I started this blog as a way for me to chronicle the steps I’m taking, and have taken, to improve my footprint on the planet. What it has turned into is something else entirely. I’m not sure why, as I’m still doing all I can to shrink my footprint and act responsibly with the resources I’ve been given. But for some reason, I’ve been using this blog as a sounding board lately.
What I do know is that last February I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and mild depression and I decided to be pro-active this year by finding ways to handle it early in the season, before Daylight Savings began, and while it was still “nice” outside. If I can get ahead of the weather and the season, it might help make getting through this Winter a little easier, at least that’s the idea.
So I’ve taken a few obvious steps (moving is not an option). I changed all the light bulbs in my shop and the lamps I frequently use at home to daylight spectrum bulbs. I started an exercise schedule, and have stuck with it. I’ve made a point of going outside more often, even if it just means taking out the garbage. I’ve changed my morning routine to include more meditation and devotional time. Somewhere in here I also had medical tests done and found out my B vitamins are low, so I added them to my supplement routine (but my D is fine!).
All of this sounds very basic, and it is. Honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed at how silly it is, especially since much of it I was already doing. I just needed a better plan to include some of the steps more regularly, switch up the timing, and to make sure I stick to the plan. These things were also easy because they are tangible, the progress, and actions, are right in front of me.
Some of the more difficult steps have been seeking therapy, eliminating things from my life that simply cause me grief (like I mentioned in my last blog entry), and adding things I enjoy back into my schedule. The latter shouldn’t be that hard, I mean really, if it’s something I enjoy doing, shouldn’t it be easy to squeeze it into my schedule? But you and I both know that sometimes the things we enjoy doing get pushed aside for things that we deem to be more important. Sometimes the things that we choose to do aren’t as important as the things we skipped – and sometimes they are. But we usually don’t know which is the case until it’s too late.
All of this has left me feeling selfish. Which is not a good thing either. I feel like I’m using all of my free time to take care of me. And is that really healthy? Shouldn’t I be helping The Goat? Raking leaves for a neighbor? Making hats for the Mitten Tree? Is it really that important that I ride my exercise bike instead? Do I really need to go to that club meeting?
I’ve been reassured that it’s OK; that’ I’m “allowed” to look after myself like this, that the world won’t fall apart. Believe me, I know that. I don’t think the world will end if I don’t make dinner by 6 pm and my resume is long, I know I’m easily replaceable. However, I still wonder about the selfish bit. Especially when volunteerism is low, the general vibe on the street is “Me. Me. Me.”, and we’re all “Out for #1”. Where is the line between healthy self preservation and simple selfishness? At what point does all of this just look like me hiding in my own little bubble and being selfish?
I think this is difficult for many of us. And maybe that’s the bigger problem. So, if you manage to discover where the line between self preservation and selfishness lies, I hope you won’t cross the line into selfishness – but instead will share the answer with the rest of us.