Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stuck on the Couch

Fun sinus cold has kept me home today.  I'm enjoying some tea, nasal rinses (ugh- those puppies burn), and Kleenex.  I'm also enjoying the fire, the snowy view and a warm quilt wrapped around me surrounded by books, notebooks and access to the computer.

I'm trying to rest, but my "januaryitis" is finally lifting and I'm wanting to be "let's go" mode instead of "on the couch sick" mode.  So if I can't physically be active my brain and creative musing is taking over for lack of the physical mobility.  Here is what I've found via browsing internet this morning... Totally spoke to me. 

"I still get very high and very low in life. Daily. But I've finally accepted the fact that sensitive is just how I was made – that I don't have to hide it and I don't have to fix it. I'm not broken."--from my TEDx Talk Glennon Doyle Melton

Also read the following by Amy Maclin..
"There were never any classes on how to live.  What do we need to be happy? How can we make love last? Why should we keep washing the dishes when we're all going to die someday?"

These words spoke to my "Januaryitis" mind.  I read it in her article "Educating Amy" in my January Oprah magazine (thank you awesome mother in-law for the subscription).  The above questions are some that have been floating around in my head.  So I read on...

"As I hurtled into my 40's.  I knew I was lucky.  I had a good husband, friends, interesting work- but I worried that I didn't deserve it all, or that I was messing it up, or that everything would be taken away." I added a few lines of my own to this quote "my children, my family"- but otherwise spot on with thoughts I had felt/thought.  Was this author reading my mind? So I read on... wishing/hoping for the answers.

"It felt obscene to gnaw on my fears and regrets, because I was loved.  How could I feel adrift in a universe where I had an embarrassment of riches?...No one can think about this crap all the time and still live in the world, so I got therapy and figured I'd just grimace and bear it.  But then I found out there really is a School of Life".
Again- she had me- I was all eyes on the page.  This "School of Life" is in London and gracing its threshold is a sign that reads "Good Ideas For Everyday Life".  Ok sounded to good to be true. 

Upon entering Amy found different self-help books and "feel good" items for sale along with different classes she could sign up for.  She picked "How to Develop Emotional Health" book up and bought it and the book stated again something I was thinking "We know it's ridiculous to think a book that's half an inch thick could tell you everything...But we know you wish it could.  We wish it could too.  The absurdity of it all! Together we will figure it out what we can."

Exactly- It was so relieving to read that someone else out there has felt the same way I have and had the same desire to find the answers to those life questions.  So I can't go to London- although I'd love to. I'm not going to be able to read every self-help book out there to answer all my life questions (besides my "to read" list is already totally out of control). 

However, reading something like Amy Maclin's article and also writing down my "life questions" may just be how I get the answers. 

Life is too short seems to be a statement plaguing me lately.  Is it because I am indeed getting older?  Is it because I've been reminded within the past year and even just in the month of January how fragile life can be: death unexpected, mental and physical health issues of loved ones, the fact that my children are not getting any younger, but getting older each and every day?  I don't know what prompted it, but instead of hemming and perseverating on the "life is too short" I think I need to be enrolling or moving into my own "School of Life" program/curriculum. 

So instead of training for a race, adding another "to do" on the list of never ending "to-do's" and not actually accomplish it I would like to start today to figure out the answers to my questions.  I hope through the process the "life is too short" mantra that is echoing in my head will be replaced by a different mantra.  As Amy Maclin notes in this article she has tried to work on different life processes, for example, she wrote a check and attended a class on breathing better (relaxation class).  Well we all know what Amy did next- she left the class and all those lessons on breathing better went out the door when standing in line waiting impatiently for the lady in front of her at the Starbucks make up her mind and "just order already".  Or like for me I say in my head or read something that makes me think- I want to be a more patient/empathetic mother, and I do some actions that warrant steps toward this change, but then in a split second I lose my cool, my anger takes over and my inpatient nature returns and I feel like I've made no head way towards the better, more empathetic and overall "happy" mom.  So how do you change- how do you enroll in the "school of life" and make it stay for the long haul?  I don't know if I will ever know this answer, but I'm hoping the process and journey to strive to find the answers will be a great learning experience.

Some brainstorming ideas:
1. Read some of those self-help books, articles and blogs that help me figure out different mechanisms to work towards end goal of really living life to its fullest.
2. Live a healthy life- NOT PERFECT- but focus on good health and well-being choices for me and my family.
       - meal plan (yep if I plan my meals/snacks I definitely eat better)
       - stay active on daily basis (strength training and cardio) incorporated into    everyday life
       - drink Water- totally simple and I don't mind it-so why don't I do it more
3. Have FUN- with my kids, my husband, my family and friends.  If life is going to be too short why not make the most of it and have FUN in the process.  Sad to say I may need to write a bunch of lists to jog my brain as to what those FUN ideas are when I'm in the middle of a long work week, hectic family schedule, or stressful time.  Also, find creative ideas to help the FUN be easy and not requiring big expense account.
4. Write/Journal/Track progress in this "school of life" process.  This will help me to sift through what has worked and what has not.
5. Talk to friends, and mentors to find out if they know the answers.  I have so many great friends that have lived some very full lives.  They likely have answers that I may be able to benefit from.  Questions I'd like to ask them:
    - What do you do in your daily life to live life to its fullest?
    - What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your life and how have you persevered?
    - What is the greatest life lesson you have learned?
    - What would you do differently looking back at the life you have thus lived?
We will see how my "school of life" goes. 

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