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.