So...because I can't decide which of the major life events I want to leave out of my blog post, and because no one wants to read a brief autobiography disguised as a blog post, here is the last month of my life in bullet points:
- I got back together with my (no longer) ex-girlfriend. After the breakup, I don't think I went more than four or five days without seeing M*, and I definitely didn't go that long without talking to her. I missed her. We started out doing the "we're spending all our time together but not dating" thing over a month ago, and we declared ourselves dating again a few weeks ago, and so far it seems to be going well. We're doing our best not to repeat some of the mistakes we've made in the past, and it definitely makes for a healthier relationship. We shall see where this goes...
- My grandmother died. My grandmother was 94, slightly senile, and diabetic, and yet I was convinced that she would live forever. A few weeks ago, I got the call that she had had a heart attack and been made palliative, so I headed out to her small community as prepared as one ever is to say goodbye. When I arrived at the hospital, she was asleep in her bed, but she quickly roused and demanded to be taken home. By the time we got her back to the PCH, she was back to her usual feisty self, showing no signs of what had happened. Unfortunately, a week later she fell and broke her hip (for the third time), and that was the beginning of a very rapid end. My grandmother was the most resilient of the resilient Depression era farm women, and so it's still amazing to me that she's gone. I still have moments when I feel guilty for not visiting her, so I don't think it's quite sunk in yet.
- I decided what to do with my budget. The comments on my previous blog post were fascinating to me! It's interesting how everyone has their own unique way of being financially responsible, many of which are different from my own. In the end, I realized that my current method of budgeting is actually working pretty well for me, except for the fact that the amount of money I was allowing myself didn't fit with the amount of income I was bringing in. So, I threw $500 at the budget to get myself out of the black, and I increased the regular amount in my budget by 1/3. Since the change, I have bought Threadless t-shirts and Happy Socks, taken a thankfully not sick cat for a very expensive vet visit, and booked a luxurious spa day for the long weekend. So I'm over budget again. But enjoying spending some of my hard earned money instead of just hoarding it in the event of future catastrophe.
- I started counselling. I wrote before about how I had seen a psychiatrist through a service at work, but what I've never written about was how abysmal the whole experience was. I went in looking for some coping strategies and maybe some cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety, but what I got was someone who wanted to put me on medication and explore all of the supposedly traumatic events from my childhood (um, no thanks). It was a terrible match. I put off looking for someone else until M and I got back together, and then I decided that I needed someone external to help me navigate the waters of rekindling an old relationship. I've met with the counsellor once, and it seems like a better fit so far, so I'm hoping that something good will come out of it.
- I started exercising again. It has become abundantly obvious to me that everything is better when I exercise. Not in a future oriented "I won't have a heart attack when I'm 50" kind of way, but in an "I'm less of a psycho hose beast when I exercise" kind of way. Exercise is definitely good for my stress, my energy level, my sleep, and my all round happiness. My goal for September, in fact, is to restart the habit of exercising three times a week. It will likely consist of me running on the treadmill on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as I have no clinics those mornings, and then doing something else on Saturdays or Sundays. I may alternatively do an exercise class at work on Thursday afternoons, as there's one that starts after my work day ends. This week I'm planning to go to yoga on Saturday morning, as my sciatic pain has flared up from the running**, but I may be more creative in the future.
- I signed up for a meditation class. This terrifies me. I've been reading books about how wonderful meditation is (like 10% Happier and Full Catastrophe Living), and I'm fully convinced that it can make me a happier and more productive person, but I absolutely hate the idea of having to actually do it. Sitting with nothing but my thoughts? Breathing exercises? Walking meditations? All of that sounds terrible. And yet, starting October 5 I will be doing it every Wednesday evening.
*I'm giving her an initial, because it's far too tedious to keep typing "the girlfriend" or "the ex-girlfriend" depending on my current relationship status. Also my hands are sore from typing chart notes.
**When did I turn 80?