Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . November 25, 2014

Outside my window . . . the sky is a beautiful blue with a just a smattering of wispy white clouds. My neighbor's sugar maple is bare of its orange leaves. It is 38 degrees.

I am thinking . . . kindness and respect and how they intertwine with one another.

I am thankful . . . for more energy of late, and a kinder spirit toward myself.

In the kitchen . . . we had grilled hamburgers last night. I'm not sure about tonight as I am busy thinking about Thanksgiving food to be prepared in advance.

I am wearing . . . a cotton gown and flannel robe.

I am creating . . . continuing to work on my afghan using this pattern from Attic 24, and a lovely set of DK yarn from Stylecraft. It's coming along quite nicely. Each row has 200 stitches and I've completed 36 rows, so that's 7,200 stitches!

I am going . . . to run errands and handle a stack of items I've been meaning to return to various stores. (No therapy because of the holiday.)

I am wondering . . . last week I was wondering about my sinus headaches. Several people suggested I try the chiropractor. Ahhh, sweet relief! I have been seeing her regularly and have gotten a huge amount of relief. My neck was so tight, even she couldn't budge it. It's loosening up quite nicely, and the headaches are diminishing.

I am reading . . . Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. I just started it last night and I am totally intrigued. 

I am looking forward to . . . our trip to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday of the year, because it is all about people and gratitude. I think it gets short shrift because corporations have never been able to find a way to commercialize it. But that's just my opinion.

I am hearing . . . the hum of electricity, the wheezing of the dog, and ds getting ready for classes.

Around the house . . . I've been taking the slowly but surely approach, and tackling stacks and jobs one at a time. Pacing myself and using self-talk to remind myself that I don't have to achieve order in one day. (And that I'm not the only person living in this house -- I have help messing it up, but not much help cleaning it up, LOL!)

I am praying . . . that we will all learn to treat one another with kindness and respect regardless of our differences. 

One of my favorite things . . . is helping others find joy. This past Saturday was a Fun Girls' Day and I gifted my besties with an early Christmas present. I saw this book reviewed several months ago and knew it was just what we needed. I had such a good time watching them look through the book and enjoy the imagery. That is what gift giving is all about!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . errands, cleaning, shopping, returns, baking, salad making, packing, travel, family, fun, and food!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
playing with Perler beads

linking up with The Simple Woman

Saturday, November 22, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Every year it sneaks up on me. Every year I promise myself I'll do a better job. Every year it happens again.

Pre-holiday depression. It's not like it used to be. I can get up and get moving, but there is less order and little joy in the things I'm doing. Then come the recriminations. The negative self-talk. Listing my failures. Berating myself for not being HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY all the time.

This year I caught it a bit earlier. This year I acknowledged it, and called it what it is. This year I said, "I remember who I was when walked into your office all those years ago, and I have come so far. I am so much better." I took credit for the growth and healing of the past years.

Yesterday I wrote about taking care of myself. I made a list and put it out in the blog-o-sphere for a bit of accountability. I can preach it all really well, but putting it into practice can be very difficult. 

This year I noticed much earlier, and I've made a plan. Maybe with a plan I can notice other things this holiday season, and in the noticing find a bit a more joy.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year . . .

But is it really? Let's be clear I enjoy the holidays. I especially like Thanksgiving because it's all about being appreciative and grateful for our families, friends, homes, and food. We actually have one day each year set aside to stop and really think about how blessed we are. And there is FABULOUS stuff to eat!

But, but. The holidays bring out a lot of other feelings besides gratitude. A lot of those other feelings are the result of societal expectations, but others are experiential. The commercials tells us to feel one way, but our memories remind us of past holidays and how we felt let down.

I'm attempting to write something with depth and meaning and the reality is I'm depressed. Not as depressed as I was a few days ago, but I know it will be a see-saw from now until after the new year. Because it's hard not to feel bummed when my holidays won't look like the TV commercials, and I'll be reminded of family dissension. Reminded of family I don't interact with (by my own choosing and for my own good), but I miss the idea of a family filled holiday.

I have this little voice in my head that reminds me over and over again that it's all my fault that I don't have a TV family. It's all my fault that I'm not over the top happy for 2 straight months of the year. It's all my fault that I'm tired and headachy, and would rather sleep and watch TV than decorate my house, bake cookies, and shop. So I wind up feeling like the Grinch. And I'm not the Grinch. I'm a basically happy, upbeat person. Yes, parts of the holidays are difficult because they aren't the way I want them to be. But I have family and friends that I share the holidays with -- I am not alone. I have more stuff than I will ever be able to appreciate, let alone use. 

I sat in my therapist's office on Tuesday and felt relief wash over me as tears squeezed from my eyes. She reminded me that PTSD from childhood abuse is one of the most difficult diagnoses to deal with, because these traumatic events happened during my formative years. In my case throughout my formative years. The negative patterns are imprinted on me. It's not that I am unwilling to let go of the past, but rather that it is imprinted on my brain. So, yes, it's going to crop up. There are going to be triggers. Getting over it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just like getting over the flu doesn't mean you don't remember how sick you felt when you had it. 

I read a quote this morning -- 

“If you believe you deserve nurturing only when you’re extremely upset, you’re like the majority of survivors who feel they have to be totally falling apart before they slow down and take care of themselves. But taking care of yourself should not be confined to times of crisis. Nurturing and taking care of your needs should become a daily habit, not something special to be pulled out in an emergency.” The Courage to Heal Workbook by Laura Davis

and it reminded me to take care of me. So that's what I'm doing. I drinking lots of water, paying attention to what I eat (but not too much!), resting when I'm tired, getting some exercise, doing yoga, seeing the chiropractor, talking with my therapist, and planning some fun things just for me. 

When I dream about the episodes of abuse, it is as if I am reliving them. The key is to remind myself when I awaken that I didn't cause the dreams to come anymore than I caused the abuse to happen. I'm learning to see the return of the dreams as my subconscious telling me to slow down and take care of me. It's not my fault, but I can do some things to help myself.

With those ideas in my head (and in writing) I can enjoy lots of things and people and food this holiday season, hopefully release some those expectations, and just be in the moments to come. 

linking up with Just Write


Write a haiku about what you see out your window.

Warm sun streams through my window
Leaves barely hang on
Blown afar by freezing wind

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Simple Woman

FOR TODAY . . . November 18, 2014

Outside my window . . . the sky is a brilliant blue. My neighbor's sugar maple is still holding onto a few orange leaves. It is 18 degrees!

I am thinking . . . about this quote my bestie sent me --

I am thankful . . . a warm home and lots of hot tea!

In the kitchen . . . I'm enjoying the return to warming food -- breakfast casserole, hot fruit compote, chili, grits and tomatoes

I am wearing . . . my homemade cotton gown, flannel robe, and a shawl.

I am creating . . . a new afghan, just because! I'm using this pattern from Attic 24, and a lovely set of DK yarn from Stylecraft.

I am going . . . to therapy, then lunch, and home to do home-y things all afternoon.

I am wondering . . . if there is something to be done about my winter sinus headaches. I seem to wake each day with a pounding headache. I run a humidifier, drink lots of water, and follow the allergist's instructions, but I'm still getting daily headaches. Arrrgghh!

I am reading . . . Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor #1) by  G.M. Malliet. I was hoping for another good mystery series, but I'm not really enjoying this one too much. I'll finish it up, but then move on to something else.

I am looking forward to . . . a warming trend toward the end of the week. We don't usually have these kind of temperatures until January or February, so it's been difficult adjusting from 50s and 60s to 20s and 30s.

I am hearing . . . the hum of electricity and the wheezing of the dog. 

Around the house . . . I'm trying to get into a better routine with day to day cleaning. I never would have imagined that after 29 years of marriage, I'd be struggling with finding a good, consistent routine for housework.

I am praying . . . for peaceful holidays for everyone. 

One of my favorite things . . . is colorful yarn. I'm loving this new project because it is all about the color.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . therapy today, yoga class tomorrow, and Bible study on Thursday (if I can get myself there!). The weekend is pretty clear except for shopping for annual Thanksgiving food drive at church. Don't want to forget to fill those bags!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
today my father in law would have been 82.
Happy birthday, Byron!

and Squeaker turns 15!

linking up with The Simple Woman