February 8, 2016

February Goal Progress: Week 1 Check In

Wow, that was a rough weekend… and since I had to fly to Dallas Sunday afternoon for work, it was also a weekend that got cut short. Apologies for my Saturday afternoon rant about travel woes; I probably should have just grabbed a drink or a nap rather than typing out all my frustrations.

Speaking of stress: I learned yesterday that a popular blog gossip site has picked up on the fact that I haven’t mentioned Adam in a while. Eagle eyes! I didn’t know how to write this, but part of why I’ve been so unhappy lately is that Adam and I have stopped seeing each other for the time being. The distance has been a challenge ever since we started dating, and while so much about our relationship is perfect and I wish I could spend the rest of my life with him, we haven’t figured out a way to make that happen. I still love Adam and I’m heartbroken right now, but trying to keep myself as busy as possible.

So in the spirit of distracting myself, how about a little Monday monthly challenge check in? Last week, I committed to using my driving time as “zen time” – where I won’t take calls or look at my phone, and will instead either listen to music or podcasts and take a break from the world. (Perhaps now it’s clear why I feel like I need that?)

My first week of using my driving time to disconnect was a little bit mixed. I didn’t take any phone calls while I was driving, and the only time I even physically picked up my phone in the car was to put on a new podcast or look up directions somewhere. Realistically, I don’t think I’ll ever pull over just to put on a new podcast/song, but I’d like to get better about pulling up Google Maps before I back out of my driveway rather than waiting until I’m on the road. Finding the right location can be tricky, and it’s probably not very safe to be messing with a GPS while driving.

This is probably also not that safe, but I think a lot of people do it anyway…

But beyond finally getting better about not looking at my phone in the car, I was hoping for a bit more of a mental boost by making the car distraction-free… and I didn’t get that relaxation effect yet. I think that was partly because last week was such a strange week for me: I wasn’t in my normal routine, and I only drove once before I got back to Colorado on Friday night. Even when I was in Colorado, I mostly hibernated on my couch. (Some friends took me out to dinner on Saturday night, but they drove for me.) Definitely atypical! This week, I’m back in Dallas for my regular routine, so there will be plenty of time in my car to see the effects of my distraction-free zone.

Oh, Jeep, I miss you! (Although I actually am driving a Jeep Cherokee in Dallas at the moment so it’s almost the same.)

I did notice one conflict in how I defined my goal, though. In order for my mind to really be relaxed, I need to be able to get things out of my head. For me, that means putting them on my to-do list so I can think about them later. So while my original idea was to not touch my phone in the car, I think I need to allow myself to record to-do list items for later. Otherwise, I keep going over them and over them in my mind, trying to ensure I won’t forget them whenever I get to my destination. I’ve always just added those little worries to my Excel to-do list so I don’t forget them, but maybe there’s a one-touch app I can use to easily record myself speaking those notes for later? I’ll have to investigate.

Challenge goal for this week: actually listen to those podcasts I am putting on in the car, rather than just letting my thoughts whirl around so I don’t hear a single thing that was said. We’ll see if I can do it…


12 thoughts on “February Goal Progress: Week 1 Check In”

  1. Sorry about Adam. I know you love Colorado and he is stuck in AZ because of his son, so that must make it tough, especially since you are probably the one who will have to “give” if the relationship is to succeed.
    My husband moved away from his kids for my education, and 15 years later it is by far my biggest regret of our relationship, a much bigger regret now that we have kids together, and I understand better how meaningful the parent child bond is.

    1. I would NEVER ask him to move to me, but I also fear how resentful I’d be if I had to move from Colorado, especially to Arizona. I really love Adam’s friends that I’ve met there, but I wish I could transplant them up and out of Arizona 😉

  2. Good look with the Feb challenge – As someone who use to drive A LOT for work I found that having time to think, relax and reflect was massively important and the car provided the ideal space for that. Phone goes on do-not-disturb and a podcast goes on. It’s a little me time between meetings.

    1. That is a great idea about putting my phone into do-not-disturb or airplane mode! I could really use the elimination of temptation.

  3. Ugh, so sorry 🙁 I spent 2.5 years flying back and forth between Wisconsin and RDU. It was fine for about a year, then it got really difficult with much crying on planes. I can empathize. But now I live in Colorado, so YAY!

  4. sorry to hear about Adam and that you have to deal with the internet speculation. I’ve been in a slightly complicated relationship for 2+ years and people for the most part don’t know I am in one it is easier that way vs having to deal with speculation.
    Not the same exactly but people rave about listening to podcasts/books while they run and I try but I find I cannot concentrate at all and wind up having to go back and listen or reread! I wonder if it is easier when driving.

    1. I’m very grateful at least for the support of my friends! I’ve kept problems in previous relationships to myself and learned that it was so much harder to go it alone.

      I can concentrate pretty well on podcasts while running, but I’d say it’s about the same as driving. For me what affects my concentration most is how busy I am and how stressed I am – if I have something on my mind, it takes a really interesting podcast for me to stop thinking about it!

  5. I drive close to an hour each way in my daily commute so podcasts and audiobooks are the best! Even on high traffic days, I get home (or to work) feeling much more relaxed and even productive sometimes! Much better than road rage.

    What podcasts have you listened to? (I’m fairly new with them so I always welcome suggestions! )

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about you and Adam.

    My current favourite podcasts are Here to Make Friends (it recaps The Bachelor and the gals that do it are so funny and witty and poke fun at how stupid the premise of the show is), Serial, Happier, and TED Radio Hour. It’s a mix and I love it.

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