What I’m listening to!

Thanks to my 1.5+ hours of commuting round trip to work I have plenty of time to listen to great stuff. These can all be found through Apple Podcasts and I’m sure other platforms.

@forever35podcast is all about self care with quirky hosts and great guest interviews.

@cscdanmason hosts Life Amplified. I was introduced to Dan through @elvisduranshow and then within a listening to a few episodes I knew he was the guy to hire as my life coach. I love both his interviews and solo podcasts.

@aliontherun1 hosts a running themed podcast that covers all aspects of life including her life as a new mom. She has tons of awesome interviews and I went to college with her!

@acquiredtastepodcast is hosted by a current and former @elvisduranshow ladies. I appreciate their real talk and they are also I quirky duo I love!

I don’t have a lot of bandwidth to add to this roster because I also listen to @elvisduranshow through the iheartradio radio app, but any must listen to episodes of podcasts for me to check out?

What I’m reading

What I’m currently reading and what’s on deck.

I used be a bigger reader, but over the last few years I have not prioritized reading. Last fall I slowly changed that. I’m currently about halfway through the Rachel Hollis book which I likely would not have picked up on my own, but was encouraged to do so by a friend (with come caveats). I also walked away from a “Dirty Santa/White Elephant” gift change earlier this month the Michelle Obama book which is next in my queue and I look forward to reading.

What else should I add to my list this year? Bonus points to keep up the female author trend!

Measuring Monday:

18 months ago this week I went to my first ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) meeting. My success in this program helped give me the strength to handle a long weekend at home for my Grandmother’s funeral services. I only learned about ACA in December 2016 from a book, about 6 months before I started attending meetings at an early suggestion of a counselor I was seeing to deal with my workaholism. The book Perfect Daughters is about adult daughters of alcoholics which was the first time I even heard of  the term “adult children.” In reading that book I learned that less than 20% of children grow up in a household where only the mother is the alcoholic. Alcoholic fathers are most common followed by homes where both parents are alcoholics. It was only in late 2016 that I was able to even verbalize that my mother is an alcoholic – also common for daughters in situations like mine to be in denial about it or make excuses for their alcoholic mother.

There was no denying that my mom is not well, but she has a lot of problems from OCD to agoraphobia to suspected borderline personality disorder and narcissism so it was hard to bring myself to name any of them. However in late April 2016 on a Friday afternoon, my mom left my sister and I each a “goodbye” voicemail. I called 911 for police to make a welfare check and my sister headed to Long Island from NYC with her boss not knowing what they would find. There’s no telling how serious her attempt was, she was assessed by paramedics, but refused transport. Essentially she was very drunk and took some pills. She has no recollection of the attempt and refuses to accept it was as traumatizing as it was for us, especially my sister. My sister drew a line in the sand that day, but I still took on more of her abuse and added to my self-abuse through workaholism.

Over the last 18 months through attending meetings and working the steps of ACA I’ve set boundaries with my mom. One of our guiding principles is our take on the Serenity prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage the change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me.” I no longer stay at mom’s house when I’m in NY – I stay with other family or get a hotel. I decide how I want to spend a holiday as opposed to feeling guilted or obligated to be there which is often at my own detriment. I requested we set up weekly calls which helps me mentally and emotionally prepare for a call as opposed to her previous cold calls at odd hours. I do my best to be nice to her and remind myself she is not well, but she also hasn’t been for a long time and refuses to help herself. The worst part of every interaction with my mom is still the not knowing. Am I getting Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde? This trip to NY for my Grandmother’s services was fairly tame and I had my fiance with me as a human shield. We drove her to the church, took her to lunch, and our for a few errands. Lots of small talk and pleasantries, but I guess it’s better than yelling or crying. I’m not sure how the next few days and weeks will play out. Will she find relief from no longer being under my grandmother’s control or will things be bleaker? Either way I am working to release myself from any sense of responsibility to fix things, please her, or be perfect. To quote one of my favorite John Mayer lyrics, “I’m in repair, I’m not together, but I’m getting there.”

Note: Note my 20% stat is of children in alcoholic homes only 20% only have an alcoholic mother. Estimates are that ~45% of the population have been exposed to familial alcohol abuse and more than half of those are children.

Decluttering

I’m in a Winter Decluttering Facebook group and we had a challenge this week to declutter paperwork. I chose my files including papers and mailed tucked in various places around the house.

I condensed a lot of old/historical stuff into the green bin with labeled folders.

The smaller front maroon file with labeled sections is for active files. The bigger red file behind it is empty now!

I have all the cards held in a file folder – still need to figure out a permanent home for them. The pile on the right is TRASH, esp tons on envelopes from items filed away!

Lots of fun stuff in here, but going through some items were tough, like coming across my Dad’s death certificate and equality upsetting paperwork related to him.

However having done this project in 90 minutes while listening to a podcast was very fulfilling!

Get Those Zzzs

Sleep is the 4th aspect of getting on track.

6-8 hours a night is a must for your body.

I had some chronic sleep issues due to high stress and my workaholism (more on that in a future post). I was running off no sleep and felt like garbage. I spent a year working on my workaholic sobriety and starting to notice my phone was becoming a replacement addiction, especially in bed at night.

Since September I charge my phone across the room/in another room and its done wonders for my sleep.

I decided to start 2019 by taking off my Fitbit at night. I was also become too addicting to my sleep analysis. So much so that if I work up feeling well rested and refreshed, but the saw results that didn’t exactly mirror that I would not let myself feel as rested or refreshed.

I have issues I know, a whole giant mountain of them, but this is really the year about putting it all out there.

Getting more sleep each night in a must as well as understanding more about sleep hygiene.

Measuring 2018: Weight

Dec 31, 2017 ➡️ Dec 31, 2018

⬇️22.1 pounds!

I remember trying on last minute NYE dresses at Ross wanting something cheap and stretchy. I knew with some Spanx I’d feel okay going out in this dress and I already made the commitment to myself that 2018 was going to be able my health and well-being. Amazing to see how much inside and out has changed in just 365 days!

Strong Nail Game

Ending 2018 with a habit I started in January 2017. Gel manicures.

For much of 2014, 2015, and the first half of 2016 I did my own nails with polish color wraps. I’ve always loved painted fingernails, but I was a chronic nail bitter for years. I curbed the habit in grad school, but still I have stubby brittle nails.

When I got new job (with a new salary) in summer 2016 I thought I’d start getting manicures then, but we spent 6 months painting and doing minor renovations to our new townhouse so my nails were a mess, not even painted the second half of 2016.

One of my resolutions for 2017 was to get and keep up gel manicures. I was partially motivated because I had a feeling 2017 was the year we’d get engaged and I wanted pretty nails (yes and yes), but getting manicures turned into an important self care practice every 2-3 weeks. Summer 2017 I was at the height of my workaholism, but I still made time for manicures and I’m thankful I did. I remember once just quietly weeping when getting my nails done one particularly difficult day.

However looking at my polished nails makes me feel like less of a mess. I can gather strength from you fingertips inwards, seriously. My fingernail polish is like protective armor or something and I’m thankful for it.

Oh I was due a pedicure, which I do every every month. I went with glitter pink to coordinate with my new Measuring Life brand reveal coming soooon!

Girl Time

My bestie S and I have a tradition of binge watching the new seasons of Fuller House together. This year we did it in the lap of luxury. As our gift to each other we got a room yesterday at the Four Seasons Baltimore. We used their guest spa and fitness center for the day before being up half the night watching Fuller House. We wrapped up the series this morning and then grabbed a surprisingly delicious lunch at a cute local coffee joint. This was a turkey macro bowl with all the pickled veggies including sauerkraut. The “campfire”coffee was a spiced coffee with hot cocoa!! It was a epic self-care 26 hours!