December 22   Smelling the coffee

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Ah. First day of my 12 days of leave and I already feel like I’m too knackered to have accomplished anything. I know, I know, it’s only 1pm. But still!

Had a lovely cuppa with Tehani this morning. It was so good to just catch up. And I shall miss her terribly when she leaves for Tasmania. I think I have only just started to feel settled enough here in this house to be ready to do the whole “pop out for a cuppa and chat” thing. So I guess I never really took proper advantage of living so close to another kindred spirit. Still. We won’t live here forever. And I shall resolve to do better next year in popping in for cuppas with Terri (who will be on the way home from work now) and Helen.

I described 2011 to Tehani as a year of waking up and smelling the coffee. I quite like that description. I’ve been thinking the year over a lot recently as I mull over how I want to blog the year in summary. This was the first time I thought about it that way, and I think it’s apt. It was a year in which the veil was lifted for me in a whole bunch of arenas and a year in which my hand was forced to see and tell the honest truth and act on it. Because when you move out of denial, you *have* to act. The other option is no longer an acceptable alternative for me, after this year. In other words, I wrote in a previous post that things were getting really real down here (I love that Missy Higgins song) and there was no escaping that. And you know, the smell of coffee all about. So it was a year of culling – possessions, unwanted commitments, pretense and unrealistic expectations (maybe one way of putting it). A lot of drawing the lines for things and realising what my personal boundaries are. It was a deeply confronting and at times very stressful and discomforting year. But also a year in which the pay off of that was, without exception, ending up in a better place or position. The whole lotus in the mud thing (the deeper and richer the mud, the more beautiful the lotus).

And so on that whole crunch time thing, today I start my new workout routine. I’ve been working on this program for the last couple of days, the first parts being getting your head around a bunch of stuff. Again with the facing down the awful truths etc. It’s been more eye opening than I thought it would be. Right now I am thinking up a bunch of reasons why I should start the workout phase tomorrow and not today. But that would be an excuse and I don’t do that anymore. The idea of changing personal habits still fascinates me. I am very much a creature of habit and I do not like change at all. I spent the whole of November complaining about C’s facial hair as he grew his moustache and  beard (for work had to have both if he wanted the mo) and then was upset the day he finally shaved it all off. “You really don’t like change, do you?” was his response.

So yeah. I *like* the habits and ruts I find myself in even if they aren’t healthy or productive or useful. And I start to panic at the suggestion of changing them. I worry that I won’t be me anymore and I don’t cope well with suggestions like: why not do it for just a little while? Or what about doing this on Monday and that on Tuesday? I am a total routine person.

And yet? So far this year, I *have* made important changes (in terms of degree of change *to me*) and have found them extremely beneficial, enjoyed them AND have not lost my sense of self. Really, I do wonder how it is that I define this “self”. I had gotten into a long lasting habit of watching TV before bedtime – sometimes 2 or 3 episodes of a show I was watching at the time – and would watch on my laptop in bed before falling asleep by midnight or 1am. Like, I’ve been doing this for years. And I prided myself on being a night owl. I’ve always been one, I did my most productive work after 7.30pm and I didn’t really sleep that well. When I moved in with C he gently suggested we not have a TV in the bedroom (!!!) which I felt was fine actually, because I had my laptop. And then a couple of months ago, I guess after coming from the US, I started instead going to bed early – I aim to be asleep by 10 but it’s mostly 10.30 – and I started taking a book to bed to read a chapter or two before sleeping. And now it’s become more going in a couple of hours before bedtime and doing maybe 2 or 3 hours of reading (not just books but also internet and publishing) and most importantly, no longer watching much TV in the week. I have become *that* person. I would seriously never have believed I could watch maybe only an hour of TV on some nights during the week. The concept of turning off the TV *in preference to do something else* has never ever been part of my mindset. Ever. Partly TV these days is so crap. But also I have so many other things I want to do in preference (who IS this person?). I still watch TV but I prefer to do it in longer sessions on say a day of the weekend whilst doing other things too.

Am I still me?

Couple the above with the giving up a true love of mine – coffee. Which helps with the falling asleep by 10/10.30 pm and then sleeping a long uninterrupted sleep. Guess what? I feel fantastic. And as my friends have pointed out – I was so so so sick before I went away and then after I got back. I’d say my health has improved 200% compared to how I felt in October. And it’s not just these changes. Of course it’s some other more personal ones too. But almost all these are about me taking control and responsibility for my life and for how I feel. And it’s not yet second nature. There is still a lot of searching whether I am choosing something because I think it’s what someone else (maybe the person asking etc) wants me to choose or because it’s what I want. And that is still involving me realising I sometimes choose the first over the second. But importantly I’m now changing that.

Mmm coffee.



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4 Comments

  • By Ka'ela Ja'el on 22 December 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Mmm…coffee. Which we were going to do today, weren’t we!?

  • By AlisaK on 22 December 2011 at 1:52 pm

    We were. Let’s do it though later in the week or so when we’re both less tired!

  • By Ka'ela Ja'el on 22 December 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Sounds good. I’ve just totally crashed today.

  • By AlisaK on 22 December 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Me too

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