When It’s Time To Heal and Grow

April Fools Half 2015

I don’t know how to start this post because I hate goodbyes. I should’ve written this a while ago but some things are much harder to do than others. Every time I tried, I found an excuse to walk away from the laptop and do something else.

When I first told the other ladies here at Scoot that I was leaving, the main reason was that I’m going to start school in January and get a B.S in Environmental Studies. It’s an online program and I’ve been told to expect to spend 20 hours a week per class. I’m really not a fan of school or homework, so I immediately felt overwhelmed by this. That said, if I want to be paid for the level of work I’m currently doing, I need this degree. Adulting is dumb. Actually, no, money is dumb. Yet, I am fortunate. I am extremely privileged and lucky that my company will pay for this degree. Therefore, it also seems dumb not to take advantage of that opportunity.

I needed to clear my plate a bit because my anxiety was already vibrating super high. I’ve always thought of myself as a bit high-strung, so this feeling was nothing new to me. Still, it’s not fun, and it’s one of the reasons I was seeking mental health help. After a summer of searching, I connected with a therapist. She’s helping me understand my C-PTSD, Developmental Trauma, and ADD so that I can learn not to feel like a clock wound too tight.  I need space to work on this stuff, though, a plan my therapist strongly agreed with.

Not really. This is just one of my favorite gifs.

One way I can make space is by stepping away from Scoot, as much as it hurts. People tell me that I’m the busiest person they know, so maybe that’s a hint it’s time to focus on a few super important things, instead of half-assing many things. I’ve narrowed those things down to the ones that are necessary and feed my soul purpose.

  • Finish the first draft of my novel
    • I’ve been working on this for years and my self-esteem can’t handle not getting it done before I start the degree. Plus, creative writing feeds my soul.
  • Begin My Childhood Trauma Recovery Journey
  • Get my First Bachelors Degree

That’s it. That’s all I have mental and emotional space for outside of the necessities of daily living. I’m learning to be okay with that. It’s not like it’s not a lot of stuff. I don’t need to do ALL the things.

I loved my time here. I made many friends and accomplished feats I never dreamed of attempting. Maybe my absence won’t be forever. Promises were made that if I do anything exciting or beautiful in that Colorado-esque sort of way, to guest post about it. If you want to follow my writing or mental health journeys, you can find me on my website, Author J.L. Perez. I’m not far away. Thank you all for your love and kindness over the years, your support pushed and inspired me to be the best version of myself.

 

January Wellness Challenge Wrap-Up

Okay. I know everyone on the internet has been convinced that January was the longest month in the history of ever…. and while I can kind of agree, it’s also hard to believe that February is already here. Like, what?

Anyways. During the 74-day eternity that was apparently January, Clay and I participated in a wellness challenge put on by our gym. This week, we wrapped up the challenge (Clay had a few more pull-ups to complete to get his full 500 for the month), and I think it’s safe to say that we are definitely better for having participated.

Our week four goals were centered around mental health and mindfulness. I generally try to be pretty good at taking time for myself and making sure my head is right, but this time of year always, always, stresses me out. At work, we’re preparing for our annual conference and there are so many balls in the air that it inevitably feels like one (or more) will drop and things will explode or catch on fire or collapse.

Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get my drift.

I’m also heading into the time of year when Clay is gone for a month-and-a-half for work, which isn’t so much stressful as it is a bummer.

All of this is a long way of saying spending a week focused on destressing and self-care was a good thing.

Week Four – Mental Health and Mindfulness

  • Complete a de-stress activity at least twice this week. I make time to read every day and it’s my chance to slow down, turn my work-brain off, and just relax for a bit. Some days, I relax so much that I fall asleep in the middle of a chapter. Other days, I stay up too late and finish a book. Either way, I enjoy taking the time to quiet my thoughts.
  • Write down one thing or person you are grateful for each day of the week. This was easy – I have a lot to be grateful for.
  • Eliminate the words “I can’t” or “never” from your vocabulary for one week at the gym (1 burpee penalty for each time you say either). Fortunately, I have a pretty positive attitude in the gym. I try my best to approach each workout with the mindset that I can do what’s put in front of us. It might hurt, it will definitely be hard, but I can do it. Being aware of not using the words “I can’t” or “never” just made me more determined to push and challenge myself instead of worrying about what other people were doing.
  • Be in the moment. Turn off the phone during dinner for the entire week and engage the people you are with. Clay and I are notorious for spending dinner and the remainder of our evenings with our noses in our phones. Reading Reddit, catching up on social media, reading articles, general mindless blather, etc. Putting our phones down while we ate dinner last week was a nice change. It didn’t help me eat any slower, but it did allow us to have more conversation time, which is never a bad thing.

This month has been a good one, in spite of the stress of work and other nonsense – doing this challenge has helped bring that into focus. I think many of the activities we participated in are actually going to be positive habit-forming experiences. 33 days without alcohol (so far) and 8:00 pm bedtimes have been really, really great. I’m hoping that we continue to see improvement over the next two months, too, as we enter into a less regulated schedule and a busier period of work for both of us.

Happy February!