You Are Enough

Funny thing about balance…it needs to not pendulum from one thing to another. It’s about finding the right combination of everything that makes life work in a reasonable, healthy way. I’ve been a little off balance lately, hence not writing in a while.

This summer has been an experiment in finding healthy balance. Some days, weeks, even, have been great! Some, unfortunately, have not.

Life has a way of jumping in and making things harder, and my general response is to revert to obsessive TV show watching and eating like crazy. When August brought the one year anniversary of my father’s sudden death and the spreading of his ashes, I fought the urge to revert to those crutches. Some days were okay, others not. Then I turned to other somewhat destructive things, like shopping, over-eating, and not exercising as much. Oh, and being sad. That wasn’t fun either.

Dad’s resting place:

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I learned in the past couple of weeks that even when life throws you major curveballs, it can also provide you with the tools to accept and move past those things. A week and a half after the anniversary, I feel almost released of the burden of that first year of grief. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still grieving and miss my dad like crazy, but that year of firsts is over. We made it through. I made it through more grief at work. I made it through last school year. I made it through all the little and big things that have made me feel awful, and I’m trying to learn from all of it. I’m trying to not be so hard on myself, but at the same time hold myself accountable for my feelings and actions. I’m trying to infuse positive things into my life instead of harping on all the terrible things in the world.

Today marks my last week of summer vacation. Today, I got back on the elliptical. Today, I am working on redefining and finding my balance before the new school year starts.

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One of my favorite Broadway actresses, Sierra Boggess, inspired me yesterday in a video interview she did. She said making the choice to be happy is scary. It is easier for us to live in our negativity and complaining than to make the decision to accept it and leave it behind to live in the now. She said this:

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And that got me thinking. It is so hard to accept ourselves as “enough” because there are so many outside influences telling us we aren’t enough that we start to believe it.

I am going to try my best to remember that I am enough. I’m going to try my hardest to bring healthy habits into my life. I’m going to try my hardest to live here and now instead of worrying about what could be, and instead, accept what is and be grateful.

Will I fail and fall down at times? I’m sure, but I’m tired of being negative, sad, ungrateful, and stuck. Hopefully, readers, you will be inspired by the journey, too!

Who or what has inspired your life’s journey, especially in trying times? What works for you to get back up when you fall?

Finding Balance in an Un-Balanced Life

I’m not perfect.

Ten years ago, saying that would have been like blasphemy to me. My perfectionist ways would not be able to handle that statement!

I’ve learned a lot in ten years- First and foremost, life happens. Change happens, whether you want it or not. You’ve got to pick your battles.

Unfortunately, little cliches aren’t always helpful when it comes to picking yourself up and moving forward.

I’ve discovered that finding balance in my crazy life is one of the hardest things that I’ve tried to do, and I haven’t been very successful at it in the past. Well, there’s no time like the present! I’m going to use this blog to help me be accountable for bringing some balance into my life so I can be healthy and relatively happy, and not drive my family and friends crazy.

I’m going to try a little exercise here to help put my goals in realistic, attainable terms so I can reach some balance in my life. I think this is a good thing for anyone to do, but can be especially good if you tend to be a perfectionist who sets unrealistic expectations for his/herself.

I’m going to start with where my brain usually goes- perfection. First, I will list out some IDEALISTIC goals I have (keeping in mind my perfectionist nature, I probably won’t be able to attain many of these at this point).
1. Lose weight, 30 lbs- exercise, eat right
2. Get a hold on finances- save money for a house
3. Find balance
4. Be happy
5. Find pleasure in teaching or find something new to do
6. Create instead of consume

All of these are good goals in theory, but they are pretty overwhelming in nature. This is where my brain spins out of control and gets crazy about how any of this could be possible, so “I’d be better off quitting before I start than to fail miserably.” There is no plan here, just arbitrary goals.

I need to break these down into parts that are attainable. Action versus dwelling on inaction leads to depression and circular thinking- not good for finding balance.

So, I need to work these into short-term goals that I can actually achieve. For me, success leads to better motivation.

1. Lose 10 pounds in July.
Tips For Success:
— Exercise daily, focusing on pushing myself to sweat each time.
— Sweets okay twice a week.
— Make food at home.
— Be mindful of portions and snacks. Ask, “Am I still hungry?”
— No more using food as rewards, bored eating, or emotional eating.
— Eat food that is nutritious and beneficial to my body…less processed food.

Notice I figured out my key issues- I walk with the dog each day, but not always enough or pushing to sweat. I eat too many sweets, and tend to use them as rewards in a bad way. I love food, so I will devour multiple portions before I know what hit me. Loosing ten pounds is also more realistic than trying for 30 right away.

Now I’m noticing I’m already getting overwhelmed, and when I do that, I panic and quit. So, I’m going to ruminate on that goal for today, and restore some balance by waiting to do the other goals until tomorrow!

To end on a positive note, today I created (this blog), exercised until the sweat was pouring off, and did the dishes! Yay!