This year I wanted to make a more concerted effort in every aspect of my life. My plans were to continue with school - take the hardest classes now (speech, ugh) - and really work on myself. Mind, Body, Spirit is where I needed more aim to be, since I mostly worry about what everybody else needs or feel anxiety, pain, sadness about what everyone else is going through. Well, I haven't been doing so well with my goals... It's going to be April in a few days and I have yet to focus on myself FULLY. I have been walking and going back and forth with dieting (life long struggle), but I'm just so unsettled in my spirit. I haven't been able to put my finger on what's troubling me until a light bulb went on this week.
My focus and drive are there for everybody else, but me. I'm the greatest supporter, helper and if you ask me to do something, it's rare that I'll say "No." Trouble is that there are people who know this and take advantage. At first, I feel great about it, I'm helping someone, but then it snowballs and all of a sudden the asking gets constant and then when I finally do get a "No" to come out of my mouth, I feel mean or rude. Not only do I feel mean, but the person I said "No" to, gets offended, and says, "Are you okay? You’re not acting like yourself?" Myself... What have I been doing about myself? I don't value my time or myself at all. I am proud of my accomplishments this last year and ongoing and I feel that I am a great asset to any group because I'm smart and organized, but as a human I don't respect me. My time should be as valuable as everybody else's, but I've been a pushover for so many years that even I don't believe my time matters. This is a huge revelation, maybe even a breakthrough, because now I see exactly where I've been making my mistakes.
Watching an episode of A Different World (Streaming on Netflix now - Hallelujah - such a great show) there was this gal Kimberly who had too much on her plate, but she got a day planner and she assured her roommates that she would be able to handle it all. She said, "Each minute has a purpose," and it hit me, right then, that there are so many minutes of my day that have no purpose! So much of my life is spent online finding inspirational messages, reading through Facebook posts, watching movie trailers and keeping up on all the latest. I like to be "in the know" - someone who can tell you all about world events, music, movies, sports and more. I like keeping relevant and staying in touch with what everyone is doing, but it's really not adding value to my life. The minutes I tend to regret are the ones where I was idly looking at Pinterest or watching videos on YouTube that kept leading me farther down the rabbit hole. Those times when I went online for "just a minute" and somehow two hours had passed me by. I try to imagine life without the internet, but lucky for me I don't have to just imagine it, I lived it. I think back to grade school and even high school and if you wanted to see what people were doing, you went out into the world and went for a bike ride or had your parents drop you off at the mall. You saw people in the flesh and you enjoyed each other's company. The more and more time I spend behind a screen, the less comfortable I become in a group of people.
I realize now that I have a few issues to iron out. 1) I need to see my time as valuable. 2) I need to stop pleasing people (which most likely will come once I value myself and time) 3) I need to get back to a simplistic life. I really need to take a step back and re-evaluate how I spend my time. I took a "Time Management" course at the beginning of March and our assignment was to log our time for 3 days and then evaluate what we logged. I logged over 6 hours of television watching in 3 days. I also logged a lot of walking - 5 hours in 3 days, but I realized then that my television watching was more than my outdoor life. It made me sick to be honest. I love media, film, theater, music, and television - all the glorious arts! Still, my "keeping up" with all that is causing me to lose a much more important piece of me - creating. I want to be a writer, film-maker, director someday. Those are my latest dreams and yes, one must study, but it is much more beneficial to get out there and learn by falling down. My time journal also showed how much of a routine life has gotten to be. Wake up, go to work, walk at lunch, come home, watch TV and go to bed. Wake up and repeat. I am not a hamster and this merry-go-round is not what I dreamed for myself.
So, what do I plan to do about it? Well, luckily this morning I stumbled upon a preview for May I Be Frank - a documentary about a man who was lost, overweight and needed a new lease on life. (Check it out - so great http://mayibefrankmovie.com) All I watched was the preview - the extended one - and I was turned into a blubbering fool. Sobbing at my desk and thinking I feel exactly like he did and look at him now! Why can't that be me? Well, I am so over the "WHY"s in my life and the "What If’s," that I'm ready for drastic change. Be it known though that I am a great STARTER. I have ideas and plans for days. I get gung ho about something and it's awesome for 2 whole weeks and then... I quit. Sometimes slowly easing my way back to how it was before, but other times just completely throwing in the towel. It's horrible for my self esteem to try and fail so often. I feel that I just keep adding layers and layers of self loathing on top of me because I try and fail so often. Some philosophers have told me that it is noble to have even tried at all. So, I try to take that with me, but usually the self loathing overpowers the trying factor.
I need to change. I need to take 30 days, full force, and create a different life for myself. They say (who the hell are they? LOL) that if you do something for just 28 days, you'll turn it into a habit... so why not try for an entire month? This is what I plan to do - take a month where I am solely and 100% focused on ME. Sounds horribly selfish and as I typed it, I got a twinge in my face and my nose scrunched up a bit. Worry about ME? Self serving, egotistical maniac!!! Not at all... I have done some things in life that I carry with me as regrets or baggage and I really need to open up and forgive myself. I have been struggling with my weight for the last 11 years of my life and I really want that to no longer be an issue for me. I need to approve of myself and be there for me more in life. I'm a strong girl with a ocean of emotion inside and though I can take a lot on the outside and push through the hard bits of life, my internal being needs me to care for it, stand up for it and add value to each moment of my life.
So what exactly do I mean? Well, from April 1st to April 30th of 2015, I will be unplugging. I will completely signing off from Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. A couple times this year, I tried going "off the grid" which for me really just meant keeping my phone away from reach and not logging onto Facebook at work. The longest I went was 2 1/2 weeks, but I snuck a peek here and there. I am addicted. I'm self aware enough to know that I have a huge problem. The distraction of social media is a huge barrier in my life. I don't need to be in the know all the time. I do not need to post what I just ate or who I'm with - nobody needs to know. It's this strange fear that if I don't post for long periods of time then I somehow don't exist. That's ridiculous, but it's the true feelings I have. If I don't tell something about myself today, then I'm somehow less valid than the rest of the world. Still, I have Facebook friends that rarely post and they are real and matter to me. My logic is getting fuzzy and when that occurs in my life, I realize there is a problem. I am addicted to my phone, to social media and staying relevant. For 30 days, I will not be tied to my phone and hopefully after that time, I will have created a new habit for my life.
I am going to train for a 5k. 3.1miles? - That's nothing! Seems small, even to me, but I'm a walker not a runner. So, my goal for the month of April is to train to run a 5k. I have downloaded an awesome guide from Shape Magazine on interval training as well as how to incorporate rest days and strength training. I purchased a Balance ball to help with core exercises and I've got Jaeger bands to help me gain some arm strength as well! (Shout Out: http://www.jaegersports.com/) I have started a great program called Juice Plus which is going to help me on the eating side of things and overall health. Small steps, daily small goals and I think I can achieve a life change.
I'm 34 years old and I feel so young inside my creative mind, but there are so many instances when my lack of courage and my physical stature holds me back. I'm tired of feeling limited. I plan to put a purpose behind every moment. I'm not going to fall asleep to the television, but to some literature that will move me and inspire me. I'm no longer going to itch to see what's trending unless that means taking a walk downtown to see what outfits are in the store windows or heading to Boo Boo Records to see what music is popular. There's distance between me and life and my passion projects. I want to create things and I find so many things distracting me from doing so. I've created such a beautiful space in the world with my amazing man Mister Paul, but I'm not making the very most of it. It's all on me. So, for a little while - at least a month - I am going to unplug from cyber space and plug back into the world around me. There's so much to see and do and create. I can't wait to see what comes from a month unplugged and I'm excited to get started... So now you know what's going on with me... maybe a little too much information, but I've always been an open book. Here's to making my book a little more balanced where my body, mind and spirit are concerned...
I believe it's best to share what you're going through
Cause then and only then, might you help someone just like you
And what a glorious gift to give
Bring to light what others have hid
Nothing self righteous about it - just trying to show some humanity
Life is full of so many components, why leave out the insanity?
Weaving through the stages best as we can
Constantly re-routing and changing best laid plans
That's what life is
That's how we grow
Don't keep it all hid
Let it out, let it show...
THANKS FOR READING AND ALWAYS BEING SO SUPPORTIVE!!!
I would love to hear your goals, life changes, comments or stories in the comments section below...
Talk to me... As Fraiser Crane would say, "I'm listening..."