#30DayStoicChallenge Day 16: Write out 5 things that happened in the past week that you wish went differently. Write next to them that you love that they happened and will be fuel for your life

This to me feels a little like denial, if I’m honest. Isn’t that the definition of acting like something wasn’t as bad as it seemed? Or perhaps I’m just too pessimistic. Anyway, here goes:

1. My car broke down on my way home from the airport last week. I had to order parts that were delayed due to weather and drove a very slow car for most of the week, which provoked a lot of drivers.

Why I love it: it reminded me how I need to take better care of my car and the new parts have given it a boost and I appreciate being able to drive normal speed now that it’s fixed.

2. One of the parts I ordered was too big and now I have to send it back, and pay for postage.

Why I love it: I know now what the exact size of the part I need in the future. Lucky my brother-in-law had a used one which will keep me going until I get the right one. The postage is a pain but a minor inconvenience.

3. I neglected my morning pages a lot this past week (including today). I just don’t have the energy to pull myself up, which is due to my awful sleep schedule.

Why I love it: it demonstrates my need to go to bed earlier and be more consistent. Once I achieve this I’ll be able to do my morning pages without giving into the dreaded snooze button.

4. I fell out with my fiancé over a doormat. That’s right! A doormat! He didn’t like it for some weird reason and I just lost it. I hate arguing.

Why I love it: this major transition happening in our lives right now is bound to mess with our moods so it’s better to get the little annoyances out in the open lest they bubble up and explode and cause irreparable damage.

5. I had to clean up a pretty awful mess courtesy of my dogs yesterday morning which threw my whole routine. I wound up in a mood for much of the morning.

Why I love it: no one died and my boss’s head didn’t explode when I showed up a little later than usual (I’m on flexi-time anyway). There’s nothing wrong with straying from my routine now and then.

So…does that sound like denial to you?

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#30DayStoicChallenge Day 15: Physical training in the morning: 25 jumping jacks, 20 sit-ups, 10 push-ups

I didn’t do this and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I gave into the temptation of the snooze button and got up later than I planned. My dogs made a mess downstairs which took a while to clean. I wound up rushing around and leaving the house late. Not that I was looking forward to doing jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups. I’d love to do some quick yoga poses in the morning but I’d have to be awake all night if I did everything I wanted to in the morning.

I did go for a lunchtime walk so I didn’t neglect the physical exercise completely. It just wasn’t in the morning.

#30DayStoicChallenge Day 14: List out the things you’d want to accomplish if you were to die in 1 Year, 5 years. Make an action plan accordingly

To some this might seem morbid but it’s part of trying to live for today. I’ve actually already made plans to meet two goals: write a novel and walk 10km in two hours or less. But there was one goal I put off making a plan for because I always had some excuse.

Coming off my medication for depression.

I’ve done it before and it was a bad idea. I wasn’t ready. And I’m still not ready but I can plan how to be. I kept saying I’d plan once I’m moved into my new house and settled so no major life events hinder my progress but with this challenge today I realise I can include this process in my plan. So I’m giving myself to the end of this year to settle into my new house. Then in the new year my first task is to find a good Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and go from there. It might not completely go to plan but at least I have a starting point.

#30DayStoicChallenge Day 13: Do a kindness for a stranger

Good manners is sort of expected here in Ireland. Prepare to receive dirty looks if you don’t hold the door for someone, or say excuse me if you bump into them. Don’t get me wrong there’s still plenty of rudeness but I digress.

Unfortunately no real opportunity presented itself today. Though I did wait patiently for a guy to pull out of his driveway, though he was pulling out whether I liked it or not.

I’d actually like to tell you all about the good karma I received in Berlin last week after helping someone out earlier in the day. We were queuing for the ticket machine for the train and the woman in front of us was trying to dig out the remaining 20c on her ticket. I happened to have a 20c coin so I gave it to her. She thanked me profusely. Later that day we almost missed our train but a kind man held the doors for us. I do try to be polite as much as I can and I’m a firm believer in both good and bad karma so this is a habit that’s already instilled in me. Pass it on!

#30DayStoicChallenge Day 12: Practice something you’re not good at

For my college graduation back in 2010 I treated myself to a purple left-handed electric guitar from eBay. I’ve used it about a handful of times since then, which is sad. I keep saying I’ll learn how to play it but I always had an excuse.

I downloaded the Yousician app and took it out. I plucked the introduction to Sweet Home Alabama…badly! But it was fun. It’s a pity the app costs €14.99 a month and I can’t really justify spending that right now. I’ll take full advantage of the week free trial though!

#30DayStoicChallenge Day 11: Eat rice & beans for each meal & wear your worst clothes (practice poverty)

I knew this was not a challenge I’d be able to do. I’m a selective eater (not fussy, there’s a difference) and rice and beans don’t really fall into my palette. As for wearing my worst clothes, it’s really difficult when you work in an office. Nevertheless I wore my black trousers that were covered in some dust after the office clean-up yesterday and a top that is pretty worn looking. I’m sure a bobble remover will get it back to looking nice.

If the challenge is just about practicing poverty then I would’ve eaten bread and tomato ketchup all day (yum!), but I was convinced it was just rice and beans. Oh well! Half a challenge ain’t bad!

#30DayStoicChallenge Day 10: Go an hour without talking

It must be over an hour since I’ve spoken. I hide away in my room when I get home from work so this was pretty easy. Apparently not talking is good for your health! It also makes you perform better at work, which I believe but when you work in an open plan office like me, people have a tendency to make conversation when they pass by. Plus it’s a small office. I wish all the challenges were this easy!