Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Mission Accomplished!

I'm already enjoying this challenge. 
I think I'm going to make my own challenge. But I think I'd like one that builds on itself. So on Day 1 you do the one thing, then on day 2 you do the thing from day one and the new thing from day 2... and so on. Hmmm... now to decide how I want to challenge myself. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Ten Things For Which I Am Grateful. Mental Wellness Challenge Days 1 & 2.

Facebook is always full of people doing various challenges.

  • Thirty day squat challenge.
  • Twenty one day get fit challenge.
  • Thirty day muffin top challenge.
  • Twenty one days flat abs.
  • Fifteen day clean eating challenge.
  • Fourteen day booty beauty challenge. 
  • Ten day beach body challenge
The list goes on. You might notice a pattern here. All the challenges I mentioned are related to physical health and fitness. That's great but what about your mental health?

That's an excellent question. Thank you for asking.

I recently came across this twenty day mental wellness challenge on facebook and thought "What the hell? It couldn't hurt right?". So I rounded up a bunch of internet strangerfriends and made us a mental wellness event.

Here is the challenge:

I've had to adjust a few of the challenges, like the day you're supposed to pray. As a devout atheist this goes against all of my beliefs. But overall I'm going to try and stick to it. We're only on Day 2 but lots of people who joined the event are participating today and posting their lists.

So here is my list:

Ten Things For Which I Am Grateful
  1. My husband. He may be a pain in my ass sometimes, but he is also patient and kind, loving and protective. He is supportive of me in my creative endeavors, as well as when I am struggling with mental illness. He is my person. 
  2. My mom. She may also be a pain in my ass sometimes but I could not have gotten a better mom. We've had our differences (read: ages 12ish - 19ish) but even when she couldn't stand me she had my back. She threatened to punch a crazy neighbor in my defense, she told off the high school football coach when I pranked his daughter (she totally started it), she (5'1") squared off against my (6'1") ex-boyfriend until he backed down. She is fiercely protective, and even though I sometimes resented it, I am now incredibly grateful to have someone love me so much. 
  3. The Bloggess. Without her and her tribe of fellow weirdos my life would be poorer. Because of an idea she posted on her blog I have made countless strangerfriends. I have even found my twin-in-spirit. I cannot imagine my life without these people now. #BeepBeep #Potatoes. 
  4. Cheese. Because cheese! Delicious creamy, melty, crumbled, fried, grilled, baked, powdered, sprayed, canned, sliced, shredded, cheese. Glorious cheese. 
  5. Drugs. No not those kind. My medication. My one pill a day to keep the demons at bay. It means the world to me to be able to just let my brain work and not be constantly on the lookout for the moment that it turns on me. 
  6. My vocabulary. It may sound like a silly thing to be grateful for but hear me out. Because I have a large and well stocked vocabulary I am able to articulate my feelings. I can put into words what makes me sad, or mad, or grateful, or happy. I can ask other people what they are feeling: I can use the right words to draw them out. 
  7. My chosen family. Made up of blood relations, spiritual connections, and people I just really like. All my favorites. My soulmate, my heartmate, the big brother I always asked for, all three parents, cousins, step-cousins, new found second cousins (thank you 23andMe!), friends that have become indispensable. 
  8. Books. Books were my friends before I had real ones. Books were there to keep me company when real people were too much to handle. Books were there to keep me company when I couldn't sleep, when I was bored, when I needed distraction. 
  9. My parents divorce. I know. Weird thing to be happy about right? The thing is, it was the most amicable divorce I've ever heard of. My mom got full uncontested custody but my dad was in my life. Not just on weekends and holidays and two weeks in the summer. No. He spent every holiday with us, Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Mothers Day, Fathers Day. I rarely needed a babysitter, my dad would just come over. Never once did either parent say anything to me that they would not say to each other. Never did they bad mouth one another. My dad took me to buy the gifts and cards for my mom. My mom took me to buy the gifts and cards for my dad. They always sat together at my stuff, concerts, graduations, recitals, assorted ceremonies. I never heard them discuss money or child support, although I know they did because kids are really expensive. They managed to make their divorce so NOT traumatic for me that it's actually hard for me to empathize with other children of divorce. I'll never forget the way they explained to me why my dad was moving out. "Daddy doesn't like living in a house so he's going to go live in an apartment and he'll visit us here and you'll visit him there." And me, being 3 or 4 just said "Ok" because it made total sense. 
  10. This challenge. For forcing me to sit down and be grateful for things. 

My Day 1 of the challenge was only a half success. The challenge was to go to bed 1 hour later. I failed. But I had slept in that morning and got about an extra hour of sleep so I'm calling it a success.

*I do not know where this challenge originated. If anyone knows please let me know so I can give that person credit.  

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A Quick Update and A Recipe For A Tasty Zuchinni Dish

Well I told you in my last post to expect a million posts or none at all for awhile. Guess it was none at all! My life has been both eventful and stressful since my last post. I lost my job unexpectedly, my dad went on hospice, we lost my father in law very suddenly, I picked up my very first freelance job, I bounced back from a manic episode (I think), and it became impossible to ignore the problems with my car any longer.

What have I learned from the past two months?

  • Don't ever think that you are irreplaceable at work. Unless you're self-employed they can find someone else. 
  • Hospice staff is made up entirely of wonderful, thoughtful, caring people. 
  • You never know what can happen and change your life in an instant. 
  • It IS possible to network on Facebook.
  • I'm far stronger mentally than I was before. I believe that my husband plays a big role in that and I love him so much more for it. 
  • Cars are way more expensive to own than I thought when I was a kid. (Ok I actually already knew this one. I was just reminded of it twice this year. And my drivers side window still doesn't roll down!)
  • Zuchinni lasts two weeks in a cold refrigerator if it's sealed in plastic. 
  • And lastly, my mother was right about yet another thing. You DO feel better mentally when your surroundings are not a mess. 

Since we were gone for a week and a half we had to use the food we left here immediately. Last night we used the cabbage and one package of sausage. Tonight I was tasked with using the four zuchinni in the fridge, an onion, and another package of sausage. Here's what I did.

Super Tasty Zucchini & Sausage Stuff

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Cook sausage for 25-60 minutes, depending on thickness. (I just cook it until it's brown and then I flip it over and do the same on the other side. 
3. Melt about half of a stick of salted butter in a saucepan on very low. 
4. Crush and mince about 3-4 cloves of garlic. (Beware of stray fingers.)
5. Slice one large onion thinly. (Make sure to remove the inside bit that was about to sprout. Unless you like bitter onion.)
6. Add the garlic and onion to the saucepan, cover, and turn the heat up a little. You want the onion to cook to translucent but not brown.
7. Cut the ends off the zucchini, peel, cut into quarters, and slice. When the onion is mostly translucent add the zucchini.
8. Stir, cover, let simmer on medium low until zucchini and onion are translucent. (Don't wander away; it doesn't take too long.)
9. Remove sausage from oven and cut to make sure it's cooked all the way through. (Do NOT grab the pan with your bare hands.) Slice. 
10. Transfer zuchinni-onion-garlic mixture to a bowl and set aside. 
11. Put the cooked sausage in the saucepan, turn heat to medium, and brown. 
12. When the sausage is browned add the zucchini-onion-garlic mixture back to the saucepan and stir. 
13. Serve. (I put it over elbow macaroni and added parmesan cheese. because cheese.)