Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ring, Ring

I thought it was about time to ring in the new year somewhere online as I do intend to keep blogging this year! It's just going to change quite a bit. I'm not doing resolutions this year. I'm not even setting goals for myself for the year. I've come to learn over the years that making resolutions and setting goals is really not a good thing for me. I tend to set them impossibly high and inevitably fail because they're unattainable. THIS YEAR I WILL TAKE CARE OF MYSELF! How unrealistic and how broad is that? Many of our resolutions and goals are almost set up to be viewed as failure when in actuality, they're often not. We do plenty of things to take care of ourselves, the best we know how throughout the year. But when we set this concrete picture in our mind of a perfect existence of what "taking care of myself" looks like, it'll never be achievable. There are too many factors beyond our control to ever have that perfect picture. So this year, I'm going to do the best that I can, a day at a time. That's not a goal, that's not a resolution, that's just what I'm going to do. And sometimes the best that I can probably WON'T be too great :p But it's nice to at least acknowledge that it's the best I can for today and take the weight of impossible goals off of my shoulders.

This past year sort of showed me that there needed to be a big change like that. This was the first year that I didn't do an end of the year reading recap and honestly, I'm ok with that. When I finish this post, I think I'm going to post on Stuff as Dreams and put it on hiatus officially for now so people don't wonder where the hell I've gone to. It won't be a permanent goodbye from there. I like to leave the possibility open of going back there. But for now, the commitment that I feel when I'm blogging there is just overwhelming. I need a more private place that feels more like a journal than a book blog and this has become that. Though this will also be a place to talk about books too I'm sure, though probably much differently than I talked about them on Stuff as Dreams. I DO think I still want to keep track of what I read though, so maybe I'll start a new page for that here.

My holidays were really nice and just exactly what I needed them to be this year :) The only shitty part was a migraine that started on Christmas Eve and didn't let up for 4 days :/ I haven't had a migraine like that in years. I had to get my neurologist to call in a steroid pack to finally break it up. We did Christmas eve at my dad's house like we always do and it was nice to have tradition during this time of what's been chaos! Everyone had a really good time I think and it was really nice to have the time together. With everyone getting older now and with my dad's cancer, it's more and more rare that all of us are in the same room together, so that night was extra special.

Christmas morning was spent with tradition too with me and my sister sleeping at my mom's house and opening gifts first thing in the morning!! The only difference was my sister's boyfriend was with us too which was nice. I've really come to appreciate family even more this year. Tradition especially has meant the world to me when everything else has been so full of change and so unknown. If you haven't figured it out already, I do NOT do well with change and I don't like to have things left unknown. There's this part of my brain that wants to know everything about anything that's going on and I hate uncertainty. With my dad's cancer, I've learned more medically than I have in my entire education leading up to me working in intake at a hospital. It's probably NOT the healthiest coping mechanism, but, it at least leaves me prepared and educated. So spending the holidays without any surprises and falling into the comfort of family was so wonderful.

New years eve, I spent most of the afternoon and night with my mom and then went by my dad's to ring in the new year with him at midnight. It was a rough night with him honestly. He had a bad night. More mentally than anything...I think the coming year makes him nervous, but we had a really good talk that night and I think he took what he needed from it and things seem to be better for him since. He found out two days before that his tumor had grown. It has only grown 7mm, but the fact that it grew at all is discouraging. So treatment is about to get stepped up even more with radiation 5 days a week getting added to his chemo. He's going to have a lot of fighting to do :/ It will be an interesting year!

I'm going to try to lay out my plans for reading for the month this year at the beginning of the month! Not so much as a goal, but just as sort of a present to myself. It's almost like I get to go pick a few treats off of the shelves and lay them out for the month. Of course I can switch them out if I want to, but it gives me something to look forward to :) So that's what I did today....I picked out a few books for the month of January, a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction, adult fiction, YA, poetry, essays, things I've been wanting to read for a while and things I've just discovered :)

I'll leave you with this beautiful poem that I discovered last night that Adrienne Rich opens her collection, The Dream of a Common Language's called "Power". And it's exactly what I needed to read right now.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Things That I'm Thankful For

It's one of those days where I need to write. This week has just gotten to the point where all I wanted to do today was complain about everything and I've found it really hard to not focus on the negative and I found myself thinking "it's not fair" repeatedly in my head about so many things. Then I's Thanksgiving day. LITERALLY, a day for giving thanks. Take a clue, Chris. I'm not being dismissive of the fact that things are rough. Or that some things that are actually in people's control really aren't fair. But for the most part, there's always going to be negativity in life. Sometimes more so than others. Sometimes it's more in my control than it is in other times how much of my time gets spent in a situation that's emotionally draining. I can't control life events that I don't create myself, and I can't even always control my perception of them. But I can at least remind myself in the really rough times to step back for just a quick second and see that there are indeed positives out there still too. It's so easy to lose sight of those sometimes even when they're right there surrounding you like a warm hug. So here are some things that I'm thankful for right now:

The most amazing friends in the world. I truly have THE most amazing friends in the world and it brings me to tears when I stop and think about it. I feel like I've been the most awful friend ever for the last few months, yet I'm constantly reminded that I have amazing people surrounding me and amazing friends all over the world thanks to the internet. With life being as hectic as it's been, email and letter writing has become this little golden nugget that's a cherished thing that I only get once in a blue moon these days. So I've really not been able to keep in touch with so many of the people that I love so dearly that I know through blogging and email and I hate that. Yet emails keep coming in and letters arrive in my mailbox and it means the world to me that I have such amazing friends that still keep me in their thoughts despite the fact that I've disappeared. You're in my thoughts every day too! With the people I do see every day, things have been funny lately. Things that I would normally get upset about have instead been a reminder to me that people care. I had three people this week ask me at work if I was ok because I sounded awful, lol. Not something you normally want to hear, but I was able to stop for a second and realize that they wouldn't tell me that or ask me that if they didn't care themselves. It's really good to have people surrounding you that will point out to you "hey, take care of yourself!" And then today I had a friend offer to work my new years eve shift when she saw that my boss had scheduled me to work thanksgiving, christmas, new years eve and new years day. So that's awesome too that someone willingly stepped in without me asking to give me a day off AND I'll have off New Years eve now to spend some type of holiday time with my family.

My dad's treatment team. We're in the thick of it now with my dad's cancer treatment. They had to change his chemo and he now has to get it two weeks on, one week off instead of just once every three weeks. The side effects have NOT been pleasant and he's felt pretty rotten. But I'm SO thankful for his doctors. He has such an amazing treatment's a true team of doctors and nurses and dietitians and social workers. They know my dad already, they're available when we need them, I can message them whenever I need to to address concerns and I get an answer pretty quickly, they take care of his medications with no problems and most importantly, they're invested in him which makes him invested in himself. I've never seen him so invested in his care.

I'm just as thankful for a forum I found at It's a website for health related issues and they have a forum for pretty much any chronic health condition you can think of. I can only speak for the lung cancer forum because that's the one I've been using, but I'd highly recommend it if you or a loved one have a chronic health condition. It reminds me of book blogging really, but talking about diseases instead :p I stumbled upon it googling one of my dad's chemo drugs and it has been such a life saver! I've found answers to questions I would've never found anywhere else. Today was the first time I posted on there because my dad has been having one really specific problem that was kind of major and instantly I got a response that solved the problem. I don't think we EVER would have fixed this problem had it not been for me posting turned out to be a rare side effect of one of many medications that he's on right now. It's a forum of people going through lung cancer and care givers. Some who are just starting treatment, some who are in remission, some who have been in treatment for years. So you find all of this amazing advice you can't even get from doctors :p Though of course I'll check with my dad's doctor before doing anything. But if the other forums are as helpful and supportive as the lung cancer forum, I highly recommend them. Sometimes it's just a good place to talk and get support.

Music. I don't know what I'd do without music these days! I've started playing my classical music playlist at night to help me doze off and it's worked wonders and I've found that I sleep much more peacefully and wake up feeling more rested. And there's just been so much GOOD music released this year!! Especially in this last part of the year. I'm still obsessed with the new Grimes album. Joanna Newsom's new album, Divers is quickly becoming a new favorite as well. She's so damn incredible. Sufjan's new album. Nicole Dollanganger. Chvrches. I've fallen back in love with Jeff Buckley recently. It's so comforting sometimes to go back to artists you haven't listened to in ages yet you know them so intimately. That's Jeff Buckley for me. I don't know why I haven't listened to him in so long. These have all become the soundtrack of 2015 and even though the year isn't filled with the greatest memories in the world, the soundtrack is pretty damn good ;)

Family. Family is always really good. And we've cherished our time together recently even though it's all sort of been spread out. I do miss my little brother though. I rarely get to see him these days since he's up in Baton Rouge in college and working! Looking forward to Christmas eve though when we'll all be together.

I'm thankful for books, I just can't read them these days. I'm even having a hard time with audio books. My mind just isn't able to concentrate lately so I've just sort of accepted that reading is getting put aside right now and I'm not stressing out about it. Whenever I do get the urge to read, I have an awesome pile of books sitting here and I pick one up and start reading and if my mind isn't taking anything in, I just put it down again. That'll come back in time though, I'm sure of it :)

And I feel much better now :) Amazing how focusing on the good can do that, eh? Just though of a few more things I can add to this list too, but I'm going to wrap this up for now. I really should do this more often though. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your life is showered with things to be thankful for as well :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How Is It November?

I seriously don't know how this year has gone by so quickly! There's a part of me that wants and needs time to slow in come to a screeching halt, so that I can get Christmas shopping done and they myriad of other things that I need to get done, done. And yes, I know it's too early to be panicking about Christmas, but with the way things have been this year, it'll be December 23rd and I'll say "oh shit, christmas!" The bigger part of me wants it to just be 2016 already because I hate this year. Not that January 1st 2016 is some magical date where everything will suddenly become better. It's a completely arbitrary date, but there's something about the collective mindset of the world of regrouping and refocusing and shifting thoughts to the positive on that date that I think helps everyone to readjust attitudes. It's STAYING with that attitude despite the numerous challenges we inevitably face every year instead of focusing on "well this ruined what was supposed to be a better year for me." I'm speaking only for myself here and how this concept applies to me. The fact is...bad things happen. There's never going to be a year where you make it 365 days without some sort of tragedy or snafu or mindfuck. But it's about somehow learning how to not get sucked down the rabbit hole and I guess accepting that these things are inevitable...I guess that's the first step. I feel like I'm slowwwwwly on the way there but damn is that ever a long process to figure out.

Tomorrow is day 1 of my dad's chemo treatment. It'll be a long day. I'm sleeping at my mom's tonight so that I can take him in the morning. We need to be there for 7:30 and they told us to plan on spending most of our day there. We have NO clue how he's going to react to it which is the scariest part. He might be fine and he might be terribly ill after. It might work and it might not work at all. They're using two different chemo drugs on him. When he's done with chemo, I have clients to see from 4-8 so it'll be a loooong day tomorrow. But I'll make it through. And when I'm done I can come home and crash and watch crap TV and read and play on the internet and take a hot bath and I don't have anything to do on tuesday until work at 3, so I can sleep in :)

In other news, I need this new Grimes album to come out NOW!!! She released another track off of it called "Scream" and it couldn't be more different than the first single which has grown on me more and more and more and I'm in love with it. Haven't been this excited about an album in a long time :) I love how eclectic this album is going to be and I love that Grimes defies the idea of genre music and just writes whatever she wants and puts many different types of music on an album that are all completely different yet somehow go together perfectly and are essentially her. I want to go see her show here so bad. It's been a life goal of mine to see her live but I have clients scheduled for that night and they're new clients that I don't know if I can reschedule :/ We'll see how things work out.

I was talking to Debi about this the other day in an email...I tend to turn to music whenever I'm going through rough times. Tori Amos has been the musician who has gotten me through the roughest times of my life...for some reason, it's specifically been her UNDER THE PINK album going back to my junior year of high school. Grimes has done that recently, mostly because I've just happened to be listening to her a lot recently. Do you ever listen to a song that you've listened to a hundred times and because of the situation you're in, hear it differently than you've ever heard it? That happened to me on my way to work while listening to Oblivion the other day. It's one of her most well known songs. She wrote the song after being sexually assaulted in order to help overcome the trauma it inflicted upon her. It's undoubtedly helped many and it did the same to me the other day when I was listening to it...I don't know that Claire was talking about her physical health or her mental health when she wrote these lyrics...she's been open about having physical health issues in the past and not always taking the best care of herself but she tries. But I really HEARD these lyrics the other day in this song:

I need someone now 
To look into my eyes and tell me 
“Girl you know you’ve got to watch your health”

And it really brought tears to my eyes...for her and how personal those lyrics are, for myself and how much those lyrics resonated in many different ways, for my dad, and for so many other people that I know and for just being thankful that she put those lyrics out there. We all need reminders like that and she gives it to us there. Take care of your physical health and your mental health. It's easy to forget when you worry about so many other things. That's usually the first thing we ignore sadly. Ok...enough rambling. I'll leave you with the video for Oblivion because it's an awesome song :) 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Happy Things!

I thought today might be a good day to focus on the good. Because there IS always good and lots of it when we take time to notice it :) This week was back to work after some time off and it was an especially crappy week at work which I won't focus on here, but I found that despite that, I was able to not let it get to me so much. I basically shifted my mind set to "this is my job, I can only do what I can do, I can't make everyone happy, my focus is going to be on taking care of the patients." And I've found that when I make my focus on the patients alone rather than the politics of the job, work becomes much much more rewarding. Not always easy, but good to remind myself of that!

Today is my day completely off of work with no other obligations!! And it's quite the cozy day :) It's my perfect idea of a day off actually. I woke up at noon to thunder and wind and rain (my favorite kind of weather) and we're forecasted to have this kind of weather for the next 24 hours thanks to Patricia. Though of course, I'd happily give up this day to take away the destruction caused by Patricia :( There's something that I find so enthralling and electrifying about the wonder and power of a hurricane that I can't even put into words...the weather event itself is awe inspiring...but the destruction caused by them is so awful and heartbreaking :( Today though, for me personally, I'm just getting the remnants...and that is thunderstorms and gusty winds and a dark room with a cozy blanket and books and horror movies and coffee :) It's really a perfect Sunday and just what I needed.

My dad had his doctor appointment with his primary care doctor yesterday and felt discouraged because he was having a bad day. No bad news, per say, just not a good day. And then we had a nightmare at the pharmacy which still hasn't resolved itself. So after his appointment, I gave him a little gift that had just happen to arrive in the mail that morning:

It put the BIGGEST smile on his face and he laughed out loud like I haven't heard him do in months. So worth it just for that moment, but I think this will help him even more than just that moment. He asked me to put it on him right away and said it will be his good luck charm. And of course, he's showing it off to everyone he sees now and he said he can't wait to show it to his oncologist tomorrow :p I got this from an amazing Etsy seller. Her shop is Stamping Cancer Out. She is SUCH a sweetheart. I've gotten the sweetest messages from her, she sent the sweetest thank you card with the necklace and her shop is really amazing. I think her shop will become a favorite throughout this process.

Other things I've found on Etsy lately that I've really loved:

I am obsessed with these Day of the Dead poppets that Lisa Snellings Clark has created!! I just need a pay raise :p It's Day of the Dead and Poppets. Two of my favorite things.

This woman's sculptures are absolutely incredible! They truly take my breath away. She doesn't sell the sculptures on her Etsy site, but she sells prints of them and I want them all :p I would love to own one of these sculptures though or at the least visit a gallery of them some day.

I love this woman's art so much. Love the native american influence and color choices she uses as well as her aesthetic!

The fabric that this woman sells in her shop makes me wish that I knew how to sew or at the very least had a reason to do something with fabric :p I seriously love her designs SO MUCH. Anyone have any ideas on a project I could do with fabric? lol. I desperately want a reason to own some of this!

Finally, this is an Etsy seller that I've become friends with over the years and she's amazing! Her name's Hollie and her collages are incredible and I really love her new work. She does most of her collages on old book covers and you'll often see things like old library cards integrated into her work. And she has really awesome taste in music :)

Speaking of music, this is such an exciting time for music right now!!! Thursday night was the worst night of the week at work and when I got in my car to leave, my phone informed me that the new Joanna Newsom album had been released a few hours early so I got to listen to it on my commute home :D This was in my top 3 most anticipated albums of the year!! And it didn't disappoint at all. God, this album is so damn good. There are certain moments on this album that really shine and literally take your breath away. Like "Divers", which is also the title of the album. I could listen to that song over and over again. This may not be the most consistently amazing album she's released from beginning to end, but the moments that shine are amazing and the album as a whole is still solid as a rock.

Ana posted a link to this interview with Chvrches front woman, Lauren Mayberry which I hadn't read yet and it's such a good interview. Every Open Eye was one of my other top 3 most anticipated albums of the year and it too did not disappoint!! I love their confidence, I love Lauren so much, and last week she performed I Need My Girl with The National and it was amazing!! I need more moments like this to happen please when my favorite bands come together and do amazing things thanks. Have a look:

And finally, my absolute MOST anticipated album of the year is supposed to drop this week!!!! And that would be Grimes' new album! I have literally been waiting for this album for 2 years now. And I have been so inpatient since May when Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) announced that it would come out some time in October. She performed her first show last night and I obsessively stalked YouTube and Instagram looking for videos of new songs to be posted and was rewarded with about 4, 8 second clips of new material :p And the sound quality was horrible so I have no idea still what the album will sound like but I'm really excited! She's another awesome musician and genuinely awesome person.

Now if I could just get back to reading again....going to TRY to do some of that today...I have so many awesome books here waiting to be read too! We'll see what sticks!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Navigating the Ups and Downs

Well it's been quite the week. But I'm enjoying some much needed time off right now which came at just the right time. I'm learning something really interesting about life right now....that you can find balance in anything if you allow yourself to be open to it. Maybe I shouldn't say that as a blanket statement. I know that comes easier to some than others and lord knows it has never come easy to me. I'm not saying by any means that it's an easy thing to do. In fact, it's taken me getting to a place where I literally had no other option except to accept that I need to find some balance to find just that. I just wish there was an easier way to find that. I wish we could find that without waiting until a crisis comes upon us. I wish it was easy not to slip back into our old ways once a crisis passes. 

With my friend's suicide last week, I was left with tons of questions and things that will never be known. Now I'm left with only memories and pictures and having to know that I'll never see that smiling face again, hear that voice that literally made you smile from ear to ear the second you heard her, and knowing how many other people are left feeling the same way. The outpour of love and grief over her death has been overwhelming. It's amazing to see just how many people she touched with her life and how many people describe her the same way. People I never even knew. One beautiful thing to come from this is that people are talking about depression. And people are reconnecting. 

We're having a memorial for her next Saturday. Needless to say, I'm not going to be able to participate in the readathon. But I'll be spending the day remembering my friend and through this I've reconnected with SO many people that I had lost touch with and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again so much!!! I have a feeling it'll be a really beautiful day that I'll probably remember for the rest of my life.

My dad's health issues continue to get worse and a big part of that is him not taking care of himself. It's a really frustrating place to be. I get that he's scared. That he doesn't want to face what he's facing. That it's so much easier to ignore it. But ignoring it right now is the last thing he needs to do. It's such a frustrating feeling to break through that wall. He's ignoring these issues (or maybe avoiding is a better word) BECAUSE he's scared of how serious it could be, so he's not giving's not like that's the issue, but at the same time, the more you ignore it the worse it gets. Of course this is logical to me, but I can't get any of it through to him. And I do get that I'm not in his shoes and I can't know what he's going through. But I don't know how to be there for him right now. All I can do is take him to his appointments or the hospital when he agrees to go. I spent the entire day Sunday (literally the whole day) trying to persuade him to get help or at least call his doctors and he absolutely refuses. I wasn't accusatory or defensive or yelling until a certain point when I just got frustrated. I've tried calling an ambulance once before and he refused to get in and the EMTs wouldn't take him because he refused care. So I'm left with no option but to just watch him deteriorate? And hope he'll come to his senses I guess. These past few months have just been a series of sometimes two steps forward, one step back...sometimes one step forward, two steps back. Sometimes I see so much improvement in him and in us, and sometimes it's like he just gives up on it all again.

But once again, I'm finding I need balance in that again as well. As heartless as I feel in saying this, I need to remind myself that I can only do what I can do and that he's responsible for the decisions he makes. And that I need to take care of myself too right now. So that's what I've been doing these last couple of days. Relaxing, reading again, watching tv, played in the garden, went to the lakefront, spent most of yesterday talking to friends on the phone. Tomorrow will be for my dad. I'm taking him to his appointments tomorrow and I'm not planning for them to be too great, but we'll see what it brings.

Balance....I need to remember that word. I've wanted a tattoo for years, but I've always said I won't get one until I know it's something I'll never regret having on my body for the rest of my life. Maybe it should just be that word :p Or maybe a better idea is to just say it out loud every morning ;) 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

An Open Letter To Anyone Who May Come Across This Post

I would give anything to not be writing this post right now. I lost a friend to suicide today. I've known her since I was sixteen. Every memory I have of her is laced with laughter and a smile. And I don't say that out of respect for her's the truth. She was the girl who made everyone laugh, who put a smile on everyone's face. She struggled with addiction throughout her life, but the last time I saw her she was winning the battle. My last memory of her was seeing the Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins tour with her a couple of months ago and sharing the best bbq pork sandwich in the world passing it back and forth between bites and her telling me about her plans for the future and  talking about old times and laughing our asses off and taking pictures all night. I'm happy with my last memory of her.

But I HATE that it's my last memory of her. I'm nowhere near a place yet that I can accept that it's my last memory of her. I've been privileged enough to never have experienced suicidal thoughts myself, though I have gone through lengthy depressive episodes. I can't imagine what it's like to get to the point where it feels like the only option is to take your life. Depression is a horrible, hopeless beast. And it lies and it tells you that you're alone. It tells you that no one understands you. That no one is there for you. That you're a bother to people. That this will never end. But it does. It does end. It gets better. Sometimes it takes the help of professionals to point you in that direction and show you how it gets better. Sometimes it takes the voice of a friend. Sometimes it takes reading a blog post which is why I'm writing this right now. Know that someone is thinking of YOU even if you just googled "suicide" and came across this post. People care and there is hope and there is light in life.

Depression lies.

Since hearing the news of my friend's death, I've talked to numerous people that I haven't talked to since high school. A whole group of friends that all knew this same person...all people that are so sad to hear about her passing. These are all people who still kept in touch with her even though we haven't all kept in touch with each other. It's been a reminder of how many people there are out there. How many people there are that love and care for this person. How many people's lives she touched. Whatever she was going through didn't let her see that. Or maybe it did, but that wasn't enough.

I don't mean to be dismissive of depression here. I won't say "suicide is for cowards"...I hate when people say that. It takes a lot for someone to take their life and to get to that point mentally. I can't imagine how exhausting that has to be, how terrifying, how horribly alone and sad. I'm a licensed mental health profession who does admissions at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. I have years of experience with people who are acutely suicidal. I know how horrible of a place that is and that it's not a place that anyone would choose to be and that it feels that there is no other option at that point.

Let me tell you this. Someone always cares. I care. If you're a complete stranger to me, I care. I have had numerous people over the years tell me that I saved their lives. And I am not saying that in any way to brag and I would never share that information if it weren't for this purpose. When you feel like you are alone, like there is no one in your life that cares about you and no one you can reach out to, call a hospital. There are licensed professionals who do the same type of work that I do who do this work because we care. It's a high stress job and I promise you that's the reason we choose to stay in that job..because we're passionate about it. If you can, reach out to a family member, reach out to a friend. If you go through those options and say or feel that you don't have family or friends, you still have! Or the equivalent of me. Call a hospital and ask for an admissions counselor or just go to your nearest ER. Or if you can't do that just call 911. Help is always available and sometimes the bravest and best thing you can ever do for yourself is pick up the phone and hit three buttons and trust that it's the right thing even if it doesn't feel like its worth it. Put it in someone else's hands. For whatever reason, this friend of mine either felt she couldn't do that or was blinded by her depression and didn't think of that. Unfortunately, we will never know what happened.

Taking your life means taking away any possibility for any positives in the future. It cannot be reversed. In a depressed state, we don't tend to think about the good things in life. That's a fact. But they are there. I promise you. You're just not focused on them at all right now. Ending your life is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And there's no problem that can't be faced, regardless of how insurmountable it feels. Once again, there's help out there for whatever you're going through. Things may not be easy to face. I won't lie and say they are, but they are rarely as ugly as depression and fear and trauma make them out to be in our heads.

Please always fight. Remember that DEPRESSION LIES. It tells great big ugly lies that feel and sound so true at the time but they are not. Somebody always cares. Someone needs you to fight. You have a beautiful life ahead of you filled with literally endless roads and possibilities and it will be so exciting to explore what those roads are and where they'll take you. The journey is just now starting. Don't slam on the brakes, refill your tank instead.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Money Can Buy A Little Bit Of Happiness!

One of the things that I've worked really hard on this year is saving money and paying off debt. Well, I should say, not spending money as frivolously and paying off debt. And I'm proud of myself for how well I've done!! I've made HUGE changes in the amount of random stuff I buy and I don't buy books anymore unless they're books that I'm really excited about and know that I plan on reading. In fact, what I've been doing is preordering books that I'm excited about and mostly limiting myself to just those books. I've been doing the same with music. Which is a lot harder because I'm a music addict just as much so as with books. Only I'm always looking for new music. So that can get to be quite expensive. I used to buy every album that I thought I would enjoy on vinyl. But this year, I've seriously cut back on that and I've only been buying albums by bands that I truly love on vinyl...things that I "need" to have in my collection. Less is more is sort of the theme of the year when it comes to "stuff".

If you were to look at my mailbox today, you'd think I was a total failure at this money saving and paying off debt thing :p I swear today was the best day I can think of in any recent time when it came to book releases!! 5 books that I had preordered all arrived today and they're some of my most anticipated books of the year. One of my most anticipated albums of the year arrived too along with awesome bonus swag. AND to top it off, I got a really awesome card in the mail too :) All of this couldn't have come at a better time :) So I thought I'd share and talk about all of these goodies. First up, BOOKS! Remember when I used to talk about those?

How often do that many awesome books come out all in one day??? So excited about all of these! My readathon pile is suddenly becoming a little bit clearer ;)

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling - I knew this book was going to be gorgeous, but I had no idea it would be this beautiful! They put so much love into the creation of this book. I've been wanting to reread this series for ages. Harry Potter will forever be one of my favorite series and I have such wonderful memories associated with each one of these books. I'm really hoping that they plan on releasing all of the books in this format. It would be fantastic to experience them all like this! It's going to be nice to revisit this and all the memories that I'm sure will come along with it :)
  • The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Illustrated by Jon Klassen - I completely forgot that I had preordered this book and didn't even remember what it was about :p I still don't remember why exactly I preordered it or where I heard about it? But just looking at the book itself, I can instantly see that it's something that I'll fall in love with. Aesthetically, it's gorgeous and haunting looking and it's described as "a haunting, gothic tale for fans of Coraline." SOLD!
  • Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories collected and introduced by Audrey Niffenegger - The reason why I bought this is evident in the title :p It's a collection of ghost stories that's been curated by Audrey Niffenegger. This has the potential to be one of my favorite short story collections ever! In addition to that, she's illustrated each story herself and it includes a brand new story by her, Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link among others. Yes please!
  • M Train by Patti Smith - I love Patti Smith's writing so much. In a way, her writing has always reminded me a bit of Francesca Lia Block. And she's just a really awesome person. This book is sort of a road map of her life told through her visits to various cafes around the world. Sounds like a cozy and intimate book that might be a perfect readathon read :)
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - NEW PATRICK NESS!!!!! I've been waiting for this book for so long!!!! It took everything I had to be patient and not pay more money than I had to to get this book when it was released a month ago overseas. But I knew my reading has been nonexistent lately and that it was a smart idea just to wait, so the day has finally arrived and it's in my hands now :) If I haven't gobbled it up by then, this will be in my readathon pile as well!

This has been such a great year for music too! Frankly, I'm shocked that I've been as restrained as I have been when it comes to buying music on vinyl. But I've been disciplined :) There are a few bands though that I'll make exceptions for and one of them is Chvrches. I've been waiting for their sophomore album since the day they released their debut :p The second I heard Chvrches for the first time a couple of years ago, it was instant love. It's so rare that a band maintains that same caliber with a second album, but they've done it with this one, Every Open Eye. They offered this really great package too at a really great price! So now I have the new album on white vinyl WITH a really cool t-shirt AND a postcard signed by all three members of the band :D Now I just need them to come down here on their tour. 

And finally I got my card of the month from Holstee. I love those guys so much. I get a new letterpress card every month from them and each month it's centered around a theme. This month's theme was particularly poignant. It's vulnerability. They also included this little sticker with the card this month that I love so so much!!! Now I just need to get my writing mojo back and start sending out some of these cards. Included with your card each month, they send you a little description on why they chose that theme and a brief meditation on it....I really loved this month''s what they had to say:

Yep....pretty perfect for right now. So, thank ye gods for a wonderful mail day when it was much needed :) I'm good for awhile now! Now I'm off to go enjoy some of these goodies.