Sunday, May 30, 2021

Monthly Balanced Life Goals: May/June

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses, with the beginning of the month ratings in black and the end of the month ratings being shown in blue.

Monthly goals:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to attend Temple prayer/blessing services online
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment by being generous and giving to the extent I am able

I continued with my daily prayers (increased them, actually, in light of my newest health issues), meditation, being grateful, and I have tried to be positive, giving, and joyful in May.  I feel that I do live a spiritually meaningful life and I will continue to keep the rating at 10.

June Spiritual  goals will be the same as above.

House (8.5)(8.5):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Deep clean the house as needed 
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"; implement daily and weekly cleaning schedules
- Decluttered - Continue with the decluttering process; call for a donations pick up by the end of the month

I started off May getting the whole house cleaned and tidied.  That first week in May was very productive!  After that, I was sidelined by my leg pain and while daughter is doing her best to keep things maintained, she really doesn't have the time for house cleaning in addition to her work and looking after me.  Not much has been decluttered, this month, either, except for a couple of books, and I haven't called for a donations pick up for that reason.  I am keeping my rating to 8.5 because the cleaning I did earlier in the month along with what my daughter has been able to do has kept the place maintained.     

June House goals will be the same as above, pending what I will be able to do. 

Garden (9.5)(9.5):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed)
Clean out the garden shed

The garden was well tended to in May.  I did a lot of weeding, etc. in the first week, before my leg pain started (in fact, I think the weeding might have even contributed to the leg pain, if not triggered it).  Although the peaches were thinned in April, the poor tree was still overburdened and several branches broke!  We had to pick all the peaches on those branches and M taped the branches in place with the hope that the tree will repair itself.  M has been tending to the garden twice a week, instead of once a week, since I've been unable to do any watering, etc.  The shed has been put on the back burner for now.  I am keeping the rating at 9.5, because the garden is thriving with M tending to it.    

June Garden goals will include:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed), with the bulk of it being done by M and my daughter.

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
- Taking her for the third tooth to be extracted
- Spending more time together, doing things we enjoy doing

Oh, my goodness!  What a special blessing she is to me!  And what a blessing it has been to have her home, this month!  I have been totally dependent on her since the leg pain first flared up on May 8!  It is not an exaggeration.  I couldn't move those first several days when I was in pain.  I honestly don't know what I would have done if she hadn't been home, although, she says she'd have taken the first available flight home!  She has taken such good care of me and still continues to do so.  She cancelled her third wisdom tooth extraction until I am well enough to tend to myself while she recovers from the extraction.  I am keeping the rating at 10!

June Daughter goals will include:
- Being together, taking it one day at a time

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them

I interacted with family and friends through phone calls, emails, texts, etc.

My wonderful neighbor S took me to the ER in the middle of the night when I was in pain and her daughter N came to the ER to give my daughter a ride home, even later in the night; S also brought several meals for us during this month.  They are truly a blessing to me and to my daughter.

In addition, Aunt C and cousin N brought us dinner one night, the two daughters of my late friend Irene visited me, and I spoke briefly with cousin P's daughter when she came to pick up some soda and crackers (she was the one I had called, first, to ask for a ride to the ER, but, she was not available).  

I am blessed with some caring family and friends; I am keeping the rating at 10.  

June Family and Friends goals will be the same as above. 

Community (10)(10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:
- Continue to participate in the various community groups to the extent possible in the following ways:
  - Participate in the blogging community
  - Participate in the online organizing group
  - Weekly phone calls with neighbor T
  - Participate in temple events

I participated in the blogging community, etc. and interacted with my neighbors.  I wasn't able to participate in any temple events as the online services had to be cancelled due to technical difficulties.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

June Community goals will be the same as above.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose

I continued to spend mindfully in May.  There were a couple of unanticipated expenses, but, I have a "Miscellaneous" category in my budget for the majority of them and savings in place for the rest.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

June Financial goals will remain the same!

 Health & Well Being (8.5)(4):  The goal is good health:
- Continue to work on the following life style changes: 
  - better diet - eat more vegetables and complex carbs, less refined sugar
  - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily
  - better sleep habits -  get sufficient sleep and try to adjust the sleep schedule
  - more exercise - continue with a walking schedule 
- Continue to strive for a healthier weight 

I don't even know what to say about my health spoke, this month!  It was good at the beginning of May.  The April blood test results had been good, I had lost a little bit of weight, I was feeling energetic and well, and I was spending at least a couple of hours a day weeding, etc.  I did feel some aches and pains that I put down to the weeding because my body was unaccustomed to that much exercise.

And then, on the evening of May 8, I was gripped with a searing pain I had never felt before!  I am not exaggerating.  The visit to the ER took place on Monday night - the blood tests they did showed normal results, the X-rays they took showed bone spurs and some arthritis in the lumbar region, and they ruled out that it was a blood clot; the diagnosis was sciatica.

My primary care physician prescribed some anti-inflammatory medications, one of which (Prednisone) caused my blood sugar to rise and my weight to go up (I've since lost some of that weight), but, otherwise, the blood test I did for my visit with her showed relatively normal results (she wants me to do a follow up blood test, next month).  Her diagnosis was inflammation caused by a reactivation of the herpes virus due to the body's stress reaction to the Covid vaccination.  I am now on a course of anti-viral medication for that.

Although the doctor didn't think the pain was due to a herniated disc, I asked for an MRI, just to rule out any other causes; I am waiting for the request to be authorized by insurance.  While I am no longer gripped by a searing pain, I still feel some pain which limits my ability to resume normal activities.  Plus, my daughter wants me to wait until I've had my MRI before I do anything much, just to make sure that the pain in not due to something other than inflammation.

While this sciatica pain has been debilitating, I am grateful that it wasn't anything more serious (stroke, heart attack, blood clot, etc., or worse!)  That is the most important thing!  However, I'm lowering the rating to 4.  

June Health and Wellbeing goals
- Focus on recovering from this latest health issue
- Follow up blood test
- MRI if authorized
- Reduce weight gain  

Time Management (8)(5): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner:
Spend time purposefully, mindfully
- Continue to focus on making my schedule work for me
- Procrastinate less

This area has become almost a non-issue because I am spending my time resting!  I don't even know what rating to give this area of my life!  However, I did manage my time well in the first week of May, getting the house cleaning done and gardening and I am trying to spend my enforced rest being productive in other ways, knitting and reading with an eye towards decluttering my books, in order to make the best use of my time.  I will focus on what I can do to manage my time better to the extent I am able.  I have lowered my satisfaction rating to 5.   

June Time Management goals are the same as above.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Engage in daily joyful activities

I have been engaging in daily joyful activities to the extent I am able.  I have been knitting, reading, etc. while resting.  I have given up the piano lessons, temporarily, because sitting at the piano is painful (but my daughter has resumed her piano lessons and S has a different student for the duration).  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

June Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care goal remains the same as above.  

May had started out being a well-balanced month, but, after the first week, health issues have deflated my wheel to a certain extent and things have been rather wobbly!   However, I am encouraged to see how many areas remained the same and at a rather high rating of satisfaction, too.  I need to focus on the positive aspects - even though I had some health issues, they were not life-threatening, and my daughter, family, friends, neighbors, etc. have all been very supportive, kind, and caring.  It could have been worse!

I am looking forward to June.  Hopefully, my health will improve and I can make some progress.    

Anyone else making monthly goals for a more balanced life?  If not, how do you try to maintain balance in all the different areas of your life?  


  1. I think you have done brilliantly this month - yes the health issues left things a bit unbalanced, but love of daughter & friends was greater because of it, so that must compensate a little. I admire your self discipline. Praying that you feel more comfortable soon, and you get the MRI scan quickly 🙏❤️🙂

    1. Thank you, Angela. Yes, the love of daughter and friends have been a big comfort. By the way, I still read the two prayers you sent me a few years ago as part of my daily prayers.

  2. When we don't have our health, it makes many other things a challenge. I admire how you have risen to those challenges & thank goodness for your daughter & friends & neighbours. Your garden of love flourishes along with your actual garden. Sending positive thoughts for a continuation of healing.

    1. Thank you, Mary-Lou. The pain returned in full force last night and continues, today. :(

    2. Really, really sorry about this latest setback. You have dealt with everything so stoically and with the best possible spirit, and really made the best of what May could offer. I do hope that June will not be so testing for you.

    3. Thank you, Lady Ella. Today has not been a good day.

  3. It was a great month other than the health problem, but of course you had no control over that happening. Like you said, thankfully it wasn't something even more serious! I'm so glad your daughter has been there with you - such a blessing!

    1. Thank you, Martha, Yes, she is such a blessing.

  4. I think you could up the rating for time management as you did well at first and now are doing some useful things in spite of the debilitating condition you have been dealing with! Give yourself a pat on the back!
    Sunny weather continues, but indoor chores call so I will deprive the black flies of their desire to feed on me while I do yard work!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I was in pain, again, last night, and it continues, today. I am back to taking the prescription pain meds which are making me feel nauseated, today. :(

  5. The two categories with the lowered ratings give a very clear idea of just how you've been feeling and how badly it has affected you. I do hope things can pick up quickly for you, not in terms of improving the ratings, but for your own peace of mind and a pain free independent life.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. The pain returned last night and continues, today. I am taking the prescription pain meds and feeling nauseated from them. Not a good night and day. :(

    2. Oh Bless, I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope that by the time you see this comment things will have improved. xx

    3. Thank you, Eileen. Unfortunately, I've been throwing up. :(


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