Dear Miranda, It’s New Years Again…

w711utd

Miranda, by now you know I LOVE to make New Years Resolutions. People can shit on NYR all day long, but they give me hope and motivation and a drive towards goals. They help me get my head straight for the upcoming year. They help me not feel defeated and tired and lost. And for fuck sake after 2016 I REALLY need some feel goods.

Here is the list:

  • More Oracle Card Readings/ More Zodiac study
  • Be a Better Parent
  • Kick the Negativity
  • READ!
  • Eat better, Drink more water, Work out

3ed5ab6a21bc3ee1d4c3967074194585

Zodiac and Readings. I am getting better and more in tune and it’s something that has given me a lot of clarity and guidance. I just need to stick with it and keep doing it. One of the things I have been doing and want to really try hard to keep doing is do the single card drawing a day. It helps me to get acquainted with my deck and it lets me know what I will encounter.

Next is being a better parent. I know this is super broad but that’s because what Emily needs from me fluctuates all the time. One thing I consistently suck at is being patient. I get really frustrated and angry with her often and its just not okay with me. I’m working on doing what I need to do to curb that, namely being mindful of it, but I am also trying to work with her. For example, Emily has NO ability to entertain herself (without the aid of an ipad/tv) and so she is CONSTANTLY on top of me needing my attention and wanting me to play with her. We can spend four hours together but the moment I stop she is instantly pouting and whining and nagging for me to play. And a very large key to me having more patience with her is not having her in my pocket 24/7. So right now I am trying to work with her on entertaining herself and engaging that imagination of hers without the help of others. I’ve generally worked on just being kinder to her as well. She is a sensitive soul.

Third is Kicking the Negativity. This is two fold. I am a whiner and a complainer. I love to bitch. I love to vent. It’s just… too much. My constantly being down on life and pissed at the world has started to drain me. And I also am very drained by everyone else’s negativity too. Seriously. I cant take anymore of everyone’s drama. So I am going to start kicking and cutting out negativity. I did this about 6 years ago and it genuinely changed my life. I think I have gradually slipped back into old bad habits, but no more! Good vibes, friend.

Reading! I want to set a reading goal, because I think it will be fun and why not. You want to do this with me?

Annnnd Lastly the dreaded Health goals. I’m just going to be real. I feel like shit all the time and I hate how I look when I see myself naked in a mirror. A bunch of my in-laws are training for tough madder and while I have told them “not no, but Hell no” to doing that (because it legitimately has ZERO appeal to me) I DID tell them I would eat better and work out with them.

I am scared.

Every time I have tried to lose weight in the past 3 years I have ended up discouraged and disappointed. I guess I am vain because it’s not just enough to be healthier in reality. I need to SEE something happening. It may be wrong in some way, but that’s the way it is.

We shall see how all of this goes…

❤ Me

 

The Alchemist… A disappointment

 

This is the goodreads summary:

“Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”

 

Sounds fucking awesome right? Right. Only it wasn’t. It was super cheesy and really repetitive. Like… when I say super cheesy I mean SUPER cheesy. The woman he loves sends him kisses on the wind which he feels and recognizes as hers. And by the way, he fell in love with her after she smiled at him at a well. They only ever even talked a handful of times.

 

He convinces God to change him into the wind at one point… which might be cool except the whole book up till then has been somewhat realistic so its oddly disjointed.

 

AND the entire premise of the book is that If you want something then it’s meant to be and ALL you have to do is abandon all that’s realistic in the world and follow your heart and watch for omens and everything it the world will conspire to help you. WICH IS TOTAL BULLSHIT.

 

There were things I like about the book Like the concepts he stole from various religions. But they weren’t even HIS ideas.

 

This is one of my favorite reviews:

“The problem with this book is not just that it’s bad, which it certainly is, but that there are so many people out there who want to corner you at parties and tell you how it’s totally changed their lives. In a way you might as well read it just so you can see how feeble-minded they must be to get any kind of philosophical nourishment out of this inexhaustible stream of clichés. The profound lessons you’ll learn from this book amount to nothing more than several variations on the theme of “only the very ugly is truly beautiful, only the very stupid are really intelligent, only black is white, only up is down” etc etc.

The writing is too simple to be really bad, but it’s the content that gets you. By the end of the book you’ll want to track down the philosopher’s stone yourself and carefully beat Coelho to death with it.”

 

In short… don’t read it. You will be disappointed.

 

Dear Miranda, Here I go…

I find myself at a strange but not totally unfamiliar juncture in my life. We have talked about cycles in life before. How you (collective you) will go through one thing only to go through something else shortly after.

They cycle I am in now seems to be one breed out of a need for independence. Honestly I am SICK of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. It is remarkable how as humans we always have options on how everyone else should fix themselves yet we have no idea what the hell we are doing in our own lives. As a codependent I am guilty of this line of though… “Oh, if so and so did X Y and Z would help them out so much.” L.O.L.

I feel like a big part of why my depression is so bad is because while researching the billion things to do to make myself happier I let myself become bogged down in everyone else and everyTHING else and my venture to find something fulfilling turned into boredom of the same rhythms of life and annoyance at everyone’s opinions.

And then I remembered one of those little gems of life. I do not have to justify myself to anyone! So hard for my codependent brain to grasp, I always have a thousand arguments for why, but that’s just the thing. I don’t have to. I can actually DO ME without explaining the little intricacies of every decision I make. Maybe if I was a sociopath this would be problematic. But I’m not. I don’t even have to justify things to myself.

I don’t have to debate. I don’t have to argue. I can hear someone opinion and politely ignore it without having a visceral reaction to it. I can mind my own damn business when it comes to other people’s shit too. I don’t have to involve myself and I don’t have to espouse my “knowledge” to people who don’t ask for it. I can let others do them while I do me.

Anyway, this cycle, is me stepping away. I feel like I have read enough self-help books for a while and now I need to just live. Live out the things I want to and wait till another time to live out others. After a period of hyper connectedness with everyone I feel like I need a time of isolation.

So I’ll let this be my link to the outside world, you, and our friends. You can pop inside my head for a bit and know I am fine all while I ‘disappear’ for a time.

Love your face,

Me.

Dear Miranda, I learned about my bucket.

Yesterday I went to a Permanency Summit in Abilene. The summit had a lot of trauma and grief training. It was and extremely intense training and I went and saw my therapist after to process all of it but at the end of the training they focused on workplace well being. They talked all about the secondary trauma we experience in this field if we don’t take care of ourselves. If I were to paraphrase what she said and take of the pretty wrapping she used to be unoffensive it would have sounded a lot like this:

“You are all a bunch of codependence, that’s why you are drawn to this type of work and thank God for that, but you need to keep that shit in check and make sure your nurturing yourselves because otherwise you will end up broken, bitter, and you will unintentionally fuck up the families you work with.”

Then she talked about our “bucket” and it was such an awesome visual analogy for something we know happened to us emotionally (apparently there is a book about this and when I get a chance I’m going to read it). So the idea is simple: Everyone has an invisible bucket next to there heart with all the good things that make them them and we all give and take from each others buckets when we need to. In social work that is every day. The problem is that since you are the only one who can “see” your bucket, you are the only one who knows when its empty and people will continue to take even after there is nothing left. And that can break you down. So in order to ensure that doesn’t happen you have to A) set up firm boundaries when your bucket gets low (ie. I don’t work on weekends. My bucket is low or empty at the end of the week and I need my family time. My family time is something you cant have. Or w/e your boundary is.) and B) to make sure you are doing things that refill your bucket!

Her examples of refilling your bucket were going on a date night with her husband, playing board games with her kids, going to an art exhibit or hanging out with friends who make her laugh and laugh. She really stressed the importance of making sure you didn’t always rely on your spouse to refill your bucket because then it can become drain on their bucket to fill yours. Obviously a date night fills both your buckets and its fine to take from their bucket every once in a while just like they take from yours but having friends and activities that help fill your bucket as well is a must.

She said that everyone in her family knows what “my buckets low” or “I need help filling my bucket” means and they all use it. If her kids throw a fit in the middle of the store and her bucket gets dumped out she can set them down and let them know her buckets low and they will offer things like “If I get my PJ’s on without you having to tell me, will that help fill your bucket?”  and if her husband comes home from work and says his bucket is on empty and need something for the rest of the week she might get take out and let him pick the Netflix they watch that night. If the kids buckets are low she will cuddle them or play a silly song and dance with them. You get the idea.

Anyway I loved the idea of the Bucket and Zachary and I have decided to use it because its such an easy way to communicate a common need. It’s something Emily will understand at least mostly. And I was thinking about what are some things that help refill my bucket.

Some quick little fills I use during the week are:

15 minutes of quiet or outside sounds, like sitting on the patio and listening to the birds and wind chimes

Listening to a “pick me up” song

Reading Emily a bedtime story at night

Taking a shower with Zac

Getting a text message from a friend

Good Coffee

hunting through pintrest for ideas

seeing someone I know and having them smile/wave at me

Some Medium fills I use are:

at least one hour spent doing something fun outside, be it relaxing or swimming or taking a walk

talking on the phone for 20+ min. with a friend

a long soaking bubble bath

board games with Zac and/or Emily

nighttime cuddles

Doodling

Reading a chapter or two of a good book

watching a funny show/movie or a good documentary

a nap (that I don’t wake up feeling shitty from)

yoga

a really delicious meal

And the big fillers are:

A deep and meaningful conversation with someone I care about

Seeing Emily have a total blast at somewhere I have taken her

Lunch with a friend who lives here

A letter/Blog post/email/ long call/ long IM session from a friend who lives outside of here

Being able to read as much as I want in one sitting

A whole day with no obligations

Having time to sit and write out my thoughts and feelings

Therapy

A Vacation with Zac and/or Emily

“Date night” with Zac

Reading something that I feel like enlightens me or gives me a new coping skill

The other big thing she preached about the buckets was that we need to all carefully consider the people who help fill you up vs. the people who empty you. And get rid of the ones who empty you and work to foster and nurture the connections with the ones who fill you up.

I thought you might like all this too and I just want you to know I miss you and you help fill me up. ❤ -Me

Dear Miranda, Sometimes text on paper (or computer) is a fail.

After reading you last post I couldn’t help but feel like a child who was being scolded. I’m 98% sure that was not at all your intent but just the same way I may have accidentally taken your words can out of context because I didn’t have the speech patters and tone of your voice to rely on I wonder if perhaps it has been feeling the same for you with me. So just in case let me clear the air (and if not, the second half of this post is about books so just skip this bit).

I often ask about how you and Matt are doing for two primary reasons. The first one you pegged. I am not there and I have literally no idea what all goes on in your day to day life. It’s just general curiosity. The second is your relationship, whomever it is with, is going to be a pretty major part of your life, effecting many aspects, so anytime I talk to ANY of my friends I always ask for a status update. “How’s it like being single?” “Are you still seeing that scuba instructor?” “How is So&So doing?” I’m not asking because I’m expecting that things have changed or that I’m looking to catch someone in a lie. I’m not even looking for gossip and it doesn’t matter I you’ve been together 2 days or 20 years I’d still ask, all the same.

I genuinely apologize if I accidentally came of as unbelieving or doubtful. That’s not at all how it would have sounded if you had been able to hear my voice. I love that you and Matt are back together (You know I always have considered him a friend as well) and it makes me smile every time you say you are doing well.

I can see how me asking what y’all are working on or how y’alls communication is going might come across as skepticism. It isn’t. As you said, you two are a little too mature and realistic for the “honeymoon” stage and I simply am making conversation. You certainly don’t have to tell me any of the “little stuff”, though I hope you don’t mind me telling YOU the small stuff. I love my husband dearly, but sometimes he does things that bug me and I need to vent or I need insight or I just need to process my thoughts. Likewise sometimes I struggle with figuring out how my behavior is affecting him. Sometimes just like you, there isn’t really anything to report. Since growth is pretty core to who I am though, that’s rare. If we aren’t working on something(s) as a couple, then I am working on ME.

Anyway I hope this clears things up a bit. I don’t doubt yall are doing awesome and I’m really really happy for you. I’m not hunting for something negative when I ask how yall are doing. That’s fantastic that yall changed together in such a sync way.

So the OTHER thing I was going to write to you about was I was curious if you have a particular method when you choose the order in which you read books? I ask because I have to put a lot of thought into it. For example the book I just finished was an easy read verbiage wise but it was extremely thought provoking and mentally taxing, leaving me with so much to think about. As a result of that it would be a poor idea for me to read anything very “deep” at this point and time, simply because I’m still digesting the other book. If I started reading something to heavy I would end up feeling burnt out and would put the book down. For me that’s a killer. If I stop reading a book partway through I almost never finish it again. So right now I’m thinking that I’ll read some fantasy. I’ll let you know if I read anything good.

❤ Kettle

Dear Miranda, it’s been a while…

I have been meaning to write you for some time now. This is the first chance I’ve had and I feel like there are 100 different topics I want to cover, most of witch I will undoubtedly not be able to recall now that I am actually siting in front of my computer. One of the things I remember wanting to update you on and talk to you about was my medication and mental health currently.

As you know I am taking 120mg of Cymbalta and 20mg of Buspar daily in order to combat depression and anxiety. I can honestly say that everyone, myself most of all, can tell what a massive difference it makes. The constant crying spells are gone and the emotional intensity through which even the most mundane things were filtered though has greatly lessened, inurn making life much more livable. I do have to say that while overall the effects of these drugs have been positive there are a few things that are rather unpleasant.

For one thing, I can not stop taking my medication even for a few days without experiencing withdraw. And let me tell you…the comedown impossible to mistake. Migraines, dizziness, extreme light headedness, nausea & vomiting, and horrific mood swings. It’s extremely unpleasant. The other major thing I dislike is that it greatly reduces my sex drive (I know, I know, Welcome to the land of basically every anti depressant ever). I’m a young newlywed and this is something I’d rather not have to deal with but it looks like I’m going to have to.

At this point the pros still vastly outweigh the cons, as I am able to function as a “normal” adult. I can finally have deep thoughts (or really ANY thoughts) without it culminating into me feeling unlovable, like a failure, or just generally unhappy and turning me into a sobbing heap on the floor/bed/bathroom/car/where ever I happen to be. I know this might sound trivial but I can listen to music. Always before this was a struggle as music seemed to often ease my mind down unhealthy trains of though before I was conscious of it and by the time I was it was to late. That doesn’t happen much anymore and when it does I’m able to sit calmly with my feelings for a moment, mull them over, and then let them pass.

The nicest thing I thing is that at this point I have hit that “evening out” place they always talk about. The medication is fully in my system and my body has adjusted to and learned to regulate it. It’s an interesting place to be because I’m not sure that I have ever been able to really sit with my feelings and analyze them. It seems the task of getting out from under some of the bad habits I have learned over the years is not quite so daunting or seemingly impossible. My mind is, in a word, much more clear.

That sort of leads me to my next topic, therapy. I still see my therapist, though not as regularly since I am doing quite a bit better. I am going to see her this Thursday and talk to her about the possibility of doing a group therapy session for codependents. I know one of there person that is really interested and I am sure that she would know several. I think it would be highly beneficial. The issue is that our local chapter of ALANON is, to be honest, not what I’m looking for. I don’t want to fix someone else. I want to fix ME and though that’s the goal of ALANON, I think it sort of gets missed sometimes here.

I want to work on my need to control my situation, my fear of royally screwing up Emily (doing all the things that messed me up as a kid), subconscious manipulation, my fear of abandonment, and several other big issues that need to continuously be addressed until they are easy for me t identify and work on.

Outside of mental health and into just day to day stuff I think I have done a descent job of keeping you up to date.

Zac and I are doing well. We are reaching that “evening out” place in our relationship as well which is nice. We have a little independence from each other while still doing/desiring to spend the majority of our time hanging out with each other. I desperately want to start eating better and doing SOME for of working out which is hard because I’ll be doing it alone but at least were at a place where that’s ok.

We were planning  to go look at manufactured homes this weekend but it I the first weekend in such a long time that we didn’t have Emily, and didn’t have a huge to do list, that we decided to just try and enjoy a lazy weekend. I’m glad too. I finished a book, laid around on the sofa, cuddled in bed, sat around in my underwear. I needed a life break.

This was the first time in ages I have simultaneously had a book that really sucked me in AND had the ability to just sit on my ass and read for hours. I took full advantage of it and read my book in roughly a day. Its such a fantastic feeling. I have book afterglow and this book left me with lots and lots to mull over and ponder and consider. I really enjoyed it and now I’m sifting through the stack by my bed deciding which one to read next.

Work is crazy right now. We have doubled if not tripled our client intake in a matter of a week or to and I’m STILL working on intakes. I am really excited by the prospect of this program getting so big and doing so well. I’m also excited to finally be overseeing someone. Monique is crazy easy to oversee as well. Right now about 25% of my time is spent doing visits while the rest is in the office trying to play catch up. Don’t misconstrue this as complaining…I LOVE when its busy and function better the more work there is to do. The only thing I don’t like are deadlines I don’t create but I mean duh… who doesn’t.

There are a few thing I’m frustrated with at work. For one thing I don’t think I should have been required to help write the protocol manual and it has eaten up a lot of valuable time that I feel like could have been better spent. Part of the issue is that my boss is having to do like 6 different jobs right now because of administrative changes in other programs. She filling in while they get new people hired and placed/people come back from maternity leave, ect. It also makes it hard because she isn’t often available for questions. Lastly they let go of my best friend up there and frankly I’m pretty bitter about it. Mostly I just miss her company and support. She always made me feel valued and important.

Emily is doing well. She is testing out being bossy and throwing hissyfits again, which is irritating but usually short lived. And overall she is a pleasant child. She is doing gymnastics and seems to really enjoy it. I’m loving her age because we can play lots of little games together. Candy land, Cooties, Don’t Break the Ice, the matching game, and I SPY are staples. She likes kerplunk and Janga too. Best of all she is interested in anything you want to show her/explore with her. She still loves her books and when we get a place of our own I want to get her a nice, real, bookshelf just like mine.

Overall life is good out here in the desert, hope you are doing well too. ❤ Catie

My 13 meditations.

·       I am in charge of my life.

·       I will NOT make how I feel depend upon others.

·       I choose how I feel (given the absence of organic dysfunction).

·       I will become aware of my feelings and those of others in my transactions.

·       If I am appropriately considerate I will not be overly sensitive or protective of others or my own feelings.

·       I am not responsible for the way others feel.

·       Taking care of my wants, my feelings, and my needs is up to me, and to put these first is not being selfish (unless I manipulate and discount others), but necessary for my wellbeing, both physical and emotional.

·       I can choose to feel good and to stay with good feelings about myself and others regardless of what the past has been.

·       I can take care of my feelings by learning to confront myself and others when I allow their behavior to upset me or infringe upon my rights.

·       When others “hurt” my feelings, I decide how to feel and how long I will feel that way.

·       I need not accept any “put-downs”.

·       I can allow others to feel very differently about the same situation without taking it personally.

·       I am the one who determines the meaning of my life and my happiness.