Every year, I sorta-kinda-maybe look forward to Christmas. I dread it too - it's cold and dark, and there's the mild stress of family and presents and visits, and by the end we're all inevitably going to be really grumpy with each other - but I do see it on the horizon and get a warm, happy feeling.
|We'll pass over the fact that I also hate Christmas because it's cold|
Then I stopped and tried to figure out why. It's something I've been attempting to do more this year, because paying more attention to my thoughts and feelings (and where they stem from) is proving really important in acknowledging that, yeah, I'm probably a bit depressed. That, and when I burst into tears after my doctor asked me if I thought I was depressed... that should've been a hint too.
So. Christmas. There's lots of things to like: snugly fires, spending time with my parents (and my cat), shopping for presents, a feeling of community, Christmas carols and movies and food... sure, there's a lot to love.
But the three things that I think rank above all else is: we always make Christmas cards (about a hundred, all handmade, every year), I always get a week or so off work, and I get to give things or do nice things for other people. That's my 'why' for Christmas.
I'm repeating this process with other things, such as:
- why do I want to switch career? (because I'm not cut out for desk-based work)
- why do I want to move house.... again?! (because I'd like a garden, I want to get away from noisy upstairs neighbours, I'd like a utility room and a porch, and I'd really like to have a pet)
- why am I miserable this random Thursday (because I'm suddenly intolerant to every single food)
Last week, when I was staring longingly at the course outline of a part-time degree course, when I was seriously considering quitting my job and retraining for a completely different career, when I was so deeply in a funk that staring at spreadsheets for 4 more hours made my brain cry, I realised something:
That was kind of a panic-inducing thing to realise. I bought a home for crying out loud; I now have an actual, real-life phenomenal mortgage because I was a bit depressed last summer and suddenly (four months later) I owned property.For the past couple of years, I've been making big, hasty decisions and/or spending huge amounts of money to try to make myself happy: I moved out, changed jobs (twice), and bought a home, all because I wasn't 'happy'.
What I really should have been doing was asking myself why I wasn't happy. The crux of it is that I didn't have a lot of independence, and when I did get some independence, I realised I wasn't financially secure.
Or maybe I should stop trying to fix things which aren't actually wrong (ie new job, new house, new clothes) and realise that I'm just.... not happy. Huh.— abigail (@frugal_bookworm) June 12, 2018
After asking myself why I wanted to retrain, I recognised that I wasn't happy. I find my side-hustles (creative ventures, writing, and childcare) far more rewarding in the short term than my day job. It's almost certainly just a blip, but if these feelings are still lingering around in 6 months or so, I'll interrogate myself once again with the why why WHY? line of questioning.
(And then I'll probably take a huge gamble, get myself into a bit of a financial and career pickle, and later blame it on the fact that I just wasn't happy ;) )
- - -
It's Monday! And I'm posting because I'm finally having 3 days (but not evenings) off so this is my weekend! And I'm so excited!!
I hope you have a lovely week whilst I wander through the rooms of my home and struggle to find things to feel these totally empty days - what is 'free time' and what do I do with it?!?
Until next time, pleas remember to speak and think kind words to yourself and to others~