Today, is the 10th of February. I should have an additional 10,000 words. But I don’t. I only have an additional 7,549 to be exact.

As each day has gone by and I haven’t achieved my goal I am more and more disappointed in myself. I feel like I’m letting down everyone supporting me and cheering me on. And that bothers me a lot. I’ve shared how bad it makes me feel with some around me, because that is one of the things I do.

I talk out my troubles. Whatever is bothering me gets aired and shaken in the wind aplenty.  My family will readily agree with this. This morning I called my sister and was sharing with her how stressed I was feeling, and mad at myself. She suggested that I write about it, and that idea lodged itself firmly in my cranium. I couldn’t wait to sit down at the keyboard and see what would come together. …

I am a very goal oriented person. I don’t function well without deadlines or an agenda. So, since the first of the year, I have created a month-by-month calendar with what I want to work on listed every day. And at the end of the day, I cross each item off that I have accomplished. Sometimes I don’t get to it for a couple of days, but I know what’s on it, and don’t get off track. At the end of the month I create the one for the next month.

This month (February), my goals were to write 2000 words a day on my novel. One day each week I would also work on one of my other writing projects which include this blog, copywriting, and website development. I am also taking part in Dynamaxx’s DMX Challenge, which is a 40-day weight management/loss program.

This is day 10 and I have a growing feeling that I’m losing it. I haven’t been able to maintain my word count. I haven’t touched the other projects every day like I need to. I skipped a day of work-out and I haven’t been able to keep up with recording everything for the DMX challenge. The more I worry and stress about it, the less I’m able to accomplish. The less I accomplish the more I stress.

Aarrggh!!

Dangit! Just writing that down was stressful and raised my blood pressure……..

But…Wait a minute. ……

I feel a little bit better right now. It’s like there is a valve somewhere that let go some of the steam.

Those of you that know me personally know that I have had a ton of stress in my life. It has been a whirlwind of unpredictable major changes for about thirty years. There was a brief time for 8 months about fifteen years ago that I took an antidepressant. The rest of the time I’ve just coped and adjusted and muddled my way through it all. A couple years ago, I recognized a behavior I had developed that helped me get through all the garbage coming at me. And you’re going to laugh.

I baked cookies. I baked chocolate chip cookies. When we were all together as a family I baked double batches, which disappeared in a day. I am sure if you ask any of my kids, one of their biggest memories of their mom, was her standing in the kitchen scooping cookies off a hot pan onto the cooling rack.  But it has continued. I’d come home from a stressful day at work and I wouldn’t make dinner, I’d get out the mixer and measuring cups. Yes, I have the recipe memorized.

Now, my life has slowed down. And I am reaping the benefit of all those cookies, hence the necessity of the weight loss program. I also recognize why my stress levels are building right now. Because I’m NOT baking any cookies. How crazy is that?!?!

This takes me back to what I’m trying to accomplish right now in my life. I’m trying to change my behavior patterns. I need to control my life and not react, or be influenced, by my situation or surroundings. All my life I’ve been a person who lived to eat. I want to change that and become someone who just eats to live. I don’t want food to be a dominant part of my life anymore.

I believe I can accomplish this by concentrating on other areas of my life. Being more physically active is good. I thoroughly enjoy cycling and swimming. I love working in the garden. Can I focus more on using my right brain for creativity? I’m working on that. I’ve always liked needlework, but I’m working on expanding that to fiber art and creating unique books from materials other than paper, which correlates with my writing, as well.

I realize this has gotten quite lengthy. That was not my intention.

I will end with what is probably the most important aspect of my life. My spiritual well-being. Everything else feeds into that. That side of me has changed, along with everything else. It continues to grow and expand beyond what I was able to even imagine ten years ago. Everything in my life has contributed to it, the strict religious upbringing, the break-up of my marriage, the loss of my son, the opportunity to live in several different places and work in a variety of businesses with different cultures. But most of all, it is the love of my children. That unconditional love I hold for them, and which is reciprocated by them, will go on forever and is the most beautiful thing in the world.

So, as I joyfully sip my protein shake, I have to say….

That was a marvelous idea, Sister-Of-Mine.

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