A Quiet Night

Yesterday Shawn and I went to Chicago. My son and his girl friend wanted to see a concert there and so we went. They went off and did their own thing and we did ours. Sadly I caught my daughter’s cold and so I was not feeling too jazzed about anything. Even with my cold I still had a good time. Shawn and I walked around downtown Chicago for a bit. That did not last long because it was raining on and off and with my cold we thought it would be better for me to be inside. None of that mattered to us, we had fun anyway! We ordered in and watched tv together. We joked around and just enjoyed time away with each other. We had a pretty view and it turned out great. Today we walked around Woodfield with the kids and then headed back home. It was not a super exciting weekend but it was just what we needed. It is amazing how a little time away together can have such a huge effect. I feel rested and relaxed. I feel like we reconnected and I am grateful for it.

D

xoxo

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The Good and The Bad

The good is I am in Chicago, the bad is I am sick….bleh. I’m not so sick I have to be in bed but I am sick enough to be moving kind of slow. The kids are out at an event and so Shawn and I are just hanging in the room together. It is nice to not have anywhere we have to be. For now I am enjoying the view and cuddled up on the bed. Hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling better.

Chicago View

Chicago View

D

xoxo

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Asking For Help

Today I am going to see the doctor. I have not seen my psychiatrist since March. Today is a check in appointment before we start to descend into winter. I tend to get SAD really bad in the winter and I use a light box every day during that time. Last year I decided to try antidepressants to help me get through the winter. They worked really well and I used them until about May of this year. Then I decided to take a break and see how I would do without them. Over the last few weeks I have seen my mood take a drastic nose dive. When I saw this happening I immediately went into self-care mode. I thought maybe it was just a bump in the road. I can see pretty clearly now that it is not.

So today I am going to ask for help. This means going back on the antidepressants and asking for a sleeping pill. I am posting about this today as part of a quest to be as authentic as possible. Sometimes no matter what we do, even when we do all the right things, it is not enough. I eat healthy, I exercise, I try to get enough sleep, in other words, I take care of myself. None of this has changed my mood. I said all of that to say this, there is no shame in asking for help! I know there are some of you out there who see needing meds or therapy as a sign of weakness. There was a time when I thought that way. My parents raised me not to take meds of any kind unless you were really suffering severely.  They certainly would have never sought the help of a therapist. This kind of thinking made me feel shameful and weak for needing help.

It feels scary to be this authentic but I feel like it is important. It can be easy in this world of blogs, Instagram, and FB to think that everyone has it all together and your life is just a mess. We all tend to put our best foot forward when cultivating our online presence. I am trying to show the “real” of my life here on this blog. If it helps even one person then I will be happy. Asking for help is not weakness, it is self-care.

D

xoxo

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Homeschooling From The Coffee House

One homeschooling issue we have been struggling with is loneliness. Madison has many homeschool groups but there does not seem to be much going on for teens. I am still looking and always hopeful that we will meet the right person to get plugged in. For now we are trying some new things to help with the isolation.

Pretty Lilly working hard.

Pretty Lilly working hard.

This morning Lilly came with me to the coffee shop. She is working on her online Biology class and I am working on writing. So far it seems to be working. This gets us both out of the house and it gives her a change of scenery. It is very peaceful sitting here with her. It is raining and we are right by the window. There is something so calming about watching the rain fall.

Rain

Rain

This particular coffee-house is not too loud. It is just the right amount of noise to chase away loneliness but not so loud that you can’t get any work done. I’m glad for her company today. The last few days have been busy and I have not connected with her much.

Working

Working

Another thing we are trying is having study buddies. Most of her friends go to school all day and then at night they have homework. I am opening the house up for her friends to come over and do homework. She can do homeschool stuff while they are doing homework. This gives her a sense of normalcy and she gets to have some social time with friends. We will see how that works. It is more work for me but I don’t want her to get discouraged.

I would love to hear from others about what they are doing. How do you keep your homeschool kid from feeling lonely?

D

xoxo

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Books For The Cocoon Season

It gets really cold here in Wisconsin in the winter. The Farmer’s Almanac says that we should expect a real freezer this year. This makes sense since it has been a cool summer. It will not be long before we are all bundled up and cocooned to keep warm. I thought it might be fun to make a book list for the cold weather months. Right now I am doing some really heavy reading. Once I get those books all digested I think I will be in the mood for some fun, light, good reading.

I am smiling right now just thinking about warm socks, hot chocolate and cuddling under blankets. A good book is the icing on the cake that makes this picture complete. Here is my list of books that I would like to read:

1. Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles.” I read most of these years and years ago. I loved them and then got bored. I want to revisit them and see how I feel about now. Anne Rice has another one coming out soon so that will be a fun read I’m sure. I think that one is called “Prince Lestat.”

2. “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth. I read “Divergent” a long time ago and I need to get caught up on the next book before they release another movie…lol.  My daughter says I will not like the ending of the series. I really hope she is wrong.

3. ” Bossypants” by Tina Fey. This one has been on my list for soooo long.

4. “The Queen of the TearLing” by Erika Johansen. I keep crossing paths with this book so I’m adding it to the list. It looks interesting and like something I could get lost in.

5. “I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales From A Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing” by Kyria Abrahams. It has been a while since I have read any books about religion. I am fascinated by religion and I especially enjoy books that are memoirs from childhood.

6. “This Life Is In Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone” by Melissa Coleman. This one comes highly recommended on Goodreads so I’m going to give it a shot.

Is there something I missed on my list? What are you reading right now?

D

xoxo

 

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New Routine

This is day one of my new routine. I got up early and jumped into the shower. Then I braved the crazy traffic to find a perch at the coffee-house. My plan is to get some work done here for a couple of hours and then move on with my day. I have to get to Costco today and then get down to homeschool work with Lilly.

While she is working I have got to continue putting my kitchen back together. I got a fair chunk of it done last night but there is still lots more to do. At least now I can cook in there. My plan is to cook dinner and have it done by 5. Then I am going to head out to the gym and catch my dinner afterwards. I need like a 2 hour buffer between eating and working out or my stomach is not happy. This makes eating dinner before my work out pretty hard.

I tried to get to bed early last night but I did not fall asleep right away, so that was frustrating. When I see my doctor this week I intend to ask for sleeping meds. I have tried to do it the natural way for so long and it is just not working. My life is so stressful I feel that I need the meds more than I need to indulge my desire to not be on them.

If the day sounds busy that is because it is. This is the life of a busy mom! Hopefully by 8 or so tonight I may have time to decompress a bit. If all goes well I might even sneak in a walk with the dog this afternoon. I hope all of my dear readers out there are having a wonderful week!

Tired and it is only 8:51…

D

xoxo

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Embracing Excellence

There is a difference between excellence and perfection. That is a lesson I have been learning. I have noticed that as I have tried to let go of perfectionism I have struggled to figure out how to embrace excellence. While striving towards excellence it can be hard to keep that perfection monster in check.

This would not be such a big issue if excellence did not matter so much to me. For most of my life I have been an overachiever. Then I went through a pretty tough period of burn out. This was followed by a time of healing and rest. Now I am trying to get back to where I was before without going so crazy that I end up crispy and burnt out.

I guess the place to start is by defining excellence:

ex·cel·lence
noun
the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.
“the award for excellence in engineering”
synonyms: distinction, quality, superiority, brilliance, greatness, merit, caliber, eminence, preeminence, supremacy; More
archaic
an outstanding feature or quality.
plural noun: excellences

Ok yeah that makes sense to me. When I burned out I think I let that experience make me feel bad about myself. Like maybe I was incapable or incompetent. The reality is that I was capable and competent but everyone has limits. Even Wonder Woman needs help and can’t carry the load alone all the time. Then I fell into this pattern of thinking that said, “Maybe I am growing too old”, “Maybe my time for excellence has passed.” Right now I am trying to claw my way out of that thinking. When I start to hear these messages in my brain I am trying to push past them and see what is on the other side.

One thing I know for sure if that excellence takes time. This means that I have to make peace with taking time for myself. It is good to be a dedicated parent and partner, but it is also good to invest in myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t46xJpQnv8

What are your thoughts about excellence?

D

xoxo

 

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