Our yellow house is finally feeling more and more like home. The process has taken longer than I would like, but I am so thankful that we are getting there. I have made it a goal of mine to make a couple of the pieces of furniture that we are going to have in the house. Mainly bedroom furniture. Yesterday I started my nightstand. I am pumped. I am no carpenter, but I am willing to learn a new skill. Here in Ecuador furniture is so expensive, and I haven’t really been able to find anything that is my style. So lately I have been pinteresting it up to find some inspiration. It has surprisingly been really fun. Kyle and I have both decided that Ecuador is home and that it is time for us to start forming a more comfortable life. I don’t think we will live in the Yellow house forever, but anything we buy or make will stay with us for a while so why not start small and work our way up to having everything we need for a home. Sometimes it is a little weird to think we had everything we would have ever needed for a home back in the states, and we liked everything we had so much; it was simple but it was all we needed. It is hard to think and feel like we are starting all over. I know that is not how I should look at it, but I really cannot help it. I pray a lot that this process continues to go well. I could easily list off a million reasons why I do not like this house or compare things to my old life, but I am learning that is not the point. The comparison is poison to any joy I could one day have. I am learning what finding happiness in any circumstance really means. I am learning what living without luxury really means; maybe the word “luxury” is too extreme, but living without the material comforts that I am used to. Last year I wrote a blog post talking a little about living without and the importance it can have especially as Christians, and how the emphasis and focus on material gain can keep us from God’s calling, but this year it is different this year it is harder. It is actually really, really hard. I grew up in such a comfortable cozy home. I then got married and since then we have always had a very cozy and comfortable home. This home is neither particularly cozy nor comfortable, but again that is not the point. God didn’t call me to have all my comforts, but to serve and to help those that have less then I have been provided with. I have had to continuously put my life and priorities into check. This Ecuador thing is still new, and I am having to give myself a lot of grace.
It has been quite the emotional rollercoaster. I am up then I am down. Then I am back up again. My medication, the one thing that is supposed to make me feel better and provide me with a sense of balance, is making me sick. For the past couple of weeks, I have been throwing up almost every meal. I am hoping and praying that I will get through it and that I just need more time to adjust to the medication. I have been losing so much weight due to the vomiting up everything. My clothes have literally started to fall off of my body which sucks because clothes here are so expensive and do not really fit my body type.
On a brighter note. I have made It a huge goal of mine to seek balance through a couple changes in my lifestyle. I have been working on creating a normal sleep schedule which has been a huge challenge for me. When I am up I need almost no sleep at all and could keep going for days. When I am down it does not matter how much sleep I have; I feel exhausted every moment of every day. I have read a lot about finding balance while dealing with bipolar disorder and universally I have found that a normal and strict sleeping schedule is key to a balanced life, and even a slight change in sleeping patterns can trigger an episode.
Another thing I have added to daily life is more exercise. I have tried to be careful with not exercising too much because of the food thing. I do not want to waste away, but when I exercise regularly I notice such a difference in my mood and productivity. The last two things I have added to my daily life is daily meditation and journaling. I feel like all these things have really contributed to the little balance I am starting to feel. I know first hand it can be a little overwhelming to add new things to your daily routines. My biggest piece of advice for this is to start with one thing and then keep adding, and to also every night write out your schedule for the next day in detail like hour to hour and get it as close to possible, while remaining realistic and of course not living by it; things happen and sometimes you have to break up your schedule, but you are more likely be successful at completing these things if you set aside a time daily for them to happen. I am hoping to write a blog post soon on scheduling your time and adding daily habits to create a healthier and happier life. I am getting to know myself so much through all of these new practices. I have thought a lot lately.
My job is pretty much just a job of giving of myself. I give to the children daily. We all do. And I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. However, I am learning that if I am not full if I am not healthy, and do not spend time on the things I love or spend the time recharging and filling myself up I will have nothing to give to the kids. Or to my husband. Or my friends. Or even to God. My priorities lately, as selfish as it may seem, have been myself, my hobbies, and just making sure I am happy and healthy. And with that change in direction, I feel like I have been able to not only give of myself but also give a much happier and productive Jenise.
The last book I finished was The Power Of Now. I was recommended this book by several of my friends. In short, the book talks about living in this present moment. Living in the now. I often times struggle with living in the past. Thinking about how different things would be if I did this or didn’t do this. This book really challenged me in changing my mindset to the present moment, to the things that are going on around me right now, to the relationships I have, to the activities I enjoy doing, and while doing these things, truly appreciating every moment. I really enjoyed the book. It was an easy read and a book you should definitely check out. I will put the link here.
In my last post, I talked about a recent goal of mine. To start living a more minimalistic lifestyle, and how I want to share this journey with you all. I originally started this journey when I was back home in Seattle going through all of our boxes and majorly cutting down on the things that we own. I feel like, naturally, the next step for me would be my clothing. I have decided that I am going to make a capsule wardrobe. I am definitely still in the beginning stages of it all. It has been a bit of a challenge; I have a lot of clothing and a lot of clothing that I love and that is in great condition. I have decided that instead of getting rid of everything I do put in my wardrobe I will store and look through it in three months, and purge the things that I no longer want or need. My goal is to finish the actual 32 piece wardrobe this week, and I am so excited to share this journey with you all.