Monday, February 21, 2011

change my perception, change my life

I'll tell ya, there are so many things happening lately. Seems like one crazy adventure after another. For a while, I found myself in the dumps. Yes, I got way too negative for a little while. It doesn't happen too often but when it does, I find that it's better if I just retreat and wait it out in solitude. For if I don't, I'm afraid that I may end up just attacking the innocent or taking my irrational frustrations out on those around me simply because they are around me. I don't want to do that to you. I'm sorry I disappeared but it really was for the best. The good news though is that the cloud has passed and I've recovered the real me again.

What happened?

I'm afraid the answer is going to sound familiar to those of you who know me or have been reading my crap for a while now. I stopped doing all the self care stuff. I stopped eating healthful meals as consistently as I once was. I got lazy. The gym was not on my to-do list for a couple weeks. My journal was beginning to collect dust. The vitamin D in my cute little pill container may have even expired. My quality of sleep had disintegrated. My poor little guitar sat lonely in my spare room for far too long.

When any one of those things happen, my mood starts to go south and I get irritable then it's a slippery slope unless I can manage to recover the missing piece. Well, it took me a tick to realize what was happening and I was not able or willing by that time to see my actions or inactions. I was in the middle of my negativity storm and everyone and everything was on my shit list. Friends were pissing me off for no good reason. My husband was....well....that's nothing new. ;) Work became nearly unbearable. I wasn't willing or able to tolerate family. Even the people at the gym, whoever they were, made me want to just lash out irrationally.

It became abundantly clear to me just how ridiculous I was when I saw myself get bitchy and snotty with my dearest friend in the world. Accountabilibuddy. She has been there for me through everything in the past year and a half and she has been amazing through it all. She did me a little favor and I didn't like what she had to say so I snapped at her. When I realized what I did, I felt horrible and was forced to look at myself in the mirror. If I'm not happy, it's not her fault, nor anyone else's for that matter. I'm the only one who can manage my mood. And I'm the only one who knows what I'm really doing and not doing, what I'm really thinking and not thinking. My world is based on my perception and my perception only. So, it stands to reason that if I change my perception, I change my life. I've done it before and I realized that I slipped and needed to do it again.

In my last post, I talked about Goal #3 which was to sell my house and move to the city. Well, that goal seems to need some renegotiating now. After doing some homework, I've discovered that it just doesn't make financial sense to sell at this time. At first, I took that news really hard. I'm a city girl stuck in the suburbs. The idea of staying where I don't belong for yet another year or more just took all the wind out of my sails. So, I need to either suck it up and sell for a loss or I need to redefine what this all means in my life. I'm either "stuck" in the burbs for however long, OR I've been granted a golden opportunity.

I choose the latter.

My plan was to list the house in Feb, sell in Mar, and move in Apr. That eats up 3 months (at least). So, now that I'm not going to be selling, packing, apartment hunting, or moving, I find myself with time. What ever shall I do with extra time? Oh I about I redirect that time to spend on accomplishing one of my other goals. Let's see here. I want to learn French, get my little monster into agility training, write a book, and lose weight. Those are the biggies. I'm already taking French classes. I already have the little monster signed up for doggy class. I haven't been writing much lately. And I managed to gain 6.8 lbs over the holidays and hang onto it until well....yesterday when I weighed in at 165.8.

By George, I think we've found it. I get to focus more time and attention to losing weight and writing a book. Hurray!

I spent this past weekend looking at those goals in detail and I think I've put together a master plan to make sure I can accomplish BOTH by the end of the year. Wanna know how? Stay tuned...

Obviously, doing this self reflection stuff gets me thinking about what others are going through too. Am I the only one who's mood was drenched by toilet water? Are you struggling too? With what? What did you do to get out of it? Do you have an opportunity to redefine your perception and change your life in the process? Do you have any witty insight for me? Any stories you want to share?

Thanks for being here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#3 Goal for 2011

Of my 3 big goals for the year, this one was the one I was most looking forward to. That might sound strange considering that the other 2 I shared were nothing short of wonderful.

#1 Goal - Melt the fat, ALL of it!
#2 Goal - Learn to speak French and take the hubby's dream vacation
#3 Goal - Defect from the suburbs for good

Yes, it's true, I desperately want to get the hell out of the wretched suburbs more than anything else in the world. You see, I'm a city girl. I love walking everywhere rather than driving from one end of a strip mall to the other. I love the boutique shops you find in the city over the over sized superstores that plague suburban American life. I prefer listening to the drunk homeless guy yelling profanities outside over the sound of the neighborhood kids drag racing down my street.

I had a plan and a beautiful plan it was. I have owned my house for a decade now and in that time have successfully remodelled it inside and out. We bought the house with the intention of staying no longer than 5 years because I detest the suburbs but we wanted to experience home ownership in all it's glory. We bought a fixer upper and fixeder up real good. It only took us 10 years. Now we're done and we planned to have it on the market at the end of February, priced to sell by the end of March. We were to be organized, packed up, and moved into our new high rise building in the city by mid April.

Cue the bad news.

The price to sell quickly would net us a bit of a loss with the crappy market the way it is now. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you out there depressing the market with your foreclosures, HUD homes, and short sales. Thank you very very much for ruining the fun for the rest of us....RESPONSIBLE people who can figure out how to pay our bills and make decisions to get ourselves into properties that are NOT above our standard of living. Thanks to you, my house is now worth the same amount it was worth back in 2000 when I purchased it.

So I get to sit and wait it out. How long? Who knows, a year, maybe 3. Bye bye high rise, bye bye door man, bye bye boutiques and drunk homeless dudes. I'll miss you, for I must sacrifice more years to the lifestyle that does not fit me or my goals and values.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

#2 Goal for 2011

When I graduated from college, all I wanted was to take my dream vacation. "All" I wanted. Listen to me. It's like my dream vacation isn't much to ask for. It took me 11 years to complete my BA degree so I figured I had more than earned my dream vacation. My dream vacation was to travel around Italy. I had always been fascinated with that country for some reason. The language is beautiful, the food is my favorite, the culture is rich. What's not to love about Italy?

I got my wish. I spent a few months studying up on some basic Italian so I could get us around the country. We spent 3 weeks travelling and it was spectacular. We started in Rome, then rented a car and drove through Umbria and Tuscany, Viterbo, Greve, Pisa. Stayed a few days in Firenze and Fiesole. Then we ventured to Portovenere and wondered the Cinque Terre. We took a train to Milan for a bit of shopping then headed over to Venice to explore the waterways. We stayed in tiny little inns and ate in local favorites but strayed as far from the tourist attractions as possible. When I travel, I want to know what it's like to be of the region so I did what the Italians do and stayed where the Italians stay and ate what the Italians eat.

Shortly after our return, my husband decided he wanted to go back to college and of course his request was to take his dream vacation as a graduation celebration. His dream vacation is to travel across France. He graduated last year but we had too many other things happening to consider an international vacation at the time. Well, this year is going to be the year.

The #2 goal for the year is to travel to France.

You know what that means don't you? I get to learn to speak French. Oui! I took some francais in high school but didn't continue with it because I was more interested in espanol. Hubby took a bunch of French in high school though and always loved the language. So....we decided to relearn to speak the romance language together.

We signed ourselves up for a French 1 class at the local community college continuing education program. Class started on January 12th and will continue through mid March then we will have to see about francais deux. If all goes according to plan, we can surely make it through French 1, 2, and 3 before our trip. That should give us enough to have some elementary conversations with the locals and make our way through the country without presenting as the newest stupid americains to polute the country. I have to say that although the French have a reputation of being assholes, I absolutely love them. They're my kinda people. Kinda like New Yorkers. Love em!

We don't yet know where we want to go or what we want to do in France but we do know we need to find some great recommendations that do NOT include tourist activities. Are you French? Been to France? Do you have any kickass recommendations for us? Think hidden jems and accidental pleasant finds that no tourist would ever know to be as spectacular as it actually is. That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for.