After coming up with a top ten list of things I feel grateful about, I felt I should also share my top ten list of things I need to work on.
Sometimes, it's easy to look at others and say, "Oh, isn't she lucky that she's feeling well, but I'm not and I've got so many issues that are preventing me from being happy...more productive...more sociable...more successful...and so forth and so on." The bottom line is that we all have issues. Here are a few of mine.
1. I need to lose 40 pounds. After so many years of such debilitating depressions, taking medications that caused weight gain, feeling such a lack of energy that I stopped participating in my favorite outdoor activities (tennis, hiking, and biking) on a regular basis, and eating for comfort, I need to make some life style changes in order to lose weight. Next year is my 40th high school reunion and I've vowed to get back to my high school weight.
2. Although I've begun walking again on a daily basis, for the past few years my psychiatrist has suggested that yoga is healing. He does it and finds it very "grounding." I'm vowing to start a yoga class in June and commit to it for a year.
3. I'm also vowing to try either self-hypnosis or biofeedback to determine if either will help regulate my moods. (If anyone has experience, I'd like to hear about it.)
4. I plan to continue taking one class every semester (or at least a few times a year) at my local community college. It's fun. It's a good way to meet new people. And I enjoy taking classes in subjects I never explored when I was in college--so many years ago.
5. I need to be more "neat" on a consistent basis. My husband and son are very neat. I tend to go in cycles. When I'm hypomanic, I'm a neat freak. When I'm depressed, house cleaning is at the bottom of my priorities. However, I know this is important to both my husband and son and I know I can do better.
6. I'd like to take Autoharp lessons this year. Unfortunately, I can't afford private lessons on a regular basis and no one is offering group lessons. However, I need to figure out a way to "barter" lessons from someone or earn more money so that I can take a lesson a month.
7. I need to gird myself up to begin speaking on mental wellness issues. I'd always planned on using my book as a platform so I need to go ahead and set up some speaking engagements.
8. I need to find a group of people who share my feelings about spirituality and with whom I can pray.
9. I need to earn more money and be more aggressive about getting new writing assignments.
10. Because I've been sick for so many years, my husband and I haven't traveled very much with our son. Again, I need to increase my income so that we can afford to travel together as a family before he's no longer interested in going with us.
Lists change as life changes but I've found that it works for me to write new lists when I feel motivated to do so. I've decided to begin keeping them in my yearly diaries so that I can track how I'm evolving.