Grace and Grit and Goals

Do you even resolution, bro? I’ll be honest, this year I started the year off with some goals in mind. Some of them may have already slipped away and some of them are right on track. (I want to read 75 books this year and I’m already at 8! Yasss).

Two of my goals for 2018 were to try new things and focus on self care. I managed to check both those boxes this past weekend.  I was lucky enough to attend an amazing wellness workshop held by the lovely ladies of Grace & Grit. This couldn’t have come into my life at a better time.

I feel stuck and sad and hopeless in a lot of ways. I’ve been sitting in my feelings, truly feeling them for the first time in a long time without any of my usual distractions. I’ve been off running for most of January (hence the radio silence on here and on my social media pages), in hopes of rehabbing my angry hip/IT band/glutes. I’ve been on an elimination diet to finally get to the bottom of my chronic hives and migraines.

The workshop was a lifesaver. I spent the morning stretching, sweating, and snacking with a lovely group of ladies (including one of my besties), then we got down to business. Some big questions were asked.  What do you want? What don’t you want? Where do you see yourself in a year? How about ten years? 

It’s surreal to sit back and think about where I want to be tomorrow, let alone in another year or even in a decade. I even gasped in the middle of the workshop “oh my goodness, I’ll be 43”. But then I sat back and thought- how amazing am I going to be in a decade?

Leaving the workshop, I had a lot to think about. After a few days of soul searching, tears, and countless anxiety-riddled conversations with my partner, I think I’ve begun to piece together which direction I want my life to take. What goals I’ll be working on. Where I want to be in ten years. The aspects of my life that I truly want to pour myself into. Focus on the countless things that fill my cup, and do my best to eliminate or at least decrease the amount of time I spend doing the things that drain my resources.

Here are the goals I’ll be working towards:

I want to find a balance with my career and my health

Over the last few years, I have fiercely struggled with both my mental and physical health. I feel like I’m consistently taking three steps forward and two steps back. I took three months off of work in 2017, along with far too many sick days. This resulted in feeling incredible amounts of guilt and anxiety. I feel like I’m disappointing my employer, manager, and coworkers. I’ve come to the realization that I’m not meant to work a full-time job.I have long believed that I am never going to be a person with one career for the rest of my life. Considering I am already on my SECOND at the tender age of 32,  I have already proved myself right.

This isn’t to say I don’t love my job. I am lucky enough to work in a library. I joke daily that this is the best possible job for me, as I get to hang out and talk to people all day AND I don’t have to sell them anything. That being said, spending most of my time working with the public as a person with mental illness is incredibly draining. The general public may not know this, but working in a library isn’t just reading. I spend my day helping people with things that no one else will: job searches, immigration forms, technology help of all kinds, copying/scanning/emailing/downloading sensitive documents and photographs. You name it, I’ve probably done it. I love helping people, but I also need to help myself.

 

I want to focus on being mindful, positive, and filled with gratitude

Living with an anxiety disorder, it is so easy to focus on the negative and worrying aspects of every day life. My “fight or flight” instincts kick in far too often and I easily get sucked into worry spirals, always wondering what if.

Knowing this, I want to start be grateful for what I have. Tell my partner all the things I love about him. Hug my friends. Snuggle my dog. Focus on all the great people I have in my life. Focus inwards and love myself more. Be grateful for my life, job, health, house.

I want to find my voice and build a community 

This blog has been such a great outlet for me. Even if no one reads it, it is a safe space for me to share. I’ve been luckily enough to have a few of my posts shared on sites like the Mighty and, this past week, on TEEN VOGUE! I want to continue on this journey of sharing my story and honing my voice. For years, I have felt ashamed and embarrassed by my anxiety and mental health struggles. Even now, I find it easier to share my story with strangers than to those who actually know me.

I hope, that by sharing my story, other people don’t feel so alone. I had an outpouring of love and support when I shared my battle with skin picking  – which for the longest time has been my secret shame. I hope to help other people find a supportive community and their own voice.

I want to simplify my life

I want to leave a “junk-free existence”. Physical junk, mental junk, digital junk, stuff that maybe isn’t necessarily junk but is draining more from my cup that it’s giving.

Case in point – over the last several years, I have slowly been working my way towards a communications degree through an online university. I have loved the classes and – for the most part – excelled at them. I hope to obtain this degree at some point in the future, but I have decided that the time is not now. Today I withdrew from the class I am currently enrolled in. I need to take the advice that I have so righteously touted to others: school is always going to be there. Right now is not the time for me.

 

Whew. That was a mouthful (or I guess, a screenful). Enough about me though, what about you? Ask yourself the big questions. Where do you see yourself in ten years? What are you going to do to get there? Share with me so we can support each other.

Also, if you live in the Edmonton area – check out Grace & Grit.  These ladies are wonderful and inspiring.

 

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