Making Real Progress

In the past few days I’ve made a great deal of progress. Personally and professionally. So much so, I’ve been inclined to put 3 days of smiley face stickers on my wall calendar. For those who may not remember, I have smiley and frowny faced stickers to mark the extremes of my moods. I’ve struggled with severe depression much of my adult life and so I’m trying to assess if there is any pattern to my moods and if I can somehow be prepared to really take advantage of when my really good moods come around. Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were phenomenal and this week hasn’t been all the shabby either. Actually, Wednesday and Thursday were also smiley days.

What’s changed? Well, I can honestly attribute a big part of it to finding some real order in my life. This actually is a result of Asana, no not the yoga pose, although it does sometimes feel that way. I’m talking about the collaborative information manager. Asana is a task management tool that was created by a Facebook co-creator and former Facebook engineer. I could gush even more about how wonderful this tool is for individuals and groups and how, like it’s slogan, “teamwork without email.” It’s so much more than that but I’m super stoked about it and it has been so wonderful in getting my life more organized. For personal or professional use it’s basically an interactive actionable to-do list with so much more capabilities. A client of mine started using it and as a result I was made to use it. It became another in a growing list of software that I’ve learned to use and I really like it. Oh, and it’s free. That’s always nice too.

The past two days have been extremely productive. I have a new client and I’m now working on projects involving real estate. I’m learning a lot and I’ve certainly enjoyed that process. Plus, I’ve really enjoyed putting in about 27 hours in two days. For an independent contractor (self-employed) you have to really take advantage of the times of feast because famine is just around the corner. I’ve enjoyed how much it’s given me a sense of purpose and considering that I’m doing some things that I really enjoy, I’ve not taken it for granted. I suppose it’s been a long time since I’ve paid any attention to how we all need something to give us a feeling of self-worth.

I’ve been doing exercise daily now which is a sharp contrast to the recent and not so recent past. The last time I consistently did any exercise was PT while attending Georgia Military College. Even then I was essentially on permanent profile so there wasn’t a lot that I could do (tendonitis in my shoulder and asthma). With the gentle prodding by one of my client’s who’s a CrossFit nut I’ve established daily goals. They’re small right now but they’re completely doable for me. I have a mini stepper stationed right beside my desk and it has been such a great little machine. What I also like is even if I was traveling I could take it with me if I needed to. It’s really made a difference, so much so that I wrote about it in my last newspaper article. I also used it as a metaphor in the piece. So, I’ve tasked myself with doing a minimum of 100 steps in two minutes at least 5 times per day. There’ve been a few days where I’ve done more and I don’t make myself do it on the weekend, however, I have been doing it one day out of the weekend. I’m also still doing the Body by Vi challenge. So, most days one or two of my meals are replaced by their shakes. I’m still anxiously awaiting my shipment of Soylent and so doing this in the meantime has been good practice.

I’m also reading more. Yes, I’d always been mocked for being a librarian that doesn’t read but I’m now a lot more consistent in doing that. I think that during my later 20s while I was in grad school I kinda fell out of love with reading and found my way back when I stumbled upon my current favorite writer, Grace Burrowes. I find that I only have time to read her books and because I’m not a really fast reader (I complete one chapter each night), I’m still behind and have at least 7 more books until I’ve caught up. Plus I have over 30 more from other authors sitting in my iBooks library.

Life as a whole is making more sense now that I’m listening to my inner self more. A few days ago I even wrote a poem about my grandmother that recently passed away. I’m actually sharing it for the first time tonight, Grandma. Sure, things are still really tough financially and I still have plenty of times where my moods aren’t where I’d like them to be but I’m feeling a lot better about myself. That’s saying a lot considering that the winter months are my most difficult. My depression is at its worst in the cold weather months. It has little to do with the lack of sun because I tend to shy away from the sun anyway, but there’s something about this time of year that makes me really sad.

In other news, my inbox is now at an insane 883 emails. It’s a good thing I keep my others pretty clean. I also finally got an invite last week to Google’s Inbox. Because of all the initial clutter I’m not as stoked about it as I’m sure I will be when the time comes. I would say that I’d clear it this weekend but with my hubby off the next two days, it’s doubtful I’ll spend too much time on the computer. However, I have added to my tasks in Asana to make it a point to post every two weeks. Working from home and not having much of a social life means that there’s not much for me to discuss on a weekly basis. So, until the next time…or sooner.

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