February Accomplishments

I didn’t accomplish much this month beyond the everyday things. I managed to knit ballet slippers for my niece’s doll, but that was it.

February was a rough month. So difficult, I’m just now getting around to summarizing my accomplishments. I dealt with depression and illness. The entire month was a struggle. I’m quite happy that month is behind me.

Depression is…

Real. Debilitating. Challenging. An everyday part of my life. An ongoing battle.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve wanted to blog but found it difficult to muster the drive to follow through.

I suffer from depression. Most days I manage pretty well. Depression (at least for me) has highs and lows. When it is low, I accomplish many things, dance, create, and laugh. When it’s at its highest, I lack the drive to do anything, have trouble getting out of my head, dark, debilitating thoughts running on a constant loop in my mind.

I don’t prescription medications. It’s a personal choice, made for many reasons. One of the biggest being prescription medication shuts down my creative ability. I’m writer, artist, and dancer. I can’t function without my creative ability. I choose to treat my depression naturally with a variety of things.

My personal opinion is that some depression is normal. One doesn’t always feel giddy and ecstatic. Moods ebb and flow. It’s when the lows never end that it becomes a problem. Returning to normal after a depressive episode is a challenge. It doesn’t happen overnight.

It is worth fighting to escape the depression. Joy is increased. Life seems sweeter, brighter, after a depressive state.

My advice: Don’t fight depression on your own. Ask for help. Having someone listen (and not judge) is extraordinarily helpful. Being able to say, “I can’t get out of my head. Help me,” is incredible. Not to mention a lifesaver. I recently called my soulmate and said these exact words. He talked about nothing and everything, asking questions, encouraging me to interact. He led me out of my negative, dark headspace. It would be harder to manage my depression without him. I encourage you to find someone.

If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone. Reach out.

 

 

**I’m not a licensed therapist. This post is merely a reflection of my thoughts and my experiences in dealing with depression.

life, death, and those moments in between

This month has been particularly rough on my family. My great-great aunt had surgery. My father had a heart attack on the 4th. (He had competent, immediate care, healed quickly, and was allowed to return home on the 6th. He is a workaholic but this has forced him to slow down.) On the 11th, the pastor of our church passed away. He’d been an integral part of my life for thirty years.

Even with all of this stress and worry, my inner critic refuses to quiet. I’m ignoring her comments about not accomplishing enough the past few weeks. In the midst of all this, I’m focusing on the things I did accomplish: knitted a Cara Bear, knitted a dress for the Cara Bear, made twelve dozen cookies for the funeral, finished two books, held an impromptu photo shoot with my sisters, rearranged my kitchen and living room, made dinner for tomorrow, and dessert for the Bible study, read over the home economics curriculum I purchased. Honestly, I’m quite proud of my accomplishments. In the midst of all the emotional upheaval, I endured. I allowed myself downtime, knowing the emotional upset would wreak havoc on my fibromyalgia. I’ve played board games and cuddled with my children and my nieces.

In short…I’ve lived the past few weeks. I didn’t force myself through the motions. I felt every emotion, allowed myself to feel and express them, instead of hiding. I’ve reveled in the everyday: my soon-to-be-twelve-year-old daughter climbing into my lap, my fourteen-year-old son embracing me constantly, the sixteen-year-old sharing his favorite television episodes, my niece leaning against me as I knit her Cara Bear, savored scones with lemon curd, played in the rain. These moments I remember. The ones I cherish. That is life…and I’m so very thankful for every moment.

Nearing the home stretch

Six weeks. Six weeks. *breathes relieved sigh* Six weeks until another school year has concluded.

Don’t misunderstand. I love homeschooling. I love the freedom of spending all day with my children, studying whatever takes our fancy. It makes learning fun, joyful.

Now, my children do have certain workbooks they have to complete. Most days they choose to complete their workbook pages every single day. Sometimes they choose to complete all their workbook pages on one day. They also have certain subjects they are required to study as the Bookworm (my oldest) is in high school. The Elf is in junior high which means he will receive credit for finishing the high school subjects. The Fey also watches and writes essays on the high school subjects. She will have to write a few more essays on those subjects in a year or two, but not really repeat everything.

For many of our elective courses, we’ve used Great Courses. They’re are incredible. These are used as the main subject matter with related books to help write essays. Currently we’re watching Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy taught by Alex Filippenko, Ph.D. and How to Listen and Understand Great Music taught by Robert Greenberg, Ph.D. Both of these courses are excellent. I love watching them. Even my ten-year-old niece loves to watch them, even though much of the later astronomy lectures are beyond her understanding. Both professors are animated, passionate, and throw in amusing comments.

I honestly cannot recommend these courses enough. We’ve watched several history courses; some were enjoyed more than others. Feel free to email me about those.

It’s time for a cooking lecture with Chef Bill Briwa. He makes cooking fun…not to mention we all come away hungry. 🙂