Tag Archives: happiness

Time For Some Refocusing (or I Need To Do Some Follow Through)

My life has been getting a bit crazy lately, but crazy in a good way. I’m back to my normal routine without the worry about medical issues in my head. I’m back in the dating game and while I’ve had some negative experiences I’m having fun. I’m going out with my friends and doing so much stuff that I love. Honestly, this is close to the happiest I’ve been as an adult. I think a lot of it is because I don’t care as much about what other’s think, but I also think I’m just making an effort to make me happy.

Not everything in my life is going great, but it’s pretty awesome right now. I’m taking more time to focus on the positives in my life than the negatives that might come up. But because I’m not focusing on the negatives, I’m slacking off on some things and I know that I need to work on that balance.

Some of the slacking off has been cleaning and organizing. This has been something on my to-do list for a while and I’m just not taking the time out to do the work that I need to do. And looking at my calendar for the coming days, I honestly don’t know when I’ll have the chance to do it. And because I want to do more than just a basic cleaning, I know that this is something I need to set aside the time to do.

My desk has been getting a bit out of control because I’m sitting at it so many hours a day. When I start working on stuff and don’t get to finish, I just set it to the side on my desk thinking I’ll pick it up later. But later doesn’t seem to come and some of these things have been on my desk for too long. One of the things that’s been on my desk forever has been the dry erase board that I used for my Oscars costume. When I got it, I assumed that I would be using it at my desk or somewhere else. But I haven’t done anything with it and I don’t know now if I will be using it. I just need to make a decision and do something with it.

My closet is another trap right now for me. I really need to go through all my clothes and figure out what I want to keep and what I need to toss. There are several things in my closet that are now too big for me and I don’t want to keep them around anymore. But sometimes it’s hard to let those things go because I justify in my head that maybe I could get it tailored smaller or that I might wear it baggy. But I know I won’t and I just have to let it go. There are also things that have gotten torn or just not my style anymore and I need to get rid of it. But again, this is a major cleaning and I know I’ll need to set aside lots of time to do it. I probably will need to try on a lot of stuff from my closet to do this and when I do this cleaning I also am looking at making a list of what I own so I don’t feel like I’m missing something in my closet and go out and buy it (I’ve done that before and have had to make trips to return duplicates).

And as always, I just want to clean up some of the clutter that is in my house. I keep a lot of stuff for sentiment value and I know that I don’t need to do that. I want to work on digitizing more stuff that I keep and finding new and clever ways to organize and store what I want to have. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much I want to get done, but I also know in the long run that this will be an awesome thing for me to do and I will probably be really happy when I feel like I have a cleaner, more organized, and happier space.

I know a lot of people who have gone through major cleanings like this have been inspired by the book “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up”. I actually have this book. I bought it almost 2 years ago and for some reason I haven’t really started to read it. I know that I always get distracted by other books that I have, but now that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the work I want to get done I think this might be a good time to start reading it. I’m in the middle of one book right now so I probably won’t be able to read it until next week, but I honestly forgot that I owned the book until I started to feel as overwhelmed as I am now.

I’m tired of setting a goal to work on cleaning my space and not following through with it. I need to just get my butt in gear and do it. But it’s not always easy to make a change like this when you’ve been putting it off. But hopefully soon I will find the motivation and time to get this done and I can feel calmer in my space so that my home will make me as happy as my social life is making me.

I’m Celebrating (or Healing My Soul At Disneyland)

Like I said in my post about my new monthly challenge, I’m working on reconnecting with myself since my medical miracle. And I think it comes as no surprise that one way I wanted to get back to normal is to go to Disneyland! I was so sad when I was there the last time thinking that it was almost like a goodbye to the parks. So this time I was celebrating coming back to the parks and not having surgery!

Of course, since it was a celebration about my liver, I had to wear my liver shirt. I don’t know how many opportunities I’ll have to wear it, so I have to take advantage of each time that I can.

I went with Michelle and Lauren and all 3 of us were in agreement that we wanted to just have a fun day at Disneyland. There was nothing that we really felt like we had to do, so we decided to take our time and get on one of the Main Street vehicles to get down toward the castle. As we entered the park, the fire truck was getting ready to go so we hopped on board and enjoyed not having to walk through all the crowds.

We heard that the regular Space Mountain is coming back soon we wanted to go on HyperSpace Mountain to enjoy the ride while it was still here. Again, I tried to get my shirt in the photo but I think I just have to accept that this is a tough shirt to read on ride photos.

Right after riding that ride, I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. It took me by surprise, but I realized that being at Disneyland was healing my soul. I’ve been working on getting back to being me and not thinking of the surgery and tumors but it’s been something in the back of my mind for so long now. And when the surgery was cancelled it was so weird that this feeling didn’t go away. I didn’t know what would make me feel like me again and I guess Disneyland was what I needed. When we were done with that ride I turned to Michelle and said that I thought that my soul was just healed. It’s so weird that this is what I needed but I’m so glad that it was! I feel so much better now and I was happy to get on with the rest of my day and enjoy Disneyland!

Our next stop was to get lunch and we had made reservations at one of the sit down restaurants in New Orleans Square. We wanted to be able to relax and enjoy ourselves and it was awesome sitting in the shade (it was a hot and sunny day) and having some good food. I got a steak sandwich which was the special they had and it was delicious!

And since it was so hot out, I was convinced to go on Splash Mountain. I don’t like water rides and I haven’t been on Splash Mountain in a long time, but it seemed like the perfect thing to go on that day. Lauren and Michelle told me that sitting in the back was where I had the lowest chance of getting soaked and I trusted them and hoped for the best.

And they were right! I got a bit wet, but nothing too horrible. And Lauren gave me some great tips on how to keep my shoes from getting soaked (I hate having wet shoes for the rest of the day). We tried to do a “hear no evil, say no evil, see no evil” photo, but itls a bit tough to see us with how we were sitting.

After Splash Mountain we decided to do the other New Orleans Square rides that we love and went on Haunted Mansion and Pirates Of The Caribbean (Johnny Depp was not performing live on the ride that day). And then we headed back to Tomorrowland for another ride on HyperSpace Mountain.

That may be the last time I ride it as HyperSpace Mountain (unless they bring it back again another time), but it was a great ride that time and I was pretty happy knowing it might be the last time on that version of the ride.

And of course, since Michelle and I have a year-long battle on Buzz Lightyear happening right now, we had to go on that. Michelle is catching up to me so I need to work on improving my game!

It was about rush hour then so we decided to do a few more rides before leaving. And then Lauren surprised me with a button that she had gotten from a Cast Member after we went on Buzz Lightyear.

I was so touched that she got that for me! We are new friends and the only other time she was at Disneyland with us was when it was thought to be my last trip before surgery. And when we met up this time she was so excited to be able to celebrate me not having surgery. It’s fun being able to celebrate this (and I keep celebrating since I keep seeing different people) and getting an “I’m Celebrating” button was just awesome!

Our next to last ride was Small World. I don’t usually go on Small World, but the line wasn’t too bad and it is a fun one to go on. I know that many people didn’t like when they added Disney characters into the ride, but I like it and think they blend in pretty nicely. And I love seeing the topiaries in the front of the ride and how pretty it looks on the outside.

And for the final ride of the day, we went on another one that I don’t do too often: The Matterhorn. I think the last time I went on it was with my parents. I love the yeti on the ride, but it’s such a bumpy ride and I always seem to hurt after it.

But we all agreed we would go on it and it would be the last ride of the day so if we hurt too much that we would be able to go home right after. I think that the ride cars have been changed since the last time I went on it because they felt more padded than I’m used to. But I was still worried about how I would feel after the ride was done.

And as I expected, I loved the ride except how bumpy it was. It wasn’t as bad as before, but still not something that I would want to do every time I’m at Disneyland. But I’m glad I rode on it and now I can wait another year or so before doing it again.

Considering that we got to the parks at about 1pm and had a sit down lunch, I think we got so much done in our day! The benefit of being a pass holder is not needing to rush around to do everything and I love that we can just have fun and not stress about getting in too many rides. But somehow we did get in a bunch and that made the day even better!

And having my soul healed by Disneyland (or whatever you want to call it) really was an added bonus. I wasn’t expecting that at all but looking back at it I think it makes sense. While I’ve been working on getting back to normal life to feel normal, Disneyland is a big part of my life and going there does give me a sense of normalcy. I feel like I can move on and focus on doing everything that I was doing before and not thinking about my next MRI and the possibility of needing surgery in the future. I want to have fun now and enjoy life and that’s exactly what my day at Disneyland accomplished!

 

Working On Self Care (or Going Back To My Checklist)

I think it’s been a bit obvious from my past posts that I’m in a bit of a funk right now. I wouldn’t say that I’m depressed, but I’m not my usual happy-go-lucky self. I get this way from time to time and I know that I just have to suck it up and wait it out. Sometimes these funks are for a certain reason and sometimes they are random. I think this one is a combination of both.

While I know that I need to wait out these funks, that doesn’t mean that I don’t make an effort to get out of them quicker. Sometimes, what I need it to be out and about. I need to be around other people and remember to have fun in my life again. But in this case, I’ve had a pretty busy social life lately. I feel like I have to fit in all my social life into these next few weeks before I’m out of things for a while. While there is a chance that I won’t be recovering as long as I’m afraid I will be, I still feel like I have to be out and getting things done.

I think that I’m experiencing a bit of burn out right now. My calendar has been packed lately and I’m working hard to do everything that I tell my friends I will go and do. I don’t want to let others down and I’m probably putting other people ahead of myself recently. So I’ve spent the past few days trying to slow down and focus on myself.

I’ve been sitting and home and just been lazy and that has been really good for me. I’m catching up on podcasts that I’ve been meaning to listen to and watching shows on my DVR that I’ve been meaning to watch. Sometimes all I’m doing in a day is work (or work and then going to Orangetheory) and that’s been perfect for me. It’s weird to think how much I needed to have some alone time, but it seems like that has been doing the trick into getting my mood back up.

I’ve also gone back to my happiness checklist to focus on those tasks. It’s pretty easy for me to do most of those tasks but because they are easy I don’t work on them that much. One of the things on my checklist is reading, and that is something I do every day. At the very least, I read in bed before going to sleep. But that has not been enough for me lately and I have been trying to carve out time in my life to read more. I’ve been re-reading a lot of books that I’ve loved in the past and that has been bringing me so much happiness. I know many people don’t read books more than once, but I love going back to a book that I’ve enjoyed and seem to always find something new in the book.

I’m also just ok with being alone in my house just being quiet and doing nothing. I hate to waste time and it’s a luxury that I don’t have that often, but when I can be lazy and not worry about what I’m trying to get done I do that. It’s a way for me to recharge myself and try to refocus on what I really do want to do versus have to do.

I’m still not 100% back to my usual self, but I’ve definitely made steps into getting out of this funk. I know that being sad isn’t really helping me and that there isn’t a real reason for me to feel that way now. But I’ve been acknowledging my feelings and letting them sit with me. Doing that can help me understand why I’m feeling this way and what I should do to take care of myself. I never would have expected that being too social could be the problem, but from doing some reflection I figured out that it could be the case and I think that I was right.

I’m going to keep working on self-care and working on myself over the next few days and I’m sure I’ll be back to normal before I know it. It’s not fun to feel this way and I want to get back to feeling like me. Sometimes it takes time and while I’m working on being patient, I don’t have all the time in the world so I’m doing what I can to get myself back.

Getting Out Of A Funk (or Focusing On Happiness)

I think you could all tell from yesterday’s post that I’m in a low point right now. I hate when I have bad days like that, and I think the way that I get into a funk is why I was diagnosed with severe depression in the past (recently it was decided that it was a misdiagnosis because it’s not very severe or often). I’m still working on getting myself back to where I was before, but at least I’m working on it now.

Food is still a huge issue. I’m hoping it gets better soon and I’m working on some new ideas to make things easier on me and not requiring as much thought. When I have to think about food, it makes things worse. Meal planning should be best, but then I end up not wanting to eat what I plan. I’ve got some ideas from friends that I’m testing out and it’s really just trial and error right now. I’m trying to focus on the idea that at least I’m working on this instead of giving up like I have in the past.

I’m also working on focusing on my happiness checklist. I do fill that out every single day still and it’s a good reminder that even on days where I isolate myself from everyone there are things I can do that make me happy. My happiness checklist is an app now (it’s easier to do that than to always carry around paper to fill it out) and I do try to look at it midday to see what I’ve done and what I will be doing to make sure that at least a few things will be checked off every day.

Fortunately with the checklist, some of the things are pretty much a guarantee for me. Writing these posts (or other blogs I freelance on) are a part of that checklist. And reading is one that I get done every single day without fail. I’ve been reading a lot lately because it is an escape for me and it takes my mind off of things that are stressing me out or making me upset. Thank goodness for my library card to get e-books because I’m going through more books a week than ever and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars a year on books!

I read a pretty big variety of books. Right now, I am reading 10 pages of an eating disorder recovery book every day, but that’s not my main reading. I read a lot of fiction and I try to get some non-fiction in there from time to time. If you want to see what I’m reading, I’m trying to stay up to date with my Goodreads account and tracking what I’ve been enjoying. Books have always made me happy and I’m glad that they continue to do so.

And I’m letting myself be lazy and watch tv and movies after work. It’s not the best thing to do all the time, but sometimes you have to just do it and not worry about the lack of movement and activity after work. I finally caught up on all the Olympics and ceremonies so I’m moving on to other things. Most recently, I watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Everyone has been talking about it since it came out last month, and I’m finally catching up.

Stranger Things

I’m happy to say that it is just as good as everyone has said it was and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had to break up my viewing since it was 8 hours of a show and I didn’t have 8 hours without needing to work or sleep. But I think the way I broke it up (2 episodes one day and the last 6 the next) worked out well. It is a bit scary at times, so I don’t recommend watching it right before going to bed unless you have something happy to watch right after this and before needing to sleep (which is exactly what I did).

I am feeling my mood getting better, I’m not feeling as sick as I was earlier in the week, and the food is still not ideal but it is better. Overall, I think I’m on an upswing to things and I’m just hoping that it will be back to normal soon. I’ve got some fun things coming up next week so I think if I’m not back to normal by then, those fun things will improve my mood right away!

Happy Birthday To Me (or So This is 33)

Today is my birthday! As you’ve seen from past birthdays, I’m a big birthday person. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays and I love celebrating my own. So my birthday being today is a pretty special day for me. I’ll be writing posts later about how I celebrate my birthday (as usual it will take place on a couple of different days). But today I just wanted to reflect on turning 33.

I have no fear about being 33. I’m not really where I thought I’d be by 33, but this is the first year it’s really not bugging me that much. When I was in high school, I figured by now I’d be acting full-time, be married, have kids, and have a pretty stable life. Technically right now, none of that is true. The only thing that is close is the stable life but that’s not really how I feel about my life right now.

Yes, I still want to get married, have kids, and be acting full-time but I’m not feeling like it needs to happen right now as I thought in the past. If I was already married, that would mean I married someone I dated in the past and I’m really happy that didn’t happen. Those relationships ended for good reasons and I doubt I could be happily married to any of them now.

And I’m aware that there is a countdown until I can’t have kids any more (stupid biological clock), but I’ve still got a few years to work on that before it’s really going to be an issue. I’ve seen so many of my friends build their families in ways other than having their own kids, so I know that I don’t need to get pregnant to have kids one day. Having that pressure taken off of me and my mind has been a good thing for me.

Even though my life isn’t where I thought it would be, I’m pretty darn happy where I am at 33. The acting part of my life is the only part where I’m a bit annoyed at times that I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve gained patience and am so grateful for any opportunities I do have to perform and work to make the most of every moment I get to be in front of the camera. And I have faith in myself that I will get to where I want to be one day.

And I’ve made some amazing friends as an adult and I know having them in my life has made things so much better for me. Those friends push me to better myself and help me get to where I want in life. I never imagined what friends I would have at this point in my life when I imagined my future while in high school, but I never could have imagined having friends as incredible as the ones I have in my life now. So that is so much better than I dreamed of.

Overall, I’m really excited to be 33. I think this is going to be a great year for me. Things are in a much better places than they have been in the past and I know that things are just going to continue to get better and better. As I say quite a bit on here, I’m just excited to see what comes next because I know that good things are coming my way.

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes! Some birthday fun recaps to come soon!

Focusing On The Happy (or What Will Be Good At Thanksgiving)

After talking about how stressed out I’m getting about getting everything done before Thanksgiving, I decided to take a step back and focus on the good things that will be happening next week. I think I realized that I need to focus on the good after reflecting on my happiness checklist yesterday. I’ve realized that happiness and good things haven’t been as much of a focus as it should be and I wanted to remedy that.

Obviously, we are all trying to remember that last Thanksgiving was pretty epic and will likely be impossible to top. It wasn’t just that almost the entire family was there at one time, but we had amazing weather and everyone seemed to have a great time. We have the same rental house this year as we did last year, but since my grandpa won’t be there (and a few other family members will be missing due to scheduling issues), it won’t be the same even if we have the amazing weather again.

I’m really excited to see my family. So many family visits lately have been a bit on the sad side, so it will be nice to have a family gathering that should be happier. There are a couple of things that have been planned for Thanksgiving (that I can’t share yet because they are surprises) that may bring a bit of a somber mood, but I think we are all focused on making our family holiday a happy thing.

I’m super excited to give my mom her Hanukkah gift. I’ll be sharing what I got her next week (again, I can’t ruin the surprise), but I think that she’s going to be shocked by what I got and I think she will love it. And I can’t wait to give my dad his birthday present because I think it’s something that he’ll be so happy to have but never would have bought for himself.

I can’t wait to see my cousin’s kids and do some face painting on them. I bought a big face paint kit this year and I think it will be a bit crazy when my cousins and I start painting their faces. We can get more creative than we’ve been in the past, but we can get over the top as well. But I know that when the kids have their faces painted and they are showing the designs off to everyone that the entire family should be smiling. I think everyone has gotten a kick out of this weird tradition that I started by accident.

And of course, I can’t wait to see the dog! It’s been a while since I’ve seen him and he’s gotten so much bigger! I’ll be working with him on a trick or two and my parents have been telling me how much better he’s gotten with his obedience training. The other day Tucker was at the dog park and tore up his skin from a bush. My parents didn’t realize he was hurt at first because he didn’t cry, limp, or show any signs of being injured. But once they saw it they took him to the vet to get it checked out (we might be a bit overly cautious because of what happened with Chaucer). The vet said it needed to be cleaned and stitched up so that was done. And instead of putting Tucker in the cone of shame, the vet recommended putting Tucker in a shirt so he can’t lick at his stitches.

Tucker in a shirt

I think he looks so silly and cute at the same time! I don’t know if he will still need to be wearing a shirt next week (his stitches don’t come out until after Thanksgiving), but he will look cute whether he’s clothed or naked. Tucker is officially now our dog with the most scars. And they’ve all been very minor injuries that Tucker doesn’t even notice. That dog either doesn’t have a ton of pain receptors or he is so distracted when he’s playing that he ignores any pain he has. But all his scars have fun stories and he seems to not mind visiting the vet (I don’t know if he loves being in the shirt).

And of course, the food and company are things to look forward to next week. I’ll be in San Diego for about 3 days so I’ll have a lot of time to hang out (even if I do have to work the day before and the day after Thanksgiving). No matter what happens over Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful that I have the chance to spend time with 4 generations of my family and be surrounded by people who I love and who love me. I know that that is a luxury that not everyone has and I need to be grateful that I do have that.

Checking In With Myself (or I Need To Find New Things That Make Me Happy)

Even though I think my therapist is shocked that I’m continuing to do this, I’m maintaining my daily happiness checklist. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’m actually really glad that it’s a part of my routine. It’s good for me to reflect back on my day and make sure that I’m doing things for myself and not just because I have to.

The only thing that I’m able to check off every single day is reading. Reading makes me so incredibly happy and I could easily spend hours every day reading. But since that isn’t a reality most days, I make sure that I get to read for at least a little while before I go to bed. I can’t remember the last day that I had where I didn’t read even for a little bit. It was probably at least 5 or 6 years ago. The only thing that makes me sad about reading is when I finish a book series that I love so much and I know that there aren’t going to be any more books. But fortunately I have a very wide range of tastes when it comes to books so I’m always able to find something to read next that excites me (but I’m happy to get any book recommendations that you all have).

Reading is the only thing that gets checked off every day, but there are a couple of things that are checked off almost every day. Going to Orangetheory or working out in another way is checked off more often than it isn’t. And blogging is checked off usually at least 5 out 7 days in the week. I’m glad that I know that almost every day I’m guaranteed to have 3 things on my checklist checked off. I think 3 or 4 things out of 10 is the lowest I’ve ever been on my checklist.

I’m finally getting more checks in my acting column. Going to class once a week counts (and I count going to the shows I have to see for class as well). Getting my headshots count. And of course, auditions count but those aren’t as common and are not controllable by me. I want to focus on getting more checks in that column, but I know that that is only going to happen if it is things that I control. That is one of the things that is pushing me toward going to the next level in my improv class.

The rest of my column are super sporadic. I have a Disneyland/Outing column, but with my schedule lately there haven’t been a lot of outings. I’ll be making at least one Disneyland trip next month (I’m hoping for 2) and I know that when my schedule is calmer that I can focus on planning more fun things.

Having a meal out (another column) is another one that is pretty low on checks. I think this goes hand in hand with the lack of outings (and a lack of money). This one will get some more checks in it soon with Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this column after I see my therapist next month.

I know that the reason my therapist had me do this list originally was to make sure that I did things that make me happy every day. But the more times I do the list, the more I’m realizing that maybe the things that I thought make me happy aren’t right. Or maybe I need to focus on different ones that fit in my circumstances better. I know that going out for dinner makes me happy, but that’s not something that would happen too often even if my money situation was different.

I’m really starting to question what makes me happy in life and if I have enough things that make me happy in my life. Maybe I need to find more happiness and that’s something that is lacking in my world. It’s weird to think that I thought that I’ve been happy when in reality I might not have been. I’m not depressed, but I might have been fooling myself with how happy I’ve been.

I’m not going to change up my checklist in the middle of it. I see my therapist is a little over a month and the checklist will remain the same until I see him. After I see him, that’s when I create the new checklist that will have the right number of days before my next appointment (usually either 60 days or 90 days later). I think reevaluating things every other month or so it’s too bad and I’m sure lots of people could benefit from doing so. Since I feel forced into it by my therapist calling it “homework”, I don’t ignore what the checklist is telling me.

I’m sure this post seems a bit like I’m rambling on. It’s a weird feeling to think that you don’t know what makes you happy and that the things you thought made you happy don’t. I’ve got a month to think about what I do in life that makes me happy and then I’ll create the checklist that will take me into the new year and hopefully I can make 2016 the happiest year that I’ve had so far.

Goodbye 31 (or Hello 32!)

First of all, this is my 800th blog post! That’s so crazy! I feel like I need to start planning something amazing to do for my 1000th post now!

Anyway, back to today’s post!

This weekend is my birthday! As you know I look forward to my birthday every year. I enjoy all the freebies that I can, and I get to see so many of my friends over my birthday adventures.

This is always a busy time for celebrations for my family. Not only is it my birthday on Sunday, it is my cousin’s birthday and my parents’ anniversary today! I like having all these celebrations at the same time. Sometimes being at the tail end of all the celebrations isn’t fun, but that’s ok. The best time with the celebrations back to back was when my entire family traveled to Africa for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. While we were in Africa, we celebrated my cousin’s birthday, my parents’ anniversary, and my birthday. That birthday is still one of the most memorable ones for me (and not just because I had the worst food poisoning of my life the night before my birthday).

Africa Birthday

I know many people my age hate getting older, but it doesn’t bother me at all. Maybe that’s because I don’t look my age, or maybe that’s because in the acting world I play younger than my real age. In fact, there are times that I forget my real age and only remember my acting age. That always makes for an awkward moment when I’m having to think about how old I am.

Getting older doesn’t scare me at all either. I’m not in the place I thought I would be when I’m 32, but I also never knew I could be in the place that I am in right now either. I have a really amazing life. I have really amazing friends who love and support me 100%. I am living in my dream city and working on making my dream career come true. I always thought by the time I was 30 that I would be married and have kids. By 32 I figured I’d be living a stay-at-home mom life and maybe still pursuing acting.. I still have the dream of getting married and having kids, but I don’t feel the same time crunch that I imagined in my 20’s.

Turning 32 isn’t a milestone birthday. But whenever I try to do things for milestone birthdays, they’ve never happen the way that I wanted them to. I remember my 21st birthday, I was supposed to have a ton of friends come meet me at a restaurant so we could celebrate my first legal drink. Throughout the day, friends were contacting me saying that something came up or there was a family emergency. I didn’t feel like I was being bailed on, most of these people had real conflicts and it didn’t help that I had done the planning at the last-minute. In the end it was me and two friends celebrating that first legal drink. But I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It also stands out in my mind how the morning after my 21st birthday, I had to be at work at 7 AM. So there was not a lot of drinking to be done that night. So I don’t see the point in trying to make milestone birthdays special (unless I’m not planning it).

I wrote about my 30th birthday on the blog. While it was a milestone birthday, it was still a relatively low-key birthday celebration. For some reason, turning 31 seemed like a much bigger deal than turning 30. Turning 32 feels more like turning 30 but it did turning 31.

I’ve got lots of fun things planned for my birthday this year. I’ll be sharing them over the next couple of blog posts. I’m doing things a little bit more low-key this year than I have in the past, but that’s exactly how I want them to be.

I’m going into my 32nd year a much stronger, confident, happier person than I was before. This is exactly how I want to start my 32nd birthday. While I’ve had struggles and challenges this past year, I wouldn’t change one thing. Each of the struggles has improved me. While I would like to believe that I would still be the same way even without these challenges, I know that without them I never would have been able to build myself to be the way that I am.

So here’s the last few days of being 31! And here’s to making 32 my most amazing year ever!

Recovering From A Bad Day (or Making Sure I Fill In My Checklist)

After my bad day, I knew that I would have to wake up the next morning with a better attitude. I didn’t want a bad day to turn into a bad week. In the past, I would just try to do random stuff to cheer me up. But now, I have a record of things that make me happy.

So my Monday was focused on my checklist and seeing what I could get done. I have never gotten all 10 items in a single day, nor do I think that that is really possible, but I wanted to get a bunch off.

My day started with a workout. Even though workouts aren’t my favorite thing in the world, that is a great start to a day. Between the workout and marching in place while watching tv, I managed to get my 10,000 steps in for the day.

After my workout, I had some time to kill at my house. I wrote a blog post for one of the blogs I freelance on. Since it was so hot in my house I took advantage of the speech to text feature on my phone and wrote the post in bed in front of a fan. So that was much better than typing at a hot computer (this post is typed at my computer, but I’m going to start taking advantage of the speech to text feature more often!). Getting blog work done always makes me happy because I’m always stressed about what I will write about. Fortunately I had some inspiration for that article.

After writing I read for a long while. I just finished one book and had fun choosing what I would read next. So of course I got sucked into my book and read probably longer than I should have.

My evening ended with meeting up with a friend and going to see “Ant Man”. We had been meaning to see it for a while, and we finally both had some time free. I go see comic book movies with this friend because he knows everything about the comic book world and was able to explain things I didn’t get after the movie. I really enjoyed the movie, even more than I expected! The only thing that bugged me was I knew that I knew the actor who played the bad guy from somewhere. I didn’t want to be an annoying theater patron so I didn’t try to slyly look it up on my phone. As soon as the credits came up, I looked and realized I knew him from a Lifetime movie! Super random.

Overall, it was a pretty great day. I checked 7 things off of my happiness checklist which I think is pretty amazing. And I really got out of my bad day funk. Things from that day are getting better. My schedule is back on track, I’m sleeping better, and the new chain for my necklace should be delivered in a day or two.

I guess you really do have to just accept sometimes that a day might suck but know that the next one doesn’t have to.

Another Therapist Check In (or Showing Off My Happiness Checklist)

I had another appointment with my therapist this week. Last time I was there, he gave me homework to do over the next 90 days (the number of days between my appointments). I was to make a checklist of 10 things that make me happy and track how many I do each day. The goal wasn’t to do all 10 every day (I don’t think I ever did that), but it was to try to make sure that I at least do some every day.

I did this for 90 days (my appointment ended up being on day 89 so I finished it the day after my appointment). And my checklist looked pretty full.

Old Happiness Checklist

I brought my (almost) completed checklist with me to my appointment to show my doctor. It was the first thing we discussed and honestly I think he was pretty surprised that I did it. He said that many patients start one and only keep it up for a couple of days and others never actually do it. But I wanted to prove that I’m taking this seriously and I’m not just going to therapy to get medication (although that is what started this process).

He told me to continue my checklist for the next 60 days (again, it’s the length of time between my appointments). I had to make a new checklist and I was allowed to keep any or all of the previously happiness items on the list. I decided to keep all but one of them. I changed shopping/beauty because while that does make me happy, my financial situation prevents me from doing it as often as I’d like. Nothing else on my list is restricted by money so I figured that that one was meant to go. In place of shopping/beauty I put binge free day. It’s a bit controversial that I listed lack of eating disorder symptoms as something that makes me happy, but hopefully my therapist will be ok with this.

New Happiness Checklist

After going over my checklist, we discussed how I was doing on Vyvanse. I’ve been very torn about the medication. It has helped a tiny bit (I’d say I’ve had many a 5% improvement) but I don’t want to take something if it isn’t making a significant change in my life. There are side effects that can be dangerous and I want to be in a place where the benefits outweigh the side effects.

My therapist seemed to understand my feelings and how I don’t want to give up on Vyvanse but I don’t know if continuing to take it is the right choice. So we are going to try changing up my dosage to see if that helps. I’m now going to take one pill in the morning and another pill right before lunch time. I just started this yesterday so I have no idea yet how it will really affect me or if it’s going to work a lot better. But I am very hopeful. I have to be since I know that many things can be affected if you are positive or not. So I’m going to remain positive about this and give it the best shot I can.

My therapist said that the best plan is to take the medication and forget about it. I shouldn’t make it the focus of my day (I wonder how he feels about me writing an entire blog post about it?). So if I’m supposed to forget about the medication, I’m going to focus on the happiness checklist and seeing how much I can get checked off in the next 60 days.