Friday, March 10, 2017

I haven’t seen you in a while...

I haven’t been blogging much these days.

I’ve been in a what I can only describe as a “Second Jr. High” stint.

(I know, Napoleon Dynamite --that’s actually high school. I just didn’t have access to bad jr high photos of myself currently, nor did I have the heart to borrow anyone else’s from the internet. Although I enjoyed a fun google search for a few moments. I felt safe to use this one without hurting anyone’s feelings.  Anyway….)



The comparison being to the awkwardness level of Jr. High:
     The heightened self-awareness, alongside the discomfort that comes with it. The physical changes to your body that you have to dress, only you never really thought a lot about getting dressed until suddenly it’s impossible to do so because everything is different and you feel really conspicuous. Your complexion changes. Makeup is a part of the game -- but the learning curb is steep. Suddenly you don’t understand your hair (because before you just didn’t care, and now you do, but you have no skills or general knowledge.) Social hurdles. And how your body clocks seeming messed up -- always being tired at the wrong times, but awake when it’s fun. Responsibilities that are new to you.

Yeah -- pretty much all of that happened to me recently.
Grief had me in a foggy haze for a year.
And as the sun started to burn the fog off a bit, all of a sudden I was facing all those issues all over again but different.
It was honestly just as overwhelming as it was to my in junior high. Only, this time I had the capacity to tell myself -- it will get better, you will figure this out.

So just a run through on how now is “Jr. High" for me.
--- Heightened self awareness: one word --- counseling. 
I’m facing down a bunch of mental road blocks, and personal deficits, and doing my best to counteract them. (Please don’t let that scare you away from counseling -- it is AMAZING and I think everyone could benefit from it. This information I am getting at counseling is brought out at the pace that I’m ready to face it at. It’s not like someone slamming you in the head with a hammer of change -- it’s self inspired, just guided by someone who’s trained to keep you on a healthy course.) 
But all this self awareness can makes me raw and I often feel really naked out in public. And I’m having to really think hard throughout my whole day on what I’m letting my mind say to me and others. So it’s tiring. (But good.)
--- Physical changes -- after I lost all the baby weight, mixed with the strangeness of grief (taking away a lot of my identity -- it’s a thing), I literally had NO idea how to dress myself.  It was silly but I had about a week there where I was starting to get anxiety just looking at my closet. (It got better when I finally allowed myself to buy pants that fit. But even that was overwhelming -- shopping once you have kids only gives you small windows of time to accomplish anything, and I didn’t have a CLUE what sizes and brands to reach for at this point -- so I was mad-dashing through stores with SUPER confusion -- you know how each brand does it own thing in terms of sizing, it’s tricky!) I’ve now bought enough basics to cover my body. But I’m kinda at square one with figuring myself out in this area. I actually do not know my style at all anymore. But I do know that quality-level/ hand-feel has become much more important to me than it used to be.
--- My face -- it’s changed. It’s still breaking out (seriously….the universe needs to put some kind of time limit to this madness. Not fair.) but I’m also realizing aging happens. I’m getting forehead lines. And my skin is just different in a way I can’t describe -- older. (I’m just going to say that the stress of grief really does add years.) So I recently went through a seriously awkward chunk of time (maybe a month?) where I was really botching my makeup hard. I was trying to address the sickliness-look that comes from grief, while simultaneously maneuvering the age shift that surprised me. And I had a clownish month or so. Thankfully I pushed through and look human again. Phew. I figured out a better makeup routine, as well as a skin care routine that’s not giving me perfect skin, but is definitely improving it.
--- My hair -- I’ve been on and off again with medium/short hair for a bit now. But the last time I had it cut, it was just a smidgen shorter than I had it before (and I liked the hair cut a lot) and yet mixed with everything else going on, I felt like I had no idea who I was when I looked in the mirror. I sucked it up way better than my jr high self did (who would have cried like a jr high girl lol) and just whatevered my way through.  But I just didn’t know how to look like “me" -- or who “me” even was in general, for a while there. (My grief class, that I started a bit ago, says it’s normal. So yay, for knowing I didn’t lose my mind.)
--- Social hurdles. Up until recently, my life events seemed to isolate me into near emotional oblivion. I was starting to feel entirely “too much” for human consumption. After enough coaxing from my counselor (who was telling me there’s nothing wrong with me socially, I have the sociability to make friends, and that people need friends, and that I may just need to place myself inside different circumstances and groups of people to get that) Blake and I decided we would look for a new church. Seeing as how I’m a stay at home, homeschooling, mom -- church is really the only place I interact with adults. It was a hard decision for us, we weren’t mad at our church or anything, but I just had not connected with people there. And with grief, I mostly just showed up, cried my eyes out, excused myself to my car (because I wasn’t just "single tear" crying, I was an inch from hysterical) and then wait for Blake to bring the kids out and go home totally broken. It was just kinda super crappy circumstances that kept happening in my life that really impeded things.
But this January, I hit the year mark of grief, and I thought if I was in a new location (a place where I wasn’t looking at the same Christmas tree I had seen the year before -- remembering last year seeing those trees, in the short the moments before my life fell part--- the trees which made me crying just looking at invisible memories …if I was in a place where I didn’t have memories associated with anything at all) that I might be able to not ugly-cry. And if I’m wasn’t ugly-crying, maybe I could actually interact with people. And if I could interact with people, maybe I could “have people.” 
So after a lot of soul searching, that’s the route we went. We switched at the start of the year. And I’m so glad we did it. It’s been a very healthy change. But that’s not to say it wasn’t soul draining to make the change (and to share our change with the previous church and feel super bad to disappoint people.) Simultaneously it was soul draining to suck it up and be willing to face the huge fears that I might fall on my face again, and be alone some more. But thankfully that wasn’t the case I continue to find more connections and relationship now. It’s been so good for me. It’s been good for all of us.
--- Body clock -- mine is a mess! I’m trying so hard to be more intentional about how I spend my time. I’m trying to get more adequate sleep (says the lady who has a year and a half year old -- and who’s babies always have taken at least two years to sleep through the night.) And I’m also trying to force myself to become a morning person -- or at least wake up before the kids wake me up. But “woe to me” my body is a night owl. It’s a VERY uphill battle this battle. So as I’m working out the kinks here, I’m just kinda constantly tired. Because somehow I just keep shorting myself on sleep on both ends, but it’s sorta evening out. (And not to over do this -- but grief is also like MAJOR soul and body weary-ing. So I’m just kinda a slow moving women who’d love nothing more than a week’s worth of non-stop sleep in silence….wait…no, if it’s is imaginary, why am I stopping at one week? lol)
--- New responsibilities. Ok so, technically, these things are not new to me. But I am approaching life in more of a "take the bull by the horns” kind of way and forcing myself to be more grown up about my responsibilities. And/or just fully embracing who I want to be, and doing the hard work that it takes to accomplish that. The two biggest things there are I’ve officially dove into the minimalism pond and I’ve been cleaning out things that I don’t see as essential to us. I’m getting close to done with our house -- but it’s at that stage were the pile is small, but each thing is a harder mental process -- so it’s kinda slow going now.
     But besides that -- I’ve also been working on getting better at cleaning. And I’m pleased to say, I think I’ve found “the one” -- the cleaning system that works for me. (I’ll tell ya about it soon.) (Hmm that sounded sales-pitchy, there’s zero dollars involved.)
But yeah, minimalism and cleaning -- those two things actually kinda just seamlessly enmesh -- it’s cool. And they have been SOOOOOO fulfilling to me. But enacting them -- it's taken up my free time. So it’s been hard to find time to blog.
    I’m also just trying to become more mindful, and more present, and more purposeful in how I’m spending my life. Kinda reassessing what’s worth what to me. I’m trying to read more, and do a bit less Netflix binging. I’m making time to journal on paper again -- I was a life-long journal-er (I have a big bin of my old ones) but I got out of the habit, and I want that back in my life. In general, I’m trying to carve out small windows of me-time when I can get it -- so I can heal.

(By the way -- it’s been very hard for me to do ALL this and work out. So while I’m trying to fit it in still -- it’s very sporadic. It is actually important to me, so I’m hoping to get back into a groove on that soon. But I can only spin so many plates, and I’m trying to remember to be kind to myself about that fact.)

But because all these things, it’s been hard to know WHAT to blog. I also just needed to shelter myself for a while. It was just all so raw. A bunch of this stuff I wrote about might seem surface-y -- but it’s actually a really deep part of a person that chooses how we present our surface -- so it was hard dealing with so much change all at once, all while whirling inside grief. I wasn’t ready to, well I didn’t even have the stamina to, talk about it coherently before.

But having come out the other side of much of this stuff, I feel like I’m ready to blog again.
I definitely want to share with you my experience with decluttering, and my cleaning system helper-thing. And I think it’d be fun to share with you my makeup and skin care epiphanies.
Oh, and I’ve also been changing decor stuff around the house too -- house beautifying is my comfort food. So I’ll have to catch you up there as well!

So as time (and bedtimegoals) allow, I will be writing up my thoughts on that stuff. Buckle your seat belts. (But no promises on how fast I pull out of the drive way. lol)


5 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to your future posts! I'm begrudgingly trying to put my big girl cleaning pants on these days.... I love having a clean house, but I hate cleaning it. I think we need to decluttering too.

    Have you found jeans you love? I have lost all my baby weight and then some and my pants are falling off of me but I hate jeans shopping so much I haven't even tried to start finding something that fits. We have similar body shapes, so I'm very interested in what brand(s) and styles work for you!

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    Replies
    1. Ugh, of course I notice the typos after hitting enter... Please excuse them :-P

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    2. I am a natural bad-speller, so my mind doesn’t even register typos. lol
      The jeans I’m wearing these days are “curvy mid-rise skinny jeans” from Old Navy. The only thing I wish was that I had gotten them in petite instead of regular (but they didn’t have petite in store, and I wanted something to put on! lol So I just said I’ll cuff em.) But they fit me really nicely -- smaller waist, bigger hips/thighs -- so no gaps over the butt. And their sizing seems generous, so I’m wearing a smaller size than I expected. Plus they have a lot of stretch to them -- but they don’t really get stretched out, which is great.

      http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=781348102&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=curvy-mid-rise-skinny-jeans-for-women-P781348&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D1%26ved%3D0ahUKEwjkj_69gs3SAhUhxoMKHabfBVkQFghMMAA%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.oldnavy.com%252Fproducts%252Fcurvy-mid-rise-skinny-jeans-for-women-P781348.jsp%26usg%3DAFQjCNFlCEXNMYKrzZZJDtUef0_2legU5g%26sig2%3Dpl-4dv7rgwvQujEvAuRSfw

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  2. look great. this picher is awesome. i like this blog that showing all about the good information
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