When I overheard my daughter telling someone that her “PJ game was strong,” I had to laugh. I thought, “Right now, that’s true for everyone.” Gone are the days of dressing up and going out. Now, a big outing is masking up for a run to the grocery store, then back home for a night of cooking or lounging in freshly washed PJ’s with a good book, hard puzzle, or mini-series on the boob tube (that’s a TV for you youngsters).
In some ways it has been a nice reprieve from the hectic obligations of a life full of work and play. But in other ways it has brought on isolation and a sedentary lifestyle and that is not so nice. Couple those last two things with sunlight deprivation and you have a recipe for depression.
Like many of us, I have used this sheltering in place as an opportunity to clean out closets, drawers, and even the attic. During one such chore, I came across a little, 68-page book titled As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, published in 1903. After reading a few pages, I deduced it belonged to my mother (a life-long warrior against anxiety and depression). Born with a heart murmur and raging allergies, before the development of penicillin, antihistamines, or antidepressants, mother lived her 94 years with a body that emitted neurological distress signals that caused habitual and unjustified fight or flight angst.
I was never more aware of her struggle as when I cleaned out her home a decade ago. I found little self-help notes taped everywhere. They were stuck to mirrors and windows, taped on frequently used tables, saved in books and recipe boxes. And she had mountains of daily readings, writings, and stacks of self-help books in every corner of every room.
Mother Knows Best
Book in hand and curiosity peaked, I Googled the author, James Allen, and found this quote describing his little book as “… [dealing] with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues.” He went on to say, “A book that will help you to help yourself,” “A pocket companion for thoughtful people,” and “A book on the power and right application of thought.”
Do It For Yourself
This little jewel of a book was kept safe from my purge and, although I have not read the whole book, I did put it in a place of prominence … the bathroom! Now, when I sit for a moment, I pick it up and read a few encouraging words before resuming my strong PJ game while donning a pearl necklace and lipstick (try it).
Another one of my daughter’s tips from her late grandmother: “Just put on pants, it will make you feel better.”