I mentioned in my last post that I had taken myself off social media for three months. My social media presence is only FB because I quite frankly can't be bothered with anything else. I've found it easier than I thought to remove myself, partly because I'd already cut down over the previous couple of months, so am pleased that I don't have any withdrawal 'symptoms' from it. I also figured out how to remove the news headlines from my Google homepage on my iPad, so I don't even see those. I only hear sound bites via the radio, so am blissfully ignorant of (most) of what's going on in the world right now. And I'm okay with that for the time being.
The idea behind this was for some self-care - which is not only a physical thing but also mental, emotional and spiritual.
Back in October, I (kind of) started a bullet journal, attempting to keep myself in some kind of ordered chaos. I've (kind of) kept it up, but left myself a bit more flexibility in it as we entered the new year. I keep track of the books I read and review (those ones -->) and am making a list of things to do this year, as well as trying to keep track of my debt, my habits, my reading, etc. My words for 2019 are 'joyful adventure' - I think to remind myself to just let go a little bit and say 'yes' to necessary/scary changes. Following on from my self-imposed social media ban, I decided that each month would have a word associated with it, as a way of paying attention to what I need (whether it be good food, a walk, to stop being so hard on myself, watching my thoughts, decluttering my room, etc.).
January's word is 'Discover'.
I watched Marie Kondo's 'Tidying Up' show on Netflix. A gentle, mindful way of decluttering your home. The 'KonMari' method works seemingly contrary to most decluttering rules, by keeping only things that bring you joy. This mindful approach is the way to a clean house apparently, so I have a few notes to review.
I decided that I need to focus at work, doing the best that I can and not being such a complainer. My colleague reflects a lot of my own stuff at me (passive-aggression mostly, also victim/martyr issues), and I've vowed to pay close attention to that this year. A couple of weeks ago I offered to change my lunch hour with her because she's always 'absolutely starving' when her lunch rolls around at 1:00 (she starts work at 7:30!). But no, 'it's fine.' So I'm not going to offer again and take that on board. It's not my problem.
I want to be more present and make sure that I'm a little more measured and thoughtful in what I say, rather than spitting out the first thing that pops into my head, in an effort to try to be funny or whatever.
I watched a show called 'Addicted to Food' last week, about recovering food addicts. Both ends of the spectrum were shown, the bulimics and anorexics and the obese. The woman who runs the treatment centre is lovely (and a recovering alcoholic/binge eater herself) and pointed out that although what they treat at the centre is food addiction, the fundamental issues for any addiction are the same (trauma, abuse, neglect, etc.). One client was determined to leave about 10 days before the end of the programme, and one thing that stuck out to me from the conversation the director had with her was that the client's first instinct is always to 'cut and run, and what would it take for you to commit? What would it feel like to commit?' I do this. When I get bored, frustrated, etc., my first instinct is to 'cut and run'. My decision is to commit to my job - despite being bored, frustrated, whatever - and just be there for it, instead of day-dreaming of 'better'. Whatever I imagine that to be. After all, in the current climate, I could be in a much worse position.
I have also decided to do this with my book. Just commit to it and get it done. How would that feel?!
So, January has been pretty good, so far!
What else? My car is fab. I'm still getting used to it but took my cousin to the little village of Burley last weekend. I wanted to get a crystal of sorts for the rearview mirror but didn't find anything. I bought some chakra-themed candles instead (abundance, joy, motivation and compassion) which smell lovely and will help clear the air around here.
We got our quarterly electric bill which was a huge shock - £706!! I was expecting it to be around £350, but not a bill that rivals a month's heating in the Yukon in mid-winter. We don't have gas, so everything is electric. The heating is via night storage heaters, old, notoriously expensive and fairly inefficient. Realistically, we can't cut ourselves off, so we've been trying to figure out the best way to deal with it. This means turning off the rads during the day (they 'charge up' overnight, on the much cheaper tariff, and release the heat during the day so I'm not sure how this is going to help...but I've agreed to try it). I had to use my travel fund to pay my share of the bill. It means I have to start from zero again, but I'm glad I had it.
My biggest (arguably only) hobby is reading. I read ALL. THE. TIME. I love it. I review pre-release books (over there -->) and currently have a backlog of about 45 books to read and review. Phew. I'm struggling to keep up. It doesn't help when you come across a book that just doesn't do it for you, although you do have the option of not finishing it. As a result, I'm beginning to resent it, as I have loads of others to read yet feel obliged to read all of these first. I got myself into this dilemma so if I can get through a couple of books a week, I'll clear up my backlog relatively quickly and will take a break from reviewing after that. When it stops being fun, stop doing it.
I had bought a book released earlier this month and which I decided to return to Amazon. The return options have changed a bit which is frustrating, and instead of printing out a return label for the item, you're now issued a scanning option which you need to take to a post office (depot) for them to scan and print. Can I be bothered? No. And the book does fit perfectly into my January 'discovery' theme, so I'm keeping it after all.
I've been walking every day at lunch, too. I manage about 1.5 miles in 30 mins (according to my app) which is quite good, but I am noticing that my breathing is starting to labour again and have a call with my doctor on Tuesday to hopefully get things arranged for a new blood test and some iron supplements. My anaemia is rearing its head again!
Outside of that, the temperatures are on the cool side here (snow in the north!) but haven't been too bad. The walks have been pleasant and refreshing (I don't go out in the rain), and I'm feeling good doing them. Half an hour seems to be a nice balance in the middle of the day, as that still allows me lots of time to eat afterwards.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend!