One Week Out

I have been home for a little over a week. The jet lag has faded and I am back to real life.  I am falling back in to the rhythm of my just OK and not AMAZING life. Old patterns and feelings are creeping back in.

I still have so many questions! How can I keep moving and growing while living my day to day life? How can I ignite the flame of the sparks of spiritual connections I made in the UK? What the hell kind of business am I supposed to start? There are not enough hours in the day.  In my free moments, I can’t decide whether to write or research or get in my move calories or meditate or do Rieki!!  Then I have to plan healthy meals, get in my 8 hours of beauty sleep, and keep doing my day job.  I have accumulated so many books on my Kindle but I am not reading them!!  (I guess I need to prioritize the one on Slip Stream Time Hacking!)

What is the right balance of taking care of yourself and pushing yourself to keep growing?

I was planning to write about the poetry and movement course but that is not how I am feeling today. Today I am feeling a little paralyzed and overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. The Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) are setting in.  I have withdrawal from being surrounded by the people I became so close to.  I am back in my solo life that requires effort to engage with other people (not my forte) and will power to NOT engage with the wrong people (also not my forte).

My life is not all new things and adventures. There is a lot of this FUD mixed in.  My life is not my social media feed. Keeping up that level of excitement is against my nature (or at least my current vibration.) I have to fight hard to break the downward spiral that can set in.  On days like today I try to start with one thing that will move me in the right direction.

No, actually, what I do first is give myself a little bit of time to feel what I am feeling. I acknowledge that what I am trying to do (live my biggest and best life and elevate my vibration) is hard and I let myself have an internal temper-tantrum.

 

I did the work! I went on the pilgrimage! Can’t it be all fixed now? Why can’t I make decisions more easily ? Why is the path still not clear? How can I still get distracted by things and people that are not best for my greatest and highest good? I released my fears in to a sacred spring. And then I burned them in the fireplace of a 700 year old manor! I plunged naked in to a freezing cold healing pool to purify myself.  I have the Universal Life Force Energy flowing through me.  AND I have the I have a manifestation wand that lights up!  Seriously…what else can I do???!!!!

Well, I am a star soul on a quest for enlightenment. There is more work to do. (More on star souls later, I am still learning!)

After the temper tantrum, I buckle down and make myself do SOMETHING. Just one thing (that I don’t really feel like doing) that will keep me on my trajectory. I can take a walk and listen to an inspiring podcast.  I can reach out to connect with other human beings (being careful to stick with the ones that will elevate my vibration.)  I can write.  I can get my ass to a yoga class (or a dance class)! I can finish that book on Slip Stream Time Hacking! I can make a list of stuff to learn about for my mystery business (I really love lists. Can start a business that is all about lists?).

My inspirational advice for today?

Get perspective. Practice self love. Do just one thing, which will turn in to one more thing….Keep moving.

 

 

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Restarting the Blog..Maybe

One of my goals for 2017 was to start blogging again. It’s December 28th so I thought I should get on it.

A few months ago I re-read 5 years of blog posts to try to get back in to the swing of it.  When I read back what I had written, I was not sure I wanted to start blogging again. I like having a history of what I was up to (and thinking about), but reading myself say the same thing over and over again —  setting goals, trying to achieve them, work getting in the way, blah, blah, blah — was boring (especially in a binge read which is not how they unfolded or were intended to be consumed.)

In case you are just joining in now or want a refresher yourself here are a few to give you a gist of my personal development theme:

I did write some hilarious posts about the minutia of my life (if I might say so myself):

My many posts on television bored the bejesus out of me. (Some less sucky ones include Goodbye Friday Night Lights and I Finally Tackled Battlestar Galactica)  I have no interest in blogging about television any more.  I definitely still watch television and it has become SO much better since I started this blog in 2010.  (Back in the day, Netflix only came in red envelopes! Remember that?)

There was a lot of interest in my dating posts and I did enjoy writing and re-reading those! Here are a few goodies from that genre:

I wanted my blog to be a continuous story thread to keep my readers (aka family and friends) up to date on what was going on with me and it was the same s*^t over and over, with small progressions in the right direction.  That is what life is, but that is not a riveting read. I don’t want to blog that way any more. Social media has exploded since I started the blog and that is a much easier way to keep people up to date.

I did take on a huge project in 2017 and it was very weird not to write about it here.  There was a request to summarize that project and the blog seems like a good place to do that so I have committed to at least one more post!  It seemed weird to jump right in to that after such a long hiatus, so I birthed this transitional summary post you find yourself reading now.

There are a couple of other reasons to re-start the blog again:

  1. I have an interest in writing and I think I’m pretty good at it. I want to explore this creative outlet again and see if it something that should become a larger part of my life.
  2. I want to write about things that are helpful to other people. I spend a lot of time searching on the internet for stuff that I want to know more about.  I can pay it forward by writing about things that other people want to know more about.

I don’t know how far this will go. I thought about creating a new blog to start fresh but I don’t have a new idea or perspective for that yet.  If that emerges I will take the leap, but for now, I will continue the story here and see what unfolds…

Today is My Birthday

Today is my birthday. Hitting 46 feels like I am officially starting the second half of my life. I’ll have to report back at 91 (or 92?) to let you know if I outperformed that assumption. Although, when I am in my 90s, people might not be writing blogs. The internet might just read all of our minds in to a collective consciousness or something (like the Cylons on Battlestar Galactica!) Then you won’t need an update.

What’s probably more important at the moment, is that I am actually in a good place as I kick of this approximate second phase of life. There have been a lot of days lately where I have realized that I am in a good mood and I am not sure why. That’s a pretty awesome feeling. (Reading back through my blog posts from this past year, I know I am in a better place. 2014 was not so amazing, huh?)

Has my job gotten less crazy? Nope.

Have I found that magical love that I thought would change everything? Nope.

Am I meditating, doing tons of yoga, or getting in more cardio? Not really. (as a matter of fact, I have scientific proof from my fitbit that I am not even taking very many steps!)

What’s changed?…..me!  Over time, things have just shifted. (OK, that did not just happen. I have worked VERY hard at it. I am pretty sure this shift is a return on investment for my almost twenty years of therapy. That is an encouraging thought as I write those checks every month.)

I think I have transitioned through that time in my life where I was expecting things to happen, comparing myself to other people, constantly trying to figure out why those things were not happening, or beating myself up for not trying hard enough. Some stuff happened. Some stuff didn’t. Some stuff may happen in the future and some stuff won’t. That’s how it goes…

Every time I talk to a friend or co-worker about some annoying thing in my life, they one-up me with something worse in their life. Being single is hard. Being married is hard. Working in a high stress job is hard. Being laid off is hard. Raising kids is hard. People get sick. People die. People are mean. Disappointment happens. There is no perfect life and we have no control over most of it. But sometimes the sky looks beautiful. Sometimes people surprise you (in a good way!). Sometimes a movie touches your heart. Sometimes you can actually balance in the dancers pose. Sometimes your little niece wants to call you on the phone because she misses you. Sometimes you kick ass in a meeting. And sometimes, just seeing a lizard will make you smile (that might only happen to me.)  If you are lucky enough to really appreciate these good moments and breathe through the shitty ones. Life is good.

This is all very Zen. I should really read up on all of this Buddhist stuff I might be accidentally living.

For the past six months, the main focus of my upcoming birthday was this grand plan that I had to roll my birth date back at midnight so I would stay 45 on OK Cupid. I had convinced myself that being 46 was the kiss of death for online dating and I was never going to get older than 45 online. But when the day came, I couldn’t do it.  First of all, it is not like dating at 45 has been all that fruitful. (Yes, the ridiculousness of the men I encounter in the dating world has continued in to 2015.) If I am going to lie about my age, I should go all out and be 35. But the real issue was that I don’t want to be something I am not. Period. I like myself and I want to be myself. I’m 46 and I’m awesome. I work really hard to be this person that I like, and this person does not lie. Your loss if you can’t handle my 46 year old awesomeness 🙂

So I am going to move in to my 47th year and do whatever the hell I want and be myself. I have managed to create a life where that is possible, every day. Not bad.

Catching Up

It’s been a while…again…I know. Shortly after my last post about Creating Possibilities, my work world got turned upside down. Teams split. I was given away and then traded back. I ultimately ended up in a much better place, but it was a crazy whirlwind.

I had been doing all of that work to keep things moving along on my slow, continuous journey for overall overall “betterness” but I hadn’t really figured out what the heck I was going to do next. Then all of these  unexpected changes happened that were mostly out of my control.

That’s kind of the way life goes. I somehow managed to get myself out of a bad spot by continuing to do kick-ass work and saying as little as possible to keep my options open and not piss anyone off (I am REALLY good at both of these things.) I partly got lucky and partly made opportunities for myself by just being me.

I am definitely back on the right track professionally. I don’t know where I want to be in five years, but I do know that I want that promotion I turned down last year. I have earned it. After I tackle this one, maybe I can retire and become a yoga teacher and figure out how to save the world.

Getting this promotion might take a little bit more than staying quiet and working my ass off. I am going to need a bit more of that being brave mixed in but I am going for it!  I don’t know how much writing I will have time for on this quest, but I do have some posts brewing in me. Now that we are caught up, maybe we can talk about some fun stuff! Stay tuned…

Creating Possibilities

This phrase has been on my mind all week. Ideas have been dancing around in my head, formulating themselves in to a blog post, finally.

The first few months of this year were not fun. I worked A LOT. I was miserable.

Then, sometime in March, everything became eerily more quiet. Things slowed down just enough at work so I could breathe.

I took weekends off, multiple weekends in a row. It felt very strange (but good!)

I went shopping and bought myself some new clothes and started venturing out of the house again.  I found a yoga studio near my house that I really like and I started going to yoga once a week. Yay! I put my running shoes back on and hit the East River running path once a week.

I spent a week with my sister and her adorable family (including a sweet new baby girl) and relaxed and enjoyed my time with them and, almost completely, ignored work.

I found my way back to meditation. I read 10% Happier about this ABC newscaster who found HIS way to meditation (through a lot of crazy people and then finally some people who made sense) and it reminded me of what meditation CAN do and why I should keep trying.

I have been meeting with my coach. My resume is updated and we hit on some good points about some of the things holding me back from looking for something new and being open to explore before rejecting things.  She also put me on a quest to get 500 linked in connections which has connected me with many long lost old friends and colleagues.  I started having conversations with people to try to figure out what I might want to do with the second half of my life.

I am writing to guys on OK Cupid and got myself on Hinge the newest dating app that connects you with friends of your friends (and their friends) on Facebook.  Nothing has led to an actual date, but I am collecting more funny stories to tell (perhaps in a future post.)

I just keep moving towards something better, one small step at a time. Earlier this week I felt a shift. A small shift, like two tectonic plates settling micro inches in to a new position.

Everything on that list was a bit of a struggle.  I was pretty miserable and tired and part of me wanted to sit on the couch and eat bean dip and drink wine every day, but I didn’t (not every day).  Each thing on its own doesn’t seem like much, but when I look at it all together, I am creating new possibilities. My world is just a little bit bigger. And that makes me, some % happier. I am not prepared to commit to a % (I am still a cautious, perfectionist. It was just a tiny shift.) but definitely happier than I was two months ago.

My sister told me that I work harder at being a better person than anyone she knows. I was quite proud to have that honor. The better person I am the more I can give back to the world and that is my entire reason for being.

OK, things got a little heavy there. Maybe I am on my way to enlightenment? Is that possible after only 5 days back on the meditation? Must be the endorphins from the run I just went on.

 

Detoxing Self-Assessment

I’m hungry. I was on a downward spiral in to salami and frozen pizzas, so I decided to start my reset with a juice cleanse. I am almost at the end of day three. I am not thinking 100% clearly, so let’s see how this post goes. At a minimum, it will distract me until my next juice.

I have not met with my executive coach yet (that happens later this week), but before I stopped eating, I did do my pre-coaching homework. This homework included some tests that revealed my top five strengths and my four Tru Value words. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by either of these lists.

My Top Five Strengths:

  1. Caution, prudence, and discretion (this one makes me laugh because it basically keeps me from doing anything and yet it is apparently, a strength!)
  2. Judgement, critical thinking, and open mindedness (I do think things through A LOT. Big thinker.)
  3. Industry, diligence, and perseverance (I do keep trying to climb out of the hole!)
  4. Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness (I don’t know how to be anyone but me. Sometimes I wish I did.)
  5. Modesty and humility (oh yeah)

These were my four Tru Value words. I had a list of 100 words in 15 categories and I had to narrow it down to four.

  • To feel good (This was not the same as “have fun” which did not make my top 4. I did find the distinction interesting . Feeling good was in the “to feel” category with words like “emote”, “experience”, “sense”, and “in touch with.”  “Have fun” was in the pleasure category with “be hedonistic”, “play games”, and “be amused”. “To feel good” is WAY more me. I wonder if anyone actually picks “be hedonistic?”)
  • Be connected (connection makes me feel good!)
  • Excellence (I am a recovering perfectionist, of course)
  • Accomplish (nothing better than checking things off the list)

Both tests also concluded that I am not spiritual and don’t really have a zest for life/sense of adventure. Not a shock.

I do like taking tests, but I think I know myself pretty well and I am not sure exactly how these lists will help me get unstuck in my career. I guess this is why I am paying a coach!  Perhaps she can figure out how a super cautious person who likes to get things done but lacks a zest for life and has not found God can find her way out of a mid-life crisis.

Its time for my next juice!

Reset

It’s been a while, I know.  What happened, you ask? My job ate me alive.

This was not the plan. I got all brave and said no and went on vacation and everything, but things continued to spiral out of control. Every time I tried to set limits, some new urgent project was dumped on me.  Then, I got moved down the ladder to report to the guy who took the job that I turned down.  This arrangement is not working out well for me. I will leave it at that.

The all-consuming “software emergencies” have prevented me from doing much of anything else for months. No dating. Almost no social engagements. Lot’s of TV that I don’t even have the energy to write about. I know more than I need to about Juan Pablo, Narvik-B, the drama at Downton, and Joe Carroll. I haven’t even been able to get to the movies to see Leonardo DiCaprio!  That’s when you know things are bad.

Yesterday, in an attempt to make more time for me, I went to see a new potential primary care physician for a check-up. She turned out to be a crazy pants. Somehow, in a 45 minute appointment, she never got to an actual physical exam. She did find time to recommend an elimination diet, ask me to join her “plank challenge”, pitch the Nike fitness club app and some 7 minute workout in the NY Times, sell me on gratitude meditation, and give me an assignment to explore the “story” behind why I don’t like grocery shopping. Perhaps I should not have selected my doctor because her office sent me flashy flyers and I could make an appointment online.

What I did take away from this bizarre medical appointment was this idea that I need to “change the story.” I went to find out if I have any vitamin deficiencies (which I still don’t know) but I left with a reminder that my story currently sucks.

Its time for a reset.

Reset: to put back in the correct position for healing

I’ve been here before. I am here again…or I am still here. Sigh. Here are the baby steps I am currently taking to change the story:

  • I am taking the whole weekend off for the first time since Christmas.
  • I am going to start working with an executive coach to figure out what kind of job would actually make me happy.
  • I am pondering a spring juice cleanse or a TVaction to cleanse the body and mind.
  • I am trying to get the dating engine started again. My least favorite activity of them all, but a necessarily evil.
  • I am blogging again. Since I hate writing lots of negative stuff, I am hoping this will force me to get back to doing positive stuff and thinking positively about stuff in general.

Eventually, this blog will have a happy ending (rewritten from, “I don’t know if this blog will have a happy ending, but I hope it does,” as I actively try to visualize a new story.)

You (my readers) are now back in the loop as I climb back out of the hole I keep slipping back in to. Isn’t that what life is? Is anyone actually able to sustain awesome perfection every day? Point me to that person’s blog if they exist.