Saturday, April 12, 2014

Taking a Moment to Feel

This last week has been rough on me and my body.  Selling a house as fast as possible requires a lot of work.  Every day this week, I have woken up and hit the ground running.  The amount of stuff we accomplished this week feels unbelievable, but we did it.  The house is sparkling, bright, and open.  It went on the market yesterday.  And after a week of moving furniture, packing boxes, pulling weeds, fixing a few things around the house, painting, tutoring/working, and telling all my students and their families that I am moving, I am absolutely exhausted.

Physically, everything hurts and is sore.  I have bruises all over and my joints ache.  The funny part though is that it feels good.  It feels good that my body is well enough to accomplish all those tasks.  It feels good to know I have the resources and capacity to pull off the seemingly impossible feat.  But that feeling becomes bittersweet when I think about how much I love this house.  It is sad to think that we won't be here for much longer.  We had always intended on going back to Tucson, and I am excited for the new adventure, but we had planned to raise our future children in this house.  The picture was so clear, but the scenery now has to change.

So tonight, I am taking a moment to feel.  To feel the excitement and the loss, the joy and the sadness, the relief and the frustration, and all the other emotions that come with a major life course alteration.  Tonight, I am taking a moment to reflect on me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rolling With the Punches

Oh my goodness!  The last two weeks have been so very rough on us.  So this is my post to catch everyone up on what the deal is.

2 weeks ago, my husband went into work to find out that the company had lost their funding suddenly and had to close its doors...immediately.  The unexpected layoff left everyone in shock.  There was panic, fear, tears, sadness, and mourning over the loss of such a wonderful company.  The following days involved D and I going through all of our options and weighing each one carefully, but one thing was certain - we could not afford our house without D working.  We had a HUGE budget deficit and we needed to stop the bleeding as fast as possible.  Luckily, we are blessed to have a ton of options and enough savings to get us through a couple months.

And here is the decision.  We are moving back to Tucson.  Tucson is hurting for math and science teachers so the job market is ripe for me to gain quick employment, something that I have been unable to do here in San Diego.  In addition, the cost of living there is low enough that we can afford it on my salary alone.  That isn't even taking into account how much healthier I am there!

Although we are confident in our decision, there are several things making this move a challenge.  First, there is the sadness in telling my students and their families that we are moving and I will no longer be able to work with them.  These kids are amazing and I will miss them dearly.  Then there is my sinus surgery coming up next week.  Ever tried selling a house while recovering from surgery?  Yea.  That should be interesting.  Then, there is moving away from family who is just getting used to having me close by - aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins.  Finally, there is trying to coordinate interviews when you don't even live in your destination city yet.  Well, if nothing else, we are keeping life interesting!

As Rodney Atkins tells us, "If you're going through hell, keep on going.  Don't slow down, if you're scared don't show it.  You might get out before the devil even knows you're there."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Laugh

Life has a sick sense of humor sometimes, but we have a choice on how to react to it.  We can either curse it, yell, scream, cry, bitch, and moan, or we can choose a healthier path for our soul of laughter and rolling with the punches.  The immediate reaction is not what is important.  Our instincts kick in almost immediately with a reaction of fear, anger, sadness, or excitement.  What is important is our conscious action after we move past the initial shock.

Last week I posted about big decisions we were making and the dreams and goals surrounding them.  Little did I know, my husband was being informed at that same moment that he no longer had a job.  The startup company he was working for lost funding and shut down, laying off everyone.  I can only imagine the things going through my husband's head as he read my blog post that day.

I freely admit that when he told me that night, my heart plummeted and a small panic started in my gut.  Me being the highly emotional person I am, I was quite proud of myself for not letting that panic take over though.  There were some tears later, but I ultimately woke up the next morning ready to face this new challenge head on.  Crying, worrying, and holding on to anger or disappointment solves nothing.  Instead, careful analysis of the situation, running numbers, amassing options, and exploring creative solutions will get us through this.  Let's see where life takes us this time!

Much love!

P.S.  If you know of any designer positions with a gaming company or middle school math/science teaching positions open, let us know!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Clearly I am not very good at keeping up with this blogging thing, but for those who still read, thank you!  And since you have been so dedicated, you get to see some amazing things coming up!

When we are kids, we often have big dreams and visions.  We imagine going to space, starting our own business, swimming with dolphins, curing cancer, being a rodeo clown, building something from scratch, and so much more.  Somewhere along the "growing up" cycle, we lose a lot of these dreams and visions.  We forget how to imagine the seemingly impossible.  So many fantastic ideas perish at the hand of adulthood, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Obviously one of my biggest projects is starting my own school.  I envision a small school that serves the needs of all its students.  Curriculum slows down or speeds up according to the student's skills and development.  Concepts are taught in a variety of ways to make the information accessible to all.  Life skills are incorporated throughout the skill career so that students learn to teach themselves and develop the skills needed to work through life after the "teacher" is gone.  All of this is wrapped up with real-world incorporation from business professionals who partner with the school to provide knowledge, experience, internships, observations, scenarios, and vision for the future.  Some of the largest strides in society have come from our youngest people.  The goal is to have my school open and accepting students by the summer, and already the interest is high!

As if creating this utopia of a school isn't enough, we have also been fumbling our way through the adoption process.  False starts and changes in course have altered our plans many times, but it feels like we are finally on the right track now.  It has been emotionally and financially taxing, but the experience is and will be worth it.  As we continue with the adoption process though, we have also found another option.  Our insurance covers infertility!  We will be beginning our conception journey at the same time as our adoption journey.  All of this comes together right after my sinus surgery in mid-April.

I know.  It sounds like a lot to accomplish in just a few months.  It also sounds like I am going to overwhelm myself when it is all written out, but here is the amazing part:  For the first time in my life, I feel like everything is exactly how it needs to be for success and I feel very little stress over the whole process.  I have faith in myself and in my spirituality.  I know that faith will carry me through to fulfillment of my dreams.  I know it may not be pretty, but everything will get done exactly as it needs to.  I can see it all so clearly that it already exists.  These dreams, goals, visions, or whatever you want to call them, they are me.  It feels like I found a huge piece of me that I didn't even know was lost.  I feel these are my missing puzzle pieces that I have found.

Now watch  me as I finish the picture...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Even the Strongest Feel Weak Sometimes

I'm a pretty strong person.  I have had a life where I have been beaten down, trampled over, injured, deathly ill, and mentally scrambled.  Through illness and injury, I have persevered.  I have pushed through and come out the other side of my experiences stronger and wiser.  I am confident that I can make it through just about anything.  But even the strongest people feel weak at times.

Today, I am weak emotionally.  For more than 6 weeks now, I have been fighting a massive sinus infection that just will not go away.  I have dealt with migraine after migraine, several rounds of antibiotics and steroids, CT scans, blood work, exhaustion, and still trying to work and get my business off the ground.  The longer it continues, the more likely surgery will be needed to clear the infection out.  Quite honestly though, I would welcome it.

Over the weekend, the infection made its way into my chest and bronchitis is setting in: the figurative straw that broke the camel's back.  I don't look sick, only tired.  I don't sound sick (aside from the cough), just sad.   But I am sick and I am tired and sad.  Weeks of fighting this illness has left me short on spoons with nothing left in reserves and I still have another 2 weeks before I can see the specialist.  The frustration and annoyance has compounded into an overall feeling of disappointment and feeling of hopelessness, that I will never be healthy again.

Before you freak out, yes, I know this is not true, but our emotions do not always follow our knowledge.  I know health will come again and I will ignore the lies that my bipolar can tell me, but the feelings are still there and need to be acknowledged.  Denying those feelings only make things worse.  So today, I acknowledge my feeling of weakness.  I acknowledge my desire of having someone just hold me and take care of me for a few days so I don't have to think about all the things I want to be accomplishing and can't.

I accept that I must take care of myself first, but that doesn't mean that I won't feel the frustration and disappointment of wanting to take care of those around me.  So this is me asking for help from my family and friends, if you have a few minutes, drop me a message, give me a ring, or stop by my house to visit.  Distract me from the disappointment of being ill.  Tell me about your day or a funny joke.  Run your big ideas by me so I have something else to ruminate on instead of feeling crappy.  If you can spare it, run an errand for me or drop off a side dish for dinner so I don't feel quite so guilty for not being able to care for my family as I would like.  Forgive me if I sound down in the dumps and understand that I am doing the best I can.  Sometimes, we just need a little helping hand.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gophers, and Moles, and Mice. Oh my!

So we have a huge gopher problem.  This neighborhood is absolutely infested with them and there are hundreds of holes between our yard and the neighbor's yard.  We have tried baiting them, but it just doesn't take care of the problem and I worry about other animals being poisoned should they eat a poisoned gopher.  A quick Google search turned up an alternative:  Barn Owls.

Apparently, one barn owl pair can consume up to 2000 rodents in a single year.  Hell yea!  But to buy the premade boxes is not cheap.  After some research, there are tons of plans online to build your own barn owl box for minimal cost.  Yea baby!  So I believe one of my next projects will be building and installing one of these boxes.  I am totally excited about this prospect.  Besides, who wouldn't want to see cute little owlets growing up?

What are gopher solutions you have tried and how successful were they?

Whoooo are yoooou?
Nom nom nom.  Tasty gopher.
What you lookin at?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dream Big

I've got big dreams.  Huge even.  They are so big that sometimes I actually fear their success.  But this is a demon I am learning to tame.  I am learning to stop focusing on the bad things that *could* happen, and instead, focus on what I want to happen.

See, my dad is always giving me and my hubby stuff that he thinks will help us in some way or another.  Books on healthy eating, advice from Dr. Oz, financial articles to read, etc.  This time, he gave me a book.  In the past, I would have conveniently not found time to read it.  But this time, I figured why not.  My dad is trying to help me and pass knowledge to me.  I should honor him by checking it out.  What I found was an incredibly inspiring story, captivating words, and focus.

The brain is a powerful thing.  What we focus our thoughts on influences what happens in our future.  We may think about what we don't want to happen, but that only puts that at the front of our mind so it is all we find.  This goes back to the saying "Don't think about a red hammer."  And what were you just thinking about?  A red hammer.  Instead, focus on what you want.

This is when my dreams started looking achievable.  I am learning to build focus on what I want my life to look like.  When I picture my life now, I zoom in on the details while maintaining view of my life as a whole.  I can see part of my business incredibly clear now.  I can picture exactly what I am doing in that moment in time and really feel my emotions of the time.  Joy.  Contentment.  Love.  As I wind down for the night and settle into bed, I picture what I want the next day to look like as if it is a guarantee that it will happen.  It may be coincidence, but it has been pretty darn accurate.  Even when the day did not go as well as I had desired, when I honestly reflected, I realized I spent too much of the previous night worrying instead of focusing on what I want to happen.   Thoughts have power.  In the words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."

What are your dreams?  What do you want your future to look like?  Are you focusing on that future or on everything that could prevent that future from happening?

*If you are interested in reading the book I am currently reading, it is called "The Answer" by John Assaraf and Murray Smith.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

This Is Me, Take It or Leave It

Caution:  This may confuse the hell of out you.  Welcome to my spinning stream of consciousness.  Have fun!


Someone asked me the other day why I write this blog.  Honestly, there is no simple, single answer.  This blog exists for several reasons.  The first reason I began it was to show the world that not all people who have Bipolar Disorder are maniacs who go shooting up malls and schools.  There are thousands of us who seek treatment for our disorder and lead healthy, productive lives, yet people shy away from us when they find out we have a "mental illness."  But this blog has turned into much more. 

Sometimes, it is my sounding board; my place to vent when everything seems to be going against me.  Other times, I use it to announce to the world something that just blew my mind!  There are days when I feel like all I can do is help people, so I share some of that information and tips on here as well.  And finally, it is also partly my diary.  

When I write here, I am both writing to you, my audience, but also to myself.  For better or worse, I put myself out here for learning.  I want my readers to learn to see beyond the stereotypes, beyond your own fears, beyond insecurities, and open up to another view.  So many people see things only one way in this world, and they forget that there are thousands, even millions, of different aspects to any situation.  Don't assume that your way is the only correct way.  

Anyway, I am getting off track.  What I want you to know is that when I write here, this is me and what I tell you comes from my heart.  Sometimes I am crass, but can't we all be sometimes?  Sometimes I am all pixies and rainbows!  Isn't that nice?  And sometimes I am so far down that I can't even see that the sky is blue anymore.  What you "see" is what you get.  You get to witness a small part of my mind that gives hints to how I think, react, feel.  

Heck, you might even get to "watch" me work through a revelation or idea.  Like right now, I am questioning why I am writing this post?  Do I feel like I need to validate myself?  Do I have to explain what I write?  I shouldn't have to.  It should be implied that these are my thoughts and experiences.  On one hand, I don't want to care what you think about me or any of that, but on the other hand, I have times where I really hope you won't judge me.  I have reasons for my actions, feelings, opinions.  Rather than jumping to conclusions, engage me in conversation.  Ask me.  I will answer nearly anything.  You may be shocked at what I would answer. 

Bah!  And there my mind goes again.  I'm good at tangents.  Long story short, this is me.  Take it or leave it. 


And this is where I went back to the top to put a caution label on this post.  Ha!  I wanna keep writing and sharing.  Feel free to stop reading at any time. 

So this is really late at night, Sunday morning.  I have been "sick" for 10 days.  I put sick in quotes because I haven't really felt "sick" by the usual definition.  No.  What I have had for the last 10 days is this insanely horrible headache.  It was so bad at times I could not see anything but fuzz.  I also was sleeping 12-14 hours a day and still needed a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.  Now luckily, the last two days have brought some relief.  My energy is finally coming back, though slowly.  I wake up rested now after 9 or 10 hours and I can  though I find myself tired in the afternoon, I can still function.  The headache has receded significantly in the last 2 days and now it is coming and going instead of constant.  When it is present, I can function through it. 

And you know what?  The docs still don't know what the heck is/was wrong with me.  Yea, they don't know.  I had a CT scan, an EKG, and some bloodwork done.  All came back acceptable. All they have been able to tell me inflammation of my left sinuses.  Well, no shit Sherlock.  I have allergies and they have been bad lately!  But why?  Why am I still having these problems when I am on allergy shots, have a nasal spray, AND take Zyrtek daily?  /rant end

But now, after 10 days, my mood is seriously starting to suffer.  I feel the walls closing in, feeling more like a cage rather than a shelter.  Trying to stay positive while feeling miserable is exhausting.  I don't have the energy to fight it anymore right now.  Hopefully I can have some energy soon to take me out of the house for something fun, not just the necessities like grocery shopping and the pharmacy.  

I need some fun soon or this hole is gonna be tough to crawl out of.