As I mentioned on Friday, it’s always amusing to make my monthly video recaps because it paints such a perfect portrait of life. But we all know life is filled with just as much anxiety, trouble, frustration and tears as it is smiles, laughs, skips, hops and jumps. So to balance out the perfection I portrayed I Friday, I thought it was only fair to be totally honest about something that’s been bugging me lately.
There’s a whole lot of new in my life, and it overwhelms me to no end.
I’m in a new city. I’m working at home for the first time. I’m working for myself for the first time. I own a dog for the first time. I’m making friends from scratch for the first time. I care about the way my apartment looks for the first time. Money is an issue (more so than before) for the first time. That’s a lot of new for one person. Of course I decided to take that upon myself voluntarily after our RTW trip, but I think I’m finally feeling the effects of it. Usually we all have experience and tradition on our side to balance the new elements that come our way, but I feel like I have very little to ground me right now. It’s like I’m constantly learning along the way and at times, it swallows me whole. In between it all, there’s this pressure (self-inflicted, I’m sure) to constantly make, share, create and do that sometimes I feel guilty for just relaxing. I’m insane, I know.
I had a meltdown in the middle of the summer, where I just felt totally lost, unmotivated and gross. I’ve since boosted myself back up to pseudo-normalcy, but only because I realized I needed to make some changes. So I thought I’d share my plan of action for anyone going through a change or even just a slump.
Work out more. The hardest part is getting up and doing it. Let’s be real, I have a child in the form of a puppy and he needs to be taken to the dog park every day for at least 45 minutes. I also have work to do, meals to make, a blog to run and friends to make/keep up with. Working out was the first piece of me to go. (I used to do yoga and swim a few months ago.) I thought paying up front for a boot camp of some sort would be the push I needed, but then I realized that what I like about living here is that fitness is integrated into your lifestyle; it’s not about clocking hours in a gym (for me anyway).
So I’ve decided to blend dog time with exercise time, because hey, I do have a sporting breed. So every morning, instead of casually walking Teddy, I power walk with him up and down the hills to the dog park, run around with him there and hustle back. I see people jog with their dogs, but 1.) that’s not good for a puppy’s joints and 2.) I’m sorry, raising a puppy is exhausting and a walk is all I have energy for. Plus, we’ve got a puller and going for a walk is more like a full-contact sport. By the way, my right bicep is in fabulous shape because of it.
Meal planning. I thought this would be the complete antithesis to laid-back SoCal. I mean, scheduling your food?! But Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves and my friend Raluca of What Would Gwyneth Do? have totally convinced me that it’s practical, economical and actually pretty fun. Also, I was so sick and tired of seeing the clock hit 8pm, realizing my stomach was growling, wanting to make something tasty and instead eating cereal in the interest of time. It’s also particularly boring to work from home and eat at home so much. I needed to spice things up!
My goal is to schedule about 5 lunches and 5 dinners each week, leaving room for take-out, dinners out and the occasional event. But like Raluca, I’m going to be practical about it: Some nights will be frozen pizza or canned soup. I’m not trying to channel Julia Child with every meal here. I started my first “plan” yesterday and can’t wait to share my progress over the coming weeks.
Beauty upkeep. I don’t like makeup much and am a firm believer that less is more, but I do think there’s something really relaxing about face masks and giving yourself pedicures. I still need to work on this one because sometimes by 10pm, I’m passed out on the couch and can barely muster up the energy to brush my teeth. Truth.
Hopefully I’m not alone in this abyss of confusion, newness and lack of clarity. I’d love to hear how you get through it!