Tiny

“You have to be willing to get out of bed,” is the message from a spiritual mystic whose name I can’t recall. Getting out of bed sounds like one of the simplest tasks of our lives, does it not? We get out of bed each morning just by sitting up and swinging our legs over the edge, until our toes feel the floor. Simple.

Yet getting out of bed can be extraordinarily difficult for some of us, sometimes. I am not claiming that I understand major depression, but I have dealt with anxiety most of my life, and anxiety’s evil twin is…you guessed it, depression. This is not something about which I normally write, but it’s been on my mind a lot in recent weeks since my dear cousin passed away. Having some form of anxiety living under your skin is extremely common, and it seems to be extremely misunderstood, and what I mean by that is that people who do not experience these sometimes agonizingly uncomfortable feelings under the skin, just do not get it.

To them, you might be antisocial or awkward. To them, you might be not reaching out enough or being part of their lives as much as you are supposed to be. You are not inviting them over to dinner quite often enough or asking them to come visit.

To someone with anxiety, you are actually just doing the best you can, and often more importantly, taking care of yourself, as you should. You see, people who have emotionally draining “issues” of this kind need rest and nurturing. They need to set up a house around themselves, and sometimes even a large ranch or several miles in a national park, to take respite within – and often.

I am fortunate. My emotional stuff is relatively mild compared to many. I do get out of bed, but it gets harder during times of grief or stress. My body and mind seem to need more time to recuperate than I would prefer.

But my stuff is tiny in the big scheme of things.

Nonetheless, in recent days, I have needed mental exercises, where I actually imagine myself rock climbing or pulling myself up a repelling wall of some kind. This visual can give me a push when underneath the sheets feels like an especially nice home.

I also turn to inspiring movies, documentaries, or books during these times, too. Last night, in fact, I turned on “Tiny,” a beautiful story about a young guy’s process of building a tiny house for himself. Woven within his story are other lovely tales of folks who are living “tiny.” This is one of my favorite films, maybe ever (at least right now), because of its inspiring nature and its relevance to the common societal ailment of more is more. Not to mention the ways living small can help reduce our carbon footprints. We could all use some cleaner soles, don’t you think?

So, “Tiny.” My antidote for emotional angst. My prayer for a better world. My prescription for how to get out of bed in the morning.

 

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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

2 thoughts on “Tiny

  1. I really hope I’m not adding to your anxiety with all my emotional venting to you!!! I, too, turn to music, movies and literature to help pull me out of bed. Oddly enough, it’s usually something dark and real. Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar or Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted. What a tough couple of weeks it’s been for all of us!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! You are not adding to my anxiety whatsoever. Keep it coming. I love The Bell Jar, but that is a tough read for me. Still, what beautiful writing.

      Like

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