Monday, 13 July 2015

Counting Good Things

A couple of years ago a hashtag was trending on Twitter: 3goodthings. All you had to do when using the hashtag was list three good things about your day. I struggled to see past the clouds of painful emotion I was experiencing at the time, but kept persevering as a number of my friends kept sharing their 3goodthings. I realised I had been looking for massive changes in my life or past that were impossible. I learned from my friends that simple things are there to be enjoyed. In fact, the small, simple things can be the building blocks on which to be able to build recognition of the life changes which mean that I am able to view some parts of my history as a 'distant country' - finally.

Today, I have stopped formally registering my recognition of good things by using the hashtag, but I realise that I have absorbed the habit of noting to myself good things in numerous situations.

So, today, when it was time to walk the dog, I left the house with some sunshine threatening to break through miserable, drizzly rain clouds. Within five minutes of setting off, it turned into a downpour which made a mockery of my optimistic decision not to wear my waterproof trousers - again! This, as I was tempted to regret the decision to fight the overwhelming sense of weariness which came over me at the thought of doing anything today. Instead of giving in and dragging the poor confused dog back home, I started to think of good things about walking the dog in the rain. By the time our walk was finished, not only did I feel better, the dog was well walked and I had a plan for self soothing and distracting myself from the underlying feelings which have been a factor in feeling so weary at the moment.

Here's the list I came up with:

1. I have an excuse to have a lovely relaxing shower and pamper, climb into my PJs, and curl up under my snuggle blanket, in the middle of the day. This is something I rarely allow myself without feeling guilty. Having completed an hour long walk in the rain, I felt I earned some coddling.

2. Many people are fair weather walkers, which means when I am not feeling particularly sociable walking in the rain means I am not forced to be nice to strangers (dog walkers are known to be very sociable, great if you need to connect with people, not so much when I need to have some space from them).

3. There is a freedom in allowing myself to turn into a 'drowned rat' without worrying about what I look like.

4. My dog looks really cute when soaked!