Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Trying to keep a dot journal

February 8, 2019

Since the beginning of February I’ve been trying to keep a better day to day account of my life. Once, long ago, I had the wholly unrealistic thought that this blog would do that, but it was just such a time suck that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t update every day. Then it became stressful because there were the eventual days where there just wasn’t enough to say to warrant a blog post. So, I’d sit and stare at this empty box, trying to find something to fill it with and not succeeding. It was lousy.

But I still feel the need to try to keep some account of my life, just as a way of seeing where I am at, where I have been, and the steps I take every day to try to get to where  I want to end up. Also, it’s just kind of nice to have a list every day for what I did. Too often it feels as if nothing happened, that the day was just totally wasted, even if I did do something, like five loads of laundry, making dinner, getting the kids to/from whatever they have going on, etc.

What gave  me a push for this is that my wife has been keeping one for over a year now. It’s this big, crazy thing with all sorts of lists, and drawings, and I don’t know what all. It’s something way too ambitious for me, but I liked the freedom of the form without pre-printed lines, boxes, headings, etc.  The dots make it easy to create my own boxes and whatever, to find whatever form I need to fit my needs.

I’m still finding my way with this thing. I want to add a section to start doing weekly menus. I don’t know how other folks are, but we tend to have various food stuffs in the kitchen where we have 3/4 of the ingredients for any dish but miss 1/4 of ingredients we most desperately need. My goal is to be able to pare back on the extra food in the kitchen and to cut back on our grocery bills by having more focused needs from week to week.

this sort of planning does not come naturally to me, though. It’s really hard for me to get into this habit and to embrace, though I know it will take a fair amount of stress out of my life. Trying to decide what to do for supper shouldn’t be stressful, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it becomes one. And then there are a lot of days lately where I just don’t want to fix anything.

Hopefully, I can get into this. And then I will start updating with more home made food successes/failures. Hopefully. Off to do laundry.

So, it was a funeral

February 4, 2019

It was a long weekend of going “home” to a funeral for an in-law’s spouse’s father. Niece was having a tough time of it, the nephew was a bit young to really cadge on to what was happening or the implications of it. Which was probably for the best.

We let The Boy have screens for the weekend, despite his grades, because other kids would have them and making it possible for him to fit in a bit easier takes precedence over enforcing what is a weeks long punishment. He is obscenely bright. Despite his difficulties he routinely tests over the 95th percentile in every subject. But he also refuses to do the work necessary to bring home school grades at all in line with his abilities. We’ve recently started him on some ADHD meds, hoping they help allow him to draw in and do what’s necessary to get better grades.

When he reads something, it just seems to go through his eyes and out his ears. He picks up and remembers a rough sketch of what he read, but he’s unable to readily go beneath that. Give him a question about the reading and his written response is often not answering the question given, but if you ask him verbally he works out the answer. So the answer is there he just has a very difficult time accessing it, I guess. We’re really hoping the meds help with this in some way.

Back to the weekend, though. And his adventure with video games. He has a really tough time handling video games and maintaining the ability to interact with people on a functional level. Something he would disagree strongly with but, well, yeah. We have things like this weekend to offer as counter evidence.

What makes it worse is that one of his favorite games updated recently and he had invested a lot of emotional capital into playing it this weekend. So, any time this investment was threatened the reaction wasn’t pretty. By the end of the weekend he was spending time in his room upset over being told he was being obsessive with his game playing and huffing and blowing around the house when told to put the game system away.

For some reason The Wife was leery of pushing the meds over the weekend. I’m thinking it might have been a mistake, but maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. It’ll be interesting to watch him the next week or so, in and out of school, to see if his behavior noticeably alters with the stuff. We were warned it might not, that these meds might just not do anything, or that the dose might be too small.

To be honest, I am to the point where I sort of just need something to work. The combination of the ADHD/spectrum-y things and just the natural crazy teenagery things he does is just getting too psychologically and emotionally exhausting for me. Especially when his 4 year old sister has been going through a spell lately of her own growth spurt craziness.

on the bright side, we got our camera back this weekend. We forgot it the last time we were up. Look forward to taking more pics.

small things help

January 4, 2017

My wife has been telling me that we need to start making menus for our dinners, so that we could focus our grocery buying and have some idea what we’re doing when we go grocery shopping.

And she was right. I’ve started making a menu for the first two weeks of the new year. I’ve had to go grocery shopping once and it was instantly easier. I didn’t need much, but I knew what I needed. It was great. The trip was shorter than normal, it was more direct, it was less of a hassle. It was nice.

But that hasn’t been the biggest positive of the menu here in the first week of having some clue what I’m cooking for dinner every night. Not even close. What has been the biggest positive?

No stress.

It’s funny how stressful it can be just trying to figure out what I’m cooking for supper.The time spent looking through the kitchen cabinets, looking through the refrigerator, getting the ingredients together, etc. On the best days it was a minor stress. On the worst days it was a torture that dragged me down into a pit that sucked away my time and motivations. I hated and loathed it, which made me want to do it even less.

Which, of course, didn’t help. It just meant that I started looking later, trying to throw something together in short order to make sure there was something on the table that night. What should have been a simple act was coming to blow up my days.

Tonight, I am making butternut squash ravioli from butternut squash leftover from the butternut squash and black bean tacos that we had for dinner last night. A premade ball of pasta is sitting in the fridge waiting to be rolled out and put through the pasta maker. Dinner is not going to be overly easy or lacking in stress, but it’s a manageable stress, a planned stress. I know what’s happening and I’m ready for it. It’s an entirely different beast.

It’s a small thing, but it adds up. It removes a little bit of stress, frees up a little bit of time, offers a little bit of structure to the world. It helps. Small things can add up. Small things can lead to bigger things.