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This past week has been crazy

Since leaving my job, I have been working on my Nano project- which turned into a short story I will be putting out somehow when I get it finished and a novel I am wanting to self publish when I get it finished. I have decided that, instead of trying the traditional route, I’m going to go ahead and self publish. I’m still looking into the different platforms but I still have time.

On top of that, I’m trying to prepare Bethcessories for the holidays- including my first print advertisement for local business. My word count for Nano is suffering, but my businesses are picking up right now. I guess you always have to sacrifice one thing for another. In the very near future, I’m going to be working more on my DIYmommy page, I’m trying to come up with a good domain for it since DIY mommy is taken. I want this to be different from this website but I’m not sure what to name it.

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What’s your passion?

“What’s your passion?” It’s a phrase asked by a lot of different counselors and coaches but how many people truly know what their real passion is? What exactly does passion mean? Does everyone have at least something they’re truly passionate about and can you have more than one if it’s truly a passion?

I read a status a friend posted recently and it had me thinking about the subject. My husband was really obsessed with computers when we met- until taking a class and burning out. He has also been into cars as long as I knew him. The difference was that he took a course in mechanics and is now working on cars professionally as well as for friends and family on the side and our cars and still far from burned out. He’ll swear up and down it’s not, but he is passionate about cars. He talks nonstop about cars. loves car shows and cars are his life. I always envied that. I have had friends who grew up super obsessed with stuff and now they are living it. The hobbies are now in their careers and those hobbies are enmeshed in their lives.

A passion is more than an interest, you can easily burn out from doing something you’re interested in too much. You can burn out or find out you’re not as interested in something like you first thought. If you’re passionate about something, truly passionate, you will never burn out. You could spend your whole life doing it and do it 20 hours a day and you’ll still want to do it. It could be a mechanic who goes home to work on his own car or play video games where he fixes cars or the make up artist who spends their free time studying make up techniques and practicing 24/7. It could be music, sports, dancing, a hobby that isn’t a career but you want it to be a career or you could be lucky and have it as your career.

Passion gives you motivation to get through the day, to wake up and get to work. You will never get tired of it like you do everything else and if you do manage to make it into a career, you will never work a day in your life. Passion is what it takes to truly succeed, you just have to find it. Everyone has the ability to find their passion, some have more than one but most haven’t fully realized it.

To find it, just look at every job you have held, everything you have burned out on and everything you love doing. You will likely find one thing you dream of doing and one thing you’re able to see yourself doing for years to come without it getting old.

After years of looking, I finally found mine- what’s yours? Can you pinpoint what your true passion is?

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Frozen Perfectionist

I am what is known as a “frozen perfectionist.” I was diagnosed with OCD as an adult, after discussing my childhood with a therapist after losing a child (the symptoms got too bad to ignore). I finally found out why I obsess over nearly everything but some of the symptoms didn’t add up. I started researching self help and found the term frozen perfectionist- when a perfectionist gets so afraid of failure, they can’t move forward. When I found that, it summed where I was in life. I wanted to go back to school, was too afraid of what could happen. I had a rough draft of a novel- I was too afraid to go any further. I had tons of dreams but I was so afraid of failing, I was stuck working in a dead end job afraid of going after anything better.

The book that changed me was “Stop Self Sabotage.” It made me stop and really start looking at my own issues. When I was 18 and a college freshman, I had confidence. I knew I had my life in front of me and since I was out of my parents’ rule, I had freedom. I messed up and starting skipping classes. That led to me being put out on academic suspension and I was talked into dropping out instead of going back the next semester. That summer, I started dating an old friend from high school who literally beat the confidence out of me. It took me two years to get away from him but in that time, I was shattered. I wasn’t “allowed” to open the business I wanted to open (even though my plan impressed the woman at the SBA so much I would have gotten the loan immediately). I wasn’t “allowed” to go back to school- if he was unable to graduate, I wouldn’t be able to either- he was “insanely intelligent” and I wasn’t- so if he couldn’t do it, I couldn’t. I dealt with tear downs along with those subtle insults for 2 years until I finally got him to kick me out of the house (after he cheated) and took advantage to finally break up with him fully. By that time, I was 21 and a wreck. It compounded on my own perfectionist traits.

What exactly is “Frozen Perfectionism?”

A frozen perfectionist is someone born with the perfectionist traits who goes untreated for too long and finds themselves frozen in fear- fear of failing and fear of moving forward for whatever reason. It could be considered a side effect of OCD/OCD perfectionism. This has become a nonresearched opinion due to not finding my original sources. The term that is now coming up is perfection paralysis- but it’s the same concept.

What is OCD Perfectionism?

OCD and perfectionism do not always go hand in hand BUT they do in a lot of cases. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not the quirk of needing everything organized or being really neat. That is a quirk, OCD is an Anxiety Disorder that causes random and truly meaningless (and often totally out there) thoughts- they become obsessions then that leads to a most of the time unrelated compulsion to do something and that will “prevent” the obsession from happening. (As in- fear of your child dying, it becomes a near- phobic obsession that you cannot shake. In order to prevent your child from dying, your anxiety tells you you have to count every step you take. Counting quickly eases the anxiety but now you’re stuck in the trap of having to count every single step you take at all times- otherwise your child will die.

That is the reality of OCD- it’s not a funny little joke, it’s a really severe Anxiety disorder that needs treatment (NOT medication)

Perfectionism also involves a lot of anxiety. It’s an obsession with everything being perfect. It’s the obsessive need to be the best- at everything and anything that does not come naturally is to be given up.

The kid sitting in the front of the class who studies all the time, finishes his test earlier than the rest of the class and still gets straight As is likely not a perfectionist. The kid in the back who writes a few words, erases, writes a tiny bit more and frantically tries to make his writing absolutely perfect while failing tests due to incomplete responses is more likely to be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism can go far enough to be an actual mental disorder- when the desire becomes obsession and anxiety takes over with every failure. That’s where perfectionist paralysis comes in. It’s when the fear of failing is so strong, you freeze in order to protect yourself. You’re unable to complete projects (like my novel) because you’re so afraid of failing, you get stuck.

 

How I am Trying to Battle OCD Perfectionism Without Professional Help

I was diagnosed at 26, after losing a baby. My OCD had got so bad, I was afraid of carrying my living child up or down the stairs. I started grief therapy to handle losing Cassie and started talking to her about my childhood. After mentioning some quirks I have held my whole life, she told me Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I started studying deeper into it and found it to describe my whole life.

She also told me to run from anyone who tried to medicate me because it needs treatment but not medication. She also gave me the advice that helped me more than anything else-

When your brain is stressing- ask yourself, is this a worry a “normal” person would feel or is it the OCD/Anxiety?

I started reading self help books about OCD and ran across Stop Self Sabotage. I ignored the advice that you need to be under a professional’s care to do exposure therapy, and so far, I’ve kicked a phobia of driving and am working on the fear I have of failing. I started cold pitching to different sites and magazines and in a few cases, I have even pitched and applied to places I knew would reject me so I could start to get used to being rejected before my book is ready to be published.

I also have started asking trusted sources if a thought is normal or I try to put myself in a normal person’s shoes.

Those have been helping me personally and I’m going longer and longer periods of time without the OCD acting up. I have read OCD is one mental illness that can totally clear up on it’s own, so I’m hoping with time I can fully kick it for good.

My Tips For Dealing With OCD On Your Own

  1. Step back and think- when you have an obsessive thought, try to determine if it’s a legitimate thought or if it’s anxiety
  2. Remember, above all, OCD is an ANXIETY disorder
  3. The compulsions are NOT going to help- when you learn your obsessions, identify them and avoid the compulsions. They ease anxiety, BUT it hurts your recovery.
  4. The best way to recover from OCD is to avoid compulsions and ride out the anxiety. Once you see that the bad won’t happen, it slowly eats away at the obsession until there is nothing left.
  5. It’s hard, and you may need a therapist but riding out the anxiety (through exposure therapy) is the best way to recover

Look at Perfectionism as a form of OCD- it’s an obsessive need to be perfect. Slowly expose yourself to failing and being seen as imperfect. Me blogging is part of my self therapy. Not being seen as perfect helps as exposure therapy and over time, perfectionism can be overcome.

*Side note- I started this post months ago and have been working on adding to it and finalizing it but since then, I lost all sources I found that mentioned “frozen perfectionist” so I can’t link to a proper definition. I believe the term that keeps popping up now is “Perfection Paralysis“*

Also- with any anxiety or mental health problem, you do need to have a diagnosis to deal with things like Obsessive Compulsive. Perfectionism is not a mental disorder in and of itself, but it can turn into one.

 

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Day 3 and I’m crushing my wordcount

I’m 3 days in, 2 of those have been long work days and day 1 my minimonster was as crazy as she could be- so I had to mop the craft room and then kitchen and couldn’t get much typing done until they went to bed.

I’m past the 5000 mark, about to hit 6 and as of Friday, I’ll be unemployed for a spell, so I’ll crush this challenge.

I have decided on 2 different projects- 1 was a short story then I decided on a full novel I’m working on now. The fantasy is almost done but I’m moving that to the side.

The longer one, i definitely want to publish when I finish, but just a few thousand words in and I’m already jealous of my main character.

I really do need to quit this only writing in November thing- I need to keep myself in the habit of writing daily and actually finish these rough drafts I have been procrastinating on.

If my blog isn’t as active- it’s because of my shop plus Nano, holiday prep and more than likely whatever job I end up working next.

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US Birthrate and Fertility Rates Dropping, Many Possible Reasons

I have been reading about the US’s declining birthrate along with the older generation reaching retirement age. The people they quoted acted worried about a smaller working population vs larger retired, disabled and sick/aging population. They named everything from women now choosing to put off having kids leading to a decline in fertility rates to Planned Parenthood and similar resources that help women plan out and prevent pregnancies. Paul Ryan even went as far as saying he did his part and had three kids.

What are the main reasons that keep coming up in discussions where choosing to either put off or avoid having kids is the subject?

The top reasons seem to be lack of good, affordable healthcare- even a lot of people working full time with degrees seem to have trouble affording the costs of paying insurance, deductibles and copays. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a decent insurance, the US has a higher mortality rate for both pregnant women and babies than a lot of other developed countries.

The costs associated with having kids also plays a huge role- it costs over 200k to raise a child and most of the time daycare for one child alone will cost over 20k a year. I know we were looking into daycares locally (low cost of living area) and decided not to because it would literally eat my whole paycheck. Daycares are also getting to be less trustable. They offer assistance, but also now allow random women to put in to run day cares out of their homes.  It’s frequently on the news about daycare providers harming kids, having drug paraphernalia and dangerous items (knives etc) out in easy reach and occasionally, they have gone as far as having children die in their care. This happens at the shady lower cost as well as higher, upper scale daycares so can you really trust daycares?

Maternity pay/leave is another higher up on the chart- most places do not pay adequately nor do they seem to give long enough leave to make it worth using. If you get pregnant while working in a lot of different places, if you already have temporary disability insurance, and have been working for over a year you can get paid 6 week leave. If you work less than a year and are not paying into it prior to getting pregnant, you’re out of luck unless the store also has maternity leave benefits mapped out and you’re eligible.

High costs of rent and cost of living in general– Couple that with the next on the list, stagnant and low incomes and you have large numbers of people who can barely pay back their astronomical loans while paying all other bills and you have the recipe for holding off on having kids. The costs of living continue to climb while wages are staying the same overall.

Women now have the option to have kids or not– this is a huge factor I’m sure. Women now have the options of birth control, they can go to college and focus on their career instead of getting married and staying home and not every women who grows up is forced by society to have kids (or be outcast).

But with the positive, negative can come in as well- women have choices now and there have been studies linking later maternal age can lead to infertility and other complications.

There have also been suggestions that fertility rates are dropping some maybe due to environment and others may be due to the later start dates for starting families and having kids but there have been studies that as a whole, rates are dropping.

There are many different opinions, ideas and reasons that people are holding off on having kids and that may not be a bad thing. Our population right now is aging, but after that generation leaves, won’t it start to even out again? Gen X started having less kids than the boomers did and now we’re down to a birthrate of 1.8 as of 2016. It is no longer needed to have a lot of kids to ensure the survival of your family’s genetics and it’s no longer that cheap to raise kids.

What reasons do you think I have missed?

 

 

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Only the end of September and I’m starting to plan for November 1st

This is my 6th year doing Nano and I’m planning on it being my second win. My first was my first year.

My first year was a breeze, my oldest was 1 1/2, I stayed at home and had nothing else taking time. Now I have 2 kids, a job, freelance work and an Etsy. I’ve been working on schedule issues to work on everything (mainly at night after the kids are in bed and I’m home from work) and I can easily take a notebook to work and work on that during my hour long lunch break.

I already know I’m working on parts 2-4 (or higher) of a short story series I started back in 2014 (accidentally- the story ended at 11 pages and I decided to make it into a total of 7 worlds in the fantasy series.)

Book 1 is fully finished, I’m just working on editing it. Next month I’ll be going through and finalizing what worlds he will be entering and mapping things out.

I’m also planning several different Christmas decoration designs for my Etsy and I’m in the full swing of the Halloween season.

 

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I’ve been trying to get more involved in my daughter’s school

But there is a big difference between our family (young, not rich but not poor, just not upper class) and the majority of the other parents (richer area- which is one huge factor in us wanting to keep her there and make sure her sister goes to that school). It also seems like our lifestyles are different- neither of us drink. At all. We went to a charity event and almost everyone there seemed to have drinks in their hands.

We are also an estimated 10 years younger than most of the other parents I have seen. I have actually been trying to research how to socialize with people of totally different lifestyles and all that and found very little but I’m at a point, I’m modeling being nonsocial to my kids- spending my “social” time talking to friends online instead of seeing people in person. My two year old wants a playmate and my older daughter is now starting to shy away from other kids (but she is also showing interest).

I’ve been trying to put myself in situations to talk to the other parents, so this year I volunteered as the homeroom parent.

So, I have my day job

My 2 side Etsy shops

My side freelancing

Making PTA meetings, school meetings with her team at school, doctors appointments and therapist appointments (she’s in speech, occupational and physical)

and now, making sure I’m able to help out with all the things the HP is supposed to help with- not too much, only a few things and I got one knocked out yesterday afternoon.

There are two coming up next month and after that, not really much until the next party so it’s not going to be time consuming. This is the year I need to sign her up for something- something to get her around other kids her age.

This is what happens when you take someone- give them a type A along with the ADHD attention span, make them a perfectionist- take away all idea of what they want to do career wise then plop them in the middle of motherhood and give them only a part time job and very little choice with what they went to school for.

You get someone like me- the career mindedness of a Type A but with very little direction and a short attention span (unless I’m writing or talking about something like tarot or astrology, or sewing)

Finding out what my outter limits are will be fun, but I’m very far from hitting it. My kids still get attention, I still get sleep (most nights) and nothing important gets neglected. I’d much rather have a full schedule and always be heading out than a laid back day filled with nothing-

I’m still looking for that magical formula for fitting in and figuring out how to socialize with people so much different from me. Just my clothing and tattoos make me stand out- add in religion and even age and I blank when I try to figure out how to start conversations. (and the fact my daughter is special needs makes it that much harder)

I was trying to get to know another mother in a similar situation but heard her talking about church playdates. It had me thinking about looking into local places around here for Pagans- found a few groups and learned we have a larger community than I thought- now it comes down to finding the time to make it to any of the gatherings. If it’s not trying to find stuff, it’s always feeling like I’m on a time crunch- even though most of the time I’m not.

 

This should be a fun year, though. I won’t be able to attend the first PTA meeting but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make all the others and I’m hoping I’ll be able to actually volunteer this year. I may also find a way to have a little “me” time without keeping myself up this late (I need to go to bed, but I’ve been off 3 days- so that means I’ve been with my girls nonstop) I’m living for this weekend (we’re taking our anniversary trip that we had to call off last month). For 3 days, it will be just me and my husband- no certain time to get out of bed and no certain time to do anything else. I cannot wait for some true relaxation.

 

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How Many Times Have You Had to Reheat the Same Cup of Coffee?

I’m sure any other coffee addict moms can answer. I think my record for reheating coffee was about 5 or 6 times- including 2 times without drinking any because I forgot to take it out of the microwave.

Once I left a cup of decaf in the microwave, forgot about it because we were so busy packing to move. We moved the microwave into our new apartment and the next day(2-3 days after leaving the coffee) I opened it and found the mug still intact and not a single drop spilled.

I’m becoming my mom. I grew up watching her constantly misplace her cup and now every day it feels like I have to search for it.

 

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I just got notified a few days ago it was my 1 year anniversary

I also just noticed I was on 99 posts, so this is my 100th post.

It took me 1 year to reach 100 posts. I’m thinking about challenging myself to make 1 new post a day and see if I can add 365 by this time next year.

I guess by my 1 year anniversary, I reached almost 100 posts and I hit 50 subscribers yesterday.

I’d like to thank everyone who has read, liked, commented, subscribed etc.

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I’m getting ready to do a full series on attraction

I read an article a while back about being the ugly friend. I’m tired of hearing “ugly” being used as an insult since attractiveness means different things to different people and no one is universally ugly- or attractive. Even the most attractive woman in the world wouldn’t be seen as attractive to every single person on this planet- but even the ugliest wouldn’t be ugly to others.

There are many layers to what makes someone attractive and so much more than I could write in one post so I’m doing an introduction to the series. I’m not sure how many I will post in this series, I have 2 drafts started, a few questions asked on my facebook and a few questions I’ll be writing as an interview and asking questions so at least 5.

 

If anyone has any questions about the series- feel free to comment.

I do not believe in the concept of true attractiveness. I don’t believe in universal nor do I believe in being jealous (I do think there are people jealous- but I don’t believe in being jealous- I consider any feelings of jealousy to be showing me where I need to self reflect and try to improve myself

I never had destructive jealousy when I was younger, but this series is going to be written more directed at a younger age- early 20s and single- touching on getting older and aging since we all know a lot of physical attractiveness tends to fade over the years- especially when upkeep gets put on the back burner.

I do not consider myself to be unattractive nor attractive- but average look wise- same as the majority of the population as a whole and when I speak on attractive, I typically mean conventional.

My first will be listing the benefits I could find about being the so called “ugly friend”

Others will be a poll I’m currently taking about what people find more attractive- intelligence, personality or physical appearance

Heavily researched articles about “beauty privilege” and “ugly discrimination”as well as the benefits to being seen as conventionally attractive.

and in the end, I’ll end it with open questions and poll about what makes people attractive to other people. (asking random people)

If anyone has any questions about any of these or have any questions they would like to see answered, feel free to comment the questions.