I’m nervous about next week, Domino goes back to the cardiologist and I’ll find out how his heart is doing. I wish that his degenerative genetic heart problem would vanish, but I know that’s not going to be the case. My hope is that it hasn’t gotten worse. In September the cardiologist told me he had 6-12 months to live, that means he’s down to 2-8 months, which I honestly can’t accept. Most days he acts like he feels fine, he loves his walks and food in all forms. He does cough though, most days it’s only once in the morning but some days it happens more often and some nights his breathing is louder than it should be. I know that’s not a good sign. I’m trying not stress out too much, but of course I am.
Given this stress and my anxiety, taking care of myself is definitely important for me right now. I’ve been working on my month of sustaining myself with daily habits that recharge me: meditating, journaling and reading. I’ve been doing these consistently, so now I want to add some weekly activities to make me feel good.
- The first one is gratitude, I keep a gratitude journal and usually on Sunday I write five things I’m grateful for from the past week. Being thankful for little moments helps me keep my life in perspective and focus on all the good. This week I’m grateful for: co-workers that spoil Domino with love and treats on the days I take him to school; getting to see deer on walks even though I moved to town; celebrating a longtime friend turning fifty; getting my official master gardener certificate and name tag and getting to chat with fellow master gardener’s at a brunch; book club girls for making me laugh with a game night.
- My second weekly activity to sustain myself is doing something social. I’ve read quite a bit about happiness and the same themes always emerge. Happiness isn’t about accomplishments, money, fame, or status. The consistent determiner of happiness are people. This is a bit tough for an introvert that lives alone to swallow. As much as I love a cozy evening alone, the truth is I always feel happy after spending time with friends and family Of course doing something social requires coordinating with others, so I thought I might be setting myself up for failure with this goal. I decided I needed a contingency plan: if I don’t have the opportunity to do something social, then I’ll go to the local coffee shop to at least be around others even if I only speak to the barista. As a plus, I found out that dogs are allowed in the coffee shop here.
- My third weekly goal to bring me happiness is to write fiction. This habit fell to the wayside and I want to bring it back. I got overwhelmed with finishing a book and the thought of editing and how to proceed that I gave up on the part I enjoyed. I want to write and not worry about whether it’s publishable or not. It’s the writing that brought me joy, so I want to set aside time at least once a week to write again.
With all the stress and uncertainty that life brings, I know that I need to take care of my own wellbeing. This month of self-care has been a good reminder that it’s ok to take time for me.