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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Fitness, goals, health

self-portraits & sushi

I’ve been putting this post off. ¬†To be honest, based on my mood right now I probably shouldn’t be writing it either, but oh well. ¬†You’re getting a very honest and real Sarah today, folks. ¬†Hold onto your butts.

A little over a month ago I wrote a blog post about my goals for the next 30-days. ¬†I’m afraid to tell you I was unsuccessful with almost all of them. ¬†I was 100% on my macros and I followed my lifting program. ¬†But everything else? ¬†Nada. ¬†My weight didn’t move even an inch. ¬†After a year of success, followed by 30 days of diet and exercise compliance that resulted in NOTHING…yeah, kinda depressing.

Now, we’re changing up some things and the next two weeks in particular will be a very, very hard reset. ¬†Everything about me is out of whack and I’m not really sure why. ¬†So yes, there is a plan in place and we’ll figure this out. ¬†I will not feel this way forever. ¬†That is the only positive thing coming out of this blog post.

I’ve been taking this photography class in my free time. ¬†I’ve got several road trips on the docket for this year and I want to be on the top of my game remembering the gorgeous things I’m going to get to see and experience. ¬†One of the exercises I’m asked to complete in this class is daily self-portraits. ¬†No, I’m not talking about selfies. ¬†Ok, I guess they are sort of selfies but a lot more difficult to grab. ¬†I took my self-portraits today and decided to get a lot more of my body and not just my face. ¬†Let me give you a word of advice. ¬†When you’re already feeling REALLY down about your appearance, DON’T DO A SELF-PORTRAIT.

Despite how I’m sure this entire post is coming across, this is not a pity or a woe is me post. ¬†I’m just…down. ¬†I’ve had lots of ups. ¬†I’ve had so many ups that it’s hard to talk to you from the valley of the down.

Professionally I was brilliant this week. ¬†I turned my introvert switch off; I sparkled and shined and glowed in my role. ¬†It was very, very…up. ¬†And now I am not.

So tonight I’m watching old Grey’s Anatomy and eating sushi I bought at the grocery store earlier today. ¬† Earlier today I updated apps on my computer and I cleaned out the cabinet in my office. ¬†Maybe I’ll start a new book before bed. ¬†These are all happy things. ¬†So maybe I’m ending this post better than how it started. ¬†ūüôā

TODAY I LOVE: the smell of grapefruit essential oils being diffused

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divorce, emotions

Choosing joy.

 I’m gonna be candid.  It’s been a hell of a few days.  I know I go into a lot of things here but all the details that sent me off the deep end are going to remain in my secret journal not my public one.  When there are other people involved it gets tricky and I don’t want to cause more drama.  

At any rate,  I got the news at the end of last week that my ex-husband was engaged.  You wouldn’t think something like that would send me off the rails as we have been divorced for over a year now.  But it did.  It just made me so sad.  And, like I said, I’m going to leave a bunch of my thoughts and reasonings private, but hello sadness and depression.  And ugly thoughts of myself and self worth.  

I wallowed in it for a day and then out of the blue my mom called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the lake with her and my brother.  And completely out of character for me, I said yes.  I got up off the couch, put on my bikini, and hit the road.  An hour and 15 minutes later, I was on the water and soaking up the sun.  It was 95 degrees outside, the water temp was 86 degrees and PERFECT.   

My brother was his typical silly, fun-loving, people-person self.  He played “photographer” and held his own photoshoot with my phone (the picture above.). It was so stinking funny.  And you know what, I kind of value all those stupid pictures on my phone.  Because that is a genuine, free, and willing smile.  I was laughing so hard at that moment.  And I’m so thankful I have record of it to go back on. Even looking at it now it makes me smile.  I wasn’t thinking about my past life.   I wasn’t thinking about my current life.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I have OR don’t have.  I wasn’t thinking about who loves me and who doesn’t.  I had JOY.  

So I’m going to keep staring at this photo and remembering to choose joy.  Because the rest of the crap that is lingering in my psyche is just literally just crap.  It’s jaded thoughts, it’s distorted memories, and it’s the past.  Choose.  Joy.  This is my reminder that I CAN set it all aside and be happy.  Happiness can creep up and overtake the crap.  This picture is evidence.  I’m so, so thankful for it.  So thankful.  

I’m not normally spontaneous, but this one little trip gave me a hard-shift to my perspective and thoughts. 

TODAY I LOVE:  pool floaties 

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emotions, Fitness, health

the great depression

138 day move streak. ¬†4 perfect months. ¬†21 pounds and 23 inches lost. ¬†I’ve had quite the string of accomplishments lately. ¬†I’m not trying to brag; I’m just proud of myself. ¬†That’s a lot. ¬†I had (have) a long way to go. ¬†I started this year wanting to be healthier not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. ¬†And until the last week or so, I’ve totally killed it. ¬†And then I didn’t.

My boyfriend flew home.  My best friend flew away.  I went back to work where a new season of stressors awaited.  My mom had surgery.  My brother got hurt.  I got food poisoning or a stomach bug or something.  It felt like my life was full of all my favorite things and people and then a big vacuum sucked it all away.  And it left me empty.

In that emptiness I let go of all the things I worked so hard for. ¬† I didn’t count my macros. ¬†I didn’t go to the gym. ¬†I went to work and I came home. ¬†I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I did everything to fill the void but actually deal with it. ¬†It was truly like I had a mild case of a kind of depression. ¬†Nothing really made me happy.

Thankfully, I knew to get myself out of it I’d have to look ahead. ¬†It would all pass. ¬†I made goals for July. ¬†I visited my family. ¬†I watched the clouds and reprioritized. ¬†I think I’m ready to start over.

I won’t lie; even writing this is as cathartic as it is embarrassing. ¬†It’s humbling to admit that mentally I went from wonder woman to fragile vase in a matter of hours. ¬†But the reality is I’m human. ¬†And these days/weeks are going to happen. ¬†I won’t be perfect all the time. ¬†I’ve got to learn to cope better. ¬†This was a cold reality check that I really don’t have it all together yet. ¬†My old mechanisms are still there, under the surface, and will attack if I don’t deal. ¬†I didn’t deal.

So I’m starting over. ¬†I don’t know how much strength I’ve lost from my week off, but I was at least pleased(?) to note that my scale hadn’t went up any. ¬†I hadn’t lost (despite the stomach bug) but at least hadn’t truly gained. ¬†It’s going to take me a bit longer to gain my mental strength back.

I wrote this post for me. ¬†It’s a checkpoint; a reminder for the future. ¬†Thanks for hanging with me.

TODAY I LOVE:  Aussie brand deep conditioner (it smells so good!)

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