The days are getting longer and we have had a quite a bit of sunshine, so I am starting to feel a bit better about life. However, I realise that this sunshine improvement won't last and so I'm trying to make a few plans and adjustments to my life to do the best I can to keep the black dog away.
I've decided to invest in some kind of full spectrum lighting before next winter, so have been googling and reading up about that.
I am trying to set myself up with small and large 'pleasures' to look forward to.
I bought early bird tickets for womad next March - for Mac, Jeff and me - and chased the rest of the gang to get theirs, so I have months of pleasurable anticipation waiting for that.
I'm trying to ensure I have at least one day a week when I do something interesting for myself, especially when Jeff, as well as Mac, is working - solitude is okay, but out here in the country it can turn to loneliness quickly for someone like me with a tendency for depression.
This week I have two such events, both to do with writing. There is a free session on self-publishing at Hamilton Central Library, which I hope to get to, but may miss if another meeting goes over time.
Then on Saturday I am stepping outside my comfort zone to attend a couple of poetry writing workshops in Tauranga. I had considered it and then passed, but a woman who attends the Raglan writers' group urged me to go, and so I agreed, more out of a wish to get to know her better than a desire to expose my inadequacies at the workshop!
N is around my age, maybe a little older, and has said a few things that show she has been through and understands many of the issues I am facing at the moment. One thing I have come to realise is that although I love my friends, they are all younger than me by at least ten years - and in some cases by a lot more. This helps me keep my mind working, and slows the descent into old age, but I am starting to realise that I also need mentors for myself as I move into this new stage of my life. I can't do it on my own, my younger friends don't understand what I am going through. Some don't want to understand. Some are actively antagonistic about what they perceive as my lack of gratitude for what I have, and seem to think that I have no business to be grieving what I have lost. So, time to try and develop relationships with some older women I think - and thus the willingness to overcome my fear of a poetry workshop, in the interests of getting to know N better.
I recently read that pessimists are more realistic than optimists in anticipating outcomes, yet optimists perceive their outcomes more positively. While me and my pessimistic mates focus on the negative and see our lives that way, those optimists, despite having foreseen a more positive outcome than actually eventuated, still see their outcomes in a positive light. I have also read that it is not possible to alter one's natural tendency towards optimism or pessimism. But as nothing else seems to have worked for me, I'm trying to change a bit - just please let me know if I start coming across as a born-again Amway dealer!
I've also started making sure that I do some craft work every week instead of putting it off until I have caught up on the housework and gardening - like that will ever happen! I am going to a jewellry making class at Just Bead It - the first, I suspect, of many. I have three shirts to sew, and a pile of material waiting to be turned into Kate-inspired creations. And Tiana wants to make faces next time she visits, like those made by her uncles years ago,
so I'm off to buy clay later this week.
I'm getting out in the garden a lot more. This weekend Tiana and I made a new tepee for the runner beans, and put the birdnetting back up over the starwberries. We also planted a weeping willow twig that I brought back from her house three weeks ago and put in a bottle of water to grow roots - willows are miraculous that way, aren't they? She inspected it the next day to see if it had grown, but it hadn't got quite as as big as their one, which is at least twice as high as their house and about as wide!
Some fine day, before November 14, Jeff and I are planning to visit the Waitakaruru Arboretum and Sculpture Park - they are currently featuring a glass sculpture exhibition.
Today, while volunteering at Trade Aid, two women came in and bought some vibrant coloured handmade paper. It was one's sixtieth birthday and she was off home to make a treasure map, a plan for the coming year, using this paper, maps, magazine pictures, whatever suited the purpose. I like that idea - maybe I'll have a go at that, it's only a month past my birthday. Maybe that would encourage me - or maybe it will just make me feel crap next September!
Whatever - when the sun warms the sea a little more, I'm determined to swim at least once a week at my most favourite beach in the world.
I guess it's all about making dthe best of what I have instead of weeping for what I have not. Sounds easy. Now, please can someone remind me each day of what I need to do?