How to feel like myself

My kid’s best friend’s mom got a new job and isn’t starting it until January, but has already left her old job. She has all of December to just be, with her kid in school for the first two weeks.

I told her that sounded amazing.

She said, “I feel like… I feel like myself. I was going to say I feel like a whole new person, but really I feel like myself.”

I said, “I want to feel like myself. I’ve gotta figure out how to do that.”

2022 feels like a year that was stolen from my whole family of origin, thanks to my mom’s leukemia and paraplegia. My mom has obviously had an incredibly hard year. My dad is learning what it is to be a primary caregiver at almost 70 years old and it’s a very different life than he’s ever known before. My brother has gone from being cared for to needing to give care to. My sister and I have both experienced frequent chronic illness flares.

In the spring, I resented the flowers for blooming. Didn’t they know my mom had leukemia? I didn’t do any of my normal springtime stuff.

In the summer, I made a whole plan to achieve summer vibes, but I only really did it halfheartedly.

In the fall, my mom was in the ER about once a week, with an extended hospital stay due to the cognitive effects of a medication reaction. Halloween was fun but I didn’t appreciate the gorgeous weather nearly enough.

And now Winter Is Coming 🐺, and I am realizing for the first time that I have always been A Christmas Person, but when we were decorating our tree I suddenly got very grouchy. Because of how different this year is and will be.

This is not just me sharing the bad — it’s me elucidating the things that have made me feel Not Me.

In a very Me move, to figure out what feels like me I went to my blog archives to see how I was coping in year 2 of the pandemic, before my mom got leukemia.

How to Feel Like Myself

Books & Reading

  • Share quotes from what I’m reading.
  • Read lots of books in a variety of formats & genres, but come back home to fantasy frequently.
  • Talk to other people about what we’re reading & what else we might want to read.
  • Read & write fanfic, especially for sitcoms and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Read a lot of interesting articles.
  • Re-read Austin Kleon’s books.

Health & Wellness

  • Blog about my experiences with chronic illness.

Work

  • Blog about my research.

Crafting

  • Gather references for a cosplay but don’t make it yet.

TV & Movies

  • Watch holiday rom-coms.
  • Watch Star Trek.
  • Introduce my kid to older kids TV.
  • Blog about what I’m watching.

The Internet

  • Think about cool possibilities for the web, mostly late at night.
  • Take occasional breaks from social stuff.

Uh oh, I’m doing me things and I still don’t feel like myself

I’m reading, especially fantasy. I’m watching holiday rom-coms and Star Trek. I introduced my kid to Wishbone 🐶. Why don’t I feel like myself?

The Missing Piece

I’m not reflecting, blogging, and talking to people. Metacognition is key to Kimberlying and I have let it get away from me. Time to get back to it.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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