Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Blues

This time of year is typically pretty rough for me.
I'm sure a lot of people struggle from the same affliction.
I always wonder if I would be more even keeled if I lived in California...or Hawaii.
I think yes...especially if I were independently wealthy, and could just enjoy a leisurely life on the beach.
However, reality doesn't seem to be offering that option up, so I will stay here in the frozen tundra, attempting to pay off this ridiculous mortgage until I'm 90.
Considering the fact that I have accumulated my own library of 'self-help' books, not to mention the fact that I used to go to a therapist on a pretty regular basis, because I LOVED to talk with her, and would walk out of her office feeling like this empowered woman who could take on the world, I have become really good at analyzing myself.
Too bad I didn't figure all of this out about 20 years ago...but I suppose it's a good thing I'm finally getting a grip on it now.
Obviously, there is always a crazy, stress-filled build up prior to Christmas.
Being an adrenaline junkie, I thrive on that.  (Not as much now, but I used to LOVE the crazy chaos of it all.)
Typically, it would start in October, and go through December.
So, when January arrived, it felt like a big let-down.
And that's when the blues would set in.
I think this has gotten worse since I quit teaching.
Even though I always dreaded going back to work after Christmas least I had something that was keeping me busy.
Now...I have quite a bit of down time, and I am noticing some patterns that have occurred in the past.
During the last couple of winters, I fell into the "black hole" (as I refer to it) and really struggled to get out.  
It's that place where you have no desire to do anything.
I literally would stay in my bed all day, and the only thing that got me out of there was knowing Mark was on his way home from work, and I didn't want him to know that I never got out of bed that day.
My friend would call and try to get me to go out with her to lunch...or anything...just to get me out of the house.
I always came up with an excuse.
I just wanted to sleep...or watch tv.
I didn't want to leave my room.

I only left the house when it was absolutely necessary (like I had to go to work.)
Otherwise, I was completely worthless.
The worst part was my husband had no idea what was going on.
He just thought I was being super lazy, and not doing anything to help out around the house.
He never knew how miserable I actually was.
Obviously, he either wasn't paying much attention, or I'm a really good actor.
It took a long time to work my way out of that hole.  Once you are down there, it's hard to get out.  It's hard to find the energy to get out.
Needless to say...I'm scared of falling back in.
The other day, when my husband and I were having our "spat" I was not handling it well.  What should have been something that was just talked about and resolved ended up being a day long ordeal.
Then I came home later that night, and checked my e-mail.
I subscribe to "webMD" and there was an article entitled:
"Warning Signs of a Depression Relapse."
It listed 11 things to look for.
I was experiencing 10 of them.
So, that set me off again.
(I should mention that, NO, I am not suffering from PMS.)
If I were ever going to audition for a soap opera, this would be the week to do it.  I could totally cry on cue.
But it's more than just sadness that hits me out of nowhere.
(Like when I'm watching Rehab Addict...the HGTV shows where Nicole Curtis rehabs old houses.  Yeah...bawled three times over that yesterday.)
Thursday afternoon, Mark had set up an appointment with an accountant for us.
It was our first visit, so I wasn't quite sure where the office was.
It was snowing, the roads weren't good, and of course, it starts getting dark at, what, noon?
Anyway, I went to the wrong place...(two buildings down) then turned into the wrong parking lot, right next door (because the plow had gone through, and you couldn't even tell where the actual lot entrances even were), and finally, ended up where I needed to be, 15 minutes late.
Normally, I would just have been a little annoyed and apologetic.
Instead, I was on the verge of a complete breakdown.
It took everything in me not to burst into tears, and completely lose it.
Okay.  This is not normal.
Luckily, we had a few minutes in the office alone before the guy came in to meet with I was able to pull it together....but seriously?!
And then there is the matter of my new found inability to chill.
For the past couple weeks, I have been in crazy-person manic mode.
I can be perfectly happy, and things are going along fine, but one wrong word or action can just hit me the wrong way, and I snap.
I'm like the german shepherd who is nuzzling up against the child who is petting it, but one tug on my fur, and I bite your ear off.
Pleasant, right?
I am glad I can make light of it (I chose to wait until I was in a good mood to write today....I didn't want this post to be depressing to read too!)
and it's not as though I spend my entire day moping around the house crying.
However, when feelings of overwhelming sadness or hopelessness take over, it can be really scary.  Especially when you don't know why.
I was talking with Mark about this, and he asked if he was the cause.
(We do this all the time.  If the other is acting weird, we automatically assume that we were the one who caused it, because we must have done something wrong...right? Of course, sometimes he IS the cause...but I was nice and said no.

It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't experience this on a regular basis what it's like for those "blue" feelings to take over.
I really try to find ways to deflate them, or focus on other things...but it doesn't always work.  
I was reading an article about the correlation between clutter and depression...and how clutter can actually trigger depression. 
(Which I believe 100%)
I know that if my space is a disaster, my mood and state of mind is too.
I never stay in bed all day anymore, because I now love the space I created in our living area.  It is calm and serene...which has made all the difference in the world for me.
My bedroom used to be that sanctuary for me.
I am really glad that has changed.
I will continue my baby steps.
Hopefully my organizing and purging will have an effect on my "blues."
The exercise room will hopefully be put together this weekend, which should also be a step in the right direction, as far as battling the seasonal depression.
If all else fails...I have a chocolate stash and a bottle of wine.
If you can't solve the problem, you might as well mask it for awhile, right?

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Dreaded List

Do you remember when you were a teenager, and how screwed up your sleep schedule would get over the summer, or even Christmas break?
(Assuming you had parents that allowed that to happen.)
As a teenager, I was at my happiest when my mother worked full time.
This meant she wasn't around to tell me what to do.
Like get out of bed.
She had magic powers, of course, and still was able to maintain control over her kingdom from afar.
Once I would drag my lazy butt upstairs (my sister Kris and I had the pleasure of sharing a bedroom in the basement.  More about that in a minute) there would ALWAYS be a list.
Did you grow up with "lists?"
I hated the list.
There were always several items that we house slaves were to have completed by the time she got home for lunch.
We always saved the "fold clothes" job until 11:00, when "The Young and the Restless" came on.
And we would drag those couple of baskets of clothes out for the entire hour.
Actually, it was more like we would sit and watch TV until we heard her car, and then yell "O crap!  Mom's home!  Pretend you are busy!!"
This was often accompanied by
"Oh crap!  Hide your pepsi!!"
(We weren't allowed to drink pop without permission.)
Now that I think about it...I don't think we were allowed to do anything without permission.
Except clean, of course.
My sister Kris was the keeper of the peace.  She was also a very good "list completer."  I would often bribe her with whatever I could come up with to get her to do my jobs too.
(To this day, she lives in a spotless home.  We don't need to talk about mine.  We all know about my housekeeping skills.)
She also knew how to get along with mom.
Smile, nod, don't talk back, do what you are told, play the "mother is always right" game.
I, on the other hand, chose a different philosophy.
Smirk, cock your head to one side, be sassy, do the opposite of what you are told, and play the "you just try to get me to do that" game.
I will admit, I did not find a lot of success with my method.
As I mentioned, Kris and I shared a room.
Up until I was in 8th grade, we lived in a big old farm house, were we all had our own rooms.  Then we moved to the farm where my grandparents had lived.  My parents renovated it a little bit, turned three small bedrooms into two, and in the basement, put up some walls, and created a bedroom, living room and bathroom.  
Not only did I have to share a room during the time in my life when I REALLY wanted to be left alone, and have some privacy...but my parents decided to buy us a bedroom set too.  With a queen sized bed.
Seriously?!  What were they thinking?
So, I went into high school, sharing a bed with my little sister.
It wasn't awful, but the fact that we were complete opposites when it came to sleep/wake habits made it challenging.
I liked to stay up late reading.....which meant the light mounted on the bookcase over the bed kept her awake at night.
She liked to get up early...and every morning she would start organizing her stuff for the day in plastic grocery bags. (She still LOVES organizing her bags....but she has moved on from plastic.) I would be trying to sleep, and she would turn on the lights, and be rustling non-stop in those damn bags.
We drove each other nuts.

She was perky in the morning....I was a disaster.
(This has not changed.)
Emily is 8 years younger than I am...and when I look back, I barely remember her place in all of this.  Her bedroom was upstairs, and I tended to just hibernate in my basement cave.  I only went upstairs to eat and play the piano.
Her role was to sit on the steps when we had our boyfriends over and be as annoying as she possibly could.  
(My mother would send her down to "babysit" us.)
It was effective.
I totally do the same thing when my daughter has her boyfriend over.
My poor son....he has been the third wheel during so many of their movies, and even some dates!
What made me think of all of this, is the fact that I haven't changed a bit.
I still do the same things.
I stay up late at night reading (only now it's my husband who is dealing with the light keeping him awake.)
Luckily, he has no desire to rustle around with plastic bags in our bedroom in the morning.  (He probably knows I would smother him with one if he did.)
I am pretty sure that if someone tried my mother's approach to "getting me to do something" on reaction would be exactly the same.
In fact, when Mark goes into "teacher mode" or "parent mode" on me...I slip right back into "teenager mode."
Complete with crossed arms, eye rolling, sassy back-talk, and doing exactly the opposite of what he just told me to do.
Because I don't need someone telling me what to do, thank you very much!
(I prefer being asked.)
And daughter reacts exactly the same way I do.
And it makes me crazy.

I have also found in the very few times he has ever raised his voice at me that I turn right back into that insecure little girl who lived with a mom that liked to yell.  Isn't it interesting how you never really let go of certain things from your past?
I had never really heard him yell before, and one day I had him come with me when I had the entire 6, 7, and 8th grade choirs together in one room for a big concert thing I was doing.  As expected, they were all wound up, and soooo loud.
My voice is not intimidating, nor does it carry over the volume of 200 kids, so I asked him if he could try to quiet them down for me.
What came out of that guy's mouth shut them up all right...and I had to take a moment, because he literally scared me half to death.
I made a little pact with myself that day to never get him really mad at me.
So, to summarize, all I want is to be able to stay up as late as I want, sleep in as late as I want, have no one ever tell me what to do, never get yelled at by anyone, never be bothered while I'm sleeping, and never have to deal with a middle school choir again.
I mean really, is this too much to ask?
If you don't mind, I would like to add:
Get paid to stay at home and do stuff.
"Stuff" being defined as: whatever I come up with that day.
Or: nothing.
I am pretty sure you would agree that that is a beautiful job description.
I will let you know when I find a company that will pay me to do that.
I'm sure it will be any day now.

But, for now, I must trudge through wind and snow, and pick up my children, who have deemed themselves too fragile for the bus.
Oh yes....30 minutes on the bus=a headache, pure crankiness, and utter misery.
And those are just MY symptoms after they arrive home!

As I continue to take baby steps toward my goals...I will add "learn how to be a grown up, aka: quit the teenage tendencies" to my list.
In other words, I will try to go to bed at a decent hour tonight, and see if I can be more productive tomorrow.
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Reset Button

This week has been an excellent example of the fact that I should never make assumptions about how I think my day will go.
I have gone to bed with a clear picture of what I planned to accomplish the following day in my head...and so far, each day has thrown me for a bit of a loop.
Maybe next week I will just plan on laying in bed and watching TV all day.
Who could be my most productive week yet!
I was excited for Wednesday's "snow-day." 
It's not often that I get a weekday to spend with my husband.
I knew the kids would probably sleep in until noon, and then just be lazy the rest of the day, so I wasn't too worried about them driving me crazy.
Before I had even gotten out of bed, things were off to a bad start.
There was a misinterpreted text, which led to a misunderstanding, which led to an argument, which just opened an old "can of worms" which, pretty much, ruined the whole day.

Isn't it crazy how something so small and stupid can turn into an hour of re-hashing old issues that should just stay buried, because it really is dumb to fight over the same old crap over and over again anyway.
I think it would be super handy if, at every wedding, couples would receive a "reset" button.  This could be used in the event of a reoccurring argument.  You simply hit the "reset" button...and the argument is over and forgotten...never to be brought up again.
Why do we do that anyway?
I know there are some things that I have never let go of.  Just some stupid things that my husband has done over the course of our relationship that I will never forget, and that I like to use as ammunition (when it comes in handy.)
He, of course, also has his arsenal handy as well.
I would say that 90% of the time, when we get into an argument...we will forget about what we were originally fighting about, and it will become a fight about something that happened 10 years ago....because that is relevant. Ugh.
It's so ridiculous, and stupid.
But, obviously, we don't feel that it's ever been resolved, or, perhaps we don't feel that we have adequately gotten our point across, and need to rehash it yet again, for the 526th time.
There should also be a mandatory manual handed out before each marriage entitled "Do You Know What the Hell You Are Getting Yourself Into Here?!"
I will happily author this, of course. :)
That would be one fun manual to write!!
Anyway...I spent yesterday in the basement, sorting through the nightmare, otherwise known as my craft/laundry room.
I listened to one of James Patterson's "Alex Cross" books on CD while I sorted and cleaned.  I made a dent in the back half of the room.  I can't even begin to tell you how much stuff there is to wade through in there.  It's going to take me at least three books to get through it all.
It was therapeutic though...because I did a lot of thinking while sorting. (I don't think I paid very much attention to what was going on in the story...which isn't a big deal...since they are all pretty much the same anyway.)
I did think a lot about the whole institution of marriage however.  
There really is a fine line between taking care of yourself and your needs, and making sure your spouse's needs are being met.
Where do you draw that line?

We really struggled for a long time, because I was such an extrovert, while my husband was an introvert.  I loved everything social, and he shied away from that.
When we would go out together (which was rare) he would feel very left out, because I would typically be making the rounds, so to speak, saying hi to everyone, while he would hang behind.  I was at fault for not being more inclusive and dragging him along with me...but he didn't make an effort to meet anyone, so I didn't want to force the issue.  It got to the point where he would just prefer to stay home, and I would go out without him.
Obviously, this wasn't healthy for our relationship.
Then, I started staying home, in an attempt to strengthen things between us...which kind of killed that outgoing, enthusiastic side of my spirit.
Either way, it felt like I was giving something up.
I would say I have become much more introverted in the past year or two, and spend a lot more time at home.
I really am fine with this, though at times, I wonder if I subconsciously harbor a little resentment because I definitely feel like the spontaneous, adventurous side of me is gone.
I probably act a lot more like a "grown-up" now...which is a good thing, I suppose?  However, I am definitely a lot more boring to be around. (Maybe this is a good thing too?)
One thing I do know is that I have definitely tried to put my marriage back on the front burner again.
I think it's pretty easy to let it simmer on the back burner...especially after 19 years.  It becomes routine, and you just kind of deal with the ebb and flow of it.
You would think at some point you'd figure out how to read each other's minds...but for some reason...that just doesn't happen.
You would also think that it would get easier as the years go by.
I guess in some ways, it does...but in others, not so much.
I am finding that communication is even more important now than ever.
We just assume we know how the other person is feeling, but often times, we don't have a clue.  
The thing that has been the biggest surprise for me is my husband's insecurity.
I am married to this super good looking guy, who has gained maybe 10 pounds since high school, and still has a full head of hair.  I mean, seriously....what does he have to be insecure about?  When we were younger, his students would always come up to me and tell me how they all thought he was super hot.  (He was completely clueless about this...which I found hilarious.  I think this is part of his charm...he has no idea how cute he is.)  Anyway, it NEVER occurred to me that this man could ever feel insecure.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that he does. I never felt like I needed to let him know that how attractive I think he is...because I just assumed he knew that.  I'm glad I found out how he really feels.  Once again, communication is the key.

And...even when they are driving you nuts, and you want to strangle them, remember that they are feeling all of the same things you are.
So, hold them, love them, and accept them...even with all of their flaws.
In the end....they make you whole.
Have a great Thursday. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Headaches and Housework

Monday, I battled with time...
Tuesday arrived....with a gigantic headache.
Actually, I have had one for the past week or so.
Most of them have been the kind I can get rid of in a few hours...after some major drugging, lots of hydrating, a hot bath, and food.
They don't go away completely...but they are manageable.
Tuesday's headache decided to just hang on.
And brought along with it just an all over feeling of yuck.
I have no time for yuck right now.
I have things to get done.
I decided I would just hop in the tub right away...and hopefully I would just feel better.
That didn't work at all.
Laying down wasn't an option.
This house had to be worked on...or I would, indeed, lose my mind.
I started picking away at it...and had some moments of feeling completely overwhelmed.
At one point, I just sat on the floor, and cried to the dogs about it.
They listened patiently...but offered no advice, or help, for that matter.
So, I carried on.
Each time I felt like I was going to keel over and die, I would grab my water bottle, sit for a the "head between the knees" thing if necessary, (I knew if I passed out, my dogs would be of absolutely no help, so that wasn't an option either.)
Eventually...HOURS later, I started making some progress.
Or at least...I could SEE the progress I was making.
Thank God, because I needed a calm space in this house, or I was going to lose my mind.

I haven't seen the top of the table for two weeks.

Now...if only I could solve my "work area" issue.
(There will be no pictures of that disaster today.)
Baby steps, right?
Isn't it interesting how feeling under the weather messes with your motivation mojo?

Speaking of weather....the big discussion in my house is the temperature for Wednesday.
And, of course....the big question:
"Do you think they will cancel school?!"

That was the one perk when we lived in Prairie du Chein.....we got lots of snow days!  (Yes, teachers love them as much as the kids do!)
Well, we did, anyway.

Then, we moved to the cities....where it could be -90, and there could be 20 feet of snow...and we would still have school.
That sucked.
I guess by the time I post this...we will have our answer.
I know I will have three very happy people in my house if it is a YES.
Lexie is currently in her bed feeling crappy maybe a snow day wouldn't be such a bad thing.
I think we all need a recovery day from our Christmas break.
All I know is that if these people I live with are home today...they better not mess up what I spent all day cleaning....or they will really wish that they were in school.
Have a great Wednesday....and stay warm!

*And the update is in:  My home will indeed be invaded by a husband and two teenagers today.  I may lock myself in my disaster of a "craft/laundry" room and see if I can make some progress down there...where no one can find (bother) me. ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Stuck..but still stepping

Monday was a bust.
Don't you hate it when your plan doesn't pan out?
I didn't even self-sabatoage...which is typically why my Mondays go down in flames.
I stayed far away from my bed, and I never turned on the TV.
I even made a list...clipped coupons, and was well prepared before heading out to run errands.
My objective: to find a cute, yet functional file cabinet type thingy to put beside my desk, that would also serve as a shelf/table to set my printer on.
My desk is currently filled to capacity, both inside the drawers, as well as the space on top.
Since I am in my "get organized" phase, well, I'm trying to get organized...and make my work space look less cluttered.
So, I headed out into the frozen tundra, braving the cold and potential snow, on my quest for the perfect office furniture.
(I also needed other I was on a mission.)
I recalled seeing some cute filing cabinets at TJMaxx not too long that is where I began.
I found a metal umbrella holder that will work beautifully as a wrapping paper container.
I found a faux fur throw that was on clearance, and makes my couch even MORE cozy.
I found truffles and my favorite mint chocolates on clearance (that I have no plans to tell anyone in my family about) that I can stash and have on hand for when chocolate emergencies may arise.
But I found NO filing cabinets, or anything that would work at all.
On to Target.
There HAD to be something at Target that would work.
There is ALWAYS something at Target.
I filled up my cart with cleaning supplies, and other various products we were out of, or things I had great coupons for that were worth stocking up on.
I found a couple bookshelves that could potentially work....but nothing that was perfect.
And I still needed to get groceries.
Not to mention the fact that this was my day to tackle the housecleaning and laundry.
So...I headed home to drop off this stuff...and decide what to do next.
Should I clean, or should I shop?
(I always look for a reason to NOT grocery shop.)
Of course, knowing we were supposed to get snow, the thought of having no food in the house, and having to trudge through the cold AND snow
the next day sounded even less appealing than going now.
Then I looked at the time.
How on earth was it already 2:00?!!
I opted to start cleaning, and would make Mark shop with me later.
(If you bring a shopping partner, you don't have to carry the groceries in alone!)
20 minutes into my cleaning, I get a text:
"Mom...can you pick us up after school?"
(It never fails.)
30 minutes later, I was back in the car...picking up my spoiled children who hate riding the bus.
Since we were driving by the grocery store anyway...we stopped, and got that mess out of the way.
$300 later (AGH!) we were on our way home.
I should NEVER take them with me.  The bill is always at least $50 more when they come along.
I realize this when I start unpacking horrendous things like those nasty orange circus peanuts, and fruit roll ups, and weird cereals.  Obviously, while I am off getting what we need...they are adding what they want to the cart.
Circus peanuts?!  Gross.
The point:
My house is still a disaster...only now there is even more stuff in it.
But, on the bright side, we have food.
Including those disgusting circus peanuts.
Rather than use my free evening to catch up on the housework I didn't get done during the day, I opted to watch TV instead.
This didn't exactly work to my advantage, because I wound up falling asleep on the couch at 7:00.
Taking at nap at 7pm is never a good idea.
Especially if your plan is to "get a good night's sleep, and start fresh again tomorrow!"
So, here I am, once again sitting at the computer at midnight, wondering if there will ever come a day when I get my #$*^ figured out.
Considering the fact that I am 42 years old, and I haven't 
done so yet, I'm guessing that the answer is 
"no, not likely."
But...I can accept my fate.
I will continue to plug along...and maybe one of these days, something will click.
Until then, the "self-help book" industry will continue to make a mint off of me,
and my sleep schedule will continue to be erratic.
However, those baby steps I'm taking keep moving forward, not backward...
so every step is a step in the right direction.
Somedays I may only walk a few steps....but today...I might run.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 5, 2015

In the "Now"

Here we go!!
Are you ready for Monday?

I love Mondays.
I love being able to love Mondays.
It's really nice, considering I endured 33 years, give or take, of hating Mondays.
It's so nice to have such a good relationship with this day now.
After a weekend (or in this case, nearly two weeks) filled with noise and all of the joys that teenagers bring...I finally have my house to myself again.
This is the one day of the week that I have carved out for getting things done.
(Or, if need be, to stay in bed all day.)
This is not an option today. (It really isn't an option most Mondays...but it still does occur on occasion.)
I have been working on my "to-do" list for the past few days.
It is slightly overwhelming...but also a little exciting.
I have a bunch of new projects in the works.
I have been staring at my current disaster of a house, plotting some furniture rearranging, and doing some organizational brainstorming.
My house would be perfect if it only had one more room.
Apparently, there was another room in the original plan...but the contractor screwed something up.
The story I heard was that he threw in the cherry hardwood floors, and the granite in the kitchen as a trade for the "oops...sorry I forgot to put that four season room on your house" mistake.
I do love the floors and the countertops...but I could really use that extra room!
Oh well. 
I guess I will continue to be challenged when it comes to furniture arrangement in this wacky house.
But don't you worry....I can handle it.

I had a moment yesterday.
Liturgically speaking, yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany.
(aka:  The Kings finally showed up in Bethlehem. )
It also marked the end of the "Christmas Season."
So, of course, we had to finish with a bang (or really, more of a heavenly sigh) so we once again sang our new favorite song (the one that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.)
It was magical when we sang it Saturday night for I needed to recreate that magic for our final hurrah on Sunday.
Communion started with the glorious "Gabriel's Oboe" (performed on piano and oboe) and after the congregation joined in singing "What Child Is This" we began.
All was well...until the moment when I dug into to the two "walking chords" that moved into the second section of the piece.  My hands must have wandered off course...because those two chords were WRONG!  So very wrong.
Everything was fine from that point on...but it was too late.
The moment was ruined for me.
I wasn't embarrassed or sad....I was MAD.
All I wanted was for my soul to be filled one last time until next year when we could resurrect this beautiful song...but no! It wasn't flawless and perfect.
Jaine even said (afterward) "Your face turned red...and it wasn't a blushing was a MAD red!"
So, I did what any drama queen would do.
Once people had cleared out, the three of us gathered around the piano, and sang it again.
This time, it was perfect. (Jaine even cried.)
That is exactly how it was supposed to be.
I got my moment...and it was good.  So good.
This is how I am approaching this new year.
In moments.
In GOOD moments.
I am not going to overwhelm myself in unattainable goals.
I am not going to beat myself up if I only achieve one thing in a day.
I am going to do things that excite me, or at least find ways to make the things I have to do more enjoyable.
Here is the funny thing.
Every goal I have is something that, when I actually achieve it, I feel SO MUCH BETTER.
In a nutshell, my overall goal is really to feel good, and to have more energy.
Guess what helps me to achieve that?
1. An uncluttered space.
2. Regular exercise.
3. A healthy diet.
4. Feeling "financially fit" (so I don't have to worry about money)

Hmmm....look at that.  All of the things I am working on lead to my all-encompassing goal.
Every single day....more baby steps.
(We met with a finical advisor yesterday, and are starting to get all of that fun stuff in order....more and more baby steps!!)

I like this "living in the moment" stuff.
It's good to continue to plan for the future as well...but you still need to live in the now.  I have spent way too much of my life living in the past, or waiting for something to happen in the future.  It's sad to think of all the moments I have missed because I wasn't paying attention to what was going on at the time.
Everything in the past is done, and the future is out of our control.  
It's interesting how different life looks when you change your perspective.
I find I'm a lot less disappointed when I just remain in the present.
When I would constantly look to the future, I would find that I always anticipated exciting things to come, but would be let down when it rarely turned out the way I had hoped.
Living in the moment allows you to enjoy things as they come.
Isn't that what life is all about?
If we have everything planned out ahead of time, we have taken all of the spontaneity and excitement out of living.
I think it's time that we start spicing things up again, move outside of our "safety zones" and enjoy this adventure we are on.
If we only get one ride on this roller coaster, we might as well enjoy it, right?!

Enjoy your Monday!! 
Okay...even if your Mondays aren't as blissful as mine....just think,
some of our favorite shows are finally coming back from their "winter breaks" this week! :)

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A step in the right direction..

I love this color.
In case you were wondering.
So, here we are....the last day before reality hits again.
(At least that is the case for those of us with kids who were on Christmas break, or those who are teachers, or who live with teachers, or whoever else likes to refer to Monday as reality!)
For me, the routine starts back up, and the lessons I teach resume.
I have to admit, I have LOVED having two weeks with nothing but my church job to worry about.
Especially since many of the Masses I played for involved singing some of the gorgeous Christmas music I have been working on with my daughter and a good friend.  (I'm getting as much mileage out of our new "greatest hits" as I possibly can!!)
Last night, the three of us sang together again....and I must have really been needing some soul filling, because it really did that for me.
Apparently it did the same for some people listening too.
I had a gentleman come up to me afterward and tell me how much my music means to him.
Now, I will often have people swing by the piano and say "I loved that song you did tonight," or "you girls sounded great!" but this was different.
He didn't just drop a nice compliment and run...he really poured out his heart to me.  It was one of those situations where I was both so touched by everything he was saying, but also embarrassed, because I am horrible at taking compliments, and when a person goes on and on with one, I'm not sure how to act.  (I just stood there and said "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!")
Finally, I just said "Let me give you a hug!" for lack of knowing what else to do!
What meant the most to me was when he said "every time I come here and here you play, my spirit is lifted."
Why am I telling you about this?
Because I found his words so interesting....for every time I play, my spirit is lifted.
Some days, it is just really nice to be reminded that you really are doing what you were meant to do. 

I have made it my purpose over the past couple of years to focus on streamlining my life.  To let go of the things that were weighing me down, and only take on things that I enjoyed or that fed my soul.
I have written about this quite a bit.
This is an ongoing process, and something I continue to work toward.
Since I am on my big "New Year's Evolution" kick, I have decided to shift gears a little bit, and widen my focus.
I have really tried to pay attention to my mental and emotional health...but I always seem to leave my physical health by the wayside.
Pretty dumb idea, since I'm not going to be much use to anyone if I'm in terrible physical shape.
So, that's going to start to play into the picture this year.
I need to find a "Mind/Body/Spirit" balance.
I think that is the one thing I have been lacking.
I lose weight, and feel great about myself physically, but I am an emotional wreck.
I get it together emotionally, and work through old demons that have plagued me in the past, but I gain back all that weight, and feel awful physically.
Or the worst:
I gain the weight, am an emotional wreck, and fall into depression, and am mentally ready to throw in the bag.
I would like to have all three working on my side for once!

A crazy thing happened yesterday.
If you recall, I usually waste my Saturdays.
It looked like it was going to be yet another wasted day....especially since I somehow managed to sleep in until 11am.
However, I decided to take my three new books with me to the bathtub.
I started with the book on "tidying up."  (The author is Japanese...I think it is so cute that she always uses the word "tidy" rather than "clean.")  Then I paged through the book about finding your "spark" and being creative.  Both got me feeling a little motivated.  
I got ready, and then started making lists.  Long term projects, and things that needed to get done this week.
And suddenly, I found myself putting all the Christmas decorations away, and cleaning up the house.  (This usually doesn't happen until around Valentines Day, when it's just gotten to the point where having a Christmas tree is beyond ridiculous.)
Now that is taken care of, and I can get a good start on Monday, without having to bother with any of that.
I am not sure who this person is who has taken over my body...
but I think I like her.

Have a great Sunday!