New Boundaries

I wake up with just a touch of depression. I've also a headache, so that might be part of it. My dreams have been thematic lately. It gets to where symbolism is an empty gesture at this point. Either I'm (A) stuck somewhere unpleasant/dangerous and can't find my car to get away to safety or (B) trapped in or near falling buildings.

As far as anxiety dreams go, it doesn't get much more straightforward than that.

Jesse came upon a brilliant way of wording something, something that has been drawing both my ire and despair for months now. I don't know if it's a writer thing or else a human thing, but for me to "get" something, it has to be worded perfectly. The words themselves make the difference, not necessarily the intent behind them.

I was on a tear about the phrase "a new normal". I HATE that phrase. My life, while never quite normal before, will now never be anywhere near "normal". It just felt like code for "making do with less", which filled me with so much resentment that I could spit nails. I've done plenty in my life with less and am sick and tired of having even MORE removed. That's not normal, even if it is new.

So Jesse suggested I think about it in terms of "new boundaries". And all of a sudden, I GOT IT. All of a sudden, the frustration of trying to label myself as normal, in any way, fell over with a thud. Boundaries is a word I know. Boundary setting has been one of those life-long lessons for me, so it's a word, a concept that I have practice in. All of a sudden, I wasn't flailing about with new words that meant nothing to me.

Now I'm dealing with words that I've been dealing with my whole life. Familiar. Understood. Practical, useful, something tangible.

I and my life are not normal. From here on out, it never will be. I do grieve for that - greatly some days. But if I set up boundaries concerning things like the fatigue (i.e - give myself permission to rest and nap when needed), then it doesn't NEED to be normal.

It just means I've got some new boundaries, some new rules to apply to my life. THAT I can do.

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Yes, "new normal" does mean "making do with less" (of things and activities you enjoy), though the way you put it here makes me wish I'd never used the phrase in front of you.

As you get a better handle on these boundaries you will, from time to time, discover that you can push them ever so slightly and get away with it.

...Though for now, I suppose the greater challenge is to recognize those moments when you've got leeway - and to exercise your best time management skills so that you can make the most of those moments, whether for enjoyment or GTD.

For its part, my own progress lately has been by leaps and bounds. At this point I'm not recuperating but instead getting myself into my best maintainable condition, the better to withstand the stress and bullshit (so much bullshit) that goes along with doing things necessary to draw a paycheck.