Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Operation Get Happy

I hesitate to say I'm not happy because I am in the grand scheme of things, but in the little things I've been kind of blech lately, and that feels unhappy. I just feel off. Actually, I feel like I've been some sort of off this entire year. Some of it was warranted, sure, but I'm done feeling off. I also know I am only going to get worse as the weather gets colder and I don't want to get any worse than I am right now. I'm going to make an effort over the next few weeks and months to get happy again. 

Short term (over the next few weeks)
  • Get back into the gym/exercise in general. I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been since I've been to the gym, or even exercised at all besides running with my friend some Sundays.
  • Focus on finances. I've let them get out of control and it's stressing me out.
  • Clean, declutter and organise the house. Mainly the living room and the spare room. They have both become a mess holding random kitchen stuff and it stresses me out seeing all that clutter and mess, especially when I know I am the reason it's not being organised or cleaned.
  • Install secret drawers. Ikea has these drawers inside of drawers that I wasn't really fussed with when we saw them originally, but now our kitchen is done enough that we are using it, there is a lot of space between the bottom of the drawer and the top, plenty of room for another drawer in some of them. This blog has a picture of them if you want to see what I'm talking about (under #10). I am surprisingly really excited about them, but they've been sitting in the living room for almost 2 weeks.
  • Practice positivity and gratitude intentionally. A couple of times a week, write something I am grateful for or something good that happened that day.
  • Get to bed earlier and stop taking melatonin. I've been taking melatonin lately and I love/hate it. I need to stop. I've been staying up past midnight most nights, either watching TV or reading, then I take a melatonin and it knocks me out, I barely get up at 7:30 and I'm tired for the first couple of hours. I skip the gym because I'm too tired, I skip breakfast and end up snacking, I am lazy when I get home until I get energy to watch TV or read, then the cycle starts all over again. Not healthy.
  • Get more steps daily. Not necessarily 10,000, but I do need to stop sitting down so much.
  • Spend a little bit of time outside before it gets too cold. I am not an outside person, the only time I spend outside is when I run with my friend or mow the lawn. I know being outside makes me feel better (as long as it's not too much) and I know I will miss it when it gets too cold.
  • Make a bit more effort with my appearance daily. I got my hair cut short enough to avoid putting it in a bun and I'm still putting it in a bun with a lot of bobby pins and hairspray. I wear the same clothes over and over, I have a closet full of clothes I don't wear. I used to wear dresses and skirts to work all the time. I'm not trying to become someone I'm not, but when I put in an effort, I feel better.
Less short term (for the rest of the year)
  • Focus on finances. This is on both because I need to get it under control, then I need to do more than that. Stop mindless spending, pay things off early, save more.
  • Clear out the sunroom. It's a complete mess from the kitchen renovations - boxes and sawdust. I just want to clean it right now, then I'll figure out what we are actually going to do with it, furniture wise.
  • Take stuff back to Ikea. We have a bunch of extra stuff or things we didn't end up using, we can get money back. I love the drive and walking around Ikea, KC doesn't though, I would go by myself if I could carry everything we are returning back into the store. But I will need his help so he'll have to get over it and let me walk around the store.
  • Finish the kitchen. It's mainly little things like toekicks and the back of our little peninsula. 
  • Try to go outside once a week on my own. As it gets even colder it's going to get even harder for me to go outside unless it will be running with my friend. I need to get over it. I can run on my own, I have winter running clothes. I can go for walks or even.. I don't know. What do people do outside in the winter? Besides like winter sports, that's not happening here.
  • Write blog posts I've been meaning to write. Our trip to Australia and New Zealand and kitchen posts mainly. 
  • Do a couple of things in Louisville. This is going to sound dramatic, but I feel like I just exist here, I don't live in Louisville. I go to work and spend time with my friend and KC. I spend a lot of time at home. We go out to eat at the same places. Louisville is no Sydney but I still don't really feel like I belong here or know this city. There are things to do and I want to do them.
  • Let go of negative feelings about people in my life. I don't hold grudges really well, I hold them inside my head and get all bitter, but the other person doesn't know. I either need to tell them they pissed me off or hurt my feelings, or just let it go. 
  • Reach out to people at home. Goes hand in hand with the above, people at home might not have put the effort in with me, but can I say I did all I could do to put in the effort? We shouldn't waste time on people who don't care about us, but have I shown them I care, or are they thinking the I don't?
  • Relax and stop stressing about things I can't control. Of course, easier said than done, but stressing over something I can't control and constantly looking and torturing myself every month over something I can't magically make happen - I need to stop. Just stop, relax and worry about it in a few months when it's actually a problem.
  • Try 3 new things by the end of the year.

These aren't exactly goals, more like a plan. Not going to hold myself to them if I miss one or all of them, but I need to make an effort and that starts with a plan. I don't really have any pictures to go with this post, so here's a picture of Millie in her favourite place - a box.



But seriously, what do people do outside in winter? That's not me trying to be funny, but really asking. What is something you do outside in the winter?

47 comments:

  1. In Alaska, people loved being outside in the winter. It's why I didn't flourish there. I went to the gym instead. Here, people hike all winter long. Scott hunts all winter no matter where we live.
    I feel like this might go hand in hand with your remodel. I've felt the same way, on and off, since we've moved here and began that process. I'm glad you're resolving to help yourself!
    I also used to take melatonin but I didn't want to become dependent on it. It was recommended for medical reasons but I never had trouble sleeping so I stopped taking it. Oh well.

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  2. I feel like I could have written this post, seriously. I'm struggling with all the same things. I will say getting in a workout routine is helping a bit - I've been doing about a 20-minute circuit before work every day and my mood is better. As for outside in the winter, I actually like to walk. I'm not a fan of hot weather (like we're having now) and find myself enjoying walking more during the fall and winter months.

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  3. I may need to save this post - I could have written it and most of the items apply to me. I'm one of those outdoor people - but only because I feel cooped up if I'm inside all the time. During the week and if it's not too hot or humid, I'm fortunate that I work near the river and can go for a walk on my lunch hour - 2 main perks are I'm saving money by not going out to eat for lunches and I'm getting fresh air/exercise. Does Kentucky offer state park passes? Try a different state park on the weekends and do some hikes. Or go to the different city parks and explore there. By the way - the secret drawers are pretty cool!

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  4. lol i used to be a 'i hate winter things' person (and i live in canada!) but in the last 2 years, have recently embraced winter things...like snowboarding and snowshoeing. i fully expect a lot of snow this year so i plan to use the hell out of my snowshoes this year.

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  5. I live in Minneapolis and we do a lot of the same things outside in the winter as we do the rest of the year -- we just dress for the weather. Base layers are a saving grace!

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  6. I love how you have such a thorough plan here! I've been working on my own "operation get happy" but I had different things to work through on my plate. Some of them the same, though (e.g. letting go of past hurt/frustrations with certain people). You might like listening to the first couple of episodes of the Secular Buddhism podcast to help you through the "letting go" part. It helped me, anyway.

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  7. I've never seen the drawer thing... That would have really benefited me in this house.
    I love being outside in fall & winter. I like to walk/hike and I actually enjoy shoveling snow... lol!

    Good luck with getting happy!! I 100% know what you mean :)

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  8. I'm the exact same with holding grudges -- no one will ever know that they pissed me off or upset me. I hate being outside in the cold - I think I may have to force myself this year though since the kiddo loves being outside. I feel like I need to do one of these "operation get happies" too.

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  9. I know what you mean! Chris and I are notorious for getting stuck in a rut, and sometimes just a simple thing like getting dressed up for work or trying something new is a great way to perk yourself back up. Since you live up north, try looking for ice skating or something similar when it actually gets cold enough! We can't do that in the South because it just doesn't get cold enough. Also see if you can find some nice neighborhoods in Louisville that are known for decorating the heck out of a holiday, whether it's Halloween or Christmas. Then you and KC could make some hot chocolate and drive around and look at the decorations. It's not necessarily outside, but it gets you out of the house!

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  10. Try magnesium instead of melatonin, works wonders for me.
    If you haven't yet, my dad would insist that you eat at Ollie's food truck, the burgers. That's living in Louisville. My vegetarian self disagrees but apparently it's gospel.

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  11. It's amazing how much a good night's sleep and getting back to the gym can do to keep the "blahs" at bay. I've been on a bad sleep cycle lately too, and it needs to get back on track. Sending you all the *hugs* <3
    Green Fashionista

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  12. That's a good list. It can be a pain motivating yourself to do more exercise (for me anyway) but you always feel better after. I love going for long autumn walks! It's fun to go with hubby or friends and then you can have a nice chat at the same time. Good idea to reach out to people at home. It's always fun to catch up and not feel so far away.

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  13. I'm right there with you lady! Gotten in a rut and need to make an effort to make some changes to brighten things up a little. This is a great list - I'm adding exercise, more effort on healthy eating, and earlier bedtime to my list. I think the rushing in the morning due to staying up too late and being tired is getting me in a funk right from the get go and then spirals and contributes to all the other stuff (grabbing crap food to eat on the go, not making time for a workout, etc).

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  14. I live in Switzerland so everybody else skis outside in winter. I have actually never been skiing!
    I desperately need to get more (errr, more like *some* ) exercise and start eating more healthily. I've been terrible about snacking on junk since we got back from our holiday. I'm a bridesmaid for my sister in December and I'm starting to seriously worry about looking awful in my dress!

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  15. Reading this makes me think Melatonin might be my problem! I've been dealing with the same thing! I can relate to a lot of this for sure and am all about finding ways to be happy! I think hiking is a great way to get outdoor time all year long!

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  16. When I feel like we need to do something, I check FB events for things around Charleston. Generally, I stick to free events (because #cheapass over here), but there are ALWAYS things going on that I had no idea about. This is also applicable for doing things in the winter.

    I notice that the more chaotic I feel, the more chaotic things are. This is especially true if my house is a mess. Same for finances.

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  17. Don't forget to give yourself grace on the days you can live up to your plan or you don't do as much as you want or expect of yourself. I know it's difficult but the harder you on yourself when you're trying to break out of a funk the worse you'll get.

    That said, I think your plan is a good one.

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  18. I can so relate to you with some of the stuff you have said in this post. I am generally happy because Zoe brings so much joy to my life. But I cant remember the last time I worked out, it was before I got sick three...maybe four weeks ago. And I spend all my time waiting to go pick Zoe up from daycare during the week and not enjoying my days. I need to be more intentional about bringing some joy back to my regular routine. I think you have a good plan laid out and I have full confidence that you can feel more on again. But like Jana said above me here...give yourself some grace!!! I find that is the root of most of my displeasure. I give everyone else grace but myself. And that is so not ok. And dont forget you have the ahole bros if you need to talk!!! We all need to get back to sending workout selfies or something for some motivation.

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  19. I so appreciate the LIVING in your town... I have been in Louisville for 45 years & am still shocked when I see there are things I didnt even know existed in this town.

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  20. I feel a bit like you with some general malaise. I'm fine most days but not as happy and positive as I'd like to be, so good for you for taking steps to reclaim your happiness. I am not an outdoorsy person either, which is kind of weird for LA. :D I am an epic grudge keeper and like you, I keep it all internal, which is the absolute worse thing to do. And as much as I hate both exercise and cleaning, they do help with a cluttered mind. I did a big cleaning purge this weekend and it felt soooooo good. And I know once your kitchen remodel is complete and you can get things organized and cleaned out - it will make a huge difference to you. And love Millie in her favorite box! I never get tired of pictures of cats in boxes.

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  21. I feel you, girl! Sometimes making a plan is the only way to move forward to get out of a "rut." But, don't forget to go easy on yourself/give yourself some grace when you're just not feeling it. You've been going through an awful lot this year and last few months! Hopefully some regular exercise and getting a few manageable things under control will help. I'm always here for you if you need to talk/vent! And, I never go outside in the winter, lol. :)

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  22. Great list of things to be positive about. I feel you, Ive been there and Getting stuck in a rut is so hard. Sending positive vibes and so much motivation for you to get these things done and your happy back.

    PS those secret drawers look so cool!

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  23. Totally feel you, lady. I've had moments like this over the year and really focused on finding what I can change to make me happier and what I can let go of as well. Good call with the melatonin. Please don't take this as preachy, but when I was having issues with sleep I took melatonin and then did more research and found the more you take it the less your body produces itself. It is SUPER helpful to use when you really need sleep, but can mess with your body if it's taken constantly. just wanted to share what I found.

    Finances, UGH!!!!!!

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  24. I can so relate to this post right now. I've been in a bit of a "funk" off and on for the past year and outlining steps like this makes such a huge difference. A big part of my problem I think has been not gotten enough sleep - I'm a night owl and have a hard time getting to bed before midnight most days, which then makes me less likely to work out and eat healthy and then the cycle goes on. I've gained a bit of weight recently too and have been feeling rather bloated, so that's not helping but I think it does all came back to getting into better habits overall so I can change those things and feel happier.

    We have a patio and I've found that even just eating out on the patio or sitting out there with a book for a bit helps, at least for now while it's still warm enough to do so.

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  25. I'm sorry you've been feeling bleh lately that is never fun. This plan sounds like it'll totally help! Excercise, being outdoorsa and organization? That's all one needs in life! Right?! Ok maybe wine.

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  26. I do absolutely nothing outside in the winter. I hate the freezing cold so I stay bundled up inside all winter long. The most I do is walk to do any errands I have on my lunch break but that's about it. I'd love to know what people do outside during the winter too that doesn't involve skiing or snowboarding.

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  27. I know exactly what you mean. For what it's worth, these sound exactly like the things I have told myself I should do when I've been in this position, and I think they help. I think, barring mental illness, telling yourself that you are going to choose to be happier, choose to be more grateful and appreciative of the things you have, choose to make more of an effort, and choose to be a more active participant in your life can really help. And if talking helps too, for you, you know I'm here and will always be a shoulder for you.

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  28. This was so motivating to read & I love how you broke it down between short term, and less short term. I always feel like sometimes the hardest part of making a change is to take the first step-- even if it's just creating a list and really looking at what you want to do. I need to do the same thing! I haven't consistently been to the gym since February, which makes me sad to admit, but I also need to do a better job just getting outside. You're so right about winter coming- so I should take advantage of it while I can. Also, I've been trying to think of something I like to do outside in the winter and I can't think of anything!

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  29. This is an awesome list (i'm super in love with those drawers.) Have you ever tried magnesium for sleep? We take one supplement every day and have noticed better sleep. I read about it on Kathy's blog and I'm convinced it's helping.

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  30. Sounds like a good plan! I don't look forward to winter and being limited by the snow.

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  31. I love the Millie in a box!

    I hate getting in a slump and I find it happens to me when I've been working from home a lot. My sleeping patterns get messed up, I don't do any exercise, and it's all very blah. I think your action plan is spot on though. What I struggle with is the part after you've made the sensible list - I get overwhelmed with the level of change and crash and burn! If you figure out a solution to that please let me know. Or maybe I am just a lazy human, ha.

    Winter activities... I've got nothin. That's why I moved to Australia ;) In the UK I think the best I could manage was a walk somewhere pretty, bookended (/bribed) by pub trips. That's all I got I'm afraid!

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  32. I think this is such a good plan! I've been in a little bit of a slump too, and having steps written out really does help.

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  33. aw girl sending all the happy vibes your way. i want you to go explore louisville more! i love visiting new restaurants and bars and random spots. I'd totally drag you out if i was there ha. and sometimes i just love walking around the parks and stuff. (like that big one near vallhalla/my moms house). and as far as what to do in the winter - bundle up and grin and bear it. that's prob why i moved to florida bc i was just tired of being stuck inside. i had to force myself to go places. but when i hear about fun stuff around i'll let you know! random side note, i almost went to the bourbon/music festival downtown this weekend. so fun :)
    xoxo cheshire kat

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  34. I can totally relate to how you're feeling/this post. Seriously, it started out being an icky year, and we've made good changes, but also some bad results. Moving and saving money is good, but not traveling makes me sad. Real sad. So, work in progress. I FINALLY did yoga on two different Tuesdays. Which is about as much exercise as I've had in a while. Minus the walks. But you know, meh. So I feel good about that... but I want to improve more. Your wakeup/sleep thing sounds like me, but I don't take melatonin and I have to be out of the house by 7, so I don't know what that says, but there is definitely not workout time for me there. I love colder weather and winter. So I think my walks will be more successful once it is colder as long as it is not raining or something. Or ridiculously windy. I often wish that we lived somewhere that actually got snow. We only get a little, and sometimes none at all. I'd rather do activities in the snow, and I think that would make me WANT to go outside more. I see people that live in CO, or Utah, or Canada and they're all just like spending an afternoon snow boarding, or snow shoeing with friends. I think that would be cool to have an option like that. That would never work here unless we got a blizzard. But you know what I mean? I think I just want to appreciate little things about seasons, and walking through the neighborhood by our office almost every work day has helped. Even when it's hotter than balls, I can appreciate all the little squirrels and the flowers and things. :) So maybe in the winter I will appreciate interesting ice, winter birds, people's holiday decorations, etc.? Good luck! I think that dressing more intentionally for the spring/summer has helped me have a bit more fun with it and feel good about myself. I hope to get my posts up soon, but in general I can definitely identify with that goal as well. I think that making a list of goals seems like a good way to go, but I obviously love goals.. so.. ha. XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  35. We hike outside in the winter, which is really just a fancy way to say walking, and I also run outside. But only because I make it a goal to workout outside once a week so I force myself into at least one outdoor run.

    Honestly, for Louisville, Pittsburgh, etc, I think options are limited. If I am going on a walk, I'll walk with a purpose, from my house to the library with a bag to get some new books, or to the coffee shop for a fun drink. It may only be a 15 or 20 minute walk, but the fresh air helps SO MUCH. Or, we drive to a nice part of town, put coffee, or mulled wine in our cups & look at everybodys Christmas decorations!

    In theory you could also ice skate - IDK about you, but we have several outdoor rinks near us during winter time.

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  36. I hate having the blues! You guys have had so much on your plate this year, it's really no wonder you feel stressed or unhappy. You definitely should remember how much you've accomplished though! I'm in a funk about spending and decluttering and I think that as soon as I get it under control, or at least make a solid plan, I'll feel a bit better to. It rains all the time here in the fall and winter (and spring too haha) so we have to find a way to get outside as soon as there's a break in the weather. Sometimes we just take a 20 minute walk through the neighborhood or ride bikes after dinner. I always think it's the kids that need it, but as soon as I'm out there I realize I needed it just as much.

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  37. Love it! It helps when you identify what puts you in a slump and what you can do to fix it. For me it's maintaining a clean, organized home (apartment) and keeping on top of errands and other boring adult BS like laundry and food shopping and whatnot. Another thing? Not sleeping late. When I do, I start my day in complete chaos. I HATE that.

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  38. I can relate to a lot of these. It's not that it makes me UNhappy, but there are a few areas where I know I could do better and it would make me feel better.

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  39. You "stole" my post! haha Seriously, I've been in the midst of drafting something like this because I just feel OFF. And Unfortunately, it's in all aspects of my life - fitness, reading, blog friends - I just feel... disconnected from all of it. I hope you get back on track soon. :)

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  40. I know exactly how you feel as I have been feeling the same way. I like how you have broken this down by short term and long term. Having a plan is the first step. I'm going to recommend you read The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. I found it to be really helpful. I also find that just being positive (even faking it) and being grateful really do make a difference. Wishing you all the best. Just know that you are no alone with these feelings, alot of what you see online is just one side. I find that when I in a rut, stepping back from being online helps. Not everything you see online is actually perfect. I'm sure you will get back on track soon and I'm here if you need someone to talk to. Hugs!!

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  41. I need an operation get happy too! I hope your plan(s) get your back where you need to be! You deserve it! ;) I feel like moving in itself can take a lot out of a person so we can just chalk it up to that?! Ha!

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  42. I'll go to Ikea with you ANYTIME you want to girl!!!
    Love ya :)

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  43. As someone who lived in Wisconsin most of their life I can say I literally do nothing outside in the winter. In fact I take it as my season to read a ridiculous amount of books and watch a lot of netflix. LOL

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  44. I have been able to tell you've been in a funk recently. Sorry friend. All the happy vibes your way. Also, tell me more about these secret drawers!

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  45. I love all of your goals and your short term goals are pretty much my goals for October! Jess at Just Jess

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  46. Feeling like you're in a rut is never easy, but you have things that you know will help improve that for you! I am loving those secret shelves! G recently installed something similar in our kitchen for our utensils and it's by Rev A Shelf - you can get it on amazon and we love it! It doubled our storage in one drawer! You've had a lot of big changes this year so it's warranted that you feel out of sorts!

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