On Being Self-Aware: A Micro Post

The question today is – how can I drive so hard in my professional life, advance my career, and work hard to help others succeed, yet when it comes to my own health, my own mental well-being, and putting my own needs ahead of other people’s wants, I find it nearly impossible to make a change?

Being self-aware is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I’m usually one of the first to recognize when I’m being a complete and utter bonehead… on the other, it means that I’m usually so hard on myself that decisions can be difficult to make and I can talk myself out of breathing. Like, seriously. I frustrate me.

Today has been a day of introspection.
And that’s enough for one day…

How self-aware are you? Have you ever had someone say something to you that was a revelation? How do you handle it when you have to come to terms with something you don’t really like in your world?

The Cycle of Overwhelmitude

I have a vicious cycle.
No, it’s not my menses. Focus, people.

I constantly sway from super content to supper stressed and overwhelmed. There really is rarely a middle ground where that’s concerned. My super content side is always soft, loving, perky… you know, that co-worker you want to avoid because she’s too annoying in the morning. I’m complimentary, sappy, and over-appreciative of the smallest things in life.

Then, one wrench in the machine sends me into a downward spiral of overwhelmed, stressed, life would be better lived in a dark closet where no one has to deal with me.

Sadly, it’s typically tied to finances. When my modest emergency fund gets down to an uncomfortable amount, my fear takes over. When I’ve overspent because “I deserved it,” I beat myself up. I forget to appreciate the things that I have in my life.

So to counteract this today, I chose to send my husband an email. A list of things that I am cognitively aware of, things I recognize as truth, that (hopefully) would counteract the negative self-talk that started to spill tears from my eyes as I emailed a co-worker about benefits this morning.

Seriously. How does my vision plan work? [insert sob here]

I was afraid of how this email would be received. Would I cause extra stress for him? Would he go into fix-it mode as he usually does when my stress is not related to said menses? Would he think I was being silly and tell me to get over it?

I sent it anyway, and asked him to give me feedback. Even if it was just to say that he understood. But he called me immediately. He gave me positive feedback. He answered my questions. He gave me his own goals and dreams that we could work towards. Together.

And this is where I’m at: Don’t beat myself up. The world does enough of that for me, though it’s not as mean to me as I am (shocker? I think not).

As an important mentor and smart business woman once told me – Get a partner.

A partner that will support you. A partner that will call you on your bullshit. A partner that will say thank you when you recognize your inadequacies and ask for support. A partner who will not condemn you for being you, but will lift you up to make you better, faster, stronger.

Do you have a partner? How does your partner support you? How do you ask for help when you need it?

Relative Spontonaity

I’ve been struggling the past few days.

Lots of things.

And then a friend invited us over for a relatively impromptu barbecue. With the kids, by the pool. On a Thursday. A school night!

And I said yes.

I was really anxious at first because I just wanted to curl up in bed and be cuddled while I cried for very little reason. But watching my kids free with other kids, learning about non-meat burgers, and geeking out over really good grilled corn was quite the relief for this mama who just wants a break from being a responsible adult.

Tonight, cuddle your loved ones. Tell them how much you love them. Let them know that even when you don’t feel in your best mood, they still mean the world to you. That they are still your sunshine.

Life is short, friends.

Much love,

Cheese Hugs

I love cheese, ice cream, cream of potato soup, broccoli and cheese soup, cheese curds, chocolate milk, chips ahoy dipped in milk, peanut butter milkshakes… There’s just one problem.

I’m allergic to dairy.

It’s not a close-your-throat-and-hives kind of allergy. It’s a gut-wrenching-joint-inflammation-and-my-blood-feels-like-jello kind of allergy. It makes me feel lethargic and achy, gassy and bloated.

But in the moment? It makes me feel good. Like a hug. Like cheese hugs. Like cheesy foods gives me this moment of “Hey Melanie, it’s okay, I love you no matter what” even though in 15 minutes to an hour, it’s the beast from hell punishing my body for the sins of the nation in one form of pain and discomfort or another.

So tonight, as I gorge on cheese curds and a peanut butter sundae, I’m going to take the pain and the discomfort I feel, I’m going to bottle that up, and remind myself daily why I should not be eating cheese. And then, I’m going to find an app that helps me quit cheese, just like the Quit! app has helped me (attempt again to) quit smoking.

And if you know me at home, and you see me with cheese or dairy, and my eyes are not full of tears, smack that bitch out of my hand, give me a hug, and yell “THIS IS BETTER THAN CHEESE HUGS!”

‘Cause THAT would be fucking awesome.

Real hugs,

P.S. Spellcheck is telling me that ‘sundae’ is spelled ‘Sunday’… someone could use a cheese hug. Bastard.

Even if it’s just one thing

I have been struggling. Since graduating (YAY!), I have felt super lazy and even more unmotivated.

I want to write.
But t.v.

I want to read.
But bills.

I want to outline my book.
But… but.

I was talking with a friend of mine on Facebook the other day, expressing my laziness and kind of whining about the vicious circle that is my thought process, when he said:

“One paragraph is better than no paragraph.”

And echoing the words of my husband and so many of those that encourage me daily, he pushed me to do something each day that fills my tank, so to speak. Even if it’s just one thing.

So here I am. A weirdly organized paragraph of sorts. Nothing of import. And it may remain nonsense for a while… but until I get back into the groove, it’ll have to do.

I appreciate you hanging in there with me.

Much love,