You can’t chase life in your sleep.

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Yesterday, I decided to start writing in my habit and gratitude journals.  Coincidentally, last Saturday,  my Weight Watchers leader also asked us to open our weigh-in booklets and take note of the small goals section located at the top of each 4 week section (see below).

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Initially, I had decided that my small goal/habit for the next 4 weeks would be to “Track, Track, Track.”  Literally, that is what I wrote.  I was content with that, until this morning when I hit snooze two too many times and was rushing to get dressed, make milk for G, lay out his clothes, throw lunches in bags, etc.

As I was driving to work, it dawned on me.  Tracking isn’t really part of my issue, at least not now.  My issue is, as I constantly mention, TIME!  I cannot track if I don’t have time. I can’t meal prep if I don’t have time.  Can’t exercise, can’t meditate, can’t relax, complete chores, play with my son, go on a date, etc, all without time.  And so the simple and complicate answer to this is to make time.

Instead of tracking, my “aha” of this morning was that my new habit needs to be waking up earlier.  If I wake up earlier, I can do so much more–my hair, my meditations, a load of laundry–or nothing at all.  But at least it will be time afforded only to me.  I think I might really appreciate this new habit and it will help me to make better use of my day.  Besides, it’s not like I fall back asleep anyway.  I most often lay there in that state between sleep and awake.  Not quite “with it” enough to think, but not relaxed enough to retire back to dreamland.

As of now, my plan is to set the alarm for 4:30 and to actually WAKE UP!

Wish me luck!

Menu: March 19-23, 2018

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Monday:  Skinnytaste Chicken Divan with Brown Rice, Recipe here.

Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday! I brown 93/7 beef and add low sodium taco seasoning.  I serve it along side shredded lettuce, Joseph’s Pitas, real shredded cheddar (I don’t think low fat taste even 1/3 as good as regular), FF Refried Beans, and Sriracha.  I make the hubby TGIFriday’s Frozen Jalapeño poppers.  My plan is not to have any of those, since they do not give a lot of bang for their 7 pt each buck!

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies, Adaptation of this Skinnytaste Recipe.

Thursday:  Skinnytaste Giant Turkey Meatball Parmesan served alongside Dole Sunflower Crunch Salads, Recipe here.

Friday:  Weight Watchers White Wine Clam Sauce with Skinnytaste Garlic Knots and Salad, Recipes here and here.


 

I start my Oprah and Deepak 21 Day Mediation today.  I planned on waking up earlier in order to complete it before school; however, I took allergy medicine last night and couldn’t wake up this morning!

 

You only have to listen.

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Since writing yesterday, the icky chest feeling has subsided and I already feel lighter and more free.  It’s funny how acknowledging your feelings can do that, huh?

For the longest time, I’ve had these books in my drawer.  Like most things in my life over the past year, I’ve had great intentions for using them, but then life happens.

While cleaning out my kitchen drawer last week, I came across the habits journal (below).  I had purchased it from Michael’s a while ago and never got around to using it or the gratitude journal (also from Michael’s).  I decided to dust them both off and throw them into my bag.  I thought i might be a little way to help focus my intentions and improve my spirit.

In terms of the book, I ordered it a while ago and never got around made the time to read it.  I am currently teaching a writing class where the students are required to read independently and then take part in literature circles.  As good models, my co-teacher and I are also reading (books of our choice) the days we ask the students to do so.  I began reading this yesterday and already there are a million “Ahas” that connect to how I’ve been feeling (more on that in a later post).

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After hitting post yesterday, I was researching some of Deepak Chopra’s ideas.  It was ideas similar to his that were in that article from the Oprah magazine I had been discussing yesterday. I was reading something on meditation and thought to myself, I should take some time to do that everyday.  I had downloaded an app (I think it was called Mindfulness, but I need to double check) a while back and did it once or twice.  I remember I really liked it.   It’s not very often that I am still in my own thoughts. I think that’s an integral part of nurturing your soul–even if just for a moment. I’m thinking that would help to alleviate some stress and provide some mental clarity.  Since becoming a mom I feel as though I am alway “on”.  I think it’d be a nice, healthy, self-ful* way to turn off (not to mention making me a better mom, teacher, friend).

Later in the day, while skimming Facebook, Liz Josefsberg had the following post on Facebook.

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How funny that I only had to put the idea of needing help out to the universe and suddenly it began to fall into place.

It’s like someone, somewhere is screaming at me to take the time to worry about me.  To make myself a priority.  To do the things I keep saying I am going to do.

Yup, the universe is definitely like the Amazon Alexa.


*Self-ful–a word my WW leader uses to talk about ways we make our own lives worth living.  Things we do for ourselves, not to be selfish, but to nurture and love ourselves the same way we nurture and care for others.  What a better world it’d be if we all took just a little time to do this.

In searching more about this, I came across an interesting and applicable article from the Psychology Today website entitled “Selfish vs Self-ish:  What’s the Really BIG Difference”.

According to Leon F. Seltzer:

Defined principally as “thinking only of oneself” (definitely the most common usage for selfish), you get–among other unfavorable possibilities–egocentric, egoistic, egotistical, mean, self-centered, self-indulgent, self-seeking, and ungenerous. Perceived more along the lines of “covetousness” or “greediness” nets you (ah! the repulsive Gordon Gekko strikes again!) acquisitive, avaricious, grasping, mercenary, miserly, money-grubbing,piggish, predatory, rapacious, tightfisted, and voracious. Looked at mainly as “thinking very [extravagantly?] highly of oneself,” its uncomplimentary synonyms include conceited, megalomaniacal, narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-serving, and vainglorious. And lastly, seen in terms of insensitivity toward others–or general inconsiderateness–we have such unflattering descriptors as boorish, brash, discourteous, impolite, rude, thoughtless, uncharitable, and unkind.

Okay, I rest my case. No positives at all here (unless, that is, you happen to be one of the Koch brothers!).

But what happens if you hyphenate the word selfish?–which, I must confess, no one appears to have done before me. How might placing the “-ish” suffix after the root “self” change the whole tenor of the word’s meaning? in effect, transform it semantically? . . . and into something positive–in fact, actually desirable.

Let’s take a look. Among the meanings of “-ish” are: “having the characteristics of,” “belonging to,” or [my favorite] “concerned with.” If you’re the center of your universe (after all, who else could possibly be a better candidate for the job?), is it not fitting that your very orientation toward life ought to have a certain self-interested focus? that your primary “concern” should be, well, you?

None of this, to me, implies selfishness as such. It’s just that if you’re going to (1) take complete responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, wants and needs, and (2) strive to reach your full potential, it makes perfect sense to make yourself your highest priority–to focus your time and energy on advancing your own welfare. That is, to be self-ish. And there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t at the same time be concerned about, loving and nurturing, toward others. However ironic it might at first seem, much research has shown that giving to others may ultimately be one of the most effective ways to nurture yourself.

Here is the link to the full article.

Why I haven’t been around…

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I am not sure if anyone is reading this.  I suppose that at the end of the day,  I really just need to write this for myself, anyway (though I am glad to share if anyone is there).

For the life of me I cannot commit myself to this journey.  I’ve stopped writing about it because I (as I believe I’ve mentioned before) am sick of hearing myself say it.  Besides, what’s the point of writing if nothing changes.  But I feel like I need to get the feelings out there.

I’ve not felt quite like myself in some time.  Lately, especially, I have a constant feeling of anxiousness pressing at my chest.  Yesterday, we had a snow day from school and I decided to visit two Oprah Magazines I had sitting in my drawer.  One of them discussed quieting your mind and just listening to your body.  This spinning, whirly, adrenaline-filled, thumping weight on my heart is trying to tell me something. It’s impacting most parts of my life, and I want need to figure out just what it is.

As I’ve mentioned before, I truly believe that the universe sends us signs/messages that we are meant to receive so long as we are open to hearing them.  The other day, I was thinking about what exactly needed to happen in order for everything to click and fall into its proverbial place.  As I logged onto my computer to visit a blog I check often, I found this post.  Moments before, I had literally been thinking of this very thought.

“Lisa, you know what you need to do….why is it so difficult to get it done?”

Clearly the universe, sort of like the Amazon Alexa, is always listening.

After reading that post, the first thing that stuck was the idea of a “life” plan.  For the longest time, I’ve wanted to write down my “plan” for losing the weight and focusing on myself.  Story of my life, I never got around to it.  Piggybacking off of that, the second thing that stuck out to me was the idea that we have to stop making the same old excuses.  How many of us say “I’ll start tomorrow, next week, after Christmas, on the third Tuesday of April…”?  As part of my making a plan, I also need to address how I will deal with the excuses I make to get around doing what I need to do. My biggest one…time.  There is time.  I need to make myself a priority, even if it has to be at 4:30 am.

As an aside (though it connects, I swear) last Monday, I decided I would make it a point to wake up early enough to blow-dry my hair straight.   When I do so, I feel better about myself, which directly impacts my decisions, attitude, etc. for the day.  Of course, my son also decided to wake up early, my husband was moving more slowly than usually, etc. leading to me not getting to do the one thing I wanted to do for myself that day.  Later, my husband, feeling bad because he knew that it was my one tiny desire of the day, said to me, “How much earlier can you wake up?” My response, which I was shocked to hear coming out of my mouth, “As early as it takes to make sure I take care of me.”

Did I follow through with that in the days following? No.

But the words simply leaving my lips were a big step.

For me, I know part of my success is directly linked to the physical act of writing out my plan, my struggles, etc.  Something tells me that if I make a constant and purposeful effort to quiet my mind from everything else I need to worry about throughout my day to simply worry about myself, that nagging feeling in my chest and heart will subside.  I think it’s my body’s way of telling me to focus on my heart…on loving myself.

I don’t want to look back at this life with a bunch of “I wish I hads…” and “If I had onlys…”

I want to LIVE my life–wildly, passionately and presently.