Scream Good at The Monkeys!!*

*this will make sense at the end

Between summer camps and general summer stuff, I haven’t been able to take my normal Monday evenings like I used to and it has definitely showed. I’m more irritable, weepy, and generally unhappy. My bucket is empty and from what I’ve heard, you can’t pour from an empty bucket.

Early in our marriage, 15 years ago, someone gave us the advice to have a night out to do our own thing. A night to get out of the house to read, socialize, just drive around, anything to get recharged. That has been the best advice and we still do this. His night is Tuesday nights and mine is Monday nights. He goes to a friend’s house and plays Dungeon and Dragons, killing trolls, kobolds and…well…dragons. That’s how he gets refilled.

I, on the other hand, spend 24/7 with my kids. I absolutely love them and I can tell when my bucket is getting empty. In the past, I have hung out with friends, gone to a movie alone, just drive around with the radio wide open, or laid in my bed, in my pajamas with the beer and closed the door and watched Netflix. Lately my favorite way to recharge by going to Jittery Joe’s, alone, drinking coffee and playing on my computer. This is usually when I do blog stuff. Because, it always happens, when I get focused on doing something, someone will spill something, knock over a computer, or can’t find something vital, like a sock!

I’m not the most social person. I think I’m a nice person but, generally, people don’t recharge me. I’m much more of an introvert. If I have a day where I’m alone in my garage, just me and my miter saw building something, best day ever! Put some 90’s Alternative on or 90’s Country Music and suddenly 4 hours have passed and my kids are starving. And, yes, I can go seamlessly from Jo Dee Messina to the Foo Fighters, no problem!

I realize people are a necessity at times and there are times I crave human interactions but more often than not, I’m more at peace with myself. But, believe me, there are times when the “crazy monkey thoughts” in my head aren’t good and being alone isn’t be best thing for me. Crazy Monkey Thoughts can be really loud and hard to ignore. I heard someone describe them as this and it makes sense. The Crazy Monkeys usually get crazy at night, turn on the DVD player really loud and replay all your day’s failures, stupid things you said and regrets. The things they replay and say sound true but it’s usually lies, from the dark part of my brain. I’m a fairly “happy go lucky” person but these monkeys can get to me and bring me down. I start to believe them and I can spiral. For me, it’s when too much is going on and I don’t give myself a chance to recharge, rebuild my defenses, strengthen my brain a bit.

The problem is,I can be oblivious, thinking I’m stronger than I am, that I don’t need this time, I’ll be okay. It almost always my own fault for not taking the time. My husband and kids will force me out of the house because they know they will reap the benefits of a happier, less snappy mom and wife. In 15 years, I don’t think my husband has ever said something was more important than a night out. It is always a priority! I do the same for him. His night out is a priority!

Speaking of people and family. I think my intorvertedness (not sure if it’s a word or not so I’ll go with it) makes me….the definition I think is selfish but it feels like, that if I don’t need/want people, they don’t need me. Why would they? I’m just me and there are so many people out there better at X than me. (MONKEY TALK!!) I know this isn’t true. I’m unique and, sometimes I’m the only person than can fill a particular need in someone’s life. Ugh, that was really tough to type because I don’t always believe that. I *know* it in my head, but it’s never my first thought.

I am lucky enough to have people in my life who, without knowing what they do, help my battle my crazy monkeys.  I’m conscious of this and try to be around people that are healthy for me. I try to be mindful of things they say and this is louder than my thoughts. 

One of my favorite books is The 4:8 Principle by Thomas Newberry. Not to spoil it, but basically, you can’t just sweep thoughts out of your head, you have to replace bad with good. Replace it with whatever is true, whatever is noble, right and pure, think about these things. Mantra’s work really well to chase off the Monkeys. Repeat something that clicks with you, something you know to be good and true. Scream it in your head, scream it louder than the Monkeys! If you need to get in your car and scream it, do it! Scream what is true, scream louder than the lies!

This post started out as ramblings, I had a bunch of pictures to catch up on and show what’s been going on with the farm. I’ll do those later.  WOW! Rereading this…this was not the plan. I was going to post pictures of zinnias, blackbarries, maybe rice wine I’m currently making. Isn’t it interesting how a post can evolve and take on a life of it’s own.

I think I needed to get this out for my sake and remind myself of these things. Maybe it can help someone else, I hope so. There’s a lot going on with our lives, we are all busy. We need to make sure we keep ourselves filled with whatever recharges us. 

So, to sum up, find good, remember the good, scream the good you find, read and hear. Be aware of the Crazy Lying Monkeys and Scream the good at them. Take care of yourself, people need us even when we think they don’t. Someone will need to be given to out of your bucket, make sure it’s not empty. 

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