“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” –Mother Teresa
This quote has always been one of my favorites, because there is a deep truth to it. I’ve spoken before about how you should try to change the world on a smaller scale rather than a larger one and talked about how the small acts of kindness and selflessness are more earth shattering than people know. It’s all true and I stand behind it. Small acts of love change peoples lives. You don’t know what simply changing one life does. It starts a ripple effect that moves on through the world.
I was once asked how I could believe children were over diagnosed while having a correct childhood diagnostic. I don’t think it’s as much of an oxymoron as people think.
There are a lot of things children can be diagnosed with, but some are more common than others. Bipolar is pretty rare in a child and it’s what I got diagnosed with. I had clear symptoms, and here’s the kicker they weren’t just symptoms inconvenient to our societies adults. I say that because when faced with heavy numbered diagnoses you see that a lot of it is triggered by inconvenient. It’s why so many young boys are labeled with ADHD, then a shocking number of them stop needing treatment as they get older. Is it because they outgrew it or is it because little boys have problems sitting through hours of school with ever shortening physical play? We’re the ones that are shortening outside times and pushing non-active electives instead of more physical ones (like shop which is hardly found anymore).
A few posts ago I talked about starting my resolutions early, which I did, I’m just posting them now. It gave me a month to get them written out and it also allowed me to keep my format the same.
But wow, can you believe its already basically 2022? It sounds like such a futuristic year, not the present!
But before I get ahead of myself lets look back at 2021 and the goals I set for myself:
Read more than seventy books: Done, done, done. I actually surpassed this by far and made it into the triple digits this year. I’m proud of that. Audiobooks really boost your numbers!
Spend more time outside: I did great… for the most part. During my third trimester I hardly went outside. It was too hot and I was far to pregnant to find it enjoyable, but other than those three months I’ve done a really good job getting my time in.
Eat more balanced: lol, okay, I was pregnant and I had some unaddressed disordered eating to address as I talked about in my last post. I failed at this one, but this last month I’ve been starting to turn it around and since it was a 2021 goal I guess you could say I ended on a good note.
Be a more consistent blogger: For the most part I’ve done a lot better with this! As a hobby blogger I’d say I’m decently consistent.
Spend more time writing on my novels: Started strong, ended poorly. There’s not a lot more to say about this one.
Be better at reaching out to friends: I’ve done good at this one, especially during my pregnancy, now to keep it up with a baby!
Now for 2022, the goals I’ve soft started this past month:
Fix my disordered eating habits: I’m making a whole blog post about this, but I wat to address my relationship with food.
Read 100 books: I kept shooting low, both for 2020 and 2021. I thought 100 wasn’t realistic, but seeing how I broke 100 two years in a row, I think I can do it a third time!
Take more pictures: I take a ton of pictures on my cell phone, but I want to break out my big camera more and play with my photography, especially now that I have a little one capture!
Finish writing my current novel: Pretty self explanatory. It’s about one third done and I’d love to finish it!
Move more: I’m not going to sign up for a gym. I am going to try to be more active though! Rock climbing, skiing, horseback, bouncing the baby, walking the dogs. I just want to move more.
I’m going to try to keep it pretty simple this year because I know a lot of my focus will be on Oliver and my family!
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
I don’t have an eating disorder, my bad eating habits haven’t ever reached that level, but I have balanced dangerously on that line.
In our current culture it’s almost normal to have disordered eating habits. Our diet culture and super processed food has made it a hard thing to avoid, especially as a young woman. Hell, when I was on Tumblr in high school there were thousand of thinspo accounts, now they just mask themselves on instagram as health accounts that focus far to much on the goal body shape than the health.
Our dieting world has shifted so much that we coined a new eating disorder based on super restrictive diets that are in the fad now. If I hear one more world about keto or the whole 30 I might scream.
In the middle of all the holiday cheer you might find the idea of starting your resolutions now unsavory. Cutting down sweets during Christmas? Well why not, you don’t have to get rid of them, just practice a little more self control than you would if you were starting next month.
We like to hang on the idea of starting tomorrow or starting Monday. We misbehave more with bad habits when we know we want to start a good one “soon”. We also are more likely to push them off another day or another week, so starting now can really cut these factors off at the knee.
Also starting now means you’ll be a month ahead of were you would be if you started next month. You can have already started that new hobby or cleaning out that house or being kinder to yourself. Put yourself ahead of the curve, beat the rush at the gym, find a therapist before everyone else starts looking.
Another thing about starting early is you can give yourself permission to start slower. You can do a trial run, start slow, give yourself permission to make more mistakes, than really buckle down with the new year. It’ll go better than starting cold!
We get very locked into our bad times, they swallow us whole and seem to threaten never spitting us out. When your in middle of a bad spell, whether it be situational or emotional, you feel like it’ll go on forever, even if you believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel you feel like it is a million miles away. It’s terrible and it’s normal- but I still find that the best thing you can say during these times is that they will pass.
We can’t fix everything and if you have solutions then great! Share them! But it’s true that a lot of darkness just isn’t easily fought off, that we have to simply just get through it. Sometimes that’s really annoying to hear in the middle of the darkness, but it’s true. Surviving is the strategy. Surviving depression till you find the right medication or therapy. Surviving your bad job till you can financially quit or find a new one. Surviving until the timing just lines up.
It’s not glamourous and it’s hard to advise yourself to just get through, there is a reason why suicidal thoughts are common, but waiting while you work is the key to make it through. Try to make your situation better, even when it seems hopeless there is normally small things you can do to make it better, put that work in, but know that in the end it will get better. Life will move pass this and you should be there when it does.
The knowledge is said often but it’s not fully comprehended till you’ve seen it unfold and come to pass multiple times. Sometimes even then it can seem hard to swallow, but there is always a way out of the mess you are in and that way is not death or giving up.
He’s about two months old now, so it seems fitting to finally announce him here. If you noticed that my posts seemed to disappear for a while this little guy is the reason! I’m still going to be hanging around, though I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every week. Things are different with a baby.
Oliver Scott was born on September 30th at 12:19 via scheduled c-section. He was a c-section baby because he was happily breech with no interest in spinning around. We had a brief scare where he inhaled amniotic fluid, but after top notch care both him and I were healthy and doing well!
These first few months have been beautiful. I honestly love motherhood and am so happy with everything. I was at a much higher risk of post-partum depression because of my bipolar disorder, but luckily I got to skip that, most likely because I was allowed to stay on my medications during pregnancy and continue them as normal after. I’m so glad I was sent to specialized doctors who weighed the risk and benefits and helped me come up with a plan that was safe for both me and Oliver.
Oliver is perfect. He looks like both me and his father and we are so over the moon in love with him. As we get closer to two months he has started smiling at us and he is constantly reaching and grabbing at things though he hasn’t mastered it just yet.
He makes everyday brighter and has made my entire outlook on life shift a little.
Everything from here on out is for him and our family, and that, is wonderful.