Challenging Myself – Mental & Physical Health

“Keep challenging yourself to think better, do better, and be better.” ~ Robin Sharma

My mother was wise in her ways with me. For her to have me do something, she would in a sly way imply that I could not possibly do something. For some reason that was a challenge I was willing to prove her wrong. The oldest of five she dealt with each of us in a different way. She had rules for us, but in many ways she was open towards us. We could express our thoughts and opinions, mind you, it had to be done in respect. As I grew into an adult the relationship changed. I could discuss any subject and she would listen. The same was true in the other direction. She would at times confide in me something that would be bothering her. It may be about one of my siblings, and other times when she would be going through divorce. I truly miss those things, talking on the phone, or maybe in a letter.

I have not posted much in the past several weeks, for I have been busy with household things. Then I have been reading and also researching. I am trying to take another challenge for myself.

I had been seeing ads about the website.”Coursera“. So, I went and searched on it and found some free courses out of the University of Alberta. I am truly giving a lot of thought about taking one or two of them. I look at it this way, it will challenge my mind, bring something new into my learnings.

Also, I have been challenging myself in regards to my walking without a cane. I am somewhat apprehensive about setting it aside. I challenge myself to walk without it only in my confines of my house. That challenges me physically.

I have always challenged myself throughout my life. In my music, studies, and even in cooking and baking. I started learning about personal computers when Windows 3.1 was the only operating system.

So dear reader I cannot speak about how others motivate themselves, but for me I need challenges. I wonder if it takes a challenge to move you forward, mentally and physically. I would love to hear your thoughts about this. I am sure other readers would also be interested in your thoughts!

Me, Myself, and I; Party of One

 In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” Rollo May

Growing up I never had lots of friends, mostly I would have just one close friend. I didn’t hang out with others from school. I was always content to do things alone. I could spend hours tinkering with my race track set, trying to record different things on my reel-to-reel recorder.

I knew how to be cordial around others, but I was one who couldn’t wait to get away from crowds. I did not want to mingle, or even have “small talk”. Now if someone was speaking to me I would always gracefully listen and interact with them. I hope I never made them feel that I wasn’t interested in what they were saying.

Someone once mentioned to me that I had the leanings of a “recluse”, I took that as a compliment. I do enjoy my own company, love the quiet in a room with solitude. No background noise, just me, myself, and I; A Party of One.

For some, this would be maddening for they thrive on lots of people, lots of chatter, to be honest, lots of unnecessary drama. I wonder at times if they maybe afraid of their own voice, their thoughts clear and loud in their quiet times.

My mental health is dependent on having solitude, a place of quiet, free from all outside influencers. I do not always follow the crowd and sometimes that has caused some people to think I am cold, that I don’t like people. I like people a lot, but I like myself even more. Over the years I have learned quite much about who I am, where I stand with myself. There was a time I hated looking in the mirror, discontent with what I saw. No, not the outward appearance, but rather the being locked up inside. Like a caged bird, more like a canary, who lost how to sing a beautiful melody.

I still do not have lots of people around me constantly. Basically, it is just my best friend. If I am outside and a neighbor is out I will stop and say hi, ask about their wellness. But, when I come back into my house and close the door it is my place of security. It is when I close that door I then shut out all of the outside voices.

So dear reader, are you comfortable being alone with yourself? Are you at peace with your thoughts, or do you crave the many voices constantly chattering but saying nothing? I would love to hear your thoughts about, “Me, Myself, and I; A Party of One”.

Re-assessing Priorities & Mental Health

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”
 Dallin H. Oaks

Yesterday I began to think about how my priorities have changed throughout my life. As a teen my focus was on school. Then I began to move away from home and my priority was putting a roof over my head. I can recall the first time I went grocery shopping. Well, I got to the till and the cashier told me the total, I cried because it did not leave me much for anything else.

The next big event was marriage and once again my priority changed. I now had to provide for myself and my wife. Two years later and we welcome our daughter into the world. She totally shifted my priorities. She developed colic and I found myself walking during the night with her trying to settle her down.

Fast forward to the two years ago and I start having trouble with my back and hip Pain has a way of causing you to lose focus on the true priorities. Then the phone call for the surgery date. My priority shifted to keeping myself well, staying as far away from anything that would cause sickness, including covid 19.

Now my focus is on getting stronger each day, striving for progress with my hip replacement. Once again, priority has changed!.

So dear reader, have you found that your priorities shift during your life? If so, how has this affected your mental health? I would love to hear from you!

Decompressing & Mental Health

I am constantly trying to figure things out, and writing and decompressing is a way for me to analyze and try and grow and understand. – Author: Erin Willett

I have been lately re-introducing something that I use to have in my life, decompressing. A time without television, radio, music, and yes, the phone. It is a time to quiet the mind, to connect with your own breathing. Some may call it meditation, but this is really a time of complete void of input or output.

I have the luxury to spend this type of time, I live alone, and really do not have any constraints or demands, like getting children ready for bed. I do not have a cell phone, so the incoming texts messages are not a distraction. Decompressing means that I have taken control of a set time period. It may be thirty, sixty minutes, whatever it takes to feel a gentle calm come over me.

Then, there are the times where I focus on just a single task. For me, it usually means reading a book without any other input around me.

I often wonder what affect happens to people who seem to want to be always connected. I have heard of teenagers sleeping with their cell phones under their pillow. Constantly waking up to check to see if there are new text messages. This most assuredly must wreak havoc with their bodies not being able to enter deep sleep. I believe it is called, “R.E.M.(Rapid Eye Movement).

I spoke with my daughter just recently and listened to what was on her schedule each and every day. She decided to go to university for a business management degree. Besides that, she works part time and also has children to take care of. I was exhausted just trying to comprehend on how she will be able to keep up with all the stress.

So dear reader, how do you decompress? Do you make time to quiet your mind and body? I would love to hear from you on this and so would other readers!