There seemed to be an overall consensus that 2019 sucked! And I fully agree with that. 2019 was definitely one of my worse years on record and I was so looking forward to 2020. Then COVID-19 happened and there once again seems to be an overall agreement that this year has gone to hell as well. For a moment there I would have agreed, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately, doing a lot of reflecting and, although I was struggling there for a minute, overall I’m happy. I’m happy and I feel like I’m headed in a very healthy direction.
Before COVID-19 hit and the entire world shut down, I wasn’t happy. The end of 2018 was crazy and I spent all of 2019 just trying to survive. Although 2020 was supposed to be my year and my time to reset everything, get my life back on track, I wasn’t doing that. I had carried all the bad habits, bad energy and everything else bad with me into the new year. Although I desperately wanted to change and was trying to do things here and there, overall it was a lot of the same old same old.
I wasn’t happy with myself. I wasn’t happy with where my life seemed to be headed or lack of being headed anywhere more so. I felt stuck. I wasn’t inspired. I once again felt like I was just trying to survive. I had become complacent and was just going through the motions of life.
Then quarantine happened and if you’ve read my past Corona Journal posts, I kind of went back and forth with things for awhile. I jumped into quarantine with all these goals and projects and a plan to be super productive; make the most of my time. That worked for awhile. I accomplished some things and I’m still working on others, but then quarantine started to get to me. And I got a little depressed. I was being way too hard on myself and putting too much pressure on myself.
I went back and forth with those two polar opposites for awhile and then I kind of settled into a routine and a rhythm with life. In all honesty, I’m actually somewhat at a loss of words on how to explain what happened, which really sucks since this is a word based medium, but I found myself in a good place and that is where I have seemed to be for the last week or two. And, in the last week I’ve even gone so far as to realize I feel good and dare I say I feel happy, hence what prompted this post topic.
I don’t know what happened or what clicked. I have no idea what the true change or turning point was, but I have several theories on why I feel so good. Also, I must note, I am always afraid to say I’m happy or things are good because I feel the moment I do that the universe always sees the need to go “Ha! Watch this!” and unleash a full shit show on my life, so if things go to hell next week, I am fully prepared and know that I brought that shit on myself.
My first theory on why I think I am doing so well, is for years I have claimed to thrive in chaos. I do best when things are going crazy. When things are going good, I can’t enjoy it and I am always preparing for the next crazy thing to happen (hence the previous paragraph, I never like to say I’m happy). When things are bad or going bad, I go into a fix mode and I have a purpose. Even if I don’t know what to do or there is nothing I really can do it gives me a focus. The tension and the stress, they are feelings I’m used to living with. When they aren’t there, some may say I don’t feel right. I’ve even had a few people say when things are good I start to look for the bad just so I can feel “normal” again.
The entire country shut down.
The world is in a state of chaos. Why wouldn’t I feel good?
Now although I do believe that may be playing a role on it, that’s really more of my joke theory. I have two other theories that I think hold more weight and importance.
First off, for the first time I have finally actually put some real effort into taking care of myself, both physically and mentally. I always put everyone ahead of myself and spend very little time listening to what my body needs. Quarantine has given me the time I need to make listening to my body and my mind a habit.
For the most part, I start off every morning with a 3 mile walk. (I used to walk nearly every morning and evening when I was in Hawaii and it was something I really missed; although walking in La Puente, not nearly the same as walking in Kailua.) I also have started a four day (four days work, one day off) workout routine that not only have I been able to stick to for over a month now, I actually look forward to it.
Outside of physically working out I’ve started to take care of my mind as well. Besides starting to see a therapist while I was in Hawaii, this is the first time I’ve ever really taken it into my own hands. I’ve started trying to get in the habit of meditation. That’s still a new one for me and it’s still going to take awhile, but I think it could really help. I’ve started taking my sleep more serious. I try to drink chamomile tea before bed and I no longer allow myself to look at my phone once I get in bed (also need to work on that a little, right now I’m looking at about 75% success with the no phone rule). On nights when my husband works late I’ve started doing HeadSpace’s sleep meditations and/or listening to their nature sounds. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy the sounds as much as I do.
The second serious theory I have on why I’m essentially thriving is for the first time I have actually been given the time and freedom to reset and re-evaluate who I am, where I am in life, and what I want to do. Everyone on New Year’s or their birthday make some sort of promise to themselves to do better or get better or whatever their version of that resolution is, but how do you reset, without some serious discipline, when in all reality it’s just another day and you already have your life routine? I’m not judging. I’m that person. Every birthday I am that person. And although I make some progress here and there for the most part I live my life essentially the same way I did before I made that promise. Why? We are creatures of habit and life gets in the way. But, thanks to COVID-19 everyone’s life and day-to-day routine has turned on its head.
I’ve been unemployed before. Been in situations where I had this sort of time where in theory I could have taken the time to reflect and work on myself, but in reality I had other things to worry about. Last year when I moved back from Hawaii, I had to take care of my mom and find a job before my unemployment ran out and my car payment had to be made. When I moved to Hawaii, I had to find a place to live and job before I ran out of money and had to move back to Utah.
Right now, what else do I have to focus on, but myself? Yeah I’m technically unemployed, but I also technically have a job, they just can’t operate yet. I have a home. I have food. My mom is safe. My loved ones are safe. Of course there are things I worry about and stress about, like what if I do need to find a new job or what if I do start to run out of money? But the world is pretty much shut down. Majority of people are in the same situation I’m in. For once, there is nothing I can really do right now to improve my situation and that is a really great opportunity that you rarely get in life. There is nothing really I can do right now except take care of myself, reflect on where I am in life, and figure out where I want to go from here.
So, right now is where I was planning to share some of the things I realized about myself, but this post got a lot longer than I anticipated so I think I will save that for another day.