Monday, April 30, 2012

so things over here have been great. Well, that is up until today, but i will get to that. First off, I've been walking almost everyday. It hasn't gotten a lot easier, especially on those 4 mile walk days but I'm making progress. And just putting my body into motion about 5 days a week has proven to be effective, for both boosting my mood and i even think i see a little bit of fat coming off my midsection which makes me realllllly happy. Diet wise, i haven't been doing that great. Ramen noodles are still a main staple in my diet but i stopped eating those stouffers mac and cheese meals out of the freezer at work and replacing them with lean cuisines. Also, i've been eating protein bars in the morning instead of a blueberry muffin at dunkin. Not the best meal choices but hey, it's an improvement. I've been doing work with this book called, "The artists way", it's a six week course that helps you unleash your inner artist. One of the tasks is having to write 3 hand written pages every single day, even if you have nothing to say. I haven't written everyday or written the 3 pages every single time either but i have been keeping up with it and it has been very helpful. Along with the other tasks, i see this turning out well. I've been reading a lot about happiness as well. I finished the happiness project and moved onto the art of happiness by the dalai llama. And this book is full of great advice. And just the act of thinking and reading about happiness, MAKES ME HAPPY, it's amazing what a difference these little changes have been making. I've also been reaching out more and i never realized how easy it could be. I started texting with my friend shanna regularly, and i've seen her a few times in the past week. I went for a walk with my friend traci from work. I've spent time with my mom, not drinking, and instead walking or going out to dinner and it's great because we can still talk! i've been considering filing my fafsa soon and going back to school in the fall. I want to get out of cvs, i want to become a therapist. I know it's a lot of school but i just keep telling myself how much better off i will be in a few years. I could have my own office and help people and have a job i really love. A job that plays on my strong personality traits, like my compassion. i could do something that makes me happy and also the fact that i'd be making more than 16,000 dollars a year would be fantastic too! I just would be so much more financially stable if i had a career instead of a job. My parents are about to put their house on the market. They have owned their home for about 16 years, and after all this time and even me moving out they are still struggling! My dad says they are no better off than they were 16 years ago. Because they never went to college, they work jobs that pay shit. I don't want that for myself and mark. And this is all very important because.....

WE HAVE ENOUGH CREDIT TO GET A HOUSE!!!! We have good enough credit to get a $140,000 house! This is really happening! We met with a realtor this weekend and have basically been looking at houses non-stop. Seriously, if i'm not online looking at houses, i'm in the car trying to find these places. Our financial advisor told us best case scenario, we can be out of here in 2-3 months. This is fucking awesome. This is really happening, i never thought this day would ever come. But the joy was short lived because soon mark did the math and said, "baby, your spending over 2 grand a year on cigarettes ALONE!"

Oh my god, out of the 7 years i have smoked i never looked at it that way. i never looked at that number. Thats like another bill. I still have a grand left to pay on my car loan. If i didnt smoke, that shit would be paid off by now. Imagine, how selfish i felt when i realized this is why im always broke, this is why i havent been able to contribute much to our savings. Oh my god. And it wasn't just that. I went to my therapist last week and we had and EMDR session, i really cannot explain to you what EMDR is, you'll have to look it up. but as my mind was going the topic of self care popped up in my head. And i started thinking about the fact that other people, like my mom or mark, can really care about me but that can't control how i treat my body or what i put into it. They may care soooo much about my wellbeing but they can't force me to quit smoking so i don't get cancer or make me stop eating junk food so i stay healthy and don't get sick. Only i can do that, only i can take care of myself, i am the only person who has to love myself enough to get these behaviors to stop. The whole process was fantastic, i got so much more out of it but smoking kept coming up in my head and i kept pushing it aside, pushing it aside, knocking it off like it didn't matter. but it does. A lot. So today, April 30th, i woke up, smoked two cigarettes in a row and then tore up my last one. I threw on a nicotine patch and said goodbye to my closest friend for the past 7 years. It has not been an easy day for me.

There have been a few positives i did not expect to see. Like work for example, I warned everyone to watch out for me, but i was in a really good mood and things that would usually bother me, didnt. I was shocked that the time actually went by faster when i wasn't going outside every hour or two to smoke. I was more patient because i wasn't staring at the clock wondering when the next chance i was going to have to go outside again. It felt really good. Granted, driving was difficult. Taking my half hour lunch was difficult. Having my friend call me and cancel my plans to go walking was hard because it forced me to go home, which i was trying to avoid because i chain smoke when im home and bored. I just never realized how much i think about smoking. I am constantly thinking about it, especially now that i can't. It's amazing how much something so stupid and pointless can have so much control over my life. But enough, i want to control MY life.

One last thing before i wrap this up. I realized another thing through all these things i've been doing to make myself happier, they have made my relationship with Mark soooo much better. Last night we watched a nature show and i just sat on the floor while he stroked my hair and i can't put into words how content with the world i was...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

my happiness project

I started reading the happiness project this weekend because i had heard some good reviews about it. Although, to give the writer the benefit of the doubt, there are some good bits of advice in the book but it's not exactly what i was expecting or what i have been looking for on my path toward happiness. For one thing, the writer does not know what it is to be depressed. in fact, she writes from a point in her life where she is in a career she loves (a writer), with a husband she loves, children she adores and is already happy but realizes one day she could be HAPPIER. All the big decisions of life seem to already be sifted through, like going to college for a certain degree and getting a career. This isn't what i'm looking for as my life needs a complete overhaul in just about every department. I'll finish the book anyway but it's only got me thinking about what needs to be done in my life. I've tried making elaborate lists of what i need to do but i stick with it for a day or two and its back to the old routine i go. But i'm wasting my life. Work, sleep, read, eat bed.. what kind of life is that? where nothing is being achieved, i'm not being challenged, i have too much time to sit and dwell on whats not being done that i get so overwelmed i decide doing nothing is better than completing one or two tasks. So i'm starting small, and began today.

It wasn't a particularly good day. My energy levels are completly drained. I have bronchitus and even with the 60mg of prednisone and my large dunkin iced coffee, i find myself faltering around 3pm. I went to bed around 11:30 last night and slept until 12pm! And still i felt as though i had no energy to speak of. But i forced myself out of bed, no matter how much my body and mind nagged me for more sleep. Marks family is away for the weekend and mark worked today so i took advantage of this time in the house to myself. Just me, toots and the dog. So i started cooking. I made a pasta salad and a chilli dip. I watched one of my favorite shows, took some time to sit on the deck and read my kindle. Then i challenged myself. Any physical activty lately is a huge feat for me. We went to the batting cages and hit some golf balls yesturday and i came home ready for a nap. So today, i grabbed the dogs leash and i took him for a walk. I told myself it would be short, up the side street, a bit down the side walk and than back down our street home. But by the time i reached the top of pierce, pirate seemed in a good shape and i asked if he wanted to keep going, he seemed keen to the idea. So i headed to the next street over, walked down it, looped around and back up the side street, then back down the side walk and home. Had to have been at least a mile or two and what a difference it did for me. I was sweaty and my legs hurt but i had energy. i was awake. And my mind felt so much clearer than it has in so long. And after that, i started weeding out my room, getting rid of clothes, clearing the clutter, and i already feel better with the fewer distractions sitting mockingly all over my shelf space.

So i've decided, since at this point in time i cannot make that commitment to get myself to the gym, than a walk about the block before or after work it is. And it's nice because i have my furry companion to come along with me. Instead of making a massive list of things that need to be done in my life, i've decided taking on at least one new challenge a day, no matter how small, building up to the big stuff. Maybe if i see little improvments, the big stuff will come along easier.

I just don't identify with this book though. This person didn't have nearly half of the shit i have to tackle. I have to quit smoking, find a career i want to pursue, go back to school, get nationally certified, find a job i love, get organized, get more exercise, eat better, stop eating ramen noodles everyday, lay off the candy, build a better realtionship with my boyfriend, find a group of friends that works for me and embrace those relationships, get my energy levels up to par, keep appointments and stop backing out of engagments, take up a hobby, go through that huge folder of guitar tabs and actually learn them, write more, keep a journal, tend to this blog more and make it a better space, use my camera, watch less tv, manage my money better, get a fucking house, build a fucking's so much....

But one step at a time baby! I can do this and one thing i did learn from this book that i've never really looked at before is this, it's not the destination that really matters. i need to be happy with the journey, because it's not the future that really matters ,even if i accomplish these goals, more issues will arise, more things will need to be figured out...i need to be happy NOW!