School 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.

Be the first to comment

My Life Plan

Posted February 21, 2019 By kmarrs

I know what I want to be when I grow up. As mentioned, I want to be the one who administers the tests and diagnoses people with ADHD and Autism. Especially women.

And that’s great, for a decade from now after I have my doctorate.

But here in August, I’m going to have to find a new job. I’m currently a work study and once I graduate I have to move on.

I also know I want to take 2 years off from school to concentrate on taking my GRE and finding the right grad school for me. That, and after the final push of completing my bachelor’s I could use a break.

But in those two years, I need to do something. I need to find a new job. I need to start looking in June.

And I don’t know what I want to do. At all.

I refuse to go back to retail or banking. I’ve had a cushy office job for 3 years now. I’ve grown used to it. I like being off in time for dinner. I like my weekends.

The closest to retail I’d be willing to do, is some sort of library job. It’s really tempting. It’s also a great way to have a set week day off, which I honestly need. But I just don’t know if I can go back to a service type job. It helps that there is no sales goal. And no register. But still, I don’t know that it’d be a healthy job for me. I’m currently really stable in my mental health and I don’t want to rock the boat too much.

But I need to find something. That pays well. And is hopefully at least 30 hours a week. So like Monday-Thursday. Or Monday-Friday with Wednesday off. You get the idea.

I just… I feel so lost. I don’t know what I want to do in the short term.

Be the first to comment

School Plans

Posted February 18, 2019 By kmarrs

When I got really sick this past Fall and had to drop a class, I thought I was giving up on graduating this summer. But I worked the numbers, rearranged my planned classes, doubled up on course load for about 12 weeks, and I’m due to walk that stage this coming August.

I am NOT looking forward to the double course load. That will about do me in. However, I’m out of loan money so I need to go full-time anyway to get all my grant money and I need to graduate.

After I graduate this summer with my Bachelor’s in applied Psychology, I will take a couple of years off while I study for my GRE, take it, and then apply for grad school. During that time I hope to work a 9 to 5 as a receptionist or something. Maybe later hours. But still, something along those hours that isn’t retail.

Then the goal is to get accepted to OSU and study General Psychology for a masters, then for my Doctorate.

My end goal with all of that is to administer tests to diagnose, especially women, with ADHD and Autism.

So that’s the plan!

But first I need to survive about 12 weeks of hell. Though there is about 24 weeks of school total in my immediate future. Starting around now.

Be the first to comment

General Check in School Edition

Posted January 24, 2018 By kmarrs

I’m nearing the end of an 8-week break.  It has been a glorious break and I wish I could extend it, but alas, it’s about time to go back to class.  I’m enrolled in two classes this term.  The first starts on the 12th of February and the second starts 6 weeks after that.

I was hoping to take this summer off, but it isn’t looking like that will be possible.  It messes with my financial aid and my work-study funds.  Which… I gotta be able to work and I have to be able to work my usual hours with no break.  We really need the income.

What really sucks is I think I’m going to have to take 3 classes over the summer, which means doubling up 2 at a time for 1 6 week block.  It’s unfortunate and my mental health won’t like it, but I’m about out of loan money so I have to go fulltime to get the full grant allotment.

I hope there is enough grant money.  I’m kind of screwed if there isn’t.  I’m still waiting for my award letter for the 2018-2019 school year.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

It would be so much better if they didn’t cap the dollar amount of student loans you can take out.  I had a good system going.  School fulltime will be rough.  Having to drop out because there isn’t enough grant money will be rougher.  I’m just… I’ll go fulltime if I have no choice but I really don’t want to drop out.  Paying off those loans with no degree will be impossible.

The American education system is so broken.  University should be free.  It is actually better for the economy if the population is educated and as it stands to get educated you have to drown yourself in debt.  It’s a broken system held hostage by a broken country.

I’m tired.

Be the first to comment

Finals Week Stress Has Got Me Like Whoa

Posted December 11, 2017 By kmarrs

I have my final paper due Thursday at midnight.  And my presentation due Tuesday evening.  And I’m super stressed out.

But I’m taking Tuesday off of work so that I can work on it all night tonight.  Which is the plan.  Right after I fix a couple of broken things on my site.  Which I know, I need to stop dicking around.  But this is how I destress and get my brain ready to focus.  So after this test post I’ll buckle down and get to work.

After this, so like in 3 days, I’ll be out of school for something like 8 weeks.  And I’m planning to spend those 8 weeks reading all the things!

I also have exciting news for all of you!  So expect me back after finals week with an update.  I do hope to post more.  I need to get back to writing.  And if I can get in the habit while out of school, well, I’ll already be in the habit when in school.  They don’t all have to be massively long.

But yes, exciting news coming to you soon!

In the meantime I just need to deal with this stress.

Also, hopefully, I fixed the thing.  *crosses fingers*

Be the first to comment

Dark Place

Posted October 29, 2017 By kmarrs

I’m currently in a very dark place.  Money just got super tight.  Tighter than it’s been in a very long time and I’m terrified.

Plus school is currently kicking my ass.  Though my current class is about to be over.  I just have to watch a few more educational video, read one more chapter, and then write a paper.  Oh yeah.  And take a test worth 20% of my final grade.  *sigh*  I’m just super stressed.

After this class comes a management class.  I have not actually looked at it yet.  But it is the standard form.  No tests, just papers and most likely a group project.  I’m still at a point in my life where that is stressful, but it’s less stressful than this current class and I’m use to that format.  Most of the classes at my school don’t test.

After that class, which is 6 weeks long and ends December 12, I’ll have about 8 weeks off from classes.  That will be a much needed and welcomed break.  2 of those weeks will also be a vacation from work.  Won’t help the money situation any, but the entire university shuts down over the holidays, so I have no choice.  We’ll just have to make the best of it.  I do need the vacation, so that’s good at least.  I just hope the stress of losing more income, doesn’t outweigh the relaxation of a vacation.

So overall mental health wise… I have goals in life so I’m not actively suicidal.  But I would very much like to just curl up into a little ball and sleep until the world is a better and kinder place.

Also I miss my old cat that use to catch flies mid air and eat them.  I don’t… I can’t live with cats because they drive me crazy, but this fly is driving me crazier.  And it’s just… I’m already on the brink of a total mental breakdown, I don’t really need a fly pushing me over the edge.

But there you have it.

How can you help?

See the links to my books over in the left hand side?  Every little bit of additional income helps me out.  So consider purchasing one or both.  Alphabet Antics especially makes a great gift for the 2-5-year-old bracket.  That’s straight up money towards my rent and bills.  Never before has rent been in jeopardy, but starting now, it is.

Be the first to comment