Sunday, July 21, 2019

I Need a Plan

If you've been here a while, you know I've been struggling for the past couple of months. My best friend broke my heart and unfortunately, his way of dealing with it is by not dealing with it. The man loves his avoidance and in the past, I've given in and let him off the hook when he's hurt me. I can't do that this time. I've come to respect myself too much, even if it's been two months and I'm still crying.

But, that's not what this post is really about. This post is about me. It's about the me that is struggling and the me that I want to be. It's about the me who has spent just over 24 hours in a hotel and gave herself permission to not do jack. Yep, that's right. for the past 24 hours, I haven't done a single productive thing and if I'm honest, it feels pretty wonderful.

Forever, or so it seems, I've felt guilty if I allowed myself downtime or time just for me. I only watch movies/tv with my kids or if I'm sick. Well, let me rephrase that. I only only watch them in those ways. Usually I'm doing something else at the same time. If I'm allowing myself to play a game, I'm also working through something in my head or making notes on something else I need to do.

For whatever reason, yesterday something clicked and I said, "You know what? You don't have to work. You were sent to this hotel to get away from the heat that was making you sick and yes, to do some writing, but how good will your writing be if you're completely burned out?" So, I've binged watched the latest series of Queer Eye, I've taken a nap, I've spent some much needed online time with "the man".  I've gone swimming...and that last one is kind of important.

I'm not one who has ever loved my body. In other posts, I've probably mentioned how I don't feel pretty or sexy. I feel fat and frumpy and pretty yuck. I need to lose about 100 pounds before I can have breast reduction surgery but it's really hard to lose weight when all of your major appliances have failed and you're struggling with depression. It's tough to cook/eat healthy and dragging yourself out of the house when the heat is a perfect excuse is hard.

Today though, I told myself to stop making excuses and to take advantage of the fact that there's a pool literally across the hallway from my room. I knew there weren't any kids in it because I would have heard them if there were. So, I got on my swimsuit, grabbed my towel and snuck over. Then, I spent 30 minutes or so doing slow laps. I don't do fast laps these days and since I fell getting into the pool (wet hand + damp hand rail + weak knee = oops!) I was trying not to push too hard. At the end of those 30 minutes, I'd done a lot of thinking and my arms were tired, but that good tired. The tired that I used to love when I swam regularly.

What did I decide? Well....a few things....

1. I need to get the house in order. I know that when I walk back into it, the depression is lurking there waiting for me as well as every thought of being a failure. Somehow, I have to push past that to start making changes. It seems minor, but I'm going to try to spend one hour each day working on the house...15 minutes in the living room and 45 minutes (broken into 15 minute chunks) in a different room each week.  I'll also take advantage of when/if the boys come over to get some of the bigger tasks taken care of.

2. I need to get me in order. I love the pool. I love swimming. It's an exercise that my doctor actually recommended. I'm not quite sure how to make this one happen, but I need to try. The community center in Hastings has a pool and I believe that they have open swim times and possibly even lap times. I've not looked into it because of my own self-consciousness...what will people think about this big, fat person in a pool? What if my slow laps hold up other people? Well, what if I never try and end up not able to get up off my couch? Priorities, right?

Anyway, I know they have a pool but there will be challenges. First, it's 30 minutes away (like near everything else) and I'd have to get some sort of membership and those aren't cheap. I don't know quite how I'll make it happen, but I'd really like to.

3. I need to get my business in order. I love what I do and I'm good at it. Somehow I have to get my name in front of people. I was thinking of running an introductory price special with a discounted price for new clients as well as those who recommend them. I'd also like to have business cards made up. I'm supposed to be going to a big comic convention in October and I think it might help to have a double sided card made side having Geek-o-Rama on it and the other side having my editing/proofreading on it.

4. I need to get my finances in order.  They're not really out of order in the way that I have no idea what they are. I totally know what they are. They're non-existent. I need to start bringing money in so I can afford to do things like go to the pool, to pay off the fridge, to buy a new stove and microwave...and a thousand other things like paint for the living room. Life costs money and I don't have money. For the first time since my last failed attempt at getting a job, I'm considering applying for a job at the "local" gas station once the boys are safely installed at college. It scares me spitless, but I have to do something.

I publicly stated a goal of $600 a month in income this past week and I believe I can do it. I just don't know how fast I can do it.

The other option is believing all those people who keep telling me that it's okay to ask for help and set up some sort of funding type thing to help me get back into a position where I'm on safer ground and can take on more myself.  Honestly though, I have a really tough time believing that people would put in towards it. I remember how hard it was to get people to pledge when we had a gofundme to help send my youngest on a science research trip...and we had reward tiers. I have a KoFi set up now and in all the time that I've had it, only 2 people have used it.

I honestly believe that people don't understand what it's like to have a mental health issue that does its damndest every day to try to keep you from living. They see me...have heard me talk about the struggles of being poor ...and they're just plain tired of it and believe I should have sorted all of this out by now. I admit that I could be wrong and nobody thinks that at all, but it is what I think.

5. I need to get the people in my life in order.  That sounds harsh, but if being mostly away from social media for a couple of days has taught me anything, it's that it stresses me out far more than I had realized. I was on for 5 minutes earlier, just scrolling, and could feel the tension climbing back into my neck and shoulders. This means that I need to start culling people from my list. There are those there who give absolutely nothing of value to my life, but that stress me out whenever I read their posts. They need to go. It's not wait, it is personal. It's personal to my health and well-being and that's really what I need to be focused on. Quality over quantity and all that.

So...those are my swimming thoughts...Now I have to figure out how to make all of that happen. One step at a time.

Update: A membership to the community center to use just the pool is $20/mo or $200/year.

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