(Photo from my hotel room in San Diego on July 13, 2015)
Sooo…it’s been a while since I posted a TMM update. Eighty days, to be exact. I fully intended to post on Day 150, but a) it was my birthday and 2) it was the last day of our family vacation in the Ozarks. By the time I got home, caught up on laundry and emails, and emerged from a backlog of writing for clients, it was almost time for the Day 180 update.
But on Day 180, I was preparing for Comic Con and just didn’t get an update in amid everything else.
But now, it’s Day 200! Not a 30-day milestone, but a big one nonetheless! And an excuse to update now rather than waiting another 10 days.
As a reminder, on January 5, I began The Miracle Morning routine, based on Hal Elrod’s inspiring book. Today marks 200 days in a row of following that routine.
200 days of starting my day with a period of meditation.
200 days of starting my day with affirmations spoken aloud.
200 days of starting my day of visualizing what I want to happen in my day and my life.
200 days of starting my day with 15-30 minutes of yoga.
200 days of starting my day by reading a few pages of personal development books.
200 days of starting my day by journaling about three things I’m grateful for that day.
The past 80 days have been something of a roller coaster. Most significantly, I hit my first real bout of depression since beginning my Miracle Mornings. It lasted about a month and was on the gray end of the spectrum (I use a gray-to-black scale to non-scientifically measure my depression). Not the worst I’ve suffered by far, but still not fun. Fortunately I have a lot of tools in my toolbox, so once I figured out what was going on, it took about a week to pull out of it. My Miracle Morning routine was integral to not only beating this round of depression, but to keeping it on the milder end of the spectrum. Some days I had to fight to get through the whole routine. Some days it took hours. But I did it and felt better for having done so.
This summer suddenly exploded into Summer of the Traveling Mel with two trips down and another in a couple of weeks (see below). Through planning, adaptation, and determination, I managed to stick with my Miracle Morning routine even while I was away from home. Bringing the routine, and accompanying mindfulness, with me made both trips even better, IMO.
- Writing, writing, writing! May and June were particularly hectic as I was writing for 7 different clients with competing deadlines. But you know what? While there were a couple of times when my head was spinning from trying to focus on so many different projects, I never felt anxious or even all that stressed. Writer’s block? Absolutely. Anxiety attacks? Nope. Progress!
- I accepted the editorship of a new, digital magazine. It’s been quite a learning experience, but quite interesting as well. We’re wrapping up my first issue and anticipating a publication date in the next week or two, at which point I’ll be bragging about it like I just gave birth.
- I’ve started a bootcamp on writing Case Studies, one of the many helpful bootcamps offered by The Freelance Writers Den. Case Studies are very similar to what I write for various trade magazines, and they pay really well, so I’m looking to branch out into that market.
- I negotiated my way from a possible 1 or 2 article, not-so-well-paying magazine gig to a guaranteed 3-article gig at double the rate originally offered. On top of that, the assignments were super fun!
- A success story about the above negotiations that I posted in The Freelance Writers Den forum lead to an invitation for a paid guest blog post. Win!
- At the end of May/beginning of June, almost the entire family loaded up and drove over to Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks. It ended up being 5 adults and 12 children, and we had a blast! We’re already planning our next trip and hoping to make this a twice-annual family vacation.
- In July, I went to Comic Con in San Diego for the eighth time. It’s turned into Geek Summer Camp for me at this point. Sure, I still “work” by interviewing TV talent and attending panels, but it’s become more about hanging out with my friends who I pretty much only see once a year. I think this was my best trip ever, thanks in large part to my mental state. Being present and open and mindful made such a difference in how I experienced everything. I don’t think I quit smiling the whole week!
- I’ve been working on some deeper, tougher issues with my therapist and with what I read/speak/meditate on during my TMM. Specifically, conflict and relationships (sometimes conflict in relationships, but not always). I’ve been surprised by some of what has been accomplished already.
- I’ve actually set up a budget and am actively striving to improve my financial health.
- Nothing major to report here. I haven’t been physically ill. I started going back to the gym and incorporating more physical activity into my days (even though exercise is hugely helpful during depression, it’s one of the first things I let slide).
Books I read: A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson; a book about forgiveness that my priest loaned me, and whose title I cannot remember; The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey; Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (currently reading; very helpful)
The Next 50 Days
I’ll be traveling again in a couple of weeks, finding a quiet corner in the hotel fitness room to practice yoga and go through my whole routine. Having a portable, adaptable routine is such a blessing for someone who thrives on structure even as they thirst for new experiences. I’ll also be continuing to work on the aforementioned conflict and relationship areas of my life, and growing my writing clientele. Onward!
See you on Day 250!