Being grateful despite autumn anxiety

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As much as I love blogging about my projects, sometimes I feel like I should be writing more thought-provoking posts. My profile says that Pastry & Purls is about conscious living, after all. (What is conscious living, anyway? I will eventually get around to writing a post about that!) Think of this post as a move in that direction.

I am not a fall person. I love jumpers and bonfires and crunchy piles of leaves, but I hate pumpkin pie and waking up later and the fall time change. I would never want to live somewhere without seasons, and I don’t mean to suggest that I don’t appreciate the beauty of autumn, but I really hate being reminded that winter is coming. Winter & I are not friends, as most years I end up struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder. The dread starts to set in around now.

Last year, I think I was pretty lucky – I’d just gotten a new job which required all my attention. I think this year will be a little different. Things are all change at work: I’m jobsharing with the original postholder, and soon I’ll be starting another part-time job. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, and unlike last year, when I had a good understanding of what the role involved, this second job will involve building a new set of skills. Exciting, but also terrifying! On top of that, the flat we’re renting will shortly be for sale, and we’re finally househunting. And I am hating it. Houses here are very expensive, and we’ve already lost out on a house we really liked because we were hesitant and unrealistic about house prices/the market. On top of that, there are definitely aspects of my life that I would like to be changing, that it isn’t realistic to do anything about right now, and one of my fellow Oxfam volunteers passed away last Friday.

All in all, it feels like there are a million and one reasons to be anxious right now. And I am. For the past week, I have been anxious to the point of nausea. I wish I was joking. I’ve also been exhausted, weepy, and generally feeling a bit crap. I feel awful for whining, though, because my life is actually pretty amazing right now. So I am going to do what Lizzie started doing, and make a list of things I’m grateful for right now. If you have any tips for reducing anxiety, this would be a great time to share them. As someone who was previously quite religious but currently isn’t, I’m not sure how to cope anymore.

Anyway, things I’m grateful for:

  • A second job that I’m genuinely excited about, and that will still leave me time to volunteer each week so I can continue working toward my long-term career goals. I can be pretty determined and hate giving up on my dreams, so I was really upset when I thought I wouldn’t be able to find a way to carry on pursuing them. Not only is my second job ace on its own, but it’s one that I know will come in useful. I’m also grateful I found it so quickly – I’d only been part time for about 3 weeks when I was offered it.
  • An upcoming visit to family & friends in Germany this weekend. I’ve not seen my mom since May 2014, at my wedding, but I will get to on Saturday! We’re meeting in Heathrow and flying to Hannover together to visit her mom & sisters. As a bonus, a close friend of mine who lives in Nürnberg is taking the train up to see me. I can’t wait!
  • The allotment. I’m not very good at keeping up with it, because it isn’t terribly near, but I love how peaceful it is.
  • Being in a position to buy a house. I may hate househunting (okay, I definitely do!), but we are really lucky that we can consider it at all. It’s a luxury many people in the UK & around the world don’t have.
  • My morning cycle to work. I’m sure I’ve written about it before, but I love my cycle to the train station. It is so quiet, and feeling the wind on my face and looking at the greenery is so restful.
  • An affectionate husband. Sometimes when you feel utterly crap about yourself, all you want is some reassurance that you are beautiful and not awful. R is absolutely brilliant about this, and I couldn’t be happier that I have him to come home to.P1030264
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