I’ve been a stress/anxiety/mild depression fueled monster lately. I’m trying to dig myself out of the very deep hole I’ve put myself in. I’ve been stress eating, stress spending, blowing off a lot of responsibilities, and now it’s all coming back to kick me in the ass. I’ve been thinking about how miserable I am and what I can do to change it, and this is just a list of things that are pretty natural solutions to me. Well, no one particular item is a solution, but once they all Voltron together, I will be unstoppable.
1. Clean my house and keep it clean. Thanks to how stressful and busy my job is from Thanksgiving to Christmas, my house has turned into a complete shitshow. Like most people, I prefer to concentrate on getting my house top to bottom clean and then maintain it from there.
2. Get in control of my finances. Some things that will be changed are the following: cutting out beer for the time being (at $10-$14 a six pack, that quickly eats into my spending money every week), cutting way back on my grocery budget every week (by looking at bank and credit card statements, I estimate that I have been spending around $60 a week on groceries), using coupons/rebate apps more often (at one time, I bought nothing unless it was on sale/I had a coupon/there was an Ibotta rebate [preferably all three]), stop paying for things I’m not really using, and become more discerning about how I spend my money (I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, especially clothing, in the past year).
3. In line with both of the above items: declutter like it’s going out of style. I’m starting to feel choked by stuff, and I hate it. My personal goal is to make at least one donation trip per month to my local thrift store. I’m also toying with listing items on both Poshmark and Etsy to help with this, as well as items #2 and #4 which is…..
4. ….to make a concrete plan to move across the country. Philly is slowly killing me every day. We’re an angry, unhappy people, probably because we’ve got high unemployment and high poverty rates here.
5. Stop stress eating and get more active. I need to find healthier ways to deal with my stress than shoveling as much as junk food as I can down my throat.
6. Find a second job (or replace my current full time job). Not only do I need way more money coming in, but I’ve stared at my resume for hours and know that I need to better develop my skillset if I want to move to Denver and not be trapped in customer service. It’s a rough career path. You often get treated like crap (either by coworkers/bosses or by customers or YES), it’s stressful, it’s low paying for a heavy workload, and even managers often wind up spending 10+ hours on their feet. I come home from work and my body is killing me. I don’t have the energy to do anything after work, and both my social and love lives have been dead for several years.
7. Embrace positivity. Ugh. I feel so corny saying this, but I do need to change my mindset. Too often, I’m a ball of complaints. I look at my Facebook account, and I see sad sack status after sad sack status. I think about my conversations at work, and realize it’s about 80% complaints or gossiping. My conversations with my roommate are typically some variation of complaints, self-loathing, or discussions about cats. I can feel it wearing on me.
When I did my own personal reflecting about 2017, I was happy that I really found some insight on some situations that had been bothering me. A breakup from 2011 had always been nagging at me, because it took me way longer to get over that ex than I thought it would. Once I really started to devote some time thinking about it and working through a lot of the things that bugged me about the relationship and how it ended, I no longer feel that punch in the gut if I’m reminded of his presence. It occurred to me that I felt really duped in the relationship and with things he told me while we were living together, and while those feelings were valid, it was well past the point of addressing them, accepting them, and moving on. I finally made my peace. It took so long because I mourned and then tried to just shove it all down (which I rationally knew would never work, but you know, I told myself I was fine). I took glee in finding out that his life was going worse than mine, which is always a good sign that I’m not over it. Now, I truly couldn’t care less about what’s going on with him. If he has a great life, good for him. If he has a crappy life, well, he’s got plenty of people to give him emotional support and advice.
I also never fully mourned and got over the demise of my friendship with my former best friend. While I do admit to occasionally worrying about him, I’ve finally accepted that I can’t do anything to help him. I know that I can’t maintain any sort of contact with him unless he gets into recovery, which includes making amends to me. I also know that he will probably never do that and I know that will be resentful and angry if he contacts me without even attempting to make things right. My choices are limited to either hold onto the anger I have had towards him due to poor decisions he made while drinking and using drugs or accept it and move on. I am forcing myself to do the latter, because I’m getting too old to waste my time and energy on the situation. Maybe things would be different if I had any interest in rekindling a friendship with him, but I know that I’ve been burned by him too many times. I would accept a sincere apology from him, but that would be it. The most emotional attachment I can have is hoping he’s doing well and nothing more.
Another really good thing that happened this year is I got the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from LiveJournal. I don’t have much of a social life anymore, and just being able to reach out to people who I agree with on a lot of things and who reassure me when I feel like everything is in my life is garbage has meant so much to me. I used to be a wide open book with people because I figured that if people were going to gossip about me and try to use personal things against me, I’d take the power away from them and just air all my dirty laundry myself. I’ve learned the error in those ways, but now I’ve gone back to the other, totally locked down extreme. It’s nice to have people who you enjoy your outrage and macabre humor (and vice versa).
In one year, I’m hoping that I can look back on this blog post and laugh at how cautiously optimistic I was because my life is in such an amazing place. I have no delusions that I will change everything in my life in 2018, but I feel like these goals — or resolutions, if you must! — are basically a personal rube goldberg machine. I look at how intertwined they are and how, if I make minimal changes and do very little work, I can set myself up for an amazing life.
Now let’s see if I burn out on all this by February 3rd!