Coffee & Alone Time

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So the short kid started 7th grade today. I know it sounds super cliche, but I swear, she was just a toddler who was working on potty training. Now she’s an angsty preteen in middle school. The old adage of “You’ll blink and they’ll be grown up” is really true.

I’m definitely proud of how far she has come, and what she’s accomplished thus far. I know she’s going to grow up as a intelligent, down to earth woman. In the meantime, I hope she doesn’t flunk out of Honors Math.. as it was damn close last time. Haha.

As odd as it is to have everyone out of the house, I am enjoying it. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had alone time since the beginning of summer.. and still have fingers left over. It was a very, very hectic summer, and to be frank, I’m glad it’s over. Just having the house to myself, being able to tackle the chores and start dinner is glorious.

Just attempting to get back into the normal flow of things, now that life has settled down a bit. The last few months just really wore me down. We had a lot of issues with Jon’s daughter, and without getting into it too much, she needs very intensive long term therapy before she can come back to visit. Now that that seems to be underway, it’s time for me to focus on my own daughter and my own life.

One thing I’ve learned, or rather re-learned this summer, is that when you are trying to take care of everyone else, you cannot neglect yourself. It becomes all to easy to just throw yourself into holding your family or friends together, that you just forget about you. It’s easy to brush off “me-time” with the excuse that you’ll always have time later. It’s easy to put off activities and hobbies that you enjoy because it’s just too hectic.. or worse, it seems wrong when everything else seems to be going downhill. I’m definitely guilty of it, and especially so this last summer. Now it’s time to get back to my life and the rest of my family.

Other than all of that, things are pretty okay in my world. Just paying attention to the shit show that is our political climate in the United States, and trying to enjoy the rest of the warm weather for the year. Our garden didn’t fair too well this year, so I’m trying to salvage what I can out of it, plan out how to prep it this fall, and what to plant next year. I’m going to add fertilizer & soil this fall and make sure it’s all weeded, and hopefully with a different layout next year, it’ll do better. I hope. Planning on laying some grass seed around our new fire pit and in the front yard this fall too, trying to get grass to grow in the shady areas is super difficult for me.

So that’s it for now. I figured I’d do an update post as I haven’t had much of a chance lately, and am also stuck with writer’s block again. Hope it lets up soon. Happy August y’all.

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Treat Yourself: Self-Care is Important

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Growing up I didn’t see my father do a whole lot for himself. After my mom died, he was saddled with being a single dad with two daughters on a mechanic’s income. There wasn’t much left over money in general, but what there was, was spent on us kids. I honestly don’t think he really treated himself to anything until we were both out of the house. Hell, I don’t even think he got more than a handful of hours to himself until we were both in high school. It is what it is when you’re a parent.

It’s a habit I fell into as well. Not just material things, but all of a sudden before I knew it my writing took a back seat, my quiet morning coffee wasn’t as important. The things that were once second nature, just kind of.. go away if you’re not paying attention.

It comes and goes too. My daughter is 12 now, and I’ve probably put myself on the furthest back burner (that doesn’t even work) once every year or two. Then one day, someone will ask me “what have you done for yourself lately?” and it’ll kick my ass back into gear.

Self-care is important. My must-haves include my morning cup of coffee (hopefully before everyone else wakes up, that’s the best time) and my writing. These are the two things that keep me sane, and have since I was a teenager. I have over 30 journals now, and of course this blog. There is nothing better than sitting outside on my deck, or at my kitchen table with my journals, my laptop and a cup of good coffee.

I noticed long ago, that when I neglect my writing, when I skip the quiet moment to myself in the morning, that before I know it my mental health tanks. Like just hops on a downward spiral of a shitty roller coaster, straight to hell. I struggle with depression as well as anxiety/panic disorder already, neglecting myself is giving the proverbial boot to my coping mechanisms. When my mental health goes downhill, my stress levels rise, which then sets off my physical health problems. Do you see where this is going? Into my favorite endless cycle of my body telling me to piss the hell off. That’s not to say that my physical health doesn’t just randomly give me the finger all on it’s own, just that it’s sometimes caused by stress.. and sometimes it’s just exacerbated.

The thing about self-care though is that it does take effort. Whether or not you have kids, a spouse, a job, a business, or whatever, no matter what your situation you have to put effort into taking care of you. Whether that means drawing yourself a bath or coloring in your adult coloring book, or running in the forest preserve or buying yourself something nice.. or hell, playing D&D or working on your car. It even takes effort to set aside a bit of time to just sit in silence and clear your mind. If you don’t make consistent effort to do a little something for YOU, before you know it, you forget.

This is something I’m working on again in my life, and this is your reminder to take care of YOU. You’re a better spouse, partner, employee, parent, sibling, or what the fuck ever, if you give yourself a little bit of happiness every once in a while.

Take care. Much love.