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Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Full Plate

I literally have so many projects going on right now that I forget what I’m supposed be doing.  It’s as if I suffer from holiday overload, resulting in paralysis.  I was sitting at my computer just staring at picture of Zooey Deschanel from New Girl thinking “I’m supposed to be doing something right now….” and that’s where the thought ended.  Not wondering what I was supposed to be doing, just stating the fact that I was indeed actually engaged in something.

It should have been a no-brainer as I have several screens open on my desktop at the moment as I try to create one cohesive document for Christmas card labels.  There are Excel spreadsheets, last year’s label documents, emails of address changes, and a dozen Facebook messages to compile into one list.

I can see why people go crazy this time of year.

Especially people like me who see a new project and think, “Hey, that’s a good idea! I can totally do that!”

Projects like this:

Felt Christmas Tree

The Empty Bobbin Felt Christmas Tree! Adorable right?

I thought this was a wonderful idea for Connor!  He’s super excited about Christmas and loves decorations.  With this tree, he can decorate and redecorate it as much as he likes.  Yay!

Except I didn’t want to sew and I knew Connor wouldn’t care if I made him ornaments or just simple shapes.  So I went with the absolutely laziest option possible.  I cut it out, cut out some shapes, glued some velcro to the back and stuck the matching velcro to the wall.  Voila! Connor’s felt Christmas tree:

The Lazy Mom’s felt Christmas tree

Maybe when he’s older, like next year or the year after, we can craft some felt ornaments to go on the tree that are a little fancier.

The second project that I have precisely 36 hours to complete so it’s ready in time is the Homemade Advent Calendar

Homemade Rustic Bag Advent Calendar from Bonbonmini

So far I have the bags, I have the paint and stencils and I have the twine.  That’s it though.  Nothing to put inside,  no clothes pins, no bags actually painted.  And yes, today is the 29th of November, meaning the countdown to Christmas starts in less than 48 hours.

And unlike the wonderful woman from http://www.bonbonmini.com I am not going to be including wonderful crafted, handmade toys.  Nope, I’m going to hit the $.99 Store in about an hour and stock up.  Hopefully, Connor will be just as satisfied with bouncy balls from Taiwan as he would be with wool felted finger puppets made personally for him.

I’ll let you know how this fool-proof plan goes.

Lastly, here’s a list of the other projects yet to begin:

Make a stocking for new dog Maggie

Make a new tree skirt

Make Connor’s weighted blanket

Finish painting three canvases for various children

Organize cookie exchange

Design and print labels for Christmas cards

Make ornament wreath for front door.

Cinnamon Candy Wreath

I’m sure there are others.  I’ll make sure to blog on my minimal effort versions of everything, cause really, who has the time?

Back in the Swing

I’m finally feeling like my normal self again and getting into back into the swing of things.

It’s difficult to know what the problem is, work towards making things better and still have to wait for improvement.  I hate increments! I just want everything now!

Just kidding…sort of…

My ex often accused me of being a contradiction.  And I admit it, I absolutely am.

With my sweet baby boy, Connor, who is often not very sweet, I have patience for days!  Hand me a crying baby and I can pace with that child for hours.  Give me a craft project to do and I’ll wait for glue to dry, paint to settle, pieces to arrive like there is never a deadline. Send me your most obnoxious, slowest reference customer and I’ll happily sit there listening to them prattle on about how they think Florida was one of the original 13 colonies.

But something that has to do with me and what I want, I want it, like, yesterday!

The house, the yard, weight loss, mental health, getting pregnant, I want to be working on all of it now.  Actually, I’d like to have accomplished all of those things so I can sit back and relax.

Instead I have to wait.  There’s a time and a place for everything, unfortunately.

I feel like Veruca Salt…a little.

I’ll try to be more patient for Christmas and remind myself that all good things come to those who wait.  Damn it.

Winter Grays, Blacks and Blues

I am many things.  I fill many roles. I exemplify many virtues and many failings.  I tend more towards happiness than unhappiness, more towards optimism than pessimism, more towards believing the best in people than believing the worst.  I keep my chin up, my head high and smile through the pain, knowing that tomorrow will be better.

And that usually works.

And the medication usually works.

And I’m ok, I’m good, I’m on solid ground.

And then the world changes a little bit and I’m reminded that my condition isn’t curable, just manageable.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder at 20 after my previous diagnosis of mild depression was thrown out.  After a sexual assault, I went into a months long manic period.  If you’ll read the link I’ve included I engaged in nearly all of the symptoms listed.  I was quite literally out of control.  During that period I felt like I was outside myself.  I could see what I was doing was harmful and I just couldn’t stop it.  One day I had a panic attack and thought I was having a heart attack.  When the ER doctors told me what it was I decided it was time to go back to see my old psychiatrist.  We tried various drug cocktails, including Lithium (which made me feel like I was experiencing the world through a thick layer of cotton) and it took a long time to figure out what was going to work best.

The mania period ended just prior to my senior year of college.  I was walking the tightrope of mental health mostly because I still felt like an open wound.  I supplemented my medication with alcohol, wild behavior and far too many dates.  I packed this life cocktail into my wounds hoping they would heal but they merely scabbed off.

I would feel better for a while, stop my medication, and then fall right back into a depression after a month or so.  I wanted so badly to be cured, to be fixed that I was very close to delusional about what was actually going on with my mental health.

It took years of feeling better then feeling worse to finally commit to staying on my medication.  It’s taken years of therapy to understand that I’m not fatally flawed because of my chemical imbalance but that it is as much a part of my as my eye color and the size of my feet.  I can do nothing to change it.

That was a hard pill to swallow (pun intended).

For years now my mood has been stable, I only rely on a very low dose of an SSRI, a medication that deals with increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain.  I use cognitive behavior techniques in my every day life to combat the symptoms of my condition.  Recovery International is a mental health group that focuses on the teachings of Dr. Abraham Low and his work with cognitive behavior therapy.  My former in-laws introduced me to this work and I will be forever grateful.  There are few days that go by that I don’t use the tools that are taught through this work.  Two favorites of mine are that I “have the will to bear the discomfort” of an unpleasant situation and to remind myself that I am just an average person, so nobody expects perfection from me.  With these things working in my favor life is generally good and the real Erin gets to shine through the condition.

Still there are times that I feel down, or blue, when the world’s colors seem a little grayer, the night a little blacker.  Usually I can shake it off in a day or two, but sometimes it lingers and I’m reminded that my fight is a life-long one.  The coming of winter always reminds me of this most poignantly.  Colder temperatures and longer nights rob me of my precious sunshine, sunshine which helps create the chemicals that keep me balanced and happy.

For a while there I didn’t even recognize that I was feeling worse.  I felt tired, but I’m always tired (I’m a mom!).  I lost interest in my normal activities, but I blamed that on being tired or the busy schedule my son has.  It wasn’t until I realized how disconnected I felt from everyone around me that I knew something was wrong.

Now I know and now I can fix it.  Sure it won’t be permanently fixed but identifying the problem is half the battle.  So long walks with the dogs, more vegetable gardening, eating al fresco will all help get me out into the limited sunshine hours.  Purposefully engaging in social activities, making myself complete to do lists, and writing, writing, writing will help me “fake it til I make it.”

And sooner than I realized I’ll be back to singing silly songs with Connor, baking delicious treats, and generally my nerdy, happy self again.

Once a Cheater

I am a cheater.  There!  I said it out loud!  It is both shameful and liberating to say it.  I am not proud of it, but there’s no denying that it happened.
The worst part of it all is that I’m a librarian.  We’re supposed to be above such things!  But I couldn’t help it, I was just so frustrated, so confused.  I suppose that’s what all cheaters say though, isn’t it?

I’m afraid now that it’s happened once, I’ll do it again.

I’m hoping my confession will keep me from cheating again.

Yes, I am a cheater.  I….I…I read the end of my book before I was finished!

SHAMEFUL!

Had you watched me during that episode it would have appeared that I was actually committing some type of mortal sin.  I looked around the bedroom, checked to make sure my fiance was actually asleep, and hurriedly, haphazardly flipped to a page at the end of the book.  I scanned quickly and read only a paragraph before guilt overwhelmed me and I turned back to my place in the seventh chapter.

I’m sure my cheeks were as much aflame as my conscience.

Let me explain why though (as if there is ever a good enough reason for such a break with morality).  I was reading the extremely popular Gone Girl and I was not enjoying it.  In fact I was beginning to hate all of the characters in the book.  I was confused by the obvious problems in narration.  I had no idea where it was going.  My frustration was quickly mounting to a crisis level.  I put the book down for a time to try to regain some composure.  I tried!  But when I came back to it I was quickly overcome by frustration and desperation, forcing my hand.  It’s almost as if I had no choice.  If I hadn’t read that page in the back I might never have finished what was otherwise an interesting piece of literature.  So you see, my cheating was a good thing.  Yes???

Gone Girl

Still, the guilt eats at me.  I have never before read the end of the book prior to the natural progression.  I was one of those who shook my head disappointedly at people who were confessed last page readers.  Why?  Why would they do such a thing?  They were ruining the suspense, even the whole story arc of a book by doing that!

In my case I absolutely spoiled the story line.  I did it willfully and purposefully!  Perhaps it’s a credit to the author that her suspenseful novel drove me to such drastic measures as to break my own reading moral code.  Perhaps it’s just a flaw in my character.  I prefer to give the credit to Gillian Flynn.

If you’d like to read a great book about some interesting and awful people, read Gone Girl.  Don’t read the end before you’re done.  You’ll either regret it or be like me and sleep a little easier.  As always, I advise you not to be like me…don’t be a cheater.