A few months ago, after Thanksgiving, I started working with a counselor to help me find a balance in my life. My teeter-totter was all teeter. I was so stuck. My counselor's thought was that I had "learned depression" or a belief that I couldn't change my life, a belief learned through setting stretch goals and then not reaching them.
She suggested that I set goals in each area of life since I'd defined my problem as not having a balanced life, not having a life really. The only requirement was that the goals be small, things that would involve one step each week for 15 weeks. My 15 weeks are up mid-March, at which point I'll set 5 more goals.
I started out this way:
- Physical: taking 2 walks a week of 3,000 steps each
- Emotional: calling 2 friends each week
- Intellectual: writing a book for 10 minutes twice a week
- Social: visiting a church 2 times a month to develop a sense of community
- Spiritual: volunteering in some way
But now I've gotten better at setting priorities at work, walking away from it. I started walking through malls and furniture stores but now have joined the Y. I reconnected with my two sisters and a best friend that I'd lost track of. Have found a couple churches that feel good. And have researched ways of helping a young person transitioning out of foster care. I'm applying to be a mentor but might just tutor, to start with, remembering that small steps are better.
Oh, and I started writing a book, one I'd always intended to write, about a long-lost relationship with the ex who done me wrong. So I wrote two chapters -- the intro and the ending -- because I so didn't want to go backward. Now I'm thinking of a new story to tell. Might be about a woman in late-mid life who grows up to be herself...
Smiling at me. You gotta love yourself, you know?