First, thank you, Lara, Erica, Jeff, and everyone else involved for all of the work in providing this opportunity for us.
I am amazed at the personal growth that I have experienced over the past few months by being aware daily of how I am reacting to life.
For over 2 years now I have been revisioning life following my marriage collapse and working at rediscovering who I am. This 100 day period has affirmed and tied together much of what I have worked on.
I set out with certain goals at the beginning: try to express myself more clearly; increase my social life; try and balance life (work vs play and emotional reactions); improve my health (and hopefully drop a few pounds); declutter my home; seek a personal/romantic relationship.
Before we started, I identified my father’s failing health as a possible obstacle to my focusing on these goals. And indeed just days into the challenge I was called to Toronto on emergency as my father was put on life support. I returned home after one week when he rallied but had to make a return trip to Toronto at the end of October for his funeral.
My family asked if I would give a eulogy. My first reaction was a panic that I could not present the things that people would expect to hear. However, I also felt the need to honour my father and I stepped into the uncomfortable zone and wrote and delivered a simple eulogy that described my father through my eyes. It was accepted very warmly and I realized that those ‘uncomfortable’ first steps can lead to an amazing ‘comfort’ zone. I now know that I needed to give that public farewell and I received a comfort and strength from it.
This encouraged me and I worked on opening up my inner self more. Again I had to risk stepping out of the comfort of guarding my emotions. I decided to stop doing what I thought people expected me to do or say. It did mean accepting a degree of vulnerability. To my surprise people actually interact much easier and happily with the real me! and…. my opinions are more valued than I thought they would be. I make the effort to show appreciation as well as expect appreciation. I feel more relaxed, realize laughter is always close at hand and have noticed more comfortable interactions with co-workers, friends and family.
I pushed myself to call friends that I had not heard from in a while and found that the reduced contact was not from a lack of desire to socialize but that they also were allowing life to overwhelm them. We are planning to meet more regularly. I find that being more open with my inner thoughts is also adding to the quality of our conversations. I am avoiding making excuses for not doing activities – something that can be easy if there are chores to do or I am feeling tired.
I challenged myself to do one household organizational chore each evening when I got home from work before relaxing for the evening. This I managed to keep up fairly well and as a result I am noticing a definite declutter progressing and am even working through some renos with realistic time expectations. Definitely more to go! By getting a few of these chores done on a gradual basis I am actually freeing up weekend time to allow me to plan for some recreation. A balance is developing.
Unfortunately a week before Christmas I had my jacket and purse stolen at a pub following our staff party. I was in shock for a while and then became very upset. After allowing myself a day and a half of feeling sorry for myself (including a good crying spell) I realized I needed to let it go in order not to spoil my whole holiday season with my family. I pondered the situation and realized that though this was a financial loss and inconvenience I would be able to move past it whereas the person who took these items is still facing whatever issues trigger the need to do something like this (I believe it had to be more than just greed). This helped to rid me of anger and realize that I was actually the one better off in this situation. I was surprised when the following day I received an inspirational email with a quote:
“When you develop your ability to balance your emotions, unexpected problems won’t knock you off balance as easily, and you’ll return more quickly to a positive outlook.” Peggy McColl
How true I found this to be! I had a wonderful Christmas with my children.
I have been getting to yoga and stretch classes more regularly and I am consistently doing a 5 – 10 minute yoga stretch session every morning. This has improved my flexibility however I was not successful in losing any weight – that is for the new year’s goal.
I have enjoyed the daily encouragement and find I am already missing ‘Jeff and Sue’ each morning. I am glad that I have kept all of the messages on email so that I can review them as needed. I was actually emailing with a friend on a near daily basis covering a lot of the topics I was exploring and I substituted that for my journalling. I believe that the daily attention to my progress and/or setbacks definitely accelerated the successes I have had and realize that it is necessary to keep personal tabs on this and not just allow life to happen.
Once again, thank you.
PS – There is also a romantic interest that has sparked!!!!