When I started this blog a bit over a year ago, I fully intended on being in graduate school right now & living on $1100 a month. Life happened differently & instead I'm still very much enjoying my full-time job & still living in my hometown. However, the last two/three months have been stressful & off-kilter so I've appreciated some of the steps I've already taken to simplify. I've also been reflecting on regrouping in an effort to simplify all over again.
People & Things-
I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff in the last year in an effort to simplify, but still know that people can have a very strong connection to their things. During the last two months, my grandma has been in & out of several medical care facilities, but has now moved to a skilled nursing facility. I'm very grateful she is in a place where she can get the care she needs, but she has been separated from the things that normally surround her and bring back good memories for her. I know she is concerned about having these items accessible if she wants to see something or that the items will go to various family members as a remembrance token.
For me though, I remember people more through food than through their things. Grandma made wonderful gingerbread & an amazing potato casserole of some kind. I remember how nice & grandmotherly she was when we were baking brownies together & I burned myself when I tried to touch the pan. I remember how carefully she tried to plan birthday dinners so the special person got to eat their favorite meal. Even though there's a difference in how Grandma & I remember people, I hope that she can be comfortable in her new home and know that her things are being taken care of very well.
I've also tried to simplify my attitude by including more positivity, and I've realized how much other people contribute to my life. Genuinely smiling at someone and saying, "Thank you, I really appreciate it," really can make a difference in someone's day & spread a positive attitude around, especially if I am the one in need of a positive attitude! Showing appreciation also means taking a step outside my normal speeding-bullet-train of thought to pause and think of how I am NOT doing this on my own & how many people touch my life even in minor ways.
Although I don't remember if I've blogged about it before, I would be completely lost without my community. Through my various levels of community, each different part fulfills a completely separate need. Whether verbal processing, ideas, emotional & spiritual support or simply going out for a drink, I need all of these people in my life. These people aren't simply Facebook friends or ones who tolerate me for 20 minutes while they tap away on Blackberries. I feel so privileged to have the kind of true community that actually supports me during difficult times in my life.
And what to work on- Regrouping
With a crazy schedule, unexpected plan changes, no time & little creativity, I haven't been cooking or eating what I should. This almost worked for a few months until the stress and bad food combos resulted in a very uncomfortable bout with acid reflux. I decided I can either let my "out of control lack of schedule!" get the better of me, or I can lock down my time, create margin, & take care of what I need to get done to feel good.
I don't particularly like having a strictly defined weekly schedule, but I know I need to develop certain constraints to set some time boundaries in my life for the next few weeks. Stress takes a huge toll on my body, so I know I need self-discipline to restore the order.
Goals for November- Limit eating out to 4 times a week, eat 2-3 servings of fruit/veggies a day (yeah, I know it's lower than 5, maybe that'll be the Dec. goal, baby steps), hit the gym once a week, visit Grandma twice a week, do something random/fun at least once a week, blog more.
PS- The "flavor" of this blog might be varied over the next few months as I'm processing a whole new set of circumstances to simplify, but hey, this is life!