Over a year without politics on my social media: Where I stand now.

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I made a few posts about cutting out the toxin that is social media politics. (x, x) People get bitter, mean, and downright nasty when it comes to politics, and when you take away the face to face aspect they get much, much worse. I went down a rabbit hole at the beginning of my Lyme Disease sickness and learned everything there was to know about the political situations of that time. I knew everything and I was always… mad, angry, hurt, judgmental. I was getting emotions that I didn’t like, and they weren’t all from the actual politics, but mostly the people talking about them, and how they were doing it.

So I blocked it all. I took out the trash. I don’t follow most my Facebook friends. I muted almost every political word on Twitter. At first it felt a little empty, because I had gotten so used to all the yelling, but then, it became wonderful. I started following people who had the same hobbies as me. I started branching out. Then suddenly the places that were filled with anger were suddenly filled with joy.

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Coming to terms with Change.

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I’ve always hated change. When I was a kid I got really upset when my mom rearranged the furniture in the den to create a different layout. I’ve always like consistency, maybe it’s because I am bipolar and I cling to stable and steady things to keep me grounded. But I don’t want to use that as an excuse, mainly because I refuse to let my emotional disorder control me, but also because it’s a lame reason.

Things change, you just have to accept it.

And I have- to a certain degree. I’ve at the very least accepted progress. I’ve accepted that my life will advance. Good change is welcome, sometimes it still gives me a pit in my stomach because it is unknown, but I don’t let it slow me down any.

It’s the bad and neutral change that gets me, the change that sneaks up when your not paying attention and you have to face the fact that you’ve just been hit over the head with something that will alter everything.

Yikes, even writing that made me whence.

It’s hard to accept that change, especially if you’re not one of those people who simply go with the flow. Maybe your more like me and the flow takes you kicking and screaming. I’m not judging you, I don’t think anyone likes getting knocked off their feet. It should trigger your fight or flight instincts.

So, how do you get accustomed to it? How do you become civil with change?

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Losing two years to Lyme Disease: What it taught me.

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I lost two years to Lyme Disease, there is no way to sugarcoat that. Two years of my early twenties got flushed down the tubes, they were spent in unbearable amounts of pain on the sofa. I couldn’t drive, couldn’t work, couldn’t see my friends, I used all my energy to bathe myself. It was difficult. It was terrible, but two years simply vanished in front of me.

It’s a harsh reality, but as we start this new decade I find myself not mourning those two years. It’s not because in retrospect they weren’t that bad (because they really truly where) it’s just that those two years played a special role in my life.

They taught me perspective and gave me sympathy for the sick and disabled in ways I’ve never experienced before, but they also reshaped me. You see, when you’re that sick and that unable you spend a lot of time thinking, you spend a lot of time evaluating, and dang, if I didn’t spend a lot of time praying.

Our early adulthood years are formative, college had taken my brain and worked on it and worked on it. My years on campus and in class had reshaped my brain, and some of that molding was amazing, but some of it needed to be left pliable for the realities of the real world coming after.

I feel like in a way I had a couple of buffer years. A couple of years where I was stuck in limbo and had time to purposely mold myself instead of just letting life beat me into shape. I don’t know if I would have taken all the time to think and process if I hadn’t been forced to. I think I would have kept on keeping myself too busy to be that deep in thought, too busy to truly reflect on my life. And it’s in that way that God used my sickness for good. He gave me the time I needed to take in everything and realize what I needed to work on and what I needed to change.

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Creating goals for 2020 and reflecting on those from 2019:

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First, let’s look back at my goals for 2019. I got about half of them, and the ones not finished were about half done. I don’t know whether to consider that a success or not, but progress is progress and I had a really busy year, so it’s remarkable I got any of it done. Let’s break them down:

  • Plan a wonderful wedding fit for my upcoming marriage: I did it! And it was fabulous. It was honestly the best night of my life. You can see some pictures from it here.
  • More time of hobbies, less time online: Eh. Okay, so I spent less time online but it was because I was spending more time hanging out with friends (yay) and doing daily tasks that increased when I moved out and got married. I did spend time on hobbies, but I don’t know if I did more than in 2018, so I will call this one a half win.
  • Start barrel racing again: Things got really busy in the spring season, so I didn’t start going to races again, but I took all the necessary steps to start next season. I’ve been taking lessons and we’ve finally purchased a horse trailer.
  • Read more than 20 books: Check. I’ve read over forty books year, so I’d say I went above an beyond on this one. Audio books have drastically altered my reading progress, though I still love those paper books!
  • Buy a house: We did it! It’s beautiful and it feels like home. I’m so proud of it. We’ve gotten it all decorated and I’m so excited to come home to it at the end of the day!
  • Send birthday cards to everyone: I started out the year strong and I got birthday cards to people I saw in person. As for the rest… well I got all my wedding thank you notes out? That counts for something, right?
  • Pray more: I’m doing much better at this then I was at the start of the year, though I still have room for improvement.
  • Finish a novel: I didn’t, but I have been making progress on one after months of not writing at all. It feels good to break my writers block.

Now as for the coming year?

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The gift of “good enough”

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I’ve been writing a lot of posts about self improvement. It’s been on my mind, and I honestly think it is something we should all be striving for. It’s important to constantly be shaping yourself into something better, because like it or not, you’re going to change either way, you might as well be going in the right direction.

But with all the talk of self improvement I think I need to counter it, because perfectionism is the enemy of good. If you’re aiming for perfect most the time you will fail, you should be aiming for better instead, or depending on where you started, a lot better. You can’t be great at everything, sometimes you simply have to be okay with being good at something.

So let’s talk about settling. We’ve been taught that settling is bad, and in some situations it really is. You shouldn’t settle on a spouse. You shouldn’t settle when you know your work warrants more. But there is a different kind of settling that no one talks about, a healthy kind that keeps you sane.

I’m talking about knowing when things are good enough and taking them.

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The “FitBit” Method:

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I don’t have a Fitbit, but I know enough people who do to understand the drive towards getting in your daily steps. It’s a big deal to beat your friends or even beat yourself. It’s a fun easy way to motivate you to be more active. It’s a genius idea.

I found myself applying that logic lazily when I thought about reaching my social activity levels. The other morning I talked to my hairdresser while getting a cut, talked to a stranger in line for 30 minutes at the social security office, and I went and ate lunch with my mom. I had this brief image of a empty bar filling right up. I felt like I reached my mandatory social needs for the day, and that even if I did nothing else for the day I wouldn’t feel isolated.

We need to be active. We need to be social. These are parts of a healthy life. We also need to drink a certain amount of water, consume a certain amount of vitamins, earn a certain amount of money, do enough positive actions, and think enough positive thoughts. We have all these daily bars to fill, and we hardly ever think about it in those terms, but maybe we should.

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The timeline of getting over someone:

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I think we’ve been trying to figure out how long it takes to get over a relationship or friendship since they started falling apart, which is to say, since the beginning of time. If you Google how long it takes to get over someone you’ll find answers like “half the time of the relationship” or “18 months” and all kind of other answers. None of us want to submit to the fact that it’s different for everyone, no one wants to talk about the relationships it took years to get over or the friendship loss from six years ago that you’re still bitter about.

It’s tough, but there isn’t any timeline.

It’s tough, but there is good news in that, and it’s that whatever you’re going through is normal. You’re normal. That always brings a big sigh of relief.

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