You could say that life’s been a bit of a drag lately.
2020 keeps dragging on. And the election keeps dragging on. And the pandemic keeps dragging on. The endless questions with no answers are dragging on. Nothing seems to be working, and everything is complicated.
It’s been okay in my neck of the woods. I have the rest of the world turned off for most of the time. Many of my connections are bright lights that I can navigate to when I start to feel down.
Since school began in September, cases around here have been going up, a lot. My district was supposed to start in-person next week (my kids have been in-person one-on-one), but now we are all remote– probably at least until the end of January. So last week was the last week for awhile that I can see my kids in person. It’s sad. I’m hoping to spend time sprucing up the office room (that is currently ripped apart due to flooding) and organizing my online lessons. I am grateful that with only doing online lessons, lesson planning will be easier.
I’m kind of pumped to have extra time each day not commuting for almost two hours. I’m also excited to be able to do things differently this year, maybe in some ways better?
About two years ago I had a brilliant idea. I wanted to put my Orton-Gillingham lessons online, or on an app or make into a computer program. I thought it was the perfect project for me and hubby to do together, and between the both of us we’d have the knowledge to do it. With grad classes and all that, we never got it started, but you know what? I’m putting those suckers online now.. how ironic, eh?
You know what else is ironic? Waiting 43 years to get braces, but having to wear a mask all the time after getting them off. That’s the funniest thing that happened this week.
I have been super scattered this year, most notably, making stupid mistakes with work. So much so that yesterday I missed my kid’s 504 Plan meeting at school. At my school, I schedule meetings like these and it drives me crazy when parents don’t show up- and just forget about our meeting. Well, now I’m one of those parents. We both had it on our calendars too. I felt awful when I got the email at 12:20, “we had a meeting scheduled at noon, would you like to reschedule?”
I was thrilled that before missing the meeting I had a doctor’s appointment and got a prescription for Ritalin. I’ve talked to her about it before, and am kind of apprehensive about taking it- but at the same time I hope it helps me.
Other than that, I have some good things to look forward to.
The holidays kill my spirit, and this year I stopped feeling guilty for thinking about skipping it. We bought tickets to Florida and will completely miss Christmas day with both of our families.
It wasn’t an easy decision, and we’ve both gone through different emotions about it (feeling so excited, but also guilty, especially since we’re taking our nephew and will probably get a lot of flack for him not spending Christmas with his mom), but now that it’s a done deal, I’m thinking why don’t we do this every year??
I love our families, I really do. But the holidays on both sides is extra stressful. His family works for days putting on giant dinner with all the bells and whistles. For the past few years, they’ve been leaving the morning following the Christmas gathering to head to Florida. Since doing that, the Christmas gathering is extra stressful as they are frantically preparing for the trip while doing everything else.
Christmas eve at my dad’s is a smaller party but normally pretty stressful. The only reprieve is to get wasted, and well that’s just not an option these days.
So now when I think of the holidays, I feel an excitement, not a feeling of dread like normal. Then I realize that I need to put myself first more often.
I’ve been trying to keep up on the self-care, which is hard this time of year, especially given the craziness of the school year.
At any point in time, I’m usually reading a spiritual program type book. Currently, I’m studying A Course in Miracles. The real book is wordy, cumbersome and hard to understand. So, I got a cliff note version. My sister and I talk almost every morning and read a lesson from it. These lessons are way easier to understand than the real book. There are over 300 lessons and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing them for the rest of my life. They’re good. Currently, the theme is how nothing is real, we make up everything, our thoughts impact our life, our perception is everything.. those kinds of things.
I bring this up because having this routine has helped tremendously with staying sane and happy. My sister has had a lot of spiritual growth also, and we enjoy reading through the lesson and applying them to real life situations.
I joined a Pilates club and have been doing that a couple times each week. It seems to have helped my mood. I am enjoying the classes, but much more since buying tickets to Florida!
Another super cool thing is that I finally made it to the Buddhist temple for Sunday service! It was nice, pretty much what I expected. This was on my 2019 bucket list, better late than never right? I went with a good friend, another good friend was supposed to go, but her kiddo was sick, so she will go next time. Yep, next time, because now I have friends who want to go too. What a great feeling it is to have like-minded friends.
Lastly, I finally have gotten back to my manuscripts. I took a break since school started, I couldn’t get into it mentally. I started about a week ago and have been obsessed ever since. Each future novel is in a binder and whenever I walk by one of the binders, a voice in my head says, my manuscript, and then I feel so freaking happy! Who even cares if they ever get published and stay in a binder forever? It doesn’t change a thing 🙂
Several months ago, even before the pandemic, hubby and the boys were playing Minecraft together. Hubby can play for hours and hours. He especially likes to play after a stressful day or week at work. It gets his mind off the stress. He’s not a video gaming hubby, really, and goes weeks or months without playing, but sometimes it’s a good stress relief and he will get lost in the block world.
“I wish I had something that I could get lost in.” I said to him one night. I was jealous that he could play for hours, putting all the stress aside. I had nothing like that- except for maybe drinking.
Him playing Minecraft or even talking to the boys about playing used to be a big trigger for me because of boredom. It doesn’t trigger me often anymore, but I’ve realized that I need something to keep me busy.
When I started writing over the summer, I found that writing is that something for me. I could write for hours and they just fly by. It also is an amazing stress relief. Whatever I’m experiencing in real life somehow/someway comes out in my writing. Not in an obvious kind of way, but the therapeutic effects it has on me is profound.
I also realized that without knowing about the ego and the awful voice it has, I’m certain my writing would have never gotten this far. All summer long, that voice was like, This story is stupid. You’re wasting your time. No one will ever read this. You should stop now.
I am 100% certain that I would have stopped by the second or third lash of the ego’s tongue, but now I knew better. I’ve often wondered if I would have written more, taken more risks in general, growing up if I knew how to shut up that voice- instead of taking it at face value.
I stopped writing when school started. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get back to my story while working during the school year. It feels so refreshing and great to get back to it. I’m going to try my hardest to carve in at least a couple hours each day to write- after all, that’s the amount of drive time I’m saving everyday.
It’s a huge and overwhelming process, but I’m taking baby steps and enjoying the process, most of the time anyway.
Life is a beautiful disaster.