One of the reasons I write is because it gives me the opportunity to notice the details of my daily minutia. There are little gems packed inside ordinary boxes. Upon retelling a story, what seemed like an impossibly stressful situation will reveal itself to be an invaluable life lesson. A story that seemed tragic at first glance can hold so much hope. Even that blip-on-the-screen event that seemed pointless can turn out to be a hilarious story that makes you laugh every time you share it. I love unpacking the boxes of my life and discovering what is hiding inside.
It’s not always a lovely gem inside, it may be an issue I need to work on or a habit that needs correcting. Sometimes the gems can look more like work than funny stories and silver linings. I recently noticed that when I would have a bad day or feel stressed I would tell myself, “as soon as the kids go to bed, I need a glass of wine.” Sometimes I would have the wine and sometimes I would just go to bed, but neither of those scenarios really solved my problem. At least in the long run.
The last time I promised myself wine, I stopped to wonder why this was my go-to solution. I really didn’t want the wine, specifically, I wanted an escape. You could easily substitute pinterest, facebook or candy crush as one of my distractions. I wanted to drift off from responsibility and not think. In order to sort out my stress, parenting issues or daily problems I need to feel something. Moving forward requires emotional work and emotional work requires feeling and those were too things that seemed better to put on the shelf. I could come back and deal with them as soon as I pinned some ideas for fall decorating.
Now I stop and feel. It turns out that it is not as scary as I imagined. Instead of pushing the feelings away, I let myself walk up to them and look them in the eye. You would be amazed how quickly a problem can dissolve once you name what you’re feeling. Fear, intimidation, loneliness…they have little power when you call them out.
Writing is one way I call these feelings out. It helps me to sort out all the chatter. It make sense to me. I have been recording my thoughts in words since I received my first diary in the 5th grade (blue velvet cover with a unicorn on the front). It remains the best way I know of freeing myself from mental turmoil.