Tossing the To-Do List: A Neurotic Planner’s Tale

Today I’m going to tell you a tale. A lonely tale. A sad tale. A very organized tale. *spits tobacco in a cup* Okay, I suppose there’s no need to be melodramatic.

Once upon a time, I was obsessive compulsive. If any of you have read my previous posts, you know that I have a fierce love of planning and organizing. Not necessarily executing, though. You’d be shocked to know that I wasn’t always like this. At one point and time I made lists and stuck to them. No exceptions. The lists weren’t just about big things, either. I would make a list on how I would live that day. For example, I would write down when I was going to brush my teeth, the exact time I would need to get dressed. And if something prevented me from completing the list (such as a natural disaster or physical limitation), I would be devastated. I would cry, I would shut down. In my mind, the world had stopped spinning on its axis.

So how did I get out of my list making craziness? First, I sought out professional help. With therapy, I realized that I was very depressed and the list making was making me feel in control. Much like today, the lists resembled my tight grasp on the things I could control. Unfortunately, when things that were out of my control happened, my lists were nullified and I fell to pieces. I had to learn how to make lists with the understanding that life happens and more importantly, how to deal with that.

Over time, I got better. Now, I make lists and don’t stick to them at all. :)

No seriously, now I’m working on not making such extravagant goals. And with the help of Costa (the boyfriend), I am reminding myself daily that life happens. A friend of mine just lost the father of her child to a senseless crime that he wasn’t apart of. These type of things remind us that control is only an illusion. Ultimately, there’s only so much planning you can do before you have to toss up the rest to chance.

How about you? Are you a list making master? How do you handle the need to stay on top of things?

Appreciating Aunt Flo

Warning: Sorry boys, this post is geared towards women!

She comes every month. She’s a sign of a maturing female body. And she’s a siren when the body is doing something out of ordinary behind the scenes.

Y’all know what I’m talking about. She’s your period.

Today, I was feeling crummy. I was cramping, slightly feverish, and tired. I also had a strong craving for brownies. I was dealing with the flo.

But with all the years of having my period, I’ve never cursed it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I love when it shows up. And I’m ready to put out an APB when it doesn’t.

My period gave me warning signs that sent me to the doctor, only to find I had a condition that puts me at a greater risk for ovarian cancer. I found out I might have trouble conceiving.

Because of her, my doctor and I are paying close attention to my health. And I am eternally grateful.

You guys know how I feel about my body. I like to think I am slowly building habits that are helping me take care of her, like being more conscientious of what I’m putting in myself, how much I’m moving, and how much stress I’m carrying.

I’m not pretending to be perfect–cause I’m not. But I am trying to change in a healthier direction.

So what does that have to do with you?

Today, on a whim I googled “cold symptoms during period”. What I came up with is women who had mild to severe PMS symptoms wondering how to get them to stop.

The first thought I had was, “Slow down or deal with it.” I found it interesting we were looking for a quick and easy fix to something that the body is supposed to do.  In this fast pace society, women don’t have time to slow down. But when your body is doing its monthly maintenance, a greater force is working against and for you. The body’s main purpose is to function as efficiently as possible. It gives a damn about work, that dinner date, or that appointment you need to make. And when you don’t take heed of what it’s saying to you, it’ll shut down-sometimes permanently.

So, what I’d like for you is to take a moment during your busy day today to ponder:

What has your body said to you lately? Ladies, is your Aunt Flo coming to town singing the right tune? And have you taken the time to appreciate her?

Think about it.

Food for Thought

I want to start treating my body as a temple.

There. I said it.

The fact of the matter is I’m too practical and rational to be doing otherwise.

Taking care of your body is extremely important. Courtesy of yogaworldtours.com.

Having things “in order” is important to me in all aspects of my life. So why not my health? Can you prevent sickness? Maybe or maybe not. The point is arming yourself with what you need to get through it.

My body is an amazing mechanism and I’ve been treating it like crap. Its time to start loving myself. Last time, I talked about finding spiritual balance. That’s part of loving your body too. Stress, worry, anxiety…all can bring on unwanted disease. Having a spiritual outlet can help.

So what does this mean? I’m starting a boot camp revamp. I want to move a little more, meditate a little more, and eat a little cleaner. Something just to show my body I appreciate her.

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On a NaNoWriMo note:

3 days until the writing begins! I’m stoked. I have a story idea, today I’ll be writing a janky quick outline and bam! I’ll starting writing first thing November 1st.

For all those writers out there, have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? How do you get yourself organized?

I’m trying a different approach: I’ll be using a spreadsheet to track my outline points and the number of words in each point. Since I’m motivated by visuals, seeing a word count add up will definitely help me.

And things I have learned since the last time I tried NaNoWriMo:

1) The story doesn’t have to make sense. You just write to meet the word count and then start worrying about what the heck you wrote after Nov. 30.

2) You should be having fun. There’s nothing as unmotivating as making yourself do something you don’t want to do. If I stop having fun during this process, I’ll throw in the towel and start again next year. No stress.

3) Get out and write at write-ins. Being social helps keep you motivated and you might make some great connections. Who knows? Your future best friend might be at that Starbucks frantically typing away.

I’ll be sure to post updates as I start chipping away at my 50,000 word challenge!