Quick, Easy Cleaning Tips for Spoonies

*This post may contain a few affiliate links to the products I love for making cleaning a little easier. I will only share products I actually think are great personally and think are a good deal. :)

If you're a Spoonie, you've most likely said that phrase out loud before or at the least, thought it. Even if you aren't a Spoonie- if you have young kids or a busy lifestyle, chances are you've stared at a disheveled house wondering how you could squeeze in the time and energy to get even simple tasks done. 
This is just a brief compilation of a few of my tricks and hacks to get things done.

  • OxiClean. Yes, yes, yes! Love this stuff and wish I'd discovered it years ago. Usually I buy this tub which is available from Amazon on Prime Pantry as well if you use Prime Pantry but occasionally I will also buy Dollar Tree's Awesome! version as well and it works just about as good. 
          I use this for:
  1. Stain Treatment: make a little paste with a half a scoopful and some warm water in a little bowl and scrub it in with a toothbrush or just brush it on and let it sit a bit.
  2. Brightening or refreshing colors in the wash: just throw a scoop in with the load.
  3. Bathroom: I use this the same as I used to use Comet. Less smelly, more powerful in my opinion. Cleans the tub amazingly and a wipe down with it on the sink makes magic!

  • I keep a "random stuff" tote around. You can use a storage box, small basket, tote bag, whatever works for you depending on your household size. If I have to get things straightened up quickly, it's where things left laying out go. Later, I'll sort through and direct things to their appropriate places but often if we can't find something- it's in that little basket and we know to check it. Kinda like a big junk drawer that you can tote around with you as you clean then neatly hide out of sight. 

  • Swiffer! Sweeping and mopping absolutely wipe me out and cause me a lot of pain. Even in the smaller place I am in now, it can be exhausting for me. I got my Swiffer Wet Jet from Amazon because I found it there just about two dollars cheaper than at the store and with Prime, the shipping was free. I have seriously found that most of my favorite brands of household items and cleaning supplies are great deals on Amazon, so a Prime membership definitely pays off getting the free shipping on those.  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

  • Take breaks! I set a timer for 10-15 minutes of cleaning, then sit for a few before I go back at it. Also, keep a light weight chair like a folding chair or camping chair nearby that you can take with you where you might be working for awhile in case you just get overwhelmed or dizzy.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help! Even if they grumble a bit about it, your loved ones would probably rather lend a helping hand than see you over-do it and end up hurting yourself or making yourself sick. I'm blessed that my daughter (12) doesn't mind chipping in at all and will even sometimes do extra things I haven't asked her to do. Now, she is 12 though so... her room may be a disaster while she's unloading the dishwasher for me but... ya gotta choose your battles! Hahaha!

Do you have some awesome tips or a link to some? Please leave them in the comments! I've also included a Pinterest-sized graphic if you'd like to share these with someone or save them for later.

What Your Friend with Chronic Illness Wants You to Know

It's incredibly frustrating at times to explain how you feel, why you can't do something or what your boundaries are to someone who isn't going through it themselves. I've found myself completely flustered and feeling hopeless trying to make some of my loved ones understand before I realized that they just cannot truly understand it and that's okay- actually, that's awesome because I wouldn't want them to experience these struggles.

I've been blessed enough to have a couple of real-life friends (I say real-life to distinguish between my pocket-friends, those amazing, supportive fellow Spoonies I meet in chats, social media networking and on support group boards) who are also Spoonies and generally know what I'm saying when I'm trying to explain myself.

The biggest thing I wish I could get everyone to really know is that what I need more than anything is for them to just be there. No pushing, no pulling, no advice... just keep loving me. Trust me, I've tried, at some point in the last decade and a half, just about every pill, vitamin, diet, breathing exercise, cognitive behavior therapy, miracle cure, etc. I've Googled my brains out. I highly doubt you're going to suggest something I haven't thought about or tried. 

Unfortunately, some of my conditions are chronic. They aren't going anywhere. I believe in the power of prayer. I know that if God wants to lift this off of me, He will. There have been so many times I've cried out to Him and He's given me rest, relief or gotten me through a moment I found unbearable. However, I'm accepting of the fact that He's allowed this for a reason and it's up to me to make the best of it.

I reached out on social media to ask what some others would want their friends to understand about their illness or being a Spoonie and this is what some of them had to say:

  • The pain is there even if I'm pretending to be normal and your laundry detergent is giving me a migraine.
  • The story is inside, not the pretty cover for my kids.
  • It's not a choice.
  • I have about half the energy on a good day compared to an otherwise healthy person. On a bad day its about 10% of a healthy human.
  • Every aspect, every second of my life takes so much effort and it is filled with immense pain. Be gentle.
  • I still want to be asked to do things or be told about things. Treat me normally even if I can't get out or make it.
  • I may not always see them but I love them unconditionally.
  • I still want to be asked. Don't just assume I'll always say no. Give me a chance.
  • It could happen to you.
  • I didn't ask for this and don't want this so please stop treating me like I can change it so easily.
  • I don't expect you to fully understand, I just want you to understand enough to not hurt me.

These responses came from fellow Spoonies with a wide variety of types of Chronic Illness so they definitely aren't "one-size-fits-all" but do convey very common thoughts and wishes amongst many of us.

If you have a friend that you really care about and you've seen them label themselves a "spoonie" before, this might guide you in the right direction but I would encourage you to ask them personally what the one thing they truly want you to understand is and then be patient for a response- sometimes some of us can be too tired to even explain what's going on in our lives or bodies. Taking the time to read this post shows a huge step of dedication to your friendship and that is an incredible thing. Thank you for that and please continue to be a source of support and love.

Crock Pot Loaded Tater Soup

I'm not really a great cook. I grew up on Spam and Mac N Cheese, hot dogs and chips and Hamburger Helper. My attempts at experimenting in the kitchen have been about as successful as my attempts at having houseplants. However, occasionally I manage to whip something up that ends up being a hit not a miss. This one was a hit. I'm always trying to find simple dinners that I don't have to stand over, breaking my back to get done. This one was especially easy because a dear friend peeled and cut the taters for me, so all I had to do was dump and stir. 
I added a bit of garlic powder to the mix as well, and substituted regular salt for onion salt, which gave it just a tiny bit more flavor. If you try it, let me know what you think and what variations you try in the comments! Enjoy!

Happy National Hugging Day 2017!

It's National Hugging Day! 
Per National Day Calendar the purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. Click on the link to learn more.

Here's a few things to consider while observing this holiday:

1. Hug a spoonie gently. Nerve pain, trigger points and soreness are just some of the issues that can create a barrier for affection sharing. Ask if they are needing a big warm squeeze or if a more gentle hug would be appropriate for them today. There's also a possibility they might not want a hug at all and if that's the case, it may feel like a hug to them to know that the sentiment was there and someone cares. 

2. Hug someone for 20 seconds. I don't know just how credible they are but I've seen a ton of articles reporting that hugging for 20 seconds increases Oxytocin. I can say that I've tested this and found myself in an awkward situation when I was asked, "umm... why are you counting?" but that I do find a longer embrace does tend to give a more "warm and fuzzy" feeling.

3. For goodness sake, don't cough on anyone, keep your hands washed and don't participate if you're currently in the contagious stages of an illness. Especially if you're hugging a spoonie. We don't need that. Just give us a rain check.

I'm gonna be sharing this graphic (below) on my personal social media, hopefully since I'm still trying to fight my way out of this agoraphobia and not travelling out much some of my friends will find me where I always am and give me a hug if they are out and about in my area! (lol) Share it, share this post and share a hug. :) 

A Spoonful of My Life 1-20-17

Today wasn't too bad.

I was hurting pretty bad and unable to sleep last night but I got some napping in this morning while watching Netflix.

I left the house twice.
That's kind of a big deal.

The first trip out was successful- a quick run to Rite-Aid. 

Then, I logged on to my new job for the first time to meet my trainer, make sure I could access everything and had everything set-up right for my first day (Sunday! eek!) and that went really well. My trainer seems incredibly nice and everything was good to go, which is a complete shocker for my luck and not at all how my last two jobs started! Even though it's a bit different from what I've been doing and a little more challenging, I'm super excited.

The second trip out was not as successful- attempted to go out to eat with a friend. I made it about two miles down the road before the fight or flight kicked in hard and I turned it around. I beat myself up for it a whole ten minutes before I decided it was okay and my friend just brought me some take-out. 

I've been goofing off with my kiddo since then. We put on goofy hats, glasses, scarfs and even cami's and bras over our clothes and danced to our favorite songs. I love being silly with her. 
I think there's storms coming this weekend. I've seen some stuff about it on my phone and I can feel barometric changes. That's gonna be fun. Ha. 

I had some stuff get to me the last couple days and I think I've been able to shake it off some this evening. Someone from my Chronically Single series kind of contacted me and I thought I'd made complete peace with the situation but it's really a weird situation and there was no closure so... I just had to be friendly with my response and let it go. I feel a strong conviction that despite how much I felt hurt by some things- I should still be praying for him so I am but it's hard to pray for him AND not to think too much about the whole situation at the same time. Messy messy mess. *sigh*

Anyways, that's kind of the casual what's up stuff in my life right now. Tomorrow is National Hugging Day, so I'm gonna share something about that in the morning, then I start the new full time job Sunday so the next post will probably be Tuesday unless I hammer something I've been working on out on Monday before work.
Have a great weekend!

A not-so-crafty Spoonie's DiY project

Painsomnia. Pain in my legs, back, shoulders... you name it. So tired and yet, sleep won't come. The day after one of my last really bad painsomnia nights I made a trip to the Dollar Tree in search of a few things to be kinda creative with and came up with this. I'm by no means a crafty chick. I'll have awesome ideas come into my head and then end up just hot gluing my fingers together. This was simple enough though and super cheap to accomplish.

I wanted something to sit on my desk and remind me that even if this handful of spoons is all I have to use in a given day to assign to tasks- I can make each one fabulous. Taking a shower- play my favorite songs and sing along while I'm in there. Actually blow drying and flat-ironing my hair- smile at myself in the mirror and take plenty of selfies when I'm done. Going to the store- celebrate it as a victory! Working- make someones day better with kindness and empathy. I might not be able to run marathons, accomplish my entire to-do list often but I can do what I can do with a bit of flair!

I grabbed 8 spoons (sold in 2-packs, so that's $4) and 1 small vase ($1). I already had beads, shells, paint, paintbrushes, glitter nail polish....

I just painted each spoon with two coats of acrylic paint and once they were dry I added a coat of a super glittery nail polish to each. I grabbed a handful of mixed beads and tiny shells from my jewelry supplies box (I make handmade earrings for myself and friends sometimes) and put them in the vase then arranged the spoons. Grabbed a random couple of sprigs of something floral and voila!

  How do you make each spoon spent fabulous? Do you have reminders to do so? Share with me!

A Spoonie's Daughter

*A note from Mama: I asked my soon-to-be thirteen year old daughter if she would be interested in sharing her thoughts on what it's like to have a Spoonie Mom. We sat down together and I asked her a few questions and these are her thoughts she would like to share with everyone...

If you asked me what the hardest thing to deal with when my mama is in a flare up or having a hard time it would be that I feel helpless. It's something she has to live with and I can't do anything about it. I wish I could help more than I do but I try my best to be there for her and make things easier. 
It's not like every day is a hard day or a bad day. We have had amazing memories made and been able to go do some really cool stuff together. I think I enjoy little moments more and know how to treasure time when those little moments happen. It's all about perspective. Seeing things differently is something I try to do but it's not always easy.

Would I change anything about the way it is? No, I would not. Everything happens for some kind of reason. I think this has brought us closer together and formed a strong bond between us. It's taught me a lot and made me more aware of the fact that so many people suffer from chronic illnesses and you sometimes don't even know. You really just never know what someone is struggling with so always be kind. You could probably go to any city and walk past some people on a sidewalk and you wouldn't even know they are sick. Not every disability looks the same and are not always obvious at first glance. 

Do I ever feel sad, angry or resentful when my mama can't do things that other moms can do? No, not really. I understand how hard it is for her and I just want her to be comfortable. I'm not into all of the same things other kids my age are so I don't feel like I'm ever missing that much anyways and besides, I really enjoy just hanging out with my mama- watching movies, reading, or even doing different things in the same room. 

I try to make things easier for her by: just being there for her, helping with daily chores (even ones I wasn't asked to do, sometimes!) and just letting her know that she isn't alone in this and I love her.
To other kids with parents who are Spoonies, just remember that your parent loves you. It probably hurts their feelings more than it hurts yours when there is something that they cannot do for you or with you. Try to remember to be thankful that you have them in your life and that you are a family that has to fight together not against each other.

*An ending word from Mama: I'm super proud of this kiddo. I'm very blessed to have her in my life. She's a straight-A student with a huge heart and is wise beyond her years. She rarely challenges me or gives me any trouble and though she has her few-and-far-between moments where it's obvious she's a soon to be teenage girl with quick wit- seriously, our only battle is her keeping her room clean. She'll do dishes or take trash out gladly but hates organizing her own room ("I know where everything is!", lol) I hope her words will encourage you in some way or if you wondered what it was like, you will have gained some sort of understanding. We welcome questions you may have.
I always heard that you can't be your child's best friend but we are definitely the best of friends and it works for us. We're a little team, she and I. 

If you'd like to share this, please do! here's a pinterest-sized image below and there are links at the bottom of the post to share on various social media as well as comment any questions or thoughts!

Stop Commuting, Start Computing!

For awhile now I've had friends ask me how I found the jobs I've found, how I earn Amazon gift cards and how they can get started working from home. To be completely transparent- at this time I'm struggling a little. The last job I took didn't provide the hours expected and it hurt me in the pocket pretty bad. Luckily, I've received an offer for a new job that will be a guaranteed full-time position, so I should be doing better soon. 

I decided that it might be a good idea to compile some of my knowledge (which isn't expert by any means, just my experiences) so that when anyone asks me about working from home now I can point them straight to this link. 

First, the "Why?"

Earning income from home is ideal for many people for various reasons. Are you a mom spending a huge chunk of your paycheck on daycare? Is there a strict dress code at your office and you're having to update your wardrobe far too often? Driving long distances to and from work costs you gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Disabled? That's a huge reason to work from home. 

Personally, I began to look into earning from home for two reasons: I wanted to be at home for my daughter and because my fibromyalgia and anxiety make it difficult for me to get out of the house sometimes.

Now, the "How?"

It's not just going to fall into your lap, most likely. I spent years looking into it before I finally caught my first employee position. Pinterest and Google were my tools for research. Searching terms like, "work from home mom", "WAHM" and "earning income from home" found me lots of great but sometimes confusing and too broad of results for what I was really needing. It was not all in vain, however, as that's how I began to do my "click to earn" stuff like Swagbucks, Clixsense, Bing Rewards and Screenwise Trends (now Crossmedia Panel).

I used the earnings from those as "extra cash" or used the gift cards earned for Christmas gifts. Helpful but not the income I needed. 

I began to search a bit more detailed on both Google and Pinterest and came across Sykes one day. I had seen similar companies before, hiring customer support agents to work from home but many did not hire employees, instead you would be an independent contractor. That is fine for many but does come with the drawback of having to keep up with your taxes and not providing benefits as well as most of those companies did have a good bit of start-up cost and did not pay for training (some even requiring you to pay them to train you) and that just isn't an option for many people starting out!

My experience with Sykes was a good one and I do recommend applying with them. Different programs have different requirements but in general you will need a laptop or desktop computer, fairly new, a land line, Internet and headset. They do have part-time and full-time positions and pay for your training.

My next job was with Amazon Reserves. It started off okay in training but hours are first come, first serve and though upon my hiring I was told to expect full-time hours with a possibility of overtime around the holidays- it definitely was not the case. This would be a good job for just earning a little extra fun money but not one to rely on as a full time income.

The company I just got on with is Concentrix. This position is not one I found by simply googling or pinning. I found this one on careerbuilder.com. All of my interviews were great, the hiring manager was super nice and very informative. I'm quite excited to start this new position (which is actually more technical support than the general customer support that I've done in the past) and learn more and grow more. 

All three of those companies you should definitely research for yourself and read reviews on sites such as GlassDoor before applying to be sure it is the right fit for you.

Indeed and CareerBuilder are the two sites I've used the most for job hunting. Here are some screenshots to show you how to get started on your search. If you do not already have a resume- make one. Your local workforce development office or unemployment office can help you with that usually. 

Another way I've earned Amazon gift cards is through mturk. It's crowd sourcing, small tasks like surveys and transcription that pay from a cent up to a few dollars. You'll join with your Amazon account and once you get approved you can start doing HITS.

Swagbucks is the company I have been with the longest and earned the most through, probably. There are even groups on facebook to help you learn how to use it and if you join through my referral link and sign up under me, let me know if you need any help getting started- I would be happy to point you in the right direction.

I will probably be making some more detailed posts about the various aspects of working from home as well as more tips and links to some opportunities in the future but I do hope this helps you a little or gives you a good starting point for putting fewer miles on your vehicle and more cash in your pocket!

If this was helpful at all to you, or you think it could help someone else, please use the graphic below to Pin this post on Pinterest and use the small icons in the post footer to share to your social media! Thanks! 

(And yes, the Swagbucks is my referral link and the Amazon gift cards at the top is an affiliate link, for disclosure.)

Chronically Single

A chronically single woman. 

I suppose that's what you could call me these days. When you're chronically ill and single it just kind of happens. The best definition I could piece together for a chronically single woman is a woman who desires to be in a committed romantic relationship but continues to find herself either persistently alone or in a series of dead-end relationships. Dead-end relationships. Yep, that sounds about par for me. The last year or so has been a particularly draining misadventure in dating. I've had a friend joke that I should write a book about it. 

Well, how about a series of blog posts instead? 

I'm an over thinker by nature and an insomniac at times, I've spent way too much time attempting to decipher what went wrong, what I'm doing wrong, what I'm looking for... oh that list could go on and on. 

Being a spoonie plays into my dating life as it does every other aspect of my life. It takes a special kind of person to know and love a spoonie unconditionally. Not everyone wants to or is capable of understanding when a date has to be cancelled due to pain, anxiety, migraines, uneasiness or just simply being overwhelmed. Long-term expectations have to be considered as well- how does this person feel about the possibility of being a caregiver of sorts at times? Obviously you never know when life could deal a blow to you or your partner forcing you into that kind of role but when you enter into a relationship with someone who has a chronic illness or disability it is something you have to consider as part of the package.

Add in a heaping cup of trust issues, a pinch of scheduling conflicts and a dash of "I'm not as cute and young as I once was" and you've got yourself a recipe for dating disaster.

I've gone through an entire spectrum of pity parties over my failed attempts at securing a relationship over the course of the past year. In an attempt at finally being over that stage and coming to an acceptance of it simply being what it is, I've decided to vent out my feelings in this series of blog posts and then leave it there. Carrying the weight of the hurt, bitterness and pain is something that has taken a toll on my health and happiness and I just cannot let that continue any longer. I'm taking all of this and using it as permission to forgive myself, love myself and learn from my messes.

**To protect the privacy of the not-so-innocent (ha! I joke) and have some semblance of couth, there obviously will be no names mentioned, so if you happen to by some strange chance be one of the parties that crashed and burned with me- no sweat. I'm not doing this to bash you or cause any foul- it's purely for the purpose of healing, moving on and well, journaling experience- which is a main purpose of this blog anyways. You may not even know it's you that inspired each post so I doubt anyone else will.**

To read the crazy saga, click the links below.

Chronically A Fool

Chronically Mistaken

"We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it"
-Rick Warren

I could kick myself for some of the things I've bought into and fell for. Ya know, if my legs didn't always hurt too bad to kick, so I suppose I'm safe. Ha.

A little synopsis of sorts about this random series of "what-was-I-thinking" moments:

Telling a gal you want someone to wake up to every morning and come home to every night sounds great but sending her pics instead of making plans is just kind of see-through. He's his own worst enemy, always complaining of how he can't find anyone to love or accept him but unwilling to open his eyes to any real possibilities right in front of his face. You can be the "shirt off your back, drop of a dime" kind of guy but uh, it's kinda hard to be that for more than one woman at a time but ya know, to each his own. Taking something you want by physical force is not cool. I think that's just general common sense. Masking pain with alcohol may be soothing for now but it will catch up to you one day and boy, do I hope someone is there to catch you and show you how to heal when it does. Oh, and by the way, I'm not as gullible as I seem sometimes ALL of the time- I know when I'm being used as a convenience. Don't act like you may want more than a friendship from someone one minute then flip it like a pancake in seconds. Little white lies, little white lies.

Whew. None of that probably made any sense to anyone but me but I appreciate the ability to journal it. All the things I've needed to voice for quite some time and even though it's not direct and I'm not actually saying it all or saying it as gruffly as I've felt it, I feel lighter. Like that bouncy feeling after a great haircut!

So, with that I *hope* this concludes my series of misadventures in dating as a single mom with a chronic illness. It's gonna take a miracle to bust this wall down again, that's for sure!

Chronically Clinging

"Just because you didn't start out perfect doesn't mean you can't have an excellent result in the end."
- Debi Thomas

Unstable Notions. A sort of daydream or false hope is what I have to drop at this point. Who knows at this point if this particular adventure is necessarily a misadventure yet but it's being included in this series because, well, it just hasn't worked out the way I hoped thus far and well, that's just one example of why I have to let go of the clinging to things that aren't moving forward.

It began at a time I couldn't fully commit my heart to it the way I should. I wasn't ready, I was still bleeding from an open wound to my heart. He makes me smile, brings me joy when we talk and has even serenaded me a time or two and what girl doesn't just melt for that?! Quadruple brownie points- he prays for me.

It was one really amazing date that felt right and lots of long phone calls, then months of silence while I let others rip me apart even more. He stayed on my mind so I reached back out to him one day, happy to see a reply quickly.

Essentially, he's a pretty awesome person and definitely possesses the things I look for in a partner. So why is it a misadventure? *shrugs* I couldn't even tell ya... I'm clueless. Maybe it isn't. Time will tell.

Chalk this up to the reason many women just like me are chronically single though- we keep getting attached to unavailable men. Whether they are emotionally unavailable or physically unavailable, it's quite the curse. In this case, it's a scheduling issue and an insanely busy lifestyle that keeps this otherwise pleasant possibility from actually moving forward into a commitment and reality.

So, this may not be technically a misadventure... yet. Stay tuned to see, I suppose.

Chronically Vulnerable

“He put his hand on my waist, and my heart began to pound, a rougher rhythm than the music. I held my skirt. Our free hands met. His felt warm and comforting and unsettling and bewildering- all at once.”
-Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

Vulnerable. The weak and easy to fall feeling is what I am dropping here. I had started to build a wall before this particularly earth-shattering misadventure began and I knocked it down for him far too easily.

The compatibility was out-of-this-world. I do mean that to some sort of literal sense, too. Right off the bat there was an intense connection as we shared our hurts and experiences with each other and discussed what we truly wanted and how scared we both were to keep trying. Our faith was our biggest connection and I'm embarrassed to say I allowed the events that ended this attachment to shake mine greatly. I'm trying to climb back out of that hole now.

The first time our hands touched there was a feeling that began as a tingling in my fingers and traveled as a warm currant up my arm and straight to my chest. I drew back in fear but after that point I couldn't resist the magnetism.

Being with him felt like the most perplexing mix of terror and comfort at the same time. I was shaken to the core as the ground began to slip out from under my feet yet his arms, his scent, his words... they somehow caught me and held me captive, suspended in air. I swear I could smell colors and see energy (and no, there was nothing ingested that would cause that!).

He spoke of wanting to have something to offer me more than himself and that he had to get some things handled before he could. He had no confidence in the things he already possessed and could offer to another person. I assured him I only wanted his presence and company. He began to let me in and said three words to me that no man had ever said to me before... "I need you." Those three words knocked me off my feet.

Unfortunately, even when someone seems like the most trustworthy place to land your heart- they may not be at all. In a crazy turn of events, I found out in a very devastating way that I was being deceived. Silly me for believing the reason we were keeping our blossoming courtship quiet was for the reasons he had given me instead of because there was another blossoming courtship on his horizon. I'm still reeling from this particular deception and loss. It's funny how you can know someone for years and not feel as connected to them as someone you've only known a few months and also how strange it is to go from talking to someone just about every day for months to not hearing their voice anymore and what a huge hole that can leave inside.

Chronically A Dreamer

"I think it's important to have closure in any relationship that ends - from a romantic relationship to a friendship. You should always have a sense of clarity at the end and know why it began and why it ended. You need that in your life to move cleanly into your next phase." 
-Jennifer Aniston

Gullible. That's the feeling I choose to leave this one with and not continue to carry the frustration with my own naivety on my shoulders anymore.

So what if you never get that clarity? It just fades away confusingly, as swiftly as the whole thing began. 

Charming words falling off his lips thicker and sweeter than any syrup I've ever tasted. A false sense of security being offered at an arm's reach, then yanked back before it could truly be obtained. It felt like a game. 

I was warned by many that he was dangerous for me. A rebound would be at best what my role would be and that it was all just sounding too good to be true. I chose to be stubborn and fight for what I thought to be true, pretending it would all begin to fall into place and that maybe, just maybe... I was about to get a modern-day prince.

Only... I'm not fit for a modern-day prince. I'm not that girl. I don't care if my shoes get muddy because they didn't cost two hundred dollars. I don't need to travel, go to nice restaurants or have a designer's name on my apparel. I just didn't fit into his world.

As it began to fade, I tried to hold on to the last threads of possibility. He said he would be busy. It will surely pick back up eventually. He needs time to sort his emotions. I will be his friend and support him as he goes through each stage. 

Unfortunately, he didn't need me to wait. He didn't need my friendship or support either it seems. In this particular case it appears the warnings from friends were ones I should have taken seriously because I'm able to look back at it now and see that I was indeed a rebound. Just a small meaningless pawn in a game that had to be played for him to get where he needed to be. Do I wish him the best and hope he does well? Yes, most definitely. I don't even necessarily think that he set out to hurt me or intentionally cause me pain. I do not think he had the clarity in his own head or heart to either love me or to hurt me at the time.

Chronically A Fool

“When you're thirty you're old enough to know better,but still young enough to go ahead and do it.” - Brigitte Bardot

Anger. A true red anger. Angry for being so blind, so naive, so wistful. Angry for dragging the inevitable out. Anger is the best feeling word for this one. So, with this journal entry of misadventure, I hope to leave the anger right here and stop carrying it in my heart and into the future.

Realizing you're being fooled, lied to, lied about... you can see it smack dab in your face but still deny it daily if you really want to see a different picture. Warning signs left and right yet still trying to make it work like trying to fit that last dish into the dishwasher when you know there just isn't any safe place to put it. 

Was I just a convenience? A means to hold a place for a short time period? Nobody is perfect and by golly I know my flaws but a good look back on it shows me that I did try harder than I probably ever have before but when you're trying to make someone love you in a way they just aren't capable of- you're gonna end up being nothing but exhausted. When it's all said and done you have to face the reality of how much precious time was wasted, how much pain was unnecessarily dealt and that you just have to go on like it never happened. It's easier for some, I suppose.

In some ways, I think the reality hit me long before I was ready to accept it and the love began to turn into some type of a passionate turmoil of hate and war. It's laughable to some probably but the song I relate to this one was one that was popular at the very time that began to happen and I began to use it as a way of coping with the rage burning inside. It made me feel like I had some very small grip of control on the emotional roller coaster I was on. If I was going to be labelled as something, well, I darn sure was going to be it to the largest capacity. Crazy. Totally bonkers, off my rocker... okay. How'd I get that way though?

I did it anyway. Thanks Carrie Fisher!

My desktop wallpaper is simple but strong. It says "Do it anyway."- Carrie Fisher. Now, obviously Carrie is not the only person who has uttered those words so it's funny to accredit that quote fully to her but ya know, she was the Princess and all, so no arguing.

I had a situation come up, I was beyond blessed (like tremendously over blessed) with a solution to it today. However, it meant I had to leave the house. *queue the ominous background music* I was able to prop my leg with a pillow before I napped which took some pressure off and relieved some nerve pain I had been battling so my pain was edged off enough that I was able to get in my truck and go.

Enter the anxiety. Approaching the main road I began to feel the tightness in my chest, lump in my throat, nausea, dizziness and general "I gotta get outta here!" feeling. I did. I turned around in a hasty fashion (curbs love me!) and parked my truck right back in front of my home. Brainstorming on how to get what I needed to get handled began and during that process I began to get angry. In this case, angry was just what I needed. I finally just threw that truck back into gear and began to drive through the tears. When I approached the main road again, the song Oceans began playing and I just prayed and kept moving. I've had many moments in my life just like that and as dizzying as it is, I do try to just keep moving.

Thanks to determination, God's protection and a friend's hand to hold- I made it through just fine. I even got a sucker. Felt like a kid who'd just gone and gotten their shots. I'm totally out of spoons for the day now, so I don't expect to be doing much more than having dinner (yay God!) and lounging out with my awesome kiddo but I'm proud of me. I did it anyway.

editing to add: A kind blogger shared a comment below with a link to her post about the song Oceans and what it means to her and her struggle with panic/anxiety. It touched me so much I wanted to make sure it's seen. Go lookie.

I'm no expert but I guess I can help!

My phone's been blowing up quite a bit lately with questions from friends and even people I don't know asking me questions about working from home. I absolutely don't mind sharing what I do know and letting people know when I see an opportunity but it's become a bit overwhelming when mixed in with other phone calls and messages in my daily life and I can be overwhelmed and overstimulated easily which causes... yep, you guessed it- a fibro flare.

I was talking to a friend earlier about how to help share what I know and point my friends in the right direction in a more organized and less stressful way and the idea for a little webinar or something along those lines came to mind. If you're interested in how you can leave the commute behind and work in your pajamas in your own home, part time or full time- this would be the post series for you to pay attention to and keep an eye out for what I come up with in a few days to present to you how I got started in my line of work.

Stay tuned to this blog, check back in a few days or click the links in the sidebar to check out my social media accounts for updates or follow me on Bloglovin'!

Y'all, it's COLD outside! Fibro in full force.

Living in the South, I don't deal with cold very much at all. We get the season of winter for all of about 5-10 days sporadically through the normal winter months. It will suddenly dip into the 20's for a day or two then it's right back into the 60's.

We were warned for days this week of snow coming. Of course, mass hysteria ensued and my area saw no snow, no ice- just a ton of cold rain followed by two very cold and windy days.

It's been a painful weekend. I've never researched to see why things hurts more when it's cold or rainy but I have my own personal suspicions as to why it effects me more. Tensing up or shivering when I'm cold tenses my muscles and causes over stimulation. Add the stress of the media blowing it out of proportion and making sure every precaution is taken... yep, it's flare time baby!

I made it through the weekend alright with just the expected aches and pains and a little extra fatigue so I thought I'd share some of the things that helped me cope.

Showers don't usually hurt me besides being exhausting at times but they did this weekend. I decided to take a bath instead. Eucalyptus Epsom salts added were both comforting and seemed to do the usual Epsom effect of relief from the ache. I played a calming Norah Jones mix playlist while I soaked and it relaxed and warmed me both physically and emotionally.

When I was little, my mom would take one of my blankets and throw it in the dryer for a few minutes before bedtime then rush it in to me, tucking me in. That's stuck with me so I kept one of my throws in the dryer to warm my cold sheets on my bed with before crawling in.

Artificial heat dries me out. My nose, my throat, my skin... sometimes makes me feel like I'm suffocating. I had to use it this weekend but kept it at a minimum and ran a cool mist humidifier in my room.

Rom-com. Oh yes. Lots of Netflix and Amazon Prime watching. Runaway Bride, Legally Blond, Scents and Sensibility (find it, it's great!), and other cheesy but heartwarming movies like that kept me distracted and calm.

I didn't get out in the weather at all. I'm fortunate to have a good support team behind me that make sure I'm taken care of during flares and have what I need, so after going out right before it hit to get a few things, I stayed in jammies for the duration. I'm blessed.

So, that's how I get through a blast of "winter" in the south. I'd love to hear how you do in the comments! Stay warm, stay blessed.

Barton's Dark Chocolate Made Me Feel Like A Million Dollars!

Let me start off by making sure it is clear I am NOT affiliated with this company, did not receive compensation for this at all and am simply sharing something yum!

I've had heartburn, acid reflux, suspected ulcer issues among other tummy issues lately and haven't been able to enjoy a good chocolate fix due to that. My mom had stuck a couple of these bars into my Christmas gift and I finally tried one tonight.

I'm happy to report no acid reflux or burning and that it tasted wonderful! In fact, I found it to taste much better than some of the expensive brands of candy.

When it rains, it floods.

No spoons, 8 at night, storming like crazy outside. Spoonies, are ya with me? We're already feelin' it.
Imagine now, walking over to the front door and feeling *splosh* under your feet.


A little background, I've been in the home I'm in now for just under a year. About a week after move-in, I woke up and swung my feet over the side of the bed to feel that same *splosh*. Now, it's only along one wall, doesn't go beyond about two-four feet in but it's flooding just the same. It hasn't happened too bad since then as they built a trench around the duplex but it happened last night.

I jumped into disaster mode. Moved a chair and three tables away from the wall. Grabbed my small steam cleaner to use as a wet vac and began to slowly go over all the carpet, then used the cleaning solution and more going over it. Turned a fan on high to help dry it. The really dumb part I should have asked for help with was lifting the heavier furniture to put foil under the legs.

Needless to say I am HURTING today. I do believe it will take a few days to recuperate from that incident.

I think what is frustrating me the most is looking at the probability of moving again in less than two months because, well, who wants to stay in a place that floods like this? Not healthy. It's been cleaned properly when it's happened but over time it could become a bigger health risk not to mention could ruin my furniture. Moving, though... *triple groan*. Boxes, bags, stress... NOT looking forward to that! I really liked this place, too.

New Year, New Day, No Spoons

Starting off the new year today with no spoons.

I actually went out of the house last night to low-key bring in the new year at a friend's house. No partying it up, no major activity, just a good bit of laughing and hanging out. However, what I did do was wear something other than pajamas (1), flat iron my hair (1), go out of the house during high anxiety (3), socialize (1) and stand outside a good bit during bad weather (2). That's eight spoons if you're counting and that's just for the evening out. All gone. So obviously I was whooped by the end and woke up this morning sore and with a pretty yucky headache that can be attributed to both sinuses from weather changes and the fact that I didn't remove my eye makeup before going to sleep.
It was so very much worth it, though and while many are waking up with hangovers from consumption of too much alcohol this morning I woke up with a hangover from using too many spoons to have a very nice time.

I do actually have this one spoon that I think my resting to get rid of the headache all day has magically built over the course of the day.

It's just chilling out here on my heating pad on the bed waiting for a really good reason to be used. Maybe touching up my hair color? Giving myself a pedicure? It's a new year and a new day and I intend on making the best of the this year that I can so I suppose using it to treat myself instead of doing the dishes might be a good way to go. ;)