There’s a quality every yesterday shares with all the other yesterdays; they are in the past. Sometimes that’s a sad thing, because we enjoyed the day so much while it was ‘today’. I will admit that yesterday – the yesterday that was most recently today, and is not now, having become yesterday in the most clearly defined way – is not a day I’m sad to see in the past. Yesterday was a difficult day. I hadn’t slept well the night before, but woke feeling good and enjoying the morning, it didn’t last because… well… hormones, mostly, I guess. Not much to be done there but wait it out, treat myself gently, and show great consideration and courtesy to others – and hope for the best.

The evening was okay. No big blow ups, no significant stress, no baggage; I retired for the evening shortly after I got home, moodily wrote for a while, and crashed out early. The writing won’t see sunlight; it was hormone-fueled, angst-y, discontent, and sad. Not share worthy, just very human. Keeping to myself was more a matter of caring for my family, than a self-care practice; the storms and tantrums that sometimes result from the combination of fatigue, hormones, and a disinhibiting brain injury are pretty nasty to go through – and quite possibly worse for the loved ones who must helplessly bear witness. It is by far the easier to choice to reduce the potential for such things completely, by withdrawing to a quiet private space with less stimuli. I kept an eye on the clock and was firm with myself about going to bed ‘on time’; I needed the sleep, for sure, but the routine itself provides structure that helps me maintain balance.

I slept last night. I slept deeply, and I slept through the night. I needed the sleep. I woke with some difficulty when the alarm went off, and I suspect if I were horizontal right now, I’d be asleep in seconds. The hormones are a component of my sleep challenges, which is more obvious now that they are entirely of the replacement variety. At some points in my natural cycle, as well as on this replacement, there’s a particular point at which my estrogen level seems to drive wakefulness; I don’t know with any certainty if it is the high or the low, or an intermediate level that complements some other feature of my biology. I’m not doing the science – I am living the experience. My observations are subjective.

We all need restful moments, and real rest, to recharge for the next challenge.

Iย need restful moments, and real rest, to recharge for the next challenge.

When I am tired or run down, great mornings hold greater potential to become difficult days later on; I lack emotional resilience when I am fatigued. By the time I am really aware that the emotional weather of the day is changing, I’m often already drenched in the sudden downpour, unprepared. I think I could easily address the ‘unprepared’ piece, though, if I go forward with more awareness of how fatigue does affect me – and that the effect is often not felt immediately, but later in the day. Being prepared is sometimes enough to change the outcome of events that tend to follow a pattern. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today is a whole new day. I am still dealing with the hormones; hot flashes and nausea this morning. I’m in a decent mood, though, and I feel rested. Being well-rested is a very big deal.

I hear the household waken, early. I resist the impulse to rush into morning interactions; I’m quite honestly not at my best first thing, and I’m still waiting for my pain medication, and morning coffee to kick in for the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good self-care is sometimes about simple practices, and discipline learned over a lifetime; I try to stay to myself first thing in the morning, until I am really awake.

It’s interesting to note that I’ve been finding a great deal of value, recently, in reading literature regarding development of executive function in children; it tends to shed light on the tantrums, the fury, and loss of emotional regulation…things we see, and even expect, in young children but that appall us in adults. The literature has enhanced my understanding of why some practices do seem to genuinely improve the state of my overall executive function over time, while other practices provide soothing, comfort, or ease the social impact of behavior widely viewed as uncomfortable or inappropriate from a woman of 52 (even by family members). Even practicing good practices, there is a desirable balance of outcomes to find; if all my best self-care practices are focused on easing the impact on loved ones, rather than improving my own experience, I could predictably be facing a whole lot of resentment down the road – and no real change in my own experience, internally. If I focus entirely on self-care practices that tend to take a longer view, improving my emotional resilience over time, potentially building lost executive function, but take no steps to ease the day-to-day stress of living alongside this injury, complicated by post-traumatic stress, I am less likely to make the progress I am seeking – because I will likely lack support from loved ones who don’t ‘see the work in progress’ as easily day-to-day, and don’t benefit from it, themselves.

A lovely spot for a moment of meditation; is that about time or place?

A lovely spot for a moment of meditation; is that about time or place?

Balance. Perspective. Verbs. (Your results may vary.)

Today is a good day to smile. Today is a good day to practice good practices. Today is a good day to exist right now, unconcerned by yesterday’s moments. Today is a good day for good practices, and the secure knowledge that incremental change over time can be a subtle thing – but it is a thing. ๐Ÿ™‚