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Year Two, Day 315: Treading Water

 2:45 p.m .

Sinking again. Or maybe I should say treading water.

I have so many tools at hand.  I am breathing. I am praying. I am trying to just be in the moment.  Trying to relax and let go. Let God.

Thankfully, I have some time off during the next week. I may take my bike out for a ride.  Perhaps go to the Grotto and walk the labyrinth. Definitely spend some time in the gym.  Time with my piano and time with taxes would be good too.

I think I am seeing a correlation between anxiety and depression. I have some things looming over my head.  Taxes. A few piano performances. Perhaps if I just keep chipping away at things, it will ease my worry.

Today is Thursday. A typical day. I did get up in time for 20 minutes on the elyptical while watching "Person of Interest".  I pushed myself to up the pace, and "ran" for a few minutes. Worked up a sweat.

Then it was church office day.  Quiet day in the office.  It was welcomed since the rest of the week was quite busy.  I was alone all day, with just a few phone calls.  I kept the radio on, tuned to "K-Love" to keep me company (and keep my spirits up).

Now I am at my library office. I just had lunch. I went for an Indian Buffet on Hawthorne instead of my usual pho. I am attempting to limit my eating out to one meal a day, $10 or less.  Pho is usually about $8.00.  The buffet today was $9.95.  But I came in at the end of their lunch time. I only had 15 minutes to eat.

This was good. As it was all you can eat. I had some lovely tikki masala chicken, tandoori chicken, rice, vegetables and curry.  It was enough. I like to linger and read over lunch, but in this case lingering might have meant heading up to the buffet too many times!

Oddly, during lunch, I felt my dark thoughts trying to surface. Telling me I was not enjoying my food. And that I am wasting my money.

I ignored my dark thoughts.  Sneezed. Blew my nose. And ran out to catch the bus. 

I am determined to conquer my allergies. I woke up a few times during the night and held a warm washcloth to my eyes. I fear that I am rubbing them in my sleep. I also drank a large glass of water with an "Airborne" tablet last night. My housemate suggested it. I have had good results with Airbone in the past. But then again, I've had good results with hot tea and pho in the past.  This is one killer allergy season!

I am thinking I really need to take some time to relax and ponder. Contemplate. I know, it seems like I already do that a lot. But I need more of that.

So students this afternoon.

And then tomorrow I have only one student late afternoon. The rest of the day is free!  I am resisting the urge to plan it away.  I think I will just keep in mind a few things I need to get done each day and leave it at that.

Today's fruit of the spirit is "Self Control". (From Galatians 5:22-23). That is fitting for my frame of mind.  I am going to just put one foot in front of the other and breathe.  Look at the trees. Talk to God.  As I always tell friends and family who are in a funk, tomorrow will be a better day.  Or at least it will be another day!  And we really do not know how many days we have been given, do we?

Maybe something caffeinated might also be in order. And perhaps something chocolate? to my student's. I will continue this post later....

4:45 p.m. I'm back! With a new perspective and a much better attitude.

I just taught two brothers. Ages 9 and 11. The 9 year old was very grumpy today.  I thought, "Oy. And here I am feeling low. What a pair we will make...!" But I shushed my negative voice. And went into supportive, fun teacher mode.  I asked him if he was having a blue day. He shrugged.  I asked him if he had something fun planned for spring break. Again, a shrug and a grunt.  He was wearing his hat low on his head. I couldn't see his eyes.

He obviously was not in a talking mood.

So, I suggested we start our lesson with some scales.

"NO!", he exclaimed. Ok. Well that was said with passion.  I asked him if he would like his brother to have his lesson first. Maybe he needed a snack? His brother came in and said that little brother had to go first today. Because he had dance class immediately after. And, big brother added, that was why he was mad. He did not want to go to dance class.

(Obviously not piano lesson either).

I told him we could make the best of it. Have  a "fun" lesson. He could choose what to do.  Maybe play a game? Play some of his old music? I could play for him?

He just sat there sullenly. He poked at a few keys over and over again.  

That's cool, I told him. I have blue days sometimes too.  I told him sometimes when I have the blues, I like to play the blues on the piano.  I told him since skipping his lesson today was not an option, that I would just play for him.  So I got him to trade places with me. And I made up a blues song for him. An "I Hate Everything Today Blues".  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him crack a smile.

His mom had left for a bit. She had to run back to the school to retrieve the backpack he had left on the playground (yes, a bad day for him indeed!). When she got back, I excused myself from my blue student and chatted with her. I told her that everyone has a down day. That I do not like to force piano on my students who are not "in the mood".  She said that was fine.

I came back out and told him he could still have a sticker. That it was ok to have a bad day now and then. I did sometimes too. But he refused the sticker and stomped off.

So I started with big brother. Big brother is a model student. Loves piano. Practices regularly. Asks questions.  Always seems happy. Wow, I wish I had what he had!

We were halfway through his lesson when little brother came up to me. "I would like to play ONE song for you", he said.

I looked at big brother and asked if he was ok with the interruption. He shrugged, "Ok".

So little blue brother played a lovely piece for me.  Then he asked if he could have a sticker.

"Of course", I said. "You earned it!"

And it was like a heard a little "pop" in my head. MY blues bubble burst just then.

Nothing brings me up more than helping another. 

And on another note, as I rode the bus back here to the library, I met a young man, who looked possibly homeless, but shared my love of books. We had a nice chat. I had just grabbed a book from one of the neighborhood "Little Free Book" librarys by the big tree near our bus stop. He asked if I found anything good. "I did", I chirped waving my newest find.  "I usually like darker fiction, but I think I could use something uplifting", I told him.

This book looks like just the ticket!

He ran over a grabbed one for himself as well. He told me he enjoyed our talk as we boarded the bus. I sat down, and an older gentleman asked me to google the score of the Ducks game. And we had a nice lively exchange.

Was it my improved mood?  Or is it the warmer weather?  I had told my book buddy at the stop earlier that I read too much. He told me it was a good hobby, but I said, "Yes, but it is not very social".

He nodded in understanding.

One thing that struck me is my food addiction.  When my student told me earlier he was not happy and "Nothing makes me happy", it reminded me of the dark thoughts over the Indian Buffet.

I am constantly trying to pull myself up emotionally with food or caffeine.

And now suddenly I am fed up with it.  After I type this blog, I am going to go to Fred Meyer's. My afternoon snack will not be a chocolate bar, popcorn, Kombucha or even a gluten free bar. I am going to get an apple. A nice crisp apple.

I think my food addiction is what I need to pay attention to next in this journey.

But for now, an apple!

Happy Thursday!

Talk to you tomorrow. :)




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