what i’m into – keeping me sane {October 2020}

what i'm into - keeping me sane {october 2020}

October is a weird month for me emotionally.  In Alabama, it’s doing the “is it summer; is it fall” thing but there are days that are very winter-esque which doesn’t bode well for my psyche. But I am reimplementing last year’s plan with a caveat: to hibernate as much as possible this winter, which with COVID will be pretty easy for me.  But instead of just hibernating, I am attempting to lean into the weirdness of this time of year and embracing what is coming.

At the beginning of the month, I was feeling very overwhelmed and unorganized with work, educating at home, my writing, etc. So I watched a few videos on YouTube about productivity which sent me down a rabbit hole of productivity gurus, books to read, etc. Did you know that there are ways to get more done and organize your task list, email, etc. and that these ways are systematic?

The first step is to take all of your to do’s (all of them) out of your head and onto a Task Management system, which could be an app or a bullet journal.  I had a bullet journal in 2019 but stopped using it for some reason; I can’t tell you why.  Well, I have brought back the bullet journal and have really harnessed the power of Apple Reminders and that’s been a great change for me.  Right now, I’m am trying to decide if I should have one Task Management System for everything or split my tasks and systems by my life areas: work, daily life, writing, etc.  If anyone has any ideas, pop ‘em in the comments below. After I figure that out, the next step is selecting a calendar to use and I have the same question: one main one or different ones for different life areas?

Since I was feeling very much overwhelmed I decided to declare Fall Break for the Buddy Man.  I had initially thought that we didn’t need one, but he was trying hard not to throw temper tantrums at the idea of having school AGAIN the last few days and I was throwing my own temper tantrums in the bathroom where he couldn’t see me.  So as teacher, principal, and the Board of this particular school, I declared a week of Fall Break.  I also took a day off work.  And I do mean a complete day; I didn’t check email, Slack, etc., I turned off notifications and I read books.  It was awesome.

Speaking of books, my selections this month have reflected my intentionality this season to lean into the strangeness but I will talk about that in my Quick Lit post in a couple of weeks.

I also ran my first virtual race this year, the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run. I beat my anticipated time by almost 5 minutes! I couldn’t believe it!

I voted early!

That’s a good summation of what I have been up to.  Let me know what’s been keeping you sane in the comments and if you have a post on your blog, summing up your month, feel free to link to it below.  We will do it again next month,  Wednesday, December 2.

enjoy life…

what i’m into – keeping me sane {april-september 2020}

What I'm Into {April-September 2020}

It has been a very long time since I have done one of these posts. My last one was April 1st and thanks to Barbara and my mommy for encouraging me to post again.

The truth is that I have not been my best during the uncertainty that has been 2020. And it just hasn’t been the fear of getting sick with THE virus but the fear of its implications on our lives.  I am an Event Manager and most in-person events were being cancelled.  What did that mean for me? Then my country noticed (probably because it had nowhere else to look) that it was not wholly living up to one of its core tenets, “all men are created equal”. Did this mean anything to me? Should I do something? This past winter, the Hubby and I had been thrilled when the Buddy Man was accepted into a magnet program for the start of his academic life but with the virus, were we going to need to educate him at home? Most of that responsibility would fall to me and what would that mean for my work and my energy?

As I grappled with these questions, and others,  I didn’t have the mental capacity to write anything for the blog.  It was difficult just trying to stay sane much less, write coherent sentences about any of this.  But, no matter what happens or how long of a break I take, the truth remains:  I am a writer.  And what is a writer without a reader? So, I am back to share what I have been doing, in the hopes that it might encourage someone else to be intentional about how they move through the world.  Besides, sharing with you provides me accountability, which is always beneficial to me.

So here’s a few ways I’ve been staying sane.

  • I tend to eat when I am stressed and I have been eating as a way to cope. But I am proud I have exercised regularly (more times than I haven’t) throughout this entire year, getting up as early as 4:30 AM to make sure that it gets done before the rest of my day takes over and I’m too tried to do it later.
  • I have been very selective of my activities, and yes, I count virtual ones also because, for me, they incur almost as much trepidation and anxiety as the in-person ones. This was particularly difficult in late August because Mompreneur, which I was honored to be a speaker for and a member of the planning committee last year, took place a few weeks ago, and I just KNEW that I didn’t have the mental energy to devote to it.  And so, I stepped away.
  • I have been very selective of my media inputs, including news and social media, and have dramatically reduced my consumption of both. Of course, this has led me to wonder if, since I am reducing the number of things that I read, I should even post on my blog? Am I just adding to all the noise? Does anyone even care? Does it help anyone? Existential questions for another day.
  • I have been reading, obviously from my Quick Lit posts which I have been proud that I have managed to continue, but I have focused on reading for fun. I have tended to read a lot of nonfiction, inspiration, memoir, etc., in the hopes of improving my life and my world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, I like to do it and probably always will. However, my brain has not been able to handle a lot of “should do’s” to improve life.  This year, I feel like I have been treading water most of the time, and so, I have been reading some great romance novels just to shut down the analytical side and escape into something that feels good and makes me happy. I believe it has helped.

What about you?  How have you been coping? Comment below and if you have a monthly recap post, link it in the comments.  I always enjoy reading them and let’s plan to do it again on Monday, November 2ndFingers crossed.

enjoy life…

what i’m into – keeping me sane {march 2020}

Oh my goodness! What a month!  This month seems have lasted a year!  And I thought that February was a doozy! Ironically, at the end of February, I was hoping for space and time to open up for me and that the weather would be warmer.  It did and it was.

Here’s five things that I have been doing (and should have been doing more of) this month to keep me sane:

  1. Running. I got sick, not coronavirus, one week this month and couldn’t run.  And I felt it, mentally, physically, emotionally, everything. Near the end of the month, I was able to start running again and my sanity seemed to come back.
  2. Media Breaks. I have had to stay off of news outlets and social media. At first, I was going down the rabbit hole in the name of staying informed.  But what it was actually doing was causing panic attacks. Seriously. Three of them. Now, I check the news with the intention of finding out what I need to know for the day and then, I do my best, not to check it again.  I even hid my internet app – it takes me four swipes to get to it. Before, it was on my home screen.
  3. Jigsaw Puzzles. The Buddy Man is a very good puzzle worker for five-years-old and we have been working a few together. My mommy and sister are excellent puzzle workers and I was not as good as they were. Besides, I had my books but Christmas last year, I bought a 500 piece puzzle and enjoyed it.  So this year, I have worked a few more and liked them very much. I think I might be a puzzle worker. There’s something very soothing about it.
  4. Showing Myself Grace. The first two(ish) weeks of social distancing were difficult – see aforementioned panic attacks.  Then I read an article on NPR.org about how COVID-19 has upended our world and that it’s OK to grieve.  And I realized that I hadn’t fully processed my emotions about what was happening.  This allowed me to give myself grace, recognizing that things were different and I have never experienced anything like this before. It’s OK to feel a bit lost and confused.
  5. Family Time. I am so very grateful for the time and space that has opened up in our lives. Both Hubby and I are blessed to still be working but due to social distancing, my Hubby has been home more throughout the day.  We have played games, gone on walks, ate more meals together, and generally spent more time together and with the Buddy Man. I don’t know if I would trade that for the world.

BONUS: I Love Lucy Show. I have been watching old episodes on Hulu.  They are a huge source of comic relief.  And the Coronovirus memes on social media have been so fun.

What kept you sane this month? Tell me below and if you have a monthly recap post, please link it there too.  We do this every month and we will do it again on Friday, May 1st. I pray that, by then, we will be returning to some normalcy, while keeping the things that matter.

enjoy life…