I weighed myself the other day. The good news is that I didn’t put on any significant weight over the Yom Tov (Jewish festival) period, despite eating lots of the wrong foods. The bad news is that if I didn’t put on any weight, it makes me feel that my weight is determined primarily by my medication and not by my diet. This makes it hard to really get the motivation to resume my diet, or quasi-diet. It just feels like my weight has only vague relation to what I eat. Ditto for my cholesterol, which has been slightly too high for ages despite cutting down (not totally) on high cholesterol foods.

***

Work was not particularly noteworthy today, but I finished in a better state than most work days recently, perhaps because I spent the last hour testing keys in the display cabinets to see which, if any, were duplicates, as J wants to make sure we have two keys for each cabinet in case we lose one. This at least got me away from my desk, my computer and my ruminations.

I got a flu jab on the way home. I’m not entirely sure why the NHS thinks I was eligible. I suppose they have Mum down as immuno-suppressed still. My attitude to government and NHS stuff these days is, if they offer it, take it, because I know how hard it is to get anything from them when you try to get it. I haven’t had any serious side-effects yet, but my arm is rather sore.

When I got home, I spent some time reading the Jewish newspapers and watching Doctor Who rather than going online. This was in line with my discussion with my therapist yesterday about taking time to decompress when I get home from work before going online, which is too stimulating, primarily in terms of the screen, but also in terms of engaging my brain to read blogs and news sites and to blog myself. I did feel a little faint, but that passed once I ate and drank, which makes me think dehydration and low blood sugar are distinct from whatever causes the lightheadness that doesn’t pass with food and water. I do keep forgetting to take my blood pressure.

My therapist said I should see decompression time as being distinct from relaxation time. I’m not sure that I fully understood this. I think she meant I should just take time to potter about, talk to my parents about my day (although I guess this could be stressful peopling), sort out odd things that need sorting out in my room and so on rather than setting aside time for a constructive relaxation activity (if that’s not a contradiction) like reading a novel or watching TV. However, I’m not really sure that I’ve understood this right.

Thinking about the distinction (if there is one) made me realise that I see relaxation time and creative time (writing) as the same because Judaism has no real concept of either. Both relaxation and creativity are really valued as means to other ends rather than ends in themselves. Neither are easily ‘justified,’ so it’s hard to say I need to devote time to relaxation and writing fiction as well work and religious obligations like prayer and Torah study. Relaxation and writing feel like things I do for me and should be kept in proportion when compared to religious things. Blogging is probably something else in this category. Relaxation, blogging and fiction writing are all things I need to do emotionally and things I think have value, but I feel guilty for doing one, let alone all three, when part of me thinks I should be praying or studying Torah. I am not sure what to do about this.

***

My favourite Doctor (Doctor Who Doctor, not GP) was always Tom Baker, perhaps the most eccentric of the Doctors, with his thick curly hair, long multicoloured scarf and general air of counter-cultural craziness. In recent years, however, I’ve felt it shifting to Patrick Troughton, whose more subtle performance evokes a quieter form of individualism and non-conformity.

At the risk of over-thinking this, I find myself wondering if this indicates a shift in the way I view the world, from thinking that the only alternative to drab conformity is a wilful, extrovert weirdness that I could never manage to thinking that it is possible to have a quieter, more thoughtful form of individuality that is willing to stand quietly at the back until it has something to say, but can still dominate when it needs to.

Or I maybe it’s just down to a shift in what I find funny and clever.

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4 thoughts on “Decompression Time

  1. I think you’re still searching for a routine that will minimize negative emotions and help you decompress so that you can actually relax or enjoy other activities. I find myself unable to calm down until I’ve gone through a process. It usually involves making one of my water enhancer drinks and sitting down with the cat for a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thought that comes to mind is that if your emotional health isn’t in balance, it may be hard to pray or study Torah. If your health is poor, it impacts everything else.

    Do you meditate or do any stretching exercises? I find both can be wonderfully helpful for relaxation and decompression. So can journaling. Though I love creating, I do find that it can actually get me revved up rather than make me sleepy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, but my emotional health is often not in balance, and I feel I can’t cut back on prayer and Torah study just because of that.

      I’ve tried meditation for prolonged periods, but have not found it hugely helpful. I haven’t really thought about stretching.

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