rest for the wicked

I haven’t been online much lately, and truth be told, I’m enjoying it. I can’t remember when I last logged on to Facebook and I know it’s been awhile since I was on here. I’ve been trying to spend time actually doing things that I enjoy and that aren’t just sucking up my free time.

Writing is an enjoyable activity, but life has been just a bit much lately. The weather is still mostly shit and while the physical therapy is helping, it hurts like hell. So I’ve been mostly just hanging out with Mom and knitting.

The babies have been keeping me distracted.

Sometimes at night if I’m lucky I’ll end up with one of them snuggled in bed with me. Nothing quite as sweet as kitten lovies.

This shawl wasn’t much of a pattern, just a two-row repeat, but the yarn is incredibly pretty. I received a rather last minute invite to a wedding for the coming weekend and this is going to look great with the dress I found to wear.

Tomorrow night I’m going to a fused glass class and I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t really done anything with glass since March. The project is a Christmas tree that will haveĀ  LED lights. Super cool.

when the going gets tough, the tough drink chocolate milk

This is a hard time of year for me. In addition to having Bipolar I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder, so shorter days mean less sun and trouble sleeping. That one is easy to handle, the rest not so much.

Saturday would have been my dad’s 71st birthday if he hadn’t died of a rare form of cancer in 2012. Mom and I kept each other company and did a fair bit of reminiscing, even having the pizza she ate almost exclusively while pregnant with me.

We spent some time fixing the lights on our back deck and I ended up covered in little bug bites. I cannot wait for the first good frost to send those f^%$ers straight back to hell. I can deal with pain no problem, I’m allergic to almost all pain meds with the exception of morphine so I kind of have to be, but itching is a whole other issue.

Today I finally faced a medical issue and found that the pain I’ve had in my arm the last 6 months is a screwed up rotator cuff. Off to physical therapy I go.

Wednesday is going to be rough. Last year I lost both of my 18 year old calico cats on the same day. Sissy let me take her to the vet and be put to sleep peacefully. Evie crawled behind the furnace and had to be rescued and then died in my arms. My phone decided to be thoughtful and show me one of the last photos I took of Evie earlier today. I damn near lost it.

And this crap in Las Vegas… Why in the name of all that is holy can’t people just be nice to each other???

how could you not love that little face? miss that baby every day

let me recap for you

I’ve been meaning to do this for, well, about a week now. These are some of the photo highlights from my vacation.

“helping”
finished project
Garth, aka “white toes”
crazy yummy
Eric the Red
I don’t do “normal”
Peacock jewelry for Wendy
Pretty new necklace for me

It was great to have time to just hang out. I finished 3 wash cloths, a shawl, a pot holder, the jewelry you see here plus some other stuff, whipped up a fresh batch of facial scrub, and a bunch of other creative bits. I needed that to recharge.

It’s been good being back at work this week though. I do miss my routines when I’m gone from the office for too long. Plus I have a ton of friends at work. Maybe next time I won’t go so long between breaks.

so far so fabulous

I’m sitting here trying to think of all the wonderful things I’ve done in the last few days. I’m not sure I’m going to remember all of them.

  • farmer’s market
  • took my grandmother to lunch
  • changed out the boring hardware on my dresser with kick-ass butterfly knobs
  • ran a METRIC TON of errands
  • made salsa again
  • made some beautiful jewelry
  • made a funky wreath for my door
  • got my hair done
  • found a really cool new second-hand clothing boutique that carries my size
  • signed up for a limited edition modeling gig that pays off with a store discount
  • rolled around on the floor with the kittens like an idiot
  • signed up to take an art class
  • ate fresh figs for the first time and then made a killer little dessert with them
  • did a bunch of other random stuff around the house

I’ve been off work since Saturday. At this rate I’m going to take over the world sometime around lunch tomorrow. But truly, this is my kind of vacation. And I’m feeling amazing.

staring down the barrel of a week off work

You can ask anyone who knows me that I don’t often take time off work. It’s not that my work means that much to me, more that I know I do better with the structure that going to work for 9 hours every day brings. And I do actually love what I do, so that helps. But anyway, more often than not the little HR system sends me a nastygram every few months telling me I’ve got so much vacation time waiting to use that I’m going to stop earning any more.

Well hell.

Part of my dilemma is that I mostly hate to travel. Flying is The Suck and driving Takes Forever. I will say that I prefer to drive because then I’m on my own schedule and I can take as much of my stuff with as I want and I can use a real restroom. I am 41 years old and have yet to use the loo in an airplane. Rather proud of that, actually.

Anyway, traveling with people is much more interesting but it still involves packing and the actual travel and then sleeping in a strange bed and the whole Being Away From Home nonsense.

It’s just not often my thing, ya dig?

So I’ve taken the entirety of next week off work but I don’t really plan to go anywhere. I much prefer to Staycation. I fully intend to be lazy, do some things around the house, maybe do a little shopping, and mostly just breathe. Oh, and knit.

I do think it’s super important to take time away from the daily grind and to recharge the ol’ batteries. If we don’t do that, and put ourselves first now and then, we end up with nothing left to give anyone else.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that even though my brain is fully capable to running for days on end with next to no food or sleep when I’m not taking my meds and that kind of feels like flying and being on top of the world, it’s really the worst thing ever.

Anyone who tells you that they miss being manic is delusional. Mania is a liar, worse than any cheating lover. For as high as you go you come crashing, hurtling, down twice as fast and far. The end is awful. And it’s not worth a single minute of it.

That’s why next week I will be going to bed at normal hours, eating healthy and wholesome food, and taking care of myself. I need to punch my own damn reset button every now and again.

karaoke

When we went to the conference in July there was karaoke as one of the evening events. I wasn’t quite drunk enough to be comfortable getting up in front of a bar full of strangers and singing, although later that same night I did some crazy dancing in front of strangers. Anyway, it’s been bothering me. My excuse that night, aside from a lack of sufficient moonshine, was that I couldn’t think of The Right Song. And of course since then I’ve thought of about a thousand.

I’ve only actually done karaoke once, at a tiny country bar with my second husband. I’m pretty sure I sang “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. It’s a great song. The one above by Pink is too. And so is “I Am Waking Up Today” by Bowling for Soup, and “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison, and pretty much anything by Flogging Molly.

Way back I actually could and did sing, quite well. I was in choir at school and loved it. I sang constantly. When I was diagnosed with bipolar and started taking lithium I lost my pitch. Can’t carry a tune in a bucket these days. Pretty well the only time I sing is when I’m alone, in the car or the shower. I’m just way too self-conscious about the way I sound.

But I shouldn’t be. I sound the way I sound. I’m good at lots of things, I don’t have to be good at everything.

So next time the opportunity to go out and do karaoke presents itself I have every intention of raising my glass.

august, you hit like a little bitch

I’ve completely lost track of how many hours I’ve worked since returning from the conference. I’m at that place where numbers have ceased to have meaning. Nights, weekends, early mornings… It’s all blurring together. Today might be Friday, but then again it might be next Thursday. Who’s to say.

But truly, I thrive on this nonsense.

I loathe boredom and I really do prefer having a lot to do as opposed to very little. I do remarkably well when I have more things to do than I really should be able to get done. There’s almost something magical about the stress of needing to do my best when I’m sleep deprived.

I may have stumbled on the secret of how to cram 36 hours worth of crap into a 24 hour day. Maybe. Then again, I may also have developed a recipe for poo scented shoe inserts. Only time will tell.

What I know for sure is that people keep saying nice things, the kittens are adjusting to the move at home, and I actually did some knitting last night. Life is good enough right now.

when last we left our heroine…

My trip was good, all things considered. There were no real issues with the travel itself, we saw some beautiful scenery, learned some neat stuff, and had a good time. I actually laughed more than I have in a very long time. I needed the laughter, probably more than anything else.

It was an opportunity to recharge my muchly depleted batteries. I have a tendency to push myself far harder than anyone else ever would. That’s great, but only to a point. I had been working too many hours, going in on weekends, and not allowing myself breaks. Not good for anyone but seriously not good for someone with mental health issues.

And now the real fun starts. August on a university campus can, and often does, provide a close simulation to all of Dante’s levels of Hell. This is my 16th go at this. Bring it.

I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy helping people. I enjoy pushing myself to the absolute limit just to see if I can push a little further. One of my mantras, one that I think should probably turn into a tattoo soon, is “fall down seven times, get up eight.” I love it because, well, I just don’t know how to quit.

the only thing that stays the same is change

I should be finishing packing, or getting the last few things done for work, or cleaning something, or…

But I’m procrastinating. This isn’t usually something I do, honestly. I’m much more of a “get this crap done NOW” kind of girl. No sense in putting off until later what I can do right this very minute. But sometimes I get in a funk, and sometimes change is at the heart of it all.

Backstory – I’ve been living in the very lovely basement of the home I grew up in for a good number of years now. I love it. It’s spacious, I have a 1/2 bath here, my own full-sized fridge. It’s like a studio apartment with an attached house. But my mom and I are trying to get healthier and part of that is having a place to exercise. The basement is the most logical place for that so I’m moving upstairs.

I’m actually looking forward to it. A “normal” bedroom again sounds like fun. And the walls are pink (as is the carpet) and that sounds like fun, too. Plus, if something happens and either of us gets sick in the night it’s safer.

But it’s a change. I really do try to see any change as an opportunity for growth and good stuff. All of this will be done before life at work explodes again with the start of the Fall semester. I’ve booked movers to come take care of the furniture for us since there is no way in hell that the two of us can wrestle this stuff around.

I’m very much looking forward to going to this conference for work, but that’s some change there, too. I’ll be out of my normal element, but I’ll have a good chunk of my tribe there with me, and I know that will help.

And my therapist’s office just called saying they have a cancellation for this morning. Praise the squirrels.

Now I just need to decide if I’m going to take one of my little stuffed dragons with me or a squirrel…

on traveling

I would greatly prefer it if the fun and adventures would show up on my door step, encompass a single amazing day, and then leave me to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow and my own kitties. But alas, that just ain’t the way it works.

I’m not sure if it’s actual a by-product of any of my mentalness or just a personality thing but I’ve never really liked being away from home, even as a kid. My family typically did road trips, partially because that’s just how people took vacations back in those days. I’d rather road trip than fly any day, but alas, that just ain’t always the way it works.

This time next week I’ll be enjoying (I hope) the sights and sounds of Keystone, CO and the InstructureCon 2017 conference. Many of my good pals from work will be there and there are 4 of us flying out together, so that will help.

But as someone who lives with bipolar disorder, routines and sameness are critical to maintaining my mental health. I need to know that certain things will be done in certain ways and at certain times on a very regular basis. If not, well, then chaos takes over. For short spans of time though I can pull of pretending I am quote-NORMAL-endquote.

I will take the necessary bottles of medication, the essential oils to help with anxiety, things to distract my hands on the short plane trip, and I will do what I often do in situations like this…

I will get by with a little help from the amazing people I work with, many of whom I am privileged to call friends.