pleased with myself ;)

While normal people attempt their overturning of new leaves at New Year's .. I apparently dwell in my own time and space (either early or late - depending on your perspective) in that I am on a self-improvement kick now. Why July? I have no idea really. Maybe it's the change of the fiscal year (I doubt it), or perhaps it's just a "new month, new me" sort of mood ... or maybe, I'm just ready to try certain things (again, or for the first time).

Ever since I quit smoking, I've been feeling very proud of myself, very empowered to change myself more, very enthusiastic to take better care of myself. I think, at the moment anyway ... and despite the fact that my life is still a shambles in almost every other way ... I think I'm ready to stop trying to kill myself (either slowly or quickly). I mean, ok, so my life is not the way I would like it to be, ok, so most days I'm pretty miserable because of all the things I seem to have no control over, ok. But that doesn't mean I have to give up and wallow in how out of control and miserable I feel most of the time.

A friend, someone who has walked more than a few miles in my shoes, I shall call him CelticTigger (if he doesn't mind - if he does he can suggest one of his own - but everyone needs a code name), has been telling me for months that I need to start looking after myself a bit. That carers need caring too. That, for my own mental health, I should try to get out of the house everyday - even just for a little while - even if it's just to go window shopping. And he's right (as usual).

My goal, in that vein, is to eventually have things stable enough around here to be able to block off a certain time every day when I can walk the mile to the shopping center that's near the house and sit at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, or Daphne's Greek Cafe - and just sit there, blissfully alone, and write for an hour. But the schedule around here is still very up in the air. Last Saturday my mom had to go back over to the ER for several hours, this morning my dad's taken her over to a Dr.'s appointment, her Home Health nurses just started coming last week, so the schedules for that aren't set yet either.

Every time I try to steal off for 20 minutes, something comes up, and the intercom on the phone rings and I am summoned. The only time I can usually find a few minutes to do my thing, is in the morning. My mom's sleep schedule is still off, and includes a lot of cat-napping during the day, she often (in fact, almost always) perks up right as I'm going to go to bed (around 1/1.30am) and then can't go back to sleep - so she's usually groggy the next morning until about 10.30 or 11am. Which means I can usually get a couple hours of quiet time - but not being a morning person myself, I'm not inclined to go anywhere then.

But I've decided to try to incorporate the spirit of CelticTigger's suggestion, even if I'm not able to integrate the letter of it yet. The point, is that I'm supposed to try to be kinder to myself, and supposed to try to find little things that bring me joy in the midst of a rather joyless day. To that end, I've been thinking a lot the last couple weeks about - what are the little things I can do around here that will make me happier?

Yesterday, July 1st, I began doing my beloved ballet workout video again, ordered a diet/lifestyle change book I saw mentioned on PBS Saturday afternoon, downloaded a relaxation CD and a weight loss hypnosis CD from iTunes, and dug my craft bag (a big purse in which I keep my current knitting, crochet, and lap-quilting projects) out of the box it never got unpacked from (last night I got in a bit of knitting while dinner was cooking!).

Sometime this month I intend to put up the wallpaper border in the kitchen, and start the sofa slipcovers, and plant the seeds we bought so that I can do a bit of gardening again. And sometime this week I hope to find some time to go through my still packed boxes of books in the garage, and start digging out any I haven't read yet, or in awhile, and begin to find a few minutes everyday to sit under the patio umbrella and read (my dad does that, and it looks so relaxing).

So, please, cross your fingers and knock on wood for me - I'd really like to keep this leaf turned for awhile <span class=

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