Thursday, April 6, 2017

Oof.

Yup. That's the title, because that is exactly how I feel most of the time lately.

See, I don't even care to take my own pictures.

Admittedly, this is going to be a bit of a whiny post, and I apologize for it. No I don't, because I am warning you, and you don't have to read it, but honestly, I could use the kindness of a few uplifting comments, so read it anyway, please. We're all friends here, and I will totally read if you need to get a few things off your chest. Or we'll go for coffee or something.

Anyway, yeah. I feel like I am constantly running to keep up lately, and I'm not really doing anything. My house is a mess (what else is new,) I cook maybe twice a week, don't even ask the last time I worked out, and my poor sweet bullet journal is looking so lonely and sad without its checkmarks. I can't even blame softball much as we've been rained out so much lately. I just get home and I want to sit and do nothing. Not even read - just veg, watch tv, stare at my phone. And it's a vicious cycle, right? I'm not sleeping well, so I don't work out in the morning, I eat crap all day, then stare at screens, which keeps me from sleeping well...and my moods have been low low low, and the energy I need to break the cycle is just eluding me.

The worst part of all of this? Creative thinking is too taxing. I mean, meal planning...I don't wanna! Trying to come up with food to fix is exhausting me. We're on an endless loop of fajita veggies and rice because I literally don't have the ability to come up with anything else. I don't mean new recipes - I mean, I can't remember the stuff we like to eat, and I don't have the energy to think about it.

I've read a bunch of articles lately about how "motivation" is technically a flawed term, suggesting there is an external force pushing us to do things we need to do, and that we just need to make the decision to do it. Well, here's the thing - I need an external force. Because my internal self is not doing the job.

So many goals, friends, so much to do, and nothing being achieved, because I just can't seem to get my ass off the couch.

In the meantime, this is fun.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Groove Thang

I am fairly open to most music - I don't tend to hate entire genres (ok, except country and Christian rock, which is really quite funny, since my first few concerts were Michael W Smith, but then I saw Violent Femmes with my cousin and my life was forever changed.) Anyway, I tend to gravitate to those bands one might call "alternative," The Pixies and Nine Inch Nails and whatnot, and do you really tend to find great new bands by listening to NPR, my usual driving soundtrack?

Hell Yes!

Tank and The Bangas is a band out of New Orleans, and they blend funk and R&B and jazz, and they make me so happy.

This is called "Quick", and it is my favorite of the songs they've done, but it's so very good. Always give me a sic bass line.

Let's now discuss Chicano Batman - this groovy alternative Los Angeles band with a political bent. How have I never heard of these guys?

Also, they will be in Louisville in July...hmm...

What are you listening to these days?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fluffhead was a man...

My brain is twirling right now.

Starting with this morning's drive into work - I was listening to NPR, and Mitch McConnell, you know, THAT Mitch McConnell, that I have religiously attempted to vote out of office every time I've had the opportunity, but just...won't...go...responded to protesters that "winners make policy, losers go home." This made me very angry, and I wanted to yell at him, but he wasn't in my car, and I couldn't, so I just yelled at the other drivers on the road, and that just wasn't very productive. And yes, I'm obsessing, because that is the sort of thing a douchebag says. And every time I type "Mitch McConnell" into Google, the first option that comes up is "Mitch McConnell turtle", so of course I had to look, and I'm so glad I did. For many reasons, but this is one:

My company is going through some serious changes, and I don't know the future of my job. This is...stressful. Also, things are changing with my beloved boot camp. I have many things I'd like to say and vent about, but this is a rather public venue, kind of, with my thousands of readers, so I'll keep it to "Gah!"
Maybe not really that close, but it made me smile.
Finally, and this is not a bad thing, just interesting, and has me thinking...I was driving home tonight listening to a bit on Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space. She went up in 1992 on Endeavor. She was from the south side of Chicago, went to public school, and went on to become a medical doctor and an engineer. She is fascinating and brilliant, and this is a woman we should be teaching our girls about. She is totally my new hero. Also, she was on an episode of Star Trek NTG.


This is not exactly a ton, but my head is feeling fluffy and weird, and it's time for me to meditate and then sleep. I hope to feel better tomorrow. And maybe write something interesting to all of you. In the meantime, check out Dr. Jemison.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Things that make me happy

I am not someone who gets depressed during the holidays. I am not excited like I used to be - my kids are older, and don't much care anymore, I don't love the space my decorations take up, 2 months of Christmas music makes me crazy, and I can't be with my entire family at once like I used to. I associate the holidays with my paternal grandparents, who have been gone for almost 12 years, and that makes me a little sad each year. However. I love presents - giving, receiving, wrapping, that feeling when you find the perfect token. I love spending time with the family in the area. I love my quirky decorations, with a mix of homemade, kids' interests from years past (plastic ballet shoe, baseball, airplanes, Magic the Gathering), geeky pop culture (a very heavy Iron Throne ornament, a Yoda tree topper), and stuff from my childhood. I love the kindness and love I tend to feel during that time, and for the most part, it seems to come right back.

So, when I say it has been a very rough past few months, it really has little to do with the holidays. There's some stuff. That's as far as I can go, as it's not entirely my stuff. My stuff is that my reaction to other stuff is truly overemotional, and so my anxiety levels and depressive episodes have been pretty...ugly...lately. In addition to the stuff, and the stuff my brain adds to the stuff, I am trying to finish a management class at work (down to the last project, which is pretty involved,) end of year reviews to complete, general concern about kids and family, and the basic upkeep of family, house, and self to contend with, and I'm a little overwhelmed.

Earlier today, I read an article on Greatist about using a happiness planner, and it made me want to shift my negative gears and write something positive and uplifting about the things that are taking me out of my head, and making me happy, or at least calming me down a bit. Things I'd like to do a little more, things that make me put my phone down and reconnect, to myself, to my surroundings, to my people, and sometimes just to my sense of humor.

1.  Taking time to sit down and read - no phone nearby, no computer calling my name - just my book, maybe a cup of tea, and me. Lately it's taking me a long time to get through books, and I think it's just because I'm easily distracted. I don't feel like me when I'm not burying myself deep within someone else's plotline. Right now I'm reading Before The Fall on my Kindle, and listening to Hungry Heart in the car. I'm enjoying both, but I need some uninterrupted reading time, and soon.
(I finished reading Before the Fall today. Started Faithful by Alice Hoffman.)

2.  Playing games with my kids, and with my family. We play a lot of games at home. When I'm feeling anxious like this, I play a lot of Yahtzee. Funny related story - last week I was feeling particularly bad, and I asked the kids to play Yahtzee. The Boy says to his sister, "Look what you've done. You've broken Mom. She wants to play Yahtzee. She hasn't gone crazy like this since I was, like, seven." His sister replies, "uh uh, do you remember, like 2 years ago? You made her like this then." They then proceeded to argue about who makes me crazier. Newsflash, kids - you both win!
Anyway, I enjoy games, and we've been playing a lot lately. Boggle is my jam, and Uno, SkipBo, and Yahtzee are my go-tos, but I'm game (get it?) to learn anything. I hate Monopoly. Don't even get me started on Monopoly. We play a lot during holiday family get-togethers. Christmas we learned a game that involved cards with the elements of sushi.

3.  Puppies! I was lucky enough to play with 2 puppies this holiday season - my bff came up for a visit and brought her Golden puppy, who is precious, and then I stayed with one of my sisters for a night and got to snuggle with her Aussie Shepherd puppy, who is fluffy and soft, and I wanted to sneak him home in my bag, but she would have noticed, and she is smaller than me, but scrappy. I am actually allergic to dogs, but I took my meds, and kept my inhaler near at all times, and honestly, they are worth the extra phlegm.

4.  Really excellent TV. We have watched or are watching the following excellent shows:
The Man In the High Castle - alternate reality series questioning how the world would be different if the Nazis had won WWII. Really well done, and how excited was I when Stephen Root (one of my favorites) made an appearance?!
Son of Zorn - yes, I mention this often. It makes me laugh, hysterically! Mostly live action, with Zorn and his countrymen animated, it is ridiculous and bizarre, and I love it.
Designated Survivor - I think most people I know have been watching this, so I won't bother with a synopsis. Keeps me on the edge of my seat through each episode. I have to admit, though, I think it would be a fun twist if, the next time someone pisses off the President, he bares his fangs and hisses (I really have a hard time separating Kiefer Sutherland from The Lost Boys.)
The O.A. - bizarre combination of Stranger Things and, I don't know, Alias, maybe? Woman is found jumping off a bridge - turns out she went missing 7 years ago. Mystery and supernatural thriller all thrown together, with some near death experience thrown in.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - I read these books when I was a teen, and Douglas Adams was an international treasure. This was quirky and fun, and I really enjoyed it.

There is a lot of cool stuff coming out this year, too - American Gods, Iron Fist, new Star Trek, and of course, Handmaid's Tale. Read this: http://nerdist.com/the-13-most-anticipated-tv-shows-of-2017/

5. My people. This is a no-brainer, really, but I have a lot of people I can depend upon to listen, to make me laugh, to be there. I am truly thankful for all of you.

What so many of wish we could do during a rough day at work...