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2015 Winds of Change

Saturday, January 03, 2015

I’ve decided to call 2015 the Year of Change. I have not been particularly happy lately, and there are lots of reasons for that, which I intend to take this year to explore. I know that in order to find the happiness I’m craving, I’m going to need to make some serious changes. However, for a person like me, change is overwhelming. I’m a creature of habit, and I’m also lazy and don’t like to put a lot of thought or effort into things that I consider unpleasant, even if they are necessary.

Last spring, I decided two of the bedrooms in my house needed a serious cleaning out. One is the “guest” bedroom that tends to accumulate junk that doesn’t seem to have a home, but requires too much thought to actually throw out. The other is my boyfriend’s son’s bedroom. Let’s just call the kid a hoarder for now and leave it at that.

I’m not sure how to get across how monumentally frightening a task like that is for me. Just walking into one of those rooms and merely *thinking* about the work involved makes my skin crawl. I get nauseated and overwhelmed and I have to push it out of my mind and leave the room. I’ve only recently recognized this as anxiety.

My sister, on the other hand, loves that kind of clean-up and organizing work (how is that possible?), so I asked her to help me. She came over a total of three times, two full days and another half day. At the end of each of those sessions, I was exhausted and in tears, and I needed a week to recover, even though she did most of the work. All I did was follow orders. Later, I cleaned out one kitchen drawer by myself, and even though it only took me an hour, I was still exhausted and teary-eyed and needed a day of recovery time. That is the type of anxiety I feel when I face making changes of that type.

So imagine how I feel when I think about making personal intimate changes of the sort I need to make now. Anxious. Overwhelmed. Frightened. I can’t do it alone.

I’ve decided to engage with a counselor I know to help me explore this forest of emotions and frustrations and anxiety. Rather than call it therapy though, I’m calling it “life coaching.” I like that term better because it implies the seeking of long-term change to lead to a better, happier future. To me, therapy is more about dealing with an immediate critical need, but that’s not really where I’m at.

I know one of the first things she’s going to ask me is whether I keep a journal. And the answer is no. However, I used to blog here regularly. In 2014, I only posted four blogs, and I would like to get back into the blogging habit. I think it will help me to explore whatever comes out in these “life coaching” sessions. Whether I’ll post it all remains to be seen. But this is the first blog, and a good start I think.

I know I have a lot of work to do this year, but this is what I intend to start with.

FITNESS AND NUTRITION
I’m 20 pounds heavier than I should be. I feel fat and most of my clothes are too tight. I know how to eat right, and I know how to work out. I just need to get off my a$$ and do it. Put very simply, when I eat right and get in regular workouts, I feel better. End of story.
So… back to eating as clean as possible, swimming at least three days a week, and tracking it all to keep myself honest. This is the simplest, least overwhelming change I can make. I need to explore why I seem so unwilling to do it.

RELATIONSHIPS
A lot has changed here already, and my own attitude needs to change to match. My kids are grown and gone, and I need to finally face that. My boyfriend has also suffered some health issues in the last two years that have caused our relationship to change. And his son… let’s just say the hoarding issue mentioned above is just the tip of the iceberg. I have a great deal of trouble with him. Plus, there are other relationships that I need to decide if they are toxic enough to end, or if they are worth salvaging.

PROFESSIONAL LIFE
I started my own law practice a year ago. It went pretty well, actually. I had a steep learning curve, but I handled it and I feel pretty successful. I actually became a litigator of sorts, despite all my protests to the contrary. There were a lot of scary moments, but mostly I did a good job and I had fun. Of course, I didn’t make a lot of money (very few people in their first year of business make much money), but I know if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, the only way to go is up.

THE STATE OF MY HOUSE
The two rooms my sister helped me clean out are just the beginning. Isn’t there a saying that goes something like “Clean House Happy Home?” Well, I think there’s something to that, but in this house, it just isn’t getting done. It’s a real paradox, because I want a clean house, but I hate housework, I hate yardwork, and no one else I live with seems to care. So I need to explore ways to get it done, in baby steps – and get people to help me – even though I’m not motivated to do it and it’s completely overwhelming.

That’s enough for now. Let’s not overstep and get overwhelmed before we even start!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GREBJACK
    This is deep. I'm in the same place you're at with the house, although thank goodness, not the same anxiety. I just find it overwhelming to think about how much I need to do in order to put my house on the market and how unexcited I am about selling the one house I've ever owned.
    1585 days ago
  • MILTONS_MAMA
    I've heard wonderful things about life coaching. I hope you really enjoy the process! And your sister sounds great, helping with the cleaning. Maybe if you have her over more often, it will start to feel more routine. She could help you set up systems to make it easier. I wish you the best in 2015!!!
    emoticon emoticon Great resolutions!!!
    1654 days ago
  • HARRINGTON5
    Laurie, Starting your own practice is monumental and I sure hope you are proud of that. Writing about your other issues is a great beginning. I see that you are not afraid to ask for assistance and that is huge. You have also identified some things to work on and put together a plan to get yourself started. You are on your way!
    1674 days ago
  • FITNHEALTHYKAL
    Change is hard. You have put it out here for all the world to see. Do you have any idea how brave that is? emoticon Did you buy a journal that you will love using? That is sometimes stressful for me so I have a collection of inexpensive notebooks to use for my lists and ruminations!

    Can't wait to hear about your year of action! I feel the warm winds of change picking up and big progress ahead! emoticon
    1682 days ago
  • MEOWMAMA3
    Hi Laurie,

    I'm laughing because sometimes you and I are so much alike! I need to make 2015 the Year of Action. Not quite ready to honestly declare that yet.... All we can do is keep pushing ourselves.

    Some days, for some things, we push harder than others. C'est la vie.

    I, too, am overwhelmed by work and household "projects" that I need help with. I'm still stinging from my cousin's "help" visit 2 years ago during which she didn't follow directions while I was at work and insisted on moving rooms and stuff around to suit HER idea of organization. I love her dearly but she spent a month here and caused more confusion and frustration than anything else. Now I'm really hesitant to engage a friend or a stranger to work here.....stupid on my part. Guess I have control issues. lol!

    Keep your eyes on the prize my friend, best wishes to you! emoticon

    Congratulations on declaring your Year of Change! emoticon
    1685 days ago
  • LUVSBULLDOGS
    Your blog is very optimistic. You're going to get where you want to be. A life coach would help all of us. Go for it!!
    1685 days ago
  • _BRAVE_NEW_ME_
    Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to following your journey!
    1685 days ago
  • WATOGA17
    Laurie, It is clear that you are on the verge. Change is coming and you are inviting it, whether your realize it or not. That is so great! You are facing your fears by naming them first and making a plan about how to deal with them. You should be very proud!
    1685 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    I would recommend a life coach for anyone! You know how well it has hhelped my son....and me!
    I feel the optimism in your blog. I am happy about it! I cannot wait to see what this year is going to bring for you!
    1686 days ago
  • OLDERDANDRT
    I think you are making a great first step here, sweetie! You've already managed to learn some things about yourself and are seeking out help. I wish for you all the best in all your endeavors!! ((HUGS))
    1686 days ago
  • KMICHA
    Laurie.... Good start! I know you can do ALL of this one baby step at a time! Are you a flybaby? (Member of flylady.com or the Sparks flylady team)
    1686 days ago
  • GORIANA
    Way to go. I have similar issues with my guest room. Curious to know where you put the things you kept. Figuring that is what often derails my cleaning.
    1686 days ago
  • KELLYFIT123
    I am so glad to hear an update from you -- esp that your business is working out for you! Congrats!

    I recently started seeing a therapist again after about 4 years away. I also don't have an immediate life crisis but there are periods of time when I think too deeply and have a lot of questions about my life. Then that seems to fade and I get back into old habits and nothing changes. I finally bit the bullet and started talking to someone. She has honed in my lack of being direct with people as a place to start, to see if that helps me get to where I want to be. It's always interesting to hear what others who have no emotional attachment to me think about my behavior and thoughts. Anyway, this blog is about you, not me, and I'm excited for your life-coaching (and life-changing) journey!

    I wish you the best in your Year of Change! Glad to be along for the ride. ;-)
    1686 days ago
  • BE-THE-CHANGE
    Laurie, glad to hear you got your law practice going! Baby steps is definitely the way to go. I'm glad you have your sister to help you with the decluttering. Some people definitely have a knack for that kind of thing, but I am not one of them. I struggle all the time.
    1686 days ago
  • DDOORN
    Hey those winds have been whipping 'round my neck 'o the woods too...! :-)

    I have a resident in my home not unlike the "kid" in yours. Two dumpsters later we STILL have much work left...whew! But I'm done "tolerating" such horrible conditions!

    Terrific to hear from you and to see the committment you're showing to your health and well-being!

    Don
    1686 days ago
  • BERGBA7
    Lucid analysis of your situation and great goals to work on! Just keep going and you will be just fine. I find it difficult to de-clutter my home too, but it always helps me sort out things and get rid of emotional hindrance!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1686 days ago
  • PKCTTS
    Laurie, I'm excited for you! I think the life coaching is such a great idea. You are a fun, intelligent, interesting person and deserve to live without all that anxiety. I look forward to the blogs (and think you are much braver than I am to consider doing semi-public blogs through the process), maybe I'll learn something myself through your insights.
    1686 days ago
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