My Journey from Discovery to Acceptance to Change
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Hope Through Authenticity

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If you read last week’s post, you’ll see a loooonnnng list of goals.  As I look over those now, I laugh.  Who was I kidding?  What was I thinking?  If I accomplished even half of that, I’d be a miracle worker --- and I’ve never been a superhero!  This year, I decided to be more honest, more realistic, more reasonable with any goals I select.  I also involved my husband more than normal.  My husband is one of those annoyingly rational people and he certainly always has my best interests at heart.  He also often sees me better and more realistically than I’m willing to see myself.

One of the most difficult things for me to admit is that I can no longer “handle” what I once could.  Since the breakdown in April 2012, I get easily overwhelmed and that starts the negativity cycle that will send me into the pits of despair.  I hate admitting that.  I hate living with that limitation.  But, as I said in my first blog of the year, I must ACCEPT certain aspects of myself. 

I also have to admit that I’ve always “bitten off more than I can chew”.  I did that even as a child.  I leap before I think.  Then when I can’t achieve the unachievable, I set myself up for that horrible cycle. 

One other area I must accept about myself is that I like/need change.  A great aspect of being a teacher was the continuous change – classes changed every hour, subjects changed, topics within subject changed, students changed, classroom dynamics were always changing.  How can I simulate that in my new life?

As I finalized my list of goals I considered the following:

  1. Must manage the “overwhelmed” feeling -- therefore I need to keep my goals very reasonable
  2. Must keep the goals more short-term so that I can be successful and have the excitement of upcoming change
  3. Must keep the goals reasonable based on my time, my skills, my energy
  4. Must keep my mental and physical health as paramount – without that no goal will be realized

I present to you my goals for January-March 2018.  I’ll revisit and revise for April.

Category:  Physical/Mental Health

  • Continue to exercise religiously and vigorously (including one real hike per week – weather permitting)
  • Continue to see therapist
  • Maintain the 2-3 key relationships I have – carve out the time for lunch/ dinner/ activities
  • Eating:  this is a problem area because of my eating disorder – so, my ONLY goal for this first 3 months is to eat mindfully (even with my morning coffee)
  • Continue to read the books recommended by my therapist
  • Put on make-up and dress nicely for any appointments outside of the house (except exercise)
  • Keep my house spic-and-span

Category:  Career

  • Finish “Decide to Hope” – publication date:  April 15, 2018
  • Teach one class at KSU OLLI (already in the catalogue)
  • Begin to plot next novel
  • Take one class on novel writing (use this class to plot my next novel)
  • Keep this blog going (one blog per week)
  • Learn how to market my book (I must take this more slowly because it’s an area that causes that overwhelmed feeling)
  • Start the writing critique group I’ve already planned
  • Continually remind myself that I write FOR ME – I’m not expecting to be the next Nora Roberts and that has never been the goal

Category:  Finances

  • Do a monthly budget to analyze the last month and discuss the next month (be intentional with our spending)
  • Have a “meeting” with my husband monthly to discuss and “be on the same page”
  • Do NOT buy anything for 48 hours after the impulse strikes.  Basically, I will put things in my cart and then let it sit.  After 48 hours if I still want the items AND I’m willing to admit the purchase to Dave, then I can go forward
  • Start to use the library and learn how to access their free audible and e-books
  • Do some of my exercise using my own equipment rather than paying for classes/sessions – but I must be careful here because exercise is critical for my mental health
  • When I go to my scrapbook weekend in February, already have a budget and write that check (and take no other checks so I’m not tempted)
  • Make dinner at home (limit our eating out to 1 dinner and 1 breakfast per week)
  • Eliminate the weekly Starbucks run (this is a financial and a physical goal)
  • Start cleaning my own damn house! 
  • Keep my trip to Iowa on the cheap.
  • No trips except free hiking days during this 3-month period.  (Well, I am going to Iowa to see my daughter in January but that was already planned and necessary).

Whew, that still seems like a lot and makes me a bit jittery.  But, I left out items that I knew would push me over the edge.  For example, I don’t promise to not drink soda or not eat refined carbs.  I don’t pretend that I’ll be willing to journal my thoughts or my food.  I’m not worrying at all about other business ideas that buzz in my brain.  I dropped off the accountability partner because I have the critique group.  I dropped volunteering for now.  There is nothing about my weight or an eating plan – these always set me up to fail. 

I like what I have planned.  It feels “doable”.  But, I know what will happen – within 1-2 weeks, I’ll start to add to it, change it, get frustrated or feel like I’m not doing enough.  I’m asking my husband to help me here – I’m asking him to be forceful and intentional and keeping me focused on these goals only. 

My last goals – and the most important:

  1. STICK TO THESE GOALS FOR 3 MONTHS – NO CHANGES, NO ADDING or DROPPING
  2. ACCEPT THAT THIS IS ENOUGH – I AM ENOUGH EVEN IF I ACCOMPLISH NOTHING

Do I create a “goals tracker”?  That’s the subject for another blog!

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  • Meet June

    June with Purple Hair

    In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....

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  • All of my novels, at least so far, have an element of mental illness within a character.  Decide to Hope is the most autobiographical in that I struggle in many ways exactly as the female protagonist. 
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