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Weekly Review 6/29-7/3/2020

I started this at 330 am on Friday, had an insomnia night.  I cannot take the medication because it is too late and allow me to function at work in four hours. Figured I would start my review early instead of Saturday as usual.  

I had a great week and was able to walk 2 miles with my daughter Tuesday and Thursday.  It made me super tired the next day but was able to add walking, which was great.  This Friday, I finally received a C-Pap machine again; unfortunately, they will not allow me to use my old ones.  These are expensive, it is close to $800, and that is with insurance.  Okay, going to stop that thought review medical and insurance lack of coverage frustrates me. Side note still trying to find somewhere to donate my two old ones, Was suggested to contact the VA (Veterans Affairs), has not heard from anyone.

With the hope this time, the machine will help me sleep through the night, the last two did not.  Between the apnea and depression, my energy is limited.  Should this work where I truly start to declutter and Anxiety wise do I lay myself bare and show my real journey of hoarding/clutter?  So many ideas, but my brain keeps short-circuiting on the way to proper completion.  Well, slightly tired, so hopefully I can sleep for an hour and pick this review back up on Saturday like I usually do.

Well did not succeed in picking up working on the review Saturday.  Unsure if this decrease in energy is the 90-degree weather with no air conditioner or the fact that my body is adjusting to a little more sleep.  We will see as the week goes forward.

I have to say that I feel successful.  I was able to add walking, got another four boxes of stuff donated, and shifted some furniture around to determine if I was going to keep or give some furniture pieces.  Light week for my Anxiety and depression, which is excellent.  Part of it, I think, was going back to limiting my news watching and trying not to fix a culture schism that I have little direct contact with for a real change.  Additionally, I was able to add more exercise and time with my daughter to my time.

Short but do not have much to review from this week except I did finally also put together what I have for a posting on Anxiety and scripture that I have been scared to post.  Scared to insult due to how we all walk our lives differently, but if I live my life scared to present my ideas, I might stop now.  Which is honestly not something I want to do.  I have found great enjoyment in putting my thoughts and creativity on paper.  Have a great week, and we will see how this one moves forward since my area of the world is having another 90 degrees weather week.

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Review of Week 6/22-26/2020

I had a pretty good week with my anxiety and depression in regards to my family and home. Not sure whether that would be the case as the week started. For a variety of reasons, the strongest one continues is anxiety over the media’s presentation of the topic of racism and my accountability and reaction. Another difference to the week was having to put our family dog, who was eleven years old, down; she had a stroke. Both of these subjects seem to overwhelm my free time. Even with the distractions outside the norm, I was able to make some progress on my downsizing project. So proud of myself that I could keep moving forward. I do not have much to contribute outside my last Eureka thought at 3 am on Saturday. Please bear with me the return to the topic of racism. Keeps me up, as we’ve seen from past logs the problem of racism in my accountability to that topic from the midwest US. The issue keeps pushing at my anxiety to figure out where my place is in this world, where I can feel that I am not impacting people negatively by my actions.  

Had a eureka moment, I have struggled with the words that I keep hearing and not understanding white privilege when it comes to the news commentators because I don’t see it to the extent they claim it is around me. Please, I am not saying it is not there, but the media keeps pushing us to sign up for hate groups, from my perspective, that is farthest from the truth or need for the problem.  From a personal perspective, my position as a mom and older person has consequences as well.  Not as severe as the black community, but as a mom and someone having worked 20 plus years in retail, my options for employment are limited.  

I chose to work second shift retail, so I could stay home during the day with my daughter allowing her dad to take care of her at night. This choice destroyed any chance I had getting any form of office career. Career is the scheme of white privilege according to the media for me to lord over everyone. Office work and a college degree from the beginning is essential to getting into executive positions. Even in retail, there are limited opportunities if you choose to place family before career. Now, this becomes fruitless because I don’t have any networking connection; I don’t have a 3.0 GPA. When I bring up in conversation that I’ve been in retail for 20 years, I’m looked down upon as if I was to stupid to work in an office.

I can’t wrap my head around those words that I have white privilege, and all blacks feel attacked just by being in this country. We live in a country where sports stars and musicians get paid millions and a high percentage is African Americans. Do not get me started that they are complaining that they are in danger of getting sick as they plan the game schedules. That has not stopped them from going to retail stores with working people that do not have their money to pay for PPE supplies. Also, I don’t even know what to call people anymore because the media is representing everybody getting offended. I’m tired of being told I’m a horrible person because I’m white. I childishly want this all to stop. I want to watch the news again without feeling like I am a worthless person. I do anyway because of my anxiety, and the media keeps putting me back to square one.  

Slightly different but still about minority groups that were and looked down on. I did find some sadness and humor in my reading of the current news article about the Remington Gun company declaring bankruptcy but that the Navajo Tribe may buy them. Situation tickled my funny bone a small amount, not that people will lose their jobs but that an Indian tribe is purchasing a company that provided weapons to enslave them hundreds of years ago. Nevermind that some of the Indian tribes own casinos. The sadness and humor/justice for me is that whites introduced alcohol to the Native Americans which prompted alcoholism. They are now returning the favor through the addiction to gambling. Just gave me hope that through all of this current chaos, the world will still keep moving forward and that things will improve.

So let me wrap this up. Was it a successful week? Yes, it was. I have accepted AGAIN, that pleasing the media and politicians cannot be done.  Also, I do not see people as the media and violent protestors do. All I can do is be who I am, a person that tries to please everyone I come in contact with, as I always have. At least one or two people that I come in contact with will be offended by what I say or do. I am not, nor have I ever been perfect. Will I keep trying to understand the other argument? Strive to understand the larger picture of life and that unfortunately means watching the news. I did run across a gentleman who posted a well-done video from his perception of living black in America, and he speaks with Mathew Mcaheny and the Gaines family. I have included his first video explaining why he has created these videos. I did enjoy listening to the dialogue between him and his other guests. In the first video, personally find his tone condescending (that could just be me). He does present an amazing personal perspective of the current topic media of racism, even though it seems to be moving back to the pandemic.  

Emmanuel Acho – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Again, sorry for the revisit of this tiring subject, the media just keeps sending me into fits of what a horrible person I am and spent time trying to work through that for the umpteenth time. Prayerfully, I will return to my anxiety research and personal thoughts of the presentation. Keep healthy and move forward. We got this as individuals even when some days look bad the next day or hour has a chance of being better.

References

 Nasdaq, Remington Arms prepares for bankruptcy; Navajo tribe in talks to buy – source CONTRIBUTOR, Jessica DiNapoli  Reuters, PUBLISHED JUN 26, 2020 3:10PM EDT, https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/remington-arms-prepares-for-bankruptcy-navajo-tribe-in-talks-to-buy-source-2020-06-26

Emmanuel Accho, YouTube, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, https://youtu.be/h8jUA7JBkF4

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Contemplation of Current Volatile Topic Again

Some random thoughts came to mind as I did my brief overview of national and local news. Why must we be so confrontational in our society? I do not have a real answer to this one. Except maybe we should listen to each other. I see confrontation as individual groups speak what they think but do not hear what the other group is saying. Finding a balance between fact and opinion seems to be an excellent place to start and reach a compromise, which seems to be a losing art form. Current and historical answers that I am basing these thoughts from is below for anyone interested in reading.

Very uncomfortable by a small section of our society that is about destroying the monuments of our past. What if we instead relocate them and describe why they are no longer viable as a monument or leave them with a description or a comparison statute showing the change of heart in society. Present as a celebration of United States maturity as a mixed culture. There is talk of destroying Mount Rushmore. Why? When did we lose sight of what our country stands on? The United States used to pride itself as a melting pot of nationalities, culture, ideas, and history. Not all of it is pretty, but as a people, we can learn, grow, and change to a better society.

Making changes becomes a danger; not all aspects of needs addressed when handled quickly. How many people have been hurt by the removal of police from different cities? This subject still weighs on my heart and mind with the chaos around us and the knee jerk reaction to things that they genuinely do not understand. This lack of understanding comes from not living the situation and only have statistics or reports written by biased individuals pushing a goal.  

I still have only my reaction to voting and how to treat others. Just my anxiety and depression keep struggling to watch our politicians make change without fundamental research and discussion with the people genuinely involved. Who is involved with underinsured people, all citizens of all culture and nationality, and the first line police. When did we become a nation that relied on statistics and mob mentality, not the larger group’s needs? Not an aspect I can wrap my anxiety around because I am just one person and cannot change everything but myself. 

Corporate, Plantations, Business Owners, both current and past, have needed the lower masses’ labor. The Industrial Nation was moved forward on the backs of low income, immigrants, and their children. Chinese built our western railroad. People of color made our world through cotton, westward movement, tobacco, and many more. Our government killed and locked up our Native Americans. There will always be a segment of our society that is negatively impacted by policy, social change, or big business. Where can we go from here as individuals? That is all we have because, as a society at large, there has been a segment of culture that initially does not fit but has as the years pass that can change if we move forward well.

What about our Chinese society that rules were out in place to limit the businesses they could own? What about the need for mental health care or finances that can cause people to not succeed in potential, become homeless, or be in prison? What happened to the topic of how low women are paid or chose family over career until later in life and career options decrease? How about the high cost of healthcare and insurance companies not covering needed care?  

There costs to all rules, politics, and corporate needs. Yes, all of us being equal would be fantastic, but it is not feasible without losing a lot of freedom. I want to live in a country where with hard work, sacrifice, and chance, I can better myself. That is not possible in countries that oversee all aspects of their citizens’ lives. If we keep pushing for social change to happen without accurate planning, if we are not careful, the changes will endanger the freedom and sacrifices that our forefathers have made, and a dream for other world citizens to strive to join. By destroying our monuments and passing rules and changes regulating our decisions. All I ask as the months move closer to November, we research all aspects of our local, state, and federal politicians, not just news and social media’s most significant voice.

Unsure why this topic keeps scaring me. I am scared of some of the current decisions made that seem short-sighted and are genuinely not for the whole. YES, there is a crisis in our nation about segregation, but all minorities have some abuse history. The black community seems to have a higher amount at this time and the past. Why do I fear to monitor every word out of my mouth? The media is presenting our society as all racist, uncaring individuals. We have things being changed, such as Aunt Jemima logo, Uncle Ben, and Cream of Wheat. Why must these be replaced when they show an individual as a respectful creator of the product or trusted individual suggestion to consume. We are moving toward the point that we cannot use the word white or black. If that is the case, do we need Crayola to remove these two colors from the crayon and marker box? How far is this going to go? The Dixie Chicks have changed their name to Chicks, so isn’t chicks derogatory toward women? Just some questions I have that I do not have answers to. All I have is more anxiety as to how I will write or talk who will it offend. Then I realize at this point even if I sneeze, someone will be hurt. All I can do is be transparent that I do not mean to insult; it is just where my current knowledge places my opinion.

Prayerfully, this finds everyone well. Thank you to those who read and follow. We will survive, but let’s strive to live well and be proud of who we are to others and fit in this ever-growing topic of change—living as an individual, not as a whole unit. We are individual puzzle pieces to the greater whole of the world. I am striving to remember that each puzzle piece shaped differently to make the whole picture. It is okay if I fit into the whole, but I will not be the same as everyone.

A quick side note was going to post the links to the Black Lives Matter website, but there is so much out on the web that came up on the search that I got confused, and I felt alienated and more scared than I was before just by reading them. Now just going to stick to what I have and keep trying to find a knowledge level that keeps my depression and anxiety on an even keel on this subject.

Current News Links that started this rambling idea.

Minneapolis City Council Unanimously Approves Proposal to Disband Police BY AMY FORLITI AND STEVE KARNOWSKI / AP UPDATED: JUNE 26, 2020 5:59 AM EDT | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: JUNE 26, 2020 5:59 AM EDT

Unilever to drop terms like ‘whitening’ from beauty products By The Associated Press June 25, 2020, 10:56 AM 2 min read.

‘Horrifically racist’ backlash prompts Oregon county to drop non-white mask policy by BROOKE WOLFORD JUNE 24, 2020 05:07 PM, UPDATED JUNE 25, 2020 03:26 PM.

South Dakota Gov. Noem vows to protect Mt. Rushmore: We won’t stand for ‘radical rewriting of history’ By Talia Kaplan | Fox News

The Term “Master Bedroom” is Now Racist – Anthony Brian Logan Commentary collection of different new articles that he shows. 

Historical information is part of our culture.

Building the Transcontinental Railroad: How 20,000 Chinese Immigrants Made It Happen At first, railroad companies were reluctant to hire Chinese workers, but the immigrants soon proved vital. LESLEY KENNEDYUPDATED:APR 30, 2020 ORIGINAL:MAY 10, 2019 

Child Labor – UPDATED:APR 17, 2020ORIGINAL:OCT 27, 2009 Child Labor HISTORY.COM EDITORS

Industrial Revolution HISTORY.COM EDITORS

 How Slavery Became the Economic Engine of South Slavery was so profitable sprouted more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi River valley than anywhere in the nation. GREG TIMMONS UPDATED:DEC 18, 2019ORIGINAL:MAR 6, 2018

UNDOCUMENTED FARM LABOR SMALL PORTION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS LEGAL WORKERS WILL HAVE TO BE PAID MORE, TAXMAN SAYS. By Shawn Williamson 3/9/2017 on Success Farming

Ran across this song and explanation of God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood. It gave me hope that we will all recover from these polarizing and dividing situations of 2020. 

Lee Greenwood – The Story of “God Bless the U.S.A.” – Country Road T.V.

I have also included a scriptural perspective on the race discussion from Tony Evans, who I have found to be reliable but easy to understand the biblical teaching. Yes, I know not every church person does not follow, but remember, even in the church, there is left, right, and in between individuals, we all have different ways of hearing. Many forget or find a hard time to live what they hear. As an individual, we are responsible for striving to live respectful of God’s teaching, but we are also human and miss massively all we can do is keep trying. At least that is my perspective because I even have met people that I am embarrassed to say I am a Christian.

Questions From our Listeners, Part One on June 26, 2020 – Tony Evans

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Review of Week 6/15-19/2020

Was a successful week emotionally. Wow, that is amazing that I can write that right from the get-go. The beginning of the week started slowly and picked up speed as the week moved to completion. I’m not sure how I can replicate it in the future or accept the amazing and celebrate it when it repeats.

The week started roughly due to needing a tooth pulled and a temporary bridge put in. Choose to go home without pain killers even at the end of the week, still unsure what prompted me to agree to that. My dentist said something odd that got me thinking about myself that I am still uncertain about how to think through. He was under the impression that I did not do pain killers; he would be correct. How do I present myself that a professional would guess that? Going to leave that alone, I think, because nothing will be gained by overthinking. I did stay working in the mornings and work a little slower on my home responsibilities.

I was able to continue on my house care items but continue to work on downsizing. Downsizing is extremely slow going. Keep getting bogged down with keeping stuff that I genuinely do not need. The memory is inducing items I am taking a photo, putting a story with the picture, then Goodwilling the thing. But that takes time and energy that I keep having and not having.  

Sleep study results finally came in having medium level sleep apnea. Already knew that from past tests going to for the third time, try a c-pap machine. Hopefully, with this specialist, I can find a resolution to the fact that I still wake up between the hours of 1 – 3 am even with the device. So that was some good and bad news. I was still waiting to hear from the company that will provide the equipment. Hopefully, the insurance will pay for it thoroughly, and I will not have a severe bill. The sleep study had a several hundred price tag that was hard to cover. Well, let’s strive not to over-worry about that while I have no information till they call.  

Another great thing was I was able to work through my anxiety again and started my YouTube channel. It is not much, but I was looking for a place that I could place daily rambling thoughts. I was looking for a place that I could upload those five to ten-minute anxiety and depression inducing feelings that I would love to talk to someone about but have no one. I wanted to start the page just to let people know they are not alone. We all have good days and bad days. Was not a full success with my anxiety, I have a real worry about showing my face, so I film the sky or trees. Today was a look of me driving while I was talking. Posting is entirely rough and unscripted. Concentration is the spur of the moment thoughts that are pushing at my anxiety. The part is that I am presenting an unprofessional image, but that is not what I was going for in the first place—one more aspect of trying to help myself and maybe someone else that may be struggling. Also, feeling alone with those irrational anxiety thoughts that we can not always control even if we would love to.  

I have to say I’m not happy with my minimal progress on downsizing, but that is putting myself down and downplaying my growth. Very happy that I have moved through my anxiety of being public and not striving for perfection when uploading my YouTube submission. Additionally, part of my sense of peace came from the fact that I limited my watching news media to just local.

Here is the link for the You Tube video. Transparency it is just a rough rambling thoughts. So please do not expect professional it is just a person wanting to show life with mental health in a honest walk. Have other videos working on to add.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNK5fFsoomHvfUUj_4APlPQ/featured?view_as=subscriber

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Father’s Day 2020?

For the fathers out there today, have a good day as you celebrate with your families. Those that do not have the ability due to so many different situations. May be able to celebrate on another day either in person or in memories. Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, can be a joy or pain depending on the situations involved in an individual’s life.

For me, there is little to work with. My father passed away in the late eighties, but honestly not missed. It took years to accept that I did not have the picture-perfect father, and it was okay to feel pain. Will you look at that I married someone that holds little for Father’s Day as well? The benefit is that I have no expenses for this day. My husband will call his dad instead of a visit, but that is okay with his father, so it must be a family tradition.  

Growing up, my family, holiday get-togethers at my grandparents, was a priority. My grandmother always made great desserts, and my grandfather made a great meal. Which now that I have typed that looks wrong that my grandfather had to prep the lunch at least on Father’s Day. For him, it was ‘survival’ grammy made amazing desserts meal were not her skill; she was terrific at grampa was. Then I remembered that we grilled and grandpa and I always cooked together. Grandpa was the one who taught me that when preparing for four cooks for five so that the two people cooking can test/sample the fifth piece to make sure it ‘tasted’ good. I loved cooking with grandpa and hearing about living in Northern Maine and growing up in a logging camp. I miss him still, and he has gone for 24 years. He was my father figure when his son could not. I feel so blessed to learn so much from him. When I live a life, I strive to honor my grandfather and grandmother.  

Even for those without the ‘normal’ mother or father relationship, hopefully, we have had a family member or mentor that filled the spot of a father. Nothing in this current world of living life as you see fit says you cannot honor the individual instead of a family member that missed out on living being like a father. Olay ad that fits the point I am trying to make about the variety of father figures out there have someone step forward. As seen in some of the images and comments sections may not match the norm, but some of us cannot live healthily. Nevermind that normal is a myth.

Olay North America – Because of Them/Father’s Day OLAY

Here is Jim Gaffigan’s take on Father’s Day to wrap up this quick update on Father’s Day.

Jim Gaffigan – My Application for Father of the Year – 2015-2019 Compilation

Prayerfully this day finds people well no matter how you are participating in this day.

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Anxiety Research Explanation

When considering researching anxiety and how professionals and non-professionals see the facts and opinions of what anxiety means and how to live well with it, I would like to be upfront about these posts intended to present my walk with anxiety. Over the years, I have found textbooks and presentations on mental health can sometimes feel demoralizing. Understanding that professionals do not mean to be but from where my past and current walk with mental health has had good days and severely bad days. I do not consider myself a professional communicating how to live one’s life with mental health, just someone trying to find a balance between living daily with mental health. This journey with medication and minimal professional care due to finances. When living with Mental Health, it is best practice to seek a professional to walk side by side with you.   

For transparency, I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and the state of Ohio has a Social Worker Assistant Certification. I keep up my certification should there ever be an opportunity to find work in Ohio using my education. Still, Ohio companies only want Licensed Social Workers and Masters of Social Work. Also, my first job started as an activities staff to develop a dementia program that was discontinued and told to replace the outgoing Social Worker in a Nursing Home Dementia Locked unit. After a year and a half became burnt out by no time in my day. My desire to help families during this challenging time. When combining family with paperwork, overwhelming miscellaneous tasks, and paperwork required for each individual and family. Both priorities became too much because it became about paperwork and checking the state-required documentation box, not the care and support of the individual and family.  

Temporarily off-topic, I was not surprised by the high numbers of deaths in Nursing Homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has nothing to do with staff, not caring; they lack support and compact quarters. Clear communication that matches the corporate owners and federal and state agencies is lacking. The close quarters of nursing homes also contribute to these high numbers. Toward the end of my time, thereby burn out see nursing homes a non-traditional prison of our elderly, and I do not see how that will change, giving them more federal and state-mandated paperwork is not it. Filling out questionnaires or forms on client care, is not it? It is enough staff having the time and energy of treating them like family.

Additionally, corporate and federal structures giving the facilities the money they need to hire and staff for all the positions required. Nevermind, I do not understand how a nurse in a nursing home or hospital can give safe care on a 12-hour shift. The amount of paperwork and phone calls balanced to the minimal amount of staff do not allow for the warm care marketed in ads. When even now, cleaning personnel, activities, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Nurses do not have the time to care for all of the emotional nursing home population needs. Never mind that the money given by the federal government does not correctly support the client’s actual needs when on Medicare. For those with family, all I can say is research as well as you can the facility you can place a relative in a facility and visit often. There are good ones out there that take time to find what finds the needs of your family. Oops, sorry, went off on a tangent this was a painful part of my life giving up a dream of social work and counseling was hard. Let us return to why I am pursuing this search for mental health care.

Degree pursuit consequence on my mental health was the autopilot when taking on to much to smother my anxiety. Neither of these makes me a professional to help, just an individual striving for finding what works and what personally does not on this walk through life with mental health that ebbs and flows like the tide. If one has been on the Cape Cod shoreline during low tide, the smell of the mud is horrendous. But with that muck smell comes some fantastic things in life oysters, clams, mussels, crabs, and seaweed. So I strive to remember that with the muck and offensive odors of life with mental health comes impressive things if we are willing to search through the muck to retrieve them and see them how they are successes. Okay, so where do we go from here? I didn’t promise to post these on set days; experience shows I cannot maintain that, and then my depression kicks in, reminding me what a failure I am for not keeping my word.

Thoughts are two fold I am going to work with two aspects of my life so that I can strive to find a happy medium. As many with mental health know, there is a portion of the culture or religion that does not understand how to speak to mental health except that Christ or for others higher power of choice or cultural structure reinforce. Some will say, ‘You do not believe, do enough work, or follow your doctor’s instructions.’ Yes, that may be the case on some days, but not all the time. When one does not take their medications, see their professional, or eat, sleep, or exercise correctly, you’re not helping yourself, yes that is a part. There are days, though, that is a struggle even when everything is aligned.

Working through Anxiety Research by segments, I want to walk through an educational platform or presentations I have located online. I want to present mental health facts through the perception and education of a professional and balance out how I am hearing the piece and arrive at how I take it and either help me or because of where I have to discard temporarily. We are all individuals who will work for one does not always work for another.  

Another section of this site will have where I am coming from with Christianity perception of mental health. Due to the volatile nature of religion in the world at large and my fragile walk with anxiety and depression. I will upload on the main blog with a distinct title then later move to a separate area so that those who are comfortable can read and research themselves and balance what they need from an education standpoint without bringing religion or culture into the mix. Again, transparency, I will on the faith section be using scripture mostly from King James Version of the Bible and a variety of Commentaries and walk through well-meaning signs or scripture verses people post for mental health.  

So the post that caught my eye for the educational platform was from North Shore Stress & Anxiety Clinic right off the get-go. I have no connection to them; it is just a piece I found on YouTube. The title of the presentation is, Don’t Worry, Be Happy? Understanding the Nature of Worry and Anxiety by Dr. Rami Nader, a Registered Psychologist, was presented on February 19, 2015. Below is the hour-long presentation. Then in later posts, I will strive to go through and give what and how I hear the offered information. Chose this one because I found it an easy listen and registered with me. Allowed me to find some balance in my life, what was genuine worry and what is an Anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Understanding the Nature of Worry and Anxiety by Dr. Rami Nader, R.Psych.

I hope this finds everyone well. I look forward to continuing to find balance in walking through life with mental health on the shore of finding success even during the success and failure as our mind sees growth. On a positive note, I am closer to finding the inner strength to work on uploading to YouTube. Also, as a positive, I am still creating my t-shirts even though there are no sales. I take this as a success because I have kept moving forward even with the negativity.  

Have a great week, and may everyone enjoy their journey of life even during the good and the bad days. We can learn from all our days even when we do not want to.

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Week Review 6/8-12/2020

This week went well for the most part.  I had a couple of anxiety spikes but was able to determine the thoughts had no foundation.  I want to call ‘thoughts had no foundation’ as irrational, but depending on my day, the word irrational makes me feel worse. Let’s journey forward to review this week’s potholes.

What made this week a success is I was able to keep specific anxiety thoughts down to less than a day.  One, I had to rely on the individual involved how they felt.  I was rather proud of myself that I could ask the next day instead of several days later.  That several days delays normally impacted those around me negatively and my energy and activities. Where does that leave me?

I think in a decent spot.  On the home front, the physical tasks it takes to run a home got done.  In my anxiousness, I only once got upset and responded negatively to my family.  Where this stems from is that taking care of the house is done by me.  My husband provides financially, and my daughter is a teen journeying to young adulthood. Motivating her has become a personal failure that is going to take me more time to accept.  For the parents out there, yes, I know it is her responsibility now.  The struggle is over reviewing her upbringing and what I could have done differently. Long way of saying I am the chief cook, bottle washer, clothes, and finances.  So when my anxiety and depression turn into more exhaustion and physical pain than my other physical limitations already give. I get frustrated with the lack of help.  So for me, I found success that I only lashed out once while I was overwhelmed.  Lashing out for me is not keeping my internal dialogue to myself and speaking out loud.

This week’s only non-resolution, and I still wobble back and forth on, is the current subject of racism and social interaction.  What I keep anxiously dwelling on even though I thought I had resolved where my place was on this?  My anxiety took me to extremes; here is my example.  I went to McDonald’s and ordered what I always did, a ‘Black Iced Coffee’.  When asked about flavoring, I said no cream, no sugar, no flavor.  Upon picking up, I got a coffee with milk in it.  Yes, this may have been a simple mistake, but my anxiety took me to extreme thinking.  I took it because I did not want to back up the drive-thru, and I had water, so I was at least not out of fluid.  Got me overthinking did they put milk in it because they responded to me using the word black.  Am I no longer allowed to order coffee black?  I have always ordered it this way.  Some will comment, say plain.  I guess I can, but is not this subject going too far that we have to worry over every little word we use.  Multiple people have lost their jobs for knee jerk comments.  Heck Netflix took Gone With the Wind off due to the subject matter are they going to do the same for the movie Roots or any other Civil War based movie or movies Like Guess who’s Coming to Dinner with Sidney Potier.  My anxiety is not dealing well with this whole situation.  

Side note while editing this Gone with the Wind is being re-uploaded with historical context prior.  Which I must say is excellent, hopeful that the historical context will be an impartial review of truth.  In regards to McDonald’s in my pain, I did contact the store, which, thinking back on it, struggled if I should have done this.  Why because my anxiety is going to place me in a position of not going back there because I may have offended someone, and they will be angry with me.   Of course, coming from that industry of customer service in retail, it is ‘irrational’ to think they will remember me when I return in two to three weeks from now since I am not a regular.

I feel selfish, saying that I am terrified about talking and interacting with people right now.  Smiling at people or waving.  We have a segment of our society saying by being silent; you are advocating racism.  How can we support when we are unsure where and what we think over a subject being reported differently and reference materials are different depending on who is presenting it?  We worry about how to speak what we are thinking and are severely unsure of how another individual reacts, or do we lose a friendship?  As the racism wrecking ball moves into legislation, how will this impact other groups that do not fit the norm when politicians are writing all-inclusive language that will make things worse.

Thoughts of a weekly review are daily anxiety I did amazingly well on, so let’s mark that a success.  On the subjects pushed by mainstream media and social media of racism, police defunding, and now the situation in Seattle, Washington occupying a whole block.  Below are a couple links to the Seattle subject; it is two of multiple postings out there all different than the next.  I feel like a failure. I cannot seem to drop the anxious thoughts impacting my daily activities.  Strive to smile and nod at everyone, no matter who they are.  Still cause worry that they are offended.    

As I work through my anxiety research project and how to interact with myself and others.  Hopefully, I have put together something that will help me find a happy medium between being aware of current news subjects but not allowing my mind to consume me by worse case thoughts.

I was going to leave my review here.  This week’s pothole on this journey called life will be a success in personal life.  Interaction on a societal level marks a failure when balanced against the media, but a success when looked at I have not allowed it to send me to an anxiety attack that put a full stop to my day and week, just a couple hours here and there.  Keep journeying forward, life looks different no matter who you are.

New York Post – What’s really going on inside the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’  

CNN – What it’s like inside Seattle’s CHAZ

There are many other postings that can be found on Fox News, The Guardian, and more.  All saying different things. 

Thank you to those who read. Sorry for the delay in posting this. Have a great new week.

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Working Through Newest Media Topic

Well, I see I have lied to myself. I was planning to stay away from the Black Lives Matter subject in my posts. As an individual and upbringing, I do not feel I have a right to concentrate on the subject, partly due to limited impact. For health reasons, I need to focus on the professional and self-healing of my mental health. I felt comfortable last week when I was in my decision to vote for change and treat those I come in contact with equally as I always had tried.  

Current media topic of defunding the police here in the US; a quick reaction terrifies me that my family’s safety and community; I hear no substantial how-to policy changes, just rhetoric. Yes, reform needs making, but the way the media presents this defunding makes me feel unsafe. Felt safe during the peaceful protests or the riots—this seeming broad sweeping defunding terrifies. Also, the Democrats wearing the ethnic colored scarfs seem more like a photo op and voting opportunity than a real understanding of what asked.  

What I strive to do is research as best to my ability both sides of what presented. Which going through it continued to terrify me. So here are the parts I located, and where I place my personal opinion and conclusion.

Defunding the police could mean replacing officers with social workers, says expert – Canada CBC News

Canadian media review of what defunding means. Which seems safe from the beginning. The discretionary view is part of the concern. The structural change sounds good, but I do not see much in the regular news of how this will work. My question of social workers is about racism with-in social workers. Additionally, the social workers we currently have now what is the procedures they follow. The problem: Why do we need to be told to care for our citizens’ social needs. If we have not done it in the past, what does that look like now? Some of the ideas mentioned, if done well, seem possible to work. But is that not what social services was supposed to be from the beginning. Why do we need riots to push at the process already in place?

‘The Five’ struggles with the left’s growing call to ‘defund police’ – FOX News

Diverse view of what has to lead up to the current racism protests. Liked the question of who is a more or less racist argument among politicians. Which begs the questions, what are we arguing over when human lives are at risk? The topic seems to be moving into a political stamp, and not a people need because we are moving to an election. Fascinated about the toss of statistics around that are different depending on the origin of statistics.

Full BLM Co-Founder ‘Defund the Police’… – NBC News

I hear her point, but if we are increasing social reforms and workers. A system that is already overwhelmed; we cannot even protect our abused children or assist in the care needs of others. What will this increase in social care be toward, and how? My concern is what happens to all people that this system helped. Just a quick on timestamp 3.28-3.35, she mentions that Black Lives Matter started six years ago. Initially, I thought that was unfactual then realized she meant her specific group when that phrase had used for centuries, even back during Martin Luther’s and James Baldwin’s time.

Why defunding police could lead to alternatives that help communities – Canada Your Morning

I do agree with him that this is just an election moment. There will be no change. Bring up the thought is that if we genuinely look at the number review. I did notice he mentioned mental health. Those who do have funds have a hard time now to get services, so how are we going to finance an increase in mental health care. Do these big corporations understand what they fund? I do agree with him on the corporate level of integration, and it is not just the black lives that impacted even though black lives impacted harsher than others.

In going through a small amount of what was available, I could not find much on what the case managers feel about this shift. I do know from many of the articles I receive from social worker associations that before this, there is a high burn out rate. What is to prevent even more trauma as their duties increase?

I love being a police officer, but we need reform – Melvin Russell on TED Talk (2016)

I found this an excellent perspective from four years ago that the instant change some protestors, media, and politicians are immediately demanding as we already know needs changes. This change requires changes in the local area with desire, thought, and planning. Love the image of a clergy member in each of a police car (time stamp 9.13) not to happen just his vision; it could be anyone that the community respects. Sadly, when looking up Baltimore, I ran across this article showing systemic racism, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-systemic-racism-in-baltimores-police-force/2016/08/10/86ce448a-5f3f-11e6-9d2f-b1a3564181a1_story.html. Which at least to me presents it is the individual leader who makes a change, not broad sweeping legislation changes. Found a follow up 2018 follow up of what Melvin Russell says to Dandymite Media. ‘I Hate the Police’ What Happened?

Currently, for me, the town I live in is not explicitly talking about defunding our police. In a way, though our voting on police levies our community defunds the police often, it is not something that routinely passes when we vote. Why do we not take these changes demanded of police defunding with actual workable facts and policies and put it to the citizen to vote? Politicians do not seem to have a personal history of making these decisions well. Let the people genuinely impacted by the removal of our police force, and an increase and social services make the decisions.

Anxiety and depression wise I am still terrified and distracted by what-ifs. Emotionally going to place this subject where I did Black Lives Matter protests. Watch what my local politicians are doing. What voting or town hall meetings are available on this subject. Attend and vote where needed. I can only oversee what happens in my town—an state and federal when it is my time to vote. Watching once a day, a variety of news outlets from around the country will keep me updated and aware. I was striving to not concentrate on these topics because I see the media following the political party’s opinions and makes them look good for more votes for their party, not what will genuinely help those involved and impacted. The recent wearing of the kente fabric (https://www.aaihs.org/the-history-and-significance-of-kente-cloth-in-the-black-diaspora/) by federal employees, personally reinforces that. Just painful to see the pain of those that need help to be ignored again but given lip service that things will change this time around.  

Do have a positive I was able to make some personal progress on my Anxiety research.

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Week Review 6/1-5/2020

Must say this week was a success for me, almost thought I was going to have to claim a full failure. For those who do not live with mental or physical health concerns, it is probably considered a failure. Those opinions are not me thou I am going to stand on success proudly. Where I had struggles this week thinking things through and did only accomplish physically the minimal and did not accomplish the anxiety research I wanted to. Started the week dwelling heavily on information from news outlets and social media conversation and what was presented on the subject of racism protests, looting, police and politician interactions thought was going move me into the emotional position of failure.

Writing my thoughts and continuing to research the subject on Thursday settled my mind for the most part. I have had to accept that due to where I live and my own physical and psychological limitations. I am not a physical protestor; all I can respond peaceful and not forward social media posts that stroke a fire that accomplishes nothing. All I can do is educate myself and my daughter, so we strive to continue to try to the best of our ability is to treat all equally. Indeed all lives matter.  

What kept me struggling at the beginning of the week was the violence and how a segment of our society said it was okay because people were in pain. Another aspect that kept pushing me was the struggles and actions of racism toward the Native Americans, Orientals, Muslims, Physical Disabilities, Mental Disabilities, Religious choice, LGBT, or any other aspect outside of the ‘normal’ that looked at critically. I understand from what I have researched; blacks have it worse; there is a whole culture of disdain and pain if I have read the right things. Also, I kept cycling with why as a society we go up in arms for two maybe three weeks, and then it is all forgotten when something new takes over the media, and no actual change takes place.  

The other aspect of struggle was before two weeks ago; the police could do no wrong during this shelter in place. How, as news outlets and social media, can we move from one subject be amazing to critical and death the next? Almost ready to swear off watching the news, many seem to fan the flames of anger and pain not report equally. Also, I am tired of questioning what truth and sensationalized. Sorry to rehash a subject that is moving back to a forgotten topic and that I already wrote on. Just I kept feeling like a failure as a person because the whole black squares on social media more irritated me than proved a point. Celebrities are popping out of the woodwork supporting the subject of black lives matter. If they genuinely believe in what they speak, hopefully, they are already involved in making changes. The subject that has been around since our country helped founded with the help of slavery? Plantation owners built their money from inexpensive workers.

Additionally, as a society, at least if the US population had not changed some, they would not be in at least have a chance to be in such a place of financial prosperity. I just felt like I was failing as a human because I cannot help in this struggle. Nevermind my simplistic thinking is we all live on this earth. Why can’t we accept we are all different and will not agree on everything. Must we respond to differences with violence? Then I realize that is unrealistic because we have had wars for less. Okay, I am moving off my soapbox of confusion and concern.

I am moving on reading and watching the pain. Both the protestors and the police are trying to make positive changes. What stood out and was concerning was those that communicated with violence attacked was looking to keep this week as a failure. The reason I have moved toward success is that I have accepted that I am a remarkably ineffectual cog in a wheel of something I cannot understand or change due to personality and location. Change needs making, but I am not in a position to contribute. I am okay with that now. I took many days toward feeling like I have failed blacks and society. But my success is that my anxiety and depression are not putting me at a place of emotional destruction because I cannot fit myself emotionally to what social media says we should be. It is not who I am.

To me, we are all human beings. I may not agree with the decisions made. I am embarrassed at times of calling myself human. But we are all indeed individuals, and we all look and interact with life differently. Experiences cause differences, thought processes, emotional reactions, education, and so many to list. Those differences are surprised when things are going well.

On the issue of black racism, yes, from what I have read, things are wrong. We are still a foreign culture as a melting pot of beliefs, customs, and history of pain and poor political decisions. The US has at least changed a small amount we had a black president, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. and 150 years after the civil war ended. Heck, I know at least in my family that some members are older than I use negative words to describe blacks because that is what they have always called them, and ‘that is what they are.’ All I can do is personally ask that person not to speak like that around me. The world as a whole, there will always be sections of our society that are extremists. Where does this leave me again?

All I can do is concentrate on continuing to treat everyone I come in contact with as equal. We are all capable of evil if pushed wrong. Striving to learn of who we are emotionally and what our strengths and weaknesses. My success in the week is that I am still standing; my anxiety and depression have settled. I am comfortable with accepting that I am not in a position to do amazing things. All I can do is research and teach to the best of my limited skills. Vote to the best of my ability, sign petitions when asked, and keep my section of the social media peaceful.  

Thank you for sticking with this journey of discovery through such a difficult subject we are currently rehashing in our news outlets and social media. May all those on the front lines of this current subject stay safe. May some progress be made in protecting all those directly involved protesters trying to communicate change and police striving to safely do their job of protecting all citizens of their area. May the police that should not be in that profession be safely found out and removed. Those destroying property and theft caught. Hopefully, the term racism is treated with care when creating policy changes that all minorities of ethnicity, religion, or thought be protected unless physical or emotional violence occurs. There are so many shades of grey within the words of racism.

Have a great week. Here is to be returning to making progress on my anxiety research.

I have included a couple of videos of James Baldwin that helped me see what life is from a viewpoint I have no reference to except a couple acquaintances and co-workers that are black. One from 1965 and 1979.

James Baldwin’s “Black Lives Matter” Speech (1965)

James Baldwin’s “Black Lives Matter” Speech (1965) – posted by Cave Jokes

Excellen James Baldwin speech in Berkeley (1979)

Excellent James Baldwin speech in Berkeley (1979) – posted by thepostarchive

Something that is opposite of everything but thought I would include this video and song. Video is Dick and Rick Hoyt of a father and son that participates in marathons (http://www.teamhoyt.com/). Song written by Paul Sikes and Bonnie Baker and song performed by Troy Johnson, found it uplifting during this time of struggle. 

The Extra Mile

Rory Feek – The Extra Mile

2013 Jimmy V Perseverance Award

The Story of Team Hoyt @ ESPY’s 2013 Jimmy V Perseverance Award in 1080 HD

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Thought of Day

Tree stands alone

Saw this tree on my walk, and it reflected how it’s alone in a field just at the beginning of housing development, and behind a strip of stores, both just sitting there not moving, not offering anything productive just resonated with me.  This weekend (6/1/2020) that with the protest turned riots and the overwhelming feeling of what’s the point and what have I contributed to help or hinder.  I thought I helped by supporting my local church and missionaries in our inner-city area of Cleveland, OH.  What’s the point, another example of our politicians and apathetic people not doing anything, which got me even worse feeling with my anxiety.  Realized, I do not have enough personal knowledge and facts to make an informed opinion and action.  I have included a video I watched a couple of days ago.  I will say now it is a Christian pastor I am sorry if this offends but appreciated what he said.  I have also included Tested by Adam Savage, who also gave a different perspective personally, it came off harsh.  Both provide different views but similar in how this looks moving forward.  Both helped me realize that due to my physical and mental health limitations, my task is to find where I can help in the small picture, not the large image. 

Tony Evans – A Message From My Heart

Tony Evans – A Message From My Heart

Adam Savage Tested

Adam Savage’s Tested – The World Right Now- Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 6/2/20

What I came away with from both that we are responsible for our actions alone.  For me, that puts me at peace with continuing to donate to food pantries, homeless shelters, and personal churches.  For the prejudice is not forward any inflammatory social media posts when possible respond with researched facts and linking websites.  Strive to greet all citizens of this world equally.  When a conversation comes up, be honest that I do not have enough effects to make a decision.

Part of this current peace that turned into rioting partially about the fact that inequality of finances, health, insurance, work, bullying, foster care, school shootings, and the list goes on.  Our media presents it when something traumatic happens, and we hear about it, and social media becomes agitated for a couple of weeks, but nothing ever entirely changes. 

Selfishly some emotionally, this makes me exhausted from trying to figure out what I can do in the big picture.  Realistically I cannot, so small changes will continue to be a battle plan.  As mentioned earlier is donating where I can, treating others as equals.  Verbally and social media respond in a virtuous manner.  Limit my watching of news and research the actual problem.  Another aspect is striving to examine the voting history and speeches of the people I vote for and participate when I can on local policy issues or changes.  Sorry for the long and draining writing; it has been an issue listening to the diverse opinions of both positive and negative.

My anxiety and depression have gotten a workout from overthinking what I have contributed to the problem.  Then I have to realize I am in an area of Ohio that is limited in interaction with the blatant racism currently publicized at least that I am aware.

Another aspect of thought that came to me as I struggled emotionally over this subject is It has only been 155 years since the Civil War and 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr killed.  As a people, we do not like change.  An example of this by the Jim Crow Museum (below is what I found about the museum). What is impressive to me is how recently this was in place if you look at the dates involved.  It is fantastic that we live in a country that voted a black president so recently given the years seen in the movie.  Even then, Obama characterized in the video.  Something that struck me is what seen in this museum is a time frame that these people are or were recently alive bringing up children who could now be in our political arena, protection fields, and any other corporate structure.  We have a long way to go, but progress is being made. 

Nevermind, we have the Native Americans systematically being killed through a lack of services on Reservations. They were here before any of us. Here is an article Native American tribes’ pandemic response impacted by many inequities https://news.yahoo.com/native-american-tribes-pandemic-response-124729299.html.  So much pain in this world inequality comes in many forms, as mentioned previously in all aspects of our society.  Even those struggling with mental health have limited resources to help us due to personal finances and lack of insurance.  

As an individual, what is the position of accountability when our social media tells us that we are right or wrong?  As an individual, what is my place with the inequalities of life?  Unsure how others feel, but I will continue to grow as an individual with a variety of health issues and a desire to support my fellow man within my limited sphere of influence.  I cannot fix the world and its issues.  There always be inequality all I can contribute is not to add to the pain and support those I come in contact with that are in pain.

I have really been struggling this week and end of last so I had to get my thoughts out on paper.  If it helps wonderful, if not I am sorry.

WARNING: This video of the Jim Crow Museum has some very violent pictures and scary images showing what was in place early 1900 to now.    I am sorry if this offends people but felt it is important to show there is a long battle ahead to counteract many years of racism. 

Jim Crow Museum

Jim Crow Museum – Jim Crow Museum

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Week Review 5/25-29/2020

Sitting and considering this week with my desire to find the positive in a negative week. This week was the hardest to move toward seeing success. Anxiety was expansive and draining. Due to my sleep apnea and periodic nights of insomnia that leaves me tired anyway, I skate the edge of exhaustion daily. Anxiety adds one more level of drain. Where do I find the positive in a week of failures?  

I am no stranger to failure. Is that failure a personal perception or just fact? If looked at from the lens of ‘normal’ answer is yes. The answer to yes is from the point that I am only working 32 hours a week, maintain the basics of home care, motivating my daughter to finish her classes this last week of school, work on blog posts/T-shirt design, care for pets, and cooking dinner. I did not sort much in my goal of downsizing. So the personal perspective of the ordinary is that I did not achieve an average week. One if asked by others that I would not be embarrassed to review with an outsider. With that thought, I am looking at this week as an utter failure. The choice of being transparent is that perfection is a personal perception and that success is in how you look at life. How do I find success in my muddy pond of perceived failure?

Let’s begin with an acceptance that last week I had a plan for my sleeping medication, and due to events out of my control, I was not able to follow through. Sleep is such a significant component of my energy. Not being able to add more rest impacted my strength—the exhaustion presented by falling asleep at my desk. Additionally, due to lack of sleep or a shift in my hormone levels, my anxiety was worse.  

Anxiety is a daily battle of over the top concern that I am letting people down. This week was infinitely worse. My husband chose to do something for me. I thanked him for doing it. Mentally though, I immediately started to prepare an apology that he had to do something that I usually do but had not achieved. Also, developing excuse was the mental drowning of what a failure I am, that my husband works full time, and the primary provider had to take care of a piece of home care because I fell asleep when I got home from work. Well, did that not look pathetic or what? Yeah, anxiety is a deep hole of muck and mire that pulls you down to a level that you feel like you are constantly drowning in failure. So far, this does not get me closer to digging out of the muck and mire and moving to a clean pond of success.

I was dredging the week’s muck and mire, maybe if I looked at what was different. Started Monday well, I had gotten two good nights of sleep and was able to follow my created to-do list to the letter. That always gives me a level of peace. Monday afternoon worked on a box of clutter and finished preparing our home for hot weather and setting up the portable air conditioner. While at work in the evening, the cat injured himself. I stayed up to early am Tuesday, making sure it was a sprain, not a break, and shifting the cat’s favorites to my room where he was away from the dog. Monitoring stretched into Wednesday evening until I had to verify with the vet on Thursday the leg sprained not broken. It was, which is excellent. Okay, so reality check my energy started heading to zero because with monitoring the cat, I did not take any of my evening meds like planned. One negative down and mental muck discarded where it belongs to the trash heap of failure that I am striving not to live.

On the next level of muck, Tuesday and Thursday were full of appointments. It is allowing me not to keep to my daily schedule, even though following the plan is essential to me, feeling triumphant when I accomplish caring for home and family. With being tired and a variety of appointments, the schedule could not be maintained, struggling that this is okay. Life has impasses, and we need to move through them, not let them stop us. Muck of illogical thought is sticking on this subject. The home and family should have care done to them even in times of distraction and exhaustion. With a partial acceptance, it is okay that I did not accomplish all that I wanted to in weekly care—moving on to the final illogical level of anxiety muck.

Next is that even though I made positive remarks and acceptance about my T-shirt designs and being okay with them not selling. Internally I am a liar. I created for the T-shirts, not having any sales, and consumed with reading comments left on Facebook. Reinforced by the fact that I read a post on my page because I liked and followed the store page. One of the individuals on my personal Facebook page commented that she was probably going to stop going on Facebook because of all the ads. My anxiety automatically assumed she was offended by my shirt design about face masks. Both aspects bother me and that this adds to my internal mucky lies of failure. I do have a positive that I did have strength in myself to create the Facebook page and invest in advertising, even though the consequences triggered an anxiety attack. When searching for the precise truth out of all the emotional muck that my mind has created this week?

With great struggle, I can see that there was a success even though my anxiety makes it difficult to understand. Success for me a short time is that another person’s reaction is not about me, and that is okay. No one was hurt. My husband helped around the house, and I thanked him for not acting like he had done something wrong because I was worried that I could not get to it. A creative outlet is just that the store was for creativity, not financial, and with the pandemic worldwide, people are concerned about how to live with less, and getting something not food-related is low on the purchase list. Also, things do not happen immediately. Emotionally this week was a success. This success comes from the perspective that I am not dwelling on my perceived failure of the week, after digging through the muck of illogical anxiety-driven thought. Many of my perceptions directed so negatively. The success is that I can acknowledge this negativity and see the positive and move toward the next week. In moving forward, I can begin fresh and try again. With this situation being repetitive, it may be time to consider returning to researching anxiety at both an education level and scriptural level. Past, neither was a cure-all but allowed me not to be stuck in the muck of my thoughts for weeks just days. 

Here is a favorite drawing, I do not know the creator; it has been years since I saw it, and I cut it paste it into a document.  

Just a gentle reminder to balance out the protests and life daily struggles this week, I ran across What’s the World Coming to? Song, with video by Home Free in their album Dive Bar Saints. I found it very uplifting, and for me, a beautiful reminder that bad days are okay, we need to learn from them and move forward. Have a great week.  

Home Free – What’s the World Coming To? (Official Music Video)

Home Free – What’s the World Coming To? (Official Music Video)

Side note: Due to the protests, May the World keeps moving toward accepting everyone as equals and individuals, including cultural, social, ethnic, financial, political, and belief. I know it is a pipe dream, but it never hurts to pray for equal healing and understanding. My thoughts are with both the peaceful protestors and the law enforcement that are just trying to do the best they can. The protestors to peacefully get their point across and the law enforcement to protect the people. Both sides of the equation have people of violence. May the media strive to show the peaceful and the force and not just push at only the intensity because that raises the ratings. Any death of a civilian unprovoked is wrong, but responding by destroying property not even connected to the actual situation solves nothing. Here in Ohio, many restaurants were damaged and looted, and cars burned. What does that genuinely gain except to reinforce outsiders’ opinion that violence needs to respond with force? Some did respond with a positive response.  Not taking a position, because I do not have enough unbiased information, just an opinion based on current and past protests.  I support those that strive to peacefully get their point across even if it will not change unless tests can be done to weed out racism in all forms.  Then there would be no one because we all have some form of racism in us.  Another aspect to maybe pursue is not shaming our law enforcement and acknowledge that their jobs are stressful and they need professional care before they make a harmful decision on a civilian.  PTSD I am sure is part of the police force just as it is in the military.  Just not something talked about because they are our protectors.  Most of all work on fiscal, communication, and educational equality for those impacted by their generational circumstances. Not justifying the wrong being done right now by either side.  Just giving a different perspective to the increased violence.  Below is a variety of videos from this weekend in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  Sorry for so many just such an amazing variety, could have included more. 

News 5 Cleveland – Video: Vandals destroy Cleveland’s iconic East 4th Street

News 5 Cleveland – Outbreak of violence takes over peaceful protests across Ohio.

WKYC Channel 3 – Violent protests break out in downtown Cleveland, OH

News 5 Cleveland – Volunteers clean up downtown Cleveland, OH following protest

News 5 Cleveland – Cleveland comes together after a night of unrest to clean the damage, destruction.

News 5 Cleveland – Lorain Police Department joins protesters, announces measures to combat police violence

News 5 Cleveland – Local spiritual leaders react to the death of George Floyd, protests; address needed change

Everyone take care during these times of change and hopeful renewal.  Stay safe during this time of COVID and US protests or other country protests.

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Working through Anxiety

An aspect of my life that controls me is anxiety. My anxiety shapes every decision I make good or bad. Foundation of the fear is pleasing others. Making sure everyone is happy around me, even when that means placing myself in a position of negativity. Living since childhood like this is easy to stay there. It is such a daily struggle to bring awareness to ingrained habits. Where will this journey recognition take me? Unsure, but prayerfully it will be a person that is a balance between pleasing others and honoring myself.

Aspects that got me thinking about this is what I truly want out of the next half of my life. Do I want to be held back by my fear of the unknown and not pleasing others that I do not even know? Is that any way of living? No, but if I have not had the strength before what says I do now. Was watching the attached video of someone who with planning set out on his dream of traveling. Not what my goal is at this time, but watching his reaction when he saw the fantastic Canadian scenery. Lately, my guilty pleasure has been watching this man’s freedom of being himself. From this video, he had one phrase at the end’ Dreams Don’t Get Handed To You – You Earn These Moments’. Another expression he had was ‘Tough Times Pay Off – I am Proof of That.’

WARNING some people may be offended by the first two minutes of his reaction to people watching wildlife while out of their car. I just wanted to give people a heads up. I agree that when viewing wildlife, one should stay in their automobile.

Life Without Limits by Vancity Vanlife

Journey of a Van Dweller – Life Without Limits by Vancity Vanlife

Life of anxiety and desire to change is acknowledged what next? Ugh, I am so confused and scared. I strive to live a presence there to help others, but finding the strength to say I do not have the desire, time, or energy is hard. Another more significant anxiety struggle is how do I stop the thoughts of misunderstanding a person’s demeanor where I interpret that I am doing something wrong. I need to change myself when coming to find out that I did not even register with that person as a problem or care.

Future goals are an aspect that is important in this walk. What are those goals? Short term goal, as mentioned, is downsized and empty current house of clutter. Long Term goal own land and self-sufficient entertain friends and groups. Another long term goal is to support my husband and me with my creativity. Where to go when you do not know how to start?

Truly the anxiety is the most draining aspect of the mental health that I move forward through life. The short and long term goals are achievable in small steps. The anxiety, though, makes the steps like baby steps, not adult size. My mind becomes overwhelmed by overthinking a person’s reaction or word choice, and what did I do wrong. Anxiety has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Unsure of how to stop or turn the fear into a positive lifestyle aspect. A sample is an acquaintance of mine, and I spent an afternoon together that individual was quiet and did not contribute much. Once we parted ways, I have spent the last five hours off and on worrying about what I had said wrong instead of doing any sorting or artwork. Other than contacting and looking like an idiot and asking the next day. Then I start thinking they feel bad for me and lie. How do you make your mind stop such unproductive thoughts?  

In years past, I embarrass myself and ask if there is a problem with something I have done. This life transparency then leads to even more concern of childish image to those around me. But what if my action had hurt that person’s feelings. Striving to shift years of this train of thought seems daunting. I think I am going to leave this here. I am stuck on worrying about what I have done. I have no ideas. Stagnant in a pool of doubt of my worth and genuine contribution to the world around me.

For the individual situation, I am going to ask and pray for the truth. Then on a lifestyle path is research and figure out how to change my current steps. What I have been doing helps a little but not enough. I waste so much time and energy overthinking when there was nothing wrong just in how I thought. Will continue to ponder anxiety and how to adjust years of habits and thoughts. I can not keep living trapped by my negative perception of others’ feelings and actions. 

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Thank You

I just wanted to give a quick thank you to all Military and their families and friends. Thank you for being there when many of us cannot. I grieve when thinking of the cost that our military pay to protect us. Price being their life, physical, and emotional. Even with that cost is the amazing men and women still chose to protect us. Again, thank you, my words are the only available action for the amazing people you are.

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Review 5/18-22/2020

Another week has come and gone.  With that comes a sense of relief and frustration.  Feelings of stagnation and why bother are substantial on my mind.  My mind and body have positioned me at the bottom of a pothole on this journey of life.  With that acceptance come where to go from here.

Over the years, I have watched towns fill in and cover up potholes, but they show up worse than ever the next year.  Sometimes even a month later.  So as an individual resting at the bottom of my pothole.  Where do I go from here? Because wallowing between staying here accomplishing nothing or begin the slow process of excavation toward the repair.  Where am I physically and emotionally?  Unsure

In years past, wallowing has been the choice, would put me on the autopilot of normality.  The one where people are amazed that something is wrong.  When people ask you how you are doing, and you answer with something other than beautiful.  Autopilot is when the inside of your mind is just a grey cloud of nothing. Life is guided not by what is important to you, the individual, but what is essential to the people I come in contact with during one’s day.  They are my guideposts of what I accomplish, with no thought of how exhausted or overwhelmed I will become.  I was there at the beginning of the week and headed toward the weekend.

My autopilot times have lasted from weeks to years what I need to work on and have been this year.  Physically I am tired. I returned to falling asleep, sitting up at my desk around two o’clock in the afternoon, which shows that sleep apnea is impacting me more than I would like to admit.  With that, tiredness comes from the fact that I did finally start designing and uploading my creative designs, and the perfectionist in me keeps picking apart what I could have done differently.  Tiredness and feeling of apathy that has returned have stopped the downsizing and decluttering.  The clutter is from my past years of autopilot.  Well, I guess it is time to begin the real excavation, so I do not become comfortable in the bottom of my emotional and physical pothole.

Physical exhaustion repair is limited. I need to work from seven am to noon with some four-eight to nine pm shifts.  I can keep taking herbal sleeping aids that do partially work. I at least do not get up twice in the middle of the night, mostly, but I do not feel fully rested. I am seeing even after two weeks an impact through the exhaustion.  With the insomnia medication makes me feel groggy the next morning.  I did start viewing improvement in not falling asleep while sitting up midday when I had less AM hours and could take more of the insomnia medication.  Also, the long term projects, I had the clarity of thought and energy to move forward.  Another aspect I noticed was one of the freelancing projects I tried to qualify for I could not achieve due to I could not keep clear and concise thoughts.  Frustrating because I used to be very good with transcribing, and I currently struggle.  The excavation moving forward where to go from here?

Until the sleep study, I am minimal in my current options.  The herbal sleeping pill from Sunday to Friday night is not strong enough right now.  So shifting to more structured off and on herbal and medication may need to be tried.  In the evenings, I work till nine and arrive at seven am the next day I will take the herbal.  On days I am not working till nine, I will go to bed early and take the prescription medication.  Trying that may work, I do find on Saturday night when I can take the prescription and sleep till I wake up I am fully rested and clear-headed.  See how that goes this week.  Before people are concerned, the insomnia medication is as needed.  Prior there were eight prescriptions over the years seems this current one has worked without too many side effects.  Well, the pothole now has a foundation toward the substantial repair. Let’s excavate the next aspect of pothole creation and restoration.

Creativity and perfectionism that is a long and drawn-out task of repair.  Some of the shirt designs are not as crisp as I would like.  I have to remind myself that the drawing of the sloth was with a free art program and a mouse.  I tried to borrow my daughter’s drawing pad to work on my pictures and have crisper lines, but it did not work on my Macbook, which was three days of frustration and feelings of why can I not do anything right.  Followed by the phrases make sense to me, but will they to others.

Additionally, I have not marketed them fully through Facebook and other social media.  I feel like a failure because I am more worried about people’s comments than getting it out there, so people that do feel as I do have something that represents them.  The t-shirt about wearing a face mask is what has me frozen and worrying the most.  I think I will feel better if I create one designed for those that think it is unnecessary.  Well, that is the plan and repair of the first layer of material to complete this week’s pothole.  

The final layer of pothole repair toward the decluttering and downsizing the house will have to be a wait and see how accomplished.  I might return to it but grab one item as I go through a room and find a location for it—areas of choice Goodwill boxes, trash, and put away where it belongs.  The goal is to have more to go to Goodwill and dumpster then re-home in the house.  With that in mind, due diligence, this pothole cap will stay on for a couple of weeks or months.  A year would be fantastic, but my mental health would like to place me back in areas that reinforce the internal dialogue from growing up that I am a failure and can do nothing right.

So as I wrap up this week’s review of failure or success, let us see.  I have to say I was successful in that I did not dwell on my shortcomings this week, as long as I usually do.  I have reviewed and developed a workable plan to keep moving forward toward my goals.  So I feel like a failure due to not achieving more but will put this week in success because I did not allow my feelings of failure to overwhelm me to where I gave up.

May everyone have a great week as they move through this time of adjustment as the different countries around the World try to open up from COVID-19 standstill.  May those looking for work find something soon.  Those waiting for the plan or call to return safely are on everyone’s mind.  Have a peaceful and motivating week, even if that involves changing from pajamas to real clothes and take a walk around the neighborhood.

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Thoughts of Isolation

CBS Sunday Morning 5/17/2020 – Adapting to Isolation

CBS Sunday Morning Video synopsis

The forced isolation brought about by stay-at-home orders poses an unnatural state for human beings conditioned to thrive on social interactions. Still, our experience of being alone could inspire a new way of living. Lee Cowan talks with professors of sociology and genomics, and with a Benedictine monk, about how to adapt to the stresses of this period of isolation. He explores how some people are coping via hobbies, such as sketching, baking, or quilting.

For a personal thought, as I watched this, and the opinion and research presented was that people like being around other people. This self-isolation of the last two months is emotionally impacting people. I had to step back because I do not feel affected by this request to stay at home for safety. My impact is on other aspects of life reactions but not isolation.

My life has always been a stay at home unless I am working, volunteering at church, or a bible study. I never enjoyed going out except for dinner two or three times a month, so my husband and I had time to talk to each other. Does this lack of impact make me a ‘bad’ person that isolation is a blessing? I do not have that infernal questions from others that I never know how to answer when they ask, ‘What did you do this weekend?’. They always look sad when I respond with nothing because that is what we did, and I was happy with that. Our family does not usually go on vacation; the closest I did was treat my daughter for the last three years by taking her to Cedar Point (https://www.cedarpoint.com/) weekly because she likes roller coasters and swimming. Even then, that brought fear from people that I was not riding any rides, I read a book while she was on the coasters. I enjoyed our day, and we talked about life when going from ride to ride and when going on the train together. With all that said, I over worry about why do people feel that families, friends, and acquaintances need to be together continually.

A four-year friendship I had that ended recently also had this overwhelming desire to be around people. The individual often said in anger to me that I could get in the car and go wherever I wanted. When I said, I did not because I had no interest in going by myself to places, and I did not have the money to just up and go somewhere that did not involve a necessity. We used to go places until I could no longer take this person with me due to a physical limitation on their part. Our friendship started to fall apart what is so amazing about being around people?

With the isolation of this stay at home, we do not need to worry about whether we are wearing the right clothing or saying the right thing to someone, or are we interacting correctly? There is so much peace being alone and able to work on a task, meditate, pray, journal, or work. Interacting with people is exhausting and draining. So I am still puzzled why we are not embracing the shelter in place. Yes, I know we are easing up in restrictions, but until the world feels COVID has concluded, our lives impacted. Heck, why do we want to interact with people that bad mouth others that do not agree with a decision made or information believed? Have Facebook contacts that I do not read anymore, and they are so nasty about their personal opinion. Their current topic is the COVID numbers are false, face masks are a lie, our government is trying to control us, and decisions politicians made at the beginning of this in March. Whether these statements above are true or false as individuals, we are allowed our personal opinion. We do not need to say we are naive or stupid for believing or following what asked of us.  

My take on the COVID numbers we will never truly know based on decisions made in regards to how and who tested or information documented. Face masks do help either they will be beneficial in protecting from environmental like smog or the flu wearing them is not hurting you unless there is a physical or emotional reason. Another thought is we are honoring the people that need to wear one based on CDC and company policy and procedures. Governments are trying to control they have done that before COVID this is just more obvious. What do you call some of the rules and legislation we have to follow before this year that make no sense. Politicians’ decisions since March, this is an unknown situation with minimal information whether they made the right or wrong decision. These same people may also complain if more people had died if the shut down had not taken place. Life is more comfortable to live and problem-solve around if we accept that not all decisions are significant decisions, but learning to live with the consequences take less energy than complaining and more gets done with a plan than just no idea.

Childishly I get frustrated because we all have an opinion of the situation around us, but it does not mean we should tear other people down for their opinion. In my opinion, I just posted my anger or be agreed upon it. Still, it is an opinion of what currently presented as facts from media and social media. These are full of sentiment, fact, fiction, and half-truths of other individuals. Opps went on a tangent, but it does show why I prefer my isolation. Face to face contact/socialization, and I cannot walk away from someone who is ranting. With the beauty of isolation I can read or watch something else, not something that pains me. So let us celebrate and accept the isolation when in need of contact, call someone or set up a time to meet for coffee or a walk in the park. For me, this time of isolation alleviates some of the anxiety that comes from being around others—trying to fit personal actions to others’ perception of appropriate behavior or speech.  

Reference

CBS Sunday Morning, Jane Pauley, May 17, 2020,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw5J-V0NQQI&feature=youtu.be

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Review 5/11-15/2020

Monday started, sitting and reviewing last week and daily task list and projects. Still feeling tired, headache, and distracted thinking. Concern that I am going to push myself to fast and crash physically as I have in the past, frustrating and disappointing. I have so many things I want to do.  

With great difficulty, I am not going to add any projects I was planning to integrate into this week. Hopefully, this will stop the physical crash I am often dealing with routinely. The other concern more than the physical exhaustion is managing my depression and anxiety because lowering my activities make me feel like a failure. Continually keeping my thoughts of failure, at-bay, will be the ultimate success.

Tuesday struggle day started at 5 am no energy or desire to get up. I did get up for work. I got home at 12:30 pm to a problem with the kitchen sink. Fortunately, my husband was working on it but as always got upset with myself, thinking I could have known about the issue before I left for work. I know deep down that it is illogical. So success was I did not let that thought stay long. Another success was my daughter did complete some more assignments. So I was able to reward her. So many things need doing, and I had no energy. The day ended after ordering food and picking up, cleaning up the kitchen, posting blog/journal entry, and having late lunch at 4 pm. I felt exhausted and nodded off at my desk. Such tough decisions lay down for 30 minutes before I did write up a list of what came to mind what needed doing. I hope that once I get back up, I will have a chance to move forward. Unsure where this great exhaustion is coming from hope I can walk through it. See how the rest of the week shapes up.

Wednesday through Friday was more of a repeat on the level of exhaustion and errands that need run. No sense repeating Monday and Tuesday in writing. Wednesday did have one aspect that I thought would take me out of the picture for awhile emotionally. A 4-year friendship that had ended mid-March for a variety of reasons resurfaced negatively. For most of Wednesday, late afternoon, and evening, I tried to understand what I had done wrong for this return. Almost called off work for the rest of the week.  

Through the internal review, I have determined not to let the situation destroy the progress I had emotionally achieved with my mental health since our friendship had ended. I had to accept that this individual’s emotional needs and negative perception of life were not something I was emotionally in a position to support personally. I had slowly been pulled further into my depression in trying to help this individual. In accepting that I was not responsible for how others perceived the situations around themselves was beneficial. Personal emotional health was essential and that sometimes we run into situations or individuals that we permanently or temporarily cannot be around. It is okay we are stronger when we understand who we are and what we are capable of deciding or accomplishing.

Success or failure is my goal for these reviews. Ask me at the beginning of the week it would have been a resounding failure. This failure determination would have been false. The week was a success. Emotionally and mentally health-wise, I am amazed and thrilled that I did not dwell on what happened with the past friendship or call asking for forgiveness that was not needed. Personally, it was a lot of prayer and a review of my goals for myself emotionally.

Physically also was a success if we squint. I was able to maintain my daily home care tasks. I was also able to spend some time emptying some boxes and prepare for a massive Goodwill run. 

Saturday morning, with my sleep apnea untreated till our hospitals return to standard testing. I need to accept and make it work with what I have for physical and mental energy. As mentioned previously, I do have medication for insomnia, which makes me extremely tired the next day, so working 7a- noon Monday to Friday does not give me the ability to take them. I did take them Friday night and slept in Saturday morning but had more energy than the rest of this week. Success for accepting I have limitations. With those limitations, though, I can strive to determine a plan to keep working on adding more to my day. It just takes longer than I would like.

Journey this week was filled with potholes of pain but was patched over with feelings of success for not regressing.

Thank you to all who take the time to read. I have included a song from Meghan Trainor – Treat Myself. This song represents how I felt on Friday when I just rested for the day with minimal guilt.

Meghan Trainor – Treat Myself

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Finding Motivation Through The Tough Days

I am returning to the topic of motivation, is a personally constant search. Motivating through exhaustion is difficult when integrated with mental and physical health needs. Let’s look at what the Oxford Dictionary has as a definition.  

Motivation

[ˌmōdəˈvāSH(ə)n]

NOUN

  1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
  2. “escape can be a strong motivation for travel.”
  3. synonyms:
  4. motive · motivating force · incentive · stimulus · stimulation · inspiration · impulse · inducement · incitement · spur · goad · provocation · reason · rationale · ground(s)

Have the desire and willingness, just not the energy. Find me hip-deep in a lousy week. As Tuesday creeps toward Thursday to stop me from becoming overwhelmed by thoughts of being a failure are the priority. Striving to concentrate on following my daily list but prioritize it based on absolutely must-do tasks. The goal is so family, work, and house not impacted. For those that have read the past blog subjects, these exhaustion weeks are one of the reasons I created a daily printable list. I mentally spend so much time figuring out what is remarkable: so much time wasted that nothing gets done. With the record, I can check off what done highlight what is next after a break. Taken me years of off and on working on different lists some short and some too detailed. With the horrible days, I do one to two tasks than a twenty to thirty-minute break. Breaks being reading, writing, watching YouTube, sorting clutter, or catnap. My thoughts of failure usually are what makes me crash, and nothing accomplished. History sleeping either from a migraine or just lack of motivation and feelings of why bother I am a failure, and my husband and daughter are going to leave me because I am worthless.   

Currently feeling that I am treading water, at least I am not sinking. Not much to give for suggestions but keep motivated to at least accomplish the basics. I did include a quote I found online that has helped me keep working on my home’s needs and not let my mental and physical health grind my life to a halt. My journey this week seems to be in a valley, but that does not mean I am not looking ahead to strive to go back up the hill of life. May this day find you well; none of us are alone in this mental and physical health; it just looks different as we all move through our lives.

To wrap this post up with something fun. Below is a fun song/video from Mercy Me that when I need something upbeat and reminder that I do not need to strive for perfection. Usually, play this in the background will doing something mind-numbing like folding laundry. Mind-numbing tasks typically are when I struggle with my self doubts the most. Video is silly, but enjoy how it shows the lack of perfection that we all are, and that’s okay. We can still live life with joy; it just looks different from person to person. Also, I have an evil streak and love to freak out, my teenager, when she walks in while I listen and start moving to the song.  

Mercy Me – Happy Dance

Motivation Quote 

Reference

Lexico by Oxford Dictionary, https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/motivation

Motivation Quote, https://randomobservationsdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/b8771-inspirationalquotes-theroadtosuccessisnotstraight.jpg

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Marketing…Why?

 In watching TV recently, I noticed the number of ads geared toward mental health medication content but also the increase.  Struck me that they concentrate on describing the pros and cons of symptoms or act like a depressed person look pathetic.  Below is an example of an ad from 2019, I have also seen the same company recently but different actors.  The cons seem to outway the positives, which got me thinking about how I can improve my emotional place with a minimal amount of medication.   Which is a balancing act of drugs, professionals, and lifestyle choices?

Striving to find a personal balance between personal lifestyle and medication.  It has always been a journey I have been on since the late seventies.  This journey has been beautiful, painful, and repetitious.  There are aspects of my life that are success and failure.  Failure comes in when I am riding high on my feelings of invincibility or filling my time with everything.  Everything is keeping busy with things that I perceive the world, family, and acquaintances will view as my success.  Pleasing others has always been my metric of success.  Do I have a ‘real job’ are not all jobs real.  Yes, they are real, but education, media, and some family place high expectations in words an actions.  Expectations are corporate jobs, higher education, and top pay.  There is a substantial aspect of our culture that cannot achieve that either through mental health, decisions made when young, cultural limitations, physical limitations, and personal motivation.  The metric I saw I need to perform was Executive Secretary, Manager, or Supervisor in an office setting.  All of those placed incredible stress that would impact my health.  I am happier being a trainer or manager in the retail/service industry.  Part of our culture does not look on retail or service industry as having a ‘real job.’  Finding a balance of emotional health and work success impacts the mental health journey.

The journey toward balance brings me back to marketing and the increase of medication ads and culture toward mental health.   Do we have an increase in ads because our society is trying to show it is okay to have mental health needs?  Another television media is seeking all revenue streams? Then again, why am I even concerned about this is just another aspect of our society and culture that agitates me.  

Agitation comes from that the two questions go hand and hand because we are a world of individuals and corporate need/greed.  Even though we are more open to mental health, the portion of our society and culture do not still understand that even with medication, our days are sometimes not our own.  We still have good and bad days.  Going to a professional is few in far between because of finances and insurance limitations.  Finding a professional that works with who we are as an individual takes times as well.  Journeying with mental health is a delicate balancing act of hills and valleys.  

The journey of mental health assisted by medication, and monitoring the options through marketing presentations is probably not beneficial.  Seeking out a professional is the better options available.  A professional will know the ins and outs of the medications and you as a person.  Celebrating that media is comfortable showing the drugs and the need for them.  At this point, I choose to chuckle at the descriptions they give of symptoms to avoid.  A sad chuckle that half the symptoms described are why I sought out medication in the first place.

Prayerfully, this finds everyone well.  Just having introspective exhaustion filled beginning week.  The review next Saturday will be interesting.  Do intend in future weeks to moving back to journaling my food and lifestyle choices.  It has worked for me before then when I felt better took on work that triggered a downward spiral.  We shall see what this detour of my journey will bring.

I have included one of the medicine ads for context.  Also, this one I find insulting, other people may not, but for me, just nails on a chalkboard.

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Mother’s Day 2020

Happy Mother’s Day? Another year has come around to the holiday that I have equal joy and frustration. Yes, Mother’s Day is not a holiday I call it that because it is a day that families, media, stores, and religions comment. So in my simplistic thinking, any day that a large entity concentrates on is a holiday. 2020 Mother’s Day will look different for many unsure if people prepared for the changes.

Past Mother’s Day being eleven years in a grocery store, the florist was extremely busy. When working as a waitress or cook in restaurants, Sunday was always busy. In the time of COVID-19 and physical distancing, what will this day look like for families? How are mothers who have children manage the change of no restaurants except take out and florists not having as much of their average amount of flowers available? Joy and frustration, I expect.

Observation of how those with joy-filled memories celebrate mom; that portion of our society (US) observe Mother’s Day will not as be as grand as in past years. No going out to eat. How many mothers are going to end up having just another day because they had to prepare the food for the ‘get together’ to celebrate Mom? Flowers How many are going to be able to afford flowers? Indeed in this time of change cannot Mother’s Day change?

Instead of spending money that may not have or spending will cause problems further down the road. What about thinking about all the beautiful things mom did for you through the years. Call or create a card memorializing some of the fantastic things she did for you. A simple example ran your lunch up to the school when you forgot. Mom took you to a concert even though you had not finished your tasks as asked. Maybe get in the habit of thanking Mom through the year for what she does out of love. She watched her grandkids even though she had plans to meet up with friends that day and canceled so you could work or have a date night. Let’s celebrate Mom’s without all the frills using words and simple actions is as organic, inexpensive, and mean more for some than all the money in the world you may not have. This day does bring frustration to some.

Frustration for me is how big our media and marketing make this day. I understand why it does. Still does nothing to alleviate my frustration. Let’s look at other aspects of our society and culture before we move into my example. There are families young and old that Mom has passed away. A woman that, by personal choice, biologically, or financially are not a Mom. There may be people that, in the past or present, have a mother that has made choices that negatively impact their children. Changing the cultural and corporate juggernaut that is Mother’s Day or even Father’s Day is not feasible. Just asking people to be compassionate of those you connected with that this day may not be the ‘celebration’ the media wants us to spend. This year especially the money and ability to celebrate the joy is not there. Make a phone call offer to listen. Zoom or Skype a coffee/tea time to sit in each other presence; if feeling needs to speak, the opportunity is there. From personal experience, this day frustrates me.

Why is there frustration? Oh, let us count the ways, nevermind not worth it; let us give a brief overview. My mother was one that expected Mother’s Day, but I have no examples of wow she is a mother. Heck, my grandparents gave me a mother’s day present several years in a row, because I had been taking care of my younger sister as a mother would. Another negative memory sleeping in the garage, so my mother could have someone over. Others nothing was ever right for her I was too fat, lazy, and was never going to make something of myself. My grandmother on my dad’s side was who I learned how being a mom was quite unassuming and always there to help others. Mother’s day was celebrated at her home, and she, with grandpa, cooked and cleaned after the meal. Mother’s day in our home is a quiet affair that I have accepted and have peace of heart. My husband’s upbringing places him with the thought that “You are not my mother. Why would I say or get you anything?”. With no prompting from my husband, my daughter does not acknowledge this day. I have taken my lessons from grammy, and I graciously take this day as a blessing I have family and friends and not expect anything but a couple Happy Mother’s Day on Facebook and church pastor saying something.  

Another frustration is those that ask, “What are you are doing this Mother’s Day?” when I respond with “probably nothing as we do every year.” I feel judged that my life is lacking because my family does nothing as if I have done something wrong not to warrant my family, remembering me on this ‘important’ day. When I know, I do my husband is a fantastic financial provider but limits himself in what he assists with around the house. My daughter is a teenager with depression; do I need to expand on that scenario. So selfishly, I feel judged by the world around me. 

So I am at peace with where I am culturally, and society may not be picture-perfect, but I am not a conformist. I find myself blessed that over the years, I have worked through my feelings, and this day no long triggers mental health attacks—Depression from why does my family not love me. I give so much I change who and what I do to fit their needs, not my own so often. What more do I need to accomplish to have them show me, love? Anxiety from what others will think. Do they think I abuse my family? Do they think my family abuses me? What is wrong with her that they do not give her Mother’s Day presents or meal? Taken years, but I am at peace, my family is who their life experiences have created. I am who my life experiences shaped as with the rest of the world, we each find positive reinforcement of joy from all aspects of life. 

I will leave you with the history of Mother’s Day from the History Channel and two songs I enjoy listening to. Mandisa Overcomer and Dolly Parton – Eagle When She Flies videos. These videos remind me that we are all different life experiences and reactions. As individuals, it is okay to have weaknesses and strengths.   

Mandisa – Overcomer  

Dolly Parton – Eagle When She Flies (Official Video)

May this day find you well. May your emotional health be at peace with where you are now. We celebrate this day where we are not were media and culture says. As individuals, life will look different for each of us.

History channel’s information on the history of Mother’s Day

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mothers-day

Again, may this day find you well, as an individual trying to decide how to live well emotionally.  

Add on after posting, came across The Muppets: Happy Mother’s Day from Fozzie Bear and Ma Bear? Cute and light hearted, for those who have and can joy on this day. Made me chuckle mostly at .32 comment from Ma Bear.

Second add on since first posting this. I felt bad that I had forgotten the perspective of the Father’s out there striving to be Mom and Dad the best they can. Here is something simple for that.

Rory Feek singing about being a single (widowed) dad on Mother’s Day.

Hopefully the last add-on.

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Week Review 5/3-8/2020

Past posts have been my perception of the success and failure of my time concerning the reality of living well with mental health and physical limitations. Last week offered an additional 15 hours of Home Health Aide work. Difficult decision to make taking the extra hours, due to the responsibilities I have at my own home, health, and family. When balanced against the exhaustion from anxiety/depression, sleep apnea, and other health concerns was unsure how that was going to go home wise.  

By Wednesday, I was ready to throw in the towel and blog my perception of failure. Before starting this experiment of blogging/public journaling, that would be my thought process still is a little. That small amount of doubt never seems to leave me for long; this week’s reasoning behind thoughts of failure. Some of the home organization projects that I had been slowly integrating into my life has stopped. The timing of the everyday items that I had been working on had shifted, and the amount of effort put into them changed drastically. Again this is less than half of what I used to be able to accomplish in years past. As the days progressed, I could sense my building emotional cloud of failure, and why do I even bother trying. Another voice I kept hearing, “I am such a failure that I cannot accomplish ‘basics.’ I am a worthless mother, wife, and employee.” Then the thought struck me during my paten pending internal thought bubble. That is the me that I am always trying to shed. Given the ‘joys’ of mental health will be revisited, often.

With contemplation and review by Friday, I have decided that this week’s additional work hours were a successful integration of my health and home life. How I decided they were a success, not a failure as earlier thought was many. Physically I had to remember due to work hours; I could no longer take my insomnia medication. That means as the week progressed, my body was unable to get a proper amount of sleep outside three to four hours. The hours also impacted eating breakfast due to medication restrictions and took some time to adjust the medication, food intake, and leaving for work. Another component that any energy I would have just after work for the physical house tasks was limited in completion. The limitation was positive and negative; my teenage daughter has been falling behind in her classwork due to her depression. She finally had a positive week and was working on assignments and required testing. To positively reinforce her progress, I rewarded her with her favorite take out for lunch most of the week. Yes, I just spent the financial increase on take-out and reinforced comfort/reward eating. Can I call it a win that I supported my local business? (shrugs shoulder) So instead of cleaning, I was ordering food and running errands. In contemplation, this week is a success for me.

Success comes in many shapes and sizes from the perception of this struggling to live well individual—silly and real overview of reasons again. I was able to increase my contribution to my home financially. I can make donations to the local food bank, church, and WCRF radio station. Maintained the basics dishes and laundry; may not be on the schedule I would prefer, but they got done. Cleaning may not be the deep clean I prefer, but the basic got done. Able to add the filling and taking all of my medications and vitamins this week. My daughter had a great week. I still blogged and journaled during the week. So I will take this as a win for surviving mental and physical health limitations.  

Live life to the fullest that you are emotionally and physically able to do. Came across this video compilation of our society and culture, the speaking was from a TED talk of Live Life to the Fullest by Steve Maraboli. Video in the background comes from a TED conference video made by Louie Schwartzberg. Collection created by YouTuber danoshow merged the speech, pictures, and music. Initially, I was not going to post this because I kept thinking that I could not live as he was describing. I was picturing my dream of acres of land and living off it. On the edge of the area, a bookstore/craft shop on the side of the property.

watch Video Compilation by danoshow

I may or may not reach that dream, but if I get up every morning to work toward that. That is a win because I am not letting my mental and physical health situation confine my living or dreaming—personal meaning of the compilation, the diversity of our society and culture around us as individuals. I have mentioned before living life to the fullest can even be getting up in the morning and eating breakfast. Not binge eating taking a walk instead, reading a book or scripture instead of sleeping the day away, having a fruit smoothie in the morning instead of ice cream, going into work instead of calling off or walking even if there are limitations such as holding onto a cane. Get up and strive to journey with your flaws, not let them hold you back. May mean redefining goals or even keep striving for them; you are the designer of your journey. Even when that journey is getting to the park bench with the perfect view that day, tomorrow is another day. Another day on the trip may see more done or just sitting on the park bench half-way to the original destination; an effort was made that is all that matters. Create your trip-tik (AAA), mapquest, or travel plan that works for you, health, and responsibilities.

Here are the videos first one is the compilation. Two and three are the original postings. All are motivating in their way.  

  1.  Danoshow – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRy6ZdOOws4
  2.  Moving Art – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk 
  3.  Steve Maraboli – https://vimeo.com/107839708 Could not locate the TedTalk but did find it on Vimeo of a Q & A.

May next week be a success in whatever shape or form.

Below is my copy and past attempt at uplifting ideas and humour, sadly for some working on my humor is not on my evolving project lists (Sorry). Minion picture and motivation quote – 

Love Minions I feel like they represent the service industry (retail, housekeeping, waitress, hairdresser, etc).  We are the workers without the respect for the hard work that we do. Cannot count the times I have been asked, 'When are you going to get a real job.' ugh people can't live with them or without them.
Love Minions I feel like they represent the service industry (retail, housekeeping, waitress, hairdresser, etc). We are the workers without the respect for the hard work that we do. Keep up the great work even without the public accolades. Society cannot live out us but do not know how to acknowledge that.
Cannot count the times I have been asked, ‘When are you going to get a real job.’ ugh people can’t live with them or without them.

FYI – still not in a good spot anxiety wise for reading and responding to comments. But leaving the comments section open. Maybe I will jump off the anxiety cliff and begin reading them in the future. Please no one hold their breath because this is an aspect of life that is years old. I have to build myself up to just listen to voicemails or read email responses. So yeah no hope soon of me working on this path in my life journey.

References

AAA trip tik Definition, https://triptik.aaa.com/home/, With this complete road trip planner, you can also access AAA Travel Guides and Road Trips companion resources. Travel Guides provide in-depth destination information with links to articles, videos, travel tips, and more. Road Trips illustrated with maps and images nearly 500 worthwhile and scenic drives throughout North America, with a descriptive narrative for each leg and recommended things to see and do, including GEM attractions offering an excellent experience for members.

thedanoshow (YouTuber), Live Life to the Fullest, Dr. Steve Maraboli, Ted Talks, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRy6ZdOOws4

Moving Art, Gratitude, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk

Steve Maraboli, A Life Well Lived, https://vimeo.com/107839708

Minion Inspiration Quote,  https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b7/43/36/b74336c3d2c41eb0a38053a101b90264–minions–funny-minion.jpg

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What is personal success?

What is personal success? Generalized success is different depending on the culture, society, and experiences, which leads to a question. What does success mean to me? 

Before, I start thinking about what personal success looks like to me in a past and future tense. Let’s look at one of those songs that, to me, represent dreaming about success, whether we are young or old. Without any delay, let us watch an iconic song about dreaming. “Rainbow Connection” from Kermit the Frog | The Muppets

This song struck a chord and reminded me of being a teen and young adult and what I thought a dream job and family were. That dream was acres of land that I worked and provided for my family and designed clothes, painted, and pottery. It is not where I am, how did I lose what made me happy or was my Rainbow Connection to the future, when I was young and where I am now. I was concerned that as I went forward with this thought, it would push at my anxiety and depression too hard.   

On YouTube, I ran across two songs that will prayerfully remind me as I go through this writing exercise of personal review.    

The song is ‘The Sound of Silence.’ Below are two versions because they are opposite ends of the singing style. 

Simon and Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence (from The Concert in Central Park)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAEppFUWLfc

and 

Disturbed – The Sound Of Silence [Official Music Video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

These two versions presented to me that striving to fit my perception of the world’s idea/definition of success is my past to learn. My history makes me and to learn and adapt to my perceived failure and real achievements. Instead of striving for acceptance of others. Is striving for what places me at peace and able to live successfully with my various health conditions and take care of those around me. Where I am is different from where I thought I would be. My rainbow connection was a dream, but as I grew, decisions made, due to depression and anxiety changed that connection.  

Personal success is surprisingly a difficult thing to define for me. Even from a young age, the goals of life have always been set by those around me. The anxiety of not pleasing others would cripple me even still I am overthinking how others will perceive my actions. When looking back and doing a review of then and now, I do not see anything that I can honestly say is my idea. During High School I wanted to pursue clothes design, but my parents said I did not have the right background to succeed at it. My dad said, ‘I was from New Hampshire and did not have the background to fit the people of New York.’ So I just decided to leave that dream. I did a design and made my graduation dress. After I graduated, I went to business school for travel and tourism and worked full-time as a hostess, waitress, bartender, and closing manager.  Went to the school that was expected; picked something that would allow me to travel the world and see amazing museums, the beauty of the world, and the food.

When I graduated, I never did anything with the degree. There was no openings at the time for entry-level, and my younger sister needed to live with me, so I got a full and part-time job to support us because she did not want to live with our mom. My mom did not give us anything financially to cover my sister’s expenses, and mom kept our dad’s social security death benefits. Went on for several years toward the end, our mom moved in with us also for several months before they moved to Tennessee. Even looking back on this, I struggle with why I even agreed to all this because I lived in emotional pain the whole time. All I saw was two people that were family that needed help. My sister chose to go back with mom because living with me had too many rules to protect her. After they left was freeing and overwhelming. I continued to be consumed by supporting others, which meant a variety of roommates over the years that was caustic emotionally and financially draining.

Another aspect of life that I took on was assisting my grandparents, who I loved dearly, and were the people who were there for me no matter what growing up and even when I moved away. I spent every weekend with my grandparents when my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer due to working as a carpenter and before people realized that asbestos was a dangerous working material. During this time, I lived only to offer care to my grandparent’s needs and paying my bills. After my grandfather’s passing, I took on the responsibility of my grandmother’s needs that grandpa had always done. I met my husband soon after my grandfather’s passing. So I have lived the last twenty-plus years living my life as I have prior, which is to make my career choices based on my husband’s ideas not through anything nefarious (evil) on his part (before anyone worries ).   

I followed my husband’s suggestions because I genuinely did not have any goals that I saw I could do and provide financially to us as a couple, so I was contributing wherever I could get work as a secretary. When we had our daughter, those emotional goals shifted to care for her needs also. The only personal desire I had was to be a stay at home, mom, but my husband did not feel that was necessary and would not support that decision. Part of the employment shift was returning to the retail industry, which would allow me to be home during the day with her. As the years have progressed forward, I went to University for a Bachelor’s Degree, hoping to better myself to get a better job so my husband would be proud of me. He was never very supportive of me being in retail because he perceived me as a worker; I did not do much, and it was easy to work. For those that operate in retail, yes, he is still living, but he is part of our society that does not understand the emotional and physical toll we take as a retail worker.  

 I finished the degree that I thought would allow me to help more people, but I did not realize that the State of Ohio did not consider it an accredited school. This error by me reinforced my overall feeling of failure I felt as a mother, wife, student, and employee. Reinforced again, when I went searching for work that even though I had a degree due to my ten plus years in retail, I was not considered for positions because ‘I had no real work experience.’ Yes, that was communicated a couple of times, not by interviewers, but when I was trying to network a little bit more politely but still the same.

As time progresses, I am striving to find myself because I am exhausted from deciding my life based on what it means to please others. I feel comfortable moving forward due to my daughter graduating soon, and my husband has accepted me as he calls it ‘investing too much of myself in others.’ I think who I am is someone creative and likes to help others.  

This minimal review of who, what, and where I am going with my life reinforces success is a kaleidoscope of options and people impacted by the choices made or experiences caused by others. Things for me to consider as I try to resolve my family, friend, volunteer needs, and balance my emotional needs. For some, this may seem selfish but living and making a decision based on others and rarely on my own. I have made decisions in years past based on a balance of the needs of others, even when it puts me emotionally on the edge of depression. I want to try gearing some of my decisions by flipping the norm of my emotional needs first then, husband, daughter, work, and volunteering. Hmm, where is the answer to ‘What is my definition of personal success?’

Long story short, I do not have an answer to that because I still feel like a failure. Finding my success from my perspective does not exist. I do not have a current definite answer. I want to make it a goal to define that truth but may take time to find a solution.  

If I pull back the curtain of depression, I see a glimmer of success and a partial answer to the above question:

  • College Graduate achieved as a full-time employee, wife, and mom.  
  • Married 22 years (lol he is still breathing even during this time of Stay at Home 2020)
  • Mom of a teen daughter that still sometimes will talk to me
  • Managed Depression and Anxiety (daily work in progress)
  • Enjoy volunteering
  • Pushed my social anxiety aside and started being creative in a public forum

Seeing past the curtain of anxiety and depression does show some success may not be where I wanted to be in my twenties. Even now, but do have some peace at where I am.  

Short Term goals of working toward personal success maintain the above list and expand to include the creativity I had as a teen, support my daughter to become a writer and animator and support my husband to find where he is happy.

Long Term goals of personal success are helping others to see that mental health is okay to have, and mental health used as a motivator of positive change. Other purposes are to pay off our home and remodel to support us till we die, expand my Art to sell, and finish the book around my life and also where God fits in that life that I have worked on for the last ten years. 

Book title idea: Journaling from the edge of anxiety and depression.

My concern about my anxiety and depression was there. This took a week to work on and I had some strong ups and downs  but I count this a success because I was able to finish this and upload it.  Dwelling on the mistakes of the past was actually positive in moving forward.

Thank you for reading and following this blog and keep reaching for the Rainbow Connection of your life. Reach for your dreams, and it is okay if they get reshaped by who you are; it is alright we are all malleable. We need to accept that change/repair is okay when we are crossing the bridge of success. Even bridges need repairs.

Side note comments are linked not sure if I am going to be able to read them. Just to warn those that expect feedback.

References

11 GREAT THOUGHTS THAT CHANGED MY PERCEPTION ON SUCCESS, February 19, 2013, Mousumi Saha Kumar, http://brainprick.com/11-great-thoughts-that-changed-my-perception-on-success/

Merriam Webster Dictionary, 4/25/2020

failure noun, fail·​are | \ ˈfāl-yər \ Definition of failure, 1a: omission of occurrence or performance specifically: a failing to perform a duty or expected action fails to pay the rent on time b (1): a state of inability to perform a typical function kidney failure — compare HEART FAILURE (2): an abrupt cessation of normal functioning a power failure c: a fracturing or giving way under stress structural failure 2 a: lack of success b: a failing in business: BANKRUPTCY

He was trying to rescue the company from failure. 3a: a falling short: DEFICIENCY

a crop failure b: DETERIORATION, DECAY 4: one that had failed. He felt like a failure when he wasn’t accepted into law school. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/failure,

success noun suc·​cess | \ sək-ˈses \ Definition of success 1 a: degree or measure of succeeding, b: favorable or desired outcome also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence 2: one that succeeds 3 obsolete: OUTCOME, RESULT

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/success

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Living Life

Journeying through life with mental health is full of smooth and rough patches. Striving to find who we are and live in this blessed life well, even during the turbulent times. Ran across the following video that got me thinking on how to continue to strive to work on and accept who I am, past, present, and future. I always dwell on the what if’s and why did I make that choice. I found this one and got me thinking.

The I Am Project (Texas Country Reporter) from March 30, 2020

This video follows the journey of a social worker that transitioned to a different path of life as a photographer. Got me thinking maybe in the future develop a deeper understanding of where I am in my journey and how/why. If you did not watch the above link questions, he posted in the project – I am: I regret: and Before I Die: Loved the diversity of responses and reminders we are all different in how our life will, is, and has been living. It is okay to have a difference of opinion. In striving to accept personally, there will always be aspects of decisions, actions, and lack thereof that my mental health challenges will impact. It is okay if an impact made, both good and bad. What we learn, though, is how not to wallow too long in a pit made by a poor decision or lack of an action at the wrong time. Mental health does not seem to like working a beneficial schedule.

Lifes journey will always be before me, and as I move forward and blog as my life ebbs and flows on the shore of success and failure. Learning and patching up the damaged areas can still be termed a success if we allow it. It is finding the strength to keep moving even when some disagree and disregard the progress made. Success is as simple to some as getting up in the morning and getting dressed on the awful days. Success can be reaching out to a friend, professional, or a helpline when one’s strength seems non-existent. Success and Celebration of life are going forward even during a rough patch. Our journey of life or the shipwreck on the shore of life can be anything we make it just look for the sunshine through the gloom.    

My 2020 response to the three questions the man put forth.

I am Mother, Wife, College Student, Employee, a weak follower of Christ, and Unsure of where I am going.

I regret not living my life as I dreamed and doing what everyone told me, or I perceived what I should do to please those around me, not myself.  

Before I Die, I want to purchase 300-500 acres of land to make a nature preserve. On a couple of those acres, a rustic campground, an area designed for photographers, bookstore/coffee shop for groups to meet, and it overlooks the beauty of nature, and live off the land.  

I would love to celebrate the joy I have found in blogging/journaling. It has been beneficial in reinforcing everyday success if we are alive and can be in the now and move forward even after a stall. Sample: Monday 5/4/2020 looked like it was going to be another failure of my positive movement made last week. When I got back from work, I only accomplished running three errands for my husband and daughter and a two-hour nap. In turn, I got to thinking I must live the words written. May seem small, but Monday was a success when looked at in hindsight. Success is I went to work on three hours of sleep, ran errands, folded some laundry, used a mask even though I struggled with my anxiety of looking out of place, and I worked on my blog.

I have included the comments section this time in case anyone wants to post an I am, I regret, and before I die exercise. I am hoping I am not infringing on this gentleman’s talent or idea. It was beneficial for me to think about my past, future, and present. I will attempt to read the comments section but still unsure I am strong enough to do so.

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Thoughts for Saturday

Thank you to all that have liked my posts. I much appreciate the support. I am sorry that even now, I am still not worked through my anxiety enough to allow the comments section to be part of the posts—one of my many flaws that at some point will work through.

Was listening to 5/1/2020 NBC Nightly News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE7WYcGJV2I that brought a troubling question to the diversity of our country’s thinking – time stamp 4.03 Major Reopening. The topic was the re-opening of our country, protests, and the states slowly easing the shelter in place orders what I struggle with how I feel about the distinct separation in how people think about the re-opening of our country. I understand just going out and about as desired, but we still have a large segment of our country that is immune-compromised, and the knowledge about COVID-19 is still limited. The opening of our country is well financially and needs doing. Additionally, groups are talking about going out with a mask is unnecessary. I wish more people would wear masks at least in the area of the country (Northern Ohio) that I am in just on May 01, 2020, of our change in a stay at home order to stay safe traffic doubled when I had to leave for work as a Home Health Aide.  

Protests are freedom of our country Praise God, would like a little more diverse reporting of each viewpoint from tv. Why did several groups of protesters choose to go armed into the State Capitol of Michigan, Austin, Pittsburgh, and more? Did find a historical reason for the armed protests by TImothy C Hemmis, he wrote a ‘The Founders drew a line between peaceful protests and armed insurrection.’ The article gave a fascinating history to the initial thoughts behind protests. With some googling, I did find another piece that gave a more detailed perspective on why people felt they need to assemble armed currently. The article is ‘Michigan militia puts armed protests in the spotlight’ by Sara Burnett. What I was able to glean from this article is that there is a segment of our society that feels the stay at home order has attacked our freedom. Is the stay at home order an attack on liberty when things could have been so much worse in regards to our health? Then how should our politicians handle the pandemic? So where does this put me personally in regards to my anxiety, depression, and how I move forward when I either agree or disagree with attitudes around me?

I praise God that we live in a country that allows the freedom of our voice, so most are represented. Some of these voices may be stifled from time to time. Big business and our politicians who are supported by big companies do not want to see or hear those that are the backbone of the country, the hourly worker. We see this in a small aspect of how we praise the hospital (nursing and doctors) and police/firefighters. DO NOT get me wrong they should be appreciated; they are not paid enough for what we ask of them to do even if this pandemic was not happening. But very little praise goes to the eight to ten dollar worker retail, sanitation, factory, etc., that is also working under dangerous conditions or are unemployed. Nevermind in a month our police, fireman, nurses, and city workers will be unemployed due to state or hospital budget cuts that need balanced. Our federal government not supporting the state and hospital leaders. The money voted on was sent with strict guidelines that do not truly help our state budgets. State leaders who have been on the front lines of making the tough decisions about stay at home orders which impact their state economy and budgetary needs. 

Reviewing information and journaling has helped me and the anxiety about where my place is in all this current and future chaos. Honestly, I think I will be better off keeping to my initial plan of just listening to my state afternoon news conference and maybe listen nightly to one of the world news reports. Much of what I have journaled above has been there for years and even centuries and not changed much. Accepting that I am a low paid minion, entry-level worker, law-abiding citizen of our country that our federal politicians have lost sight of what our country stands on. Our country began and is supposed to stand on the Declaration of Independence of 1776. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that their Creator endows them with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript). I am not in a position to do much else except to vote when it is time and with research vote and make choices that are best for the reliable working of our government, not fractured petty children masked as adults. Both Federal, State, and Local government officials are to serve all people, not just the stockholders and moneymakers. Beyond voting and speaking out after research, my other personal responsibility is to care for my family and the responsibilities I have to those around me.  

Emotionally that is all I can work with is me, family, work, and home first. One of the other aspects that came to mind while I was listening to the NBC News report is one woman’s comment at – time stamp 6:22. Her comment about how freeing it felt to be out. I think many of us can relate to after the last 5-7 weeks of staying at home and many more to come. All I ask is that some of us remember this after we begin to return to our’ new normal’. There are those in our society that are always staying at home not by choice. For emotional health reasons, physical reasons, hospitals, or nursing homes. Let’s try to reach out to those homebound or in hospitals. They would love to hear or read something and remembered other than the big holidays. Those that are homebound feel forgotten over the years, and now that we as a nation have had a small taste of what it feels emotionally and physically trapped in one’s home. Remember their, being home has been for years. Maybe it is time to reach out even it is to reach out to them by phone, flowers, or letter. Caring is not wrong; it takes a little bit of effort. Because even though they may have an ‘aide’ come to their home to help with primary care, that is not the same as a friend or family member to remember them.  

Keep striving to find what motivates, calms, and feels personally successful. Our successes are as an individual. All we can do is share our journey with those listening; hope it helps. Reframe life from sorrow to celebration as you picture it. Our experiences painful or beautiful can build a fantastic frame of beauty; even cracks are marks of beauty and resilience.

To end these thoughts on an upbeat note here is Matthew West – Quarantine Life. Hopefully, you get a chuckle from this as we move forward and find an equilibrium that works for us as individuals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyuaDo1eLEI I find these songs uplifting not depressing because it does show that even though our environment/home may look different many of us are going through that same feeling of loss of get up and go when we want.    

References

NBC Nightly News Broadcast (Full) May 01, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE7WYcGJV2I

NBC Nightly News Broadcast (Full) May 02, 2020, 

The Founders drew a line between peaceful protest and armed rebellion, By Timothy C. Hemmis, April 30, 2020, at 6:00 a.m. EDT, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/04/30/founders-drew-line-between-peaceful-protest-armed-insurrection/.

Michigan militia puts armed protest in the spotlight, BY SARA BURNETT ASSOCIATED PRESS, MAY 02, 2020 01:05 a.m., UPDATED 9 HOURS 26 MINUTES AGO, https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article242455851.html.

Declaration of Independence, National Archives, America’s Founding Documents, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript 

Matthew West – Quarantine Life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyuaDo1eLEI

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Planning who needs planning?

Planning, Moving Forward, or Stagnating?

The week has started positively. I had a plan; pulled out a Daily list I created several years ago. My Daily Lists are so I do not forget what I feel is needed and not get distracted. Some may find it silly or extensive. For me, I have always had records of one sort, either too long, detailed, or short. Started them ages ago so everything could get done in a day. I get distracted as I go about my day or feel as I have forgotten something, lists allow me to stay on target and not get distracted by something new that I see need doing and how long of a break I can do in between each task. At least that is the plan, but unlike the A-team and Hanibal Smith, my ideas very rarely come together Hannibal: “I love it when a plan comes together!”.

Examples of distractions caused by the over-thinking mind; a simple manner, a couple of months ago, I saw several smudges on the bathroom mirror at 6 am and proceeded to clean it, in turn, waking my husband. He had two more hours before he needed to be up for work. Realistically the glass could have waited to a better time in the morning, but I felt compelled to clean it. A great example is deep cleaning the kitchen counters and floors. I will go to put something away in the Pantry and then start pulling that apart or deep cleaning, which is an all-day project. Which in turn, my deep cleaning the counters and drawers never get finished. The last example is on the opposite end if I am feeling exhausted, allergies, severe headache, or depressed, my breaks never stop, and the day ends up wasted.

Monday (4/27) was a fantastic day was able to keep to my daily list but also added two items not planned. I started the set-up of my back patio. Additionally begun working on a room that needed partially emptied and re-arrange a room that works better for my husband, who will continue to work from home till June 8. Maybe even longer though Ohio has started opening corporate offices up as of May 4, with the caveat that those that can continue to work from home do so. My head does feel congested from working around outside and the dust from moving boxes out of the spare room. Feel successful, just tired. I finished the day with my job as a Home Health Aide helping an individual to bed.

I look forward to how the rest of the week goes.

Tuesday (4/28) is emotionally a struggle for energy and motivation. Early am worked 5 hours as a Home Health Aide. When arriving home, I was barely able to work on emptying the room that started yesterday. Got home at 12:15 pm from work; it is 2:15 pm right now and struggling with the thoughts that I am failing to accomplish anything. Now writing that I realize I am too hard on myself. It is okay to take a break before preparing for the rest of the day. Well, time to move forward choosing to put some books away and fold laundry; while listening to the OH Governor News Conference. Hopefully, This will help me by not sitting listening, and if I keep moving, I can accomplish more and not fall asleep or just read as I have in the past when I sit down mid-afternoon. I got the books done, but not the folding felt ache, headache, and tired, so I finished listening to the conference and cleaned up my email of junk mail. Previously I mentioned watching the news conference at dinner for some reason that did not seem to work, unsure why. Successfully shopped for burger supplies, grilled, and cleaned up. Still feel tired and distracted going to call Tuesday a success. I will see the progress made on Wednesday and see what successful routine I can build around my work schedule and the needs of the family home.

Wednesday (4/29) I am a little concerned about how productive today will be, slow start tired, headache, and ache. Groggy thinking it is because I took my insomnia medication took a 20-minute catnap while listening to someone reading scripture verses the tone is soothing (down below is the link). I do not feel as tired still have a slight headache. I am going to try moving forward with just a decongestant. Try to limit my aspirin, Tylenol, Advil use, in years past my headaches had me taking 8-10 Tylenol in one sitting only to dull the ache. Well going to try moving through my morning routine again, see if I can manage more. I am still tired and distracted. Fortunately, it is only mid-morning. I was going to try another catnap since I was able to accomplish several things. Struggling with not letting my anxiety and self-worth overpower the success I have had in thinking positively. Successfully moving forward, I took my husband, asking me to finish the project started on Monday. I am comfortable with what completed as always would love to have done more, but at least I did not stop like I usual. I finished the day with my job as a Home Health Aide helping an individual to bed.

I look forward to how the rest of the week goes.

Thursday (4/30) is emotionally a struggle for energy and motivation. Probably because I did not take my insomnia medication and woke at 1 am and 3:30 am. My early am work of 5 hours as a Home Health Aide was okay; I got home at 12:15 pm from work. Upon reaching home was extremely tired and the beginning of a migraine, so I chose to nap for an hour. Taking a nap is difficult emotionally; I always feel lazy and worthless for not being able to push forward as I used to. I did except that this was the right decision because I was able to get up work on some additional tasks around the house. For once am looking forward to how Friday proceeds.  

Friday (5/1) This day has gone well so far. I was able to accomplish sorting the boxes taken out of the spare room at the beginning of the week. I have successfully kept sorting and daily home care, which, for me, is excellent. I feel successful, which may seem small, but I am thrilled that I was able to maintain movement and not give in to my lethargy and headaches. We shall see how the weekend and next week comes may or may not be with as much detail, will depend I have asked to take on another 15 hours of work next week. So this will either help or hinder the progress I have made.

Stil an internal struggle I am used to 10 to 12 hour days that are 5 to 6 days a week, since the late ’80s. When for the last four years and more so the previous two years, I become exhausted quickly and fall asleep or lose track of time when I sit. Decreasing my work hours, tasks, and accomplishing so little pushes my anxiety and depression about my self worth and value to my family. Accepting these limitations continues to take time. It does not mean I will not keep trying new things to gain back at least half my energy back. Working toward a better method of still caring for the family, blessed with using the current power and emotional structure I have currently in case I am unable to return to my previous level of energy. Plan for the worst and celebrate personal perfect.

So to wrap up this week, I am comfortable with what I have been able to accomplish, and my anxiety and depression have been at a positive level with only some minor dips, which is excellent. To round out the last five days on a funny note in this time of COVID-19 stay at home I ran across YouTube song Quartine Song (Epic Parody) by Peter Hollens, for me, this struck my funny bone. Enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjpvTQisBng

For the future, I have a variety of ideas hoping to work toward, depending on how my anxiety lets me. One, I am thinking of putting my blog to YouTube, just a reading of what I wrote to help those that find reading difficult. Two, I have some phrases that I may turn into t-shirts or mugs. Three, I used to enjoy reading scripture or books that match my life questions, and struggles might return to that and post on a separate page. The scripture on a separate page will allow those who want to read do so but not offend those who are not comfortable with that.   Four, allowing comments to be left on my posts. Just not there yet.

Prayerfully everyone is well during this time of challenge, struggles, questions, success, and just finding who we are and being at peace with what our mind and experiences will shape us to be.

Reference

The A-Team (TV Series 1983–1987) – IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084967

Jan 23, 1983 · A significant discovery for “The A-Team” was Dwight Schultz, as ‘Howling Mad Murdock.’ A remarkably versatile actor, Schultz was adept at accents, physical humor, and rapid-fire one-liners, and his exchanges with Mr. T were funny without ever being demeaning.

Classic TV info, http://www.classictv.info/show/quotes.asp?show=16

4/28/2020 Ohio News Conference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DF9q4eXF_I

Scriptures reading on YouTube find this voice soothing, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovgqsFEu9QE

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Motivation Follow-up

Was going to title this Motivation Follow-up and Daily Stress Idea but that just looks so wrong. Well here is my Monday and early Tuesday. Thank you to those that enjoyed the last post. Stay safe and emotionally well. Over used at this point but we truly are in this together it may look different for each of us but we all have stressors that we will have a hard time with.

Daily stress during this time of Pandemic Shelter-in place has been draining. Listened to The Good Guys Wear Masks – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 4/7/20, this was a wide variety of subjects from masks, stress (time stamp 7.40 – 12.00 and 20.00), tv binge-watching, motivation (26.19), and assorted other stuff. It was nice to see that others are feeling stressed about everything going around us and how they are individually handling their emotional place. Ideas for relaxing and activities found to fill in the hours. It was peaceful for a time to know I was not alone in being stressed by what is happening around us as a whole. Their ideas about motivation and how they handled it was useful. 

Hopefully I can continue to work on being productive.  Concerned for the see-saw I was looped in of motivation and no motivation. The lack of motivation reminded me of an article I read out of The Washington Post, acknowledging the lack of motivation is okay. Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic; by Sunny Fitzgerald, April 6, 2020, at 11:00 am EDT, I found this helpful when I overthink my moments when my thirty-minute break turns into an hour or two of just nothing. My thoughts run the gamut of-how can I be so lazy? No wonder I can get nothing done. All-time favorite negative reflection is no wonder I am not a success. 

Honestly, what is success? We have the world’s view, but it is what the world as a whole has created and run by individuals. As individuals, we contribute to life in our own way. Be it a simple way or complex. From a business success for me personally, emotionally, do I genuinely want to be an individual that runs a country, company, or any vast corporate/institutionalized subject and be responsible for everything, be it creative success or destruction. The answer for me is no, that is not who I am. Who am I, though in this world of the current chaos and past success and failure? I am not sure some days. Do I want to judge myself by financial success, friendships, clean home, work accolades, and even more? Will you look at that I have gone, and sidetracked myself again on a whole other train of thought. Something to return to and it is an aspect of life I spend a lot of time contemplating. I need to return to what I am concentrating on now, which is the decluttering of my family home.

Previously mentioned that to address my lack of motivation, I would work on breaking my day down into 30-minute increments. Has shown some progress not as much as I would like, but that may also be that I am harder on myself than I should. Noticed I lost momentum after I sat through the 2 pm Ohio News Conference. With that in mind, there are some ideas that I am going to implement on Wednesday to see if these changes will help to achieve more.

The idea is to work with a room by room cleaning list, daily cleaning list, and project list. Due to my perceived defects, I have made in the past multiple attempts of decluttering and routine. Down below is a copy of one of many list attempts from 2013. This desire to downsize and clean on a routine is an ongoing struggle. Physically and emotionally I become exhausted, and I overthink my perceived failure to work through my limitations. Kickstarting out of the stop becomes long due to the anxiety-inducing nature of making changes in long-held emotional routines. Feelings of frustration and negativity toward my mind, not being able to control itself. Thankfully as the years move forward, the length of time becomes less as I take the time to step back and understand it is okay as a person to have limitations. We are not a one size fits all thought process that will work well for one person may not all the time work for another. As we learn and grow about who we are, we can take pieces and parts of other people’s actions or lack thereof and move toward an action plan of improvement that works for our circumstances. There are many articles and books in this respect that I plan to review and see what works for me.

I did have some success on Monday and slightly felt accomplished as I watched the OH News Conference. I started a sorting project that was stationary. The project was bagging my cables and chargers collecting in a cardboard box. Yes, I know from a Green Living and Zero waste perspective this is not a good method but have not found a way that fits those two living aspects, which I strive for, will leave for a future project. Currently, computer cables and phones with chargers bagged. Cables and Phones are in separate containers.

One of the cable containers. There are 2 more pictures after the to do list and references.

have found over the years that bagging the Cables and Phones worthwhile decreases the snarled mess and re-purchasing stuff that we already have. Before this sorting, I was able to declutter one of the tables in our kitchen that we purchased for food prep and bread making. I need to contemplate where I am going to take this sense of accomplishment before I lose again to loss of energy or anxiety of doing things too slowly.   

The Front Room of our home seems to be an excellent place to start, which has become a dumping ground for forgotten small projects toward sorting and decluttering. This cluttered mess began in this room because we do not use our front door, and I had previously hoped to change it into an exercise area. With our shelter in place looking to continue into June, maybe July; these months are based on the Ohio Medical Director saying we may peak in End of April to mid-May since we have no centralized testing to determine who is asymptomatic and who is not. There will be a slow return to normal. With that in mind returning the front room to an exercise area seems to be a priority. Well that is it for Monday will see how I do on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday may not be too productive as a Home Health Aide. I need to be at my clients home at 6 am. Feeling fatigued more than normal. This is from sinuses and whatever over the last two years of constant fatigue so we shall see how that goes. Stay safe and take care of yourself physically and emotionally they all go hand and hand so we can find who we are proud of being.

Reference 

The Good Guys Wear Masks – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 4/7/20, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwC-kuox71A

Don’t feel like ‘getting things done’? It’s okay not to be productive during a pandemic, By Sunny Fitzgerald, April 6, 2020, at 11:00 am EDT, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/productivity-coronavirus-pandemic-projects/2020/04/06/742edf54-76e4-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html

4/6/2020 – 2 pm Ohio News Conference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgDUTpUrNaM). Changes in how many people are allowed in stores at a time and aisle one way at a time. Our retail industry is doing a fantastic job. Reminder to wear our masks, job board with employment needs, social distancing, staying home, hospital expansion, and what aspects of our infrastructure is doing to help. Alluded that DeWine will look at manufacturing returning to the Ohio area. Review of information in regards to the Federal Prison and State Prison positive COVID-19 cases. Addressed returning snowbirds that they are welcome but to remember to quarantine for 14 days. There was a lot more.

Sample of a past list that did not work for me. (the original landscaped)

Elena’s DailySun.MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Get up on time (4:30 am) go to bed on time (9:30 pm)             
Devotional Time With God             
Bible Study             
Laundry (fold, put away, deliver dirty to washing machine and start, swap to dryer, retrieve…)             
Clean a room (30 minutes or till done)   Front RoomKitchenGame RoomBedroomOfficeBack Bathroom
Clean a room (30 minutes or till done)   Laundry RoomFront BathroomCC RoomSewing/ Craft RoomFront HallwayBack Hallway
Awana Studying       
Exercise (30 min am and pm             
School Work CC and Me (2 hour ea)       
Sweep or Mop a Room       
Put out clothes for the next day (Bill and Me)       
Pack lunch for the next work day (Bill and Me)       
Video game with CC       
Work       
        
Unsure how to fix the image but the original was a landscape sheet
Elena’s DailySun.MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
Get up on time (4:30 am) go to bed on time (9:30 pm)             
Devotional Time With God             
Bible Study             
Laundry (fold, put away, deliver dirty to washing machine and start, swap to dryer, retrieve…)             
Clean a room (30 minutes or till done)   Front RoomKitchenGame RoomBedroomOfficeBack Bathroom
Clean a room (30 minutes or till done)   Laundry RoomFront BathroomCC RoomSewing/ Craft RoomFront HallwayBack Hallway
Awana Studying       
Exercise (30 min am and pm             
School Work CC and Me (2 hour ea)       
Sweep or Mop a Room       
Put out clothes for the next day (Bill and Me)       
Pack lunch for the next work day (Bill and Me)       
Video game with CC       
Work       
        
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Motivation or the Lack thereof…

Unsure if there are others with this feeling of no motivation and loss of hours watching YouTube, reading, or clearing up my email since our life was slowed by the 2020 shelter in place for the safety of everyone due to COVID-19. Emotionally/Mentally, torn as a wife, mother, homeschool mom of a depressed but creative seventeen-year-old, Part-Time employee as a Home Health Aide, and homemaker. Currently, my husband is still working at an Engineering company in IT. I am striving to remove myself from worrying about others when I cannot assist. Family dynamics and the individual I care for part-time is in the high-risk health category—even acknowledging the guilt that does not sufficiently decrease the anxiety drain.  

With all this, my motivation to work on short or long term put off projects are still not there. I tried starting Spruce.Com article 4 Easy Steps to Reclaim Your Home from Clutter and Disorganization. This particular read started me listing each room and what needs done. Made it as far as the rooms list that was three days ago, became overwhelmed with listing the individual needs of each room. Was watching Adam Savage Q&A (3/31/20, Part 2) one of the visuals he made to a question posted about motivation. He made mention that when things were so overwhelming take it in small increments, which struck home more for me, which reminded me of an earlier article on Spruce.com that may be a better idea to start on the clutter to downsize. Before tackling the decluttering, I am going to figure out a reward for myself. 

The prize will either be a mix of working on an art project, bible study, blogging, watching a video, reading an article, or a nap. What will my day look like? I think I will return to what has worked in the past until my allergies, fatigue, or headaches flair up—using a kitchen timer for 30-minutes for a task and a 30-minute break. For some, this will come off slightly OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Progress has been made over the years from using Excel marked with exact times 5:00 am, getting up, 5:05 am teeth, 5:15 am, taking a shower, etc., then getting upset when reality put me behind. Changing to 30-minute chunks of time releases me from the stress of keeping to an extreme regimented schedule. To-Do lists used to be on ledger pads and one to two pages long. After two days of trying to keep to an illogical/impractical schedule and task lists, I would become depressed over the perceived failure that would take weeks to drag myself out of. 

The weeks on end of perceived failure is what keeps building clutter because my previous routine style is unobtainable till I declutter and prioritize. So let’s start the journey again of trying another path that may or may not work only time will tell. Life is about adaptation and success as individuals we must search for the silver lining even among the perceived failures. For every half hour of success is one more piece of paper in recycling or in a box going toward Goodwill or Salvation Army once they open again after this COVID-19 shelter in place here in Ohio. Failure is another item off the table of ideas allowing me to move forward to a style that will work for me as an individual.

One final note for me I have chosen to decrease the amount of reading or to watch the documentation or news reports in regards to the COVID-19 the redundant questions of politicians or specialists the attacks based on political affiliation, we need to adjust the finger-pointing to after the crisis. Now is the time to concentrate on saving lives first and planning how to keep our economy afloat and reintegrate our world to a new normal when the curve of the disease has safely flattened out—my goal to watch just Ohio’s daily 2 pm news briefing. Hopefully, I can keep that plan to decrease my current stress and frustration.

Watched my state’s 2 pm News Conference 4/4/2020, a variety of subjects covered. One of them is that Psychiatrists and Psychologists are being allowed to take on new patients without a face to face appointment; this is wonderful because that is an aspect of our family’s needs. I am sure there are other people as well. The most important to me was how we as a state we’re going to follow through on our CDC suggestion of wearing a mask. Asked to wear the masks and the Ohio website is providing cleaning, proper wearing, and the making of fabric masks.

The positive words are great, but this truly hits my social anxiety buttons. How do I work through emotionally that wearing a mask is so apparent? My thoughts, even though I know they are illogical. It does not stop me from thinking about them and having them impact my actions. Will I be made fun of for wearing the mask and no one else is? Will I be made fun of for wearing a black one this is what I have available? Dr. Acton did have a great analogy of this is a cultural change. Great thought, but still, I struggle with my feelings of this change in a daily routine. What I have done to work around my anxiety of being made fun of is to create a small bag of supplies that I will have in a carry bag in my car. Small bag/purse will have set of plastic gloves, cloth mask, container with a couple lysol wipes, and pair of thin plastic coated work gloves. My bag is set-up so it is compact, easy to sanitize, and refill. (see below). Please be aware the below bag is not approved by any officials this is personal, that allows me to work around my anxiety and be prepared. Another aspect of the update that gave me frustration is that our local government has received no direction from our Federal Government on how to disperse the money for the gig and self-employed citizens. Why is our Federal leadership not working on this if they are where are they in sending this out Ohio leadership is not expecting a response for a month?  Not an aspect of our world I can fix so all I can do is try not to think about it. 

This is it for me today. I am going to keep working on decluttering with the intention of downsizing.  

Have a great day and stay safe during this change of culture and daily life.

What I have in my bag and the containers I store them in. (lol-yes they are labeled)
Fits in a small bag, allowing for easy grab, put away, and cleaning once I have made it back home.

The information mentioned above:

Spruce.com How to Organize Your Home, 4 Easy Steps to Reclaim Your Home from Clutter and Disorganization, Written by Sarah Aguirre, Updated 10/12/19, https://www.thespruce.com/get-your-home-organized-in-4-easy-steps-1900131

Adam Savage Video time stamp 12:39: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFcS9DX-dyA

Spruce.com How to Declutter Your Home, Room by Room, Written by Elizabeth Larkin, Updated 08/09/19, https://www.thespruce.com/decluttering-your-entire-home-2648002

OCD Definition from Mayo Clinic Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432

Ohio COVID19 (Cloth Face Coverings (Masks) COVID-19 Checklist, April 04, 2020, | COVID-19) https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/covid-19-checklists/cloth-face-coverings-covid-19-checklist

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3/25/2020 to 4/1/2020 Observations

Over the years, I have struggled with depression and anxiety in the future, and I may post that daily struggle from my perspective. Back on 3/25/2020, I concentrated on how I see the world around me during week two of COVID-19 stay at home request order here in Ohio. I much respect our Ohio leadership, and the lack of bipartisan outward media covered bickering. The 2 pm Live session has been instrumental in keeping calm and decreasing the anxiety that I could be feeling based on the future uncertainty of our current world. On the other hand, in watching the live sessions of our federal government, I am saddened, and I have to stop because they exacerbate the anxiety. After all, our elected politicians cannot work together and that it is all about their popularity or fiscal bottom line. I do appreciate that after a week, they were able to compromise somewhat so things can move forward even though if I read correctly from CNN payments may not be seen till May, of course, I usually read Time Magazine, New York Times or the Washington Post. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/stimulus-checks-senate-deal-includes-individual-payments-but-dont-expect-the-money-until-at-least-may/ar-BB11GLpv?ocid=bingtonews).  

Unsure why, where and how our political arena is so immature and unproductive, I am still in hope/prayer that this current medical/financial crisis will bring the best from people. However, in watching the live debates, that feeling is low.  

Home wise the need to stay home is not much of a shift. My husband and I rarely leave our house unless to work or to a maybe once a week trip grocery shopping. I have concluded though that my food shopping before COVID might label me a mini hoarder. Because except for ½ gallon of milk, we are just now considering leaving the house to fill in some pantry bald spots in regards to fresh items my husband enjoys.  Before anyone worries about the dynamic of our marriage I enjoy a wider variety of vegetables and to fill that need of variety I order my vegetables delivered on a bi-weekly basis from Perfectly Imperfect Produce https://www.perfectlyimperfectproduce.com/) for me this offers me a small variety so I am not buying large amounts that I end up throwing out.  I also like that they donate a portion to food shelters.

Anxiety and depression, I am concerned for others around me due to the shock and unable to meet up and talk it out as a group. Prayerfully they research and keep informed with the local news. For myself, I am still numb, unsure where and how to move forward, taking on some tasks I have ignored concerning deep cleaning, taken in small batches due to a list of physical health concerns. Motivation to move forward in looking for work from home is a question. Do I still pursue, or do I wait? Is it wrong looking for additional employment outside of caring for an individual person, four days a week for a couple of hours a day? One of many areas of thought my anxiety gets me in trouble, those never-ending thoughts that stop me from moving forward in life. For others, and even my husband, who goes and does it, where I waffle on what is the right decision. What if I mess up/fail, should I, and how will it impact others? As research shows, the anxiety moves into depression because I should be more durable than that, and I am so stupid for just going and doing.

So for today (3/25/2020), I have accomplished the daily basics and not much else, which is frustrating and sad because I have worried more about moving forward than doing. We shall see tomorrow if I can accomplish more.

Will you look at that!  A week has passed and my fear of failure out waded my desire to post/blog. This morning (4/1/2020) I read a Time article that expanded on the earlier CNN article about  May date for stimulus checks. The May dates were for the large segment of our society that does not have a bank account to have the payment sent to, and they need or choose to have their IRS check mailed every year. The article was ‘A Double Whammy.’ Those who Most Need the $1,200 Stimulus Checks May Wait for the Longest to Get Them—written by Abby Vesolis and Alana Abramson on March 31, 2020, https://time.com/5812750/stimulus-unbanked-checks-coronavirus/. For now, this is just a collaboration of my thoughts from March 25 to early am of April 1, 2020.  

Life will move forward as I strive to overcome my fears and I can expand and blog my thoughts and the daily struggle of not letting anxiety and depression conquer a life that can be well-lived.  Prayerfully see you soon on this journey of self-discovery of who I can be. 

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Random Observation from a Hourly Employee

I just found this, It was written back in 2016, but I do find it still appropriate even now in 2020.

I am coming from the thoughts of an hourly employee of the American Corporate Machine. I have been working for twenty plus years in the retail foodservice industry and have noticed a decrease in how many employees there are to customers. Additionally, prices for consumers are increasing. This decrease and increase I perceive began as our hourly wage (example Ohio starting wage 2007 $5.25 – 2015 $8.25). The personal concern is that with many states striving to force companies to pay a minimum of $15.00 over the next 2 to 4 years. Can the consumer and the corporate structure truly support the increase? If the minimum increases, so do all of the other wages above minimum increase, or they are supposed. Yes, having an increase in salary is excellent visually. Genuinely am I gaining anything by my state, forcing my employer to increase my pay when I can no longer quickly gain full-time work in the industry I have always worked. The food or entertainment I enjoy increases to cover the cost of the employee providing the service I am using. Additionally, the amount of team members I have to work with on a shift decreases to support the increase in money the company I work for is paying out.

Other aspects of company cost that tend to build up are couponing, double couponing, fuel perks, courtesy card discounts, or points. All of these ‘freebies’ are not free. The money to cover these ‘freebies’ has to be covered by the company. With all these accumulating costs over the next five years, where will the hourly employee be part-time or full time or unemployed due to the corporate structure consolidating as seen with Kohl’s, Walmart, and other big companies in 2016? For those that comment on forms of Social Media that customer service does not exist. Here are some thoughts the employees have to work with fewer co-workers to do the same work they did in previous years. When a company had six staff on the floor to provide “excellent” customer service, are only scheduled for one or two employees. Many are part-time and cannot obtain full-time hours that their family budget needs.
For those consumers out there frustrated and impatient with long lines; from personal experience get used to it. In many locations in the retail and foodservice industry, those lines will only increase as the demand for higher minimum wages. This increase means the leadership of corporate structure will need to reduce cost, and that will be at the register, counter, or production method. The improvements are sadly in my perception a done deal, but as consumers strive to keep in mind that the people that are waiting on you are people too and that having to interact with rude and impatient people day in and day out become tiring. To put it in a word picture, the ‘family’ member that everyone avoids do you want to interact with that individual daily. Think of this when you are impatient or rude with an employee at your favorite shopping location. That employee has to deal with short-tempered, angry people hour upon hour; there is no walking away when you are at a counter, table, or register. Rudeness toward a consumer, you should not be tolerated, but are you interacting with the worker with respect as well. Respect is a two-way street; strive to see the perspective of the other person.

Prayerfully this finds everyone trying to stay the positive side of comfortable emotionally. As mentioned in the beginning, I just found this old post that never got uploaded. Figured will still be relevant as the state and companies begin to re-open in this time of COVID-19 chaos.

Anxiety Journey through a Sign with Scripture 1 of ?

Being a believer of Jesus Christ and living with Mental Health is an aspect of life in the past never spoken of because of others’ reactions. Over the years, there have been more negative reactions versus positive. Like all aspects of life, we are allowed our opinion and perception of facts as individuals striving to interact with society and culture. I am going to show what I have found in the years of finding balance as a believer living with mental health. Not always succeeding, but for me, that is the beauty of Faith in Christ. Knowing it is okay not to be 100% all the time. God loves the broken be they physical, emotional, or anything you can name. His love and support may not always make sense, and I have had days where I question why? Why I have to live my life with doubts or pain.    

Phrases that anger me from other believers. even though I should not because it is these people’s personal opinions not based in fact.  

‘You have depression because…’

…you do not pray enough

…you do not believe or have enough faith

…God would not want you to take medication

…you must have sin in your life (side note: Hello! no one is perfect except God)

There are many more that I have heard over the years. In the past, current, and future, it made me question my Faith and Belief in God; sometimes, I wonder why? Before these have a chance to drive me away from reading scripture or listening to a church service, I try to remember that these reactions are the same as when a person without children tries to advise parents on raising children. People financially well off, encouraging people from an economically struggling area how to spend their money or live life. The last example of society’s hypocrisy is the obese dietician talking to a client how to eat right without acknowledging the lack of personal follows through on the professionals’ part even if that is acknowledging a personal medical crisis. We all have life situations that impact our perception of things heard or seen. When living with mental health, we need to find what works for us as an individual and positively contribute to the running of our society. There are several people referenced in the Bible that lived with Mental Health. If God, the author of scripture supports striving to live well with mental or physical health issues, he would not have included them in positive and negative consequences. These can be what we are born with, upbring, choices by others that impact you, and many other examples from this imperfect world. Here is a brief write up about mental illness from a website GotQuesttions.org, https://www.gotquestions.org/mental-illness.html. Some of what I struggle with how I feel or think about what I read. I do enjoy much of the write-up and the fact that scripture verses included so I can research and see if I agree. I hope to go through it in the future, right now, I would like to spend time on something I ran across on Pinterest a while ago.  

 As believers, can we learn from God’s Word about living well with our Achilles Heel, mental health? We read the words and may have even memorized them over the years, but let’s look at them. Ran across this list of 5 things God’s children should never worry. I like to read this but also struggle because depending on where my mental health is that day, I cannot see this or how I even can live this since I perceive myself as such a failure. I am going to go over one today and continue to number two further in the week.

  1. Being forsaken Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee. (King James Version)

Okay, great, what the heck does that mean? I always feel like I have forgotten. What does covetousness mean? I am very rarely content. So am I sinning right off the get-go? Does this say I am a failure as a Christian, too, like everything else? These are thoughts that often return to me and will sometimes lead me to question why I should even read the scripture, believe in God, or attend church.  God does not ask for perfection to believe. Praise God because I would be a total mess more than I think I already am.

He is willing to listen and accept all of us to live and believe in His Word. What that looks like for one will be different for others on some, at least for me small subjects. Broad subjects should not be flexible, but that is where people see the hypocrisy of the church when they see the division on the large and small biblical topics. A quick example of a minor, inconsequential issue is that I have a friend who read the scripture about being dressed well. She always dressed in culottes or a dress and well dressed even when we go for a walk. For me, I am still in shorts or pants and not always put together. She feels that wearing as she does honor God for me dressing top-notch is not a priority. These are the small subjects that can create arguments among believers and nonbelievers—these arguments in all religions, not just Christianity. Just look at any religious or cultural traditions; many interpretations can drive wedges between friends and families. Back to the scriptural clothing subject, just a brief google showed, there are 44 or more bible verses about clothing for different reasons or examples. Our lives are full of regulations, responsibility, and reward for what we do.

So, when I get to an aspect of scripture that someone has posted online or I read during a Bible Study that agitates me, I research. I am going to break down Hebrews 13:5, see where it fits in Chapter 13, and find the history or context of what God’s word was trying to communicate about this, and any commentary I can find. Let’s move forward on this one.

Being forsaken, defined as existence, the nature or essence of a person, a real or imaginary living creature or entity, especially an intelligent one.  

Forsaken is abandoned or deserted.

Being forsaken takes on the meaning of me as a person forgotten to by all. My mental health puts me there, often just standing cooking dinner or at a meeting. How can I believe in God that I cannot help me feel loved and cherished when I do not even feel that from those around me?  

For the King James Version of the Bible, there is twelve times the word forsaken used. With it used, that often gives me a sense that it is important not to feel abandoned by God.

Hebrews 13:5 (KJV – King James Version)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee.

I appreciate the sentiment that God will not give up on me even when there are times that I am not content with my surroundings. I do find amazing about the Bible whenever I read, and research is that there are so many connecting pieces. That, for me, reinforces that the Bible may not always be easy to read or chronological order, but when so many aspects connect makes it amazing. When one considers how many humans were involved in translating and writing the Bible, but also explains how some of the translations confuse people because the translation takes twists the original Latin, Hebrew, and Greek has not meant to take. Here is the link for the Strong’s Lexicon showing one translation; it is exciting for those that love language.  Hebrews 13:5 Strong’s Lexicon

For Hebrews 13:5, 20 Cross References are reinforcing the importance of this verse of not feeling forsaken by God and Christ’s directions for our lives. Cross Reference list is Genesis 31:5, Deuteronomy 4:31,  Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Samuel 10:7, 1 Kings 6:13, 1 Kings 8:57, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 119:36, Proverbs 23:4, Isaiah 42:16, Matthew 6:19, 2 Corinthians 4:9, Ephesians 5:3, Philippians 4:11, Colossians 3:5, 1 Timothy 3:3, and 1 Timothy 6:6.  Other scriptures can accent the meaning of Hebrews 13:5, but these are at least a start to reinforce that God will not forsake even when a situation may feel like He has.  

I was flexing between believing that and not just due to my anxiety when I see injustice in the world or my own life. Then I have to reinforce that I cannot paint the world’s or direct contact’s actions with God’s visual brush. In the Bible, God’s Word is for me, and the individual is to live as best I can and strive to when asked why I believe as I answer honestly. This part is not something I succeed in because it takes me forever to research, and what one person’s interpretation of what they hear and read is different from others. My anxiety and depression make me freeze up or ignore the confrontation. Another aspect is striving to make decisions based on the Bible that is my interaction in the world. But even that can make divisions. We see that I do not understand how they come to that decision with all the different associations of change or ethical decisions if they claim to read and follow the Bible. With my anxiety and depression, all I can do is work on myself, vote well, donate, and support, where I can, to care for others as Jesus did when he was here on the earth. One significant personal aspect is to strive not to be a hypocritical Christian because one cannot have a good pet peeve if they mimic that pet peeve. Oh, yeah, I often flub this up and probably reinforce why someone may not believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. That is my accountability in this life and the next and strive to improve daily.

We have seen the amazingness that is the interconnecting versus reinforcing that God is always with me. The fantastic translation in language lexicon and find the correct words in English to communicate the message. Commentaries are another aspect that I research with; there are many styles I use the Matthew Henry version. His analysis can found in a concise or detailed version. For this, I am going to use the concise.  Hebrew 13:1-25 Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

Here is Matthew Henry Concise Commentary for Hebrews 13:1-6 The design of Christ in giving himself for us, is, that he may purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the most durable bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment. The sin opposed to this grace and commitment is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, and envy of those who have more than us. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition. Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the obligations; I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee. In the original, there are no less than five negatives put together, to confirm the promise: the true believer shall have the gracious presence of God with him, in life, at death, and forever. Men can do nothing against God, and God can make all those men do against his people to turn to their kind.

Even on my bad days, I take great comfort in reading this. Yes, on those bad days, God seems so far away and as a specific question why He even bothers with us or what I have wrong to be forsaken. Yes, at least section of the sign shows the amazingness that is yes I may feel forsaken because my mental health has hit a low. That low does not mean that God is not there with me. He is always there for me, even my sense of calm in the middle of a raging mental storm.  

The raging mental storm is when I strive to either listen to Bible Verses, Hymns, Contemporary Christian music, or just sit in a place of calm and pray or the bad just stands as I am being screamed at and pray in my mind. It will be interesting to see where the rest of the verses from this sign leads me down the rabbit trail that is Christian living that is as individual as the people who live it. Honestly, my prayer during the pit times so no words at all or a simple one of “Lord guide me to either speak well or stay silent. Zip my lip if what I will say or do will make it worse.”  

May this find you well. If too detailed, I am sorry I love research and diving into scripture and the beauty that is God’s Word. Without the study, I would have stopped reading the Bible. If I have offended, I apologize that this was not a good fit for you. For me, a personal aspect that has kept my life at least functioning. Not well all the time, but my lows are less sometimes if I truly take the time to read and immerse myself in learning God’s Word and how I fit in this chaotic and confrontational world we live and interact with  

Have a great day.

References

44 Bible Verses about Dress, https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Dress

Word Forsaken in the King James Version Bible, https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=forsaken

Bible Research from Bible Hub

Hebrews 13:5

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on Bible Hub https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/hebrews/13.htm