Day 487, Embracing A New Year

“There is always a way!” -KaeLyn Morrill
As the new year gets underway, I chose two New Year’s resolutions.  For Christmas, I got some software with which I want to illustrate my blog entries.  Though lately, I have experienced some depression and pain, I look forward eagerly to the year ahead.  Please join this journey:  losing 15 pounds without sacrificing mood and energy.
Preparing For My Day
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  1. the mermaid, my alter ego from my swimming days
  2. my still (for more than 4 years) working computer from PC-Laptops
  3. my Serif Affinity Designer application
  4. our deluxe washer and dryer
  5. prompt customer service at our bank
  6. Randy Taran’s book, Emotional Advantage
  7. Costco
  8. cashews
  9. the beginning of a New Year
  10. harmony in our marriage
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
I pray my left eye will heal.  It probably needs more moisture.  Colorado winters are dry, and working on the computer dries the eyes further.  Blinking more will help.
I am gearing up for the New Year.
the reason it is important
next action(s)
I finished Randy Taran’s book, Emotional Advantage.
All my feelings can teach me something.
I considered getting the Kindle version but decided to return it to the library instead.
I completed my 4 chiropractic exercises this morning.
Resume your exercise program.
I laundered some washcloths this morning.
Catch up the laundry.
I spent 12 minutes on Denneroll, a device my chiropractor gave me to re-align my neck vertebrae.
Use the device 6 of every 7 days.
I mind-mapped a PERMA program for happiness in 2020: 1) positive emotions, 2) engagement, 3) relationships, 4) meaning, and 5) achievement.
Track PERMA happiness goals.

Monday Morning

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching.  This past week, my husband and I had a peaceful, joyful Christmas holiday.  On Christmas Day, I phoned Mom.  She had gone to St. George, Utah, to visit my sister.  It felt strange to not be with her for Christmas.
Now I am thinking of what to do for the New Year.  My PERMA mind map is a starting point.  I read 33 books during 2019 cover to cover, which is probably a personal record.  I would like to do a comparable amount of reading next year.  Fortunately, we live within walking distance (0.5 miles, 0.8 km) of the county library.  I plan to walk there as often as once a day if the weather permits.


This morning, I ordered a pressure-sensitive stylus and pad, so I can readily draw with Serif Affinity Designer.  Over time, I can even become artistic, hopefully at least adept enough to illustrate my blog.  My husband says I am already an artist.  Then he added, “mostly with words.”  Later, I almost let my self-image dictate, “I am not artistic.”  Then I remembered my lessons from Psycho-Cybernetics earlier this year. Your self-image limits what you can do.  If I say convincingly, “I am an artist,” I can become artistic.
I found that I could import an Inkscape design, and it rendered in Affinity Designer reasonably well.  That gives me some options for the coming year with both programs.

Mood and Energy

How will designing help my mood and energy?  I simply think it will.  I want to photograph things, especially food, also, and perhaps incorporate photos into my designs–more possibilities for the new year.


I gained weight over the holidays.  I do not know how much yet.  Starting now, I want to resume my quest to lose fifteen pounds without sacrificing mood or energy.  I had nearly reached my goal when Mom talked to me on the phone.  She has not even seen me for over a year.  I let her comments take the wind out of my sails.  I am determined to get my resolve back.
Lately, I have found intermittent fasting to be effective at helping me lose weight.  However, it negatively impacted my mood and energy to a degree.  I may want to do it anyway as it becomes more comfortable the more consecutive days I do it.

Sugar Addiction

The first challenge is to get off sugar again.  I ate some sugar over the holidays.  Already, I can tell it must have triggered a yeast overgrowth.  Sauerkraut and/or probiotic pills will fix that.  I took some pills.  With a little more effort, I can clear up my symptoms.  Today, December 30, 2019, is my first sugar-free day, my birthday, like an AA birthday.  Our neighbor baked us a dozen oatmeal, butterscotch chip cookies, and I did not turn them down.  I saved half of them for my husband, but I have already eaten four of his.  He has not had any yet.  I do not think he has sugar addiction as I do.
Having two uneaten cookies in our home is a great temptation, maybe too much of one.  What do you think I could do?  You may recall that I tossed part of a box of cookies another neighbor gave us last year.  I was afraid of what my husband would do if he found out, but he never asked for the cookies.  I was keeping them for him, but he never ate them.  They sat there as a temptation for me.
Great.  I ate potato chips.  They are almost as much trouble as sugar.  Getting off everything addictive is going to take a while.  After I ate the potato chips, I questioned my worth.  Then I remembered that my self-worth does not depend on my performance.  (See the Core Code.)  I just need to be gentle and forgiving with myself, and I will get better.  Fortunately, I weighed the potato chips, so I could record their information.  That is a start in the right direction.
It is only 10:00 AM, and I have already eaten enough for breakfast and lunch.  Part of the problem is that I did not sleep last night.  I got up early and was hungry.


I wrote a petition to the Lord earlier this month.  Let me share part of it:
In your name, Jesus Christ, our living Savior, I petition for:
  1. comfort from my
    pain, pressure in my face, and discomfort in my throat;
  2. relief from my thirst, using Biotène® gel, drinking or doing nothing;
  3. complete healing in my knees;
  4. fattening of my bones, arms, calves, and buttocks;
  5. preservation and improvement of my eyesight and cosmetically appealing state of my eyes for the remainder of my time;
  6. preservation of my teeth in usable and cosmetically pleasing condition throughout my life;
  7. maintenance of the strength and color of my hair;
  8. the ability to get enough rest;
  9. fast recovery from the fatigue I feel whenever I drive;
  10. assistance in losing down to 50 kilograms;
  11. the ability to fast 15 hours daily;
  1. comfort concerning the recent loss of my father;
  2. continued relief from depression and prevention of it from reoccurring;
  3. joy in all the good that I do and a sense of wonder about my surroundings;
  1. wisdom about how to find, organize, and utilize what I can use and dispose of or sell what I do not need in storage;
  2. discretion about whether to buy Serif Affinity Designer and/or Noteworthy Composer and when;
  3. direction about what things I can most advantageously get instructed and how;
  4. insight into whether to buy a piano keyboard to use with my computer and when;
  5. a fashion sense so I can always look attractive;
  1. courage to keep the condo cleaner;
  2. the ability to keep the foods in stock that comprise my ideal diet, as outlined for August 22, 2019, in Cronometer;
  3. ability to clear a space for a piano, preferably in the second bedroom;
Part of this has already come to pass.  Obviously, some of it has not.  I am still not sleeping all night.  I have been able to nap during the day, so overall, I am better rested.  I got Affinity for Christmas; I do not have a piano keyboard yet.  My TMJ is getting less severe, probably because I started using butterbur once or twice a day for the pain.  Added to this petition were prayers for specific people, some of which have been fulfilled.  My diet, however, has gotten worse since this petition was written.  It is time to turn it around for the new year.

Wednesday Evening, New Year’s Day

My husband and I stayed up until almost 2:00 PM last night, watching the Times Square New Year’s Eve party.  My husband remarked that he was happy we had spent the time together.
Today, I hiked down the hill to Target and picked up some medication I was nearly out of.  The movement of air at almost 6,000 feet of altitude was a bit nippy, but it was more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, melting the snow.  Today was a pleasant day to start the year.  The faux fur on my cranberry-colored parka was not correctly attached, making it awkward for me to pull up my hood.  Fortunately, the wind was not as severe as it appeared at first.  I got the parka re-snapped correctly after my return.
I took out the trash and brought in the mail from the forest-green array of mailboxes installed just across the street from the side of the four-story building we live in.  Getting the trash to the dumpster, I was obstructed in one place by snow over the sidewalk, which had not melted or been plowed or shoveled.  My foot lost traction with the walkway once when I lifted it.  I slid but did not lose my balance or fall.


Speaking of balance, I intend to pay more attention to my balance and improve it.  This morning, I tried doing the yoga eagle pose, which is in Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!.  I have not done it for a while.  It stressed my left knee, which was injured last autumn and in the spring of 2018, when I fell on the concrete.  Instead, I did ten reps of each of the four exercises my chiropractor assigned to me.
Shown below are the exercises from Achieve 50 kg:


I also set two resolutions.  I worked on them virtually all year in 2019, so I already have a significant amount of practice.  The first is to keep a complete log in Cronometer.  Since June 22, 2019, I have logged Cronometer 82.0% of all days.  Since September 22, 2019, I have kept it 93.1% of the time.
My second resolution is to use JV Life Tracker every day.  Since January 14, 2019, I have kept my tracker 96.6% of all days.
I believe that keeping those two resolutions will significantly enhance my balanced success in all my goals.
My resolution for last year was to lose weight to reach 50 kilograms.  I got down to 51.55 kg.  I gained back some weight (to 52.45 kg) during the holidays, which I intend to lose promptly this year.  I did not achieve my resolution to the number in 2019, but I came close.  I declare the year a success.  Based on my analysis, 51.55 kilograms is just right for my height of 167 centimeters.

Saturday Afternoon


High Blood Pressure

Today, my potassium intake is higher than my average.  I have two points in my food log that are higher but none since September 22, 2019.  My blood pressure is getting high again, so I need to figure out why.  It may not be related to potassium; it could be stress.  My husband has not been in the hospital since November 17, 2019.  Of course, that was really not that long ago, so I could still be recovering from that distress.  The day before yesterday, we had a fire alarm in our building, which stirred up my hyperacusis and my husband’s.  The stress of getting myself and my husband outside was jarring.  The alarm was so loud I could not concentrate on getting out.  Fortunately, my husband let me bring his winter coat, which he gratefully put on once he was outdoors.
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, it is the many little things rather than the big things that cause us the most stress.   However, what is the cause of my elevated blood pressure?  According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of sleep could be linked to high blood pressure.  I am still struggling to get a full night of sleep every night, so that could be a factor.
Today my TMJ bothered me more than it has recently, which could be causing me tension.  I can think of one possible reason why, and I know what I can do about it.  Here is a mind map of what I am currently attempting to do for my TMJ pain.  My eyes are also painful from my blepharitis bacterial infection, which I caught from my husband a decade or so ago.  Also, my eyes are not working as well as they used to.  That could be a source of strain too.


Let me think past my current stress toward my blessings.  We had a wonderful holiday season, and I got Serif Affinity Designer for Christmas.  I am starting to learn how to use it.  In college, I programmed a graphics package that output to a Hewlett Packard plotter.  It was primitive compared to my Serif program, but I learned a lot while producing it.  Even drawing a circle can be a significant undertaking.  Back then, computers did not have the capabilities they do now.  Affinity can be used for designing the graphics for Android apps.  I intend to work on JV Life Tracker, my Android app, this year.  Among other enhancements and updates, I will design a vector icon for it to replace the current sunflower.  However, concerns about my app could be another source of stress.
This afternoon, I was finally able to work for a while with my husband on the estate.  However, for many weeks now, he has not been cooperative.  I will keep trying, though with my new mantra, “There is always a way.”

Mental Health

This past year and a half were stress-filled.  My husband has been in the emergency room seven times since we married on August 15, 2018.  Also, my father died on November 28, 2018.  Besides, my husband, without realizing what he was doing, asked me to leave him before Christmas in 2018.  I stayed a few days with a friend and weighed the pros and cons of resuming my marriage or returning home to Utah.  I decided to return to my husband.
At times, I was concerned that I might trigger a bipolar episode.  I called the crisis line on numerous occasions.  The blessing is that I did not lose contact with reality or experience any delirium.  My medication continued to work, and I continued to take it.  I learned that in a moment of crisis, I did not have to have everything figured out.  I only needed to figure out my next step.  Often a crisis worker could help me figure out what that was.  Fortunately, it has been months since I have called the crisis line.
The blessing is that I have weathered all of that and come through stronger.  My relationship with my husband is strengthened too.  My blog has been a blessing because it has been an outlet for expressing myself.

Moving Forward into the New Year

I have some life-enhancing activities in place.  The key is balancing everything and fitting everything into our short 24-hour days.  JV Life Tracker helps me a lot.  I especially recommend it if you have a mood disorder.  Depression can wipe out my desire to do anything.  Projects that are rolling along can come to an abrupt halt.  I am still not immune to its paralyzing grip, but I have some tools for combating it.  I wish I could prevent it entirely, but I have not figured out how to do that yet.  However, I count my blessings and celebrate my small wins.  That helps prevent depression.
Let me do another gratitude exercise.
Preparing For a New Year
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  • Serif Affinity Designer, a colossal program available at a modest price
  • getting through the past year and a half without having a manic episode
  • JV Life Tracker, which tracks as many activities as I want to and helps me keep everything in balance
  • learning that in a moment of crisis, I only need to know my next step
  • for my husband’s willingness to work on the estate with me today
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
This month, I decided to re-write my morning ritual each month of the year.  I cannot seem to sustain doing the same thing month after month.
These comment lines are intentionally left blank.
the reason it is important
next action(s)
My husband and I had a happy and harmonious Christmas and New Year’s holiday.
It is another year before Christmas.
Throughout November and December 2019, I kept a stoic diary in MindMeister with quotes and comments on stoic philosophy.
You are not a stoic but learn from the philosophy.
I got Serif Affinity Designer for Christmas and have started using it.
Develop yourself as a designer.
I have lost 5.3 kg since January 7, 2019.
Weight Loss
Continue with your aim to lose to 50 kg.
I have not had a manic episode since moving to Colorado.
Mental Health
Continue to stay stable.


Dear Lord,
Even though I know my inner voice is not you, I can still cultivate a relationship with you within.  I do not quite know how to do it safely, but it is comforting to treat and encourage myself as I think you would.
Since that inner voice is really me, that has interesting repercussions.  I can have a relationship with myself–a loving one.  Remembering Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All,” I acknowledge that a loving relationship with myself is one of the keys to success I have been seeking.
This past month, I have struggled with being down.  However, I have been able to talk myself back up also, even without the help of a therapist.  I do not want to talk myself up into mania.  I want to stay on an even keel–something I struggle with.  Will you help me?
Lord, I am experiencing some pain and stress.  Help
me to manage it.  Help me to get back into my blog and provide material that enables my readers as well as myself.
I do not know if my readers have similar challenges, but I am challenged by my mother.  She seems critical of me and does not support the primary goal of my journey.  She attacks my strengths, telling me I am obsessive.  I want to value my strengths without crashing into depression when my mother criticizes me.  Why she has that effect on me, I do not know.  I would like to be able to do some therapy on myself and figure it out.  My husband is not able to help me with that.
Fortunately, I am now in Colorado, building a life with my husband and not under my mother’s roof.
Please, bless my readers wherever they are.  Help them to attain vibrant joy.  I love sharing my life, even though parts of it are painful.
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.

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