I loved reading your comments to my post about losing my job - really cheered me up to hear from you! I thought I'd put everyone's ideas together here. I'm also making my own plan, which I will post as soon as possible just in case it'd be helpful to anyone else.
Many of you - Natalie, Monkey's Momma, Alex, Toni, Amy, Lisa, Elizabeth, Kim, and Jessica - say to breathe, relax, and/or reflect. I figure if everyone says it, it must work.
- says that trusting that your gifts and talents will make room for you and
offer an opportunity that affords you to stick to your homeschooling
commitment. That sounds good to me! I'm trying to keep an open mind so that I can recognize opportunities that might come my way.
Sharanya says to pray and keep faith. Doing that, for sure.
Lindy says just remember what's important to you and keep your eyes on the goal post - this too shall pass. True, that. And I'm looking forward to when it passes!
Amy says know that you're not alone. Oh how I know this to be true. That's what makes me worry most - the whole it's going to get worse before it gets better cliche.
says to remember
that your family is precious and worth every challenge you go
through to keep it stable, safe and happy. Absolutely. I'd be nowhere without them.
says surround yourself with things and people that make you happy. If
you can't do that everywhere, create a corner where the breeze can
flow, where the colors saturate, and where you can stop for a minute
and drink in the beauty of the crazy, complicated mess of nonsense that
is life. I happen to think that the crazy, complicated mess of nonsense is beautiful. Really I do. More about this later - my thoughts are still brewing.
Toni says a glass of wine and long walks. I think I could use a bit more of both.
says removing yourself from a potentially volatile situation
and spending time in your room/sitting in your favorite chair knitting, knitting,
knitting. I like this because it's realistic advice - it can be so very easy to take your stress out on your kids or other loved ones. But it feels rotten and doesn't solve any problems really. Occasionally, I'll have V hang out in her room and play or read or watch a video so that I can get 15-30 minutes to chill out. Makes us both happier and I can get my head right so I can get back to giving her the attention she needs.
says to make lists and think in simple terms -
seeing the positive in our lives (love, health, closeness of our
family, etc). Definitely. I think that when people feel stuck in a situation it very often leads to depression. I have felt myself slipping into that but I really don't want to go there. It's good to remind yourself of the good things in your life so you can readjust your outlook.
Gayle says don't worry about what might be around the bend. Stay in the present. That can be really hard to do, but very, very helpful when you accomplish it.
Kristen says exercise really helps with working off steam. Yes - it's one part of keeping yourself sane in good times and bad. I need more exercise. That's going into the plan.
says to take this time to reflect on what you really want to do -- maybe
it's your photographs! :). This bump in the road will prove to be a
blessing someday. Just trust it! This is also going into the plan. More later.
Jessica says drive while listening to the radio loud while crying and laughing. This is something I used to do a lot. It's harder now with V, but not impossible. And my singing always sounds better in the car. Ha.
says that sometimes getting out of town for a few days makes you realize how good you have it back home - but I think she may have had an
ulterior motive there when she went on to suggest I go to Louisiana
later this month and photograph her wedding! It's tempting - it'd be my first wedding, which I'd love to try, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that kind of responsibility.
Julia says to concentrate on what you CAN do right now and not think too much about all the things that are out of your control. That's just the thing - feeling out of control is what brings all those irrational thoughts into my brain. That's where the lists Alex suggested might come in handy - writing down concrete things I can actually accomplish so that my thinking is less scattered and I can see positive results when I cross things off the list.
To add to these, I find that it helps me to:
Give myself permission to worry. I'm a worrier from way back. For several years, I've felt that I had an increasing number of things to worry about. It can feel like an avalanche sometimes. I've come to realize that if I give myself permission to worry instead of making myself feel guilty about it, I worry less and when I do worry, it's not as stressful. Does that make sense? Works for me.
I also try to swing the opposite way and refuse to worry when we are spending fun time together as a family. V doesn't need to go to the park and have me stand over in the corner biting my nails. No, she needs me to be in her face with the camera as she's sliding down the big kid's slide. Right?!
Watch mindless TV, knit, or read a favorite book. Everybody needs a cheap escape.
Soon I want to write about the plan I'm hatching. It's not a "how I'm going to replace my lost income" plan, but more of a "how I'm going to find balance in my life" plan. I haven't laid it all out yet, but that's what I plan to work on this week. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks on paper.