Right now, I have moving my desk on my list with a lower priority than scheduling my colonoscopy.
But the truth is, each time I move my desk, I get a renewed sense of purpose. The actions of cleaning, organizing, and then actually moving the desk gives me a “fresh start.” And happily, I have learned many other ways to help with my attitude and fresh starts.
One of the techniques I have learned as I live with depression is to ask better questions.
This allows me to challenge my automatic thoughts to see if they are valid. I am now catching myself in seemingly minor decisions that, when I apply this technique, are not real, based on what a logical person would think. By slowing down my thinking and not going immediately to a knee-jerk reaction, I can see that many of these thoughts are not valid.
I am excited that I am becoming aware of this unhelpful thinking.
But how does this apply to moving my desk? Well, I am back to the piles on the desk. The table that I set up in my office to sort the piles is still there. And I have added another filing cabinet and a box that held Christmas gifts I ordered. It is still sitting at the base of my desk, causing me to have to move slightly to the left to avoid hitting it as I sit down.
My wipe off-board that is hanging on the wall next to my desk still has the action items for the last week of November (I am writing this on December 26th).
So, my mind comes back to where am I going to focus and what is most important. I remind myself that it is not the events in my life that control me, it is my attitude towards them that determines my actions to these events.
If they are triggers, I can deal with them using my WRAP Plan and many of the tools I have learned in SMART Recovery.
If these are automatic thoughts I need to challenge, I have the tools to do that. As I end this year, my first in my life where I am facing depression, not concealing it, I feel strongly that my future is brighter than ever.
Self-Care is giving the world the best of you, NOT what’s left of you.READ: Self-care may mean not writing today
As I learn about self-care, I can see that I had not given it enough credit. I poo-pooed it mostly because of the name. Self-care sounds so personal like it’s all about me. As I grew up, I hard a hard time setting boundaries. In fact, this whole concept of self-care has to do with boundaries, with being able to say no.
Now I am using self-care to improve what I offer the world.
And I have begun to finally say NO. This is a strange concept for someone who has felt guilty most of his life for events and things I have had no control over or really didn’t involve me. I want to fix things, make things right, be responsible for them even if I didn’t have anything to do with it.
Worse, I realize as I write this, I need to be perfect.
Me. Perfect? That is not possible. Yet I beat myself up every time I am not perfect. I am beating myself up for the piles on my desk and the fact that I haven’t moved my desk. I am catastrophizing the desk and minimizing ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS I WAS ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH. The successes cannot equal, in my mind, the one “failure.”
Now If I heard anyone else talking like that, I would jump in and point out all the good they had accomplished. But when it is me, thinking about what I have done, I beat myself up.
So, the desk will not get moved today. But I will chip away at the piles and keep after it.
As the holidays wind down, there will be more time. New Year is fast approaching and we have company coming. That takes precedence over any ideas of moving my desk. I am looking forward to being in the present moment and enjoying our company.
It’s not about the desk, it’s my attitude towards it. OK, it’s a little about the desk. But I will get to it, and I have kept many other things going as a result of not moving the desk. Now I am trying to justify my not cleaning and moving the desk, so I am going to stop here. The desk will still be ready to be moved tomorrow.