>> Friday, November 9, 2012
If you read Writing Chapter Three, you got an inside view of my messy life yesterday. When I started off of this New Leaf plan, I was mostly focusing on how my eating was making me feel. But I knew -- and many of you knew -- there was much more going on.
Honestly, I don't feel depressed or even frenzied, despite how I may sound at times. I just feel intensely disorganized and confused. Like, I have all of this stuff I need to do/clean/make/finish, and I just don't know where to start. It can be paralyzing at times.
All of these goals I wrote for myself are basic. They are the sorts of things everyone writes. Not like I need to be groundbreaking in this quest, but I suppose I thought my struggles were somehow unique to me and my situation. There's comfort in the universality, though.
#: Organize, clean, and get back into a system. I think one of the easiest things I can do to feel better is clean my entire house. There has always, I mean ALWAYS been at least one room of utter destruction. Always. It hangs over my head literally and figuratively.
As of late, it's leaked into the rest of the house. OK. My car, too. I need to take this weekend to get back to a clean slate. Once I'm there, I can start to implement some organization strategies, like having a chore calendar. I sincerely think clearing out the clutter will help calm my mind.
Stephen and I have also decided that we might treat ourselves to a professional cleaning service. Not monthly -- but a one-time deal to, again, start fresh.
#: Appreciate who I am. What I have. Stop wanting more or different. One of my hobbies is browsing real estate. I nitpick everything about our house. It's too small. The kitchen isn't functional. We have but one bathroom. Etc. Same thing goes pretty much everything else I could want -- everything -- and we all have lots of wants, don't we?
Thanksgiving is this month, so I'm trying to take time to remember what I'm grateful for. I'm going to write these things our versus just thinking about them, too. Something about the act of writing is more purposeful to me.
#: Stop comparing myself to others. I didn't do too much of this until I became a mom. No matter how hard I try not to or try to convince myself that I don't, I so very much DO compare myself to others. Whether I'm the one "winning" some imaginary contest or I'm "losing".
What a terrible way to live. In an imaginary contest. Jeez.
It started during pregnancy with weight gain or exercise level. Then birth stories. Then with weight loss after birth. The comparison can extend to pretty much everything. Even my parenting style or how much I get out of the house each week.
I feel like it will be almost impossible to stop, but I am hopeful that trying will at least help. I think taking time to think of what I'm grateful for versus what I do have or don't do/etc. will be helpful in this regard.
#: Ask for help. It's been a year, and I don't think I've been away from Ada for more than 5 hours. Part of this is just pure laziness because she never took to a bottle and breastfeeding directly from the source was easiest. Part of it was, well, I don't really know. Just feeling like I should and could do it all at all times.
Thing is, being home with a baby -- even a "good" and "easy" baby, which Ada has been for the most part, but has also had her little moments -- is exhausting. Add to that the other stuff I do, and there's little time for me to be just me. I can't afford any type of arranged childcare, so my parents have been generous enough to offer to watch Ada a few hours a couple days a week.
I'm hoping to use this time to clean or finish work. Tie up loose ends. To stop splitting myself into a million Ashleys.
#: Relax for 1 hour a day. And if I get more time to complete tasks with undivided attention, I think I might be more efficient at getting those tasks done. Crossing things off my list versus carrying them over to the next day. Of course, this all means . . . some more time for me to just BE in the moment.
Already I feel like an hour sounds too indulgent. Like I don't deserve that much time.
Stephen gave me a 1-month gym membership he won at a race almost a year ago. I still haven't cashed it in. Now, at the moment, the only real me-time I get is running for half an hour to an hour each day. This gym has a pool and hot tub. I don't plan to break a sweat there unless it's from the water being too hot as I sit there reading a book.
I'll get to more food and exercise-related stuff soon. There's plenty of that, but I think these goals are enough work for today. I hope to stop feeling like this crazy messed-up potato head and more like a better balanced, centered, and productive version of myself.
Time will tell.
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