So long, September

In a nutshell, I’d say that sugarless and sober was a success. It’s unfortunate that the rest of the month was so stressful. But I think I’ve proved to myself that the discipline isn’t what I lack.

Sober was easy. In my life, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt like I “needed” a drink (unless I’m forgetting something). When I’ve been stressed or grieving, alcohol hasn’t been my vice of choice.

Sugarless was a bit more challenging, but again, the discipline was there. Even if I was going for a coffee with a friend, I’d opt for the straight milk and coffee latte, rather than the fancy one with syrups and whatnot.

But during the power outage aftermath of the tornado, I did stop being strict about it. It was just so that I wouldn’t be avoiding perfectly edible food that otherwise would be fine, except for there being sugar as one of the ingredients.

Also, I was tired. This month was a lot. There was a lot going on, and a lot of exhaustion, stress, and then having to throw out everything in my fridge and freezer after 53 hours without power. That sort of just broke it for me. I decided that Sugarless September was done last week. And I enjoyed that Blossoming Rose tea latte.

But again, funnily enough, as I’ve come to realize at the end of most every month – the change had felt good. I will probably maintain a fairly sugar free diet, focused on fresh fruit and vegs, with good protein sources, and light on the breads and pastas.

What’s on tap for October? I had been toying with the idea of Educational October, where I’d sign up for those courses I had planned on doing (and finish the one that has been languishing for years). Except I’m still tired and there are still two weeks to go on a big deadline at work. So I think I’m going to go with Optional October.

Optional October will mean that every day, I will choose one thing to do – yoga, meditation, reading, art, journaling, gratitude exercise, heavy workout, staying off social media, sugarless, sober, and yes, even working on a course or two. This way, I’ll be able to work in some of the things I’ve learned this year about what makes me feel better, and I’ll still have a goal, it just won’t be as strict.


Happy realization

Last week, when I was talking to my therapist, she asked me how my face was feeling. And I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a bad prickling day.

I’m sure all I would have to do is look in my agenda and I would have written it down, and it would probably be a lot more recently than I think. But it’s really nice, after two years, to be experiencing more normal days than not.

What gets the credit? Probably my ergonomic set up at work, and my constant mindfulness to sit up into the correct position. I find my home set up not very comfortable now, and it kind of has slowed down my enthusiasm for writing. We’re working on putting together a more ergonomic desk set up for me at home.

Maybe it’s also due to my now working part time. I’m treating my day per week of not-working as sacrosanct as I can. It is meant for me, my things, my rest and quiet alone time. I get disappointed if, in a moment of enthusiasm/optimism/trying to get things done, I use my day for appointments or running errands or doing active housework (running the Roomba doesn’t really count, but washing the bathroom does… laundry is somewhere in between…). I limit my screen time and don’t play video games during the day. I try to do some physical activity – often yoga, a walk, or a run. I feed myself fresh fruits and good tea. I get up in the morning and don’t sleep all day, although I will lie down and have a nap, if I feel like it. It’s about feeding myself and supporting myself. I really look forward to those days.

But now I’m thinking of bumping back up to full time… After that last paragraph, maybe I’m convincing myself that wouldn’t be a good idea. I know my colleague who has worked her entire career at part time would say wisely, “It’s just not worth it. Don’t go back if this is working for you.”

But it is definitely fantastic to suddenly turn around and realize that the pins and needles have almost entirely subsided. Perhaps I should give it a bit longer and not run headlong back into a wall…


I’m also trying out an approach to this year, to have a theme for each month. This month, January, I am following Yoga with Adriene on Youtube for her 30 days of yoga offering, which she’s calling True. So far, I’ve successfully done the daily yoga and I’m certainly feeling it. I’m also proud of my commitment to it and making it a priority. It has been good – I like her style and her approach, and I do feel better once my practice is done. I think that something is shifting a bit for me, which is also my motivation/intention for this practice.

I’m considering what my theme for next month will be. My husband suggested Hulk Up February. ;) I’ll keep you posted.

Flying time

Wow, I can’t believe that I’m in my second last week of my leave.  The last week of my unstructured time.  And then I’m into my second unit of my yoga teacher training starting Saturday.

I got out my yoga books today and they’ve moved from the kitchen table to the coffee table, with good intentions.  But I also played some Diablo 3 (my monk is now in Nightmare level, and my barbarian is in Caldeum).  And I finished off all the little “I just have to do such-and-such” details on all the paintings that I have hanging in my apartment and signed them (a real sign that they are Done).  Now, all I have to do is work on new ones (and Sharpie the painting name, date and my name on the backs of the canvases, once they’re dry).  Actually, it just occurred to me that I have another canvas just waiting for a final detail on one of my shelves.  I’ll have to pull that out.  I’m not sure it has a hanger on it yet.

But yes, I have an actually-in-progress painting on my easel right now, plus a sketched in concept on my wall (on the biggest canvas I’ve ever painted to date – 30″ x 40″).  And I just tapped in a hanger on the back on my next canvas, which will be another space scene.  I’m tempted to go pick up a couple more 22 x 28 canvases, and I will be downtown on Wednesday… We’ll see if I can manage it.  I’d like to sketch in a concept for a series of paintings that I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

I have my one Nanowrimo novel open behind this browser (on page 148).  I started to re-read what I’d last written, but then I realized that I’d also planned on doing a blog post this morning (at 7am while walking the dog).  So here it is.

Time is flying.  And it really flies when you plan activities to fill the time.  For goodness sake’s – I didn’t really have nine weeks off.  Well, I did.  I had nine weeks that I didn’t have to go to work.  I didn’t have to balance work and all these interesting things.  But let’s face it – I planned a lot of things for these nine weeks.

Two weeks were dedicated to school.  Twenty days were dedicated to travel.  As of tomorrow, I will have had seven days taken up by contractors coming in to my house to do work on my bathroom fan (a project long anticipated).  Two afternoons involved me happily volunteering to help two of my friends by using my skills – in photography, and then doing country/gardening work.  I’m hoping to add a second day for the country/gardening work, but I have to see how the contractor work goes tomorrow…  Plus there were appointments – for me, the car and for the pets.  And I got to take in some of Westfest one night – my boyfriend and I wandered over to see one of my favourite bands – Elliott Brood.  (Here’s a taste – Elliott Brood – Second Son).  There have been dinner dates, long philosophical talks and hand-holding walks with my boyfriend, family time and some friend time.  Not nearly as much time in “my local” pub as I’d expected.

But I’ve taken so many photos during my travels.  And I’ve painted quite a bit.  And I’ve written a little – not as much as I’d hoped.  Maybe I can catch up on that this week.  I didn’t go have lunch with friends nearly as much as I thought I would.

There is still time, and my wandering won’t end at the beginning of July.  I’ll be back at work, but I still have projects and plans.  I still have another week of yoga teacher training to be done in the autumn.  The adventure continues!

The Breeders – Drivin’ On 9  (just because I started humming it as I finished up this post – it has also been ages since I listened to this album!)