So it turns out we at Good for Her Soul are a little European. At least that’s the story we’re going with since we kind of disappeared in August, thinking a European August shutdown sounds better than “wow, shit got crazy.” Because of course we’re all busy. But seriously, 2017 has been a lot, and the summer was impressively epic in the amount of shit coming at me. So epic, that our August shutdown has also taken up the majority of September. We’re clearly overachievers. No big deal.
So I’m sorry to have left you for so long – it was never my intention. And while it’s been quiet on the blog, I’ve had to work really hard to carve out the quiet in other places in my life. And in doing so – sometimes really poorly, it turns out – I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past few months. Some were new lessons and some are lessons I think I’ll continue to relearn for as long as I’m on this planet. Like trust my gut. Even when things sound like they should be restorative or in the past it’s been a good idea, if you don’t feel like it at the time, for the love of everything, DON’T DO IT. Sure, there are things we need to do to ensure we have shelter, food and safety. Do those things. But the rest? Fuck it. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. You truly don’t. And the people who love you and are important to you? They will always be there for you and will understand when you need to bow out to take care of yourself.
I need more time to myself than I used to. This is a hard realization for my extroverted self. When I’m stressed, it is often helpful for me to be around others and refuel off their energy. And that really does help most of the time. But when I get to the point when I feel like I’m holding it all together with scotch tape and a piece of used chewing gum, I need to lean into that feeling and just shut down. Totally and completely shut down and retreat to the solitude of my house. Ignore calls and texts. Sleep. Cry. Make sure the inside of my shower is dry for a couple days in a row. Take a mental health day. Binge watch Parks and Recreation because it’s the television equivalent of a security blanket. Cry again. It’s my own version of an exorcism, I suppose – get all the shit out of my system at once.
It doesn’t happen often, but this sort of overwhelming stress seems to hit me every few years, depending on what’s going on. And I continually try to power through – work out more, see friends more, get more sleep, focus on work, take on new projects, get back into a therapy routine – all the things that often work, but also fill up my calendar and make it hard to find any unscheduled time. But when I find myself taking out the tape and desperately looking around for chewing gum, I hope I’ll remember next time to cut myself some slack, head it off at the pass and prioritize the quiet for myself. Everything I truly care about will be there when I feel stronger and ready to rejoin the world. So thanks for welcoming me back, world. It’s good to be here.
Catherine is grateful for the ability to disappear into her music collection and reconnect with some oldies but goodies. She’s currently reliving her youth through Janet Jackson’s 1993 album, Janet. Man, that album holds up. She is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.