7:00 AM. Fresh snow. Fog. -15 degrees. Power outage. School closures. 

Back in December, I stood at my kitchen window and watched the sun rise over this sparkling fog. 

It was so lovely and dreamlike I felt compelled to take exactly thirty-three pictures of the scenery. As you will probably get bored after ten, I narrowed it down. And since I don't have anything interesting to say about them except for variances of:
'Holy cow, I love our holy flippin' incredibly beautiful view..." 

I will instead babble about my thoughts for the new year.

2014 has begun on a solemn note: pressure from unexpected sources, stress, disappointment, discouragement, post-vacation blues, hormones, and stewed together with a little selfish feelin'-sorry-for-myself. 

Blah, blah, blah, right?

I'm hoping to rise out of this funk soon. In the meantime, setting new goals does help. They provide new direction and focus. And my focus for the year is: de-stress-ifying

My personality tends to be...intense. I feel things deeply and have a ridiculous need to be perfect. I make things happen when I set my mind to it, and things usually work out for me. But when they don't...especially after exerting all my energy to make it so...I feel like a big, fat failure in all areas of my life. 

I'm telling you, the stress will kill me if I don't get a handle on it.

(Sheesh, I'm already weary of this topic. Let's just cut to the chase!)

temple view
It negatively impacts my health in many ways, so this is what I'm going to do about it...

1. Exercise. 
With an emphasis on relaxation and meditation...om-ing and namaste-ing included, if necessary. (Though I'm still trying to understand what Denise Austen means by: "breathe out through your belly button.") 

I bought some yoga tapes at a thrift store, and I found that the local library has a nice collection. Losing weight it not the goal here. I just need to be healthier mentally so I can be healthier physically. I am making it a huge priority. 

2. Refrain from Gossip.
Being at peace with others will help my stress level. Speaking negatively of them will only compound any anger, annoyance, or frustration. There's no reason to spread it around and cause the problem to grow; just let it go.

3. Watch my Tone of Voice.
It's more than just not yelling at Andrew for tracking mud on my freshly mopped floor...ahem. It's also not letting annoyance leak out when the changing room attendant forgets about me trying on new bras in stall number 3, and unlocks the door to a wide-eyed line of embarrassed customers. She obviously didn't mean to, so just chill out and laugh it off. 

And just because this is the fifteenth time since recess that I've asked Bobby Jo not to lean back in his chair, doesn't mean I have to sound like an ogre. Breathe in...breathe out...stay calm and relaxed. Next time, just very calmly, kindly, even lovingly...take that darn chair away altogether.

4. Remember Family & Friends
Those I love the most are (usually, anyway!) some of my greatest stress relievers. I admire them, and I rejoice in their successes.We have fun together. As such, they deserve more attention. I need to be better at keeping in touch, remembering birthdays, and inviting old friends over. As the majority of our family lives far away, I see a lot of letter writing in my future. 

5. Stop Being a Socially Awkward Weirdo
Think of clever, hilarious, pertinent things to say in all situations. Be charming and confident. Laugh infectiously. Most importantly, learn how to prevent my face from turning scarlet every time I'm put on the spot or addressed unexpectedly.

Well, never mind. One shouldn't take on too much at one time, now should she? Maybe next year.


Unknown said...

Joy Do you get this sort of funk after the holidays most years ??
God Bless you

Andrea said...

You are just cute. I love this post. Also I love the oils you gifted me at Christmas. The peppermint one is seriously relieving my neck tension like none other! I love it, and it's such a soothing smell. So, thank you!
More yoga is one of my resolutions as well. I feel so good afterwards.
Cheers to a good year ;)

Tiffany said...

In my son's 2nd grade class, the kids are allowed to bring in those big yoga balls to sit on instead of a chair. If you put a little sand in the bottom they don't roll too much.

His teacher swears they are awesome for the wiggly boys to get some of that energy out. The only rule is they can't bounce on them, just sway back and forth. Maybe it will keep you from being ogre like with Bobby Jo.

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