My first go-round with depression, I had to start looking for small good things, not even to feel better, but simply to survive: a turquoise bike. A cup of tea. The voice of a dear friend. The piano break in a favorite song.
Thank God, things have never been that relentlessly dark again. But I kept the practice, and when things are hard, it’s not just a habit. It’s a lifeline.
1) My dog running through drifts of leaves. Alternately, my dog curled up with me at night after a long day chasing squirrels and destroying squeaker toys. He’s boarded this week and I had to come home to an empty apartment yesterday and guys, I nearly LOST it when I saw his empty crate because clearly I have issues.
2) Reading fiction because stories are good for my brain at night. Actually, they’re good for my brain any time, because they give my anxious mind a place to rest. So when I’m reading a really good novel, my thoughts are on characters and playing with plot, instead of getting wrapped up in anxious, self-critical knots. Currently: Landline by Rainbow Rowell (thanks to Erin for the rec!)
3) Hanging out with two of my very favorites (and introducing them to the time-honored Bedsole make-believe game, “Dolls and Dinosaurs”–the game came about because, you guessed it, I had dolls and Jim had dinosaurs, and we created a beautiful co-existent universe for them with only the occasional invasion by hordes of evil stuffed animals). I love these kids. I love listening to their stories about Minecraft and fourth-grade cliques, I love reading with them, I love snuggling on the couch while we watch The Emperor’s New Groove. They are the sweetest and the funniest and the best all around.
4) My evening snack of red wine and Goldfish crackers. I own it.
5) The yellow oak outside my apartment. The gorgeous golden trees in my neighborhood. The color has finally arrived and it’s gorgeous.