On More Cats and (Still) Being Sick

It has been a bit of a roller coaster over the past couple of weeks, both in regard to my health and my emotions.

I have been struggling with this nasty lingering cold for the past month. Last week, I thought I’d kicked it, but nope. A nasty cough has no reared its ugly head and I’m now back to not sleeping at all well during the night. It has been a very frustrating experience overall, especially since I am so infrequently ill. I just want to be health again. It’s been over a month now! I’ve been trying to take it easy, but I am still trying to do some things, because not having a life just sucks. This weekend though, I ended up missing something I really wanted to go to, and that was disappointing. I would be very happy if that didn’t happen again. I’ve spent a lot of time playing World of Warcraft, when it doesn’t give me a headache.

The personal emotional roller coaster of the past few weeks has been intense, but not necessarily a bad experience. It has been an interesting one at the very least! A bit over two weeks ago now, a friend of mine tagged me in a photo of the cutest kitten that was up for adoption at a rescue a couple of hours away in Toronto. I investigated further and learned that he had a brother as well, and the rescue wanted to see them adopted together. Naturally, I fell in love from their photos, being the cat lover that I am. On a whim, I filled out an application to adopt them.

Over a week later, I finally got a message on Facebook asking me to call them, and I promptly returned the call and left a message as there was no answer. I called again around noon the next day and found out they had not chosen me, sadly. Because I live two hours away and it would take time for me to get there, I was declined. But it made sense to me, and I did my best to consider that possibility logically. I was disappointed, but it is what it is. It solidified my plan to adopt a second cat, but I opted to wait a little while – until the spring. In the spring, the shelters seen to have an influx of cats that need adopting, so it seems like a prime time to actively look. Funny enough, early mid last week I found another cat with potential, this time locally. I applied for him and am waiting for a response as of this post. I am hopeful, but I am not getting my hopes up too high. I will hopefully hear back about a phone interview this week sometime.

It’s Sunday night now, and I have a massive headache thanks to this cough, and I didn’t have hot water for the better part of the day. After I finish the cup of tea I have on the go, I am going to take a much-needed shower and then curl up to read for a while before bed. I am hoping that this week will be the end of this cold and cough and I can really start working on getting things back to normal.

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The Ups and Downs of 2016 – The Year in Review

2016 was…a year. It was harder than some others were. It was a year of growth for me. It’s early in 2017 and I am feeling optimistic so far. It’s early days, and I though it would be fitting to review what happened to me in 2016. The year had its fair share of ups and downs. There were many things learned and a lot of positive change.

Let’s start with the “ups”:

  • I truly enjoyed celebrating my birthday this year with the impromptu plans that came about. It was great to be surrounded by awesome people.
  • I didn’t increase my debt-load.
  • I reconnected with some old friends.
  • I started a new job and it is the first job I’ve had where I truly feel respected and appreciated.
  • I made an amazing new friend as a result of starting the new job. I can’t imagine not having her as a friend.
  • I learned to love living alone. I’m not so sure I could live with someone again unless they’re REALLY special!
  • I became a lot more comfortable with who I am as my own person.
  • Tobi is a happy kitty and is well on her way to being a healthy weight.
  • I saved up for and built my new computer. (Built with the help of said amazing friend and her husband!)

And now for the “downs”:

  • My best friend moved across the country – This is kind of bittersweet because it was an amazing move for her personal happiness, but I miss the shit out of her.
  • I didn’t pay down any significant amount of my debt.
  • I didn’t manage to save any money that stayed saved. (see “ups” above)
  • Some pretty influential celebrities in my life died. Carrie Fisher was the hardest for me because she is such a strong advocate for mental health. She was a bit of a hero, and not just because of Star Wars.
  • Tobi had a health scare. We caught it in time, but it is looking more and more like the issue will crop up again. It’s almost time for another visit to the vet to avoid the scare again in the future…

I created a few goals for myself at the beginning of 2016 and they included getting healthier and being kinder to myself. I think I am definitely better at being kind to myself than I was. Getting healthier is still a work in progress, but I feel like I will make some serious headway with that one in 2017.

A lot of changes were affected in 2016, including these:

  • I went on antidepressant medication. I was in a really terrible place when I finally went to my doctor to ask about this. He was more than happy to talk about it with me and suggest some options. I stand by this as quite possibly the smartest decision I made in 2016. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t done it.
  • I am finally started doing a better job of looking after myself and working on finding the work-life balance that works for me. I also starting improving at practicing regular self-care.
  • I came to terms with a lot of things and I feel like I finally started to heal. This is especially true in the last half of 2016.

Because of these changes that took place in 2016, I also noticed small things about my habits:

  • I started listening to music again.
  • I started wanting to read again.
  • I was more present in my life than I ever was in the past.
  • My weight started to finally go in the right direction (DOWN instead of UP!)
  • I was able to manage my spending well enough to make the new computer happen and get back into playing PC games again.
  • I finished my big blanket project that I started in the summer of 2015. (I finally finished it in the summer of 2016.)

I started a few projects, however, that were not so successful. I won’t beat myself up over these because being kind to myself is so much more important. The kind of things that I am listing below used to cause me a lot stress and upset, but no longer.

  • Life Reboot and Life Reboot 2.0 were almost complete failures in terms of accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. HOWEVER, the items I listed in these projects have slowly become incorporated into my daily life and continue to become easier as time goes on.  This is why I refuse to call my “life reboot” a complete failure.
  • I got rid of my gym membership that I was so excited to have at the beginning of 2016. Frustrations and bad experience with the gym over and over again prompted me to bite the bullet and cancel my membership early. I have found that home workouts and yoga are a much better fit for me. This isn’t so much a failure or not a success because it was something that I learned about myself.

In 2017, I will continue to be kinder to myself, and focus on getting healthier. In addition to this, financially I am determined to pay down a chunk of my debt and start saving for a house. I also have a reading goal of 25 books and want to pick up my camera again. I miss taking photos. The only times I picked it up in 2016 were for Mason’s and Sloane’s birthday parties. I want to get the creative juices flowing this year. Because I am in a much better place mentally, I think these will be easy to manage. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year around here.

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I had more fun in 2016 than I’d had in years!

 

100 Things I Love Part 5: 81-100

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in 2017. I am feeling a lot of positivity about this coming year and am looking forward to seeing what it brings. In the meantime, I bring you the last installment of my little self-care project. 100 Things I Love, has been really uplifting, and I have found that I have generally been able to keep a more positive attitude versus before. I am calling this self-care project a success!

  1. Watching my friends’ and my sisters’ kids grow up
  2. A freshly tidied space
  3. Scented candles that smell like baked goods
  4. Breakfast
  5. Scarves – I hate having a cold neck!
  6. A nice hot bath
  7. That I can take medication to help manage my depression
  8. Super hero movies
  9. My antique desk
  10. Being able to play PC games again (It’s been years.)
  11. Organizing my clutter
  12. Coming home after time away
  13. Sleeping in my bed after I’ve been away for a night or two – it really feels amazing
  14. Being able to drink tea from a travel mug!
  15. A sense of accomplishment at the end of the work day
  16. Writing when I can; when I feel inspired (however rare it may be)
  17. Curling up in bed right before I fall asleep when I am good and tired
  18. Fresh starts
  19. The amazing friends I have in my life
  20. Coming up with this list

And there you have it. 100 things I love, complete.

2016 was a heck of a year. There were a lot of changes, and a lot of things that stayed the same. I started a new job, and as a result I made an amazing new friend. The new job also resulted in working at the first job I’ve ever felt appreciated and respected. She is truly wonderful. I finally started loving living alone, and that has resulted in being able to focus on things I wasn’t able to before. My best friend moved across the country. I am thankful however, that we are able to keep in touch thanks to Apple! I had a health scare with Tobi, but we weathered it and she is healthy now, aside from the continuous issues she has had to deal with for most of her life.

I have big plans for 2017 though. I plan to travel! I plan to meet people! I will be starting my house savings. I will be improving things around my apartment, a plan for which has already been set in motion. I will be taking better care of myself and my health as well. I have many goals I have set out to accomplish. I am excited for these things, and will of course be sharing what I can.

Happy New Year!

100 Things I Love Part 4: 61-80

I know it’s been a little bit since I last published for this project. Family Christmases got in the way! I have a break from gatherings now, and thought I would continue on.

Welcome to Part 4 of the 100 Things I Love project. Reflecting over Christmas and being away from work made it a bit easier to come up with some additions for the list, which was pretty awesome.

  1. Any kind of cool nerdy coffee mug
  2. My TARDIS collection
  3. Wiggling my toes in new warm grass
  4. Sitting around the table chatting with the family after a big holiday dinner
  5. Sitting on my back patio/landing reading a book in the sun
  6. Finishing the latest project
  7. Wayne’s snickerdoodles – Gluten Free and AMAZING
  8. Quiet days to myself with no expectations
  9. Yummy-smelling candles
  10. When plans go off without a hitch
  11. Feeling prepared (this one is helpful for my anxiety too!)
  12. A glass of ice-cold water
  13. A nice, brisk walk.
  14. Great conversation
  15. Bookstores
  16. Having a library card
  17. Collecting Classics (the books, that is)
  18. Holiday leftovers
  19. Learning to manage my money effectively
  20. Treating myself from time to time (It’s just good self-care.)

I hope you had a great holiday! I did, for the most part. I find it a bit more difficult these days to really get into it as the majority of my family are adults or are nearing adulthood. There is less emphasis on the excitement of gift-giving, and more on just being with family. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really great. It’s one of my favourite parts of the season. It’s just hard to get pumped up and in the “holiday spirit” when that’s the case. I am back to work for the rest of this week, and then we are on to New Year’s Even this weekend. I have plans to go see some friends and spend the night playing board games and eating and drinking lots of wine. I am very much looking forward to it. I hope you have some exciting New Year’s Eve plans as well!

100 Things I Love Part 3: 41-60

Welcome to part three of my self care project. These are items 41-60. This bunch was quite a bit more difficult to come up with. It seems to be more difficult as I get deeper into it. The rest of these are going to be a challenge to come up with!

  1. Dark chocolate
  2. Hand dyed wool
  3. Geeky memorabilia – autographs, pop figures, art, etc.
  4. Leaving work early
  5. Owl-themed décor
  6. Travelling to new places
  7. Sleeping in
  8. Sleeping in general
  9. My comfy green wing chair (It’s vintage!)
  10. Not having to cook if I don’t want to
  11. Adult colouring books
  12. Pen pals – the old-fashioned kind!
  13. Receiving letters and packages in the mail
  14. Candy canes
  15. Wine
  16. Sleepy kid/baby snuggles (while babysitting)
  17. Tabletop game nights with friends
  18. Video gaming with friends (World of Warcraft, Path of Exile)
  19. Wrapping gifts for others at Christmas
  20. My Batman coffee mug

It should also be noted that today is my blog’s anniversary! I have been active on this blog in one way or another for five years. It feels like a real achievement!

100 Things I love Part 2: 21-40

Welcome to part two of my new self care project. These are items 21-40. This next bunch was a bit trickier to come up worth. I think this is going to get more difficult as I continue!

  1. A good movie drama
  2. Teddy bears/stuffed animals
  3. “Character” – as found in old buildings
  4. My family – even if they sometimes drive me crazy from time to time…
  5. My new computer
  6. Tea! (loose leaf)
  7. Helping friends when I can
  8. The people I work with – they are some truly great and kind people
  9. Radiator heat – so warm and cozy!
  10. The first snow of the season
  11. Not owning a car
  12. Being able to live (relatively) comfortably on my income
  13. Comics
  14. Feeling valuable, like my work/effort is appreciated
  15. Being free to do what I want, when I want
  16. Productive days
  17. Sailor Moon
  18. Crochet
  19. Shopping for gifts (mostly for others, but sometimes for myself too)
  20. Cat snuggles

100 Things I Love Part 1: 1-20

Welcome to part one of my new self care project. These are items 1-20. These first few were pretty easy to come up with. I’m not sure if it will stay this easy!

  1. My cat Tobi
  2. My apartment
  3. Living alone
  4. Coffee
  5. Sunshine
  6. Tacos
  7. Cozy blankets
  8. Doctor Who
  9. My blog – even if I don’t post as much as I would like anymore. It’s been a 5-year labour of love so far.
  10. Playing games (both video games and board games)
  11. Books/reading
  12. Pens
  13. Tragic Toys
  14. Feminism
  15. Trying/learning new things
  16. Pizza
  17. The colour grey
  18. Sci-fi TV
  19. Stars
  20. Lilacs
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*sings* These are a few of my favourite things… *sings*

Some Thoughts on Self Care

I’ve been publishing mainly regular life and personal posts and I’ve also been thinking it might be time to change things up a bit. I want to write a bit about self-care.

Self-care is the thing I never knew I needed until I started seeing my therapist in August 2014. With her help I learned that self-care is key to managing mental illness, especially anxiety and depression, as is my case. It’s also something I’m not very good at, or at least feel like I’m not very good at. Self-care can be as simple as taking a nice hot shower after an especially trying day, or curling up with a good book on a weekend afternoon. Simply put, it is taking the time to check-in with and look after yourself.

Some of the things I do for myself are take baths in the evening, read, play World of Warcraft, and have a regularly scheduled weekly movie night with a dear friend of mine. She struggles with her mental health as well, and the movie nights keep us both social even when we are having a hard time getting through the day. It also gives us both someone who is there and supportive. Basically, it helps us to both feel like we’re not alone and going through things on our own. The movie nights have gotten me through some pretty tough times.

The point of this post is something of a self-care exercise in itself – something outside of my ordinary realm of self care. I can across it on Pinterest, in a pin about practicing self care when things are especially tough, and I think it is a beautiful idea. The idea is to compile a list of 99 things you love. I’ve decided I am going to do this… with a slight modification just because of my own idiosyncrasies: 100 things I love.

I am going to create a list of 100 things I love. I wont share them all at once… It might get overwhelming, and it might take me awhile! I will probably share twenty or so at a time as I come up with them. The goal is to remind myself and maybe you as well, that there are great and beautiful things out there to keep us going. For those of us that live with mental illness in our daily lives, it is something important that we shouldn’t forget.

So, stay tuned for it. It will be coming soon:

100 Things I Love

 

Keeping Busy

I’ve had my new computer up and running for just over two weeks now and I must say that it has made a world of difference in my life. It is wonderful to have a computer that is fully capable of doing all the things I need it to do. Programs are opening within seconds and not taking close to a minute like they used to on my old MacBook Pro. I understand it was 7 years old, and its age was catching up to it, but it doesn’t make those kinds of things any less frustrating. I just have a few things left to transfer from my MacBook to the computer, but I need to get my hands on a flash drive, as I seem to have misplaced both of mine. I have started playing my games again though, and it feels fantastic to be back at it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started playing again!

I was back in World of Warcraft within days of getting things all set up, and I admit, I was quite surprised at how much the game has changed, meanwhile at the same time having not changed at all. Talents and specializations are completely different now, but the overall gameplay and the quest grind is the same as it ever was. I started a new Horde toon on a new server because that’s where my friend who is still playing the game is now playing. No one else I used to play with is left! That’s okay though, as long as there is someone! Because of the changes though, rather than use the Level 90-character boost for my first new toon, I am leveling it from the beginning to become familiar with the game again. Two weeks in and I am at Level 38. Not too shabby for working full-time, and doing school part-time as well! I created an undead Warlock and I am playing it in the Destruction spec. I love me my warlocks and I also love playing the Destro spec. It’s just so darn much fun! I haven’t run through any dungeons yet, but that is up next on my list of things to do in-game.

I’ve also downloaded Path of Exile, so I can play with Jen and possibly Wayne as well. I haven’t started on that one yet, but hopefully we will get to once our final exam is done. That’s happening next Wednesday morning, and we will get about a month break before our next class starts. Hopefully we can get some game play in during that time. It looks like an interesting game; I am excited to try it out.

Next step will be to get Steam going so I can try out a few other games I’ve been keeping my eye on! Looking forward to doing that hopefully early in the new year.

Tobi seems to have taken a liking to the new computer as well. She is always laying near it, probably because it’s a bit warm. I’ve also caught her licking it a few times, which was just kind of funny to me. I imagine the novelty will wear off soon. I will just have to wait and see. She’s a kitty after my heart, though. Even for all her oddities, she’s still my baby and I can’t imagine my life without her. We have been together since she was just a tiny kitten – over 8 years, and I hope we have many more years together ahead of us. Sorry. Always the cat-ramble. I just love her so much I can’t help it.

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Things are starting to look up for me these days. I mean, sure, I am super broke now, but after this month, everything will finally fall into place. And here’s the best part: starting early in the new year, I will start saving for a down payment on a house! This is a very exciting thing for me, because I never thought it was something that would happen. I honestly thought I would end up renting for the rest of my life. It just goes to show how far I really have come in the past year. My goal is to have a minimum 20% down payment when I start looking. It will probably take me a couple of years to get to that point, but it will totally be worth the wait. Now some may ask, “But what if you’re in a serious relationship before then?” Well, on that, I’m not actively looking for a relationship these days, and I’m going to make plans for myself as things are now. If things change somewhere down the road, I will change my plans accordingly. It’s as simple as that!

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Final exam for my course is in less than a week, and I’ve now been studying for it for about a week. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed about it. I am hoping all goes well, and I pass, but these courses are like nothing I have ever taken before. They are NOTHING like the courses I took in university! I have taken an extra-long weekend off this weekend to study and catch up on things, and I can only hope that it helps me out in the end. I will just have to keep preparing and then hope for the best when the time comes. My goal is to pass the course. I don’t want to have to rewrite the exam!

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The busy Christmas season is about to begin for me. My work Christmas party is next week, and then I am babysitting for some friends that weekend while they attend a work Christmas party as well. Then comes the family Christmases. I still must figure out how I’m getting to them all, but I have time to figure that out. I am hosting a Christmas dinner of my own on Boxing Day and I am kind of excited about it. I’ve already started planning dinner! I never plan things this far in advance… Usually not more than a week before for something like that usually. Probably better that I am planning now though. Things are pretty busy for the next month!

Happy Happy Happy

A beautiful thing happened the weekend before last. Something that has kept me waiting for quite some time. I know I have mentioned it a few times in the blog (mostly in passing), but I’ve never gone into too much detail… All because it came down to money, and I needed to save up enough to accomplish said beautiful thing. I am thankful to some awesome friends for helping me make this happen.

The time has come to share my new baby. I finally have my new computer! The best part was I came in under budget! WITH A VIDEO CARD UPGRADE!!!!!!!

The only things missing from it are a few files that I have backed up on an external drive and I’m not overly worried about those making it on. It would be a backup of a backup of a backup at that point, and that’s kind of redundant even for me. I have my first couple of games installed (World of Warcraft and Hearthstone) and am planning to install more soon. I can’t wait to really get things going! The fact that the gaming possibilities are almost endless now makes me SO happy. I’ve been nerding hard since I brought this big piece of joy home.

I started playing World of Warcraft again last week and started a new character on a new server. She made it to level 20 on Friday. I haven’t been able to play much since because of my class, but once that settles down I will be back at it! It will be a nice way to pass the time on the chilly winter nights.

I am so happy this has finally happened! I’ve been waiting for a long time.