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Step Two, Done

…and I’m procrastinating on the most important part.

I’ve got all my ideas organized into sections…I just need to start writing.  And I’m procrastinating…

But progress is still being made on my big, bad, scary plan

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Step One, Done!

I have spent the past week (or more) working on my big, fat idea – and the first step involved re-reading every post I’ve ever written…that’s 235 posts for anyone counting…in 14 months I’ve done a lot of writing…

Here’s what I learned by doing this – I can be determined, anxious, sad, funny, sarcastic, emotional, hopeful and above all whiny…I know I needed to work through everything in my head in order to get to this point, but good Lord, really?!  Oh well, it’s a part of who I am and I embrace the good, bad, and ugly…

Now, I have 2 pages of topics/ideas of what to write about.  The next step (officially known as Step Two) is to start organizing the ideas into an outline of sorts…once I get that done, the writing begins…/gulp.

The writing is the fun but scary part…well, here goes nothing!

Don’t Make Me Do Trimwork

I finally figured out something about myself that I’ve known instinctively, but have never been able to verbalize, and it’s in the form of an analogy…or is it metaphor? Crap, and I’m supposed to know this stuff…

Anyway, back in the day, when it was time to do a home improvement project, I always chose something big – paint the whole room, change all the flooring, whatever. When it came time to do the work, I was the one who wanted to take the roller and paint all the walls…I have no problem spending a few hours with primer and two coats of paint, busting my ass to get it done, sweating all over the place. Because when I’m done, I can step back and see progress, a big difference, a definite change…

But God, please don’t make me do the trimwork…please don’t make me deal with all the tiny details…I will procrastinate for days before I’ll work on it…and only if I feel obligated to do so…(Side note: for whatever reason, none of this applies to how I am at work…I pride myself on being a details person in the office, meticulous even – strange but true…).

So what has this revelation got to do with anything?

I had kind of a lightbulb moment today…baby steps are required for the changes I want to make…baby steps are the small little details…there is no giant paintbrush to take to my life, to make a sweeping change, so that it’s clear something is happening…

I am such a naturally impatient person that dealing with the small steps, the small details, required to make changes never seems like enough…which means I never even get started…which means I miss opportunities…there are so many things I want to do, have, be…and I’ve got to start doing what it takes to get there…

I know, intellectually, that if I do something small everyday that moves me in the direction I want to go, I will get there…I know that when I get there, I’ll look back and think that it didn’t really take that long…I know this…but God, I hate trimwork.

Gotta Get My Swagger Back

I am so pissed at myself…

I finally had to face a hard reality this morning…those 15 pounds I keep saying I’ve gained are real, y’all!

I have a pair of pants I’ve avoided for at least a month, maybe longer, because I know how they fit without the 15 pounds…I knew it wouldn’t be good…holy crap, it was horrible…I looked like a stuffed sausage!!

Losing weight is hard, gaining weight is easy…the will to do the hard work it takes to lose weight requires a catalyst…when I was at my heaviest, 5 years ago, at 260 pounds, it took a picture…it was probably the first picture I had allowed to be taken of me in a couple of years…and it was terrifying…I didn’t recognize myself…some fat people have multiple chins – I had one giant chin…it was disgusting…and I think it was the disgust I felt at looking at myself that motivated me…88 pounds later, I was happy and only needed to lose another 20 pounds…

Fast forward a few years…I maintained the weight, got pregnant, gained a few, lost them, and went through a turbulent, emotional year…I’m an emotional eater…I know that about myself and it’s something I have to fight…I also love food…the divorce, the adjustment to being a single mom, the craziness at work, the new life, the money problems – all of this and more drives me to fast food and too much food, even when it’s NOT fast food…15 pounds later (on top of the 20 I still wanted to lose), here we are…

I started my day very determined to do what I know what I need to do…I broadcast my intentions to anyone who would listen..right now, it’s easy because my motivation is high…but I gotta a little extra push today…

Big Brother said something to me that hit home, but still surprised me…”Michaela, you’ve got to get your swagger back…get back to who you were before when you were working out and cared more.” I was surprised because I figured it hadn’t been that noticeable…

But the reality is that it’s very clear to anyone who knows me…I started hiding in my clothes…I stopped wearing my sassy earrings that make me happy…I barely wear makeup most days…I keep my head down a lot…I notice that my shoulders are slumped more often than not…

And I’ve got to get over this crap! So today is day one…today was a good day…I even ran on the treadmill a little…that felt damn good…

It’s not just about the 15 pounds…it’s not just about looking like a sausage in my pants…it’s about getting my swagger back…

What Will 2012 Bring?

It’s rare that I procrastinate on writing my own blog…pretty silly, right, since I control when and what I write? I knew I was going to write about my goals for 2012…except…I’m not sure what they are…

To be sure, I want to be healthier and lose weight…and earning more money is always a good thing…I want to love and be loved, even if it’s not the kind that lasts forever…

But I’ve come to a realization over the past several months…real, long-lasting, unstressful change happens in increments, inch by inch, slowly…at a snail’s pace…so saying that I want a specific event to occur within 365 days seems false…

The change that happens quickly and causes the biggest shake-ups in life are, in my experience, largely unplanned and very stressful…so why would I make a goal of making a bajillion more dollars or losing 50 pounds (I only need to lose 30), when I can’t predict the type of change that would have to occur to reach those goals?

So my plan for 2012 is this…I will make sure I don’t let opportunities that allow me to achieve the big bad goals slip by…I will be on the alert for those moments in life, no matter how small, that can help propel me towards what I ultimately want…I will be diligent in doing the small things that will move me inch by inch towards the life I want…

Oh, and for those people need something more concrete, this is for you:

I will walk a half marathon in 2012.
I will blog in other arenas and with more purpose.

Happy New Year!

Stuff…Lots of Stuff

Every time I thought I knew what I wanted to write about, something else happened…so this one is reminiscent of the Potpourri category on Jeopardy…

I won a blogging award!  It’s the Liebster award for bloggers with less than 200 followers…apparently it started in Germany and Liebster is German for “beloved person.” The most Twisted Domestic Goddess named me a winner, and I love her for it! She practically lives in a frat house and cooks for like a million people (and enjoys it!)…but she’s been where I’m at right now – recently divorced, single mom, clueless about the next step – so when she speaks (ok blogs), I listen…I adore you, Wendy!

So, now to award my own fellow bloggers with the Liebster…hmmm, this is sort of hard because most of the blogs I follow are not small…

1. Running with Scissors – because whether single or married, raising small children and keeping your sanity are hard to do at the same time.

2. MyJourneyMyRules – because I think she and I could have been separated at birth…and I’m using her horror stories as the reason I will never do the online dating thing.

3. Bandia17 – because if she ever manages to find that 25th hour of the day so she can spend more time blogging, she will have SO much to say…and because I get what she’s going through…

I’m supposed to pick a 4th and 5th blog, but the other’s I would mention seem to have a TON of followers and so technically don’t qualify…but Morning Wood, you are definitely one I was thinking of….

Ok, so the rules for accepting and passing on the award:

1.  Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2.  Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.  Post the award on your blog.
4.  Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the internet – other writers.
5.  And best of all – have fun and spread the Karma!
6.  Right click on the award image to save it to your computer and then upload to your blog!

*****

Boys are dumb…either that or my karma sucks…the boy I wish had time for me (BBFF) barely does…and the boy I wish would just go the hell away (The Ex) thinks it’s ok to drunk text and drunk dial me…really?!  And then you want to be shocked when a. I don’t respond to any of your texts or calls and b. I seem to have an “attitude” when I’m around you…

I’m not sure if my expectations are too high (in regards to BBFF), if I’m just too intense, or if I really am viewing this correctly…

*****

I just want to raise good little boys (most of the time) into good men…I want them to respect women…respect what women do for them…realize that no woman should have to do it all…understand the importance of communicating (I am constantly reminding Aidan to “use his words” – especially when he starts crying for no reason or screams in frustration when he doesn’t get what he wants)…

I want them to be strong…but not be afraid of their own emotions…I want them to understand what give and take is all about…I want them to cherish the people they love…

They’re young, I get it…but I have to surround them with as many positive influences as possible…which is why there are moments when it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if The Ex just left…the only reason I keep making him do as much as I can is because there are some pains I don’t want them to know (especially at 6 and 2)…but he doesn’t exude (at least with me) any of the qualities I want my boys to have…so, every once in a while, I have a moment when I think, “Just go away…please.”

And yes, I realize, I will put in all this effort and they may still end up being different than I’d like…I get it…I’ll love them no matter what…but at the end of this life, I need to know I did the best for my babies…I wish I believed their own father felt the same way…

*****

I’m starting to think about 2012…and the goals I want to accomplish…I don’t do resolutions (those are made to be broken), but I do set new goals…and I think I want to focus on my writing more…my big big dream is to one day write AND get paid to do it…oh, and paid enough that I’m not also working at Mickie D’s…but everything in baby steps…so I’m thinking about expanding some of my blogging horizons…still pondering though…

I have other things I want to focus on too…I’ve got plenty of time to think over the next few days, map out a plan, and set it in motion…I am absolutely looking forward to 2012…

Big, Fat, Hairy…Goals

I’m a goal person…if I don’t have a goal (no matter how small), I feel like I have no purpose…which leads to stress, chaos, and all sorts of negative things…including procrastination and loss of focus…

I complained earlier about feeling soft…I complained yesterday about stressing and emotional eating (today was worse)…I’m sure I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past two weeks – mostly from sweet tea and cheeseburgers…I’ve talked before about taking control and taking care of myself…and it worked, while I stayed focused…

But, that’s not happening anymore…and I feel….blech…

This morning, while I was driving to work, I was thinking about why I’m not able to sustain the focus on myself…and I think my goal is too vague and I’m too vague about how I’m going to get there…I’m a planner…I’m an organized planner…it’s what I do, it’s who I am…

But I don’t plan our meals…I barely write a grocery list…I don’t keep us (as a family) organized…and it’s leading to chaos, utter chaos…and 10 extra lbs…because it’s easier to run through drive thru and order off the $1 menu (especially since sweet tea is a $1 – that’s just EVIL!)…

With any big, fat, hairy goal I give myself, I need a plan…but first, let’s start with the goal.  My birthday is at the end of October (October 30 to be exact).  I thought that it would be fitting to give myself a birthday present this year – the gift of not feeling like mush.  The official start date is October 1 but since I’m pretty excited, I’ll probably get started a little tomorrow…I would like to lose 10 lbs by the end of the month, but overall I want to be less like a side of mashed potatoes (soft and mushy)…

What’s the plan?  That’s where I’m fuzzy – I know I need to eat right and exercise…that’s a big ole duh…but what exactly do I need to do?  Since this goal is a 30 day goal, I’m thinking of doing Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, again…but this time the straight 30 days instead the 6 weeks it usually takes me…but I’m also adverse to pain, so I was thinking 30 Day Shred 3-4 times a week and supplementing with the treadmill 3-4 days a week…opinions?

With the food side, I think I just need to get organized…I’m envisioning charts, calendars, color-coded things…and a trip to Staples to make it happen (I’m sure different colored Sharpies will be involved)…I need to plan out every meal – so that’s it one less thing to think about…and, this is going to sound crazy, but I need to stop with leftovers…I hate leftovers…if I like a meal well enough to want to eat leftovers the next day, I usually end up eating the extra helping the same day I cook it (soooooo not good for me)…and I’ll bring leftovers for lunch the next day with every intention of eating it…and then find 10 reasons why I need to hit the drive thru…bad, I know…I need to accept the fact that I almost never eat leftovers and stop pretending that I do…

I know how to eat, I know what to eat, I know when to eat…I just need to make it one less thing to think about…because frankly, I’ve got too much on my plate (no pun intended) to be worrying about what we’re going to have for dinner…

Time to treat this like the office…where’s my clipboard and to do list?  It’s time to get to work!

Inertia

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make me realize how much of an idiot I can be…I hate change…HATE IT…and yet, I managed to get a divorce…to demand a divorce and then make it happen.  Still, I really REALLY hate change…

I accomplished the divorce, and then thought I was done, I guess…there are so many other things I need to change in order to start living the life I want…but I’ve been resting on my laurels…I’ve been waiting for things to happen to me instead of just going out there, being ballsy (like I used to be) and doing what I need to do…

As I explained to a good friend, Music Man, I’m a peacekeeper…I avoid confrontation, I avoid the appearance of confrontation, I worry about confrontation even though usually there is no confrontation to worry about…so instead of just making a decision, sticking with it, fighting for it, and defending it, I’ve sat back and waited for change to happen to me, mostly in an effort to avoid confrontation…and the word used to describe my problem today was “inertia”…and yes, that was it exactly.

I’m done standing still…

I keep trying to make plans that will satisfy all parties involved…screw that.  I’m going to go with what works for Aidan, Sean, and myself…and that’s it…but I’m not going to follow every piece of advice I’m given, either…just because it works on paper or makes sense to you, doesn’t mean I’m following that path…

This whole thing – the divorce, the blog, my life – has been about figuring out my path and following it…I can’t let my fear of change, confrontation, and (most importantly) failure, stop me…all that does is create inertia…and I am DONE with that.

I don’t know how I’ll reach my goals…I don’t know what will happen tomorrow…but I know I’m moving forward…one foot in front of the other…on my terms.

Patience Isn’t A Virtue I Possess

It’s hard for me to admit sometimes, but I am an extremely impatient person.  I want what I want when I want it.  Big Brother tells me all the time to just be patient and not try to rush things…Of course, I’m not alone in my unvirtuous (?) ways…I think I’ve only met a few truly patient people in my life…

My lack of patience can put me in a pretty crappy mood sometimes…but I’m pretty moody by nature…what I’ve noticed is that I have more patience when “it” – the goal, the thing, the…whatever – is completely out of my hands.

Example – I was chomping at the bit to get all my paperwork filed for the divorce and everytime I was delayed by something, I was thrown into a bad mood for a day or two…but once it was filed, done, and just became a waiting game, I was fine.  Well, sort of…I’m checking my mailbox pretty frequently these days…

Ok, another example that’s not quite so depressing?  I need to get my house fixed up before I can even start planning what I want to do with it…I need to paint, I need to re-do the carpets in the bedrooms, I need to do some trim work…nothing too major, but plenty of work…and I want it done YESTERDAY…I want to move forward with my plans…I don’t want to be delayed by the WORK…I don’t want to be delayed by lack of money and expertise…and last night, I was in a foul mood over it…

Oh well, that’s life, huh?  Today is a new day, and I have a brighter outlook on it all…for everything I want in life there are two options – roll up my sleeves and get to work or just be patient and wait…today is a day to get done what I can get done…and not worry about the things that can only be taken care of by time…

Bogged Down and Plowing Ahead

I just wrote a blog post that I will probably never publish.  It felt good but it goes against my rule in my very first post.

I vented in a way that I can’t vent to Almost Ex.  I probably could but it would just start an argument. I didn’t realize how angry I am about what’s been happening lately.

Frankly, I’m hurt and I’m lonely.  But I have no regrets about my decision to get divorced.  In fact, the past few weeks have solidified my feelings.

This wasn’t what I wanted to talk about tonight.  I was coasting along just fine today – not spectacular, but not stick-your-head-in-the-oven bad, either.

I’m getting bogged down in the minutia…when what I want to do is dream big.  My Big Brother-from-another-mother keeps encouraging me, and he’s right.  I do want better for my boys.  I want better for myself.  My dreams of travelling, having adventures (with and without my boys), and experiencing the world won’t ever come true if I don’t set some pretty high goals (and then go after them and achieve them).

But how do you accomplish the big things when the small things become all-encompassing?  I want to go back to school, I want to freelance, I want to do more…but when I get home, I can’t get past figuring out what’s for dinner.  Some nights it’s all I can do to get the boys bathed and tucked into bed.  As Big Brother recently said, I’m running on adrenaline, sugar, and caffeine.  At what point will I crack?

That’s my fear, I think…I fear cracking and not being able to put the pieces back together.  I don’t know how to just stop and relax.  Or put my worries to the side and focus on the big, bad goals and dreams.  I just put my head down and keep on plowing ahead. What do I do when that’s not enough?

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