Week 36: Crisis

Week 36: Crisis

So in light of all that seems to be going on in the world…the horrifying videos of families appealing for help inside Aleppo( it makes me want to sob and vomit at the same time from the sheer horror), the final stamp of approval on Trump as president (also a wanting to vomit but for different reasons), the attack on a Christmas market it Berlin…random f*%ng shootings, I am just not feeling it folks. I mean, I feel like what I go through on a day to day basis is just trivial.

I know. I have to keep living my life and I can’t apologize for my station in life. But…frick.

How can I reconcile all of this? I feel like we are living in hell and I keep being pulled towards fear. How can I enjoy Christmas while I sit here all safe and abundant? I mean, I feel like this is just talk. I am not flying into some war torn country to help anyone, no, I want to stay safe and keep my family safe. I haven’t even donated money in fear that it won’t be used well and that it will be for naught. But if I don’t even do that, then what chance does anyone have?

I also feel like borders are going to be closing in on us. I really think we are heading for either a huge crash or a regime that will lock us down. I even had anxiety about me, as a Canadian citizen being expelled by this country and blocked from my own husband and kids. I know…extreme. But these are extreme times. I am constantly fighting the flight urge inside me.

But where to run? I read my news feed and it is just chalk full of hate and horror. Friends are calling each other bitches over politics. Heck, if we can’t be civil in our disagreement, we are doomed. Doomed as a country to end up as war torn as the others we see in our feeds. We think we’re above all that, that it can’t happen to us, but it can, and it feels like it is.

I really just want to move to the most isolated spot and hunker down in a bunker. Without guns, mind you, because when it comes down to it, I’d rather be killed than be a killer.

Life is frickin’ challenging folks.

So where does this leave me? I guess I just keeping going on…trying not to be ignorant of what’s going on around me…trying to put action to my thoughts and money where my mouth is…also trying not to deluge myself with too much information, because that too is a trap and a huge player in my sense of despondency and depression, and yes anger.

I wish you all love and peace. I wish us all the ability to see all sides and to be able to disagree and be disagreed with without feeling threatened. We are all essentially roommates on this tiny, beautiful planet of ours. We are definitely not going to agree on many things, but we should be able to agree on freedom to live our lives the way we want without infringing on others, and taking away from others.

I don’t really know what I want to say this week other than, give love, receive love, try to live love. Forgive. Give.

 

Love and light.

 

 

Week 35: Frustration Shopping

Week 35: Frustration Shopping

I so wish that I could say I was a good girl this week. But it would seem, in the final hour, I utterly failed. Or did I?

You can decide.

Last week I said Christmas related shopping was going to happen. It has, it did. I got stuffed doggies for the girls and am busy making extras to fit on them (mom, you would be so proud, I actually got out the sewing machine!). But the hubs. Gack. He’s a nightmare. I say he must be one of the most healthy guys on the planet because he truly doesn’t seem to want anything. He is not trying to fill any voids. Good for him, but bad for me because he is no help. Also, the joy of giving to him is muted because he will often ask me to return the thing I get him. Wha?!? you say. And actually, aside from the disappointment I always feel, I ultimately am really grateful that he respects me enough to tell the truth.

That said…what the F can I get him? Because I can’t not get him something. He always gets me a nice gift, usually proving that he’s been listening all along. In the face of that kind of thoughtfulness, I can’t come up completely empty handed.

The news is that I did figure out what to get him. Now…I am pretty sure he does not read this blog, so I will tell you: a replacement puffy jacket liner for his Marmot windbreaker. Not exciting, I know, but might actually be for him since he loved that thing and only recently left/lost it somewhere.

Now, I was debating on whether or not to get it because those things can be pretty pricey, but, today, I made the call to get it, because, of all things, I was irritated/frustrated.

Yeah. Irritated. I was having a huffy-mommy moment where the whole week of endless child care builds up, and the weekend comes and you hope to have some relief…but then it doesn’t come because your hubs has projects he has to do…so Saturday, and then Sunday become days just like the rest of the week…and you have so much you were hoping to accomplish sans kids. Yeah, that kind of frustrated. And I thought, gosh darn, I am a grown woman. I have to ask to get time away, I have to negotiate everything whether it is with my toddler or my husband…I just want to make a goddamn decision without consulting anyone. And so I did. I bought that damn coat. And then I bought a lens for my camera.

Did you catch that?

I bought a lens for my camera.

Yes folks. I have been looking at this lens for a week. I have considered it from all angles. I have arrived at the decision that this is the one necessary item, of any piece of photographic equipment I might consider, this is the one I most need. I could go into the details of how it will expand my horizons in the depth of field department as well as low light photography, but I shan’t bore you.

This is for me. This is a step to further what is my attempt to get a small photography business off the ground. Yes, folks, I want to use my degree. I want to earn money doing what I enjoy, what I am good at.

But first, I need to do as many shoots as possible for as many people as I can, in as many different scenarios as possible to help me narrow down what it is I will specialize in. For that, the lens is key, because the photo is what matters. Once I have the good shots under my belt then I can build the website and promote myself. I have a plan. I do. And, as it turns out, from the few shoots I’ve done so far, the lens is half paid for already.

I can give up my dream of an all wooden uke, of a new pair of shades, of anything. I don’t need anything…except for this lens because it will set me on a course back to earning a living. Oh gosh, to earn something again…while also doing what I enjoy…

But…I don’t have to justify myself. I know I made the right decision.

What do you think? Am I fooling myself?

Week 34: Shopping Season

Week 34: Shopping Season

Let’s just say that I knew this “No Unnecessary Spending” challenge would prove to be most difficult during the season of unnecessary spending, ie Christmas. I did not think ahead and make a plan. I have no plan.

I have swung back and forth and forth and back regarding what might be considered “necessary” when it comes to presents.

Can I just say that I LOVE giving gifts. Yes, even if it gets stressful, I LOVE giving gifts. It can get out of hand. In recent years though, I have chosen to make something for the women folk in the family, and then the men folk get some sort of sweet treat and socks or something ( I know, not inspired, but they never want the cowls or market bags I knit and crochet up). This type of gifting does not take much money. What it does take is time, and when I have it or manage to carve it out, it feels meaningful- I set aside time to knit something carefully for a specific person, taking into account what I think they might like in color choice and design.

How I managed to hand make stuff these past few years, with young kid, is a little beyond me now that I look at it. It meant that I started making stuff all the way back during the summer time.

This year, I am not that organized. I did attempt to knit a few things but now that I have two mobile curiosity units, having yarn around is more trying than one might imagine it would be if you set a kitten in the midst of wool basket. It just doesn’t work.

Last year, in an attempt to curb what seemed like a lot of out of hand adult gift giving, I suggested an alternative, like a gift exchange. It ended up being more stressful, because I still wanted to give my meaningful, personalized token gifts (ie calendars featuring the kids and the crocheted items I’d been working on for months). Not only then did I give individual gifts, I also then bought an extra for the exchange. So I broke the rule I set in the first place. Silly me. I was so confused.

I think…having given it more thought this year…what I was driving at was that the focus has shifted to the kids. Though I love to feel like a kid and get gifts, I don’t actually need anything. I also don’t feel like I can really reciprocate with my more generous family members. And it sometimes feels silly to be stressing, wondering what to get for each and every adult who will be at our gathering. Really it’s about not getting stressed but just enjoying everyone’s company.

What I do want to keep is the right to give if it feels right, with no expectations. What I want to keep is the specialness of giving something to someone because the item would mean something to that specific person (which can’t be satisfied by a gift exchange).

I also could have just decided this year that, since I am doing this challenge, I will not be giving or receiving gifts. But when I started this challenging, it wasn’t about giving up joy. It brings me joy to give and receive, it really does. And also, this year I realized that I should not limit or try to control what gets given to the kids, because then I am just taking the joy of gift giving away from family. In other words, I am just stepping back and letting it all happen. I will not be excessive, but I will most definitely be giving gifts.

Okay, I don’t know why it is so hard to get these posts done on the day I intend ( Sunday ). It keeps getting farther and farther away from the intended post date. Ah well.

In other news, I am starting to feel like maybe, just maybe I might start working on developing a business on the side, start to use the photography skills I worked (and paid so much) for. It’s been what…2004…twelve years since I graduated! Gargh. It’s about time I at least attempted to use my education to develop a career! Wish me luck.