My very slow and painful readjustment to winter

January has never been my favorite month, and today is a day that I wish I still lived in Hawaii. Yes, I still have those days where I very much miss Honolulu, and think maybe I should buy a one way ticket, get on a plane, and move back. East coat winter months are the hardest months to get through. The 30 degree temperatures, snow, ice, and frigid cold make me wonder, why did I move back east again? My insides are screaming for a beach! I need an outdoor run near an ocean in my life! I remember a period of my time living in Hawaii becoming spoiled that it was 80 degrees everyday, and since the sun was shining bright I never had an excuse to just stay home and sleep. Stupid me, look at me know missing those days. Ok I’m done ranting.

So even though this is my second winter back on the east coast I am still adjusting. I know I grew up in New York so I should be used to being cold, but let me tell you the truth, no I am not used to being cold. I live for activity, Hawaii gave me a love for the outdoors, my challenge now has become finding a way to take that love for the outdoors and translate it to east coast winter love for the outdoors. I run. Last winter I wasn’t able to run due to my broken leg incident. How do I run in the winter? I am looking for tips from all you winter active people out there. What kind of gear do you use to make winter running or hiking feasible? I need to go back to what I know, running, hiking, and an ocean. But since its not ocean weather yet, running and hiking will do for now.

Anyone know any really great east coast hiking trails? Please share the wealth of information about east coast outdoor activities. I feel like my next adventure should be a rock climbing adventure, but I will wait for warmer weather before hitting the rocks.

Until the weather warms up, I must continue to find my love for activity indoors. The positive side is that it is nice to go to a bikram yoga class and come outside to cool air instead of 80 degrees. And the more I go to bikram and cross fit, the more I realize that both my favorite workouts have somewhat of a cult like following. It’s ironic because as a person who is so unstructured in life, I find excitement in workouts that follow the most structured routine possible.

Every day is a challenge, but everyday is one step closer to something better. So east coast winter weather I am here to embrace your frigid air and snow storms, while running in the cold. My next challenge is to find the best winter outdoor active wear, any tips?

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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Unemployment: The end of Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1 day 5

Its finally Friday! For some reason I feel relived that the week is over even though I didn’t have to go to work this week. Looking at it from my glass half full standpoint it is also a week closer to starting a new job. I went on an interview yesterday. Positive thought, yes people actually life my resume. Step 1, just get the phone call. I have never liked the interview process, but in order to become employed you must go on interviews. Wish me luck, of course I think I kicked some interview butt, but then again you never know the outcome.

I am learning a lot from this unemployment period in my life. I am learning the art of patience, and how to keep myself busy with habitual workout routines. I still wake myself up early, either at 5 or 6 am to go to yoga or cross fit. Yes, I am still doing bikram yoga, and yes I continue to enjoy self inflicted torture. Activity is my saving grace at this point, I wake up positive. Although I still have moments of frustration and extreme anxiety, I feel better once I have the chance to challenge my body through physical activity.

I am learning that once you lose a job, looking for a new job becomes your new full time job. Wow, it take a lot of time to fill out an online job application, and it can take all day. My advice to anyone looking for a job, plan out your day hour by hour. It is easy to get distracted while unemployed, but remember to keep the focus on the end goal; finding a job.

So my new life on the east coast now consists of yoga, cross fit, job hunting, and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I never thought the day would come that I would be 32 and trying to make sense of life. Well, that day is here. Again, wish me luck.

Cheers to the weekend! I’ll go back to searching for a way to earn steady income when the sun comes up tomorrow morning.

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Unemployment: Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1, Day 2

I really had all good intentions to write this post yesterday, but for some strange reason I just couldn’t get my thoughts together long enough to sit and write. Who would have thought that after becoming unemployed the ability to focus would become so difficult? Focusing should be a simple task, I have all this extra time that was once compelled by an 8-10 hour work day to do just that. But no, the ability to just focus is suddenly strenuous.

I used to think that not having to go to work would be great, and then I suddenly did not have to go to work. Yeah that is not so great. Well at least when you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming, not great at all. Unemployment is never easy, and never fun. Especially in the winter in Washington DC, I feel like the winter makes it worse. It is cold, dark, and gloomy outside, and I am trying hard to avoid using the weather as a representation of my life. But, at times it is hard. I am realizing that losing a job is similar to any loss that we experience in life. Loss is never easy, but I do feel myself going through the five stages of grief as described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In case you never heard of the five stages of grief that can be attributed to a loss they are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

I am currently in my state of acceptance, which is why I have enough clarity to actually write about it. Trust me, getting to my current state was no easy process, it really did encompass the last six weeks of my life. But yet I am here. When I was initially told that our program was coming to a close due to lack of funding I hit a state of denial. I knew it really wasn’t going to happen, money would come, another agency would take over the program, of course they would because it was a really good program changing lives of youth in the District of Columbia. Yet, that never happened.

My anger was not about my own personal anger, it was the anger I felt toward the state of my clients and what would happen to them. As a psychotherapist, clients became attached and built relationships with me, then one day when I had to tell them that I am no longer going to be available as a therapist, that can be a devastating process. I did my best to end the client relationships in the best way possible, yet something still seemed unfinished. I wasn’t able to take them to the finish line of meeting their goals. I could just pass them on to someone else with the hope that the next person would have just as much compassion and empathy as I showed to help them get through. It was not easy, but it was done.

Now the bargaining was a quick stage to get through, although I am constantly bargaining with God for something, in this case it was different. There was a small hope that our program would survive or another agency would take it over. Sadly that did not happen. I just knew that maybe there were things that the team could do differently as a whole if given a second chance. Maybe we could be better at engaging clients or work harder for more positive outcomes. However, I soon realized that there was nothing else we could do, nothing we could change, the program was ending.

Depression is a rough stage, because I flip back to it every once in a while despite my best efforts to move away from it. Depression is difficult, depression is the realization that my job is gone, and until I get another I have to plan out every financial decision a lot more carefully. Depression is not having the motivation to look for a job, wanting to sleep the day away, hoping it is just a dream that I will wake up from, and wondering when is this state of constant anxiety going to come to an end. Depression is the inability to focus, and the inability to sleep through the night, the feeling to knots in the stomach, and wanting to avoid people because you know they will ask about the job search. What helps to stay away from depression? Well a whole lot of faith, mixed with positive thoughts, and knowing that this is a temporary situation. I love the saying “When you have a setback, God is already planning your comeback, and your comeback is going to be better than you ever imagined”. God has never failed me before so why would now be any different? I managed to survive 4 years in Hawaii while standing on faith, I can manage a period of unemployment knowing that God has my back.

Which leads me back to my acceptance, automatically the Serenity Prayer comes to mind; “Accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I felt a period of relief knowing that my job was ending, something was telling me it was time to move on to another aspect of therapy. I cannot change the final outcome of the program, heck, it already occurred, but I can change where I work next, the salary that I want, and what type of work will make me happy. Life is great, it is unexpected, but it works. Life always works out exactly the way it was supposed to, at the exact time that it was supposed to. So no matter what happens keep living your best life. Stay positive, and stay true to yourself. God may not give us what we want when we want it, but He gives it to us RIGHT ON TIME!

Lucky for me, the US unemployment rate is now under six percent so I should have no problems finding a job, right? Keep the prayers going!

Positive energy, positive thoughts, positive experiences