Home Sick 😷

I had to come home early today from work. Not a thing I try to make a habit of, especially during busy times. Still between my congestion and my muscle fatigue, I found that I was unable to wholeheartedly invest myself in my work day, and was in desperate need of rest.

I came home and slept for several hours, and when I started to feel better I started to do anything and everything I could to cleanse away the sickness. Copious amounts of tea. Essential oils (peppermint, tea tree, lemon, and eucalyptus) in the diffuser at full blast. Then I washed my face and exfoliated. Did a cleansing detox mask and blackhead removal nose strip. Showered. Lotion. Took a smudge stick around the house to cleans it. Resting while listening to crystal singing bowls chime. Lots of rest. Anything I could do to relax my body and detox it land my home as quickly as possible.

I hope my self care pays off and I kick this illness soon.

I have 6 projects going at work that are active and 14 on hold since these 6 became higher priority. Too much to do. So much stress. It’s no wonder I’m sick.

Though, to be fair, it was also too much for me to think I’d get through a winter unscathed. I hadn’t been sick yet this season. Not even a little something. No sniffles. No cold. Not that I get terribly sick often, but I at least get a little something during the colder months to make me a little less than comfortable. Last year it was the flu. This season it seems to be a lot of congestion and muscle fatigue.

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Dreadlock Journey

After years of wanting and wishing and waiting I finally asked myself what I was waiting for? I had wanted dreadlocks for a long time. A really long time. I recall in college an attempt to make my first single ended synthetic dread, and while I was satisfied with the results, I eventually cut my hair too short to wear it anymore. So I gave it to a friend with longer hair similar to my own hair color.

After college the job hunt began, and once I found a job my professional life began to dictate my appearance. So I spent that time trying to look professional since I was in retail and in public view a lot. Plus I worked at a cosmetics counter to start and wanted to look like a more contemporary beauty advisor instead of the alternative kind…which meant looking like a basic white bitch and not having very much fun with makeup and colors.

Now that I’m a graphic designer, I find my desk job suites me better. I’m allowed to have a more unique style. I can wear colorful wigs and do brighter makeup. The company atmosphere encourages diversity and innovation, but also encourages me to be myself. It’s a complete relief and freeing experience.

Being in this sort of atmosphere made me feel much more confident, and I finally decided one day to purchase a set of dreadlocks for myself on Etsy from a gal in Ukraine. When they arrived I watched a ton of YouTube installation videos and decided to braid them in myself. It took me 1 hour for all 20 single ended dreads (I have an undercut so I don’t need many) and I’m thrilled with the results! I’ve worn them in my hair for about 2 weeks now and it’s been a great experience.

What I love about them is how everyday is a great hair day! There are so many fun styles you can do with dreadlocks and the maintenance really isn’t that bad if you do it yourself. Braiding them in takes time, but isn’t difficult. Washing them isn’t hard either as long as you use the right kind of shampoo and focus your washing on your scalp (and rinse really well).

In all, I really love them. ❤️

A Moment

The day is cold and threatening snow and freezing rain as I sit in my car.

Just taking a moment.

Listening to Lake Michigan whisper harshly at the shore.

Hardly a wind and yet the waves sound their disruption.

Protesting their cold depths like the rest of us.

The Trouble with Loving Yourself

Some of you may recall that I chose to get medicated for my depression a few months ago, and this is the not really obligatory but close to it, blog post describing my life thus far since making this life change.

 

It’s been hard, but still the best decision I have made for my own life.

 

It’s been hard mainly because there have been some unexpected snags. Side effect that the list they handed me when I was first prescribed the medication did not have on it. Ones I’m sure even doctors cannot predict.

The first change and trial I had with becoming medicated, was that I had to, and still am, learn who I am now. That seems really silly to say, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I find now more than ever I’m beginning to realize who I am and what was the depression talking. I find I am not as anxious as I was about most things in life. I’m finding that I really enjoy a lot of things in my life more than I once did, and I find that even though I can become tired out, I have more energy than I have had in a long while.

 

With these things can come a few interesting problems.

 

Discovering I like myself means I have discovered that I do have value, and with it comes a crisis of faith. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am struggling with my faith a little. I started to realize how so many people in my life I had once thought were spiritual leaders had a habit of being spiritually abusive towards me. While I recognize that this is not God’s fault, it is very difficult to trust much when you realize how much the Bible was taken out of context to control you. It has also made me very aware of how everyone is a little wrong, including myself, and makes me rethink a lot of what I have been taught as well as my perspective on it. God and I are in a state of healing our relationship from this, though I fear the journey will be long and full of many mistakes on my part. Still my trust in the Christian Church has made trust in God very difficult and getting back to speaking terms with God is something I have already struggled with for a long time.

Another issue that had been unforeseen, was my spending. As I have mentioned in past posts, I struggle with retail therapy. When I was depressed I shopped. Unfortunately I struggle with the same issue, but for the opposite reason. I like myself. I deserve nice things. So I shop. Something my husband and I are actively trying to curb, with small successes, but it is still hard when I am so good at wanting and feeling like the want is a need.

The last, and probably the weirdest result of learning to like myself, is how other people respond to it. Though, I understand very few people are not self critical. Most people have plenty they do not like about themselves and therefore find that they have a great deal of self loathing. I didn’t realize how much self loathing I had until it started waning away. Now that I like myself, I realize how full of myself I must seem. Even one of my coworkers has responded very badly towards me liking myself, and misinterpreted it as “making everything about me,” as he said only just aggressively towards me this morning (which I reported to HR because I love myself now and I don’t deserve to have my coworker talk to me like that). Yes, I talk about myself more now, because I like what I’m up to. I’m enjoying my friends and my life. I’m losing negativity and finding interesting and positive people to surround myself with and do life with. But of course, when someone talks about themselves a lot, it comes across as being full of yourself, when in actuality, I find that talking about me and my life, keeps me from talking shit about other people who are already full of their own negativity towards themselves and are just trying to figure out life like I am.

I’m allowed to be into myself. I’m allowed to love myself. I’m still learning what that looks like in a healthy way, because clearly shopping will only give me more stuff, and it’s just stuff and nothing more, but the fact of the matter is I’m putting efforts to learn it and heal from my wound. I have self worth now. I realize I am an asset. I am worthy. Of what? That’s still being figured out, but I know it is more than what was once the status quo.

Overall I find the benefits to my life out weigh the struggles. Some changes I’ve made in my life as a result of liking myself and having less anxiety are:

1) I got dread locks. I just always freaking wanted them and I bought myself some extensions and braided them in myself. I love them.

2) I’ve been doing more personal journaling which means keeping more of my life to myself than putting it out here in public. Which is probably healthier for me.

3) I’ve been pleasure reading more again.

4) I HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE. I joined a book club and hang with friends just about once a week instead of once a month like in the past.

5) I’ve been investing more of my efforts into my small business which has reaped some if not many benefits to my income.

6) I feel more productive at work. I’m making fewer mistakes than in the past.

7) I’ve added meditation a couple times a week to my schedule. I like how relaxing it is. I also realize I sucked at breathing and am better at it now.

8) I’m exercising again.

9) I’m getting my health back on track.

All of these things are worth investing my time in. I enjoy them. I enjoy myself. Life feels like it has a little more meaning and mystery again.

The Almighty Dollar

Another snow storm means another morning I spent debating on weather or not I could financially handle taking a full day off of work. Considering a gas bill that needed paying next week that would take a large chunk of my already dwindling bank account, I decided I could at least afford a half day.

So I left my post at noon along with the only other coworker who showed up to work.

As I took the snow blower to the driveway I began to ponder the kind of society I’ve grown in. When did it become so important to risk your own life for little piece of green paper? Why is it we invest so much of ourselves in money that we are willing to risk ourselves for it? How have we sunk so low?

In the struggles of my faith I find myself reading my Bible more. Just trying to understand this broken place I’ve found myself. I understand now all those verses about how it’s hard for people with wealth to enter the kingdom of God and I ponder this frequently even in my lack. How we have come to replace most of our gods with money was really no mystery. It is what makes the world turn…and I’m doing so it is what controls people the most.

In a bartering system, kindness tends to prevail. Mainly because your reputation with others has a greater impact on your success. Your character. Your reliability. The quality of the service you provide. How generous and reasonable you are. All of it factors into your success and thus the success around you.

In a primarily monetary system, your character doesn’t matter as much if you have the wealth to excuse it.

Which is why the owner of our company comes down on us so hard for not coming into work. He pays us, and therefore excuses his behavior with the obligation that he owns us from 8am – 4:30pm. E accept this, and are hesitant and fearful to not comply because it means the money could run dry and we too cannot pay to excuse our own wants and needs.

Running on E

Between each crisis I have been able to find small moments of calm, but as the weeks have gone on winter has done nothing but wear me down. Ice storm after ice storm makes the world a little colder, and in that cold I find a little darkness.

Still, the weeks bring combinations of pleasures and pains. Friends have been getting together and we have been building positive relationships with colorful people. People so colorful that they boggle the mind, and bring me to such laughter that I often come home beyond exhausted and in desperate need of recharging, but still longing for more exhausting nights just like it.

The truth is, the past few weeks have been a struggle. A struggle in patience. A struggle in spirit. A struggle in mind.

I’m going through the painful experience of a faith crisis, one that seems to leave me with more terrible questions than answers, and makes me feel more and more abandoned by God and desperate to stay in communication, but at a loss as to how. In a way it makes me feel a little crazy because all the emotions piling up are sort of a whirlwind of anger and fear. What does one do, when they lose faith, and how does one get it back if they miss it? Are you even allowed to miss it when it is lost? Have I really lost it at all?

I’ve been getting into more metaphysical stuff lately. A scary realm for me, yet I am no less drawn to it. It feels like a complete swing of opposition, and yet, I feel like God is so much apart of the mysteries of the universe that I cannot help but feel a little of what I’ve read can be supported by a Christian faith, and yet, some of it I find completely unconvincing. I don’t know weather to seek more information on such new things, or if I should just stop altogether and protect myself?

This all comes at a bad time too. While I have not had a huge crisis in my life I have had many small ones to deal with along the way that have just been that much more difficult as I’m dealing with the faith crisis….that and my husband is not good at dealing with any crisis, big or small, and has allowed the burden to fall on me more often than not. Which is exhausting. Little things like my husbands battery not starting, severe winter weather that keeps one home from work, and scuffles with coworkers that have bad attitudes have added only more to the deep tired I feel within me.

All of this I think directly correlates with my spiritual issues. I’m spiritually exhausted. I want to crawl in a hole in the ground and be planted there to rest until I’m recharged and renewed, or just sleep for eternity. I’m not sure which yet. It’s hard to say. I’m just so deeply depleted….of what I do not know, but it is so depleted that I feel like I’m falling apart.

Nothing to Do

“Do you know how many people killed themselves in the past few months? It’s because there is nothing to do around here!”

“What are you talking about? There’s tons to do around here!” I retorted shocked.

“Nope. Sorry.” He said condescendingly.

Firstly, people kill themselves because they are sick and dealing with complex mental health issues, not because they are bored. Seriously what kind of ignorant bullshit is that about?

Secondly, there really is tons to do around here. So many festivals in the summer. Year round farmers markets. An escape room shop. Museums. Tons of events at the Library. Nature trails that become beautiful ski trails in winter. Biking trails. The lake. All kinds of great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Wonderful little boutiques to visit and antique stores. Great public parks. An active Historical Society. A thriving artists guild. Tons of industry. Golfing. Live music events year round. A large gaming community. Tons of book clubs. Church events. Fish boils. All kinds of wonderful community events.

After a moment I began thinking about his interests and realized he had very few. At least, very few that he didn’t get burned out on after a week. So no wonder he was bored. It was because he was boring. Boring mostly because he demanded to be entertained instead of finding ways to entertain himself.

I volunteer on weekends. I own a small Business and work a full time one too. I do nothing but occupy myself by offering my time to others and being extremely active in what I find interesting. I throw myself into it because of my passion. Even though I am introverted, I force myself to be out there and active and making my community a better place. I believe in growing where I am planted, and right now, I’m here, and I love being here because it is never boring.

He’s not like that though. He’s a complainer. He’d rather have something to argue about rather than finding ways of making it better. It’s an unfortunate flaw in his personality, he’s so negative instead of seeing and responding to the positive. His attitude isn’t great, which makes his overall outlook pretty grim.

He’s also never lived anywhere else. I’ve been a few other places, and I missed being here. When I came back it was all brand new, and I realized what I had been missing about this place. It made me appreciate it again. It made me fall in love with the community I had left. It made me want to be here again, and glad to be.

Some people just can’t be pleased.

The City of TR

“Why did it do that?” my husband exclaimed as the water seeped into his clothes and dripped from his face.

“Welcome to home ownership!” I laughed.

 

My husband had never done any kind of handiwork in regards to plumbing, and recently the city issued us a Public Nuisance allegation about our sump pump, because it pumps out into the rain gutter in the street and has been causing ice build up. According to the past two owners that drainage had been there since they had both owned the house. So it’s at least over 10 years old. But, of course, the cops only just noticed it recently, and decided to pick on us about it. We hadn’t known that it was an issue really. Our street doesn’t have a storm drain, and it had passed inspection so for all we knew it was perfectly legal. It wasn’t. So we had to deal with it.

 

Of course, the weekend I was going to get my dad to help me route it to the backyard, a snow storm hit and dumps 10 inches of snow on us, and since the ice was building up rapidly in the street, I decided I would just make an emergency reroute into the sewer drain I have in my basement. However, I had forgotten to warn my husband that pipes tend to unload whatever is left in them when they’re disconnected, very rapidly, and I didn’t realize how much water was still left in the pipe. So of course, it became a lovely violent fountain, made our sump pump hole overflow, and gave us a very wet basement, which in-turn, made more work for us.

 

When I finally got the sump pump hooked up to the makeshift resolution we had with spare pipe and saw that it was working for now…My husband and I proceeded to clean and dry up the mess in the basement. I called off from my usual day at the printing museum and got to work moving plastic bins and getting fans to dry up the basement. Every rag in our rag bin was used. My poor husband had an attitude about the whole thing, and in the midst of the issues with the city, this just felt like icing on the cake for all the frustration.

Not only was the city being jerks to bring up this issue after we had only lived in the house for two years, but we also had another issue. The city forgot to check the meters on our block and the block before us to send us our utility bills. So we got charged for two months this month after a series of complains from us and our neighbors that we had not yet gotten our bills. Just after this is when we were issued our Public Nuisance allegation, given only 30 days to comply with the option of an extension if we could prevent the water off the street for now. After speaking with the city we found out we had to reroute the water, remove the pipe, and fix the hole in the curb on our dime, then have the cop who filed the complaint take a look at the changes to make sure we’re doing it all legally. Which we were more than happy to do…up until we saw on our bill that we have a storm water charge we’ve been charged…but our street doesn’t even have a storm drain for our sump pump to connect to, which is the city’s preference.

 

I’m all about removing the pipe and rerouting the water. I wanted to fix that anyway when I first bought the house, but I thought I would have more time to solve that problem. It’s my concerns about fixing the curb, because I thought that was owned by the city. Am I even allowed to touch it really? Am I going to be fined if it’s done incorrectly? Why am I paying a “storm water fee” if my street doesn’t have a storm drain? Furthermore…if the gutter and curb act as my storm drain that the fee on my bill maintains…then why am I paying for it twice when I didn’t damage the curb? What is that fee even for?

 

In all of this there is so much to be thankful for…like all the old pipes the former owner had laying around that have proven remarkable useful. My husband in his funk was still so helpful when I was fixing things and cleaning up the water. Nothing was damaged. The basement is drying as we speak. The water is not spilling into the street or into my basement anymore (though I know the city will not be pleased it is going into the sewer because that’s not legal, but its 12 degrees F and we just had a blizzard overnight so nothing further can be done until spring).

 

The other good thing is Pinterets is full of ideas for solving this type of issue, and I may finally get a water feature in my back yard like I have always wanted…assuming that once I have the water draining on my property…they don’t care what I do with it.