Friday, October 22, 2010

Writing in the Dust

Hmm, a bit dusty in here wouldn't you say? I mean it's only been, let's see.. June, July, ... , October, almost 5 months since my last posts. And those were teasers about my trip to Orkney which implied more to come.

Some big things happened in these 5 months, most of which anyone reading my blog already knows about. In June, my parents visited, and we had a great time. I had a job interview back in the US. I went on some fabulous walks and avoided the tourists and the Festival crowds in July and August. I got the job and started planning my move to Baltimore. At the beginning of October, one of my sisters came to visit, and we had a great time. All that was wonderful!

Other stuff hasn't been so great, namely how I've been taking care of myself. Answer: Not very well. Oh, I've limped along (not literally). I've been seeing a terrific massage therapist/osteopath type person, who has helped to unknot some of the long-standing knots in my neck, shoulders, and back. In May I started taking something to help with the anxiety-depression combo that strikes with a killer migraine every period, lasting for approximately 2 weeks, and I think that has helped. I've added a bunch of supplements (B6, Magnesium, Calcium, Vit D, Vit E, Omega 3) that research suggests is good for mood and/or migraine prevention. That's all good.

But those few good-for-me things have been completely overwhelmed by the bad-for-me things. Little or no aerobic exercise. Waaaayyyy to much time sitting immobile in front of the computer playing games. (The computer I play games on is currently taking a time-out under a blanket in the closet.) Little or no meal planning and poor, poor eating habits. Becoming more and more hermity. Plus the mental bashing for not doing all the things I should or have said I was going to do. (Bah, a pox on myself. I'm so sick of my own mental whining.)

And as you might expect, the results of all the above things have wreaked havoc on my mental and physical well-being. The mind-body-spirit trifecta is broken. So, so broken.


Essentially, I have very few good habits. And what few I have are in severe danger of being lost in mire of my many, many bad habits. (Once upon a time, I know I had more good habits. Where, oh where did they go? I ran several 10k races last year, for Bob's sake.) In a nutshell, this is what I need to change. It is the big picture. I can talk about taking better care of myself, blah, blah, blah, blah. But unless I'm actively building up good habits to replace the bad old ones, nothing will change in the long run.

It's a great plan! And simple! Bad habits -> good habits.

But the success of any great plan is in the details.

So let's start with the most egregious. Probably the worst habit I have right now is dragging my feet in the morning to get out the door and into work. (On the surface, this doesn't seem so terrible, but the repercussions of this for me are HUGE. Trust me on this.) See, I don't have any set work schedule, and that's a dangerous thing for me. Sometimes (more and more frequently) I give up and decide to just work from home. This is BAD because I really need the human interaction I get at work for my mental health. Plus I don't get as much done at home.

Goal 1: lollygagging in morning -> getting up and moving out the door to work by 9am

I have tried to change this bad habit so many times, you wouldn't believe it. This time, what I've done is made a basic morning check list that I'm putting on my door, and I will reward myself with stars for each thing as I do them. Here it is.

Ok, so it's a bit hard to read. It starts off with get out of bed. Yes, I'm giving myself a star just for getting out of bed in the morning! I said it was basic. I also get a star if I get out the door right away and do some exercise, even if it is just walking around the block. I guess I figure that if it's a challenge at the moment for me just to step out of the door to my flat, then that's where I need to start. I'm also giving myself stars for showering, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and going to work, etc. Go ahead, laugh. It's not that I don't do these things now, it's more that I do them at 10 or 11 or *cough* sometimes after lunch. The point here is to change my morning routing from one of puttering around and wasting time to one where I get up and start moving and get out the door.

Aside from this first goal, I figure that I also have to start blogging more. I need some accountability. So, I'm also committing to blogging twice a week. One update post on how the habit changes are going, and a second post on anything else. My immediate goal here is to blog and post pictures about my Orkney trip before I leave Scotland. After that, well, I'll be in a new city. Surely there will be places to explore and blog about there!

So, working on changing my morning slothfulness and more blogging. Stay tuned.


CMS said...

As my plane doesn't land until 145pm, you need to get all your stuff done in the morning. Then every single morning that I'm visiting, we're going to get up, get dressed and out the door by 9am because there's so much to do before you come home. Together we can continue the good routine you'll already be in by the time I get there. Think positive!

Praising yourself for the good habits while take you a lot further than beating yourself up for the bad. Trust me*, it does work.

Xenia said...

That's a fab plan! Look forward to your blogging and the upcoming Orkney and other photos.

The Merry said...

I'm trying for the same goal.
Go Team CB!

Last week, I started get up in the early a.m. and getting to work early. Went great for the first couple days, then I... started... slowing... down.

Turns out merely getting up early doesn't cut it. You have to find a way to get to sleep earlier, or you'll find yourself overdrawn at the Sleep bank. Not fun :(