Monday, February 4, 2013

January Overview

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

For the last few years, I've felt like I've lost myself. I was drifting, both personally and professionally, and it seemed like my life was headed toward mediocrity. But I also felt trapped, frozen, unable to do anything much about it. I just couldn't get myself together. I knew neither victory nor defeat; I was stuck in the long flatline between either.

Through a series of "things" - changes, events, occurrances, for lack of better terms, I have pursued emotional and spiritual growth. and pursued it hard through the last year-ish, 18 months or so, and though it's been a long journey (good lord, aren't they all...there's no quick path as far as I can tell!), I'm feeling empowered and making changes in my life. I wanted to chronicle them here on the blog, since I'm not much of a journaler or record-keeper otherwise. I tend to rely on memory, and we all know how unreliable it can be. At least this will keep me honest.


January was an up and down month. I often felt like the "cold and timid soul" who knows neither victory or defeat...despite starting an excellent series of jewelry fabrication classes at Amalgam Arts I found myself nervous, worried about finances, worried about festival deadlines, worried that I really couldn't do the job of making the kind of jewelry that would expand what I wanted to achieve this year, that would help me get to the next rung on the ladder. I spent more time on my Etsy supply shop than on my jewelry. 

As I've mentioned, my father died on the 13th, and while I'd been as ready as I could be for that to happen, it still affected me and my work. I guess when you're processing a loss, it's hard to have the focus necessary for design. I'd also given up drinking (yes, I know this is the first many of you have heard about it!) for the month of January, and for the first two weeks, I felt like my body was not struggling with wanting alcohol, but it was craving more sugar than I normally eat (and I eat a fair amount). I'm a moderate drinker, but I wanted to take a break to see if it would affect my weight - you hear SO much about alcohol being detrimental to diet and weight gain - and I've been using wine for years to help manage my Fibromyalgia pain. I thought I should see what life was really like without my additional "medication". Apparently, life is about managing one's sugar addiction. ~wry smile~

About the wine and Fibromyalgia - I take prescription pain meds for the Fibro, but they don't eliminate the pain. Wine goes a long way to filling the gap between the meds and bedtime. So I did have a lot more pain to manage...but I managed, though not always well. I'm not sure I want to drink as little as I did this past month, but I do think being an even more moderate drinker is a good thing for my mind and my body.

I felt tired for most of the month. I would get up in the morning later than usual, and feel like I really needed a nap around three or four p.m., and then feel ready to go to bed around 8 or 9 p.m. I don't know how much of that was leftover exhaustion and stress from the last four months (or the last twelve...), but I felt exhausted almost all month. It's only been in the last few days that I've started to feel somewhat more energized.

I went back to exercising after about a three-month hiatus, and found that relatively easy to pick first. I'm up to 35 minutes of running, three days a week, and my legs are sore, sore, sore. I don't know of anyone else who gets so sore after exercise. I suppose that's the Fibro...but I like how I look and feel (aside from the muscle soreness) when I do it, so I'm not stopping. 

I added in some CoQ10 in with my vitamin supplements / pain pills. I'm not sure if it's really doing anything (mostly I wanted it for energy), as taking it's coincided with no wine and more exercise, both of which could contribute to higher energy levels by month-end. I have another month's supply though, and will see what happens once I've added the wine back in.

One month into 2013, and I feel...okay. January has been a workhorse month (paperwork, catch-up work, organizing work) and the cold, gray, wet winter days haven't made me feel especially motivated, but I slogged through it anyway - even sans wine - and now I'm ready for February. Well, sort of. I'm having a "no extraneous sugar" month. Which might be harder than giving up my alcohol. Scratch that - it WILL be harder. No extra sugar means no afternoon candy bars, no hot cider, no after-dinner snacks (which I don't have every night, but when I do, they're sweet/sugary based). It's not going to be easy, but at least I picked the shortest month of the year to try it.  :)
I've also declared this the year of trying new things, of being more open to change, to almost forcing change. I am eager to taste the newness, to sample more of life, to stretch myself out and *hope* I don't fall, but the fear of falling has (pardon the pun) fallen by the wayside quite a bit. I still worry and stress, but I feel that those low times are part of the process and the journey, to pushing out some new design, to evolving personally, to reaching out to whatever else life has to offer. 

What? An actual jewelry photo?? I *have* been working, in the midst of all this other stuff going on. Sometimes it's just a slower process than I'd like...
All this might not be "daring greatly", but I haven't liked a lot of where my life's been at for some time. Better to try, fail, and try again, than to simply not try.  :)


  1. "...I feel that those low times are part of the process and the journey..."

    I couldn't agree more, Jill. I'm not even sure one would exist without the other...

    I have only just caught up with your blog posts for the year as for some reason your blog disappeared off my blog roll. I am so sorry you lost your dad. I'm glad for you that you have so many fond memories, but you must miss him terribly.

    I hope you're enjoying your new organized space. Nothing like clearing the decks to make room for creativity.

    Have a great week!

    Ash =)

    (I want to send you something, so will convo you.)

    1. Thanks Ash!

      At this point the organized space is in a bit of a mess with all the new Tucson goodies and paperwork. But order should be restored by the end of the day. :)

      I'll convo you back in a bit and we'll get all caught up!


  2. (((hugs))) I'm so sorry for your loss Jill.

    As Pink! says, you gotta get up and try, and try, and tryyyyyyyyyy! All you can do is what you can do (over simplifying, I know) each day - trying to do the best you can for your life.

    1. Thanks Janice. The family is doing as well as can be expected though we all miss Dad.

      I LOVE P!nk! And love the reference. :)

      It's all a journey and some steps on the path are harder and slower than others...but (for me) learning to look at the big picture and not getting so mired down in details is really helpful. :)