So I did purchase that book on Rest and have started reading it, although it’s pretty dense, so it will be in my slow-burn pile along with Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance and if I finish them both by next Summer, I’ll be doing well.

I had an extended family day yesterday with a trip down to Dungarvan. I was less stressed out about this one in advance (the last such trip was for my Godmother’s 60th) compared with the last, but I still had a few social anxiety moments. I brought flowers and biscuits for gifts for my Aunt’s house, but noted my sister’s brought wine and one brought food dishes which it hadn’t occurred to me to offer to do, and my flowers got a bit battered in the boot of the car during the journey, and a hundred small things like that that probably nobody noticed or cared about if they did notice, but I noticed and each one was like a small niggling paper cut, or tongue ulcer; not fatal or even wounding, but constant and present for the whole evening.

I took plenty of deep breaths and steeled my fake confidence, and I felt less out of place and sore-thumbish than on my last visit. Maybe more is key. Maybe I just don’t do enough social and that’s why it’s so draining. And I just read an article this morning restating that nugget of correlation between longevity/happiness and social connection.

Anyway, one really cool interaction with one of the kids of one of my cousins:

Child: “Does your hair have colour in it?” (My hair is pink and purple and silver at the moment and I love it! It’s like My Little Pony hair.)
Me: “No, that’s my natural color.”
Child: “Oh.”
Me: “No I’m only joking. Do you like it?”
Child: “Yes. I think it’s really good hair for a woman like you.”
Me (laughing): “What’s a woman like me? Old?!” 😀
Child: “No.” (pauses) “Beautiful.”

I was flabbergasted actually. It was such an out of the blue, genuine compliment and it really warmed my heart. I don’t think of myself as appearing beautiful. Now, I don’t think I appear ugly, and I think I’m pretty happy with my own looks, I just don’t think I appear beautiful to the outside world. I’m fairly overweight and my features are pleasant, but a bit rounded and square simultaneously. I have always felt that the bulk of my attractiveness to others was down to my personality.

Anyway, I just want to emphasise that I have no issues with my own looks – well, I do have issues with my own looks, but none beyond the normal, I think. I landed on the privileged side of the genetic pool in lots of ways, and I didn’t get unfairly dealt with when it came to features, but beautiful? Yeah, it’s not one that I get to hear very often. So that was really cool.

These words are taking ages to come out of me this morning and I have an awareness of to-dos and tasks that I really ought to attend to – I’m even starting to bore myself now by my constant mentioning of to-do lists and obligation and how much I hate it all. Actually, today I don’t even feel like I hate it all. I feel okay about it. I’m concentrating on that portion of time after the kids go to bed at the moment. I just know that my energy is completely gone by that time and I have no idea how to get it back into my body before the time to sleep comes around.

Sleep earlier? Maybe. I don’t … want … to? Yeah. There are plenty of solutions. Maybe I don’t even want solutions, maybe I just want to complain.

Yup. Sometimes I just want to complain. Maybe complaining is the first step to finding solutions and resolutions. Then again, complaining can end up feeling like a resolution in itself, it can mask the fact that I’m not actually changing anything because I’ve released some of the pressure and poison here on the page in complaints and sometimes even in fantasy solutions. I get a lot of relief from the idea of one next solid step and I often don’t force myself to go much beyond that.

The day can drip away pretty rapidly like that. One “next right step” at a time. And maybe it’s no worse of an approach than any other given the chaotic nature of the universe.

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