On lowering my expectations and learning to take the pressure off

I’m still a bit shell shocked by the news I got on Tuesday. It actually all makes a bit more sense now I’ve learned a little about what executive functions are. I have to talk things through thoroughly with a few people and then I’ll feel more at ease and less dis-eased because right now I feel as though I’m inhabited by an invisible parasite.

The news has focussed me as bad news often does and today I’ve been looking at how I spend my time and why I spend my time the way I do.

This morning I was in a local park with some fellow dog owners and our dogs. None of us really knew each other until just before Christmas but now we’re at the point where we’ve swapped phone numbers and we talk about the big stuff to each other. This doesn’t happen with any of the other groups of dog walkers I see so it feels pretty special. I’ve seen two of them today and they allowed me to talk about what’s been going on and there’s been hugs and tears and that in itself is healing.

I didn’t sleep well last night (I was watching an episode of My Crazy Ex at 3.30 this morning) so when the alarm went off I was in no state to walk Ogden and we were late getting out and getting back.

There was a dog show in one of the parks tonight that I was going to go to but I changed my mind because it was a pressure I didn’t need and Ogden didn’t have a clue what was going on so its not like he’d have a tantrum if we didn’t go.

I live in a city that is permanently on the point of vomiting with excitement because there is so much going on all the time. It’s filled with newcomers who have tiny spans of attention and who seem to be unable to spend time alone or silent or in any kind of isolation which is the opposite of me. So what does this have to do with the pressure I feel?

Well I’ve recently been dipping my toe into community stuff again purely because nobody else round here does and the experience has been as awful as I remember – ungrateful neighbours and resentful officials with few exceptions. So that’s the first thing to go. I’ve got a response to a plan to type up and then that’s it.

I’ve also decided that I need to change Ogden’s routine a little because I’m supposed to be the one in charge and so I get to decide what we do and when. He’ll not be short of walks or love so he won’t mind in the slightest.

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Small changes but they’re the ones that build up until they’re big changes and I recognise that I’ve been giving into pressures that I’ve put on myself but also because of the way other people perceive me – I don’t have to live up to the image that anybody has of me. I was once a very capable and driven person which is why I’ve lived my life the way I have but, and it’s a reasoned but, I’ve changed.

I’m not less capable but I am differently capable and because of that I’ve learned to be adaptable. Adaptable people succeed because they’re willing to bend yet essentially stay the same and it’s a constant process.

I’m going to plan my days a little more but try to work out a way of coping with the small changes that I am no longer able to cope with. I’m going to have to try and plan food that takes into account that some days I can’t work out how to get the raw ingredients onto a plate and safe to eat. Big ambitions but some days you have to aim high.

And today? Today I’m catching up on junk television and doing just enough to get by and it’s been a good day. I’ve missed out on a few things but I don’t have to have every experience that’s on offer – quality not quantity and that’s the way I have to remind myself from here on in.