Monthly Archives: July 2011

Finding Balance

Even though I try very hard to stay organized, focused and motivated in my personal life, I sometimes get a little distracted and off-course.

This is one of those times.

I have been mentally scolding myself for not exercising on a regular and consistent basis and for letting myself become disorganized when it comes to my bills and filing, and even for our bedroom being messy!

I can easily pinpoint the causes of these problems.  The obvious one is our physical move from our spacious apartment to a tiny bedroom.  Space is not an issue for me, if it’s organized. To give you an example of why I am stressed: the majority of my clothes are currently spilling out of a large pink storage bucket on the floor of our room. Our closets are stuffed with hanging clothes and littered with random boxes and bags that contain things I have probably forgotten I own.  Every time I need something, whether it be a certain pair of shoes, a piece of mail I recieved the day before, or a shirt that I haven’t already worn this week, I undoubtedly cannot locate it.

A small part of me is saying, “Breathe, woman. It’s not that bad and it’s only temporary.” The rest of me is ready for a meltdown of epic porportions, which may or may not include eating an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies.

*Courtesy of NYTimes.com. Perfection in a picture.

Ok, so that was a little venting. (Obviously, eating those cookies will put me even more off track from my workout plan.)  I know that I’m feeling like I don’t have much control right now, because I don’t. But when do I ever?

I know that it will take small steps in order to feel more balanced in my current situation.  Just by taking a small amount of time each day to work on things I am unhappy with, I know I will feel better. These are a few things I know I need to work on:

1. Creating a space to neatly store my clothes, shoes and other items so I don’t spend an unnecessary amount of time looking for things;

2. Getting up earlier to accomplish more on the weekdays (e.g. blog posting, working remotely, EXERCISING);

3. Finding a filing system that is easy and efficient so I never lose important mail or documents.

What areas of your life can you work on in order to feel more balanced?

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Failure

We are bombarded on a daily basis with choices we need to make, and there is always a tiny fear of choosing wrong.

Wondering whether you made the right decision or not can be damaging and is a habit of living in the past.  Each decision, big or small, has led you to the place you are in at this moment.  Step back.  Look around.  Do you like where you are?

If not, then maybe things need to change.  You don’t necessarily need to do anything drastic, but you can start by making small changes to help you move in the direction you’d like to go.  And you can start by trusting that even a “wrong” decision, can lead to good things.

I’ve tried to change my mindset and view the words “wrong” and “failure” as positives.  If I have failed at something, doesn’t that mean I’ve at least tried? What matters is that I’ve followed my instinct and trusted myself enough to go for something, without knowing how it would turn out.

Have you failed at something and found happiness, success or joy from it?

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all.  In which case, you’ve failed by default. – J. K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address, 2008

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Moving On

Moving from one place to another is inevitably more difficult and stressful than expected, no matter the distance.

This week, Austin and I moved from our apartment in Warren to the next town over to live with his dad and brother for the summer.  Our lease was up and we figured crashing somewhere temporarily – and saving money on rent – would be the best decision.

The last few days have been hectic, stressful and disorienting, as we’ve haphazardly packed our belongings, dropped a good deal of stuff we no longer needed at Salvation Army and attempted to cram our four-room apartment into a tiny bedroom for the time being.  Needless to say, the process was exhausting and it’s going to take some time before I feel grounded again.

Despite feeling out of sorts, I also feel a renewed energy to start making changes in my life, namely, to live more simply and become healthier.  In an attempt to make these changes happen and to hopefully inspire others to make small changes in their own lives, I’ve outlined a few of my goals:

1. Get rid of stuff: This includes clothes I rarely wear, books I’ve never read (and probably won’t for a while), kitchen items I never use (and likely don’t even know how to use) and miscellaneous items that I just shouldn’t be holding on to.  I’ve already donated bags of clothes, shoes and handbags and boxes of kitchen utensils and cookware to Salvation Army.  I’ve downsized a lot, which feels refreshing, but I know I can get rid of even more stuff and truly be living minimally.

2.  Think twice about purchases. All too often, we go to the market to and buy food items that we NEVER end up using, or that we use a little of for a specific recipe and put it in the depths of the fridge never to be seen again.  When we had to clean out our apartment this week, we must have emptied over 10 bottles and jars of condiments like salad dressings and sauces that sadly wasted away.  To rectify this, I’m going to be more diligent about making grocery lists and buying only what we need and know we are going to use.  We already utilize our local farmers’ markets for fresh produce and other homemade foods that we know we won’t waste.

3. Stick to an exercise routine. I’ve always been a runner and love to stay active, but within the past year I’ve definitely let myself get extremely lazy.  Transitioning into a new place has inspired me to get active and start eating healthier.   I just acquired a new bicycle to start riding after work and am going to start waking up at least an hour earlier each day to go for a morning walk or run to start the day.

None of these goals will happen overnight, but by making small, gradual changes over the course of the next few months, I will be living lighter.

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