choosing change

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to a weight loss podcast for motivation and to better understand the science behind nutrition and fat burning. The speaker is very enthusiastic, and her tips apply to so many areas of life, not just weight loss. I credit it with being a major push behind my recent drive to be more active (both physically and emotionally) in my own life. I don’t want to look back from another birthday and think about all of the things I wish had happened that year. I want to look back and be proud of the things I did and excited for the things I am doing. There are a lot of things, large and small, that I’m either dissatisfied with or just wish they were a little more what I love and not what I settle for.

I’d tell myself, “Someday, I’ll have what I want.” But it will never be that someday if I don’t change today.

A lot of this change in perspective is taking responsibility for the choices available to me that I’ve either been too blind, too lazy, or too afraid to take. I’m not saying that today I’m grabbing my two dogs, a suitcase, and hopping on a boat to live on a tropical island, husband to follow if he chooses. That’s the daydream (complete with high-speed internet connection), but that’s not my reality. I’m sure there are some people who could and would make that daydream a reality, but I know, in all seriousness, that’s not what I want day in, day out. That’s the vacation. But my day in, day out isn’t where I want it to be, so I realized that I can take small actions to change that. I don’t have to make grand, sweeping changes that leave me without a safety net. I can take realistic action every day to make my life what I want it to be. But I have to start.

An example of small changes. . .  yesterday was pretty miserable, weather-wise. It was the kind of day that really challenges the #AnotherGreatDay affirmation. Nothing about it seemed great. I felt sick. The weather was grey, rainy, and eventually turned into slushy snow. Blegh. The house was so cold, and I was in my computer room where the heater refused to raise the temperature more than 2 degrees. I was there because I was trying to finish farming tokens for an event in FFXIV (which I’ve been ignoring while focusing on meal prep and being active). I was getting frustrated with the token drop, miserable from being cold and in pain (cold hands = painful hands), and panicked at seeing my Sunday disappear in hour after hour of dissatisfaction. When I realized how unhappy I was becoming, I walked away and took time to write a post on my weight loss Instagram account (another tool I’ve been using to stay motivated). I didn’t want my post to just be a bunch of whining, so I tried to write what the turn around to each one was. I realized that I could be warm if I moved to my bedroom. Moving to my bedroom would mean accepting that I wasn’t going to finish the event, but I also realized that I was fine when not playing FFXIV, so why stress myself about acquiring three items that I might never use? And if I did play again, my enjoyment shouldn’t be dependent upon whether or not I owned three virtual weapons. Once I stopped stressing about FFXIV and warmed up, I was much happier with how my Sunday was progressing. And even more, I felt proud of myself for not continuing in a spiral of stress and dissatisfaction that would lead to feeling like I’d wasted my day. This would not have been new for me. But I made a few small changes, and they turned my day around.

An example of a large change. . . I would like to move. I don’t want to live most of my life in the same area. I’m not a fan of being cold or of winter, so I’d like to move some place that’s either warm all year round or that has a milder winter. I could take a month or two of snow if I knew it would be gone soon. (Whereas here, I can expect four months of snow, easily.) I would like to move some place with more progressive social views where it’s easier for immigrants to integrate. I feel like my immigrant husband is stagnating in a little box here. I’d like to live in an area with broader food choices. I would like land around our house so our dogs can run free without encountering roads, people, or other dogs. I want the same for myself (except for the running part). At this point, I’m not willing to deal with selling our mortgaged house just to move a few miles away and still have the same weather, same culture, same limited eating choices. But I’d be willing to do it for a more permanent move. That, of course, requires funds and stability in the new location. So my action at making a large change was to apply to a new job in a different state. It’s a company I’ve been interested in working with for a while, and I’m a pretty-nearly-perfect match for this position. I only hope that the work I put into my résumé is sufficient to get me an interview. It’s been a long time since I’ve applied anywhere, so I did a major overhaul of my résumé. I think it looks pretty good, but I’m not a designer. I don’t know if “pretty good” is good enough. If it isn’t. . . I put myself out there. Just hitting the Submit button took a lot of guts, and I did it. Now I know I can do it again.

Oh, and that podcast? It’s Primal Potential with Elizabeth Benton. Check it out. 🙂

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