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 {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…