The coffee mug–my keepsake box

Well, been a long time, hasn’t it? I’ve done a lot. Went to a Supernatural convention, meant to write about that. Started fostering kittens, meant to write about that. These events were always followed by “Hey, I should write about this.” Should is such a terrible word. Yes, it tells you when something needs to be done, but there’s not an absolute deadline with it, so you can just kind of waffle in the realm of “should” for as long as you want. That spits you out into the “should have” zone which dog legs right into “regret” where the toll is your will to do the thing you “should” have done.

But I’m here now. I’m in a place where I am ready to let go of the past to make room for the future. A lot of that letting go is going to be of objects that belonged to family members, or in some cases, to me. Things I’ve been holding on to because I felt they kept certain feelings and memories alive. I’ve often felt that it would be disrespectful of someones memory to let go of things. However, time has passed, and with that I was clubbed in the head with the “but what do YOU want” stick. What I want is not in these items. But these items do hold strong memories for me, good or bad. So I’m going to share them here, creating a kind of keepsake album on the internet. Because the internet is eternal, yes?

My dads coffee mug. I don’t remember exactly when I gave it to him, except I believe I was under the age of 10. I have a vague memory of getting it at some sort of pop up holiday shop where kids could go and shop for things for their parents. I could be mixing it up with something else, though. Where it came from is cloudy. The one thing I do remember about this mug was my dad used it every day until the end of his life. My mom would point to it as a way to that my dad showed his love. “See. He always uses the mug you gave him because he loves his little girl.” Was she right? I don’t know. Was it just that the mug was a convenient size and always there? I kind of think that was more likely. But every time we moved, the mug went with him on the trip. Maybe I’m not giving myself credit, or really giving my dad credit, for the impact I had on his life. It was a rough relationship. I never felt close to him. I never felt like his little girl. I didn’t have the bond with my dad a lot of other girls my age had. But that mug made it through the journey, used and unbroken.

I guess in some ways, I AM the mug.

I’ve been holding on to it as a last “good memory” of my dad. Its been sitting on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet, unused and only occasionally glanced at. I think its time for that mug to move on and find a new dad to serve.

Reboot: Month 6

Six months? Six months??

I’m not going to break everything down by category. Instead I’m going to say I’m doing OK? I’m currently doing the 30 day yoga challenge/journey that YWA does every year. I’m walking some, not as much as I should be. We had this spell of cold weather that kept me from early morning walks, but I did push them to afternoons on some days. I’m trying to set myself back to a realistic goal of three times a week, until I get going again. Eating is not great, I’ve been eating too much sugar and not having decent, balanced meals.

My mental attitude is pretty good though, even if I’m not happy with my progress. I’ve got a BIG event this weekend which has been occupying my thoughts while awake and asleep. Once that is over, and I recover, I’m going to refocus on some other goals.


2017: Take it or leave it

I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a year in review kind of thing, but I feel like I always end up dwelling on what I should have done instead of what I did do. Plus, at the end of the year I just kind of feel a bit blah anyway. I feel a bit burned out and sad that the holidays are over, I guess. Its hard to define. When I watched yesterdays Vlogbrothers video, and I think John had a pretty good idea of looking back and deciding what to leave in 2017, and what to take into 2018.

What will I leave in 2017? Drinking in excess, because I always seem to flub things up when I do that. Drinking as a way to deal with anxiety and stress, or to make myself feel more social are surefire ways to watch things blow up. Really doing anything in excess is a good thing to leave behind. I also need to leave that ugly voice of doubt that lives in my head in the past, but I also know that’s a process, otherwise she would have been gone a long time ago. I know I need to trust my instincts, and I’m getting better at it.

I’ll be taking my new exercise habits into 2018, and my routines. I do so much better when I stick to a routine. I even handle having that routine thrown off better when I stick to a routine. I’m a planner, I like to be organized, and having routines makes all of everything run more smoothly for me. I’m also taking with my the idea that I can do things on my own, and exploring and trying new things are good for me. Small steps, though.

Here is to an excellent, healthy new year!


Reboot: Month 5

Has it really been five months since I started this thing? Jeez. Doesn’t feel like its been that long.

Move it move it: I mean, eh? I started doing Couch to 5K. Got through week one, did week 2, decided to redo week 2. Haven’t done anything this week because of the weather (or at least that is my excuse to myself), and it just seems like I’ve hit an exhausted point in the year. Was doing yoga, but have fallen off with that, too. I need to find an accountability partner. I know there will be a 30 days of yoga to start the year, which will help, but after that, I need a plan. Giving myself 3 out of 5 for effort.

Clean my plate: I haven’t been keeping track of what I’m eating, and I know that’s not helping. I haven’t been cooking for myself as much. We’ve been eating out more but I at least try to make decent decisions there. I know what I need to do here is just start tracking what I eat again, and planning meals. 2 out of 5.

Honey do: Well? Once again with part of this past month, I’ve left the work to professionals, though there were a couple of household repairs that came up that I took care of myself, which was a pretty good feeling. There’s about to be a major shift in the household living situation, which will free up some space (and frustration) making it a bit easier to really tackle more things. I did manage to get Christmas up and running in a timely fashion, and I have a planner for next year, so I’m going to get to planning. 2.5 out of 5.

Write like a writer who writes: 0 out of 5. (the lack of words should be explanation enough.

Mini mental vacations: Not a stellar effort here, either. 1 out of 5.

Earn my explorer badge: I’m trying to remember if I’ve even done much in the past month. I did finally get myself out to the cat cafe, and then wandered Disney Springs with Kelly. I got a new camera, too, which should lead to some photography outings. Didn’t get myself out as much as I would have liked to, but I did do some “things” so 2.5 out of 5. 

If I’ve learned anything, its that if I fall off the horse, I can get back on again. I can’t let little setbacks totally derail me and make me lose my focus. I also need to set attainable goals so I can see results, and find ways to hold myself accountable. Now I’m going to go work on my planner for next year, and make myself a new to-do list.

Reboot: Month 4

I’m not even going to break it all down. I did not stick to the plan this month. This month was just not good. I knew I would hit one of these eventually, and this was my first big bump.

It started with me getting sick, which threw off my exercise and eating. For some reason, when I get sick, I get HUNGRY, and basically want to eat all the things, which is exactly what I did. I also wasn’t really properly stocked for healthy food, so it was a lot of junk. Being sick made my mood kinda lousy, too, so getting back on track has just not been working. I  haven’t been cooking at home as much either. Been going for things that are convenient because I’ve been overall blah.

Lets throw in the stress of finding and hiring a roofing contractor, then three days of banging and slamming on the roof.  Zach went out of town, and while out of town got engaged. Yes, I knew it was happening, and yes its happy news, but its still kind of a shock when your child decides he wants to get married. I’ve also been having problems with friends that have made me really question WHY I’m friends with these people when I can’t trust them or rely on them.

One thing I’ve realized, though, with getting so off track, is that the exercise and the eating with a bit more care make a BIG difference in how I feel mentally, which then affects how I feel physically. I definitely need to get myself back on track with the holidays and then birthdays coming up. Got myself moving this morning. Now I just need to keep doing it.

Girls chase boys chase girls chase boys

My brain is currently hung up on this thingy I saw on Facebook (I KNOW I KNOW).


My first thought was “Um, seriously? What the fuck?” The person who posted it agreed with it. There was some disagreement in the comments saying a relationship is when two people work together, and then it went into religion and I got distracted by a cookie or squirrel or something because, well, lets not talk about my hang-ups with religion shall we? (After doing a bit of googling, I’m fairly convinced this comes from some Christian guide for women)

Then I thought, “Maybe its right, though. Is it more natural for men to pursue women?” which is obviously problematic thinking. Women should feel free to pursue men, and vice versa. This paints a picture of men being predators and women being prey, and that’s REALLY wrong, especially when you look at the news lately (hey, #metoo) and if you look at it with any sort of rational adult thought. When you look at it from a rational human perspective, its easy to fix what’s wrong with it; just take out “man/men/him/he” and “woman/women/her/she” and replace it with “person/people.” Also, remove the line about “not that into you.” Actually, I take that back. Delete the whole damn thing. Boom, edited.

What this breaks down to for me is the realization of exactly how insecure I am about dating or liking people. Its hard to tell them because rejection sucks, but I think everyone feels that. I apparently needed to write this to figure that out, and to indulge my inner armchair feminist. We can’t keep telling our girls to act a certain way to get what they want. They need to be encouraged to be themselves. Boys ,too. People should love you for who you are, not who you think they want you to be. Then again, I could be wrong. I am still single, after all.


Reboot: Month 3

I’m just going to jump right into this since I’m a couple days late.

Move it move it: Still feeling really good about this one. With the exception of a migraine and a sore knee, I haven’t missed my morning walks or yoga. I’m transitioning into some running, planning to start Couch to 5k this week. I’m feeling MAJOR changes in my strength while I do yoga. I can nail chaturanga, and yesterday I actually held crow pose for about five seconds. My balance in standing one leg postures is getting a lot better too. I have been experiencing some “don’t wanna” feelings in the morning when its time to walk, mostly because of the weather and the fact that I can’t head right out the door after I feed the cats because its still dark. But I’m doing it! I get 5 out of 5.

Clean my plate: Still doing ok with this, but I’ve definitely eaten more junk in the past month. I notice when I eat junky food I end up craving more junky food, so I need to be more careful. I’ve been relying on Amy’s frozen meals a little more than I would like to because they’re easy and they are vegetarian. Still haven’t fully committed to plant based all the time because not everyone in the house wants to do that, and since Zach enjoys cooking, I haven’t wanted to impose extra work on him. I’ll figure it out. Giving myself 4 out of 5 this month because I know I can do better.

Honey do: This one has moved to a different level this past month. I haven’t done a lot of things on “the list” because I spent a significant portion of this past month getting roofing quotes, and trying to round up possible candidates for other big jobs that need to be done around the house. Obviously I’m not doing the physical work on those things, but they are things that have sorely needed to be done and I’m finally in a place where I’m able to do them. Still, I could be getting more stuff done and I’m kind of mad at myself for that. Maybe I should put “don’t be so hard on yourself” on my list. Going with 3.5 out of 5.

Write like a writer that writes: You know, while it doesn’t show so much on here, I have been doing a bit better with this. Just writing things that are kind of intensely personal that I’m not sharing with anyone. Considering taking on nanowrimo next month, but I’m not sure yet. My write up for this is 2.75 out of 5.

Mini Mental Vacations:  I was doing a pretty good job with this one for a couple of weeks, doing something every day. Then I hit the end of the meditation series and stopped looking for new ones every day. I know it would be really good for me to try to take this a little more seriously, but sometimes I feel like reading is my mental break. I’ll go 3 out of 5.

Earn my explorer badge: I’ve definitely been getting myself out and about more, even stepping out of my comfort zone sometimes. One thing I notice with this is I’m getting a lot more comfortable with just doing things on my own. The company of other people is nice (and probably something I should be making more of an effort towards) but being comfortable and confident on my own is kind of a big deal. I think that’s going to get me out doing more stuff on my own. Going with 5 out of 5 just because I feel awesome about this.

I’m really glad I made the commitment to do this for myself. Not only am I feeling so much better physically and mentally, but I’m learning a lot about myself. I know where I need to restrict myself, and I know where I need to push myself. I guess trying to have a healthy mid-life crisis was a good idea after all.

Other peoples feelings

Today is World Mental Health day.  I feel like there’s more than one of these? Maybe the other was mental health awareness day? I don’t know. When I google “mental health holiday” or “mental health day” I just get stuff about getting through the holiday season or taking a day off of work.  Not exactly what I was hoping to find.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I’ve done many not so great things to deal with it, from cutting myself to trying to drink my problems away, to just not being safe with my life and body in a number of ways (that I’m not going to get into). Right now my depression is well managed, so it’s mostly anxiety that I’m working to keep in check. Sometimes it’s the most literal kind of anxiety, like shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and stomach, feelings of impending doom and extreme fear that at times have been bad enough that I thought I was having a heart attack. Other times its just flutters that I can identify, address, and move on. Other times it leaves me feeling exhausted and afraid to get out of bed. On a day to day basis, though, my anxiety comes across more as a feeling of self-doubt and sometimes crippling perfectionism. I spend a lot of time second guessing myself and my actions (ask me how long it took me to write this!) which really slows me down. I’m getting better at dealing with this, but it’s definitely there, and its also not something that a lot of people would think of me feeling when I say, “I have anxiety.”

My point is, and I swear I have one, that while lots of people suffer from anxiety, or depression, or OCD, etc., not everyone experiences the same illnesses in the same ways. Two people can go to a doctor and walk out with the same diagnosis even though THEY ARE NOT FEELING EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS. Even two people who experience the same event, like the loss of a parent, or a car accident, are not going to react the same way, think or feel the same things, because feelings and brains are really god damn complicated, y’all.

This is what I think makes mental health such a struggle for our society to understand and in some cases for people to accept that it is even a real problem.

Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand

It amazes me that in this day and age, people still doubt the existence of things just because they can’t see them or touch them. Learning about mental health issues, talking to people who have these problems, can be a great exercise in empathy though because it forces us outside of ourselves, makes us do our best to walk in another persons shoes. It can also lead to the exact opposite. Not understanding it doesn’t give you the right invalidate other peoples feelings. Saying things like “you shouldn’t worry so much about that,” or “you’re getting worked up over nothing,” or “you just need to cheer up,” or (I think) worst of all “you really should be over that by now.” That’s not empathetic, and that’s not at all helpful. So if you catch yourself wanting to say those things to someone, for the love of all that’s good, JUST DON’T.

If you are struggling with feelings that you don’t like, feelings that you don’t think other people will understand, I want you to remember one thing–no matter what, you are not alone. I’m right there with you, as are sooo many others. People you know, people you don’t know. Don’t let anyone invalidate the way you feel or make you doubt yourself just because they don’t understand. If someone tells you what you feel isn’t real, turn around and find someone who does. There will be someone out there that will listen.