You can't put a price on a good therapist. Well, actually you can, they're hard to find, they're expensive because there's not likely insurance... but I can't even tell you how happy I am with the one I have. I had an extended break with her while she was on leave for her baby, but resumed with her today. As is often the case, talking through things with her leads to important realizations near the end of the hour.
The thing that I probably struggle most with is the ability to live in the moment without a lot of things mentally interfering. I'm typically using brain cycles to think about the usual things, like parenting or work, and sometimes more long-term things, like retirement, my health and such. This is why, I think, I find myself mentally exhausted more often than not, and that's not a great way to exist. So my therapist asked me, when are you in the moment. I told here there are lots of shorter moments, like when I'm hyperfocused on things that I'm interested in, or at a show. And there are longer moments when I'm on a cruise, for example. She wanted to unpack that a bit. It's easy to shortcut the reasoning for cruise lust as the result of familiarity or routine, but it's not that at all. It's one of the only times where I am truly free from making any decisions. At all. I don't need to figure out how I'm going to eat, or what my kid is going to eat. There are no financial decisions because it's already paid for (well, aside from beverages). I'm given entertainment. I don't have to decide anything, I can just be there, in the moment.
That seems like escapism, which for some reason in American culture is considered bad, or a personality flaw or something. I don't think it's escapism in this case, as much as it is the right environment to not be concerned with all the things (for me at least). I'm at my most content and enjoying the moment if I stop having to make decisions. If I distill it down to that, it's kind of a breakthrough for me. I understand the conditions under which I can be more present, even if I'm not sure how to create those conditions. That's a big deal to me. I feel like, for the last five or six years, I've been on high alert most of the time, and I'm exhausted. The reasons are well understood, most of which I'm not going to get into here, but if I can't entirely eliminate those, perhaps I can create conditions that get me to more regular relief, free of decision making.
It's progress. I don't know how I ended up in a place where I always felt so spent and rarely able to enjoy the moment. I can't be on a cruise or at a show 24/7, so I have to figure out what else I can do to put the decision stream aside when I don't need it.