Be Gentle with Yourself

I was talking to my friend Kristin today about getting stuck in the void of isolation – I’m at day 26 of lock down and I’ve really started to notice how the days are all blending into one. Wake up, breakfast, work, lunch, work, walk, grocery store, dinner, chores, relax, bed, repeat. And how much of an emotional roller coaster it is — one hour it’s fine and suddenly you’re bottomed out under the weight of misplaced existential dread and your place in the suffering Olympics, and in a few hours its fine again. It can be tough (yes, this blog is about First World Problems, let’s get that out of the way). Continue reading “Be Gentle with Yourself”

Year of the Aud-Rat

I was balancing my check book (lawl, what an old fashioned sentence – I did grow up balancing an actual check book. But now it means ‘checking my balance on the app’) when I saw that WordPress auto-charged me for my domain and plan renewal. My first thought (well, second, first was getting annoyed at an annual auto-payment that I always forget about and never set reminders for), was OH yeah, I have a blog. So today, I’m blowing off the dust and posting for the first time since November. In fact, when I pulled up my blog, the first thing I saw was a draft started in early December. Wheeee!

And now back to my regularly scheduled lost blog, which was started in December, before I forgot all about it – 

So why has audpodge fallen to the wayside? What the heck have I been up to? The answer is – a lot. But not all of it is exciting. Here’s a clip show summary of what happened this year:

2019 started off with me making a lot of personal goals and feeling really psyched about them. Things moved slowly, sorta de-railed, but eventually took a turn for the better/productive. It all started Feb/March, when the pieces finally came together in therapy and I had a break through. And then, possibly coincidentally, I broke my writer’s block. Both of these events brought about a surge of empowerment, and I felt different. I had a more positive outlook, and I just… kinda liked myself more. I had a few down periods, but I mostly felt like I was getting dangerously close to the realm of having my shit together. After nearly two months of back and forth, we finally figured out how we could afford to visit the States for my sister’s wedding in March, and my best friend Kristin bought tickets to come see me and the two of us were going to New Zealand in Nov/Dec. I was sticking closer to those goals I made in January than I had in years prior, and things were looking up.

On Thanksgiving (which was only 1 month ago but it may as well be 5 years ago), Kristin and I were in Auckland, NZ. We were eating a Thanks-Curry meal in our Air BnB and pledging to ourselves all the different ways we’d make 2020 the Year We Live Our Best Lives (or Reasonable Proxmity To Our Best Lives). Like, learning to live by a budget, making better health decisions, doing hard work to beat bad habits, etc. I got home a week later and decided, Fuck it, Why wait til 2020? I’m going to live my best life starting now.

You know how it’s always easy to imagine living your best life all the time when you’re on vacation and you’re in that golden limbo of being truly decompressed and distracted and free of 9-5 responsibilities? It’s such a good time to be alive.

I definitely spent the rest of December in a sweat pants wearing, Christmas prepping, re-runs watching black hole. But I used the Christmas break from work as a chance to regroup and really make a plan to get my shit together. Then I learned that 2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac, and it was the final sign I needed: I had already made a pledge with Kristin, I decided with every atom of my being that I wanted to make a change, and it was literally my year. I had to get my shit together.

So it was slow going, but by the end of the year, I had thinned out my closet to (mostly) the bare essentials, we had scraped together the most savings we’ve ever had, I had 90 pages written in my book, I had taken a trip with one of my best friends doing things I never thought I’d do, and I could look back and say to myself I did put myself out there more. I wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot. But I closed 2019 feeling really fucking good about myself, and that hasn’t happened in a long time.

And so, January rolled around, and the Year of Aud-Rat was primed and ready to commence. First, I saw my GP and got a referral to the exercise physiologist/physical trainer who works in my clinic. Second, I shared my plan with my therapist so she could hold me accountable. Third, I made plans to get a desk so I could have a dedicated writing space. Fourth, I narrowed my goals down to one primary goal each (personal, financial, health, writing).

flash forward to current day: March 9.

It’s been 10 weeks so far, I’ve been kicking a lot of Rat ass. I’ve been working out at least twice a week (one week I made it to 4 times – I was basically Jane Fonda); I’ve been writing almost every day (having the desk has been a major help); I’ve so far only had one shopping binge (half of it was returned); I’m more encouraging with myself and being more honest; I’ve been eating slightly less like a garbage can*, and I’ve been getting out of the house and doing something social at least once a week.

So (if you’re still with me after all this ego-inflation), this is where I’ve been: trying very hard to get my shit together.

We’re going to the States next week for my sister’s wedding, which means sweater weather, trash foods, mom’s cooking, hugs from friends, and a few days in a cabin in the woods for a mini-holiday within holiday. So provided we don’t get shot or infected with Corona virus**, we should return fat, sassy, and tired. I can’t wait.

 

*One of the smallest changes I’ve made that’s had the biggest impact is instituting a new morning routine. Over the Christmas break, I woke up one morning around 4AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I decided to sit in the lounge and do some writing. I didn’t want to have coffee without Joel, so I just drank a bottle of cold water instead. Then I ate breakfast. Later when Joel woke up, we had coffee. The next morning, I did the same thing. I noticed when I started the day with cold water, I had a lot more energy throughout the day, my stomach didn’t react violently to coffee, and it made me want to drink more water throughout the day. It became a habit. Now, on most days I wake up early, I drink cold water, eat breakfast, and wait til I get to work to have my first cup of coffee. My stomach is definitely better, I don’t inhale my lunch in 5 seconds, my skin is better, and I don’t feel like a used sponge between 3:30-5:30PM.

So that’s my thing now: drinking water in the morning and eating breakfast. Whoda thunk it. It’s like all those doctors and the surgeon general were right.

**Our grocery store next door has been out of toilet paper, water, eggs, cooking oil, rice, flour, hand sanitizer, and pasta for the past week. Over the weekend someone got a knife pulled on them in the TP aisle over the last package. Seems like an excessive amount of panicking for a country with relatively few confirmed cases and thus far 0 deaths. /shakes head

Star Wars: Identities

We finally made it to the Powerhouse Museum for the Star Wars Identities exhibit! I’m pretty sure it’s been open for the last 6 months. And every week for the last 6 months we’ve been like, “Oh hey let’s see Star Wars!” and every weekend passed without us going. Until this weekend, which coincidentally was its final weekend. Nothing thrills us like a deadline, so on Sunday we booked tickets and headed out. Continue reading “Star Wars: Identities”

Small Hours

Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday are public holidays here, which means 4 day weekend, baby! I imagined 4 days of no alarms and no waking up before 9AM, of cloudy skies and sweatpants weather, of not having to wait until 8PM to watch Game of Thrones.

What I got, however, was 4 days of “beautiful” weather (warm/almost hot, not a cloud in the sky), and unintentionally waking up at 5:30AM every day. Continue reading “Small Hours”

2019 quarterly review

It’s April! Already! Woo!

As I said in my last post, I think summer is officially out the door. And good riddance, humidity! Per usual, lots happened this summer – but also, nothing happened. We can sum up the first few months in just a few words: work, sick, friends, Pancake.

And while I’m working on some actual posts (including words and insights), here’s a big fat photo dump of the year thus far: Continue reading “2019 quarterly review”

This is Not a Resolutions Post

Naaaaah – as I’ve said before, making a list of resolutions – even if they’re disguised as “goals” “intentions” “declarations” “wishes” “list of things that PLEASE GOD AUDREY JUST DON’T DO THIS ANYMORE” —  is just simply the easiest way for me to make a list of Things I’ll Just Keep Happily Doing In Spite of Literally Everything In My Soul Begging Me to Not Do. Continue reading “This is Not a Resolutions Post”

Party in the USA

Seriously, how is it July already?

I still feel like it’s January, like I’m still reminding myself not to forget that Valentine’s Day* is just around the corner. When really, my friggin birthday is right around the corner, and around the corner from that, is our big USA trip. That’s right, we’re headed back to my deep fried kingdom, my bullet ridden homeland, my red, white, and blue stomping grounds. And to say I’m excited is a wee bit of an understatement.  Continue reading “Party in the USA”

Back in the Habit

A few weeks ago, I fell into a massive black hole of suck. I’ve had down days here and there, but this was the first time in really long time that I was scraping the bottom of the emotional barrel for no discernible reason. It was the kind of bad that made me bribe myself with take away coffee and overpriced pastries in order to get myself to go work. And once I got home, I could not pry myself off the couch. Continue reading “Back in the Habit”