2023 Q2 Reflections
Halfway through the year - already! I left Q1 with hopes that have mostly come through, and I'm really grateful for that.
For April, I wanted to use my new phone and finally did so, setting it up just as I like it. Enjoyed beautiful blooming tulips, first time planting those. Went to the hot springs with my partner and stayed in our favorite place yet, while relaxing at the springs was really nice. Also started working out gently and watching how my knees handle the return. I also started therapy in April, to support me and my relationships for the future. It's something I wanted to get ahead of as life can become challenging quickly, and it's nice to have the support there when I need it.
For now, my main focus is growth and dealing with some ongoing challenges and habits I want to change: such as not taking enough breaks on busy workdays, and managing my stress levels. The latter really got better by just watching and rating my levels at 3 different points in the day - am, pm, eve - fascinating how that act alone has brought awareness and later on, ease. By mid/late May I was dealing with stressful days much better, and had made it a point to do something relaxing when the levels are high. I'm still not the best about taking breaks but I've come to need them a bit less with this awareness, at least.
I was hoping to kite in May, but we had so much rain (my dad counted only 3 days out of 45 that didn't rain). It's been a beautiful green spring, and entered Q3 of this year with only 2 days in the 90s so far, amazing! I continued to enjoy my phone. Spend time with family and have a lovely and fun baptism for my nephews. The end of the month brought my business' smallest offsite yet, and it was really fun, engaging and relaxing to spend time with everyone talking, brainstorming, hacking and thinking about the future. Lots of concerts and events, super fun seeing Dermot Kennedy at Red Rocks. At times I felt overwhelming and frustrating, and therapy helped more.
Finally June came about starting with a 25-yr anniversary Riverdance performance. I got to kite mid-month, first at my favorite spot from last year, and then checked out a new place in Longmont that I had just learned about. I got to swim and test my endurance in more challenging conditions, and try out the foil in Colorado which I wasn't sure when I'd get to do. As I got back into things, I got myself knee support and took care to continue Rossiter's/PT which I started in May as well. Keeping up with that and seeing good results has brought me peace of mind and sped up my recovery. I'm grateful to continue to work out and flex my kite muscles.
Q2 also brought some gardening, planting bell peppers for the first time (TBD how those turn out), and taking some care of the garage and garden, trimming roses, enjoying fresh flowers and salads with homegrown greens.
In business I got to practice more sales and business development, as well as managing internally and having discussions on performance and output in a positive way, I'm proud of how I handled things. The quarter ended with a strong business proposal (which we won in early July!)
Here were my topics for the year:
- Physical: Bolster and Balance
- Emotional: Kindness and Support
- Mental: Guide and Surrender
- Spiritual: Float and Observe
Physical: Bolster and Balance
My posture, muscles and knees have been doing very well. On long workdays when I push myself, I still feel sore in my wrists and neck, but I'm really happy and impressed with how the knees have recovered - I'd say I'm at 80% now and getting that last 20% slowly but surely. I've learned to be more patient with my body, and also to continue working out, gaining strength.
Recently I looked at my body measurements over a year and, though subtle, I can tell that my muscle mass has grown and I've had some fat loss (slimmer waist, same bicep circumference and same weight).
After pushing my legs too hard in Q1, I was deflated at the slow recovery in March and April, and finding Rossiter's + doing at-home stretches and workouts has really made a difference.
My digestion is overall better and I've laid off the gluten again. I still feel bloated more than I'd like, and am continuing to adjust my nutrition but more subtly, mainly with mineral balance in mind.
- Consistent body weight and strength
- Consistent adrenal support, sunlight, sleep/blue light
- Inversion table, neck pillow and daily habits are going well
- Added hip hinges, glute bridges and lunges to stretch work/kite affected areas
- Walking more consistently
- Using the kettlebell 2-3x/week for workouts
- Hardly got any headaches
- I kind of dropped off trampolining, partly to protect knees. Did it a few times but lost the habit
- Still want to have more consistent digestion, though it's better overall
- still no punching bag
- IR/NIR dropped as well
- Still want to get back into swimming. I got a tease when the wind dropped off kiting, to remind me why it's so important.
Emotional: Kindness and Support
Emotionally I feel less stress than last quarter for sure, and I have data to back it up now :) I still get frustrated maybe 1x/week, probably 2-3x less than before and less often. I got some time to myself as my partner traveled, and reflected on my well being and my habits. I do a bit better letting go of things that trying to fix them in the moment, being kinder to myself then.
- Continued to see therapist
- QT with kitties (though they can sure mess things up when I'm not there)
- Supported my partner through some tough challenges, which brought us closer
- Supported my coworkers and team, handled difficult professional situations well.
- Got a bit of a social life with kiting, meeting locals and talking to them, visiting a friend at the lake. And have continued to see friends.
Room for improvement:
- Find friends, meetup/group.
- Talking to current friends more - I'd like to do this, but life keeps adding unexpected things that distract me
- Being kinder, especially to myself. I self blame a bit less, but still feel like I'm running behind or stress about time.
- Love others first each day. Give first.
Mental: Guide and Surrender
After practicing stress rating for 3 months or so, I'm definitely handling stress with more easy, and not getting as caught up in anger and frustration. I could do with healthier, easier release when it does accumulate.
I still like getting caught up, feel that compulsion to push through or find some urgency, a sense of rush perhaps. It been easier these last 3 months to handle that feeling and let it go, and it helps that it's also arisen less frequently.
An example challenge was losing a project unexpectedly. It tore at me for a while and kept coming back to my mind weeks later, as I was trying to find a healthy way to deal with it. It really bothers me to disappoint others and I tried to make things right while also accepting the way things unfolded. Sometimes it's easier to let go when you realize your heart's not been in it.
- Awareness of stress and frustration
- Took breaks more, pushed through less - and also had more shorter days overall.
- A bit less overthinking things as well
- Continuing to use the Delegate Doc/must-do tasks on busy times.
- Enjoyed a rest or stepping away towards end of Q2 when fewer tasks needed done
Room for improvement:
- Use that punching bag to release frustration
- Be present more instead of getting caught up in thoughts/urgency
- Come up with uses for passion planner maybe?
I've had an easier quarter even with the slow market on the business front. On the personal front, quite a few things came up that were challenging and I did feel overwhelmed at times, but handled it with more easy than in the past. Moving forward, I think the main takeaway is to find more opportunities to be present, and continue to release frustration/let go, and take breaks.
Spiritual: Float and Observe
Getting back into kiting has of course brought me to the present. The unplanned swim in Longmont was frustrating at first and then I surrendered and dealt with it. It's very peaceful to know what to do and just go through the motions. Going to the hotsprings was lovely too, and baths at home, and beautiful drives to Wyoming, rains too. Gardening.
I still spend a bit more time on my phone than I'd like, mostly in community groups.
- Be present with nature - kiting, garden, rains
- Continued baths, meditation, even second meditation
- Supporting myself, my partner, my business team
Room for improvement
- Been less consistent about meditation lately
- Accept doing nothing, leave space
- More team collaboration in biz
If we made it through half the year, we can make it through another half!
Present and future
I definitely feel more inspired now than I did at the end of Q1. The business front seemed daunting and while it's not exciting to have to flex my muscle in areas that are not my core expertise, it's gotten easier and I have hopes of continuing to do good business in Q3. On the personal front, with my knees more healed and having an upcoming kite trip planned again, I'm ready for summer, activities, swimming, and general fun.
I'm excited to continue foiling as well, it's getting mentally easier to prepare for it. I got to tinker with my new phone and work on some fun projects for business. And now the garden has taken shape and the tomato plants are growing quickly.
Here's to a continued effort towards a relaxed baseline ("default state" as I called it last time).
Also it's been fun watching tennis, both Roland Garros and Wimbledon!