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…

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

For a number of reasons, January seemed to inch along like a dirt worm struggling over concrete.  It was long and tiring, and very daunting at times.  My son had oral surgery (I was a nervous wreck – but he’s fine), my husband and his car had a run-in with a deer (he’s fine- the deer’s fine – the car isn’t fine – and I am still a nervous wreck). January is generally very difficult for me – dreary, rainy days where the sun is hesitant to shine.

January is also my birthday month. And this year I turned 40 – another thing to increase my anxiety. I know that only way to halt the aging process entirely is to retire from this life.  Some people do it voluntarily.  Others don’t (RIP Kobe – that hurt somewhat as well). And I know, realistically that gratitude is the most appropriate expression of being a year older.  But 40 bears that weight of what feels like a mid-life – half of my life is over.  What will I make out of the (hopefully) second half?

So, what’s been keeping me sane this month? Here’s list from the mind-blown to the mundane.

  1. That practice of gratitude that I am slowly but steadily cultivating.
  2. Hot drinks in bookstore cafes surrounded by books and the possibilities that are contained between each and every page.
  3. My Hubby and the Buddy Man and their continual belief in me and my abilities. Playing Candyland and Uno with them have been highlights of the month.
  4. My boss and the team that I am so grateful to be a part of and their belief that I am a valued member of that team.
  5. My mom calling and texting and telling me “Happy Birthday” multiple times – I counted at least 5. And all the other birthday messages I received via calls, texts, Instagram and Facebook.
  6. The nine books that I read last month – and my first 5-star read of the year. My Quick-Lit recap will be up on Friday, the 14th.
  7. Electricity – we had a power outage for six hours one day this month. Heat and hot water are very necessary elements that keep me sane. And Wifi doesn’t hurt either.

What about you? What’s keeping you sane this January? Post your ways in the comments below and give me some ideas.

If you have a monthly recap post, please link it below. We do this every month and we will do it again on Monday, March 2.

I am also linking this post to Anne Bogel’s “What’s Saving My Life Right Now” – a special post that she does this time-of-year to help get us all through these dreary months of winter.  There are loads of ideas over there.  Check it out. And if you are here because of her, a sincere welcome. Until next time…

enjoy life…

what i’m into {november/december 2019}

What I'm Into Nov.Dec 2019

Last year was probably one of the most interesting of my entire life. So many things happened both good and not-so-good. At the end of the post I will link to my monthly recaps (January thru October). I missed November so we’ll discuss it here.

I intentionally ended the #shannanmoves exercise streak at day 202. When I started it, the Sunday before Memorial Day in May, I intended to participate in the Runner’s World Running Streak, in which I ran a mile every day, until July 4. I did. And kept going.  It turned into the #shannanmoves Streak. In November, I realized that I was becoming a slave to the streak, choosing to keep it going at all costs.  I don’t like to be addicted to anything so I ended it at day 202.  I had thought that it would be nice to have exercised half the year and I did that, exercising 57%. It has been a long time since I have felt this good about my body and my health.

In partnership with Snail on the Wall, the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club hosted Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Anne Bogel here in Huntsville on November 7th.  I have dreamed of having Anne in Huntsville since she wrote her first book, Reading People. And guess what? I was “In-Conversation” with her, meaning I was the one who interviewed her.  Upfront. In front of 70 people. I was excited. I was terrified. It turned out well. UPDATE: The recording was so good, thanks to the Hubby, that it became a WSIRN Episode number 222. You can see, er, listen for yourself.)

Hubby and I attended two workshops at Apple about taking photos with the iPhone. These workshops are so informative. If you have an opportunity to take one, I guarantee that it will be worth your time. Hopefully, you guys will see some improvements in my photos.

Seasonal Affective Disorder got a grip on me though.  Even though I was expecting it, it always throws me off to struggle with my attitude, mood, and general lack of motivation.  I have been participating in my own social media break – one reason for my silence on this blog. I reduced my to-do list to the essentials and have been enjoying the time and space that it has afforded.

When I went to my regular counseling session in December, I was ranting. Then my counselor interrupted my rant to ask if I knew that I was being generally positive about my experiences and if that was a conscious effort on my part? I was astounded. I have been a worry-wort, a pessimist, and generally negative my entire life.  The glass is never half-full.  It is always about to run out of milk.

This serves me well in my job.  I am generally on top of every detail and prepare for most eventualities. This does not serve me well in life.  One cannot be on top of every detail and prepare for every eventuality.  One will go crazy.  I know I have.

But I was able to answer her honestly and say, “No. I was not initially making an effort to be positive.” She then uttered some of the best words I have heard all year. “Your overall mindset has changed.” This is HUGE for me! I don’t think it will always be this way – can a leopard change his spots and all.  But with effort, intentionality, and prayer, the meter can move in the other direction. Thank God!

In other news, it snowed. Lasted a day. But it was beautiful.

So, what were you into this past year? Did you learn anything or do anything that was the highlight of your year? Any plans for highlights in 2020?

Let me know, or post a link to your year-end overview in the comments. We do this every month (mostly. As I said, I missed November-insert sad face). We will do it again on Monday, February 3

enjoy life…

Past What I’m Into – Keeping Me Sane Posts