Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Settings Rules for Your Personal Self Care.

  1. Meals by a certain time frame.
    Example: I've set my rules as breakfast between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; and as soon as you realize you've missed the time frame you force yourself to drop whatever you're doing and go eat.
  2. Chores within a certain window of time.
    This one needs to be a hard fast rule. You set a goal time of say 4 p.m. and set an alarm if you have to. Do this first time slot for a week. Then evaluate. 
    Does this time slot work?
    Do you have your errands run for the day by this time?
    Is it hard to get going on the chores when it's at this time?
    Does it make it easier to flow into making one of your meals with chores being on the beginning of the hour?
    Make adjustments via 30 minute increments. If you find you can't really get shit done in the afternoons, flip it to A.M..
    Try to start the chores in the hour time frame of 9 A.M. and adjust by 30 from there. Within three months, you'll find the sweet spot.
  3. Set realistic daily goals.
    When I say realistic, I mean write down your baseline that you find you manage every day. Aim to hit those every day to the point that they become instinctive.
  4. Add new daily goals slowly.SLOWLY. It's reached the point that no matter how I feel I still try to do at least five dishes. Now I know that doesn't seem like much but when you're sick, fives dishes here and five dishes there can keep the kitchen from going under. Daily things can be added like drawing practice (for those with that inclination), writing (even if it's just typing out "I don't know what to say" you'll get bored of that pretty quickly and something will happen) or say washing one window a day.
    If you fall off the wagon one day, that's okay. Start over from the day before and keep going.
  5. Honest treats and rewards for yourself when you achieve goals.
    Things like you get to binge on your favorite TV once you've managed to keep the dishes more washed for a month. Managed to vacuum at least once a week for six weeks and it's now a habit to do it on day (insert). You get your favorite beer once you hit a two month mark on something. A cup of your favorite tea(s) at the end of each day so that you can savor what you've done. And be honest about whether or not you've earned. Sometimes we have days were it's just better to shut the doors and windows and hide under blankets. Stay hydrated those days, but no rewards. The point is to be in control of your life enough so that those days don't put you behind in taking care of yourself and your world.
  6. Break tasks and goals down by daily, weekly and monthly.
    Break your daily tasks down (mail, dishes, cleaning the dandruff off the cat, brushing your teeth, etc). These are your bare minimum and it's okay if those are all you manage. Now add in the weekly but spread the weeklies out over the week. Don't do them all in one day. Do trash round up every three days. Do vacuuming once a week (twice if you have pets and members of the family have allergies if you have a place that is all carpet). Laundry gets a specific day. CHANGING YOUR BEDDING GETS ITS OWN DAY AND PREFERABLY ON A DAY YOU'RE DOING LAUNDRY.
    Monthly tasks: decide at the beginning of the month when you're going to do them. No I'm serious. Things like, scrubbing the tub, cleaning a shelf on the fridge (this can be done over three days time honestly), washing windows (when was the last time you did that?), etc.
Those are the most basic rules that I can derive from my personal experiences over the past several years. It's taken awhile to figure them all out. And to be honest, you should probably write them out. For whatever reason, we remember things better (right now) by writing them out. Don't let the computer program auto-finish it for you.

Print off a checklist for your week. Divide it into days. Keeping taking care of yourself and your home in bite sized chunks is a building block to later improvements.

So it doesn't really matter if you like the Bullet Journal method, a normal planner or what not, employ it. You're worth the effort.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Self Care First Aid!

Today's post might be a bit of tangled mess and for that I apologize. I had a great idea it's just been a bitch trying to figure out how to express the different points. Hell even identifying the different points that are important have been... kinda fighting me. Doesn't help that today was laundry day. It wasn't all that stressful today as the laundry mat was all mostly older folks who don't really bother anyone. It was just stressful enough that when we got home and I noticed one of the dogs knocked over my tomatoes plants at some point this morning, I had to sit down and crochet for awhile. In this instance checking to see if a design of mine would work in chunky yarn. Oh hey... I guess that ties back into my title doesn't it?

So let's talk about a small elephant in the room. No seriously, it's a small one. Maybe about two or three years old. Pagans, Wiccan's, Witches, Heathens... whatever your tag, it seems like we have a lot more people than other groups that deal with anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc. I think a part of that is one of the things that is becoming or has become intrinsic to our 'community', is taking on a level of emotional honesty about what we're dealing as human beings. How many of us can honestly say the last Sabbat, Esbat or God/dess feast day we remembered to celebrate without being reminding by the Internet or friends? I think I managed last night, but it was because I was engaged in a self care ritual of sorts.

I'm starting to think we need to have a little bit of a focus shift. We can't be good stewards of our craft, if we aren't taking care of ourselves. We can't take care of our communities. Our inner circle of tribe, our friends or our family. We can't take care of our home or the pets that the Universe has placed in our lives to bring us some joy and unconditional love. 

It's time we do some first aid our lives and minds when it comes to our self care habits and needs. So I've been trying to figure out how to hash out the steps which was a bit more complicated today than normal. Usually when I do one of these essay's the words flow. Not today so much. They are there but they need some coaxing. So let's do some breaking down.

Normal first aid has steps like stopping bleeding, clearing airways, etc.

So needless to say our steps are going to be very different in some regards and more in depth.

  1. Identify your worst problems. Like for me it's my depression, anxiety and PTSD mental and emotional wise. Physical wise it's I hate being pain so I don't exercise like I should be and hip problems. 
  2. Identify your Shadow.
    This is the part of yourself that has everything repressed. Don't sweat identifying everything. Shadow work is something EVERYONE regardless of beliefs should do. It's a life long thing too. Everything you try to force yourself to forget and every negative emotion you squash becomes a part of the shadow and shadows left un-dealt with become something much much worse.
  3. Identify how your problems manifest themselves.
    Do you skip showers for days? (We need to save money on the water bill. I have no friends who come over so why bother. I'm always sick. I don't have the energy.)
    Just don't eat? (I have got to finish this project. I don't want to get out of bed. Why do I even bother cleaning this house no one cares? etc etc etc)
    Obsessively engage in a behavior? You get the general idea.
  4. Identify feedback loops, both positive and negative.
    I literally just got done this couple of weeks figuring out this step. Forcing yourself to put down your work so that you can eat, bathe, worship etc; is fucking hard.
  5. Identify all the things that make you feel better.
    Pet play time! A good cup of coffee or tea. Taking a hot bath with smelly goods. Putting a favorite album on repeat. 
  6. Identify what you are spending the most time and whether or not it's actually making you feel better in the long term. Short term be damned.
    If you're spending hours on ( insert site) arguing, you're not improving your mental mindset. You're not improving your ability to take care of yourself. You're not loving on your dog or cat or what not. You're not catching up on dishes, on cleaning a floor, on making that hat you promised. You're wasting time on things that aren't constructive to yourself, your home and those that genuinely need you. You're harming yourself. Quit that.
All of those take work and time. The next step of Self Care First Aid after Identification? I'm still working on how to explain that part with clarity. For me it's been setting up routines. It's been designating a chore hour where:
  • I fill the dish drainer with dishes at least once if not at least five dishes clean.(This will get upped to at least six dishes in a couple of months.)
  • Check on my plants on my way outside to throw away the day's trash and check on the mail.
  • Morning routines are drinking coffee in bed currently (Seriously OMG I love DR dearly. Most mornings, this is my day start. Along with being under a purring cat and puppy pile.)
  • Not checking social media sites right away. I go play one of my mobile games.
  • Check my Bujo to do lists so that I know how much energy I'm spending today on the once or twice a week chore.
See what I mean about that second part? It's been hard to nail down
into a process. Plus there's the long hot relaxing bath on full moons now. There's literally nothing stopping any of us from being engaged in our practices in a manner that helps us be better people. Taking care of ourselves and our self care processes becoming better so that our days are less stressful because let's face it, we are our own biggest sources of stress 99,999,999 out of 100,000,000 times. We are to blame for things becoming sources of aggravation because we aren't weighing what is going on properly. This is self harm. And we all need to stop it.

I've been trying to figure out a way to express a "13 Full Moons of Self Care" kind of idea. It's percolating but don't expect it any time soon. 13 full moons of just taking care of yourself and your home. Because let's face it folks: You can't serve the Gods/Universe if you're too broken to even be honest with yourself about your life's condition. You can't take care of the God/s requests, if you won't take care of yourself. And you sure as hell can't take care of other people, if you don't have even 50% of your own shit straight.

Monday, January 29, 2018

What a way to start the week...

So I had some kind of bug or reaction to something. It wasn't a hangover because I know I didn't drink that much. It was a headache, sweats and then vomiting. Then the headache compounded the vomiting which made the vomiting worse which made the headache worse. Talk about one of the nastiest feedback loops I've ever gotten into. Lasted about an hour. I was fucking wiped out yesterday. 

I'll spare you guys any more details. I'm just glad the rib cage isn't more sore and the Monday hasn't been that bad.
Unfortunately, DR apparently caught a minor bug. Poor guy has a low grade fever and even crawled back into bed for about 30 minutes this morning for snuggles. All the animals immediately joined us. Their abilities of perception are bit spooky sometimes.

So I was going to have a rant today but needless to say the brain isn't in ranting mode. It's in "Blare music into the house and rest up" mode. Which I'm okay with because at least in that mode I can do a little bit here and little there in the house and not end up sweating and shaking from the exertion. Yeah yesterday was that bad.
I can at least get some dishes done, the cat wiped off of dander and the plants watered. Doesn't seem like much I know, but that's my baseline that I've been trying to keep for every day.

What can I say? Life is a constant work in progress.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Why yes, I CAN can.

So the pressure canner got broken in yesterday. 16 jars of chicken veggie soup. I gotta admit it feels pretty damn good knowing I can do it. Why? With my food allergies, I need to be able to grab stuff from my pantry that isn't going to make me sick. 

This particular canner holds 8 pint jars. Which means it can probably hold about 6 quart jars. It feels really good knowing this skill (with the help of growing with veteran canners like my parents) is at my disposal.

The downside of this canner is that it's stove eye heat setting controlled. Pressure canner work because they employ steam to created pounds per square inch that aid in sealing the jars, killing any bacteria in the jars due to temperature and cooking the foods inside the jars (which is why you can can meats). Many pressure canners have the PSI's being controlled by the steam release valve.

Hey, I can upgrade later to one of those. For now, I can deal with temperature maintained one.

Yes, I was utterly terrified yesterday about this first run. A jar could have shattered. I could have not heated the seals up in enough for them to seal properly. There could have been a malfunction with the pressure canner.

Nope. Other than five of the seals developing warps in the lid. I think what happened was when I got the temp figured out where I wanted it... the PSI was around 13.5. For chicken you only need 11 PSI with this canner for an hour and 15 minutes. I might have left them too long.

So I can do basically eight jar batches here and there. To fill in on preps.  Our dehydrator died so for a while I was just having to contend with food having to go into the compost been more often.

Now I have the options of making soup bases with my veggies whenever they are getting iffy. I can make my groceries stretch even further and without contrivance. 

Which will come in handy when the freezer needs emptied and cleaned and newer frozen goods bought. Like meats.

Best thing that we'll be going for is more soup bases than full specific soups.  You know the standard fare: Garlic, Onions, Celery, Carrots or Bell Peppers or combinations thereof. Then, only needs a protein added.

The chicken veggie and future beef stew will be more for quick grab meals, camping trips or when DR and I are sick.

Plus it means supplementing the pantry in the future. When things like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc etc go on sale we can grab a bunch while the garden situation is in flux and can away.

Feels pretty Gods damn good TBH.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Brain... Seriously?

 Granny shawl and Cap
Click on the picture to be taken to this
Etsy listing!

So between two colds back to back that lasted a month and the monthly uterine rebellion, my brain has been fuzzy, over clocked and refusing to cooperate when I want to go to sleep.

So what does my brain do last night as I'm laying there in the hour after me and DR had gone to bed do?

"Hey I wonder if people look up stuff via DnD alignment types? Wouldn't it be fun to make a Chaotic Neutral series? Or even a Lawful Ebil? the hell would make a Lawful ebil even work? What color schemes would I need to use?"


I'd already been planning a series based on the core classes. The thing with ideas like this is that while it's cool and fantastical... those who would actually be enthusiastic about buying such in limited numbers and limited budgets.

Biggest drawback to being a hand crafter: Making the cool pretty shit versus the more practical every day shit that appeals to a more broad demographic. Occasionally making one of the fantasy things here and there to show that I posses the skill level to do such is okay but not at the expense of the things that sell.

The little things add up quickly. Hell one of these days I dream of waking up and finding I'm out of Dice Bags would be great! Then again I enjoy making those, so running out probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. ^_^

I found out not too long ago, finding baby and toddler boy themed blankets is a bit harder than I had originally thought. So I'm definitely going to be trying to keep a few of those in the shop from now on. 

Other than that, it's just a finish other projects day. Hopefully I'm feeling well enough at week's end to list some more things on the shop but staging, taking pictures, editing them and creating the listings can be very menial and mentally tiring. Definitely best for days when I've been staying on top of eating and other self care that's crucial for certain stuff to behave.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

If I could stab that voice

I would.
Viciously and the point to the that it'd make the Vikings damn proud of how fucking dead it is.

I can only imagine how much worse it'd be if I had gone on the pill and inevitably followed by anti-dep meds. (Fuck those by the way. How do people not fucking read or care of the reactivity between those two?!) 

So my mood for today is especially grey as after being awake until almost 4am when I was awakened around 5:30ish by cramps. *sigh* Night before hand, same amount of being awake. Let's just say I'm exceedingly grateful to DR for letting me sleep in the mornings. Means I start later in the day, but in terms of taking care of myself it's working. Me with little sleep is... very very bad.

But today I found myself dealing with that insidious little voice simpering inside my inner ear about why am I even trying to have kids? 

"You can't carry to full term why are you even fucking trying? You as a mom? Are you trying to kill yourself? You think you that much of a badass? We all know you can't be mom, you're fucking damaged goods."

Yeah... that voice. I've been dealing with it for close to ten years now since I made the decision I wanted to have that be a part of my life, being a mom. You wanna talk struggle? Let's talk about how many damn times I've had to console myself. How many damn times I've found myself wondering which God/dess I'm going to have to blackmail, cajole, bribe into leaving me alone so I can just be a mom.

The fucking struggle to deal with the terror that I'll never get that chance by normal means. That's a biggie to me. Even if I only give birth once, I'm going to be fucking grateful. Though I still want my clan of 4-8 I've kinda given up on getting that many and have been pushing for 3. 

Just.... stab stab stabbity. I mean  seriously?! There are so many little things I have worked on and keep working on to fill in the cracks of the foundations and just trying to finish the fucking foundation out that dealing with distractions like this fucking critic are purely frustration. And we all know frustration can't be expressed fully ever. It's not a simple emotion.  It's one of those emotions that you find yourself saddled with day in and day out sometimes depending on what the cause is.

I'd like to think I'm going to a decent mom. Hell, even with the decision to homeschool I've already been figuring out to use the most of mundane things to teach practical lessons. Like the other day, I pointed that cooking was a great way to teach basic chemistry and basic fractions. Probably one of the best ways to teach fractions. (Not to mention more tasty results.) So many things just to decide not to have kids. How dare you voice. How dare you.

A large part of this goes right into the Anxiety. Into the limited amount of "can do" in a day. When you're damn near constantly splitting time between this world, your mental world, the emotional baggage, the Witch world and creative because the creative is the means of turning the untamed chaos into something useful... the balancing act stops being an act...eventually right?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Odd Feeling

I've realized that the transition into domestic life has actually been pleasant in some ways. It's not been without it's trials or annoyances, but considering all things it's been painless. There's this odd misconception about "being domestic" that while I suppose for some people is offensive, I don't find it so.

It suits the path I need to take. As observed to friends elsewhere and said before here probably: The more complex and the more you have to deal with with mental health issues, the more simple you must make your life.

Because as damn near everyone who deals with anxiety, depression, PTSD and the whole host of the rest can vouch that dealing with your emotions as they are trying to deal with the overflow from the damn mental stuff can be exhausting. 

I think that's part of what may not get talked about by folks nearly enough is the emotional responses are the overflow of those illnesses. The emotions are the coping mechanisms, sometimes the stop gaps and sometimes the only warning signs that you may not have been taking care of yourself in the past few days as well as what you should have.

During the wintertime, spring and summer it's a lot easier for me than the fall. For whatever reason fall the past few years has been very hard mental health wise. Getting through those three to four months is a BITCH! And to be blunt, the rest of the year sometimes can feel like I'm playing catch up with the rest of my life or preparation for the next fall. This year wasn't as hard but then again with the FionaCat being introduced into the household...that was a lot of stress.  I just hope I have more time and do better getting ready for when I have a kid on the way. @_@

New normals in a life are always stressful. This kinda goes back to being domestic. It takes time to figure out the right rhythms when you're a SAHW. (Stay at home woman.) Mostly because right now I just have to deal with myself and DR. The dogs and cats took time to for their personalities to appear and show their quirks and for them to adapt to our home. Once they did, the stress of having a new animals was gone.

I'm still sick technically, though the morning misery sessions are getting shorter with each passing day. Yesterday I killed half a grapefruit and two oranges. I've been craving citrus like crazy with this cold. 

I found myself exceedingly grateful today when it comes to DR. I don't have to basically trap him into being affectionate or spending intimate time with me. Though with being sick, it was only just today that I actually felt up for anything outside of hugs. I can't stand body contact when I'm sick. Probably because my skin does this weird over-sensitivity thing when I'm not feeling well physically. It's at it's worst when it's that time of the month. There have been times when even just wearing clothing was extremely painful. *shudder*

Thankfully that only happens maybe twice a year, but still that's in that PMS roulette category that I absolutely hate. 

Garden report: I HAVE THREE TOMATOES NOW!! EEEE!!! Still no peppers on the green pepper plant but the jalapeno is growing back nicely. unfortunately they're calling for Winter to make an appearance next week and I'll have to try to remember to cover my plants at night so as not to lose any again.

Yarn: The projects I have going on for works in progress that are main focus as stands are the Log Cabin Baby Blanket, a poncho and a cardigan. I've been more in a knitting mood lately, so the baby blanket is more done than the rest. Sometimes you just have let your muse guide you. She wants knitting right now so we knit.

That's another thing that bugs me. Most of the year, I can hear my muse. During the Dark Time of the year (fall) I can't hear her at all. It helps having projects I've already started that I can work on and finish because otherwise...well I'd probably play video games. During times like those weeks and months, the games let me zen out. And while they aren't as productive they still help.

Heh, trying to get DR to understand that I'm not wasting my time has been a little bit of challenge. Besides, I'm glad he's not a gamer. I couldn't abide having someone who would probably put my shadowrun runs and Halo runs to shame. (He'd probably enjoy those games if he did play.)