getting good at being mental

Rumor has it the name of this blog is Mental in the Midwest, so I guess I should write about something mental…

2014-09-04 19.28.12I was having a chat with Alice this morning. She mentioned having an important paper go missing in the mail. I suggested that when she get a replacement copy she should scan it so that, squirrels forbid, it go missing again she’d have a way to print a replacement much quicker. (sounds like I’ve been there before, eh?) So I thought perhaps I’d write up a little list for y’all of tips I’ve collected over the years for making having the mentals a little easier.

    • Setup a cloud drive (Dropbox, iCloud, SugarSync) so you can access stuff anywhere. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve needed a file that was only on my laptop, at home, when I was at work. Keeping shit I might need to get to from somewhere else on the cloud drive eliminates that issue.
    • Take pictures of shit with your phone so you don’t forget. Do you need a specific kind of cat kibble? Take a pic of the bag so when you get to the pet store you have a handy visual reference.
    • Set your phone camera up to auto upload to your computer. This ties back to the cloud drive thing for me. I use Dropbox and one of their features is called Camera Upload. Any pics I save on my phone automatically upload to their server and thus to my computer.
    • Use the calendar on your phone to keep track of appointments – doctors, reminders to get refills, anything important that you can’t afford to forget. I have the calendar on my phone synced up with my work email calendar which makes it super easy when I need to schedule appointments at the doc’s office. I can see when I already have stuff going on and I can add my next appointment right there and poof! Like magic it shows up on the calendar in my office.
    • Type up a list of the meds you take, with doses, and when you take them – keep a copy in your purse/wallet/backpack so that if something happens you’ll have that info handy (also great for when you go to the doc, just print an extra copy and give it to them).
    • Any paper that you get from the doc (or hospital) that you need to give to your boss or HR, scan first and keep a digital copy in a safe place just in case they lose it.
    • If you take meds that don’t change often, ask your pharmacy to setup you up on automatic refills; my pharmacy also sends me a text when a Rx is ready to be picked up.
    • If you have trouble remembering to take your meds, set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
    • I like to keep a small whiteboard on the fridge to remind myself of things I might forget. I also leave reminders there for Josh.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but that’s all I have written down…


share your world – week #8

Welcome to the 8th installment of Mama’s answers to Cee’s Share Your World.

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

I have a super shitty memory, so no single post stands out for me. I am, however, particularly fond of my Meet the Mental Mama page. I actually put some time and effort into that and it’s some of the most honest writing I’ve ever done. Plus, glow in the dark booger.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? Why?

Well, I can honestly say that when I went to Minneapolis with Mom and Josh and was able to spend that kind of money, it was entirely enjoyable to just spend it on random things that I really didn’t need but that I really did want. It’s a rarity for me to have that sort of scratch that isn’t earmarked for something practical. If I regularly had that kind of extra cash I think it would be particularly enjoyable to use it for random acts of kindness.

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

Honestly, I’d like to know why I’m not dead yet. I tried really hard for a long time and I’m still here. Why?

Where do you eat breakfast?

During the week I eat at my desk at work, on the weekends at the dining room table. I’m not the type of person who can eat immediately upon getting out of bed, I need a little time to wake up all the way.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for my family and friends for helping me get through some rough patches last week. This week I am looking forward to a renewed sense of determination that I hope will allow me to get ahead in my school work.

Bonus offering:

2015-02-24 20.56.46Tonight I shall color!

the chocolate must die

2015-02-24 19.00.50Mom really and truly is the new designated Lego mini-fig procurement agent.

This has been a day almost entirely filled with goodness, rather like the dark chocolate raspberry creme I just ate. I did an interview with one of my favorite faculty friends this morning that turned out amazing, I got to spend some time going over a tool with another faculty friend, T and I did some planning for an event we’re doing together in April, and class was actually really interesting.

Oh, and my proposal to present at the tech conference thing in May was accepted.

The only bummer thing that happened was the underwire in my favorite (and only) black bra finally snapped today so I got to go around with an odd shaped boob all day. Eh, not like they’re big enough to notice.

My goal for the remainder of the evening is to see how much further I can get with my latest drawing.

2015-02-23 20.38.33I’m contemplating living dangerously – abandon the pencil and proceed with the marker. Why the hell not.

life worth living weekly update – February 23rd

reach for the starsIf you’re just joining me for the first time, I’ve got a list of 10 Major Goals I want to accomplish before I turn 40 in 2016. That’s what I refer to as my Life Worth Living; it’s a DBT thing. If you don’t want to stay stuck where you’ve been in life, you have to figure out where you want to go and what it would take to truly make your life worth living.

Every week I do a Creative, Stress Management, Health, Financial, and School goal that tie back to my Building a Life Worth Living project. I’ve also added a Simplifying goal that ties into my plan to declutter my life this year. Bit by bit I’m reaching for the stars.

Update from last week:

Creative – I need to get back to drawing things that can be uploaded to Redbubble and Cafe Press. That’s where I’m at with the 28 Day Challenge and it really does help me relax. Plus, the fingers on my right hand are so cracked and nasty that knitting pretty well isn’t an option right now. I got one done and I’m quite pleased with it. So yay.

Stress Management – Back on the treadmill at least 3x. I’ll be back to taking 4 gabapentin capsules every day but I suspect I’ll do better with a little exercise to help burn off the excess anxiety. Plus it’ll help me sleep better. My legs, ankle, and back all acted up this week so no, no treadmill time.

Health – I need to be doing the exercises the chiropractor gave me at least once a day AND I need to get back to the special Hibiclens skin cleansing ritual. I did find out that the pharmacy can order me a 32oz bottle for only $15. *sigh* I did the skin stuff, not the exercises. Need to try again.

Financial – Honest to christ, it really should NOT be that hard to not spend money!!! Better.

School – I have a case study project due by next Tuesday. Since we have the kid this coming weekend I want to try to get that completed before Josh picks her up Saturday morning. The prof switched things around on us, so the case study isn’t due now until next Tuesday. The thing that is due tomorrow is done and I managed to get a little bit ahead.

Simplifying – I’ve done the file cabinet, and the books, and I also went through the printed photos over the weekend and got rid of some of those. I need to scan the photos that I don’t have digital copies of, but we also need to go through Josh’s magazines. This ain’t gonna be pretty. This actually went better than I thought it would.

flower dividerGoals for this week:

I’m not really sure what to expect from this coming week. Today was super productive at work, which was great, and the house is in good shape. I’ve actually got a load of laundry running right now. But Evie is continuing to “barber” herself so I need to see about getting her in for a thyroid check again. I worry about my little girl.

Creative – Draw another picture for the shops and finish a small project I’m working on.

Stress Management – Trying the treadmill thing. Again.

Health – I had my annual eye exam today after work, like a good kid. There’s a history of eye issues in my family so I’m fairly diligent about getting mine checked. No change in my vision so that means I can use my full insurance benefit towards a new pair of Rx sunglasses.

Financial – Pay day is the end of this week, so time to pay bills. Again.

School – The case study assignment.

Simplifying – This wasn’t one of the things I’d listed for February, but I’ve done pretty much everything else. So I think I’ll go through my jewelry armoire again with a more critical eye.



Mental Mama:

Today is the three year anniversary of my dad’s passing. I don’t have much to say, but I’m alright. This was the goodbye I wrote to him.

Originally posted on Mental in the Midwest:

You died on a Wednesday.  It was sunny and pleasant for February in Nebraska.  You were alone with your wife.  It was peaceful.  You were 65 years old.

I don’t know how to tell you how much I already miss you, and how much I know I’m going to keep missing you in the days to come.  I know I said everything that I needed to the last time I saw you, it’s just that now it seems like maybe I forgot some stuff.

You were an awesome dad.  I know you never wanted us girls but you did a good job of faking it.  You went to summer camps with us, taught us how to defend ourselves, taught us how to drive, how to swear…  Anything you knew how to do, you’d show us.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table, struggling with math homework, and how patient you…

View original 354 more words

one step forward, two steps sideways

2015-02-20 19.50.06Apparently Mom is the new “designated Lego mini-fig procurement agent.” She mentioned yesterday morning that she was going to Target to look for this special yogurt she’s found and really likes, so I asked her to try to pick me up a mini-fig. She was going to the store by my sister’s house so I was hoping they’d have a different (better) selection and that I wouldn’t end up with another duplicate. As you can see, Mom has the magic touch. I also did not at all anticipate THREE of them. She spoils me.

Yesterday at work there was some moving of offices to make room for a new person joining one of the other teams. It didn’t directly impact me, but it did get me in the mood to do a little sprucing up of things in my office. By sprucing up I really mean thinning things out a big. I brought a reasonable amount of crap home and rearranged what was left there and it looks really nice. If you’d never seen my office before you’d never know that it hadn’t always looked that way.

However, that meant I brought home all of that stuff. There was one painting that will for sure go to Goodwill. The framed photos have been incorporated with the ones already on the mantle and I think that looks much improved. A few bits, things that had been Dad’s, went into my treasure box. My concern is that I’d been working so hard to make it less cluttered looking in our living space and now I’m almost back to square one.

I don’t really relish the idea of spending another day going through all of my crap. I have housework and homework and errands to run. But I know me and I know that this will eat at me until it does get done.

The process of transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is really just that, a process. I didn’t accumulate all of this stuff overnight so it isn’t fair to think I’ll be able to eliminate large chunks of it overnight. And yes, I keep bringing little bits in. But I’m trying to emphasize the “little” part of that.

For those of you who are also trying to pare things down, how’s it going?

15 questions

Merbear and Jackie did it, so I have to do it, too…

What do you think you can do but can’t?

Dance. This white girl has no damn rhythm.

What’s a difficult word for you to pronounce?

That really depends. I think because of the lithium my brain doesn’t always fire quite the same way twice, so sometimes a word that should be entirely easy like “toast” comes out all garbled. It’s odd.

What are your favorite TV shows from your childhood?

Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock

What are your virtues and vices?

I like to think that I’m honest and kind-hearted. I try to help my friends, and complete strangers, whenever possible.

My vices are ultra light cigarettes, dark chocolate, and the word “fuck.”

What’s more important: love, fame, power, or money?

Love, absolutely.

If you could live in any era/time period, when would it be and why?

Now is good. I have all of you, my Mom and nieces, and Josh.

If you had to redo your entire wardrobe with 2 stores, what would they be and why?

This one isn’t hard for me at all, I pretty well only shop for clothes at two places anyway. I get the majority of my clothes at CJ Banks and the rest at Kohl’s.

Can you recall what you were doing a year ago on this day?

Not specifically but I know that I was a little sad then too. My father passed in February 2012.

Do you have reoccurring dreams? If so, explain?

I used to have a lot of nightmares, mostly about someone breaking into the house and hurting me or kidnapping me. I’ve actually had dreams so bad that, as an adult, I woke Mom up and had her sleep on the couch with me because I was so scared. Fortunately the nighttime regimen I take now has pretty well eliminated that. These days if I dream it’s kind of nonsense odd stuff that doesn’t stick with me once I’ve been up more than 5 minutes.

What’s your horoscope?

I’m an Aries. Apparently my horoscope for today is:

Jealousy could rear its ugly head today, Aries. This may involve a romantic relationship. Jealousy is often groundless. If you want to avoid an upset, try a little communicating. This is definitely the time to make the effort to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Strong emotions can work for you under some circumstances. A passionate reconciliation is better than an angry estrangement.

Hmm, given that the day is damn near over and things have been fine, I’m thinking what I always think about horoscopes – BUNK.

What does your dream bedroom look like?

I’m not sure. I’m actually not really displeased with how it is right now.

What position do you sleep in?

On my tummy, head turned to one side or the other, one arm up under the pillow and the other tucked under my face, and usually with a foot hanging out of the blankets. That’s my thermostat.

What are your all time favorite films?

What Dreams May Come and Camelot

What makeup are you currently wearing?

I honestly don’t remember the last time I wore makeup. I might have put some on when Josh and I got married in 2011. Maybe.

Do you have neat handwriting? Show us!

If I’m writing fast or if I’m pissed, then no. There have been times when I haven’t been able to read it myself. But when I have time, and the hand tremors aren’t too bad…

2015-02-20 20.42.40