Monday, June 10, 2013

Catching Up

It's been just about a month since I last blogged. There are many reasons for the gap, and I won't be going into them all here. However, in fairness to all who have been supportive with the bullying situation I described in that blog post, I'll give a brief update.

First, an update on the bullying situation
My understanding is that the person told a friend of mine that he would stop posting anything about me, and to my knowledge, that has happened. Another person shared with me that this person indicated he would like to confront me in person. Therefore, I have decided not to become more involved in a new (to me) young adult group I'd begun to attend and that this person frequents. I'm carrying out a team commitment I made to them, but I don't think I'll go to any of the other events, other than maybe the ladies-only events (where this guy can't attend).

I find that terribly frustrating, but I've decided not to dwell on it.

My take on the Minnesota Twins
Well, they've been more fun than I expected, but I doubt they'll see .500 again this season. I'm looking forward to at least two more games, likely at least five more, this season, and recent minor league moves are adding some anticipation for the next season or so.

I'm guessing the Twins will make a trade before the no-waiver trade deadline. If Morneau gets his homerun swing back, it will be him, as many suspected prior to the season. If things don't change for him, then it will be Doumit. Both make me sad for different reasons. Morneau because I think he wants to be a Twin for life, and Doumit because his get-it-done attitude has been fun to have on the team. I definitely have a baseball crush on him.

The Elephant in the Room...the Weight Loss Challenge
I weighed myself last week, after a month or so. I was still 9 pounds or so down from my original weight. That's good. I don't know if I still am that far down or not - I finally was able to work out some again, but the eating habits are far from back on track.

I'm not giving up, at least, I'm telling myself that. But I also don't feel ready to be all gung-ho about it, or as open about it as I started out. I hope I'll get there again.

Sometimes, I need a loose structure - completely winging it doesn't work, but being too rigid sets me up for failure. I've got a plan that's been helpful in the past, but it didn't work last week. However, I'm going to give it another shot. Even though it's already Monday, I'm going to fill in the blanks for the rest of the week. Here's the format I use:

I look at my calendar, jot down major things that will affect where/when I eat meals, look in my fridge, and make a meal plan. (Then I update my grocery list.)

Last week, I outlined the days in green, yellow, or red: five were yellow, one was green, and one was red. The yellow meant I followed the main meals exactly and could have any of the snack options I listed for the week, as long as I was hungry. Green was a day I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I stopped when I was full. Red was to be a day where I ate precisely what was on the menu and only two snacks specified for that day. I think this color step might have been the tipping point; too much structure for the week and too much pressure. When I'm back on track, I think it will be a useful addition. For this week, I'm going to start with a simpler plan.

But I'm going to plan, and I'm going to work at it.

It's not just the food/exercise/weight thing
Food and exercise habits, and the corresponding affect they have on my weight and how my clothes fit, are symptoms of some overarching issues. One of those is how I deal with and respond to stress. I felt like a lot of things in my life spun out of control in April and May - work stress, the bullying, and some other things. Through all of this, I've been reminded that I can manage multiple "projects" that are ongoing. But I know how I work, and I need to do it the way that is best for me. That means:

  • Keeping a list of what needs to be done
  • Scheduling blocks of time to focus on a particular task under one project
  • When something unrelated crops up, set it aside
  • Organize papers and other items into broad "piles" based on the general topic, and tackle one thing at a time

The stress in my life has been evident by the state of my living environment - my home has been both disorganized and in need of a good cleaning. Both of those things drive me crazy, yet for some reason it's easy for me to slip into disorganization and to eschew cleaning when I'm stressed. And that stresses me out even more. Which makes me more disorganized and the cleaning becomes even more overwhelming...

So, I decided to schedule my cleaning in small blocks throughout the month. It's easiest for me to be consistent by day of the week, so I decided to break up my cleaning schedule that way. Here are my cleaning goals for each month:

I fully admit I'm already behind, but I'm catching myself up. Today was my first completely unscheduled day, probably in years - no work, no events with family or friends I was going to attend, no events with family or friends I was going to skip in the name of de-stressing & then feel guilty about, no meetings, no errands, no leaving the house. I focused on the chaos in my living/dining/kitchen area (which all flows together), and it is almost completely organized and fairly clean.

It's so much easier to be calm in a space that has a low level of clutter, is clean-ish, and has "empty space" on the counters, refrigerator, walls, table, and floor.

Your feedback
What do you do to help yourself reduce or alleviate stress? I am looking for options besides food for when I'm feeling stressed. Things like massage are wonderful opportunities, but I can't just come home after a stressful day at work and decide "I'm going to get my 10th massage this month". My friends and family (people like you) are very supportive, but it's not always feasible (and not always fair) to call when I'm feeling overwhelmed. What are some in the moment things you do? Comments are appreciated!


  1. Hi, friend!! I find the soothing, repetitive nature of the rosary to be helpful when I feel frazzled. I find it's harder for me to pray it alone, so I have a cd from that I can play when I'm having trouble focusing. And, as far as reducing stress in general, I'm very visually oriented, so decluttering and simplifying my possessions is very satisfying too....thinking "What would I pack if I was going to be a missionary" and then expanding to fit my current life accordingly. Writing a "Rule of Life" (like how monks and nuns have) has helped me, too. I've slacked off from doing this lately, and it's showing in my life. I really like the book "A Mother's Rule of Life"'s geared toward mothers but would be just as useful to a single person in developing the practical aspects of a really helps order all aspects of your life...
    Well. This was really long...hope you can find some useful tidbit in there :)
    love you

    1. I really like those ideas. I think I'll have to read "A Mother's Rule of Life". I'm pretty good at adapting. :) Prayer in general is something I need to spend more time on, and the Rosary has always been a good prayer for me. Thank you! :)

  2. Some stress relievers that work have been-- taking a walk, picking a cleaning task and laying into it, talking it out with a friend, taking quiet time to pray, going to reconciliation and Mass (especially at Mass when I can offer all that is taking up my time, energy and thoughts...this is probably my favorite prayer).

    I do think decluttering would be helpful but I am horrible at finishing that task and usually need another person's help and encouragement in making it happen, volunteers appreciatated. I like to make 'easy' lists that get me started on completing some of the tasks at hand. And settling for 'pretty good' when it comes to cleaning.

    I also thought of something Fr. Shawn recommended for me when it comes to balancing work. Divide your week/days into 4 hour segments (Monday a.m., afternoon, evening; Tuesday a.m., afternoon, evening etc.) When plotting out your week x out those hours that you're going to spend at work (10-12 slots = 40-48 hrs) and then mark out those times that you're going to use for other things (exercise, socializing, time at home, etc.). If this doesn't make sense...I'm not explaining it well, let me know and I'll try a different approach. It really was a stress reducer for me because it gave me 'guilt free' balance. I could take time for myself earlier in the week knowing I was going to put in some fuller days later on or vice versa.

    1. I get the calendar description; a good suggestion. I like the suggestions in the first paragraph, too! :)