I want it to be fall so badly right now that I am drinking a hot tea and then immediately sweating it out.
While it technically is fall and has been for almost a week, I am finding it hard to get into the mindset with temperatures floating around inthe mid-to-high 80's. I know in a month or so as the damp winter winds roll in, I'll be eating my words. But for now, I'll stick to complaining about this out-of-the-norm blazing September.
In general, this time of year always inspires me to do a reset and this year is no different.
This morning I was chatting with one of my colleagues about self-improvement pod casts and it made me realize, I've been seeking to find 'self-improvement' outlets lately. I use the term 'self-improvement' often and widely. I love to talk about self-improvement, ways to better the mind and spirit, and the general 'law of attraction.' (Don't get me going because I may not stop!) The law of attraction is s the belief that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. (Definition, thanks to Wikipedia!)
With that said, I feel like I've been in a bit of a rut lately. Not in a negative way, but I lost a little bit of that empowering 'umph' I usually have. The most powerful thing about the law of attraction though, is knowing you have the ability to change. It's powerful and motivating to know- to REALLY know- that you have all of the power to switch your mood and to get yourself out of a rut.
I think this time of year also represents a re-start for me because this time last year my life drastically changed. In August/September of 2016 my live-in boyfriend and I broke up. This breakup was just 5 months after my mom had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. In a very short 5 months I lost my mother, my boyfriend, my dog (OK so she technically 'belongs' to my him), and an apartment in which we shared.
Starting over was incredibly scary and hard. I went from a big apartment with shared expenses to a small 215 square foot studio/1 bedroom in Chinatown. I was still reeling form the loss of my mom and dealing with all the ways my life was changing.
According to The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, in just a few months I managed to check off several of life's most 'stressful events' ... (sigh!)
Losing my mother was and is by far the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my life. Of course I would do anything to get her back, but the other big changes ended up being such positives in my life.
I was given a chance to start over fully and completely. I also think this came as a distraction for my grief (which could have been a combination of good and bad). But - the overall gist of my September 2016 was all about starting over. There were definitely big positives to my situation and I felt grateful. I was able to find a nice apartment downtown, and furnish it the way I wanted and to live on my own for the first time. I loved the challenge of getting my life back on track and I did so quickly. Within a week or two, I had my new place furnished and set-up. I was back to dating and just living again with a new mindset. I pledged to focus on my mental health by taking a stab at therapy. I joined a gym near my new apartment and was even able to use these new positives in other areas of my life to re-focus at work.
In general, I think the first way to approach a 'change' in your life is to merely acknowledge that you want a change in you life.
Here are a few good 'starter' books for those who are looking to self-improve:
Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting Playbook (pretty much the 'workbook' to Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting.)
In terms of grief and rebuilding a life after a death, I'd definitely recommend Sheryl Sandberg's:
It feels good to get this out. To reflect that this time of year holds a significant importance to me. I hope my re-start won't be anything like last year's, but I hope to have the same determination to make positive and quality changes in my life for the better.
For starters, I have started to focus more on my spending and saving. Now that I have had a year in my new lifestyle with new expenses (living alone is hard!) I can now better organize my savings and make better choices. I recently cancelled several magazine and television subscriptions and now I participate in MealPal which saves me some cash on my work lunches.
I'd also like to revisit my 'health.' I started doing hot yoga once a week which I plan to continue, and I've recently 'upped' my game at the gym and really want to keep that up (and work even harder.) Eating right also should be a top priority and I think with eating right (and saving money), cooking really comes into play. I started cooking several months ago and I'll admit the process is quite slow. I have a few dishes down and any time I try something new, I text Adriane with a million questions (she's a much better cook than I am!) I'd really like to cook more and perfect a few more dishes.
Lastly, I would like to continue to stay positive. It's easy, especially in New York City, to let the daily grind wear you down. It's a choice to be happy and positive and sometimes that takes work. I want to prioritize this so the other aspects more easily fall into place.