Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I’m joining the Peas and Crayons link up, What I Ate Wednesday. Instead of just sharing what I ate yesterday, I’m going to share what I did (sounds boring, but I’m doing it for a reason, I promise!).
I left Seattle for the holidays as, pretty much, a total mess. I had just survived (barely) my first round of graduate school finals and my sanity was hanging by a thread. [I can whine about this now cause it was totally worth it!] I literally shoved as many clothes as I could into a giant bag and left my apartment as is for three weeks.
I just came home to that apartment late Sunday night to start the new quarter Monday (this would be 1/6). I might have felt zen after the break, but my apartment was still lingering in the midst of the mental overload/breakdown I experienced before the holidays (consisting primarily of crying into textbooks on the floor in my pj’s…eating cookies and drinking coffee). Since I had an early morning and full day, I knew I didn’t have time to dive into the mess and cleanse the place of that awful ora till Tuesday. No joke, there was even a textbook still open on the floor in my kitchen.
Oh, and my internet/tv/phone were ALL not working and mailbox was stuffed with bills and other annoyances.
The holidays also gave me a big fat wake up call about my budget. Most importantly: eating healthy is going to be more difficult. Since I got home to an empty fridge close to midnight, not willing to let myself pay more than $10 for dinner, I ordered a pizza. (Hey, at least I’m an honest health blogger!) I knew I couldn’t grocery shop till Tuesday and didn’t want to spend on going out to eat, so I split the small pizza as follows: 1/3 for dinner, 1/3 for breakfast, 1/3 for dinner tomorrow. (I could snag a really cheap salad for lunch!)
ANYWAY, now that you’re up to speed. Obviously, I couldn’t wait till TUESDAY. I woke up Tuesday around 6am and immediately made my bed (something I rarely, but should always, do).
I also: unpacked, did several loads of laundry, went to class, cleaned my floors (vacuumed AND mopped) assembled a chair (that had prior been a giant cardboard box in the middle of my tiny apartment), organized all of the ginormous stack of miscellaneous papers on my desk, scrubbed the bathroom, disinfected and cleaned all countertops, threw away my very dead (and very heavy) plant, ran a ton of errands, paid a ton of bills, sat on a ton of boring phone calls about the worst kind of life issues (any number starting with 866…), caught up on work, grocery shopped (and got HUGE deals), cleaned all of my produce and lettuce (a serious, tedious task!), and finished the day reading for pleasure with a delicious glass of wine after a girl’s night watching Mindy Project. I even made it to a steamy hour of hot power yoga.
All. in. one. day. But how?
It is oh-so-easy to plop down on the couch and turn on the tv. Especially under stress. Especially when you think you deserve it. Especially all the time. I do it, too, trust me. This morning, I could have totally said to myself Lisa, you just rocked these floors, you deserve to sit down and watch some mindless tv. I kept going because I reminded myself of the joy I get doing these things.
This is why I’ve been blabbering on: you need to consistently remind yourself of the joy you get in everything you do and the simple pleasures that come out of life’s mundane tasks. In my opinion, this is an essential part of leading a happy and fulfilling life.
Where did I find the joy of cleaning, working, and running errands in the pouring rain?
(Cause if I can find it there, you can find it too!)
1. Make your bed! I feel like making the bed is such a pain, but I always want to do it for two reasons. One, I loveeeee getting into a tight, cozy bed at night! Two, I have read in several different places that people who make their beds are more productive and successful…or something like that.
2. Don’t exaggerate. In the past, I’ve been on hold with an annoying customer service person rolling my eyes and bitching about how much I hate X company and how blah blah blah. It’s just not worth that stress. Today, I simply did other things while on hold. I read up on Bloglovin, answered emails, and didn’t even notice how long I was on hold for.
3. Take pride in what you do. Today, I assembled a freakin’ chair. Sure, it had directions and wasn’t that hard, but still. I made that chair. It was in pieces in a box, now it’s the prettiest part of my living room. I could have whined about getting Ikea’d and needing a boy to come over and help me. Instead, I took pride in what I
made allen wrenched. If you made something beautiful or worked hard on something, let yourself be proud of that, no matter how small it may be.
4. Know what relaxes you. I get so incredibly anxious in cluttered, messy spaces. (I literally have trouble sleeping in my boyfriend’s apartment cause of clutter!) I knew that cleaning my apartment would keep me relaxed, and seeing everything in it’s place and off my desk would bring me zen. So, I did that first. It completely calmed me, and everything I had to do seemed less stressful.
5. Look at the big picture. As I’ve said before, forward thinking can make life much more exciting and enjoyable. I didn’t clean just to clean. I cleaned so that it wouldn’t be dirty anymore. I didn’t grocery shop just to go out in the rain and do it, I did it because I enjoy cooking and eating healthy. I studied because one day I’m going to need this knowledge to be a
good great dietitian. Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t enjoy, but we need to focus on why we’re doing those things.
6. Smile, dance, and be nice to people! Smell the freakin’ roses. Yes, I know, this is obvious. But, all day today I made an effort to be especially nice to everyone. I smiled extra, said extra hello‘s and have a good day!’s, and kept a spring in my step. Even if you’re totally not in the mood, making yourself act pleasant can really change the way you feel on the inside. Singing and dancing in the shower also does wonders for me. Seriously, try it. Blast your most embarrassing favorite song and just let go. I look like a total geek in the shower, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As for what I ate (since that’s what you came for!)…
Breakfast: whole grain bagel & hot green tea (zzz…pre-grocery shopping)
Lunch: some delicious Pike’s Place smoked salmon and taste-tested delicious fruits and veggies
Dinner: a handful of spinach (snacking while cleaning it, of course), seared shrimp rubbed with salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic over basil gluten-free pasta (Pike’s place has this amazing homemade pasta that’s infused with anything and everything, even chocolate pasta!)
I’m sorry this was so long. My day just started as an impossible to do list and ended as a great inspiration, so I wanted to share it with all of you! Hopefully you can keep these in mind so that the next time you have to do something like laundry or bills you can find a way to enjoy it!
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