Monday, December 21, 2015

The Christmas Spirit

Many of you know that I am not a religious person, so guess what won't be discussed in this post.  I believe people are kind and caring because they recognize the need to be so and see that others also need it.  That is all.

However, I have not been in the Christmas spirit of late.  It has been a trying few months, in fact, the last 6 months since I wrecked my bike have been pretty shitty.  Things are starting to turn around, but it is happening slowly.  I know if I can just hold out, it will all work out in the end but the holidays are stressful already and not having a steady income makes it worse.

I refuse to lament on the bad though because that is the direct opposite of what I have set out to write about.  Yes, I broke my knee in a bike accident, I totalled my bike, I've lost my job, and my husband was in the hospital.  These things have all added to my stresses.  In an attempt to be less of a pessimist, here are the good things that have happened lately.

We all have our health.  We did have a bit of a scare and have been in and out of the emergency room lately, not to mention or 500 trips to the pharmacy, but we are all living and breathing and ambulatory.  As far as I am concerned, we are winning here.  That is plus number one!

I was worried about Christmas, money wise.  Now I know that is not the true meaning of Christmas and it is more about giving and kindness than getting, but my children are small and I wanted to make sure they, at least, got some joy out of the season.  We were assigned an Angel this year from a local Angel tree and she was kind enough to provide us with a few gifts.  We pooled some resources and were able to get a few other small things.  Our kids will be taken care of.

I was not sure if we would have a tree this year so I asked all of our friends to send up Christmas cards so I could fashion a tree out of them. Well, the response was nothing short of awesome, I had no idea we had so many friends willing to send us cards. A very good friend of mine also sent some little cake bits (which my kids LOVE) and somehow managed to get her friends to send us a few little monetary boosters as a surprise.  I nearly cried at the gift of money and gift cards from complete strangers.  Because of this wonderful surprise, I was able to get my kids something nice that I think they will enjoy and still have some money left over. I nearly cried at the gesture, and I am not one to cry easily.  So THANK YOU to those people.

We were also worried about not being able to see family this season.  With all we have been going through, we just didn't think we would have the time or the money.  Plus, we had to find someone to watch our tiny zoo while we were gone.  Turns out, we are pretty damn resourceful, much more so than I thought.  We may be going home giftless, but we will be going home.  I cannot wait to spend that time with people we love, see the joy one the kids' faces, eat until I want to burst, and laugh until tears are streaming down my face, because, really, that is what Christmas is all about.

I have my health, my family, and we are not so bad off as to be living on the street and starving.  Yes, it is a lean year, and those are bound to happen.  By this time next year, we will have this all figured out and we will be in a better place.  All we can do is keep moving forward and try to squeeze every last bit of enjoyment out of the time we have.

In short (haha, I'm funny) I just want to remind everyone that no matter what situation you find yourself in, keep looking forward.  Don't hang your head and wallow in your own self-pity.  I've been there, all it does is make you feel worse.  Pick that head up, put one foot in front of the other and face your troubles head on.  You may be battered and bruised, but you are not broken and if you keep fighting, you WILL win.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mental Health is No Joke

I struggle with depression and anxiety. I have for years, it's pretty hard to get people to understand an illness they can't see.  I have been on and off of medication a number of times.  Most recently I have been struggling pretty hard and had to go back and get put back on meds.  When this happened, I tried to explain the way my thought process worked to those around me, to tell my family what triggers my problems and when I just need to get away.  They never could understand.  Things continued as usual, and I often felt ignored and like no one seemed to even acknowledge I had a problem.

My husband has just gotten out of the hospital, he had a really bad form of pneumonia and had to spend nearly a week in the hospital.  While he was there, he took a step back and took a look at his life and the things that go on around him. He took the time to learn to breathe, to put things in priority order.  Due to his stay, he has a new found perception of mental illness.  He has finally suffered a bit of it himself and when he tells me about all the issues he is having to deal with, I just kind of nod because, I FUCKING KNOW!

In a way, I want to be grateful because he finally understands what I go through and this will make it easier for us to communicate our needs to each other and know when the other needs to just back off and give space.  On the other hand, it upsets me that he never bothered to wonder or understand my issues until they related to him.  I get it, but it doesn't make it any less upsetting.

So now I joke with him and call him Buddha because of his newfound Zen and his mottos and his processes. I'm glad he is getting better, but at the same time, I hope if he does, he doesn't lose the understanding he has gained through this process.  I get a little aggravated at the Zen preaching, but if that's what he needs, ok.  I'll deal.

In short, do me a favor and listen to those around you.  If you love someone and they are diagnosed with a mental illness, take the time to listen, talk through, and figure out what they are going through. Even if you don't really understand, be open and pay attention.  Make it known that you are there when they need you but can back off and leave them be if they need space.  Be aware, be present. Don't wait until it affects you to change your perspective.  Don't let it get that far.

It is a relief to finally be understood, to be able to say things and have him know that I'm not just being a cranky bitch, to know that I can't just "deal with it".  I just wish he would have gotten that perspective long before he had to deal with it himself.  Keep your loved ones close and try to understand what they are going through, if you just don't get it, ask.  It will make it much easier on all involved.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crazy Weeks

Some of yall may not know this, but I have been having the craziest week on record.  Just nuts.  My husband has been in the hospital, I've had to wrangle the kids, take care of the house, and try to squeeze in time to work all on my own.  I have mad respect for any single moms out there, it's tough. I have never been so tired in my entire life!

I have, however, had a number of people step up and make my week a little easier and I appreciate all of the help.  You guys don't even know how much even the littlest actions impacted my life this week, whether you just came over to visit, or took some time out of your day to check up on me, I really appreciate it.

Good news is, he will be released today. That doesn't mean our problems are over, but it does mean no more juggling hospital visits to see my main man.  It's gonna be nice to have him back home where he belongs.  Hopefully we can get him back to 100 percent and get our lives back to normal.

Want to hear something interesting and totally off topic?  Most of my blog views come from Russia. HELLO RUSSIANS!!  Thanks for checking out my page.   I mean spacebo and all that.  I don't know how to make my keyboard type Cyrillic.  Sue me.  Anyway, thanks for tuning into the shit show that is my life.

What other strange and interesting things can I discuss today?  Really, I've got nothing.  I need to figure out what to do with this blog to keep it interesting and fun.  I'm at a loss.  Any suggestions would be helpful....I'm looking at YOU, Russians.  Yall give me topics, I will literally write about anything.  Help me keep my blog alive!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sick house

Everyone in  my home is sick!  Everyone but me (knock on wood).  What does it mean when everyone is sick but me?  It means I get nothing accomplished.

Luckily, one of the kids is coming of his. He had pneumonia!  What!?!  My other son was struck down with strep throat.  I have no idea what my husband has, but it's had him on his ass for 4 days.

There has been no house cleaning, no projects, no grocery shopping.  Nothing.  The house is dirty and empty.  I'm really hoping I continue to avoid whatever the hell it is that has knocked my family into this horrendous tailspin. 

On the upside, we are wracking up a killer amount of pharmacy points.  I think I've been there everyday.

There isn't a real point to this post, just a rant about how I hate having my routine interrupted and would like for everything to get back to normal as soon as possible. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

New Directions

No, this is not a blog about Glee.  I could probably do that, but now is not the time.  My new directions are phenomenally different, mostly because I can't carry a tune.  For as much as I love music, I was cursed with the inability to master and instrument and a horrible singing voice.  The world played a cruel joke on me.

My new directions are moving towards writing.  Since I lost my job, I have been trying to figure out ways to make money from home, I simply don't have the patience to deal with people.  I need a job where I can work on my own time, and do things my own way.  A very good friend of mine pointed me towards a site that helps freelance writers find work.  So far, I've done fairly well there.  Nothing that will get me rich overnight, but I at least feel like I'm helping with family finances.  I don't make near as much as I would working at a menial, minimum wage job......yet.  I am learning new skills and building a reputation. For the most part, my clients are thrilled with my thorough research, writing skills, and quick turn around. The big plus is that I can work when I want, within reason, and have the ability to be here at home when my kids are sick, or participate in school functions with them.  I have missed way to many school parties because "I had to work".  I'm done with all of that.

It has been hard starting out, mostly because the holidays are upon us, and I am making little money, but I feel confident that as I learn new skills and hone my writing, I'll pick up bigger jobs and make better money.  I also am learning to do a few crafty things that I may be able to sell in the future to help.  Most of all, I am doing something I enjoy, which is a nice change.

I have decided to try my hand at writing a book.  I don't know how it will go, I tend to do better with the more non-fiction things I can research.  I love to focus on details and I feel this will make any fiction attempt of mine far to slow, as far as reading goes.  I'm not sure though.  I have been developing these wonderful characters in my head for some time, but have been loathe to lay them out on paper.  That ended last night. I wrote the first 3 chapters for some of my favorite characters. I'b beginning to realize that choosing my favorites to write about first might be a mistake, because I don't thing there is a plausible way to turn there story into a serial, and I don't know if I will be satisfied with my first attempt enough to have "wasted" my favorites.

I do, however, really fucking like them, so I'm going for it.  I've got a couple of beta readers lined up to help me tweak the flow and movement of the story, as well as read along for errors in spelling and punctuation.  I have been researching how to self publish, in case I ever get to that point.  All in all, I have been working hard.  I had never dreamed of writing for a living, but sometimes your dreams never do become a reality, but your reality can become the stuff of dreams