Yesterday was my 45th birthday, and on the whole, it was pretty anti-climactic. I spent most of the day enjoying the benefits of Comcast on demand by watching Season 1 of Shameless. Between that I sat outside in the sun and read, which was lovely. Just having sunshine was a luxury! Oh, and I answered all the birthday greetings from friends on Facebook; that was excellent. I got a wonderful birthday gift from my sister & nephew, which they picked out weeks ago at a reptile show they went to. No, it isn’t a lizard, it is an awesome Southwesterny owl necklace. I love it!
The last year of my life has been full of so much turmoil, so many ups and downs. While I have made some changes, I’ve mostly been sitting here, in my chair, stagnating. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that stagnant water STINKS! I am so tired of my life stinking. Starting now, starting here, I am churning up the water, changing my life. (Yes, I know I’ve said that dozens of times before. Shut up. I mean it this time.)
These questions came from a post titled 20 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday on a blog about productive living. I am using them here as a way to give myself a guide for goals, etc. Honestly, this seems like a lot of things to worry about every single Sunday, and I’d only ask myself all these questions every six months or so. Don’t expect profound answers, people. If you are looking for genius, what the hell are you doing here? Seriously? Anyway, here we go. Text in italics is from the original post, these are my answers.
- What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week. That baby powder doesn’t get rid of ants; that baking with gluten free flour is not that easy; and that I have no wish to date or do anything else with guys from Craigslist.
- What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment. It’s also an effective way to track your progress. Umm, I didn’t do much of anything last week. Big fibro flare, all sorts of health issues. However, I managed to read about 6 books, not a record for me, but pretty good. And while I have not lost any weight, I’ve not gained, either.
- Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting. So much fun just goofing around with Max. He was on Spring Break, and was sick half the week, but when he was feeling good, he and I took turns teasing each other in the odd little way that we do. It reminded me how much I love kids, and love being social, things I miss, hiding in my room.
- What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such. Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks. The same thing I needed to accomplish last week–get my ass out of this chair and EXERCISE!! My biggest goal for this year is to get healthy, and lose weight. The only way I can really do that is by exercise, which I never do.
- What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself. My doctor said I should schedule in exercise, thinking that would make me more likely to do it. When she told me this, I, of course did nothing; now I am thinking it’s the right idea.
- What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters. Pain. Last week was full of pain. And the coming weeks likely will be, as well. I am hoping that more exercise will help with some of the pain, and will allow me to break free of the evil ibuprofen monster which is messing up my tummy.
- What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future. Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to. Television is always my biggest distraction. I may have to hide my remote. And the chargers for my electronics, so I don’t spend too much time online.
- Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright. Oh, I could spend weeks cleaning up just physical baggage. My little room is small, and I will work on getting rid of more junk this week. I got rid of a lot of clothes a few weeks ago. But magazines, papers, and other crap still needs to go. Big fun.
- What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done. For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning. Didn’t I just cover this?
- What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week. I’m writing. Not as much as I should, but I am. And I will figure out two things soon: a job, and a place to live. These will be on hold until after my disability hearing on April 18th. Once this limbo is decided, one way or the other, I will make a decision.
- Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester. Always keep an open line of communication to those around you. Yes, some near, and some far. I’d rather not mention names here, but just know some of you will be getting a phone call or email this week.
- Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you. Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed. My baby sister, Jolene. She’s been here for me throughout everything, and never gets enough credit from anyone for everything she does. Same goes for my mom.
- How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. If you help them, they will remember you when you need help. I am a lazy bugger, and do very little around the house to pull me weight. I chip in when asked, but I should do more…
- What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself. This is a difficult one. Three years, three things. 1) Get my own place again. 2) Get my book written 3) lose 100 pounds
- Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change. I’m starting on writing, but on the others, not so much…
- What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole. I don’t have an answer for this. Any ideas?
- What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation. If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to. I don’t have plans yet, but I’m working on it. Suggestions?
- What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them. It’s all about taking baby steps. My biggest fear now is about that upcoming disability hearing, and it’s outcome. I’ve been waiting for a year for this to happen, and I am, frankly, terrified, that these people who know nothing about me, will decide that I am “cured” of a lifelong disability, and will cut off my health insurance. I can figure out a way to get by without the money, but I need that insurance; without it, I have no way to pay for medications, doctor visits, etc. And then I am back where I started, with seizures all the time, pain and suffering.
- What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of. Every single day I am grateful to be alive, grateful that I have a family who loves and helps me.
- If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short. Spend more time with the people you care about. I’d tell my family how much I loved them, every day. I’d find a way to get to Albuquerque, and see the friends there that I miss so much. Elissa, Kathy, Karen, and the rest (anybody else hearing the Gilligan’s Island theme song?).
These are my 20 questions, and my answers, such as they are. Someone told me last week that 45 isn’t a landmark birthday. Well, for me it feels like it, especially since I know so many who never made it this far. I miss Michele every single day, and will, for the next 45 years, or until I see her again.