Knuckling down

Up to about ten minutes ago, I was in a nasty mood. It’s Monday morning, it’s cold and grey outside, I’m sleepy as well as suffering from the same low-level unwellness that’s bedevilled the last couple of weeks, and I’m at work – with all the rest of it. Then I head down to get my coffee, and one of my all-time favourite songs is playing as I order my coffee. I tell the girl there, I love this song, and as I’m waiting for my coffee to be made I sing along to it, “I heard it on the grapevine…”

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to turn things around. A great song, the first coffee of the day, and you return to work with a bit more vim.

Saturday was the point that things came to a head for me. After pouring my heart out here, I felt listless but forced myself to follow up on the plans I’d made earlier. I headed out a bit after midday to check out a rental property up the road from me, sussing it out as a potential new home. Now I had the job and knew what I would be earning I felt more secure doing this.

It was the second time I’d looked at this place. I’d liked it well enough the first time but thought it a tad too expensive, and it didn’t have a bath. In the meantime, the rent had come down by $25 and made it reasonable. I wanted to see it again, to imagine myself there. It’s larger and more comfortable than my present home, and much more private. And it has a bigger yard for Rigby.

I left and walked about 6-7 minutes to view another property. I got there just as it began to hail down. It was crazy, like a mini hurricane had swept through. The sky ruptured with lightning and thunder and the hail, driven by a mighty wind, came in at a sweeping angle. I found shelter under the eaves of the property, along with about another fifteen prospective tenants.

In ways that property was better, but I didn’t like it as much, and I returned home thinking about what I would do. A conversation with a friend confirmed my thinking, and I submitted an application for the first property.

I talked about a lot of things with my mate. He was supportive. As I’m talking, my mind is turning over, and I’m shifting from one perspective to another. I can always rely on that. I can’t reason everything out, but I’m good at coming to an understanding.

In my experience, uncertainty and doubt are very poor for your mental wellbeing. You’re better off doing something even if it’s not the perfectly right thing to do. Inaction comes naturally when you’re down, but it perpetuates the apathetic mindset that is so often a part of poor mental health. So, I made resolutions and set goals.

I’m aware there’s a lot of shop dressing in these things. You force upon yourself arbitrary objectives to aim for, but that’s the point – to have something to aim for, and to give yourself a purpose to keep you busy. It lifts you out of yourself and takes you outside the reality you’re in.

In this case I set myself targets that encapsulated a new home (I deserved it), but also took in my professional ambitions. I’m not as ambitious as I used to be – I’ve said that before – but I need a certain degree of responsibility. I’m proud, and I must also improve myself economically. That’s what I did then. I looked at the job I’ve just been appointed to and set myself some KPIs with that. I need to drive myself.

I let something go as well, which was liberating. I’ve been agonising over a situation for about 6 months now and tying myself in a knot over it. On Saturday I accepted that not everything is forever and things change. Just because somethings always been one way doesn’t guarantee it always will, even if that means disappointment. As I know well, disappointment is a part of life. So, I opened my hands and let it fly away from me. Not my problem now.

Now all I need do is knuckle down. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s knuckling down. This is not the sinecure, but it’s a way of managing things until they get better – which they will.

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