Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

They say it takes 28 days to create a new habit. I think it takes a lot less to create a bad one or to lose your momentum on the good ones.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

September was a rough month for work, but October’s been even worse. What’s happened is what usually happens when  I get  stressed  with  too  many  mundane projects—I stop taking care of myself.

My knees are bothering me a little, my legs are losing definition, and I’ve picked up an extra 5 or 6 pounds in the past month. Argh!

But that’s the price of letting the balance shift toward mundane work and chores. Work and Health are typically the focus of the “Sixth  House” and for me, one always affects the other. It’s a fine line and if I put too much emphasis on my mundane work, I pay for it health-wise.

I can pinpoint what caused it, too. All of it.

Taking work home with me, which interferes with my regularly  scheduled spiritual and creative work at home, which means I’m often up until 2 AM to get it all done and back up at the crack of dawn. So, too little sleep.

Working through lunch. The devil of my past, time and again. I’ve added to that now, by too often skipping breakfast, too, or trying to eat it at my desk and never getting around to it. Someone will bring me punch and cake from some lieutenant’s promotion  party, insisting I need to eat something if it’s 2:30 and I still haven’t had lunch or breakfast—and that’s been on my desk too much, too. I’ve totally screwed my metabolism in the past month.

Too much eating out with the girls. Way too much. Too expensive and too much unhealthy food. I’m too exhausted to cook and sitting  down at a restaurant to rest and  visit  with  my  girls  is  one  of  the  more  frequent chances to talk with them, but their schedules keep them away from home too much and I don’t see enough of them.

Too few or too short powerwalks. Between Shannon’s schedule and mine, if we can manage 20 minutes together to walk, we’re lucky. That and twisting my knee, so that my power walks are more like turtle walks, but the knee’s better after staying off of it.

I’m dehydrated.  I forget to drink water. Except right before I go into a 5-hour meeting that has no bathroom breaks! Then I purposely don’t drink water.

Things won’t get any better in the next week, but the stresses will lighten considerably by Halloween, and I intend to get back on course  in  November. Admittedly, I could start this week, but with me away from home and on the road during most of it, it would be hit or miss, so I’ll hit where I can and be more diligent in November.

I’ll re-arrange  my work  hours so I can get a full 6 hours of sleep instead of struggling for more than 3 and having the girls accidentally wake me a half dozen times while I’m lusting after another 30 minutes of pillow-time.

I’ll return  to  my  1-hour  powerwalks  with  Shannon (her  schedule  improves  at  month-end,  too)  or  hit  the treadmill instead. I’ll add back  my exercise at work and my leg presses, which are overdue.

I’ll eat in more at home and out more at work, and actually drink water on a regular basis and stop relying on fast food I don’t like just to get me through the work day and meeting some General’s deadlines.

Those will  take  off  the  pounds  within  a couple  of weeks and have me feeling better. I’ll remember my vitamins, too, and in short, I’ll stop thinking of taking care of myself as pampering.

As for pampering, I’ll do something truly outrageous. Maybe  a  full-body  massage  that  involves  a  foot  rub. Oooooooooooooooooh.

Maybe with some guy named Sven.


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