What is in my bag?

A guide to finding order and sorting out your mind.

It always fascinates me how the changing seasons affect me, we are entering spring at the South point of Africa. There are days of glorious sunshine, and then the wind comes up and blow us away, from al 4 wind directions in one day. Next, we might have some rain and then, just too really mix things up, the mountains get snow and al the winter woollies have to come out again.

The problem is that all this barometer changes unsettles me.

Our days are also getting longer and the sun is peeking out earlier. My favourite time of the day is early mornings just after sunrise and I love to be up and greet it’s sweet face just as it pops out over the hill. I also love late evenings and these two do not work well together, because in summer I then do not sleep enough! (Oh the problems of a singleton!)

It is funny how my “problems” in the bigger scheme of things are futile and this is what I want to chat with you about.

There are times that we look at our problems and feel overwhelmed. It is in these times that we have to place them in context. My context at the moment is, because of the changing light and me being premenopausal, I do not sleep enough. The east wind has been blowing and it really affects people. The school complains that the kids do not concentrate. My friends complain about their children fighting more and I find that even my animals are out of sorts. A few of my friends have died in the last 8 months and my country is facing some issues. Sometimes circumstances magnify your problems.

You end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. But I have found some coping mechanisms in times like these.

The first thing I do is to write it all down. When you do that, your brain gets freed up, it now does not have to try to keep track of everything. (There are science behind this, and I could post a link, but I think your best bet is to google it). I write down the problem, the things that make me sad, the things I worry about, the things I am excited about and the things I need to remember. Everything and anything that is going through my mind at that moment. It is almost like when you clean out your handbag and you dump its content on the table. Next, I sort through all the things I wrote down. I divide it up in 3 categories. 1- Things I can do something about, 2- things I can’t change and 3- trivial things that are just occupying space.

I then look at the 3ed group, in there is thoughts like, the birds that are singing, “I wonder if I will still be single in 5 years?”, “I do not like the print of the material that the customer brought me” etcetera. You see, all these thoughts are neither here or there, it is like the empty lip balm container, fluff balls and used tissues in your handbag. You just throw them away.

Next up is group number 2. Here are things like,” my heart is sad because my friend died last week”, “the situation in my country is unsettling”, “the wind is howling again”! I look at each thing and ask myself, is my worrying, complaining or feeling depressed about it, going to change it? Then I try and worry about it, feel sad or feel irritated. I must tell you, when you try to do this on purpose, you end up getting bored very quickly. But, by doing that, you give your brain a chance to work through it. Part of our problem in modern day society is that we do not have time to ponder things any more. By pondering, my brain gets a chance to feel all the feelings and emotions and how it can place them in the right part of the handbag.

Lastly, I look at the first category. The things I can do something about. Because of the chaos in my brain, I was not able to think rationally before. But now that I made some space, I actually have the mental capacity to think things through.

I can sleep better if I sort out my hormones. This will happen when I eat more balanced and if I take supplements and exercise. I must also parent myself and go to bed on time. By planning my menu and shopping lists, I can eat better and save petrol, because now I only need to shop once a week. The dogs will behave better if I walk them more and this can happen early morning before the wind comes up. This way I will also get some exercise and release endorphins that help with overall happiness.

Well, sweet friends, I now have all the answers to my problems on paper so I will be of to go and try to implement them!

Choose happiness till next time!

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9 thoughts on “What is in my bag?”

  1. Thank you for this post, it is exactly what I needed. I’m 57 and menopause started when I was 50 and there are so many things that are going on with me and my lack of hormones! Lack of sleep being at the top of the list of many other issues. You are so right in eating right and getting enough excersize etc… is so important, but when you get a few hours of sleep a night it’s so hard to be positive and take care of yourself. Between the lack of sleep and all the other stress in life, as you know our country (USA) is going through a lot politically and work it can be very overwhelming. I am going to give your method a try, I journal anyway and the way you do it sounds so perfect in putting things in perspective. Thank you so much and may you always be blessed. P.S. so sorry about the friends you have lost, I too lost my favorite Aunt and uncle this year within 10 days of each other. 😔 Denise Watson Wellington, Florida

    1. Oh Denise, i am so sorry for your loss! Things do get overwhelming, but I find that this method works for me. I am also learning not to worry about the things I cannot change, but rather to pray about them

  2. I woke up and read this after my devotion time and really loved the way you cleverly explained how you sort thru your thoughts. 💜💜I agree with the parenting part, I am doing better with keeping myself on track and living up to some expectations instead of just letting myself do whatever I feel like. Going to bed early has always been a struggle but Im feeling better the days I have success with it.
    Have a peacefilled day😘🙏🏻❤️❤️

  3. What a well thought out blog post – you have an amazing way with words and how you put them together. Thank you, this will help me too when life gets overwhelming. I started having uncomfortable peri-menopause symptoms about 6 months ago – honestly, it nearly drove me crazy ….. just like that east wind which I don’t miss one little bit! My Dr put me on a low dose of an anti-depressant to help with peri-menopause systems – within 7 days I was back to my normal self and very happy about it too. I can’t take regular hormonal medication because I am a migraine sufferer – see your Dr if things get too bad and you can’t control it with exercise and supplements. Have a wonderful day.

  4. I went through menopause at 40 and I was done at 43 so I understand what you are going through. I never took hormones as I wanted to approach it naturally and not put myself or my body through the risk of taking hormones. For the sleeplessness I used Melatonin tablets which are all natural and can be purchased easily at your local store. I also prayed a lot and took time to rest in God and allow Him to help me through the process. I think your method of journal writing is very helpful for everyday life as well. Sometimes we just need to put things in their respective places to be able to let them go. May. Your journey through this time of your life be a blessed and wonderful time for you. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friends. It is always hard to let go of those we love. Blessings to you my friend.

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