I think it’s a good idea to, at the end of a week, look back at the days that just passed. Since I’m in school and working a part-time job, my weeks run Monday to Friday. I’ve started trying to take the weekend off to just relax, and do my darndest not to bring my work home with me.
That doesn’t always work –for example, this weekend I’ve got a to-do list a page long. But generally speaking, I try to keep my weekends as a time to recharge my fried brain cells.
To do this, I’ve started keeping a daily log. Not a diary necessarily, just a list of reflections about good things that happen, or thought breakthroughs I have. It’s inspired by this episode of the “Positiviteeny” podcast, in which the hosts talk about how making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can actually cause a lot more stress and trouble than they solve. Instead, one suggested keeping a list of good things that happen each day, and reflecting back at the end of the year on everything you’ve accomplished, both tangible and intangible.
So far in 2019, this has really been helping me stay grounded and realize every day I will achieve something, and it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. It can be anything that makes you feel good, or reflective. It can be a step backwards, because any motion is better than no motion.
So let me take a look back at the week I had:
For the first time in what feels like forever, I was able to sit down and write. I got out 1,300 words, and I felt good –this is what I do. This is part of my purpose. I have to write. It let me feel like a human again
I slept an extra hour today (which is very hard for me to do, as soon as I wake up I feel obligated to get up and start moving), and got some work done in a cafe before my first class. I felt productive. I am not a morning person, and it’s hard for me to feel like I’ve accomplished something. So it felt really good.
I had a therapy appointment and learned the necessity to keep moving forward: When something bad happens, it’s easy to get stuck in that crystallized moment of terrible emotion. And it’s okay to feel those emotions –it’s also okay to place that moment into its context. Remember what happened before and after. How did that terrible crystallized moment affect reality then? What about the present? How much space does it occupy in your memory?
In town, we had a torrential downpour that caused the river which snakes through the heart of campus to go over its banks and flood the surrounding area. And I have to say as long as I can keep my bag (especially the laptop) dry and have good rain boots, I love a good rainstorm. I love splashing in puddles. I love peering through the speckled patter of raindrops on my glasses. I love the rumble of thunder, the sudden flashes of lightning. I love the moments with strangers, commiserating over soaked socks and inconveniently-placed ponds.
When your brain tells you ‘you’ll never be good enough,’ it’s leaving out some important details —to whom? Call it out on its logical fallacy, and remind it that the only person to whom you’ve got to prove you’re ‘good enough’ to is yourself.
You’ll notice there’s a strange sort of stream-of-consciousness theme to these, and that’s the point. It’s for reflection, and reflection isn’t always linear. It doesn’t always make sense.
But it’s important to look back and see how your thoughts have progressed as the days pass. If you don’t keep some sort of diary or thought-catcher, I recommend it.
Sometimes it just helps to get your thoughts out on paper, rather than keeping them cooped up in your head.