Over one year later…

Hopefully no one was waiting for an update, because I never did follow up with that last post containing very special news. I suppose I had hoped to keep a record of my pregnancy journey, but that ship has sailed.

My daughter was born Thanksgiving Day 2020. She was three weeks early. I’ll save the birth story for another day… or another year, perhaps, given my consistency of updating this blog. Bottom line is, I have been doing the mom thing for 10 months now. She is the true love of my life. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I was expecting it to be much more challenging than it’s been. She’s a treasure, a beauty, an absolute delight. On this blog, I will refer to her as Lucy.

I have returned to this blog and am giving it new purpose:

  • Accountability to myself and a potential audience
  • Communicating my goals and the actions I take to achieve them
  • Sharing my experience in case it helps somebody else in their personal journey
  • Seeking opportunities to receive suggestions and constructive criticism

There are several abandoned blogs out there that belong to me. Anytime the hiatus becomes too extensive, my solution has been to just start fresh with a new one. This time, though, the idea of “starting fresh” is counter to my ever-evolving perspective.

I want this to be a blog that documents my journey of wellness. I have been on many “wellness journeys,” lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months before I returned to the behaviors of dysfunction. I can’t say it will be different “this time around.” But I’m trying a new strategy.

It isn’t just about replacing poor habits with healthy ones. It’s about facilitating changes to my mindset that are in better accordance with my life circumstances and promote my wellbeing. An error that I have typically made in the past was an attempt to dissociate my “old” self from a “new” self, the past from the present. There is no new self and there is no temporal line of demarcation. There is just me and right now, same as it’s ever been. When I was pregnant, this false belief in magical transformations led me to believe that when I had my baby, somehow my bad habits would make way for better ones. How did I imagine this would occur? Maternal hormones? Sheer force of will driven by necessity? I didn’t think too deeply on it. But no. Becoming a mom didn’t imbue a sense of momness in me. I’m still just me, and I have a daughter. And the obstacles that stood in my way before are the same ones facing me now.

The obstacles mainly come from the sum of the beliefs, behaviors and assumptions that underlie my decisions from one moment to the next. I’ve come to recognize many of my typical thought processes as toxic. Part of me has been aware of them, and I have, over the years, evolved in my perspectives and outward treatment of people and situations. But the underlying core of the toxicity has yet to be challenged out in the open. The result is anxiety and stagnation. I’m not here to get into the nitty gritty of all the ways this toxicity manifests. That’s mainly something to sort out with my therapist. I couldn’t put it into words, anyway. It’ll be one of those “I’ll point it out when it happens” sort of thing. I know I must have blind spots, but when they cause me to stall, perhaps a bit of examination will help me realize what the root of that roadblock is.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been building some momentum. They’re just little decisions that serve to tweak or disrupt the routine I had built upon many deleterious habits.

I’ve deleted my Facebook and spend more time writing in my journal. Facebook alone wasn’t the main issue, though. I waste a lot of time on my phone. It just happens that Facebook was the least productive thing I could have possibly been doing on my phone. The time I wasted on Facebook has mostly been replaced by wasting time on YouTube. At least YT is somewhat useful in that it contains informative videos that are useful in my studies, but it still induces a mindless scroll in a quest for the next dopamine hit. I would ultimately like to be liberated from the mindless scroll. And it is possible. Last year, I entered the world of Reddit. Spent a few months in that ditch until I decided, some time after giving birth, that it wasn’t doing me any good. Then Twitter happened. I was casually watching the news on January 6 and witnessing in real time as hilarity ensued. Just absolutely enthralled, I hopped onto the Twitterverse for moment-by-moment updates and random takes. Inevitably, I became mired in the Twitter hellscape. Never in my life had putting my phone down been so impossible. After a couple months of that, I knew I had a problem. Thankfully, Twitter made it easy by banning me. I could have made a new profile (wouldn’t have been the first time), but decided to put it to rest forever. No. More. Twitter. Ever. Again. Point is, I’ve seen my rock bottom, and I’m not going anywhere but up from here.

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Watching the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6

I’ve cut way down on the amount of fast food I eat. When I do opt for fast food, I make healthier choices. If there’s a decent salad on the menu, that’s what I get (not the 1000 calorie bacon-and-cheese loaded ones). I drink more water than I used to, thanks to the Hydro Cell water bottle I carry around (love that it’s a straw). I’ve been taking an unprecedented amount of walks in the past month.

I’m still not great at picking up after myself, but my room doesn’t get quite as messy as it used to get. On many days, I feel inclined to at least throw loose articles of laundry into the hamper and remove the accumulation of Diet Coke containers.

I’m doing things that get me hyped to build on these baby habits. I made a workout playlist and bought some workout clothes that I’m eager to use. I took some photos of myself thinking that maybe, in six months, I may look quite a bit different.

The past month or so has felt a bit like a trial period for the leveling-up that I’m ready to do. It’s been a pretty minimal effort so far, and already I’ve noticed some cool things happening. I still wear a lot of maternity clothing, but they’re fitting loose. I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight, such that it was. My energy level has generally gone up. Now I’m imagining what I could accomplish if I raised the bar, go from an effort level of 4/10 to 7/10. Add a few bursts of 10/10.

My only other option is to maintain a perpetual sense of helplessness because of the state of the world we’re living in. Anxiety doesn’t do me any good or my daughter any good. It doesn’t do the world any good. Does calamity and suffering lie ahead? Probably. All the more reason to appreciate the peace that I’m privileged with today, from which I can comfortably build habits that will better serve me when times become tough.

Welcome back. Join me in my glow-up.

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