I think it’s funny that it worked out so that the final day of this experiment was on a Monday—the first day of the workweek. All of these cycles of work feeding into each other; one ends and a new one begins. I’ve come to realize that fighting depression is work; it takes vigilance and action. Of course I suspected this, people told me this, I knew it to be true, but I didn’t KNOW it to be true. I kept waiting for something magical to shift, some “a-ha” moment that would instantly get me out of bed and on to the happiness trail, and it would be easy and perfect.
But I was clearly wrong. There’s no savior in inaction. Inaction is not just a symptom of depression, it’s also a cause. It feeds the beast that makes your soul hole (and your gut) larger. It’s only when you commit to the daily work that you start feeling you have some control in how you see the world. But make no mistake, it’s work, and it’s hard and it’s slow. I see now that success is a series of baby steps—you don’t make huge strides, you’re definitely going to fall down, but you’re always moving forward.
I’m a slow thinker, a marinator, so I need a few days in some quiet contemplation to really evaluate these past 30 days well and think through how I want to move forward. So today, I’m just going to report the day, and I’ll come back at the end of the week to post a conclusion. Though I’m going to give myself some time, there’s no question that I have to keep up with the work. What that will look like, though, I don’t know yet.
So here’s Day 30. Thank you, again, for joining me on this, and I’ll see you in a few days.
3 things I’m grateful for:
1) Mustering the courage and determination to finish what I started
2) That I did this honestly and authentically
3) That I showed the world my wounds and my voice and that both were well-received
4) For feeling significantly better, kinder, and wiser on Day 30 than on Day 1
5) It bears repeating, I’m grateful for Shawn Achor for showing me a way out
I woke up early this morning before work and went for a jog around the park. That’s when Day 1 Randy showed up and freaked the hell out. Day 1 Randy was all, “Um, I had a hard time walking up a hill, and you’re running around the park? Before work? And there are hills? And you’re running them?!” He was happy for me, but a little jealous. I tried to remind him, though, that he’d get here. That he got here.
Then Day 60 Randy showed up and laughed at us both, was a little indignant at the progress he’d made as we were both struggling to keep up. Day 1 Randy was pissed and frustrated, and so was I if I’m honest. But I reminded them both that progress is made by keeping at it every day. Day 90 Randy gave an “amen,” and they both shut up.
Random act of kindness
There’s this woman I see quite often in the morning on the train to work. She’s meticulously put together, every hair in place, make up is perfect, well dressed and accessorized, and always lightly perfumed. And she drives me nuts. She’s always hitting people with the over-sized bag she carries, she’s constantly fixing her bangs in her pocket mirror, and she refuses to budge so that more people can get in. I have not looked upon her kindly in the past and have found myself sometimes plotting her downfall.
I had a seat on the train today, which rarely happens, and my legs were achey from the jog. But when she got on the train, I stood up and offered my seat to her. She said “thank you,” I said “you’re welcome,” and then Day 1 Randy watched in awe as I made conversation with her. Come to find out, she’s not the devil. She’s actually pretty nice. Her name is Elizabeth, she works for the city, and she’s blind in one eye because of a childhood accident. Which is probably why she doesn’t move when other people come on to the train—she can’t see them. And again a random act of kindness reminds Day 30 Randy not to be a judgmental ass.
When I got home today, I experimented with transcendental meditation and repeated a mantra in my head for 30 minutes. Let me rephrase—I tried to repeat a mantra in my head for 30 minutes. Day 1 Randy was impressed. Day 30 Randy was reminded that meditation can still be tough.
Reflect on something good that happened
So 30 days ago I put down the daily bottles of wine, the remote control, most of the bad food, and some of the self-hatred, and I stood up from the sofa and announced to everyone that I was done wallowing. I promised my grandmother that over the next 30 days I would make a concerted effort to learn how to take care of myself, and I promised me that every day I would do these 5 tasks that were supposed to make me a happier person. Today, I am proud to say, I completed Day 30. There’s still a lot of uphill climbing ahead, but I’ve come so far already, so I might as well keep climbing.