27 October 2021

What is happiness?

 This has come up recently and I've been thinking a bit about it. What exactly is happiness? I've come to the conclusion that happiness is not the feeling of elation or overwhelming joy that most people think it is. Those feelings don't last. They come with some specific event and eventually they pass. Or you get used to living that way. So while those feelings are nice, they are not permanent or lasting. 

So, back to the question, what is happiness? I am coming to the opinion that happiness is really the lack of sadness. Seriously. As I was walking Mavy last night I was thinking about it. I have a life many people would give anything to have. I have a decent job that I mostly enjoy. I make a decent amount of money. I have a great husband who may drink some but is generally always around and supportive. I live in a great house that we own in a great neighborhood. I'm healthy, the husband is healthy. I have pets that I love and adore and have the means to take care of. So yeah, there are people who would give anything to have the life I have. So I'm happy. I'm not ecstatic or elated or overjoyed or any of those crazy high feelings. I'm just content and basically happy in my life. I have enough money to decorate my house the way I want to so it's comfortable for all who live here. I'm happy. 

Yet, so many people who live much like I do feel unhappy, depressed, or like they are missing out on something. I think the media has led us to believe that happiness is something it is not and too many people are chasing that. They will never catch it, because it is not sustainable. 

Okay, fairly deep thoughts for an early morning post. I'm off to get ready for work. 

26 October 2021

Feeling better mentally

 After my last post, which felt a tiny bit like a meltdown, I've been active and moving and am beginning to feel a lot better. On Saturday I didn't get my steps in and that just doesn't make sense. We went to 2 Costcos and shopped. Plus a whole lot of other errands. But it is what it is. 

I have been keeping my food in check though. No sweets or any junk since Sunday, so Yay for me. I did go to the gym on Sunday and work out too so double Yay!!!

Definitely works better when I just operate in robot mode. I'm trying to do that in all things, not always working but definitely getting there. 

Monday's are kind of hard. I'm so tired by the end of the day. I wonder if I kept a similar routine as the 4 workdays if I would feel better on Monday? On the weekend I usually relax in the afternoons about 2 or 3, which I can't do at school. What if I didn't relax until about 4 or 5 which is what happens on a school day? Hmmm, that seems kind of silly though. I honestly think it's my sleep that is messing me up on the weekends. I'm such a good sleeper unless I spend a couple of days not doing much, then I'm not such a good sleeper. And that is what usually happens on Sunday night. By then I haven't done a whole lot, especially if I don't go to the gym every day, and my sleep is yucky. This past Sunday that happened. I fell asleep okay, but Bella got me up around midnight and I had some trouble falling back to sleep. That makes for a very tired me on Monday, which is usually what happens. So I need to stay active and really tire myself out on the weekends. No lazy days. Well, the weather is getting nicer and I do want to start hiking with Mavy again. If we do that I will be tired come bedtime. I would like it to get just a little cooler in the afternoons though. The trails are so packed during the morning hours. Usually about 1 or 2 it's a lot quieter and I prefer that. Also need to look for some new trails around here. There is Pima canyon but that is so heavily trafficked, I'd like something a tiny bit less popular. But by the same token, I don't want anything crazy hard and those are the ones less traveled. Oh my, it's tough figuring all this stuff out. I will start at Pima canyon or South Mountain and when we are doing it regularly and have gotten better, I will look at the slightly harder trails to check out. 

Time's up, time to get ready for work.

24 October 2021

Old habits, old patterns

 One of the things I've been really working on in the past few years is changing my thinking patterns. I know that they hold me back in many ways, and I've been working to alter them. The problem is that the old patterns are so well myelinated in my brain that it is so incredibly easy to just slip back into them again. And that's what I've done recently. 

I am unhappy with the way my body feels lately. I talked about my low back pain on Thursday, but more importantly I talked about the things I needed to do to stop this pain. I know what needs to be done. I know exactly how to do it. I know that it will take time. I know that it will not feel great to begin with and that I just need to power through it. I know all this and yet I let old patterns of procrastination and apathy prevent me from moving forward and making progress. So let's discuss in more detail. 

Gym:  Why don't I go more often? I would like to say there are a lot of reasons but that's not completely true. The main reason that I don't go as often as I should is because I don't feel like it. There it is, out in the open. I don't feel like it. As if my 'feelings' or 'emotions' has anything to do with going to the gym. They don't!!!!!  The only time they should even be slightly considered is when the feelings involve pain of some sort. Otherwise, feelings have no place in the gym. There, I said it and these are words I need to live by. I say that I'm busy or I don't have time or something came up and that is all bullsh*t. All of it. We did have a lot of errands to run yesterday. We left here at 7am and did not return until noon. So why did I not go to the gym then? Because I wanted to relax!! As if that will help anything at all. So this week I'm going to focus my thoughts around the gym. I WILL go today and then not again until next Friday, but I'm going to dig into my thoughts around this and get them in line. This will be a good test. On Friday we have a staff meeting in Laveen at 9am. That means I will have to get up and walk Mavy and get to the gym all before 8ish. That is totally doable as long as I don't think about it. I need to put the gym and walking into robot mode and leave it there for a while. 

Steps: Speaking of walking..... I have been beating myself up over the fact that I can't seem to get my steps in regularly. Initially I had 10,000 steps as my goal because doesn't everyone? But recently I read somewhere that 7,500 was a good goal to aim for. So I have lowered my step goal to 7,500 just to get into the routine of getting them done. I have made that goal the last 2 days but I have also walked Mavy everyday and done and done a lot of walking each day while doing errands. I was just thinking about Friday. I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for 15ish minutes, so there's that. I also walked Mavy on the canal. So let's think about that for a minute. On Friday I got almost 10,000 steps, it was 9700. I did that by walking Mavy on the canal and on the treadmill, those things took a total of one hour. One hour. I could break that up over the course of the day and get those steps in. What if every hour I walked for 250 steps? That would be 3,000 a day. But that doesn't make sense. If I do that on top of the walks I take I guess that would be good. You know what? I'm going to start there. I'm going to shoot for 250 steps every hour. That will at least give me a small goal to work towards splitting my steps up over the course of the day. I have a feeling I get more than that now, but I've set my phone to show my steps and I will keep on it. Now I just need to set an alarm for every hour with what the step count should be then. Oh, good idea. See, I can solve these problems if I just think about them and not let them bring me down. 

Okay, I've been here too long as I went down a rabbit hole with the watch. I need to get moving and get my day started. Off to walk Mavy and go to the gym. Maybe I'll just go to the gym and walk Mavy later to break it up a little. Hmmmmm.........

23 October 2021

The house is shaping up

 When we moved to Arizona I was so excited because I got to live in a beautiful, modern, fancy house. The first house had tile floors, a Mexican tile roof, a long, elegant hallway that was like a runway. It was gorgeous. We went out and bought furniture to match. We got a very modern leather couch and loveseat and a fancy dining room table. It was awesome. Until I realized that it really wasn't. I didn't like living in a fancy house. I didn't like having fancy furniture. It took too much work. It looked too sterile and it just wasn't us. 

When we moved to this house, of course we brought all the furniture with us. The fancy couch and loveseat went into the front room and became Maverick's loveseat. The other, leather, couch and recliner went into the family room and that's what we use mostly. I never really liked the front room but also didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I am the type of person who needs to live in something for a while to really get the feel of the house before I go making any drastic changes. After 2 years of living here, I finally realized what I wanted to do with the front room. I have come to grudgingly accept the fact that I will never have a library in my house, though it's something I've dreamed of since I was a little kid. So I thought, why not make the front room a library like area? I got a couple of wing backed chairs that recline and a fabulous bookcase with barn doors (something else I've come to realize I'll never have in this house) and we have ordered a fake fireplace. OMG, is this room amazing. Here is it while we wait for the fireplace: 




Since this picture was taken we have put stuff in and on the bookcase. It really looks amazing. I love this room so, so much. That glass table is where the fireplace will go once we get it. I just love this room. 

With the introduction of this room and that giant bookcase, we have been able to unpack almost all of the remaining boxes, this house is really short on storage space. We moved the giant fishing floats to the top of this and were able to put hubby's bottles up in the kitchen area. It is coming along so nicely. The next room we tackle is the family room. We've had those leather couches for 5 years now and we bought them used, so they are pretty well done. But I don't know what I want to do in that room yet. I need to look at some furniture and get some ideas. 

We went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and got some old timey signs to hang over Hubby's old bottles. One is a Coca-Cola sign and the other is a distressed metal exit sign. They are awesome and are going to look so cool up there. 

So in all this I realized that I don't like new, modern, sleek. I enjoy old, worn, comfy. As I look at the above picture, I'm not a fan of the tile floor. I  would like to extend the wood looking tile from the kitchen into here. That would look much nicer than that tile. Oh well, in time. 

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was to highlight the fact that I'm settling in. I'm not thinking about the next house (there is no next house) or where we might go next (we are not going anywhere). I'm here and I'm starting to make it comfortable and cozy for us. I don't think I've ever really done this before. The house in Hawaii we initially thought we might stay in forever, but that didn't work out. And Lydia Lane we knew was not forever. This is the first house we have lived in that I have viewed as our forever home and I want to make it something that I love and enjoy being in. 

21 October 2021

Time for a new routine

 For a little over 18 months my low back has been bothering me. I started going to a chiro in Sept. 2020 because it was so bad I was in tears. It's a lot better than that, but it's still not as good as it can be. It hurts most of the time. Ugh!!!!  I still go to the chiro, which helps, but not enough. I started the gym with the intention of it helping my back but that hasn't worked out. More on that in a second. So it is time to get a solid, stretching, rolling routine in place. I do stretching sporadically in the morning but never in the evening. And rolling doesn't happen at all lately. So it is time to get those components in place. I'm tired of having back pain. 

So speaking of the gym. I joined with the intention of going every weekend and working out. I hired a personal trainer because I thought that would help inspire me to go. How very, very wrong I was. While I like having someone tell me what to do, I don't particularly like my trainer. She's okay, but....... I'm trying to cancel the trainer but I'm not sure what is going on with that. I need to check on it tomorrow. I found that I would prefer to go to the gym at the time I want, which is sometimes early in the morning, and get my workout in and leave. Once I've dumped her, I'm going to focus on getting in every weekend. Hopefully it will start to feel so good that I will want to go on the weekdays too, but I'm not going to push that. 

I also need to get my steps in line. I am having great difficulty reaching my step goal every day and I'm honestly not sure why. I'm beginning to think that my watch is not recording properly but I know that's not true. I know that's not true because I bought a cheap step counter to test it and my watch actually records more steps. Hmmmm......... So I need to up my step game and really focus on it for a while. Once I get it up there regularly it will be easier to keep it up there. 

Right, so now what. Have a few minutes left in my journaling time. The above sounds much like my old entries where I talked about things but never managed to make them happen. I need to make these happen. That's it, time's up. That means it is time to begin my day. 

19 October 2021

Journaling time

 I'm going to try something new, journaling in the morning. I've always been an evening journaler unless there was something wrong that I needed to work out. I would morning journal a problem. But I've always been one to write at the end of the day and recap how it's going. Time to switch things up a little bit. 

We've had a visitor here for the last two days. He's nice and all, and I've gotten a whole lot better with having people in my space, but it throws things off. I can't laze around in my nightgown at night, because he's here. I can't walk around naked while I figure out what to wear, because he's here. It really does cramp my style. But he's leaving today so it's all good. And he's a nice guy, easy to have around, he even walked Mavy for me yesterday. Cool. 

I've got my front room pretty well set up the way I want it. We are just waiting on the fireplace which should be here mid-December. It is so nice and cozy, I love that room. I got the most amazing bookcase. It's big and wide and has barn doors. So awesome. Hubby bought some nick-nacks for it yesterday when he took our guest to Goldfield. Looks awesome. 

Had an interesting comment the other day. One of our coworkers commented that we are so nice to each other and that we are friends. I thought that was odd, but then thought isn't it odd that I think it's odd? We have been together for 37 years. I would hope that we are friends by this point. And we are not always nice to each other, but I think we are more than not. But then I wonder if we slipped too far into the friend area. I mean we live together and I love him and am pretty sure he loves me, but is it just habit? Are we just sharing a house? I don't think so, but after all this time you can't help but think that may have happened. Anyway.......

As I'm writing this, and my time is almost up since I only have 10 minutes, I realize how much I missed this. This is just rambling about whatever comes into my mind. I used to do this a lot but I haven't been doing it recently. I think this was a lot of how I started my mindfulness journey. By just kind of writing whatever was running through my head helped me really become aware of what was going on up there. I can see that writing it out might not be as effective as asking, what am I thinking, all the time, but I honestly believe that is what got me started. Now that I am so much further on my journey, maybe this can help me make more progress. 

Okay, time's up, off to work. 

15 October 2021

Acting like a 4 year old


 

That's been me this past week or 10 days or so. I was kind of fed up with my lifestyle (as I talked about in the last post) and needed to change something. So I decided that since I have been working on my self-care and learning not to beat myself up over things, I could go back to my old lifestyle. My logic was that I was thinner then and had more energy so now that I don't beat myself up I could do that and be happy. Sounds good in theory. But it eventually led to cookies. Many. Many. Cookies. In the course of like 2 days. I feel like crap. Ugh!!! Also, I feel greasy and fat. My stomach feels huge. Please note, I'm not making judgements here, just stating facts as I see them. I didn't work out last weekend but 1 day. I'm struggling to get my 10,000 steps in. And I've been eating with abandon. I have finally come to the realization that this cannot continue. 

First, my not making my 10,000 steps a day is really bringing me down. The only day this week that I made it, I was completely exhausted by the end of the day and my legs and feet were killing me. So I've decided to lower my goals and work my way up to 10,000. I've reset my goal to 7500 steps. Once I can make those (and I should be able to regularly) for 2 weeks I will then increase it to 8000 and so on. That way I will build up slowly and be successful at it. 

Next, in spite of the junk I've been eating, I've had really good energy levels recently. I think that when I watch what I eat I don't get enough food. So I need to stay away from the cookies but I also need to eat enough so that I have enough energy to get through my day. 

Finally, I need to work out regularly. The only days I have available to workout are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and so I need to work out on those days. Every. Day. I will be walking Mavy every day after work, so that's good, but I need to get into the habit of working out on the weekend. I've been trying to get this habit going for 6 months and haven't got it going yet, so this is going to be my focus every single weekend. 

In my defense, I do things like this every once in a while. I will rebel against whatever I've been doing and think I can do it better. It never works, but I guess I need to let my inner child out every once in a while. 

So now that's over, it's time to get back to serious work again. 

What is happiness?

 This has come up recently and I've been thinking a bit about it. What exactly is happiness? I've come to the conclusion that happin...