Sorry…

…for the lack of posts. I just haven’t had anything to say lately and don’t want to take up people’s time with stuff that’s just filler. So obviously the schedule I set out isn’t going to work. Instead, I’ll just post when I actually have something to say. So I guess for now I’m on a mini hiatus. Sorry!

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Comic on dreams and work

I read a comic today over at Zen Pencils with a quote by Shonda Rimes. Go here to check it out.

It struck a chord with me. I’m a dreamer who far too often creates plans only to never execute them or give up when the going gets hard.  I need to work, put in the effort to make my dreams become my reality.

So with that, I’m off. I have a novel to write.

Cross stitch update

So I abandoned the cross stitch I was working on. It turned out to be a bit above my skill level and so after realizing I was going to have to unpick a rather large portion, I decided it would be better to come back to it after doing some easier ones first.

While looking for patterns, I kind of got caught up in the “hmm, this seems easy. I bet I could do this and maybe make some money!” thing. So I created and stitched my own pattern (the quote is from The Sign of Three from season 3 of Sherlock):

Sherlock cross stitch

It was fun, and the pattern I’m working on right now is a pattern I also made, (A quote from Avengers: Age of Ultron) but I don’t think I want to go trying to start an Etsy store right now. I don’t think I have the time to put into it to make it a success. But I’ll probably keep making patterns for myself every so often. After all, one can’t always find the quote or whatever that one wants in a pattern!

This post is late, or why pulling things together is so hard

I came to a realization today. I’d remembered that I’d forgotten to write a post for yesterday. Sigh. I began wondering why I couldn’t just pull it together and stay on top of this blogging thing. After all, I made a calendar with what posts I wanted for when. I just had to write them. Why was this so hard?

But then I had the realization. It’s so hard because it’s not the only thing I’m trying to pull together. If all I had to worry about was my blog, then yes, it would be easy. But it’s not the only thing. Instead, I have my blog, my family, work, church, books I’m reading, a new novel I’m writing, cleaning, crafting, and the list goes on and on. That’s why I’m struggling pulling things together: because there are so many things that need to be pulled in! It’s like the difference between a twenty-four piece puzzle and a one thousand piece puzzle. The few the pieces, the easier to put it together!

So maybe I need to look at downsizing to a smaller puzzle. Or I need to figure out how to better sort and juggle the puzzle I currently have. Things to think about, anyway, and not to beat myself up about!

(On a completely different note, I saw Minions today. It is hilarious. I knew it was going to be good when I was laughing at the opening credits and I honestly thought my sister was going to pass out from lack of oxygen from laughing so hard at that point. When you’re like that that early into the movie, you know it’s going to be good. I would highly recommend Minions.)

Coloring toward goals

I found an article earlier today in an email list I’m part of. Basically, the premise is that a woman, Amy Jones, had a large amount of credit card debt to pay off. To inspire her to actually pay it off, she drew a doodle with a number of swirls in it and committed to herself that for each $100 she paid off, she could color in a swirl. It was a way for her to visually track how she was doing on her goal. Now she is selling her maps so other people can do the same thing.

I absolutely love this idea. However, because I’m currently paying for college, I don’t have the money to buy one of her maps (I hope to some day when I have more disposable income, as they’re lovely!). However, I do have a printer and an internet connection. So I found these two mandala coloring pages:

mandalas_mandalas23a34_007 mandalas_mandalas35a46_019

I couldn’t decide between the two and so I’m going to print them both out and work on two different goals. There’s somewhere between 35-40 things to color, so I’m going to use both of them to create a habit. One is going to get a piece colored in if I accomplish 75% of my to do list for each day (now on a sticky note, more on that in a later post). The other will get a piece colored in if I get up on time (I have a bad habit of sleeping in later than I should!). When they’re each completed, I’ll get some sort of reward. I haven’t decided what yet. And by the time they’re completed, hopefully they’ll both be habits and just automatically happen!

I’ll report on how this is working as I make progress on it. What goals could you use a visual map for?

The importance of speaking

I had an interesting experience a few nights ago. While talking with a good friend (I won’t get more specific than that to respect their privacy) we got on the subject of mental illness and depression and our responses to people who have them. We discussed how the knee-jerk response was often to just “cheer up” and be more positive and get over it. I tend to be very open about my experiences with depression and mentioned some of what I had felt when I was at my worst.

Lo and behold, my friend told me that after she’d had her baby, she’d had postpartum  depression for a while and how that helped her understand what people with depression felt like. This surprised me, as I’d been in close contact with her after the baby was born and hadn’t had a clue she was going through this. As we continued talking and sharing our respective experiences, it was almost a bit of a relief for me and I got the feeling it was for her as well. There is something truly powerful in being able to talk with somebody about depression who’s actually been there too.

That got me thinking more about the importance of speaking about metal health issues. I know for me, personally, part of what helped me recognize and accept that I had depression was listening to author Robison Wells talk about his mental health issues. His choice to be open about the many challenges he faces inspired me to do the same. I wanted to maybe be for someone else what he had been for me: an example of someone who has mental health issues but deals with them and still lives a great life, or someone who by being open could help someone else recognize that they too are dealing with depression or some other mental health problem. Just like with anything else, I think the more we are open about mental health issues the less stigma there will be attached to it and (hopefully) the more understanding people and society as a whole will be.

New plans for moving forward

Okay, gang! As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this blog. I needed a way to better organize it on my end, as well as hopefully make it a better experience for you. Here’s what I’ve come up with, so you know what’s going on.

I’ll still be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but each day will have its own sort of topic. Mondays will be on mental health topics (Mental Health Mondays! Shush, I thought it was clever. Don’t disabuse me of the notion.), Wednesday will focus on crafts and organization sort of things, with occasional “here’s something funny for the hump day of the week” things. Fridays will be a bit more free-form for now, writing on whatever topic I feel like. I’m hoping to maybe add book reviews or links to things I find interesting that I want to share, but that may be a bit more in the future.

This new schedule will start Monday. I hope you like it, but do feel free to leave comments letting me know what you think, what you like, what you don’t like, etc. That way I can continue to improve and become better!

Apologies

My apologies for the lack of posts for the past week-ish. Life interfered.

Today’s post will be short, as I’m in the middle of deciding on a few different ideas for the blog and where it will go from here. But I will leave you with this which I discovered a bit ago and made me laugh:

Bulletin Board Project

In my bedroom, I have two bulletin boards. I’ve got all sorts of things on them, from quotes to things I need to deal with to library receipts to whatever else. However, it’s on there so willy-nilly that it’s not actually all that helpful. So I decided to something about that. Here are what they looked like before I got started:

Bulletin Board 1
Apologies for the blurry picture.

Bulletin Board 2Quite the mess! I pulled everything off of the boards and sorted it out on my bed. See the big red recall notice? Turns out I had three of them. I don’t need three to remind me to take care of that! I also discovered an expired coupon, my voter registration card, and a few other things that either belonged somewhere else or were just trash.

Sorted pilesOnce I had things sorted into groups, I borrowed some wrapping ribbon for the next step. I cut a few pieces of ribbon and used them to divide my boards into sections, using the push pins to keep the ribbon in place.

Ribbon

Bulletin board divided 1

Bulletin board divided 2Once that was done, I put things back, keeping them in their own section. For example, on my bigger board, I had a section for quotes, things to take care of, and my library receipts telling me when my books are due. I also included the paper for the adult summer reading program in that section so I knew where it was.

Bulletin board completed 1On both boards I even had a section left over! It’s so much easier to see what I have and what’s going on. It was a quick, cheap, and easy fix that makes the boards so much more useful and organized! I love it when I can manage to make this happen. 🙂

Bulletin board completed 2What sort of quick organizing projects have you done lately?

Presentation on Depression: an LDS perspective part 3

See parts 1 and 2. This post will finish up the remainder of the suggestions.

Divine Healing

Essentially, this is remembering that healing can come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As Elder Jeffery R. Holland said, “Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed.” However, that healing may come in different ways. For some, it may be a removal of the illness. For others, it is continued strength to deal with it and healing from the scars that can come with having a mental illness. But I can testify that Christ can heal us as we are obedient to His commandments and laws and seek His help in our lives.

Remember who you really are

One of the first songs most young children in the LDS church learn in Primary (Sunday School for children) is “I am a Child of God.” We are the literal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and as such have a divine potential and worth. Depression often distorts that view and causes us to forget who we really are. We need to see ourselves as God sees us: as His children and as a person who has the potential to become like Him and become our best selves. He wants to help us do that. It’s essential that we remember this no matter what is facing us in life. We are children of God!

Have a realistic view of life

Life is often going to be hard. There will be heartache, disappointments, and trials. There is no magic pill or program that will make our life be absolutely perfect all of the time. There will also be joy and happiness. We will learn and grow and progress. If we have an unrealistic view of life, we’re going to be easily discouraged. Be realistic as you approach life.

Do what you can and let go and let God

There are things we can’t do and things that we can’t control in our lives. Trying to control the uncontrollable or do the things we simply can’t do is a sure path to frustration and disappointment. Doing what we can do and focusing on what we can control, on the other hand, helps us feel empowered. Turning everything else over to God and trusting that He can and will take care of it is frankly liberating. As Dr. Clyde Parker, clinical director of counseling and therapy once said, “One definition of good mental health is the ability to give up control— to trust in God, ourselves, and others— and to know that things will work out.”

Don’t take counsel from your fears

If we focus on our fears and live our life according to them, we will be living far beneath our potential. Depression often magnify and expands our fears to the point that it’s hard to see much of anything else. But as we focus on Christ and place our faith in Him, our fears will fade. As we live our lives according to His words, we will reach our full potential and live our best life while becoming our best self.

Recognize the Lord’s tender mercies

In essence, watch for the hand of God in your life. Be grateful for what He has given you rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Remember how the Lord has blessed you in the past. One thing that helps me is writing these things down so when I have days where I truly can’t think of anything to be grateful for or any ways the Lord has blessed me, I can read what I wrote and remember how he has blessed me and trust that even though I can’t see it, He is still blessing me.

Forget yourself and serve others

Mental illnesses often cause us to turn inward, focusing our ourselves constantly. Finding ways to help others helps us get out of ourselves and see a bit of the bigger picture. We remember what it is to care for others and it can help us pull ourselves out of the pit our illness has put us in. I know for me, when my depression was at its worst, one of the things that helped the most was the fact that I was visiting my grandmother twice and week and picking up groceries for her. Focusing on how I could help my grandma and help brighten her day gave me something to focus on other than how terrible I felt and how much of a failure I seemed to be. It works. I don’t know exactly why serving someone else ends up helping me so much, but it does.

And with that, that wraps up this three-part report on the presentation. I hope that it helped you as much as it helped me. I thought much of what was presented was too important not to share.