Advancements in Cat Lady-ness

I’m thisclose to crocheting sweaters for my cats. This should be a surprise to no one.

Giving My Anxiety A Cookie

Me: And if I’m refinishing the cabinets – just some trim to make them more like Shaker cabinets, they’re solid cabinets – I should really just put in the bench seating on the north end of the kitchen

Friend: So you can’t put beans in the crock pot because then you’d have to remodel the whole kitchen?

Me: I mean, duh!

It made perfect sense at the time.

Watch List 01/2022

I’ve started keeping track of what I’m watching again. I don’t know, it’s fun for whatever reason. Therefore, I should share it with everyone!

IDK it’s worth a shot.

I like listening to low stakes shows like cooking competitions while I’m working on art projects, paperwork or I just need to pretend to have human contact. My therapist also made me stop watching press conferences on CNN so I had to sub in something… I love some standup when I need a distraction from generalized despair, or when I’m having fun. When I have the time and the spoons, I love both “bad” and great movies. Generally speaking, if I start a movie, I’ll finish it. However, if I don’t like a show, I’ll just stop.

SHOWS

  • Master Chef
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • Master Chef Junior
  • Jayde Adams: Serious Black Jumper
  • Bob The Drag Queen: Suspiciously Large Woman
  • Worst Cooks in America
  • Archive 81
  • Devs
  • The Witcher
  • Bumping Mics with Jeff Ross and Dave Attell
  • Shadow and Bone
  • Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous
  • Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian
  • Leslie Jones: Problem Child
  • Abbott Elementary

MOVIES

  • Observe and Report
  • Gunpowder and Milkshakes
  • Jolt
  • snatch
  • The House
  • Long Story Short
  • Dark Shadows 2012
  • Deja Vu
  • Acts of Vengeance
  • Level 16

For the first time, I started keeping track of creative projects that I’ve finished as well. It’s hard for me because I feel like I never get enough art done. I know I work on things, but it can be hard to gauge how much I actually finish. So I started a list of creative projects I’ve finished as well. It really helped me see that I do a lot more than I thought!

Creations

  • Large Moth blanket with crochet edge
  • Painting underwater yellow dress
  • Painting underwater with sea weed
  • Painting underwater with white cake layer
  • Pink/gray crochet blanket
  • Painting underwater larger with pinkish dress
January 2022 lists

The Path Through

I admit, I’m at a loss. I know I need to promote myself, put my work out in front of people. No one can buy my work if they don’t know it exists. But the process of putting everything together and promoting somehow feels overwhelming.

So I am trying. I am taking a step. I don’t know what it looks like, but I’m trying.

I started a list of projects I’ve finished to help me remember that I am actually making progress, that I’m putting in the work. So far this year I’ve finished 3 paintings, and 2 craft projects. I’ve worked on seven others that are in various stages of completion.

I’ve shared some of those with a few friends, but that’s all. I should probably cast a wider net if I want to actually do something with all of these things I make.

Imposter syndrome, anxiety monster, negative core beliefs, generalized despair – whatever it is, I’m trying to fight my way through.

Solstice failures

My series of goddess photographs was almost entirely derailed by the pandemic, but even ones I was largely prepared for didn’t quite make it to the deadline somehow. I photographed Gaia last summer in anticipation of posting it on the summer solstice this year, but I didn’t quite make it. I saw it in my calendar last week and tried to budget enough time to get the image ready, but it didn’t work out. And that’s okay. I’m still really excited to share it with ya’ll. There are only so many spoons to be had.

The kitten total

I know we all agree that this is not the totalitarian nightmare we signed up for. Personally, I’d hoped to live my whole life without going through… at least 80% of what’s happened in the last year or so.

However, I’ve also had enough therapy to know that we’re supposed to focus on smaller things; things that are within our control. I’m not very good at actually doing that, but I know it can be helpful for some people.

I do a lot of animal rescue work and one of the things I’m in charge of, is helping find intake placement for kittens. We only take orphaned neonatal kittens 6 weeks and under. You’d think that’s such a narrow spectrum that we wouldn’t take in many kittens, but it’s a rather alarming number. I field intake calls every day.

Here’s some good news. So far this month, I’ve helped arrange intake for 52 kittens. That’s so many! I’m so glad I’m able to do this. It helps me focus on something good. Kittens are pure joy and wonderful and better than people pretty much all the time. So yes. I am putting good into the universe in the form of tiny kittens who bring joy to everyone.

Meow

October Arts

I always desperately want to participate in the various themed art challenges that pop up in October. It’s hard to know which ones to choose. It also seems like it requires a lot of research to make sure you’re not following one that was started by an asshole…

Last year I did apprentice witches and that was a lot of fun! This year I thought I’d do landscapes and backgrounds since I suck at them. Not going to get any better unless I practice, right?

Or something

IDK it’s worth a try

My favorite October art theme I ever participated in was ones a friend set up for a list of Queens! I’m still working on that one even though it’s been years. I may be slow, but I’m determined!

UnderShare

I made some rather bold plans for this year. While it’s barely two months in to the year, I already feel like I’ve fallen woefully far behind.

I was medically cleared after my surgery in January. I was excited to start walking more and regaining my strength. I had things I wanted to try, things I was going to work on to try to earn money.

And then, after only a few days of trying to get back to my life… It all came back. The pain was unbearable. My leg barely worked.

Several phone calls, a trip to the ER, and an emergency MRI later… My disc re-herniated and I’m back to where I was 3 months ago.

I meant to write here more. I have at least a dozen blog posts written, I just never posted them. I’m not even sure why. What was I waiting for?

Like a lot of people, when I’m depressed, I tend to withdraw. And right now? I’m extremely withdrawn. I just wanted to have my life back. Not even “my” life, just “A” life would have been great.

I don’t want to be on my couch, in too much pain to do much more than nap all winter long. But that seems to be where I’m at. I know that I need to take it slow, be kind to myself, and let my body heal. I know it’s the most important thing. But having to “rest” for months on end is its own special kind of torment.

2019 – The Hits

To say that 2019 was a year of change, would be a gross understatement. I do believe that change is constant and our adaptability to it is a big part of what shapes our reality. However, it’s a little extreme when your entire sense of self shifts.

I had to stop working in June because of debilitating pain in my spine, being unstable on my feet, and not being able to see clearly out of my right eye.

Now, for a normal person, any one of those things on their own would likely be enough to give them pause. For me, I had suffered with the first two for a very long time as they steadily got worse. It wasn’t until I could no longer work around the last item that I contacted the company I subcontracted from and told them I needed to stop. I told them I thought my brain tumor might be back.

The fact that I would have heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, and sobbing anxiety meltdowns every time I had to leave for a job, never seemed like a valid excuse to make a change. It wasn’t until I was also unable to see that I stopped.

As I sit here today, I am baffled as to why I STILL believe the destruction of my mental and emotional health is not a valid reason to make a change to my behavior when it comes to work. Instead, I pushed through the misery, made sure I didn’t eat, carefully scheduled out my days to the minute, and cried in the car. And I made myself do the work, even though at the end of the day, it wasn’t even a living wage. Or even minimum wage.

The progression from optometrist, to neurologist, to spine surgeon was relatively quick.

The good news is that my brain tumor seems to be stable. The bad news is that back pain I’ve had forever, the grinding in my spine, the shooting leg pain, the tremors I would have to stretch out, are because I have no discs left L2 and down. Words like “degenerative disc disease,” and “root nerve compression” started to be thrown around. I learned about EMG tests and how many of the things I’ve lived with – and mentioned to medical professionals – for years, were not normal.

I has surgery on my spine in November to try and save function in my leg. There’s nothing to be done for the rest of my spine.

I will never have improved function in my spine. Right now is as good as it gets. The only thing to be done is try to preserve what I have left. It’s scary. I think about all the hard labor I’ve done over the years while my back screamed in pain and I pushed through it because that’s what you’re supposed to do, and I shudder.

In January this year, I shoveled my driveway because no one else would do it. No matter how much I explained that I shouldn’t do it because I fall over, because I can’t grip a shovel with my broken hand, because it kills my back, because I have been expressly told on several occasions that I SHOULD NOT SHOVEL SNOW. I couldn’t get any help. And if the snow didn’t get moved, I was going to be snowed in for quite some time. So I shoveled snow. It hurt so much. By the time I had to stop, I could barely move. I spent most of the next two weeks laying down. That’s probably when I herniated the disc in my back. But that wasn’t enough to send me to a doctor.

So much of my energy has been wrapped up in my health, it feels like I haven’t been able to do much else. I’ve been working on disability paperwork, and trying to find work that my health will allow. It’s a very long process. The mental adjustment is probably harder.

I don’t want to be disabled. It feels like self-pity. I know it isn’t, but that’s the struggle between knowing things intellectually, and accepting them emotionally.

In the midst of this, a few other things happened in my life. A partner I pined for over the course of a decade, ended up being not who I thought they were. Letting go of that idea was devastating. I also lost a very close friendship. I cried over that for months. My ex-husband started legal action against me barely seven months after our divorce was finalized.

It feels selfish to complain. In the last month and a half, close friends of mine have suffered unimaginable tragedies so I shouldn’t talk, right?

But that’s not how life works. We all have our own individual struggles. We can all have horrible things happen to us, all at the same time. In the end, isn’t that what life is all about?

Year-end recaps always struck me as odd. Who can keep track of all these things? I can’t remember what I did this morning let alone what books I read in April. This year felt different because of the over arcing difficulty of my health. I don’t know what 2020 will look like. I assume I’ll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what my life is going to look like. You’re all welcome to come along for the ride.