The day-to-day

This is why I have been gone for a while. I was diagnosed with CFS/ME in high school after 2 years of being generally unwell.

I am one of the lucky ones – I am not bedridden. I can carry on a reasonably normal life 90% of the time.

Most days, I can pretend to be a normal person – I work, study, clean my house, go out with friends.

But sometimes, I can’t. I want to do things, but I just do not have the energy. Sometimes, I have the energy but my brain doesn’t come to the party – I have stood in my kitchen and realised that even though I had the theoretical knowledge of how to make coffee, I had no idea in that moment how to actually go about it. I could not remember the process required to get out a coffee mug, boil the kettle, all the steps required just to make a simple cup of coffee.
That was a REALLY scary day – I thank my lucky stars that this has only happened 3 times, ever.

I often have trouble with words – when I get tired, my brain can’t get to the right word quick enough, and so it throws me whatever it can find.
Sometimes I’ll say “closet” instead of “coat”.
Sometimes I’ll say the name of something I can see, rather than what I mean to say.
And sometimes, I can’t even think of the word. I’ll just stand there, and try to mime out the word I want. I still know what I want to say, I just don’t have the words for it.
Occasionally, I’ll be fine with finding the correct words but stringing them into a spoken sentence is beyond me.

This is why I’ve been missing from this blog. I’ve had to count my spoons* and use them for things that let me try to be a normal human being, because I’ve been a little short recently. Emotion saps me of energy (thanks ASD!) and there’s been a lot of that in my life these past few months – and I’m feeling the effects of it now.

I miss blogging. I miss the “normal” life I’ve been able to live for the past 2 years (because I’ve managed my energy and health well). And I know I will be able to get back to that with time, but it’s going to take time. And I’m crazy impatient.

~K

* Visit But You Don’t Look Sick for an explanation of Spoon Theory if you don’t know why I’m talking about spoons

 

Advertisements

Just tired…

As those who follow me on twitter or instagram would know, we suffered a major loss just before Christmas – our gorgeous kitty Jacket passed away in his sleep. He’d had a few health problems across the year, and I think it all eventually just caught up with him. He was 15 years old, so he was getting up there in cat-years, but it was still unexpected.

Gonna miss this fluffball :(

Gonna miss this fluffball 😦

Before anyone asks, because it really is a sore point – nope. Not ready to get another cat yet. We will, but just not yet.

Honestly, I’ve been a mess. I was already a bit burnt out from working a few too many shifts during semester, and then with this horrible sad event right before Christmas, only the day before the one year anniversary of my Nan’s death, I just haven’t been coping very well.

This blog has suffered, my house is a bombsite, I haven’t done work I needed to do. I haven’t done the ‘healthy’ things I know make me feel better (gym, yoga, tai chi, meditation), and instead have spent an inordinate amount of time on the couch, watching Netflix, gaming, and eating chocolate.

I went a couple of weeks ago for a checkup (because my shoulder has been playing up again) and have been informed that I am suffering from adrenal fatigue (again). Now I have to be careful I don’t push myself completely off the edge, especially seeing as I’m heading back to uni in only 2 weeks.

I don’t know when I’ll be back writing properly on the blog, but I don’t want to go away completely. I have so many ideas for posts, but I just haven’t got the mental energy to bring them to life at the moment.

I just know that I have to take the time to sort out my mental and physical health again, before I completely wreck myself. Right now, I’m just tired and need to get myself healthy again.

~K

*** The article linked in this post is not mine, but it sums everything up in a much better way than I could ***

Weird times

So the last few weeks have been a bit more than just hectic.

For starters, my priority order is “Family – uni – paid work – unpaid work”, so this blog and a few volunteer things I do have fallen by the wayside.

Starting with family – my Mum is in the process of buying a new house, and is asking for our input a lot. This has been rather time consuming.
Then, the new job that Hubby started fell through. He is now in the process of transitioning back to being self-employed (which he hasn’t been for several years) and THAT has me worrying about how the hell we’re going to pay all the bills while we sort it out.

Uni – I’ve been on prac for the past 3 weeks, so I’ve been working full-time hours and not getting any $$ for it. I also had to do an essay and study for an exam in that time. I’ve just finished prac, and now I have 2 more essays to write in the next 10 days.

Paid work – referring back to the ‘Family’ section, it appears that once again, I am going to be the primary source of income until Hubby gets work sorted out. This is more than a little scary, as pay day is offset from worked weeks by about a fortnight, so my next pay isn’t for nearly 2 weeks, and it will be from the single shift I’ve worked in the second half of prac.

The result of all of this is that I’ve spent the time that I’m not sleeping or on prac planning and re-planning the bill payments for the next month, and worrying about it all. My sleep has suffered, which has had knock-on effects for my mental and physical health.

I currently feel like absolute crap, but I’ve now got 3 weeks where I can pick up extra shifts while I don’t have classes. I also have to catch up on my reading and study from the start of semester, and get to work on the volunteer stuff I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m kind of over everything at the moment, and I’m stressing out over the money thing, so I don’t know if I’m going to be able to post much, but I’ll do my best. Hopefully it all sorts itself out soon, and life can get back to *somewhat* normal.

~K

GUESS WHAT

Happy Dance

I got a job I got a job I-I-I got a job I got a job I got a job

As you can probably tell, I got a job! I am now working as an AIN at one of the largest hospitals in my region 🙂

YAY!!!!!!!

While this does mean that it’s about 16hrs a week less that I’ll have to spend on things like blogging, I’m going to do my darnedest to get at least 2 posts per week up (despite the fact that I haven’t exactly been managing that anyway).

I’m casual, so I can be called in to work any shifts that I say I am available for, including nights. Hubby is worried about me catching the train late at night, which we will have to sort out because parking costs A FORTUNE ($20 for 8hrs) so I really don’t want to drive.
The issue is the fact that I will be getting the train somewhere between 10pm and midnight sometimes – afternoon shift finishes at about 11:30, and nights start at 11. I think he’s concerned that its “not safe”. I can totally understand that you get some real weirdos around at that time of night, but I’m trying to get him to see that there are security cameras everywhere on the stations, as well as other staff who would be finishing at the same time as me, and there are security guards on the trains at that time of night. Also, I make a point of sitting right next to where the conductor is.

Hopefully I can convince him that catching the train is OK, because the only other way to get around paying for parking is for Hubby to drop me off/pick me up on those late starts/finishes and it just seems silly for him to drive from our place out to work and back again. We’ll have to see what happens.

~K

2015 Wrap-up

Here’s the mandatory post about “how things went in 2015”. This is somewhat based off of my “Goal List” from the start of this year (find it in this post). Over the next few days, I’ll be working out my Goal List for 2016, and I should post that sometime during January.

University/study
I was remarkably successful in this category! I graduated from my Bachelor of Psychology (we won’t speak of my final marks for that, but I GRADUATED!) and now have a piece of paper and another line for my resume.
I’m one year through my Bachelor of Nursing, and my marks are SO much better! As of the end of this year, my GPA is 6.0 and this makes me eligible for the “High Achievers” events (e.g. a morning tea a few weeks ago, that may result in a nursing job!).
I managed to maintain my designated “study hours” fairly well, but there is definitely room for improvement (particularly in regards to getting assignments started earlier). I started all my assignments this year approx 1-2 weeks before they were due, but I’m going to aim for having them COMPLETED 1 week before their due next year. I only had to pull 1 all-nighter for an assignment, and OMG I felt like crap. I am too old to do that anymore.

Health/beauty
I did much better at (mostly) eating at “normal” meal times, and I consistently made packed lunches for uni. Hubby took over his own lunch making around June, and he’s also been good at that.
I’ve done much better at not worrying/stressing about things that aren’t under my control, and I’ve felt far more level emotionally (particularly in the last 6mths). I’ve also been asking for help when I needed it, not once it was too late and I’d already burnt out.
We’ve been eating far more food that I make from scratch, and this has reduced our food costs. We’re still spending an absolute FORTUNE every week on soft drink and energy drinks, but I can confidently say that I’m not the one drinking those. Hubby just isn’t ready to give them up, and I’m not going to push the point because we can (sort of) afford it.
I swapped out driving for walking and bike riding (or public transport) for about 90% of my transport needs, and this helped increase my fitness levels and reduce our fuel costs. It’s much easier at our new place than it was at our old house though – EVERYTHING is within walking distance, while at our old place nothing was (closest supermarket to our old place was 4km away. New place – there’s 3 within 800m). I only joined a gym in the final few months of 2015, but I’ve been going fairly regularly (barring a few disaster weeks).
I BECAME A MORNING PERSON!!!!! Well, sort of. I became a person who regularly gets up at 7am on days when I have nothing booked before lunchtime (or at all) and I feel pretty good about that. It took until the second half of the year to really get there, and the 6:30am starts for my nursing prac really helped cement the morning thing. I’m still not exactly cognitive before caffeine, and my brain doesn’t really wake up until at least 2hrs after I get up, but I’m no longer nocturnal so that’s a good thing.

Organisation/management
I successfully remained off of Facebook during semester time this year, and I will be repeating that next year. I also feel like I wasted less time on Tumblr and Twitter. I may have swapped this out a bit with this blog and YouTube though. I still feel I wasted less time online than previously though.
I culled my wardrobe, and now pretty much everything in there fits me and is in the styles I want to wear.
I *tried* to plan out my days… with mixed success. Some days, it went really well. Others were an absolute disaster. I let it slide a bit in the second half of the year, but I’m going to continue working on that next year as well.
Did better this year with keeping on top of the housework – I could definitely do better, but the only times I really didn’t keep the house reasonably tidy were exam weeks… and I figure that’s forgivable.

Creativity
I still don’t have my reading corner, but we’re looking at possibly replacing our couch this year, so I’ll hopefully be getting a big squishy one-person chair when we do that, so I can set up said reading corner.
I have successfully been trying at least 1 new recipe a month, sometimes almost 1 per week. Only 2 of them got rejected by Hubby, so that’s a good start!
I averaged 1 recreational book per month, but they were mostly crammed into my uni breaks… I would judge that a success 🙂
I’ve been spending more time knitting/crocheting, and I’ve almost finished a gorgeous jumper. It’s a little tight atm (mainly around the tummy area), but by the time the weather gets cold enough for me to wear it I aim to have lost a bit of weight so it will all be fine.

Relationships
I did a bit better at keeping in regular contact with my grandparents this year, but it’s never enough. I lost my Nan only a week ago, and the amount of contact I had was never enough. I wish I could have gone down to visit more often, but flights are expensive and we haven’t exactly had spare $$ this year. So many regrets, but it’s too late. Everyone give your grandparents a hug, because you’ve only got a finite time to do it.

Overall, a mostly good year. The past month has been hard, but up until that point things were going well. Normal life has still been good during the past month though, which has made it easier to deal with the bad stuff.

Happy New Year to you all (because I probably won’t be doing another post before then), and I’ll see you in 2016!

~K

Balance…

The past 48hrs have been an interesting mix of awesome and terrible.

The awesome stuff:

  • A good friend FINALLY got engaged and I was there
  • I got 2 new pairs of jeans and MY BUTT LOOKS AWESOME IN THEM. To boot, they’re a size 9!!!! (2 years ago I barely fit into a 12!) WOOT WOOT vanity sizing for the win BUT WHATEVER. Finally, jeans that fit my butt and waist at the same time.
    Usually jeans that fit my hips/butt are way too loose around my waist and either fall down or look terrible. I have now discovered the awesomeness that is “Curve Embracer” jeans from Jeans West 🙂

The terrible:

  • I reached my quota for “allowable last-minute schedule changes” in a spectacular fashion on Friday night. Pretty much EVERY plan I’ve made with anyone other than Hubby for the past 2 weeks has been changed at the last minute, and usually without me being informed except in passing. On Friday night, one phone call managed to single-handedly screw with ALL my plans for next week.
    I spent Friday night and most of Saturday in an absolute emotional mess because I just couldn’t deal. I plan in a certain amount of wiggle room for things like this, and if I can plan for things not going to plan I’m ok (e.g. at work – no worries, all good, because I control for the stuff I can)… but if they’re things that I don’t expect to get screwed around over (like meeting up with family), I have difficulty. If I get multiples within a short amount of time, I crash and burn.

Now I’m trying to catch up on my uni work and get myself back on a even keel for next week. I tensed up so much from yesterday that 3 long soaks in very warm baths have not made as much of an impact as I would like, and I’ve had a tension headache all day 😦

Hopefully I can stay on the level for a little while now though.

~K

Long-term To-do List

I have decided that my “project” for my Summer/Christmas uni break this year is going to be “Re-learn Japanese”.

I say re-learn, because I learned the language at school (only up until grade 9 though), and I did pretty well, but now I’ve forgotten quite a lot.

However, I’m still tossing up whether I should do Japanese (which I WANT to do) or Chinese (which may be more useful). There’s a rather large Chinese population in my area, so that might be a more useful language (e.g. for working as a nurse at a local hospital). I’ll think about it, I can also do a Diploma of Languages through my uni, so I might look at that for after I’ve finished my Nursing degree.

There’s always the “you could do both”… I’ll think about it.

The main thing is that if I do Chinese, I can probably get help from Mum’s international students (she’s mostly had Chinese students, only 1 Japanese student). If I do Japanese, I’ll have to try and find someone to help me. BUT I’ve wanted to do Japanese again pretty much since I finished high school, I just haven’t had time.

Decisions decisions

~K

Things I’m looking forward to…

I thought I’d do a list of things I’m looking forward to when we have a little more disposable income (i.e. as of the end of this year when I can get a nursing job).

Hubby’s been doing some cashy work on the weekends, and that has meant a little extra moolah in hand this past week, so I’ve been thinking about some of the things that we’ve been able to do this week that we haven’t done for a while.

  1. Regular date nights
    We had our first ‘date night’ in almost a year on Saturday. It was really nice – we discovered this new Japanese restaurant, then went to a chocolatier for dessert (om nom nom fondue).
    We used to do a proper date night once a fortnight, but we just haven’t had the disposable income for quite some time, and I’ve missed it. It’s all well and good to have a ‘date night’ at home, but it’s just not the same when you have to do the cooking and the dishes.
  2. Luxury food items
    These aren’t even really proper “luxury” items either, by most people’s standards. I just want to be able to buy rye bread again, and afford to have things like avocados and tomatoes permanently in the fridge. It would be nice to be able to buy a block of nice quality dark chocolate every week (the one I get is a 200g block, with 8 serves in a pack. Perfect 1-week rationing haha). It will be fantastic when we’re able to buy red meat on a regular basis again (right now, Hubby is basically limited to beef mince as his red meat fix, because it is cheap. We eat mainly chicken – I was going to make lamb rogan josh this week, but I nearly DIED when I saw how expensive lamb was – $22/kg!!!!! No rogan josh this week).
  3. Some new clothes
    Hubby needs new clothes – his wardrobe is now down to mainly “daggy/work” clothes and “really nice” ones. There’s nothing in the middle that is really good for a semi-casual night out :S He needs several pairs of new jeans (to replace the ones that need to be chucked out), some decent polo shirts, and some new work shirts/pants. I just need to get all my jeans taken up so they actually fit (disadvantages of short legs – even pants labelled “short leg” are too long. I can take up most stuff myself, but I just can’t get denim to look right when I do it. How tall do they think we are!?!?).
  4. Luxury items
    More general discretionary purchases, like books, music, movies, games, etc. I hate not being able to buy a book that I want, without having to wait and hope it comes up cheaper at some point.
    Also, a few appliances need replacing – i.e. new electric kettle, new toaster, a proper-sized dishwasher.
  5. Car stuff
    This covers both some “really necessary” and some “discretionary” stuff – the “really necessary” like servicing (neither of our cars has seen a mechanic for about 3 years – oops) and the extras (like new suspension, new fancy tray/canopy for the ute, etc). Why do cars have to be so expensive? Which leads us to…
  6. A full tank of fuel
    It will be nice to be able to just fill up the cars every week, and not worry about how much it costs. Right now, we are limited to a particular $ amount for fuel every week, and that is gradually getting us less and less fuel as the price/L goes up. We don’t even put fuel in both cars – mine hardly gets used, so we only put fuel in when I need to use it for something, which is maybe once a month at the most.
  7. Presents
    We haven’t really done birthday/christmas/mothers day/fathers day presents in quite some time. I made wedding cross stitches for everyone who has gotten married, but they don’t cost much except in hours. My sister hasn’t even gotten hers yet, because I haven’t had the spare cash to get the frame for it. We haven’t even really done presents for each other, for anything.
  8. Holidays
    It will be nice when we can actually afford a holiday. We haven’t even been camping in over a year, because the “having money” never seems to line up with “having time” :S
  9. Someone else to do the cleaning
    I will happily fork out $50/fortnight if someone else will come and deal with the majority of the cleaning for me. I HATE cleaning, and I can’t use most of the cleaning products that do the job quickly and with minimal effort because the fumes give me migraines. I can’t wait until I can pass this off to someone else, because as much as I can ask Hubby to do it, it NEVER gets done with any sort of regularity because he hates cleaning just as much as I do.

Money can’t make you happy – but it can certainly help.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who tries to make you feel better by saying “money can’t make you happy” has never had to worry about money. Anyone who has had to worry about making ends meet is well aware that while having money can’t make you happy, having enough money to pay all the bills without robbing Peter to pay Paul takes away a HELL of a lot of stress, and that reduced stress makes it a lot easier to appreciate what you have and be happier with where you are in life.

We are currently at a point where we are able to pay all the bills with minimal worry, and while we don’t really have any discretionary income, we also aren’t skint. I am far less stressed than I was a year ago because of it, and that means that both myself and Hubby are happier (I’m far more pleasant to be around when I’m not on constantly on edge). Still, it will be nice to have a little extra money, because we have a list of “things we want to do” that is as long as my leg, and most of them cost money. And that is the essence of it – what we have now is ‘just enough’, but we’d like to be in a position where we have ‘enough and a little to spare’. That is what most people are aiming for, because being in that position CAN help to make you happier.

~K

Thought of the day

Saw this on tumblr, and it made me think of how Hubby and I actually met.

I was in year 11, and was in the cast for a show – with a slight problem. Whenever we got to the finale, my BP would tank and I’d end up passing out on stage :S
The final solution was that the girl standing behind me would keep me steady until the curtain shut after the first song, then sort of turf me into the wings before the curtain opened again. Obviously, they needed someone to catch me, otherwise I’d just crash to the floor and make a huge noise. You can sort of guess who got allocated that role, yeah?
I found out some time later that he’d been asking around, to find out a bit more info about me… and apparently had every intention of asking me out back then! But when he found out I was only 16 still at that point (he was 19), he figured that I was a bit too young and didn’t do anything.

Then, a few years later our paths crossed again… and the rest is history haha 🙂

The funny part is, things probably wouldn’t have turned out the same way if he had asked me out back then – for starters, he was still smoking at that point and I had a hard and fast “No Smoking or Drugs” rule. Same rule still applies. He’d quit smoking by the time our paths crossed again three years later.
I also had a rather *interesting* (read as “somewhat abusive, ignorant pig”) boyfriend in the interim, which basically forced me to sort myself out – what I liked wearing, who I wanted to be friends with, what I wanted in a partner, who I was as a person. The ex was not the answer to any of those questions – in fact, he was the complete antithesis for a couple of them.

If I hadn’t had that relationship first, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am now; therefore, Hubby and I probably wouldn’t have lasted, and who knows where things might have gone after that?

Sometimes I wonder about where I might be if I hadn’t met Hubby, and if we hadn’t gotten married – what would I be doing? Would I be doing all the things I sometimes feel like I missed out on a little (solo travel, working OS, moving back to my Hometown), or would I be in exactly the same place I am now, just without someone there? Would there have been someone else?

Sometimes I feel a bit like I missed out on some of the “young person” stuff because of the things life has thrown at me – health problems, money woes, job losses. These things all mean that some of the things I wanted to do haven’t happened yet. But then, having Hubby there definitely makes up for all of that crap – because I’m pretty sure that if we were on our own, we wouldn’t have gotten through most of it, but together we got through it all and we’re stronger now for it 🙂

~K