The challenge for this week is to wax poetic about my best quality.
Nothing comes to mind.
I guess I am really good at putting everyone’s needs above my own. I bend over backwards for others, do everything to make sure they are happy and have their needs met, even if it means that I have to be inconvenienced.
I’m good at being negative.
I am grouchy. I’ve been grouchy for the last few days. I have a lot of work to do. I have done nothing today. My flat is clean. That is about it.
I’ve been alone too long today. I’ve been wasting all the progress in therapy by letting autopilot take over and let all the negative thoughts come through.
I want someone to come give me a hug and some chocolate and sit with me until I feel better. I want my kitty.
So now, because I am being negative, I have been given an assignment with three basic questions that need to be answered.
- What are the last three nice things I’ve done for someone, why I did them, and how did they contribute to their lives?
1. Yesterday one of the kids in the tutoring centre was having an epic meltdown. He is autistic, no more than 7 years old, and I’m not sure why, but yesterday was not his day. He started throwing things, knocking over chairs and trashcans, and kicking up a really good fuss. I’ve never seen the centre so when the AD was just getting frustrated trying to calm him down, I tried to see if I could get him calm. I got him to sit down, and for about 3 minutes he was okay. I got kicked a few times and then scolded by the AD for not helping the children who I was supposed to be tutoring, but for those three minutes, the poor little kid was calm in the middle of his storm. I’m not sure that did anything to contribute to his life, but he seemed like he needed someone to talk to him calmly, someone to acknowledge that he was having a bad day and just needed some understanding.
2. A week, maybe two weeks ago, I made some Powerpoints for my friend/colleague. I did because I knew that he had a lot on his plate and he needed the help. I figured it was easy for me to do, wouldn’t take me that long, and I was majorly procrastinating on my own work. The workshop went off without a hitch, so I am assuming that I made his life a little bit easier. It also means that the next time he runs the workshop he will already have the materials ready to go.
3. I cancelled plans with the boy so that he could relax before his set of shifts. I was looking forward to dinner and a movie, but he mentioned he was tired and feeling cranky, so I asked if I could stop by for a cup of tea and some chat instead. I did it because I knew he had a rough set of shifts ahead, because he would be cranky if we went out, and because I am a codependent doormat who wants to please everyone happy even if it means putting my needs second. I know that it was easier for him because he told me it was, and I really enjoyed the tea and the chat that we had.
2. What are three nice things that people have done for me lately? Why did they do them and how do they contribute to my life?
1. My mom sent me a care package full of goodies that I miss from California. I got tortillas and peanut butter snacks and trial mix. She also included a card that told me she was proud of me and that she loved me. I know she did it because I have been having a rough go with my depression. It made me feel great, and now I have tortillas to make quesadillas with when I am sad. It is the little acknowledgement that she cares about me that is the nice part.
2. I got a Skype call yesterday after work. This is one of my best friends. She called me because she was feeling a bit blue, but she let me rant, be cranky, and never once told me that I was being silly or irrational. I got to listen to her, and by the end of the conversation both of us were feeling better. It was nice because it was acknowledgment that someone cared about me to check in, and someone thought of me when they wanted some comfort.
3. My friend/colleague/partner in hijinks let me invade is flat this week so that I could make margaritas and quesadillas to work on a paper. He also got approval for me to work with him on a project that finally allows me to do something in the office other than be the token PhD student. Maybe I might eventually get paid for doing the work. For now though, I am grateful for the chance to work on a fun project and do something useful.
3. What is something that I care about that I regularly contribute to.
Ummmmmmm…….this one is a tough one. I think this blog is the one thing that I contribute to regularly. I make sure that at least once a week I sit down and write something. A lot of time the posts are meant to make me feel better. Last year I did the gratitude challenge to help with the dark and twisty, and a lot of the post for this challenge are also meant to remind me of the good things in my life. Usually by the time I finished writing I feel a lot better. Even when the posts are sad or mopey, usually I get a comment or a note from one of the readers saying something nice or sharing a similar experience. I enjoy that moment of connection with people I only know through writing.
Reflection: What is the strongest conclusion that I can objectively come to based on the answers that I provided.
I guess what I could say is that my best quality is probably that no matter what, I seem to be a magnet for really great people. My friends and family are pretty great, even when I get into one of the dark and twisty moods and only see the negatives. These are the people that send me care packages and cat videos, pay my bills so I can quit my job, and remind me that despite the best efforts of my brain, I am not a broken toy.