365 Day Project: 72

I wanted to get my project photo done so I can just go and lay down. There is only so much people can handle (emotional, mental or physical) and I need to numbingly lay and do nothing. I did put a little more effort in the image today though.

#5B8793, #43D9D9, #D6BD92, #D98452, #BF5050

Take care of yourselves and happy Wednesday!

Are we REALLY family?

I have most of my portfolio done! EEK! I even started updating my resume. Outside of a few tweaks by the end of the day, if no one interrupts, I’ll be applying to jobs with a decent portfolio, updated resume, and awesome cover letter. Hopefully, I’ll be in a new job by the new year. Dream or goal? Actually, it’s ok for it to be both.

While taking a break from work and portfolio construction I was scrolling through my social media feed when I see that my cousin just had a baby. I didn’t even know that she was pregnant. Wondering how that’s possible especially if you’re close with all your family. Simple. I’m not considered ‘REAL’ family. How do I make a long story short when in reality it’s a long? My grandpa on my mom’s side and my grandma were young when they had my mom. They tried to make a go at it. It didn’t work and split. My grandpa never talked to my mom after that. Years later, my mom found her dad. They talked and we all met. While my mom was getting sideways looks from her stepmom (obviously reminder of her husbands past) she met her half-sisters. One was accepting the other was really giving off the Cinderella stepsister vibe. My sister and I were really not considered ‘grandchildren’ but rather children that tagged along. While my dad bought us happy meals (and a big girl burger for me) he was more than happy not to interact with people who didn’t approve of him or his lifestyle.

Forward years later too after the divorce and she moved north to be close to her family dragging us kids with I rebelled. I was a constant reminder of my mom’s past. I eventually screwed up enough where the judge told my mom, ‘She can go to jail here OR you send her back to her dad.’ I got to go back home. Forward many more years later, I moved north to be closer to my mom but nothing has changed with her side of the family. Now, my kids, husband, and myself are still considered the non-family members. We’re family by blood but if it wasn’t for that tie then they wouldn’t bother with the yearly Christmas card. While my grandfather is helping his other grandchildren pay off loans, purchase houses, and pay for weddings he takes time to send $100 in a Christmas card addressed to, ‘Family’. Thanks, Grandpa. He got married this past summer and the wedding invite my mom received was to her and ‘family’. I didn’t go.

I have cousins that think that we aren’t family and that’s what led me to find out she had her first child this past weekend. I have a grandfather that only acknowledges my presence around the holidays. I have two aunts that don’t consider me to be a niece until they need my blunt honest mouth to get their ‘beat around the bush’ ideas across. I did not chime in my congratulations on the baby picture post. I did not get invited to the baby shower so I’m not planning a belated gift for the baby. I’m going to skip being a part of their ‘family’ this year. I find that it’s better to get rid of all the toxicity at once.  What’s my point with this post this morning? Well, trying to focus more on self-care and what I want and need I need to remind myself to let go of all the people, including blood relations, that does not bring joy into my life in some form or another. With this holiday season coming up remember that it’s OK to let go of people including family.

May 24th, 2018

Journal confession time. I have been harboring a lot of guilt about a goal that I set and actually went the opposite direction. I wanted to lose at least 20lbs at the same time I quit smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette since January 12th but need to lose a LOT more weight. I’ve tried keto (didn’t satisfy) tried smaller portions (already do because of the gastric bypass) and a lot of other gimmick stuff. I realized that I’m happy with my ability to find time to paint and write but need to focus on my weight.

I took a walk this morning before work and writing and felt really bad about how I looked while doing it. How can I exercise when I feel anxious about people watching me and possibly secretly judging me. That’s the anxiety working in me and shaking hands with the depressive state that I fall in with. I could’ve easily gone home but reminded myself that it was still dark out and people are heading to work and are probably late. I walked fasted just to get home before the sun came all the way up. My daughter turned 16 today and I thought if I keep going the way I’m going I’m not going to be healthy enough to enjoy my kids anymore like I was before. So, part of getting healthy this year was to quit smoking and I think I nailed it. Now, it’s time to control and manage my eating and weight. This entails me going to the store after work, purchasing a weight scale, and possible leggings to walk-in.

I researched many options and due to my family’s strict budget I made the first step and signed up for Weight Watcher’s Freestyle program. Fingers crossed I’m able to figure out meals with what I have and will get what I need (portion size for one because my family eats regular foods without a care in the world) on my next grocery shopping trip. Speaking of grocery shopping with my C-PTSD and anxiety I learned that I can shop through Wal-Marts grocery app which will also help me from going through the aisles and shopping with, ‘Oh that would taste awesome’ mentality.

After joining (still needing to feel out a few profile fields), I saw where I can track what I eat. Banana, coffee with chocolate caramel creamer, a babybel cheese, salad with greek dressing and croutons all added up-QUICKLY. It was clear about my food choices and guilt turned to shame. I synched my Fitbit app to my Weight Watcher’s app, opted for water instead of V8 and only had 1/2 cup of spicy ranch popcorn. I will research tonight more recipes and things that I can change and do differently.

I feel better fessing up to my guilt and shame and I guess I’ll take my readers along with me. I’m still going to write, paint, and doodle just now I’ll do it hungry. Kidding, not hungry but mindful of what I put in my body.

6 Word Story: 5/24

I think my problem is that I have so many that I need to focus on just a few. But one thing that I’ve noticed is that since I started this blog I am less anxious and have something to look forward to. I know that sounds awful but I’m learning self-care and doing something for myself. Even if it’s only taking a few moments to myself to write that it counts and I’m worth it. Even my writing and painting have improved.


Prompt Word: Pastime

 

May 18th

I haven’t done a journal entry in a while. Today I woke up and took my walk and instead of telling myself that all the hard work will pay off it came out, ‘what the hell’s the point?’ I was being awful to myself. Getting to work, drinking coffee, and completing my daily tasks then my nemesis came into the art room. Believe me when I say I would much rather eat glass then help her with ANYTHING but that’s not being an adult (which is a BS by the way) so I helped her.

Having to deal with that and already being hard on myself I decided to take the rest of the day off. I SO wanted to come home and lay in bed. I pulled into the driveway and even headed to my room when I remembered that I needed another watercolor journal. I couldn’t do tonight’s challenge without one. Do I go to bed and fall into the depressive state that my mind needed or shop for my journal that my soul needed?

Next thing I know I’m in the art supply store. I felt better with my journal in hand but was stopped by a sale on a travel case of Winsor & Newton cake palette of 14. ‘You can’t afford to travel anywhere why in the hell do you need those?!’ That’s what I heard in my head. Then I told myself I don’t need to travel far just get out and paint. I am now the proud owner of new travel paints and smaller travel book (50% off I wasn’t going to pass).

Got home, cleaned up, cooked dinner, and got an amazing surprise. A fellow blogger honored me with, ‘Nice job, you’ve obtained this week’s GOLD badge!’ Talk about the boost I needed to keep going this afternoon. Matthew over at Normal Happenings is the positive breath of fresh air that I needed. Wander through his proverbial blog stacks and get lost. He’s also a fellow graphic designer which explains my draw to his newspaper style font.

I still feel like I want to crawl into bed and that’s ok too. I’m not pretending that everything is fine but I know that things will get better. Have a great evening ya’ll.

March 16th, 2018

A Fraction of A Friday

It has been a week of hell. Demands, nows, requests, and unforgiving illustrations that needed to be done. I made it through until this morning. I got to work only to be met with the largest load of BS I have ever seen. Mistakes were made but a different artist and I had to not only clean up the mess but meet the expectations of a customer that has already been let down once.

I completed their request with the quality that they were promised the first time. I have very little vacation time left but I needed a mental break. I needed to center myself and relax or I was going to go through the weekend frazzled and anxious. I would take it home and worry. Well, NOT TODAY! I walked straight up to my supervisor and told her to put me down for 1/2 day of vacation. She followed with a list of items that needed to be done and frankly it wasn’t in my job requirements. It’s not my fault that other people called in. I decided I deserved a little me time in a quiet house before the kids got home and write, doodle and dare I think nap? OF COURSE.

I stopped and picked up another watercolor journal for a personal project. The idea came from a talented artist Sharon. Please go and check out her work. I already do daily random word doodles and they are helping loosen me up and find confidence. So, I would like to attempt an

ABC watercolor journal. I want this to be done weekly making it a 26-week project. Super excited.

I have also been exercising my short story writing skills and not only learning a lot about myself but finding my voice. My 6 word storied of daily prompts helps boost my creativity. I have a deadline of the 20th to submit a piece to Carrot Ranch. I’m working out where I want my 99 words to go and can’t quite make it come full circle.

 

I also did something I NEVER do. I RSVPd for a WordPress meetup. I will be bringing my husband as I’m nervous and he wants to see more of what I do. He’s a rock of support helping me find time to write and paint. I would also like to thank the great community of bloggers. There is so much talent in the writers’ fingers or the artists’ palms. You guys are the people I wanted to be when I grew up. There is a great deal of encouragement and support.

I also have started a Facebook page and Instagram. I hope I can handle it. If for one minute I think that it’s taking away from my writing and painting I’m taking them down. My husband recommended it to me and I will try. Tomorrow morning I am trying strawberry jam on toast with bacon. Recommended by a fellow blogger.

 

Watercolor and Self-Care

I promised myself that I would add better quality paints, inks, pens, etc…little by little. Yesterday before sitting down and working on a longer short story I wanted to purchase a better quality gel pen. I have been working with cheaper quality and it showed in my art. I really wanted a white gel to gain better highlighting details. So, I did just that. The really good white gel pen was in a locked case so I went with the second recommendation that I received-the Gelly Roll. I am in LOVE with the pigment and water resistance.

I watched movies with my husband last night so I didn’t do much else. But this morning, I woke up and realized daylight savings time occurred while we slept so I rushed to get ready and do the weekly grocery trip. Even though I was early I ran into a LOT of old customers from my bartending jobs. I heard about how much they missed me, that I needed to return to clean out the bar and get better people in there, that the whole town suffered…the list goes on. All that did was stress me out. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there but I had to finish the marketing. I did and I also forgot some things which I will send my husband to get. I was anxious and on the verge of a panic attack. I came home and cleaned out my writing/art area because my kids just can’t understand that it’s my safe space but they’ll get there. Now that I rambled on about my CPTSD and how my flight overran my fight here’s something I did to help calm me and get me back to a healthy frame of mind.

This is a watercolor Strawberry Finch. Fun fact, I have finches next to my desk because their songs help me relax.

The supplies I used:

  • 140lb cold press (it’s a journal and I’m not ready to move to large projects plus I like the texture of the paper which is also soothing for me to hear the brush against)
  • Gelly Roll gel pen (white)
  • Faber-Castell pen (fine point black ink)
  • Indian Ink (still learning to play with the ink)
  • Watercolors (right now Daler and Rowney tubes-they’re affordable for me at the moment)
  • Brush Pens (cheap and learned they don’t work well on wet paper)

I want to attempt a colorful rooster and something fluffy but that’s for a different day. Completing this small bird was an accomplishment for me. I was able to relax and focus. My heart rate slowed and my mind wasn’t overthinking anything. It was my self-care. I took time to do something that made me feel better.

What is your outlet to calm down or something that you do for your self-care? Don’t feel guilty. I’m still learning not to feel guilty and not to give too much of myself because there isn’t anything left for me.

March 10th, 2018

It’s been a hell of a week. I can take the stress of deadlines and last minute projects because they are few and far between until this past week. On a good work week, my workload will average between 20 and 40 color-up requests. That does not include getting orders ready to be printed. This week I managed 152 color-up requests, an emergency banner (that needed to be completed within 8 hours to make the printer deadline) and an emergency handout that needed to be printed and ready to go within 24 hours. Then there was the imprint work for uniforms, approval forms, and they also needed me on the floor to help print.

Understand, I was a blue collar worker before my graphic design job. I was raised by a roughneck oil field worker. He taught me that nothing in this world is free and if I want something I have to work for it. So, I worked hard in college while working two jobs, three kids, a house to run then a divorce from my abuser. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and paid my dues. I worked odd design jobs and internships before landing where I am today. So when they asked me to go on the floor I did just that. I left the floor when I saw that the employees that were supposed to be too busy to print were talking, laughing, drinking coffee and checking phones. I refused to be used like that. I cranked out my order of 160 and went back to cave. There I was met with more work 15 minutes before I was to clock out and leave for the weekend. I decided that I would take my time. I was mentally exhausted to the point I had a headache, eyes were aching, 3 major panic attacks, one crying meltdown, and physical exhaustion. It took everything I had to write my short stories and doodle.

My husband listened to what was going on which helped a lot. He encouraged me to write more after telling him about submissions and what I wanted to do and what I am doing. I realized work was the reason why I was in a funk. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be doing some much-needed self-care. I will write, paint, read, and rest.

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