15 February 2021

And another week goes by

 In the blink of an eye. To rehash this week: 

  • Hubby had been doing good, slowly getting better
  • Then on Wednesday he seemed to suddenly get worse. So bad that I was afraid that the pneumonia was coming back and I was scared.
  • Thursday dawned, and as I'm getting ready for work, Hubby comes walking out all bright and cheerful and looking 1,000 times better than he did yesterday. Whew!!!
  • Since Thursday he has made progress in leaps and bounds. He hasn't used his oxygen at all in 2 days. Yesterday he did a lot of things - slowly, but he did them. 
So it looks like he might be on the mend. Thank God!!! 

One of the things that I did not even realize until Friday was how scared I actually was. Once Friday got here and he really seemed so much better, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally and truly relax. As that happened I realized a couple of things. 

  1. I don't like to ask for help. I say to myself, and people that offer help, I can do it myself, I'm good, things are okay. When they really and truly aren't. These last couple of weeks I would have loved to just sit down and talk with someone. Just talk. But I didn't ask for help and told everyone I was fine and so I didn't get to do that. I realized yesterday that I do that because I don't want to impose on anyone. I don't feel like I can ask for help. I don't want people to tell me no. That comes down to self-worth and I need to fix that. 
  2. I set these high expectations for myself in unusual circumstances and then get stressed when I can't keep up. For example, all this time while Hubby has been sick, I've been trying to keep the house up the way it normally is. That is ridiculous since I had to do a lot of stuff for him and do the chores he normally does that needed to be done, like garbage and dog poop. Then I would get to feel resentful which would make me feel like a horrible person. This created a cycle of basically self abuse. I need to work on letting things go when I can. When things get crazy, normality generally goes out the window. I think that by trying to maintain some sense of normality I was trying to shield myself from the how bad I thought things were. 
I view this as a serious learning experience and need to learn and grow from it. We will face serious challenges in our future and I need to keep these things in mind so that I handle them better. 

Also, I have been trying to get our finances in order. They are actually in pretty good shape but we have a lot of credit card bills. I have been trying to get ahead on them but with the high interest rates and the monthly payments it has been difficult. So I decided to try for a personal loan to pay them off. I found a loan that would give us enough money to pay the majority of them off completely and the loan payment would be lower than the current monthly payments. So I applied for that on Wednesday and have been waiting to hear. Well, while waiting to hear I fell into my old habit of living in the future. I started to imagine what it would be like to have zero balances on the majority of the credit cards. I was thinking about how I would manage the one or two that I will use. Then I started checking the loan account all the time and I mean All. The. Time. There is a fine line between looking forward to something and obsessing over it. I spent too many years of my life living in the nebulous future instead of the present. I don't like it and I don't want to live like that. Once I realized what I was doing it was pretty easy to pull back from it. Am I still looking forward to having those credit cards paid off? Absolutely, but it really doesn't matter if it happens today or next week. Just know that it will happen is good enough for me. And, as I explained to myself yesterday, it's not going to change anything in my life. I will still be making payments, just to one place instead of 8. So it's not really going to change anything at all. I've just got the idea in my head that I want our credit score to increase. I want to ultimately see it at 800 but right now I'm shooting for 700. We are so close. But I can't let that control my life or take things over. So I need to put it in it's place and not let it become larger than it really is. 

Writing the above paragraph I think I just had an epiphany of sorts. I applied for that loan on Wednesday. The day Hubby was at his worse and I was most scared that things were going south with him. Could I have been trying to exert some semblance of control over my life? Control is really just an illusion but one I apparently cling to tenaciously. 

Okay, enough for now. I gots things to do. 

07 February 2021

Another week flown by


 

Life does move fast. And things can change on a dime. You have got to slow down and enjoy the things worth enjoying. 

To catch up; last post it was Friday and Hubby had been in the hospital since Tuesday. He got out on Monday, he was supposed to get out on Sunday but the oxygen people are apparently completely incompetent and didn't deliver the oxygen until 1:30 am on Monday. The order had been placed at 10:00 am Sunday and I had called an paid them over the phone at 4:00 pm Sunday. That is no way to run a business but if you are the only game in town....... So he came home Monday morning and has been home all week. He is still on oxygen and gets winded really easily, but he is definitely improving day by day. I stayed home on Monday because he was getting out but I went the rest of the week and he was fine. He is puttering around the house, doing little things and resting when necessary. So that is good. 

So because of all of these events, life has been busy. Life is busy without these things. The weeks just fly by and seem to come quicker and quicker. I don't have enough time in the day, hell week, to do the things I really want to. At least that is what I tell myself. I have been reevaluating my priorities lately and am finding time for the things I enjoy. A couple of weeks ago I bought some material that I like with the intention of getting back into quilting. I love sewing. Love. It. But don't do it near enough, or ever. So I decided that I would get back into quilting. So I bought the material and there it sat on my crafting table because I didn't have time to plan/cut/execute a quilt pattern. Then I stumbled across the English Paper Piecing method. This is a way to make a hand-sewn quilt. It is time consuming and the quilt will not get made quickly, but I really like it. So I prepped some paper and material and I can sit and watch TV and do it it. It is super easy and fun and I think it may be my new favorite thing to do. I can see taking this places and doing it while traveling or visiting or whatever. It's easy to pick up and easy to put down and the pieces go super quick. The thing is they are small so you need a whole lot of them to make a decent sized quilt but there are ways to make it easier. Anyway, that's my new thing and I'm really enjoying it. It you were really artistic, I could see using this method to make a quilt with a specific picture in it, like a face or something. Don't know if I'll ever get that artistic but it is easy and fun. 

So I still haven't managed to work exercise into my daily routine because in all honesty I don't really have a daily routine. Every day is different. Some days I'm up early and at school early. Some days I leave school right away. Some days I oversleep because the alarm didn't go off. Some days kids need to take tests and so we stay after school to do that. Ugh!!!!! So, much like my budget, I need to learn to roll with the punches. I know that it is all in how you look at things. Your mind sets the stage for how things will go. I know that. But how do I change the fact that there are things I want to do and there are things I need to do. At this point the need to do is greater than the want to do. So I need to shift my priorities mentally. I've been doing that some already. I have completely unfollowed most people on Facebook so my feed is literally 2 or 3 new posts from the groups/people that I do follow. Because it's not as interesting and I can't scroll for hours, I just don't go on it as much. That's a good thing because that is such a time suck. Also, I've worked on not watching TV much during the week. I do turn it  on, but I'm not committed to watching certain shows on certain days. That frees up the evenings and I don't feel trapped by a TV schedule. With streaming there is no need for that anyway. So I'm working on it but there are still areas where my thinking jams me up. For example, I think that there is some magic time when exercise is not possible after that time. I come home from work, usually around 4-4:15. I need (and really want) to walk Maverick. So I'm out the door by 4:30ish for half an hour. By the time I come back Hubby is almost ready for dinner so in my mind, I have no time to workout. Now, could dinner wait 10ish minutes - probably. Could I work out after dinner - probably. But I feel like, because I go to bed by 8ish my evening hours are precious. But they really aren't. I have the feeling that I need to relax at some point. Why? I can relax when I lay down in bed and I do. I always read for a few minutes before falling asleep so that is my time to relax. So, just like everything else I do with SCI, I need to examine my thinking and understand it, not just accept it. But, by the same token, I don't want to live where I feel like I constantly need to be doing something. I don't like living like that either. 

So I think what I need to do is to focus on the now. Make plans, for sure, I mean I have to plan on working each day or I wouldn't show up, but be flexible. Tired? Maybe read for a bit instead of watching TV. Feel like moving? Workout regardless of what time or what day it is. So I need to be more in the moment while keeping in mind the things I want to accomplish that day. 

As I think about this, I'm remembering things I used to do. To-do lists were always a hit with me. I would create a list of things to get done during the day and generally do a good job of actually doing them, if I checked them. So I need to use my planner more. I'm using it, but things have slipped a bit recently - probably due to everything else going on. So I am going to use my planner more. I am going to make to-do lists. I am going to make exercise a priority in my life. 

Okay, I need to get started on this. 

29 January 2021

The best laid plans........

 So I had big plans to grab life by the throat and make it bend to my wishes last week.. Well, life had other plans and made me it's bitch. 

Monday, 1/25, I went back to school and left hubby home alone sick. I ended up having to race back home between classes to check on him and he wasn't doing well. 

Tuesday, 1/26, morning he woke up and insisted on being taken to the ER. He was having trouble breathing, he couldn't walk, he was dizzy, and just felt like crap. So I took the day off and we headed out to the ER.  He was admitted to the hospital. He had a pulse ox of 70% and the pneumonia and Covid were wrecking hell on his lungs. 

He is still in the hospital and it is now Friday. I've been single since Tuesday and OMG!!! there is so much for one person to do. I have not had the time to workout or walk or do much of anything between work and taking care of the house. So yeah, I made plans and life laughed. 

There has been not a lot of eating going on and what I have been eating has not been great. I'm starting to feel the affects. Though I haven't been eating junk food there has been a lot of not great food. I think the primary problem is that I haven't really been eating enough food. I don't eat breakfast. Lunch is either take-out or something small. And then I have dinner. Last night that was pasta and fried zucchini from Oregano's. Yeah, not the best choice ever. 

So I'm thinking of going back to paleo old school. Eggs, cheese and sausage for breakfast. Some meat thing for lunch. More meat and veggies for dinner. Like that. I always seem to want to reset my eating when things are going downhill. I guess the way it works for me is, if I eat good, I feel good and then I start doing good things for me. So yeah, food is a great place to start for me. 

Okay, I've been working all morning and I have some things to do around the house. So I'm off. 

23 January 2021

Values

 consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.


 We all have them whether we know it or not. We all live by the things we value whether we realize it or not. But I have never articluated exactly what it is I do value and where exactly those values came from. Reading this book: 

and one of the first things he brings up is values. I've decided to do this post and see if I can articulate my values, why I hold them, and where they came from. Here goes......

Honesty - this is something that I believe I value highly. Having been lied to many times in my life, I would rather have brutal honesty than to be told a lie. I think this one came from experience. Not that my parents lied to me, but all kids are lied to for various reasons. I think this value is something I developed on my own and came from the people I had met in my early adulthood. 

Knowledge - this is something that is important to me, and has become more important recently. Being able to understand something and analyze it on your own is so crucial in the times we live in. There is so much disinformation out there and far, far too many people just believing whatever they read. This came from my Mom. She was adamant about us learning. Didn't matter what we were learning, as long as we were learning. She taught us to read before we went to school and by the time I was 12 I was reading adult books. I think this was so important to her because she dropped out of high school to get married and raise a family. But she was one of the smartest women I've ever known because she never stopped seeking knowledge. 

Hard work - Life is hard. You have to be willing to do the hard stuff. I respect people who work hard. Not necessarily physically hard, but mentally hard, and emotionally hard. I have a huge amount of respect for people who work in animal rescue. That is an emotionally wrenching job and yet they continue to do it. I have respect for that. I value hard work in myself but as I type this I'm questioning it. It seems to me that I have not had to work that hard in my life and I'm wondering if that it really true or is that just my perception? I've worked almost continuously since I was 16 years old. I've supported myself and never really relied on others for my needs. I've worked 2 jobs when necessary. I've worked jobs I didn't necessarily like but needed. No, I have done hard work. It was definitely not the physical kind but I have done hard work. I'm pretty sure this value comes from my Mom also. She was a hard worker and there were times when she had to deal with 6 kids and my Father was gone. She was amazing.  I often see the lack of this in my students. They want the easy answer or the easy A. I will generally bend over backwards to help my students learn, unless they won't do the work, then I'm out. So yes, this is something I value very highly. 

Relax and have fun - this is definitely something that I value but not something I practice regularly. Hard work is great, but you have to be able to kick back and enjoy life too. That is so important. I don't practice it regularly in that I found myself working all the time. I'm trying to pull away from that now. Being more present in the moment is definitely helping, but it is something I have to continue to work on. This is something that comes from my family as a whole. We would get together and laugh, especially as adults. It was always a fun time when we were all together. 

Empathy - this one is not so clear cut. This is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I definitely value the ability to understand what others are going through, but not the softness that usually goes with that. People have a tendency to take empathy too far. Instead of seeing someone in need and giving them a helping hand, they want to do it all for them and that I don't value at all. I actually see this as one of my really strong points. I can see both sides of a situation (usually) and empathize with both sides generally without judgement or being overly sympathetic to one side. Again, as I'm typing this I realize that I have lost this lately especially with all the politics that has gone on. I haven't tried to be empathetic to the 'other' side. This is something I need to work on. I'm not sure where exactly this one comes from. Probably my Mom, probably some of my life experience, just not real sure. 

My values have changed over the years, as I hope they would as I grow and mature. I used to value money. Money was very important in my life. I'm not sure exactly when that changed, but it has. While money is important in that I don't want to be broke and homeless, it's not the driving factor in my life anymore. I will not do a job I dislike no matter how good the money is - and I've had that all my life. I never saw the sense of staying in a job you hated for 30 years just to get a retirement. Makes no sense to me. I used to value material things like clothes, possessions, cars, etc. I think that was closely tied to the money thing. But I have moved away from them also. There is a certain car I would love to own, but that's because I want it and not because I think it's important. If I never own it I'll be fine. I do have lots of clothes but lately I've been buying and wearing things that are comfortable and that look decent. I don't go for certain looks or styles or designer names. I go for comfort and looks acceptable. 

This has been an interesting exercise. I don't think I've ever put any brainpower to what I value. I don't think I've ever really given it a whole lot of thought, but my values have really been the driving force of my life. I find it interesting that something that affects your everyday life can be so unknown. I mean face it, everything we do is because is because of what we value and think is important in our life. 



22 January 2021

Wasted time

 


I was home all week because Hubby had Covid and pneumonia. It was completely unplanned and I was not pleased with it. I don't think we should be in school anyway, but an unexpected week at home while my students were in school was not on my agenda. It was a good week to miss as there was only review and a test, so the sub had it fairly easy, but still. I was out of sorts because this wasn't my idea and I didn't want to stay home. 

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

On top of that, I was constantly getting emails from students about where do I find work, I'm not ready to take the test, blah, blah, blah...... I ended up letting it get to me and got angry and frustrated. 

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

In my anger and frustration, I ended up wasting a whole lot of time this week. Time that I can't recover and that is just lost forever. I most definitely did not win most of the days this week. 

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

I could have used this week to do a couple of things I've been wanting to do, but instead I sat around and ruminated on the fact that I didn't want to be here and my students were annoying and ugh!!! Life!!!!  Not a great way to spend time and definitely would not be winning life doing things like that. 

Happiness = Reality - Expectations

So I've decided that I need to journal to get these things out. So here goes. I was extremely frustrated this week with my students and the fact that I had to stay home. But, truth be told, the staying home was a decision that Hubby and I made because he wasn't feeling well. I technically could have gone to work, but he really wanted me around and I don't blame him. At one point he was having difficulty breathing, he got light headed and dizzy, and he just generally felt like crap. I don't blame him for not wanting to be home alone. But, that was a decision we made. So am I frustrated and angry with him for wanting me to stay home? Of course, not so those feeling have no place. Besides, what purpose does being frustrated and angry serve me? Does it help with my overall well being? Does it make me a better person in any way, shape, or form? Does it add to my self care? NO!!! In fact, it completely takes away from all those things. I let the anger and frustration hang around all week and I dropped my self care. I didn't get my steps in any day this week. I ate an entire zucchini bread loaf all by myself in 2 days. My sleep has been good and my meditation has been good, but that's all. I could have used this abundance of free time to work out - but I didn't. I could have cleaned up my room here - but I didn't. I could have gone on extra walks and got my steps in - but I didn't. I let the anger and frustration that I felt take over my life and make me lethargic. I thought it would be better to wallow in my anger and frustration than to take advantage of the time and do things that would further my self-care. Definitely not winning. And now it's Friday and 4 days of my life are gone with little to show for them. Definitely not how I want to live my life. 

So this all changes today. Of course, it's easy to do that since we normally have this day off anyway and I am going back to school on Monday. So it's easier not to be frustrated and angry when I know the end is in sight. But there are a few other things I need to do also. I need to make working out a regular part of my life. I used to do it all the time and I need to get back to it. So towards that end, I'm going to schedule my workouts. I find that I'm more likely to do them if they are scheduled. I want to make workouts an everyday thing, like they used to be, and I need, no have, to make stretching an everyday thing for the health of my back. So, the easiest way to do this is to just make time every day. I come home from work and walk Mavy - that's good. When I come back from walking him, I do one of two things. Either I sit down and do some work for Johns Hopkins or I play games. While I enjoy playing games, are they really necessary every single day? Probably not. So why don't I save the games until everything else is done, right before I go to bed, and use them as a reward? That would be good. So here is what I'm thinking: 
  • Come home from work and walk Mavy
  • Work on JHU or possibly HAL for the next day
  • Dinner/Clean up 
  • Watch TV while I workout/stretch/dance/whatever
  • Games if there is time
I only have to do that Monday - Thursday. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday my time is more flexible and I can do things whenever. Okay, I'm in starting today. I will work really, really hard to get 10,000 steps in today and I will do weights and stretch. Tomorrow I will just stretch. Sunday I'll figure that out when it's time. I really want to find something to do that I really, really like .I currently don't have any kind of workout that I'm super eager to do every day. Weights,  I do them because I know they are good for me. Stretching I do because if not my back is a mess. I need something that fires me up to do the workout. I guess I'll keep looking around for that. 
  •  

18 January 2021

Equanimity

mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.


This is something I strive for in my life in general. I try not to let situations throw me. I try to remain calm and deal with situations as they come. But I'm still learning to do this.

Last Thursday the husband got sick. Really sick. Friday he felt a little better but still not great. Saturday he was still sick and the times being what they are, we decided to get him a Covid test. Well, turns out he has pneumonia. We still don't have the results from the Covid test, but I'm pretty sure it's positive. As a result of his illness, I am not allowed to go to work. That means that I have to have a sub, possibly for the whole week, and I have to have things that the sub can do. I don't want to miss school this week. I'm not sick and would much rather be at school working. But in the current world, that is just not possible. I thought I was handling it with equanimity, but in reality I wasn't. I have let the situation get to me and take away my motivation to do things. I have put off the laundry for 3 days. Not done any weekend cleaning at all. I have been working on my Johns Hopkins classes so I haven't been just sitting on my butt, but I have been letting things get to me. Time to shake it off and get on with my life. Things change all the time in life. Last week I was bemoaning the fact that we were still in school and not closed down. So now I get to stay home like I wanted and not be around that cesspool of germs. Always remember: 


Happiness = Reality - Expectations 

16 January 2021

No more chasing

 

I posted in the SCI group the other day that I no longer felt like I was constantly chasing something. I really want to take a few minutes and expand on that more here. 

Up until my late 20's/early 30's I felt like I lived in the moment. I felt like I didn't worry about the future, as evidenced by a number of poor money choices, and that I was present in my life. But some time in my 30's that all changed. I can't pinpoint when or why, but I know it did. I know I fell into a deep, deep depression that lasted a long time. And maybe it was that depression that caused the chasing, I don't know. What I do know is that for a large part of my life I felt like I wasn't living in the moment but chasing some future ideal. Which, by the way, I never managed to get. But I remember always thinking "well, when X, Y, Z happens then things will be great" - that never happened. I also remember experiencing really high, highs. Like being super elated and over the moon about something. But I was always looking to the future. I have to do this, and have to do that. The whole time I did that, I missed what was happening in the present. I can remember sitting at my desk so focused on what would be happening next week that I completely ignored what was going on right now. I knew at the time that was not a good way to live, but I didn't know how to change it. 

I have changed it, but I'm not sure I could tell you how I did it. What I do know is that while I plan for the future and consider things to do in the future, I live very squarely in the now. What have I discovered from this shift in perspective? I like being present in my life. I don't suffer depression now because I'm not constantly waiting for something to happen. No wonder I was depressed because in my view my current situation sucked and the future was going to be awesome. But the future never seemed to get here. That would depress anyone. I thought a lot about dying too. I would think, "well, we are all just going to die anyway so what's the point"  Now I look at life and the living part. I want to get as much living in as possible before I do die. Because we are not guaranteed anything and it could all be over tomorrow. So focusing on living is much better than dying. I do things now not because they are going to achieve some major goal or accomplishment in my life, but because they bring me joy or make my life better. I meditate every morning because it helps keep me focused and present. Learning to meditate and control my thoughts were probably the biggest thing in bringing about this shift in perspective. I always knew that I had control of my thoughts and I've used that in the past to make changes in my life, but meditating has shown me just how much control I have over my thoughts which can literally change everything. 

So I'm not chasing things anymore. I do things to improve my life, but I'm not waiting for my life to get awesome, it already is awesome. I am so lucky and so grateful to have the life I have. It could have turned out far, far different. 

And another week goes by

 In the blink of an eye. To rehash this week:  Hubby had been doing good, slowly getting better Then on Wednesday he seemed to suddenly get ...