Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Today was a good day"

That's was the first thing I heard when I went to pick my daughter up at preschool.

Her ed tech said her first day back was smooth sailing and she jumped right back into the schedule. I couldn't have asked for more than that!

When she got home, my daughter told me about her day (in her very special way of course). She signed to me that she colored, played kitchen and washed her hands. Being someone with germaphobia, that last bit of news was my favorite of course! ;)

Today was also a good day for me! I finally took the time to work on decluttering my homeschool room. It really wasn't that bad. Ok, I'm lying, the closet was bad. Really bad.....as in, things fell out at me and I'm pretty sure there was a little baby Ewok (is that how you spell that?) that came running out at me and told me to leave his nest alone.

But after a few hours, I prevailed and here are the pictures to prove it:

Declutter Challenge Number Three:

Let's move to the bathroom today!

Your challenge today is to clean up your bathroom vanity, cupboards or drawers.

Let's face it, those spaces are a catch all for lots of stuff! You know you've got makeup in there from 1998...don't try to deny it!

Not to mention the expired medications and Qtips that have run amock!

To tackle this challenge, set your timer for 15 minutes and get to it. Its that simple! When the timer goes off, see how far you've come and how many bags of things to throw away you've got.

As always, let me hear from you! Who had the oldest meds in their vanity? Who's up for admitting to it?

You can do it!!!

*If you are disposing of medications, please make sure you do so correctly. You can read more on how to do it here: www.wikihow.com/Dispose-of-Unused-Medication

A little clarification....

I'd like to add one thing to my post on anxiety...

I don't want anyone to feel as though I believe using medicine to deal with anxiety is wrong. Its not. In fact, I have seen and heard of many cases where it was the best thing that the person could do for themselves.

As of YET, I have not used medication to treat my symptoms. Does that mean I never will? No. But for now, both my doctor and myself have decided to try and see if this is something I can work through on my own. I am however, completely open to finding an alternative if I need to in the future.

If I hurt or offended with my comments yesterday, I apologize. Please know that was never my intentions.

Thank you for reading my thoughts!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Do you ever get that feeling?

For years I didn't know what to call it.

It has manifested itself in so many different ways. Stomach aches, dizziness, a sense of dread or panic...sometimes for no reason.

Anyone guessed what I'm talking about yet?

Yup, anxiety.

If you had asked me four years ago if I had a problem with anxiety, I would have told you no....I was just a worry wart.

I thought it was normal to fixate on all the bad things that could happen when my mom let me go look at the toys on my own in a store, or I was home alone for an hour after school before my mom got home, or someone I loved was going on a trip and I was sure to never see them again, or my daughter may not make it through her heart surgery, or this current bought of pnuemonia...or.....or.....or.....

You get my point.

For me, it became much more pronounced after my daughter was born. Along with a brand new baby on my hands; I had a one month old that came out of the NICU and home to us with one simple instruction: "Do not let her cry".

This is a true statement. I had a child, whose entire job was to cry to let me know when she needed something (food, a diaper change, a blanket, a nap) but she couldn't, because that could have killed her.

Now I can go into all the details of why, but I won't. Trust me, you would fall asleep with all the medical speak. Suffice it to say it would stop all blood flow in her body and she could/would die.

My job became being proactive enough to supply her every need BEFORE she knew she needed it. And I did.

It was work. Lots of work. I was exhausted. Very exhausted. When I look back now, I have no idea how I did it. I had two other children, a 5 year old and a three year old; and a husband who worked at least 60 hours a week. But by the grace of God I did it....for two very long months.

If that doesn't give someone anxiety, I don't know what would.

I thought for sure that after her surgery; when the doctor came out of the OR nine hours later and gave me the glorious news that my daughter was now allowed to cry (the nurses all thought I was crazy after that because I would ask them to let her cry before picking her up just so I could hear her!), that the fear, the anxiousness would be gone.

But it wasn't.

It was four days after we had come home from the hospital, just over a month after the surgery, that I had my first real attack. I remember it so clearly. I was walking out of the bathroom. Nothing was wrong, nothing was causing me to fear, but my heart began to race and I couldn't catch my breath. I thought for sure I was going to drop right there on the floor and that began to scare me... Which of course, led to my heart pounding even harder and my breath becoming even shorter.

I sat down and prayed for it to go away. And it did...for the time being.

But it was always there, right behind a thin veil. That thing that made me want to jump out of my skin at the most inopportune times.

Sometimes I feel it coming, sometimes I can pinpoint exactly why I feel the way I do, and sometimes it has no rhyme or reason...and that's what I hate the most.

You are probably asking why I haven't done anything, medically, about this. Well, I have tried actually. I spoke with my doctor a few times about it, sure that I needed some sort of tranquilizer or something to "make me right". He was very kind and explained to me that given my circumstances, he was not surprised to hear my symptoms. After lots of discussion we both decided that I would try to treat it on my own, using a few different methods before we would treat with a medication.

Mostly, I just try to physically calm myself down by slowing my breathing. I do something soothing or something quiet that I enjoy. I also find that when I exercise this happens much less, and also when I increase my water intake it happens less.

Sometimes I recline and read a favorite book or listen to some soothing songs on my MP3 player. Sometimes talking it out helps too; often I find myself praying during an episode.

If you struggle with anxiety, and can relate to anything I've said here, I encourage you to give some of these things a try sometime.

So today I've been anxious...

My daughter is going back to school tomorrow for the first time in two months and I'm worried. I'm worried about her health mostly. And yes, I realize that to most people that is silly, but the majority of my fears and anxiety stems from germs at the present time, so these fears are "real" to me.

I knew this would happen, so today I've been proactive. Here's what I did for myself today:

...I drank LOTS of water today. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'm over my 64 oz. daily goal so that was good!

...I took some quiet time to read a book that I'm really enjoying right now.

...I spoke with my daughter's teacher this afternoon about ways that we can all help her to stay healthy in the class room. (Sometimes being "proactive" for me is a help, thankfully, her teacher understands that).

....I worked out, using my Wii Fit for an hour tonight. It felt great and I finished it off with a nice hot shower after.

Anxiety is something I will probably live with for the rest of my life. I'm beginning to see it as a part of who I am. My hope, is that this year I will learn better how to manage it just as I manage a schedule or anything else that comes along.

If anyone reading this also deals with anxiety, I would love to hear your comments. How do you cope when it pops up in your life. Do you have triggers? Do you try to avoid them or do you just take it as it comes?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts!


Declutter Challenge Number Two:

Just wanted to give you a challenge for today and I will be back later with my thoughts for the day.

Clean out your silverware drawer!

It sounds simple, right? The good news is....IT IS! It only takes a few minutes and you would be shocked at all the things in there you DON'T need! So get rid of all those old plastic sporks from KFC or the 10,000 medicine cups that I'm pretty sure are able to breed. All that should be left are the things you use to eat on a daily basis and some serving utensils!

Let me know how it goes, how long it takes, and how you feel about it afterwards!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting yourself back requires figuring out where you went in the first place...

I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately.

Mostly, I've been trying to figure out exactly why I became so unhappy over this past year and why I began to feel like I'd lost so much of myself.

Sure, a lot of the reasons had to do with things that seem to be plauging everyone right now; financial difficulties, overloaded schedules, illnesses, etc. But there was something more.


I just got lazy. And in doing so, I forgot to find the small enjoyments in my life.

Being the type A person I am, I feel like in order to find myself again I need to get rid of the clutter around me as well as the unhealthy things I've been putting in me.

Thanks to a friend of mine on a forum that I frequent, I've begun tackling small decluttering projects around my home! So far its been wonderful! Even if the project takes only ten minutes a day, I'm always amazed at my results and I feel like I accomplished something! I find that it leaves me feeling lighter and more free (or is it freer? No that doesn't look right either LOL).

I thought that maybe I could challenge those of you reading my blog to give this a try, so each day I will begin sharing a challenge with you! I'd love to hear from you on how the decluttering has gone and how it makes you feel!

Also, while you declutter, think about yourself as you work. Where have you gone wrong? What are some of the aspects of your life that need a "decluttering"? What are some of the changes and goals you would like to achieve during 2010 (which I now called "twenty-ten" btw!)?

So, without further ado...I give you Declutter Challenge Number 1:

What's on top of your fridge!? Is it cluttered with stuff? A catch all for things that you just can't find a place for? Is there enough dust up there to form a small Yeti? Whatever it is GET RID OF IT! If you have a cupboard above your fridge, go for that too!

Let me hear from you when you're finished! How long did it take you? How do you feel now that its done? Are you ready to tackle more?

PS: Update on getting back to health. Frankly this weekend was tough. I didn't eat very healthy for the New Year, but I'm sticking with the increased water intake. I'm up to about 64oz. a day! It feels great and I'm noticing how much more energy I have throughout the day. My hope is to increase that number by another 32 oz by the end of the week!

Thanks for reading!