I have been taking a train into the city each Wednesday when I visit the psychiatrist. The reason being is that I really dislike the drive home from the session. The traffic is peak hour and it is just stop start for most of the way. As I drive a manual, I spend the time going from first to second to third gear and back down again.
It is kind of a good thing to catch a train. I get to sit on a seat, look out of the window and intermittently poke at my phone. Now and then I listen to music. I am not a people watcher these days. It is preferable to avoid eye contact unless absolutely necessary. Not that anyone makes eye contact with me since I became invisible (aka got older). Then I hop off the train and make the long trek towards the psych’s office. It takes twenty minutes at a brisk pace. So, that is 30 mins train ride there, 20 minutes walk to the office, 20 minutes walk back to the train station and then home. I have to account for the late or cancelled trains as well. That means that all up it takes me almost two hours to get to the psych. Then a 45 minute session. 2.45 hours. Plus I walk around 7km’s all up.
That is a lot of travel to talk to Dr T and generally come out of there feeling shite. I have been told that it is good to feel bad during therapy.
Anyways, last week was not a fun session. I missed the train in. When the train arrived in the city, my carriage was about as far from the normal exit as it could be. Rather than bolt along the platform to take the usual exit out, I decided to use another exit and found myself somewhere unfamiliar. I kept walking in a vague direction figuring that eventually I would find my usual path. As it was, I ended up behind the art gallery which meant I had to walk up lots of stairs to get back on track. Needless to say I was running late and by the time I got to the psych I was highly agitated. To top it off, the session was only half an hour as I was late.
There is a reason for telling this story. On the way back to the train station I noticed a burger truck parked in front of the art gallery. Melbourne has loads of fantastic food trucks around and this one looked very inviting. Just as I passed it I stopped and thought to myself how nice it would be to have a cheeseburger. A freshly cooked, tasty and hot cheeseburger. I never eat meaty burgers. In fact, I generally do not eat red meat. As I stood for a minute thinking about whether or not to get the burger, I recalled the dinner waiting for me at home. I had cooked it the night beforehand. It was tofu stir fry with rice and some token vegetables.
Hmmmm, burger or tofu? Tofu or burger? Naturally, I bought the cheese burger. Then I sat on a step and ate it. It was nighttime by then, the city was a twinkling picture before me. When I bit into the cheeseburger it was a most amazing experience. It put all the stress behind me and I was at one with the city lights, the tasty burger, the passing people and the stone cold step I was perched upon. It did not matter that during the night my stomach felt uncomfortably full or that the next day I was still too full to eat breakfast. That cheeseburger hit the spot and soothed my soul in the process.
Times Square – New York 2011. Look for an orange beanie. I am wearing it.
That hamburger episode reminded me how small things can change a mindset. Change the dynamics of an event. Now when I think of that rushing around, missing the train and being late at the psych, it is kind of funny as it ended in my sitting on a step eating a burger amongst the bright lights of the city.
It is important to keep that thought. Good days can morph to crappy days and vice versa.
Little things make a difference.
Cheese burgers are great.