Alright, so I'm at the 25% point of my 1-year project.
These are the residual effects:
June - Gorganization
My apartment is reasonably tidy most of the time. That said, during busier work weeks, piles of laundry on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, and an unmade bed are the norm. I'm still working on managing clutter. I'm going to revisit my minimalist aspirations next month again.
I still bulk prep meals on weekends. It just makes workday lunches so much easier.
The file system is alive and well. I don't know why I didn't set one up years ago.
The learn-to-dance odyssey continues. However, now when I go to weddings or parties, I actually dance. You know, you just get to the point where you realize no one else really cares what you look like. And, it's a lot more fun to join in than sit on the sidelines and watch.
I'm still married to my moleskine planner. People at work are trying to pursuade me to move to something electronic... it just wouldn't be the same.
I caved and reactivated my Facebook account. The people I socialize with here are all Facebook junkies, and I didn't want to be left out of the loop. I did, however, do a major purge of my "Facebook friends." And, I jacked up the privacy settings. Now, it's not causing me the anxiety it used to. My status is something like "Homemade soup will be ready in 10 minutes. Text or call if you want to join me for dinner." You can only do things like that when you actually like all the people on your "friend" list (or at least you like all the people who live close enough to take you up on your offer of dinner).
July - Self-care
Retail therapy is much more prominent in my life than in previous years. Not that I go crazy or spend money that I don't have. But, now, about once/month I let myself indulge a little. Last month (August), I bought some new clothes. This month (September), I bought a 3-month yoga pass. It's soooo decadent!
Pseudo - spa nights have become more regular. The at-home pampering is a nice way to unwind. Next on my project list is to learn more about making my own producs and source out local ingredients to do so. At some point this year, I want to try making soap.
One area where I have really made an effort is to prepare nutritious meals. I really think nutrition is the foundation to good health. Okay, nutrition and good sleep. The sleep part is still a work in progress, but the regular yoga routine seems to be helping.
I'm continuing to make big efforts on the social front. I've actually managed to stick to my resolution to host at least one gathering every month. I see friends or family pretty much every weekend, often twice within the same weekend. The efforts have been soooo worth it!!! My relationships with old friends are even stronger, and I have a number of wonderful new friends.
August - Exploration
In August, I learned that really it's ok sometimes to do what you want rather than what you think is more productive, more useful, etc. No regrets about dumping karate.
Also, I'm so much more ok with saying "This is the way I am; take it or leave it." It's very liberating. People tease me about some of my quirkier habits (making dehydrated flax crackers, for example). But, at the same time, I declined my first real offer of a date since separating because I am confident enough in myself to recognize that though the attention was flattering, he just wasn't the right kind of guy for me. (I will admit, however, that when we were standing next to each other at the end of the evening, and I realized he is like 6'5", I really wished he was my type - I even convinced myself for a second that I should give him my number. But, alas, you can't build a relationship just on the fact that you find tall guys attractive and you meet a tall guy.)
I'm becoming a bit more of a "you only live once" type. Anything that resonates with my image of my future self (who, by the way, is SUCH a cool girl), I say YES. Brunch with strangers? YES! Hosting my work group for dinner? YES. Wardrobe update? YES. Healthy eating? YES. Yoga and meditation? YES. Dance classes? YES.
September - The Non-Tangibles
Working through the book Calling in the One was a huge turning point for me. This isn't to say that now I'm, you know, built of teflon and all reminders of my marriage just glide off. Not at all. I still have a mini-meltdown every now and again. However, now I have a lot more insight into why things didn't work out with my husband, and the person I want to be when I emerge from all this mess. Essentially, the person I "called in" was myself. This is important. You can't think of eventually building a relationship with someone else until you are well acquainted (and at peace with) yourself.
The other really good thing I did for myself was the yoga/meditation monthly pass. I've been making it to the studio about 5 days/week, and Thursdays I stay for a meditation class after the yoga. I'm the type of person who carries stress physically rather than spazzing out. So, the regular deep stretch is just wonderful. I feel calmer, and I am sleeping better. It's great. Helps me process my thoughts, too, I find. I definitely recommend it (though I caution that not all yoga studios are created equal - shop around til you find the right fit). Once my 3-month promo runs out, I may crunch some numbers to see if an annual pass is in my budget. Kinda pricey.
I meant to tackle my existential crisis this month, but didn't happen. So, that project is being pushed to October.
Ok, so a number of you readers have contacted me to say that you are playing along with the projects on this blog. What changes have you made in your life? Did the changes stick? Any pearls of wisdom you would like to share? Funny stories? Touching stories? I would love to hear from you!