A week of Mondays

That’s what the last week has felt like.

A week of changes, frustrations, annoyances, lots of peopling, and just an overwhelming sense of, well, too much.

I knew that reentry into real life was going to be hard. I knew that there were a lot of changes coming. I think I just had my head in the sand, thinking that things would just continue as they were, that I could just keep moving forward the way I have the last 18+ months.

Whoops. Talk about a miscalculation. Now that the changes – both those I have initiated, and those that have been, well, thrust upon me – are sweeping in, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and a lot underprepared. And like I said, it’s my own fault, for not wanting to see that this was going to happen – that it was inevitable – and that the best thing I could do would be to prepare. I don’t think I did. At least not to the extent that I should have.

It’s not that I am not embracing some of the changes – believe me, it was good to spend even a few hours in the office yesterday, even if most of that was spent wrestling with the printer (argh, why?). I got to see 2 of my favorite people – a bit of serendipity. (Sidenote: I was going to write “unexpected serendipity” but, well, isn’t ALL serendipity unexpected? After all, that’s kind of the point…)

And it reminded me that even if I didn’t prepare myself well, even if the changes kind of snuck up on me, well, the only thing I can do now is respond to them as best I can. Maybe I am not ready to fully embrace them – give me some time, here! – but I can at least recognize them for what they are, realize that I am unable to change many of them, and just, well, remain calm.

One thing I have been doing the last, oh, month or so was inspired by Kae, over at Grateful Kae. As you may have gleaned from the name, she brings in something to be grateful for, each and every day. I’ve been doing the same. Sometimes, my gratitude is for something really simple (usually food, if I’m being honest!). Other times, though, it surprises me how much I am grateful for, despite what seemed like a really off day. It is a good reminder that there is some good in every day, and that it’s probably a bit better to focus on that, not the endless cycle of frustration.

That I’m even here at all…is astonishing. Because it could just as easily have not been the case.
I am humbled by that. I am humbled by the the absolute improbability that any of this is happening…

~Josh Radnor

6 thoughts on “A week of Mondays

  1. Oh, I’m sorry you had such a rough week, Anne! But I really like the thought of finding something good in every day. It’s so important that we try to focus on what is good!
    For my camera club, I organised a competition in the spring with the theme “Moments of joy”. It was on purpose that I chose this theme in the midst of chaos and misery (the worst Covid wave in Ireland so far) because I wanted to encourage people to LOOK for the good moments because they always exist, and life is better if you focus on what is positive. Some members didn’t really embrace that and I’m a bit sad about that.

    1. Thanks for your kind words – I know it’s been a bit of a downer around this blog recently (when I have written) and I’m hoping to turn that around. Mindset is a lot of it, I agree. And looking for the small things every day. My mom and I were emailing and giving thanks for the miracle of air conditioning (probably not necessary where you live, but definitely helpful in the super-humid days of summer that we get here… even though it’s not quite as bad as other areas of the US, it’s still nice to have the option!). Another “small thing” that we take for granted that, when you stop to think about it, makes your life a lot more enjoyable.

      Your camera club theme sounds wonderful to me! I wonder what those other members were thinking, though – didn’t they want to try to find joy amid the pain and the misery?

      1. No, they didn’t… it was all misery. Hahaha. Sometimes I feel all alone with trying to keep positive and I’ve been pissed off with everyone who tried to bring me down during the spring. I could say “Aren’t we glad that (insert happy thing here)…” and people would come with BUTS all the time.. Now I’m the one with all misery but at least I will do the best of life anyway.

        1. It does make you wonder why people are like that, though. Even in the midst of misery, there are usually a few bright spots. (For you, now, it seems to be your music…) But seriously, that’s just raining on someone’s parade for no good reason. No need to put that energy out into the universe, thanks!

  2. Trying to focus on something good when the world seems overwhelming is a good coping mechanism. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but alleviates some of the frustration. I can only imagine how crazy changes and transition to old routines is and I think there’s always an adjustment period, however hard you think you might be able to prepare. Be extra kind to yourself right now.

    1. Yes, I’m definitely still working on this, particularly since the world seems to be in particularly bad shape these last few weeks. Sigh. Fires, floods, wars, assaults on women’s rights, assaults on voting rights, creeping authoritarianism… I find that one thing I need to do – although, quite honestly, I stink at actually DOING it – is disconnecting from the news. I doom-scroll the NYT and Washington Post and that… does not help my state of mind. Any hints or helpful tips welcome, as always. I know you are passionate about many of the same things, but you do seem to have found a bit more balance than, well, me. 🙂 (At least, that’s how it comes across on your blog!)

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