I've been on vacation for a week. We traveled north to a cabin that sits on the shore of Island Lake in Winter, Wisconsin. We floated around the tiny lake in a rowboat, in kayaks, and a little paddle boat. We caught fish that were almost too small to wrap their lips around the tiny hooks we had attached to our lines. At night we laughed at and with each other. It was only a couple of nights. I could have used more time away. At one point we were all floating in our respective watercraft and I said, "I didn't realize how balled up I was."
I was able to unwind for a bit. It didn't last long. I'm back home and the inconsiderate neighbors, the back-to-work blues, Allie returning to campus, Julia applying for college, my health, the pandemic, the economy and the myriad of thoughts that had me wrapped up tightly never went far away. This morning they came to a head and I snapped at Debbie for something minor. Then I realized I'm not angry. I am sad and anxious.
I can cope. I'm old as hell and that means I've uncovered at least a few tactics that I can use to soothe myself. Here's a list (some are a little less self-destructive than others):
- Listen to music
- Eat all the things
- Do something that makes me sweat (lately, that means long bike rides, hikes, elliptical instead of the tennis or squash that my knees no longer seem to be able to handle)
- Create elaborate plans for self-improvement that I never enact
- Immerse myself in cleaning, yard work, car maintenance or any project that allows me to see that I made a change
- Clean and groom myself
- Stare at my smartphone
- Buy things that I don't need
- Journal or blog