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Archive for the tag “life”

2020 Goals

Floral-Happy-New-Year.jpegSo, I decided that this year, I’m going light on goals. I may or may not continue the monthly goals/round-ups–it’ll depend on how things are going later in the year after I’ve had my medical issues treated.

For now, I’m going with an overall theme of 2020.

Each month, my goal is to work on projects at least 20 days out of the month. Writing, editing, finishing, posting–whatever as long as I spread it across 20 days. Even if it’s adding just 10 words to a chapter of Heaven while editing… as long as I do that for 20 days, it counts.

For the year, I want to write/finish/edit/post at least 20 stories.

I think I’m also going to try to add at least 2020 words each to Heaven Can’t Wait and Uncalled For Actionsbecause why not. Ideally, it would be 2020 words per month for Uncalled For, but we’ll start with a yearly goal and go from there.

In other areas of life:

  • Read at least 20 books.
  • Finish at least 20 projects.
  • Lose 20 pounds.
  • Walk 20 minutes a day at least 20 days a month (Pokemon ain’t gonna catch themselves).

Word of the Year

Over at the 4thewords forums, someone asked what one word described 2019 and what one word would you choose for 2020.

That got me thinking of all the stuff that went wrong in 2019 and how I’m hoping things are better this coming year.

So, I would say my 2019 word was Acceptance.

There was so much going on with my husband not working so we had a limited income and then my health got worse and the bad things just kept coming. And none of it was under my control. All I could do was accept that these things were happening and just wait it out until things get better. It’s been hard. The biggest thing was accepting that because of my mental and physical health, I just can’t do the things I used to do, including writing. I’m barely functioning and managing to cook dinner a few times a week is an accomplishment right now, never mind expending brain power on writing or cleaning.

Now that I’m (mostly) accepted all the bad that happened in 2019, the word for 2020 is going to be Recovery. Not just for my health, but for our family and finances. My husband should hopefully be back to work by the end of the month which means more income. We can start to actually pay off the credit card I opened to buy meds for our son when money was low then used for Christmas in 2018, figuring we could pay it off over 2019 (HA!–it’s now maxed out after using it for phone and water bills over the year). We can stop worrying so much about random little things going wrong or if there will be enough food in the house each week. We can replace the garbage disposal and microwave that broke in November. And we’ll have our insurance back so I can actually get my anemia treated and recover my mental functions.

My mantra the last half of 2019 was “just make it to next spring” when things will be more on track and I can actually do something about the things that were happening to me. I’m tentatively looking forward to 2020 to recover from 2019.

One Thing After Another

I swear, my life has been one ordeal after another for months now, and it’s starting to wear on me. As if dealing with my health and failing mental health isn’t hard enough. It’s gotten to the point where I’m like, “what else could go wrong,” then instantly regretting thinking that because you know it’s going to mean something else will go wrong.

So much has happened that I can barely remember it all so I checked my journal and jotted down everything since the end of October just to show I’m not exaggerating anything.

Here’s the list:

  • 10/26 – was trying to finish Halloween costumes but my scissors weren’t working so my husband “sharpened” them for me and now none of the scissors in the house cut anything
  • 10/27 – our 19yo decided to move back home with her baby and got mad that we wouldn’t drop everything to do it that second (we did help her later that night which meant also moving our other daughters back in a room together)
  • 10/28 – one of the tires on our van is flat
  • 10/29 – Parent-Teacher conference for our 9yo (not bad, just stressful for me because of anxiety)
  • 10/30 – nearly broke my sewing machine but managed to fix it (just bought this thing to replace my mom’s I’d been using for 19 years)
  • 10/31 – Halloween filled with finishing costumes, cooking a hot dinner while everyone was out and babysitting so the oldest could go to a party
  • 11/1 – had to get a new tire for the car (money taken from the grocery fund)
  • 11/2 – 19yo’s boyfriend broke up with her causing all sorts of drama
  • 11/8 – husband has surgery on his arm and later that day, because I was fatigued from lack of sleep, my bad health and stress, I backed into some poor guy’s truck in the parking lot of Walgreens (luckily there wasn’t any significant damage to either car but my nerves were shot); it was also the middle daughter’s 17th birthday
  • 11/9 – the right shift key on my keyboard stopped working, and since I taught myself to type, it’s the only one I used (had to retrain my hands to use the other shift key and it was ugh)
  • 11/11 – a lady from CPS (child protective services) stopped by to let us know someone reported us for neglect because our 9yo sleeps in the cold garage, we have no food and his clothes don’t fit him (lovely)
  • 11/12 – garbage disposal breaks and since the dishwasher drains into the garbage disposal, it’s an actual issue
  • 11/15 – the dryer stops drying (this was luckily fixed by cleaning a bird’s nest out of the vent but it was a super big ordeal)
  • 11/18 – the lady from CPS visits which went well since we obviously had food and we’d ordered a heater for the garage (of course the 9yo was always welcome to sleep in the house if he was too cold); also one of the nose pads on my glasses broke but we can’t afford to get new frames
  • 11/21 – had to drive my husband into Portland for a follow up to his surgery (ugh) then get home and get a court summons for something (I didn’t ask because I can’t deal with more anxiety)
  • 11/26 – as we were driving home from the 19yo taking her driving permit test, we get rearended–the damage was minimal but the bumper was scrunched up so we couldn’t open the rear door of the van
  • 11/28 – Thanksgiving–my brother, his girlfriend and their dog came over along with the 19yo’s ex-boyfriend (he left before dinner was finished, though)
  • 11/29 – 18yo son informed me that his inhaler was nearly empty and I found out Medicaid put the wrong doctor office on the kids’ insurance cards (we lost our main insurance in October)–the office they listed was 2 hours away
  • 12/3 – took our van to the shop to be fixed and are given a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica as a rental (and I thought our 2016 Town & Country was fancy)
  • 12/4 – my printer stopped working and I just bought this last year (ugh); son’s doctor appointment went well, though, after my husband sorted out the insurance on 12/2
  • 12/6 – the microwave over the stove breaks (thankfully we have our old countertop microwave from our old house)
  • 12/10 – the monitor for the desktop computer isn’t working which is a problem because the 17yo goes to school online and needs to do homework so I have to share my laptop with her
  • 12/13 – my birthday; also have to go pick up our van from the shop and go grocery shopping (fun day)
  • 12/14 –  my driver’s license has expired because we didn’t have the $54 to renew it yesterday

It’s been pretty much non-stop with stress-inducers coming every few days.  Some days I don’t want to get out of bed because I’m afraid of what else is going to happen. But if I’m lying in bed, there’s nothing to distract me from the anxiety so I force myself up and stare at the computer screen.

I did almost no writing for NaNo last month. My total was 701 words written over two different days.

Now I’m struggling to deal with the depression and anxiety surrounding the holidays. Between my husband not working and all of these things going wrong, there’s no money for Christmas. I’m hoping to use the money my dad sent for my birthday to buy some stuff at Dollar Tree (snacks and shampoo) to put in stockings and I’m rushing to try and finish crocheting some small gifts, but I don’t think I’ll have time to do one for each kid.

I hate this time of year, but this year has been extra depressing.

Permission to Suck

I had a bit of a revelation today. An epiphany of sorts. Or maybe life just slapped me in the face and told me to quit being stupid.

See, back in February or March, I had some bloodwork done that showed I had several severe vitamin deficiencies–iron being the worst. In fact, my iron is so low, my doctor was shocked I was even moving around. It’s the kind of anemia where you do blood transfusions instead of taking a pill once a day.

Suddenly all of these symptoms–the fatigue, the cold hands, headaches, depression, etc–all made sense. I finally had a diagnosis to latch on to. An explanation for why all of my mood stabilizers and antidepressants stopped working. A reason for the bone-shattering, life-destroying exhaustion I feel from the moment I wake up until I crawl back into bed.

But then I ran into a problem. I can’t take iron pills. They make me violently ill after a few days, and at the amount of iron I need, I just can’t do it. My doctor said I’d probably need infusions which would be done at the hospital, but before we could even set that up, we lost our insurance.

So here I am, hanging in limbo, barely able to function. My brain feels foggy on good days and like it’s slowly dissolving into goo on bad days. Getting out of bed is sometimes so exhausting that by the time I go to the bathroom, I’m ready to just climb back in and sleep the rest of the day. I rarely make it through a day without a nap because I physically can’t stay awake. I can’t take care of my family. I can barely take care of myself.

But I keep trying. I get up every day with plans to do the stuff I always did before. Clean the kitchen, make some coffee, get some writing in, laundry and going for a walk. And nine times out of ten, I end up disappointed in myself because I can’t do it. I end up sitting in front of the computer and nothing gets done because I can’t clear the fog in my head or I end up with a massive headache.

That’s what this last week has been like. It started well last week–I walked two days in a row and got a bunch of writing done–and then BAM! all that energy was gone. But I still had these lists of things to do–blog posts, prepping for NaNo, editing Heaven, adding to Uncalled For, writing stories for Girl Genius week–but I didn’t do any of them. The more I didn’t do the things on the list, the more stressed I got. Then the anxiety set in (which I think is causing an ulcer) and the guilt.

The breaking point was earlier today. I needed some black embroidery floss for a project. I have like every color under the rainbow (literally, I bought one of each color twenty years ago) but no black. I decided to run to Walmart, but I barely trust myself to drive in town, let alone the twelve or so miles to Walmart, so my husband offered to drive me.

We picked up a few groceries, and lucky me, there was exactly one black embroidery floss left. Score! On the way home, I’m telling him about the exhaustion and all the trouble I’m having getting stuff done for the week and being overwhelmed so he lets me order pizza so I don’t have to make lunch. Then we’re unpacking the bags and no embroidery floss. It’s not listed on the receipt either which means the cashier missed it when she checked us out.

I just lost it. I was so fatigued at that point, I was having trouble walking straight or thinking clearly. And I used what little energy I’d had that day to go to Walmart for one thing, and I didn’t get that thing. It was too much. I broke down into tears.

Later, after I had my pizza and was trying to calm my racing thoughts so I could actually nap, it hit me. Why am I even doing all of this? Why am I stressing myself out over stories and blog posts and projects? It’s not like I have to do these things for a job. I mean, I guess people that read my fanfic will be disappointed if I don’t update, but all of the pressure is internal.

It’s me making lists and plans like I did before I got sick and expecting to finish my goals like I’m well. What the fuck is up with that? It’s insane.

I’ll say it again… I’m sick. Like mega sick. Anemia isn’t something to scoff at. My doctor was literally amazed I could walk and cook dinner and do anything because my numbers were so low. I should be dead. But here I am, stressing about finishing goals I set when I was feeling better.

So, I’ve given myself permission to suck. I’ve used that phrase before when writing rough drafts. It took many years to learn the lesson (first drafts don’t have to be perfect, you know), and now, I need to transfer that to my life. It’s okay to suck. So, I haven’t updated Heaven in nearly year. So, I’m behind on Uncalled For. So, I couldn’t keep up with my prompt-a-day I wanted to do this month. And NaNo is most likely going to be a flop. In the grand scheme of my life, does any of that matter? Not really. Those things are important to me, but my health should be more important.

So, until we get our insurance back (hopefully in a few months after my husband has his surgery and finally gets back to work), and I can get treatment for the anemia, I have permission to be as sucky as I need. If all I have the energy for is watching Red vs Blue then that’s what I’ll do. If I have enough to go Pokemon hunting, I’ll do that and not feel guilty because I also didn’t do the dishes. I’ll attempt NaNo like I do every year, but I’m not going to be disappointed when I only manage a few thousand words because that’s a lot when I’m this sick.

Why is self-care always the hardest?

Surprise!

As if my life isn’t stressful enough, my husband brought home a puppy twelve days ago. A puppy!

ella3a

I am not a dog person. At all. And we already have four cats. As much as I love cats, they’re already driving me nuts wanting in and out of my room all hours of the night. Especially Bellamy since his injury–he just likes to let me know how unhappy he is that we won’t let him outside anymore.

Now we have a dog. And guess who gets to take care of her?

Read more…

On Hold

Posts are going to be on hold for the week, including new chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

Thursday morning, our cat, Bellamy, came home broken and covered in blood. The vet put his injuries down to blunt force trauma probably from a car, but it looks like someone could have kicked him in the face. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that.

His face is a mess. And he has a seeping wound on his chest that she thinks might have been older and abscessed. Whatever happened to him Thursday, ruptured it. It’s pretty bad, and I feel awful that no one noticed this wound. There were no signs that he was hurt besides a limp on that side.

He’s going back today for more x-rays on his face to see if his jaw is broken. He won’t eat or drink even though it’s obvious he’s hungry. He’ll run to the bowl but change his mind once he’s there.

I haven’t been able to concentrate the last couple days so there hasn’t been any writing. I think I’m taking the next two weeks off. Hopefully, but then, Bellamy will be better and I’ll catch up on chapters of Heaven Can’t Wait.

My poor baby when he was about a year old last summer. You almost can’t recognize him–his face is so swelled up and broken.

bellamy_060417

And bonus… when he was a kitten.
bellamy081416_400

story of my life

ME: Wow, look at the time; I should really get to bed. I’ll just check one thing on [insert any social media here].

threehourslater

ME: Goddammit.

Every fucking night.

life lessons for kids: laundry

I used to enjoy laundry.  Well, not enjoy, but I didn’t hate it.  When the kids were babies it was a nice break from their chaos.  I would sneak down to the basement and the thumping of the dryer or the whooshing of the washer would drown out the noise from upstairs (when the kids weren’t sitting at the top of the stairs asking when I was coming up).

But as the years have gone by and the kids clothes have gotten bigger and, therefore, the amount of clothes have grown and the amount of space said clothes take up has grown the chore has become…well, a chore.  I dread laundry.  Not because of the actual doing it but because it seems to be never ending.  The kids bring it down and I start it.  It all smells like pee because I have 2 bedwetters.  I get most of it done only to find out they did’t bring all the clothes down in the first place or because in the 3 days it took me to wash and dry it all they mad a whole other load to wash.

The constant changing of outfits has become a real annoyance.  With 4 kids, changing 3 or 4 times a day and throwing the used clothes in the hamper (whether dirty or not) creates a ton of laundry at the end of the week.  And since they throw their wet, peed clothes on top everything has to be washed whether it was dirty when it went in the hamper or not.

This ended yesterday.  I had left the basket of clean clothes in the basement because I was just tired of cleaning up and went on strike.  Since the kids didn’t feel like putting the clothes away they have been digging through the basket for clean clothes every day, in the process throwing them all over the dirty basement floor.  Then they would walk on them on their way out the basement door, my son threw his wet clothes on top of them, wet towels, bathing suits, etc.

I reached my breaking point yesterday morning and marched my 9yo daughter down the stairs and said SHE was doing the laundry.  She wasn’t very happy about this because she bucks any kind of chores.  So I explained how to set the washer and where to get the soap.  Then she helped me load it as I explained how to distribute the clothes to keep the weight even.  She grumbled through the whole thing and kept saying, “but I only have to wash MY clothes, right?”

While that was washing I brought up their basket and set the kids to folding.  I showed them how to fold shirts for the hundredth time.  My 9yo refused to help so we left her stuff in a pile on the floor.  My 7yo and 6yo kids folded and put away all their clothes and it all went rather smoothly.

When the wash was done I took my 9yo down to show her how to load the dryer.  I had to find an old milk crate for her to stand on to reach into the washer.  Even with that she could just barely reach the bottom.  With each scoop of wet clothes she had to jump off the crate and walk over to the dryer to throw them in.  There was a lot of clothes in the washer and half way through she was whining her back hurt and she didn’t want to do it any more.  Kids are so funny.

So she got the dryer loaded and I explained about the lint trap and how to set the dryer.  When that was started I had her load up the washer with her 3yo sister’s clothes.  My 6yo helped with that then she finally set to folding her clean clothes.

Later that night I remembered the laundry and told her to go take the clean clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket and take the wet clothes and put them in.  She grumbled about hating laundry but went to do it with the help of the 6yo.  An hour later they were cleaning up from dinner and she was whining she didn’t want to sweep or scrub tables so down to the basement she went to empty the dryer.  I wasn’t down there when she loaded it up last but all the clothes were dry so she did it right and her brother carried up the basket.

So, laundry done, and none of it by me.  YAY!  I just have to fold my 3yo’s clothes.

From now on the kids are doing their own laundry.  Next they learn to load the dishwasher.

FOBTY…My May

So I’m supposed to write about some of the great memories I have of May 2009.  I just can’t do it.  No matter what I think about, no matter how well the rest of the month is going, no matter how nice the weather has been or how quiet my Mother’s Day was it is all overshadowed by May 2, 2009.  The day I miscarried our 5th child in the bathroom at the ER.  I was 12 weeks and anticipating a new baby in November 2009.  Instead I’m just trying to get my life back to normal and not think about what I lost.

Fun times…not.  It’s just one of those events that eclipses everything else.

What Part of Spring Am I?

For the FOBTY at Sweet Shoppe Designs.


You Are Chirping Birds


You are a very caring person. You especially feel for innocent beings, like animals and children.

You are keyed in to the world and very peaceful. You believe that everyone is connected.

You remain focused and in the moment. You are not easily distracted.

You have a good memory, especially for things that you hear. You listen carefully.

I found this quite funny.  The first 2 paragraphs are pretty close to how I am.  But on another funny notes I was told a few months back on my mom’s site that I’m an awful, uncaring, cruel person for not caring about a missing child.  I was told if I didn’t care about this one child then I just cared about nothing.  Whatever.  I’ve always had a problem taking everything to heart.  I care so much about every little thing that I’ve had to learn to let some of it go.  Sure I felt bad for the kid that died.  It was sad but there wasn’t anything I could do about it and she had no personal connection to me.
Anyway.
The 2nd part is just funny as hell.  Not easily distracted?  Hardly.  I have ADD and if I can stay focused on 1 thing for more then 10 minutes I’m happy.  And the memory thing…I wish.  I usually can’t even remember what I was doing just hours earlier.  As me what we had for lunch the day before…probably couldn’t tell you.  My mind is gone.
I like the picture of the little birdie, though.  I’m so glad it’s spring.

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