Published on Sunday, 17 February 2013 11:19
Written by Jules
It has been a Chronic Chronicles Podcast
project to, well... pick a project. We have challenged ourselves, and our listeners, to come up with some DIY projects for the month of February, which we affectionately call "Cabin Fever Month". You see, in many parts of the country, however not where I live, it's just too darned cold to go anywhere in February. When one is stuck in the house for long periods due to the bitter cold, Cabin Fever can set in.
I have been beating myself over the head to come up with a DIY project, to no avail. What do I have time for? What
needs doing in this apartment I have lived in only 10 months? Does it have to be "crafty"? I am not crafty. (Ok, not in this context.) WHAT can I do? WHEN can I do it? I seem to be working from about 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM, breaking for dinner, then picking up again, working on and off until I can't keep my eyes open. I don't think I really have time for another project around here.
When I look at those words I typed, I think maybe the project I need to work on is: ME. I need to take steps to manage my life better. I need to work smarter. I need to rest more. I need to separate my work from my personal life more, so that I take the time to entertain my brain more than just work and exercise my brain. YES, my DIY project should be ME.
There is a very obvious problem in my house. We have a home office that is really more of an office home. We run a very busy business right from the middle of our house. Our office is in the middle of our living room, and our employees work from our dining room. My place to "relax" if I want to watch TV or read (ya like I do that) is just two feet from my desk. There is no separation here. If I am sitting on the couch with my lapdesk, as I am right now, no one knows if I am working or doing something for fun. That holds true for my business partner. And, the TV is pretty much always on. We watch political programming constantly because, of course, we are in the business of politics.
It's time to move the office into the other room, into a place that we moved into this unit because of the extra space for the office. Why aren't we using? I am not really sure. It's time. To save us from our own crazy work schedule, it's time. When we are leaving the apartment to work in coffee shops just to get away, it's time.
Sleep, that's the next thing I need to work on. My doctor has ordered a sleep study, and I am certain it's warranted. I wake up every two hours or so, and end up wandering the apartment. I am up for thirty minutes to an hour and then head back to bed. Two hours later, I am up again. This can happen no matter what I am prescribed for sleep. I go on like this, and every few weeks I crash. I sleep for a day to sort of "reset" as Brian, (my partner, room mate, care partner, my everything) says. Reset. I need a permanent reset. I need to sleep all night, or at least when I wake up, I need to stay in bed and go back to sleep like most people do.
I have made one change that seems to help this goal. I have started taking my showers at night. A nice hot shower before bed has delayed my first middle of the night wake up thus making it the time when my second waking would have occured. More sleep, good deal!
When making yourself your own DIY project, it's important to make the goals things you can handle, things that you can change and be done with (like moving furniture) or things that become habits that are easy to cement into over a couple of weeks of practice. If you need to change several things at a time, mix an easy thing with a hard thing. Once those things are done, and well practiced, then add a couple more. Don't change many things at once, and definitely don't try two hard things at once. The sleep/night shower, and furniture are two good starting points. Once I have a week or two of better sleep under my belt, I am going to extend my walking regime.
Walking, that's a tough one when you are tired and achy. I am making an assumption that when I am more focused and rested, the idea of taking a good walk (without the distraction of walking with the dogs) will be easier. That is why I am starting with certain things and then layering new things on top of the first changes. It would make no sense to try and take longer walks when I am tired and have a lot on my mind about work.
Once the walking is down pat for a couple of weeks, then I start the yoga that my doctor has ordered. He wants me to start now, but I know I would quit. I know it would hurt too much, I know it would be destined for disaster. This has to come later in my project.
By now you have seen that my project is going to last longer than a month. Any changes you make to yourself need to be gradual and should not have a hard and fast timetable set to them. If you put too much pressure on yourself, you will, no doubt at all, fail. I may fail, and if I do, I will start again and go a bit slower and I will be a bit easier on myself. That is just what I (and I suggest you) have to do. When something doesn't work that you really want, don't totally give up, revamp, redo, retry.
So, here I go, on my Do It TO My Self project. I will keep you posted.