Mental Health, mental illness

Bucket List Update Week 1

2018-0210 today is a good dayMy days have been so good. Things are still hard financially, and work has still been pretty stressful. But I feel like I have this newfound purpose. I am doing new things and planning things for the future that are fun and fulfilling. So when work is hard, I come home and have something else to enjoy. This is brand new for me! Because I generally really like my job, I felt like it was enough to fulfill me. I do it every day, and I typically have some cute moment I want to share with my husband (as much as I can, respecting the students’ confidentiality.) But I just comprehended that work isn’t quite enough.

I don’t have much of a life outside of work, I realized. And while that has been perfectly okay with me in the past, when I started having goals and plans outside of work, I realized how much I enjoy that.

The last time I saw my psychiatrist was in December. I told her that despite everything working against me – things like winter (shorter, colder days), lack of routine over breaks, holiday stressors with family gatherings, and a lot of stress over money – I was doing well. I said the same thing I’ve said to various doctors over the course of many years: I’m doing okay, but not great; no, I don’t want to increase any medications at this time. Considering the circumstances, I consider myself fine, and this slump is something I’ll come out of with time and changes beyond my control (winter ending, holidays ending, money stress ending.)

Family gatherings for holidays are pretty much over, but everything else is still around: It’s still winter. We are still stressed over money. There have been plenty of days off from school (planned or snow days) where I’ve been out of routine. But my days have been just plain better lately.

I spoke in the last entry about my new bucket list. I want to tell my children (someday) about neat things I’ve done. I want to do neat things with them, and I want to have some experiences to build on. I’ve been working diligently on this.

  • I started the Couch to 5K program. I want to run in charity races, but I am not physically ready. I just completed Week 1 of C25K and it was hard, but I’m so proud of myself. It was worth it, and I plan to continue.
  • I’ve driven myself places. I want to get really good at driving stick shift again, eleven years after I last drove one. I started a smiley chart: I get a smile when I drive somewhere and don’t kill the car. I get a frown when I do kill the car on the trip. The purpose for the frown is for a frame of reference – I hope to get 20+ smiles in a row someday.
  • I’ve been cooking more. I want to be able to feel comfortable cooking 20 dishes traditionally for dinner, and 20 dishes between meals traditionally for breakfast and lunch. I made a list of ideas, and have put a few tally marks down for the items I’ve cooked since making the list. This morning I cooked over-easy eggs, the kind my husband really likes and I struggle with cooking.
  • I played a new game: Settlers of Catan, and added it to a list I’m forming of games I’m comfortable playing.
  • I still practice Spanish every day through an app, but I’ve been practicing more per day.
  • I looked up a script of what to say when calling politicians about an issue I’m passionate about. I haven’t yet called, but it’s a start!

Enjoying life feels like I’m truly living. I’m so glad to have goals and achieve them.

I hope to update about my bucket list progress again next weekend. Stay tuned! What are you doing to enjoy your life?


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