One of the great things about being Bipolar is that you take on a lot, you think you can manage a lot. The bad thing about being Bipolar is you don't realize you are a human being with only so many hours in the day and inevitably things fall. And when they do you feel devastated because for the moment you were super mom, super wife, super hairstylist, super homeschool teacher! It can be one project too many that does the flip but it happens.
It happened today. I have a big big project going on right now with my business and I was holding it together pretty good but I could feel the stress starting to make it slip. Today it all broke apart and I suddenly feel like my ship is taking on water and my lungs are starting to fill up. I look around at the mess and can't see all my successes or the things I put so much effort into. For my own benefit of releasing those things and for those that are feeling the same amount of overwhelmingment of life here is a list of all the things I am currently taking into my lungs.
1. The inside of the van is a hideous mess of crumbs, half drank water bottles, stuffed animals, books, gum wrappers, cords and a few fast food bags. We've cleaned it countless times and put little garbage sacks in it but no matter how many times we swear we are going to keep it clean it gets back to the same space.
2. We were getting rid of our stuff and loving the feeling of having less. Less to pick up. Less to clean under and around. Less to stress about. But just like everything somehow stuff keeps creeping back into my house. Cardboard boxes from deliveries. The amount of effin recycling we have should be another number in this list. Gifts. Paperwork. Books. Art supplies. The shit is seriously everywhere and it's a little ridiculous.
3. For some godawful reason there are moths in one of my kitchen cabinets. Thankfully most of the things in there are sealed in containers but there is some reason they had babies up in there or something but I just don't have it in me to take out all the things and find the source. Instead each time I need something in that cabinet I get it out, cuss at the little flutters, shoo them out and close the cabinet only to do it again later.
4. My salon is a mess, like I am behind on my clean up and I just don't have the drive to take it all down and clean it. Especially because the big project I am working on effects that.
5. I need some inspiration and to learn something new at work because of work schedules I missed the local hair show I normally go to and I should have known better. Just looking at instagram isn't enough. I think I need a new technique or something to bring my focus back. Also, to be honest I have been struggling with work in general lately. It is my job to make people happy. I can make a month better for someone or I could ruin their entire life. It may seem odd to some but as stylists we have a lot of pressure on us to be perfect all the time. We don't get to have off days. And if you have them you smile pretty and pretend they aren't happening. My life's work is hoping you are happy when you walk out and then stressing and second guessing every minute detail when I see your online pictures. Is your head tilted to the side or is it really longer on one side!?! And it is hard knowledge for me to accept that some days I am just not going to nail it and that hurts me to the core. I want to get it perfect every time. I want you to look like the Instagram picture or Pinterest picture you showed me every day. Some days it is just a lot.
6. The dvds from the library are late, by 3 days. It is a library across town. Why did I ever go to that library? Why did I think I would make it back there in time?
7. I no showed on my OWN hair appointment. I can't even effin believe it. I was working on the new project and completely screwed it. Didn't realize it until 4 that day and haven't been able to let it go and that was 2 days ago.
8. I feel like I need a day off from responsibility but even if I arranged that day I know I would be thinking and stressing about all the things that awaited me. I need a break from my own mind and that's just not possible.
9. There is a damn moldy smelling rag in the bathroom. I am pretty sure there is boy pee on the floor in front of the toilet because that is what you get with two 6 year olds. The bath toys need to be cleaned and some gotten rid of. Somehow weird towels have creeped into the bathroom too. We have like 8 toothbrushes in the holder. None labeled. I am pretty sure that means some people are using other people's toothbrushes in confusion. The sharpie just hasn't made it to the bathroom yet to label them.
10. I am starting to get the "are you ready for school" questions. I feel ready because I didn't have to get anything ready really. The more we go the more I realize my kids are smarter when it comes to learning than I am. My brain has to be pushed to learn. I am so over inundated with life I have to schedule time to learn!!! These kids are just doing that all the time. Who am I to put them in a place that decides because they are a certain age they WILL learn certain things and subsequently be tested on it. Even though their early years say they might not be ready for it. The State has decided what they are ready for. I don't really trust the system after being told this year that my ASD child needed to be in school otherwise 1st grade wouldn't get a para. Now I am second guessing their response when I raised concern about them being emotionally ready for Kindergarten. Was that so they'd get a para? I am obviously still angry with that and constantly checking our motives and making sure we are making the best choices. Yes this is going to be hard and no I don't think it is for everyone. I am not judging where you put your kids. We are doing what we think will work for our kids and family. You should too!
11. I'm doing a Dietbet. And I think I am not going to win it. I have been doing everything I should/can during the allotted time and it is just not working. I am stuck and pissed about it.
12. I joined a gym that's 24 hours and looks pretty friendly to help me achieve #11 and lose the damn weight that is stuck like glue to me. I swear to god I put on a Trump Twenty this year! I seriously started eating and drinking in fear from November until now and it has built up to this.
13. Some of my laundry has that stench. The I left it just a bit too long in the washer and didn't realize it and the funk smell got dried into them. You realize it either when you go to put them on or when you put them on and an hour later go oh my god what is that terrible smell!?! By then it is too late, you are stuck at work smelling your folly all day.
14. We are going on our yearly family camping trip this weekend. Because of #11 and my big project (yes I am being a little tight lipped about it) I am stressed out about that. I should be relaxing and taking some family time but I know I will be thinking about all these things while sleeping on a hard ground and sitting in a chair I will sometimes need help to get out of. It's the family camping trip Ron, we do it every year.
15. Our yard is in total peril. I pull up to the house and I see the weeds and I shake my head and re add that to the list of things I haven't done. The boys have picked up the cyclone of toys in the back a thousand times but it is slowly creeping back again.
16. Their rooms are a constant dirty 6 year old mess. Even when they clean it I feel like it's not fully done. But how can I complain that much when mine is a disaster blaster too! I find toys in the bed that somehow got snuck in there. Discarded stinky clothes from #13. Glasses and coffee mugs. And the stinky dog bed because bean bags don't wash and that's what she loves the best.
17. This one plagues me the worst. I have a nasty patch of psoriasis on my leg that I have tried every home remedy on and nothing is working. It gets worse with stress which is ironically funny. I joke when people ask about it and say I have leprosy but I hate it. Go to the Dr and get some damn cream you are thinking. Well that's a whole sad insurance story you don't actually want to hear about so I'll stop there.
I'd hoped writing all this down would help me release and relieve some stress. Instead I realize that above all this overwhelming shit the big stresser is that I feel alone. Trying to do so much as a mom, a business owner, trying to be the perfect stylist, the perfect instagram poster. Trying for a clean house. Trying to be a good friend and failing miserably. Not accepting much of friendship because who has time to put the effort in. I now know why my parents in High School told me don't rush this time. The time when your biggest responsibility might have been a 20 hour a week job, some car insurance and what you were going to wear to school that day.
Today is a day where we wear soft pants at our house, try to get a few things done, be kind to each other and just keep swimming I guess.
It's grocery shopping day so you know what that means, odds and ends of little things that you don't know what to do with so you just don't. You tell yourself I'll go grocery shopping after that one client I have today and I don't need to bring lunch because I am not going to be there that long. Then you notice wow the shop really needs some spring cleaning I am going to gut into this! Halfway through you realize you are lightheaded and starving! Damn it, why didn't you even bring an orange or a string cheese. There is a Sonic across the street but nothing is gluten free safe so I will be very wise and just get something two blocks down at the everything is organic corner fresh grocery store. If I sound like I was deluding myself you were listening well. I got into that store and I was hungry, and there are so many products I haven't seen before stacked literally to the tall ceiling. I wandered through the whole store but I knew I had a hankering for chips, salsa and guacamole and they sell their own there. I stood in front of the 15 different kinds of store made fresh salsa's at almost $5.00 a tub and then the premade guac at like $6.00 a small container and I could not do it. I knew their store made chips were also like $5-6. So I was about to spend 15-20 on what some would consider a snack! I couldn't. I paid for the grapes and the asparagus and solemnly left. I got back in the car and I realized...damn it. I am still starving and I still don't know what to eat! Then it hit me...
I had two tomatoes near being not good for slicing at home, a small quarter of an onion, a few small cloves of garlic I usually toss because they are "too much work", 3/4th of an avocado and some less than perfect cilantro and a jalapeno and some limes! I also had a half eaten bag of tortilla chips. I literally had everything to make exactly what I wanted at home. It just meant a few minutes of time but what did I really save by spending the extra time?
I saved the $15-20 dollars obviously but I also saved the produce that would have been forgotten and tossed, I saved the landfill two more plastic disposable containers and I saved myself from any additional ingredients companies sometimes add to retain freshness. What else was gained though? I gave respect to the farmers who put the love, time and energy into those ingredients I brought home. My fridge is a few ingredients cleaner. My guilt is clear from not buying what I already had and not letting things go to rot. There is enough leftover that my husband will have the surprise of coming home to one of his favorite foods and saving him the time of having to make something when he gets back. I also earned the joy I get from taking care of my family.
One of the documentaries that really hit me to make changes was called Just Eat It. You can watch it on Amazon Prime and I really suggest you do. It sealed the deal for me wanting to change how I buy, use and dispose of ingredients. One of the best benefits I have been gaining from not wanting to waste and have my produce go bad is that I have used more veggies in my food than ever which is never a bad thing! I throw together things I would have never thought before and came out with amazing results! I challenge you to make a clean out the fridge meal next time before you go grocery shopping. It will help you realize what you have so you don't overbuy, what maybe you didn't use so as not to rebuy, save possibly wasted produce and add some extra nutrients into your diet!
Stay tuned, later on I'll go into meals and tips on how to use up those veggies like veggie broth and huge nutrient packed salads. Enjoy the beautiful day all!
p.s. I'm added some cabbage for some crunch in my salsa and I am saving up for some prettier bowls but for now you get to see how my life is just normal like yours. And I do think that is some leftover kid breakfast on the table in the picture. Classy!
Some of you have probably seen my Instagram account, seen my Facebook photos and had to listen to me ramble about my love of documentaries and how much I have taken from them. I know, I sound like a fanatic, I hear myself in my head and I know I sound a little wacky but bear with me as I explain my plan a little more here.
After the election I was scared and I spent a lot of time crying about my fear for my kids. Now this isn't a political post but my fear comes from the unknown and having an autistic son and just not knowing what the changes for our country will mean to them and their safety. After many boxes of wine, documentaries and too much tears I realized I had to do something. I needed to step away and control the things I could control and that was small stuff around me.
Part of being bipolar for me is that I have a lot of anxiety about things that will run me ragged. I overthink, I see things coming farther in advance and then I worry about them. My world is just so noisy with 4 kids (Twin boys, 13 year old and 16 year old), a neurotic pitbull, a full time business, my husband who works a full time job almost opposite of my schedule,being bipolar (which has it's own crazy shit haha), an autistic son and all his needs, a board member of a non profit moms club, and I am overweight and always struggling that. And to top all that off I have celiacs which mean gluten does some nasty things to me when I eat even a speck of it.
Jeez, even just spelling it all out I feel overwhelmed. But you all have your things as well too so you probably can understand. With 6 people in a house you acquire a lot of things and I have been trying to organize and declutter for as long as I can remember. The Minimalists came along and a cord was struck. I didn't need to declutter or organize, I needed to unown all those things that were owning me. As I have been working through it I feel lighter and lighter. They talk about living simple and they talk about eating a plant based diet. Well no thank you, I eat meat. Or at least I did until I started watching all the food ones. I am not going to lie, I am a major cart shamer. I love it. It has helped me in the last year looking and judging what other people put in their cart to keep it out of mine. That sounds high and mighty but many of you probably do it and just don't admit it. Whatever gets the good food in your house! Now compared to some our diet wasn't that bad but after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, The Sugar King and Food Choices I knew we still had a long way to go.
One that hit me so huge though was this little independent one called Just Eat It. It talks about how much food we waste as consumers. Not just the grocery stores with their crazy food rules but how much we buy and then take home to forget about and let rot. I was terrible at it. I would buy my produce at Costco because I could get more for less. I was literally not respecting the work that was going into that pepper or whatever. All that water, all that tending, the picking. How many people had touched my food? How much love had gone into it? How many people got underpaid for me to buy 3 extra peppers for cheap? I was sad. Yes, sounds weirdo again but it's true. I wanted to see if I could bring our food closer to us and respect and nourish my family with what I did bring home. I also wanted to see if I could change our plates from a 10oz steak to a cup of veggies and a 2 oz steak. Well having to respect my veggies meant using more veggies at each meal. I started to eat less meat to where I haven't had meat in 2 weeks. Me. Miss bacon for breakfast every day. Now what sent me wacky over the edge into a plant based diet? The movie Cowspiracy. It is a much watch! I considered myself an environmentalist. We recycle, I try to bring my own bags, we don't water much outside, I yell at my kids to take shorter showers but after seeing that movie I knew by eating meat I wasn't even a drop in the bucket. I will in another blog go further into dissecting that but if you have a chance watch it on Netflix.
You are probably thinking ok get to the point, what is this project!? Well when I started to make these little changes they started to grow and of course I have talked about them. But I have heard things like how do you do that with a family of 6 and afford it? Yea but I have kids and I can't get rid of that much stuff. I just don't like veggies. Well I want to see if it is sustainable and I want to prove to myself that the plant based diet is the way, I already feel so much better and have already lost a few pounds without exercising even yet. That part is next though! In March I am planning on a 5k, a 10k in April or May and on June 10th 161 days from today I will be running a half marathon. I'll post pictures of my progress. Recipes. Tips on how to make this manage in a crazy household and see if it is possible myself. I am going to try being "Documentaried" and see if my life improves even more than the changes I already have experienced by implementing what I took away from them.
Welcome to the ride! Feel free to like me on FB or find me on Instagram to watch more up to date changes. Wish me luck!!!
p.s. I am sure there will be tears
We've obviously been making some life changes around here. Accessing importance of things, ideas of things and me personally have been watching a shit ton of documentaries and here my friends is a list of what I have gleaned from them. It all gathers around my priviledge. Not as a white person but a person who takes shit for granted because I am human and always want more. I am working on that part but here is the parts I have that I forget about.
1. I am typing to you on a laptop (one that my previous IT husband made from parts but still) on a monthly internet plan. One where I can see what all of you are doing. I can give my feelings. I can research and I can explore. It is about $40 a month. To people in some areas that's a good amount of food.
2. I am bitching on the internet. 'Currently' I live in a country that I can do that and survive. People will comment, maybe we will fight but I can do that.
3. I live in a house. We were lucky enough to buy in during the shitty times and have a great real estate agent. We may pay the payment with a late fee every month and scrape by but it is our house. Yesterday we talked about repainting. It is my house and my freedom.
4. I was denied for free lunch. Can you believe I am admitting that I applied? I am! Because I want anyone out there to not feel weird about their situation. I applied because we are mostly a family of 6 and we don't make a bunch. But...although I was worried about where to find the funds for a son begging to try the nasty school lunch I knew that we were above and I needed to just budget better,
5. I'm watching all these documentaries on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. All that are luxury costs but we have budgeted to manage. Today, kids didn't eat. But I watched documentaries about them not eating. That's priviledge.
6. I have a complete asshole of a dog I love..don't judge she is moody, needy and a little bit crazy but I love her and feed her. Take her to the vet when needed and now buy her antianxiety pot pills when needed. An animal is a luxury.
7. I drive a car. We have two cars in our family. Not two fancy cars but two cars that get us to work and our children to where they need to be.
8. My sons are priviledged in that I love them. I recently met a child that hasn't had the option of love. I will never ever again question myself as a parent. My kids piss me off but I ALWAYS love them. I do the best I can for them. I try to put them first. No matter what, even when I lose my shit I will apologize and let those kids know I love them.
I am political. I used to keep my mouth shut but not anymore. Call me silly, call me simple but I want food, health care and safety for all people. I didn't think that was a political thing until this year. I am realizing how much I have kept in my life that is unnecessary and bogging me down. How much that has stopped me from working towards the real issue. So many things are opening up. So many things I riled against before are opening up. It is not just minimalism that has changed this but it sure has helped to clear my mind to see the true issues.
Open your life. In whatever way that works for you. See that you have more than someone else. No matter how much you have, someone has less. Be humane. Want for less. Experience more. My heart hurts from how much I have missed but that is all changing. Welcome to Life.
On Christmas Day I went crazy and got rid of bags of things. I gave away, donated, recycled and trashed over half my kitchen. It's been 11 days and each day my counter has been clean. Each day we have managed to keep the clutter away. Mail comes in (which used to be our major disaster blaster area) and we process it. Kids school work comes home and we process it. We've held Christmas family dinner and a big New Years Eve/birthday party! Tonight an amazing dinner was made by my husband and together (with help from the twins!) it was cleaned up and no trace by 7pm! Hell yes I am proud of us. And I for one am not going back to the way things were!
The next big step is getting rid of our crazy big entertainment center and mounting the tv on the wall. We sold a big chair I had for when I was planning a home salon and are using that money to paint the wall before hanging the tv and the mounting bracket.
What is weird is that I never felt like I spent that much time cleaning because it would just build and build and my stress and anxiety would be so high I would shut down and either my mother would clean it while watching the boys or we'd clean it under duress after the kitchen would smell a bit funny. I would tell myself well I have kids and it's hard to keep up. Actually it was that my things around me were drowning my desire and drive to make my surroundings a happier place. I now feel like I do a little after the meals and I pick up and wipe down stuff but I clean less than I was before and it is staying better.
One major thing I did this week was take Facebook off my phone. It was weird at first but I am truly loving it. I am using instagram but that doesn't feel like it comes with the political crap and exhausting interaction. It is just pictures of things I want to bring into my life. You can control it more and it doesn't come with a bunch of metrics and the noise of it is much quieter.
Still have the boys room to go, the bathroom, the whole downstairs. Although the husband and I dumped out the garage and he is taking it to a place where he will be able to use it as a work space now.
Start small, start throwing like I did or just start inventorying what you really need. I promise you removing all that unnecessary work and noise around you will have you feeling better than ever! Don't let your stuff own you, your family and your quality of life. Take it on back!
I had to quit the minimalism group on FB and it took me awhile to figure out why. And here was my ultimate reason that I will end up writing a lot about I'm guessing until I get it out of my system.
We ask for permission in life a lot. And not just for the minor things like can I sit here, can I have that. We ask for permission to be good enough. We ask everyone around us if what we are doing is ok and if it makes us ok. Facebook is one big ask. We show pictures of vacations, holidays, gifts and other stuff we buy or receive. I think many people think this is other people's way of showing off how good they are. I actually think it is peoples way of asking to be told they are good enough. A friend recently told me she posted on FB that she did something nice because she needed validation. I wanted to be irritated but how could I when she was being so honest with herself about her reason. We all want to feel valued and validated. Unfortunately I feel like we have put our value on what is in our house, what we do for a living, what we have not who we are.
We live in a PC world where it has become unacceptable to say what I need. We live in an overstimulated world where no one is actually listening if we did speak it. We all have thumb cramps from scrolling mindlessly through information that is force fed to us. It's weird if you go to a meal by yourself and don't have a device shoved in front of you. We rationalize it away by saying well the world has changed and we must change with it. Instead of changing we are just being swept away and glazed over. The Walmarts and McDonalds are telling us what we need to be good enough, what is or isn't healthy. And if you just scroll past real quick and don't take the time to self ask if this is correct then you might believe it. We throw ourselves into concepts and ways of life to try to fix ourselves. I am having to monitor myself and takes little breaks on the whole minimalism thing because I don't want to fall victim to a fad. One where I never question is this working for me. We jump on bandwagons and give fully of ourselves hoping that way will make us good enough but never asking what would actually make us feel good enough. Just asking permission from others and their trend.
I quit the FB group because I kept seeing people ask, how do I start. Is this minimalism. Is being vegan minimalism. Is 5 things enough. And what I heard in a loud resounding voice was will you people accept me? Am I minimal enough for you to accept me? I don't trust myself enough to make the decision on if I am good enough so I will ask the world. This wasn't what I wanted to sift through. It might sound cold but I cannot spend my time trying to convince others they are good enough. I can only work to convince myself that I am. To build the healthy person to person relationships that enrich my life and hope me being me enriches others.
I've got a long way to go on this whole editing life to make it what I want journey and I do all these things above I have talked about. But now that I am seeing these I am damn sure going to work hard to stop, slow down and take time to learn me. You do you....and I'll do Me!
I pick. I am what some would call a picker. I see something loose, broken, festered and I pick it until it is more resolved or even more pissed off! Today I am going to pick about how I am frustrated with people asking..."Is that minimalist?"
Now to a hoarder 2500 cans of pork and beans might not be hoarding, to a minimalist it is anxiety attack causing. To me 20 books is minimalism and to you that may be hoarding. Why do we as humans need to ask others for limits and permission???
I want people to make decisions for themselves. If that means split decisions or ones they sit with for awhile...you can do this! You can pick whether to paint or not. You can choose a pet. The internet and people you will never meet do not need to approve of your decisions. If you feel you are being minimalist for you than you are. If you feel 8 appliances on your counter are good enough they are but if you want none than that is minimalism to you. It is a personal personal thing. I do not feel like their is a wrong answer because you don't live in my house so what does it matter? Some things have a definition so people feel like they can conform but you can still go grey lined on it.
I don't know if I will ever find my "people" on this minimalism thing but I am going to keep trying. Until then I am going to keep minimazing in my life to what works for us! You do You!
This all started probably years ago, this desire to be less. Not less of a person but have less to deal with. I've been trying to declutter for years. I have reorganized. Moved stuff around to make it fit better countless times. The other day at work I watched 5 minutes of The Minimalists movie currently on Netflix and that was all I needed. Yes I watched the entire thing eventually but just the idea brought clarity.
It took me a few more days and being home with all 4 kids by myself on Christmas with the knowledge that 15 people were going to be hovering over this mess of a kitchen I was in. I was depressed, like I get sometimes. I decided though instead of let it ruin my day I was going to finally do something about it. I started throwing stuff out, to recycle and to the thrift store. By the time my husband got home that day he was in awe and shock and he said to me..."this is what freedom feels like". And that was it for me.
So I joined a few Facebook groups and am already thinking about getting out of the group. Not because I think I already have all the answers but it is just hard for me to watch people bicker, judge and ask permission on what they can and can't do. I say as long as it's legal and it works for you then damn it...do it!
So that is what I am doing now. Cleaning my counter off, emptying things out and living this crazy Frankenmom life I do.
Happy Thursday all!