Return of the Geek

In which I reboot my WordPress and YouTube accounts

Hey there! Ho there! Been awhile. Quite awhile. I didn’t actually realize how long until I went to upload a video on YouTube and realized it was about 17 months

So, if you haven’t seen my newest video, please check it out! In the video, I’ve taken a shower and am sharing my currently nightly skincare routine. It’s not quite accurate because I don’t do the exact same thing every night; I do whatever my skin needs that night and/or whatever I have energy and motivation to do.

In March, I went on Spring Break thinking that I’d see my class in about a week.

In the time since my last posts, I’ve switched career paths and am an elementary school teacher now. I’m currently looking for a new teaching position. Took me almost 40 years, but I finally found my calling. I loved the bit of subbing that I did, but when I had my own classroom and built a family of kids and saw growth in these students, I finally felt like, “Yes. This is what I am supposed to do.” I actually feel pretty lucky that it only took me 40 years to figure it out, and I’m sure things will change as time goes on too. I just never thought I’d have a career where I knew from Day 1 that I didn’t want to constantly be on the lookout for another better career path to try and explore.

Depression and anxiety have been my unwanted closest companions since mid-March.

In March, I went on Spring Break thinking that I’d see my class in about a week. Then, Corona shut down the U.S. In the last couple weeks Black Lives Matter finally got the traction it deserves, but only after a series of brutal murders and flippant reactions from the authorities. June is Gay Pride month and even though it broke my heart to see the way JK Rowling reacted to some comments about her transphobic statements, it was actually the kindling that the LGBTQ+ movement needed to get more attention as well.

A daily schedule of crying and sleeping

I’m addicted to news on these matters and spend a couple of hours every morning reading it and getting depressed and have cried myself to sleep many a night. Depression and anxiety have been my unwanted closest companions since mid-March. Unfortunately, lots of other people know how I feel right now.

I really am trying to use the time to rest and recover…

To try to help matters, I developed a daily schedule of things to do so that I could work on various projects around the house to make myself feel productive and successful, while also keeping myself too busy to dwell on all the things I can’t fix by myself overnight. That hasn’t worked very well. I’ll have a day or two where I’m pretty productive, and then I have a day or two where I can only sleep, stare at the wall, and stare at the tv. Still, it’s an improvement from the end of May where I had a week of just staring at the tv, sleeping during the day, and crying at night.

Since I have a summer vacation for the first time since I was 15, I really am trying to use the time to rest and recover while also get things done. I’ve finished a few audiobooks. I’m a little over halfway through a physical book that I haven’t had time to read the past two years. I’m getting the bedroom organized so that I have a space to do things like write this blog! With everything going on in the world right now, I figure that if I need two days of rest for every two days of productivity, that’s okay. I can afford that time right now.

How have y’all been coping with the COVID crisis? Are any of you doing anything to support Black Lives Matter or the LGBTQ+ community? Let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading this!

Stuff People Say – Amanda

The following is an actual email exchange I had at work.

Coworker — Hi Team.  How do I determine which [person on another team] will be working the following CR’s[…]?

Angela — Have you checked with [the other team]?

30 minutes later

Coworker — Yes, I did.  Thanks Amanda.

Angela — *giant sigh*

Random Saturdays – Best Laid Blogging Plans

So, I had this great idea to do a weekly post on all the planning of all the events (not just marriage related) coming in the first half of this year.  I was going to give funny or useful or dumb synopses of advice I had read or was given.  There were going to be planning sites and photos and comical stories.  I’m lazy and busy, though, so none of that happened.

Work is killing my soul.  It’s killing Ben’s too.  It’s terrible.  Neither of us like working for the company, but it still has certain perks (401K matching, flexible work from home schedule) that we need right now, even if neither of us knows if we’ll be handed a pink slip on any given day.

We were trying to buy a house and our first loan guy at Quicken Loans was great, but the second guy was not.  We got another guy who was great, and then got stuck with the lame duck again.  We requested another person and got a great woman working on our loan again.  We were basically being passed around Quicken from person to person.  We did most of the work.  I’m not quite sure what our realtor or the seller’s realtor did other than send us documents to sign, often the same documents to resign multiple times because they told us to sign in the wrong place or forgot to update things like, oh, the value of the house before having us sign the documents.  I don’t think I’d recommend anyone use any of the people used unless you really want to do most of the work yourself just to get the deal to go through in about a month’s time.

Minecraft’s birthday party was even cancelled because of rain.  All around us, people are getting laid off from work, being diagnosed with cancer, getting divorced, and a slew of other problems.

There are good things still happening, though, and we’re trying to remember that.  I have a great team of people at work.  Ben’s boss fought to save his job so far.  We got to celebrate a couple of good friends getting married.  We got married ourselves.  We were able to plan some last minute fun stuff to celebrate Minecraft’s birthday.  We now own a house that’s perfect for us, and I think we have made a lifelong friend out of the seller of the house.  Most importantly, we have a wonderful group of friends and family who are very loving and supportive of us.

Still, I know that when man plans, god laughs.  So, I’m not too surprised that nothing has gone exactly according to plan.  However, I do believe that life happens the way it needs to happen when it needs to happen.  That, of course, has continued to be true over the past few months.  For that, I’m extremely grateful.  I even found a bakery that has a red velvet cake that I like and a red velvet cake recipe that I like.  This was thanks to Minecraft’s birthday cake stencil not making it here in time, which coincided with him telling me that his favorite cake is red velvet (my least favorite cake).  So, I made an old fashioned red velvet cake, that was only tweaked slightly.  Our current big tasks are planning the reception (which is in the future as of the writing of this, but is in the past as of the posting of this), working on moving out of the old house and into the new house, and trying to keep it all in perspective as a busy but blissful life.

Way to start off Spring 2015!

Random Saturdays – Begin at The End

I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately, at least as far as this blog is concerned.  Between crazy work stuff, being sick, being depressed, the holidays, Ben, ice storms, and get-togethers with friends that I don’t see often, everything else has been on the back burner.  Having said that, I did want to get at least one real post up before the end of the year.  My one-year blogging anniversary is December 21, 2013, so, I decided to do a sort of year in review post since I’m ending the year in a completely different place in life from where I started in January.

At the beginning of this year, I had a bunch of projects that I wanted to do.  I tried to plan things out and block off my time.  The only things I really did were keep up the blog and learn how to use Inkscape.  I also managed to get into a workout routine until I moved last summer and paid more attention to my daily habits — everything from calorie counting to how often I get headaches and migraines.  It didn’t really help me get healthier, but I did lose weight.

After I started dating Ben, I gained 7 lbs.  I had just started getting back into working out after my summer move, but that stopped, too.  I started slacking on the blog.  I fell behind on email.  I haven’t been reading books or magazines much, either.  I’ve been sick twice in the past two months and think that I’m getting sick again.  In general, it seems like dating Ben did away with the little bit of progress on my goals that I had made, but that’s not really true at all.

Even with tracking my health issues, I wasn’t able to make any improvements in my health before Ben.  Now, I’m paying more attention to how all of my health issues are tied together because they directly affect my emotional and mental well-being, which directly affects Ben and his kids.  Since it’s not just me, my cat, and the t.v., I have more motivation to do something about things that I know need improvement.

When you’re alone and you get sick, it’s easy to just wallow in your self-pity and give up on trying to improve anything.  When I feel like this around Ben and see how worried he gets about me, or when I have to hide from his kids in the bedroom because I don’t want them to see me depressed and get it into their young minds that being mean to yourself is a normal way to think and act, then it suddenly seems more important that I get my crap together.  Granted, I realize that I’ll have to struggle with depression my whole life.  I realize that I can’t change myself overnight.  I realize that when I get sick, things in my body will be thrown off and cause depression on a physiological level that I will just have to learn to handle.

However, I’m trying to be mindful of all of the small things that I still have control over when I’m sick and/or depressed.  When I’m sick, I’m trying to make more of an effort to shake myself out of depression because it directly affects my loved ones.  I’ve always known this, and it’s always been motivating, but Ben and his kids are motivation on a whole different level.  I had no idea that someone like Ben could even exist.  He is a nicer, smarter, better (but not funnier) version of me.  His kids are wonderful – fun, affectionate, smart, and always concerned about how much money I spend on gas and rent.  I don’t want to teach the kids how to hate themselves and I don’t want Ben to have to deal with me hating myself if it can be prevented.  So, even though my projects were all put on the back burner for the last three months of the year, it’s all been for the best.

Furthermore (<- smart word), I’m going to Paris with Cathy for Christmas and New Year’s, a trip that I planned before I started dating Ben.  Since my plane ticket and rental cost of the apartment in Paris are non-refundable, I’m going to suffer through missing Christmas with Ben and his kids and force myself to go to Paris with one of my best friends.  (I’m only half-joking.)  I tell you what, though.  On January 1, 2013, I did not anticipate having a boyfriend with three kids or going to Paris for Christmas.  You never know where life will take you, but you just have to get out of your own way and enjoy what life brings to your table.  I’m trying to be mindful of how lucky I am for my life so that I can fully enjoy the time I spend with my friends and family this year.

I hope you stay mindful this holiday season, too, absorbing all of the joy and love shared between you, your friends, and your family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!