Friday, 20 November 2015

The Winds of Change

Recently, I spoke quite frankly about the major changes that my life has undergone - well, this year, but especially, this fall - and alluded to some changes I was making in my own life, as well as some more concrete goals I have for myself and for my little corner of the internet. This is a fairly self-indulgent space, and I intend to keep it that way. I spend my work days doing things for other people. It's my job, and I like helping people. But I think it's healthy to have something for yourself, too. 

Part of the many changes in my life that I am making is a greater focus on living a more healthy lifestyle. I like junk food, have wonky sleeping habits, hate exercise, and tend to get sucked into negative drama (because I'm incurably nosy). Yeah. When I was a student, it was a little easier to justify my love of Chinese takeout and drinking wine on a Wednesday afternoon while watching television. My time was more flexible. My life was more flexible, but it was also a lot easier to have poor habits and allow them to fester because I was...supposed to? Had no incentive to change?

In line with that overarching healthier theme, I've made a fun list of things I want to do and goals that I have. For the most part, I've avoided setting hard time limits on things because I tend to resist hard time limits, but I have a good idea of when this stuff needs to get done. 

1. My mental health is my top priority this winter.

I just moved 400km away from my major support system and my old life. I don't forsee any issues because I'm doing pretty well right now, but I recognize I'm in a vulnerable position right now, with so much upheaval, living in a new place and knowing almost no one, and feeling somewhat isolated. Making sure that I keep myself in a good place, mental health-wise is incredibly important. Avoiding unnecessarily stressful things has been part of it. I'm also prone to SAD, so I don't want to aggravate any depressive symptoms by giving myself more to feel poorly about. So if you see me reading CBC comments, forcibly remove me from the computer. 

2. Start up a small exercise routine.

I hate exercise. A lot. I get no joy out of running. I hate any kind of weight lifting. I don't enjoy yoga. I never ever get any kind of adrenaline high. This is a pretty crappy excuse to not do even a little exercise. There's an indoor and an outdoor walking track at work, and I plan to make use of those there, but I also want to do a little something in the evenings after work. I'm more likely to do things at home, so tomorrow's errand is to pick up a yoga mat and start small.

3. Eat properly.

This means a lot of things: cut my dairy consumption down (and/or replace my dairy vices with lactose-free alternatives because lactose-intolerance sucks), eat a proper amount of vegetables and fruit, avoid eating too much junk food, make balanced meals, and quit drinking pop. I've already faltered on the last one again (I actually quit drinking pop about five years ago, but picked it up again three years ago) because of cranberry ginger ale, but I am making sure I no longer buy pop with meals at restaurants and avoid buying it at work. 

4. Learn to drive.

I've avoided learning to drive for eight years now. I'm completely terrified of driving. I've managed to mask this for eight years with some fairly legitimate reasons (my family only had one car, I went to university and didn't have access to a car anyway, I have vision issues, I was busy having eye surgery...) but the excuses have run out and my desire to have the freedom of being able to drive has spiked since I started preparing to move. There's a driving school not far from my apartment, and I plan on writing my beginner's in the next few weeks. 

5. Better my French.

Despite (or maybe because of, in a long tradition of anglophones in New Brunswick) growing up in a bilingual city, my French is not great. I also lack confidence in what French I do know, so I can read it pretty well, but almost never speak it. After six years in Nova Scotia, I've also fallen out of living life in a bilingual area. I've signed up for some French language training through work this year, and I plan to get myself up a level of French language proficiency.

6. Limit my discretionary spending.

Now that I'm a real person (being a student sometimes feels like you're not a real person), with a Monday to Friday job and a salary and more bills (oh hello, student loans) I want to do better with my spending. It's never been a problem - I'm fairly frugal in most areas of my life and buy things I need quite judiciously, but I have been fairly free with my fun spending, and it's time to keep better track of my budget and be more balanced with my spending. It does help that my cost of living has gone down (thanks, rural New Brunswick!).

7. Be more realistic about my beauty purchases.

I love perfume, and that's not going to stop, but I work in a scent-free environment now, and especially, being at a hospital, I take that very seriously, even if I spend no time with patients. So do I really need the latest limited edition scents? (for that matter, do I need all the perfume I currently own? No.) I have a much more limited window of time to wear and test new perfumes and I already have a pile of samples I haven't tried yet. So. I don't need any more makeup. Possibly ever. I don't need any more soap - seriously, I have so much soap right now. I'm not going on a hard no-buy (though I'm avoiding purchasing things as my general end of year abstinence from buying stuff right now) but I want to limit myself as much as possible from acquiring things just because.

8. Be more creative with blogging.

Reviews are all well and good, but I want to write more interesting posts. Or at least structure reviews in different and interesting ways. It's easy to get into a rut of posting, and this is a promise to myself to actually tackle some of the things on my "post ideas" list. And this is my blog, so I can do what I want. Sometimes I forget that, as silly as it sounds.

I think this is a pretty good list for me to tackle this year. It's the culmination of some long-simmering thoughts about things I wanted to do, once I found some measure of stability in my life, at least for a bit. I'm excited and apprehensive and happy and sad about all that is happening right now. I am doing my dream job, though, so above all else, I'm remembering that to brighten my days and motivate me to take care of myself.


  1. We're similar in a lot of ways. I have never kept up an exercise routine for longer than a few days my entire life, and I'm starting to get up there in age. What is this adrenaline high that others speak of?? I did sort of enjoy following very basic ballet exercises via YouTube at one point -- maybe I'll pick that up again. That walking track sounds pretty handy. I use the nearby granny mall as an indoor track, but that doesn't help with the no shopping situation.

    1. I'm pretty sure everyone who gets an adrenaline high is lying. They must be confusing it with relief.

      My dad recorded a bunch of yoga classes off of TV and has been doing those for about a year now. He seems to really like it and says it makes him feel better. While the idea of my father doing yoga has not yet ceased to be funny, he might be onto something...

      The walking track is pretty cool! Though the indoor one is in the basement and kind of meanders through places that look really strange (boiler rooms, receiving doors, etc.). Apparently bears are occasionally sighted on the outdoor one. I figure this is all part of my northern NB experiment.

  2. "Jogging is the worst. I know it keeps you healthy, but what cost?" - sums up exercising for me, though I do it five days a week. Because I hate myself.

    Good luck on the life changes! :) I need to do more/better blogging too...

    1. Hate jogging. So much.

      I usually walk up the three flights of stairs to the cafeteria every day (and they're double flights, so it's more like six) so that's my minimum exercise. I need to do better than that. But ugh. Exercise.

      Thanks! Some of them are sticking better than others - I just bought a giant box of clementines and at least I've only been snacking on them.


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