Monday, March 2, 2009

A New Month

Here is it the second day of a new month! Each new month excites me. I wonder what projects I will tackle, what goals I will reach, what fun I will have each new day! Before exploring something new, I want to review some things that I have done in the past and see where they stand now.

In October, I worked diligently at acquiring the habit of positivity, and it has payed off! This doesn't mean that I am always happy. I am still a moody person with nearly inexplicable bouts of melancholy. What has changed is that even during those melancholy periods, I have an overall positive outlook. I accept that everything will be OK. I trust and let go just a little bit more than I did before, but it is enough to make a difference in my life. Without the habit of positivity, I would have had a much more difficult time getting through this long cold winter that brought with it lots of stress and limited transportation (think escape) options.

In November, I focused on regular exercise. This is still not a habit, at least at the level I intended it to be (one hour everyday preferably walking outside). It hasn't been a complete failure though. I have exercised more than I would have otherwise during the cold months of the year. I also continually strive for more. It is no longer something that I relegate to the unimportant or waste of time areas of my mental to do list.

In December, the focus was single-tasking which I do fairly well with. It might not be quite as much of a habit as positivity is. When I get overwhelmed with life, I really need to be firm with myself reminding me that multi-tasking is just not a good solution. I see this continually moving to the automatic though and with very little effort on my part being a concrete habit in a couple of months.

In January, I focused on goals. I made a goal to put aside money for an emergency fund. In some ways, this feels odd when we do not have a lot of financial resources to begin with but feeling unsafe is such a huge negative force in my life that I think this needs to be a priority. I have some money put away now, but not as much as I intended. My focus in this area now is to talk to Diana about it and see if we can't catch up and go from there. As an aside, it is interesting that those times that I have taken money out of the safety fund, I have always have sales from my etsy shop (or some other unpredictable income) to re-establish it even if I hadn't had sales for months! It is wonderful how these things work.

In February, I returned to an old goal of habitually removing unessential things from my life. This has been a somewhat different process than it has been in the past. As I get older, fewer and fewer things seem essential. I also notice that things that I do for sheer joy become more important. I have actually added a few things back in this month which has been good for me. It is so important to remember who I am and what I really need to be happy!

So here it is March! What shall be my focus this month? This month I have decided to focus on developing the habit of kindness. In general, I think those people that I know would say that I am kind. In general, I think that those people who don't know me well but interact with me at any given time would say that I am kind. Unfortunately, the real truth is more that I am joyful and placid, and that results in me appearing kind. I do not think that that is what real kindness is though. Real kindness is a choice to help eleviate the suffering of others. This month I am going to really concentrate on making that choice.

Food & Exercise

12:30 breakfast - small chicken salad sandwich, large coffee with cream and sugar

4:15 lunch - 1 oz. Velveeta type cheese, 1.5 small shake 'n bake porkchops, 2 large handfuls potato chips with french onion dip, 12 oz. V-8 fusion light pomegranate-blueberry beverage

7:15 snack - 20 jellybeans, 16 oz. water

9:30 dinner - 1 large bowl gumbo & rice, 3 hushpuppies, 1 large tossed salad with French dressing

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