(Originally posted June 30, 2012)
More Bubble Wrap, Please!
As I sit here all alone, popping bubble wrap while all my children sleep and the dishwasher hums in the background, I realize for the first time this entire week that I AM A WRECK. I’m a creature of habit with a minorly addictive/dependent personality. Throw in obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and a personal disdain for mediocrity (especially in moral character) in myself as well as in others, and you know that this pot is going to boil over soon if I don’t blow some steam.
Sadly, I don’t feel like I deserve a break at all. (Here’s a hint: you can always tell where my mental/spiritual/emotional well-being level stands based on how organized and put together my home and my personal appearance look. Right now it is all stirred up from attempts at rearranging to make more room in a tiny apartment. However, there is one open, sparkly corner of my apartment- my kitchen. I consider that a plus. If I just keep going back to that clean corner and continue to fight and push back the line of clutter, always working in the same direction, maybe (eventually) I will stand (or flop on the couch) victoriously.
Interestingly, I feel like that whole thing is a perfect metaphor for my writing career. (Yes career. I know, I’m not officially published yet, but as I have made a career of writing for some time, it has surpassed endeavor and turned into a career. I write, therefore I am. Right? Aaaand end tangent!) There’s that clean, organized corner of my mind where everything makes sense, and the rest of it is in direct chaotic contrast, regardless of my good intentions. Do you know what that tells me? It is time to SIMPLIFY!
(Can I move mountains of clutter, too, please?) FYI, I’m scared. I don’t know if I can do simple. I’ve never been able to do simple- it isn’t part of my programming. Want to know the truth behind why I am always so quiet and introverted? Because I Never Stop Thinking. I am CHRONICALLY COMPLEX. If you have any pointers or advice to help me, or suggestions where to start, please comment. (The clutter is the easy part. And I know I always feel better when I’ve attacked and eradicated a region of it. It’s the mental clutter or distractions that really de-rail my thought train.)
So here’s where I think I want to start:
1) PURGE. Recently I encountered a very unsavory situation where someone I thought was harmless and well meaning revealed their somewhat unimpressive side, and it actually struck one of my nerves. (Despite my admittedly neurotic personality, this was quite surprising to myself as I would like to think/hope that I usually keep my fuse at a verrry slow burn.) Well, I talked it out to some close friends and it turns out that this person has been rearing that ugly head more often than not lately, so it’s not just me. It kind of makes me feel better, but still bothers me because my fuse isn’t normally so sensitive. Aside from my recent experience, my personal life has been in need of a lot of reorganization and stress elimination for a while. Obviously I need to purge some excess emotions, de-stress physically and mentally, and recharge my battery, so to speak.
2) ESTABLISH A NEW ROUTINE. Another recent epiphany I had was health related. For about a year, the harder I try to eat healthy and stay active, the worse I feel and look. It turns out I have a wheat and/or gluten intolerance, which is why I feel like a walking water balloon lately. I’ve been in the process of tailoring a new diet, trying to absorb huge amounts of new information and recipes, and adjusting to a completely new way of life. (You can see, now, why my thoughts have been so chaotic. I’m busy adjusting my mental file cabinet to make room for much more information and experience.) The good news is that I DO feel better. It will be a slow journey, but if I keep this up and also increase my exercise, I know that I’ll continue to make strides in the right direction.
Also in the routine realm I plan to reestablish a strict daily schedule for my family. By the end of the school year I was so burned out that I happily plunged our family into anarchy. Now that June is over, it is time to get my family back on track and establish order once again.
3) DEFINE VISIBLE GOALS. I haven’t written my goals down on paper for a very long time. (You may be asking me, “Well how the heck do you think you’ll ever achieve anything?!” My answer to you being, “I know, right?”) As a young adult, every weekend I used to fill a brand new sheet of paper with newly reviewed and revised weekly, monthly, quarter-annual, and yearly goals. Reflecting back on it all, I admit that I really liked myself. I was fit, physically and emotionally strong, and at the top of my game. Time to take the bull by the horns once more! This time, a whole decade later, I know more of who I am, what I want to be/do, and how to do it. AND I’m going to keep the paper front and center on my desk (most likely on my computer screen) to be a consistent reminder to not get broadsided by the insignificant distractions that usually steal my time from me.
4) HAVE FAITH. I am my worst enemy and my own worst critic. It’s time to shed all of the self doubt and have faith. If you have any personal goals or endeavors that you would like to share, please comment. You’ve always got me to cheer you on along your personal journey as well.