Christmas 2019

It’s Christmas Day and, as our camping trip was cancelled due to the whole damned country being on fire, we’ve spent the day cleaning and rearranging the house ready for tomorrow’s family lunch.

I was ready pretty early this year, with exception of gifts running late for the niece and nephews so I had to brave Christmas at the shopping centre. Not fun. We went to see The Adams Family at the cinema yesterday (the new cartoon one) which was absolutely delightful and managed to remain in the spirit of the Adams Family while doing its own kid friendly thing. turns out I love junior sessions too, they give me a pee break half way through the movie.

Last week we saw Rise of Skywalker too. Fuck I loved that movie. I’ve seen the sobbing fan boys and all but it was good. It gave Leia a dignified and powerful send off and rounded out the story beautifully.

So, in short, it’s been pretty chill this past few days.

Sadly my usual Christmas stress is here in force and ruining the fun. Although it’s a testament to the lessons of therapy that this year I can name why.

In short, things are good but a bit tense.

I hope you’re all having a lovely, peaceful, Christmas.

I don’t like doing resolutions. The energy on new year’s eve is too chaotic and drunken. It isn’t a good night for resolving to do things. So I’ve been considering what’s coming in 2020 for a while really and it isn’t going to be anything special.

My goals for 2020 in short are:

Self Care – The real kind, not the fun kind.
In 2020 I aim to do the things that support my wellbeing and continued growth as a parent, artist, creator and person.

I’ve has a rough year this year, physically and mentally, but I’m ending in a much improved place and my goals for this year, in line with the above, look much like last years:

  • Be a great mum – no more needs to be said. I have a bright, curious, little bug who will be 2 in a few weeks. We’re doing great. We will keep doing great.
  • Continue working on my health
    • Continue gradually improving my mental health with the support of my care team, gradually improving eating and self care that support it.
    • I’ve lost a little weight in the last few months by making small changes to my diet and I will continue that work. Slow, steady and sustainable.
    • Get moving a bit more. I started a little dancing this past few months and want to go back to classes and take up yoga again.
  • One goal I did hit in 2019 is FINALLY getting started on my weaving… and I enjoy it a lot so in 2020 I want to try making actual stuff, not just playing round.
  • I finished one of the 5 projects I was working on in 2018 that I put down as goals for this year so in 2020 I’m going to try and finish one more… Don’t hold your breath for this achievement.

Once again this post is necessary to read and reread over and over.

The beginning of the love affair…

Thinking, Plotting, Planning.

I’ve been busting my ass for almost 5 solid months now. From last November through to today (and probably for a few more months to come. Lately I have hit complete burnout. Charlie can just not deal right now. So my beloved is out and I am sitting at home, in the A/C, poisoning myself with pizza that I ordered to be not poisonous. Turns out the local Crust Pizza is stupid and I can’t order from there, but I was too lazy to send it back.

That’s how fucking over it I am. I ordered from Crust and didn’t tell them to fuck off when the order arrived with a regular base and onions.

It’s bad, I tell you.

The good is that being this burnt out has lead to some serious thought on my future, where I want to be and what I want to be doing. There’s good news, because somewhere along the line I’ve started looking at life much more holistically. Gone are the days of screaming this bits wrong and flailing at it.

Everything is wrong. So dead fucking wrong, but this isn’t a whine post. Fuck whine posts. Here’s what’s happening, I read this article about two weeks ago and it got my mind churning (despite the constant zombie brain – did I mention I slept a solid 12 hours last night?).

The author of that article talks about educating oneself. So I am. I’m not doing courses in business or picking up a new degree or something like that. I’m working through a Lynda.com short course on better communication. Why? Because I’m shy, and awkward, and I’ve let that get in the way for a long time. So I’m improving my ability to talk to people in a professional environment.

I’m discussing what I need at work with my boss. I started with some management issues I’ve been having with my direct report. Next up I’ve put some serious thought into what my role is and what I want it to be. By next week I should be able to communicate exactly what I want my role to look like and a plan to get us from here to there.

 

I eat like crap, I don’t exercise enough, I never get enough sleep and I’m in pain. The solution to this, to be blunt, is to stop eating like crap, get some useful exercise and start getting enough sleep. Just stop being an idiot about it all.  Although I stand by tonight’s pizza binge because sometimes pizza is about the soul, not the body.

I’m on the verge of complete burnout and it finally occurred to me I have a problem. Some of it stems from the things above, but some of the above – especially the food and sleep related bits – stem from this one thing: I can not turn off from work. Depression isn’t an issue and anxiety is mostly under control, but I can not turn off at night. Dancing used to be my go to, but lately it doesn’t really help – I’m already physically exhausted – so meditation is going back on my to do list. I’m hoping it will help and from there I guess I’ll just explore the possibilities.

I’m also going to read. Read and read and read. I keep putting the books down because I don’t have a lot of time, but I love to read. It relaxes me and makes my mind refocus on other things… so I am going to read!

 

And this is the end of the post that Charlie built. That’s it, no more to see, byeeee.

 

The Resolutions of 2016

I’ve never been huge on these resolution things, but I’m beginning to take a liking to having a plan and acting on it. Then checking back in on it later so I can see how I’m tracking… and that’s what I’m working on.

The Career Stuff. – I have a lot of career based goals for 2016 which I’m not going to go into detail on, but they are centre stage in many ways. It’s the first time I’ve had a job that I really feel fits and there are huge projects ahead so now we have to really push them to work. So a quick overview:

Stress/Time Management.
Solidify scheduling practice.
Delivery (without making doctors cry).

This year there are plans to execute:

Build on my relationships outside of my Wolf and Sprogs. – I got very insular last year, but I do need social activity to be sane. I especially want to gather together with some of the other professional women in my life on a regular/semi-regular basis for foodings and chat.

Monthly get togethers with the amazing women in my life.
Make it to at least one party/social event a month.
Catch up with individual people rather than ‘soon’ notes.
Cook meals for people.

Plan a fucking wedding! – I have no idea how to do this. I figure it’s just a super fancy party so that works for me and that’s what I’m running with. Big party, much fun to be had. The wedding stuff will be tagged and linked on a page once it’s started.

Lose weight and get fit. – Yeah yeah yeah, every year and every human being on the face of the planet, but really… I spent last year getting the damage and pain issues under control so I can do this. I have to have my foot looked at early in 2016, but that going well the plans are:

Regular floor based yoga practice.
Start running as soon as I have doctor’s clearance re foot. (I even have new runners).
Loose 10-15kg and 2 dress sizes (not actually unrealistic)
Break the Coke-a-Cola and Ice Break habits.

Make more art. – To this end I have started up a little group called the Little Sharp Teeth Collective made of close friends to help keep us all accountable to our goals. Complexity of pieces will effect these plans but for now:

1 print per month.
1 crochet piece every other month.

EDIT: I am also going to read everything on this list: http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-essential-cyberpunk-reading-list-1714180001

And that’s it really. We move into our new house in a few months and there will be a lot of gardening and time with the girls and stuff, but I think this sums up the plan of attack for now.

2015 in Review

Holy shit, what a year!

Mental health went to shit and then it got slowly better. Now it is in the best place I remember it ever being. Unfortunately physical health then followed along the same path. Thankfully it too is also now good thanks to actual diagnosis of an actual problem, not just random guesses and/or being dismissed by doctors. That caused massive dietary changes very recently so I’m cooking more, feel better and am just, in general, doing well.

Things are well on the home front despite the health dramas. The Wild One and I go from strength to strength, supporting each other through the years challenges. The twins and I continue to get along and have good times. We’re building a house. We’re planning a wedding. The former appears to be easier than the latter.

I have found myself in great company throughout the year. Reconnecting with old friends and finding a more social me gradually. I’ve been blessed to find myself back in the company of W (I don’t know he’d appreciate his name on my blog), and therefore in the company of his lovely people. I was blown away at the first dinner he threw post my diagnosis when everyone, including people I didn’t know, went out of their way to make things I could eat. Just… people do shit like that!?!

Work carries on. It’s good mostly and now that my health is better I’ve been able to identify issues and have started to address them so that I can work better and be happier there. I am content with that as movement. There were a lot of highly stressful and massive changes through the year, but it’s getting there.

So the goals I’d set for 2015 were:

  1. Continue with the building of solid relationships. – Great Victory! There are friends, and twins, and gorgeous partner.
  2. Cut back on the alcohol and sugar. – Also Great Victory!! Like seriously HUGE victory. On both fronts.
  3. Cook things. Lots of things. New things. Use the fucking cookbook collection. – Fuck yes on the first bit, the change of diet aside I’ve done more cooking this year than I have in years. Tried a lot of new things.
    Not so much with using my cookbooks. I really think I need to give 99% of them away. And then replace them with ones I will actually use. 
  4. Learn to work wood, silversmith and make incense. – I failed this one. Too much other things happening. I’m ok with this.So, for all the stress and drama of the year, this has been a good year. It was a struggle, but everything has been moving towards something. The pain has always proceeded or been part of growth.2015, in short, was a great success.

D-Day for a Quiet War

I’ve been at war with my body as long as I can remember.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

I grew up tall and gangly, with long red hair and glasses. I was soft, sensitive and shy – ripe picking for the schoolyard bullies. I hit puberty early and hard. I’d hit my D-cups by 13. I had hips. I was harder on the surface but between schoolyard bullying and grown men sexually harassing me I was a mess.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

My weight soared and fell over and over in my early twenties. I rarely felt good. I was frequently tired. Where the bullying ended my self criticism started. Too soft, too fat, not well dressed enough. My weight slammed down in my mid twenties when it was the least important thing happening in my life. One mental breakdown later and 6 months where my house was a prison.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

And back up it went in my late twenties. Climbing and climbing as I tried changing my diet, exercising more, and mentally beating myself. Too fat, too soft, too tired. Always bloated too. Never ever good enough. Always desperate to get my weight to stop, to go down not up.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

And then the D-day came. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune illness. One that directly effects my digestive system.

My body was sick. My body was hurting. My body needed care. 

The medication is easy. The diet changes are hard. The relationship with my body has completely changed for the better, a thousand-fold. I am mentally and physically healthier than I’ve been in many, many, years. I am no longer at war with my body.

I take back what you have stolen.

“I take back what you have stolen, and in your languages I announce I am now nameless. My true name is a growl.” — Margaret Atwood

The past few months have been difficult ones, internally at least. Life has rolled on, work has continued, The Wild One is ever present and finances have fallen together as needed. Internally though… Change is the hardest thing. Effecting true, long lasting, change is equal parts exhilarating, terrifying, maddening and agonising.

I sit in a small, comfortable office every two weeks and talk for an hour or more. Together with the warm, gentle, woman across from me I dig through my past and my present, through my fears and long held beliefs, through my fears, and begin to slowly, ever so slowly, to untangle the knots. The knots are complex things – fear entwines with shame, shame twists around anger, anger tangles into anxiety, anxiety wraps into grief and sorrow and so on it goes. We work at it, picking apart the emotions and events that caused them slow and sure. This has been the hardest work of my life. I can tell you that without a second thought to it. This is HARD. And like most things that are truly hard work, it is  worthwhile.

If the process of exploring the events and the emotions around them is complex then dealing with the long held beliefs about myself that I hold because of them is near impossible. Worthless, valueless, incompetent, powerless, small, broken, fragile, useless, damaged. I have always been waiting to be dumped, to be turned on, to be betrayed. I have felt unloveable and unworthy of anyones time for as long as I can remember. I fake having self worth so well that almost no one has never realised how absolutely and utterly worthless I have felt for the entirety of my life.  Mistaking my careful and precise public image of control and confidence for a sense of self worth rather than the survival instinct it was. I have always had power. For every bit of grief this body of mine has bought upon me it has made up with with the power to manipulate – and like every born survivor I have played my advantage and protected myself.

And now, the dots have connected. One and at a time and some so subtly I didn’t even realise until it was pointed out. I’m shedding a skin I’ve worn for a very long time. It is terrifying, and yet…

I don’t know this woman.

She is so different from the one that sat here and typed a week ago, let alone months or years ago. There is a quiet confidence built of an understanding of where she has been, and where she is. She looks forward and knows where she wants to go. She knows what she isn’t, what she is and what she wants to be. She no longer needs to be anything for anyone else but herself. She will be accepted and loved as she is or she won’t be and that is ok. She is me, all the same.

I have been put through hell in this life – I have raped, beaten, mocked, shamed, battered, bullied, assaulted, betrayed over, and over, and over again since I was a small child. There are things I simply do not know how to do that are basic formative skill that I never learnt and I have been left isolated and afraid.

I’m not scared anymore, and I don’t feel alone anymore. There are so many ways I have changed, and so many ways I will continue to change… and so many more ways that I want to change.

At the centre of it all there’s just this quiet calm ‘Hello, this is me.’

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