Cupcakes Are Always a Good Thing

CCupcakesThis weekend has been pretty wonderful, in unexpected ways. Justin & I had an impromptu lunch date together on Saturday; we walked from our apartment through downtown Southern Pines to have lunch at Broad Street Cafe, and picked up (delicious!) cupcakes from CCups Cupcakery on the way home. Sunday morning we took another unplanned walk to The Java Plantation for coffee, then back home.

I loved all the quality time spent with Justin, doing something different than our norm of watching Top Chef or playing Diablo 3– which are fun, but it’s hard not to love being outside on a beautiful day, focusing only on each other. I’d love to have more days like these.

January is over, so tonight I looked back over the list of goals that I had set near the start of the month:

  • Complete my daily checklists to the best of my ability each day.
  • Manage finances according to a planned budget; don’t spend recklessly or needlessly. [This one is still a work in progress. I had a few setbacks during the month, but I’m still ending January on a level of not-totally-broke, so I’ll consider that a positive step forward. More progress to be made in February.]
  • Stay on track with reading schedule. Current goal: 13 books read in January. [Books read in January: 13 and one quarter, haha. I’m so pleased with how well I kept up with my reading goals this month! I hope to do just as well in February. If you would like to see my list so far, my Goodreads Challenge is here].
  • Stay on top of daily chores/housework. Remember how much easier it is to feel calm and at peace when everything is organized and in its place. [I had help from Justin with this, but we’ve kept up with the apartment cleaning on a regular basis, and it feels so good to have everything (mostly) tidy!]
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule: wake up at 6:30am on workdays and no later than 8:00am on weekends; to bed by 11:00pm on worknights and no later than 12:00am on weekends. Remember how much better each day begins after a full night of sleep. [Okaaay. I did a lot better going to bed at 11:00pm each night than I did waking up at 6:30am each morning. I missed at least five or six mornings, and slept in until 7:30 or 8:00 several work days. Oops.]
  • Create weekly meal plans and weekly shopping lists to curb unnecessary spending on food (at the grocery and restaurants.) [Did very well with this, hooray!]
  • Don’t drink any soda. [I only drank soda twice this whole month. Score.]
  • Be mindful of snack choices. [I did…. okay.. at this? Better luck next month..]
  • Avoid stress eating and stress shopping at all costs. [I admittedly dropped the ball on this one a few times.]
  • Stay productive and organized at work; meet all deadlines and attend all meetings. If I need help, ask for it.
  • Don’t listen to the negative voice in the back of my head that tells me I’m worthless, or that it’s just a matter of time before my efforts will crumble and fall to pieces around me. Don’t listen to that voice. Be brave. Stay strong. Keep going.
  • Remember: progress, not perfection. Having a bad day is not the end of everything.
  • Talk to my doctor at my appointment this month about possible anti-anxiety medication and recommendations for counseling/therapy.

There’s an important backstory that lead me to my January goals, which I shared with the r/getdisciplined community on reddit when I posted my list for January:

Ever since I lost a job in April 2015 that I’d loved very much, I’ve been in downward turn of depression and anxiety. To make ends meet temporarily, I took a part time job that I particularly hated, but stuck with it for six months until my current (literal dream) job fell into my lap.

During the last few months of 2015, I was also in the midst of finalizing my divorce from my now ex-husband, which was even more nightmarish than I had expected it to be, given that we’d been separated for nearly two years. A lot of unresolved emotional issues and traumas resurfaced during the process, and in some ways it’s been like going through the grief stages all over again.

I’ve been trying to work especially hard for the last two months or so to pull myself out of this depressive/anxious state of being, because I’m scared of potentially sabotaging my new job and future opportunities.

I’ve been working to manage my two most crippling self-destructive habits, which are my tendencies to binge-spend into heavy debt, and my struggle with cutting/self-injury to deal with my anxiety.

I’ve started using a daily/biweekly/monthly budget system to stay on top of bills and curb my spending, and I use a daily checklist to help manage my day-to-day responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed.

On a positive note, these last two months have been the most productive that I’ve had in a long time, and I think I’m on the right track to getting my life (and myself) back to a good place.

I also do yearly reading challenges, and for 2016 I’ve set my most ambitious goal yet of 100+ books– which I’ve never managed to hit, but I’m trying again this year. So far I’m almost two books ahead of my reading schedule for January, which makes me happy. β™‘

I just really want to get back to a place of stability and happiness in my life for 2016.

I feel good going into a new month. Even if I didn’t accomplish everything perfectly in January, I’ll be starting in a more stable place for next month. Here’s to February!

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