Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tristi's Check-In

Today is my birthday. Yep, I'm now a rip-roarin' 34. It's always weird to assign a number to myself - I've never felt my age, and there's no reason to start now, right?

Birthdays are times of fun and celebration, but I always really struggle emotionally on my birthdays. I always feel like something should have happened that didn't. I also spend time analyzing my life, whether I really want to or not - it just sort of happens.

Yeah, I'm going to get all introspective again - sorry about that.

All the areas in my life bring me a combination of joy and stress. I love my life - I really do. I'm so in love with my family, and my writing career is going well and promises to do a little better in future, and I love my job. Really, I'm so blessed in so many ways. But each of those blessings comes along with a certain amount of stress, and I realized something interesting today.

My dad dealt with his stress by locking himself away, either physically or emotionally. He read, or did crossword puzzles, or anything else he could to pull himself out of reality.

My mom dealt with her stress by ranting and raving.

These are the two examples I had growing up. Both my parents have come a long way since then (not in time to save their marriage, which ended when I was 13) but growing up, I never saw positive examples of how to deal with stress. So what do I do? I rant and rave, and then I withdraw from the world.

I was thinking about that tonight. Why don't I deal with my stress more positively? And it occurred to me - I honestly don't have any idea how. I mean, I know all the positive attitude mantras and I know that we're supposed to keep an eternal perspective, etc, but that's mental knowledge, not the deep, spiritual knowledge you need to have in order to do something. And so I run around like a rat in my little maze, trying to cope with the stress but not really getting how to. And that will be my goal for the next year of my life - learning how to really let go of the stress and to only take upon myself the worries that I can do something about, and rather than thinking of them as worries, thinking of them as challenges.

So, on to my report.

I have not exercised in a couple of weeks.

I have not eaten properly in a couple of weeks.

I have not weighed myself in a couple of weeks.

In addition to not knowing how to control my stress, I'm really struggling with controlling my schedule. I'm on the run all day long, and I can't seem to get a handle on everything to the point to where I can say, "I shall now exercise," and make it come to pass. And I know this isn't an excuse, but rather as a funny - my Wii isn't working, my VCR broke (no Richard Simmons) and I took my kids to walk on the track and it started to snow. Outdoor track, see. The cosmos is against me!! :)

I don't really have a point for this post except to let you all know that I'm still alive, and to tell you all how proud I am of you. I'm thinking things through and trying to come to some conclusions about my life and why I am the way I am. Most importantly, I'm trying to think of ways to become the person I want to be. I know it can only happen through faith and determination, and I have plenty of both, but I need to focus it on me, and that has always been a problem for me.

So. That was kind of depressing, for a birthday blog. Sorry about that. But tomorrow will be a better day - I'm going to see to it.


Brent Boswell said...


Good to hear from you. I've been thinking of you these past few days. Just do the best you can and all will be well. :)

Marta O. Smith said...

Happy Birthday!

I relieve stress by eating. I know, not helpful.

But once in a while, I also relieve stress by exercising. It decreases cortisol, which is the hormone your body produces during stress, and increases endorphins, which is your body's natural morphine.

I like to put on some upbeat music and dance around. You don't need a choreographed routine. Just find a channel you like on Pandora and get your groove on. If you don't have a groove, make one up.

I recommend:
Donna Summer (She Works Hard for the Money)
Bananarama (Venus)
Commodores (Brick House)
Earth, Wind, and Fire (Let's Groove Tonight)

Anna said...

I was also going to tell you to put on some happy music and dance. I haven't exercised a whole lot this last week, but I did dance.

Every morning when the sun comes up I turn on "Walking on Sunshine" and dance around. It gets me going and makes me feel like I at least did something to move around that wasn't day to day moving around.

And good habits create good habits. So hopefully even 5 mins of taking the time will grow into 30 mins of time a day.

berlinwritergirl said...

When I am too busy to exercise, which is all the time, I try to do things while I am busy. I do squats while I am brushing my teeth, I do leg lifts while I am reading my home work books, I dance while cleaning the house. It is not much, but I feel like at least I am getting a little in. Good Luck, and I hope you had a great birthday.