October is my favorite season. 

I love October. The weather (when it cooperates), the Halloween decorations… it makes me unreasonably happy. It’s also when I purchase most of my house decorations. 

White ceramic skull with gold filigree next to a flower arrangement.
Like this little number right here.

This side table is right across from my favorite seat in the house, so it’s always visible. I’ve already decided that this skull is going to stay up year round. I may reconsider if having it all the time makes it feel less special, but I don’t think that will be the case. 

The new budget has severely curtailed my October decoration spending, which is a little sad this year. But there will always be more Halloweens, and plenty more skulls and witchy things to add to my collection. At the rate my first line of credit is being paid down, I can hardly complain. It’s been extremely gratifying to watch that number continue to drop. 

So now you know my guilty pleasure is cute-ish skull related things. What tempts you to break the budget?

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Wine isn’t self care, apparently.

Over the summer, work was hard. Really hard. My boss was promoted, meaning they weren’t available most of the time (but still wanted to be heavily involved in decision making for the office). Two of my staffers quit. I was trying to keep the entire area afloat during our busy season, and all of us were super stressed out.

This is probably when my ulcers started. It’s also definitely when my adrenal fatigue reared its ugly head.

Previously, my go-to self care technique was a glass of wine. Or whiskey. Or a gin and tonic. Or beer. You get the idea.

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She obviously is judging my drinking. (used with permission)

It got to the point where I was drinking way, way too much.

I am horrible at self care. I had no idea what I should do to help lower my stress and my drinking. Finally, after a crazy amount of Googling and Facebook crowd-sourcing, I decided on two tactics: meditation, and scheduling some self care tasks for myself.

The meditation I went crazy with- I’m pretty sure I downloaded eight different phone apps trying to find the one I liked best. For me, I preferred an American accent on my speakers, so Calm and 10% Happier were the two I settled on. And let me say, Calm’s sleep stories are a godsend when the mind just won’t shut up! Later, when I couldn’t access them at work due to some weird firewall thing, I added Meditation Studio to the mix.

I also used an app called Routines (iPhone only, sadly) to set up reoccurring items that I needed to do each day, so that I could build better habits.

This ended up helping, but was no replacement for the slight improvement to the work situation that occurred this fall. Between the two, I’m starting to feel like my life is marginally under control again. It’s a nice feeling, and one I hope to continue to build on.

And in the meantime, if you have any self-care tips and tricks, please share in the comments!

It Begins

It’s been quite a long time. I fell away from trying to blog. However, based on new information, I obviously need to work on blogging more.
The whole story started, really, with an emergency room trip. The only time I’d ever been to one before had been for one of several falls – sprained ankles that might have had a broken bone.

This one was for a great deal of abdominal pain. Several months (and quite a hefty medical bill later), the diagnosis comes back as ulcers. Work has been stressful. Life has been stressful. The stress had manifested in a very real, painful way.

So I’m having to, essentially, start over with how my life works, exactly. First of all, no more dairy, which is a pretty terrible fate. I’m overweight, so I need to work on that. And somehow, I need to lower stress. This involves developing better coping mechanisms for work and personal stress, and getting my budget back in order.

About the only thing that I’m getting to keep unscathed is my Netflix account, and my knitting!

So, please feel free to join me as I try to figure all of this out!