Beginnings, emotions, health, mental health

Soft.

It’s been a week since I admitted to you all that I’m struggling with stress and anxiety. Truth be told, I’ve been struggling for a while but it’s just gotten to the point that I didn’t feel I could handle it without help. So I’ve made changes.

I’ve tried several changes in lifestyle this week. Here’s what I’ve done that has worked (so far):

  • Taken a break a work; at lunch. The weather has been super crummy, so I haven’t been able to leave the building, but I’ve intentionally locked my computer, silenced all notifications, and read. I’ve been able to lose myself in a book for at least 30 minutes everyday. It has been so nice!
  • Started having a glass of Nuun Rest before bed. I’ve had 4 nights in a row of great sleep. Only one night have I woken up at my trademark 1:30am and started thinking about work, and I consciously changed my thoughts, focused on some old meditation/relaxation tricks from therapy, and I went back to sleep.
  • Started taking Super You vitamins from Moon Juice. I didn’t get them until Thursday, so it’s only been a few days. It might be all in my head, but I do think they are helping me focus and not overreact at things. I’ll be keeping those up for sure.
  • I intentionally do not talk about my faith here. After my divorce I was very ashamed and I kinda left church or a bit. Looking back I don’t think it was a conscious decision, but it happened. I’ve been to a new church these last two weeks and I can’t explain the joy it brings me. I’m already looking into a life group; to bring more people into my circle. We aren’t meant to do life in solitude.
  • I’ve forcefully (and sometimes audibly) stopped all thoughts of negativity about my weight and body image. I’ve stayed within my macro limits this week and I’ve gotten over every ugly thought (again, sometimes forcefully). Eventually, if I keep training my thoughts, the ugly thoughts won’t come so much.

What hasn’t worked:

  • I answered a few emails the weekend and I said I wasn’t going to. Grrr.
  • I’ve continued to be negative and a bit closed off at work.

Three times this week I’ve been talking to people and I’ve said something that I want to remember for later. I’ve openly admitted my struggles, and I’ve said that I’m trying to become soft. After I said it the second time I caught myself and then packed it away to examine later. I had become a very hard woman. I’d become jaded and abrupt. I didn’t want to listen to anyone about anything. And I need to become soft. I need to be a sponge. If I’m letting people and words and love wash off me like water off a rock, I’m never going to be better. I need to soak it in. What if what I’m repelling is what I need? What if it’s the cure? While I understand in our culture today it is seen as….wrong…for a woman to be soft. Man or woman…are we sure that’s a good thing? Being hard all the time?

My goal this week, and for the next several weeks, is to continue to be open to change. To be soft. To expand.

Do you need to be soft too?

TODAY I LOVE: the color green…it’s everywhere right now
SONG OF THE DAY: “Love Me Anyway” by P!nk

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emotions, goals, health, mental health

not today

Did everyone watch Game of Thrones on Sunday? One thing I love/hate about social media is that you either love something so much you talk incessantly about it (like me and GoT) or you hate it and you rail on everyone who DOES like it (and you tell everyone about it.) Anyway, I digress, GAME OF THRONES! Man, what an episode. I’m not going to give anything away or really even talk about it. There is one quote/saying that has been around since season 1, and it plays a heavy part in this most recent episode. The quote is this:

“There is only one god, and his name is Death, and there is only one thing we say to Death. Not today.”

Syrio Forel, Game of Thrones

There are about 8 million memes going around with some version of “Not today.” I stole the idea of taping the message to my computer from my twitter friend Amanda (@adocmartin). I’m putting this in front of my face everyday to say “not today” to extra anxiety and stress. It’s my reminder of change and what HAS to change.

I’m trying hard to focus this week on changing my work habits to get a better work/life balance and leave as much of my stress/anxiety in the office as I can. Here are some ideas I’m trying this week:

  • Leaving my desk for lunch. I can’t honestly remember the last time I actually took a lunch. I usually just work right through it. I’m going to attempt to force that break in my day.
  • Ignoring non-important email after I leave and on the weekends. Despite how I’ve trained myself, some things are not essential and can wait. I don’t need to be tied 100% of the time to my email.
  • Planning my agenda for the day first thing when I arrive; the tasks that I desire to accomplish. Even though things change and events happen, I’ll still get things done. This is a change in thinking of just one day chunks of time rather than weeks.

What things do you do to alleviate stress at work?

What do we say to the fire-breathing dragon of stress and anxiety? Not today.

TODAY I LOVE: palomino blackwing pencils
SONG OF THE DAY: “Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves

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emotions, health

we aren’t promised happiness

I listened to a podcast the other day. It was very interesting and to be honest I’ll probably need to listen to it again as it has me struggling on a few points. The one thing that stuck with me, that I just can’t let go because of the truth of it, is the statement that there is nothing anywhere written that we deserve or are promised happiness. That sounds like a really bleak statement but we say the reverse all the time: you deserve to be happy. But why?

Confession time. Its taken me a long time to want to admit this, or to even admit it to myself. I’m fairly certain I’m fighting a nasty battle of anxiety and depression. It just might be at the point that I can’t manage it by myself. I don’t sleep well. I wake up tired. I’m tired all the time. I fight headaches every day. I get deep-tissue massages every two weeks and we still can’t get the stress knots out of my back/neck. I emotional eat and can’t lose weight. I worry over everything and nothing all at the same time. I’ve isolated myself to a very small group of people. I’m not finding joy in any of my hobbies.

Something has to change.

After reading that paragraph you’d think that the podcast I mentioned would have pushed me further down in the valley. Right? Instead it had the opposite effect. It made me stop. It made me pray. And it made me keep listening to the rest of the message. While we aren’t promised a happy life, it can be made better if you live for what matters. You can’t just keep throwing things at yourself to fill a void. No amount of money or things or travel or people are going to fill a hole. I need to work on finding what matters to me and the rest will sort itself out. Where am I investing…me?

For starters, I ordered some new supplements this weekend that are a more homeopathic route to relieving stress and anxiety. I’m going to try this first. See if it helps me take the edge off as I start climbing out.

Second, I went to a new church this week. I haven’t had a true church home since my divorce and I miss that in my life. I cried my way through the songs this morning. It was what I needed.

Third, I’m going to intentionally take the pressure off myself to lose weight. That is a stress I can choose to leave behind. It will happen when it happens. And deep down I know that if I get healthy, it will all fall into place. I have no time-table and I need to stop acting like it.

Fourth, I’m going to try harder to leave work at work. I don’t let things go and I bring it all home with me. That has to stop. I’m still trying to figure out how to implement this one. If you have any pointers I’m very open to it.

Lastly, I’m going to write more. Here. Not just privately. It’s not that I have anything monumental to say, I just know for me that sometimes getting it out there and being held accountable for it, well, it helps.

Thanks for listening and for hanging with me on this journey. ūüôā

TODAY I LOVE: freshly mowed grass
SONG OF THE DAY: “Say Something” by Jasmine Thompson

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divorce, emotions, Fitness, goals, health

the calm and the storm

Flying over a thunderstorm outside of Dallas this past October

I think I’ve stared at the “Add title” part of this post for a good 20 minutes. I just finished writing a very mopey post about memories and pain. It’s still in my drafts but I’ll probably never post it. I’m sure everyone is tired of me mulling over my divorce and the never-ending tentacles of it’s reach in my life. It still just amazes me how I can go from moments of pure joy and happiness to watching one video of a concert we attended and I’m zapped back into sadness. It has to stop hurting at some point, right?

Anyway, I really just wanted to update you on my goals and such. I’m entering week 3. I can say without hesitation…it’s been hard. I’ve pushed myself in workouts (which is a good thing) and it’s made me so sore. Week 1 of my “diet” was hard but I was 100% perfect. Well…I fell off the wagon hard this weekend. I had cravings that I haven’t been able get rid of so I indulged them. The scale scolded me HARD this morning, but it was necessary. I’m in a much better place today. Overall I have lost and not gained any weight. I wish it was more, but this is for the long-haul, not in the day-to-day ups and downs.

Little wins and little falls…it is life and going to happen. It’s how I even out and recover that matters. It is not letting my “little fall” take me all the way to “I don’t care anymore.” And guess what? I still care. A lot. All of this matters.

So if you’ve had a weekend like I have, where you’ve celebrated birthdays and you’ve enjoyed some things outside of your norm…find your way back. And remember your “why.”

Now. I’m going to go watch something that makes me happy and not sad home videos on my phone.

TODAY I LOVE: Milk Makeup Kush Lip Balm

SONG OF THE DAY: “Girl” by Maren Morris

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Beginnings, divorce, emotions, Fitness, goals

2018…let it go (queue Elsa.)

I’m typing this post in the throws of a massive cold/flu/grossest junk EVER mess. ¬†Knowing that, it’s safe for me to say that 2018 can just keep on trucking right out the door. ¬†HOWEVER…this year was one I won’t forget: the good, the bad, and what’s to come…

Let’s start off with the bad and just get it out of the way. ¬†If I had to sum up the year in two words they would be stress and emotion. ¬†I had so much of both. ¬†The year started right off the bat with my first kitty baby, Callie, passing away. ¬†She lived with Ryan after we divorced but it was so sad to let her go. ¬†She was one more piece of my old life that disappeared. ¬†My ex-husband got remarried and that effected me more than I ever thought possible. ¬†It was the sense of loss all over again. ¬†I was knocked down again when I found out they are expecting a baby. ¬†I’m happy for them, I mean that sincerely, but it’s just….so weird. ¬†Onward…my cat got very, very sick (his bladder blocked and ruptured) and that was a stressful, time-consuming, and VERY costly months of recovery. ¬† I moved. ¬†It was a great move and I’m SO HAPPY I did it, but still. ¬†New place, new roommate, packing and unpacking…not fun, expensive, and stressful. ¬†Alright, now take all of that and add abnormally high work stress. ¬†Oh, and I gained back all the weight I lost in 2017. ¬†BAM! ¬†2018 in a nutshell.

If I left it at that you would think the year was total crap, right? ¬†It’s a good thing I had a lot of happies too. ¬†ūüôā

I hired a fantastic gal from Louisiana to work for me and she’s been phenomenal. ¬†With her help, we had an exceptional audit this month. ¬†I’m excited for the new projects we can tackle this coming year. ¬†I have a roommate! ¬†It’s been such a nice treat having someone to come home to and share life with everyday. ¬†We’ve went on on several girl trips this year; a hiking trip in Hot Springs, AR and a weekend jaunt to South Bend, IN and Mackinac Island, MI! ¬†I cannot tell you how much I loved Mackinac Island. ¬†It’s a must-see for anyone looking for a beautiful and unique place to visit. ¬†Lastly, one of my biggest happies, I spent 3 weeks in Kauai with my fella and his family. ¬†Whoa, what a HUGE blessing. ¬†I’m convinced there isn’t a more beautiful place on earth.

So.  2018 all wrapped up in two paragraphs.  Boiling down your year into small sentences is harder than you think.  Crazily enough, the year felt like it went that fast.  Two paragraphs worth.

What do I want for 2019? I don’t really like to do resolutions; I prefer goals. ¬†Kinda. ¬†Here are my hopes/goals for the year to come:

  • Consistency & Discipline. ¬†I let stress and emotion (see above) control a lot of my life this year. ¬†I let it control my actions. ¬†I let it control my mood. ¬†I let it control my health. ¬†I need to change that this year.
  • Intentionality with my Health. ¬†If I follow my goal above, my health will fall in line too. ¬†Diet, exercise, skincare, stress-management, and emotional well-being will all be better if I can be intentional, consistent, and disciplined with the tools I have to work with. ¬†I know what to do. ¬†I just need to do it.
  • Strengthen my faith. ¬†I don’t think I need to explain that one. ¬†ūüôā
  • Payoff at least one loan. ¬†Money is tight for me now as 2018 was a huge drain on EVERYTHING. ¬†I need to be budget focused and paying off one loan would be a great ¬†snowball for that.
  • Find my happy. ¬†Whatever that might be.
  • Beat (or at least make it to) the end of one video game. ¬†Ok, this one is silly, but still. ¬†I’ve gotta get to the end of at least one.

 

Let’s do this 2019.

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beauty, emotions, Fitness, health

really real reality

Shootout.jpg.e2ceda5e6854df2c8893abada78336abIf you’ve followed me for very long at all, I write a lot about my weight, exercise, diet, etc. ¬†I like these things. ¬†I like seeing progress and I hate admitting failure. ¬†However, like two sides to any coin you’re always going to have them both. ¬†Last year it was success upon success in my weight-loss and fitness journey. ¬†This year is a different story.

Life has happened to me in a big way this year. ¬†I was depressed for quite a long time and stressed even longer. ¬†Even so, I did the very best I could with my macro guidelines and I exercised way more than not. ¬†Still…no change. ¬†We’ve lowered calories, changed macros, changed again, added and added and added cardio…no change. ¬†I haven’t gained it all back, but I’ve gained this year. ¬†Many of my wins last year have been overturned. ¬†It’s hard not to say, “Sarah, if you just cut your calories more, you have to lost weight.” ¬†Um, yeah, no. ¬†I’ve done that. ¬†I can’t really cut anymore or my body will definitely freak out.

To say that it is defeating is the most gigantic understatement you can utter. ¬†I’m leaving for vacation in a few short weeks and this is NOT the shape I wanted to be in for it. ¬†My poor roommate has had to deal with my meltdowns this week especially as I’m trying to buy a dress for a wedding and purchase clothes for the beach.

WHY JUST WHY.

And sadly, the long and the short of it is this…we don’t know. ¬†Maybe my body is tired of dieting. ¬†Maybe my body has some weird hormone things (hello STRESS) that are hijacking all the good things I’m doing. ¬†Maybe I just need a reset and a change. ¬†Maybe I need rest. ¬†Who the hell knows.

So. ¬†Really real reality. ¬†I’m staring at my beach vacation straight in the eye. ¬†I’m many pounds heavier than I planned. ¬†In my mind it is kind of like one of those old outside-the-OK-corral standoffs. ¬†Wyatt Earp staring down his opponent (before he went crazy – important fact.) ¬†Am I going to let my perception of how I needed to be ruin my vacation? ¬† ¬†As much as it is a struggle to say – no. ¬†I’m not going to let it win.

I’m me. ¬†Despite the outside package and wrappings, I’m quite awesome. ¬† I can lift very heavy things and put them back down. ¬†I have great hair. ¬†My skincare routine is longer than some people’s showers and I love it. ¬† I can spout random music facts on a whim. ¬†I have a really awesome cat. ¬†The older I get I’m finding joy in being myself and surprising people who expect something different. ¬†I smile a lot and I like to make other people smile too. ¬†My fella loves me. ¬†I’m going to PARADISE.

When I wrap my head around all those great things, how can I let a stubborn body beat me? ¬†It is all in my PERCEPTION of me. ¬†And the great thing is…I can work on changing that. ¬†It might not change how my clothes fit or the number on the scale, but if I can find happiness in my happies until the tide turns, the coin flips, or my body decides to listen, well, that’s a big win. ¬†I’ll dip back into my college days, and all those psychology/counseling classes: ¬†I’m taking a mental picture and I’m reframing it so I see it differently.

If you’re in the same spot I am…take stock and reframe the shot. ¬†It is a by-the-minute battle, but if I can do it then you can too.

TODAY I LOVE: Peach & Lily.  I should just sign my paycheck over.

 

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cat, emotions, health

everything is burning

If you’ve ever been tasked with a whole bunch of responsibilities you’ve probably developed some kind of mechanism to determine what needs to be accomplished first. ¬†I like to use the phrase, “What is the brightest burning fire?” I tackle those first.

Right at this moment it feels like everything in my life is burning. ¬†And I can’t see a way to choose what to focus on. ¬†I’m hoping by writing it out I’ll gain some perspective and find my path.

If you follow me on any social media at all then you know my cat George has been very ill for the last two weeks. ¬†We’ve been in and out of the emergency vet, my vet, and he’s been hospitalized for days. ¬†His bladder ruptured so he had to have emergency surgery. ¬†I have him home now, but that is super challenging too with his treatment. ¬†He’s taking 4 different medications that are all not at the same time. ¬† He needs IV fluids under the skin everyday. ¬†I’ve tried to do it myself the last two days and the attempts were very unsuccessful. ¬†Today I managed to stab myself in the knuckle with his IV needle so now my knuckle is swollen and bruised. ¬†His bladder and urethra are having spasms off and on due to all the trauma, so he leaks urine at times when he’s sleeping. ¬†So I’ve got every piece of furniture covered in plastic and I’m washing blankets twice a day. ¬†I’m not sleeping because I’m watching him. ¬†I haven’t been able to exercise for the last week because I’m taking him back and forth from the emergency vet to the regular vet.

The big project at work that I’ve leading/managing has ran into one delay after another. ¬†None of them have even been remotely my fault, but we are now WEEKS behind. ¬†It was supposed to ready to go-live on Monday (7/2) and we literally just received word just yesterday that I can only now start testing it. ¬†I’ll be lucky if we are ready to go by 8/1 at this point. ¬†I chose the dates for my project with intentionality because other big things follow it. ¬†I have other things in my normal day-to-day job that need to take precedence. ¬†Now I need to do it all, together. ¬†There will be many, many long days ahead with work.

Because I need one more big thing….I’m moving in 3 weeks. ¬†Guess who hasn’t even started packing up her apartment due to all of the above?

George has cost me thousands of dollars I wasn’t expecting (or prepared) to spend.

And lastly, to top it all off, because I have had all this extreme stress and I’m not keeping my body “normal” my heart condition is flaring up. ¬†So I’m dizzy and prone to passing out frequently.

So here is where I am. ¬†How do I manage it all by myself? George comes first, obviously, but how do I keep up all the treatment and such that he needs AND maintain everything I need to do with my job? ¬†I need to be the one doing my packing because I’m weeding things out as I go. ¬†What is the answer?

I’m not writing this post for sympathy or pity. ¬†I’m writing it for clarity. ¬†I need to find a path. ¬†I need to find a way to look at it that I don’t see everything burning. ¬†So. ¬†Without any doubt you can bet as I’m doing some work today that I’ll be doing my normal type-A self…trying to write a flowchart to make all this work.

TODAY I LOVE: Kacey Musgraves’ new album Golden Hour

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