I’m waking up

November 18, 2016

As I start constructing my happiness project there are a lot of areas in my life I want to look at. I’ve decided to take the plunge and December will be month 1 out of my 12 month program. That means I have a little less than 2 weeks to create a clear and measureable roadmap to destination happy…

Clutter is an obvious one and like Gretchen this will probably be my first area of focus. We moved into our home about 2 months ago and haven’t completely unpacked so I’ve been spending a lot of time organizing, unpacking and purging to make December easier for myself. I’ll need to de-clutter my mind, office and email as well.

Energy. Again, similar to Gretchen I think the next obvious step would be focusing on increasing energy to prepare myself for the next 1o goals. That includes exercise, nutrition and sleep. In the last few weeks I’ve really improved in all 3 of those areas, and I’m looking forward to having a real game plan to truly ingrain some good habits into my day to day life.

From there I am having a really hard time prioritizing what comes next.

Be More Sam is another major goal. This has been nagging me for a very long time now even if I couldn’t really put words to what I was feeling. One day my co-worker left a present on my desk, and the message was loud and clear. The book was The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, by Sarah Knight and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. At the time it felt like I was having the same argument over and over with my husband. Our group of friends have big get togethers. Sometimes it’s a ski trip, sometimes it’s a masquerade new years party, or sometimes it’s just a birthday get together but there is always 20+ people and I found after a while I was getting bored and frustrated, but couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with me. Jared couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me either and it was becoming a major point of contention. Sarah Knight talks about having a f*ck budget as in you can only give a f*ck about so many things before you start exhausting your efforts and time. And if you can only give so many f*cks you don’t want to spend any on things you really don’t want to do. It was then that I began to understand that it was okay for me to not always want to participate in these get-togethers. But I still spent a lot of time feeling guilt over letter Jared and my friends down. Me not wanting to participate in this activities still seemed to mean that I was no fun and didn’t value my friends enough. It took time to realize that yes, I value them, but I don’t like big parties like I used to. I get overwhelmed once there are more than 8 people even if they are all close friends. I find as the quantity of people go up the quality of time goes down. I don’t have any fun, I zone out and I start to feel uncomfortable. However, as much as I want to be more Sam and not expend my f*ck budget on things that don’t make me happy at one point is that considered selfish? I am still trying to navigate the give and take especially where my marriage is concerned. Jared is only here 2 weeks of each month because of his work schedule. He wants to spend time with his friends and he wants me there too. Meanwhile I usually don’t enjoy myself at these big get togethers and I only get Jared 2 weeks out of every month. How do I be more Sam and be a good wife at the same time? So it’s all good and well knowing what I DON’T want to do, but it got me thinking about what I DO want to do? And the answers came a lot harder than you would expect. In the end I found hiking, reading, taking my dog to the dog park, feeding people, hanging out with a couple of friends, sunsets, live music and exploring new places bring me the most joy.

Marriage. Happy wife happy life right? Same probably goes for the husband, but it just doesn’t rhyme quite as well. This is something I’ve been wanting to focus on for a while now. I find myself very impatient with my husband and I feel a lot of guilt over that. He’s a very logical person who approaches each situation and decision with caution, thought and facts. I, on the other hand, approach pretty much everything with emotion and a need to act now and fast. They say opposites attract, but oftentimes I find myself hurt, misunderstood and fairly impatient when I find ourselves on opposite ends. So I really want to figure out some measurable goals that will help me improve and grow our relationship. From a couples counselling retreat to just trying to figure out ways to rein in my emotions I have been all over the map, but this is one of the most important components of my plan.

Friendship. While it’s true that I don’t want to hang out with 20+ friends at a time and maybe I don’t really like themed parties as much as I once thought I did my friends are still a very important part of my life. And I want to deepen and strengthen those relationships. Maybe that will mean more small dinner parties, coffee dates, hikes or starting some kind of book club I need to figure out who to up the quality of when we are together. And then there are the friends who don’t live in the same city of me. I want to find ways to make sure they know I am still thinking about them all the time and that I love them. My heart is divided between Nova Scotia and Toronto where some of my oldest and dearest friends reside. My heart hurts thinking about how much I miss them.

Family. I consider Jared and Bear to be my primary family, but our siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews are so important to me and I want them to know that. I need to think of some creative ways to keep in touch with them despite the distance.

And then some other parts of my happiness project are career, hobbies, having more fun, and being kind & generous.

Obviously my roadmap is extremely incomplete, but the wheels are turnings and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all unravels.

Blog, you’re going to play a big part in this!

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Whiskey Rivers

October 15, 2016

I want to feel alive. I am so hungry. I need to find purpose and a deeper meaning to my life. This hunger keeps me locked inside of my own head. It’s complicated and it’s maddening. I need to harness this part of me so that I still get satisfaction out of life without this constant nagging feeling that there is something bigger out there. That’s a lot of pressure. How am I supposed to enjoy the day to day when I measure myself against people who have dedicated their lives to a deeper purpose? Jared jokes about me being a perfect candidate for a midlife crisis and he’s right. All of the ingredients are there. At this rate someday I am going to wake up and wonder at what the fuck I’ve done with my life. I’ll count down the years as I always do and realize I have too little left in terms of time and I’ll skyrocket into insanity. Hopefully it won’t be anything more than a boob job, ridiculous speed car and unlikely hobby like drumming. But anyone who knows me deep from the very beginning I was destined to run away to Africa, give up everything material in life and drink Tony Robbin’s Kool-aid (SOMEONE, ANYONE, DON’T LET ME DRINK HIS KOOL-AID!!!!) cause that’s the kind of person I am, that’s my midlife crisis and I’m on the fast track there if I can’t find a way to fill my bucket in a more reasonable way.

And here’s the crazy thing… there’s some real irony to who I am. My decisions have been driven by a deep seeded fear of financial instability. Yeah, that’s right. My whole heart can picture myself deep in mid-life crisis in some obscure part of Africa living a simple and selfless life, but my decisions are driven by money. And while I don’t think I’m really very materialistic (although, I got a bit lost in Calgary for a while keeping up with the Joneses… I think I’m coming back to myself again now), but this fear was rooted watching my parents fight over money constantly and my mother always commenting on what other people had and what we didn’t. I want to be happy without worrying about maintaining my financial freedom that I currently have, but it’s hard to shed something that has been a part of me since childhood. “Financial freedom” shackles me. I think it keeps me from being who I want to be. It’s preventing me from taking risks. It’s controlling my decisions. It’s blocking my dreams.

So I’m trying to rebuild myself. Like I said, I want to feel alive. So many days go by in a blur and dealing with depression means there’s a lot of grey and darkness. I’ve been thinking about things that have made me feel alive in the past. You know that feeling where you have the chills, adrenalin is pumping, you’ve got goosebumps,  and you have so much energy you want to run up and down your street and just scream with pure joy. By the way, I’ve done that. When I was 14. Picture lanky awkward me running up and down my tiny residential street with a maniac smile on my face probably singing or something like that… I wasn’t popular in school. I’ve always been a weirdo. But that feeling is awesome! Sometimes you’re walking on the line of sheer craziness and letting go is exhilarating.

There’s no rhyme or reason as to why my flip suddenly switches. I just want hold onto that feeling of being alive. Really alive. I want to build myself back into a healthy and happy human. I want to dig deep and find my authentic self. I want to practice mindfulness, gratitude, respect, patience and kindness. I want to let go of the fear of losing money, losing face in front of people I don’t even care about, and of pleasing any and all other people.

I’ve been taking little steps towards that. I deleted facebook. I know, that sounds so miniscule in the grand scheme of things but baby steps. Maybe someday I will cut out other things that make me superficial and other things that make me sedentary like trash tv, Instagram and magazines. I’ve been focusing on self-development and self-growth. When I think about the things that fill my bucket I think growth and giving is a big part of that and that hasn’t been a priority in my life.

I want to volunteer again, I want to grow in all the ways – I want to grow my practice in mindfulness and my search in finding myself and my meaning, and I also want to grow in knowledge of things that really matter versus the shit I am currently addicted to like facebook posts and random lists about celebrities.

I also want to remember and honour my experience from when I was in an abusive relationship. That propelled me to greatness if only for a little bit. In the face of crisis I believe we truly have the opportunity grow and expand and break through all barriers. As I healed from my experience I also found deep satisfaction and inspiration in my desire to help other women who had similar experiences. Nothing ever came from that. I want to change that. There is an untapped talent there that I can offer this world and while it’s not Africa and it’s not making radical changes to the world to save the environment (my grade 4 self had some brilliant ideas in that arena!!), but it’s a step in the right direction. I want to uncover the girl who wanted to save the world before I got overwhelmed and walked away from that ambition. I do want to make a difference in my own life and in yours.

Losing my intentions

January 15, 2015

When you have that moment on that mat and it’s sort of like, ‘aha! there I am. there’s my forgiveness, my compassion and my patience. there’s my breath. it’s all good.’ and then you leave the quiet dimly lit room for chaotic reality. I lose it. Or it loses me. And I get stuck in my mind that demands perfection and abuses me with expectations. I lose all patience and compassion and go back to judging and rushing.

I want to let go of this idea of perfection. I’m always failing by my own unrealistic expectations. And what is the point of perfection? Flaws make us interesting, but I can’t let go of this idea that I’m just not doing it right. I don’t own the right things, I’m not tidy enough, I don’t have enough in savings, I’m lazy, I’m mean, I’m ugly in countless different ways… why do we do this to ourselves? I want to let it all of go.

And while I’m talking about wants and dreams more than anything I want to forgive my family for my own inability to understand them. I want to forgive them for all of the things that can’t be undone. I want to open back up to them, but I’ve lost my way in getting there. I want to give all of my compassion and forgiveness to them. To the people I love the most and hurt the most through this poisonous isolation I’ve placed on the road between our hearts and minds and everything else that makes us who we are.

I want to be in the moment.  And I want all of this clutter that comes from technology and social media to stop filling up my time turning my moments into a meaningless life I know I’ll regret.

Is there a simple formula that will set it all right and take those gentle intentions off of the mat with me and into real life?

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