Fearless Friday (Navel Gazing Edition)

Bear with me as I use the internet as my free-ish therapist.

But First

An amusing anecdote

I don’t often use a thesaurus. When I do, it’s because the word I want is in my brain but not materializing, so I’ll use the thesaurus to try to suss out what I’m intending to say. I do love when other people use a thesaurus, though. Especially when they are obviously choosing words that they’re not entirely sure of. Today, I was using a thesaurus without having a specific word in mind because I wanted to be alliterative. I absolutely adore alliteration. ANYWAY. I wanted a synonym for “change” or “transformation” that started with “F.”

The only thing that came up was “fluctuation.” And that just made me laugh. Because fluctuating is not my goal. Fluctuating is my current state.

And Now for Something Completely Different

The last few years I’ve become a fearful person. I’ve lost a lot of the confidence I used to have. Part of that is being stuck in an employment situation where the feedback fluctuated (ha! used it!) between over-the-top praise and ridiculous, unfounded, mean-spirited criticism.

Part of that was being stuck in friend-lationships that weren’t healthy, because I glommed onto the first friendly folks when I moved to Portland and wasn’t as discerning as I should’ve been with my friend love.

Part of that was spending a lot of time worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and upsetting the delicate ego balance that I tiptoed around starting in 2008.

Part of that is my natural state of being. I’ve been diagnosed with all sorts of fun (and sometimes contradictory) brain malfunctions. The older and more experienced I get, though, the more I realize that the one defining characteristic of everything my brain has ever done wrong is the overwhelming anxiety disorder.

I am good with routine. When I was working, my routine was

  1. Wake up early
  2. Make coffee
  3. Shower (or workout)
  4. Write with all the coffee
  5. Breakfast (and shower if there was working out)
  6. Work
  7. Pick up the Bean
  8. Make Dinner
  9. Put Bean to bed
  10. Read
  11. Bed
  12. Repeat

It was a good routine.

When I left the architect, my routine was disrupted. I was staying up later, not eating on days when no one was around to see if I was eating or not, I didn’t have Bean every day to keep my days steady, but I was still doing many of those things…just later. And working out fell by the wayside. I was staying up too late to get up early to write and workout. But it was no big deal. On nights I didn’t have the kid, I did the writing. It kind of worked.

When my job ended, everything just went tits up. I spent a lot of September and October alone in my house doing nothing. Not working out. Not writing. Not editing. I had all the time to make things happen, but I was too overwhelmed to get started.

Now we all know that to some degree I got over that, because my book was published this week, but I’ve still never gotten back to that routine. Every time I think I’m getting close, something happens to fuck it all up again.

It’s been a hard week. Releasing a book is stressful, even though it was the culmination of a lifetime of dreams. Having a child in a co-parenting situation is stressful, because I am not in control 50% of the time and I really like to be in control. Dealing with my recent rental situation is stressful because there were rats and the landlord and I disagree on a few financial things. Not having a job is stressful. Because money is awesome and I would like some of that stuff.

Do you know what helps my stress levels? Working out. Working hard. Being a little bit sore most of the time.

Getting to bed before eleven.

Getting up before six.

With my current mental state (fragile, in case you’re looking for another f-word), that isn’t happening. I need to find the switch to flip.

Self-care and self-love have fallen by the wayside in my attempt to throw all my energy into caring for my son and fighting all the battles that continually show up.

I just bought BexLife’s new book (at the recommendation of my PSM) in an attempt to find that spark that will help me reconnect with me. I signed up for Weight Watchers (something I’ve used to great effect in the past) as a way to be accountable for what I’m putting (or so very often, not putting) in my body. I have packed my swim bag and intend to drag my anxiety-ridden ass back to the pool (that is less than 3 blocks from my new digs) next week. I will take the boxes of work detritus out of the back of my car so I feel safe parking at a trail head and running in Forest Park. I have the tools I need.

I’m 40. There’s never going to be a better time to make my life everything I want it to be, and there’s no one who’s ever going to be able to make those changes for me.

(Except you. Each and every one of you. If you could all commit to buying my book once/day…that’d be cool. I mean really…what’s $2.99/day? That’s less than a coffee at Starbucks! *cue sad music and a montage of hungry, cold Amy who can’t even turn on the space heater in her office without tripping the surge protector*)

2 responses to “Fearless Friday (Navel Gazing Edition)

  1. I do hope you get the routine settled down soon. Defining and learning the new normal is not easy at all. Personally I get anxious when change doesn’t come for a long time. Kelley likes stability and I’m always looking for something new – it drives her crazy.

    One bad thing about turning 40 – for me that’s when it all started to fall apart. The body, I mean. I can’t lose weight using the same methods used before, they just don’t work. The normal training routine causes massive injuries now. So I’m having trouble accepting my new limitations.

    Also I’m curious (if you feel like sharing with me) about the toxic friendships of days gone by.

  2. I like routine until I don’t. I like daily routine, but I also like big changes every so often. I’ve lived in Portland for almost 11 years and I am antsy about that. There’s no way to move at this point, though – because co-parenting.

    40 + peri-menopause is a bitch for weight loss. Add into that stress, and my body is a mess. I’m trying to get to a place where I can take care of my body, get it to do some of the things I’d like to do (I want to run again…long runs on the trails used to be the best part of my week), but I’ve treated it so poorly the last few years that it’s going to be a slow journey to figure out how to take care of it now.

    As for the friendship thing – maybe someday. 🙂

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