When I was fifteen or sixteen, my Honors English teacher Mr Lewis gave each of us a poem that he thought represented us well. I got Emily Dickinson (score!), with this poem above. Anyone who knows even a bit of me will get a chuckle reading this as it couldn’t be closer to the core of who I am.
So as we begin the month of March, I decided to get some Sense into all the mucky muck that’s been swishing around in my head. You know, when you’re out on a walk or in your car or in the waiting room at the doctor and you think of something brilliant but don’t write it down and it’s weeks before you think of it again with a “d’oh!” in your mind…that kind of thing has been very prevalent and it was time to get it all organized and therefore, for me, create some peace and purpose.
What the hell am I talking about, you ask? Well, that Reiki session I mentioned having last week, it really broke me open to allow some new light in, and rather than just go “hmm that would be good to do”, I’m giving myself a month to try some new ways of doing things. Some may work, some may not, but all are DOABLE for at least a month. Some things may seem easy to many of you, some may seem like I’ve fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down, but here I go with a sort of Spring Training for myself (hence the March Madness dual reference, get it? got it? good.) and what I want to focus on every day this month, with a plan to document my journey each day (not on my blog, just on paper) as to how doing it feels, where the fears and challenges are, etc., then report back at the end of the month.
Good Health – * Because of the healing I am in dire need of from the trauma over the past years, both emotionally and physically, I am taking a month off of ALL white sugar, gluten, dairy and processed foods. While I don’t keep white sugar in my house and we drink almond milk, my emo-eating involves bread, cheese, and the occasional sneaking of sesame chicken from the Safeway Chinese deli down the street (I can’t explain it – we are so holistic in so many ways but there is still a deep rooted love of that particular to-go item (none others in the Safeway deli, I don’t waste time on rice or noodles, just that dish), and about twice a year, Hot Pockets, the latter which stems from my college staple, heh). And seeing that I was GF/DF for several years and reintroduced it a few years ago, I know it’s absolutely possible to adopt that for a month. I’ve said multiple times I’d go back to that, but with breadmaking being so part of this household, it’s been rough. So husband has agreed to get his bread elsewhere for a month. Because inflammation is rampant in my body from injury and perimenopause, doing a detox by removing these items entirely from my diet is something I now see as crucial, and will assess how I feel in April to determine what I feel comfortable reintroducing. Note: I’m not going completely grain-free as I’m not quite ready to let go of polenta or steel cut oats (the latter that’s a breakfast staple for us on work days), but beyond those two items I am going to try to steer clear of . * In the words of our beloved Michelle Obama, Let’s Move! is my new mantra. As I’ve been so restricted because of my lower back that just doesn’t want to heal, my version of this is different than others, but is a true commitment to increasing movement and, with that, burning a bit of fat. One hour a day dedicated to exercise, combining walking, stationary bike and my PT exercises/stretches, the latter which I’ve been a bit lax on as the sadness has come on pretty intensely lately. * And for the third Health mantra, commit to my new healing regimen which now consists of weekly visits to my ND/LMT for targeted lower back bodywork and cranio-sacral therapy, biweekly Reiki healing sessions to continue “unsticking” what’s stuck, and of course the biweekly therapy to keep working through the stuff that’s coming up (separate blog post later on that, I promise). While money is still tight, my therapist helped me see that this needed to be part of my budget, so I’m getting creative and going to find a way to make it work. With the move to the coast, I need to take advantage of these wonderful women healers as there aren’t nearly the resources where we are going and our plan is to drive back to P-town once a month for business/doctors/fun stuff/etc…max.
Structure * One thing that I learned big time in the first two months of the year is that I do NOT do well without stuff to do…it’s seriously toxic for my body and soul, especially under the physical restrictions of my lower back keeping me from the kinds of things (yoga classes, hikes, biking through the city, going to a matinee, etc.) that I’m used to filling in the gaps. Boredom has always been a killer for me, and with a slower-than-average Q1 thus far and the domestic adoption debt only half paid off, I don’t have the same kind of luxuries I used to. I’ve created a daily schedule to follow five days a week (matching Dan’s work days), from the time I wake up til bedtime – and the other two days to be ‘whatever days’. Now this is not an obsessive “brush my teeth at 8:12am” type of schedule, more like what I need to be working on each hour. Since I work from home, the flexibility is often in my court as to what I do when, and so even though I’m not really adding that many NEW things to my day, I have acknowledged that keeping productive keeps me focused, healthier and happier. Using that term I do need to say, “busy” is a different meaning to each of us which is why I say productive instead. Obviously, there will be substitutions if something out of the ordinary happens, but for now, here is what my March schedule looks like: 7-8AM Ducks, Breakfast. 8-9AM Prep for Day. Work check-in, plan my day, rearrange a few timeslots if required to accommodate appointments/calls/etc. 10A-12PM – Work. If my coaching & recruiting tasks are complete, “work” means to focus future financial goals – what we’re going to do when we get out to the coast, any other money-making endeavors, etc. 12-1PM – Lunch + Errands. 1-3PM – Work (see above) 3-4PM – Meditation + Creative. 30 minutes (up from 10-15!) guided meditation if I have no healer appointments and 30 minutes for my creative (this blog, daydreaming, photography, etc.) 4-6PM – Marriage – catch up on our days, just focus on each other. 6-7PM – Dinner – cook together, eat at the table NOT on the sofa. No TV. 7-8PM – Tech time – the man loves Jeopardy & I watch ET, what can I say. I can also catch up on late emails from clients, etc. 8-9PM – Marriage – take a walk after dinner, listen to music, talk, anything but stare at the TV. No Technology! 9-10PM – Aimee. Dan works very early so is in bed so I downshift and read, plan for the next day, listen to music. No technology! Along with that, I’m going to document how this goes and see how “compliant” I was and how I felt at the end of each day 🙂
The Little Things (that AREN’T as little as I’ve treated them)
Reclaim Aimee has been a mantra this year since my therapist “gave me permission” to do things that are just ME. Places I used to go, things I used to do, stuff I used to go crazy over – full permission to still have those in my life and to pursue independently. I know, I know, this is something intellectually we know we can and should be doing but I’ve been obsessively focused on the greater ‘We’ and forgetting that there ain’t no ‘we’ without ‘me’. So, must get back to pulling the oxygen mask over myself before helping others, as the metaphor goes. Once a week ? Good start.
Adorn myself. No – I’m not going out to buy diamond earrings or ridiculous stilettos and I’m not talking about wearing a fur coat on a quick trip to the grocery store. What I mean is, when you get to working from home for this many years and not HAVING to look particularly nice, you end up embracing the sweats (or in my case this winter, the polar fleece leggings, GapBody long sleeve shirt, a hoodie and my Keens) and forget that when there are social occasions, perhaps it’s time to think about what else is in my closet. So I kicked this off actually on February 28th when I went to meet a girlfriend for lunch and almost walked out the door looking like I’d rolled right out of bed…and I thought, damn Aimee, you can do better than that! When my friend M came to visit me recently, it took me back to so many memories of when we first met working in a clothing store, and how much we both adored fashion. She still does and it’s apparent – she always looks great, even getting off the train…and yet myself? Even though I still thumb through it in magazines and on Pinterest, I looked like – a fucking slob. Not like I hadn’t showered, but still, I put no effort into my appearance, and it had nothing to do with the fact that I don’t wear makeup or use product in my hair. I saw Alicia Keys on The Voice this week and thought, dang, I need to work what I got. Even if I want to lose a bit of what I got around the middle, I still have to remember that it’s nice to pull on a skirt or a nice sweater – anything beyond my trusty black adidas hoodie at this point. Kinda goes back to the ‘reclaim Aimee’ thing – start seeing the beauty in myself and adorning myself with pretty things once in a while. I’m worth it, ya know?!
And finally, nurture the relationships I do have. I have been swirling in sadness for so long from my losses that I have not recognized nearly enough the people who ARE making a difference, the people who DO see and support me still, in spite of what’s happened, in spite of how I’ve changed. They may be in different layers in my life compared to those who ghosted us, and therefore the expectations may not be the same, but it doesn’t mean that I should take them for granted or not make it a point to cherish the energy and light they give me in every interaction!
Traveling down this road Watching the signs as I go I think I’ll follow the sun Isn’t everyone just Traveling down their own road Watching the signs as they go I think I’ll follow my heart It’s a very good place to start ~ “Sky Fits Heaven” (Madonna)