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naarasleijona

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Everything posted by naarasleijona

  1. Ugh, this cold has been kicking my a**! haven't really done much of anything.... mostly just meditating in the morning - cause I don't have the energy to do much else. I've been taking slow walks every day, and trying to get enough sleep. I've also been reading some really good books. Buddhist philosophy and meditation stuff.....A bit of underpants collecting, but some really good insights that I'm trying to put into practice with my meditation..... Even if I'm not doing anything physically, i'm still trying to come to terms with my mental health issues.....
  2. So. Was miserably, abominably, and frustratingly sick Thursday through Sunday. I'm feeling better today. Haven't done my workout, mostly because I don't want to regress into feeling like crap again. I'm still a bit tired and there's still a lingering headache. It's frustrating when you have to listen to your own body and take a rest.... I'm glad I'm finally out of bed!
  3. So Tuesday was good 1) not a workout day 1/12 2) still no kettle swings 0/4 3) no need to prep salads 1/4 4) lots of chores were done 3/28 Wednesday - not such a great day..... 1) did my workout, but it was hard to finish - I was physically exhausted 2/12 2) still no kettle swings - I went to bed as soon as I got home... Didn't even have the energy to walk Ellie, so hubs and the boys did. Took a nap, and then stayed in bed reading 0/4 3) no need to prep salads (REALLY like having them for work - makes my mornings easier!) 1/4 4) No chores were done. Rather, I got enough of the dailies done, but I didn't work in my studio, and I didn't finish a "today." I'm gonna put it as 3.5/28 Starting fresh today. Still tired, but I think I can get though the chores well enough when I get home from work.....
  4. keeping this update simple: 1) did my workout 1/4 2) took Ellie to the river, no kettle bell swings 0/4 3) no need to prep salads 1/4 4) chores were done 2/28 I went to bed early because I was really tired - just physically exhausted. I think because I had taken a two week break from my morning exercise routine.... I ended up going to bed around 8:30. Reading a book "The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness" I happened to come across it when I was in the book store the other day. One of those happy accidents that just fall into your lap just when you need it. I'll probably have to read it like 4 or 5 times for it to really sink in, but it just seems to hit all the right chords right now..... Being an atheist, I hesitate with all things I would consider "woo-woo," but there is something about the mental discipline of buddhist philosophy that appeals...
  5. Oh my gosh! It's Sunday already! 1) not a workout day. 0/12 2) walked Ellie for my exercise. No kettle bell swings 0/4 3) prepped my salads for the week 1/4 4) did my chores. Wasn't a big mental deal today. 1/28
  6. So here's what's on my mind going into this challenge. I finally had some time to try to sort some thoughts out... Escape to Reality, what does that even mean? About 6 months ago, I finally went to see a therapist. I was struggling with depression issues, and addiction issues. I finally admitted I needed help and even though I was terrified, I made the commitment to get help, rather than continue the cycle of depression and denial. Here are some things I learned about myself. I have identity issues. I’m a typical American 40+ year old mother. After college, I put my life on hold, helped my husband through grad school by working (not career related), then we moved, bought a house, I started going back to school, but then kids happened, and somewhere along the way I got lost. I didn’t feel a strong sense of identity anymore. My life for the past 15 years has been a series of reactions to what my family needs, with moments of self-indulgence with no real purpose thrown into the mix. Some wonderful things have happened, and I made some choices when I needed to. On paper, my life is good. But I felt like I lost the opportunity to develop my own personal identity. As a coping skill, I created not just one, but several fantasy identities in my head, definitions of the kind of person I thought I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be supermom – the mother who nurtured and supported her children and husband. You typical 1940s housewife who baked, and cleaned, and tucked her children into bed at night. Made nourishing meals and helped her children flourish. I was supposed to be a bohemian artist, who filled her house with creativity and open-mindedness. Since I couldn’t afford to bring my family to the world, I was going to bring the world to my family through art and culture and a desire to explore wherever my/our curiosity led. I was supposed to be a successful business woman. I am a creative person, so I should be able to make some kind of business out of all the things I produce. Maybe an Etsy store, maybe work craft fairs around the county, maybe have an online business. I was supposed to be able to take all of these wonderful creative and entrepreneurial ideas and build an empire with them to support both my creativity and my family. You can see where I’m going with this. There are at least a dozen more stereotypical identities that I had somehow compartmentalized as defining who I needed to be. The problem was – I wanted to be all of them, simultaneously. My guess is that it’s a common phenomenon for women my age. We work to be supportive, and provide our lives with very little support for ourselves. So I had these false realities tumbling around in my head of the kind of person I identified myself as, and when I inevitably failed to be perfect examples of them, I would get depressed. I developed a coping mechanism of reading to escape. Reading put my depression and my disappointment in myself on hold. For a few hours I could escape into a different world where everything turned out for the best, and happily ever-afters existed. Unfortunately it became an addiction. Every time I would start to feel bad, I would reach for a book and put everything else in my life on hold – my responsibilities, my family, my health….. So after a marathon weekend of reading 5 romance novels, and letting my 11 year old son go hungry, and my house being a disaster, I decided to get help from a therapist. The sessions were raw and ugly and scary, but I finally got to a place where I think I could actually acknowledge how screwed up my thoughts have been. So now I feel like I’m on the very beginning of a quest – to find my true reality. I face the constant battles of falling back into where I was before. I have to constantly challenge myself to ask if how I am feeling is because of something that is real, or because of what my mind wants to be real. I’m working with addiction recovery practices, reading a lot of Buddhist writings, trying to make meditating a part of my life. I’m trying to take life one step at a time and acknowledge moments for what they truly are. I said before that I felt like I lost the chance to develop my own personal identity. But what I’m learning is that my personal identity is already established. It is who I am, in this moment, with everything that has happened to me up to this point. I have refused to look at it; I have refused to accept it because it isn’t what I dreamed of being when I was 18 years old. It’s time to jump down that rabbit hole, and find out who I really am, and what is truly real. So while I start to move forward with all of that, this is what I'm going to focus on for this challenge. I'm keeping it as simple as I can. My goals are a challenging for me in the sense that they are creating new habits that I want to be part of my life, but hopefully not so overwhelming that they can be done with the amount of effort that I can muster. 1.Exercise: workouts 3 days a week. 2. Exercise: try kettlebell swings 1x per week 3. Healthy Eating: prep salads for each day of the week on the weekends 4. Life: chores: 5 dailies and 1 today chore. Every day. One daily must include a minimum of 10 minutes a day in my shop. Loot for A averages 1. moon yoga mat 2. dumbel fractional weight magnets 3. two serving spoons 4. A silk pillow case
  7. Well, kind of choked there at the end. The last week I didn't do any workouts didn't do the last meal Ellie was walked all except 1 day And no chores were done the last day. So that leaves me with: 1. Weekly dinner 3/4 = 75% 2. Workouts MWF 9/12 = 75% 3. Ellie Walks 27/28 = 96% 4. Chores 16/28 = 57% Not the greatest achievement ever, but I'm glad I finished..... Have to seriously think about how my work obligations and time management affect the last week of August and the first week of September - Might just have to make those blackout days and consider not having the ability to do much of anything other than work stuff and sleep. J Looking forward to the next challenge!
  8. well........ I've had a pretty tough week. The only thing I've been able to do is walk Ellie everyday.... Haven't done any chores and I haven't done my workouts. I'm stressed and tired, and falling back into old habits(stress eating). I got hit by a wave of exhaustion (it happens sometimes... waiting for health coverage to kick in in October to see if I can finally get a diagnosis for what is going on with me). But I still am going to work on this challenge today and tomorrow. The reality is, is that I don't have good enough coping skills or techniques to handle the stress of work. It carries over into the rest of my life, and I still can't find anything that satisfactorily addresses the tension and and desire to feel numb.... I knew this coming into the challenge. Summers are easy, because I don't have the stress of work. This week has been the hardest; it is every year. The coping skills I had hoped would help, weren't quite enough. I've been reading online about dealing with stress at work, and I've tried as many different things as I can. Stress causes exhaustion for me - in addition to the fatigue issues I have. So I've been sleeping.... A LOT - most nights this past week I've been going to bed between 6 and 7 pm. I finally feel like I may have caught up enough after last nights sleep. Not much left but to keep moving .....onward and upward........
  9. Been Busy.... 1) not a dinner night. 3/4 2) skipped my workout But other things came up that were more important.... 8/12 3) Ellie was walked 22/28 4) didn't do all my chores (other more important things came up....) 14/28 Was a day when people took precedence over other considerations.... Sometimes you just have to be there.....
  10. Yesterday was fine. Spent most of the day school shopping with my boys, but I still managed to get the necessaries done. 1) not a dinner night 3/4 2) not a workout day 8/12 3) nice walk with Ellie 21/28 4) just enough chores. 14/28
  11. So, gotta kind of double up here. Yesterday was a busy work day. 1) made tacos and quesadillas for dinner on Friday. Not extravagant, but dinner was consumed together as a family at one table. 3/4 2) did my Friday morning workout... Saturday isn't a workout day so I'm at 8/12 3) Ellie was walked Friday and Saturday. On the way back home tonight I kind of shuffled/jogged. I don't know if it was bad for my ankle, but I was happily surprised to not be winded. I literally haven't moved at a faster pace than a walk since I started having ankle issues about 2 years ago. Felt good to move! 20/28 4). I didn't do chores yesterday, but I doubled up today. 6 regular chores and 2 of the "today chores.,". I sat for a while yesterday, and decided that I need to give myself some credit for knowing my limits, but still pushing for a bit more when I can. Very rarely do my days run smoothly, and I need to built some flexibility into my new habits. Being too ridged makes me feel like a failure. So anywho, I'm giving myself the extra points today because I had the time and energy to catch up a bit. 13/28. bonus points: I did a major cleaning of my garage. Feels like I just won an epic battle it took me 8 hours!
  12. Yesterday was a mixed bag..... Still a huge stress week at work, 1) no dinner - told everyone to be ready for dinner Friday night 2/4 2) not a workout day (thank god!) 7/12 3) My husband walked Ellie again, because I forgot about a parent meeting I had to go to for my son's school..... didn't get home until 7PM, I'm counting it again, because I had to be organized about it and find an alternative.... 18/28 4) no chores done..... didn't get home until late and was too tired 11/28.
  13. long night. This is a major crunch time at work, so I spend a lot of extra hours working in the evenings. Didn't get home until after 8:00 PM 1) No dinner. still 2/4 2) did my workout in the morning. Was like trying to convince a cat to swim, but I did it, and felt good about myself for it. (workout mornings are always good, because at least I have something to feel good about! ) 6/12 3) Ellie was walked by my husband because I wasn't home. Have mixed feelings about this, but I'm counting it, because I made the effort to remind him, and I was doing the best I could despite the fact that my hands were tied) 17/28 4) no chores done - went straight to bed when I got home, but I'm thinking I might do some extra things this weekend to make up the difference..... We'll see how much energy I have. I'm not gonna kill myself, but having a cleaner house would help my mental state too...... 11/28 long night
  14. 1) haven't done any family dinners.... So I'm still at a 2/4 2) didn't do my workouts on Friday or Monday, so I'm at 5/12 3) Ellie has been walked every day, so I'm now at 16/28 4) not enough chores on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Did them tonight so I'm at 11/28. Emotinal levels are are a bit more stable..... Gonna try to get a good nights sleep tonight.....
  15. Warning.... Long winded self-pity party ahead. This probably isn't the place to do this, but I just need to "talk".... Feel welcome to skip it. Its 3am. My son's friend just texted his mom to come and pick him up because he was homesick during a sleepover. So my scale just tipped a bit, and I'm tail spinning into an episode of depression. It's nights like these that my worst demons come out, when my mind and my emotions wreak havoc on what I'm working so hard to change. So rather than toss and turn in bed, I'm just gonna write, clear it out of my head, and hopefully find something to grab onto and pull me out of this hole. Friday began a slide down a very slippery slope. I had stayed up late the night before up with my son. I actually felt good about myself for making a sacrifice. I'm usually in bed around 8:30, but we stayed up until 11:00 working on his homework. I felt like a good mom. The next morning, I was so damn tired.... I missed my 5 am workout. Got through a day of work and got home, and slipped right into bad habits. i have this idea in my head, that most addicts have generally socially acceptable addictions. Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, even your standard drugs. They can be real hazards to a persons life, and cause damage to not just a person themselves, but to everyone they care about around them. But they are somehow socially acceptable. People accept that these things are addictive. Sure some are innocent, like coffe, they can get progressively worse. Some causing health issues, others wreaking havoc on others around the addict. I know it's not a joking matter, but everyone generally accepts them as addictions. I'm ashamed of my addiction: I read romance novels. It looks funny on the surface. But it is a source of so much shame for me, I don't even know where to begin to describe how I feel about it. When I was younger, whether right or wrong, I valued myself as an intelligent person. I was smart in school, got really good grades, I was well educated, cultured, well traveled for a teenager. I was an exchange student, I went to live in Paris for college, I spoke two foreign languages. Sure I knew I wasn't perfect, but I felt good about the kind of person I was. I don't know what happened. I got lost along the way, and I've been steadily walking down a road that just seems to be getting darker and darker. I used to go to the library and pick random books off the shelf to read. It was out 10 years ago that I happened to pick up a romance novel. I'd never read one before.... Everything stopped for a day. I didn't feel depressed, I was able to forget about all my problems, I didn't have to feel my own emotions. I suppose anything could have triggered it, but apparently reading romance novels did it for me. (Fantasy was my gateway drug of choice, but that's a whole other story). It's gone down hill from there. Every time I want to escape from my life, this is what I turn to. I am a picture of Dorian Gray. On the surface, everything looks fine. Inside I feel like a twisted and deformed monster. Something I don't even recognize anymore. Back to the addiction issue. I read romance novels to the point where everything in my life gets shoved to the side. It is my escape from a reality I don't want to face. My indulgence of my childish emotional immaturity. I know this. I have fucking first world problems. I'm hyper critical of my life, my job, my marriage, my family. I'm so fucking selfish. Self centered. I will literally sit down with a book and read through the night. My kids are hungry, and I tell them to eat some cheese sticks for dinner. The house needs cleaning, but I get angry at my husband for not cleaning either, and so let it go ( because why should I put in the effort if he doesn't have to). And I sit and read, and read, and read. Long into the night, losing out on sleep, letting my life pass me by, because I am a self indulgent, emotionally immature person. And I spend the next day struggling to catch up and little struggles become massive failures, and I crumble, and reach for my addiction to make all the pain go away again. I'm even more ashamed because, it's not like I read anything of substance, I am so embarrassed that I like these stupid books! I'm embarssed to admit that I like them. I hate that I like them. Im a classic addict. I could go on for days analyzing it. I've done enough therapy to understand what I'm dealing with, and what is happening to me. I'm just so damned angry that I can't control it. I'm ashamed that I don't have the strength to control it. My kryptonite. I hate ate having a weakness. So friday night, I read, because I was angry for being tired, and angry because I missed my workout, and angry, that our friends invited us to spend the weekend with them (We'd said no a couple of times, and felt pressured to accept because their friendship IS important to us - but as I said, we are a family of selfish people that prefer to do our own things without being responsible for anyone or anything else). I was angry that I couldn't spend time at home, after a long work week, doing the things I wanted or needed to be doing). We went to see our friends on Saturday, put on a smile, and honestly had a good time, even if it wasn't what I would have chosen to do. When we got back on Sunday. I was pouting about everything I felt like I had to catch up on, so I dropped everything and started reading again. Another day wasted. Monday, too tired to exercise. Guilt rushes in, I go to work, plans go awry, I fall apart again and spend another night reading...... My son's friend wakes us up in the middle of the night, and I am hit with feeling like a shit for a person..... (I let my 11 year old son play host to his friend. My guess is that this kid is not used to my sub-par parenting skills, and was homesick for a mom that is more nurturing and attentive). Because of everything that has happened in the last four days. Hating what I've allowed myself do do, hating the kind of person I let myself be. How to put into words, the utter disgust I have when looking at myself in the mirror..... i dont know how to put into words the absolute and utter shame I feel that I can't control my tailspins. I see them coming from a mile away. It's like a fucking tsunami every damn time. I stand on the beach, just watching it come in, completely helpless and frozen, stuck in the sand just watching this wave steadily come crashing over me. I know, I KNOW, where safety lies. I know where the high ground is.... And yet, I go to the beach over and over again. I feel like the evil character in a novel that started out with good intentions, but as time goes by, I have become more twisted and deformed, and ugly. It's completely irrational. But depression is not a rational thing. Itwists reality, like funhouse mirrors. There is truth there, but it isn't quite what you think it is. ... I feel better now. I just needed a reality check. I'm not worried about me. I have a lot lot of coping mechanisms at my disposal. I've learned a lot about myself through therapy. There are so many tools I have in my bag, and I know that this night will pass. It just felt good to write for a while..... I might never have control of my life, but someday I'll be able to manage myself better.
  16. So Yesterday afternoon was pretty much a cluster F***. My adulting skills did not shine.... (basically an overload of responsibilities and issues that I would have been able to handle individually, but which all added up to a really tough day). I think I looked much more put together on the outside than what was really going on in my head. I responded to most things appropriately, but by the time my head hit the pillow I was a wreck - completely burned out. 1) not a dinner night. I think I even forgot to eat. I have no idea what anyone else ate or when (probably cereal) 2/4 2) Not a workout day. 5/12 3) Ellie was walked. Spent most of the walk having a heated discussion with my hubs, but the walk was good for us because we put everything on the table and were o.k by the end of the walk 11/28 4) chores were not done - I spent 7 hours working with my son, helping him with school work (two tests to study for and a project)...... I'm o.k. with that. Life happens and my kids are more important than a clean house! We were up until 11:00. I didn't have the energy to even do a couple of things (I'm usually in bed by 8:30). So this one was a score for team "let it go" 10/28.
  17. Smoothie for breakfasr gaspacho for 10:00 lunch tempeh and carrots for lunch "chicken salad" mixed veg and a couple of tater tots for dinner.
  18. Yesterday on paper looks really good. Emotionally it was a mixed bag.... 1) made dinner for the family. Everyone was kind of grumpy. Long story short, no one was in the mood. The kids didn't want to try what I made - all around it was a typical frustrating experience, but you know what? I made dinner, and I put in my part of the effort, and that's all I can do.... Need to go into my zen cave, let it go and move on. 2/4. 2) did my workout in the morning. 5/12 3) did my walk with Ellie. People driving by ate stopping to ask about her. Her training is going so well. I'm so proud of my little girl! 11/28 4). Lots of chores got done. 11/28 so yeah, things look good on paper, but it was a roller coaster ride emotionally. So many parts of my day were spent being frustrated. But, I acknowledge that it's me bringing my reaction of frustration to the situations,. I need to start practicing more mindfulness and get back to meditating again!
  19. Tuesday..... Smoothie for Breakfast Anthony's nothing but cheese Calzone for Lunch I don't remember eating anything else..... weird!
  20. Don't know where my log from last night went, so just gonna do a quick summary. 1) not a dinner night, but I've got everything to go for Wednesday 1/4 2) not a workout day. 4/12 3) Went for a walk with Ellie 10/28 4) did a couple more than the minimum for chores. 10/28. Had a good time playing Lego Avengers with my son. All is well in the world again
  21. Monday's fare:. Smoothie for breakfast protein bar and a block of smoked cheddar for lunch 4recess peanutbutter cups and a snickers icecream bar for dinner Three spoonfuls of peanutbutter. a couple of carrots and tahini dressing. Ive been sliding down a slippery slope with the junk food - a coping mechanism for my distaste for work.
  22. Monday was a mixed bag. All boxes checked on my challenge, but I fell prey to some negative habits when I got home so....yeah not feeling too happy with myself 1) not a dinner night. 1/4 2) did my workout 4/12 3) Ellie and I walked. Lol, this time my hubs came along, and he was so anxious about the collar that it put a little stress on the mood. He was worried about her bolting. She didn't. She had a good time exploring. 9/28 4) a minimum of chores were done. 9/28 it would have been a good day except for a couple of things that sent me into a tail spin. My youngest son is staying home while the rest of us go off to school or work. His school doesn't start until after Labor Day. That isn't a big deal. But 1) I forgot all about him in the sense that I picked up my eldest son from school which happened to be the perfect time to view the eclipse, which was great, but I didn't even realize until I got home that my other son didn't even have any opportunity to see it. (We didn't get glasses or anything). I felt ashamed of my self for not even thinking of him . And then to add insult to injury, I wasted the whole night reading. Now normally this wouldn't be bad for most people, but I have issues of addiction with reading - I tend to put everything else on hold, including all of my responsibilities, so instead of playing with my son when he clearly was asking for some company, I instead chose reading over him. I now feel like a shit . I've made a promise to myself that Tuesday will be different.
  23. Dancing a happy jig today my neighbor who is a trainer for customs dogs, just showed me how to use an electronic collar for Ellie. This thing works like a dream, and she learned it within literally 10 seconds. This makes things so much easier and less stressful for the both of us! It means I can walk without it being a hardship on my joints from pulling on a leash, and it gives her freedom to explore and run..... I'm just so tickled pink right now! 1) so, not a dinner night. Planning for pizzas this week 1/4 2) not a workout day 3/12 3) Ellie and I had an awesome walk! 7/28 4) chores were done - but spent most of the day helping my son with his homework. 7/28 a very satisfyingly productive day.....
  24. 1) not a meal night again. 1/4 2) not a workout day 3/12. I did have to take my monthly measurements. Nothing changed except my body fat % , which went down one point. I'm not completely thrilled, but I know exactly why. I've been tracking what I eat, but haven't exactly been eating healthy food lately. I know ill overwhelm myself if I try to change too many things at once, but it's something to think about for my next challenge. 3) went to the park with Ellie today. We met some friends there, but I took her on a short hp i.e. unit hike before they got there. It wasn't as long as our usual walk, but I'm counting it because it was deliberate. 7/28. 4) chores were done 7/28. i took some melatonin and went to bed around 8:30. Woke up around 1:00 after a sleep cycle. Was restless, so I got up and let Ellie out. Went back to bed and eventually fell back asleep. Slept until 6:00! I actually feel kind of rested! Certainly not exhausted like I usually am. I had so many dreams..... Maybe I can actually get some other things done today! .
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