Posts Tagged With: emotional health

happy new year (occasionally, I’m a conformist)

I’m seeing all these end of year and happy new year things on social media, in the blogs I read, in news articles, etc. And you know what? It is really irritating me!

I understand it conceptually, but to be completely honest, I’m not really feeling it. I mean, sure, I’m more than willing to put 2017 in my rear-view mirror. But as I look at 2018 looming, I’m kind of…well, apathetic maybe? I’m not entirely sure that’s the right word…but that’s where I’ll settle for the moment.

I suspect part of my feeling (whatever we’re going to call it) is because this winter break has not been restful. Thing 2 and Boyfriend J were here, and we went at a full tilt boogie from nearly the moment they arrived. While the Nutcracker was blissful, and Christmas with three fourths of our family was fun, I sometimes struggle with Thing 2 and her wild mood swings. I struggle with the occasional drama with the boys mother. I sometimes struggle with so many people in this house at one time. I sometimes struggle with my inability to just take a big ass breath and not let other people affect me.

I was so excited about my most favorite of holidays and honestly, I was kind of left feeling relieved when the boys went back to their mother’s and Thing 2 and boyfriend J went back to SC and there was no one here but YBW and me. This makes me sad. Really and truly sad. But I’m being real, and I’m being honest. Doesn’t matter how much you love your kids, sometimes an empty nest is a beautiful thing.

Conceptually the idea of being surrounded by three of our four kids on Christmas fills me with childlike joy. The reality of it is that I’ve got to cook more, keep the peace more, and as it was the first time Boyfriend J was here, turns out I didn’t really get to spend that much time with Thing 2.
I was ready for a break from school. To kind of be filled with the Christmas spirit and recharge myself. But I’m more tired now than I was the last day of school December 21.
Advent happens for a reason, y’all. I sometimes wonder if the anticipation and excitement leading up to Christmas aren’t the real gift.

Nora and Dale invited us for dinner tonight. I’m not remotely feeling it. I have no desire to leave the warmth of the house to brave single digit wind chills to have dinner with friends.
Here’s the ridiculous part, I’ll have fun. I’ll be better off emotionally spending time with my sweet husband and our friends than if I stayed put in this house in my jammies.
But I don’t want to! (Yeah, I’m whining…what’s it to you?)

My (undefined) feelings about 2018 are most likely due to the fact that I’m tired. And let’s be real, who’s ready to tackle anything when they’re not at the top of their game?

Here’s what I do know.
2017 was the year I stopped living with chronic pain. With the help of three ‘alternative’ healthcare providers I’m off all prescription meds, pain free, and with a brain that is the proper shape and size.
That right there is the best possible way to begin 2018!

I’ll slip into 2018 tired yet hopeful.
Hopeful I’ll accomplish what I set out to do.
Hopeful that our kids are healthy, content, and whole.
Hopeful that we’ll have loads of snow days this winter and I’ll be able to rest then.
Spring will bring birthdays starting in March. June will bring Thing G’s high school graduation.

Y’all, I may be grouchy and tired, but I’m smiling as I write this.
As it turns out, I too am writing about saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming 2018. How very conformist of me.
It’s cool, sometimes you gotta do what everybody else does to prove to yourself you’re a regular girl.
This regular girl wishes all y’all a non-conformist new year!

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and she was

This is where I’m at in my head space today.
It’s a good place to be.

Please listen responsibly.

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‘play(ing) it cool’ with music

I had an interesting conversation with Thing 2 Friday morning.
She shared with me that she’s working on a music mix.
(Like momma like daughter, right?)
She shared that she’s considering calling it ‘Play it Cool, Boy’ or ‘Cool, Boy, Real Cool’

Thing 2’s friend Anna is the one that nearly died wrecking Thing 2’s car. Thing 2 has been her primary caregiver and it’s finally taken it’s toll on her. The love is there, but I think she’s having a hard time locating it in the middle of all the conflicted feelings.
Conflicted feelings about her father are…well, ongoing…

I loved that she writes of easing herself. That’s a phrase we use a great deal.
She’s being mindful of how the music impacts her mood, while saying what she needs to say.

I received this pic via snapchat yesterday morning.

The sharing of music is a powerfully intimate expression of self. A mixtape is a mini time capsule. To listen to it is to transport you to the moment in which it was created. You put yourself in that moment and feel all those same feelings again. Thinking those same thoughts. Of course listening to it later on you pick out the flaws, you think oh, I could have done such and such instead…but that’s where you are now. The mix is the representation of where you were then. I believe that must be honored.

William Congreve wrote:

“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”

Dude knew what was up.

Thing 2 referred to the half bottle mix. I made this compilation in the winter of 2008.
I’d like to share it now with y’all.
Half Bottle of Champagne Mix.
Please listen responsibly.

Kings of Leon
Red Morning Light

Ghost of the Robot
Dangerous

Ray Davies
All She Wrote

I Nine
Same in Any Language

Corinne Bailey Rae
I’d Like To

Nick Drake
One of These Things First

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Rich Woman

Rufus Wainwright
Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Eric Clapton
Little Wing

The Kinks
Days

The Libertines
Music When the Lights Go Out

The Saw Doctors
Red Cortina

British Sea Power
Carrion

James Marsters
No Promises

Rooney
Calling the World

Something Happens
Momentary Thing

Spacehog
In the Meantime

The Hombres
Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out)

Dr John
Right Place Wrong Time

Sex Pistols
Anarchy in the UK

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*poof* I had an epiphany

I had an epiphany as I journaled one night last week. (perhaps it’s been a couple weeks now)
I journaled in response to a suggestion that I’m taken for granted by some of the people in my life.

I questioned if I could love others without sacrificing myself. I questioned why I can’t seem to say no. I questioned why I feel compelled to always do what’s expected of me, even if it’s unrealistic.
I mused that it comes from being a little girl and feeling like I had to work hard to be loved. That if I was a “good girl” and did what I was “supposed” to do, then I was loved. If I wasn’t good or didn’t do what was expected of me, love was withheld from me.
And *poof* the epiphany occurred.

20161120_165249-1.jpg

I over-function to be loved.

I’m a chronic over-functioner.

Will Meek PhD describes over-functioners in this way:

Over-functioners (OFs) are usually seen as people who “have it together”, are detail oriented, organized, and reliable, and are typically viewed as being reliable workers, partners, and parents.

Classic characteristics of over-functioning include being overly focused on another person’s problems or life situation. Offering frequent advice or help to the other person. Feeling anger when help is not “appreciated” or the under-functioner (UF) doesn’t change. And frequently feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and neglecting self-care. Over-functioning can be seen as a type of “enabling”, even though the intent is the opposite.

That explains how I get myself into these situations where I’m taking care of everyone else and not myself. How I’ll make sure everyone’s everything is done, or their needs are met before I even begin to consider my own. And most of the time, I’m too worn out to consider my own needs, therefore I neglect them.
Turns out the only good thing about getting sick with the brain edema is that I was forced to consider my own needs first. But since I’ve been “well enough” I’m going back into my old patterns. And especially while Thing 2 was here.

Becoming aware of why I over-function is HUGE! If I know why I do it, perhaps I’ll be able to stop doing it. Ah, but then guilt and fear show up and panic me. If I don’t do (whatever) for (whomever) I’m not a good (whatever). And that means I’m not going to be loved.

Does that seem odd to you?
Will my doing (whatever) for the people in my life make them love me more than if I don’t do it?
Logic would suggest the answer is no.
But every fiber of my being is screaming yes!

This is something I will work hard to understand and change.
It’ll be better for me, and for the people in my life.

I must learn to say no in a kind and respectful way.
I must learn to understand that love isn’t based on what I do for others.
I must learn that it’s perfectly acceptable to put myself first.

I’m not loved because I do what’s expected of me.
I’m not loved because I’m a “good girl”.
I am loved because I am me.
Just me.
Just being me is enough to be loved.
I must never forget that.

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teeny little significant things

It’s the little things. The teeny little seemingly insignificant things.
These little things make the biggest impact.
I got a teeny little thing with huge impact this morning in the form of a text message from YBW.
I’m not going to tell you what it said, because, well…I don’t want to. And that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is the act of writing and sending the text.

Each of us gets caught up in our own “stuff”. Makes it tricky to remain aware of what’s going outside our own heads. I had a long talk with my friend and mentor the other day. It was lovely. But it took so much of my energy. I’ve been trying to have an important conversation with Thing 1 for well over a week now. I honestly haven’t had the emotional energy. Haven’t seen Sundance or even talked to her for a while. Haven’t even been doing simple hashtag communications with my sister in law.
I’ve been to much in my head. I’m working on slowly shifting my focus outward. It’s hard and I feel lazy…but I’m working at it.
That sweet message from my husband this morning furthered my effort and helped me see he’s working at the same thing.

Tomorrow is September 1. The start of ‘meteorological fall’.
Now, most people see fall as the dying time. I see it as a time of starting new. Perhaps that’s residual from all those years of new children in the classroom in the fall? I don’t know…
But I’m looking at fall as a time to start everything new. New attitude with old projects. New projects with excitement.
Perhaps the wretched hot and humid weather will decide to become new and bring cool crisp air for me to breath. And temperatures that don’t cause you to break out in a sweat the moment you walk outdoors.
But I’m not expecting that until October…Indian Summer is the way of early fall in the Metro area. I know this. I’m just feeling hopeful!
Hope springs new for this little red haired girl in the Autumn.
I’m ready to do the hard work.
This used to be my “catchphrase”…it’s been a long time since I felt like using it…but to life in general, I say a great big, “BRING IT!”
(Until I wake up tomorrow in a foul mood…then I’ll be back to my grouchy self and have to start all over again.)
oscar
Sometimes, Oscar is my spirit muppet.

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