Finally it is Friday. Lots of parts of my body hurt. The longer I am awake the more I discover. Who knew that using long dormant muscles would be so painful!. At least I have cute undies!
Despite feeling like I have made progress with my mental health it seems I am still treading water. Words still won’t flow even though I actually have ideas and half started pieces all over the place. My mind is still bouncing around all over the place. So you all will be subjected to posts like this. Brain dumps and snippets of my life.
Enjoy your Friday. Remember You Never Walk Alone even if it feels like it. Sometimes help is in unlikely places.
Back in June I participated in Every Damned Day in June. I learned that I just need to sit at the key board and post, something. And then… Life. Or rather motivation waned. Too many things competing for my attention. Writing is something that requires focus, and the absence of other things, mostly people, verbally usually, competing for my attention. That seems to be something of a rarity in this house. A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a melt down, at work until I could get a lid on it. Then later at home. I likened it to having a pimple that needed to be squeezed. Just a build up of junk that had to come out.
Reflecting I know some of the things I said to some people who genuinely care about me were probably hard to deal with. The whole time I was spewing out my feeling junk I was painfully aware that this wasn’t their fault and that I was unloading in an unhealthy way. In the aftermath I reflected. I considered my options with mental health care. I don’t have a regular therapist. I have mostly avoided them for a few reasons, cost being one, the idea of unloading to a perfect stranger another. I did once visit a psychologist and he was somewhat helpful but the reality of mental health is that fixing the problem requires effort. When people speak of “doing work” at therapy they are not wrong.
So I didn’t find a therapist but I did find some answers. My social life has been awesomely busy. The kind that teenage me dreamed of. Adult me has come to the realisation that I am socially awkward and while partying every weekend SEEMS like fun it takes its toll. And so I realised I have to also plan to NOT go out. I have to plan to stay home and NOT visit people or invite friends over. I am an introvert at heart and I need to have some down time.
So here is to the weekend. To quiet times and maybe some writing.
I have been sick since January 1 so despite having time I have not had the energy. The jury is out on whether or not we have Covid but I am happy that it was a mild experience.
1. Do you feel that happiness is luck or is it a practiced mindset?
Happiness is definitely not the result of luck.
2. If you could transport to the happiest place in the world where would you be?
These images were taken on top of the Sandhills on Moreton Island. I have long recognised it as my happy place. It has been frustrating that weather has conspired to keep me away from there since our return to Brisbane in September. How could I want to be away from here.
3. In 2022, what will you do to improve your health?
Eat more vegetables. Because vegetables are awesome.
4. What is your money psychology? a. Money worshipper: Those who associate money with security, but in a kind of arbitrary way. The danger is no amount of money is ever enough.
b. Money avoidance: When you tend to think of money as bad, corrupting or just something you do not deserve. This can manifest in many ways, such as, not trying to negotiate a raise at work or avoiding looking at your retirement account.
c. Money vigilance: These people seem really great with their money, but there is a lot of anxiety around actually using it. This type can be great savers but rarely treat themselves.
d. Money status: People with this mind-set see money as a way to feel good about themselves and appear a certain way to others. These folks tend to run up credit card debt, pick up tabs they cannot afford and otherwise mismanage their money — while judging others who do not have the same status symbols.
I am none of those. Mr Jones is very anti debt and consequently we have only ever incurred short term debts to help us buy big ticket investments like houses and property. Whenever there is a debt it is the number one priority to settle it. The other big rule in our house is “never go into debt for something that is not an investment” This includes things most people consider necessary to incur a debt for such as cars, furniture, renovations, vacations. If there isn’t money in the account for the item right then and there then we simply don’t purchase it.
Consequently the rest of our life is about living within our means. We don’t smoke or drink excessively nor do we go out for dinner almost ever. We have stuff. We have a yacht for FS. But the flip side of that is that I can count on one hand the number of times I have been out of the country for a vacation. I can count on the other hand the number of times I have had a vacation that involved staying in a hotel.
So of the choices given I would say that I am vigilant about money but not to the point where it becomes an obsession.
Bonus: Do you have any goals for your blog in 2022?
Honestly. Keep on keeping on. I was happy for the most part with how it progressed in 2021. It has taught me that persistence and consistency is the key to growing this page.
My daughter turned eighteen recently. Today, Saturday, we are holding a family gathering to celebrate the event. My parents and both my siblings live in different towns several hours drive away so this event doesn’t just involve twenty five people descending on my house for an evening. I will be graced by the presence of my parents for three days. Which may sound like a good thing but believe me, it isn’t. But that isn’t the point of this post.
A few years ago I entertained regularly. I was quite adept at planning, preparing and presenting a meal for 15 – 30 people as the occasion demanded. Over the years the group of people we hung out with whittled away, people moved, we lost contact etc. My mental health went to another place and this is the first large gathering I have hosted in a while.
What is disturbing me about this event, apart from the parental visit, is my lack of ability to get focussed and be organised. Once I was the person who had the answers. I planned whole weekend camps for five families, accomodation, meals, shopping, the works. At the moment I am struggling to make decisions about what we will eat and decorations for a single evening. I make plans, I forget them (yes I should write them down, I know). I write lists, they don’t make sense, I go shopping and get home only to realise I should have had another twenty items on my list. it goes on and on.
I can’t seem to focus on a single task to completion. For example I woke up and was scrolling through Fakebook (no that isn’t a typo) and saw something that inspired a blog post. Between my bed and the keyboard I latched on to three other tasks and now I am writing this.
You will get to read my pearls of wisdom later. If I remember them and someone doesn’t interrupt me.
I think it is some of the reason I haven’t been posting regularly. Believe me there are about ten stories that have started their life and are hanging in the balance somewhere. I hope that they get to be fully formed and make their way to your view. Maybe when the holidays start in three weeks.
Until then you will have to make do with the occasional brain fart!
1. Can you handle the truth?
One of the absolute rules that Mr Jones and I have in our relationship is honesty at all costs. Even about putting cold beer in the cupboard. Which of course any self respecting wife of a beer lover would not do because once beer is cold it must stay that way.
Seriously though. The truth is important. Trust in a relationship is vital. When you open your bedroom to other people it becomes even more critical. Without honesty there can be no trust. Sometimes it means making admissions you aren’t comfortable with. Sometimes it means hearing things you don’t want to. But time has proven that yes I can handle the truth both in the telling and the hearing.
2. A couple of October holidays are coming up. Do you participate in Halloween or Dia de los Muertos? How?
Halloween is not a widely celebrated in Australia as in the United States. It is becoming more popular being driven by retailers. Trick or treating does happen here in some areas but as I live on acreage we tend not to get too many visitors because the houses are too far apart. The most celebrating of Halloween I get involved with is dressing up for a costume party.
3. Do your parents/parent like your significant other?
For the most part yes. It wasn’t always the case but these days things are pretty good.
4. Right now! What do you need most love or validation?
From a mental health point of view 2019 has been a struggle. Without going in to too much detail changing antidepressant medication at the same time as going through menopause was a very bad idea. So I definitely need more love than validation.
5. You are singing in the shower. What song do you want to belt out?
I am not much of a shower singer. I am more into belting out tunes while I am driving. My children will attest that the music in my phone is a bit unusual but my song of choice to belt out at the moment is “Prairie Hotel Parachilna” by John Williamson.
Bonus: What’s your damage?
This question stumped me. I resorted to the wisdom of Urban dictionary to get my head around it. I will say that I have had various aspects of Heathers explained to me by my teenage daughter but not this one.
Continuing from my answer to question 4, I visited a psychologist for the first time ever last week. His assessment of the situation is that I need to learn to slow down, say no to people and not spend so much time working or doing work like things. Since then I have felt like I have permission to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. It has been quite liberating.
As always you can read more TMI goodness over here