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642 Things to Write About
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willow_aileen
Well, day one of doing a daily writing exercise is in the bag. I had actually started this writing exercise a couple of weeks ago. Here is everything I have done so far. Please, feel free to give me some constructive criticism. Some of them are only supposed to be a few lines, others are supposed to be a full page.


1. What can happen in one second?

One second. It contains the entire universe, an entire universe of possibilities. Of second chances, of lost moments. Lives begin, and end in one second. “I love you” takes less than a second to say. So does “it's over”. Life changing sentences that leave room for yet more change. For another utterance that could negate the meaning of the first. All we have is this one second. And this one, and this one, and this one. Life is a series of seconds strung together.

2. The worst Thanksgiving Dish you've ever had.

The turkey smells heavenly. The slightly piney scent of rosemary fills the air as Aunt Gladys begins to carve. As she places the pieces on the platter for passing, I'm not sure if the twist in my stomach is from hunger, or worry. There are no juices on the platter. The grain of the meat is visible even from my seat on the other end of the table, like cracks in a parched field. Finally, it's my turn.

3. Tell a dying houseplant why it needs to live.

You've brought me so much joy and beauty. Your little green leaves reaching toward the window makes this space feel like a home. I'm sorry I haven't take care of you. I'm sorry I either forget to water you, or try to drown you. Please, just hold on. Don't make me a failure in this too.

4. Write a Facebook status update for 2017

OMG! Seriously done with this site. It's all ads and old people. Seriously lame.
Hellooo...is anyone still on here? Pretty sure everyone's on Ello now. This site is like Myspace in 2008.
Can't wait to see the grandkids! Picking them up at the airport tomorrow!

5. You are an astronaut, describe your perfect day.

I tether myself to the shuttle, umbilical cord to mother. She sens me oxygen, filling my spacesuit with life, and prevents me from drifting off into space. I float, eyes closed. Accustoming myself to the sensory deprivation that comes when gravity and matter are absent. For a few moments, I feel lost.

Breathe in. I hear only my own sounds of life, air rushing into my nostrils as I breathe. Pulse keeping it's tempo. Breathe out. The space suit becomes my universe. It presses against my skin, reminding me of where I am. Tethering me to myself.

I open my eyes to an explosion of color so vibrant it hurts. Scarlet. Indigo. Cerulean. They twist and fold in an endless dance. I blink, a tear rolls down my cheek and they are static once more. Their dance takes eons to unfold and I, I have only these moments. I imagine I can feel the nebula on my skin. Effervescent as champagne. One more shaky breath. I reach slowly to my side for my sensor, and begin my study of the nebula.


6. Tell a story that begins with a ransom note.

The letters, bold and black against the white page don't make sense at first. Their lines and curves fail to compute, fail to rearrange themselves into meaningful symbols. But somewhere in my subconscious, I must know what they mean. For a rock is now residing in my stomach, and my throat. The tears finally release themselves as I finally comprehend her name.

“Sheila” I gasp. “She...she's gone. No, not gone” I stammer. “Taken.” The last word is barely audible, mostly just a breath. My dad looks up from his paper, incomprehension and shock warring on his face. “Sheila? Our dog, Sheila? Why would anyone...” His voice rises steadily, until it ends abruptly, and I know he has just remembered the strange van circling the block, and the missing pet posters cropping up like weeds. His face pale, he looks up at me “what do they want with our Sheila?”.

My hand shaking, I hand the ransom note to him. “Money, of course. They seem to think she's a show dog, that she's our 'money bag' as those assholes put it.” My voice is thick with rage and tears. “What should we do?” I ask, wanting my dad to fix it, to get my puppy back home. He rises and crosses the kitchen to get to me, wraps me in his arms. “We will call the police. We will tell them everything we know. Everything we can think of about the van, the neighbors' missing pets, and about Sheila. While they are working we will scour the internet and the newspapers for dog ads fitting Sheila's description, and I promise you we will get her back”. His voice is also thick with tears and rage.

2015 New Year Resolutions and Goals
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willow_aileen
Hi strangers! Long time no talk...I honestly don't even remember the last time I had logged in here. But, I have a plethora of goals/resolutions for 2015 so I decided to keep track of them and my progress on here. I will probably end up concentrating on one at a time, or having 1 or 2 be my focus. Right now, I'm leaning towards the financial and fitness goals of being my focus. But, all of these are areas that I have been wanting to improve for a long time. So, here goes my list.

1. Set and follow budget to get out of debt and build savings. Over the last few days I have built a budget. I catagorized every penny that Hubby and I spent over the past year, our income, and used that information to estimate what we will make next year, and how much I am willing for us to spend in each category.
- Daily: Save reciepts, use money from appropriate categories. Fun items from fun money, groceries from grocery money, etc.
- Weekly, update budget sheet with paycheck info, divy up money as appropriate, pay due bills.
- Monthly, Pay debts, and savings account. Check realism of budget, adjust if necessary.
- At the end of the year, prepare budget for next year.
Ultimate goal: Debt free, able to travel often, saving for retirement to continue to be able to travel.

2. Do daily sunrise salutations. Add 1 more every day.

3. Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week for 30 minutes. The more the better!

4. Work towards 3-5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

5. Try to have protein with every meal/snack.

6. Watch those sweets! Reach for fruit before chocolate.

Year end goal: lose 34 pounds, run minimum 3 miles, do minimum 10 push ups and minimum 1 pull up.

Household resolutions:
7. Daily, do dishes, clean counters, spend 5 minutes cleaning in a different room every day.
8. Weekly, do laundry, grocery shop, cook a minimum of 1 meal a week, deep clean 1 room.
9. Monthly, clean out refrigerator, cull unwanted clothes.
10. Yearly: spring clean, and organize
To buy: curtains for bedroom!

Personal:
11. Meditate 5 minutes daily.
12. Do daily writing exercise.
13. Record books that I have read.

Name Change
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willow_aileen
In a little bit, I'm going to go officially change my name. And I'm not really sure how I'm feeling about it. Yes, I'm doing this more than a year after I got married.

Before we got married, I brought it up to M that I wanted to talk about what we did with our last names. He thought that meant that I wasn't sure if I wanted to get married. Once I reassured him on that matter, we realized that it would be easier for the honeymoon if I just kept my maiden name for now. It was important to me to talk about it though, because I think it's ridiculous that it's just assumed that the woman will change her name. I was not the property of my father, I am not the property of my husband, I am my own person.

Since then I've been trying to decide how to honor my new status in life, without letting go of my identity. So instead of letting go of my identity, I'm adding to it. I will be keeping my maiden name as a second middle name if they let me. And if they don't, I'll hyphenate. Although that will be a lot of letters to write down.

I tried to convince him that we should smoosh the first and last halves of both of our names together into one new name...but he didn't like that idea.

So, I'm excited about adding to my identity. But, I'm a little sad about having a different last name than the one I've had for 28 years. Even if I'm not losing it entirely. But, I put R as my last name down on my Master's diploma, so now I have to do it.

Goodbye C. A. M. Hello C.A.M.R.

last night
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willow_aileen
So, I got tired of doing the mental health journal. Mostly because it was all variations on "I'm fine". But then yesterday, I wasn't fine so much. I had been feeling great the past few days. I've been exercising, Matt and I have been having new friends over more so we both have been cleaning more. I decided to take yesterday off from exercising, which I'm not sure is a factor or not. All day yesterday I felt like I was being ignored. Tried saying hi and joining in conversations at work and people would just not respond to me. Not like they were purposefully being rude, it more seemed like they couldn't hear me. Then we had people over, and it was more of the same. The 2 new friends brought a 3rd friend with them, and the 3 of them seemed to be in their own little world until Matt occasionally emerged from the kitchen. They couldn't help but include him, because he's such a Leo about things that people gravitate to him just to see what he's going to do. And then there's me, trying to ask 5 times if anyone wants something to drink and no one responds to me. I kept trying to join in the conversation or starting conversations, but nothing ever seemed to work. Held it together though. Matt noticed toward the end, so once everyone left I told him what was going on. He felt bad that he didn't notice I was left out. Just wish someone else had noticed. I'm still feeling down. This whole thing reminds me way too much of being the social pariah in school.

mental health 12/9/13 and 12/10/13
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willow_aileen
I forgot to post yesterday. It was a good day, I felt normal. I was happy, but not on top of the world. Was mildly stressed about completing finals, but not overly so. Overall a good day. I had worked out in the morning, and it was sunny. Today so far I'm feeling fine, but tired. It's grey and overcast. Hopefully it continues to be a good day.

mental health 12/8/13
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willow_aileen
I wonder if I should write these in the evening...oh well.

Feeling mildly discontent today. Today was rest day for exercising, so I did that dvd and did the 25 minute stretching work out. Felt great physically and emotionally while I was doing that. And now I'm sitting with my sun lamp and coffee. Even though this is a lot like yesterday, I'm not feeling as happy as I was yesterday. And I'm not sure why. My theories: We have one of the skies right now that looks like a block of cement. I also haven't gotten much done with my final that is due Wednesday. So maybe it's stress coming around that is bothering me. I think tonight after work I will lock myself in the office and try to concentrate on it. I do have Tuesday and Wednesday off, but if I could actually relax on my days off that would be lovely.

Mental health journal day 3 (12/7/13)
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willow_aileen
Feeling fine today. The sun is shining, the tank is clean (*gasp* The tank is clean!)

Anywho...the sun is actually shining. I slept in until 8:30 this morning, and was able to wake up without an alarm clock which I always love doing. I've had the morning to myself so far, and it's blissfully quiet. I've been toodling around online, and I'm about to start my last final project. I know if I don't get that done, I'll start beating myself up about it. I also have to make sure I work out. I really do think that at least until I get meds, I need to do something physical daily to keep my happiness chemicals up. I think on my rest days, I will do a few rounds of sunrise salutations or just simple stretches.

Mental Health journal day 2
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willow_aileen
Actually felt awake when I woke up today. Had some coffee and sat with my sun light, and worked up a good sweat with my work out. Didn't quite feel happy exactly for most of the day, but I did feel strong and capable, as opposed to cracking or feeling like I was going to crack. I did end up genuinely laughing tonight when hanging out with Matt. But then, I also ended up snapping at him a few times, so...I guess it's a wash?

I find it interesting that I have apparently cycled so quickly.

Depression journal
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willow_aileen
I've decided I should record my experiences with depression so that when I do finally go to a doctor I have an accurate accounting of my symptoms and triggers. I have journals around, but I'm not sure where they are. So, I'm using this. I'm not sure if I will continue (quicker for me to type than write, can actually read my handwriting) or if I will switch to a paper journal (Won't have to decide if I'm going to keep it public or private or friends locked, won't have to print it to bring to the doctor, can carry it everywhere).

I've been feeling it coming for a few days. It's been cloudy the past...forever it seems. And every day when I saw the clouds in the morning, I would feel it coming just a little bit closer. Yesterday when I woke up it was like I was on a raft, and my depression was a huge shark that was circling my raft and bumping it once in a while to find a weak spot. I was exhausted as well. I was tempted to call into work, but doing so would put me over in points (stupid retail) and since I wasn't actively crying, I didn't meet my self-imposed limitations. When I got to work, a work friend asked if everything was ok, because I looked exhausted. Since she is a friend, has her own mental health issues, and we've discussed it before, I told her...and almost started crying. Got myself under control and started to work. The rest of the day is kind of a haze. I actually remember going through my cashier script, and realizing I felt divorced from my body. My body was working and speaking, and I was curled in a little mental corner wanting to go home.

When I asked to go home, I didn't even realize I was as bad as I was. I had been on Returns, and asked to either go onto a lane (where I could let my body take over the work) or if there was any chance I could go home. Previous work friend had been joined by the other manager, who I am also friendly with. She's going to be a nurse, and we've also talked about mental health issues. So she asked if I was sick, and I said "Not physically". And was in the process of saying that I could stay if they needed me ( I was struck by a feeling of guilt and the idea that I should be Strong and Pull Through.) But, she said "Go home, you're sick". So, I went, and thanked her. When I got outside, a coworker asked if I was ok. I just kind of ignored the question and told them to have a great day. When I was about halfway to my car I realized I was crying. Not sure when I started. Sobbed in my car for a few minutes, and then Matt called. Talked to him on my way home, feeling guilty the whole time because a cousin of one of his cousins is in the hospital and now he has to deal with his mess of a wife too, who should be supporting him, instead of giving him more to deal with. Told him I'm sorry he had to deal with me. Don't remember exactly what he said, but it was suitably soothing.

So, went inside, sat on the couch and played online for a bit. Continued crying for a while. Whole time I was trying to figure out if there was something I was crying about, but there wasn't. I was just horribly sad. And when I wasn't crying, I was numb. Put out feelers online and through a text message for someone to talk to. Luckily, I have lovely friends who understand what I'm going through and are there for me. So, thanks guys.

Decided to work out to see if I could get a mood boost from that. Just kind of half assed my work out cuz I didn't have the energy. Then I took a bubble bath, which was lovely. Matt came home and I got out. Had stopped crying, but I was still mopey. Didn't have the ability to think, and I felt like I had just come off the flu (really weak and drained). All I wanted to do was cuddle. So, he ate dinner and we watched tv until I fell asleep on the couch. And now it's the next day and the sun still isn't out. I have my happy light on and I'm thinking I should probably work out so I can get at least a slight mood boost for a few hours.

I don't exactly feel like myself today still, but I don't remember the last time I did honestly. But, I don't really feel depressed either.

Am I done yet?
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willow_aileen
I have two more days of class. One more final project to do, and a reflection paper. I'm still waiting to get my grade for my e-portfolio back though. I'm half convinced I'm going to fail the portfolio. If I do I don't know if I'll try again. I'm just so ready to be done.

I'm tired, drained, and I can feel Depression trying to worm it's way in. And I'm wondering if stress is one of my triggers. Or maybe I should say that I'm hoping it is. Because then in a week, I'll be able to relax a bit more. To simply concentrate on job hunting, holidays, and work. Instead of work, holidays, class, homework, and job hunting.

It seems every time I'm dealing with Depression the focus is different. Sometimes it's body image issues, sometimes it's mental abilities. This time around it's "Does anyone really like me?" By which I mean not my established friends, but the new friends I'm trying to make. I'm feeling very much like the little girl I used to be who tried so very hard to make friends, but for the most part the people she tried to befriend would hide or lie to get away from her.