Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

As we’re more than five months into 2019, I thought this would be a good time to update you on how I’m doing with my theme for the year. As you may remember, I selected “freedom” as my word/theme for 2019. I explained my reasons for this choice back in January, but I’d like to delve a bit deeper today and highlight some of the areas I’m planning to focus on for the remainder of the year.

I hope that shining a spotlight on my theme for the year will help you to think about what you’d like to shift in your life before the year 2020 begins. It doesn’t matter if you’ve chosen a theme or specific goals for this year or not, as most of us have some sense of what we’d like to change in our lives. Also, it’s not too late to choose a theme or set a few intentions now, as there’s really nothing magical about January 1st in terms of goal-setting. We have the power and the possibility to change our lives at any time. June 4th – or any other day – is as good a time as any to think about what is and isn’t working for you in the various areas of your life.

2019 freedom theme june update

My theme for 2019 is “freedom” and it has already impacted my life more than I thought. 

Why “Freedom”?

I selected freedom as my word for 2019 because I noticed a distinct lack of feeling free in my life despite the reality of my situation. What’s true is that I have a lot more freedom than many in terms of my time, money, and advantages. But freedom doesn’t only have to do with objective reality; it’s also about how we feel inside and how we live our lives. It’s all too easy to place shackles on ourselves that aren’t really there through our self-imposed rules, restrictions, and expectations. If we think we’re supposed to do, be, act, or accomplish particular things, we may be less likely to embrace the freedom we are fortunate to have in our lives. This has definitely been the case for me.

I hold myself to much higher standards than I have for other people. I also worry far too much about what other people think and I ascribe viewpoints to others about me that probably aren’t even true. But even if they are true, is it worth torturing myself to try to make everyone like and approve of me? Objectively, I know it’s not worth it, nor is it even possible to be universally liked and respected, but that doesn’t stop some of us from pushing for such a result. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for misery and discontent, and I’m tired of living my life that way!

Over the past couple of years, I have seen a number of family members, friends, and acquaintances decline and a few of them may not be long for this world. This has led me to become more in touch with my own mortality than I’ve ever been before. Additionally, as I approach my 53rd birthday, I’m aware that I don’t have unlimited time, and I have started to question whether or not I want to continue living on the same trajectory as I’ve been on for the past many years.

The answer is an unequivocal no! I don’t want to approach the end of my life and wonder whether or not I have truly lived. Although I continue to have chronic health issues that may or may not ever fully leave me, I’m aware that I still have the power and the opportunity to better embrace life than I have been doing. I may not be able to do everything that I’d ultimately like to do, but I can do more than what I have been doing. I can better honor the gift of my life by truly experiencing it rather than perpetually standing by on the sidelines.

How I’ve Already Embraced Freedom This Year

As I reflected back upon the past five months, I realized that I’ve already been furthering my freedom theme more than I thought. In fact, many of my posts this year have centered on releasing some of the shackles I’ve placed upon myself:

  • I decided to stop tracking what I wear and to focus instead on just doing “the hanger trick.” I haven’t missed the more in-depth tracking that I did for eight years. It served a valuable purpose in my life for a while, but it no longer was a good fit for me and I haven’t looked back. The simplicity of “the hanger trick” is a better approach for me now and it still allows me to understand in a simple fashion what I am and am not wearing.
  • I changed the narrative about my gray hair transition and reset my start date to September 2017, when what was supposed to be a toner stained my hair and set my progress pretty much back to zero. A lot of the inner pain I was experiencing about my hair had to do with telling myself that it had been almost three years (at that time) since I started the process and I was still not done. While it’s true that I started transitioning in April 2016, because I used color so much along the way (highlights, toners, etc.), that wasn’t a true start date (and it’s why I caution against using color on the road to going gray). Since I prefer to wear my hair longer, there’s still some color left on the top layer, but that’s natural at less than the two year point for my length of hair and an average hair growth of half an inch per month. I’m now less riddled by the anguish and self-recrimination I was experiencing when I kept thinking of the April 2016 start date.
  • I have incorporated some practices in my life to help deal with my long-standing anxiety and depression. I still need to improve my consistency in adhering to these practices, but I’m doing better at regularly engaging in introspection, spending time in nature, connecting with others, doing fun activities, and affording myself a bit of grace. I would like to get more sunlight, better adhere to a routine, and sleep more, but I’m doing better with my self-care than I did in 2018, which is a good thing.
  • I have recognized the importance of novelty and I’m doing better at including more of it in my life. I want to increase the frequency of my trying new things, but my husband and I have visited a few new restaurants recently and we also took the trolley inland on Memorial Day weekend to have lunch and then rode it downtown for a bit of exploring. This allowed us to gain a new perspective on the city where we’ve lived for 17 years (and where he grew up). Novel experiences don’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Just a few hours here and there can make a big difference in how we experience our lives and the passage of time.
  • I started the “Half Project” to help me pare down my wardrobe and improve my shopping success rate. I realized recently that having a large wardrobe increases my anxiety and impinges upon my freedom, as it takes a lot of time and energy to maintain so much clothing and to select items to wear each day. I’m already feeling freer having a smaller number of pieces in my active wardrobe, although I know that many other items reside in my “holding zone” and “skinny box.” I look forward to paring things down through my year-long experience and to making better selections as a result of the challenge and the guidelines I have set for myself.

Other Areas I’d Like to Address in 2019

It was nice to see that I’ve made more progress than I thought with my 2019 freedom goal. I wanted to take a few moments to acknowledge what I’ve done before delving into the areas that I’d like to continue to work on in the coming months. I think many of us tend to focus more on what we haven’t accomplished and what’s not right about our lives instead of celebrating what we have done to forward our intentions, goals, and dreams. I know this is definitely the case for me, so I wanted to start with the positives before looking at where I’m lacking in terms of freedom.

Below are the areas I’d like to focus on in the remaining seven months of the year. Some of them were also highlighted above in terms of the progress I’ve made thus far. However, I’d still like to move forward and make further strides toward increased freedom with those aspects of my life.

Time Management

I would like to do better with incorporating some more routine in my life. I know that may sound contrary to my goal of increased freedom, but I feel that some level of routine can actually give us more freedom. If we get the things that are important to us done earlier in the day or week, we are then freed up to devote more time and attention to leisure activities and self-care.

I’d also like to be less of a “taskmaster” with myself and to have fewer items on my to-do list. As it is now, I usually end up feeling bad about myself because I set so many items to do that it’s almost impossible to get them all done. It would be far better to be more selective with my action items to allow myself a better chance of feeling successful. I’d also like to change how I track my to-do items and I may explore the use of a “bullet journal.” If anyone has any insights or suggestions regarding this topic, please share them.

Relationships / Contact

I am a “less is more” person when it comes to how often I am in contact with friends and family members. I aim for quality over quantity and am okay with seeing or talking to the people in my life less often. However, this seems to be in conflict with the way most people approach relationships and contact today. I find that I just can’t keep up with what feels like “quotas” for how often to keep in touch with people, which leads me to feel anxious and bad about myself.

I often feel like certain people are angry or upset with me for not being in touch as often as they’d like. I need to find a happy medium that will work both for me and the people in my life. I realize that I’ll probably never be able to make everyone happy in this regard, but I want to stop feeling so bad about it. I don’t know the answer, but this is something I’d like to explore and work on in the coming months.

Technology / Social Media

Likewise, I continue to struggle with technology, especially social media. For my own well-being, I need to minimize the time I spend on social media sites and I have been doing that. However, when I do go on Facebook, for example, even an hour feels like a drop in the bucket when I visit certain groups because of the tremendous amount of engagement there. I cannot keep up and the amount that I am able to engage always feels like it’s just not good enough. This is impacting my freedom and I’m not sure what to do about it.

It’s hard for me because I don’t like the Facebook interface at all, but I do like the people with whom I engage there. Some people might recommend that I leave Facebook, but the thought of keeping in contact with all of these people individually fills me with even more anxiety. Thus, I need to figure out a solution that will work for me, but I’m not sure how… I know a lot of people will never understand why social media is so hard for me, as we’re all wired differently. The endless scroll and overabundance of notifications that I find so triggering just don’t bother others as much as they bother me. In any event, I need to find a happy medium with social media just like with my email, phone, and in-person interactions.

Food

As some of you know, I struggled with eating disorders for many years before finally achieving freedom with food in my thirties. Unfortunately, dealing with health issues and going through menopause has set me back in terms of my eating attitudes and behavior. I feel like I don’t know what to eat in order to be satiated, feel okay, and achieve and maintain a weight that feels good to me. I feel like I spend far too much time and energy on preparing and eating food and I continue to weigh more than I’d like. I want to find a way to feel free with food once again. I would like eating to feel easier and a lot less fraught. I’m not sure how I’m going to get there, but this is something I will focus on in future posts (I’m open to ideas, so please feel free to share what has worked for you!).

Body Image

I think I have worse body image than anyone I know and I’m tired of it! I feel self-conscious of the way I look so much of the time and this is something I would like to change. Finally completing my gray hair transition will help, as it’s been hard for me to walk around with two-toned hair, especially since the colored part turned a brassy shade that clashes with my skin tone and clothing. I usually feel that I need to lose weight in order to have better body image, but what if I’m unable to do so? After all, my body has been larger than I’d like ever since I went through menopause three years ago. Although I’ve managed to drop a bit of weight, many of my pants are still too tight and my midsection isn’t as slim as it used to be, either.

Do I really want to waste so much of my life force on feeling bad about my body? The answer is no. I plan to read the new book, Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in a Looks-Obsessed World. What I really like about this book is that it focuses on developing a body neutral attitude rather than the type of body positivity that has often been espoused and that feels completely unrealistic to people like me. I would like to stop evaluating my worth as a human being by the size of my thighs and the number on a scale or an item of clothing. I have wasted far too much time, energy, and anguish over feeling bad about the way I look. I don’t want to live this way anymore, but I don’t know how to stop with the self-criticism and self-judgment that feels so ingrained in me. I also plan to refer back to the posts I’ve written on body image, including the two-part series last year that focused on tips from friends on overcoming negative body image (part one | part two).

Wardrobe

My “Half Project” is all about feeling better – and freer – about my wardrobe. I’m tired of having too many clothes and making shopping mistakes. It feels heavy and awful to look into my closet and see an abundance of bad choices looking back at me. It’s frustrating to keep making similar mistakes over and over again, but I know that much of that has to do with shopping out of a sense of anxiety and low self-esteem.

One thing that’s helping me a lot with my wardrobe is a program called Dressing Your Truth. This program, which starts with a free online course, is based upon the premise that there are four different energy types and we all lead with one of them. Our primary type not only relates to the way we approach the world and express our personalities, it also governs what type of clothing styles look best on us. It may sound hokey – and I originally abandoned it after first discovering it back in 2012, but I’m finding that it’s right on in terms of my type. I can now clearly see why I prefer certain types of clothes and why many of my closet “benchwarmers” earned that status.

I’m sure I will write more about Dressing Your Truth as time goes on, but for now I’m just trying to absorb as much information as I can. I joined their membership program called Lifestyle and am finding it to be well worth the $95 yearly investment. I think that the combination of Dressing Your Truth and my “Half Project” will help me to experience more freedom with my wardrobe, as I pare down the items that don’t work for me and purposefully add a small number of items (my two items per month limit after my shopping pause) that do work.

Worrying

I mentioned worrying too much about what other people think. This is a big problem for me, even now that I am in my fifties. I’ve often read that what’s great about this stage in life is caring less about the opinions of others and being more true to ourselves. That has yet to happen for me, but that’s an intention I’m setting for myself. I want to feel that it’s okay to be who I am. Interestingly, although I started learning about energy profiling and Dressing Your Truth as a way to improve my style and my shopping track record, it’s doing so much more for me.

I’ve come to see that I have been trying to be someone I’m not. My energy type (Type 4) is a stiller, more reflective and introspective type, but I have been comparing myself to people of other types and finding myself lacking. I keep thinking I should be able to have many proverbial balls in the air and navigate a busy life calmly and easily like my husband and others do. But that’s not me and I’m tired of wearing myself out trying to measure up to such standards. I want to embrace who I am and live in accordance with my own energy and desires. I think I will be much happier, more peaceful – and feel freer – as a result.

In Conclusion

That may all feel like a tall order for seven months, and it is. But the truth is that I’m going to be living my life anyway, so I may as well set intentions for how I’d like things to feel and manifest for myself. If I come to the end of 2019 and feel even 25% freer than I did at the beginning of the year, I will consider that a huge win!  I’m not expecting perfection or a 180 degree shift, but I would like to experience a greater degree of freedom in the areas highlighted above. I believe I can get there, and I also know that I am a work in progress and will continue to move forward in all of these areas in 2020 and beyond. Stay tuned for more in-depth posts about the various aspects of my “freedom project” as the year progresses.

I’d love to hear about the themes or goals you’ve taken on this year and what you’d like to see shift before December 31st.  I invite you to share your wins, challenges, and insights in the comments section. Also, if you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions about what I’ve shared, please chime in. In my next post, I’ll offer an update on the first month of my “Half Project,” the swaps I’m making, and what I’m learning as I dress with less and slow down the churn in my wardrobe.

22 thoughts on “2019 “Freedom” Theme – June Update

  1. Jenn says:

    Wow. I always look forward to your posts, Debbie. The topics you choose are so often the topics I’m thinking about, and I’m sure that’s the case for other readers.

    I can’t say I’ve officially started the “Half-Project,” but I am moving in that direction. I have taken/donated or have set aside to take/donate a total of 48 clothing items. I’ve placed 15 items in my inactive or holding area, designated 43 items as part of my active wardrobe, and have 90-100 that are unassigned. These figures do not include the 12 items that I keep only for occasions such as funerals and weddings, and the several tops I only wear as “under-layers.” I’m also tracking the reasons I don’t wish to keep the 48 items I’m discarding.

    I love to study time management and have read the book Ryder’s book on bullet journaling. Though I found it fascinating, I’m not currently using that method. I have a small calendar on which I track exercise. “T” for toning and “C” for cardio. I track time spent writing that includes a big sticky on my wall and adhesive stars along with a master spreadsheet stored on my computer. In a 3-ring binder, I keep: my main calendar; lists of books I want to read, books I’ve read, movies I want to see; receipts for recent purchases; notes on my current writing project; a copy of a computerized address/phone book. I also use an app on my phone called “Done”, on which I track habits like writing, following my budget, daily weigh-ins, maintaining a food log, water consumed, meals in which I “eat like Jenn”(how I want to eat), Facebook checking, and reading.

    Facebook can be a time suck for me. I look at it in the morning and usually again at night. On days I’m feeling especially tired or aimless, I look at it more often than that. But to streamline, I often “unfollow for 30 days” groups that I’m not ready to follow altogether.

    With food, I struggle with eating animal products. For various reasons, I mostly avoid them, but then comes the belly fat, and the only way I’ve found to reduce that is by eating lots of protein and vegetables.

    I’ve ordered the book, “Beyond Beautiful,” as I’m curious and I really enjoyed “The Curated Closet.”

    I will be very interested in learning more about the Lifestyle program with Dressing Your Truth. For me, I just want to know myself better so I can make better decisions about how to spend my time, money, and energy.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your detailed comment and suggestions, Jenn. It sounds like you’ve made excellent progress with your wardrobe even if you haven’t officially started your “half project” just yet. That’s amazing that you’ve slated 48 items for donation and have tracked your reasons for letting these things go. Hopefully, you’re learning a lot already. I know I am… I like your task tracking system, as it seems relatively simple. I haven’t heard of the Done app, but it seems like it could be useful. With Facebook, is there “unfollow for 30 days” an actual option in their system or just a practice that you do? It sounds like a good happy medium for when one needs a break. Like you, I also struggle with eating animal products and also need to eat more vegetables. It’s an ongoing issue for me… When you read “Beyond Beautiful,” I’d love to know what you think. As for the DYT Lifestyle program, I’m finding it SO helpful and well worth the price. It delves deeper into the system in regards to secondary types, yin/yang expression, etc. There are something like 500 videos and new ones are released every week. It would definitely be worth trying for a month to see what you think before investing for a year. There are a lot of free videos, too, which I watched before taking the plunge with Lifestyle.

      1. jenn says:

        Debbie, if you click on the dots st the top of a post, you should see the “unfollow for 30 days” option.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Thanks for responding about this, Jenn. Seems like a good option to take advantage of! I will check it out…

  2. Claudette says:

    I like all your posts, so insightful and full of wisdom…we are all “ a work in progress”…as someone who is a Dress Your Truth and Lifestyle follower for several years, I am happy that you have also joined….
    for myself, I believe it has helped me to be more accepting of myself and less fretful about things I can’t control…

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing a bit about your DYT experience, Claudette. I think the program will have a similar effect on me in time, which is something I definitely need. Yes, we are all a work in progress! I’m glad you liked this post.

  3. Tara C says:

    I haven’t looked at Dress your truth, but I’ve finally accepted that I’m not ever going to be a really stylish dresser. I like jeans, tshirts, tennis shoes, boots and hoodie sweatshirts, so that’s most of my wardrobe now. I have a few dressy things for certain occasions, but very few now that I’ve retired. Someone mentioned in a previous comment about letting go of vanity, and that’s a goal for me too. I like to look clean and tidy, but not overly dressed-up. I figured out a long time ago that people are mostly so focused on themselves they barely notice what others look like, so as long as I feel happy about the way I look, that’s good enough.

    My lifelong bugaboo has been eating well. I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but often when I do eat them, I feel unwell afterwards (can’t eat too much fiber at once) plus I mostly love carbs and digest them well. It’s a constant battle and I beat myself up about it a lot. Fortunately I eat small quantities, so this does not result in a weight problem, but the constant guilt is a problem.

    I have the same problem with Facebook you do – I’d like to dump it altogether, but there are certain people/groups that I would lose contact with, so I feel like I can’t. I use the 30 day pause feature a lot too, and unfollow anything that doesn’t add value to my life. But it does suck up sooo much time that I would be better off spending with my family and reading/cooking.

    My depression has improved but my anxiety has gotten worse, so I need to focus more on my theme for the year, Surrender, and letting go of the things that worry me (mostly financial and existential).

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      It’s great that you have accepted the way you like to dress, Tara. That’s so important because we need to be true to ourselves and feel good in what we’re wearing. I have similar issues to you with eating fruits and vegetables. I did well with carbs until more recently, when it seems I need to balance them more. I know what you mean about the guilt… I have considered dumping Facebook, too, but I do value many of my connections there. I just wish it was a less “busy” and “noisy” app and that the conversations would be “slower,” if you know what I mean. It’s just all too much for me and causes anxiety. The whole world seems to move faster than what is comfortable for me these days… I like your theme for this year and I hope that it will serve you well. I’m glad your depression has improved and I hope your anxiety will do the same in time.

  4. Katrina says:

    Your writing always gives me so much to think about! I have so much to say! I guess I will start with my theme of the year, which I had actually forgotten and had to go look up in my journal. It was “Love.” Well, in spite of forgetting something so big and important, if I think about the first 5 months it seems that I’ve been more compassionate toward myself, first of all, and making progress in changing my communication style with others. These were both ideas from “Real Love,” the book that gave me the theme for the year.

    Body image: is there any more universally fraught concept that torments people of every age, size, shape, color, gender today? It boggles the mind. I haven’t read “Beyond Beautiful” but I love the idea. Her IG ranges from challenging to incendiary and she is absolutely out to start a revolution in thinking. That’s the type of change that takes more than a generation to become truly established in culture, but if we can all internalize it now, the next generation may grow up believing it is right and normal. My body image problems came mainly from comments by my family and friends when I was growing up that made me feel very badly about my body and looks. Interestingly, now that people no longer look at me (middle-age invisibility) my self-consciousness and body image anxiety have lessened significantly.

    Food: I’m so sorry this issue has reappeared with all its attendant complications. I can’t give you specific dietary advice because I distrust ALL diets. I eat everything but very small amounts of it. What I do want to recommend, and actually I’m embarrassed to even say it because it’s probably insulting or obvious or both, but what about getting a dietician to sit down with you and work out a plan so you can be absolutely sure you are eating exactly what you need. This would be like getting a consultant for your health (similar to a consultant for your wardrobe!) and would give you the comfort of certainty amidst all the factors that are confusing the food issue right now.

    Relationships/Contact: the endless struggle for the introvert. I have never had a large circle of friends! Even in high school and college I only had a few. During my work years I maxed out at 8, and I made the mistake of once mentioning, at a party with all 8, that it was a bit exhausting to be with so many people. I thought it was safe, because they all knew I was an introvert, but some of them reacted very negatively! I thought that was interesting, and it turned out to be a good litmus test. If people are that freaked out about knowing that I like to be at home a lot, and that socializing tires me, that is seriously not my problem. I now have 3 very good and understanding friends and I’m happy with that.

    You’ve already accomplished so much on your Freedom theme. How satisfying to get that forward momentum! You have inspired me to revisit my theme and try to put some specific goals down.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad your theme has helped you to be more compassionate toward others and change your communication style, Katrina. Isn’t it interesting that even if we don’t put a lot of focus on our themes, they tend to operate in the background and help us to make shifts? I agree with you that a shift in body image from a society perspective will take multiple generations, but I admire Anuschka Rees for what she’s doing in this regard. I’m sorry you grew up with negative comments. I got that, too, and it can be hard to overcome. I’m happy to read that your self-consciousness and body image anxiety have improved.

      I distrust all diets, too, and basically hate the idea of dieting. I prefer to make gradual changes, but I’m not sure what to do because so much hasn’t worked. I actually did work with a dietitian last year, but she was very fixated on the ketogenic diet and that didn’t work for me. She also seemed frustrated that I didn’t want to track calories and macros, but that’s just very triggering for me with my history. Having guidelines and sample meal plans (or even a menu of options from which to choose) is a better fit for me. Maybe I will try someone else…

      I so relate to what you wrote about friendship. I value connection with people very much, but I just seem to be different from most in that I am okay with less contact and actually prefer that. I also prefer in person contact, but that can be hard to do sometimes… Maybe I just need to be okay with fewer connections overall like what you’ve done. Best wishes to you with revisiting your theme and making goals.

  5. Sally says:

    Hi Debbie

    Please know that you are not alone in your struggles or how you feel about yourself.

    What you have shared in this post could have been written about me.

    I have had lots of counselling and read lots of self help books and links to resources you and others have shared, but nothing really has changed, I am a work in progress and still have the same issues and feelings about myself as you do.

    I have no magic answers, as I am struggling the same as you, so instead I thought I would share some an inspiring quote from the Tiny Buddha website that I read a lot:

    “Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and trust that in this moment, who you are, where you are at, and what you are doing is enough. You will get to where you need to be in your own time. Until then, breathe.
    Breathe and be patient with yourself and your process. You are doing the best you can to cope and survive amid your struggles, and that’s all you can ask of yourself. It’s enough. You are enough”

    https://tinybuddha.com/category/fun-and-inspiring/

    Love Sally x

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I always feel like you “get” me, Sally, and you know the right things to say to comfort my spirit. Reading the quote you shared brought me to tears. It’s so hard to feel like what I’m doing is enough and that I’m enough, but I’m so tired of the battle and the angst. I am really ready to just feel better about myself and my life. I’m tired of beating myself up and comparing myself to others and I’m tired of feeling like others are angry or upset with me because I can’t keep up with the fast pace of this world. I love the link you shared, too, and am enjoying gradually reading through the quotes. I really liked this one: “You will change the world just by being a warm, kindhearted human being.” There is great value in being who we are and sharing our warmth with others. I’m grateful for the kindness of you and other readers. I appreciate that you have always tried to lift my spirits even in the midst of deep depression and other struggles. Thank you.

  6. Susan L. says:

    Hi Debbie, I enjoyed reading through your June update and I was especially excited to find out that you are now part of the DYT community. I know I have shared with you before how I became connected with DYT, etc.. I joined years ago and although my initial hit was a Type 2, I ran from it and believed that I was a Type 4. I lived for years as a Type 4 and wanted to be one. I felt like so much of it related to me and my energy but there were some doubts. I attended the first Love My Life Event and was blown away at how much I enjoyed it and how much value I gained from the talks and presentations. I re-read one of Carol’s books just prior to the event and set the intention that I would know my type. I realized that I probably did lead with a Type 2. At the VIP dinner I attended during that event, I asked about my secondary – I thought I was a bit too loud or chatty at times but I felt so much familiarity with the Type 4 world. My secondary is actually a Type 1 which makes sense based on what I observe myself doing at times in the world around me. Anyway, I have loved my Lifestyle membership – so much great content and I have items in my wardrobe that I just love wearing. I find a lot of value just simply in the energy profiling – it has allowed me to accept me for who I am and not who I think people want me to be. I have always been accused of being too sensitive but I see that as an advantage now. My sensitivity extends to external stimuli – it’s kind of wild but completely validating now that I understand the primary energy that I lead with. I really related to some of the other things you discussed in this update. The social media stuff is wearing me down at times. It is so easy to become ‘addicted’ to scrolling. I have started to engage more with specific groups. Apparently, the whole concept of groups is becoming big with FB. I have one for my career field that has been helpful. I had to step back from just the general feed at times – there has been some really ugly stuff recently and I have had to hold my tongue on so many occasions. I just don’t think FB is the forum to discuss really important, divisive and controversial issues. I much prefer sitting down with people one on one to discuss topics as such. I even went through my friends list and changed a number of people to ‘acquaintances’ as I continue to simplify a bit. On the topic of paring down, I hope to find ways to sell online (Thred up, Poshmark, donations,). I have a tendency to hoard a bit and there is way too much in my closets and house right now. I am constantly procrastinating on this so I am trying to set some short term goals for summer to at least start on this. Last but not least, the whole topic of mortality is also something I confront from time to time. I am 56. My mother died at the age of 61 so it is so strange to be close to that age and not think about how her life was cut short (cancer). Then I look at people who live in to their 90’s and think that is another 40 + years. Now that we have a granddaughter, I hope and pray that I will be able to spend many more years here! Thanks for your openness and sharing – it really does speak to many of our hearts and souls.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your DYT journey, Susan. I know a lot of women mistype themselves at first. I thought I was a type 2 at first, but I later realized that I am a type 4 with a secondary 2. How wonderful that you were able to attend a Love My Life event! I wish they were still having those events, as I would love to go to one. Maybe they will bring them back at some point. I’m loving my Lifestyle membership, too, and have watched SO many videos in recent weeks. Great information and it’s helping me a lot. I wish I would have embraced it sooner, but I’m glad I have this resource now. I can totally see how it can help a person better accept who they are. I delved into DYT for the style information, but like you, I’m benefiting greatly from the energy profiling content. I have also been accused of being too sensitive, especially when I was a child and I definitely like a slower and stiller life than a lot of other people do.

      I think I used to be addicted to social media and overdid it so much that I’m struggling to even do it at a moderate level now. I see benefits there, but I also experience a lot of anxiety, so it’s a struggle. I pretty much only use Facebook for the groups and haven’t posted anything there for a long time. I don’t even scroll through the feed much, either. I agree with you that it’s not really the place for discussing divisive issues. Good for you for simplifying your friends list and good luck with selling some of your clothes online. I haven’t done much with that, as I usually do local consignment and donations, but I have a bunch of items I’m going to try to sell online soon (probably on eBay). It can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to do it a bit at a time.

      I think a lot of people assume they will live into their eighties or nineties, but many don’t make it that far and some who do aren’t able to enjoy their later years for various reasons. I hope you will be around a lot longer to enjoy your time with your granddaughter. I”m glad you like and benefit from my posts. I’m happy to share and connect with readers.

  7. Maureen says:

    Hi Debbie,
    Have you heard of the Cultivate What Matters “powersheets”? (https://cultivatewhatmatters.com/) I just started using the 6-month version and I’m finding it really valuable, and it seems like something you might be interested in. It’s all about figuring out what’s most important to you and then setting goals to make it happen little by little. I’m finding it really encouraging because there’s so much emphasis on the fact that you don’t need to be perfect or super productive to make progress.
    P.S. My word of the year is “progress” 🙂

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing about the “powersheets,” Maureen. I had never heard of them before, but I look forward to check it out. I’m all for basing goals on values and taking small steps. Taking the focus away from being perfect and/or super productive seems like it would be right up my alley as well! I love the word “progress” as a theme for the year. It sounds like using the powersheets will help you in that effort. Best wishes and please share later in the year how things are going for you.

  8. Maureen says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I was rereading this post and thought of something else to add, regarding to-do lists. I also have limited energy (depression) and a tendency to overwhelm myself with a huge to-do list and then beat myself up about it, so for the past several months I’ve been limiting myself to a top 3-5 to-dos per week. I use a modified bullet journal system (I keep to-do lists and daily notes in a pocket-sized bullet-journal-type notebook, but have a separate monthly calendar rather than drawing calendar pages into the bujo). Each week, I have just the 3-5 (usually 5) most important to-do items for work listed in my weekly spread. I keep any extra things on a master to-do list to be dealt with later (or maybe never, if it’s really not important). It’s been so nice for my mental health! And I’m a lot more productive when I don’t waste time being stressed about a giant to-do list. You could also do a top 3-5 per day if your work involves a lot of smaller tasks (But for me, 5 items per week is PLENTY).
    P.S. definitely don’t stress about making perfect-looking bullet journal spreads like you see on instagram! It’s supposed to be functional above anything else, and although I like to include some cute decorative/motivational stickers, I refuse to waste energy feeling bad about my handwriting, mistakes I had to scribble out, etc 🙂

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your coming back to comment on this post, Maureen, even though it’s from a little while back. I really like your perspective on to-do lists! I have often tried to do 3-5 to-dos per DAY and have beat myself up when I wasn’t able to complete all of them. Having only 3-5 such items per WEEK is a lot less pressure and it makes us think about what’s REALLY most important. I think I would feel a lot less anxiety if I was looking at a list with only 3-5 items for the week on it. I often worry about losing track of everything I need to do, but that’s where your master list comes in. I’m going to try your idea starting next week and I will resist the impulse to try to make a perfect-looking journal (I have never done a bullet journal, but I have been intrigued by the idea). Thanks again for sharing your item here. I believe it will benefit me and others. Perhaps I will write about it in my next “freedom” theme update as well.

      1. Sally says:

        Hi Debbie,

        I have just read your response to this comment and I feel exactly the same.

        Then I read my horoscope for today and it said this:

        “Even people with excellent memories write to-do lists; they wouldn’t be happy if they forgot to do something, or came back from the shops without an essential ingredient. I’d like to suggest a different concept; the ‘not-to-do’ list, one of which would be extremely helpful to you right now. It would have all the things you no longer need to worry about on it, plus all the relationships and habits you can do without. You’ve been expending too much energy on something that’s redundant. Relax today.”

        I thought this a novel concept and very apt for me at this time and thought it might be of use to you too.

        Regards
        Sally

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Good to hear from you, Sally, and thanks for sharing this message with me and others. I have heard of a “not to do” list before and I like that idea. I haven’t actually done this before, but I DID write a “not to BUY” list previously, which I found helpful (and I think I need to revisit and update that list now!). I’m curious if you actually took the time to write out a “not to do” list and how that was for you… I could see doing this as a future blog post – hmmm…

  9. Sally says:

    Yes there are lots of things I have stopped doing:

    1) I have removed friends from my Facebook page that i no longer see anymore and whose posts make me feel bad about myself. I now only have 6 Facebook friends which are my closest family & friends in the UK, so that I can see what they are up to
    2) I try not to commit to things in advance because that puts pressure on me to have to do things that I may not feel up to on the day. I just take life one day at a time and put my self care first and only do what I feel able to do, if anything, on the day and that is good enough
    3) I only spend time with a few close supportive friends whose company I enjoy, who I can be myself with and not feel judged or criticised by and who don’t mind if I only see them occasionally for short periods of time
    4) My values are changing and I am letting things clear out of my life that are no longer important to me
    5) I have stopped feeling guilty for enjoying spending time at home with my puppy relaxing and doing nothing, as this is what I need right now
    6) I have realised that my worth is not based on what I have achieved, what I look like or what I own, but on the person I have become and I spend time with people who recognise my worth, who respect, appreciate and accept me for who I am

    Regards
    Sally

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks so much for sharing all of this, Sally. You have made some very positive and impressive changes! I love that you have dramatically pared down your Facebook friends. I have done so, too, but I could stand to pare down still more, especially since Facebook still causes me a lot of anxiety (and I don’t go on there very often as a result). What you wrote related to time management is excellent and I’m sure you feel a lot calmer and happier as a result. Your #6 is especially impressive to me and is something I definitely need to embrace. I’m wondering HOW you were able to do this, though. I can’t even imagine getting there at this point, especially when it comes to what I look like and what I achieve (or don’t achieve). My obsession about my appearance has been a thorn in my side for so, so long and it’s a lot worse as I age, yet I am hard-pressed to release its hold on me. If you have any insights that might help me here, I would appreciate your thoughts very much. If it’s too personal to post here and you’d rather contact me separately, I welcome your doing so. Of course, you may not really know how you got to the place you are around all of this, as it can sometimes just be like a light switch or an epiphany. In any event, I’m very happy for you that you’re there now.

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