New Tricks

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. Lonely still, mostly. But there are definitely other contributors to the dip in my morale. I’ve been trying a few things to get myself feeling good again, and I’ve been somewhat successful.

Exercising: I still have that goal of getting my weight into the 150’s again, because my body feels its best there. I’m not seeing any progress on the scale, but I did exercise 6 out of 7 days last week. Granted, most of that “exercising” was daily walks to the park with Kyle and Lewis. But it counts, dammit. It has to count because it is all I have time for. My eating hasn’t been perfect (or even anywhere close to perfect), but I choose to be proud of the fact that I’ve moved almost daily recently. The numbers on the scale and my reflection in the mirror will change eventually. I’ve started the process.

Lewis: There is nothing better than your child learning and changing to make you feel amazing. Lewis has learned so many new things lately. He has a ton of new words (diaper! socks! hi! the sign for milk!), which makes me so proud. It feels like there is a new word every day, and I just can’t believe it! He also loves to give kisses. He kisses his stuffed animals, he kisses me and Kyle, he kisses books (last night he kissed every single page!)… it is so sweet and wonderful.

And yesterday, after the bridal shower I threw, a 7 year old boy and his mom were leaving the party when Lewis did the most adorable thing. The boy had given Lewis a high five earlier, and apparently Lewis loved him after that. He was terrified of all the women at the party, but when the boy was leaving, Lewis chased him to the back door and just stood there with his arms open waiting for a hug, which the boy happily returned to give him. Watching my son connect with other people ignites my soul. I can’t describe it any other way. I just feel this inner joyful burning, which is pleasant and explosive at the same time. I felt like I was bursting out of my skin I was so proud.

Friends: I’m trying. I’m trying really hard to connect with people again. I can’t understand what has happened that I feel so utterly friendless and alone. My confidence is completely gone. Because of the actions of a few (formerly) close friends, I suddenly feel like no one likes me and, well, why would they? This feeling has led me to question every friendship I have, even the ones where my friends have not “ghosted” me. But I’m trying to remind myself that I’m not a hateful person, and force myself to reach out to the people who might still care about me. Two friends I hadn’t seen in a while were at the bridal shower I hosted yesterday, and we’ve already got a playdate scheduled for our kids in a couple weeks. It is a good start. I initiated the plan, despite the little voice in my head saying, “they’ll only say yes because it’s awkward to say no”. I just need to get my confidence back. I already feel better after the party yesterday and the new entry on my social calendar. New mantra: “not everyone hates you, dummy.”

Refinance: Money is a constant stressor. As I mentioned before, we’re refinancing our mortgage in an effort to help with our budget. We had looked into it a few months ago, but it didn’t seem to be the right time. Now, however, it is an excellent time. Interest rates dropped even more (thank you, Brexit!), and our property value went up enough for it to make sense mathematically. We’re not going to see our PMI completely drop off, but it will decrease significantly, and our new loan-to-value ratio will be much better, so the PMI will drop off automatically in the not-so-distant future. We’ll see a break-even point on the savings vs. the closing costs within 14 months, which is totally worth it. We can’t do a cash-out refinance to pay off debts, but this all works out to a lower monthly mortgage payment by a couple hundred bucks. It isn’t a total financial game changer, but it will make a difference. Additionally, there will be one month without a mortgage payment after closing, which means we can replenish our savings account for emergencies and make an extra payment towards a debt or two. I feel very positive about making this change, and I hope it will make every month’s budgeting process slightly easier to manage and significantly less stressful.

So I’m working on improving my life, my outlook, and my mood from as many angles as I can manage. Through physical changes, financial improvements, social interaction, and focusing on the joy brought by my family, I hope my mental and emotional outlook continues to get better. There is no quick fix, but I’m proud of myself for working on things instead of wallowing in self pity. Self pity never helps anyone, and I would much rather feel happy and positive. Your mood is ultimately your choice, so I’m making my choice.

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