This isn’t the same as my 2015 financial goals post, which is coming soon — I’ve been hammering those out and I think I’m close to being happy with them, so I’ll probably post them in the next couple of weeks.
But Michelle at the Shop My Closet Project had a great post talking about the three things she did that enabled her to “find Michelle again” in 2014. She wrote:
“I realized that I had lost myself in the crap that I was (and wasn’t) dealing with. It was hardly surprising that I wasn’t moving forward and was stuck. I am so glad that I recognized that I needed to clear the space in my life to focus on what was important to me.”
I’m not quite sure I’m there yet, but I feel like I might be on the way. Here are the three (non-financial) things I did myself in 2014 that might be helping me clear the path towards a future I want to live in:
1) I had a huge emotional crisis. This may seem counter-intuitive, and frankly, it sucked, not just during the week that was really acute but for months afterwards. But it was so bad that it forced me to actually do something, or rather several things, instead of getting along day to day as I’d been doing for quite a while. It forced me to sort out some priorities; since everything is not (yet, anyway) magically aligning in such a way that I can both live in a place I want to be in and have exactly the career I’d wanted to have, I had to make some kind of priority list. And I did.
2) I saw a therapist for about two months (direct result of the huge crisis!) As part of this process, I admitted to myself that while it is not as severe as some people’s, I really do have some kind of anxiety disorder and probably dysthemia (a steady low-grade depression) as well. Admitting that this was me, my brain chemistry, and not just “situational,” was, I hope, a big step towards being happier in the future. I am currently taking a low, steady dose of an anti-anxiety medication and I think it’s helping; so are some of the conversations I had with that therapist and with various friends this spring, about techniques to manage anxiety when it does hit.
3) I became a little bit less of a hermit. I went on two dates — one of them, I didn’t like the guy, and the other, the guy didn’t like me enough to follow up — but hey, at least I went on them. I re-committed to keeping in good touch with friends, both online and off, and I don’t just mean calling them every six months — I’ve been having good long talks on a fairly regular basis with a variety of people. I also found two religious communities in my new city, one church that I like and one more volunteer-ish group, that I really vibe with, which means twice a week at a minimum I do something that is not work or hanging out by myself at home. This may not sound like much, but I’ve been a total stick in the mud for years, which is probably on the “top 10 reasons why I’m not married” list, and making the effort to connect with real human beings who care about the things I care about, at least twice a week, has been helping me to heal some spots in my soul that have been pretty dry for a pretty long time.
And here is one thing I want to do next year: take an “energy inventory,” like Michelle suggested. What is causing me to regularly lose energy in my life? How can I address these things? I may put some thought into that over the Christmas break and have a post about it around New Year’s. It seems like a really good idea.