BYJ: Day 41 – Accept Your Imperfections

Wow!

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you know I have been reading a book, sporadically, about working on my own beauty – it’s a book focused on transforming oneself into woman more empowered to accept her own beauty. The topic for day 41 is Accepting Your Imperfections.

And the reason I said “Wow” above, is because of the sheer irony of how much I need to pay attention to the advice on this section.  The author says, “Not one of us is perfect, and yet we often worry that if we don’t keep the illusion of our own perfection, someone might discover our horrifying secret – that everything we do isn’t brilliant.”  I don’t think there is a statement that describes my struggle more accurately and after reading this, it made me realize how much I have depended on others’ acceptance of me – or actually, their praise of me.

Obviously, this is something I have been working on and I’m still struggling with it. And today, as a bout of depressive feelings come on (I might write more about this later), I’m glad I read it. I needed to see it. I needed to see that it is okay to not meet the standards I think others have for me. Or better yet, even if people do have those standards that they feel I need to meet, it is entirely up to me if I even want to bother. Sometimes, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture, so to speak.

Today, I’m going to focus on this author’s final sentence on this topic:

“And by embracing who you are – strengths and challenges entwined – you begin to celebrate the beauty within you.”

BYJ: Day 40 – Go to Bed Earlier

I haven’t read my Beautiful You Journal in quite some time (in fact, I haven’t been here in almost 2 weeks…wow!), but today I cracked it open and the reading for day 40 is about getting more sleep.  Specifically, the author strongly encourages us to find out what time we need to be awake in the morning to begin our day and then to go to bed exactly 8 hours earlier.

If I look at it and I’m honest about it, some of you might be extremely shocked (then again, maybe it won’t surprise you in the least), but I can’t remember the last time I slept for eight hours straight.  If I had to guess, it was probably over 20 years ago.  I tend to be so busy doing things, that I allow my sleep to suffer from it.  I’m no medical expert, but I’m sure this has had a tremendous impact on my health and mental well being.  I tend to be a very focused and committed person, when I have a goal, to the point that I remember my last semester of college, I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep at a time.  Back then, I had a full time job, attended classes full time and worked two part time jobs. This was in addition to being a husband and father at the time.  Unfortunately for me, I continued that kind of behavior into my professional career. And I can look back on it all now and feel like it was not worth the sacrifice.

I look at this behavior and can’t help but wonder how my lack of proper sleep had a major part to due with my depression and anxiety, as well. I know I have made some changes to improve this and I am now up to averaging 6 hours of sleep per night. I’ve even set my Fitbit to monitor this. I have one drawback, however, and it has to due with my anxiety. I can’t fall asleep unless I am utterly exhausted and my eyelids are ready to fall off my face from being so heavy.  I’m also trying to change my diet to make sure I’m eating foods that are more conducive to healthy living.

Either way, I am working towards the goal of sleeping for eight hours of sleep per night.

AJ: Apparently I write well…

I received one of the sweetest compliments today. My friend Meg (check her out at Meghan Tregellis, Author) mentioned it in a comment to me.  She has offered, previously, to critique some writing for me, if I ever decided to do something….um…novel (please pardon the pun).  I have toyed with the idea quite a bit, actually, but I am a horrible critic of my own being – I can only imagine the monster I would be towards my own writing.

Actually, I think I might have mentioned, before, that I am very self-conscious about my writing. In fact, I am quite sure I have mentioned it, but I’m not sure if I mentioned it on this blog or my last and I am too lazy today to bother researching to find out if I did and link the post that I mentioned it. When I was a junior in college I took a writing class that the professor commented to me that I wrote at a 9th grade level.  Of course, I was insulted, and at the time I didn’t like writing anyways – in fact, I hated writing all throughout school.  I despised it…it felt icky to me.   I never considered writing anything that mattered. In fact, during my college years, I wrote a poem to a girl after we had our first kiss – it was titled “Our Kiss”. And since she decided to run off with someone else, it made me despise poetry too. I truly, hated writing.  But something about that professor saying that made me want to at least improve myself to a level of acceptability. Granted, since I went to an engineering school, most of the writing required was boring and drab, so it was (probably) easier to meet the standards required to do that, than to write anything that would draw people in to read. (And as I proofread this last paragraph, I can easily see the thoughts are not singular – i.e. should be more than one paragraph).

But to draw people in to read, you have to connect to them, personally. You have to draw on their emotions, somehow, I suppose. I’ve never considered myself capable of doing that. I never felt like I could extract the kinds of emotions from myself that would make people interested in me, so how could I possibly do it in the written word?  It was a conundrum for me to even consider. So, I felt I couldn’t write.

And then there is the idea of creativity. I enjoy using my imagination, but never felt like my imagination was original. I liked science fiction and fantasy, because those were the kinds of stories that were highly imaginative. But there is imagination involve, I believe, in telling a historical fiction, but that would involve the kind of research that I’m not sure I have the time nor energy to do.  Truthfully, it brings me back to feeling drab about my own ability to be descriptive in my writing. I question if I would embellish things too much. I ponder not having the correct words to use to connect people to the imaginative scenario – I mean, we’re all unique, so how would anyone be able to understand my thoughts?

But, you know what I have decided?

I am NOT the best judge of myself. Really, I am not.  I can’t even tell if I feel right having male gonads, so how could I possibly be able to assess my own ability to connect to people through writing. I’m a conflicted and confused person that does a GREAT job hiding him(her)self from the world in plain view.

I guess, without too much more rambling, I should say that I feel better about my writing. As many of you have witnessed, I have spent the past few years whipping out a multitude of poems in expression of my own feelings, I have spent the past few years detailing my own struggles in life, and I write in complete (for the most part) sentences and somewhat coherent thoughts. I have even taken graduate level classes that have required writing and the professors have given me high scores on my papers, so maybe I am more capable than I credit myself. Maybe Meg is correct on this matter. Maybe it is time for me to explore this aspect of myself a little more.

So, for entertainment purposes, only, here are some of the things I have considered writing about:

  1. A book on the exploration of God versus Science – Yes, the age old question of this topic seems to be overdone, but as a fan of science and a person who questions God, what if I had something more to offer to the discussion?
  2. A novel with a fantasy with kings, queens, elves, druids, etc. – This shows my true inner nerd.
  3. A romance novel about a bisexual man looking for love – ya know, loosely based on my own life, but much more interesting 😛
  4. A horror novel about a twisted spirit causing people to go against their own nature and committing heinous acts – what?  I do have a dark side?
  5. etc.

I’m not really sure about most of these ideas, but I ponder actually starting something, but never really get around to it.

 

Anyways, I am just rambling and I appreciate you for following along, but I wanted to share the compliment I received today and I am tucking this away into my Appreciation Jar.

AJ: You Dress the Soul

Today, i received the most amazing compliment. I was discussing the duality/conflict of my gender and someone I think of as my sister said:

“You Dress the Soul and that is light years ahead of most beings who dress the flesh.”

I am really beginning to see my inner beauty and I feel more authentic everyday. I feel like a happy girl and I knew this needed to be in my Appreciation Jar.

BYJ (&QFMR): Day 39 – Have Someone Else Make a Resolution For You.

Hi everyone! 😚

I believe I’m in a better mood than the last few days and I’m ready to get back to making myself a more beautiful person – translated as “I want to be a badass!” 😎🌹💪🌻😍😁💟👗👜

Today’s BYJ task involves asking a loved one to make a resolution for me. The author suggests asking a loved one, but I’m somewhat removed from people in real life, so I thought I’d ask one of you! The author indicated that it is interesting to see your behaviors through someone else’s eyes and to attempt a c hsnge based on what they see. The author mentioned she asked her husband who only wanted her to cleanup her dish from breakfast, instead of leaving it for later. She felt it was an easy change and took care of it.

So, I ask all of you, my wonderful readers, if there is one resolution you’d like me to make, what would that be?

BYJ: Day 38 – Who’s your “Go-To” Girl?

I really liked the activity in this section of the Beautiful You book.  The author says that every woman needs her “go to” girl for things.  This is another woman that is your best confidante – someone you can go to with any issue; or as the author explains, she is the woman you can call up “just to bitch”.  She goes on to explain that this girl is the one that allows you to vent about anything and it helps relieve so much stress and anxiety. She would be the kind or woman that helps you boost your sense of self.  OF course, this person wouldn’t only hear the negative things you have to say, but she would be someone to help you identify “growth opportunities”. She would be the kind of friend that assists you in advising about significant decisions in life and allows you the chance to be that for her.

During the activity section – i.e. the BYJ – the author instructs you to identify your go-to girl.  And she expresses that it’s important to recognize who this might be.  I have to be honest at this point, because I have several “go-to” girls and I think a lot of them have been available to me, as I’ve needed. So, many of you wonderful women have always been so encouraging and supporting to me and all of you allow me to be the woman I feel like being. Some of you have even challenged me when I feel like giving up.  I have to also admit, I don’t know that I have been the best go-to girl, but I’d like to think that I’m the kind of girl with a big heart willing to help anyone.  But, I’m not sure if I have a BFF…there are a few of you that have been so much closer than others and it makes me realize something about myself – maybe I’m not paying attention to those girls willing to be a BFF to me.  So, I’m sorry if I have been so self-absorbed.

Anyways…I think I want a best girlfriend…bff…confidante…and girl time.

BYJ: Day 37 – Get Fitted

I’ve often heard that clothes that fit perfectly tend to make you feel so much better about yourself; this would explain the constant love-hate relationship we have with trying on different clothing items.  Today’s BYJ entry concerns getting fitted for a bra; the author makes the statement, “the wrong bra impacts you feel (underwires that dig into your sides are enough to make any woman crazy) and how your clothes look, which impacts your sense of confidence.” Then she explains the intended activity to get fitted for a bra, trying on different styles, ensuring a good match and then buying one.

Sometimes, I feel like I have to be honest with myself and admit that this probably wouldn’t have the effect on me that it might on other women. And it’s going to eat at me a little, and sometimes it just feels like a jagged little pill