Sunday, December 28, 2014

Practicalities of Living Life in a Hard Season, Part Two: High Sensitivity

Part One was the beginning of my issues and my problem, with just a taste of solution.

Then there's this more recent link from Modern Mrs. Darcy, "Self-care for the highly sensitive parent."  Oh yes. Yes, yes.
Or how about I just live at Multnomah Falls?
That should work, right??

Add being highly sensitive into the stressful mix I described in the last post. That's great. Just what I needed. Tell me again why I'm supposed to be myself, with my own particular strengths and weaknesses, instead of being someone else? Someone else's strengths sound so much better... heh. Um.

Almost two months after I wrote most of these words, I sit at my computer editing, and remember words I highlighted earlier today in A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.

"A few weeks ago, I cried while reading a food blog. It wasn't because I was so hungry or
because there was anything intrinsically tear-worthy in the avocado. Rather it was because the idea of writing about food was so comforting to me, so other-than what I write about, that reading it pulled up tears before I had a chance to figure out where they came from. Oh, to write instead about tomato soup! 
"I know every food writer reading these words is shaking their fist at me right now as I romanticize their work and assume they have less struggle than I do. Isn't that what we do when our calling infuriates us? We look at the calling of others and convince ourselves they have it easier."

Yes. Well then. Back to my particular self, to high sensitivity and to the words I wrote almost two months ago.

Trouble is, when I'm already stressed, tired, and overwhelmed (see Part One), I make bad decisions, and self-care is really hard to do. I need preemptive self-care. But how do I do that when I've had all these major life stressors recently? It's like it's already too late. How do I step back and take care of myself? (Or it felt that way at the beginning of November. It's easier now. Mostly. Somewhat.) Anne mentions in other places, like this interview and this post about personality, that routines are really hard for her to decide on and put into place, even though they're really helpful and liberating once they're there. I agree. Yes, yes, yes.

So... again, how do I take care of myself when I really, really need it? How do I create the routines I need, when the act of creation is so hard, and I need to step back and recover?

Back to that one thing at a time answer?

I mean, like she says in another personality post about planning, creating plans isn't that hard. ALL THE PLANS! So much possibility! So fun! But the deciding is hard. Ridiculously hard. Based on what I've learned about INFPs and cognitive steps (one of these days I'll make it to that part of the blog series, documenting Teh Epic Personality Thread, and will be able to link to the relevant bits), this may be even harder for us than other intuitives. It's not just that we dwell in possibility, but also that we see so much meaning and beauty in the details, and we don't like to cut out any of those gorgeous details. Do ALL OF THEM! Alas, that's, um, kind of impossible.

My attempted hack is to tell myself that any decision, any routine, is a temporary thing; and to file away the other options somewhere for a scheduled revisit. Theoretically. In practice... um. Organization is hard. Notes (possibilities!) proliferate, and the winnowing and moving that's necessary in order to keep note review manageable... well, winnowing and moving means decisions. And time. And... aaah. You see my problem(s)?

I mean, organization decisions aren't so bad. Especially since I have some practice, and by now I'm pretty familiar with all my types of notes and types of decisions. Or most of them. And it's easier now that I'm using WorkFlowy, I think. Organization is just a sub-set of a bigger problem, and one thing that makes the bigger problem harder. And maybe a good example of my particular crazy fueling these problems -- notes everywhere is stressful to me, because chaos instead of beauty and meaning; but the solution is also slightly stressful, because decisions.

What do you do when all the little and big stressful things are causing stress overload, and apparently the only way out is through?
You go to Multnomah Falls! Duh.

And, okay, I sort of have some routines in place, but clearly they aren't the right or perfect ones, since they're not helping me as much as Anne's routines are helping her, right?? Um. Yes, I'm a bit of an idealist. Shhh.

Anyway, MOAR musings and a bit more of solution-ish thoughts to come.

Part Three: A Narrative

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