A life in balance and The NaBloPoMo Challenge

Well, this always happens.  As my readers observed, during the summer I blog regularly.  But once the semester starts, my time gets gobbled up and I find a rarely set aside time to blog.  When I don’t blog, I miss it.  It is a creative outlet for me and I love going back and reminiscing about my travels and memorable times with my family.  I wish I could say it were not true, but honestly, when I don’t blog about something I tend to forget a lot of the details.  It is such a great way for me to journal but also be a part of a community that is full of good writers and intelligent people.

That’s why, when I saw the WordPress blog post today, I felt inspired.   I have friends and family who participate in NaNoWriMo, but I have never felt super motivated to join in.  First of all, I simply don’t have time in my schedule to write 50,000 words a month.  A novel in a whole month!  Whew!  And while I can see that the exercise of JUST WRITING is indeed beneficial, I have always wondered how great the end product really could be; most books of great merit take much longer to write and undergo extensive editing and revision processes.  At least for me, if I wrote a novel in a month, I know it would just mean that I would need to have time to edit, re-edit, revise, and revise some more before I would be ready to share it.  So I suppose the task seems overwhelming to me and I am not sure I am ready to make that kind of commitment.

But a blog post a day?  That just might be doable.  And it is a great excuse to try and get my life back in balance.  Just because I am back at work should not mean that I dismiss everything else I enjoy doing.  This is something I have to remind myself on a regular basis.  I am not very good at taking care of myself sometimes (all you moms and/or working women out there know what I am talking about).  I will have to plan carefully, because I am also hosting Thanksgiving this year, so I already have many plans to get ready for that joyous event.  But maybe, just maybe, I can pull this off.  It may mean that my topics will be more diverse, but who cares?

This summer I learned a few things about myself.  I MUST take better care of myself.  I get so busy, I don’t sleep enough, I eliminate all “essentials” (ie. anything fun), I forget to eat and then make food choices that are not the best, and I start to feel guilty when I sit still even for a minute.  How messed up is that?  It took outrageously high blood pressure, some panic attacks, and some meltdowns for me to realize that this was no way to live.  There is no way I can keep this up.  And, I was starting to really stress out my family.

So, some things I have started to do:

  • Always get exercise.  I am usually pretty good about this, but I just don’t feel guilty about it anymore.
  • Eat well.  Take the time to make myself a decent lunch and do my best not to turn to diet coke or sugar when I am feeling low on energy.  I am proud to say I have only had one diet coke in the last month!  And I have reduced my sugar intake by about 90%.
  • Go to bed earlier.  This is SO HARD for me.  Sometimes it is the only time I have where the house is quiet and I feel I can take a minute to dink around.  But I am proud to say I am doing better on this front.  I have had my lights out several times this semester BEFORE 11.  This is huge.
  • Allow myself some down time in the day.  Read a fluff book.  Browse facebook.  Do some online Christmas window shopping.  Rake leaves because it sounds fun.  Read a cookbook.  Try a new recipe.  Take a nap.  Play with my dog.  Harvest some veggies.
IMG_3543

Veggies from our garden

  • Try and focus more on relationships instead of tasks.  This one is kind of hard for me.  Does that make me a sociopath?  I hope not.  I love checking things off my list.  You can’t really do that with relationships.  So, I started watching a TV show with my daughter we both enjoy.  I try to let myself enjoy the 1,000 interruptions I get in a day, instead of feeling irritated.  I have been texting and emailing my family more often.  I have a long way to go here, but I am trying.
  • Meditate.  I don’t do this every day yet, but I am trying to set aside time for this and am up to several times a week.  I have seen improvements in my blood pressure and stress level.  I am definitely sleeping better.
  • Be flexible.  So, here I am, thinking about starting a 30 day challenge for blogging.  If it becomes too stressful, if I can’t keep up, if relationships start to suffer, I reserve the right to decide that 25 or 26 posts, or even 10 blog posts, is perfectly acceptable even if I didn’t execute NaBloPoMo with perfection.
  • Get Organized.  I am trying to do a little of this at a time, and I am pleased with how much getting really organized has helped reduced my stress.
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My newly organized First Aid Basket

So, to all you “not as regular as you would like” bloggers, let’s go for it this month.  Make it a priority and see what happens!  Anyone with me?

 

3 thoughts on “A life in balance and The NaBloPoMo Challenge

  1. Great list! Good for you. Tell me more about the meditation. What does it involve?
    Going to bed early is the hardest thing for me too.

    • Mostly I focus on my breathing and attempt to not let any one thought stay in my mind. Meditation does not mean you don’t think about anything; it means you don’t let your thoughts take over your mind. I only do it for 20 minutes, and I have an app in my phone that has mediation bells. For whatever reason not knowing how much time has passed stresses me out so I have it set to ring every five minutes, which also reminds me to refocus on my breath. If I have done well, during the last five minutes my head is calm and I am so still it feels like I have almost left me body. It is kind of a bizarre feeling, but very renewing. Praying after meditation is very nice because it feels like all of your focus is in one place.

      • That sounds like a good exercise. I’d like to try it sometime. My hypno-birthing study (self-hypnosis) that I did last year sounds somewhat similar.

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