On the Future: A Micro Post

I’m contemplating my future tonight. You know I have goals. I’m ready to make those goals happen… So to do that, I want to expand my blog. But I think it means I need to clean it up a little.

I’m a swearer. Raised in machine shops as an only child, I had access to creative language from a very early age. I don’t think swearing is bad, when used appropriately and in proper company. But if I want to bring my professional life in, I need to make some slight modifications. Plus, a couple of weeks ago, I was sort of convicted by a meme on Facebook about the word ‘very.’ It was a beautiful quote by Robin Williams’ character in Dead Poets Society and it really moved me to try to be better with my words.

I’ve always thought that I needed a really cool niche, something that other people thought was cool. But I’ve started to realize, the more I nerd out on my job and helping people find their passion, the more I want to continue to do that. Because while I won’t say I’m awesome at it, I love doing it. I am good at my job, and I love watching people take baby steps that they wouldn’t have taken without encouragement from a friend. I love helping people work out what is holding them back. And sometimes I even enjoy sharing my story when I know that it could/might/would give someone a little hope that things can get better.

Change is Good
So you might see a few minor changes around here. Things will still look the same for a while, I’m sure, but I’ll be adding some fun things around the place, to spruce it up a bit.

Are you ready? Do you want to hear about human resources, wellness, Autism and Mental Health advocacy? What about working motherhood and women in construction?

Thanks for joining me, friends!
Much love – Mel

**also, if you have any tips on how to just …move… in a new direction, let me know! 

On Goals: A Micro Post

It’s 4am. I’ve awoken with a headache that threatens to be a migraine. 20 minutes of light stretching and some social media later, I’m sitting at my laptop at the kitchen table. I look around. I see the empty sour cream cup and the ice cream lids, the butter packages and the milk-stained glass.

I’m allergic to cow dairy.
As my beautiful friend put it this week, I’m basically poisoning my body. While many of us are, some are doing more harm than we know. I wake up daily with pain. I live every day with a headache, or the inability to get up out of a chair without pain, or the feeling that the bones in the top of my feet have either snapped or twisted on top of each other. And that’s not even half of my problems.

But I continue to fuel my body with food that does nothing but harm.

I want to be healthy.
This isn’t a goal. It’s a necessity. I have a two children looking to me for guidance, for support, for a lifetime of encouragement and teaching and fun. So I’m making small, incremental changes to my life. Physical, mental, emotional changes. Positive affirmations, physical movement that builds strength and confidence, and recognizing when my anxiety is just trying to motivate me by fear.

It’s not easy.
I can say these are my goals all I want. To be fit, to be financially free, to lessen my stress and anxiety. But the fact I need to face first is that my own goals don’t motivate me near as much as external factors. How I balance that, I’m not really sure yet.

One day at a time, right?

This is really just an early morning musing. What makes your mind tick in the morning? What wakes you up, physically and mentally?

On Getting Help: A Micro Post

For some of us, asking for help is hard. I struggle with it. A lot.
It’s not because I think I’m better than others or that I don’t need help.

Then why?
It’s because I don’t want to admit that I need help. It’s because my pride and vanity are much more problematic than I would like to admit. It’s because I work hard and I’ve convinced myself that if I need help, it’s because I’m not working hard enough.

I Got Help Anyway
I have anxiety. Pretty extreme anxiety. I can remember as a kid being freaked out by certain things and knowingly using my asthma as a crutch for not wanting to do it. Fast forward 25 years, and apparently there’s a pretty crazy link to anxiety and asthma – they don’t play well together. But I digress…

In my last post, we talked about quitting smoking. At 12 days in, it’s still a little difficult, especially on the days that things just feel chaotic and stormy and out of control. Lucky for me, my employer offers some pretty awesome benefits. Even luckier? I’m the administrator. So I know about the ins and outs of our benefits. Bonus? I get to test out these tools and promote them to our workforce!

Yeah. I know. NERD ALERT.

I got in contact with a Cigna Coach a few months ago and we talk once every two weeks. She gives me goals, solutions to managing my stress when I feel the need to supplement my feelings with ice cream or nicotine. She reminds me, softly, that there are people relying on me to be healthy.

But I needed a little more…
So I hooked myself up with a coaching app, also from my medical provider. Daily, I have a meditation and a video to learn about mindfulness. I also have a journal activity and a virtual coach that helps me take a moment for myself. So instead of a cigarette break, I can take a breathing break. Same thing, right?

What’s my point?
My main point, really, is don’t be afraid to seek the things that will help you the most. And if that means asking a friend to just listen to you rant, asking your mom to meet you at 9 because you just need as much mom-time as you can get, or even utilizing something that others may poo-poo (like a virtual coach) – DO IT. Talk to those you trust. Believe when they say they love you and are there for you.

It’s not taking advantage.
It’s believing in yourself and those around you.
And it’s remembering that we’re worth it.

Much love, friends.

What tools have you used in the past to help you on your journey? Do you know your employer’s benefits plan details and the tools they can offer you at no cost? 

On Celebrating Milestones: A Micro Post

Last week, we talked about personalities. I, of course, am the Obliger. As the Obliger, I have a difficult time meeting my own goals.

Weird. I know.

So I thought I’d try something today. Today, I’m celebrating.

Celebration One
I am 11 days in to this whole quitting smoking thing (I stopped counting how many times I’ve tried the quitting smoking thing… I just want this one to stick). I use an app called QuitNow. It’s free. It has ads. But it tracks my savings, my time wasted, the amount of cigarettes I haven’t smoked. AND – it tells me where I’m at in recovering from health risks. I also have a coach through my medical insurance who calls me each week to see how I’m doing on my goals to reduce stress and find better ways to cope. She thinks I’m nuts.

Full Disclosure: Subtract 1 cigarette from that. I smoked one this weekend. Thought I’d barf. All in all, it was a successful experiment.

Celebration Two
Thanks to a friend from the internet [gasp], who is also a friend in RL, the Superman Pose has been helping me be less anxious and more confident at work. He suggested I stand confidently each day… it’ll be a while before I succumb to his recommendation of Soilent. But this one’s working so far.

Celebration Three
It’s not much, but I am damn close to hitting 1.5 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill. For someone who has been relatively inactive for a loooong time, I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment. Even though I knock myself down and say it ain’t much (because in true Marshall Mathers style, you ALWAYS make fun of yourself first, right?), I’m pretty fucking excited and proud of myself. I WANT to love working out. I want to feel confident. But most of all, I want to be healthy.

Side Note
Not only do I get to celebrate with you today, I got to spend some much-needed adult time with some very special friends this weekend. It was a blast. Lots of beer was had. And I needed that time. To remember that our friends are my friends too. That people actually do like (and dare I say love) me. That a little time away is always good for the heart, the soul, the body.

So this micro post was a little long. But peace to you, my friends. Thanks for celebrating with me tonight.

How can I celebrate with you? What’s the best advice someone gave you to make yourself feel better? Have you checked your employer’s health plan for any hidden gems**?

Much love.

** This is one topic I could nerd out with you all day on… seriously. Email me if you want to talk benefits. I might actually make it fun!

On Being Self-Aware Part II: A Micro Post

I’m a sucker for a personality test. I love knowing more about myself and building skills, acquiring tools to better interact with those around me. I’m painfully self-aware. But this description by Gretchen Rubin is both simple and spot on.

Not a self-starter? That’s me!
Can’t meet my own goals? Yup.
Moves swiftly on other’s deadlines? Dear Lloyd, did she write my story?
That makes me an Obliger.

Sadly, what I also recognize is that this means I don’t take care of myself the way I should (shocker). That I focus more on the needs and wants of those around me, so much so that I forget or run out of time to do the things I want, or even need, to do to just decompress. I burn out. And fast.

Check out what Gretchen has to say. It’s a great way to identify your type, identify those around you, and begin to change the internal dialogue that helps us move past our own issues with rules and begin to change the habits that hold us back from happiness.

Click Here to spend a quick 18 minutes on your personality type!
What personality type do you identify with? Was this eye-opening for you or did you already know this about yourself? How do you want to use this knowledge?