Winters are always kind of a tough time for me anyway (what with the limited sunlight and the below zero temperatures outside that cut into my running and the nearly constant feeling of being cooped up indoors), but the beginning of 2017 has been especially tough. In addition to dealing with hard things in our family (like my father-in-law being in the ICU), we’ve just been getting PUMMELED with snow this year, which has made getting outside on a regular basis nearly impossible (or, at the very least, very, very, unpleasant). So we’ve been cooped up inside a LOT, with a little bit too much time on my hands to just sit and worry and think.
But I’ve come up with a few healthy diversions over the past few weeks, which kind of feel like they’re saving me from doom and gloom lately. I’ve always been the kind of person that needs to switch things up a bit every now and then to not go totally crazy, so that’s just what I’ve been doing—trying new things the best I can, under the limitations I’m under.
Here are some:
1. I’ve started wearing my glasses regularly, for the first time ever.
Around eight years ago (maybe closer to nine), I went to an eye doctor who diagnosed me with an eye disease (keratoconus) and confirmed my hunch that my eyes are, indeed, a bit “spastic” (my words, which he adopted when diagnosing me).
Basically, due to my eye disease, a proclivity for dryness, and a softball injury to my eye when I was 15, my eyesight has not been the most stellar. Sure, I can see most things without wearing any kind of visual correction help, but about ten years ago, I noticed that I was having a hard time reading things that were far away, and sometimes having a hard time reading things that were close up (if I’d been reading for a really long time, anyway).
So I got glasses and contacts, which I attempted to wear for maybe a month and then just gave up on, except for on certain occasions when I’d bust out the glasses if needed to make sure I could read everything from a bit of a distance.
Well now, years later, I’d somehow lost the box of contacts for my right eye, and so when my vision seemed to take a turn a bit for the worse about a month or two ago, I started wearing my glasses for more than just special occasions. And while I’ll probably still try and get away with not wearing them while I’m out and about as much as possible, it’s been kind of nice wearing them around the house. It makes it so I don’t have to squint to see the clock across the room or feel the familiar “eye fatigue” that comes from reading for long periods of time.
Basically, it’s something I probably should have been doing a lot sooner, but I didn’t.
2. I started going to a bags class (aka, boxing against a bag).
I’ve long harbored a dream of owning a boxing bag (weird dream, I know), and I had NO CLUE that the rec center I’ve been going to for years for aerobics classes held a bags class in the basement. The second I found out at the end of last year, I showed up for the very next class and have been going ever since.
Not only are my arms seeing more tone than they have in years, but there’s just something about beating the stuffing out of a bag that just seriously relieves stress (and makes me beyond sore for the next two days).
I am absolutely addicted.
3. I started listing items to sell on eBay for my brother.
You might remember that a few months ago, Matt and I bought a few storage sheds up for auction and started selling the stuff inside through the local classifieds. Well, I was talking to my brother about it, and for years, he’s been acquiring vintage pieces through secondhand stores and selling them on eBay, and he’s got way more stuff than he can list by himself. So we’ve worked out a deal where I list some of the stuff for him for a fee, and it’s also giving me a good idea about which items from the storage sheds I might want to try listing on eBay rather than trying to sell locally.
I’ve already learned a ton (even though I actually used to list stuff on eBay all the time about ten years ago for my neighbor), and I’m hopeful that someday, we might actually get all this stuff sold that we bought.
That will be a happy day, friends.
4. I’ve been learning French every day.
I mentioned this one a few weeks back, but I recently took up learning French through the site Duolingo every day (usually during lunch). Learning French was always one of those things I wanted to do “someday,” but I never really created much of a plan for going at it, until I heard about Duolingo from a blog page (which I now can’t remember the name of).
Every day while Raven and I eat lunch, I go through a few exercises on Duolingo, and in just a month, I can say such useful phrases as, “The black cat eats the red bird” and “The men are calm and rich” in French.
These are important things to know for when we someday make that trip back to where Matt served his mission (in French-speaking Quebec).
5. I’ve been picking up old hobbies and goals from the past.
The problem with a lot of my goals is that very few of them are of the “one and done” variety. I set a goal to run a marathon? I became a runner in the process. I decided I wanted to become a better blogger? I started developing my photography skills more.
So, with years of goal-making behind me, you can imagine how many skills/habits I’ve picked up, not all of which I can continuously do at any given time in my life.
Well, two of the goals from the past were typing up all of my journals (I was an avid journaler until I became an avid blogger) and discovering who my great-great grandparents were (which got me into genealogy and family history work). Those two skills/goals had kind of fallen by the wayside for awhile, but I’ve picked them up with a passion again this year, mostly just because I have SO much time at home lately (and even more time since I drastically cut down on my social media time at the beginning of the year).
I’m now about a third of the way through typing one of my mission journals up, and I’ve found several of Matt’s ancestors, too (which is pretty hard to do, when you see how much work has already been done by his family on their genealogy).
These things are small, but they’ve given me things to look forward to every day and changed things up *just* enough that I haven’t gone totally stir crazy yet.
How are you keeping sane throughout this winter?
***Linking this post up today with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “What’s Saving My Life Right Now” linkup