I took a day off yesterday, a break from all the daily chaos and "noise" that usually floods my life. And the day went really fast, but at several points I realized how relaxed I was and it felt great.
I have been neglecting this blog! I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I my inappropriate use of the company computer was addressed, and I was told I need to keep busy doing "optically-related things". To be fair, I got busted on Facebook, the mother of all workplace evils. But to my credit, I was on an optical page. It just happened to be for my former employer and all I did was say that the optical cartoon they had posted was funny. But my proverbial wrist-slapping led to me feeling like I am being constantly monitored, so blogging at work is likely going to be a thing of the past, even though I can go hours and hours without a customer. Sigh. And I can type posts from my iPhone, but they don't always transmit and I'm not always aware that they didn't until I go back a couple weeks later and discover it.
As usual, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and thinking about my journey. Was it really a year ago that I was celebrating a year of trying??! There hasn't been much productive output in the past year. College has really interfered with my life so much, and I don't really give it all the effort that I should. In fact, I think I got to a point with the stress of it overwhelming me so much that I had no choice but to go the opposite direction, and now have become a little too lax in some ways. For instance, right now I am not caught up with my reading in statistics, and I have always been at least half a chapter ahead. And for my other class, Intro to Social Work, I haven't read several chapters because the instructor gives us a study guide of what we need to know before the exams, and she even made our last test a take-home test. I know I should be putting more effort into this class, but I know I'll get an A with very little effort, so my energy will be used elsewhere. So as I was contemplating the past two years this morning, I realized the pattern of jumping into things with both feet when I feel strong, then feeling completely overwhelmed and out of control once the change of routine hits me. It is constantly a balancing act. My house has not been satisfactorily cleaned since the end of August. When I get free time I have way too many things vying for my time, my husband, my kids, my poor house, my homework, outside of class projects like conducting surveys and agency interviews/preparing presentations, and planning for an eventual move. This semester has been extra complicated because of all the extra driving back and forth to school during my work day, and trying to research and implement the switch to online schooling. I have done my research and have decided to switch to an online degree through the same university, now the tough part is getting the person who coordinates the program to stop playing phone tag with me and tell me what to do next. I am really welcoming the idea of not having to do all that extra driving when the roads are bad.
I haven't been to the gym in nearly two weeks, and I don't have any good excuse other than its cold and dark out there at that time of morning. But the snow will be here before I know it, and my own anxiety of driving in it will be a huge enough obstacle for me. I'm grateful that my gym is only a few miles from home, but the city doesn't keep up with overnight snowfall as nicely as I wish it would. But even as I think ahead to cleaning off my car at 4:45 am and slipping off to the gym full of determination and persistence, it feels good to know that I can make it work, I can make ANYTHING work, if I believe I can, and don't react too irrationally or emotionally. Last week when it looked like we were going to get some slippery rain/snow/freezing rain mess, I started reacting to it by complaining and being dramatically grumpy, but it turned out to be nothing, and once again reminded me that some things don't need to be stressed over until there's a reason to stress. I will trying to remember that this winter, but I have also started researching affordable places to live in California. Turns out there are many, and it has me dreaming about a spring 2014 move to a palm tree-laden, sunny and snowless paradise!
My diet has been really on-track this week, even though I've had several opportunities to "cheat". Last night my kids begged me to stop and get them something from McDonalds and I did, it crossed my mind that I could eat something and hide the evidence. But when it came down to it, the only thing that sounded good to me was a Diet Coke, and that's what I got. It helped tremendously that I'd eaten some cottage cheese shortly before that and it tasted awesome to me. Sometimes it is so effortless to eat clean, and other times I struggle with every bite I take. My major change right now is that I've cut out meat this week. I was finding that part of my problem is that I make turkey or chicken based meals for at work, but I'm so certain they'll taste aweful or have mysteriously hard to chew bits that I opt for a protein bar as I dash off to class. Sure, it could be worse, but I've been using protein bars as meal replacements simply because in disgusted at the thought of eating what I'd prepared. So this week for lunch I'm eating egg salad wraps and I have no problem eating that, even look forward to lunch. Dinner this week has been cottage cheese. Not going to break any nutrition records but healthier than what I've been eating since school started. After not having any McDonalds last night I was in a fantastic mood. I hadn't made a serious effort to "start over", that seems oh so very dramatic, but right now I have one thing in order, and it feels good to feel in control again. Perhaps it is stemming from the vacation from stress I get when I research a move to California, a long-time dream of mine. Maybe it's due to my being fed up with how I feel, so old and tired and constantly stressed out. Maybe I'm realizing the shift in priorities is absolutely paramount to sustaining any kind of worthwhile life. I don't want to always be broken, brow always wrinkled with stress, always ALWAYS worried about the multitude of obligations, real or imagined. All of those things will be meaningless if I am too feeble or handicapped to address them. And being obese does handicap me, mentally and physically. I'm not ready to make some grand, dramatic statement about starting over or jumping in with my dukes up. Just thinking about longevity and the pathway to being happier. Less stress, less junk, less noise. The silence of that mental image is really inviting. The figuring out how to achieve it is not unobtainable. I know good things are in store for me and that, in my opinion, is the best way to start moving forward.
Happiest of Thursdays to any of my dear readers who are still with me!