monday

Apr. 4th, 2016 11:35 am
sabine: (Default)
I've notices a small shift in my internal monologue. Instead of saying "I am anxious", I'm saying "I feel anxiety." This may not seem like a big deal, but it's huge. Because if I'm *feeling* something, that will change. If I *am* something, that won't easily change.

So far, it only works for feelings. The other thoughts, "I'm too fat", "I'm not pretty", "I'm a failure", "I'm a bad person" aren't as easily shifted. Some I can rebut and say "but that's not true", but others I just have to acknowledge as being my current truth, but not my only truth.

----

The weekend was weird. I didn't have to leave the house, which was good. I made another dress from my stashed fabric. I made Emi the craziest, most ruffled skirt ever to be ruffled. I played with the kids. I read twenty whole pages of a book before getting interrupted.

Saturday was icky out. It was below freezing all day with gale force winds. At the top of the hour, it'd be white out conditions - snow not so much "falling" as "blowing directly sideways". At twenty past, it'd be amazingly sunny with beautiful blue skies (but still super windy). At twenty to, we'd be back to white out. Top of the next hour, sunny. And so forth. Mother Nature was clearly having a rough day.

Sunday started out cold, but got to 70 by late afternoon. The kids spent a long, long time outside. That was a very good thing, as they'd both just about had enough Spring Break. Emi went back to school today and everyone's back into the routine.

----

Work is moving my cheese. We have new processes to follow and new expectations to live up to. It's a moving target. Also, no signs of my workload changing to allow me to do what I really want. If I want the role change, I need to prove I can do the development. But I need time to do that. I don't have time with my current responsibilities. So if I want this change, I'll need to do the work on nights and/or weekends. Which is not good for long-term mental health.

----

I hope the universe lets me go to dance class tonight. I want to see my friends. I want to have a bit of time that's just for me.
sabine: (Default)
Jerkbrain is being loud. To drown it out, I feel the need to list my accomplishments from the weekend.

In no particular order:
  • Got to go to Med Hookah with Downwood. Got to sit with lots and lots of friends. The conversation was good, the service was INCREDIBLY SLOW, the dancing was good. Like, we got there at 7:30 and got drinks. We didn't get drink refills until 8:30 and didn't get our food until after 9. No bueno.
  • For going to Med Hookah, I dressed up. I did full makeup, including getting to use my new eye shadows from Espionage Cosmetics (https://espionagecosmetics.com/makeup/the-browncoats-collection.html). I also pulled out a somewhat springtime dress covered in bright sunflowers with a reasonably trendy neckline (https://www.colettepatterns.com/catalog/myrtle).
  • I decided I didn't like any of my other spring dresses and made a new dress for Easter. I found several yards of a floral print on what I think is a scuba knit. It's a minty teal with white flowers. I'm guessing it was from Girl Charlee, but I don't actually remember. I made yet another adjustment to my favorite dress pattern (https://www.colettepatterns.com/catalog/moneta) and had a custom fit, very pretty dress for Easter.
  • I got to go to Easter Brunch with Downwood, kids, and MiL. Emi ate ALL THE SHRIMP. Alex ate the snacks that we packed. We didn't want to risk cross contamination with other foods for him. I drank mimosas and ate probably too much. I didn't need dinner later. It was delicious and fun. The kids are generally very well behaved in restaurants, which helps make outings like that enjoyable.
  • I made muslins of both my new M4M patterns. I finally figured out the shoulder fitting issues I was running into with the shirt (http://www.madeformermaids.com/product/mamamya/). I also got lucky with my test run of the dress (http://www.madeformermaids.com/product/meganpattern/). I made a peplum top, since I didn't want to commit the fabric required for a dress. Downwood loves it.
  • I did lots of laundry. Three loads on Saturday and five on Sunday. I am very glad that we have an HE washer and dryer.
  • I read a little bit, including finishing Seanan McGuire's new book. I am torn. While the book got disjointed in the last 1/4, it was an accurate reflection of the inner turmoil of the 1st person narrator. I still enjoyed it and am very much looking forward to the next book with our third and final narrator.
  • My MiL liked her birthday presents. I made her a cardigan. I also found a set of fancy dishes on Zulily. She has had fancy Christmas dishes and now she has some fancy summer plates and mugs. Covered in flowers, yo. COVERED in flowers. Very much her style.
  • I finished up the Happiness pack on Headspace and have started on the Stress pack. Stress seems to be yet another visualization pack, using the same imagery as Balance and Self-Esteem. It's good, though. I need the practice.
  • Emi and I continued to crush our 30 Day Plank Challenge.

See, jerkbrain?! See?! I did a lot of things and did them well! Nothing to be ashamed of! NOTHING!
sabine: (Default)
I caved at Walgreens and bought a bunch of different lip glosses and tinted lip balm. I've been meeting my NY Resolution of "wear lipstick more often" and wanted new options. The lady in the cosmetics department convinced me to try a matte lip gloss, which seems like a contradiction of terms. I picked a dusty rose color that seems to be doing good things, as long as you say that getting lip prints on everything is a good thing.

Alex is on the mend. He's finally well enough to go back to school.
Downwood is down for the count. His immune system finally caved and he's got the crud that the rest of us have been fighting off.

It's voting day! Woo!

Werk Giant Conference of DOOOOM's theme this year is "Adventures in Wonderland". YOU GUYS, I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE COSPLAY POTENTIAL YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

The thing that Downwood and I are writing is just shy of 68k words. I'm proud of us.

My anxiety wants to break free and swallow me. I'd rather it didn't. I think I need to take a walk at lunch.

Emily has been a pill lately. I want to raise her to be a strong woman, but I don't know if we'll survive it. So much attitude in such a small package.
sabine: (Default)
When I say I'm having a "high anxiety day", I'm not accurately representing what happens.

I'll be trying to concentrate on something - writing code, solving a problem, listening to complaints, helping a new person - and something will change in my head. Sometimes it's just that I look at Facebook. Sometimes it's being nervous about an upcoming meeting or conversation. Sometimes it's my uterus trying to make me crazy. Sometimes it's nothing at all.

A wave of worry starts to take over. My stomach clenches, my throat gets tight, and my breathing gets shallower. I'll sometimes start looking for a way to physically leave whatever situation I'm in. I'll stop being able to focus on whatever it was I was doing. Instead, my brain spins out of control down paths of worry and panic, usually with some self-loathing and sadness thrown in for good measure.

My coping mechanisms change slightly depending on where I am, whether I'm around people, and what I'm meant to be doing. I almost always follow these steps, though.
  1. Realize that it's happening. This can be slower than you'd think.
  2. Try to take a deep breath or seven.
  3. Mentally say, "Yes, this is 'feeling' and I've been distracted by it. It's unpleasant and is worry/anxiety/stress/whatever".
  4. Focus on a single physical sensation and observe it for a few seconds
All these things help get a little distance around the feeling and I can usually get back to what I was doing. Sometimes I'm able to get up and take a short walk - get water, get tea, get lunch, go look out a window, or just take a lap of the building. Sometimes I can't leave my office, but I can get up and pace the length of my headset cord. Sometimes I can grab my headphones and listen to an SOS session on Headspace. And sometimes I need to take some Xanax to make it all easier to manage.

So all that happens in a fairly short time frame - just a couple minutes, usually. But it doesn't happen just once on a high anxiety day. It could be once an hour or once every five minutes. I label a day as high anxiety when, at some point, I feel like I'm spending more mental time dealing with anxiety than not.

It's not necessarily accurate, either. Brains like to make patterns out of bad things, but not out of good things. I have a hard time seeing that I'm building new, healthier patterns with some of these coping tricks. It's easy for me to know when I'm having a high anxiety day, but not so easy to know when I'm having a low or no anxiety day.

So I take my medicine, go to therapy, and work on meditation. I doodle and draw tiny lines over and over. I walk and try to spend time thinking about good stuff. I choose not to go into some situations - conventions, gatherings, etc - where I expect to be overwhelmed more often than not. It probably wouldn't be the case, but I'm usually not confident enough to want to risk it.

This is just my experience with anxiety fueling my depression and vice versa. I don't expect this to be the same as anyone else. This is just how it is with me. And so when I say that I'm having a high anxiety day, you may understand why I tend to go with the "list of things makes a post" method of blogging.

things

Jan. 27th, 2016 07:45 pm
sabine: (Default)
Less anxiety and panic today! Woo! 

My hair is GORGEOUS. It's flippy and curly and wonderful. I <3 my hairdresser.

I have an Iron Druid book to read. It's good. I know why you never want to be Nigel in Toronto.

I still can't strangle people through the phone. Maybe I need a video conference to be able to force choke like Vader. Worth a try, anyway.

Tacos for dinner!

Tea.

I made some lovely little tangles today.

Au proclaimed that she's a wizard. I work in a building themed like the library from Hogwarts. So I took a picture of the GIANT WALL OF WANDS in one of our conference rooms for her. Because that's the kind of weird friend I am.

Is it the weekend yet? No? Phooey.

I need to put Emi in bed and do my meditation. And probably drink more tea and read some more. Because that's how I roll.
 

successes!

Jan. 21st, 2016 02:44 pm
sabine: (Default)
I got new glasses! Stylish, hip glasses and actual prescription sunglasses! All hail Zenni Optical!

I had lunch with Downwood and Alex! They brought me my old glasses, since my new ones are pretty tight.

I finished the Anxiety pack on Headspace! Onto learning more about Self-Esteem! But, seriously, I've learned some good things about my brain and how I think. I like this feeling.

I've started on our work Happiness Challenge! One of my coworkers wanted to start a 21-day Be Happier Challenge. I chose three of the five activities: meditate daily (yeah!), a random act of kindness, and write down three unique gratitudes. My random act of kindness today was to write a nice note on the back of one of my zentangles and give it to that coworker. She said it made her day.

My invisible Sith cloak continues to improve my posture and body language!

My writing project with Downwood is over 25k words! Whoa.
sabine: (Default)
It's snowing. Has been for a while now. Gorgeous fluffy flakes. It looks very slippery. I'm not enthusiastic about going to dance and driving home very late through this.

The weekend was good. We had friends over for board games on Saturday. Pandemic killed us quickly. The Shadow Over Westminster killed everyone but the Templar, who turned out to be working for the Darkness all along. Templars!

Sunday was for laundry, taking down the Christmas decorations, cleaning, and trying to not freak out about the upcoming week. My dad sent us a gorgeous beef tenderloin that Downwood cooked to PERFECTION. It was amazing and wonderful and all things good.

Alex spent the weekend showing off his new words. He has lots. This is an amazing thing. We always knew that he had a lot to say and now he's able to share some of what's going through his head.

Emi spent the weekend being demanding and difficult. She gets bored easily and isn't good at it. She'd rather have us entertain her than try to entertain herself. This is unpleasant for everyone.

Downwood and I spent the weekend doing chores and writing in a game we've played off and on over the years. We're at 9.1k words, which is nothing to sneeze at.

I feel like I never get enough done on the weekends. I have TWO WHOLE DAYS to be productive and I just don't manage it most of the time. And then I start imagining catastrophes and feeling bad about how I expect the upcoming week to go. And it just doesn't feel good. I'm doing better at spending time with the uncomfortable feelings, labeling whether I'm thinking or feeling and whether it's pleasant or unpleasant. It's a trick from Headspace and it's helping.

And it's snowing harder. 1.5 hours until I make the call on what I think the roads will be like after 9. Ick.
sabine: (Default)
Hogswatch was largely good. I had lots of holiday anxiety, but got a lot of sleep and even got some things done around the house! I did lots of sewing, a little reading, some video game playing, and many, many snuggles. We watched a TON of Mythbusters - the Science channel had a mega-marathon of every episode ever and it's Emi's favorite show.

Highlights!

Hogswatch eve and day were at home and quiet. The kids were excited by their gifts from us and from Santa (coloring books, colors, books, small toy, candy). Emi LOVED the princess dress wardrobe that I made for her. Alex LOVED the wooden train pieces that I got him. Downwood loved the Star Wars PJ pants I made. We smoked chicken and salmon for dinner, but didn't really treat the day as a super-special thing.

By boxing day, I needed to get out of the house a bit, but not really be in public. So I went for a walk in the cold drizzle when the full-on rain stopped. I took the kids with me. Emi wanted to run and race. Alex jumped and stomped and splashed in every puddle he could find. It was fun, wet, and exactly what I needed.

We got our second big snowstorm of the year on the 28th. That happened to be the day I needed to drive up in to Madison for therapy and med check visits. I'd been planning on going to get a coffee in between the appointments, but I didn't want to go back out into the ick. So I sat in the lobby, drew a tangle, and read a book for the hour between the visits. I then went to the grocery store since I was already out. When I got home, I couldn't get my car up the driveway. Not an awesome end to the day, but not the worst thing ever.

Tuesday was Paint Nite with Au and RH and Au's little dude. The venue was cramped and kind of awful. I won't go back. But the chocolate martini was lovely, the painting was fun, and I love my friends. Also, RH liked the plaque I made for her and remembered the joke it's meant to commemorate. Life is good.

Emi got to have her first-ever real optometrist appointment. The appointment was early in the morning on NYE. She was super-awesome and impressed both the tech and the doc. She also has perfect vision. It was a good start to the day. Afterwards, we hit the drug store and the grocery store. Downwood and I spent our usual quiet NYE at home. We had terrible snacks (this year it was my fault), played some games, and I decided that the ball dropping in New York was a good enough midnight for me.

New Year's day and weekend we spent in Iowa with my family. It was mostly good. I ate FAR too much junk food, but didn't get too much in the way of awful from my mom. She was on good behavior, so I was, too. I got to hang with my sister and give good gifts. My daughter kidnapped my cousin and convinced her to play ponies for HOURS. I got to see Alex playing with my BiL specifically to annoy my nephew. He knew what he was doing, too, the stinker.

And now I'm back at work. I've made my resolutions and have started taking the steps to achieve them. The kids don't like getting up for school (big surprise), but Alex has discovered that Momma will read a book before she leaves for work. I'm tired and very glad that the holidays are over. We need to take down our tree and lights. I want to get back to sewing on my Star Wars pea coat. I also want to consider seriously working on my Victorian underthings. I won't get this done before the costume convention, but I'd like to get started.

Life does not suck. My brain doesn't always agree with me, but I'm in a better place than I was 6 months ago, which is a relief.

Goals

Jan. 4th, 2016 10:56 am
sabine: (Default)
While at home this weekend (more on that later), my stepdad told me that having a resolution to "be a better human" wasn't a good one. He wanted me to come up with something quantifiable so that I can prove progress.

Have I mentioned that he's been in education his whole career? A teacher and then an administrator?

So here are my goals for the year and how I will measure success.
  • Wear lipstick more often. If I wear lipstick once a week or once every two weeks, that will be more often than the once every 3 months (average) of last year. I have to decide if this means I'll wear other makeup, too. We'll see.
  • Get to 65% fluent in Spanish on Duolingo. I'm at 49% right now, so this seems like a reasonable goal. If I make this goal early (say, by June or something), I'll extend it to be a higher amount.
  • Get to a streak of 100 days on Headspace. I'm at 48 now, so I could conceivably get this mark 4 times. I didn't want to say 365, since if I mess up once, I'll have failed. I also didn't want to say that I'll work on being more grounded and in the moment. Headspace is helping with that and if I keep working on it, I'll keep getting this streak.
  • Meet my Goodreads book challenge of 175. This is doable. Re-reading counts. Audiobooks count. Books read to kids count.
  • Game at least once as a player. Pretty self explanatory. I like running games, but I miss playing in them.

Here are some smaller goals for the year:
  • Have fun with my sister at the PostSecret concert in Milwaukee in February. Reach out to Milwaukee natives to find good places to go eat and/or visit during the day.
  • Have fun at the Costume Convention. Don't beat myself up for not being as awesome as I'm anticipating all the other people there being. Relax. If I can make a costume, cool. If not, I can shop in my closet. I have Carmen Sandiego, Poison Ivy, Rainbow Brite (a blond wig would really help sell the look), the Glow Cloud (ALL HAIL), Lucy (need my own wig, though. or lots and lots of hair spray), and any number of historical bits and pieces. I know what I WANT to do, but I need so many foundation garments (proper corset, petticoats, bustle, etc) that I don't think it'll happen.
  • Find a heritage train in either MN or IL for us to ride this summer. We've gone on train rides in WI and IA already and I have this idea that it could be cool to try to hit a train every summer in a different state.
  • Start planning my 2017 sabbatical. Current thought is to take my parents, kids, Downwood, and MiL to a resort in Central America. Something where there are activities for kids, allergy friendly dining, Wi-Fi, and a beach.
  • Continue wearing clothes that fit me as I am today.
  • Continue Kon-Mari-ing my stuff. I've gotten rid of a whole bunch of things and have many, many more to go.
  • Sew from my stash and not buying new fabric. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Read from my To Be Read pile and not buy new books. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Try to use the library instead of just buying all the Kindle books if I don't know the author/series, but don't beat myself up if I don't change this habit right away.
  • Continue Zentangling, drawing, coloring, and paper journaling. These are good things. They relax me and make me happy, so I should do them. Don't beat myself up if I don't do it every day, though.
  • Dance. Breathe. Be present. Be creative. Be smart.
sabine: (Default)
Today is a high anxiety day.

I don't really have a good reason for this - Downwood's home and has new meds for making his blood pressure be not scary. Both kids are well and back at school. I'm back at work and knocking all sorts of things off of my to-dooom list.

I'm wearing my new comic book Peg Legs, a new tunic, and the new boots my MiL gave me for Hogswatch. I finished the foundation series on Headspace and have moved to one that claims to help manage anxiety and worry.

Still, it's gray and rainy outside. It's drizzly. The house is a wreck. I've not planned out any holiday meals. It's still the dark time of the year. It's still the time when I beat myself up for not being perfect - even more than usual.

I know it'll be okay. I'm doing the things I need to do to break out of the mental loop of bad. I'm going to go get some lunch, take a walk, and look at something other than my computer.

M'eh. Two more days of stuck at work and I'll have a week and a half off. Can't come soon enough.
sabine: (Default)
My jerkbrain tries to keep telling me that I'm a horrible person, a failure, not worth anything, and all the assorted nonsense that goes along with it. I mostly know I'm none of those things, but the jerkbrain is loud and inside my head, where things seem to be true.

And so now I list the rebuttals to the jerkbrain, because it's the only thing I can think to do right now to make it shut the hell up.
  1. I am eating donuts because donuts are delicious. Also, I bought extra donuts and delivered them to a friend at work. This made both of our days better.
  2. I have pretty much all xmas gifts sorted. Just a couple last things to do. Yes, I went over budget in some cases, but it's going to be okay.
  3. I am making art when I doodle. It's not the high-falutin' gallery art, but it's pretty and it's mine.
  4. My kids are awesome. Alex was deeply impressed by my outfit today - dinosaur xmas sweatshirt and socks with dinosaurs in santa hats. He and I share a certain love of ancient reptiles that Emi and Downwood don't necessarily understand.
  5. Nine more working days until holiday break.
  6. I won something in an internet random-number generator giveaway! And it was something I really wanted! I may never win anything online ever again, but it's worth it. The something? Seanan McGuire's most recent album, full of monster movies and mad science. Woot! I say, WOOOOOT!
  7. I have a haircut tonight. My bangs will finally be back under my control.
  8. I am almost able to breathe normally. There are still things happening in my bronchial passages that are unacceptable, but for the most part I sound normal again.
  9. I bought Scott Bradlee's album of holiday piano jazz. It's lovely.
  10. I'm allowed to fend off a panic attack by any means necessary. I'm allowed to do what I need to do to keep moving. It's fine.

weekend

Dec. 7th, 2015 01:53 pm
sabine: (Default)
I'm still sick, but getting around better. I should probably go to the doctor at the end of the week if I'm still rattling and hacking. My cough is pretty darn impressive.

Thursday evening was Emi's winter concert. Alex won't be in it until next year. Since I'm sick and Alex goes to bed early, he and I stayed home and watched the livestream of the concert, texting my mom as we all watched together from our various living rooms.

Did I mention our rural elementary school livestreams important events - concerts, graduations, and the like? Because it totally does. I love living in the future.

Friday was mostly for coming home from work and dying. So tired.

Saturday was mostly lovely. I didn't get to sleep in, but I got to get things done when everyone was still sleeping. Downwood took the kids grocery shopping and left me alone in the house for 3.5 glorious hours. I did my meditation, drank tea, and did a lot of sewing on xmas presents.

I also didn't get to sleep in on Sunday. I woke up coughing and went out to sleep on the couch. I don't think I was out there long before Emi and Ox were up and bouncing on me. Ugh. I love them, but no jumping on Mom when she can't breathe.

We put up the Christmas tree. Ox was BESIDE HIMSELF with joy. SO EXCITED.

I did a lot of laundry and frantic sewing. One of our friends with small kids is facing a possible entire lack of presents from Santa. I was already going to send them something, but decided to make some more things. Luckily, I had enough fluffy warm fabric on hand to make a mermaid tail blanket for each girl.

Then Emi wanted to wrap presents. This was not fun for me. I had to bring all the wrapping stuff upstairs. Then I had to go through all the presents and pull out everything not for our immediate family. And get it sorted. And then teach Emi how to wrap. And how to spell "Grandma". And every other name in our family.

Not. Fun.

But all the presents to go to our families are wrapped. All the presents that need to be mailed are wrapped. The presents for the friends mentioned above have no From names on them, the better to be from Santa if necessary.

----

I'm having my usual winter anxiety and mental upset of the holidays. It's not so bad this year, mostly. I have days and hours where the anxiety's getting to me, but it's not quite as constant as I remember it being.

Reasons for better mental state this year: meditation, art, therapy, new anti-anxiety meds.

I'm trying to shut down the negative thoughts and be more at peace with who and where I am. It's not easy. Coloring and drawing are helping. Sewing is helping. Not setting up intricate travel plans is helping.

I'm REALLY looking forward to the week between xmas and New Years. There will be psych appointments. There will be Paint Nite. There will be sewing. There may well be sleeping. There will be games to play.

I can do this. I can make it through this.

I can also re-listen to some of my favorite books. That helps.
sabine: (Default)
But I am sick and distracted and frazzled.

Things I have recently learned and/or experienced:
  • Thanksgiving was awesome. It's my favorite holiday. There's no pressure for gifts or fancy costumes (though I do love me a fancy costume). I just have to cook good, simple food and have my house clean enough that there are places for people to sit. The food was delicious and our people were great. It was wonderful.
  • This year's emergency call to [livejournal.com profile] bexdragon wasn't for butter, bread, or any of the usual items. It was for super glue. For first aid purposes. Yes, I managed to slice my thumb open pretty badly while prepping veggies. Bex was a hero and bought superglue for the sealing of the wound. It's healing nicely.
  • In related news, Emi learned that she shouldn't play with super glue. She glued two of her fingers together and was sobbing because it was instant and hurt to pull them apart and then the glue wouldn't come off her fingers. She learned some important lessons, but I told her it was okay because she told me the truth about what happened and she didn't glue her finger inside her nose or eyes and she didn't glue her buns to the toilet seat. She laughed and things are okay.
  • I think I'm done with my holiday shopping. I'm waiting on some things to be delivered, but I think I'm done. This is good. I have a couple things yet to make (princess dresses and mermaid blankets), but those are pretty easy. Now I need to wrap all the things. Ugh.
  • My kids are wonderful. Alex is getting new words and sounds. He's trying SO HARD to communicate. Whew! Emi is a bundle of drama. There are moments when I regret having kids - mostly when our child-free friends go on spontaneous vacations - but then they do something cute and I'm glad I'm their Momma.
  • I have a chest cold and feel icky and my voice is dropping octaves. I want to go home at noon so I can rest and not talk. And sew.
  • I've been working on Things To Make Me A Better Human. These include: continuing to use Duolingo daily, but switching to Spanish instead of German, using my coloring books and colored pencils, making Zentangles, making elaborate doodles with colored pens, and learning meditation. I think I'm in a better place because of all these...and a new anti-anxiety med. I'm now on a regime of LOTS OF MEDS, so I need to find the other things that will smooth out the edges of my mental state and let me remember what "relaxation" feels like.
  • Meditation is interesting. I'm using the Headspace app. I bought a year membership so that I'd commit to doing this daily. So far, it's been a nice thing. I'm worried about how I'll get the time when we're visiting family, but I can use it as a "I need to lie down" moment and hopefully maintain my calm. I have a voucher for a free month if anyone's interested. Voucher claimed on FB!
  • Dance is good. We're working on a choreography that is mostly gentle, 1970s-style. Lots of Reda. It's a nice change from the OMG!DRAMAH of the last piece.
  • Work is still work. Lots of things to do and my levels of cope are low. No bueno.

sabine: (Default)
  1. I stopped and got a donut and coffee on my way to work.
  2. I got a set of pens for doodling at home.
  3. Most Hogswatch presents are purchased or are bookmarked for Cyber Monday shopping.
  4. Downwood and the kids are coming to have lunch with me today.
  5. I don't have to work again until Monday.
  6. My meditation app seems to be helping. Probably. Still too early to tell, but I think it's helping.
  7. Both kids have head colds, but slept well. Alex was up playing with his trains this morning.
  8. Someone dropped a ton of glitter in the parking garage. It started as a single pile in a parking space near the exit door of the garage. The glitter now extends quite far both into the garage and into our building. It's only a matter of time until it becomes sentient and destroys us all.

stay good

Nov. 18th, 2015 08:44 am
sabine: (Default)
I will not impulse purchase more cute clothes. Yes, retail therapy feels good. Yes, I like looking cute. Yes, I have far too much stuff and I don't need to bring more into my life before I KonMari the hell out of my bedroom.

I will actually try the meditation app I downloaded. I can find 10 minutes in my day to be quiet and reflective. It won't be the same 10 minutes in the same place daily, but I can commit to this for 10 days before getting a subscription.

I will try to not stress about presents. Presents don't have to be perfect. I don't have to find the exact thing that will show that I understand a person, care about them, and know what's lacking in their life. "Good enough" is, in fact, good enough.

I don't have to be perfect. I just have to be good enough. I have to try my best at things, but I need to keep a sense of humor and relaxation. Perfect is a lie. Pinterest is a lie. Advertising, movies, and TV are lies.

I need to remember how to relax. Coloring books are awesome.

I will do the things that make me happy. I will do the things that let me try to be better than I am.

I will attempt to let go of worry and fear and anxiety. I may not succeed, but I will acknowledge that these feelings exist, that I have them, and that I don't actually need them most of the time.

I will read with my kids. I will give hugs. I will praise, smile, and be a good enough momma.

I will not flip out about the pile of things one of my customers just emailed me for a meeting in 68 minutes when I have another meeting for the 60 minutes directly before that meeting. Eep.
sabine: (Default)
Work is batshit crazy. My task list is out of control, as is my notepad, as is my inbox. I am slowly, slowly restoring order from chaos. I've put out the fires and am getting some things done before the next outbreak.




Therapy yesterday was no fun, as usual. Trying to confront the fact that my internal monologue is not very nice to me. The lists of Rules are really not helpful. Don't look like you're sad. Don't look like you're worried. Don't admit that you're not enjoying life. Don't brag. Be proud but never boast. Pride is a sin, anyway, so you should stop that, too. Don't take the last piece of anything. Stop taking up so much space. Be perfect. Always, always be perfect.



Kidz are kids. Ox is getting more and more vocal. Not so much with the words, but still MOAR SOUNDS! Emi is creative, strong, and determined. And sometimes a pill.



Still can't play GW2. Stupid anxiety, but this is apparently a break I need to take.



I got past the uncomfortable place in my book ("The Magicians", Lev Grossman) - the place where I could see the main character about to make some incredibly stupid mistakes and had to put the book down because the Fictional Uncertainty Principle states that until the badness is observed (read) the characters are still okay - and now am in a part that's less uncomfortable and more interesting. I want to slap the main character, but he's 21 and hasn't yet figured out that the world doesn't actually owe him squat, much less happiness.

I'm listening to "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers", which is both interesting and gross. But mostly interesting.




The people in the offices around me seem to do nothing but socialize all day. This wouldn't be bothersome except that one of them is someone I'm trying to train to be amazing and I just want her to do her work, dammit.





I'm not doing any of the SitG workshops or shows. The workshops seem expensive for what I may or may not get out of it. Also, I'd much rather hang with friends in a lower-stress environment than sit through a show. Dunno. Am emotionally, mentally, and physically tired.



I wonder if there's a time next week when I can call in sick and go get a tattoo. That'd be nifty.
sabine: (Default)
A strategy my psychiatrist wants me to work on implementing is to go do the things that I would enjoy, even though I can't really enjoy much right now. The act and intention are key to this self-care strategy. If you do the things that you would normally enjoy, eventually you will start to enjoy them again.

I'm still in that place where things are not as vibrant as they should be, as they are, or as they could be. I'm still in that place where I believe that people would be happier and healthier and more -iers without me around. This is, obviously, no fun.

So I'm trying to do the things. I go to dance class. I pick Emi up from her Tuesday dance class. I play video games. I wear my Wonder Woman dress to work. I plan to go to teacher M's party and scheme about surprises. I make crazy dress-up plans. I plan to go to the werk picnic with whole family, even though it'll be hot. I plan to take the kids swimming at the hotel with my parents after. I read Emi a chapter every night. I read to Ox and play. I sew. I read. I listen to books that I'd laugh at on a better day.

I make long-term plans. I schedule things in August, September, October, November. Things that I really want to happen. I seek out books that will come out in the next 6 months and pre-order them. I window shop at Etsy stores that I will never be able to afford. I listen to Pandora. I think about tattoos and browse Pinterest. I find fabric for the making of things for Hogswatch presents.

I take a little bit of Xanax and hope that the latest change to my meds is enough to convince my brain to not be broken.

Depression lies. Empirically, I should know that this will get better, since it's always gotten better in the past. It's just really hard to believe that.

And, yes, I'm wearing the Wonder Woman dress today because of teacher M's party. I want to show it off to my sewing friends. And it's pretty. And I'm a tremendous nerd.
sabine: (Default)
Friday - Brain shut down at work about 3:30. That's fine, since I'd been here since 7:15. I worked on one last thing and was out the door close to 4:30. That was a good decision. Stopped at the store to buy treats: chips for Ox, lemon ices for Emi, wine for Downwood and me. Had a reasonably quiet evening.


Saturday - Had internal guilt for most of the day about not going over to Faire. It's opening weekend and wasn't terribly swampy. Instead, Emi and I ran errands. We got her hair cut and I was so, SO proud of her. She told the stylist exactly what she wanted and continued to ask when the cut wasn't exactly what she was thinking. The stylist wanted to know my thoughts and I told her that it's Emi's hair and Emi's decision. We went to Target for house supplies, HyVee for fruit/veg/snacks, Orange Leaf for a treat, and Little Caesar's to grab a pizza for Daddy.

Orange Leaf sells frozen yogurt, yes. But they have three flavors that are dairy-free, so Emi can have them! Luckily, she likes pineapple, pink lemonade, and orange. Also luckily, they seem to have all of them available now, so she can have a choice.

After lunch, we watched some TV, read some books, and got some snuggles in. I also made the kids pick up the living room. They weren't thrilled about that, but eventually agreed that it was easier to run, jump, and practice their American Ninja Warrior skills when the floor was clear.

Late in the afternoon, I took Ox to Culver's. He'd been CRUSHED when I took Emi after softball and didn't take him along. So. Sad. I'd promised him on Wednesday that we'd go out, just us, and get a treat. So we did. He ate some fries and acted silly. I ate some cheese curds and was given a free sundae (probably someone messed up an order).

Sunday - LAUNDRY. As usual. And some sewing. I still didn't hem anything, but I got two more dresses for Emi cut and about half sewn. Next on them is the binding around neck and arms. Pretty easy.

Downwood mowed and I played some Guild Wars with friends. Emi and Ox got sent to timeout and then suspended from screen time for most of the day after ripping apart a booklet that went with one of their sets.

Starting in the afternoon and then going through the evening and bed, the anxiety started to get worse and worse. My temper gets short, I have a hard time focusing on anything, and I don't want to eat. Not fun.

Today - Work kind of sucks. The continual treadmill of too much to do, too many competing priorities, and a lot of pressure to be perfect. I really wanted to call in sick just so I could catch up on some sleep and maybe hem something. And take Emi to swim lessons. And hang with Ox while Emi has a dentist appointment. And take Emi to dance again on my own way to dance.

My office mate being constantly on the phone and me feeling like I got no sleep are contributing to the panic that's simmering right below the surface. No fun.

This week:
  • Today - Dance class
  • Tomorrow - Med check (actually yay!), pick up Emi from dance class
  • Wednesday - Try to leave work on time to catch the end of softball practice
  • Thursday - Nothing
  • Friday - NDN and Teacher M party. I probably won't have enough people points to stay the whole evening. Not sure.
  • Saturday - Werk picnic. Folks are coming up to enjoy and wrangle kidz. There will be swimming after.
  • Sunday - Laundry and packing because...
  • Monday-Thurs - in Dallas for werk.
sabine: (Default)
 Emi loves dance. She has now completed Week One of her six-week summer session. She's destroyed one pair of tights and is totally in love with dance.

Ox is incredibly jealous of Emi's dance lessons. He's also jealous of her softball practice (which she also adores) and her swimming lessons (likewise). We've repeatedly told him that his age is the barrier to baseball and swimming, but as soon as he's potty trained, we'll sign him up for dance. So far, this tactic hasn't been enough of a bargaining chip.

I cried a lot at the therapist's office today. I feel raw and worn out. I'm tired of being sad all the time, but don't know how to get away from this.

Dance last night was hard. I don't enjoy this choreography much. It's very complicated and I missed a week and I don't practice enough to get it down. It also just kind of hurts. Don't know. On the right dancer, this would be lovely and a thing of beauty. On me, I feel dumpy, gangly, and not at all graceful. Bleah.

Werk continues to attempt to suck. Taking two days off made my email this morning a total chore. I got it pared down to what actually needs to get done...and then spent time on the phone with other people arguing that someone else's terrible setup shouldn't make my lovely code get held up.

I need to go to bed early tonight. Feeling fragile and broken. I'm re-reading the Finishing School series again, since those books make me happy without weepy bits.

And things keep going on.

today

Jul. 6th, 2015 11:11 am
sabine: (Default)
Today is a little better again. I got to sleep in and make brownie pancakes for Emi. I took Emi to swim lessons and Ox to the hardware store. Then I sat at the park while they played in the sand.

I'm cranky from getting whined at and sad, but hiding it pretty well.

I will do some sewing. I will read a comfort book. I will eat actual food (green smoothie!) and try to be a reasonable human.

Dance tonight for both Emi and me. I will act like nothing's wrong, because getting told "Just get over it" isn't in my plans for today.

Tomorrow is back to work. We'll see how that goes.

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