Sunday, June 22, 2008

One day at a time

Wow, some really amazing women have shown up here this week. So many who I haven't met before. Some I've admired for a long time. Apparently, that last headline on my newspaper drew a crowd.

Thank you. Everyone. I really appreciate everyone's thoughts, ideas, well wishes, etc. I am still reading, re-reading and trying to respond to everyone personally as well. Because some of you were right there with me and you need to be heard, too.
Now that I'm a mostly functioning human being again ... let's see ... where to begin?

I am better. And, like always, I was able to do a lot of soul searching to get to the root of my problem. After all, I am, at heart, a problem-solver by nature.

In the past when I've felt down, I've had many resources to use to pull myself up and out of that dark place. I mean, that is why people drink, right? Unfortunately.

There I was, without a bottle of wine in the house, without using drugs or smoking cigarettes, without the ability to leave and go shopping, without even a dollar to my name due to some stupid extra expenses this month like when the heating unit in our house died just at the end of cool weather spring.

Food, shopping and wine. That's how I've been able to lift myself out of dark places in the past. Not more than a glass or two, a fatty cheeseburger or a sushi roll. Chinese. A new, crisp book off the shelf. These are the luxuries of life I have been missing because I know they are not needed; that diapers and food and saving for a new house or a new car is more important now. I never knew this in the past. I just spent. And spent. And spent.

No, we do not have any family close by to watch the two high energy toddlers. No, we really can't afford a sitter right now. However, a friend and I are swapping nights at each other's houses starting this Friday for us! Time out alone. And we don't even have to pay for a sitter. Awesome.

Anyway, yes, I need some me time. The funny thing is that I've known this and I've tried to do it every weekend, but I realized this past weekend that I wasn't doing it right.

Here's the three reasons why I fell into a bit of depression:

1. Stopped being goal-oriented: I actually decided to stop freelancing and just sit back and be a mom for two months -- until I start working. I honestly feel this might have been the biggest cause of my slump. I suddenly had no other purpose to my life and I felt it, instantly. OK, after a week of watching HGTV. Since Day One, I always had freelancing to occupy my time either with finding new work, making calls or writing. It filled my mornings, afternoons and nights. There was no time to just sit and think.

2. Engaged in bad behaviors for me-time: It's true. You do it, too, if you are here right now. Internet. Computer. Searching for coupons and good deals to save money. Reading blogs. (I do not feel that writing for a blog is a bad behavior, though). All of these things I had been doing -- including tearing down the wallpaper in two rooms -- wasn't about me. It was all a part of this great big journey that I've been on my entire life -- to finally find the next best whatever -- toddler recipe, printable coupon, bargain price, latest release, etc. (I hear Karen ringing her bells at me right now).

3. I'd gotten distracted: I've repeated this here before but my mind is truly a mess. I am an idea machine. A dreamer. A seeker. So many ideas pour through each day it's really, really hard to stay focused. While I do achieve many of the goals I set, there are many dozens more that never see any action more than being written down on a note pad. Even worse, many remain in my mind like little dust balls in the corner. Neglected yet staring at me all day long. Some of those dreams were unattainable at this point in my life -- like wanting to take yoga for exercise and mental clarity but not having any money or time. Like wanting to get out of the house but not wanting to spend any money doing so.

So, what I have I done differently to pull myself up? Well, for one I wrote about it. That's always the first step. And, I cried about it. In the meantime, the people I needed to hear from did reach out and that made me feel better. And, I journaled for several pages.

But none of that is really what helped me.

I helped me. I always do. I spoke up and was heard. That was key.

And then I walked.

And walked and walked. Alone. Without burden or responsibility. Without lists of groceries to buy or coupons in my pocket.

Deep into the heart of this long walk, it dawned on me. I could be walking for free to accomplish so many of my personal goals of taking time for myself, feeling healthier and being more fit. It gets me out of the house!

So, I have started an exercise regimen -- with very specific goals -- that is free and will hopefully get me started in the right direction for my mind's sake but also my body's.

I'm a goal-oriented person. Without specific goals I am exactly who I was last week and the week before. That's exactly why I have lists of what I want to do today, tomorrow, next week. I always try my best to achieve them.

As happy as I am in this life -- and I'm very happy because I am the mother to two of the sweetest, cutest and silliest little girls in our block and possibly the world -- and as frustrating as they are right now, I have always realized how lucky I am to have them to push my buttons all darn day. No, it's not easy mothering twins. There is a constant heartbreak underway. Someone always has to be put down or put second and when they are so little and still not able to fully communicate that makes it even more complicated.

But, more on this twin thing later in the week.

Again, thank you. I'm better. Really. I told you it would happen.

Then again, it's Sunday night. Ask me how I am on Thursday since that seems to be the day of drama around here. And, I'm without car wheels one extra day this week.

Will the saga continue? I cannot say. I can only say that I do truly hope not.

Is this my longest post ever? I am so anti-long posts so sorry. As Jadyn says now when things get a bit out of hand, "e-Nuff."

Thank you for visiting today.

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Anonymous said...

:) What she said!

RocketMom said...

Good walk. Glad you're up tonight. I'll try to look in on Thursday. ;)

Blogland. Virtual life. Never quite the same as the real thing. No?

Mama Zen said...

Oh, I have definitely been here!

Without goals, the days at home can feel so circular. And, goals give me the illusion, at least, of having a bit of personal space and something that is just mine.

Hang in there!

Threeundertwo said...

Great post. OK, I have another book you might enjoy: "Getting Things Done." Really inspires me.

Glad you took that walk.

Jena Strong said...

Yes! The saga will continue!

Hope you had a great walk today.

kisatrtle said...

Shawn, So happy to hear that you have cleared your head and things are looking brighter. Nice of you to pop by my blog and say hello. Keep me posted on a park day.

justagirl said...

I enjoyed your lists, was nodding as I read through them.

Day by day is a good way to go.


InTheFastLane said...

I think exercise is a great idea. Parenting is one of the reasons that I carve out early morning times for me to run. I need it, my family needs it.

shannon said...

It's almost are you? :-)
Walking is perfect! Whenever I have a tough plot spot, I always walk. Not in the gym, but outdoors in the fresh air. It really does something magical to your brain cells.
ps. I second the sweetest, cutest girls thing.

Shelli said...

Shawn, As you know I've been on vacation, so I've just caught up with your last three posts. I'm sorry I wasn't here to offer some "virtual" support, but I could identify with it. I have often been on this roller coaster, and it always does help me to have goals, but more than that, to just be working on something, mostly my novel, but also blogging and photography. If I didn't have those things, my life as a stay-at-home-mama would probably drive me crazy. With those things, I feel happier than ever being a stay-at-home. I can't imagine what it must be like having twins. I am fast approaching the terrible twos with just one, and oh man...I need to breath.

Hang in there. You're terrific.