Goals · mental health

March-ing On

snow ice winter cold
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

I can’t tell if February passes so quickly simply because it’s a short month, or also because it follows January, the longest month evvvver. Either way, here we are in March, where I always breathe a little internal sigh of relief.

Winter agitates me. I’ve been learning this the hard way over the past few years. I don’t really get depressed (this year I did, but it’s not common). For me, my anxiety just ramps up. I’m anxious about snow. I’m anxious about people having the stomach flu (hi, lifelong emetophobe over here!). I’m anxious about being anxious in all of the social situations that come up around the holidays. And for some reason, my body reacts worse to the cold than it does to excessive heat.

Once we turn the calendar to March, it’s like a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see spring on the horizon. We may still have snow and frigid weather, but it’s almost over. That’s part of the reason I always wanted a spring wedding – as much as I do love summer and fall, spring is refreshing and comforting to me. It doesn’t have the oppressive heat like summer does, but you can still enjoy being outside. Spring is like the Friday of seasons to me.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really tackle my main goal of setting schedules for myself this month, so I’m carrying it forward into March. The other big goal is to make a doctor’s appointment and get blood work done, because now it’s officially been Way Too Long since I’ve been to the doctor. My reward for making the doctor’s appointment will be to take the day off when I get my blood drawn – I’m not afraid of needles, necessarily, but I am freaked out by the process of drawing blood and often hyperventilate and get lightheaded. My doctor’s office does blood work on site and has appointments Friday mornings, so I promised myself once I get it on the calendar, I’ll take a vacation day and have a three-day weekend.

I did get a lot of small things done in February. There were some nagging to-do list items around the apartment, like reorganizing a few storage bins so that they make more sense and decluttering some clothes. I had friends over mid-month, which is always a nice kick in the ass to clean everything up. I finally mailed a donation box of some bras and toiletries to my local chapter of I Support The Girls, which is a great organization because they actually take gently-worn bras, and I had a ton.

I’m also enrolled in Reclamation, which is a 10-month program through Stratejoy that helps you examine yourself and your life, and February was our first month. I’m only a little bit behind (no surprises there), but it has been so helpful to be held accountable for taking time to focus on my thoughts and emotions, instead of just ignoring and numbing everything.

March always feels so bright to me, and so hopeful. I can’t wait to really get to work on making these improvements to my life.

What is your favorite season? Does winter stress you out too?

Latest Obsessions

Latest Obsessions

One of my defining characteristics is that I am easily obsessed with things. I take something simple and hype it up so that I am constantly thinking about it, bringing it into my life, and telling everyone else about it. That being said, I wanted to create a regular feature here to tell you about my latest obsessions (how often these go up is TBD, but maybe every other month, or every season).

Little Words Project

Little Words Project is a company founded and run by women here in New Jersey (the founder is from my alma mater!) that makes beaded friendship bracelets with inspiring words on them. They are each tagged with a specific number and you are able to track them online – the intention is that, once you are done with a word, you can pass it along to someone else who needs it more.

I have been pretty deep in my LWP obsession for the last few years. I even follow the founder’s personal Instagram page because she is so lovely and replies to ALL of her comments personally! It is refreshing to see the behind-the-scenes of the business through her eyes, as well as her adorable personal life.

My “stack” of bracelets is currently at five, plus a seasonal one I wear at Christmastime (it’s red and says ‘merry & bright’):

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Flavored Seltzer Water

In high school, I used to drink soda pretty regularly. Fizzy drinks are comforting to me and anything with even a hint of flavor helps me drink more than plain water. I hopped on the La Croix bandwagon just like everyone else, but I’m not opposed to other brands, especially when they have interesting flavor combinations! Some of my favorites include Stop & Shop’s Watermelon & Grape, La Croix Key Lime, and Poland Spring Watermelon (can you tell I like watermelon?).

Baking Shows on TV

This is not a completely new obsession, either. I have always loved cooking, baking, and home improvement shows on television, even when I was a kid. The big favorite right now is competition shows, and I’m all about them. I am currently binging The Great British Bake Off on Netflix, and Erik and I watch the seasonal baking competitions on Food Network. Right now, since they’re in between holiday seasons, it’s the Kids Baking Championship, and we loooove it. The kids are so talented! We always pick favorites, usually kids we could envision being our kids one day, or mini versions of ourselves (like the ones who are spastic but also perfectionists).

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Photo by Bruce France via Food Network

Yoga with Adriene

I mentioned this in an earlier post, or possibly several posts, but I absolutely adore Yoga with Adriene. She makes it so accessible and easy to follow, and I feel like she offers lots of modifications and reminders that it’s okay to use the modifications. She throws in a lot of funny little jokes, busts out random song lyrics, and calls herself out when she says things that sound like innuendo. I’ve always been called to yoga because it helps with my anxiety – the breathing calms down my mind, and the stretches calm down my physical nervous system. If you’re even just a little bit on the fence about trying yoga, go give some of her videos a shot. She has tons, and some are only 10 and 20 minutes long.

What are you obsessed with lately? Do you have an obsessive personality? Will you get stuck on one thing and research it, talk about it, and make it your whole life (or is that just me)?

Goals

February Goals

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Photo by Plush Design Studio on Pexels.com

So apparently, the internet is very much done with January, which I do understand (and sympathize with) quite a bit. However, every new month gives me a twinge of that whole life-is-moving-too-fast feeling, despite my love of a fresh start. I’m working this year to live in the moment a little more, because right now I wish away the weeks for the weekends, wherein I mostly sleep and maybe do a little socializing, but am otherwise 100% lazy.

I wrote about this several years ago, but I live a very all-or-nothing life. I go to work and work hard all day long. Down time in the office makes me agitated, so I am always actively working on something. The problem is that I then come home with no energy left and I have no motivation to do anything except lump on the couch and scroll through social media until bedtime. I also refuse to get enough sleep during the week, constantly run late to work, and end up exhausted on Friday night. So what do my weekends entail? Making up my sleep deficit by snoozing until noon, feeling crappy about sleeping in, and still being mostly unproductive except for errands and chores.

The real solution to this problem, that I have avoided in many ways for many years, is routine. Sure, I have a bedtime routine and a pretty set time when that happens, but I don’t structure any other part of my days or weeks. That’s what results in coming home from work and crashing, or spending my weekends jumping on every little meaningless chore or task that distracts me from anything important. I “never have time” for reading, crafting, journaling, or anything that would enrich my life. (And yes, that’s in quotes because I am fully aware that it’s an excuse and that it’s up to me to make time for what’s important to me.)

For February, I want to develop a daily schedule for my weekdays and weekends. I feel like doing so will improve a lot of my bad habits and the things I complain about, like always running late and procrastinating until the last minute. My whole life feels like a game of catch-up, and it’s exhausting. Routines are key – if I put it on a schedule, I don’t have to remember or decide to do something; it’s just supposed to happen on this day at this time. This isn’t to say that I won’t allow for changes if I really feel terrible, or something last minute pops up. But I have to have something down on paper, because otherwise I don’t muster up enough energy to push myself to do things organically.

(As for January goals… they weren’t pretty. I got through half of the month with daily yoga, but I’m having on again, off again pain in my neck and I couldn’t decide if the yoga was helping or hurting. I took a few days off completely, then never really picked back up with it. Getting to work on time? That was a total bust. I have no idea what’s wrong with my brain, but when I tell myself what time I want to be there, I always run a half-hour late. I work enough hours to make up for it, but I’m just waiting on pins and needles for the day I actually get in serious trouble for it. Which is stupid, because I’m just creating more anxiety for myself.)

What are your goals for February? Are you glad January is over? Am I the only one who panics a little that a whole month is already gone?

mental health · wedding

The Post-Wedding Blues

white and green flower arrangement
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

I feel that there are experiences in life that nobody prepares you for. Some of those are small and seemingly unimportant. But when you are the one going through them, it feels a little frustrating that nobody thought it was worth mentioning that hey, this patch of life is going to get a little bumpy.

One of those things for me (and like I said, it can seem unimportant) is the concept of post-wedding blues.

Having now experienced this for myself, I think there are a myriad of reasons people don’t talk about it. One, some people may never feel this way, and that’s great! Two, people may think it’s “just me” who is going through it, so there’s no thought to even warn anyone else. And three, since it’s such a first world problem to complain about, people are embarrassed and refrain.

I knew enough about myself to expect an emotional free-fall after my wedding last May. My nature is to anticipate things – and live through those things – so intensely that I feel a little depressed afterwords. For example, January is always tough for me once the holiday season over, and in the past few years, I usually hit a funk after a family member or close friend got married. Somehow, I managed through most of the summer not reaching that temporary depression. Looking back, it was because the first two months are still the “honeymoon period” of getting back photos and videos, and reliving the day. In August, we had another close friend’s wedding, so it filled that void temporarily.

Then came September.

I guess it was the turn of the seasons that did it for me. When it was still summer, I was able to stretch the memories out over three months. It was still socially acceptable for me to talk about the wedding with everyone – when we’d meet up with friends, they told us their opinions and experiences from the big day. It was still a fresh topic of conversation for everyone. But as we moved into the autumn months, my brain processed the end of that chapter of our year, and it was rough.

I know it may seem silly to obsess over a single day. I also know that my marriage is more important that my wedding; it’s not about that. It’s about understanding that when you plan an event for 18 months, especially one with emotional significance, you’re going to get attached to it. You spend all that time preparing and dreaming, and even if it comes to life perfectly (I might even argue, especially when it comes to life perfectly), it goes by incredibly fast. At least that part, most people warn you about.

There is almost nothing I would redo about my wedding day. The biggest things to go wrong were thankfully very minor. I’ve told people it was like living inside of a dream – I had envisioned it and pieced it together over the months, and to see all of the decor set up exactly as I saw it in my mind’s eye was an experience I cannot forget. To top that, having all of our family and friends it one room was incredible. We had the time of our lives.

Writing about this made me feel immensely better, because yes, even in January when we’re closer to our anniversary than to our wedding day, I’m still feeling waves of sadness about it. Creating mental and physical touchstones might be my way through it – creating keepsakes from wedding cards, putting stationary and other mementos into shadowboxes, and watching the videos (which is exactly why I wanted videography in the budget).

As part of this process, I’ve decided that since I wasn’t active on my blog this time last year, I will be sharing details this year as we hit the anniversary of each event. It actually works out well because my bridal shower was in March, my bachelorette party was in April, and my wedding was in May, so the wedding-related posts will be nicely spaced out.

Do you get the post-event blues? If you’re married, did you feel them after your wedding? If you aren’t married, have you felt them after other big life events?

Goals

Belated 2019 Goal Setting

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There is nothing more telling about where I am in life than a post about 2019 goals midway through January. I blame my January 8th birthday – it’s exactly one week after New Year’s Day, so I always continue that weird holiday “suspension of reality” until my birthday is over. Honestly, what’s really happening is that I am just continuing to live my life flying by the seat of my pants, which is a trend I actually hope to put a stop to this year.

Every January, I pick one word to live by along with a few supplementary words – called ways of being – that kind of jive with the main word. I discovered this ritual from Stratejoy and specifically Holiday Council, but I feel like it’s becoming more mainstream across the internet and social media. Having a word or a general theme is far less intimidating than setting specific many goals that may or may not pan out, especially for someone like myself who lacks discipline. It’s easier to refer back to a word, or a feeling, instead of a laundry list of to-dos.

That being said, here’s what I came up with for 2019.

My theme for the year is Discovery; my additional ways of being are to be truebe focused, be lightbe alive, and self-love.

I chose the word Discovery because, to be frank, I need to figure myself out. For too many years now, I have pushed everything inwards and opted for ignorance, hoping that I would wake up one day and ~magically~ function like a normal person. I kept avoiding the hard work, and now it’s caught up to me.

As I hinted at in my last post, my life post-wedding has been oddly unsettling. It has nothing to do with my marriage, but a lot to do with who I am as a person. Being “the bride” for so long and then suddenly having to let go of that role made me realize how much I tie my worth to what’s going on in my life – not having the wedding to talk about anymore left me feeling extremely empty and unseen. It’s making me want to rush into the next piece of my life (buying a house, having kids, possibly furthering my education) simply because of the attention it garners. I recognize how very unhealthy this is, which is why I need to find the time to really peel back all of my layers, get to know myself, and find out what will actually make me happy and satisfied. I feel like, if you asked me that today, I don’t have a real answer for you.

I do have some general goals this year that I need to map out a little more specifically, but again, I like setting intentions before the actual tasks. I want to read more books this year. I want to drink more water, exercise more, and actually schedule doctors appointments. I want to make more casual plans with friends, instead of waiting for big get-togethers or events, and I want to stop flaking out because of anxiety.

This month specifically, I’m setting two task-based goals: continue my daily at-home yoga practice, and get to work on time. The first one is pretty simple because I’ve already been doing it since last January. The latter seems straightforward, but is actually fairly difficult because it requires tweaking of my entire daily schedule. As you might expect, halfway through the month I am doing pretty well with daily yoga and… not so great with being at work on time. But I’ve still got half of the month to go, and I’m trying to remind myself that every day is a fresh start, not just the first day of the year/month/week.

What is your best trick for getting up in the mornings? I cannot seem to pry myself out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary (seriously, I wake up for work 20 minutes before I leave), so if you’re up hours before work, tell me your secrets!

About Me

Dusting off the cobwebs.

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Well, hello there.

I always find myself back at my blog at the beginning of each year, because I am nothing if not predictable. New starts are my weakness, which is very odd considering I can’t tell you the last time I actually followed through with any new habit I tried to start.

(Actually, that’s a lie. Last year I started a daily home yoga practice with Yoga with Adriene, which I highly recommend because she’s lovely and funny and doesn’t make you feel completely inept.)

Other than that, the only “goal” I accomplished in the last year was getting married. That is not something I say lightly – planning and executing the Best Day of Our Lives in a way that is budget-friendly, gorgeous, and fun as hell is not a simple task. The marriage part, in comparison, feels easy. It felt like marriage was the next, obvious step in our relationship. In fact, it felt so normal that I didn’t even cry a single tear on my wedding day. I had expected to be a sobbing mess, but I found that I was just completely, blissfully happy.

The remaining seven months of 2018… that’s another story. Still rocking at marriage, not so much with the rest of my life. But that’s for another post, or probably many posts. (I’m sorry in advance. Except not really.)

As I compose this, I don’t really have an intention for this space. I probably should have done that first, but I like to jump in feet-first and think about things later. (Surprisingly, that’s how I ended up with my husband.) Maybe it will be a place to explore some hobbies, because after all the busy-ness of wedding planning, I forgot what it was like to have free time (not spent scrolling Instagram). I will likely retroactively recap some of the creative projects I did for my wedding, since I had hoped to do that last year but failed to realize juuuust how all-consuming event planning can be. Or, maybe I’ll just ramble, like I always did in the good old days – writing to capture the memories of my life and not feeling like blogs had to have a ~purpose~ or a ~theme~ other than, here are the random happenings of my life.

I guess what I hope for here (and what I think I always hope for) is a public space to be held accountable. Having readers – even if it’s just two or three internet buddies and the stray real-life friend who wanders this way – means that somebody is listening. Somebody is seeing my goals and my thoughts, and reading my silly stories about life and reflections that don’t necessarily translate to in-person conversations. And even if nobody is reading, it still serves a purpose because I am writing as though someone is reading. Journaling is a raw, unrefined practice to get thoughts out of my head; blogging is telling a story and using some level of creativity to make my words string together nicely. It’s a baby step back into feeling more like me, because I always felt comfortable behind pretty fonts and a tidy layout.

That being said, if you somehow found yourself reading this blog, drop a comment below so we can (re)connect! Especially if you, too, are still blogging (or starting it back up, like me).

 

daily life · wedding

My own personal March madness.

Did you know that your life completely flies out the window when you’re in the throes of wedding planning?

Okay, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, considering we are only on step one – which, little did I realize, step one is THE BIGGEST AND MOST TIME CONSUMING STEP OF ALL. Don’t try to argue with me, because I have spent nearly every weekend in a car with my mom and/or my fiancé, ending up at various locations, nodding over menus (that I don’t actually care about) and trying to envision what places will look like in gorgeous, plants-blooming-everywhere May instead of in the dreary, cold winter.

To top that off, I’ve unfortunately had my first frustrating experience of finding a place we love only to find out that all the dates we wanted are gone and the only one left is the start of peak season, which increases the cost and puts it out of budget. All the other places started to pale in comparison and now look less appealing, and even if they don’t, THOSE places are suddenly running out of dates as well.

It’s also super fun when you get sick on top of all of that, because in the midst of planning and also trying to maintain your social life, you forget to rest and that tiny little cold you felt coming on turns into a full-blown case of the plague (yes, that’s definitely what I have).

I know things will work out. I know we do still really like the other places we’ve seen, that one of those top-three places has many dates available and even let us put a hold on a date for free (for two weeks! So at least we have SOMETHING), and we have a few more tours at places that sound promising. It was just hard having that first crushing ‘I want this and could’ve had it but because of timing/money I can’t have it’ moment.

I will just feel so. much. better. once I have someplace booked for real. Then I can relax and get to the fun part, like finally seeing the rest of my to-be bridesmaids and, you know, tell them they’re bridesmaids. I’ve only done one person so far and it’s making me sad because I want to get started on group texts and also reveal my super-cute ask boxes (which I’ll likely share here).

Tell me what you’ve been up to lately. Also, have you been sick yet this year, and has it been awful? Because I haven’t been this sick forever and I am such a wimp.