Fakeness isn’t for this decade.

I’ve been disappointed in many social interactions. So many of them seem fake and forced; as if the other person can’t even wait for me to answer their question before speaking over me.

Seriously, much of the time I feel like I’m nothing more than a sounding board for someone else’s desire to hear their own voice. It’s a lot of the reason why I don’t go out of my way anymore. I have a full plate and others do too; I don’t really want to be an ear for someone who can’t or won’t be one back. I’m all about reciprocation.

I don’t want false friendships and relationships. It’s give and take.

I don’t want small talk.

I’m done asking people how they are and about their lives when they can’t even be bothered to ask about mine. I mean, that seems like a really strong hint, right? It’s a hint of a non-friendship and I don’t need to be the one who pulls people away from the wall. I don’t need to go out of my way to keep things friendly and copacetic. That’s not my job; I don’t get paid extra for it.

Making myself do it.

It’s been harder lately for me to finish what I start. I’m good at ideas and at beginning projects…but I lost somewhere, sometime, the ability to see a lot of things through. I’m working on it.

Last weekend I finished 20 macrame plant holders that were ordered by the owner of the Saratoga Plantique. Somewhere around the 5th or 6th one, I wanted to put it down and work on something else…but they needed to be done. Why start another project when I could finish that one and mark it off my to-do list? So, I finished them and felt proud about it. Big check mark off of my list.

I have three sets of coasters that are almost done. I ran into an issue with one coaster of one of the sets…

82642411_165153321480076_4534959026139561984_n

…and one of them needs to be re-papered and finished. I don’t want to do it because it’s annoying BUT if these are going to be delivered to the Schenectady Trading Company for February, I have to finish.

So instead of having a ton of things half done, ideas half-baked and half-assed, I am really trying to slow down and work through the problems that frequently arise in creating.

 

 

My annual review ~ hip hip hooray!

So I came off of the weekend and rolled on into Monday a bit better rested from Sunday’s night’s sleep, but still not really feeling myself. I had two meetings in the morning (which is not usual for me) and then surprise! My yearly review would be happening that very day, and I’d be the very first one to have theirs. I didn’t feel prepared but I went with it.

Over the years I’ve honed the skill of being able to hide my anxiety and somehow manage the words that come out of my mouth so that they don’t always 100% reflect the inner turmoil I may be experiencing at the time. I was able to keep my shit in check for this meeting and I’m grateful for that. I was even more grateful for the shower I took as soon as I got home because I had the anxiety sweats all day – the caffeine I had in the morning didn’t help.

Anyway, my annual review went very well!

Appreciation

…and I’m not just saying this because I received a nice raise and a nice bonus. Money is nice but feeling seen sometimes is quite priceless.

Here, I don’t feel doubted and I don’t receive any side-eye when I need time off for something. I remember feeling ostracized at my last firm if I took an unexpected day off. The day following I felt snubbed and basically ignored; as if I needed to be punished for taking a day to either be sick or take care of my mental health. Here, I don’t get that. I’m trusted to do my job; I was trusted even upon walking in on my first day without even having to prove myself. So despite the fact that I took more time off last year than I ever had with a job, I felt (and feel) appreciated, trusted, valuable, and respected.

I feel like 2020 is already full of good things for those around me and for me, too. It’s refreshing and while I know there will be tough parts to the year ahead, I am going to bask in its wonderfulness right now.

A less than stellar weekend – and I just don’t know who or what to follow.

Last week was hard. My mom told me that her immunotherapy is going to happen in February and that for February and March her and my dad will be in NYC. I wasn’t expecting it to affect me the way it did; a lot of the time I pretend that my mom’s cancer and her treatment isn’t happening. It’s easy for me to do because I have a life that keeps me very physically and mentally busy and my sister has been doing the transportation to the treatments and a lot of things that I’m likely not even aware of. Plus, she visits with my parents a few times a week in Cambridge; I’m just not able to do so.

I don’t say this a lot out loud to people but I feel like a failure a lot of the time because of this. Because I don’t go visit my family every weekend. Because I don’t press either of them on what’s going on, how it is all going, and urge them to do this or that. We have a lot of fluffy conversations about all sorts of things. I mean, it’s not as if I don’t ask how they’re feeling or how they feel about a treatment method…I just am not very aggressive with my questioning. I don’t know if either of my parents have a Will or if Medicaid has gone through. I feel I appear apathetic to it all and I’m certainly not. But any sort of advice or insight I’ve offered from the get-go has fallen on what feels like deaf ears and it’s really defeating. I’m not a little girl anymore; I don’t know everything but I also know some things. My parents seem to take my sister’s advice over anything I have to offer so I tend to just keep it to myself, asking them how certain decisions make them feel. Are they okay with the plan. I guess I’ve just been doing the emotional check-ups and not the logistical ones.

Time is so precious and it’s in such short supply. Yet, I can’t seem to break away from the things I need to do every weekend to carve that visiting time with my parents every weekend. I don’t know how I can pack more into my weekday routines without driving myself insane. Although I’m not truly responsible for the care of my stepchildren when my wife’s home, I like being a part of their nightly routines. Our dinners at the table every night with a home-cooked meal. Telling them “good night, turds!” and then crawling into my own bed, tired from the work day and all that entails, feeling like I could’ve or should’ve done more ~ played fetch with Adam, mopped the kitchen floor. I just feel like there’s not enough time in my adult life now to get it all done. Shit’s too hectic and there’s too much to manage.

This weekend was a shitty one. I didn’t get good sleep at all on Friday or Saturday nights; I was up at 5:45 a.m. both days, anxious. That’s what I’ve been. Super anxious, worried, and sad. I worry about where my parents’ Air BNB will be in the city; how much it’ll cost them; if they’ll get lonely, overwhelmed, robbed, hurt. Will they have enough money to eat? Will they feel safe to walk their dog? Coupled with Theresa’s grandmother at the point where she cannot live in her home alone anymore and the heartache I can feel coming from Theresa and her family…there’s just a whole lot of sadness and uncertainty flying about. It sticks to me like fly paper when I haven’t slept. I’m all knotted up and ready to cry at any second.

It’s not how I want to start another work week. This week we have our annual reviews and I need to be ready for that and the cuntiness that some clients have been flinging my way now since the New Year. So many people don’t seem to realize that kindness goes a long way and that they hired us; why argue over every single detail and be combative? If you know what you’re doing, then why did you hire an attorney? Sit down – this is what we do for a living. And the thing is, too – we’re all fighting some sort of battle. When I call someone, even if I’m MAD, I don’t mistreat the person over the phone. I don’t speak down to them or tell them how to do their jobs. I’m amazed at how much shit has been flung at me lately from people who have no idea how close I feel right now to snapping.

I could use a strong dose of positivity. There’s plenty of people on social media who post non-stop inspirational shit and I’ve perused through it. It all screams false ~ fake ~ contrived for internet points. I can’t buy into the inauthenticity of it all right now so I don’t know who or what to follow to get my mind back on a better track. Perhaps I should just start with a good night’s sleep.

New finished product and setting a good example.

I woke up today at 4:45 to pee and then was up. My body was like – that’s it, you don’t need any more sleep! So, I edited my photos and listed my new bottles on Etsy.  #Bam

82069371_840206159766292_7865074099620413440_n81641123_2447642715486954_3111020515309912064_n81541693_767617800728255_2021011184848732160_n81533535_462085031336685_8213297468020883456_n

[These bottles can be found HERE.]

I have stuck to my word about not having consistent and constant updates to my Etsy shop. I’ve slowed down and put a lot more thought into the things in progress and the things to come.

I also haven’t had the time yet to devote to the glass cutter but hope to within the next few weekends.

This morning the kids came downstairs draggin’ some serious ass. Jake’s face was puffy, as if he hadn’t slept. I think he’s going through a growth spurt. Emma was her normal chirpy morning self but she did say she was tired and that it seems like no matter how much anyone sleeps, they’re always tired too…she’s 10. I felt like I had endless energy when I was young.

What she said is true though; it seems like everyone’s just so tired all the time. Every day I’m thinking about how I can improve my life and myself so that I can shake off this tired – I can’t wait to get back to bed – feeling. (Although I am happy to report that my winter goal of sleeping more has been going pretty well.)

It’s just that everyone around me is so tired all the time, even when it’s not the dead of winter in upstate New York. I keep going back to: What is it that we’re doing wrong and how do we fix it?  Even more so when a 10 year old is remarking about it.

I mean, it’s a big reason why I said I’d be sleeping more over the cold and dark winter months. The ole bod feels like it needs to rest and I don’t want to fight it; maybe all the tired people are just pushing themselves too hard and need a damned rest.

I don’t remember ever noticing if my parents were tired while I was growing up. Emma’s a pretty perceptive child and it kind of bothers me that she sees us tired. I don’t want her to worry about those things or worry about what it’s going to be like growing into an adult in this world. I mean, yeah, we tease her about enjoying her life NOW before she has to pay bills and be all adulty, but overall? I’d rather us be a good example of living a simple and balanced life so she can have that when she’s on her own. A life where we take care of ourselves, mentally and physically, and while we don’t necessarily want or lack for anything, we happily living within our means.

~Grow~

Sometimes when I’m anxious I talk too much; filling up the space with words that I hope ease mine and the other person’s [possible] discomfort. Likely a lot of the time the other person doesn’t even know that I’m uncomfortable ~ likely a lot of the time the other person isn’t uncomfortable at all. It’s just me. I’ve always thought a lot about my relationships with other people but I am determined to stop over-thinking them. All it does is complicate the relationships.

81021390_618940182211002_1292637224537423872_n

This weekend I didn’t do that. When I my hairs were standing on end for no reason, I took a deep breath and forced myself to be normal and not fill the space with unnecessary words until I truly felt normal again. I didn’t let my anxiety dictate how the interaction was going to go and everything was just fine.

I have quite a bit going on project-wise. The owner of the Schenectady Trading Company is likely interested in more coasters so I have a couple of sets in the works right now. I have an order for 20 more macramé plant hangers from the owner of the Saratoga Plantique, who works with Crossroads in Schenectady and Saratoga Botanicals.  A friend also asked me for 3 hangers for his daughter. So, while coasters and plant hangers aren’t necessarily what I’m trying to do with Weird Glass Art Studio, I am having a great time working with different mediums and creating these special requests. I’m going with the flow.

While all of that is going on, I am also working toward finishing two current bottle projects.

I found metal pieces I liked for these bottles…

…but I am not happy with their color. My wife called them “slavery bottles” and that’s NOT the vibe I’m looking for. I have sprayed the chains metallic gold and once they are dry, I’ll put them on to see if I like them then. If they still are giving off that negative vibe, I may just leave it at twine. I am looking for the sharp texture contrast of something metal and I like the links in the chain but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

I also have a very simple project nearing completion; this lotus flower and newsprint decoupage bottle:

82173623_767206843791670_62629084261253120_n

It’s a similar design to something I have made before. This bottle will have cork lights in it and it will be hung. I made two coordinating cylinder glass candle holders with this design about a year ago and they got a lot of nice feedback, so I figured I’d take the same idea and put it on a clear wine bottle. I like the flower against the newsprint. It’s simple and pretty.

Other than that, shit’s good. This past weekend is the last weekend my wife works ~ actually the last weekend she works at her current job forever. We are excited for the new chapter, the new schedule, and hopefully for the less stress it’ll bring.

Things to Leave Behind in 2019 – Apologizing for Taking Up Space and Seeking Validation

80996845_380618269423821_8181957744497000448_n

On the first day of January I learned that (1) even a half cup of half-calf coffee is too much for my system and will keep me up all night long; (2) too much caffeine makes me super edgy, irritable and obsessive; and (3) I’m still seeking validation from my parents in many ways.

I’m 36 and I’m unsure why I still crave for my parents to be like “good job” ~ “we’re proud of you”. It drives me a batty when Emma (who’s 10) draws one line on a piece of paper and asks me if she’s doing a good job…meanwhile I’m still doing this same thing as an adult, just with a bit more subtlety (so I’d like to think).

Should people really be looking for validation from others for anything? I can’t be the only one who finds themselves seeking this; seeking to be seen and recognized in some way. Is it just me or is it the nature of many? Is it how I was raised; was I missing something crucial? Or was I just born this way?

I hover on the outskirts of many social situations; tending to want to be alone. I like the quiet of home and it’s regular duties that keep me busy. I don’t like being chore-ridden all the time but I do enjoy feeling like I’m helping our household along. It just feels easy to dismiss someone who’s grown quiet as someone who’s become dull or boring. Sometimes I fear that in myself – that I’ve lost my spark, my spunk, my charisma. That’s just my outward persona ~ a lot of shit excites me inside. I keep a lot of it to myself.

On the outside, I’ve become more reserved and more apt to apologize for being; for taking up spaceNo one should ever apologize for this and whenever Emma does it, I correct her. She doesn’t need to grow into an adult that says “sorry” a thousand times a day for simply being and breathing. Nor do I want her to seek constant validation from others on whether she’s doing a good job; I want her to know because whatever it is makes her soul sing.

I sent my mom pictures of my rag rug progress and her only response indicated she thinks it’s ugly. My feelings felt hurt but yes, I know it’s ugly right now! (lol) Maybe when it’s all done it’ll still be ugly. Sometimes I just want to make things to hone in on a skill or simply to enjoy the process of it. In the case of the start of the weaving of this very eclectic rag rug, it’s to do both. It satisfies my need for busy hands and I’m learning how to do it (without a tutorial). But why would I care if someone called it ugly or not? It’s not like I’m making it on commission for them or even as a gift for them. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My creations are not going to be everyone’s taste. So, I acknowledge my mother’s opinion initially hurt my feelings but it also gave me something to think about. An opportunity to grow as a confident, secure adult.  

Deep down I know a lot of people don’t understand (or care to) why I do a lot of things and that it’s okay; my life ~ my journey. But in moments of weakness I do find it super easy to lean into the opinions of others to seek some sort of validation as to me being a good person, a smart person, a talented person. That shit needs to stay back in 2019. There’s no place for that in 2020.