Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Sound-Off v. 129

Like it:
  1. I haven't tried them yet, but I'm intrigued by these writing exercises "scientifically proven" to redirect life via Fast Company
  2. Global's article on digital legacies is interesting to ponder - I just made Chebbar my person on Facebook.
  3. 10 ways to make sure your work day doesn't suck from MindBodyGreen (I should have read these about 6 months ago... heh).
  4. Buzzfeed's "If Motivational Posters Were for People Who Hate People" made me laugh far more than I care to admit.
  5. These paintings are exquisite! (Seriously: you need to see these.) "I see music because I have synesthesia, so I decided to paint what I hear" on Bored Panda.

Appreciated it:
  1. Distraction from first-day-of-work nerves
  2. A father-in-law who remembers it's your first day at a new job and texts to see how it went (unlike your mother who not only STILL hasn't congratulated you on your new job, but also hasn't mentioned it at all... *ahem*)
  3. Self-care and listening to what my body needs
  4. Cookies for dinner because I'm a grown-ass overgrown child adult
  5.  Family night walks

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Conception Prevention

Last April, in a moment of "Oh, shit! What if... ?" panic about possibly being late, I realized my instantaneous reaction had gone from "Well, I guess we're going crib shopping," to "I wonder how much an abortion costs?"  This was a huge eye opener for me and - finally - a 100% emphatic indicator of my feelings toward having kids.

The last bit of ambivalence being cleared up, last October, I had a consult with an OBGYN about a tubal ligation. She told me a tubal ligation isn't 100% effective and that, to make "[her] job easier," I should try to lose "just 10 to 15 pounds." It was also going to take 6-8 months before I'd get a surgery date.

In the meantime, Chebbar and I had been discussing vasectomies - shorter wait time, less invasive, far shorter recovery time - but there was always a reason to put it off (wanting to donate a kidney, new job, no benefits, etc).

As the time frame for the tubal nears, I find myself scared of the anesthesia, the recuperation (if Chebbar is still on graveyards, I'll be "alone" during the day when I would need help), the shame of not delivering on that weight loss.

I want off the pill and the whoremoans; I'd like to try the fertility awareness method, but I've never actually used it to prevent pregnancy. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility over ten years ago and practiced the temping and tracking signs of ovulation to get to know my body (it works reliably and obviously), but not when I was sexually active. Chebbar is leery/skeptical/unsure of the whole thing and feels it would be "safest" if I stay on the pill until he has holiday time he can use to get a vasectomy (9 more months, ironically enough).

Don't get me wrong: he's very much of the mind that it's my body and the decision (ANY decision) is ultimately mine, but I don't feel right making unilateral decisions without his input, whether it's about birth control or an unexpected pregnancy. We've always made big decisions together, and this seems like one of the biggest/potentially most life-changing.

Considering we seem to have differing viewpoints on what we'd do if I did get pregnant, it seems like the pill is the "best" option at this point in time. I'm just a little disappointed about continuing to pump hormones into my body.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

2015's Word of the Year is (Self)Compassion

To be completely honest, I hadn't given much thought to a word for 2015 until I started seeing people talk about it on Twitter. (which is probably a fair indicator to how much attention I paid to 2014's word) (to be fair, I actually did do a pretty damned good job of striving for mindfulness on an almost daily basis: I just kinda forgot it was my Focus Word).

So, I did what I do best and panicked-ish (as panicked as someone coughing up a lung can be). I started a list (something I also do quite well) which just got long. And unwieldy. And overwhelming. I was working on Mara Glatzel's on-demand course, 31 Days of Deserving (excellent course from an excellent woman: you should check her out and see all the awesomeness she has to offer), so deserving seemed like an appropriate choice.

Enough stood out as well, as in "I am enough," but it didn't feel right. Nor did believe, even though it's tattooed on my wrist. I looked at Susannah Conway's Find Your Word ecourse (thanks, Beth!) and Ali Edwards One Little Word class. Both are helpful, but hadn't solidified a choice.

I started therapy a couple of months ago. Big step for me. HUGE, in fact. I've known for years it's something I'd benefit from; hell, I was talking to my guidance counselor once a week from grade 10 through 12 and missed those sessions sorely once I graduated. There's just always been a reason an excuse not to pursue it again: money, time, uh... money.

When I received the depression diagnosis, I was urged to pursue therapy (which is where I received the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) diagnosis); it was covered by the province's health coverage, but I was supposed to attend a 12-week therapy group. Because of the timing, I would've missed 3 hours of work every Wednesday morning for 3 months; needless to say, I was terrified I'd lose my job, so I didn't go.

A year later, I was laid off, so I figured I'd give the group therapy a shot since I had the time. I'd gone for the initial session with a therapist, got the details for the group that was set to start 2 months later, and... we moved to another province within a month.

Fast forward three years, and I'm now in a position where I am fortunate enough to have access to therapy sessions. It took me awhile to come around to take advantage of this opportunity, but once I made the call, I was all in (once I make the first (hard!) step in any situation, I'm in it for the long haul because I'm stubborn/not a quitter).

I know the work will be hard. I know it will take a lot of commitment and resolve to work through it, but I'm looking forward to it because I know there is value here for me. I also know that, because it will be hard to dredge through my childhood, I will need to exercise a great deal of loving kindness and be gentle with myself. Hopefully being cognizant of this will make it easier to do.

Compassion kept popping into my head - self-compassion. I read Kristin Neff's book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself a couple of years ago, but I don't think I was ready to fully grasp the message (I'm a firm believer that we cannot appreciate opportunities or learning experiences until we're 100% ready and/or that when we're 100% ready, opportunities and learning experiences will benefit us - case in point: therapy).
So, that's my word for 2015: (self)compassion. I have compassion for others in spades; it's high time I start showing myself the same.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

I Think We've Been Outgrown

It seems the bloom may be off the rose of my longest and dearest friendship. There have been... rough-ish patches in the past, but they were (mostly) explainable and nothing major enough to end the friendship. Well, mostly because the behaviour ceased.

In the past year or so, they've discussed a serious, major life change; this proposed change came with a not-so-subtle shift in attitude. It started with them being uncomfortable with the attitude that was first shown to them; however, as they got further into the potential change, they started adopting similar attitudes: looking down their noses, being very judgemental, making questionable money decisions - gotta have the best of the best regardless of finances/affordability. They've made decisions we find questionable, but it's not our life, so it's not our business: we've kept our asspinions to ourselves.

When we first moved here, I was discussing the house prices of the home builder I worked for; he commented that he'd "NEVER" pay more than $XXX for a house. Fast forward two years, and all of a sudden they "NEED" a huge house with a huger (is so a word) price tag. For three people. After buying a brand new, fully-equipped vehicle.

We've spent numerous New Year's Eves with them over the years. This year, we were asked if we were interested in going over there again because they were thinking about inviting a bunch of coworkers over. The way it was stated made it clear it was an either/or situation, not an and/if.

Chebbar's been more and more... uncomfortable? with their change of attitudes, commenting here and there after spending time with them ("hoity toity" may have been used at one point). He's been more and more unimpressed with them each time we visited because the attitude has increased.

The final straw for Chebbar occurred the past week when I had to inform her that we couldn't babysit because of Chebbar's graveyard schedule (our house is tiny: we have no spare room, no office, nothing - Chebbar would be up all night on the couch/"guest bed"). The response I got was just... weird: I commented to Chebbar that it felt like I was being dismissed like hired help (they've used us as built-in babysitters for years with very little consideration for our plans, but a great deal of guilt trips). Chebbar declared that he didn't like the attitude I received.

The final straw for me was last night. While explaining our inability to babysit on Saturday, I received a comment about New Year's Eve likely being out; I told her I'd talk to Chebbar, but I didn't see it being an issue, since he has to stay up all night. I realized last night, as I spent the evening with Netflix and the dog, that I never heard back from her: no inquiry as to how I'm feeling (I've been sick), no checking in to see if we were available tonight, nothing. Radio silence.

So,  yeah. I'm feeling butthurt (and yes, I recognize that I could've called her, too, but she issued the invitation to her house, and I have a thing with inviting myself places), Chebbar's unimpressed, and I don't see this better-than-us attitude going anywhere soon. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this: a little sad, a little disappointed, a little relieved.

I guess time will tell how this will turn out, but it still feels... icky. Pin It

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thoughts on the 2014 #365feministselfie Project

Wow. If you had told me a year (a year!) ago that I would've stuck with this to the end (without missing a single day, no less), I would've laughed: I've never been a fan of pictures of myself, nor have I had a great track record of seeing things through to the end when it's "fun"/not for work/not required.

There were days it was bloody hard, too, days that made me want to quit, but I wanted to see this through, to show myself I can show up and be there for myself.

I wish I had profound reflections to share, but cold meds are messing with my head. I'm sad to say the pictures didn't magically get easier to take. A full year later, I still had (have!) days where I hated what I saw; however, I learned that being your own worst critic is very true. None of my friends ever had anything negative to say (not that I expected it), but I never received negative comments on any of my pictures.

Except, from myself.

We really don't see ourselves the way others do. I've longed wished for that perspective. I've been pondering my word for 2015, and I started therapy* last month: perhaps my focus for 2015 will be working on seeing myself more kindly (baby steps, yo).

I did learn some things, though...
  1. I learned I can follow through on something where there are no demands for completion from outside forces
  2. I learned I can put myself out there both to trusted friends and strangers
  3. I learned 99.9% of the viewing population won't belittle, mock, or insult me
  4. I learned there are even more amazing, supportive women out there than I had suspected
  5. I learned people might unfollow you (even if their family members have been posting (multiple) daily selfies before selfies were "cool")
Some women will continue; some are glad the year is over.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. There have definitely been moments where I was counting down until this day, but it felt like a nice gesture to do this for myself every day. I'm torn between giving myself a break and looking at this from a different perspective, of showing up for myself instead of just showing myself (semantics: they're my friends). I could always just challenge myself to show up when it's hardest - bad hair day, bad mood, whatever - instead of every day, but I have a feeling that would make the showing up that much more challenging. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings...

How about you? Did you participate? Did you hate it? How come? Are you going to do it (again) in 2015?

(Big thanks to Veronica Eye for starting this initiative!) Pin It
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