Embrace the Chaos

Chaos is part of every day life. I can’t say that right now I am enjoying the chaos I’m currently in, but for me, chaos means keeping busy and work, and I have been swamped for two whole weeks. Possibly three if this week continues the way it has been.

It’s funny that this is the theme I’m going with today because as a general rule, I hate chaos. And by that I mean I hate unstructured chaos. I tend to be a perfectionist with a touch of OCD so I like to have my chaos be a little more structured, and preferably by me. This is why I have a set routine every day, to keep the chaos in check and my anxiety in balance.

But sometimes you just have to go with the flow and embrace the chaos. Take my work for example. Last week, I was expecting to go through stuff for a specific client and be done. I ended up spending several days trying to correct someone’s mistakes and actually got a person disqualified from the project because of their massive screw-up. On top of that, there were two more with massive mistakes that I spent a majority of my time correcting and corresponding with another coworker to get things straightened out. Today and yesterday, I spent all day mostly working on this same client, typing up notes for my new trainee, and fixing a cluster of mistakes. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my day, but it kept me busy at least.

In the evenings, I’ve learned to chill out by doing some of my favorite hobbies. Lately, that’s been writing character profiles and crocheting (which in the warmer temperatures is quite the task due to all the extra sweating!), and on the weekends, I’ve been gaming. I’m up to Final Fantasy VII so yay! My crocheted blanket is at about 35 inches wide, and I’m intending to make it about 80 inches so it’s almost halfway done. And I’m close to finishing my character profiles with the template form I’ve been using (I have a few mythical creatures that wouldn’t fit the same mold as the humans).

Forgot where I was going with that…

Anyway, some days you can follow your normal routine and be just fine. And other days, you just have to roll with the punches and break free from your routine. Spontaneity can be a good thing, as long as you have a way to wind down after whatever brought you out of your routine.

Advertisements

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s another one of those days. Those slow days of work that I’m starting to unfortunately get used to. And yesterday, we had a conference call that indicated an eventual possibility of limiting hours so that our night staff has some work to do. Which I totally understand; I wouldn’t want to not have any work at all just because I work nights. But limiting hours means less money coming in and I’m seriously considering looking for other work, even though I have no idea where to start looking because I’ve been doing this for four plus years and I’m no longer well trained to be around people. Plus waiting to get busy again is testing my patience.

So instead of looking at only the negatives here, I’m trying to find the silver lining to this mess and “enjoy the break,” as our supervisors told us. For me, enjoying the break is likely more difficult than for others because of my anxiety issues and needing a set routine as opposed to just going with the flow. But anyway, I guess my silver lining is being able to work more on my crocheting, which I’m also actually thinking about doing as a side business, because if I have all this time, I can get a lot more done than I have in past years because I was purposefully taking my time on those projects. Currently I have three or four blankets in the pipes, one of which I’ve started and had to restart because it ended up being bigger than a king size bed and I only want full size. But I have yarn for three additional blankets, one of which is going to be a reversible blanket, so it’s basically like doing two blankets and sewing them together into one. Additionally, in the past couple weeks, I’ve finished three hats and although I don’t wear hats myself, I’m happy to make them for someone else. I can also do scarves and probably whatever else gets thrown at me. I’m pretty adaptable with crochet items.

I could also do more weekly gaming and free up some of my weekend time for watching anime (or playing catch-up as it is now) or hanging with family. I’m two dungeons away from beating Final Fantasy V, but seeing as the second dungeon is the last dungeon, it’s likely going to require a bit more time than the other ones and I just want to be done with it. I can hardly wait to move on to Final Fantasy VI because it’s one of my absolute favorite games, probably tied for first with Final Fantasy VII. It’s also the one that got me started on Final Fantasy so it has an extra special place in my heart.

And I could probably be doing more writing, especially in working on revisions for my novel, which desperately needs my attention, and there are a couple character profiles I need to finish working out yet.

But most importantly, I need to focus on taking care of myself and getting back to a more normal sense of balance. With my aunts here last week, and my dad home this week, I haven’t really had much time to myself to mellow out since going off my birth control and I still have the lingering twinges of a tension headache and some stiffness in my neck from yesterday. (I also wanted to punch my dad in the nose when he said he should be telling me to “suck it up” whenever I have a migraine or headache of any kind. Even though it might have sounded like joking, it wasn’t funny. You don’t just “suck it up” when you have a migraine. Unless you have really good meds to make them go away, you basically have to wait for a migraine to pass and hope it doesn’t eat up too much of your day because you really can’t do much with a genuine migraine. Or at least I can’t. Nothing helps except laying down in a dark, quiet room.)

So my silver lining in not having much work and being limited on hours is finally getting time to take care of me and make sure my body and soul are nurtured and soothed before I try to take on anything else. As Albus Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Easter Musings

Happy Easter to all of you! Sorry it’s been a while. I just recently went off of the birth control I started because it was giving me migraines and I basically lost a week’s worth of time to them, and I’m still trying to get back to feeling more normal and am not likely to get there until at least next week because my dad has vacation this week. I’m foreseeing a lot of time in this back room sitting at my newish desk with the door closed trying to enjoy my solitude.

Normally  I enjoy holidays because my family is pretty close-knit, but today was just draining. I don’t know if it was just the chaos of getting dinner ready, which I’m not normally a part of, or if I’m still adjusting to my own hormones again, but I am exhausted. I spent a few hours in the basement trying to finish my stupid game so I can actually move on to one I like and I’m still not where I want to be, so I’ll probably be playing that all this week too. I think once I get past the stress of feeling behind schedule with this gaming challenge, even though I’m still a little ahead, I’ll start to feel more relaxed. Although having steady workflow would definitely help too.

The past six weeks, I’ve only had one full work week, and since I only work about 25 hours a week, that’s pretty sad. It’s throwing off my whole schedule and making me seriously consider looking for a different job that can give me more consistent hours. And I love my job, I love what I do, I like a small group of people I work with, but after being promised to have more consistent work coming in, as opposed to this super busy, super slow roller coaster when we were bought out, I’m feeling seriously let down that we now can barely get a full week’s hours in.

And to show just how slow and intermittent we’ve been, I finished crocheting two hats and I finished my first ever sewing project in the last two weeks. The one hat I did in three days between our “busy” hours. I even started a blanket, which I then had to rip out because it was WAY too long, and am now currently on the third row of a significantly smaller blanket with the same ripple pattern. I decided to try and help my mom with her project list by creating my own and so far, I’ve gone through three of them in the past few weeks because we’ve been so slow at work. And I have to admit, even though she didn’t get any of the projects on her list done this past week while she was on vacation, she did get several smaller projects done with the help of her sisters, and I’m proud of her for that.

Aside from this blog post, which was kind of spur of the moment because I needed to clear my head a little and I did want to write something, the only writing I’ve done lately is daily to-do lists and filling out my weekly schedule. There’s been too much chaos to focus on anything, and that could be from the anxiety. Even growing up and going through middle and high school, I had issues with writing when people were around. I especially didn’t like having to write on command for my creative writing classes. It’s gotten better, the writing with people around, but I still need to be in a quiet place by myself and then left alone. Like now. I’m sitting in the back, media room with the door closed and music playing quietly in the background, which is allowing me to focus on this entry and slowly complete my weekly schedule.

I hope all of you had a happy Easter with your families and until next time, don’t be afraid to be yourself and do what makes you happy. Especially when you need to calm yourself and focus your thoughts just to get through the next few minutes.

Back to Normal

**Possible Trigger Warning. Please read with caution.**

This past week has been a bit nightmarish for me, partly because both of my parents were home on vacation, there wasn’t a lot to do at work, and I wasn’t feeling all that great from Thursday through today (I’m still a little under the weather, but functioning more normally). One of the oh so fun advantages of having a dust allergy is when you play in the dust for spring cleaning, your sinuses flare up for several days. And in my case, literally nothing helps the pain in my face go away, and the one time I tried to take painkillers, I ended up throwing them back up five minutes later because the nausea was so bad. Though I did feel better after that…On top of all this, I’ve been overly lethargic and sleepy and lacking all energy to do much of anything, and I haven’t been able to figure out why, though right now I’m feeling more like myself. It’s possible it was the disruption in my usual schedule, which is the most likely trigger, and this past week got me really thinking on what my unique anxiety related triggers are.

First and foremost, as much as I love them to death, my parents can both be triggers, especially if they are together. For me, their energies can clash, which puts a lot of strain on my mental state. Dad is generally more laidback, calm, and likes to watch tv a lot, but at a volume that is louder than I usually prefer. Mom can be kind of all over the place and chaotic, trying to do half a dozen things all at once and then getting more agitated when she hasn’t gotten any of them done. Having them both together can be like standing in a hurricane of energy with no protection and I found myself more often than not looking for solitude to refocus and re-energize myself. That being said, on any given day, I can be either one of those similar energies. I’ll have days where I want to be super productive and get lots of things done, and then I’ll have days where I just want to lay down and catch up on whatever shows I have recorded.

Second has got to be work, and sometimes lack thereof. For a work from home job, you wouldn’t think it would be all that stressful, but at times it really is. We have deadlines to meet, quality standards to meet in specific time limits, etc.  And when there’s a lack of work, it really upsets my schedule, because I can’t just assume nothing is going to come in during the day. I have to leave my schedule open so I can check periodically through the day for any work that comes through. Like today. I’ll be checking periodically throughout the day. And last July, work was the cause of my two worst anxiety attacks, because they happened within 12 hours of each other, which had never happened before, and has not happened since. The only thing that really helps here is, when there’s no work, to find something to occupy my time, like crocheting, video games, reading, writing, etc. And when there’s a lot of work, it helps to take mini breaks throughout the day not only to give my eyes a rest, but also my mind.

The rest of my triggers are more situational and less all-encompassing. Like large crowds, which I tend to avoid if I can, though doing chores like grocery shopping can be a bit overwhelming if I don’t have a plan for it (like listening to music while I shop). Other triggers can include loud noises (especially if I’ve been sitting in silence or quiet music all day), being around people I don’t know, being around loud and extremely abrasive people, any kind of change to my schedule (not just work related, but things like an impromptu lunch date or unexpected visitors), being around a former abuser (Gia), making phone calls, doctor visits, and pretty much anything that makes me feel pressured to do something or be someone I’m not.

The calming “antidotes” for each of these situations are as varied as the situations themselves. Stuff like phone calls and doctor visits, the best way to get over the anxiety is just to go through with it, which I know doesn’t always work for everyone. However, with phone calls, I generally keep them under three minutes. Journaling and listening to music are my biggest forms of therapy, because I can listen to my soothing (or not so soothing) music and write down everything I’m thinking, just to get it out of my head and stop myself from circling back on it and obsessing over it. Video games are another great form of stress relief for me, as is having my best friend to talk to.

So as this week starts with my parents going back to work, I’m looking forward to going back to a more normal daily routine and less stress on this happy hermit. ❤

My First Sewing Project…Ugh

Part of this blog is about describing my own personal “reinvention” and part of reinventing myself is finding new things that I enjoy and not things I enjoyed because other people around me enjoyed them. One of the things I’ve wanted to learn how to do is sew and make my own costumes, because I’m kind of a tricky size and I don’t trust clothes made by other people because I don’t know how they’ll fit once I get them. So I wanted to learn to sew my own clothes just to be able to see how they fit as I’m making them, and then I can make my own adjustments. So the other day, I mentioned in a previous post about how I was playing with my “new” sewing machine, which was a rejected item for my grandma who decided she didn’t want it after the return date had passed. My mom and I spent about 45 minutes just learning where everything was on the machine, how to thread it, etc. and just how to change the style of stitches.

My mom had come to me a few days ago with a small, easy project for me to do as my first sewing project and as a birthday gift for my best friend’s daughter. So yesterday I had quite the adventure. First off, I decided to go to the mall to spend some time before popping in on this supposed journaling “class” my mom had told me about (which actually turned out not to be a class, but rather a hands-on demonstration to showcase fancy paper and glitter gel pens). Anyway, one of my stops in the mall was the Disney store to look around, maybe buy some birthday gifts for my adopted niece…The cell service in the store is spotty, so I had to keep walking around while I was texting my best friend asking different questions about what was available in the store. I probably spent half an hour in there just walking around kind of slowly, holding a bag of dolls and waiting for responses in the spotty service. Doing this made me feel a bit like a creeper, because I don’t have a kid that I could’ve brought in with me, like all the other parents were, and I was just taking laps around the store.

Eventually I made my purchases and was on my way to the store where my mom works to check out this “class” she had told me about. When I got there I was a little disappointed to see that the journaling stuff was just on a table at the front of the store with stickers, pens, and other random things. And then, my mom told me, “Why don’t you go find some fabric for your first sewing project?” Which is a little girl’s skirt for my best friend’s daughter. Ok, not a big deal. I wandered over to the kids fabric section and started looking around for stuff this girl likes, like My Little Pony and Shopkins. After a lap, I found the perfect fabric: Shopkins with rainbows, since her favorite color is all of them. I take it back to my mom and she tells me to go find a second piece…

By this point, I’m already tired from walking around the mall. My feet and back hurt. But I nod and smile and look around. The only problem is, even for a small store, there are TONS of fabric options and all I know is what fabrics not to match with the one I chose, like no fleece or flannel, etc. I spent the next 15 to 20 minutes walking around trying to find something to match, but I didn’t like anything I found. It was either too dark or too light, or just not right for the fabric. And after my experience in the Disney store, my anxiety was already pretty high. So now I’m even more overwhelmed and scared I’m not going to find a matching fabric, and my inner monologue was on a continuous loop of, “I just want to go home. Let’s go home.”

After 20 minutes, I go back to my mom with this look of disappointment on my face, desperately trying not to show her or anyone else how panicked and desperate I feel inside. She’s talking to this lady, another customer, who then suggested I take a strip of each color of the rainbow and sew them together. I really wanted to tell this person, “You know what, lady? I’ve played with my sewing machine for all of 20 minutes just learning my stitches, and 45 minutes just trying to learn the ins and outs of it, like threading the damn thing. This is too much work for me.” Of course, I’m cranky and tired and overwhelmed and I hold my tongue. When I tell my mom I couldn’t find anything and I don’t want to do this strip idea, she suggests this type of ribbon, which I had to ask the other manager, who I actually like and like to bother because it’s funny, where to find this ribbon. I finally find the ribbon and start looking through what’s there and I find the perfect one. It’s Shopkins themed and it fits with the fabric I picked out. It’s perfect.

I take both items back to my mom, having now been in the store 45 minutes just doing laps again, and she asks if I want her to get it cut later or if I want to get it cut now and pay for it myself. And now, I’m mentally exhausted. My back really hurts and I need to go home. So I tell her I’ll put it back behind the counter for her to do later, which I do, and then I went home and spent my day in the basement gaming just to calm myself down.

She comes home later that night and says she forgot the ribbon I had picked out. -_- I was very upset about that, even though I didn’t show it. After all that work and effort I had put into finding something for this project, she forgets one of the pieces. Needless to say, this was not a good start to what could potentially be a great new hobby and experiences like this make me not want to start anything new. One of the drawbacks of being a perfectionist is I don’t like to make mistakes, even when it’s something I’ve never done before. And I need things explained to me like you would a child, and in a visual way, since I’m a visual learner. In any case, having all of this information thrown at me and being surrounded by a thousand choices was way more overwhelming than I thought it would be and I’m almost not looking forward to making this skirt.

Projects

This weekend promises to be one full of projects for me and my family. For me, I’m working on another test crochet hat for my best friend, which is proving to be a challenge but nothing outside my skill range. It just might take me a little longer to finish than the previous hat I made. Right now, it looks like a very fancy coaster.

I’m also planning to spend my weekend playing more Final Fantasy and trying to advance the current game I’m in so I can get on to the next one, because after the next one, I’ll be able to play one I really enjoy. Also, when I’m taking some breaks throughout the day, I might try doing some more sewing things. When my mom gets home, maybe we can pin fabric to the patterns we’ve cut out. Or we might do that tomorrow instead of Saturday. Although, Saturday I might pop into the store my mom works for to see what a four-hour class on journaling entails. I’ve been laughing about that all day. Like seriously? I’ve been journaling since I was 11. It’s not that hard and certainly doesn’t require four hours to learn. I mean, in four hours, I could probably have 10 pages done, along with a hand cramp and a blister on my ring finger where my pen sits.

Now, I don’t mean any offense by that. Journaling is basically the same as blogging, but maybe more personal. You find some paper, or a word document, and you start writing. If you want to get extra fancy, you can get colored pens, gel or otherwise, stickers, glitter, etc. and go all out like you would a scrapbook. And if you write like no one’s going to read it, you’ll never run out of things to say.

That being said, my list of projects might continue into next week, which I’m actually dreading. Both of my parents are planning to be off work that week and I might love them both to death, but I enjoy my solitude when I’m working. I don’t like having the tv on, partly because daytime tv sucks and partly because I don’t need the added eye strain, and also, because of the month, I might be forced to watch A LOT of basketball. Bleh. Plus I don’t like the volume at which dad needs it because he’s losing his hearing and the noise is jarring on my nerves. And I don’t think they will be spending the entire week cleaning the basement, even though it probably needs a solid week of cleaning. I only have Monday off and I’m planning to help them clean our Christmas collection, because it’s very large and I want to help figure out which ornaments are mine so we can separate them from my brother’s.

If I actually get through all of these projects, or at least put a sizable dent in their progress, it will be a miracle, but I love being busy and for me, relaxing is playing video games or crocheting or writing. Basically any of my hobbies, I find relaxing.

What Motivates You?

Today’s post is about motivation and in part, procrastination. I am a master procrastinator, I can find a dozen different excuses or tasks to put ahead of something that could be very simple but not something I really want to do.

For instance, the game I’m currently working on is not one I particularly like in the Final Fantasy franchise, but as part of my year long run, I have to play it all the way through. Now, I did better on getting further in the game today than I did yesterday and I think part of that is from the caffeine kick from a Mountain Dew Livewire I drank this morning (which I don’t normally do; I’m not huge on caffeine.). But a couple weeks ago, I could not find the energy or desire to play this game. I think part of me was just burned out because I had blown through the three prior to it and it was all I had been playing for two months. So yes, it is possible I was just burned out by the series.

That being said, after struggling through a week of not wanting to play this game, and having watched Jared play something different while he was visiting me, I decided to start my own run of the same game he was playing. As of right now, I’m about two-thirds done with that game, but it’s easy enough to pick up where I left off (because it actually tells you what your next task is on the load screen) so I’m not worried about forgetting my place. And I think playing something a little more interaction helped clear my head of the cobwebs and dust clouding it from playing these other games so now I’m more motivated to play, even though I don’t really want to sometimes. Like I said earlier, it’s not one of my favorites in the series; if you asked me to rank them, this one would probably be in the bottom five. It’s not a bad game, just not one I enjoy either.

If you’ve been following along from the start of this blog, you’ll also know that I have been trying to schedule more writing time into my daily schedule because, again, my writing generally was taking a back seat to everything else and I couldn’t let that happen anymore. And while some days I forget it entirely, and thus make time for it the next day, I have been keeping up with my writing, even if I’m not posting something here. Like for example, right now, or rather earlier in the day, I was working on a detailed outline/synopsis for my personal novel because I discovered that both my bestie Arabella and I were very confused by all the varying changes (since I’ve been working on this since high school and it has gone through at least 15 different drafts). Plus there have been new, deeper character developments that have to get incorporated, which will be a challenge in and of itself. So I started that on Friday and was working more on it today, only to find out I screwed up the new stuff today and had to start over because I missed some crucial stuff while I was putting down information on the next chapters.

Needless to say, completely finishing this novel is going to take a hell of a lot more work than finishing a video game, but I know it’ll be worth it once I put my nose to the grindstone and put my best effort forward. Even though I have a dozen other smaller projects to work on…But that’ll be a post for another night.

Over to you! What motivates you to do something you don’t want to do? Or even something you do want to do? I’m curious to know! Much love ❤

**

So after posting that first half, it occurred to me that I didn’t really answer the question about what motivates me! I guess what motivates me most is the feeling of accomplishment, of having done something you didn’t think you could or were told you couldn’t do. That’s probably more for the writing aspect of it. For the gaming, it’s more about being able to move on to the next game and the next game. Once I get to the games I enjoy playing and haven’t played in a while, it’ll be easier to play longer and more often because I’ll want to. As opposed to having to play because of the time crunch. For other, smaller projects, my motivation is getting them done quickly to move on to bigger projects that might be more fun to do, or not, depending on the project. Or in the case of working out, feeling good afterwards, and more flexible and/or strong. It’s all about feeling good, no matter what you’re working towards. If you don’t feel good about something, put it aside and come back to it later. So there you have it! What motivates me. Have a good night! ❤