For a few months I’ve been putting together the story of building the Memorial House, which means spending a lot of time in the archives of DIYdiva, and one of the things I’ve learned– well, aside from that there should be a special version of spell check for people who write articles after midnight–is that it’s hard to remember exactly who I was when I had some of these ideas. Was a feeling strong and capable when I basically lost my shit trying to block up the old basement windows? Did I have 10,000 project ideas running through my head that I put aside to take pictures of my donkeys?
I definitely changed along the way, but even though I documented the process, I don’t have a clear picture of the differences between who I was then and who I am now, or even what crazy ideas I had that didn’t make it out of my head.
Since DIY Life is really about the journey of change, I’ve decided to keep a record of sorts. Who I am, right now. What I believe, based on what I’m learning. And most importantly, who I want to be in the future. So here are my stats:
Actual age: 368 months
Age I feel: For most of my life I’ve felt about 10 years older than my actual age, but I think I’ve almost reached a state of equilibrium. Depending on the day (and let’s be honest, whether or not I’ve taken my glucosamine– which totally helps with joint pain, by the way) I feel somewhere between 26 and 40.
How I look: Better than I have since high school, actually. Eating small meals resulted in dropping some extra pounds I didn’t even know I was carrying, but the real change has come from living in a “finished” house. Yes, it’s a rental, but it doesn’t contain copious amounts of sawdust and I actually have been showering regularly instead of tiling things at all hours of the night. It’s actually really nice to feel human again.
Marital status: Single. Several months ago I went through the “single and panicked about it” phase, because even though I’ve never had plans to get married or have children, it’s still a little eye-opening to, after almost five years, find yourself completely without the support of another human being. I actually started lifting weights because it occurred to me I’m no longer going to have any help with the heavy lifting or opening of pickle jars. However, I’ve moved completely into the single-and-loving-it-plus-I’ll-just-buy-a-tractor-for-heavy-lifting phase of living alone, and I’m actually really enjoying myself. And I’m pretty sure I can find a way to open those stubborn pickle jars with my drill.
Short term goals: Buy property, get into an exercise schedule (of no more than 20 minutes a day, let’s not go crazy here), build some furniture, finish moving the last of my stuff out of Memorial, establish a writing schedule that includes actual daylight hours, take more pictures.
Long term goals: Build the Hillside Cottage. Continue to do things I love. Make changes. Also, have chickens and bees– because here’s a change that happened over the last two years: I’m totally a farm-girl now.
What’s worked recently: Switching to small meals is one change that I’ve made in my life that has stuck and actually made things much easier for me (a key of getting changes to stick, I think). It’s still a shock to me that I cook and eat vegetables every single day… and like it. I actually think the whole reason it worked was because my goal wasn’t to eat vegetables every day. It wasn’t even to eat healthier every day. It was to find more time in my life by better structuring my eating, and once I did that everything else followed.
Things I’m trying: For a long time my New Years resolution was to give up something. Once I gave up eating french fries for an entire year. Another time I gave up new things every month. A lot of this stems from the fact that I believe discipline is like a muscle– you have to use it, and when you do it gets stronger. I’ve been a little lax on this principle in the last couple of years, but I brought it back with a vengeance this year by doing intermittent fasting, which is basically restricting all calories for 24-hours once every week. Something I’ll fill you in on once it’s become a more normal part of my routine. (See this link for the article that inspired me.)
I also invested in one of those fun little Nike+ gadgets that track your running to your iPhone, specifically because it let’s you play virtual “tag” against your friends. Turns out I hate running, but I love winning, and that seems to balance itself out. We’ll see if it becomes a real part of my routine.
Another thing on the list of stuff I’m attempting is sleeping 8+ hours a night. I know, right? When will I update this website? I’m not sure, but I’m going for anti-zombie (at least until construction on Hillside Cottage starts) just so I know what it feels like.
I haven’t yet reached the point where I’m making rules about how often I wash the dishes, but I’m thinking about it…
Thoughts on Life: Right now, I’m loving it. The truth is, I’m in my element when I’m doing things by myself. Yes, it’s hard, but there’s also a huge weight off my shoulders when it comes to worrying about how someone else feels about everything.