of snow, then several days of 50 below wind chills, it warmed up here. We had rain and temps in the 40’s plus an ice storm. The kids ended up with 5 snow days within 6 school days. I had to change all of my plans. Yeah, I went a little crazy too. I deep cleaned my kitchen. Around here they are calling it the bi-polar vortex. We really need to be less hard on ourselves for going a little crazy this time of year!! We live under extreme conditions that make us have to change everything we planned. Even the sanest people slip up a little. 😀

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      1. If you don’t want to do the Kondo dump, try doing a type of garment at once…like start with sleeveless shirts. Take them all out and decide. Sometime seeing how much you have of one type of garment really helps you focus

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had a lot of work to do and the process of building me a studio in our backyard has started so I have enough to keep me occupied and I’m not getting the blues, although honestly, I’m not one who gets them often. I am following you on IG and loving your pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry I can’t follow you on Instagram…..apparently it’s just a mobile app, and I don’t have a data plan on my cell phone…..I don’t really understand IG anyway….but it seems like just another site to try and stay on top of which can be tiring…..but I don’t know….maybe it’s fun?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s the thing…haven’t done it till now…I like pictures, and it’s all about pics. My daughter uses it so I get a new way to connect with her, and I’m finding it’s fun for things/places I like because it gives you highlights….got a fun one from a museum of an upcoming exhibit, and one from art house theater with q and a with a director. I’m just wondering how it all works.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yup, displacement only works for so long. The – whatever it is – doesn’t go away, it just sits quietly in the box you placed it, where slowly the banging on the lid grows louder and more urgent. I’m a great advocate of mindfulness, but just applying it to the surface stuff has (personally) been limiting its capacity for effectiveness.

    Good luck with the 365 challenge on IG where I’m already following you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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