Evolving

I had a love/hate relationship with being a technician back when I was one.

I loved working with mostly geeky guys and not being afraid of tech talk. The work was ok, I was. . . competent.

But very quickly after getting what should have been a dream job, I realized I was not happy or fulfilled. In fact, despite making more money than I ever had and living in a great apartment that I loved and being medicated, I was getting depressed. Again.

I think one reason why I was laid off that time was because of my depression. I started leaving work early or staying home because I had a headache or felt “sick”. I spent a lot of time online on a forum I was a frequent contributor to. I did my job, but half-heartedly, and I I wasn’t really comfortable with it. After 15 years, I never really became all that comfortable with it. It never felt right.

I was in touch with myself enough to realize that this meant I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer and to change my major – to math.

Math is also not a very. . . soulful, fulfilling path. It can be rather esoteric and philosophical, though.

But I really struggled with a couple of courses (abstract/modern algebra and real analysis, if you have to know).

As in, took them multiple times and celebrated a C/C- grade.

Funny, every non-math class I took, I got a B or even an A without even trying.

The math classes? My actual major? Not so much, once I hit the upper division classes.

Now, I did choose math in part because it was hard. Because I’m stubborn (or is it arrogant?) that way.

See, I can read and discuss history, philosophy, ethnic studies and a zillion other subjects on my own. But math beyond calculus? Was never going to be able to teach myself that.

Besides, we keep hearing about how the schools need teachers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, so it should be easy to get a job, right?

Except it took me twice as long to finish the degree as I thought it would, because of depression and not working and then working and still depressed and so on and so on and so on.

But I did finish.

Then I got into a program to get my credential.

And choked on the finish line.

I WILL finish that this April, but the path here has been arduous.

And now I’m feeling like that may not be where I’m supposed to be.

Way back in the early 1990s, I considered leaving the military. I had an opportunity to leave before my time was up.

I consulted a couple of people, thinking I should be doing something metaphysical – since every time I go for any kind of reading, the reader invariably says, “You could do what I do.”

But everything at that time came back saying, “No, stay. It’s not time.”

Right now. . . I don’t know.

Things feel. . .  very strange.

Different.

Full of possibilities.

But at the same time, I don’t think I’m manic. I’m sleeping well, for one thing. (Less than four hours sleep a night is usually a pretty big indicator that I’m swinging that way).

So, I’m trying to get down as many ideas as I can, write as much as I can while this is in my head.

Maybe it’s time for something  . . . different.

I know I’m supposed to Teach.

But maybe that’s not math.

Motivation and Action

This is my first attempt at a Vlog, so I’d appreciate some feedback.

I think I talk a little fast (always a problem for me) and the times I look down at my notebook are a little distracting.

Any other feedback, good or bad, is appreciated.

Some websites mentioned:

ProBlogger

Go Kaleo

Zen Habits

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My 2013 Vision Board

So, here is my first-ever Vision board. I still may add some stuff with a sharpie, but the pics are all up.

I made my Word of the Year the center-piece.

A bit about that. . .

When I first started reading Goddess Leonie’s stuff, I saw a big similarity in in her work and that of SARK, another inspirational woman (turns out, SARK is one of inspirations and mentors).

I bought Living Juicy many years ago, and would use it as a meditation tool from time to time. Both of these women do work that is raw, simple, even a bit childish, and present it to the world without fear. I love that. But seeing their work a lot over the past few weeks got me thinking about watercolors.

When I was in Italy, I bought this really, really nice watercolor set. Sometime during my last stay in San Diego, I apparently got rid of it. That bums me out.

I cannot draw well, certainly not half as well as my daughter does, but I always enjoyed playing with watercolors, mostly just playing with the colors. Going from a dry brush technique to pre-wetting the paper and watching the color run, mixing colors a little bit different every time, and so on.

You can’t see this very well in the picture, but the Word of the Year is in watercolor. The background was a very wet page with 2 reds and a yellow sort of randomly run together. Then I let it dry before painting the word. I don’t normally like the warm colors as well as cool ones, but I thought this word needed an “action” color, and warm colors feel more action-oriented.

The other stuff is pictures of stuff on my goals list – not everything, but stuff I could find pictures of: a couple of pics I’m using as inspiration for tattoos I want, places I want to go, a pile of money (hey, why not?). . .

The word “Me-ing” came from, of all things, an Ikea catalog. It was the intro to a section on creating your own space, but I just thought the word was interesting.

“Me-ing”

Being me?

Becoming me?

Showing me?

“Me-ing” – what does it make you think of?

If you like the stuff I’m doing, you may want to check out Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year Workbook. She says last year, some people didn’t buy it until late in the year and still got a lot out of it. It’s only $9.95 for the life edition. 

Scary Goals – Incredible Year Part 3

This is a continuation of my series about working through Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year Workbook. If you haven’t seen them already here are Part 1: Affirmations and Part 2: Word of the Year.

In the goals section of the Life edition, she breaks the goals down into specific sections:

  • Financial
  • Body
  • Business/work
  • Creative
  • Spiritual
  • Family/friends
  • Personal 
  • “Goals that are so big & dreamy that I’m not even sure they are possible”

Goal-setting is scary enough to begin with for me; so scary, I often don’t even make them.

When I’m manic, I can dream up some pretty darn big goals. But when I’m depressed, I can’t take any steps to make them happen. I can’t even SEE steps to make them happen. So, then I take no steps to make my goals happen, and I chalk up yet another failure, [I’m goooood at failure. I’ve done it a LOT. It’s succeeding at something that scares me]  yet another chance to hate myself.

This means I try really, really hard to make realistic goals, if I make goals at all. Other goals, BIG goals, float around in my head, but rarely see the light of day.

And now, Leonie is asking me to actually WRITE THOSE SCARY THINGS DOWN?

EEK!

That’s more than enough to make me want to run to my bed and pull the covers up over my head. Panic attack! Ok, time to remember how to breathe. . . .

Let’s put that on a shelf somewhere because nailing down other goals is hard enough.

I’m only going to talk about some of them here because some just feel a bit too personal.

Financial:

If I’m dreaming, might as well just go for it, right?
Debt free
Have at least one-month buffer in YNAB
Steady income (whether it’s from my businesses or from a job – businesses preferred)
Measurable income from the businesses – affiliates, advertising, selling products
I have a number in mind for what I’d like my income to be at the end of the year.

Body (She calls it “My gorgeous goddess body goals”):

Some of these seem a little silly, but, again, putting it out there. I didn’t make my strength goals in 2012, so I’m looking at:
Squat my body weight
Bench press 75% of my body weight
a pull-up – wide-grip, overhand pull-up (between my weight being more than I can lift and a bad wrist, this has been the hardest strength goal)
Weight 140-150lbs
Actually do that hike Mon and I tried a few years back overlooking Horsetail Falls.
Walk 260 miles (that’s 5 miles/week)
Get back into my yoga practice – at least once a week
When the strength goals are met – get the tattoo C is helping me design (there’s a lot of symbolism in it, and I want to reach a particular goal before getting it/them)

Business and/or work goals

Oh, boy. I don’t know if I want to put these out there. Trying to get specific, even the small ones seem unrealistic. I’ll just say I have a certain number in mind for how many blog followers and income I receive.
sell an ebook
edit a book (which means I need goad the author into getting me some of the chapters to get started on. . . hint, hint. . .)
find a job teaching math – even if it’s part-time. In fact, a .5-.6 full-time job would probably be best, give me some time to work on the businesses
at least 52 blog posts – that’s only one per week spread out over all my blogs, that ought to be attainable.
Write up the study skills booklet for the tutoring blog.

Creative:

Write a self-help/spiritual/growth guide/ebook?/class?
Teach a class at the Learning Annex (topic?)
Write (from start to finish) a new knitting pattern (if I design, I tend to design on the needles and not write anything down)
write and/or record a meditation (sell?)
Take more pictures! (When I joined the Navy, I actually wanted to be a photographer’s mate, not an electronics tech, but I’ve never really pursued an interest in that.)
Help C with the tattoo design. I can’t draw, but I have a specific image in mind, so I’ll have to work closely with her.

Spiritual:

Let go of the fear (of a couple of different things)
Practice being loving (when depressed, this can be difficult, mostly because I isolate myself from other people).
Meditate regularly
Recognize happiness – BE HAPPY
Practice mindfulness, being in the moment

Family & friendship

The biggest one here is to spend more time with BFF. The last couple of years, I’ve hardly seen or talked to her, and I feel really guilty about that. She was the one that helped me the most with raising C when I was at my worst points. I need to be a better friend to her.
And, ok, I’ll say it, I do want to see M. We’ve talked about meeting up, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like either of us will have much cash to do it. So, need to get working on the financial goals.

Personal

Most of the other goals seem pretty personal to me. I couldn’t get a handle on this being a separate category.

And that leaves the Scary-Big goals.

Oh, boy.

I don’t think I can even put these out there. I wrote a couple of things on my pages, but they seem so crazy.

So, I go to the expert in overcoming being stuck (destuckification!) and Havi says:

Here’s the thing with thinking big. It can be terrifying. And when you’re in fear, you don’t take action. Or if you do take action, it’s not going to be the kind of thoughtful, intentional, motivated action that is going to serve you.There are a ton of “think big” people in the world, whether you’re dealing with coaching, “self-help” or the business world. Some of them are really great people– bright, charismatic, good-intentioned people . . . and some of them are pushy, sales-ey, highlighter-wielding types. I like to think of all of them collectively as the “biggifiers”.Even if we assume that they are all well-meaning, brimming over with integrity and have your own best interests nestled in their tender hearts, here’s what happens in real-time:

  • When biggifiers start shouting “think big think big think big” at you, your discomfort level rises to the point that you can’t absorb the rest of their smart, useful advice.
  • When biggifiers tell you that you “have to” do things (and you know, uncomfortable things like “stepping out of your comfort zone”), it’s completely understandable when you default into anxiety mode.
  • When biggifiers tell you how easy it is, you want to believe them … but you also know perfectly well that it isn’t. At least, not for you. And since you’re the one who has to do it, it’s not going to happen.
  • Sure you want to be able to think big, but you equally don’t want to have to do it, so you default into stuck.

Yes!

I knew she’d understand!

This is exactly how I feel.

This is just TOOOOO big for now, too scary. So, how do I deal with it? She says:

The solution is what I like to call Mindful Biggification.Yes, you biggify — but you do it in a slow, measured, conscious, mindful, compassionate way.You practice acknowledging your fear when it shows up. You practice meeting yourself where you are. You practice letting “being in the process” be the “win”, and not having to nail some external goal.You work on letting go of the need for outside legitimacy. You work on noticing where you need grounding, support, shelter and stability. You work on discovering which parts of you are scared to shine and giving them loving attention. 

Ah, ok.

Mindful Biggification.

That goes with the “practice mindfulness” goal.

And I am trying to “biggify” this year.

I think I’m caught in the loop of, “I thought I was going to biggify three years ago, and what happened? I spent a little money and then didn’t follow through. Like always.”

I’m scared that if I put the scary-big goals out there where everyone can see them, then I’ll fall on my face (yet again) and having everyone know exactly how bad. . .

Yeah, I don’t want to do that right now. I’m not that confident yet.

So, I wrote them down in my book. And I’ll look at them when I review the other goals.

I watched an interview with Yanik Silver on Eventual Millionaire today. He talks about using a journal or planner to write goals down. But he writes them down and then puts it away. He doesn’t do the stuff other people talk about. For him, creating the goal and writing it is enough.

Not sure that’s enough for me, as I’ve written goals before. But for now, the big, scary ones remain private.

Incredible Year – Part 2 – Word of the year

More on Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year workbook. . .

There’s a whole section on a Word for the Year, a “sacred” word to focus on throughout the year.

As I was releasing the 2012 stuff (the first part of the workbook), the one thing that came up over and over for me is something I’ve talked about here before: the fear of success. So, naturally, my word for the year is:


The above is a colored pencil drawing that I’ve stuck up on my door. I can see it from my lazy perch in my recliner. I can see it every time I leave the apartment. I think this is a good place for it. I’m considering making a couple more to put in other places.

I’m still working on the stuff that goes with it that helps you explore what hinders accomplishing the word, and what you can do to increase your chances of making it work.

One of the problems I’m having though is defining exactly what “Success” means for me.

I tried to write a paragraph about my “dreamiest day”.

It involved a couple of people I care about, and doing something fun. It included having “enough” money to wear new clothes and do a fun activity in a location far from home.

Other than that? I didn’t envision a particular job. I did see a large bank account and lots of web traffic.

But how do I get there?

These are things everyone thinks about, right? But there’s a major disconnect between where I am and where that is. There are all these intermediate steps that I don’t know how to fill in.

So, working on that.

What is “success” to me?

Enough money to pay my bills, have a nice place to live, have a little savings put away, help C with college. . . Feeling fulfilled in whatever work I’m doing; having fun with it. . . Having a partner whose skills complement mine, who can hold me up when I’m falling, who isn’t scared of my strength. . .

The difference a year makes

Last year at this time, I was frantically trying to finish up my student teaching, grading papers, writing final exams. .  .

I had surgery about seven weeks before and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

I was looking forward to finishing up and collapsing for a few weeks.

I didn’t know that it would take a year to start to feel like myself again.

In some ways, I feel like I “lost” another year. Isn’t it bad enough that I feel like my thirties were a total waste due to depression? I have to start wasting my forties, too?

I could have had my credential a year ago. I could be working as a teacher now instead of scrambling to find a job. I could have worked on building my business instead of ignoring it.

But, right now, I’m feeling like things are turning around. I’m seeing good things that can happen and I am actually able to see the steps I need to take to get there.

I don’t remember when the last time I felt this productive and capable was.

Maybe I just really needed this last year to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

Maybe now, I’m finally ready to take on the next chapter of my life.

New career, new business prospects, opening up to romance, feeling stronger and healthier. . .

Goddess Leonie’s workbook is helping, but it’s not like anything in there is NEW information. I’ve known about making goals and setting action items before. But this time, I feel like I might actually be able to follow through.

Am I actually manic right now? Is this unrealistic? I don’t know, but I hope not. I hope this is exactly right – enough energy to do what I need to do but not so much I start being crazy.

New Name: Life Uncalculated

Back in November, I talked about wanting to change the name of the blog. I didn’t get any response through here (probably because not many people read it), but I did get some responses on the other forum.

As you can see, I decided to go with “Life Uncalculated” (Thanks, LQu!)

This is a nod to my math-teacher-ness as well as to the chaotic nature of being bipolar.

Also, while I’m working on becoming more disciplined, I’m not by nature disciplined, so the name captures that, too.

I was going back and forth between just going for the change or being stuck in my rut. But the old name no longer inspired me, and as I was working through Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year Workbook,  realized that I want things around that inspire me.  So, I’m rebooting this blog with a new name, renewed focus.

My posting is likely to still be sporadic, but one of my goals is to become more consistent. I also want to start promoting the blog, but want a few more good posts on here first.

I am starting to create a calendar for the next quarter to help me plan my posts.

What are your goals for the next few months?

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