Still in the Woods

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I cannot wait until I can write a post called, “And then I lived to tell about it.” But unfortunately I’m not there yet. My computer is back up and running. I have all the software I need to work on a day to day basis but I can’t use my apple mail or safari. Both cause ram-crunching memory leaks.

It’s really weird. It’s either a virus, which I haven’t found any evidence of, OR some kind of cache issue where Carbonite backed up so many versions of things that my email and internet browser can’t find the cache they are looking for. I just need to find those caches and throw them out but I’m floundering because I can’t tell what is what.

The good news is Toby is helping me out. He’s been a real friend through all this. It’s funny how I have all these mixed up feelings about our disolved marriage and where things should be with our (still pending) divorce. But stronger than all that is our friendship. It seems to have stood the test of time. I am so thankful for that. It doesn’t make sense to the outside world but I just have to tell myself that outside opinions don’t matter. We are a still a family. Not a traditional one but we still put each other first which is really cool.

Anyway, when I finally get it all sorted out I’ll try to write a comprehensive post about what happened to my hard drive and why the restoration process went so wrong with Carbonite. I’m sad to say I can’t recommend Carbonite as a product if you own your own business. It’s handy if you need to back up 30 gigs or less but if you have a mac I wouldn’t recommend it. They say they are compatible but they aren’t.

In the meantime, I’ve got a busy week! Work has been flooding in which is a real answer to prayer.

It’s funny, before this whole computer problem happened, I prayed that I would be more motivated to work. I was in a slump creatively. Nothing really made me feel excited anymore and I hate that. It’s really hard to be creative when you are bored. I can’t really do my best work unless I’m on fire over whatever project I’m working on or I have a deadline looming. Deadlines are good for inspiration.

If neither deadline nor interest are present in a project then I tend to while away my time cleaning my house and watching Netflix. It’s stupid and pathetic. There is a reason why creative people are not good business people and this is it for me. I can’t afford to be a domestic goddess or up on all the latest tv shows. But when the juices aren’t flowing they aren’t. I’m a blob of stagnant energy.

Kick the computer that I work on out from under me for a month and suddenly the urgency to make money is knocking me down so hard I wake up with panic attacks every night. It was getting really bad. I would lay awake for four hours every night doing nothing but stress out with such concentration that I could almost feel it like a bag of bricks on my chest. Everything from impending cancer to eviction to the possibility that there is no God…my brain worked so hard pedaling backwards in it’s tiny hamster cage, I think smoke came out my ears.

Normally, when I can’t sleep I just open my laptop and start working on something. It’s the best cure for insomnia and underproduction. If it’s boring it puts me back to sleep. But I had no laptop. I had an ipad that I could watch movies on but I couldn’t turn off the smoking hamster wheel long enough to keep track of any storyline. Every five seconds I would launch into some new anxiety attack.

Well, anyway. I’m sure I’m not unique to this. Many many bloggers have written about their battles with mental illness or depression or financial troubles. I don’t think I’m mentally ill. I think I just hit on some hard times. Hard times are happening to all of us. It’s not an easy time in history to be providing for a family but it’s not going to get easier either so we best buck up and make the most of what we have, right?

I can say that I started reading my bible every day and praying on my knees. I used to just say a prayer wherever and whenever. Doing dishes, taking a shower, sitting on the pot. Whatever! God doesn’t care, right? Well, I think he does. I kept thinking how the bible always talks about prayer and fasting together. I’ve never really gotten around to fasting but I’ve started praying with more purpose. I actually get on my knees, put my head down and then pray for ten things. I count them off finger by finger and it takes me outside my hamster wheel brain just long enough to stop the destructive cycle that has been my thoughts lately. You can call it whatever you like. Maybe I’m fooling myself with some kind of mental meditation or maybe God hears me and prayer actually works. All I can say is that it’s helped me a lot. I was so down and now I feel hope again.

Skate the Day Away!

skates

Yesterday was not very Valentinetastic for me but then I didn’t really expect it to be. I am, afterall, decidedly single. Bug, however, had a super valentine-tastic day. She got flowers from her dad AND we went ice skating! Wooo Hooo! High fives all around! It was pretty cool if I do say so myself.

working her way around

The apartment complex we live in emailed out free tickets for one session on Valentine’s Day. I figured we didn’t really have anything much better to do and the sessions are usually quite expensive so why not? The rink is in a nearby outdoor mall and quite small but it’s still charming. And they play music loud so Bug was down with it in spades.

this is hard.

Bug started out hugging the wall all the way around. The ice was really slippery and quite cut up from all the other people skating. I tried a few rounds myself and even though I can roller skate decently, I had to go back and change skates to a smaller size. I just felt so wobbly and scared that I was going to fall and break something.

Buglet

It’s a whole new ballgame of worries when you’re 40 and you have crappy medical insurance with a super-high deductible. My Dad broke his arm when I was a baby from ice skating so I always have that in the back of my mind. The smaller skates helped a lot but after a half hour of skid-sliding around, I thought I better sit it out and cut my losses. So I grabbed my camera and tried to capture the fun that Bug was having instead.

half smile

Don’t let the half smile-smirk fool you. She was loving it.

hi Mom!

Things got exponentially better when her friend showed up. They are both so tiny and mighty with their personalities that are bigger than they are. They trekked and slid around that little rink over and over and over. They got pretty good at it and soon were doing their little shuffle-skate moves in the middle, far away from the floundering beginners at the wall.

buddies

Three hours passed and they were still going strong.

Here’s a little video of Bug doing her thing:

Not quite skating but getting around none the less.

The interesting part for me was that I forgot my phone at home. In the olden golden days this would be no big deal but just like everybody else on this planet these days, I have gotten quite addicted to all the fun aps and social media connections that I can check into every other minute. Being forced to sit there and people-watch hour after hour was really mind-opening.

The Bug Shuffle

I apologize for opening up the dark side of my life on this post but you know it’s been there lurking. You’ve probably been wondering how I’m doing when I don’t blog. Among many other reasons (like being busy or boring or lazy…) I’ve been going through some “stuff” lately. Every time I find myself in a low place and tears start to flow, I have to remind myself that there is a giant iceberg of hurt inside me and it’s going to take a long long time for all that to melt.

I always think I’m so strong and I can just buck up and get over things in a snap but I’m fooling myself. You don’t get over stuff in a snap. You just think you do and then it creeps back in disguised as some other disappointment and before you know it the dam breaks and you’re crying buckets. Not over the small disappointment but over the years of disappointment. Anyway. That is too sad and too depressing to wallow in. I just wanted to say it because if I think of the iceberg melting, it makes me think that maybe I’m making progress. That maybe someday I’ll melt this damn thing.

Sitting there watching all the Valentine couples skating around and nearly falling on their cute little I’m-out-on-romantic-date-outfitted butts was a good exercise for me. I wasn’t that jealous of them. They were funny and silly and they made me smile. I didn’t have my phone or food or Netflix to escape into so I just sat there and thought about where I am in my life and where I want to be and how I want to be a better mom to the one and only most important person in my life. I could go into that more but this post needs to wrap up.

skating the night away

So this morning when Bug woke up and could hardly move her legs because they were so sore from skating, I had to smile with pity. Poor thing. They had had a Jump Rope For Heart jump-roping session at her school earlier on Valentines and then adding all that skating really did her in. So it’s no wonder my brain is a little sore. Ice melting is hard work too.