Month: December 2017

Goals, Non-Goals…it’s all good!!

Goals, Non-Goals…it’s all good!!

I am again taking a bit of a change from the 30 day challenge, especially since it is New Year’s eve. This time of year always seems to be about organization and goal planning and getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. I remember as a teenager making lists on my goals for the upcoming year only to realize that I never stuck to them. So I stopped doing that. I realized that the way my brain and life work are not as structured as sticking to lists. I would rather have general ideas for goals and not let myself down if I don’t achieve them.


On this New Year’s Eve I am thinking about the future and how things may evolve over time. Since I am laid up and not able to do much of anything physical, my mind has time to mull things over. That can be a positive, but also has it’s negatives. So here are some of my thoughts as I ponder life in the next year:

  1. I am happy with where my mental health is at. I don’t always have good days (who doesn’t have a bad day at times!), but overall I am at a place that I am managing my mental illnesses (Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder) very successfully. I even consider the fact that I don’t fall into the criteria for BPD like I used to. I take a combination of medications that works right for me and I use the tools I have learned over the years to manage my stress better, my self-injury urges and overall daily living. HOORAY!!!!!
  2. My physical health is still uncertain. My hip replacement gone wrong is starting to heal after the second surgery. I would love to say my goal is to hike and bike and walk and walk some more, but honestly I am not convinced yet. My physical therapist is being positive but even she is unsure how my healing will go because I had such an unusual situation. So, for now I will continue my exercises, push myself a little more when I feel up to it and hope that the coming year gives me healing and comfort from this pain.
  3. I would like to make some kind of goals for my future. Hahaha, I know I just said I didn’t make goals, but I don’t know, I am trying to figure out SOMETHING!  I am 51 years old and don’t really have a direction in life. I have a decent job. My youngest child is almost 17 so he won’t me home for many more years, I love being a grandma but I also know my kids have their own lives and I am not part of that on a daily basis. I am single which may play a bigger role than I realize in my feeling a bit lost in my future mind. I don’t know, I guess I don’t know what I am supposed to Do or Be at this juncture in life and moving forward. Do you have a way to goal set for a 50+ single woman? Would love your comments and ideas.
  4. Writing this blog is making me happy. I know I have only been writing for a few weeks, but I really do enjoy it. I am hoping as I move forward with it I can write about mental health and offer ideas and thoughts and insight into my own struggles and achievements with mental illness. I know it helps reading or hearing about someone who has “lived it.” I would like to give back because others have helped me so much over the years.

Other than what I have mentioned I don’t have any big goals or dreams for the year. Yes, a clean closet and a garage sale and general organization in the house would be great, but I am not holding myself accountable if that doesn’t get done.


Tell me about your plans for 2018, or your non-plans!!! To all of my readers I wish you a happy and healthy 2018. I know there will be tough times during the year, but  I encourage you to seek out people who you enjoy, silence and Peace that is essential and to be gentle with yourself.


It’s Opposite Day!!!

It’s Opposite Day!!!

If any of you have lived through the era of Spongebob Squarepants you may remember “Opposite Day.” Spongebob and Patrick get into all kinds of shenanigans with saying and doing everything opposite than normal. It’s rather funny, I know that I  have heard the episode multiple times because my 4 kids were definitely Spongebob fans.

I am making today’s challenge opposite of what it “should” be. The challenge question asked for me to write today are what are my worst habits. Oh goodness, really? Do I really want to sit here and write about a bunch of negative things? Or at least what I assume are negative about me? No thank you!!  For those of us who live with mental illness we know how hard it can be to have positive self esteem. My life took a real downturn many years ago around the time of my divorce and my self esteem hit rock bottom. Probably somewhere under that rock is where my self esteem actually was hiding. My mental illnesses intensified which led to self-injury, horrible self-worth and more. It has taken me years and years to build my self esteem back up. Even today I have hard time believing that I am “good enough,” or else sometimes a circumstance arises where I fall right back under that rock. Luckily I have learned to climb out, but it’s not always easy.

So, in honor of Opposite Day, I will say a few positive things about myself.

1.I think I always will say that I have been a good mom. Not the best, but who really is?   I love being a mom, with all of its ups and downs and in-betweens. Even during my darkest days I held on to the fact that I loved my kids more than anything and did the best I could at being a single loving mother. The 4 of them are my first joys and always will be.

2, So I think I am a good listener. Lol sometimes that can be hard because you get with a person who LOVES to talk about themselves and never shuts up!! Hahaha, but over all, yes I like to listen and offer caring support to others when I can.

3. I am dedicated to my job. Most of the time. I work for a non-profit which means I am helping others and that is good. It is a very stressful job which can be disadvantageous to my brain health. But I know I work hard and do the best I can. As I am in a long-term recovery at home right now, it is hard to think about work, but I will get back to it in time.


Oh gosh, my mind just went blank!! Seriously blank!  I guess I have put myself on the spot and my mind starts reverting to negative perceptions of myself instead of positive. This damn Opposite Day isn’t working! I should really try harder to come up with things, but I think it better if I stop because my brain is feeling a bit overwhelmed and bad habit thoughts are creeping in.

Do you ever try coming up with positives to boost your self-esteem? Do you try daily affirmations or some other trick to feel good about YOU. I would love to hear your ideas.


It’s ok, take a peek!!

It’s ok, take a peek!!

Day 8 – hooray I have made it a over a week and I am quite enjoying writing these blogs. When I saw my therapist on Thursday he commented that writing is always a positive activity for me. I don’t always write about cheerful things, but the process of sitting down and getting my thoughts on “paper” is good for me. So for today we are taking a look into my purse. At first I thought it kind a silly challenge questions, but the more I work on this, the more I am enjoying the process.

Yes I have always used a purse. Even when I was in college with a backpack I would have a small purse stuffed inside. Having mobility issues over the past few years has changed my purse style. I love having a pretty bag slung over my shoulder  (and also necessary when carrying my kids when they were little.) Due to having to use a cane it makes the whole sling over look harder. Who would have thought?! Something that I can hold on to the straps and not worry about them sliding all over is a necessity.  I also don’t spend a lot of money on my handbag. Thrift stores have some great finds or I check out Target or Walmart or sometimes Burlington Coat Factory if I feel like splurging. I also use one bag at a time. I know some women change out purses to go with their outfits but I just stick with the one.

purse again

Here is my current purse. I have not had it for too long so I still really like it.  It has lots of nice pockets and not too big as to lose everything in the bottom. I tend to keep my purse fairly tidy, so really what I am showing you is about what I found when I started (except a few gum wrappers!) The green ribbon on the front is to support mental illness. I went to a state NAMI conference and they gave us these pins. It really does mean a lot to me.

When I cam to figuring out how to show you the contents of my purse I really had fun with this. I thought of doing a small video, but decided this was more in my comfort zone.

purse pic

I’ll give you a little tour of what’s here and why:

  1. My eyeglasses case and reading glasses. My son laughs because I have so many dollar store glasses around the house, but in my purse I have just the one pair. Usually.
  2. This is my holder for my business cards. In this day and age of the internet and email and social media, we don’t hand out cards too often, but I have a few and this little container is so pretty. I think I got it on Amazon.
  3. These are the two kinds of pills I usually keep with me. Ibuprofen I have on hand for aches and pains and the prescription is for lorazepam. I feel so good that I rarely have to take the lorazepam anymore. During my really hard years of my mental illnesses I had sooooo much anxiety that having these anti-anxiety meds were very important. I still keep them in my purse because every now and again I find myself in a situation where my anxiety level starts to skyrocket and I know that it is aok to have this medication handy.
  4. Ahhhh my favorite gum!!!! Wrigley’s 5 gum in peppermint is the best gum ever!!! Well at least in my opinion. It lasts longer than any other gum and the flavor is awesome!
  5. Just a couple of pens, nothing special. But why is it when I really need a pen I can’t find one in my purse?!
  6. This is my little elephant. I am surprised I have never named him because he has sure been a lifesaver. I think I bought him about 10 years ago and he is a great little critter to hold onto when I am stressed and having anxiety. I can pull him out in a meeting or classroom or any time I am anxious and I can smush him all around in my hands going rather unnoticed.  I really should name him. Any thoughts?
  7. I like to have a little hand cream in my purse. This Neutrogena is good if you have parched hands. It is a little to thick for my liking but the size is perfect. I’ll have to find something new when this one runs out.
  8. My wallet – I LOVE my wallet!! I bought it at the same time as my purse (at Walmart). It has all of the perfect slots and pockets needed for all my cards and bills. It’s funny how incredibly particular I am about my wallet.
  9. Keys – work, house, car, mailbox. They are easy to find with that blue and white key ring and its pretty as well.
  10. These are a selection of lipsticks and a mascara that I have in my purse right now:
    1. Arbonne Orchid
    2. Avon ‘Totally Twig’
    3. Maybelline Super Stay matte ink ‘Dreamer’
    4. Ulta Auto Lip Liner ‘Spice’
    5. Avon ‘Toasted Rose’
    6. Revlon ‘HD Desert’
    7. Avon True Color Wide Awake Mascara
    8. The little round container is an olive oil lip balm from Davis Farmers Market   Davis is where I grew up so I always have a special fondness when I use this creamy balm.
  11. Coins – yes not that exciting except when you have A LOT of them! I never put my coins in the coin section of my wallet. I let them drop to the bottom of my purse. When I clean things out I add those coins to a jar and watch the money grow.
  12. My sunglasses. I can’t go without them but just as with my readers and my purse and wallet, I don’t spend a lot of money on my sunglasses. I swear when I have spent a little more than normal, I lose them! Ugh!! So I stay with the cheapies.

Well there you have it – the contents of my purse. Like I said I really did enjoy this exercise and I hope you enjoyed taking a peek and maybe getting some ideas for your purse organization.


Pet Peeves…..UGH!!!!

Pet Peeves…..UGH!!!!

Oh my goodness, pet peeves!!!  I think some days my irritations are much more than others. I don’t know if that is because of the weather, my sleep the night before, my illness. I would say all of those combined.  Anyway, pet peeves truly are annoyingly frustrating!!

Are you sound sensitive? If you are you know exactly where I am coming from. There are sounds during the day that drive me cuckoo!  At work if someone is quietly tapping their foot it aggravates the hell out of me. If a clock is ticking I want to take the batteries out. Commotion noise is awful as well. Hahahaha just thinking about it is not a good thing!!


There is another noise out in this world that is awful. I won’t describe it but suffice it to say I get immediate flashbacks to my abuse as young girl. 40 years later I cannot “undo” this sound-memory from my life. It is actually a PTSD type reaction. Anger and sickness is what I usually feel from this. Maybe someday I will be able trash this sound as a pet peeve.

Ok chalk – yes CHALK. I CAN’T HANDLE IT!!  How it looks, how it sounds, its smell, on and on and on!  I really don’t know how I got this weirdness about chalk but it sure is strong. Even thinking about I get the shivers!!!! Let’s not think about it.

Did you know there are lists for pet peeves?  Huffington Post has a list of 76!! I decided not to look at it because I didn’t want to add to my own personal list!!

I’m sure I have more pet peeves, but I don’t really want to think about them. This is part of managing my mental health that I need aware of: understand that I have pet peeves and irritations, but not necessarily get wrapped up in how they affect me.

Share with me some of your irritations – if you dare!!!


The perfect gift – an Amazon gift card (this website is an Amazon Affiliate 🙂 )

Morning Thoughts

Morning Thoughts

Good Morning!  Don’t worry, I have not given up on the 30 day challenge. Day 7 is posting later today. I guess I just wanted to share with you my quiet morning and how nice it is. I made my coffee and am perusing the internet to see what’s new. Since writing this blog is very new to me (and you), I am working at building a presence on various social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I don’t exactly know if I am going about this correctly, but at least I am giving it a go. It seems so many people have blogs about successfully writing blogs and then they charge money for their program. I get that they are trying to make a buck like the rest of us, but I wish there was one tried and true way to be successful at this. Patience, I think is a key ingredient. And believing mySelf that I can make this a success. It can be very difficult to believe in ourselves, but again it’s a key ingredient to feeling successful.


So I am off to see my therapist today. Gosh, it has been at least 6 weeks since I have seen him. I remember back in the years when my Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) were so severe that I was seeing him twice a week. I am thankful that I have been able to continue this therapeutic relationship with him over the years. I know it has been a huge factor in my healing. At this point I probably don’t really “need” to see him, but I just can’t totally let go, and nor do I have to, which is great. It’s nice to check in with him and talk about whatever, sometimes nothing stressful, just what comes to mind.  I have that security that he is available by phone if I need to talk (though anymore that rarely happens) and for our 6 week check-in. It’s a bit of comfort and reassurance that keeps me on track.

I best be getting ready. Ever since I had this hip surgery misadventure it takes me quite a long time to get ready. But I do take moments during the day to NOTICE that my physical body is starting to heal. Very slow, but very gradual.

How is your day?




Let’s Make Sense of this Together

Let’s Make Sense of this Together

Today’s challenge is fantastic teaching tool to talk about mindfulness, or living in the moment. As I began my years of therapy for treatment and management of Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I learned about mindfulness. I had heard the term before and thought it had only to do with meditation and never really gave it much thought. While mindfulness IS a tool in mediation, it is also a great tool to use when your mind is going all over the place, when you are stressed, when you are upset or when you just want to take a few minutes out of your day to “chill.”  Have you ever heard of Dialectical Behavior Therapy? This is a tremendously helpful therapy for those who have BPD. Let me know if you would like some reference material or websites to learn more about it.

The challenge question today asks about my senses. I take that as examining each sense, in the moment and describe it. This is a mindfulness skill. My first time working with all my senses in a practice was when I was in the hospital many years ago for psychiatric reasons. The instructor gave us each an orange and we used all 5 of our senses to appreciate the orange. It’s amazing how your mind settles down and refocuses when you are in the moment and aware of each of your senses.

So this is a little different. I examind my 5 senses today and took each one and looked at it. For that moment.



This is my cat Molly. She is about 5 years old and so sweet. Except if the grandkids try to pet her!!  I love when she sits on my bed and I can pet her. Her soft fluffy fur feels amazing. And the silly cat is so much friendlier when she is hungry so I had a great time petting her this morning. Now she has been fed and I cannot figure out where she is!!






I love candles, especially in the winter. The little flickering flame brings Peace to my mind so quickly. Today as I was looking at the flame, I had memories of camping and watching the campfire. And today those memories didn’t make me sad. For that, I am thankful. I think I would like flickering candles all over my room at night!





pouty lincon

This was the hardest sense for me. I think becaue we are pounded with so many sounds every day and to try and take one sound and sort it out can be difficult.  Here is a picture of my youngest grandson. His little face is so darn cute and looking ready for a cry. While I haven’t heard this sound today, I can totally hear it inmy mind. It’s the sound of a newborn crying. There is something about that sound that just melts my heart and wants me to hold that baby and comfort him. I realize that most of the time they want to eat so I cannot help, but that cry, even when I hear it in a grocery store, or out and about, just makes my mind focus on that little being. I forget anything and everything that may be bothering my mind and want to care for the infant. I think I would be a great “baby holder.” You know, one of those grandparent-ly types who just hold babies in hospitals. That would be heaven



This is a picture of the most amazing smell.  I discovered this Aveda product years and years ago. It is an organic oil filled with lavender, rosemary, bergamot and other flowers. I don’t know how other people use it, but when I am having a hard time sleeping, I put 3 or 4 drops in my hand and inhale the smell and rub it on my face. I swear I can fall asleep so fast after that! Mmmmmmm definitely a mindful aroma.





Last but not least is taste. Coffee is the taste for the morning. Well, most every morning!  I absulutely love my Keurig and I make one cup of coffee each day that tastes sooooooo good. A little bit of milk and a little bit of vanilla creamer and heat it up in microwave till it is hot hot hot. My kids think I burn my tastebuds off, but I do it that I can enjoy the tasty cup and keep it warm longer. Do I have a favorite kind of coffee?  I think my recent favorite is Good Bean. They just recently started making pods and the coffee tastes rich and flavorful.



So there you have it, My five senses examined for today. For the moment. Try this exercise yourself.  Escape for a time and take an item, such as an orange, and spend 10 going through each sense to be mindful of the experience. Or look for something in your day that uses a specific sense, and FEEL the moment.


Check out these affiliate links below:  Love them all!!

I don’t like this one!!!!

I don’t like this one!!!!

So, today’s challenge question is about music. Don’t get me wrong, I love so many different kinds of music, but I am supposed to list my 10 favorite songs for right now, for this moment. There are definitely times in my life when I listen to a lot more music than others. I get into some genre kick like country or pop or classical and listen, listen, listen. I don’t seem to be on that kick right now. While I am healing from surgery, you would think I would have music on all the time, but I don’t.silence

One thing I enjoy is having Amazon Alexa handy to talk to. She is not as entertaining as Siri but I can ask her to play music and we do play games together every once and awhile. These days it seems like I am wanting quiet music, both at home and at work. I haven’t really mentioned worked to you because I am still cooped up in my house for a few more weeks, but when I AM at work, I need PEACE in my headphones. I work in a very noisy place, so if and when I can, I find solitude in soft music, or yes, even white noise!  If you are a person like me who is very sound sensitive, try listening to white noise in your headphones. There are many different kinds and it’s amazing how it can drown out what’s around you and you also don’t have to “think about” what you are listening to, if that makes sense.


I guess this blog questions is not a real exciting one for me, or else I am a wee bit boring with music right now. I like NPR when I am in the car and usually just silence at home.

I know those of us with mental illnesses can have a hard time with noise or music or what have you. Our brains can be going 5,000 miles an hour at times and adding one more thing like music can be somewhat unpleasant.

What type of music do you listen to? Or do you like the background of tv? Let me know!!