Thursday, March 7, 2019

Yoga Every Damn Day

As I wrote a bit about in this post from November, I've been dealing with stress and anxiety a lot this past year. It's been really hard on me in a lot of ways and I told myself that I would try and use 2019 to rest and work on me.

Starting January 1st, I was no longer employed outside of the home and since then have been getting into a new flow and rhythm of working from home. I am continuing to do the books for Dan's business, while also taking on new responsibilities like answering the phone, scheduling work, doing bank and wholesaler runs and just being worlds best assistant. Obviously that last one comes super naturally to me. <--- sarcasm

To be honest, while I am absolutely loving being home (it's totally my happy place) and I do not regret leaving my job at all, the last few months have been a bit of a struggle. It's winter, I'm all of a sudden alone a lot, and I still have all the emotional baggage that I had last year. It's tricky how that works, where the hard stuff just doesn't disappear once a new calendar year flips over.

So one of the things I have been doing to combat this struggle while also working on taking care of me, is doing more yoga. I started this habit in the fall, when trying to deal with some anxiety and the effects it was having on my body, but I really turned it up a notch in January. I decided to join a 30 day yoga journey. And you guys, I totally did it. All of it. I showed up on my mat every single day for 30 days.

I started out optimistic but also realistic, knowing that I very well may not do every single day. But I was gentle with myself and forgiving and took it one day at a time.

I'm not going to lie, those first few days were really hard, not just mentally but also physically. Some people think yoga is pretty easy but if you actually do it you will realize it's harder than it looks! Especially for someone like me who is not at all flexible and is pretty wimpy when it comes to working out. So my muscles definitely felt it over the first week and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to tough it out.

But I did! I had encouragement from some friends who were doing it alongside me (I'm looking at you Cora and Ali) and Dan was a huge support when it was 9pm and yoga was the last thing I wanted to do. I carved time out of my day to put on the yoga video, roll out my mat and take time to slow down, to stretch and to reflect.

Over the month I noticed improvements in my mood, in my anxiety symptoms and in my flexibility. I tried new poses, I laughed, I cried and I fell over more than once. I am far from where I would like to be but I made progress over the month and I'm proud of that.

The 30 days came to a close and I kept going, that's how much I loved it and found it beneficial. I actually did a 53 day streak of yoga before breaking it and getting into more of a routine that works with my daily life.

So there you have it, a photo journey of me doing yoga every damn day (for a while) and how much I enjoyed it.

Do you have any rituals or things you do to help alleviate your anxiety? Or maybe you have found yoga beneficial too!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What If It Isn't Worth It?

You hear it a lot in the infertility community, the little sentence that gives you hope when you're first starting out.

"When all this is over and you're holding your precious baby in your arms, all the struggles and hardships and pain will be worth it."

But after 8 long years of waiting for our happy ending and beginning to feel like it is probably never going to come, it's really hard to hang on to that hope.

What if our end doesn't leave us with a baby? What if it isn't worth the wait? What then?

All the negative (and sometimes positive) pregnancy tests, the ultrasounds with no heartbeats, the blood draws, the early morning trips to Toronto, the medications, the injections, the monitoring ultrasounds, the empty due dates, the mountains of adoption paperwork, the times the birth mom didn't choose us, the never ending waiting for something that may never come, what if all of that is for nothing. All the emotions, the tears, the hope, the grief, the anger, the roller coaster, what if it isn't worth anything?

The new question that looms ahead of me so starkly isn't full of hope and happy endings. It's just two little words.

I don't know what my future holds, but for right now, in this moment, I am terrified of it. I'm terrified that it will not end with a baby and all of these last 8 years won't be worth it. I'm terrified that I will end up a broken person who doesn't know how to pick up the pieces. I'm terrified that I will not be able to live a full life childless. I'm just plain terrified.

Today is Bell Let's Talk day and so I am talking. It's not necessarily pretty but it's how I am feeling deep down. Do you have something you want to share? I'm here to listen. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

18 Goals for 2018 - Final Check In

Hello everyone and happy new year! I can't believe it's already 2019 and almost halfway through January at that! Gosh, it's like you blink and the year is over. I figured I would share how I did with my 2018 goals before it's too far into 2019 and then it's just awkward and super late. So here is how I did.

1. Put $2,000 extra on the mortgage Completed! We actually put $3,000 extra!
2. Put 15% of my income into retirement savings There may have been a few slacker months but on a whole, we completed this. I'm super proud of us for starting to contribute to retirement this year.
3. Read 15 books Nope, didn't read 15. I slacked on keeping track so I'm not sure what my final number was but I know I didn't reach 15.
4. Donate my hair again Almost 9 inches was donated in September!
5. Do some front yard landscaping We hired a landscaper to do our walkway and gardens in October. It looks AMAZING! I will share pictures come spring when there is grass and flowers and all that.
6. Eat dinner at the table together at least 8 times a month Nope. Probably not even close.
7. Run my 7th 5k This is the first year in a long time that this didn't happen. Life and health issues got in the way and I'm trying to accept that.
8. Go away for our 10th anniversary It was super low key but we rented a cottage for the weekend and it was so relaxing and just what we needed.
9. Take a yoga class I didn't exactly take a class, but I started doing yoga at home pretty faithfully so I'm counting it as a win.
10. Invite a different family/couple over for dinner at least once a month This one didn't happen either. Once again, stop making such long term goals Jennie!
11. Replace sun room We got it quoted and then realized it's not in the cards for us anytime soon unless we want to go into debt for it. So this one is long term pending.
12. Complete the Couch to 5k program (FOR REAL GUYS) I DID NOT COMPLETE THE DANG PROGRAM! I give up.
13. Visit the Grand Canyon Sigh. Maybe before I'm 80.
14. Knit myself a pair of socks Complete! I actually even started myself a second pair at Christmas!
15. Replace cleaners and personal hygiene items with greener options Done and I'm proud of my progress.
16. Organize and run the second annual Rejuvenate Retreat It was held in May and was a success!
17. Have a vegetable garden Success! It did way better than we thought it would, so yay!
18. Repair my ring from my mom I got it fixed in June and have been wearing it ever since.

I actually did pretty good! 11/18 is more than half so I'm a total winner! 

How did everyone else do with their goals? Care to share? I've decided that moving forward I won't be continuing this trend (despite how fun it is) because it's just getting harder and harder to keep up with them. Maybe I'll pick it up again in the future but I just wasn't feeling it this year. 

I'm making monthly goals instead, sitting down early in the month and deciding what I want to get done within the next 30 days or so. I'm also trying to think of an overall goal for the year to focus on, but am still contemplating that. So there you have it, a mini update from me.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Invisible Stress

2018 is almost over you guys. Which I know may be a little dramatic, since we still have almost two months before we enter the new year, but I know it will go fast and so I'm going to sit here and say 2018 is almost over. Just let that sink in.

I don't know about you, but 2018 has been a really hard year for me. Like really really hard. If I look back at the events of the year though, nothing huge stands out as something that should have made the year hard. No traumatic events, no huge life changes, no one thing that made it hard. But my body and mind are telling me otherwise. 2018 is the year that everything finally caught up with me.

My body is showing signs of stress and anxiety, slowly giving way to the last eight years of limbo and waiting. Because that is what is killing me this year, all the limbo and waiting. The constant unknown of where we are at and where we are going and what our life holds. I know that no one really knows the answer to any of these things, but this year I'm letting myself think more on the fact that kids may not be in our future and that thought terrifies me. It has made me question so much of my life and has brought on a lot of emotions and feelings and stress.

This summer was bad for feelings of being overwhelmed. I would go to work and come home and sit and panic about all the stuff that was overwhelming me. Little things like cleaning the bathroom, running errands after work and making supper. Basically, just existing. It was too much and I wasn't handling it well.

It's gotten better since then, as in I can function and go about daily activities, but my body is still holding a lot of the stress and anxiety. I'm trying to work through it, practicing real self care, but it's hard.

It's especially hard since I don't really feel like I have a good reason to feel this way. But even as I tell that to myself, I know I have a good reason. Many reasons actually.

We've been trying to start our family for 8 1/2 years.

We've had multiple miscarriages and struggled with infertility.

We've done unsuccessful fertility treatments.

We've made the decision to no longer try for a biological child.

We've been waiting to adopt for 2 1/2 years.

We've had to update our home study and get a new adoption worker.

We've renovated an entire house in less than 3 years.

We've been running our own business for 6 1/2 years.

We've been in a constant state of limbo and waiting for over 8 years. 8 long years.

We've had to start thinking about what our lives will be like without any children in our home.

So ya, next time I start to tell myself that my stress and anxiety isn't justifiable, I'll need to remind myself of these reasons. While they aren't apparent when looking at us, these are all reasons that have affected my mental health in so many ways and 2018 just happened to be the year where it has all caught up with me.

2019 is hopefully going to be a year of rest and learning to balance things a little better. But in the meantime, if you're struggling this year too, know that you're not alone.

Friday, June 29, 2018

18 Goals for 2018 - Halfway Check In

I'm supposed to check in quarterly, but somehow it is the end of June and I haven't done any updates. That should make this post more impressive right? Or maybe it will just show me how slack I've been on my goals...

Oh well. Life happens. Let's see how I'm doing!

1. Put $2,000 extra on the mortgage Completed! This was actually done within the first few months, and we even put an extra $1,000. Go us!
2. Put 15% of my income into retirement savings This one is ongoing, but we have been putting money aside each month so far.
3. Read 15 books I'm slow at this one, I think I've only read 4 so far. Gotta step up my game!
4. Donate my hair again A pending one, since I usually cut my hair in the fall in order to not have short hair during the height of humidity. Smart thinking, right?
5. Do some front yard landscaping In progress, since our front yard currently looks like death. They say it gets worse before it gets better...
6. Eat dinner at the table together at least 8 times a month Slacker slacker slacker. I stopped keeping track, so I don't know how we're doing. I need to stop making goals that involve monthly tallies.
7. Run my 7th 5k I don't even have one planned, I need to look into that!
8. Go away for our 10th anniversary Still have like 5 months to plan something.
9. Take a yoga class Got to get on this one.
10. Invite a different family/couple over for dinner at least once a month Doing pretty good actually!
11. Replace sun room Need to save all the money first.
12. Complete the Couch to 5k program (FOR REAL GUYS) I did awesome until April and then got off track. Time to get back on!
13. Visit the Grand Canyon Realistically, probably never going to happen.
14. Knit myself a pair of socks Almost done!
15. Replace cleaners and personal hygiene items with greener options Making good progress with this one.
16. Organize and run the second annual Rejuvenate Retreat It was held in May and was a success!
17. Have a vegetable garden Garden is planted and growing, but I'll wait until after harvest before crossing this one off.
18. Repair my ring from my mom Should be done in the next couple of weeks. Hooray!

Wow, so not doing too shabby. Haven't crossed a lot off but have a lot in the works! I'll see if I can do a check in at the end of October, in order to give me a good kick in the butt to finish the year off strong. 

Anyone else want to share how they're doing with their goals?  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Five Things Friday!

Hello readers! That is, if I have any readers left. Life has been crazy and I just haven't been in a mindset to write lately. I might write a post more on all that's been going on later, but for now I thought I'd share a few pictures of some happenings.

1. We bought ourselves a hammock! The backyard has seen a mighty overhaul since we moved in and after a few years with no backyard, I decided a hammock was a necessary purchase to celebrate having grass again. Plus, those two lonely trees were just calling for a hammock between them.

2. I HAVE A CLOTHESLINE AGAIN! Yes, that required all caps because I'm seriously more excited than I should be about this. We put it up at 9:30pm last Saturday and before noon on Sunday I had 3 loads of laundry done. Wash all the things! Plus, there is nothing better than drying sheets on the line and getting into bed that night with the fresh air scent. Bliss.

3. Work has been hard on me lately. Nothing has really changed with it, I'm just personally going through a hard time and going to work has been harder. I wonder how many times I can say hard/harder without it sounding repetitive... Anyways, this picture was taken on my morning break the other day and it was one of those moments that I felt happy and I just sat there under the big birch tree and soaked it in. Deep breaths.

4. Anonymous care packages are the best. Seriously, how could this basket full of awesomeness not cheer someone up? Like I just mentioned, I've been struggling lately, so this little bundle of treats came at the perfect time. Friends make life better.

5. Posing for pictures is my fave, as evidenced by this "candid" shot taken of me at my Mom's wedding a few weeks back. I felt super cute and confident that day, which this picture my brother-in-law snapped shows. I figured I may as well share it, since I don't get dressed up often.

That wraps up this edition of Five Things Friday, I hope you enjoyed my mini pop in to my near dead blog! Have a fabulous weekend (and summer if I don't get back here again anytime soon)!

Monday, January 1, 2018

18 Goals for 2018

It's the most wonderful day of the year! I love the beginning of January for all the newness and freshness and wonderfulness of it. Something about a brand new year with so much potential always motivates me and inspires me. So on that note, I'm going to share my 2018 goals with you all! Although seriously, this whole as many goals as what year it is thing, not going to keep working for me for much longer. I think I'll have to rethink things when I hit 2020. But until then, enjoy my goals for this upcoming year.

1. Put $2,000 extra on the mortgage
2. Put 15% of my income into retirement savings
3. Read 15 books
4. Donate my hair again
5. Do some front yard landscaping
6. Eat dinner at the table together at least 8 times a month
7. Run my 7th 5k
8. Go away for our 10th anniversary
9. Take a yoga class
10. Invite a different family/couple over for dinner at least once a month
11. Replace sun room
12. Complete the Couch to 5k program (FOR REAL GUYS)
13. Visit the Grand Canyon
14. Knit myself a pair of socks
15. Replace cleaners and personal hygiene items with greener options
16. Organize and run the second annual Rejuvenate Retreat
17. Have a vegetable garden
18. Repair my ring from my mom

Let's see how I do this year! Maybe for once I will actually complete 100% of them? That may be wishful thinking but you never know. 2018 could be a year full of surprises.

If you have made any goals, feel free to share them in the comments. We can keep each other accountable throughout the year.