Things I am doing to improve my quality of life:
- I ordered the textbook/video from Seattle Central Community College’s first year of ASL classes. They have a well-recognized Interpreter Training Program which uses legitimate ASL, so I trust their choice of books. Since I have a foundation in sign, I’m going to use the books to try to get started, then decide if I want to join later classes or just keep going on my own. My goal is to eventually get certified as an interpreter, and hopefully be able to work at that in some way (in the schools, as a telephone relay interpreter, free-lancing) that I find rewarding, which will also pay well and let me work fewer hours to make more money.
- I joined a local symphony orchestra. I wanted to do something totally for me, and it was almost an impulse decision to find them and join. One night I had a strong desire to, so I searched for the local groups, found one that would work, and contacted them. Once they accepted me (within 24 hours) I rearranged my class schedule so I can go to rehearsals starting in November. I’m really hoping this is a good creative outlet, and also a potential community. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind since leaving college, and I finally decided to act on it.
- I am not becoming a therapy dog team right now. I would love to do it…but I haven’t had the energy to go prepare for the test, let alone take it, much less find a placement that I would enjoy who would take me that also has the right level of commitment. It is still something I really want to do…but I figure Toby will only get better at it as he grows, so there’s no rush. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with all I have going on right now (I am) I’m not going to do something “for me” that feels extremely stressful and I rebel against just because I can’t find time. If it’s stressing me out, it’s not “for me.” So it’s on hold. I will become a therapy dog team when the idea no longer makes me inwardly cringe and I stop subtly procrastinating the steps. Maybe if I can find a way to work a few fewer hours a week and make the same money (yes, hubby, I know you don’t want me to worry about money but I do) I’ll find time for it and it will be the fun it’s supposed to be.
- Did you read that one above? I’m not over-committing myself! That’s huge! *high fives self*
- I’m planning ahead and setting out time to go out on dates with my hubby. Yes, going out is (often) expensive. We can afford it. It’s worth it for my mental health. I want to have some quality time with him free of distractions!
- I am going to therapy. With a great therapist. Who gets me and suggests things and has helped me to understand myself better, even with relation to some scary stuff.
- I am seeing a physical therapist, to help with the pain and discomfort in a lot of normal living, and things I want and need to be able to do comfortably! And I am doing my home exercises.
- I am seeing a naturopath. Who has put me on approximately a bajillion pills…which seem to be helping. Not a lot. But some. I’m not sure if the improvement thus far is due to the pills, or timing with finding my balance other ways, but who cares? It’s working! I just got the last set of meds in the mail today (I had to call a pharmacy to confirm, I had forgotten to/procrastinated). We’ll see if they help.
- I am spending ridiculous amounts of time sleeping. I am so sick of wasting half my day asleep. But I am striving to learn what my body wants, so I can at least knowledgeably decide what I’m going to give it.
Sometimes, with all the depression and the fatigue and the guilt, it’s hard to remember that I am actively working to make things better. It is just that, right now, one of the hardest but best things I can do is take it easy. (Note to self: This is not being lazy!) These may sound like little things I’m doing. But I have never put my own self-care anywhere close to first on my list of priorities. Sometimes I need to literally see what I’m doing, written out in front of me, to remember that I am doing something.