Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015-A Year Meant for Down Shifting


The last five years have been roller coasters so  I wasn't expecting 2015 to be different. However, this was the year I proclaimed officially to move towards simplicity and formal efforts to downshift my life. Is there a quote about feeling like an epic failure once you have officially declared an intent and then nothing changed? If I admit it, I feel less in control of my life than I did a year ago. The waking up in the middle of the night worried about so many things hasn't lessened. My mind just seems to gravitate towards other things that keep it spinning. 

While I no longer drive home from work with a mix of stress, anger, and exhaustion, I haven't really come to terms with the financial change the shift in cash flow the job change has meant for my family. This leads me to allow my brain to stew in money woes. DH on the other hand seems to have picked up the work-life imbalance, and that gives me constant nervousness that he is not taking proper care of his health, giving me more fodder for my brain stew. I won't even touch on the roller coaster my adult children have been on, with me along for the metaphorical ride a few cars behind, hoping and praying that with each rise they have, that this time, perhaps the roller coaster won't go down.  

A roller coaster is such a great metaphor for my life this past year. It seems like the high points were slow to build. I could almost hear each cog on the wheels turning at the beginning of the year when things were moving along well. Then, just when I felt a milestone was reached, whoosh, a fast descent downward, followed by a series of upward and downward curves happened one after the other. I'm ready to get off entirely in 2016. 

For 2016, I am not going to make goals, but rather shift my thinking to areas of focus. My health and those of my family, physical and mental, has to be the number one place to begin. I've actually put on weight this year instead of early efforts to eat better and get more exercise. Something is not working whether that is still eating too many crap meals on the run, noshing on unhealthy foods after meals, or not fitting in exercise as I said I was going to. Mostly, a combination of all of these. Mental health will involve a focus on relationships-improving, repairing, or leaving behind. Mental health will also be pursuing activities that keep my mind active, but still allow me the occasional television or movie binge. I also am inspired by Aril at Gnat Bottomed Towers to use nature as inspiration for getting more exercise and guide eating.

The other focus area must be my home. I need to make it a place of refuge and contentment and not a cluttered field of disorganization that it has become. I want to have cozy nooks to read a book or magazine without having to move around clutter to find said book. I want my daughter to have a comfortable room that she hangs out with her friends or the family room back again for family movie nights Having little skill on the domestic front, I'm going to have to just dig up pure grit and tackle the tough stuff that has been neglected, or bite the bullet and hire things done. I want my office back, but also don't want to pressure DD#2 to vacate before she feels on firm ground.

I'll have no specific goals about losing weight or saving money, but both should be a natural byproduct of focusing on health and home. If I come across any ideas or resources on these front though that help me stay the course, I'll be sure to write about them. For those that set annual goals each year, how does that work for you?  Do you group things together in buckets, or have concrete specific items you try and achieve? 

4 comments:

  1. Sam - don't be too harsh on yourself. It could be that you are still on a journey that will take more than one year to complete. I don't set myself too many targets because I have a horrible tendency too get obsessive and squeeze out all the fun!! Jx

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  2. I'm trying to be honest, but guilt free. Thanks for the words and I agree it will take years to shift my mindset from the work in excess mentality to refocus on myself and family. That sounds self indulgent, but I include more giving of my time without it feeling burdensome to that refocus. Happy 2016!

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  3. Giving yourself the gift of time and life enjoyment is the best gift you can give. Happy New Year!

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    1. I'll take that-with a good nights sleep. You have a good year as well, Anne.

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