everything is perfect just as it is

Anyone who has done a round or two of DBT knows that phrase all too well. Radical acceptance. Being able to accept that life is not perfect but that it is as it must be and it will improve.

It will improve.

I really don’t feel crazy most of the time anymore. I know I still have Bipolar Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder and sometimes issues with Anxiety, but I rarely identify with those anymore. I take my meds like I need to, I try to eat decent, and I sleep. But I’m definitely in maintenance mode these days.

And that feels fucking fantastic.

Just over ten years ago I had my last suicide attempt. Some jackass boy had broken my heart and I thought my life was over. WRONG. It was the most serious of my four attempts and they weren’t sure I’d make it.

But I did, and I’m still here kicking ass and taking names, and I’m stronger than ever. It got better, mostly because I have an amazing tribe and because I’m stubborn as fuck.

For all of us fighting the good fight, I’m with you. Some days are hard and we struggle just to get out of bed. Some days are easy and no one realizes how hard life can be for us. But still, we rise.

We are in this together. ❤

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.

a quick check of the rear view mirror before we peal out into the sunset

First, let’s just get this big ol’ turd out of the way. The goals I set for myself last year didn’t happen. I tried, mostly, but I can very honestly say that I didn’t put forth the effort I knew would be necessary. That’s 100% on me.

None of this makes me any less of a person and it doesn’t even make me feel bad about myself. I tried, that’s what was important. So, moving on.

Here are some things that I think went really well this last year:

  • I successfully completed a semester of grad school. I doubt I’ll go back to finish the program but that’s because of the price tag, not because I don’t think I can mentally handle it. Very important difference.
  • I have become much more aware of my spending habits and what I could be doing different with my money. I feel confident that this year WILL be better.
  • Lancelot and I grew as a couple and things feel stronger than ever between us.
  • I’ve learned a lot about who I really am as a person, and I like that person.

Over the winter break I’ve gotten a ton of stuff done, and that makes me feel good, too. Mom and I tore the house apart, donated a bunch of stuff we no longer use, reorganized all of the holiday stuff, and I even did a full inventory of my yarn stash. Yes, the entire stash. It’s a beautifully organized spreadsheet that nearly brings a tear to my eye.

Here are some of my favorite projects from this year:

The Stormy Skies shawl seemed appropriate for a stormy day

I finished a scarf this morning that was supposed to be my last project of last year but then I had a glass of wine with dinner and my old butt was in bed by 8pm. And even though it’s a pretty little scarf it kind of looks like unicorn vomit at the moment.

I am still working on the shell shawl (did I ever show y’all that?) but it’s in time out on account of the one needle trying to take out one of my fingers in a very unfortunate laundry incident. I also realized that I don’t have nearly enough yarn to finish it the way I want to so that’s kind of pissing me off. I’ve also started another shawl (quelle surprise!) that’s two different purples (also a big shocker) and will have some super shiny beads. Stay tuned.

So, what does 2020 have in store for me? I’m ever so glad you asked…

  • Keep working on getting my credit cards and other debts paid off. The plan is to have everything except my big card, the CR-V, and the student loans all gone by the end of the year.
  • I’m on the hunt for educational opportunities that are more like certificates (I’ve done a few already for work) that I can get my boss to pay for. I like school, I don’t like the price tag.
  • I’d like to take ONE big trip this year, just one. There are a few possibilities being tossed around.
  • I’m planning to use every last bit of craft stuff I have on hand before buying anything new. (hence the yarn inventory)
  • I will turn 44, not that this is really terribly significant, but hey, why not include it?
  • And, last but certainly not least, I really want to make some healthier habits. This would include eating, exercising, and mental health stuff.

I’ll leave you with this image. It’s speaking to me today, maybe it will speak to you, too.

and just like that I found myself excited instead of petrified, and it was breathtakingly amazing

I don’t understand even half the nonsense that goes on in my brain so I do hope that you, gentle reader, don’t expect me to be able to explain it to you. Because I can’t. But here goes my best effort…

I am slowly but surely getting everything ready for my trip. I checked my packing list again this morning and I think it’s as thorough as I can get it. I’m not sure yet when I’ll do my practice pack but it needs to be soon.

I’m not too worried about the packing thing. I’ve done this before. I know the tricks to getting through airport security and what to expect. One of my biggest things with these trips is that I don’t check luggage on the way there. I don’t want to arrive and find myself with no clothes. I’m more than happy to check a bag full of dirty laundry on the way home.

So I’m taking a carry on suitcase and my backpack, like I always do. I don’t travel with body wash or shampoo, no liquids in my bag at all. Slip on shoes for going through security. Backup paper copies of everything, and backup digital copies as well. I wear a light jacket and comfortable jeans; I’ll be sleeping in those clothes on the plane so they need to be like pjs.

This trip I’m also going to pack and empty duffel bag. I figure if I find time to shop I can always check my suitcase and carry the duffel and backpack as my carry on pieces. I’m checking with my travel partner to see what she thinks of this arrangement.

I’m still working on my list of things to do but I’m making steady progress. And that, I think, is why it’s starting to get to the “gee, this actually does sound like it could be fun” point.

I’ve been looking for projects to take with and still haven’t totally decided. I’m starting to think that perhaps I’m limiting myself by thinking I have to take this particular yarn with me. The one “must” is that the required yarn be in my stash as of right now.

Pippy and my sister’s kitten playing the other day

and now I’m SAD

Among the many other things I deal with I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, lovingly referred to as SAD. This time of year when there’s less sun I get lethargic and depressed. No bueno.

Fortunately the treatment is simple enough – a full-spectrum light that sits on my desk. I’m supposed to use it every morning for a few hours. Amazingly enough it really does help.

And right now I need all the help I can get. It feels like every time I open my mouth I stick my foot in it, clear up to my hip. I’m afraid I’m doing damage to my most treasured relationships.

On the plus side of things I’ve got enough yarn to keep my busy for possibly the next several years, so I’ve got that going for me. Over the last few weeks I’ve gone on a bender buying yarn from Etsy. There’s a purple skein with a metallic silver thread, white with a metallic silver thread, a skein that’s the prettiest combination of pale blue, pale purple, and very light pink. Oh, and then there’s the mini skein pack that has five coordinating skeins in shades of dark pink.

I’m going to be a busy girl.

rainy days and mondays always get me down

Or is that “bring” me down… Who cares. Mondays suck. Today is extra suck.

The weekend was interesting. We went to two “new to us” restaurants and had really good food. We also got the grocery shopping done and I got a reasonable amount of knitting done. All good stuff.

There was also some discussion that probably should have happened about a year ago. But life is what it is. Moving on.

I’m looking forward to my life getting back to what passes as normal for me.

Garth snuggled on the couch with me yesterday for awhile

the only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same

I feel that urge to change things again. It happens now and then, sometimes in response to external stimuli, but not always. I’m kind of feeling that butterfly feeling right now for no particular reason. And that’s just fine.

My back is starting to get better. It’s a process. One of the things we’re trying is a new (hand me down) standing desk at work. It gives me the option of working while seated or while standing. They’re also working on getting me additional monitors, which will be a huge help for productivity.

The one young man I work with did all of the heavy lifting for me. I had to rearrange some of the bits in my office to make everything work, but I think it does.

Last night Dr. K and I went to the gym and hit the track. I think I love those walks as much for the time to have candid chats as much as for the exercise. It really is more tolerable to exercise when you have a partner like that to keep you accountable and to keep you company.

Today is therapy day, which is always something I look forward to. I even remembered to bring a shawl with me so I can knit in the waiting room. I inevitably get there early and end up playing with my phone, so why not do something that’s actually productive and enjoyable?

Speaking of being productive, I’ve been trying to get myself into some routines for getting things done at home. Lancelot has his own routines and I think something like that would help me. Plus it would take some of the pressure off, no more waiting and then trying to cram everything into one evening or, worse, Sunday afternoon.

Do you have routines that help you stay on top of things?