Thursday, August 30, 2012

Smile that frown away...

Last week and the beginning of this week I was having pathetic-ness 'issues' :)

I felt bored, stagnant, useless, lethargic, fat, and guilty for feeling all of those things.  James was out a lot, our car was out of commission a lot so the girls and I were 'stuck' at home a lot, and I developed a little cloud over my head.

The cloud over my head wasn't a storm cloud, it was a boring, dreary, pov little cloud that just felt sorry for itself.  It couldn't be bothered to storm.  This is what the world looked like:

Image from my 'dreary weather' Google image search ;)
Dumb, huh?  Especially since Brisbane hasn't had a drop of rain in weeks!!

My poor little family!

So on Monday I decided to stop being soooooooooo pathetic, pick my little puddle self off the floor and make this week better!  I decided to banish the pathetic little cloud and create some sunshine around this place.  I decided to become:

Also, from Google images.  Bless Google images :)  That's where all the images in this post are from :)

Ironically, James always used to say I was like sunshine when we were dating.  He even made me a shirt that said 'Little Miss Sunshine'.  Last week must've been a bit of a let down for him - nobody wants a shirt that says 'Pathetic Little Cloud'.

So I actually wrote a list of things I needed to do, to be that little ray of sunshine and disperse my pov little cloud.  Of course, my lists are never short, and I constantly add to them, but here's what I decided to do, and discovered doing halfway through the process and added to the list:

    • First, do the basics:  Read the scriptures, say your prayers, eat a good breakfast, brush your teeth.  These things make a WORLD of difference, even though they seem small!!  This week reading my scriptures and saying my prayers really helped me a lot!!
    • Put an effort into everything - don't be lazy, even if you want to be. Suck it up, and get up.
    • EMBRACE your responsibilities!! :)  LOVE what you do!!  You have to do it anyway, may as well attempt enjoyment!!  (If you really hate it, why do you do it?!  If it's a career you're hating, change it!!)
    • Eat nice food.  I don't mean chocolate (necessarily, or rather, I don't just mean chocolate), I mean make nice meals for yourself and whoever you cook for.  Buy nice meats and veg and put a little effort in.  I sure like eating nice food, and if an extra 10 minutes and couple of dollars means a nice meal as opposed to a pov one, well, I'm cooking anyway!  This week I got up and with Maggie, made a yummy big Sunday breakfast for a change - bacon, eggs, sausages, a big fruit salad, etc.  Yum!  And fun!! :)  The other night when James was studying late I got a block of chocolate, some cream and a bunch of fruit, and then melted the chocolate, added cream and made a fruit salad he could dip into the chocolate while he worked, and I had one too.  It almost felt like we were hanging out together!
    • Do things for people around you!!  Anyone!  Just little things!! Write someone a thankyou note.  Think about people other than yourself.  Do this one a lot, and include your family in 'people around you'.
    • Go outside.  Every day.  No matter what.  A lady who works with people with depression told me a while ago that for some people, even just going out into the sunlight each day helps enormously.  The sun makes you happy.  Light makes us happy.  Fresh air makes us happy.  We feel fitter, healthier, and lighter when we're outside.
    • Turn off the time-suckers in your life!!  Stop watching TV, turn off the computer.  
    • Instead, turn on some fun music and boogie while you work ;)  Be active!!  Your co-workers/children/husbands/friends will think YOU ROCK!!!!*
    • Accomplish something little, every day.  EVERY day.  Something from a long-term to-do list is great.  Things you never get around to.  Cleaning out a little drawer, reorganising a binder, whatever.  Mine today was chopping off my nails.  They grow too fast and annoy me, and I put off cutting them for ages sometimes.  But not today!!! ;)  Cleaning out any old food containers from my fridge works really well here too!
    • Organise/plan something in advance!!  A holiday you'll make reality one day, or in my case this week, the holiday season - I started my annual word document of Christmas presents to make/buy for all the family, so I know who I still need to plan for and how much time I need to make things - great for budgeting, and not feeling panicked and behind come December!
    • Smile!!!  Try smiling at random people you pass in the streets.  Sometimes they'll scowl at you, but you'll probably make someone's day, every day (on a busy street anyway ;)).  Wouldn't that be great?! :)
    • Try something new! - A meal, an attempt at something arty, some new sport or yoga pose or exercise?  Write a little poem?  Talking to someone you don't know?  Just do something out of the ordinary.  I bought my first ever cupcake tin, and Maggie and I are trying them out this weekend!
    • Don't cancel social engagements cause you feel lazy.  Catching up with friends is important, and can really give you that 'boost' you're looking for!  If you feel drained and unhappy after catching up with your friends, find new friends.  If you can't find any, make sure you're not draining people and making them unhappy!!! :)  I love this quote from James Barrie "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".  So spread the love!!  You'll feel the sun shining again!! :)
    • Look fabulous :)  Get up, get ready, and dress/do your hair/get your nails done/work out/do whatever it takes to make you feel like a million dollars!  The extra time will probably be worth it in happiness boost percentage!! :)   Whether you think you're supermodel material or not, you'll always feel better if you've dressed and groomed yourself well! :)

    • Throw out some stuff! - Simplify your life a little :)  Maybe this is just me.  I love clean, half empty spaces :)  GET RID OF ANY CLOTHES THAT ARE TOO BIG FOR YOU!!!  Don't anticipate putting weight back on (unless you're underweight, totally ignore this!) - move on, skinny! :)
    • Count your blessings.  I have a rocking husband and daughters, and another baby cooking.  No excuses for pathetic little rain clouds.  We need to refocus on what we have.  Great job?  Awesome family?  Secure income?  Great teeth? :D
    • DON'T SIT DOWN!!!!  I think that when I'm physically stagnant for too long, I feel stagnant all over.  If you're tired, schedule in a quick nap, and take it guilt free!  Don't waste 4 hours being lazy cause you're tired but have so much to do that you can't possibly have a nap!  Take 20 minutes ;)  Then get up and be active!!! :)
    That's my list.

    It worked very well.  I feel a LOT more sunshiny, and I think poor James is probably glad I'm at least on my way to dispersing my cloud and retrieving my sunshine!!

    I hope you're not being a pathetic little rain cloud, but if you are, turn that frown upside down and smile that frown away ;)  And enjoy the sunshine!!! ;)

    *They might not, they might think you're odd.  But this is irrelevant if you feel great!! :)


    1. I definitely need to take on the Look Fabulous one! Working from home generally means I sleep in as long as possible and then go straight to work in my pjs :S. Not at all good for the self esteem all day. And I laughed at your DON'T SIT DOWN! I was complaining to Darren last night how my whole life right now revolves around sitting down! :( Great post, love it :) Glad you're feeling a little more like Sunshine... I think that description matches you perfectly xo

    2. Love this post!
      It totally inspired me. I often have especially lazy mornings, and then that sets the tone for the rest of the day.
      But I read this while I was feeding Hallie and instead of just staying sitting in front of the TV afterwards because 'I'm still wasted tired' I got up, showered and tidied up a bit and did some folding before I'm back here, trying to get Hallie to have a nap.
      I want to do all of the things you said every day! Life is so much happier when you're productive! And I totally know what you mean about pov cloud days. I've have weeks like that myself.
      Oh, and it hit me when you said 'Don't cancel hanging out with friends because you're being lazy.'. I'm totally guilty of that :S

      Anywho, thanks Abbadabs! You're my sunshine :)

      PS. You've also made me realise that I have no idea about Christmas presents!!

    3. I loved this post Abby, thank you! Great, practical solutions to help anyone get out of the doldrums. (You make me proud of you :) I agree, and second everything you have written too, 100%. (Which makes me wonder why I don't always do all of it?! :) Just a note on the going outside to let sunshine into your life - One of the best things I've always found a help is to open wide all of the blinds and windows in the house every day as soon as I get up. (As long as the weather is not totally against it.) I think it makes a huge difference, or at least it does to me. You can't always be outside, but you can bring light and fresh air into your home everyday :)

      Thank you for the sunshine you bring to us :)

    4. Abby. Your post gave me hope that it's possible to be lazy. I'm living for the day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      xo Tammy