Good Morning :)
I live!!! I have survived the Plague!!!! I sincerely apologize for my extended absence from this blog, I've missed it so much! As those of you who follow The Kitchen Is My Canvas already know, I returned to the blogging world via my food blog a few weeks ago, after the Flu had abated. However, I took a lot longer to return to this blog. It's not that I lost interest in blogging, on the contrary, I missed it more every day, but every time I started to write a new post for this blog, it all sounded so negative. Basically, any post I started to write was just a repetition of the same thoughts and feelings I'd been having all winter. Being that sick for that long really took a toll on my health, physical, mental, and emotional. In a nutshell, this is how I was feeling from the end of January to the beginning of March:
-I'm sick of being sick
-I strongly dislike my job and I want a better one, but if I get a full-time job, I won't have time for the Shakespeare Fesitval and other theatrical actvities, and those are very important creative outlets, they are what keep me sane.
- I'm broke, AGAIN. I'm terrified I'll be broke forever.
-I was put on mandatory bed rest twice and missed almost a month of work altogether
-Since my job has no benefits, when I don't work, I don't get paid
-As such, every cent I had in my savings account went to paying the bills and other life expenses like car repair, etc.
- Due to illness, I missed every audition I had hoped to attend this winter, including the Sterling auditions
- I felt like a terrible friend because I barely saw or spoke to any of my friends all winter, and others not at all
- I felt lost and overwhelmed, like I'd never be healthy again, and I'd never achieve any of the personal or career goals I'd set for myself. I realize that this is an irrational feeling, but when you're depressed and ill and broke, and your energy reserves are completely depleted, these feelings can get out of control.
I started this blog for many reasons, but spewing negativity on a regular basis is absolutely not one of them. Those thought patterns are addictive and cyclical and I know that, and I won't perpetuate that cycle. I made a deal with myself that I would not post anything here until I had positive,constructive things to say. The last few months have been very difficult, but I refuse to dwell on them. They occurred and now they are over, and I am ready for a fresh start :) So now, here I am :)
March brought the the first hints of Spring and the shot in the arm I needed to jump start my recovery in all senses. I went five straight weeks without illness (apart from some normal seasonal allergy/sinus stuff that I've been dealing with the last few days, but it's pretty minor) and I'm about to start my sixth. I was well enough to return to performing with Avon Repertory, and well enough to spend time with my friends and go out socially to the theatre, dinner, etc. I got to meet Michael's brother and go back to my Fairy-Tale Book Club. I put out several job applications, I haven't heard from any of them yet, but at least I put the feelers out, so to speak. I went to my first clothing swap with some of my Rochester ladies and I loved it :) I received a very decent-sized tax return. I've been cooking and blogging and reading. I've gone to the Farmer's Market twice and pretty soon I hope to be going every week. I've been planning an herb garden for the summer and watching the buds and shoots and other signs of new life returning to the world around me. I feel renewed and hopeful and restored, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful.
In short, I'm back, and it's wonderful to be so :)
And now, for a 2011 Goal Check-in
Goal #1 Build Up My Savings: This one was up and down, as previously mentioned, I missed a lot of work, and so had to tap into my savings to keep my bills paid. However, I can't tell you how happy I was that I had the money there in my savings account to be utilized. It was down to one lonely little dollar for awhile, but I recently put $100 back in, and will be putting more in after this month's bills, so it's on the up and up :)
Goal#2: Posting in each of my blogs once a week: This one was rough. February was a wasteland of illness and depression. But, I went back to regularly posting in my food blog in early March, and here I am in early April for this blog, so I hit a downswing, but I'm recovering :)
Goal #3: Lose 30lbs: Actually, this is going pretty well. I lost quite a bit of weight when I was ill, but it wasn't healthy weight, it was * for basically the entire month of February all I could keep down was plain yogurt and dry cereal* weight. As soon as I started eating like a normal person again, the weight came back, but it needed to and I didn't mind. There have been two recent developments that have helped me stay focused on my health and weight loss. One, my current place of employment is running a wight loss challenge. You get weighed once a week and if you lose weight or maintain, you don't have to pay, but if you gain weight you pay 5 cents for every ounce and $1 for every pound you gain. At the end of the challenge the person or people who lost the most weight get to split the money. This has been useful for helping me keep my portions more reasonable, because I know I'll have a weigh-in every Tuesday. Also, one of my dear friends introduced me to My Fitness Pal, a website that it sort of a cross between Weight Watchers and Facebook which lets you track your calorie intake and exercise and chart your fitness progress for FREE!!! I use it during the week to keep me in check and then I relax somewhat on the weekends for my mental health. With the help of these tools and my renewed energy, I've lost 7lbs since January, and I'm down from 162.4lbs in January to 155.4lbs in April. This is roughly where I expected I would be at this point in the year, give or take a pound or two, so I am pleased with progress in this area and I plan to continue :) Soon it will be warm enough to walk outside regularly, and I'm really looking forward to that.
Goal#4 Using my time more effectively: Oddly, I've been getting up early on the weekends so I can get the most out of my days off, but I'm still struggling with sleeping in on the weekdays. I think it's a defense mechanism because although I love my kids, I get more and more tired of my job every day, and by sleepin in I'm sort of delaying the inevitable, in my own mind, at least. However, I still manage to get up early enough to check my e-mail and other messages, eat breakfast, shower, make lunch and get out the door, which is definitely a good middle ground. I bought a Bulletin/Dry Erase Board for my room and every day I write down a few things to do that I want to accomplish, and it helps to keep me focused, so that been okay too. I want to do better, but at least I'm working on it actively.
The only thing still lingering is a feeling of flux. I don't really know what's going to happen next for me. I don't know where I should be, where I should go, or what I should be doing. "Should I move? Stay here? Go back to school? If so, where should I go?" and other such big life decision questions. However, rather than fighting these questions, I'm trying to embrace them. I really do hope that I am where I need to be right now and the answers will become clear in due time :)
I'll be back very soon :)