My Christmas Nervous Breakdowns

This is a true story about My Christmas Nervous Breakdowns. And yes, I’ve had more than one over the past three days.

Christmas Nervous Breakdown lady

Starting early this past week. If you know me, you know how I love to make homemade and creative gifts. Furthermore, I’m a conservative. We recycle, re-use, upcycle whenever possible.

So, I was busy making teacher Christmas gifts for Princess Buttercup’s teachers. I was in the midst of lining the inside of a used whole kernal corn can with a ripped paper bag. Somehow, I got burned by the hot glue gun. I yanked my right hand out of the can, and the bag strip wrapped around two of my fingers. My closest family and friends know that when I’m in real pain, I don’t say anything. I jumped from my chair and dashed to my kitchen sink. The only thing that helped for the next hour was cold water.

I’d say that was my first Christmas nervous breakdown.

I gave up on lining the cans with paper. Bad idea. The next night, I only glued the exterior of the cans. That worked a lot better, but I ended up burning my left thumb. Ouch!

I gave up on the glue gun and started using decoupage glue and Modge Podge, instead. They worked fine.

upcycled can

My third Christmas Nervous Breakdown occurred yesterday around 2:45 p.m. I was on the frontage road, preparing to get to Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville. The story of my life–I was stuck in traffic. I mean, really s-t-u-c-k. The light would turn green, only to allow two or three cars to go. Sweet.

Let’s put it this way, I’d already spent an hour or two traversing Whitesburg (nightmare) Drive, only to find two of the presents I was searching for.

So I sat there in traffic. Suddenly, I say, “I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. Right. Here. In. The. Middle. Of. Huntsville!”

Just to clarify. I didn’t start screaming or anything crazy like that. My nervous breakdowns tend to be mild and internal. Probably not the healthiest of nervous breakdowns. But at that moment, I couldn’t have hopped out alongside the Parkway and jogged in place. Wouldn’t have been prudent.

So at first chance, I turned around. I did realize it was going to take an hour or so to get home. But at least I was heading out of town.

But at that time, everyone from Redstone Arsenal was getting off work early. Everyone from Research Park was leaving early. Not to mention the thousands of city/county school employees who were already on the road, searching for those last-minute gifts.

There was a wreck on I-565. There was a wreck on Highway 72. Every artery in and around town was clogged. I took a few deep breaths and did some praying for patience. I told myself that I’d eventually get home.

I tried a shortcut around one of the wrecks and think it took me longer than if I’d sat in place.

Finally, I did get home. The rest of the shopping would have to wait. I’ll admit I binged on Stacy chips and humus. Alright, I did have a couple of cookies, too.

I also realized my problem: perfectionism.

Instead of settling for “good enough,” I was seeking Eden on Earth. And that went away a long time ago.

Lefty and Princess Buttercup volunteered to help me wrap some presents.

“Christmas,” said Lefty, “Is about survival…not perfection.”

Wise words.

Advertisements

The Reboot — How to get Up and Going after an Illness

rainbow_of_hope

My rainbow reboot!

I contracted my first poison ivy rash near the beginning of June. Miserable, I went to the doctor and got a shot that eventually cleared it up but somehow caught a tummy bug the next week. By the time I was feeling better, I found another horrific rash on my legs that itched and hurt like poison ivy but it was much, much worse. I experienced extreme swelling and fever at the site. My doc again told me that it was some type of contact dermatitis. After the pain and itching went away, my tonsils started swelling and my throat became inflamed with tonsilitis. By that time, I felt like a truck had hit me. When I was a little better, I went outside just to pick a couple of tomatoes from my garden. And, you got it…I got that same horrible rash on my hands this time and had to have a shot and antibiotics.

 

Virginia_creeper

The culprit: Virginia Creeper!

 

As you can guess, I was beginning to feel “learned helplessness” like Seligman’s dogs in his classical conditioning experiment.

random_lab_in_ice

Point is, I had become very discouraged. The house needed cleaning, my family had been eating out a lot during my infirmary, and I was deplete of positive energy.

I needed a complete reboot!

Just shut the whole system down, and start over.

ziniasJuly2017

Here are some things I learned about rebooting after a major setback:

1. Be patient. Regaining energy takes time. Be sure to give your mind and body time to rest so that it can heal. You definitely don’t want a relapse!

2. Be patient. It takes time to get back into the swing of things–the housework, grocery shopping, prepping meals. Patience helps to keep you from being overwhelmed by it all.

3. Be patient. Ease back into an exercise routine. I found that tai chi was a good way to do this because I can do it inside, and the stretches and movements are slow and easy.

4. Be thankful. In my case, I’ve been thankful that I don’t have a long-term illness and am usually very healthy.

5. Go! I began to feel alive again after getting out, being around people again, and being creative.

The reboot isn’t fast, but I’m thankful that it’s happening.

I’ve just got to avoid the Virginia Creeper.

“Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up your bed, and walk John 5:8.’”

field_of_flowers

This beautiful field of flowers makes me happy.

 

#illness
#discouragement
#reboot
#recovery

More Writing on its Way!

thebestisyettocome

Hopefully better than Tuesday.

Hi, dear Readers!

I know, I know…I haven’t been writing lately. I got Princess Buttercup back to school today, and Lefty returned to work on Tuesday.

I put up all the Christmas stuff…well, almost. The lights are still strung outside.

Today was a writing deadline. Fortunately, I did the articles and they have been sent for proofs. Hopefully, the proofees will get everything back to me early this afternoon and I can send the articles to my editor.

I’ll be like, “woohoo!” She actually gave me until the 7th, but the original deadline is today. I’d like to meet the early deadline.

Anyhoo, I think I’m going to take Spike to “the mountain,” for a hike, even though it’s brrr, oh so cold. I think he’ll like the exercise, and I definitely need it.

So, point is: tomorrow I’ll blog about the crazy disaster that befell the Robertson family on Tuesday. Not a death or broken limb or anything, but I think you’ll find it astonishing, and funny (at best).

Blessings and hugs!
Stephanie

doggies_on_ridge

Wanna walk, Spike?

A Month of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving_Rabbits_Nest_Florist_and_Gifts

Arrangement from Rabbit’s Nest Florist and Gifts.

There are 30 short days in the month of November, culminating in one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.

Today I challenge you to write 10 things that you are thankful for in the comment block.

My goal is to write 30 things that I’m thankful for that often go overlooked. So here goes in no particular order!

  1. God’s grace.
  2. Chocolate.
  3. Indoor plumbing.
  4. That I can go to my kitchen, turn a knob, and clean tap water comes from a faucet. Water that I can drink without boiling it first.
  5. Hot water for bathing.
  6. Trees. (Our last house didn’t have mature trees.)
  7. Living in the Bible belt where faith is celebrated.
  8. Our health.
  9. Good medical care.
  10. A house to live in.
  11. Books.
  12. The beautiful blue sky…even though we’re in a drought and under 10″ of our normal rainfall.
  13. The Caribbean with its crystal waters and sugar-white sand.
  14. The farm where I grew up.
  15. Color.
  16. That God made food taste so good.
  17. Writing prompts that help us writers be creative.
  18. Music.
  19. The Internet. They were right, back in the 90’s…It did change our lives.
  20. My dishwasher so that I can sanitize my dishes and not have to hand wash them.
  21. My bed and cool sheets that feel so good when I’m tired at the end of the day.
  22. Babies, because they are so adorable and vulnerable.
  23. Children. They are so carefree and fun.
  24. Teens. Because they are fun, make me laugh, and have great ideas (usually).
  25. Adults. Because I am one, and I love people.
  26. Seniors. Because they are so sweet and have such great stories to tell.
  27. Silence. Because, even though I’m an extrovert, I love to recharge with just my family at home.
  28. Fridays.
  29. Holidays.
  30. Thanksgiving Day, which sometimes falls on my beloved Grandmother’s birthday, and I look forward to seeing her again one day.