Change my blog title and tag line, Blogging 101? Are you SERIOUS? I suppose it could be a bit more, appealing and catchy. I chose “laughter in between” because those moments are precious, those little moments where you are truly and genuinely happy. It’s a tad cheesier than I like but I appreciate the sentiment.
All right, here we go. I will update my blog title shortly before posting. I will also update my tag line. Dammit.
Y’all, I had a rough 2014. There’s an entire section of the year that I don’t quite remember, and since most of the suck involved an illness, self-care was unbelievably difficult. I didn’t do much of it. I think at some point, I stopped except when I had no choice – a doctor’s appointment or something where I had to interact with someone else. Groceries were fair game, and I shopped with dirty hair, wrinkled ill-fitting clothes, hairy legs.
A few days before Christmas, I read an article at HuffPo Women (link it) where this woman in her early 30s played at being a ‘50s housewife for a week at the behest of her editor. One of the first things she mentions is appearance. She said after running a brush through her hair, applying a little makeup, and putting on a nice outfit, she felt better. I thought, “Hmm. There might be something there.” and then forgot about it for a few days, until Christmas Eve when I decided to put on some eyeliner for the hell of it. Then I went back and added a little more. I washed my face that night. The next day, I woke up and put on some eyeliner and a little mascara. I wasn’t planning on going any farther than the dog park across the street but I felt a bit more together outwardly than I felt inwardly, and that made going outside a little less intimidating.
Because Sigot and I dislike resolutions and do not make them, we consider the calendar change to be a reset button. Go back to the things you did before that worked and that you stopped doing because life happened. Open yourself to more growth. At the end of 2012, we declared 2013 the year of us and man, was it ever. 2014? Not so much. 2015? It’s going to kick ass. And it’s going to be a battle. I am very bad at making room for myself in my life. My job is mentally demanding and consumes a huge amount of time and energy, and I’m a caregiver and one-half of a dog mama team at home. By the time everyone else’s needs are met, I rarely have time to address my own. Sigot would like for me to elevate myself a bit in those ranks, and I think I might also like that too? But I’m not sure. It feels selfish and uncomfortable, like I’m telling my spouse and kids to fuck off while I sit in front of the TV with the remote glued to my hand.
In an effort to remove some of the negativity, I have a few things in mind for 2015.
Daily face washing
I am horrible at doing anything that prevents me from getting into bed. That includes everything from taking out my contacts to taking out the dogs. When it gets late and I get tired, I get lazy and grumpy and impatient. Just magically transport me to bed with a clean face, a clean mouth, settled dogs, and no contacts. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK. Washing my face lets me put my best face forward (cwidt). It also makes my skin soft and less tired, which I need in these days of depression and anxiety.
Walks With and Without Dogs
There is little I love more than a nice, long walk on a cold sunny winter day. The sharpness in my lungs, the sting on my cheeks, the leaves and light and everything. I’ll take walks at other times of the year. It’s hardest in summer but early mornings or a shady route can help. The rhythm helps calm my mind when it’s spinning out of control, and getting away from my desk at work is key to surviving the job.
Walking the dogs requires focus, which is my word for 2015. Or at least that’s what I told my friend HG. It’s not that my mind wanders uncontrollably. It does sometimes, and I’m working on that too. But I have a few projects in line for 2015 and I need to be able to FOCUS to get them finished. Or to at least START THEM. Sigot just helpfully asked me what my first step was for one of my 2015 projects, and I was able to reply! High five, Focus!
Baking and Cooking
We’re trying to be adults this year and that includes stuff like menu planning, which will require a lot of time in the kitchen. But I also want to spend time baking little creations that I find online. It’s therapeutic, measuring ingredients and mixing them and sometimes you have to exert some force, beating something by hand or continually stirring something on the stovetop. In the end, you have something to show for the hard work. I won’t think about when the hard work doesn’t turn out and I make something that tastes like death.
It’s a form of self-care that I loved while I was sick and then stopped doing when I went back to work. My biggest problem with morning pages is that my mornings start very early and I am the worst person to get out of bed. I set multiple alarms every morning and hit snooze on every single one. I’ve been this way my entire life. I hate getting out of bed. If I could manage to wake up at 5am every day, morning pages would get done. They help me get all the crap out of my head so I can focus on other things. After a few weeks, I started having Realizations about life, and a lot of it has gone on to shape the goals I have in mind for 2015. Morning pages: for my sanity.
I’ve gotten up at 5am the past two mornings, and have written morning pages. What! That is no joke. Have I mentioned that I hate waking up? Garfield-on-Monday-morning hate waking up? Aside from being sleepy upon waking, I’ve had few side effects. Maybe this could be…good for me? Gasp!