Thursday, September 16, 2010

My life defined in internet comics.

I find myself thinking of this comic often: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult

I can especially relate to that with my job. I did eight things yesterday! Eight! My goal is only five! That means I don't have to do anything today and then maybe I'll do something tomorrow. And not wanting to email people back for fear of reminding them that they emailed me in the first place definitely sounds familiar.

I've caught myself applying this same methodology to a recent health goal I've set for myself, as well. I've had urinary/reproductive pain/infection/who-knows-what issues for the past 11-or-so years, and occasionally I'll hit a point with it where I decide I'm done living with it and I'm going to do all this research and try all these diet modifications and go find all these supplements and change all these lifestyle habits and ask my doctors all these questions to try and figure out what the cause is, and at least try to minimize symptoms. I'm in one of those phases right now. Since I'm at least aware enough to know that I tend to go through these phases and then take about four pills out of all the supplements I've bought and "cheat" on the new diet plan after about three days, I'm giving myself a couple of weeks to think everything over before impulse-spending too much on things that might possibly have a chance of maybe doing some good.

The only thing I know for sure I am going to purchase is a stock of GladRags cotton pads. May as well wait for the next paycheck before grabbing those, though. Plenty of time before the next time I'll need them. But in addition to (hopefully) being less irritating than disposable (bleached, chemical, plastic) pads, I like that I won't be throwing stuff away several times a day for a week out of every month. I've tried the Moon Cup before, but we just didn't get along.

The latest habit I'm trying to acquire is tracking my food/beverage intake and pain symptoms. It started out awesome for several days with me tracking, by exact minute, every single thing I would ingest, every little twinge of pain and every moment without it, and would even total up my water intake at the end of the day. I was tracking it on Google Docs since the internets are everywhere and I'd never remember to carry around a little note-pad all the time.

Then the weekend came, and the internets weren't everywhere. (See: More Reasons I Really Really Really Want a Droid.) The habit turned into making mental notes and jotting down what I could remember at the end of the day. My mental notebook isn't terribly accurate and it doesn't auto-save. There was a lot of guesswork. When the weekdays started up again, I was defeated by my lack of tracking over the weekend and pictured myself with the cartoony sadface thinking, "Oh. I should write this down. Sigh :(."

I haven't fully recovered.

I have a follow-up appointment with my primary care doctor this Monday and I was really hoping to show him something tangible. More cartoony sadface.

I'll keep trying. All I have to do is remember to jot stuff down. It's easy at work - the internets are right in front of me, all day. I just have to do it.

On a related note, I had been using the pain scale on to track the amount of pain I would have from one moment to the next, but I think I like this one better. I had been questioning the "8" I gave them at Urgent Care a couple of Saturdays ago, but no, I think that's about right. And what's awesome is it makes an 4-on-a-scale-of-10 kind of hilarious while it sucks (and while you're simultaneously happy it's down from an 8).

Friday, September 10, 2010

More better.

We've been very busy this week -- the husband and I both took an extra couple of days off over the holiday, and spent some family time together, doing extra fun things with the little guy. (We really like our kid.) There was a theme park involved, and a discovery that we really need to take two loaves of bread to the park when we go feed the geese instead of one.

Point being, all the extra quality family time didn't lend much "work on the last project I need to finish to get my life coach certification" time. And I'm actually okay with that rather than feeling guilty. I needed the extra little guy time, and every second of every nap I took with him. Family naps are awesome.

And though I wasn't thrilled about coming back to work, even for just two days this week, I had a realization yesterday at work, too. You know those moments where you realize something completely perception-altering that is so simple you can't believe you never realized it before? It was one of those. I know I haven't written much about my job, but what I typically mention is an obvious inequality and Us vs. Them dynamic. What I realized yesterday was, I am better than this. I've been articulating things lately around that idea -- that I don't feel they're using me to my full potential, that I have a lot more to offer than they're taking advantage of, etc. -- but it's always been more of a negative phrasing of it; like, the feeling of resentment surrounding that I'm wasting away here. It dawned on me yesterday that a lot of what bothers me about it is that I know I'm better than this. Which is actually pretty huge. Instead of feeling like I'm not worth valuing, I know I am valuable and that they just don't see it. That's their loss. "What they think of me is none of my business." Along with this realization came another: keeping my productivity low due to being disgruntled is just proving them right. If I don't like my job because I'm better than it, rather than not good enough for it, it means I can kick my to-do list's butt instead of pretending it's not there until 4:15 every day and skirting by with as little as possible. It's not that I'm out to prove them wrong; it's more, I just feel dirty being a slacker, because I'm better than that. This whole concept has shifted me from being angry that I'm not getting praise for hard work, to feeling self-motivated to be my best just because I can.

I kind of kick butt, and I forget that sometimes in situations where I'm not reminded occasionally.

So on that note, in an effort to continue being "better than this" and (grammar aside) even more better in general, I restarted my Mindbloom life tree with more appropriate goals in mind. Okay, so part of my want to restart my tree had to do with a glitch in my account that gave me an extra 18,000 seeds (points) that I didn't have to earn, which took the fun out of completing tasks or reaching goals, so starting over gave me motivation to earn seeds correctly again, too. With better goals. On this tree, I added a "Spirituality" branch, and started small with the two actions, 1) Take a few minutes for a relaxing meditation, and 2) Reflect on your spiritual health by journaling on paper. I scheduled the items for every day. I'm hoping my love of check marks (I do love me some check marks) and earning points correctly again will kick my butt into actually taking those few minutes for myself, which I've always seemed to have a hard time doing. Check marks are highly motivating. (You should see my work to-do list. It has boxes for check marks. And is color coded by day. And then I count the check marks and log them into so I can keep track of my check marks and work toward a higher average.)

(Side story about spirituality, really more about my kid: Since my grandpa died last November, I've been working with Raiden on understanding death. I explained that Grandpa died because he got very sick, and instead of his body getting better the way Raiden's does when he gets sick, it couldn't get better and it stopped working. That took several explanations before he got it, and then I realized I'd left out the spiritual component and explained to him that when you die and your body stops working, your spirit -- the part inside you that thinks and learns -- goes back to the spirit world for a while, and when it's ready, it goes into a new little baby's body in their mommy's tummy, and comes back for another life in that body. We're still working on this one, understanding that it doesn't go back into the same body again and that the person doesn't really come back as the same person. But he's getting there. So the real part I was getting at is this -- when he was playing with a little boy (about 10 I guess) at Kung Fu last night, he would pretend-hit the other kid with a "sword" (a foam bat), the kid would fall over and play dead, and after checking his pulse the way Obi Wan does Luke when the Sand People knock him out, he asked him, "Is your spirit still in there? Are you dead? Does your spirit need a new body?" I chuckled to myself and just hoped that no one in class was anti-reincarnation... )

Anyway, where was I? Right; using check marks to encourage myself to remember that it's okay to take time for myself. Because I'd sure hate to have to mark those a red X instead of a green check mark. My real goal on that? Is to prove to myself that the world will not, in fact, crash into rubble around me if I take 10 whole minutes for myself once a day, rather than feeling like I have to keep its weight on my shoulders. That will be an excellent thing for me to learn.