Day To Day Crap Archive

Do What You Can

Posted March 4, 2019 By kmarrs

This started as a Twitter thread, so you might have seen it there, but I want to expand upon it, and I want to do that here, in long form.

Sambam is at that age where it’s fun to do chores that aren’t her own.
Ask her to clean her room? It’s the end of the world. Try to do dishes (my chore) without her help? Also the end of the world. I let her help until (if) she gets bored then I let her move on. And when it comes to her room (her chore), once a day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and tell her to do what she can but once the timer rings, she can be done.

In reality, all her room ever really needs is that 10 minutes a day, and usually, it’s done in 5. But instead of overwhelming her by the limitless “clean your room”, I redirect it into a clear time frame with a set beginning and end. And reframe the word “spotless” into “do what you can”. This allows an overwhelming task to feel manageable. Possible. And I get a much better end result. In 10 (5) minutes, instead of the 10 days, it used to take.


Now she is happy to do her chores. Is excited (bossy) to help me with mine. And our relationship has a lot less stress in it. She is my heart and is growing into a functional and happy and beautiful young lady!


(Also, her hands are seeing work for the first time and she earned a tiny blister she’s very proud of. She worked herself on the dishes far harder than I would have worked her. But she was having fun.)


Do what you can.

That is just such an important concept!

So many of us are sick in one way or another. Mental health, chronic physical health. So many of us are spoonies. And when you are a spoonie, being given an open ended task like, “clean your room” or “vacuum the carpets” can seem so overwhelming.

I’ve seen this concept stated in many ways by many people, but I’m going to work it my way and see what happens.

Your bathroom is a mess? Start with the clutter around the sink. Put everything on the counter in its place. Now wipe it down. Out of spoons or otherwise need to move on? You did what you can. You’re free to go. But be proud of what you did! Tomorrow you can tackle the toilet.

Not out of spoons and the counter looks great but you want to do a little more? Go for it! Nothing is stopping you. Do what you can for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Stop when you need to stop. Continue on when you have the spoons and will.

Vacuum one room a day. Look. I get it. Pushing the vacuum around takes a lot of spoons. So just get your living room. Or your office. Or the one room that needs it the most. Do what you can.

Writing a paper for class and it needs to be 6 pages and that feels overwhelming? Well, unless it’s due in like an hour, write the introduction and walk away from it for awhile. Go do the dishes. Get a snack. Just walk away. But while you do so, work the paper around in your head. After 15 minutes, come back to the computer and get down what your brain tossed around. Polish it. Add a little more. Just until it starts to get a little overwhelming again, or right before, then walk away again for awhile. No one said you have to write the entire paper in one day, unless you procrastinated. Take your time with it. Take little bites as you can. Bit by bit those 6, 10, 20 pages will form.

Do what you can.

Don’t ever berate yourself for not having what it takes to <insert task here> in one go. But don’t just do nothing either. Idleness won’t help. It’ll only make you overwhelmed with the task in general.

Back to Sammy.

We used to just tell her to clean her room spotless and, especially to a young child, that was the single most horrible thing we could have done (aside from actual child abuse, I acknowledge). To her little mind, it was the end of the world because it was so overwhelming. So one day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and told her to do what she could. As long as she actually worked for the full 10 minutes, just putting away what caught her eye, or whatever was closest, or no method to the madness, just honest cleaning… whatever the end result was, she just needed to work for 10 minutes. I figured 10 minutes a day for a week, and we might have a spotless room.

But she bloomed. Suddenly she didn’t have to clean indefinitely. She had a clear and solid end insight. So instead of letting it build up in her mind into this huge overwhelming task, and accomplishing nothing at all (or worse… continuing to play and letting it get messier)…

The entire room took her about 5 minutes and she bragged about it. It wasn’t an ordeal. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was 10 (5) minutes worth of honest effort, end results be damned, and the end results were amazing. Better than what usually resulted in 10 days worth of tears and frustration, and mostly procrastinating.

I have executive dysfunction. It’s paired with my ADHD and depression. Tasks can seem so overwhelming and impossible to start. My head paints this big picture that <insert task here> is going to take a million hours of exhausting, mission impossible work. As a result, I’m afraid to even start. It’s just built up and overwhelming and I can’t seem to make myself start.

When I do eventually start the task, more often than not, it takes a hell of a lot less time than I feared, and not nearly as much effort as I assumed. It seemed endless and impossible, but in reality it was manageable and not that big of a deal. Certainly not what I built it up to be.

Getting started is the hard part. With me. With Sammy. And possibly (probably) with you.

So buy a little egg timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Now, not forever from now. (Or if you’re like me, give yourself a little more leeway and start at exactly x:00 or x:15 or x:30 or x:45… it just feels more solid and definite.) Set that timer and just start. See what happens.

And do what you can.

Oh! And one last thing! Don’t set yourself up for expecting perfection in the results. No one ever needs that. Your honest best is your honest best and don’t let anyone, including yourself, expect anything more from you.

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Cinderella Tea Party

Posted February 14, 2019 By kmarrs

The district’s high school’s drama club is putting on a production of Cinderella in a few weeks. As a means of drumming up interest in the production, they hosted a Cinderella Tea Party for all the little kids in the district. It was on a Sunday afternoon and there wasn’t any real reason I couldn’t take Sammy, so away we went!

It was 5$ per kid (parents free) at the door, but that earned us unlimited access to the buffet of snacks and all the activities, so I consider it 5$ well spent.

The first thing we did when the doors opened was go and get her face painted. She wanted kitty whiskers and a black nose and it turned out super cute.

Then we hit the buffet! There was table after table piled high with snacks. Most of it was pure sugar and the kids were handed a plate, told to help themselves, and encouraged to pile them high. It was a sugar rush to end all sugar rushes.

After snacks, we went around to different activities. She crafted herself a crown and a magic wand. She ran an obstacle course. She played cornhole and bowled. She decorated a sugar cookie with pink frosting and sprinkles, then promptly ate it. There was also a little photo booth where it looked like she was sitting in Cinderella’s carriage.

She had a blast.

Then about 20 minutes before the event was over, the cast, who had been making rounds through the crowd the entire time, gathered and performed a few songs from their musical. They did a fabulous job.

I really enjoyed the quality time with Sammy. It got us out of the house and let her socialize with kids her age for awhile, outside of school. I got to see her at her happiest and playing with others. Turns out my kid is really creative and kind. She brings me such joy!

I took probably 3 dozen photos in all, but I narrowed them down to 6 to share with you. Please enjoy my daughter’s happiness!

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Update on Life

Posted August 19, 2017 By kmarrs

Ugh.  I’m suppose to be working on a science paper.  However, I have time to do that later, and I have not written here in a while, so why not procrastinate?

School:

I am a little more than halfway done with my bachelor’s degree.  I am estimating my graduation, if everything goes as planned, to be the spring of 2020.  Which I know sounds so far away.  But that’s me going halftime, taking two classes a term, and also me taking (hopefully) next summer off.  I’m due for a summer off.  And apparently we can do that now and still work.  See as a work-study I have to study to be allowed to work.  But they realized that sometimes we need a break from the study part.  So as long as we have studied the previous fall and winter terms, we’re allowed to take the summer off.  I would have done that this summer but I didn’t know about it in time.

Fall term has officially started.  I’m in week one of it.  I’m taking a general science class that is more focused on critical thinking and analysis than it is on a specific field.  But that’s ok.  We live in a world of global warming deniers and this is a business school.  So basically I took the science class that was both offered and required.  It’s a 12 week class (compared to the usual 6 weeks) and then I have a 6 weeks management course.  I don’t remember the specifics of the management course.  I’d look it up but I’m about 11 weeks away from giving a crap.  It’s an elective that seemed important to me at the time.  So I’m sure I’ll benefit from it.

Work:

Still doing the work-study for the mathematics department gig.  I basically plan to do this until either my boss gets sick of me or I graduate.  Hopefully the graduation happens first.  Then I’ll do a work-study, or whatever the equivalent is for a grad student, gig for OSU or wherever I end up.  Hopefully OSU.  Anyway, work is going well enough.  I just had a performance review.  My first of many.  18 months, almost, into the job.  But eh.  Anyway, there were no surprises.  I knew going into it where I need to improve and we agreed on everything.  So we discussed how I can do better in some areas and that was that.  I’ll get another review in 30 days or so.  I think.  At least that seems to be the plan.

Kids:

Everyone is happy and healthy.  Funny story, actually.  Sambam had a couple of major cavities in two of her molars, and at that size and at her age, they don’t fill them, they put crowns on them.  Something medical jargon here about the crown lasting longer and they’re just baby teeth.  Seemed weird to me but I got a second opinion just to be sure. (We had a bad experience with a dentist when Thomas was this age.  The dentist did unnecessary work for the insurance money and was later the recipient of a class action lawsuit.  So like we’re a little paranoid.)  Anyway, it’s legit so we took her to get her crowns this past Thursday.  They put her on laughing gas to calm her before using the needle to numb her.  And I’m telling you, my daughter was so calm and high (as a kite) she didn’t even notice the needle.  I sure did though and I hurt for her.  Anyway she got the crowns and was like the number one best patient of the day, everyone agreed.  And I was super proud of her.  She’s a good kid.

They all started school this past Wednesday.  Sammy is in first grade and loving it.  Lucas is in fourth and start intermediate school, which means he now has 8 periods, or so, and is switching classrooms.  He was nervous at first, but seems to have taken to it like a duck to water.  Thomas is in eighth grade and in his last year of middle school.  He’s growing up.  I’d say he’s as tall as me, but if I’m being truthful I think at some point in the past month he’s officially passed me.  And I’m not short.  I’m about average height, but he’s going to be tall.  Sammy turns 6 in a couple of weeks.  She’s maturing into quite the big kid.  She’s also turning into quite the artist.

Dragon

So most of her birthday presents this year are various art supplies.  The grocery store sells sketchbooks for like $2.50.  Plus colored pencils and of course huge boxes of crayons.  Then she is also getting coloring books just because.  Coloring is fun yo!  Anyway, the whole family is in on it together to supply her with all her art needs.  Plus a few other odds and ends.  But I think she’ll be happy with her haul this year.

Friends:

I have more friendship in my life right now than I’ve had, well, ever.  It’s mostly online, but I’m ok with that.  I do need someone local to meet for coffee or dinner once in a while but I’ll work up to that.  In the meantime, I have so much online friendship that like, I don’t feel like there is anything missing.  We’re all on Tumblr and it’s just this big group of us.  You should come chat me up over there.  I will warn that my feed is a constant stream of snakes and reptiles and fish.  One posting automatically every hour.  And then when I am on, it gets really political.  Like really political.  So like if you can’t stomach snakes or politics, maybe you shouldn’t join me on Tumblr.  Anyway, here is the link.

Health:

I haven’t almost bled to death in a couple of months.  So that’s a plus.  And last we checked my hemoglobin was up to 12.7 which is in the normal range.  The low-end of the normal range, so I’m still on the iron supplements, but I’m not like as anemic as hell as I was even a month ago.  Anyway, I’m just going to keep up with the iron and hopefully I’ll stop almost bleeding to death, and things will be good, yeah?

Mental health wise I’m ok.  Mostly just really tired.  I could have used this summer off from school.  Really really.  But it’ll be good in the long run to keep pushing though.  I’ll have a nice long break soon.  2 weeks for Christmas and then I think I can schedule another 6 weeks on top of that during winter term if I take 2 6 week classes and neither of them start in the beginning of the term.  Terms are 18 weeks long, so this is doable.  I just have to make it until then.  Also, that two weeks off for Christmas, will also be two weeks off from work, because the whole university shuts down.  So like, I’m counting the days.

I have not had any medication changes lately, but it’s been awhile since I’ve listed my meds, so why don’t I do that now?  In no particular order, and everything I take:

  • Gabapentin 900mg for fibromyalgia.
  • Ativan 1mg for anxiety – up to twice a day, but usually only once
  • Vitamin D3 2000mg because I get no sun ever
  • Ferrous Sulfate 650mg this is the iron
  • Protonix DR 40mg this is a super antacid that helps prevent my stomach from eating itself since I keep nearly bleeding to death
  • Geodon 100mg this is an antipsychotic I use off label for Borderline Personality Disorder.  It isn’t for everyone but it can be very helpful for those of us with BPD to be on a medication like this.  It helps with things like impulse control and angry outbursts.  In general I just feel more in control of myself on this medication.  However, a medication like this is not to be taken lightly.  There are serious possible and likely side effects so really talk it over with you meds doctor and weigh out the pros and cons.
  • Topimax 100mg for headaches mostly, but there is the added benefit of weight loss.  Again talk a medication like this over with your doctor.  There are better medications for headaches generally, but as I’m obese, I wanted something that would help with weight loss and I knew this one did so I asked for it by name.
  • Fetzima 80mg this is my antidepressant.  It’s a newer one and my insurance is not happy about it, but dudes I’ve been on them all and this is currently the one that works.  It has the added advantage of a norepinephrine boost so like it helps with my energy levels.  Which, between depression and fibro and anemia (these days), I need that boost.

And that’s everything.  I take these all at once in the evenings.  Which is not ideal but I’m horrible about remembering to take meds and this is the system that works for me.  So this is what I do.  My doctors know this about me a prescribe around it.

Also, on the subject of health, I have given up regular pepsi, and have switched to diet (coke).  I’ve lost 20-30 pounds in doing so.  I know it was the switch because that’s when I started losing weight.  So yay?  I have a long way to go and I’m working on it.  Taking walks.  Making healthier eating choices.  Eating less in general.  But I’ll get there.  I’ll never be super skinny.  It’s just not my body type and I’m on too many major psych meds that cause weight gain.  But I want to be at a healthier weight, whatever that means for me.  I’m also over all more interested in a healthier blood pressure, blood sugar level, and cholesterol level, than I am the actual shape of my body.  Health over size.

That’s everything I can think of so I’m signing out.  It’ll be awhile, I imagine, before I write again.  Life has me pretty busy and since my mental health is stable, it’s pretty boring.  Which is a good thing.  I promise to try and touch base next month.  I promise to try anyway.  If I can write monthly, I think that’s a good goal.  And of course, if anything interesting happens, I’ll write sooner.  In the meantime, I leave you with this photograph of my daughter cracking up on laughing gas.  She really is a doll baby.

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Crocheting

Posted March 6, 2017 By kmarrs

When I was much younger, about 8 years old, my grandmother, who could crochet anything, started teaching me the craft.  But as we were short on time, we didn’t get any further than the beginning chain.  The plan became for me to spend a couple of weeks with her that summer, and she would have me taught the rest of the way in no time at all.

She died that spring.

So here I was 25 years later, unable to crochet more than the beginning chain.  That is until I met my friend Savi, who can, just like my grandma, crochet just about anything.  Now Savi isn’t local but she worked as a catalyst towards me wanting to master this skill once and for all.  So I asked her for her advice on what YouTube videos might be the best to teach me.  She sent me this link.  With my tax return I bought a bunch of yarn, a set of crochet hooks, and a couple of beginners pattern books and away I stumbled.

As we speak I’m taking a break from a Barbie blanket I’m working on.  Nothing too exciting.  It’s solid white, and isn’t following a pattern.  It was a means of me remastering a chain, and learning the first stitch.  My next project will be a second Barbie blanket where I master the second stitch.  And so on.  It’s good practice.

My stitch work is uneven and I have a lot to learn.  However, I’m getting there and I’m determined.  I will do this.  So help me.

Besides, it is calming.  I mean not now.  Right now it’s frustrating.  But once I have my stitch down and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, it’ll be calming.  I know this as fact.  It’s a great tool for the depressed and anxious.  So I’m learning and mastering.

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IQ You

Posted November 7, 2016 By kmarrs

On the 24th of October I sat the admissions test for MENSA.  I sat and failed, that is.

It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to join MENSA.  So this came as a hard break.  It’s not even that I’m not as smart as I thought I could be.  I don’t care as much about that.  I was greatly looking forward to the social opportunities.  And well, yes, I feel stupid.

I do feel really stupid.

And as I sit here trying to turn this into a long post I realize there is nothing more I want to say on the subject.  I mean I could explore how I feel stupid even though I’m not stupid but fuck that.  I don’t really want to talk about it.

So I’ve shared that I tried.  I’ve shared that I failed.  And now I have school work to work on.

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Wordless Wednesday

Posted April 29, 2015 By kmarrs

Borderline Personality Disorder BPD Therapy Symptom management

The husband, oldest, and I are playing a new game. It’s been awhile since I’ve played a mmorpg. But I’m enjoying myself and the escape from reality. Reality and I aren’t getting along recently. So this is great therapy.

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