27 November 2009

second star to the right, part two, and Friday fill-ins

I was up late last night, writing and rewriting what I thought was a blog post. I just shredded it. Writing it was cathartic, but this isn't a cathartic blog, for which you all may thank your lucky stars.

Giving advice is not my strong point. Neither is receiving advice. However, my new therapist gave me some advice that I do want to share:

Take one day at a time.

Cynical as always, I rolled my eyes when she said this. Platitude, I thought. "What does that mean?" I asked.

The reason I went (back) into therapy is that I've been seriously depressed about having to retire, being pushed out of my career. When I wrote "I'm ready" in October, I was not telling the truth, neither to myself nor you, dear readers. Instead, I was distancing myself by saying things like "I'll buy myself a spinning wheel when I retire," or, "my kind is extinct." (Not that these things didn't seem true at the time, and may still be true.) They distanced me from the inevitable existential questions: Who am I? Who will I be when the primary meaning of my life - working - no longer applies? Why bother?

These questions kicked me hard. Very hard. Right through the therapist's door, in fact. There I heard the platitude and realized how wise it really is.

I'd been torturing myself (one of my favorite hobbies, by the way) for nothing.

Take one day at a time.

I don't have to decide what to do, how to be useful, how to use the rest of my days - not today. I'm not falling down a rabbit hole. I'm not leaping into a bottomless, black ocean. I'm simply leaving my job, and I don't have to decide immediately what to do with all of the days before me. I only have to deal with tomorrow. One day at a time.

Anyway, let's have a little fun with Friday Fill-ins.

1. Wait! Wait, don't forget to bring in the dog and put out the cat.
2. Home-made gingerbread followed at once by vanilla ice-cream is a recipe for bliss.
3. The trouble is calories make you fat.
4. Paris is many miles away. I want to go there. I want to learn French before I go. I want to write at a cafe with a blue Waterman pen, sip tea and watch people. If all this sounds cliched, I don't care -- get your own fantasy!
5. It started with a faint pop and unleashed a tremendous whoosh of smoke and a truly pissed-off genie.

6. The Haunting is
shadowy and ominous.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing a cowl in luscious Malabrigo
, tomorrow my plans include my usual Saturday morning time at Barnes & Noble, and Sunday, I want to try out yet another spinning wheel! (Maybe an Ashford Kiwi. Or maybe the Ashford Joy, again, which does seem to be calling me even though I haven't been able to do anything but spin fleecy brains on it.)


Meredith said...

Platitude it may be, but it's a damn good one. And it works! (As you are discovering.)



KnitNana said...

Or ... perhaps #4 is what you will be and do?
Yes. One day at a time is so hard to do. But it's the only thing we can do.
Be peaceful with yourself. You will evolve at your own speed...

Anonymous said...

It's a big transition, and one day at a time is the perfect way to approach it.

Donna Lee said...

The things that made you good at your chosen profession are making you crazy now. That attention to detail and ability to organize things. How hard it must be to let go of all of that and change. I'm putting my money on you!

Daphne said...

Why do those platitudes sometimes have to end up being true? This one, however, does seem to be so, and I use it all the time on myself when I find my mind going down a dark spiral. Then I try to remember that the bad times -- the really bad times -- usually do not last very long, and the rest of the time I'm pretty much fine. You will find, day by day, something else which will bring you purpose and joy. And for now, maybe it's enough to fantasize about spinning wheels.

Stacey said...

Change is difficult, especially when you love it and are passionate about it. I do love #4 and believe your other passions will be your life just as meaningful. I shall live through you and next journey just a bit : )

Melanie said...

It's a big thing, changing your definition of yourself. I use a similar variation of that platitude that is surprisingly useful for me:

All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.
~Dame Julian of Norwich

sunt_lacrimae_rerum said...

I am very sorry....