Productive Sunday

Today was fairly productive, despite a horrible fight with insomnia last night. I finally went to sleep around 7am and slept until around 11:30, then started my day off with some gaming and reading. I’ve been saving a lot of articles lately about various topics – mostly personal finance, bullet journaling, professional advice, and Disney trip planning – so I started to clean some of those out. The list has gotten a bit out of hand lately because there has been so much good content out online these days!

Around 3, a friend came to pick us up and we went to run a few errands. We got my immigration photos done to send away to renew my PR card, got Mark a birthday cake (and a few groceries) at Costco, went to Sephora, then got McDonald’s (the birthday boy’s meal of choice!) and headed home for some gaming and relaxing to celebrate with Mark.

I was so glad to have a Sephora gift card – I’ve been pretty hooked on a lot of their stuff lately and finally picked up a few things I had my eye on for a while. I bought myself a couple of replacement heads for my Clarisonic (one for my face and also a buffer that’s supposed to be good on your feet!) and some facial cleanser, and then spoiled myself a bit with the Naked 2 palette. I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time now so Mark insisted I finally pick it up!

Once we got home and started gaming, I also did some cooking for the week ahead. I seasoned some chicken and baked it (pretty simple, really) to take for lunches or have with rice and vegetables for dinners, and also made a super-cheesy baked penne dish that smells (and tastes!) fantastic. I’m looking forward to eating that all week, that’s for sure!

We tried out a couple of our Christmas board games tonight: we played Mysterium and Epic Spell Wars 2. I really liked Mysterium, though it takes a bit to get into. I think we’ll have to watch a few playthrough videos before we dive into it again, and maybe play with more than three people.

Now it’s time to finish writing out my to-do list for tomorrow and try to get my ducks in a row so I don’t feel rushed in the morning. I might also have a nice peppermint tea before bed!

Ready for the weekend.

It was a long week, that’s for sure. It ended with a lovely panic attack at work today over some potential issues with our Disney trip next month, and I’m just ready to curl up and do nothing for a few days. That’s the general plan, anyway.

Tomorrow, Mark is going out to play cards for the day and a friend is coming by to have a quiet day with me – we’re going to watch some movies and just sit and do nothing – together. This is something we do every few months when life gets a bit too overwhelming, and it is always amazing. We just sit with each other and do our own things, but eventually once we feel like it, we talk about whatever we want, and sometimes we’ll stop to play some board games. It’s one of my favourite activities and I look forward to it every time it’s planned!

Sunday, we’re celebrating Mark’s birthday – heading out to pick up a cake early in the day (as well as get some photos done for immigration purposes) and then coming back to play some board games and relax all day with another one of our friends.

All in all, it sounds fantastic. Tonight’s plan? A bit of TV, a bit of gaming, a bit of reading, and a lot of snuggling.

Quarter end madness

Why hello there! I’m trying to think of things to say that might be interesting to more than just myself, but my brain is so tired. Anyone who works in the finance industry can tell you just how maddening the end of every quarter is. It means late nights, extra work, rushed deadlines, and general exhaustion! I love my job though – even when it’s challenging. (Especially when it’s challenging.) I’ve been there a year and a half now, and not a day goes by that I’m ungrateful to have the opportunity that I do.

While the madness is going on, I’m trying to enjoy all the things that I can in my spare time. I’ve been reading and working on my new bullet journal (more on that later!), and also spending time with Mark and Lilo. After our first holiday season as a married couple, I’m excited to head into our next adventure – Disney! We’re going to Florida in February, so I’m doing as much last-minute planning as I can. I never knew there was so much involved in a Disney trip!

More on this later, though. Mark and I are watching Once Upon a Time and then heading for bed – last day of this busy week tomorrow and I need my rest!

Happy New Year!

I’m coming out of hibernation to wish everyone a wonderful start to the new year. 2015 was easily the best year of my life thus far (for many reasons, which I will get into at a later date!) but I am definitely looking forward to seeing what 2016 has to bring.

For now, enjoy these photos of our first week of snow here in Halifax. It’s been an interesting week since Christmas, weather-wise!

   
 
    

 

Under Construction

1976 Little Construction Vehicles by JD Hancock

Guess what, friends! I’m back and planning some exciting (to me, at least) new things for the blog. Luckily, one of those things includes actually posting more regularly. Expect to see some changes in the near future!

RIP.

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We had to let our little boy go today. Five years of living with the sweetest kitten in the world, and he became ill in the blink of an eye.

You know going into pet adoption that their little lives are shorter and more fragile than our own, but you choose to risk the grief and the pain anyway, because the unconditional love you get is so worth it. You can’t prepare for this sort of pain, though.

I remember the first time I saw Stitch. He was in the window of a vet clinic near where I worked. I was going through one of the roughest times of my life and fell instantly in love. I went in to see him, and he buried his tiny little face in my elbow and purred. Mark said that he had claimed me as his own. Less than a month later, we took him home.

He was the sweetest thing. He loved absolutely everybody, and was the most social cat – he always had to know what was going on. He never bit or hissed or got upset. He was tolerant and patient and won everyone over with his tiny squeak of a meow.

He was the quirkiest cat, too. He loved spinach and would beg for it every time it was in the house. He was also incredibly curious about human food and loved to sniff whatever I had to eat. I would let him, because he was well-behaved enough to never eat it.

He had a habit of bopping Mark on the chin – he would climb up on top of him and try to nibble on his beard at night. I swear there was never a friendlier cat.

I don’t know how to process him being gone. I keep expecting to hear him from the other room, and I keep wishing I could snuggle him again. I would do anything to bring him back, but it is comforting to know he isn’t sick anymore.

If you’re reading this and you have a pet, please give them extra love today, for me. You never know when it might be your last snuggle.

Two hectic months.

So, it’s been nearly two months since I sat down to write anything here. I don’t really know why – it’s a combination of being ultra-busy and trying to manage my mental health and emotions without pouring them all out to a million people. (Not that a million people would ever read this, but that’s not the point.)

I started my new job in June. I love my job, and I love where I work – the people are fantastic and I feel completely at ease with the job itself. It’s a steep learning curve, even after four years of school, but they’re being patient and understanding with me and are willing to help. It’s wonderful and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given.

The flip side of that is that my anxiety is being a super monster once again. I find myself panicking every time something goes wrong or I make a mistake or I have to answer a question – like if I’m not perfect I’ll lose this wonderfully amazing job that I love so much. Rationally, I can see that this is absurd. They wouldn’t keep giving me work and they wouldn’t tell me I’m doing well if I wasn’t. But mental illness is nothing if not irrational, and whatever energy I don’t spend on doing my actual job, I spend on keeping my brain in check at all times. It’s exhausting.

So exhausting, in fact, that I curl up in bed at 7:30 most nights and start to prepare my brain for sleep. It usually takes a few hours to actually fall asleep, but let’s just say my spoon levels are low enough that I don’t have the energy to sit up or socialize most days. The days that I -do- socialize, I take four times as long to recover from.

On top of this, the health issues continue to multiply. When I had my ultrasound to check for my Mirena, apparently they found a polyp on my uterus that needs to be removed. I don’t know when this will be (our hospitals here schedule things and then send you a letter to let you know when they’ve scheduled them) but that will be delightful, I’m sure. On top of that, I had to go in for some blood tests last week – the new specialist thinks I might have PCOS in addition to or instead of endometriosis. I’ve been tested for PCOS before and it came back negative, but I’d rather let this doctor do what he needs to in order to find some answers. I’m tired of feeling like utter garbage all the time.

Right now, I’m feeling the effects of my depression the hardest. I don’t know why I’m sad, and I’m not feeling actively sad, but rather just… empty. Nothing looks fun, nothing feels good, and I just kinda want to curl up in a ball in a soundproof box until I figure things out. The worst part is that I’m no longer seeing a therapist (she saw me on one of my “good” days and decided that I’m perfectly capable of handling this on my own and basically said that I don’t need therapy anymore) and I’m down to the last few pills of my medication. I’m terrified of trying to go into a clinic and get more meds because they might give me a hard time (the last one did, and made me feel awful about the whole situation) and so I’m just taking lower doses trying to make it last. Not good, I know, but sometimes my well-being suffers for the sake of my anxiety. It’s just a vicious circle, and I need a medical support system that is going to be there when I need it and actually listen.

In a nutshell, things are… mediocre. All of the good things are basically cancelled out by the bad things and I’m left with an empty feeling and anxiety. I’m not sure how much longer I can stay afloat, but I’m mostly just trying not to drown. We’ll see what happens, I guess.

Spoonless

Have you heard of the Spoon Theory? If not, you should read it. It’s a fascinating way to explain chronic illness or fatigue to someone who has never had to deal with it. It’s my go-to explanation, and I find it really helps. Of course, because I’ve been able to adopt this theory to explain my life, I’ve come to consider my low-energy days as “low spoon” days, and my friends all know that this is the easiest way to ask how I’m doing. “How are your spoons today?” or “Did you replenish your spoons with your nap earlier?” are some of the things I hear on a regular basis.

I went to the mental health clinic today and had a good cry or ten. (Hint: ten.) It was very intense, especially for a first appointment, but I’m glad I went. The therapist talked to me about some of the things that I’ve never really gotten to talk in depth about (things about my past, my family, and why I am the way that I am), as well as talking about the effects of endometriosis and anxiety on my energy levels and overall mental health.

I learned today that my immediate reactions to a lot of things in my life are not the appropriate reactions. Instead of giving myself a bit of room to relax and sleep and rest when I’m having a “low spoon day”, I instead berate myself (either mentally or sometimes out loud) for being “lazy” and spending my time wrong, or even for not being able to just do things like other people can.

The reality is that I’m almost always in pain, and I’m usually running on empty as far as energy is concerned. I’ve been fortunate enough to have built up a tolerance to a lot of my pain, and I don’t feel anything as much when I’m resting. However, when I’m out and about and doing things, I usually collapse at the end of the day, unable to do anything else.

This makes life harder for me than it is for a lot of people. I have to measure out my activities very carefully – if I walk the extra half mile to the ferry instead of taking the bus, I might not be able to cook dinner. If I socialize or game for long periods of time, I might only be able to do the bare minimum of activities the next day. It’s weird – it’s like when someone has no money (and believe me, I’ve been there lately!) and has to budget out their pennies. Except it’s just day-to-day activities that I’m budgeting for, and I’m budgeting a very limited supply of energy.

Over the next little bit, I’ll be spending a lot of time trying to balance these things. I start a new job on Monday (more on that later, once I’m more comfortable and feel more secure in it – anxiety is being a jerk right now and I don’t want to count my chickens too early!) and I’ll probably come home, eat, and sleep, for at least the first couple of weeks. But on top of that, I’ll be actively monitoring my thoughts – this will take a lot of energy, but I wonder if I wouldn’t feel better more often if I didn’t beat myself up constantly over things that I can’t really control?

An unfortunate decision

I had to make a very tough decision today. After four long years at university, I won’t be walking at the commencement ceremony, and will instead be graduating in absentia.

I received a voicemail this morning informing me that my ultrasound was scheduled for Friday at 3:00… The same time as graduation.

I had to make a choice – either reschedule the ultrasound and hope it didn’t take too long to get a new appointment, or graduate in absentia. With the uncertainty of the near future (potential new job, medical appointments, things like that) I decided it wasn’t worth the risk that it would cross with my interview or take a lot longer, since I need to know about my mirena sooner rather than later.

It’s almost poetic: after missing so much class due to health issues, it figures that I would miss out on graduation due to medical reasons. I just hope I made the right choice.