If you read my blog this time last week, you know I let loose with a mighty vent about some of the less-than-great things going on in my life. I’ve been asked (both via a couple of comments and a few emails) if venting helped and how things are going now.

First, venting did help, and I knew it would, as putting any problems or issues down in words and working through them (see “Beating the Blues” from last week) has always been productive. I know that strategy doesn’t fit everyone; a good friend, for example, has shared with me that when she writes everything down, she begins to wallow and sink further into her bad mood. She turns to exercise; that works for her. Another friend cleans house.

But what helps me most is the final step I take — implementing the strategies I’ve identified; I began that step last week and will continue it until all of the problems are resolved, at least to the best of my ability and to a level I can live with. Briefly, here’s what I’ve done so far.

Problem: feeling unsettled re: my housing situation

I have prayerfully determined that this is something I have little control over. There are too many variables — when the sale on my current home finally occurs, where I move from here, etc. — to set any kind of goal or specific plan. In general, though, I am determined to keep taking tiny steps toward a more permanent, more authentic home.

Problem: my daughter moving out; loneliness 

I had already signed up to play on a team in a bocce league (first game is tomorrow night), and I feel good about that. While at the library last Friday, the lady checking out my books noticed I had a few books about knitting, and she told me about a group that meets weekly to knit chemo caps. I plan to attend that this Thursday evening. I also googled an activity I’ve been interested in pursuing for over a year and found a group that meets 3 or 4 Sunday evenings a month, and I’m planning to attend this coming Sunday. Getting out of the house and being active in the company of others will, I believe, be a great antidote to loneliness.

Problem: too many projects

This past Saturday morning, I settled onto my metal glider on the front porch with a cup of hot tea and a note pad. I listed all my unfinished projects I could think of (I’d forgotten some!), priortized them, and got started on the first one that afternoon. I finished it this morning and will move on to the next tomorrow morning. I’ve designated time each day except Sunday as “current project time”, and I’m hoping to have the all of the items on my current list (I’m sure more will pop up) finished by the middle of June. One item is going to take much longer, but I’m okay with that.

Problem: miss my son 

This one is a bit trickier. I can easily drive to see him every few months, and he is perfectly fine with that. Except for one thing. However, he works 80 hours (or close to it) every week and has few weekend off. In his time off, he takes care of things he needs to get done and studies for his Boards (he is a medical resident), so visiting frequently isn’t really doable. For now, I will focus on enjoy his texts and talking on the phone or skyping when we can. I’m also focusing on the fact he is healthy, doing what he loves, etc, as I know many parents who are missing their son/daughter are not so lucky.

Problem: knitting class

I dropped out of the knitting class and am going to focus on finishing a scarf I’ve started and then learning how to knit socks two-at-a-time toe-up using a fantastic book I found at the library. If I’m not successful, I’ll look for a class somewhere else. I’m also very excited about learning to knit chemo caps and being involved in that ministry.

Problem: lack of exercise

I joined a very affordable gym and have my introductory session with the personal trainer tomorrow. But I’m excited to share that I’ve already begun implementing the wonderful exercise program outlined in Thinner This Year, after reading about the basics of the program in Younger Next Year. I’ve strapped on a heart-rate monitor every morning (except Sunday), slipped my iphone in my armband and earbuds in my ears, and set out. I’m not quite where I need to be, but I’m closer than I thought I would be, and that’s encouraging. I’m sure all that walking while in England helped tremendously.

So do I feel better? Absolutely. Is everything now perfect? No, and I don’t expect it to be. But I feel better, and I feel as if I’m moving in the right direction. I’ll keep you posted, and we’ll definitely celebrate when I finally finish all the projects on my to-do list!