Using Lists

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I know that some people say that making lists just isn’t too effective.  However, I have to say that if it weren’t for my lists I’d feel like I was getting basically nothing done.  I started making lists after I gave birth to my son and became a stay-at-home mother.  I was encased within the fog of no sleep and endless new-baby tasks.  My husband would come home and ask what I’d done all day and I struggled to remember doing anything beyond baby-related tasks.  So, I started making lists of tasks to be accomplished each and every day.

To this day, my list consists of such things as washing dishes, running the dishwasher, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, etc.  All those little things that you do during the day, but don’t really consider them “work”.  But, my lists also have the bigger things on them like: writing a blog post, chapters for a book, and illustrating the book, along with the dreaded paying of bills, grocery shopping and meal making.

There have been times that I’ve neglected to make lists, however I’ve found that one thing is completely clear.  In order to function, I need a list.  It’s not so much the remembering to actually do what’s on the list, it’s the crossing out of the things that I’ve accomplished.  I get great satisfaction in crossing out the tasks that I’ve finished.  Now when my husband comes home and asks what I’ve done, I can reference the crossed-out list.  Of course, my list often consists of all the things that I’ve done for him so that he doesn’t have to do them – making doctor appointments, calling insurance agents, etc.  All those things where you can be put on hold for thirty minutes or so at a time, which is why I call and he doesn’t.

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Probably one of the reasons I like to make lists is that they keep me accountable to my goals.  Let me know if you’re a list-maker, and if it helps you accomplish what you want to achieve.

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

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I don’t know about you, but I seem to simply wear myself out over Christmas.  First of all, I worry mightily over the gifts that I’ve bought.  Will they be “good” enough?  Did I spend fairly?  How will they like them?  Were they the “right” thing?  The list goes on and on.  Can I afford all the gifts that I bought?

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Not only did I have all the gift worries this year, but I also had the most difficult time making the pie.  I always make the pie and the sweet potatoes the day before, since there is all the gift opening, breakfast making and wrapping paper cleaning to do on Christmas, not to mention the three different dinners I had to make this year.  My pie crust rolled out exceedingly dry – I had no idea how it would bake.  However, that worked out well, and it ended up being quite flaky – which is how we all like it.  This of course, just added to my list of worries until we finally ate it last night (in lieu of supper).  It turned out fine, of course.

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So, on to today, the “day after”.  I’m exhausted, emotionally depleted, and in need of a vacation.  Is this how you feel?  I tell you, thank goodness Christmas is only once a year.  I don’t think I’d survive more than one day.  I hope that you had a wonderful day with your loved ones.  All in all, it’s more than worth the emotional aftermath.  Don’t you think so?

Living With Chronic Pain

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As someone who suffers from chronic pain, but chooses not to use pharmaceuticals to deal with it, since I really don’t like the side effects.  Instead I tend to rely on over-the-counter remedies, but usually only when the pain is ridiculously intense.  To tell the truth, I will most likely only use over the counter relief for a headache, but not the chronic pain that I’m in.  In other words, I’ve been in constant pain since I was 39 years old.  Ask me how I like Fibromyalgia.  Please, just ask me.

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How do I deal with the pain?  Well, let’s just say that I’ve gotten really good at my dissociative behavior.  I do use it to the best of my ability.  At night when I can’t sleep due to pain, I imagine that I’m wrapping cotton padding around wherever the pain is.  With each pretend circuit around the pain, it lessens, until I can’t feel any pain at all.  This is something that I’ve been working at for years, and I have to admit that it works.  Of course, I’ve spent countless hours perfecting my technique.  You can try it also, but I don’t know if you’ll have the patience to work at it.  See, dissociative disorder can come in handy at times.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

However, I’ve recently come across some information that leaves me just the tiniest bit concerned for my long-term health.  Untreated chronic pain can lead to many other problems, including less sleep, exhaustion, more stress, relationship and work problems and psychological distress.  I’ve been living with pain for so long, that I can’t even imagine life without it.

At first, I was over-whelmed with the information that I was reading, and went into a tailspin (a usual reaction for me), but then I decided that I had to find some better ways of dealing with the pain.  I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even look for new information to help deal with my Fibromyalgia issues, which is exceedingly remiss on my part.  Of course, there is new information coming out on a fairly regular basis.  I should be checking it out and seeing if there is anything new that can help me.

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What did I find out?  Nothing really new, however there are things that I should be doing that I’ve let slide.  So maybe that could be why my pain has ratcheted up to a new level.  My work-outs haven’t been as consistent as they should be.  Neither have my sleeping patterns.  I’ve been shorting myself on sleep by staying up really late (I blame it all on the books)!  Then there is the fact that I haven’t been doing my Yoga, or meditations.  So, here we go again.  There are all these “things” that I should be doing, and I’m not.  However, one bright light is my affirmations.  Those have been going well, if I do say so myself.

So, what will I be doing?  Bedtime has got to change.  I now plan for hoping into bed by 10 at the very latest, and getting up every day at 5am.  Working out on a consistent basis is another change I plan to make.  And, afternoon Yoga along with a relaxation meditation to go along with it.  Do you suffer from chronic pain, and if so, how do you deal with it?  Let me know in the comments below.

https://www.painmanagement.org.au/2014-09-11-13-35-53/2014-09-11-13-36-47/178-psychological-effects-of-pain.htm

Looking for a Little Happiness

The past week or so has been a little bit difficult both within my home and outside of it.  However, I’ve been collecting the wonderful things that have happened.

One of them is the fact that my library re-opened and I’ve been spending the entire day on Saturdays there writing away on my NaNoWriMo.  Yay me!  Another good thing was that my daughter and I were able to go to the restaurant Not Just Juice which serves both vegetarian and vegan food.  Yum!

Since the weather is getting a bit colder, I made my Butternut Squash soup for the first time this season.  I’ve been looking forward to making more soups and stews with the cold coming.  What a treat this was after a long Spring and Summer of hot-weather salads and other dinners for the hot weather.  Comfort food here I come!

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As a way to “hide” from the cruel cruel world, I’ve been trying to read more than usual.  So, here are some of the books that I’ve recently finished.

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And, of course to round this all off, there is the lovely little thing called nature that is all around us.  Here are a few of the pictures that I’ve taken recently.

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The Super Moon!

 

What have you been doing in order to find that all illusive thing called happiness?

 

I’m Just a “Little Bit” Broken

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For years, I’ve been having heart attacks on a pretty regular basis.  Of course, I’m not speaking about actual heart attacks, but I’ve been upset on many occasions by the state of the world, the environment and the actions of a few people with a lot of power.  I spend probably a few hours a week signing petitions against this or that; or even for this or that.  Things that really have integral value such as clean air and water, wars and poverty.  That kind of thing.

However, as time has gone on, my stress level has skyrocketed to the point where after the election on last Tuesday I was afraid that I would have an actual heart attack. When I calmly, nicely and quietly questioned some people I know who voted for Trump, they didn’t really actually like (or even know) what he was running on, they simply liked the things that he said.  When asked specifically what things it was that they liked, the response was invariably the hateful things that he said.  Sadly, my experience didn’t seem to be much different from the videos and articles I’ve seen and read regarding the reasons people voted this way.  The most upsetting part of this exercise in futility was in regard to the sad realization that none of the people I spoke with had a clue as to exactly what would be the out-come of a Trump presidency.  They had no idea of what he was going to do – other than “build a big beautiful wall.”    So, I’ve had to ask myself is this the America that I thought it was?  I have to say that I had no idea that so many of my neighbors and acquaintances felt the way they do in regard to race, religion and gender.

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In the end, after all the hand wringing, wondering, and intense depression, there is one question that I feel I must ask myself.  What do I do, knowing what I now know?  There are a lot of people, who, because they feel they have been short-changed (and I do agree, working people have been short-changed – I should know, I’m one of them), have decided to blame those who are just as powerless as they are.  A large segment of our society has blamed the blameless.  What about the banks that caused the 2008 financial crisis?  What about the corporations whose greed has broken down much of our society?  The CEO’s who have finagled ways out of paying any taxes, received many tax breaks and even receive subsidies from us, the working class, paying all our taxes (and then some).  Why have they not been held accountable?  Bernie Sanders, who tried to bring this knowledge to light, was right.

So, again, where do I as a person go from here?  What is the way forward and how do I find it?   My reaction has been the realization that I’ve got to learn how to deal with stress in a much better way.  I’ve got to keep myself busy working on creating a better world around myself.  I’m making a list of some of the things I can do just in my little world.  Of course, I’ll keep signing petitions, writing letters to the editor and voting with my dollar.  I intend to work with the marginalized (whom I feel will become even more marginalized); volunteer work is a great way to start.  However, another one of my goals will be to make my own house a shelter, a peaceful place to retreat from the craziness that those of us who did indeed read the Republican Platform know is coming.  Keep safe, find peace somewhere in your own lives and keep fighting the good fight.  Love each other and have courage!

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http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-america-racism?akid=14867.302291.KMX_93&rd=1&src=newsletter1066971&t=18

Anticipating the Worst

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We just had the worst problem with our septic tank.  I woke up on Monday morning with a wet basement where the water had overflowed and made a huge puddle.  Luckily I have a wet/dry vacuum and was able to vacuum up most of it.  I’ve also got a dehumidifier down there, and lots of fans that I used to help dry up the mess.  However, we realized two things.  One, we hadn’t had our septic tank cleaned out in about twelve (yes, unbelievable!) years; and two, we had a blockage somewhere out there.

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When my husband and son dug up the tank lid, we realized that the tank was just about full (eew), and we were hoping that was the reason for the blockage.  We were able to use the toilet, wash dishes by hand (of course I had a full dishwasher that I was going to run Monday morning – instead it was dish-washing by hand); but no showering, as that caused the water to overflow back into the basement.

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The septic company we called came out Tuesday morning, and Jeff (that was the magic wizard’s name) cleaned out the tank, and fixed the blockage for me.  I really wanted to give him a kiss, but instead I called his office and told them that he did a great job, and I was very happy.

However, my anticipating that things were going to go the worst way, caused me to get up at 3:30 am Tuesday morning with an upset stomach and a headache.  I was so afraid that we’d have to replace the tank that I was simply sick.  Thankfully everything has worked out for the best, and it was just another case of worrying myself sick.

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I really don’t know why I do that, since worrying has never fixed any problems.  I’ve got an organizer that I’ve written down that we had the tank pumped this year.  Now, I’ve just got to remember that in four or five years we should get it pumped out again.

Do you make yourself sick over problems?  Really, there was nothing I could do, other than get the tank pumped and then deal with any accompanying problems.  I really do wish I could just “chill out” and not worry.  What do you do to not worry yourself sick?  Let me know, I could use some suggestions.

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