12 January 2013

Daily Challenge - Day 3

Today, I am talking about

Ways I've Changed Over the Last Year

In some ways, it doesn't feel like I've changed much.  My weight has remained (regrettably) stable.  I'm still in the same apartment, still a stay-at-home mom.  I still spend more time online than I probably should, and write far less than I intend.  I read as much as I have time to and I don't keep in touch with people as much as I probably should.

But there have been a lot of other things that are so different from this time last year that it's almost like I'm a different person.  And maybe I am.

Last year, I felt like I was floundering.  I had all of these things I wanted to do but no plans.  I'd joined half a dozen different reading challenges - none of which I'd finished.  I started 101 in 1,001, and stopped within 2 months.  I fell behind in swaps on Swap-Bot.  I knew I wanted to be happier but was too afraid to make the call for mental therapy.  I knew the state of my apartment was part of what was depressing me, but I couldn't seem to get on top of things.  I stopped and started one of the role-playing games that I was a part of, intending to get back but not seeming to find the time or mental ability to be a part of it.  I wanted to be a successful blogger, but didn't know where or how to do it.  I tried so many different things, all at once, and inevitably failed at all of them.

I think a lot of the change came because of crisis.  Back in April, we got notification that our apartment complex was not going to renew our lease because we'd broken the cleanliness clause.  I panicked.  I cried. I worried where we'd come up with the money to move and where would take us.  Rich talked to the manager at the office and they gave us a second chance.  We managed to get everything cleaned up and they let us renew.  It was a wake-up call that I needed.  And from that point forward, I did my best to stay on top of things.  I haven't always succeeded.  There've been several times when I've flown into crisis mode because I was either mentally or physically unable to keep up with things.  But I found my groove back in September or November and was pretty good about keeping on top of things from that point until I fell down the stairs.  Now that my ankle is getting better, I'm back to where I was in terms of cleaning.  I've still got more to catch up with, but I've stuck with it.

Part of what's helping me, I think, is that I'm finally getting the mental help that I need.  As difficult as it was, I made the call to get therapy.  First, my meds were adjusted.  It's helped more than I ever thought to keep me stable and (mostly) out of depression.  And on Tuesday, I had my first appointment with my therapist.  Having someone to talk to, someone who can challenge me and talk through things with me helps a lot too.  And I have faith that, unlike my last several therapist, she won't be going anywhere any time soon.

I'm also becoming more committed to getting healthier.  The house cleaning has helped me be more active in general, and that activity is increasing my mood and my motivation.  I haven't been back on the exercise trail for long - in part because of healing ankle.  But I'm more committed to doing it right this time than I was before.

One of the biggest changes, I think, is that I've given myself permission to slack off.  Not in the sense of not doing anything but more in not doing so much.  I don't need to clean the whole house in one day.  I don't need to clean a whole room in one day.  I don't need to join everything that looks slightly interesting to me.  I have permission to take it easy and not overextend myself.  It makes it easier to feel a sense of accomplishment.  And when I have fewer things to do, I'm more likely to get more of them done.  Also, when I don't finish one of the things on my list, it's not a problem.  I've still gotten the others done and tomorrow, after all, is another day.

While it may not look like it on the outside, on the inside I'm far from the same person I was a year ago.  And I think I'm going in the right direction.

Me, last year

Me, this year

Come back for tomorrow's challenge:

Create a motivation page - words/pictures/anything to make you feel better about who you are and who you want to be

I'm adding this to 
Acting Balanced