2014 was largely uneventful for me. Which is good. I like quiet and uneventful. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a good year: it was. My husband’s job got reorganized and in the process he got a raise and the ability to work from home. Which was a good thing, because I quit my job at the end of March. And thank heavens. I didn’t realize how much I was disliking my job until I quit and didn’t have to do it anymore. My position had evolved from that of a very simple clerk to a part-time office manager, amongst other things. I was the only employee and as such had to wear a lot of hats. It got to be too much stress for me after a while. The position just became too complicated over time. So it was time for me to move on. Unfortunately I didn’t do so in time to not have stressful feelings about the dojo, which means I haven’t been to class since I quit. It was a mistake to have my boss be my karate instructor. Now I can’t separate out my feelings about her two roles in my life. She was difficult to work for, but because of our relationship, neither of us felt comfortable addressing any troubles. It led to tears and bad feelings after a while. Which is unfortunate. One of the reasons I wanted to quit was so that my training wouldn’t be affected. It seems I was too late on that front.
And that was the big event of my year. Which on the one hand sounds a little sad, but on the other hand, like I said, I like quiet. Quiet is good. It’s given me the chance to get my mental health in order, for the most part. I had some episodes over the summer, but I recovered from them quickly. Overall I feel better than I have in quite some time. I seem to have a good med regimen going. I sometimes don’t want to get out of bed, but it’s not because I’m depressed. I’m mostly bored. An unfortunate side effect of my meds and of being down for so long is that my creativity has been sapped. I have a lot of free time on my hands that I could be using to do any number of creative pursuits, but I’m not. I find being creative incredibly difficult. This is a common problem for bipolar people. The meds that even us out deaden us in other ways. They make us “flat”. I’m not as flat as I’ve been in the past, thank heavens, but my personality is mostly gently rolling hills rather than valleys and mountains. Which is good. Too much up and down is bad, but it makes the scenery kind of boring.
Consequently I read a lot and watch a lot of tv and movies. Which are things I really enjoy, and doing enjoyable things is important when you’re mentally ill. I’m just not very active, which isn’t good. I’m old enough now (43) that my body’s activity will only continue to decline, and I’ll have to work damn hard, harder than I would have had to ten years ago, to regain strength that I’ve lost. That will be my big goal for 2015: to become more active, and to lose some of the extra weight I’ve put on. I’m all for body and fat acceptance, but I’m unhealthy. If I want to have a nice long life, I need to lose weight, and that’s that. It’s not as hard as one thinks, really. I just have to stop bingeing at night and cut down my carbs. That combined with a walk every day would get me to where I want to be, though it would take a long time. I know how to eat to be more healthy. I just need to do it.
Motivation is something else I want to work on this year along with creativity. They kind of go hand in hand. If I want to be motivated to get up every day, I need to have something to look forward to. I just need to find the kinds of creativity that will mesh with my mental capacity. I like building and fixing things. I also like putting things together, like beads and tiles. I’ve always wanted to get into fixing and refinishing furniture. Maybe that’s something I should afford myself the opportunity to do. Whatever I do, it has to battle the anhedonia that has slowly settled into my life over the last few years. It’s no longer an artifact of my mental illness: it’s just something I’ve grown used to.
I do have something that will give me a lot of motivation to get up in the morning, though it will be a few months before I can do it. I’m going back to school, after 14 years. I only need about 30 more credit hours in order to get my bachelor’s degree, so I’m going to finally finish it. It will take me a couple of years because I can only afford to take 2 classes at a time, but I’ll get there! And once I have a degree, my earning potential will really go up and I’ll be able to find real jobs. Now I just have to figure out what to major in. Once I pick it, I can’t change it again, because all I have left to take are major concentration classes. I also think the University has rules about how close to graduation you can change your major. I’d really like to major in microbiology, which was my absolute favorite subject when I was in school before. Whether or not that college will let me transfer in is in question. That’s the question for all of the potential colleges I may want to transfer into. I may just be stuck finishing a Religious Studies degree. Which I suppose wouldn’t be horrible. It’s what I call a “ditch digging” degree, though, because that’s about all it’s good for.
So I have that to look forward to. We also have some other potential big plans in the works, but we’ll have to talk about those later. 🙂 Let’s just say I think there are some big changes coming in the next few years. All for the good. For the first time in a long time, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds.