My Next 90 Days (Day 8, Year 2)

Today was the best day of my year, thus far. I woke up feeling relatively normal (even after a fitful night sleep in which I convinced myself that my need to burp was actually a cardiac event related to COVID. However, my burp that followed my panic proved me wrong, thankfully). I folded some laundry and read my book and knitted some of my scarf and napped for 2 hours and then, in a very energetic turn, I sat on the Peloton and did 20 minutes of "Just Ride" while I watched a horrible, yet wonderful, sitcom on Netflix.

My skin still looks like a nightmare, by the way. And I am still a little foggy and slow to process things. But, the upward trend continues. 

However, at 8:15pm on a winter Saturday night, when I am fresh off of a COVID-19 infection, the last thing I want to do is anything. 

Which is why I am forcing myself to plan my next 90 days, otherwise I risk being stuck in this lack of momentum space, forever. 

Wayback in the time before, in late 2019, I bought my very first "My Next 90 Days" planner. It is taglined "beauty planner," but it is really a planner that includes sections for self-care, as well as career and hobbies and home-life and anything you can think of. I did my first "next 90 day" experiment in early 2020 (taking December 2019 to reflect and plan). 

I was nearing the last couple weeks of my 90 days, when the global pandemic and the lockdown began. My 90 Day planner was one of the things that kept me feeling in control, sane and able to keep pushing ahead. I was so mentally on point in March 2020--my writing was thriving (even though I wasn't writing here). I was also thriving in self-care: exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and eating well. And I was making really great strives in my professional life; working to bring new programs and pivots to clients in my roster. 

As I reflect back on time, it was, of course, really hard to balance work and home school and fear and uncertainty. But, I did it. I know my dedication to having a vision for my 90 days had a huge impact on my ability to feel like I thrived in a time when the pandemic threatened everything. 

The planner really emphasizing self-care before everything else. I love this. I remember when Lily was first diagnosed with a brain tumor and in the PICU at CHOP. My father gave me two pieces of advice: pray and get dressed. And if you knew my Dad, he was not telling me to half-ass it in either arena. Pray: pray on your knees until you run out of words. Get dressed: shower, shave your legs, wash your hair, style your hair, put on makeup and put on nice clothes. 

This advice saved my mental health and gave me the energy to get through some really, truly hard times. It helped me in the pandemic, too, feel like a professional (instead of a homebound lunatic). 

Self-care matters. 

I've been carrying around a blank version of the Next 90 Day planner for weeks. Given the state of my skin, it seems like an ideal time to jump right into planning!

The planner has you work through some steps to assess your values and make a vision that aligns with the things that are truly important to you. Each day is structured with AM and PM rituals at the top and bottom (wash your face! Meditation! Take good care of yourself). In-between, there is a section called "Pull Weeds," which is where you put the stuff you don't want to do or that is in the way of you moving ahead. 

I am an endless procrastinator, so pulling weeds helps me mindfully get stuff done that is blocking my creative process and my entire progress forward. Another section, "Plant Seeds," is where you start towards your goals. Sometimes I am so all in on a goal, that I get defeated because I don't accomplish it in the unreasonable amount of time I set for myself. Plant seeds is all about baby steps--and those are things I can do. 

For now, I am off to try to mask away my COVID skin (seriously guys, it is so gross!) and work on some 90 day planning! 

PS this is totally not a paid advertisement for the planner! Although, they should totally pay me!