Things I stink at

I was going to title this “Things that I suck at” but I just couldn’t get beyond my mother’s voice in my head, yelling at me for using “suck” in public. So “stink” it is! You’re welcome, mom.

I am really, really awful at 2 things. They’re related, of course:

1. Resting
2. Giving myself grace

Resting. I’m awful at it. I think that if I’m not go-go-going all the time, then the world will somehow stop spinning. That by my activity and accomplishments, I somehow keep things going.

It’s a very egotistical view of the world, honestly. Nothing is going to happen if I just stop for an hour, a few hours, even a day.

Taking time, taking rest, is really good for the soul and body. I know this, intellectually. But man, I really really stink at it!

Related? I’m horrible at giving myself grace. Forgiving myself. Not beating myself up for my (perceived) shortcomings. I used to actually yell – out loud – at myself for being an idiot. Usually with some more, um, colorful words thrown in.

I’ve gotten better at that, thank goodness. But I still beat myself up. A lot. Internally, and quietly, and it’s definitely not as bad as it was. But for some reason, I just *have* to hold myself to a higher standard. I’m doing really well at giving others grace – at reminding them that they do not need to apologize for being human, for the most part – but I seriously lack the ability to do this for myself.

Today my body reminded me that physical rest can be really important. I work out nearly every day. I only take one “lighter” day and still do a ton of cardio that day. I know that this is not healthy for my mind and body – but I need to move everyday or I cannot focus. That said, I could certainly do more gentle movement a few days a week.

But it’s like I’m in competition with myself. And when I step back, and then compare what I did this week with what I did last week, when I did not step back, that’s when I start the above process of, um, not giving myself grace.

Today I just felt off and woke up at 1 am (early even for me). Stomach cramps and just not feeling right. I slept an extra 45 minutes, did a little less at the gym, and now, of course, feel like I did not do “enough”.

I’m going to try to give myself grace today but it can be really hard. Here’s hoping I make some progress. Because I know my body was trying to tell me something. Maybe it’s time to listen.

I was coming here to brag, but…

I don’t usually talk about my daily life here on this blog, but… well, maybe it’s time to turn over a new leaf / open a door / share a smidge? I just lead such a, well, boring and routine life. No kids. No dog. I live alone, separately from my spouse, most of the time. It’s weird, compared to a lot of other peoples’ lives, but it works for me, and for us, and so I continue on.

Let’s just say I’ve been a really bad sleeper in the last few years. I’m not sure whether it’s because I have autoimmune conditions, or because I’ve had some significant anxiety and other issues, like, well, lots of upheaval (moving, job stuff, things you really don’t want to know about…).

And I was coming here to brag this morning about how well I’ve been sleeping – weirdly -for the last 3 nights, and how unexpected and how lovely this development was, and how much energy I’ve had, and blah blah blah. 

And even though I slept really well last night, again, I just feel like garbage today.

It was an annoying morning at the gym – equipment not working correctly, TV connection was spotty, I felt like crap on my run.

It’s supposed to be rainy and cloudy all day.

I’m struggling with my grant writing.

I have to have a budget meeting for said grant this morning, and I really don’t wanna.

So instead of bragging, here I am,  um, whining? Gee, welcome! I’m so glad you’re here (as you sprint out of my blog space…).

Time for a shift in perspective, I guess. If I’m going to say in yesterday’s post about how well I’m doing with those, then it’s time to live up to that! My day can only get better from here. I’m hydrating (I think I might be dehydrated for some reason?). Reviewing the budget so I can be sure that I know what we want to keep and what to drop. Reminding myself to be ruthless in editing my grant.

I can do hard things. This stuff is not nearly as hard as what a lot of people deal with on a daily basis.

Time to suck it up. Time to start this day again.

Mindset…Perspective…Changes throughout the journey

I don’t have a quote today – I searched for a few on mindset but nothing really spoke to me.

Hm. This one is in my collection of quotes (my actual commonplace book!) and it actually reflects what I’ve been pondering:

“Each of us has a unique journey marked by experiences that shaped who we are.” -Bert + John Jacobs, Co-founders of Life is Good

I’ve realized in the last few months that I have a completely different mindset, that I’ve experienced a shift in personality that is more profound than I initially realized. (I also just realized that I have another post on mindset from not too long ago, but, well, this is a slightly different one…) 
I was always someone who just let her frustration / anger / annoyance build up, then I’d explode. Usually at myself. 
Or I’d make a dumb mistake, or cut myself in the kitchen (this, unfortunately, happens more often than I care to admit) and I would, quite literally,  yell at myself. 
I was even known to throw pillows and yell at the TV during college basketball games. 
I chalked it up to being “like my mother”, and took solace in the fact that once I exploded, I was really a pretty calm person. 
But then I started not liking who I was in those moments. 
I realized that my reactions, while they might have (in a weird way) felt good when they happened, were not serving me or others. 
I realized that perspective, and realizing that a cut, or a loss in a game, was not the end of the world.
Perhaps it took facing some more serious health – and mental health – issues to get me to realize this. Or the recognition that the life I thought I was going to have is not, actually, the life I have. (The one I have is, thank goodness, better than that envisioned life.)
I was told by a colleague last week that I was one of the “calmest people [she] knows”.
I said something to my spouse this weekend about how I don’t overreact the way I used to – and he agreed. 
I realized that the rift in my relationship with my childhood friend is largely of my own doing – borne out of my reaction to something she did out of love (it was still wrong, and misguided, but her intentions were good…). 
I kind of like this new me better than the old me. It’s a lot easier way to live, to be honest. And I think it’s much more, well, “me”. 
Everyone is trying hard. Everyone has crap they’re dealing with. Me throwing negative energy into the Universe is not going to help that. 
So yes, a shift occurred in my life journey. The path isn’t a different one, but perhaps it took a bit of a bend. And I’m okay with that. It just took me a little while to realize it! 

Gratitude on a Friday

“…life is not meant to be an unending series of blinding insights and staggering leaps forward. A lot of times it’s just huffing and puffing, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other up the mountain trying not to puke. Sometimes it’s a slip and a fall. Simply summoning the determination to keep going when you’d really rather not seems to be a lot of what life is.” Josh Radnor, in his most recent Museletter

I am grateful for the realization this week that sometimes, just persisting is a good idea. 

I don’t have to always be moving forward in leaps and bounds, in my personal life or my professional life. 

Not that I want to stagnate, but sometimes? resting in the now is a good choice. I’m grateful for this quote, above, and for others that I have come across this week that have reminded me of that. 

So for this weekend, I don’t anticipate any big leaps forward. And that’s okay. I’m slogging a bit right now on a grant application, but, well, sometimes the slogging is just as important (if not more so) than the bits of insight and the “flashes” that are few and far between. 

Slog on! (Huh, no emoji for that…;>)

The power of thoughts

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind.” Buddha

I have been thinking a lot about #6 on my “Lessons Learned” post from the other day – the one about just because you can hold a grudge (like a champ, I might add), don’t. 

I had a … falling out, let’s call it, with a lifelong friend several years ago. 

At the time, I perceived some of what she said and did as attacking me. Questioning my choices. Challenging me in ways that I did not want to be challenged. Add to that the fact that our lives had diverged substantially, and I felt we had so little in common that I let this episode be the catalyst for backing off. 

Way off. 

We used to speak weekly. I think I have spoken to her once, maybe twice, in the last year. 

This was someone with whom I grew up, shared all the trials and tribulations and joys of childhood and adolescence and college. Yes, we had – and have – very different lives, but we were always able to at least talk, and be curious about what the other was doing. 

Over the last year, though, it’s become more and more apparent to me that what I was doing was not loving. It was not kind. It was not building the life – the future – that I wanted. This is one small piece of my future, but… if my overall goal in life is to put more good into the Universe than bad, how was this contributing to that? 

Short answer? it wasn’t. 

So I (eventually) reached out. Wrote a card. Put myself out there a bit – while still acknowledging that we might never get back to what we were. But letting her know that I missed my friend. That I wanted to be back in touch, and that I wanted to see what kind of connection we could establish now that we are (sigh) approaching middle age. 

She emailed me – a long email – last night. I haven’t yet read it. I don’t know where we go from here. But I do know that this is one small stone in the path that I am building towards the future. It feels so much better than the grudge I was hanging on to for far too long.