Stop rowing the boat!

I have been thinking about persistence, perseverance, resilience and the like. All good things, I am sure you would agree.

Do you remember the Olympics a few years back when one of the rowers actually stopped rowing and caused her team to lose the race? She received lots of negative publicity. My question is, is it ever okay to say ‘I can’t give anymore energy to this’ ?

Today I was pulling out some weeds in the garden and decided I would be happy to get the job half done. But then I thought I would do some more but couldn’t quite complete the job. Of course, I could have kept going but I chose not to. It wasn’t that important to me and the weeds will still be there tomorrow.

But what about more important issues such as a work situation or a big challenge you have taken on? Is it weak to quit? Or is it healthy to know when enough is enough? When I have experienced periods of depression in the past it is usually my first inclination to want to quit doing just about everything. In a case like this, is it weakness to give in to the urge to quit?

What I find challenging about this topic is that in the past I thought it was okay to quit but now I wonder if I could’ve been tougher! I know there are many layers to the questions I have asked and there are many strategies to consider but the main issue for me is to not rush into quitting too quickly as I may find I can actually achieve what I want if I stick to it for just a little bit longer!

Uncertain Times

Our World has faced an unprecedented time these last few months due to Covid19. Each country has been impacted differently and has responded in its own way. Only history will help us see what we could have done better and what were our good decisions.

My life hasn’t changed enormously but there have been some changes in the daily routines. We have missed the luxury of being able to go to the gym. I had been going regularly for about 18 months and found it to be really good for my mental health and well-being. I also feel a bit fitter too!

The retirement community where I live has been very quiet with very few guests passing through. The lock-down has created a feeling of solidarity among residents and greater desire to say hello and chat when the opportunity arises.

Now there is talking about relaxing restrictions. In many ways we do want that to happen, but not too quickly – for safety sake but also I have come to like the SLOW life and not sure I can pick up the fast pace again.

Anyway, I shall take each day as it comes and enjoy what it has to offer!

Photo by Sophie Xiang on Facebook

Emotional Landscape

What words would you use to describe your emotional landscape e.g. rocky, barren, overcast, filled with sunshine?

A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon

My response:

Calm as the waters of Geographe Bay

Stormy as the waves at Yallingup Beach

Light and bright as the Spring wildflowers

Gloomy as the clouds with strong winds buffeting me about.

Of course it is an ever changing scene with sometimes all four occurring in the one day! Now I would welcome a glimpse at YOUR landscape 🙂

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Lately I keep catching myself thinking about some unpleasant things from the past (I am sure we all have them). The other day I objectively looked at it and realised that my thoughts were 40 years in the past! I keep reminding myself to look forward and not backwards. Even better if I can spend my time in the present moment.

Last Semester I ran a course for U3A called Retired:Now What? As part of that course we looked at unhelpful thinking styles by looking at and thinking about a resource I found online. Click HERE for a link to the site and for more information.

I identified that recently I am personalising anything and everything and thinking it is my fault. I sometimes joke to friends about the extremes I take this to –  e.g. conflict in the Middle East!

The point is that I have identified this recent pattern and can be on the alert when these unhelpful thoughts invade my thinking and choose to think differently!

What is the opposite of depression?*

img_0282-copy

*According to writer, Andrew Solomon, it is vitality! That makes a lot of sense to me.

I listened to his talk on the video below and could relate to much of what he said. I had my first encounter with depression when I was in my 20’s and have experienced it on and off over the years. I have used a variety of methods to help me feel and do better.

Solomon raises the issue of “psychological vs physiological” and proclaims that we don’t have enough scientific evidence to choose either one. Maybe in time there will be a better answer.

Most of the time my depression is not noticeable to other people. I function quite well. I remember learning about “putting one foot in front of the other” and another tip was “just keep breathing” – these sayings were helpful at times.

Anyway, I won’t go on about depression apart from asking you to be aware among your family and friends and be brave enough to ask them if they are okay and be prepared to listen to their response. Thanks 🙂