Monday, 20 October 2014

Trees.

There are some pretty decent trees near my place. At particular times in the day, sunlight illuminates networks of leaves in way more detail than my camera can capture. 


I've always wondered how trees decide which direction their branches should grow in. What makes branches twist and kink like they do? Is it available sunlight? Perceived protection from wind? Is it all just random?

Friday, 17 October 2014

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I will first apologise for the potentially incoherent nature of this post. I am emotionally charged and might not make as much sense as usual.

So I've got this thing going on at the moment, where pretty much everything in my life is going well, except for one aspect.

This problematic portion is really getting to me. Whenever I remember it is there (which is often), it seems to require a decent amount of my time in the form of wasted hours mulling over circumstances I can't change.


So I'm like, well, do I just let it be? Or do I push to fix it? Or do I change myself so that I mould to the situation better?

This last question is of interest to me, and perhaps to you.

As a person managing mental illness, how do you know if you need to change?

In the past, I have placed unhealthy and unfair levels of blame on myself for feeling and thinking in the way that I do. I'm more about acceptance these days - I do a lot of "this is just how I am".

That said, I acknowledge that at times, I can be an intense person. Sometimes, I have so many thoughts zooming around - "let's do A!", "I want to start B!", "What would happen if C?" - that I get overwhelmed by my own mind. I overthink, tie myself up in knots, then undo those knots and retie them in newly painful ways. When this happens, the problem is made bigger. I know this and I work towards avoiding it, but inevitably it still occurs at times.

Like now.

My point is this: there is a situation, and then there is my reaction. And I just wish I knew how to tell which one needed fixing more.


Do you ever get this too?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Patterns.

I have noticed a pattern in my life.

Driving home last week after a very relaxing day out in Sydney with my family, I was like, "man, this feeling is awesome. It's great to feel so relaxed. I can't believe I'm not worrying about tomorrow or what's on next week or whether I'll finish that article... I wish I could hold onto this feeling. I should do relaxing things more often..."


This happens to me so often it's almost ridiculous. Nearly every week I'll experience an acute awareness of how good relaxation is, followed by a spectacular failure to maintain it.


I've been trying to think of a way to approach this. I want to find out how I can be more relaxed overall, without totally hating on myself for not relaxing. How can I cultivate the rare relaxed version of Sarah, while supporting/nurturing erratic Sarah?

Let it be known that I am an intense person, and relaxation is not my default. When I was very small, I needed constant attention and would never sit still, unless I had something to do. For this reason I didn't get proper haircuts until I went to primary school. (After the excitement of chair height adjustment and apron administration wore off, I was ready to move on.)


This mind of mine is a busy one.

So what should I do about it?

Well, maybe I should give up. Not in the sense of giving up on myself. But more along the lines of acceptance. So when it comes to relaxation, instead of creating negative mental chatter that pushes the need for me to do it, maybe I should try to enjoy it when it's here and not worry too much when it's not.

Because when I'm worried about not being relaxed, half of the worry stems from knowing there's an alternative. And with that comes disappointment in myself for not acting on this knowledge.

But hey, at the end of the day this is a first world problem. Right now, my Ebola-free, bomb-free life gifts me freedom to pat my cats, read a book, go for a run, do whatever I want to. Maybe, just maybe, I should relax about relaxing, and appreciate the little things that make me happy.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Buzzin'.

Lately, Facebook has been displaying record numbers of Buzzfeed articles on my newsfeed. It's become so bad that the articles are seriously crowding out posts from my actual friends. 

This has been happening ever since I liked one Buzzfeed article. In a moment of weakness, I found myself reading about the ten cutest things that cats do, and now I can’t get rid of the darn things. (The articles that is, not cats. Cats are always welcome.)


The problem with Buzzfeed:

Thanks to Buzzfeed, I see a continuous stream of articles about literally everything, whenever I go on Facebook. It's a clever strategy: the large volume of visible articles ensures that at least one of the blogs is relevant to my interests. 

I genuinely try to avert my gaze when I encounter a minefield of Buzzfeed content, but often it’s too late.

I've already seen something I want to read.

Then I tell myself that I don't really have to click on it.

Only I'm just too curious, so I do it anyway. 

And Buzzfeed wins another round.

Buzzfeed programs you to think that you desperately need to know pointless things that you don’t actually need to know.

I know this, because one minute I’ll be reading about what happens when you eat too many gummy vitamins, and the next I’ll be losing my shit over the fact that pumpkin spice oreos exist. 


Why is Buzzfeed so… addictive?

Good news: I found an answer. And you probably won't be surprised by where I found it.