Friday, September 12, 2014

Starting Fresh

This week sucked. Actually for the last couple of weeks, I have been in a bad funk. I thought about listing all my grievances on here, but to be honest, what's the point. They happened and it's over.

The silver lining was when something good and unexpected happened this morning, and I realized its time for a reset. Time to move on and get happy again.

So the following changes are happening effective immediately to just help me stay a little more centered, stress free, and above all grateful for what I do have in life.

1. I did not take the anti-depressant medicine my doctor prescribed me this morning. I took it yesterday and felt clouded and exhausted all day long. Instead I'm cutting out all the extra diet cokes I've been drinking, cutting out the crap food I've been eating, all the adult beverages I've been drinking and even the social smoking I've been doing (no judgement). I'm switching back to water, fruits and veggies. No wonder my body has been feeling exhausted, anxious, and crappy, I've been feeding it toxins and doing horrible things to it.

2. To help raise energy and nature endorphins, I'm going to make time to walk every night after dinner. I've been coming home and being a sloth on the couch, complete with passing out on it by like 9:30 every night. Lame. So very lame. My body needs vitamin D and I need exercise. Enough with the excuses.

3. It's time to get back to getting to work on time. Every day. No excuses. And not letting the flexibility in my job be an excuse to not get there early and be productive in the morning. I get more done in the morning than I do in the afternoon. To be frank, I'm been disorganized at work lately and its making me a crazy person. Time to get back in touch with lists and a schedule. I'm function better when this happens.

4. I'm going to stop whining about grad school when people ask me how its going. No one forced me to do this, I choose to. Either I get through this semester with a smile on my face, grateful for the opportunity and doors it will open, or I become a quitter and not enroll in the spring. I'm not the only person in the world working full time, going to grad school, and I need to stop acting like I am. There are reasons I choose to do this and I need to keep the long term goals in focus.

5.  I am going to clean my house this weekend as well as my balcony. I used to clean every week and loved having my house feel fresh and clean. I haven't changed my bed sheets in two weeks (gross I know), I haven't deep cleaned in three weeks, and my hanging plants are dead on my balcony because I haven't been watering them. The weather gods are giving us weather in the mid 80's this weekend and I'm taking it as an opportunity to open the windows, let out the negative energy, and scrub top to bottom. When I get back from Maryland, I'm going to get some mums and pumpkins and spruce up the outdoor space I have.

6. And as much as I'd like a neat list of five, I'm adding a 6th. I'm going to go home to Maryland on Tuesday and enjoy my visit next week. I'm not going to worry about my schedule or being somewhere or making sure I visit everyone. Instead, I'm going to go with the flow. I'm going to spend two days in Annapolis with my friends, and enjoy the water, the docks, and take in the fall weather. I'm not going to worry about how I might look in family photos, if I look fat in my dress at wedding, or any other scenario I've created in my head. I'm going to enjoy my family and just take a week to recenter. And I'm taking my camera and going to take some photos, which I always forget to do when I vaca.

So there you have it. Onward and upward. The pity party bus stops here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday

Yesterday I went to my doctor after having a pretty bad anxiety attack in my car while driving to a lunch meeting. And then I had a meltdown in the exam room, complete with ugly crying. Considering I ugly cry maybe once or twice a year, it was a low point. Can we say stress y'all? My doctor  suggested some meds to help with this, and then forgot to send the request to my pharmacy (they do electronic prescription at my office). Awesome. This will be one of my first call this morning when the doctors office opens.

Reasons for stress include craziness at work, being completely overwhelmed with my grad school classes, some personal family stuff going on, and the fact it feels like my chest is doing its best to make me feel like I'm having a heart attack on an hourly basis and not being able to get into a cardiologist until the end of the month. I would not wish costochondritis on anyone. 

I feel a bit like a failure for not being able to cope with these things on my own. I know there are people out there with bigger problems. And yes, I have a lot to be grateful about. But the the thing is with anxiety and depression, it doesn't pick and choose. I am grateful I have medical insurance that allows me to get medicine affordable for this. And hopefully it will help make things easier.

And to be frank, taking a grad level class on our country's health care system isn't helping. You don't need network news or talk radio to get you fired up on our health care system, just decide to study health care administration and it will happen within the first chapter of a textbook. My only comfort, from what I am learning in my class and what I seeing in the health care community I work in-- things are changing and hopefully for the better. When I first started grad school I thought I'd want to stay in the community health center non-profit sector- because they help people who normally don't have access to health care. But even just three weeks into my classes and I am feeling a strong calling to advocacy on the public policy side. I'll probably change my mind several more times, but at least I know I picked the right master's program to study.

The silver lining to all of this, I'm flying back to Maryland on Tuesday afternoon. I will cross the Bay Bridge and enter the beautiful Eastern Shore. With fields of open land, small towns, and the farm I grew up on. I  can't wait to sit in the big porch swing, that hangs on the big tree in my parent's back yard, and watching the sun set over the endless open fields. I look forward to a sunset cruise on the Choptank River, when the water is calm as glass and the lilly pads sway in the breeze along the shore line. And most of all, I cannot wait to be reunited with my entire immediate and extended family for my brother's nuptials.

Just a few days and I will be home. And I am ready y'all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Sad Day for Blogging

Today I read the saddest post from the first blog I ever discovered. The blog that introuduced to me to the world of blogs: Young House Love.

If fact, when I had my first blog about home decor, I emailed Sherry about a good deal I found on a bedding set. Sounds silly, I know. But she actually went to the blog post and was the first comment on my miniscule of a blog at the time. Pretty awesome in my book.

Today, John and Sherry from Young House Love announced they are taking a break from blogging. They blog about family, home decor, remodeling, and DIYing-- and did so before it was cool or DIY blogs were a dime a dozen. Before there was Pinterest and conferences like Haven. Before Instagram and really even before Facebook exploded. They were authentic and real and even though their readership got to something insane like in the millions of readers a month, never let it get to their heads. They were blessed and got a book deal, and when I met them at the book signing here in Austin, they seemed to down to earth and humble.

But there are a strange bread of people on the internet. People who like to insult bloggers. People who don't like a blog, but read it anyways and then write mean comments. People who think bloggers should only write this or that, because they know best.

Apparently last week a comment thread exploded on YHL when they asked people if they would mind shorter posts. Well the comments were so rude. People were mad they post a couple less posts a week since the birth of their second baby. People were mad they were still using budget methods of home DIY instead of upscale materials or expensive furnishings. People were mad they bought a new house a year ago and didn't tell the world right away. It was seriously ridik. That being said, they still also had a lot of support, but the mean comments were pretty rude.

I liked Young House Love because even as their readership exploded, they never came off as a blog for profit. Of course they were making money, but they didn't inundate their readers with affiliate links or sponsored posts about things we couldn't care less about. I recently stopped reading a blog when an entire post was devoted to a coffee creamer. Which I found odd, since this blogger has talked before about how they disliked coffee in the past.

The fact is, there are a LOT of blogs out there. Mommy blogs, DIY blogs, Wedding Blogs, and Lifestyle Blogs. Understandably the appeal of making money from blogging is a nice one. But selling out is something else. And being unauthentic to your readers is just lame.

What is sad to me is that I never felt like YHL ever sold out. But natsy comments and hate on the internet has them going dark for a while. I often wonder people who are so brave to be rude online would be so bold in person. And I think the answer is probably no.

If you have never read Young House Love-- check it out. They have tons of home project ideas for every budget. They are funny and sweet and have a beautiful family.

I'll close with this. In a cyber space where there are a lot of blogs to choose from, I am so grateful to have found the bloggers who keep it real. I hope YHL comes back eventually. Until then, here is my  list of fav blog reads here.