Moving – The Full Story

I left off with “I hate moving!” You should know what’s behind that story.

In January of this year, I moved a few hours north. Not out of state, but a bit of a drive. I was closer to friends and family that I rarely see, and I thought this would make me happy after all that time of being at the bottom of the dark pit.

I discovered a few things when I got up there, though:

  • My health took a serious nose dive
  • Friends and family all have things going on, just like everyone else.
    • We don’t see each other nearly as often as we used to
    • We see each other “online”
  • I kinda’ missed my husband…. Yeah…. I missed him. The good and the bad. Everything.

grass_is_greener

The part about all of us having our own lives was easy to understand. We grow, life happens, we all change, and we didn’t live as close together as we used to, either. They may call me Duch, but I’ll admit it isn’t all about me, here. But, that’s just between you me, ok? I got a reputation to protect.

secret

But, my health…. Yeah….. my health was getting really bad. I had to move back. I wasn’t happy about it. I hate moving. But it had to be done. We set the date for the beginning of August.

BUT, the best laid plans….

I’m not going to bad mouth my previous apartment complex. The manager was very helpful in trying to make things right when they went drastically wrong that last week I was there. However, as with any business, there is always room for improvement. I will say that he bent over backwards to make the best of a bad situation, especially given my health issues. Let’s just say mold is a horrible thing. My health was bad enough; I didn’t want to add anything else to the list off problems. All this caused me to step up the move date unexpectedly by about 2-3 weeks. No stress here!

stress raccoon

I’m at my husband’s now. Remodeling is almost done. Mount Boxmore is in the front room, and I’m trying to find a place for my stuff. Things will gradually fall back into place and normal will happen again.

So…. This is the lengthy version of “I Hate Moving”. You’ll see more from me when Mercury is out of retrograde. Damn, this was hard to write.

Peace, everyone!

And Thus Ends a Long Festival Season

Texas Renaissance Festival is one of my favorite gigs. It’s an eight-week run, starting the beginning of October and running every weekend through Thanksgiving weekend. Mr. Magick Man has a few shops out there and I work in one of them.

The vast array of customers who come through every weekend are too many to even begin to describe, and I doubt I could do justice. When dressed in costume, I love interacting with the patrons; especially the children. Sale or no sale, if I can make someone’s experience at renfaire that much more enjoyable, then they’ve had some fun and I’ve had some fun, too.

We always look forward to this festival because our crew is like another family to us. We laugh, we poke at each other, and we stand up for each other. Just like family, we have each other’s backs.

My Teen Boy works in our sword shop, and seems to have inherited a lot of “uncles” as a result. This year I’ve enjoyed watching him grow and interact more with the crew. I looked forward every morning to seeing him at his swordplay lessons when we were finished opening up the shops. One of our crew in particular took the Teen Boy under his wing and started working with him using the practice swords. He was a wonderful teacher, and my kid was an eager student. I’ll have to see what we can do to pursue something like this during the off-season.

Menopause Express Swordplay TRF

I’ll miss the joking comments and the silly moments from the jewelry counter. I’ll miss “Bloody Mary Sundays”. I’ll miss the view of a foggy morning from the castle balcony. Working festival is a lot of hard work and long days. I won’t miss being tired all the time and I won’t miss having my weekends occupied, but I’ll miss seeing my renfaire family.

Menopause Express Foggy Morning TRF

Loss

We lost one of our furry children this week. Sasha was a birthday present for Mr. Magick Man when she was just a puppy, 11+ years ago. She was his baby girl.

I would go into a memorial for Sasha, but really, that’s not what this post is about. This is a post of observation and learning.

Sasha passed away yesterday morning. I made a memorial post on my Facebook account rather than making a public blog post. People on my friends list knew her and I thought this was more appropriate. What I’ve observed is the general response to a person’s grief (whether the person who passed is a family member of the 2-legged or 4-legged variety). What horrifies me is that I may have been guilty (at one time or another) of some of the things that have offended me over the past 24 hours, myself. This inspired me to write, tonight, on how we might respond to a grieving friend when we see a post about his or her loss:

  • Expressing shock and sympathy
  • “OMG, I’m so sorry!! :: hugs ::
  • Emotional support
  • If you are in this person’s close circle of friends
    • CALL THE PERSON
    • He or she may have posted a memorial post, but a phone call is so much more personal. If someone is grieving, they need that personal contact, not a “comment”, or a text. They need your time if you’re in their closer circle of friends.

What not to do:

  • DO NOT SHARE THE PERSON’S POST
    • Your friend just posted a memorial post. You don’t know if this post is limited to a certain group of friends or if it is just on this person’s friends list. Most likely, it is not a public post. Why on earth would you share this post? Yes, I have seen this done to other grieving individuals.
  • Do not tell the person about your past experience with your dead cat/dog/brother/aunt/etc… This is not about you. It is possible to express sympathy (even express empathy) without relaying your story. The person grieving does not want to hear your story. If they weren’t grieving, they would care, but right now they just can’t.
    • This is the one that eats at me. This is the one I’m horrified I may have done in the past. If I’ve ever done this to anyone I am so sorry. In the past 24 hours people have done this to me and I know just how much you probably wanted to beat me over the head or tell me to just STFU.

Part of me reads what I just typed and says, “Hon, don’t post this. It’s just the grief and you’ll regret this post in a few days.” But really, that’s what this post is about – responding to a grieving friend. My reactions to the responses I received may be on the far end of the scale. One could say I’m overreacting and emotional right now; but that’s the point. When one is communicating with a grieving friend in that frame of mind, one needs to handle communication appropriately. The time for sharing stories is after the grieving is over. If you really feel the need to share any posts, you should at least ask the person first and explain why; and if the person declines then respect that decision.

I’m off my soapbox for the night. Peace and love. I’m going to go love my other dog and my kitties.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Not possessing but completely giving in love and trust to each other. This comes from Song of Solomon, by the way.

Three years ago today my beloved and I celebrated our love with a beautiful wedding with friends and family. I still remember the beautiful flowers on the chuppah and how they paled in comparison to the loving look in his eyes.

I don’t know how the fates finally crossed our paths in this world. The only thing I’d ever change is having the paths cross sooner. 🙂

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Magick Man. I love you with all my heart. ❤

twue wuv

The ADHD Brain and Post-Project Let Down

I decided to write about this subject because there is surprisingly a lack of information out there. Yes, I’ve found other blogs, but I haven’t found anything from the medical, psychology, or ADHD field itself (other than one book, and he doesn’t cover much). If anyone knows of a credible resource please feel free to share it in a comment.

adhd brain

 

You work on a huge project. You already have a tendency to hyperfocus, but when the project is this big and the deadline is so close, that tendency kicks into high-gear. Everything else goes by the wayside. Nothing in the world exists but the project. You may forget to eat. When you do eat it isn’t healthy. If you’re lucky, your family understands because they know this pattern by now.

The most amazing thing is the mind chatter disappears. Mind chatter? Yes. You know, internal distractions. The mind is never quiet. One worry pops in just as soon as you push another aside. You’re constantly spinning on one thought or another. Meditation never seems to work. Relax, you say? Hah! Right…

mind chatter

 

“Mind chatter is the result of a lack of distraction for the ADHD brain.” (Driven to Distraction, Dr. Edward M. Hallowell and Dr. John J. Ratey)

I can’t speak for everyone. We all have our own techniques for handling our distractions so we can get the job done. I wouldn’t get a thing done without the whiteboard in my office. I see it every day along with the deadlines. I outline each project into small parts, giving each part a deadline. I cross off my deadlines as I meet them so I can see my accomplishments. The downside to this process is it encourages me to hyperfocus. The upside is I stay on track.

I’ve also noticed I experience a huge adrenalin rush when I hit the point where I’m hyperfocused on that project. Yes, I’m stressed about hitting my deadline but towards the end when I finally know things are coming together and it’s going to work – the relief just washes over me. I feel glorious! I want to shout to everyone, “Look at what I’ve done! Look at what I accomplished!!” I’m on top of the world.

The project comes to a close and I’m riding on that emotional high. It lasts for about a day.

As I’m enjoying the well-deserved downtime, the mind chatter begins. I’m not hyperfocused anymore. I don’t have anything to “spin” on, so I spin on myself. To the person who doesn’t understand the ADHD brain it would seem I’m scanning the horizon finding something to worry about. I don’t mean to; my mind is just wandering. Most of the time I snap out of it wondering how I got there in the first place; but by the time I find myself “there”, I’m an emotional wreck over whatever I’ve found on the horizon.

These are the highs and lows of working on a project. I used to think it was just me but in my search for more information on “post-project let down” and “post-project depression” I found others experiencing this same issue. People are posting in forums and blogs, both ADHD and Project Management, about this same pattern. Yet I get no hits in the medical field… nothing confirming why. We’re all just speculating. This truly surprises me. Surely there is more information out there and I’m just missing it.

My search was not for a solution. It was more for personal validation that I wasn’t alone. I needed to know if others had this problem or if I was just … crazy. I already have a solution. I’ll stick with my pattern of planning out my projects; I just need to adjust for the project close. I have a great method for planning out my deadlines until the project ends. I just need to make sure I have something lined up for when it’s over. Downtime? We all need it, but I suppose I need to start planning something for that, too.

only human

Communication in our Digital World

I made it twelve days on my Facebook/G+ blackout. I would have made it longer, but I do see notifications pop-up on my phone. I did well ignoring status updates. What got me was the timing of an update from my best friend.

It’s a bit like getting a phone call from someone in the middle of the night – you know someone is either badly hurt or dying. Lyl is not a morning person. If she makes a status update at the crack of dawn, something is wrong. Being there for my best friend is more important than completely abstaining from social media. I logged into FB, read her post, and it confirmed what I’d already thought was going on. But rather than comment, I called her.

What You Say and How You Say It

When you call someone who’s just gone through a traumatic event, or who’s in an emotional crisis, sometimes the words just seem so empty. When you deliver these words live, whether on the phone or in person, it seems quite awkward. You never know if you are saying the right thing or if you’re really offering any comfort to the person. Online, though, we can stop and think about what we say. We can create a first draft, a second draft…when we have our final and hit send we’re hopefully more confident our words have been of some use.  Sherry Turkle covers this quite nicely in her TED talk, Alone Together“.

Adjusting the Dial Tone

Different people have different methods for dealing with that type of stress. For example, an extrovert would need “people time” in order to recharge and get out of the downward spiral. However, an introvert just needs “alone time”. This is where I can see an upside of FB and G+: It allows a nice balance for the two. People can communicate with each other and at the same time choose how much interaction they want on a daily basis.

Definitions we should all know

What Did I Change?

I changed my awareness. I’ve “officially” been back since November 17, but I don’t check Facebook or G+ every day. I don’t think about them as a primary form of communication anymore. I suppose you could say I’m adjusting my own dial tone, and trying to bring a balance of communication into my life.

Six days and counting

Today is Sunday. I’ve made it six days without checking Facebook or Google+. I’ve found I’m not as twitchy as I was a couple of days ago; but I did have the distraction of working renfaire this weekend.

Off to catch up on homework for this week. Meanwhile, here’s an edited graphic from my previous post:

If communication is your vice, TALK to someone about it.

 

Have a great day, everyone!