building a life worth living

There’s a tenet in DBT that basically says you should be trying to build yourself a life that’s actually worth living, based on what’s important to you. It’s a weird concept for many of us with mental health struggles, but it’s well worth embracing. I’ve been trying to remind myself, a lot lately, that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is that life worth living and I alone get to decide what’s included.

More importantly, I get to decide what’s NOT included.

My relationship with my sister has always been tenuous, even back to when we were kids. She likes to have her own way. No, actually, she always insists on having her own way. When we were young she would hit if she didn’t get what she wanted. As she grew older she used words. Mean, spiteful, hate filled words.

I have to stop to insert a bit of happy news. My mom is getting married. She’s known R since they were 9 years old, he’s a very nice man, and I have never seen her this happy before. I am 100% over the moon excited for them, and so is Lancelot. Hell, so is everyone who knows. Everyone except my sister and the kids.

Somehow she’s convinced that it’s possible to cheat on a dead man. I don’t get it. R’s pastor doesn’t get it. “Til death do you part” means that when one of you dies the other is no longer married. But, not in H’s mind.

Over the course of the last week all hell has literally blown up. There’s been screaming, crying, cursing, and declaring people dead. That’s the point at which I blocked her number and decided that I really don’t need this bullshit.

I’m fairly sure that it’ll be a very long time before I see my nieces again, if ever. H has always used them as a weapon, and that’s unfortunate. I just can’t tolerate the hate she keeps spewing. Sometimes walking away is the victorious thing to do.

Pippy says that sitting on people is also victorious.

In other good news, this is my last day of work for a whole week. Lancelot and I had originally had this week off to dog sit while Mom went on a trip, but that was before the world went sideways so now we’re going to use the time to start moving him in officially. I’m very excited about that.

I’m hoping that once life settles into a bit more of a regular routine I’ll be able to start knitting again. Right now by the time I finish working for the day I have just enough energy to make something to eat, watch a little news, and then crawl into bed. Once we get things cleaned out and organized, oh and moved, I think that’s going to help.

On a tangent, does anyone else live somewhere you can now get cocktails to go with your carry out order? L and I did carry out fajitas from our favorite Mexican restaurant a few weeks ago and got blue margaritas to go with them. That is one of the odder, yet nicer, things to come out of The Rona.

of anniversaries, reminders, and feels

This has nothing to do with anything except I really do feel this way. I’m having to put together a resource so that if that stupid fucking Covid-19 virus bullshit shuts down the physical campus we won’t all be stuck with nothing to do. So for fuck sake, wash your damn hands, use tissues when you sneeze, cough into your elbow, and if you’re running a fucking fever just keep your plague ridden ass at home.

But I digress, as usual.

This Saturday is the 8th anniversary of my father’s passing. He died of a wicked nasty form of cancer that no one researches because too few people die from it. It was super painful and there was no hope of recovery but it doesn’t involve tits and tons of people so, eh, fuck you.

Anyway, I’m mostly just fine with the anniversary. We knew he was going to die so we had a little time to prepare. And it’s been awhile. I still miss him sometimes but it’s not the sharp, stabby kind of pain anymore.

At any rate, Lancelot and I are taking Mom out for dinner Saturday mostly because it seems like the good kid thing to do. And I am nothing if not the good kid.

 

so there I was, surrounding myself with bright colors and second breakfast, trying to keep my chin up when…

Being a grown up is HARD. It actually rather sucks a good deal of the time. All of the responsibilities, the financial burdens, the whole not being able to tell everyone to just go piss off when you aren’t in a mood to deal with them. You know what I’m talking about.

When you’re a grown up who also has a mental illness it’s even less fun. Sometimes. Right now is rather HARD. I lost a dear friend to a wretched disease and it’s JUST NOT FAIR. To make things worse, there’s not a fucking thing I can do about it.

Except there is.

I cooked dinner last night. I took some work home to make today easier. I talked to a friend on Facebook. I took my meds and got some sleep. I had breakfast this morning. I took a shower and got dressed like the professional I am.

I am moving forward because, quite honestly, it’s what my friend would have wanted. She wouldn’t want all the sadness and tears. She was eternally optimistic and I loved her all the more for that.

I will miss her, always, and I may cry a few more tears. But I’m also going to get back to the business of living my life to the fullest because that’s how she lived, and I think it’s a good way for all of us to live.

things I wish our instructors knew

Today is the first day of the spring semester. Spring is never as big a deal as fall, but still. And this year is a little extra odd because when finals were over for fall so was the work year for us.

But everyone knew that was going to happen. The academic calendars come out at least a year in advance. And spring always follows fall, so seriously kids, get with the program. We’re all grown ups here, let’s act like it, shall we?

In no particular order, here are a few things I wish our instructors would take into consideration.

There is one of me. There are roughly 1000 of you. I have colleagues that do some of the same things I do, but they don’t read my email.

I don’t work nights and I don’t work weekends.

You can’t leave me voice mail because I suck at checking it. Send me an email. I do check that from my phone, sometimes even at night or on the weekend.

There are a lot of things I do for you because it’s easier than trying to explain to you for the 10th time how you can do it. But please don’t be surprised if I answer your question with a handout. I have limits.

I don’t work here for the money, I do this because I love being in education.

The more polite you are, like just saying thank you, the more likely I am to give you extra care and attention.

I went to school to learn how to teach and use technology to more effectively teach; you did not. You’re an expert in your thing, please try to acknowledge that I’m an expert in my thing.

It’s entirely possible that I’ve been here longer than you have (I’m fast approaching 20 years) so please consider acknowledging my historical knowledge of this fine institution. Also, I know lots of people around here so please be careful who you trash-talk in front of me.

Honestly y’all, I love this place. I can’t imagine being anywhere else and I never thought I would stay at one job for this long. But sometimes it’s frustrating, as all jobs can be. Thanks for letting me get this out of my system.

you

The world is full of weirdos, and for some reason they always find me.

I had a professional photo taken at work a few weeks ago. It’s a free service they offer and I looked reasonable that day so I thought, “why not?” It turned out quite nice so I decided to post it on Facebook and on Twitter.

Some random guy send me a tweet saying that I’m beautiful. Why yes, I am, but who the fuck are you? Last I checked Twitter wasn’t a dating platform. Did I miss something? Do I need to specifically say in my profile that I’m “married” so that this doesn’t happen?

Granted, this is the first time (on Twitter) that I’ve run into this. But it happens on Facebook on a fairly regular basis. I won’t use my last name on FB because of it. I don’t use Instagram at all anymore because of creepers.

Maybe it’s innocent. Maybe it’s just a compliment. But the only other tweets this guy has made are to other women saying basically the same thing.

So, I’m gonna go with “creeper.”

not dead yet

Hello y’all! Did ya miss me? Yeah, me too.

I have so much I want to write about, pictures to share, but there’s not enough time while I’m awake and kicking.

The time off with Lancelot was awesome. We cooked good food together, went to an art museum, saw the new Spiderman movie, and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.

I also blocked two shawls (that I got pictures of), got some beautiful new jewelry, and managed to get a few projects taken care of – like finishing a professional development course for work.

Right now I’m feeling very fortunate to be in good health, to have a job I love, a roof over my head, and food to eat. I know that there are a whole lot of other folks who are less fortunate, through no fault of their own.

Be kind to one another, and remember that you have no idea what battles your fellow person is fighting.

unpopular opinions

I’m in a bit of foul fucking mood right now so I figure why not just do a little spewing…

  • I think a lot of people my age and younger have taken the whole “ink and pierce yourself” thing way too far
  • I truly believe that there are some items of clothing a woman my size should never wear, spandex being one of them
  • I am staunchly pro-choice. I don’t give a damn about a heart beat, my body means my choice.
  • I believe that birth control should be both free and freely available
  • I firmly believe in gun control
  • I think weed should be legal – tax it and regulate it, but make it legal
  • I think health care should be universal and free
  • I believe that education should be free
  • I believe that healthy food should be cheaper than the over processed shit that most of us end up eating
  • I believe that being kind should be something we all strive for

fake it ’til you make it, right?

I got my hair done last night and this picture doesn’t totally do it justice. The cut is the same, it always is, but the front is now a silver-lilac color. This is what I had actually wanted last month. I love it, and Lancelot seems to approve.

I’ve made some progress with things, which is good. I’m mostly caught up on laundry, the bed got made this morning, I’ve been finding bits I need to take with for my trip, I finished one of my school books this morning, and I’ve been emailing with my mentor about ideas I’m having for the memoir. All good stuff.

The weather is still (trying to) kick my ass. This morning I decided that I am well and truly over this bullshit. No leggings or tights under my jeans, no boots, no extra layers. I’m wearing flats with NO SOCKS because I am a REBEL. I’m also wearing the utterly gorgeous tree of life necklace Lancelot got me.

I’m hoping that today is productive at work. I was out yesterday because of the weather and shot nerves, something that is happening entirely too often because of snow storms. I’ll kick some ass and take some names today to make up for it.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my beverage cup this morning. I stopped and got a chai latte at my favorite local coffee shop.

the sound of sucking

I feel the need to try not to vent, contrary to what the title of this post is going to suggest. Here goes…

Hi Mama!!!

My little Garth decided to start the morning by doing acrobatics on top of the kitchen cupboards. He’s a little nutty like that.

That was the original manuscript on the left and the new/revised on the right. I went through the new one last night and marked where I’d added new material and made changes to the old stuff. It took forever. Tonight I’ll start writing my first critical essay. Yikes.

Today’s knit thing… It’s purple, white, and grey and it kind of looks like bunting. It was supposed to be symmetrical but since I can’t be bothered to pay attention to yardage requirements it’s not. But it works. And DAMN do I look good today.

Looking good today is nice because I picked L up from work this morning. We’re having dangerously cold weather and vicious winds so he hasn’t been waiting for the bus but has been getting an Uber home, which is an unnecessary expense. I told him I’m happy to give him rides when it’s like this and all I charge is a few kisses.

This was from Saturday but aren’t we just adorable together?

I’m still trying to figure out how to attack the goals. I’ve added a few more craft projects but that was primarily because I’ve already crossed two things off that list. I’m really kind of excited about all of this. Nothing like the smell of freshly crossed off “to do” items in the morning.

 

the week of knitted things

It’s a whole 24F here right now and I don’t think the high temp for the day is much higher. Over the weekend we got 6 or so inches of snow. This is Winter, and winter in the Midwest frequently sucks. So I’m going to combat the suck with some lovely handknits.

The plus side of Lancelot working overtime Friday night was that Mom and I went shopping together. I got a few things for my nieces for Christmas and got myself some solid color, long sleeved T-shirts. I find these to be ideal for showing off knit shawls.

That was actually taken on Friday. Not only was I sporting a shawl I knit but also a beautiful shield brooch Lancelot got me in Weston as well as a pair of Josephine knot earrings I got in Branson. Beautiful outfit all the way around.

This morning it’s navy blue with a different shawl. Today is also blue jeans and knock-off UGG boots because of the intense cold and the snow.

My plan is to wear something I’ve knit every day this week and post a picture. It’s not like I’ve got a shortage of choices. I have at least one I can think of that I haven’t even worn yet, and I know that because it still needs the ends woven in.

I took that picture the morning I left for India. I was petrified. All of the potentially horrible things that could happen while I was gone just kept swirling through my head. I think maybe you can see the sheer terror on my face.

But not on Lancelot. He’s grinning like a fool. He (and everyone else in all honesty) knew that I was capable of doing this and doing it well.

Everyone but me.

One of the most cruel jokes the mental brain plays on us is stripping away our confidence in ourselves, making us feel that we aren’t deserving or capable. But one of the greatest gifts it’s given me is empathy for others and the ability to be a champion for someone.

Life is not always perfect, and the world is not always kind, but I will strive to enjoy what I have as long as I have it.