I always seem to be looking for a formula for happiness, or well, not happiness necessarily, just that enthusiastic verve for life. That sense of feeling at peace with myself, finding myself funny, lovely and quirky, and having that as a platform for being excited about the day ahead. Being able to see colour and comfort and contentment. Yesterday I woke up, as I have for many days recently, feeling inert; I sit at my desk most of the time in pain, checking emails, checking social media, telling myself that in the next minute I will go to the paintings, decide what I’m going to do and get on with it. But’s it’s so hard. Regardless of this I am managing to work; (and should congratulate myself on that!) I put in the hours, but it feels like a trudge, a slog and the constant question going around my head of “What’s the point though?”. I know this is part of the battle through depression, anxiety and not helped by the nerve disorder that I have (still as yet unexplained by Doctors). So I endlessly search for the formula that will create that verve, that enthusiasm.
A Different Day
I woke up this morning feeling somewhat different; I do indeed have that verve for life, hence why I’m actually writing, before I set to, to do some painting on a flower piece that I’ve been (not really) working at for some time. Well, it’s been there silently waiting for the right moment. I can’t tell you what I’ve done or not done in the past 24 hours that might have changed things for me. The truth is, I really don’t know.
Yesterday, I went out on a bike ride with my boy. It was bloody freezing, we were back within 20 minutes! It was painfully and bitterly cold (perhaps that was part of the magic formula?). I also started off the day eating healthily (perhaps that?) but then that quickly deteriorated into wine, cheese and biscuits, cookies in the evening (perhaps that?). I also spent a good chunk of time journaling and trying to figure out what force I need to motivate myself and what are the things that are functioning as the resistance in my life, (another blog post!) in order to try and feel some form of… enthusiasm and momentum. So perhaps some of these things, maybe all, maybe none.
So today feels different, the sun is shining, which I think helps immensely and I probably underestimate that. I’ve resolved once again to eat well and get some fresh air (yes I will actually go out for a walk not just nip into the garden every now and then!) And I’ve already managed to cook myself and my son a healthy but delicious breakfast, which feels like I’ve started the day well. AND I have some clear intentions around painting today (even though I’m still not sure what the point is – I just feel like giving it a go). I did also however get on the scales and was disappointed at the result – my weight has been a determiner of mood and self-esteem for a long time which I suspect isn’t uncommon. This weight gain would, and does usually throw me into a complete grumpy-funk for the rest of the day, but not today – I just thought “Ah well, it’s not THAT bad, it’s OK”. So… I don’t really know how or why my attitude and mood is different today than from yesterday!
Ah but what about Magic 5 Lynne? Well, you know, personally I think there are far too many people out there on social media telling us the magic things to do …”If you do this, then you’ll get these results” – and they might work of course, but quite frankly it plays up to this belief and value system that other people know better than you do. They don’t. I do not. I don’t even know what works for myself half the time.
This could be seen as a complete lack of self-awareness, (yep, I’m questioning this as I type) but anyone that knows me well would say that’s not true. I just think that it’s part of being human. There is no formula. There are so many things going on in us and around us that we are totally unaware of that we can’t possibly know what the formula is. You only need to appreciate the complexity of the body and its myriad of interactions between hormones, blood sugar, organ and brain function, medication, nutrition to see that we don’t know what going on inside us. And outside of us… the world is pretty random. I’m sure there are links I could post to Chaos Theory and stuff but I need to get on with some painting pretty shortly (oh alright that didn’t take too long) It’s also something else I’ve been looking into in terms of art too – again more on that another time. But anyway, we like to think we can control things, but it is really quite random. So MY Magic 5. And yes that’s capitalised because really… yours maybe entirely different. You might find that a kick up the arse is what you need. But not for me.
My Magic 5
- Maybe I could stop trying to figure it out, or maybe not because maybe that helped me get to this place today.
- Trust that, yep, that slog, trudging feeling… it will pass. This too shall pass and all that. So maybe patience as medicine.
- Acceptance. For goodness sake accept where you are today. Especially when it feels awful. That’s when you need it most. And…
- Be or do whatever you feel you need to do and be. Without judgement. Crikey judgement is a big theme at the moment for me that I’m working on really hard.
- Keep doing the work, whatever the work is, however small or big. You have many responsibilities, needs, goals, tasks etc. so be ok with whatever you can do today.
And is there anything in this post about painting?
Well, painting is like the icing on the cake, the flourish at the end of an awesome orchestral piece. In order to do the work of actual painting and creating there’s a whole host of other things that need to be in place for that to happen. This is also very much like my counselling work; the time spent in the counselling room is just the cherry on top of a lot of hard work on self, research, reading, reflecting, CPD etc. You might find this too with your work (or not). But it’s all so important. This stuff is really important to me. I struggle to paint, I struggle to get showered some days, I struggle to love myself at times and I struggle to answer the question “What’s the point?”. But… some days there is a point. This slight sliver of light, like the dust shining through an opening in the curtain, it’s there. I think it’s called hope; the ability to see even a slight possibility of something good happening. And on that note, I shall go and paint, because something good might come from it today.
I would LOVE to hear your Magic 5, really… please please please get in touch, it would mean so much to me. And… if you’d like to support my work and help enable me to carry on painting, please consider purchasing something from my Etsy shop or from this website. I carry out commissions and can pretty much print anything from any of my artworks, so do get in touch (links below). That would help immensely and in magical ways.