(Today’s blog post title is thanks to a comment made by MartyG that I saw on WidVille one day while reading old blog posts.)
I’m acknowledging a hard time with my grief work right now. I don’t feel like I’m thriving, not even really living...just surviving. I judge my every move (or lack of movement…) right now. I know I’m my harshest critic. I am so incredibly inpatient and unforgiving of myself. I know I’m comparing Widow Shelly to Shelly Who Once Was and Shelly Who Can Be. I think it’s a natural thing to do, as I still vividly remember who I was 7 months ago, and I still have hopes and ambitions and dreams of how I “should” be living my life.
One of the women mentioned in chat last night that I need to think about how I would respond to a friend going through this same battle and how I would expect him/her to behave… and allow myself to do the same. I need to learn to be more gentle with myself. I am going to make conscious effort to do so.
I know I’m strong and resilient. I’ve conquered everything I’ve been through thus far, and I will tame this grief monster too. Through this battle, I will gain so much experience that I’m sure I’ll level up a few times. Those level-ups will come with new armor, new stats, and a new rank.
There are so many things I can rattle off that I “hate” about where I am right now: Housework is a huge struggle. I cannot keep up on dishes or laundry. I haven’t swept, mopped, or vacuumed in weeks. Who knows the last time the bathroom had a deep clean. Polly’s cage is getting disgusting. I’m not getting the cat boxes scooped every night. Every aspect of housework is suffering. I need to relearn all my routines, as they went out with the trash. I want to pick it all up at once and have a spotless house in a day, which is illogical. I need to choose one thing and focus on it until it’s become a natural part of my day. Then I can add another.
I still hate to cook. When the girls aren’t with me, I’ve defaulted to junk or nothing at all. A pint of ice cream does not a healthy dinner make. But I’ve done it several times in the past few weeks. I’ve gone completely back to the simple unhealthy carbs. I’ve gained back every pound that I lost last year. I can’t fit in clothes that I love. I am not getting out of the house except for work, so no exercise is happening. Again, there are so many things that need changed or improved, and I feel like I should do them all at once. But again, I need to choose one thing to focus on and go from there.
I get so much comfort out of writing things out. I’ve ordered the journaling workbook that accompanies “Understanding Your Grief,” which is the book Tom and I are going through in the Grief Support Group once a month. It will be here tomorrow.
So I’ve decided to refire an old thing I used to do called 3 for 30. I pick three things to focus on for the next 30 days. FlyLady says it takes 30 days for a habit to be formed. So the idea is you pick three things to work on in depth, while also trying to keep up with everything else as much as possible (not just flat ignoring it). I’m starting my 3 for 30(ish) today and letting it run through the end of August. Since I’ll be on vacation for 10 days, that will be about 30 days in the house to work on these things.
These are the three things I’ve decided to do, which cover different areas of my life so I’m not just focusing on one area:
I’m taking back my life, grief monster. This is a battle in the war to tame you. I will make you my pet, my companion. Right now, you’re out of control. I know it will take a considerable amount of time before I can trust you to behave. I’m equipping myself with the tools and weapons necessary to live!