Tuesday, March 26, 2013

love.this.season. -- a little spring cleaning

Easter is in just a few days and when I think of Easter, I think of spring (regardless of what the weather looks like outside here in northwest Ohio).  When I think of spring, I think of sunshine and flowers (oh, the beautiful flowers), and joy and happiness and family gatherings and eggs... hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad...

When I think of spring, I think of Cadbury, pastels, April showers and May flowers.  But most of all, when I think of spring, I think of new beginnings.  So let's get on with a little spring cleaning, shall we?

I feel like I have pressed my restart button pretty much every single day since 2013 began.  Part of me is all "Oh my gosh, I such at life," but the other part of me, the one that I have recently made peace with says, "It's okay."

I'm going to get all Mormony for a moment.  In Sunday School, I have been teaching on the Atonement all month long.  If you are unfamiliar with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, please go >>here<<.  I am also reading The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister to deepen my understanding of the Atonement and what it means for me and for life in general.  The Atonement is continuous and living and we can renew ourselves and our covenants continuously by taking the Sacrament each week.  What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to reset yourself, start over, try again.  What a gift!

Since the turn of the year, I have made many goals and many I have stuck with.  Many, I have utterly failed at keeping.  For example, the hcg diet was a success for me in that I lost 20 pounds, but I have been horrible since the end of the diet.  I have eaten more junk food and eaten through my emotions more than I care to admit, but as I write this now, I am okay.  I don't condone my past behaviors and I don't plan on repeating my "offenses" (food offense, how harsh that sounds), but I am looking up and looking forward.  Making a mistake is NOT the end of the world, and as a perfectionist, I have had a very difficult time coming to terms with that fact.

So today, I am checking in.  My good habits, I will continue.  The good habits I have broken, I will recommit today.  The bad habits, I will work harder and strive to break them through good planning.

How am I doing physically? -- I could be doing better.  The weather has kicked my recent jogging spree and, as mentioned, my eating hasn't been as wise as it could be.  But I do take the dogs on longer walks, which is a plus for all three of us.  This is an excuse, I know, but once this snow goes away and it warms up just a tad bit, I will be jogging again.  Promise!  I need to cut out carbs and sugars again.  The hcg diet was really good at keeping me away.  I won't do that again, though it gave me the kick start I needed.  I will strive to eat more veggies and less carbs and try my hardest to give up the sugar.  Carbs and sugars are my enemies!

How am I doing spiritually? -- Now this is a part of my life I am feeling pretty good about.  I am reading my scriptures more often and reading two books (The Infinite Atonement and Elder Bednar's Increase in Learning) to supplement my studies.  I feel a real hunger for a deeper understanding of the Atonement lately and just find it completely fascinating and amazing.  I could pray more often and I could be a little less Anna Hosanna about them... oh, yeah.  Watch this:


How am I doing emotionally? -- I've had some down days, but overall, I've been pretty happy.  This blog makes me happy and I am constantly counting my blessings and reminding myself of things that make me happy.  I search for things that make me happy, and then share them with you here.  Church makes me happy, as does teaching my Sunday School class.  Sunday evenings at the Richardsons make me happy and my recently healing relationship with my sister makes me happy too!  Maizy and Opie's bonding has made me very happy.  We're a happy little family.  Speaking of Maizy, she gets tested on April 16th and so long as all is well, we'll make an appointment to get her spayed and the adoption will finally go through!  Woohoo!  I have had a lot of support to get me to this place from many people and I am very grateful for their patience and love.  I am doing better than I could have imagined.

How am I doing psychologically? -- I am finding a lot of peace in many things in life.  As recorded in previous posts, I have been simplifying and minimizing certain aspects of my life.  Having less stuff keeps me sane.  I still find things to get rid of and it still makes me happy.  I've decided that if I don't get some fiction-love in my life, I will go crazy, so I have checked out many a book from the library.  I'm pretty sure I'm reading at least five books right now.  About to finish Zorgamazoo tonight, which has proven to be a very entertaining book (the lobotomist chasing the girl is only at the beginning, haha).  Since starting graduate school, leisure reading has taken a back seat to school work and rightfully so, but I have come to find that I lose my mind.  Letting myself slip into imagined worlds allows me to remove myself from the stress of the moment, the frustration of my work and to be wrapped up in excitement and creativity.  I've promised myself that I will always have a library book in my bag.  Music has also helped a lot.  Thought I am no longer allowing myself to indulge in purchasing movies as I used to, music is still on the table.  When I get the chance or find a good deal, I fill up my iPod.  Music is another healthy way of escaping for me.

How am I doing financially? -- Ehhhhh.  Still working on that one.  I am getting better at saving and totally spending less!  I guess that's worth something...

How am I doing with school? -- Well.  I've made a plan, a plan I think I am happy with.  I am finishing my doctorate here in BG and will be teaching from here on out.  I've decided that I have a real passion for teaching.  It's not that I don't like research because I do enjoy it.  The research I do is very much like solving puzzles or mysteries.  But I've found that I love teaching, not just like.  I crave interaction and the prospect of isolated work is distasteful to me.  I am at peace with this decision.  I have finally admitted to myself and to others that maybe research is not for me, and there is no shame in that.  Took a long time for that one to come about... sheesh.

What are my plans for 2013? -- Since warmer weather is coming (soon, I hope), I am amping up my physical activity and diving into fresher foods.  I plan on attaching my dogs to me and walking a lot.  BG isn't the most dog-friendly place, but it could definitely be worse.  Come the summer, I will be moving five minutes away, but to a much better location and one that is much friendlier to my wallet and to my sanity (I can listen to my music loudly and not use subtitles when watching movies because I will no longer be in an upstairs apartment).  This summer, I will be doing research and working on my dissertation.  In the fall, I will be dissertating and teaching (yay!).  In August, I will be in NYC and then possibly San Antonio in November (this isn't for sure though).  Oh, Angie and I will be taking another road trip this summer to see Lauren, which will be fantastic.  I would like to make it to the temple this year.

All good things.

Reaching for the positive.  Love it.  This year will be a good year.

See ya next time...


(If you did not get the "See ya next time" reference and it's connection to this video, you are not a child of the 80s/90s.)

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