Sunday, Jan. 8th (28/338): Silliness really

It’s silly really. Writing yesterday’s post helped me discover that fear was the only thing holding me back from updating my address with the DMV. So I did it today! And I prepared and printed a voter registration form. (Apparently, since I changed counties, I can’t do it online. Bummer. It makes sense, but still.)

What’s scary about either of these things, you may ask? Probably nothing really. But these are governmental agencies and there’s a part of me that distresses at the idea of giving them my change of address since it probably isn’t really a “legal” address in the sense that I’m “staying” here, not “living” here. So if it isn’t my “legal” address, but I’m not actually living on the streets, do I check the “I have no home” box on the form?

I gave the DMV both my physical and mailing addresses when I moved into an apartment a couple of years ago. But this summer, they sent my parking ticket reminder to my physical address – which was actually no longer my address. Had it come to my PO Box – i.e., the mailing address – I would have received it right away. Fortunately, I had already paid it. How dumb is that?

Jury duty actually pops up from either the DMV records or the voter registration records. I guess they figure they increase the odds of finding you. The last time I got a jury duty summons was a date when I had a commitment I could not change. Fortunately, I was able to change it, but I have worried that I might soon get another summons at my old address, not know it, then have a warrant sworn out for my arrest for ignoring it!

The truly silly part for me today was after I pulled my car registration and insurance cards out of my glove compartment. I supposedly needed my car registration to complete my DMV form online. I grabbed the four slips of paper I saw from my glove box to make sure I had what I needed. (I rarely clean these out of my car. In fact, I think there’s a collection of old registrations in the box by my feet. It’s waiting for me to go through it and sort/purge/file.)

I looked at the old registration and insurance forms and pondered for a few minutes. Do I need them for anything? My address on one of them was an old physical address. Hmm. Might I need either of them for anything? Finally, I boldly turned on the shredder and stuffed them in it, while part of my mind shrieked and worried, “But what if I need them?!”

This is a perfect example of the absolute insanity of my thoughts at times – which is why I have about a million and a half pieces of paper I do not need cluttering my room and filling up my storage units. (Yes, “units,” plural.)

However, the good things is that I noticed today how much easier it was to change my address and register to vote than ever before and how little anxiety I actually felt when I shredded those old forms.

I hesitate to get too excited about how significant these small steps are. Yet I believe something is changing in me, that these small, even baby-sized steps are actually adding up and making a difference in my life. I know that God is also working on me (probably doing most of the work), since my steps are truly small, indeed. Still, it feels good to have taken these steps with such ease!

One more thing… My aunt and uncle received their gas/electric bill this weekend. It is $390! For one month! That is literally almost half my monthly pay right now. That’s why it surprises me that this actually became a helpful reality check for me. My life has been so topsy-turvy in terms of living spaces for the past 3 1/2 years that I have no idea how much a typical utility bill might be. Theirs may be higher than average because they are older and need to keep their home warmer than some people. Plus they have everything imaginable on automatic timers that must use some kind of juice to run. Still, it helped me realize that just as I need to “grow” my income, I need to get a more realistic picture of the cost of living.

I suspect there was something about that eye-opening moment that helped make the whole DMV/Voter Registration piece easier.

Action step(s):

  • Changed my address with the DMV
  • Re-registered to vote (since I changed counties)
  • Shredded a couple of old forms despite the fear!
  • Went through the stack of literature I brought home from yesterday’s meeting and was able to throw out a whole bunch of those. (Why not tidy up those files as well!)

Tuesday, Jan. 3rd (23/343): Finding the energy I need

I notice that physical energy, as well as emotional energy, often shapes my days. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether I’m experiencing physical-fatigue or the emotional fatigue that comes from feeling overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Last night I went to an ACA meeting that was near by, then didn’t get to sleep until late. As a result, I feel fuzzy-headed this evening because I could have used another hour of sleep this morning. I’ve been eating off and on the past few hours trying to wake up – as if more food would actually do that. (Now, there’s a classic demonstration of insanity, being that overeating almost always makes one sleepy!) I suppose caffeine or a sugar-blast might do something, but I rarely consume either. Sadly, that means I tend to go for carby foods, like tortilla chips, that make me sleepier, rather than wider awake. Dumb, really dumb. I’m probably a good candidate for OA, but I know it would become a distraction from the work I’m already doing.

As it is, I’ve already noticed that even thinking in terms of blog categories like health, paper sorting, step work and so on is already redirecting my focus from my original aim. I know I imagined myself daily, valiantly tackling of stacks of papers and boxes of this and that, to sort, distill and organize for this twelve month journey. Superwoman on the go! But doing that kind of work – with or without having to also look for employment – presumes two very particular things: lots of emotional energy and plenty of physical energy to go with it. Neither of which I seem to have in abundance these days. At least not yet.

So, my question is: How do I work on improving (i.e., increasing) my physical and emotional energy levels so I will not only want to do more but will feel like doing more?

As with most things, I’m taking a small step approach. For example, I often make faces to stretch and scrunch my facial muscles during the day. Doing that reveals how tight those muscles are, especially my jaw muscles from grinding my teeth. (A sure sign of stress.) Last week, I found some extremely sore muscles along the sides of my neck. It took me a few days of “monster face making” to get that soreness worked out. I suspect it’s related to the tightness in my shoulders. Tight muscles tell me I’m tense and being tense is not helpful when networking, interviewing or even writing cover letters. One of the things I hear often at JVS, is that it’s important not to let the fatigue of the job search show during an interview.

Since two primary goals for me are expanding my employment/income level and clearing out the excessive clutter in my life, both of which have intimidated and/or overwhelmed me often, I want to remember that taking care of my physical and emotional health is an important part of this process.

Action step(s):

  • Continuing my short, core exercise routine each morning, including discovering (just this morning) a simple way to get a deeper workout.
  • Paid the two bills from yesterday’s to-do list.
  • Set a time to do some more “house” cleaning (closets, actually) for a friend for some extra cash.

Sunday, January 1st (21/345): Rebuilding the framework

First, a word about the “countdown,” now displayed after the date. The “21” refers to day-number and the “345” refers to days-remaining for this year-long journey. I’m backing up seven days simply to make the tracking process easy for me. My planner has this kind of countdown displayed throughout. Today reads 1/365, for example. I decided that twenty will be much easier to add/subtract and that twenty-seven would just be annoying. Besides, I may ‘need’ those extra seven days! 😉

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog, the purpose behind it, and how to have some sort of framework to help me be more intentional about my efforts. I find myself a bit lost amongst all the things I’d like to do on this journey and I flounder with how to stay on track. In reflecting on this, I arrived at this framework to help me get on-track:

  1. I’ll post at least four times a week, hopefully more often.
  2. Each week, I will post around these categories: Body Talk; Paper Walk; Step Talk; Faith Walk; Job Talk. (I intend to include the latter every week until it is no longer needed.)
  3. At least twice a month, I will have a Money Walk post. (I will expand on what these categories mean on the “Why This Blog” page.)
  4. I’d like to respond each week more specifically to these questions: Where did I demonstrate courage? Where did I let my fear hold me back? And how am I making room? (As in, how am I creating the space for better health, finances, and so on?)
  5. In terms of what I want to do around each of these categories and this process in general, my goal is to discover and implement healthy practices that are doable, repeatable, sustainable, enjoyable and rewarding. Whether it’s about health, financial affairs, the search for employment, or the development of other ideas, finding healthy new ways of responding to life will be what most assists me on my journey of recovery.
  6. I will continue to note the action step(s) at the end of each post. They may or may not be directly relevant to the theme of the post.

As I have time (and internet access), I will continue to expand this blog-site. I would like to have a page where I can share some of my favorite books, authors, websites and so on. I mention some in my posts, but it would be nice to be able to share in a more accessible way the resources that have helped me on my journey. There are also “technical” things I have yet to learn in order to more fully utilize this site. I hope to figure them out in the weeks and months ahead and look forward to improving my blogging skills. I would also like to start exploring your blog-sites.

One other noticing: It was interesting to discover a feeling of anxiety began to rise when I laid out these goals here – especially the one about having a “Job Talk” post every week. This is one of the prime motivators for this journey, since looking for employment has been an intimidating process which I have felt ill-equipped to do well. I’ve heard that a worthy goal should scare one. Perhaps I’ve found one!

Action step(s) taken:

  • Establishing a clearer framework for this journey and my posts about it.
  • Attending two Al Anon meetings this evening – a familiar one and a new one.

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