august confessions

I love working at a university. There’s energy, fresh ideas (mostly), and no one gives a damn about the way I look. Unfortunately at this university we are underfunded (we’re a public school) and seriously understaffed in certain areas.

There is one other person on this campus that does what I do, and we have well over 1000 faculty members that we support. Right now it feels like fully half of them are breathing down my neck for something. I know I’m good at what I do, and I have great relationships with these people, but…

FOR FUCK SAKE, I’M ONE GODDAMN PERSON!!!

Our semester starts in two weeks and I’ve got four course reviews to do, twenty quiz banks to create, dates to add to one course, and visual designs to do for another four. Plus, I got an email this morning from one person asking for looks like it’s going to be a full visual build based on stuff I’ve done for her before, but just enough different that it’ll have to be completely redone.

Lancelot and I had a really good weekend together celebrating us. I still have a hard time believing it’s been an entire year. He brings so much happiness into my world, I can’t imagine life without him.

I think I mentioned that Mom and I went to fetch her new puppy yesterday. Meet Pippi.

She’s a Goldendoodle and right now she’s teeny-tiny. Definitely a cuddler. The boys aren’t quite sure what to make of her but we had the cutest cat fight this morning. She sniffed Garth and he delicately reached out a paw and set it on her head. No hissing, no growling, no barking. Just that little gesture and then he walked away.

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i love you spoon

I’ve decided I’m just going to give up on forks for awhile. Spoons are where it’s at.

I do have a bit more energy now that I’ve stopped the blood pressure thing. Honestly, if I could remember how to spell it I’d tell you what it is. Anyway, I was able to get two loads of laundry done last night after work and that was after going and getting my hair cut and colored. So I’m feeling better about being able to function.

Functioning is good, particularly this weekend. My dearest Lancelot has a birthday on Monday so I’m planning to spoil him rotten this weekend. Some home cooked meals, a movie, a concert, and a dinner out are all on the lineup so far. I started the shenanigans yesterday with a silly little stuffed monkey. Today he got a little package of chocolates. I love spoiling that man.

Tomorrow is dermatologist day. Not sure what to think about this. I’ve been taking Humira for ages now and it doesn’t seem to be helping much anymore. I take two pills on top of that and I’m not seeing much come from them either. I had the same nonsense on my legs and they removed it with surgery but with where it’s at now that just isn’t an option.

Having chronic nonsense is frustrating. The mental health stuff, the skin stuff, the weirdo stomach issues that act up sometimes… It’s just more than I want to deal with, ya know?

Thank you Cowboy Sam Elliot, I think I will.

chemistry experiment

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2006, shortly before I turned 30. I’ve been treating it, and the raging anxiety, with medication and therapy for the last 13 years. Life with mental illness very often involves being a chemistry experiment.

One of the meds I take, Lithium, causes nasty tremors. Over the last few months it’s gotten bad enough that eating with a fork has become a risk prospect. And my handwriting is totally not even readable. It’s terrible. But the Lithium very literally is what keeps me sane.

Dilemma.

I talked to my doc about it the last time I saw her and she put me on a new  med. It’s used to control blood pressure, which I don’t have issues with, by slowing the heart rate. I got up to a therapeutic dose, thought it was helping, and then CRASH.

I was so tired all the time, I had no energy, and walking from my car to the office left me exhausted. Lancelot finally said something and I agreed to call the doc.

Fortunately she said I could quit immediately and should see an improvement, like right about now. And I am.

As much as I hate having to be a chemistry project I know how important it is. Meds don’t always work like they should, body and brain chemistry change, new advances in science are made. Maybe one day they’ll come up with a single pill that will guaranteed take care of this nonsense. Until then…

finally friday

The end of the week was, for a long time in my world, just the end of the week. I won’t say that it was awful, but it wasn’t amazing. Mom and I would usually spend all day Saturday running around – errands, shopping, whatever other trouble we could find – exhausting ourselves.  On Sunday we might do things around the house, or attempt to recover.

And then…

Lancelot.

How can you not love that smile? Seriously. And that’s little Riley the River Otter on his shoulder. Riley came home with me from the aquarium in the Dubai Mall. It’s not uncommon for L to include one of the “kids” in the pic when he sends me a selfie. He’s adorable and sweet and treats me with respect and I love him.

So now weekends are usually spent doing stuff together like cooking, eating out, going to movies, watching movies on the couch, and lately we’ve been going to the local farmer’s markets with Mom. Good times.

I wouldn’t say that my weekends are necessarily better, they’re different. I always had a good time with my mom, and I definitely have a good time with L. I do look forward to the weekend just a little more, mostly because, well, grown up things. Y’all know what I mean.

Last night I was able to get another necklace pendant put together. I’m planning to wear it next week with a new outfit. I’m still trying to put together new things to wear. I seriously think that part of my Case of the Blahs has to do with my “look.” I want to look like I feel and I’ve been feeling younger lately. I’ll just blame L for that.

At any rate, I’m still doing my best to get my “poo in a pile” as Dr. K would say. I’m trying to do better with the food and I’m making sure to make time for the activities I enjoy. Working my DBT skills like a good kid.

reset

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2006, shortly before my 30th birthday. I’ve been in what I consider “active” recovery since 2009, shortly after my 4th (and final) suicide attempt. Most of the time I’m pretty good, like stable enough that your average stranger wouldn’t notice anything unusual about me. Well, nothing unusual aside from the strange hair and my unique fashion sense.

But sometimes I’m off my game and I need to hit my own reset button. This seems to be one of those times.

The doc started me on a new med to try to help with the tremors that I have, caused by Lithium. Maybe it’s the slowed heart rate that’s resulting from that.

Two years ago I had a breast cancer scare. I just went in for my mammogram last week and was rather nervous about it. Maybe it was the anxiety from that.

Work is getting ridiculously busy again, a little earlier than usual. Every time I think I’m going to get caught up I feel like yet another paper avalanche happens. Maybe it’s the stress from that.

I did something to piss off my back and I’ve been entertaining a headache for several days now. I’m still not sure what caused either, but that could be the culprit.

Regardless, I’m not feeling like myself and I don’t like it one bit.

I’ve been redecorating my office a bit. I’ve been buying new clothes, changing up my look. I’ve changed some of the bits in the bedroom.

I’m not sure what else to do, but I’ll keep trying. Something will hit the reset button in a meaningful way and I’ll be back on track.

keeping the dream alive

You probably wouldn’t have guessed this about me, but I’m not necessarily excited about traveling for work. I should say that I’m not excited about traveling by myself for work, such as to a conference where I’m the only person going. And really, I just don’t find conferences all that enjoyable. I don’t usually feel that I learn a lot and for all the money someone had to pay for me to go it just isn’t worth it.

But I need to do the whole “professional development” thing. So what’s a girl to do?

Online workshops offered by another university that result in a certificate and Continuing Education credits. Aw yeah!

This morning I got signed up to start a six-week course that covers the fundamentals of online teaching, something I am totally passionate about. I’ve done another course with these folks and absolutely loved it. It’s kind of like the best possible combination of going to school and going to a conference. So yay!!!

Tonight I’m going back to another part of the Randomly Erin dream – I’m taking a class at the glass studio. It was damn near a year ago exactly that I did my last glass project, the lace vase.

glass vase project

This time I’ll be making a lantern. I’m super excited! I’m trying to get back to doing the creative bits that keep my soul happy.

The issues going on in my universe right now have reminded me that life is too short to be unhappy and taking care of myself by making time for my creative pursuits is part of staying happy.

so there i was, up to my chin in empty gin bottles and old popcorn bags, wearing a fluffy squirrel for a hat when suddenly…

Oh if only my life were that dull right now.

Life here has been very interesting but not in the “gee that sounds very interesting” sort of way, more in the “gee that shard of glass sticking out of your eyeball really does make it sparkle” kind of way.

There has been some family drama, which isn’t mine to tell but has certainly been taking a toll. There has been a bit of drama with Lancelot, but that’s so wee that I don’t even want to go into it. (and we’re seriously doing oodles better with the whole effective communication thing, it’s fabulous) And then there’s been the weather drama; some parts of these parts got FIVE MOTHERFUCKING INCHES OF HAIL this morning. I shit you not. Tonight isn’t looking much better on that front.

Anyway, I have been knitting. The Garden Shawlette got finished over the weekend and then this morning I cast on another shawl. It’s going to be delightfully easy and that makes it delightful. The shawl I’m leaving at L’s to work on during weekend TV time is also coming along quite nicely. This Thursday, that’s two days from now, right?, anyway, I’m taking a fused glass class that evening that I’m looking forward to. I haven’t done any glass stuff in ages.

Does anyone else get completely screwed up about what day (or year) it is when you have too many days off work? No? Must just be me.

In other news that no one really gives a rip about, I’m going back to having purple hair. The red was mildly interesting but not enough to stay. Oh, and I shaved L’s head Saturday morning. That was interesting and very fabulous. Nothing as relaxing as rubbing a freshly buzz cut head on the man you love.

He has the most beautiful smile in the whole wide universe.