Today is December 1!!! Oh my! It has been nearly a month since I implemented my new life paradigm to slow down and enjoy things more; I am so proud of how much I have accomplished!!! I have found that I need "mile markers" in my life in order to keep me motivated, so this reflection (and update) will serve as a marker for me ;)
High-Stress Holiday Season: While I still have Christmas coming, I feel like I have been very successful in handling the holidays thus far. We have been able to stay connected with our families while not travelling for Thanksgiving. Even though I did a lot of cooking, it was spread out over two days, and I asked for help (gasp! say it ain't so!) with a few things so that I could actually enjoy myself. As far as Christmas goes, Doug and I are gradually gearing up for the holidays. We purchased ornaments for our tree and a few items to begin putting together Christmas Baskets (including REALLY cute baskets from Target -- on sale!!!) for our friends and family. I am actually making a few basket-items this week since they won't spoil for a few months ;)
(Side note: Anyone who is looking for a fun and festive way to give gifts to a lot of people, gift baskets as SO the way to go. We will end up spending about $12-15 per gift basket, and each basket has enough goodies for two people! Plus, the baskets can easily be customized, not to mention the personal feel of giving away goodies, whether you made them yourself or just gathered them up!)
House/Home Life: Anyone who knows me know that I have a touch of OCD. I'm not exactly a "neat freak," but I feel that everything is to be a certain way. This made me run myself ragged for the first few months of my marriage, but I have been able to get some control over the need to clean ;) The only thing hanging over my head is laundry: my clean laundry can never seem to make it back into my closet!!! While this has no longer become a large stresser, it is something I need to figure out if I want to keep my life decluttered!
Homework/Hebrew: Around the time I began this blog, I finished my second of three classes I was taking this semester. With just one class to work on, I have found myself going days without touching the material -- because my work is already done! I have been sticking to my "early bed/early rise" schedule (as much as possible) which has really given me the extra time to focus in the mornings and rest in the evenings! Go me! Similarly, the Hebrew prof I work for doesn't have a lot of papers/exams from mid-November until Finals, so I am completely caught up (and ahead) as far as my GA work is concerned! I rock! Now, I have not forgotten the stress of giving and grading finals (and getting final grades in) while trying to complete my own schoolwork, which is why I am going to attempt to finish my own final project prior to giving my students their final. Not only does this lessen my load right before Christmas, it means I will be more efficient since I will be singularly focused.
Healthy Living: I have a tendency to forget to take care of myself when I get stressed and busy; I forget to eat, I get dehydrated, I feel as if I don't have time to workout, and (when I do remember to eat) I eat for convenience over health. I lost weight right after getting married, but I have gained all of it back (and a few extra lbs) in September and October. I have been able to stay the same through November by realizing that it is worth it for me to take the extra time to make healthy food, to keep myself hydrated, and to generally take care of myself!!! I was able to make more healthy meal choices through November, but yesterday I upped my game: I joined Curves. I was planning on asking for a membership for Christmas, but I decided that it just wasn't worth waiting and losing a month. I was able to get a great student discount, and I had my first workout today! For those who wonder why I chose Curves over many other options here are a few reasons: It is close to my house (5 min drive), it is female-only, it requires little thought (you just move through the workout stations), it only takes 30 minutes, and it is a full-body workout with both strength training and cardio. Beyond these reasons, my curves has a computer-monitored personal trainer option (for free) and offers Zumba classes (for free). Awesome!
Overall, I feel like I'm doing a good job decelerating and decluttering my life, as well as learning to take care of myself more!