Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reflections & Regrouping

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.

Showing Appreciation-
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!