Balance and Blended Family

Trying to find balance in my life is a challenge. Monday through Friday, I am basically not settled down and free until 8 pm or so. There’s work, then some days my second job; after that, there’s karate for B (twice a week), yoga for me (daily, at home), housework, taking care of our pets, and reading. Finding time during the week for C and my bonus kids has been so difficult; and I miss seeing them as much. I try to spend as much time as possible with them on the weekends, but sometimes our schedules don’t jive.

The thing is, my kiddos function so much better when they are in a routine. Chores once we’re home for the night. Bed by 9 pm (at the masters). Meds by 8:30 pm (for B). And truth be told, I work amazingly well when I’m in a routine. Daily yoga, Monday-Friday, has worked wonders for me. Having a list of “must dos” everyday, keeps me mostly sane and keeps my anxiety in check. I still end most days thinking about what I could’ve done differently or better, but I don’t obsess about it.

Now C and I just need to figure out a way to spend more time together as a couple and as a blended family.

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Lists

In my last post, I mentioned making daily “To Do” lists to insure that I get things accomplished. Here’s an example of my list for today, after work:

✓ Publix for meds, dog food, waffle night food

✓ Meet with Taneal

✓ Get Jackson to put away laundry

◦ Get Jackson to clean mouse cage-Thursday

✓ Feed animals

✓ Supper

✓ Karate

✓ Wipe down kitchen

✓ Wipe down full bath

✓ Dust tv room

✓ Vacuum tv room

✓ Vacuum kitchen

✓ Put away and wash dishes

✓ Wash one load of my clothes

✓ Yoga

✓ Shower

✓ Make kids shower

✓ Remove old polish

◦ Paint nails

✓ Hang laundry

✓ Fold & put away blankets

✓ Take out recycling

I had to move cleaning the mouse cage to tomorrow, because we ran out of time. I likely won’t get my nails painted tonight, but I’ll do my hand scrub, cream, and nail prep. I’ve come to realize that having my nails done-neat, filed, pretty-makes me feel put together.

Most days I have a dog client or two to take care of, as well. Once I get the dogs’ allergies under control, walking them at least every other day will be on the list as well. Oh, and adding Krav Maga in a couple of weeks because that has been a goal of mine for a long time.

Staying busy helps me keep my brain quiet. I’m grateful that I have a partner who understands my busy life, and loves me unconditionally.

Anxiety is…

being convinced that my dog client’s humans hate me after I got my days mixed up, and missed walking B (spoiler alert-they don’t hate me, and I still walk B regularly).

fearing for my job any time that I get called to my principal or assistant principal’s office, even though I’ve done nothing to warrant concern (it’s usually that I forgot to sign something).

having a chest tightening, breath taking, tears streaming down my face, panic attack because I realize that I’m not going to live forever, and I won’t be able to accomplish everything that I want to accomplish.

nightmares of my boyfriend leaving me, waking me up in tears and heart racing. (And no, there is no rational reason for that anxiety.)

being a school girl, and having sleepless nights every summer, completely convinced that I had lost all knowledge from the previous year and would fail the next grade (spoiler, I was an honor student and didn’t make anything below a B until college).

having to keep your phone on silent because every ringtone is an opportunity for bad news.

developing a borderline eating disorder in college, because calorie intake was the ONE thing you could control.

having 2 speeds-get all the things done, or crash & burn from days of doing all the things.

being convinced that you are a terrible mom, partner, friend, and family member because you said one wrong thing weeks, or even months ago.

agonizing over text messages, both the ones that I send and the ones that I receive. “Why did they say ‘Morning’ instead of ‘Good Morning?'” “Why didn’t he add ‘baby’ after his text?”

jumping to the conclusion that he is leaving me, or had a wreck & is in the hospital, when he doesn’t text for X amount of time.

making daily “To Do” lists so that I stay on track and actually get things accomplished, rather than being paralyzed by anxiety.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Yes, I am on medication; no, I’m not in therapy because most of my days are better. Yoga is helping. Being in a healthy relationship is helping. Having a friend that I text daily, and understands anxiety is helping.

My anxiety does not define me, but it is a big part of who I am. Most days are good, but other times are not.

Listening

Part of my Wiccan path is learning to truly listen to my spirit & body. This week that’s meant taking naps when needed; focusing more during yoga; and taking a much needed hot bath today. I struggle with anxiety, which exhausts me physically and mentally. Thank the universe for my boyfriend, because he has to reassure me & listen to my insecurities on the regular.

I’m also learning to better listen to my kids and their needs. Listening doesn’t just involve the ears; it also involves the other senses, and your inner spirit. I’m getting better attuned to their subtle, subconscious clues that their moods are shifting. I’m even learning to better read my own subtle clues that *my* mood is shifting.

When I’m a better listener, I’m a better partner, parent, and human. I always listen, but I don’t always focus on what’s being communicated. My mind is typically thinking about at least 5 things at once. Practicing Wicca forces me to focuses on one thing at a time. When I’m channeling my energy, I have no choice but to focus on only one thing. Yoga does the same thing; when I’m focusing on my breathing and staying in poses, I can’t think about anything else.

Sometimes you just to have sit, practice your breathing, and listen to the universe.

Bad Dreams

I’ve grown weary of unsettling dreams. A few times a week I dream that mother is not dead, but not truly alive. In my dreams, she exists in a sort of middle ground where I can see her and interact with her, but others cannot. She’s not a ghost, she’s not NOT a ghost. It’s weird and I wake up unsettled.

I’ve dreamed about C leaving me/breaking up with me more than normal. And no, it’s not my subconscious trying to tell me something. It’s my PTSD and anxiety trying to make me doubt myself. Fighting your own mind is exhausting.

I’m ready for a night of dreamless sleep.

Stream of Consciousness

Bipolar disorder reared it’s ugly side tonight. I’m exhausted. B is exhausted. J is exhausted. The dogs are exhausted.

ADHD rage sucks, and is tiring day after day. I’m thankful that the physical violence is gone, but his verbal attacks stay with me for days.

Mercury retrograde is a real thing, and it has even affected my dogs.

I want a break from my life, for just a few days. It won’t happen but my word, it would be amazing.

Taking time out of my life to spend over 4 hours at the child support office is something that I need to do; but it is something I dread. I dread it because it’s time that I could be doing something enjoyable, but the truth is that I need it. Psychiatry appointments are $80/visit (that’s for both kids). Karate is $100/month. Therapy visits are $40/session/kid. Medications for the kids are about $40/month. Then of course there are school uniforms, co-pays for sick visits, medications for illness, etc.

I’m tired of taking care of other living things, both emotionally and physically.

There are 37 school days left in the school year. In 38 days I can start sleeping in, and focus on me a little bit more.

I can do this. I have to do this…I don’t have a choice.

Stress

Today started off with B being sick (allergies are kicking her ass, even though she’s on 2 allergy meds), and a couple of the dogs getting in a scrap over some spilled food 😕 I got the dogs situated, and thought they were okay but one of them has a swollen face now. Since I’ve been home from work I’ve done some epsom salt soaks on Ranger; picked up new allergies meds for B; and did my normal daily household chores. In all of this, I made a mistake-thought I had a dog client tomorrow, but it was in fact scheduled for today. (I have an apology basket of gourmet dog treats on the way to him as I type.)

In spite of everything I did my daily yoga; cast a simple spell; and took a cat nap. Now I’m relaxing with a glass of wine, while watching Firefly and thinking of my intentions for tomorrow. Wednesday really has to be a better day.