Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Day Nineteen of Twenty: Feeling Groovy
As much as I enjoyed Christmas, it's good to be back into some sort of routine, even if it's here at Bick's. Our girls and their boys came over for Christmas and it was quite nice. My Mom and Sis chose not to join us. Games were played, movies were watched and there was too much food. It wasn't horrible, but by the time dinner rolled around, no one was really hungry. Next time, sandwich trays.
We had pretty much decided on a no-gift Christmas on my side of the family and we stuck to that. I was fine with it. We did exchange with Sandy and Aloysius. We were evidently on the same page, as they got me a fabulous new cookbook but the real funny part was that she/they had annotated it. They drew little pictures on post it notes of themselves really enjoying certain recipes. They noted which recipes they really like and what they didn't want to eat. I thought it was beyond adorable! So one day this week, I'm fixing dinner from their selected works.
Aloysius is a starving student who is living in his first apartment, so Bick and I shopped for some kitchen stuff for him, which was great fun. We got him a wok, a Chinese cookbook, some corningware-type stuff, including ramekins. I got Sandy the vintage Julia Childs' cookbook she'd seen at the antique mall a month or so ago, along with some money.
And while Bick and I agreed only to exchange token gifts - I got him a shirt he will probably never wear because it looks "fashionable"!, he hit it out of the park for me - a 2 bike carrier for MalibuKen and a gag gift that I absolutely adore - the lamp from A Christmas Story, my favorite holiday movie!
The Christmas excess was pretty much cleaned out of the house by Monday morning and I was back in the groove. Eating what I normally eat (or as close as I can get being somewhere else) and I bought a bike trainer and went and got Cha-Cha and brought her up here. I spent an hour or so on the trainer yesterday and will do so again. Between the new bike rack and the trainer, I can take my exercise with me, regardless of the weather.
I had made arrangements for a week-long membership at my old gym up here, but it just made better financial sense to buy the trainer, now that I have the new bike rack. I still may follow up with keeping Cha-Cha here when I buy a new bike, but we'll see.
Today's plans include a daytime movie - probably True Grit. We rented and watched the original the other night. I adore the Coen's, so I am looking forward to it, along with The King's Speech.
I've been pondering my intentions for 2011 and have some ideas that I am unyet able to pull into a cohesive message. I do like to keep things simple. If I can distill my wishes into an easy-to-remember something, I'm more apt to pull it out and remember.
And as my Twenty Day experiment comes to a close, I have to say that I am amazed at what I've learned from this. I went into it with my expectations low - I really wanted the discipline more than anything, and honestly, I haven't been all that disciplined - I don't think I've taken more than ten pictures. However, the things that I have picked up - the ways to make/enhance connections and experiences will make it's way into my intentions for the next year.
There are so many things that this little program espouses that I agree with. Keeping the physical environment neat and orderly. Developing plans, doing a little something each day in order to achieve big results.
I have ordered Brene Brown's The Gifts Of Imperfection and am seriously considering doing her 8 week online workship that accompanies the book. See her blog for details. Care to join me?
Oh, and one note on Day 19. On the bit about life coaches, I think life coaches/therapists/counselors are invaluable to this journey. I just wish they were more available and less stigmatized. I think most of us could/would benefit from discussions/tips from objective persons who offer suggestions/solutions to getting out of our rut and into our groove. There is nothing wrong with asking for an assist. We seek all sorts of assistance with other areas of our lives, I don't know why we feel like we have to do this part all on our own. That's my editorial comment for the day.
Day Nineteen Tasks:
Do your routine. Not mine. Except still put the $1.25 in a glass.
Let's check your routine. Let's review the life skills you are now practicing with these twenty days of tasks.
You are now your own "life coach."
Personal hygiene, taking care of you, is essential to a realistic and organized life.
You're practicing effective time management skills both at home and at work. You're accomplishing much more is far less time; you're finding that the more you do, the more you want to do. You're finding that this efficient behavior relieves tremendous stress both at work and at home, gives you more "down" time, gives you more time to think and plan, and most important, gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride in your work. Your driving your life; not chasing it.
Taking photos, recording your thoughts, and documenting your activities keeps you focused on the realistic present. Your "happiness" isn't in some foggy far off hopeful future. It's here and now. Simply taking the photo reminds you that good things, significant things are happening; events worth remembering.
You're developing and enhancing a valuable social and professional network. Your effective communication skills continue to grow. You're even dealing more tolerably with those "challenging" people because you understand why you react to them the way you do. Eventually even these people may become part of your networking.
You're now in the habit of considering your actions. You are conscious of your motivations. This knowledge gives you the power to understand why you do and want things. This knowledge of your present actions and past actions gives you the power to control your life.
You have a handle on your finances; typically one of the greatest sources of stress in relationships. You may still be experiencing "money challenges," but at least now you know realistically where you are. You don't have to worry about checks bouncing or "will there be enough" to cover your necessary expenses. And knowing gives you the power to make financial decisions and changes.
Worry, stress, anxiety, avoiding the reality; all these things undermine your self esteem.
Your small daily contribution to the glass reminds you that change isn't immediate. The money in that glass grows; daily, little by little. Do the math. How much would you have at year's end if you continued that small savings every day? Amazing isn't it.
Every small "contribution" you make to your body, your work, your relationships, and your home multiple with the same power of that small $1.25 contribution. Think how different your life will be at year's end.
You don't need a life coach. You have one. The best one you could ever wish for. You have you.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Reach out.