I'm putting aside my kid struggles for a moment and focusing on ME for this blog post (the kid struggles are still HUGE, however)....
It's becoming more and more apparent to me that I continue to evolve personally, and I'm liking a lot of the changes that I have made this year.
1. Essential oils
I'm always looking for new solutions to problems or struggles, whether it's physical or emotional. I'm not a typical "hippie" chick, but the essential oil solutions really appealed to me after discussing with a friend who uses Young Living. It's been an eye opening journey the more I learn about the benefits of EO's, and I'm enjoying these benefits immensely. From muscle aches to headaches to insomnia to breathing problems, I'm trying to turn to EO's to find relief before anything else.
2. Home Improvement
We've been in this house for eight years now, so we're starting to see aging signs cropping up. Appliances that need replacing, general clean up, repainting rooms and refinishing doors and furniture, redecorating...a little bit of everything. Rather than hiring people to do all this for us, I'm trying to learn to do as much of it as I can. It's been fun to be a little more independent and to save money. I feel like I'm really contributing to the smooth running of the household by tackling these tasks myself.
I've read 7 books so far this year. My goal for 2015 is 25, so I'm well on my way. It's relaxing to me to spend time quietly reading, with a dog or two in my lap and a cup of coffee in my hand.
4. Cross training
I did start cross training more last year because of my triathlon training, so this isn't necessarily new this year. But now that the cold weather is passing, it's becoming more of a priority for me to get on my bike and into the pool. I can't wait for outdoor swim sessions, particularly since I'm seeing running injuries crop up. To be able to exercise outside without further aggravating those injuries will be so awesome. I never thought I'd be happy about swimming!
5. Not overscheduling myself
There are a lot of activities, races, parties, and volunteer opportunities out there. But my new favorite word is "NO." It's not good for me to do too much. I'm being very deliberate in what I commit to. I could do a triathlon every week or two, but I'm not going to. I made a very conservative goal of doing four triathlons in 2015, far fewer than many of my training buddies do, but I think it's a great number for me. There are fall and winter marathons and half marathons I could register for, but I am committed to only one other 2015 running race after the SLO Marathon and that's the New Years Double (I'm hoping to get up the nerve to do the 5K and Half Marathon on NY Eve and NY Day...32.4 miles total!). This will lead up to the Houston Marathon next January. I volunteer occasionally and I accept party invitations, but I do love a clear schedule most weeks. Does it mean I'm a hermit? No, it means I need to protect my energy.
6. Finding the Quiet
When I'm at home alone, I try to keep the television off. Our house is in a very quiet neighborhood and I really enjoy that. When the only sounds I hear is the birds outside and my pug snoring, I can find peace and calm. It's good for the soul.
Because of the stress I endure as a parent (I know many find this hard to understand, but trust me....there's so much stress), I have to actively seek gratitude about the little things (and sometimes the big things). We have a gratitude jar in our kitchen and I find myself throwing little notes into it frequently. We plan to read all the notes at the end of the year.
So there's my checkpoint for 2015. I'm exhausted from the stress and uncertainty of some situations, but I think I'm doing a lot of good things, too. When I see that something is working, I will continue to embrace it.