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fleaball

Flea's Balancing Act

Wouldn't be a Flea thread without a poll.  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you gonna kick this challenge in the ass?

    • HELL YEAH!
      13
    • Doing my best!
      7


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fleaball   

** Dear newbs: As of right now it seems we don't have a guild leader. I've been here for over 3 years so if you have questions feel free to ask me. You can ask here, PM me, @ tag me in another thread, or post in the general chat thread. Please feel free just to drop in and say hi too. My threads tend to move fast because I'm friends with crazy people, but we're the good crazy. **

 

(*insert Fresh Prince lyrics here because nothing has ever been more applicable to my life*)

 

CAT+GIF+%25E2%2580%25A2+Funnny+Cat+displ

 

The short version: Literally everything is changing right now. I finished grad school and an internship in May and moved back into my parents' house on June 29th. Said house is currently a disaster area, so I have to work on unpacking and organizing my own shit while cleaning and organizing the house as a whole because they haven't been able to keep up with it. There is no routine to be had and most days are up in the air because my mother is sick. I need to sincerely focus on taking care of myself and keeping myself sane without burning out trying to take care of everyone else at the same time. 

 

The longer version: (Trigger warning for talk of cancer. If this is a trigger for anyone let me know and I'll do my best to spoiler future discussion of it as well. I don't mind. But if no one says anything I won't spoiler it, so be warned.)

Spoiler

My mother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer on December 20th, 2016. She's been more or less out of commission since then. My father has been running himself ragged trying between work and all her appointments and generally worrying about her and trying to do all the other life things that come up. I was 500 miles away finishing school, which she insisted I do anyway. I came home partly because finding a job in DC wasn't working out, partly to spend more time with her while we still have it, and partly to help my father get a handle on everything that's happening and give him a break.

 

The biggest problem right now is that the house is a shithole. At no point in my life has is ever been clean. Ever. On my parents' part, it's a combination of clutter/hoarding, chronic illness, undiagnosed mental health issues, and antiquated ideas about the division of household labor. And it's all come back to bite them because my mother physically can't do much of anything right now and my father has so much on his plate that he's exhausted and also overwhelmed by all the work that still has to be done. This level of mess is stressing everyone out, but I 1000% cannot live in this. So I'm taking it upon myself to clean the whole house. It will have to happen in stages, as in "this is the bare minimum I need to do so we can get someone in to replace the stove that's been broken for months," followed by the bare minimum for X contractor to come in and fix something, etc. As opposed to going room by room to make each one spotless. (Oh, also, one of the cats keeps peeing everywhere but the litter box. We definitely can't have anyone in here until that's taken care of.)

 

On top of all that, I have an anxiety disorder and currently no therapist since I just moved; several life changes that all happened at once, each of which can trigger depression and other unpleasant shit; a tendency to sublimate my own needs in favor of everyone else's; and wonky relationships with each of my parents, in which the dynamics have changed without anything being addressed due to current circumstances. 

 

So as the title suggests, I need to balance my own needs with helping out and getting shit done for my family. And it's going to be a fine line, because a lot of what I'm doing for them also has selfish motivations - I want to live in a clean house, I'm tired of listening to people complain about the condition of the house and/or all the things they don't have time/energy to do, I wasn't around for the first 6 months of this so I feel guilty and like I have to make up for it, I will feel better knowing that these things are done, etc. I'm not the best at self-care, so I seriously need to focus on this. 

 

Week 0.2 Goals:

  • Get my room in order by the end of the week
    • have everything put away that can be put away
    • recruit someone to help move things so I can access the closet and stash things I won't need for at least the next month
    • try to re-home anything not belonging to me, or at least put it somewhere other than a pile on the floor
    • find a space for my yoga mat
  • Do shoulder PT exercises every day
  • Clean the kitchen so we can get a new stove (follow advice from Unfuck Your Habitat)
  • Figure out a relatively nutritious meal I can cook on the stove or in a crock pot that both of my parents will eat since our tastes vary so wildly

 

Challenge Goals: (to be finessed as Week 0.2 unfolds, these are just ideas for now)

  • Take advantage of my father being on vacation during Week 1 to blitz through the house and get loads of trash and donations sorted and gone
    • identify a charity place that isn't as heinous as the Salvation Army or Goodwill; convince him to go there instead
  • Clean up my diet
    • minimum 3 servings of produce per day
    • less dairy and shitty takeout because my acid reflux is destroying me
    • more vegan where possible, but that's not the focus
  • Make 1 meal each week that results in leftovers
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Journaling/meditation every day
  • Start c25k at ass o'clock in the morning?
  • Yoga/Elements
  • Clean ALL the things
  • Make a list of all the random admin stuff/chores/one-off tasks and do what I can so my parents can breathe
  • Get my mother to go through the stack of bills/letters/other paperwork she hasn't been able to focus on for 6 months and won't let my father or brother help with
  • Don't get stuck in caretaker mode to the point where I ignore all of my own needs and wind up being completely miserable and drowning under all this shit
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1 minute ago, fleaball said:

Claiming this post for a non-challenge-related to-do list of sorts.

 

I see you are preemptively blocking anyone from claiming firsties on your thread...

 

Following of course :) 

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fleaball   
1 minute ago, WhiteGhost said:

 

I see you are preemptively blocking anyone from claiming firsties on your thread...

 

Following of course :) 

Holy shit that took you like 0.3 seconds. Also yeah, I definitely thought about writing "first!" in that post as well. ;) But you're the first not-Flea, so that counts for something.

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4 minutes ago, fleaball said:

But you're the first not-Flea, so that counts for something.

 

In threads that move as fast as yours, it counts for a lot!  It also helps that it isn't the middle of the night where I am.  Speaking of which, shouldn't you be getting to bed young lady?

 

Image result for go to bed, young lady gif

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fleaball   
Just now, WhiteGhost said:

 

In threads that move as fast as yours, it counts for a lot!  It also helps that it isn't the middle of the night where I am.  Speaking of which, shouldn't you be getting to bed young lady?

 

Image result for go to bed, young lady gif

Hahaha I'm getting there. I have to find my bed underneath all the shit I piled on it earlier. But I'm going, I promise.

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fleaball   
Just now, Dagger said:

Here and following. Is the bird keeping you awake or waking you up?

It was keeping me awake. I fell into that weird not-awake-but-not-really-asleep space and then my mother texted to say she'd been moved into a room at the hospital. But the bird is gone now, it sounds like, so cross your fingers for me. 

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Owlet   

Goodbye bird, hello Flea.

 

Is it weird that I'm excited about your cleaning rampage? I get so much satisfaction from cleaning and organising spaces (not so much doing dishes or regular boring cleaning, just reclaiming spaces and getting rid of stuff lol) Good luck on your noble quest

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WantMy$2   

I almost bit on the "Doing my best" for the poll, but I gave it a "HELL YEAH." 

 

I read somewhere recently, I think it was in Tim Ferris' Tools of Titans...

 

Quote

If it's not a 'HELL YEAH' it's a 'NO'.

 

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*hugs* Flea. Good luck with all you are taking on. I will be following. Hopefully the bird goes away and you can get some sleep and that your mom is better in the morning

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fleaball   

Currently:

- late to visit my mom (I did say late morning/toward noon and it's only 11 but still).

- waiting for a call back from the dentist in DC who pulled my tooth because the sutures have apparently just gotten pushed out of the wound instead of dissolving away. Meaning part of it is still in my gum and a huge part of it is just chilling in my mouth, but still connected to the rest. 

- getting anxious about needing to find a dentist to go see last minute for it, since my dentist here is closed for vacation this week and oh right tomorrow's a national holiday. 

 

I should have have known better than to expect things would go smoothly when I came back. 

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Following! 

 

1 hour ago, fleaball said:

I should have have known better than to expect things would go smoothly when I came back. 

 

Tell us what we can do, if there is anything! <3 *hugs* And don't forget to take a deep breath and drink some water!

 

10 hours ago, fleaball said:

** Dear newbs: As of right now it seems we don't have a guild leader.

 

I keep hearing news is right around the corner on this and then you keep not being made guild leader. Who do I need to talk to about this? Let me at 'em!

 

10 hours ago, fleaball said:
  • Start c25k at ass o'clock in the morning?

Do you like being up at ass o'clock in the morning? If not, I might recommend finding a better time... like in the evening when all the day's tension has built up and you need an escape (and it's starting to get cool again, if that even happens in Boston summers). 

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fleaball   
2 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

Tell us what we can do, if there is anything! <3 *hugs* And don't forget to take a deep breath and drink some water!

<3 brought my water bottle with me to the hospital. :) If there's anything y'all can do I will let you know. Right now just being able to vent here is helpful. 

 

4 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

I keep hearing news is right around the corner on this and then you keep not being made guild leader. Who do I need to talk to about this? Let me at 'em!

Hahaha I promise I'm not fishing for the position. It just pisses me off that we've gone a year and a half with no one. Supposedly there's been something in the works forever but yeah. Nope. 

 

5 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

Do you like being up at ass o'clock in the morning? If not, I might recommend finding a better time... like in the evening when all the day's tension has built up and you need an escape (and it's starting to get cool again, if that even happens in Boston summers). 

Once upon a time I got up at 5:30 3 times a week for c25k before work and I really did like it. It stared my day off right. It's just a question of getting enough sleep to sustain getting up that early. Although since I've been home I've woken up around 5:30 for no reason every day anyway, so it could be doable. I think wayyyy deep down under years of sleep deprivation, there's a morning person buried somewhere. I just have to find her again. 

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fleaball   

One problem solved: apparently I chewed off and swallowed the stray sutures. Here's hoping they dissolve faster in my stomach than my mouth. :rolleyes: And that it's not a problem. I assume it's not since it's not bleeding or anything, but ugh. I thought I was done with this bullshit. It's also been 2 hours and they haven't called me back yet. 

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Sylvaa   
3 minutes ago, fleaball said:

One problem solved: apparently I chewed off and swallowed the stray sutures. Here's hoping they dissolve faster in my stomach than my mouth. :rolleyes: And that it's not a problem. I assume it's not since it's not bleeding or anything, but ugh. I thought I was done with this bullshit. It's also been 2 hours and they haven't called me back yet. 

 

This is totally fine. And if you have a post about something weird in your poop, we'll quote this for you. :cool-new:

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fleaball   
Just now, Sylvaa said:

 

This is totally fine. And if you have a post about something weird in your poop, we'll quote this for you. :cool-new:

I meant more that it's not a problem with the wound, not the swallowing of them. Although I definitely did think, "ugh, do I have to watch for it to come out now?" I'm not surprised you're the one to make that comment though. :) 

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Sylvaa   
Just now, fleaball said:

I meant more that it's not a problem with the wound, not the swallowing of them. Although I definitely did think, "ugh, do I have to watch for it to come out now?" I'm not surprised you're the one to make that comment though. :) 

 

Someone had to! Both my husband and son had issues with the "dissolving" sutures coming out versus actually dissolving. As the gum heals, the sutures have to either be dissolved or be pushed out, so the fact that they are pushed out isn't a bad thing! 

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fleaball   
14 minutes ago, Sylvaa said:

 

Someone had to! Both my husband and son had issues with the "dissolving" sutures coming out versus actually dissolving. As the gum heals, the sutures have to either be dissolved or be pushed out, so the fact that they are pushed out isn't a bad thing! 

Yeah, I figured it wasn't a huge issue, but I have to worry anyway. It's just really weird and was annoying that a chunk of it came out and not the rest. Bleh. 

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Severine   
11 hours ago, fleaball said:

Dear newbs: As of right now it seems we don't have a guild leader. I've been here for over 3 years so if you have questions feel free to ask me.

 

You're like a forum ent! Fleabeard, they'll call you, shepherd of the forums.

 

34 minutes ago, fleaball said:

One problem solved: apparently I chewed off and swallowed the stray sutures. Here's hoping they dissolve faster in my stomach than my mouth. :rolleyes: And that it's not a problem. I assume it's not since it's not bleeding or anything, but ugh. I thought I was done with this bullshit. It's also been 2 hours and they haven't called me back yet. 

 

I assume they're not allowed to put sutures in people's mouths that'd be unsafe to swallow. And if they came out of the wound, the wound is probably fine without them. I mean, I'm just some rando, but there is my two cents. My dentist here in Boston is awesome, if you end up needing to see someone, but it sounds like you might be fine with just a call to one of those nurse hotlines that people get with insurance. If your DC dentist doesn't call back soon enough. Are you still on insurance right now?

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fleaball   
2 minutes ago, Severine said:

 

You're like a forum ent! Fleabeard, they'll call you, shepherd of the forums.

 

 

I assume they're not allowed to put sutures in people's mouths that'd be unsafe to swallow. And if they came out of the wound, the wound is probably fine without them. I mean, I'm just some rando, but there is my two cents. My dentist here in Boston is awesome, if you end up needing to see someone, but it sounds like you might be fine with just a call to one of those nurse hotlines that people get with insurance. If your DC dentist doesn't call back soon enough. Are you still on insurance right now?

Haha well so far I seem to do well shepherding people during the first half of the challenges and then fall off the face of the earth the latter half. It's something? 

 

Yeah no I agree. I was less concerned about the swallowing and more about the "uh you're not where you're supposed to be, sir." The girl said she'd call if I needed to come in (I didn't bother telling her I moved because she doesn't seem to do well with complicated issues) so idk if I'm supposed to take it as everything's fine if I don't hear from them? I'll call back in an hour or so. The only reason I can imagine I'd have to go see someone would have been to get them snipped off or something. But if they call and tell me I need to see someone I'll hit you up for your person's info. :) I do still have insurance, until the end of the month. Ugh that reminds me I need to look into MassHealth for August in case I don't get the job situation sorted. Mehhhh. 

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Severine   

Oh and your actual challenge looks wise and very much needed. Whatever you can do to keep yourself on track, especially with the stuff related to taking care of yourself, seems like a really good idea. A calendar with stickers a la @Countess D'If? Notebook? Just posting daily reports here? 

 

For big complex problems like this I feel like momentum counts for a lot, and it might be nice to have a tangible record of what you're accomplishing, especially since there'll be more to do even when you're making headway. And it'll potentially help with anxiety?

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fleaball   

Once I have my goals a bit more solid (because that list is too much for official goals, even if I want to do them all), I'll rework my spreadsheet. I like seeing the numbers change in it because I'm a dork. 

 

I might also continue the daily recap of what I did. That helped me realize I wasn't just sitting around being a lump when I was doing it before. And being able to report progress even if I can't see it (because I'm sure I won't see it immediately) will def be helpful. 

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fleaball   

Uggggh. She's probably going to wind up in ICU (mostly okay but her BP is low enough that they may need to give her a medication they can only do there?) and my father is currently acting captain of his station right now and dealing with a thing that just happened over there so he can't get away. This is fun. 

 

I'm okay. I just hate uncertainty. But my godmother is her childhood friend and also a cancer nurse here so she's been here to check in and is translating for me. It's just frustrating. 

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