I’ve Moved

Hey everyone. As you can see, I haven’t been posting lately. I realized that this whole “weekly goals” thing was putting too much pressure on my already hectic life. So, I have missed blogging, and you can find me now at

 www.journey-to-happy.com

Hope to see you there!

Diana

Ebay vs. Yard Sale

My mom and I talked about having a yard sale together, and we finally decided on a weekend to do it. Now I just have to start going through all of my stuff and decide what needs to be sold. One of the things holding me back is the fact that I have had some success on Ebay (just a little, but still…) So, what do I take the time to sell on Ebay and what do I just try to get rid of at a yard sale??

Ebay is definitely the more time-consuming idea. Each item has to be posted with a picture and a description, and then you have to wait until the auction is over, then get paid, ship the item… It can be exhausting. But I have made a little money so I’m obviously eager to make some more. I would hate to put an item up for sale at a yard sale and get 50 cents, when it’s possible I could get five or ten bucks on Ebay!

Well, I have a week and a half to make decisions on my various items. Then it’s yard sale time!  And what doesn’t sell gets thrown out!! I am ready to get rid of my clutter and have a more peaceful environment. And if I can make a little money doing it, that’s a bonus!

Minimalism

My goal this week is to simplify. This is actually something I have been doing for quite a while, but now I’m going to really concentrate on getting things completely simplified around here. The idea of minimalism seems to be exploding all over the internet lately and I’m jumping on board!

It may sound crazy, but the idea of giving up most of my possessions, putting everything else in a backpack, and moving my family to some new city where you can walk everywhere, sounds… freeing. However, realistically I am not going to go that far. What I am going to do is go through my house (and other parts of my life) and get rid of anything unnecessary. If I don’t need it, it doesn’t make me happy, it doesn’t add beauty to my life, or doesn’t have an otherwise important purpose, it’s gone. That’s it. I’m tired of things.

There are so many benefits to a minimalist lifestyle. For one thing, it’s way easier to clean a house that has less stuff in it! Another perk… if you don’t feel that urge to have things you will spend less money on said things, so it’s financially beneficial. And there is an overall sense of calm as well. Clutter causes stress. Simplicity equals tranquility.

I plan on taking on one room at a time. I will make three piles… one to throw away, one to sell or donate, and another to keep. The plan is to make the “keep” pile the smallest. We’ll see. I think it might be harder than it sounds!

Mother/Son Date Night

Last night both of my daughters slept at friends’ houses, so it was just me and Christopher for the evening. That has NEVER happened in his (almost) five years!

Both girls were out of the house before dinner time so I cooked a couple of burgers (per his request) and we had our dinner together, just the two of us. At first I thought this is too quiet, but then I just let myself enjoy my rare mother/son time, and it was great! After we ate together he “helped” me clean up, and we played Wii together. Then he had his bath, we read a story, and I tucked him into bed. It was such a joy spending my time just focusing on him without any distractions from the girls. I get to spend more one on one time with them because Christopher always goes to bed first. But, it’s rare that I have time with just him.

Lately I’ve had some real issues with Christopher’s behavior. He has some pretty severe problems with anger and defiance. One day, when I was pretty much breaking down about it, my mother and I talked and decided that it might be his way of getting my attention. We all know that kids who feel they need extra attention will do anything to get it, even misbehave! Negative attention is better than no attention at all. So, maybe what Christopher needs is more of my time one on one, like last night. Despite how busy I’ve been lately I am going to definitely make more time for him. I’m sure if I explain it to the girls they will understand and support me.

The girls aren’t home yet, so he and I have been bonding this morning as well. We drew and colored together, and then he wanted to go outside to “check the vegetables” (in my veggie garden). So we walked around outside for a bit, and now as I type this post he is patiently waiting for me to come play with him. Here I go!

Me and my boy on Halloween (2010)

More On Exercise

Have I mentioned how much I hate to exercise? Really truly do NOT like it. I used to take walks once in a while to get at least a little exercise, but it’s been super hot here so that’s not happening!

Yesterday I found an awesome way to get some exercise, while having fun, in the comfort of my nicely air-conditioned living room. And it’s called Wii. I have played Wii plenty of times before with the kids, mostly bowling, a little tennis. But we borrowed Wii Fit Plus from my sister, and Brianna and I tried it out last night. It was great! I loved it!! It calculates everything for you (calories burned, etc.) and it really is (I’ll say it again) FUN! I can’t wait to get back to it! Yesterday we did aerobics, but I also can’t wait to try yoga. I figure that will also help with relaxation.

I’m super excited about getting into better shape. I’ll keep you posted! I can only hope my sister doesn’t want the game back too soon because then I’ll have to buy my own 😉

Healthy Eating Update

On Monday I said I was revisiting all of my goals this week and I thought I would post about my progress. Granted, it’s only Wednesday…

So… let’s start with healthy eating. This is a very frustrating goal for me. I think my eating habits are pretty good, but I’m not sure about a few things.  For instance, healthy foods and low fat foods are not always the same thing. I want to eat healthier, but I don’t want to gain weight doing it! I know for example that nuts are good for you, but they are sooo fattening. Especially since I can’t seem to find mixed nuts that aren’t salted. That can’t be good! And I love salad and eat one practically every day, but I put shredded cheddar, boiled egg, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, etc. on it. Not to mention salad dressing. But I do use fat free ranch dressing. I also know that it’s a no-brainer that drinking a lot of water is very good for you. My question however… is flavored water just as good? I find plain water incredibly boring. I also drink a half pot to a whole pot of coffee a day. I use Splenda and skim milk, so that’s not too bad. But how much is too much? Oh well, at least I know I can’t go wrong when I eat fruits and veggies, which I love!

All in all I’m confused 😉 Guess I’ll have to do more research on the subject…

Life Can’t Bring Me Down

Sometimes (often) there are things in life we have absolutely no control over that can get us really down. I myself have quite a few of those things going on. Add that to my clinical depression and it could be a recipe for disaster. So, I really have to concentrate on finding ways to feel better, more alive.

With that in mind, I am going to go over all of my past goals and refocus my energy on every one of them this week. Sounds like to much pressure, right? Well I look at it this way…

If I’m eating better, getting more exercise, spending more time with my family, working on being a patient parent, strengthening my relationships, using relaxation techniques, and feeling grateful for all that I have in my life, I am quite sure that I will be feeling pretty good at the end of this week!

Sometimes I have to force the issue however. After all, nobody is perfect, especially me! I get lazy and unmotivated and that’s when I am at risk of failing and falling into a depressive episode. Or I’m just plain tired. Take last night for instance… my back has been hurting pretty bad the past couple of days, and after watching a movie I just wanted to go to bed. My very caring and very persuasive fiance however “forced” me to take a bath and soak for a while. I wasn’t really in the mood, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, I got a book, lit a candle, filled the tub with hot water and bubbles, and soaked for a good half an hour. And it felt soooo good (thank you Tony). Sometimes I have to remind myself to take care of me. It helps!

So, starting today I will not eat anything unhealthy, I will not go a day without getting at least a little exercise, I will try super hard not to yell at the kids, I will practice relaxation techniques every time I am feeling stressed, and I will remind myself daily of all the things I have to be grateful for. I may even start a gratitude journal. Wait, that just gives me something else to do! Oh well, maybe I will anyway…

I Found My Lost Patience

A friend once told me, after listening to my reactions to my kids’ antics, that I have the patience of a saint. That was a while ago now, and since that time I have often had moments when I’ve had to wonder where that saint went. I felt like I wasn’t living up to her image of me. Sometimes I’m just not that person. My temper flairs, I overreact, I get cranky easily. I guess I’m just human. Go figure.

For the past couple of months I feel I have completely lost that patient side of me. I think I know why though, and now I am feeling much better, physically and mentally. I am concentrating on spending more time with the kids, and less on the computer. I am getting Christopher the help he needs to manage his anger, which of course helps me to manage my own. School is out for the summer, so there are no homework issues, reports or projects due, waking up on time, making sure school uniforms are washed, etc. It is time to relax and enjoy life. I still have to work, and of course there still has to be rules in the house and chores done. But all in all I am feeling better about things and looking forward to my future again. I am also looking foward to focusing more intently on my goals. Life is too short to waste time feeling lazy and cranky!

When You Can’t Do It All

Recently I haven’t been feeling too well, which is why I haven’t been posting! For days I haven’t felt like myself. I’ve had stomach pains and nausea, I’ve been tired, and have had absolutely no motivation to do much of anything. The hardest part wasn’t not feeling good, it was not doing anything! I was not doing laundry, I wasn’t cleaning, I wasn’t even mothering! It’s been awful. Especially the mothering part. It’s so difficult to be everything your kids need you to be when you are not 100% yourself. Feeling icky makes my patience level go way down. I’ve been snippy and cranky, and my kids have had to deal with it. If not for my oldest helping me out, they may not have eaten these past few days 😉

Anyway, as I chilled on the couch feeling sorry for myself, I looked around and saw a house that needed cleaning, kids that needed bathing, and laundry piling up. I felt lazy and useless, and guilty for not accomplishing any of my goals. I sure as heck wasn’t exercising, I was barely eating, everything was a mess, I wasn’t feeling very positive about things, and I don’t think my kids were very happy.

I am still struggling with what I hope is the end of my illness. I am off the couch, my stomach is starting to settle, and I’m feeling a little more patient today. What I learned these past few days is that it’s not the end of the world if I’m not doing everything! Until Tony and I are living together I am doing this all on my own, and I am taking on too much. My stress level is through the roof and I am not Superwoman! If I’m not feeling up to it the laundry can wait. The dishes can wait. The only one who notices this stuff is me. And I need to give me a break…

Do-Over!

I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve been feeling like my old self. I didn’t really like that person. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, I’ve gained weight, I’ve been lazy, I’ve been working too much, I’m tired, I’m starting to doubt myself when it comes to parenting, and to be honest I feel like crap. There, now I feel better.

It’s time to take a step back and remember why I started this blog in the first place… because I wanted to improve myself. I wanted to become a better version of me. Healthier, happier, more patient, less stressed. Someone who can handle all of life’s disappointments and laugh at all of life’s little jokes. I also want to be someone who can look at failure as a lesson to learn from. A temporary situation. Failure does not have to last forever. It’s just another opportunity for improvement. And maybe, when the really bad stuff happens (and it WILL), maybe there is a reason for it. Everything happens for a reason, right? I just have to open my eyes and see the reason. It’s there. I just have to find it.

So, I’m declaring a do-over for myself. It has been said that when you are dieting and you slip up and have a piece of chocolate cake, that doesn’t mean you give up. You forgive yourself and go right back to it. So, I am forgiving myself. I am going to read my original blog post and start my do-over.

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