Despite the long silence, I have been working on Katie’s blog challenge. Let me recap: Katie challenged me to “Decide on an attitude (or four) that you want and believe you can change.” I’ve interpreted this challenge in the realm of my big five, and did really well on week one, “This will help.” When I changed my focus to changing attitudes related to feeling awesome … I hit walls.
I have not been feeling awesome. Which is not to say that I’ve been unhappy, particularly, but I have been feeling rushed, overworked, underpaid, and generally blah. Which I tend to think is a bit worse, you know? If I’m unhappy, at least I generally know why. This messy limbo was infuriating, in part, because there was objectively nothing wrong. If I could just get it together, I should be able to change my attitude.
The first week I focused on this, I really made no progress. I was so lost that I couldn’t even identify attitudes that I needed to work on. I started by trying to change “I don’t have time for this” to “I need to make time for this.” Baths, creative projects, hanging out with the lovely Katie herself. But the big creative project turned into a stressful lack of progress, and I was feeling guilty for the time spent on other small indulgences. Hanging out was lovely, but I was still spending too much mental energy on what I was ignoring and putting off.
Then my brother- and sister-in-law came to visit for two weeks, along with their two kiddos. I had fun with them, and some thought-provoking long talks with my sister-in-law in particular, and things were looking up for feeling awesome. This was the week that I really refined my approach: rather than focusing on “making time,” I began focusing on taking action. Any action. For me, I decided that “Awesome is as awesome does.” I enabled HOURS of fun for my nephew by putting a simple bag of pom-poms (“fuzzies!”) in an empty tissue box. I soothed the baby by singing songs that made me happy. I challenged myself to keep working on the creative project a bit at a time, during this teleconference or while that file loads. And the small actions began to pull me out of my general funk.
The two weeks after that were consumed by a much more literal definition of feeling awesome — both the hubs and I got really sick with nasty colds. The first week passed in a haze of cold medicine and cough drops. (I even took some time off of work, the first time I’ve taken non-migraine sick leave in the FOUR AND A HALF YEARS since I started telecommuting.) The week after, I picked my sister-in-law’s brain (she’s a nurse) for a list of medicines she recommends having on hand. I’ll be slowly purchasing those things so that I will be ready for the next time plague strikes my house.
On the final week, I attempted to turn my attitude around on a major black hole for feeling awesome — my work. I spent two days in the office, attempting to bring some co-workers up to speed on a project that I’m wrapping up after over two year’s worth of work. I left the office feeling pretty good: I’d met with my boss for a good long while, both co-workers seemed to have had breakthroughs while we reviewed the new processes, and I’d finally gotten a new phone that doesn’t update in the middle of phone calls. Since that time, I’d dropped back to earth a little bit, but still not back to the previous lows. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up the project and minimize my involvement in it in the future by the end of this week, which will be a big game-changer.
I’m definitely still challenging myself to continue to take small actions. I’ve initiated making plans with two friends, I’ve identified some challenging work that I can do on the house and my 101 without being in front of the computer — a big reason why I’ve not been blogging as much this 1001 is because I just can’t stand sitting in front of the computer at the end of the work day. I’m even spending my birthday money on some treats, some savings on some fabulous new clothes, and getting ready to ignore the financial challenges we’re facing to plan some new porch furniture and an international trip for the fall. If I can continue to take these small actions, I’ll be feeling awesome in no time.