Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday

I've decided to dedicate Wednesdays to posting about our wellness adventure.  This week will be about my mental health and what I've done recently to improve it.

As a quick background, I love to learn.  I don't necesarrily like a traditional school setting, but I love to learn.  A couple of years ago I spied a book title at the library that intrigued me called, The Way They Learn, by Cynthia Tobias.  I thought it might prepare me for helping Goober Gus learn his ABC's and numbers.  Instead, I learned a lot about myself and Tony.  According to this book there are 4 approaches to learning called the Gregorc Mind Styles.  The styles are:
  1. Concrete
  2. Abstract
  3. Random
  4. Sequential
Each chapter opened with 5 questions/statements that define the major characteristics of that style.  I answered 5/5 in one style and 4/5 in the other 3!  I thought to myself at the time, "No wonder I like to make a filing system, but I hate to use it!"  I love setting things up, making the plan, getting the details down, but I'm horrible at the follow through.  You can imagine the chaos that creates in my head, each style trying to dominate when they're all fairly powerful!

So lately I've been trying to settle into a routine, thinking that will satisfy me in more areas.  The detail is there, but doesn't have to be on a strict schedule.  I also want to shift my focus from what "I" need to do, to what I can do to enrich the lives of my family.  I can feel the Concrete-Sequential style freaking out because that means giving up some control.  December was a perfect time to let go of any patterns or routines we did have to see what would happen naturally, without any type of plan.  One word.  DISASTER.  Finishing homemade Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.  Not even starting those gifts until the weekend before.  Wrapping presents into the wee morning hours.  Yes, I hear that's the way many people do it, but there's no enjoyment in it for me that way, and what's the point of making gift giving into a chore?  No menu plan, so we ate more junk and felt it.  No activity plan, so we didn't get to experience as much as we could have.  No well thought out Christmas photo to share with family and friends.  Need I go on?

As most others do, I like to make new plans for the new year.  Tweak things.  Fine tune them.  Or throw it all out and start over from scratch.  There are too many responsibilities for that, but the idea of running away to Italy for a year sure sounds exciting!  It took me the first week of 2011 to even get back into a groove that would free my brain up enough to come up with a plan to appease all 4 styles within, enrich my family, and reduce chaos-something that is desperately needed around here!

As I stood at the sink washing a few pots and my milk pail (this has been totally overlooked for a long time and as I prepare to go out to milk our goats, I realize I have to wash the pail first-major energy drain just in the realization!), I realized that I thoroughly cleaned my desk on Saturday, and it's still clean!  I sketched out a rough plan or routine to see how it all looks on paper, while allowing enough unplanned blocks of time for things I can't forsee and down time.  I've taken out scrap paper, scissors and paper punches two days in a row for Goober Gus to play with. I made him put all of his toys away before watching a movie this evening.  I've kept the dining table mostly cleared.  I took things out of the office supply cabinet-and put them back on the same day!  I've kept up with laundry-well almost on that one.  I'm terrible at folding the clean clothes and putting them away.  I've remebered my supplements more often, and Goobers.  We've eaten good food-even started using the juicer my parents got us for Christmas.  Made soup from the pulp and everything!

I point this all out to say that just this little bit has helped to clear the fog that settled into my head a while back.  I can think more clearly.  If I can think clearly, I can plan ahead and free up more time.  With a clear head I can be proactive with our days and we enjoy life more.  Sounds like steps toward wellness to me!

My clean desk.  Isn't it inviting?!