Daylight Savings Time – I’m alive!

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Daylight Savings. My internal clock is all sorts of screwed up, my body feels like we jumped ahead multiple hours instead of just one. It should be just about dinner time, we’re just starting to prepare.. yet it’s 7:15pm. Crap. By the time it’s done it will be almost time for the short one to go to bed.

It’s almost spring. It’s almost time for the snow to stop, and rains to come. This week we’ve already started the rain, and have a bit of 60s to look forward to. Then it will get chilly again for a while it looks like.. just in time for my birthday in the beginning of April. Par for the course.

I do have to say, now that it’s daylight earlier and later, my body is getting back on a schedule. I’m one of those people who tend to sleep and wake with the sun. During the summer, I’m an awful companion as I’m wide awake at 5:30am and going strong until late night hours. I can survive on 5-7 hours of sleep without noticing. During the winter though? You guessed it, I’m tired by 5pm and can barely drag myself out of bed before 8am.

For someone with depression, it’s a recipe for disaster. I seem to spend all winter long sleeping, trying to find a way to keep moving and to cheer myself up, and wanting to sleep.

I noticed these last couple of weeks though, that I’m actually waking up on my own (sans alarm) when it’s light out. I am able to get out of bed rather quickly, at least for someone with IST and POTS. I am not exhausted all day, and have the motivation to get my chores done. The need for summer months is real.

My insomnia is still around though, but now that I’m not working, it’s more manageable. If I’m up, I’m up. I’ll play a game, or write a little bit. There’s no need to beat myself up for hours about “why can’t I just fall asleep, I have to be up for work soon”.. which we all know just makes it worse. Now, it’s just more quiet time I have to myself, plus.. there’s always new science articles to read!

I think my kiddo takes after me. She tend to go to bed early during the winter months, not to mention embrace days on the couch under our comforter when there’s snow on the ground. Now that daylight seems to be permeating our lives a bit more, we have plans to go on walks this week, and take care of some of the outside chores. At least we know how each other work for each season and can plan accordingly.

Ahh. 60 degrees with a little drizzle later this week. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts! I have to haul our old wooden bed frame out to the street for the garbage men to pick up, and the last wind storm knocked quite a few branches off of my trees. I’m looking forward to strapping on my junk boots and cracking a beer and spending some time taking care of it all. From the looks of it, the raccoons managed to knock over a couple of my ladders too.

The first few good days of spring are probably my favorite. It’s the time to open all the windows in the house and get the musty smell out. Time to get all the branches and stack them for kindling for the summer fires. There’s nothing like clearing your yard and planning (or re-planning) your garden and flower beds.

One of my favorite things? It’s time to feed the squirrels and raccoons. I live in a lower class subdivision, we all have modest houses and smallish yards. Of course, like all old neighborhoods, we have plenty of mice and raccoons who live right along side of us. The way I figure it, is they’re going to be there anyways, so they might as well get snacks. I usually clean out my pantry in the spring. Old cereal, chips, etc all get placed in a bowl in the front yard for the neighborhood scavengers. Any old fruit or veggies, even old bread I might have on hand, goes on top of the table on my deck or on my front step for the squirrels to scurry away with. Granted, I am a bit more careful with the old dog going outside around this time (as we’ve already learned the skunk lesson once, and don’t need to learn it again), I don’t mind having to take her out and check the yard first opposed to just letting her out the backdoor. I just figured, we all made it through the hard winter, why not share a bit of food I’m just going to toss (and the raccoons are going to raid from my trash) anyway?

This is also the time of year when we’ll see the neighborhood cats more. There’s a few strays that wander around, and a few bold outside pet-cats that stray more than a few blocks in the spring. Watching my two indoor cats bristle in the windows is amusing to say the least. Also lets me know if I need to set out a bowl of kibble too.

Spring is also for my projects to begin. I have to fix my bird feeder, as the fat squirrels last fall finally broke the rope that was thread through it. I need to organize the shed and build a second “attic shelf” in there. The deck will need to be scrubbed, the chairs hosed down, and once the last freeze is past, grass seed placed. The difference this spring? I won’t be doing it in between horrific days at work and panic attacks about work in the evenings and on the weekends. I’m absolutely looking forward to walking the short kid to school, then coming back to putz around with my projects and outside chores.

Before we know it, it’ll be summer, and it’ll be a whole new thing for me. This year, since I’m not working, I’ll have both girls at home with me. My daughter thrives off of structure, and the boyfriend’s daughter desperately needs it, so I’ll need to start coming up with a plan soon. Not to mention the regular chores that come with having kids during the warmer months. I need to replace the bicycle seat on Noodle’s bike and double check the chain. I need to find a neat way for the girls to store them when they’re done riding, as bikes strewn across my yard is amuisng, yet an open invitation for bike thieves. I need to weed through all of the sports equipment, throw out the broken stuff and replace anything that’s worn. I also need to dig out the flower garden for the tall kid, and get a flower planter for the short kid. Plus all 3 screens in their bedroom windows need to be replaced. Le sigh. Lets not even talk about clothes shopping.

Either way, this winter is coming to a close. Finally, and I think I made it, and I hope you did too.

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Winter – Depression & Crohns rear their Collective Heads

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Winter has always been rough for me. My depression and anxiety tend to get worse, usually from late December until spring. Usually my Crohns Disease acts up (my anxiety levels up my symptoms) as well. However, I tend to look at it like this: There’s no better time to be sick and depressed than winter. Why? Because fuck the cold and snow, that’s why.

It’s not big deal though, although I hope my (few) friends understand why I’ve been so distant lately. Sometimes it is just hard to push through the brain fog. So for now, I’ll remain cuddled up on my couch with my books and Reddit.

Life other than all of that is alright.

The kid is doing fantastic, she’s not the biggest fan of school this year, but she’s doing great. She’s got one hell of a personality now, she’s like my little punk rocker. She’s super open minded and accepting of others, and thanks to the current political climate has a firm dislike of racists and nazi-scum. She asked me to give her an undercut the other day, so now she has the underside of her ponytail buzzed and the bottom 4″ of her hair is sea green/blue. She is definitely something else, and despite the daily video calls with her other little gremlin friends, I am indefinitely proud of her.

The boyfriend has been job hopping. Trying to find one that is a good fit for him, might as well take advantage of the interviews and look for a great position and company to work for. Things are going great with us, so nothing new there.

Our Animal House has been good too. Vader (our neighbor’s old cat) has settled into the house fantastically. Smudge is still not too fond of him, but they get along. I do have to say that I love Vader dearly. He is such a sweetheart, I couldn’t ever imagine losing him even though he hasn’t been here nearly as long as Smudge or Thumbs.

Things calmed down with Jon’s ex. That’s something I’m glad is basically over. She had denied him visitation over the summer (I guess she got angry that we questioned her parenting choices and called her bluff on abandoning her daughter at our house). So we took her to court, and her lawyers basically told her to go kick rocks and give us our visitation, do half the driving and let Jon in on all decisions. Unfortunately Jon is still stuck paying for the son that is not biologically his (Ex cheated on him, got pregnant, tried to pin it on Jon) as Pennsylvania will not cancel child support, despite paternity unless another man takes his place. Unfortunately they do not require her to work, so she’s still living off of CS & Welfare. Alas. Just like with my daughters dad NOT paying child support, EVER.. we are completely okay with the kids knowing who does what for them, and seeing us as examples. Neither of us will bad mouth our exes in front of our children, but we also don’t lie.

As for me? I’m still on hiatus from work. I’ve interviewed with a few places over the phone, and turned down several in person interviews. I’m not sure what my plan is for right now, but our situation works for us and I’m enjoying finally being able to spend (forced) time with the kiddo even if she’s at the age where she’s not so keen on it. Ha.

As the months drag on, I still do not regret quitting my last job. I’m reminded almost daily by Timehop showing me the posts about how miserable I was from the last 8 years. I may have my normal depression and anxiety, but I am no longer having daily anxiety attacks about going into that toxic environment. I hear from old coworkers and work contacts every once in a while, and it seems like it hasn’t gotten much better beyond a crackdown. All I can say there folks is I learned a life lesson, one that I’ve drilled into Jon (as he walked from one recently in order to take another higher position) and one that I’m teaching my daughter. Work is work, don’t let them destroy you and your health, because at the end of the day, you are expendable. No job is worth being miserable. Not even one you devoted the better part of your 20’s and early 30’s to it.

So beyond all that rambling, hey. At least I’m writing again. I have been slowly working myself into writing again. Even if it’s just free writing a few sentences a day. I’ve just got to get into the habit. Writing is the easiest way to clear my mind and lift my mood.

On that note. I’m off to eat some chocolate and cuddle with the pupper.

Moving on up!

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After the craziness of the last few months, life is starting to take on a bit more normalcy. It’s been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure! For once though, I feel like I am coming out a better, happier more knowledgeable person.  

So my heart (be still my beating heart haha) is doing better. I haven’t had any more major issues beyond a couple shot lived episode a few weeks ago. I also prepared myself and learned how to cope if they do happen, and I have a prescription if things get worse again. So far no worries. Back to basic life for me. (Hopefully my EP was right and it was a short lived thing!)

I however did get quite a bit of anxiety from the whole ordeal. I think having your heart stopped and restarted in the ER will do that for anyone. So I took a first step and found myself a really sweet therapist. It’s nice to be able to really tell someone everything… something I haven’t been able to do in about 5 years. She’s helping me learn how to cope with my illnesses as well as being a single mom (again). I’m glad I took that step, as it seems to be really helping me straighten myself and my life out. She’s given me great advice from how to deal with doctors, (she even found me one when I didn’t like the new one I had) to how to take steps to stop being a doormat for people, to great budgeting ideas and resources for writing and art.

Beyond that, I’ve also been making it a point to write and read daily again. Just to get the creativity flowing. I started feeling more confident with myself just doing that.

Oh! Even managed to go a few miles at the forest preserve already. It was so nice out, and felt good to get active again. Noodle and I are just starting to work on the yard for spring (I’ve got a feeling it won’t be as easy as taking it all down for winter). We’re both excited for the garden this year, as well as planting our flowers! She’s really involved with it too!

Nood has been doing great! Grades are steady in school with good behavior. She really has stepped it up with helping at home with chores. I’m proud of my little munchkin.

I’ve also been able to start reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in forever! I forgot what having a social life is like! What I’m working on now is finding a club I want to join. I’ve been looking for quite sometime, just can’t decide.

All in all, things are going well. I hope the trend continues! It feels so great to finally feel happy again after all those years filled with doubt and anxiety! Looking forward to Spring!

Have a nice night everyone!

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Is it Summer yet?

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I am home from the hospital, and currently relaxing on the couch with my two mutts, little one all tucked in for the night. I missed her quite a bit, even though I was only technically in the hospital for 3 days… she on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed her vacation from Mommy.  Usually if I have to go into the hospital she either goes with my Dad (where she is spoiled rotten) or she goes to one of her old teacher’s houses (a friend of mine who works at her daycare… who also spoils her rotten I’m convinced). When I got home I warned my friend, we’re chopped liver when she’s around, and to have fun prying her out of your house. Sure enough, she was a bit upset that her fun was over, but I got a super big hug and a kiss when she walked in the door.

Oddly enough, this little hospitalization timed itself perfectly as the munchkin’s got a bit of a head-cold and wouldn’t have been able to go to daycare anyway (spring break up here in the mid-west. So we got to spend the day lounging together and relaxing, with both of us asking each other how we’re feeling and if we the other needed anything.  Honestly, it was quite cute.  I don’t know what I’d do without my little minion, she’s one of a handful of things that keeps me moving, even when I don’t feel well or am down in the dumps.  Between her, the boyfriend, and all the pets, I get cuddles whenever I want and love, more than I can handle.

Sometimes though, it’s hard not to get down in the dumps. Especially in the winter, well, I guess now “Spring”. Lately in the mid-west, Spring has been colder than usual, so if you’re someone like me who gets the so-called “Winter Blues”, this time of year is wretched. Where we’ll get one warm day and then snow.  For instance, we already broke 70 degrees, and then it snowed about a week later. I’m definitely counting down until it starts to warm up. Hopefully my mood will improve on it’s own then.

Definitely looking forward to late Spring and Summer this year. We have a lot planned, from trips to the lake house, to farmer’s markets and such. The last few years were really busy, last summer especially with my working insane amounts of hours, both in the office and out. I feel like I missed out on a year, so I’m making sure that doesn’t happen again. The Short One has already been able to go roller skating outside and to ride her bike (she’s still doing great on it, although she still takes the occasional spill – the boyfriend taught her last summer) so pretty much anytime it’s warm enough to unzip your jacket just a tiiiiny bit, she’s asking to go outside. We can’t wait.

I know I’m probably looking at some health issues this summer, but hopefully we’ll be able to plan them out (surgery?) since Grandpa wants to take her if I do go in so they can do something fun together. To be completely honest though? I’m just looking forward to the kids all playing in the backyard and relaxing on the deck. Come on Summer! Get here already!

Knit Hats and Warm Scarves

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Growing up in the Midwest, I swore that I was going to move somewhere with out winter… every winter of my childhood.  I’m not a fan of cold or of the snow, so playing outside and building snow forts and lopsided snowmen did not intrigue me in the least.  Once Halloween rolled around, I started to count down the days until Spring and Summer.

I’m 28 years old now, will be 29 this spring.  Over say the last 5-6 years, I’ve grown to appreciate the Winter.  I still don’t look forward to driving in snow storms, or power outages and black ice, but snow? Yes.  Wearing my favorite winter jackets, my handmade scarves and hats?  Hell to the yes.  I look forward to warm fires up at the lake house, watching my daughter (who unlike myself, likes to play in the snow) run around like a maniac in the fresh powder.  I look forward to hot tea by the window watching snow fall, and maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll see a few cardinals out in the trees.

Winter’s not so bad.  Even when I start to get tired of it, say in late February or early March, it’s a good reminder that spring is coming.  Winter breaks up the monotony.  I get a couple months to look forward to planting in our garden, summer cook outs and fresh corn on the cob.  I get to alternate from iced coffee on my back deck to hot tea under a fuzzy blanket.  I get to switch from my broken down flip flops to my knee high comfy boots.

So apparently there is some huge winter storm bearing down on us tonight.  Depending on what weather report you read, we’re supposed to get anywhere from 5-10″ of snow, and we’re under a Winter Storm Warning until Sunday night.  Judging by the response from my other Midwestern friends on social media, you’d think this was the end of the world and snow is actually made of shredded dreams and broken hopes.  Shit.  I may be the only one excited.

I’m not sure if I’ll be home for the snow storm or not, I’m currently in the hospital for my Crohns Disease, but I’m crossing my fingers!  I am excited for the first big storm of the year, I want to watch my daughter play in the snow, and curl up in my own bed to watch the snow fall.  Even if I’m wait out the storm here, connected to my IV, I can guarantee I’ll weasel some hot chocolate out of someone here so I can still sit by the window.

We might as well enjoy the snow, as of now [thanks global warming] it’s only here for a few months out of the year.  So let’s watch the snow fall, and relax.  Spring is only a couple months away.

The Winter Blues

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It seems like Winter will never end some years. Then other years, like this one, winter never seems to even get going.  These past few months make it seem like Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind. We got our first snow really late, then it warmed up and melted, rinse and repeat a few times.

So now, at the end of February, its sunny and over 40 degrees outside. Everything is melting again and it smells like spring. Yet tomorrow we’re due another snow storm with up to 6 inches of snow. Im sure it’ll warm up again and it’ll all melt… again.

It’s slightly aggravating.  Especially for someone like me who tends to get a bit depressed during the winter months.  Thankfully there is more daylight now and better yet we’re comimg up on daylight savings time again.  So there’s that… but Christ, could the snow just melt and stay melted already?  Its like nature’s version of a cock tease… and I’m getting the feeling shes not going to put out.

All I know is that I’d rather be shopping for my flowers than dreading shoveling snow again.