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Severine Laughs Awkwardly And Tries to Pretend the Last Three Months Never Happened


Severine

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Oooookay. So, remember me? Some of you might remember me. I joined NF in May, met some fantastic people on here, and made meaningful progress in getting my fitness and nutrition groove back. NF was a large part of how I managed to stay (somewhat) on track during a demanding summer, which included running my own business and working another job on the side for a total of 70+ hours of work a week, combined with fun complications like my partner having surgery, my insomnia getting worse, and the water line to my house getting ruptured during repairs to our retaining wall (which suddenly fell down, because haha, why not?!?).

 

I survived the summer without imploding, but it left me with very little in the tank, and I had no resilience left for what came next. I'll put the details behind a spoiler for those who are curious, but I don't want it to take over this post, which is supposed to be about me getting myself back on track.
 

Spoiler

 

I had a bad experience of a personal nature which I won't go into here, but which made my stress much worse and has screwed with my brain and self-esteem in a lingering way. Then the election, which felt like a real gut-punch and which has me seriously worried about the future. My business partner, who previously had intended to continue the business solo once I left, changed her mind and decided she wanted to close it. We were already having tensions, as you may recall, but once she decided she was leaving she sort of disappeared in terms of showing up to get work done, so I ended up doing the lion's share of the legal/financial/logistical workload of closing the business, selling off the assets, etc. And damn, that kind of sucked.

 

And then things got BAD. My partner's dad's cancer took a sudden turn for the worse. For about a month we provided hospice care to him at home, until he passed away, thankfully without much pain. I handled all the funeral and burial arrangements, to take the burden off my partner's mum, and now we're helping her with things like cleaning out the house, legal stuff, insurance, plain old emotional support, etc. My partner is handling it well but we're worried about taking care of D's mum, and have been doing whatever we can to be there for her. 

 

I also found out my younger sister (who is back in Canada) is a serious alcoholic. She has a small child, and was pregnant when she came clean about it, so it was complicated. Thankfully, my grandmother took the lead in handling that. Also thankfully, her baby-daddy is a very stable and trustworthy guy who has main custody of their son. So at least I'm only moderately worried about something bad happening to the poor kid.

 

Throughout the whole mess, my insomnia was still a problem, and I started drinking caffeine again (which I cut out years ago to help with my insomnia) to stay away to get everything done. That was the exact kind of vicious cycle you'd expect. My eating habits also got way worse, and my emotional eating ran pretty much unchecked, and I had no motivation or energy for working out. So not only did I gain weight, but my body image has taken a real turn for the worse and in general I have felt pretty down on myself for not handling things better. 

 

I should have been on NF all along, because it really does help me keep focused on my goals and give me a place to blow off steam, and I find everyone else's progress so inspiring and it means a lot to me to be here to cheer on people who I care about and want to see succeed. But you might know how it goes - once I'd missed a week or two, I felt vaguely and irrationally embarrassed and nervous about coming back and posting. But @Dagger is totally fantastic, and emailed me and gave me some much-needed prodding. And this week, when I finally had the wherewithal, I emailed back and she helped me feel brave enough to come back and try a new challenge.

 

There's good news, of course. My relationship/home life is as happy and supportive as ever. With the business finally officially closed (just last week!) and the post-funeral paperwork demands very reasonable, I have more free time than I've had in many years. So while I figure out what comes next for me career-wise (which is a post all on its own) I have the luxury of having enough time to figure this out. And I recently found a therapist I like (one of my goals from my last NF challenge!) and she's been really helpful so far.

 

My thread title isn't really true - I don't want to pretend all that stuff never happened. I do want to learn from it, though, and leave it behind me, and build better coping mechanisms and tackle the underlying problems that result in me turning to the same old habits whenever shit really hits the fan. 

 

One of the things I've heard from a lot of people recently (friends, family, my therapist) is that I have a tendency, in all different areas of my life, to take on a totally unmanageable level of work/obligations/goals and then push myself really hard to do everything with no regard for the cost to myself, or even the cost to my relationships. I've been hearing that for years. But therapy has forced me to confront the fact that, well...I'm dysfunctionally proud of it. Some of it is that I fool myself into thinking I will be able to do it all without ill consequences, and some of it is that I like the idea of being the sort of person willing to sacrifice to get shit done. But of course I know, rationally, that it's super harmful and I need to stop and make more realistic plans and goals. But...I'm sure a lot of people understand that it's a lot easier to see what our dysfunctional tendencies are than it is to change them.

 

And obviously, I'm not actually Super Woman (sigh!) so when I try to do The Impossible List of Everything All At Once, it works for maybe a while but inevitably I get worn down or overloaded, or something bad happens that upends my proverbial apple cart and then all of a sudden it's back to this:

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With a touch of:

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So without further ado, I am making a challenge with actually attainable reasonable goals.

 

Challenge of Embarrassingly Sensibly Modest Goals

 

1. I am going to track my god-damned food.

I've done this in the past and it always helps me eat better and do less emotional eating. I'm not going to make any rules about what I want to be eating, or limit calories, or anything like that yet. Baby steps, right? And just the act of tracking always helps me improve (which, given what I'm doing now, shouldn't be hard) so that's good. Eating better will make me feel better and make everything else easier.

 

2. I am going to exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes (easy things like walks are fine).

Considering I was recently working 10+ hour days in a physical job, this should be laughably easy, except that I'm dumb so I'm struggling with motivation lately. Exercise will help me manage stress and make everything else easier.

 

3. I am going to do my micro-journalling every day, go to therapy every week, post on the forums at least 3 times a week, and focus my social time on people who make me happy and don't stress me out.

Pretty straightforward. Working on keeping my support network working, my self-care happening, and my stress under control.

 

4. Bonus: I am NOT going to sign up for any new obligations without (a) discussing it with my family and people whose opinions I trust (b) giving myself time to think about it (c) making a pro/con list and figuring out how to realistically fit it into my schedule.

I'm in a transition period with my life, trying to figure out which direction to take my career (from various drastically different options) and that's when I'm always most tempted to jump into ambitious new giant things. Enthusiasm is great, but I need to be realistic. 

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HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

 

YOURE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

*hug attack*

 

Okay. Actually going to read your post now. Brb.

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4 minutes ago, fleaball said:

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

 

YOURE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK

 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

*hug attack*

 

Okay. Actually going to read your post now. Brb.

 

Cue awkward laugh time!

 

fcxypUV.gif

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Oh, hell. I'm sorry. That's a lot of heavy shit to have happen in such a short time. :( And ugh I'd thought about poking at you on IG a few times to check in but never did and now I feel bad. 

 

I'm so glad you're seeing a therapist. Mostly because I am all about ~Therapy For Everyone~ but especially given your craptastic few months it seems like a really good thing. And hooray for checking it off your to do list as well! Also dude your goals may be modest but if they're helping you get back on track then fuck it, who cares? Bigger and better things come later. (My goals are also ridiculously simple on the surface so high five.) 

 

Is it weird to say that I'm like, stupid happy that you're back? Like sorta tearing up right now? I feel like it's weird but oh well too late now. Regardless, fuck yeah. You're here and we're totally here to support you. :) 

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2 hours ago, fleaball said:

Oh, hell. I'm sorry. That's a lot of heavy shit to have happen in such a short time. :( And ugh I'd thought about poking at you on IG a few times to check in but never did and now I feel bad. 

 

I'm so glad you're seeing a therapist. Mostly because I am all about ~Therapy For Everyone~ but especially given your craptastic few months it seems like a really good thing. And hooray for checking it off your to do list as well! Also dude your goals may be modest but if they're helping you get back on track then fuck it, who cares? Bigger and better things come later. (My goals are also ridiculously simple on the surface so high five.) 

 

Is it weird to say that I'm like, stupid happy that you're back? Like sorta tearing up right now? I feel like it's weird but oh well too late now. Regardless, fuck yeah. You're here and we're totally here to support you. :) 

 

Oh hell no. Don't you dare feel bad! Nobody's job to get my ass on track but mine. Besides I basically disappeared from Instagram, too. I do a good turtle impression when I'm overwhelmed.

 

Yeah, my therapist is amazing. I got really lucky. Well, okay, actually I did a shit-tonne of research and eliminated many dozens of potential therapists because of minor things like not liking the tone of the 'about me' section of their website. But hey, it paid off because this lady is a great fit for me.

 

I'm so happy I'm back! I honestly really missed you guys a lot. When I thought about NF, I'd get mopey about how I had failed and therefore ruined it for myself because now I didn't deserve to be there anymore. Ugh. That sounds so obviously ridiculous when I write it out. Anyway, yeah, I'm not really embarrassed about the modest goals, I suppose. That's where I'm at right now, and you can only start from where you are.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Severine said:

Oh hell no. Don't you dare feel bad! Nobody's job to get my ass on track but mine. Besides I basically disappeared from Instagram, too. I do a good turtle impression when I'm overwhelmed.

 

Yeah, my therapist is amazing. I got really lucky, actually. Well, okay, I did a shit-tonne of research and eliminated many dozens of potential therapists because of minor things like not liking the tone of the 'about me' section of their website. But hey, it paid off because this lady is a great fit for me.

 

I'm so happy I'm back! I honestly really missed you guys a lot. When I thought about NF, I'd get mopey about how I had failed and therefore ruined it for myself because now I didn't deserve to be there anymore. Ugh. That sounds so obviously ridiculous when I write it out. Anyway, yeah, I'm not really embarrassed about the modest goals, I suppose. That's where I'm at right now, and you can only start from where you are.

I noticed, but it was the only place other than here I could contact you at. I guess I could've sent a PM here but I wasn't sure if you'd turned off notifications. lol anxiety is so special. Every time I thought about it I was like "but what if she doesn't want people to reach out?" :rolleyes:

 

Hahahaha A+. I definitely rejected people based on the fonts on their websites so I get it. (Seriously. Comic Sans?! Or the color schemes. Or if they primarily did psychoanalysis because lolol Freud.) That's so awesome though. Go you. 

 

Dude, been there done that. I've disappeared for a challenge or two at a time before and always thought I couldn't/shouldn't come back because I was such a failure. Here's to not listening to ourselves! And yeah in retrospect it sounds really silly. Oh well. Here we go!

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20 minutes ago, fleaball said:

I definitely rejected people based on the fonts on their websites so I get it. (Seriously. Comic Sans?! Or the color schemes. Or if they primarily did psychoanalysis because lolol Freud.) That's so awesome though. Go you. 

 

Oh yeah, comic sans on a professional website is an obvious dealbreaker. I eliminated one woman because she was using geocities (which I didn't even know still existed!) as a website host and that made me assume she would be hopeless with technology and thus have a hard time processing insurance forms and stuff. I eliminated one dude for having golf on his list of interests because golf. I disregarded anyone who included things like "crystal healing" as things they included in their treatment. I had bad vibes from a couple people's websites that made me think they'd be judgey about my body image issues or my sexuality, so I had to rule them out. The list of ways to earn my scorn goes on and on.

 

I'm joking about it, but seriously I think when choosing a therapist it's pretty much the one time it's okay to indulge all of those silly preferences. It doesn't really matter if it's reasonable to mistrust someone for a trivial reason. The point is that if I mistrust them for ANY reason, I won't be able to talk to them openly. And they need to be compatible enough that I don't have to worry they're misinterpreting the things I'm telling them, or I'll be spending so much of my brain processing capacity during the appointment trying to evaluate whether or not they're getting what I'm saying or not that the whole thing becomes pointless. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Severine said:

Oh yeah, comic sans on a professional website is an obvious dealbreaker. I eliminated one woman because she was using geocities (which I didn't even know still existed!) as a website host and that made me assume she would be hopeless with technology and thus have a hard time processing insurance forms and stuff. I eliminated one dude for having golf on his list of interests because golf. I disregarded anyone who included things like "crystal healing" as things they included in their treatment. I had bad vibes from a couple people's websites that made me think they'd be judgey about my body image issues or my sexuality, so I had to rule them out. The list of ways to earn my scorn goes on and on.

 

I'm joking about it, but seriously I think when choosing a therapist it's pretty much the one time it's okay to indulge all of those silly preferences. It doesn't really matter if it's reasonable to mistrust someone for a trivial reason. The point is that if I mistrust them for ANY reason, I won't be able to talk to them openly. And they need to be compatible enough that I don't have to worry they're misinterpreting the things I'm telling them, or I'll be spending so much of my brain processing capacity during the appointment trying to evaluate whether or not they're getting what I'm saying or not that the whole thing becomes pointless. 

 

 

Holy crap, geocities is still a thing?! Yeah she would go in my reject pile immediately. I definitely started my search with 'anxiety,' 'LGBT (ugh) issues,' and 'cognitive behavioral therapy' and went from there, so I feel you. I think I spent hours going through it. And you're totally right, even the tiniest thing that prevents you from being honest and comfortable is a huge thing. I never came out to the therapist I had in Boston, didn't really feel like I could, and that certainly screwed things up. These are people you can't really hide anything from if you actually want to make progress. 

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Severine!!! Yaaaay! You will always be welcome back here, no matter how long you have to disappear for :)

 

I'm so sorry about everything that happened, that is a heck of a lot to deal with. So glad to hear you found a good therapist though and that you are already having breakthroughs. This could be a real turning point for you. 

 

5 hours ago, Severine said:

2. I am going to exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes (easy things like walks are fine).

Considering I was recently working 10+ hour days in a physical job, this should be laughably easy, except that I'm dumb so I'm struggling with motivation lately.

If it makes you feel any better I have totally been feeling this way too. Not just in exercise, just doing stuff in general, and friends of mine have said the same thing. I think it's pretty normal when you go through a patch of high energy/stress/demand etc. I think these are good goals, they'll get you back on track and hopefully have some fun here on the boards in the meantime ;) 

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Ok, first I'll be nice and say: WELCOME BACK! :)

 

I'm glad you feel comfortable coming back and that I had a small part in that happening.

 

Now to more serious, beating the ambition beast down:

7 hours ago, Severine said:

Challenge of Embarrassingly Modest Goals

This should read:

Challenge of Great Starting Goals

 

You're showing your too-high ambition by titling your goals modest, and even more so when calling them embarrassingly modest.

 

Seriously, those are great starting goals. Even having just one small goal to start isn't embarrassing for you or anyone else.

 

With the place you are at, building success and then slowly increasing is the way to go. Actually, that is what works for most people.

 

Sorry, not sorry, for the ragging. But attitude needs to be adjusted at all levels to rein it in.

 

Also please add me to this list of folks:

7 hours ago, Severine said:

Bonus: I am NOT going to sign up for any new obligations without (a) discussing it with my family and people whose opinions I trust (b) giving myself time to think about it (c) making a pro/con list and figuring out how to realistically fit it into my schedule.

 

And now, to make up for all that, I'm going to give you a great hug (aka the best gif ever):

giphy.gif

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Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

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I've had a very on and off relationship with NF since I joined. I totally turtle up when things get overwhelming. I also have a tendency to be a bit of a workaholic. It's not a pretty combination.

 

I think your goals are really good and not at all modest. I did a similar thing when I came back (In August I think?) after disappearing for half a year. So, I'm pretty sure that I called my goals easy, so I'm not one to talk. But building a challenge that you're likely to beat is a solid tactic. It builds momentum and boosts your confidence and all that good stuff. So, embrace it!

 

5 hours ago, Dagger said:

And now, to make up for all that, I'm going to give you a great hug (aka the best gif ever):

giphy.gif

That GIF! <3

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Welcome back!! Don't feel bad for withdrawing. You didn't let us down or fail in any way; you allocated your limited resources to what was most important at the time. Like helping a family member die in comfort and with dignity, and helping your remaining family grieve. As fun and helpful as something like NF can be, it is ultimately a luxury that can easily be superseded by more critical things.

 

Struggling with motivation doesn't make you dumb! That's just normal, because motivation is a fickle bitch that cannot be trusted for a moment.

 

Enough about that. Welcome back!

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Welcome back! :D 

Struggling wouldn't be struggling unless it was tough, but it looks like you kicked some of that to the curb, and you're ready to go. You can do this! <3

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13 hours ago, Dagger said:

You're showing your too-high ambition by titling your goals modest, and even more so when calling them embarrassingly modest.

 

Seriously, those are great starting goals. Even having just one small goal to start isn't embarrassing for you or anyone else.

 

With the place you are at, building success and then slowly increasing is the way to go. Actually, that is what works for most people.

 

Sorry, not sorry, for the ragging. But attitude needs to be adjusted at all levels to rein it in.

 

Okay, fiiiiiiiiine. You're right about the unhelpfulness of the self-deprecating talk. It's a stupid (gah there I go again) coping mechanism I use, where I'm only willing to let myself do something less ambitious if I make it clear that it's inferior or a concession. So thanks for pointing that out. I changed the wording. And yes, you are on the list of people :D

 

8 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

I've had a very on and off relationship with NF since I joined. I totally turtle up when things get overwhelming. I also have a tendency to be a bit of a workaholic. It's not a pretty combination.

 

I think your goals are really good and not at all modest. I did a similar thing when I came back (In August I think?) after disappearing for half a year. So, I'm pretty sure that I called my goals easy, so I'm not one to talk. But building a challenge that you're likely to beat is a solid tactic. It builds momentum and boosts your confidence and all that good stuff. So, embrace it!

 

That GIF! <3

 

Thanks! Yeah, turtling is a tactic I've seen others use, too. I mean, it even makes sense. It just doesn't get me to where I want to be, so I need to re-evaluate. And the workaholic thing...it's complicated. Definitely lots for me to unpack there. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing good work, and working hard, etc. But when I sit down and ask myself what I want my life to look like, balance is always an important theme. 

 

And seriously, that GIF. So heartwarming.

 

5 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

Welcome back!! Don't feel bad for withdrawing. You didn't let us down or fail in any way; you allocated your limited resources to what was most important at the time. Like helping a family member die in comfort and with dignity, and helping your remaining family grieve. As fun and helpful as something like NF can be, it is ultimately a luxury that can easily be superseded by more critical things.

 

Struggling with motivation doesn't make you dumb! That's just normal, because motivation is a fickle bitch that cannot be trusted for a moment.

 

Enough about that. Welcome back!

 

Thanks for the kind words :)  My next hour or so is allocated to tracking down everyone's threads and seeing what people are up to and I'm excited to catch up on your badgery endeavours. 

 

1 hour ago, deathbyshiny said:

Welcome back! :D 

Struggling wouldn't be struggling unless it was tough, but it looks like you kicked some of that to the curb, and you're ready to go. You can do this! <3

 

Thanks! And good to see you :D 

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I totally approve of the edit to your goals.

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5 minutes ago, Severine said:

Thanks for the kind words :)  My next hour or so is allocated to tracking down everyone's threads and seeing what people are up to and I'm excited to catch up on your badgery endeavours. 

Queue my notification box exploding due to all my posts being liked. :P When you peruse, you peruse.

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8 minutes ago, Deluxe said:

Queue my notification box exploding due to all my posts being liked. :P When you peruse, you peruse.

 

Hah, sorry! When I'm reading someone's thread, I tend to use that button as a sign of "hey, I was here, and I read your stuff!"

 

I don't like every other post everyone made on a person's thread (unless they said something awesome) but yeah, probably anything you post on your own thread, I'm likely to 'like it' when I catch up. Unless of course that's annoying, in which case just say the word and I won't do that on your thread.

 

 

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Welcome back!! I'm sorry things have been so tough for you in your absence. 

 

I also catch up on threads by going through and liking everything, so I'm glad other people do that too. :P 

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6 minutes ago, NeverThatBored said:

I also catch up on threads by going through and liking everything, so I'm glad other people do that too. :P 

I think a lot of people do. Or a bunch of us are just weirdos. Either way sort of works. 

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                                                                                                                                                                 Ici je vis la vie que j'ai choisie

Je suis partie pour reconstruire ma vie

C'est dit, c'est ainsi

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Wowsers, life has really put you through the wringer lately :-/ I'm just going to agree with everyone here - modest goals are good goals when you're climbing back on the wagon, and yours look like an awesome place to start.

 

I searched for "awesome cat memes" for emphasis and.... this came up for some reason?

 

Funny-Cat-Meme1.jpg

  • Like 4

My past does not define me.

My Epic Quest | My First Challenge

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11 hours ago, Severine said:

Okay, fiiiiiiiiine. You're right about the unhelpfulness of the self-deprecating talk. It's a stupid (gah there I go again) coping mechanism I use, where I'm only willing to let myself do something less ambitious if I make it clear that it's inferior or a concession. So thanks for pointing that out. I changed the wording. And yes, you are on the list of people :D

*thumbs up*

 

11 hours ago, Severine said:

And seriously, that GIF. So heartwarming.

Which is why I use it every chance I get. :3

 

Seriously, it is the warm light and that extra tight hug. The extra hug man...

  • Like 3

Introduction (where I started, May 2016) ~*~ NF Character (dormant)

 

 Progress as a Nomad: Battle log where I do my own challenges

Useful posts on my battle log: Useful Links and Travel Schedule, Future Challenge IdeasGoals for 2017 as a whole, Assorted Goals (not on rotation), Elements W1D1, Last Quarter Goals

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Welcome back (not that I was around much either - because life)!  Kudos to you for taking care of yourself and coming back here!

I have, unfortunately, been through some of what you have and understand COMPLETELY!  You take on too much because you are (or feel you are) the only one who can\will.  You try to shoulder what you think\feel others can't\shouldn't.  I have a box of those t-shirts!  

It's taken me going through moving in with in-laws for a year to care for them after a nasty car accident, taking them both in for 6 weeks to care for them after father-in-law had a double-bypass, then being on the road (talk about guilt) when they both unexpectedly took turns for the worse (and barely making it home on red-eyes before they passed) a year apart to learn that I can't shoulder everything - and I need to take care of myself if I'm going to be there for my hubby.  All of that has taken a toll on both of us - and it shows.

Therapy is a good thing.  I'm lucky enough to have a licensed therapist as an old family friend who is more than willing to take a 3 hour phone call day or night.  We actually do that for each other :)  But there is NO substitute to having someone you can talk to - and unload everything - and help you help yourself.

That bonus goal - #4.  I think that should be #1.  I've been limiting the extra things I take on - and it has helped IMMENSELY!  Take the time for yourself (and your loved ones - doing things for yourself doesn't necessarily mean "alone").

  • Like 6

"Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese Proverb

 My Recipe Thread

1st dozen-ish Challenges for the curious 12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,More attempts, #1 with Intro, Failed attempts

Spoiler

Quick Bio: IT Consultant, Been in IT 25+ Years, Bounced around and landed as a traveling Consultant for a medium-sized Software Company. I love to cook & read, I travel for a living (although amount varies widely, sometimes I'm home for weeks, others I'm traveling for weeks on end), and trying to move out of Atlanta (plan in place, working to implement).

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