jenrose: (Default)
[personal profile] jenrose
http://jenrose.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/236151.jpg


If you’re feeling disconnected, if you are having a hard time engaging in the world and it feels like no one sees you, if you are having a hard time finding joy or finding the will to strive towards goals you have wanted, here’s a little refocusing pep talk.


First of all, it is no great mystery right now why you are having a hard time connecting. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know your life, but I know if you have a soul and are aware of what’s going on in the world as a compassionate person, you are probably stressed, worried and afraid, even if you are leading a sheltered and/or privileged existence.


And if you aren’t leading a sheltered existence, if you’re struggling with pain, illness, financial stress, housing stress or discrimination, the past year has made all those things a lot worse.


It is this way for pretty much every compassionate soul I know.


There are things you love to do, things you are very good at, things that usually provide you joy, and if you were NOT under a huge amount of stress, they’d probably still be working right now.


Because I’m a giant nerd, I’m going to put this in computer terms.


When your system is new, and hasn’t gotten bogged down, you may have plenty of emotional resources on top of what you need to get out of bed in the morning. That 8 gigs of RAM is great when you haven’t loaded all your worries.bin and intrusivethoughts.dll and Politics.exe.


When shit gets real, your entire processor, RAM and disk drive get completely sidetracked by dealing with the cognitive and emotional demands of dealingwithcrap.html.


EVERYTHING slows down. Nonessential processes get ignored. Essential processes don’t work very well.


I’m not going to tell you there’s a magic solution, but I can tell you where the problem ISN’T and give you some strategies for freeing up resources in the short term.



  1. The problem is not you. This shit is genuinely, objectively hard. Literally everyone is struggling with it. Rich celebrities are struggling with it, and they can literally buy all the stress relief that money can buy… but they can’t just fix the problem.

  2. Just because it’s hard for everyone doesn’t mean that your struggle is small or irrelevant. Survivor’s guilt or “Privilege guilt” from not having to struggle with EVERY issue will not help the people who are dealing with worse, and it will not help you. It is understandable to have thoughts about “But other people have it worse!” But please do not use that as a reason not to give yourself a break for struggling with what is, objectively, hard, even if it isn’t objectively the “hardest”. (Literally everyone thinks there’s someone worse off than them. And they’re right. It doesn’t MATTER in the triage of “Do you get to feel bad.” Yes. You can feel bad.

  3. “Other people are coping better! If someone who is disabled can cope so well, why can’t I?” First of all, that idea can fuck off. I can tell you that for me, a disabled person, one of the reasons I can do some of the things I do is that my inability to do all the things that people normally do means that that stuff has been picked up by a support system I am lucky to have,

    If you see someone on a prosthetic leg running marathons, it’s because they had the support system to get that prosthetic leg, the physical training to learn how to use it, medical care, etc… they did not just magically wake up in the morning as an amputee with no resources and run a marathon. I’m not out running marathons because my disability precludes that kind of exercise and it’s not a reasonable goal for me to have.


There are a fair number of accomplishments which can bend to sheer force of will, but even force of will (read: sustained focused effort) is a RESOURCE that not everyone is good at, and some people who sometimes have a strong force of will, do not ALWAYS have a strong force of will in every situation.


So, how to free up resources?



  1. Forgive yourself up front. It’s hard enough dealing with all the shit without having to deal with your own self-flagellation. It’s a hard habit to get out of. Use self talk. “This is legitimately hard. Anyone would have a hard time with this. I’m not a bad person for having difficulty with a difficult thing.”

  2. Break things into manageable chunks.

  3. If your phone has a calendar function, put everything into it. Operate under the assumption that you’re having a hard time and let yourself lean on the tools available to keep track, even when your brain is not registering everything. You do not need to store your entire calendar in your brain. Set up reminders.

  4. Look for ways to streamline. I fill a pill-minder with my meds every two weeks, and the ones that don’t go in the pill-minder are literally the first thing I see when I sit up in bed in the morning. This saves a lot. If you have an elaborate hair and makeup routine, if it is too much, look for ways to simplify. When purchasing clothes, look for ways to minimize your decision-making. Don’t waste cognitive function on trivial shit that can be managed structurally.

  5. Block out specific time to check on current events and pay attention to the national shitshow… and ONLY that time. Don’t wallow for 8 hours at a stretch on the national news, it is NOT good for your mental health. It is possible to take in the full horror in under an hour per day. You can’t fix it all, but you can pick which issues you devote time to and what kind of time you spend.  Aggregators like WTF and even Late Night hosts can help streamline the process of checking in with less stress than watching national news.

  6. Allow yourself down time. It’s hard to be social when everyone is so stressed.

  7. If you need connection, sometimes structured activities, volunteering, church if you go (there are very progressive churches available) are easier than casual social events.

  8. Reach out online. You are not alone.


Now, there are going to be times when you really just have to get shit done. When you need your brain to shut the fuck up for a bit and let you DO.


Here are the SHORT TERM tricks to get your brain in gear.



  1. Compartmentalize. Need to go have a job interview? Need to take a test? Time for some visualization. Picture all the shit that is weighing you down, every intrusive thought, as things that you can pack into an envelope or a picnic basket or hell, a U-haul if they’re big enough. Put ‘em all in. Every one of them. Close up the basket and set it down inside your front door. When you walk out that door, all that stuff stays at home. It will be there when you get back, we’re not throwing it out. Just don’t take it with you to school, to your job interview. DO pick it back up when you get home. We’re not burying it, we’re just giving it a time and place.

  2. Some of the intrusive worries may be livelier than others. If they try to follow you out the door, or show up when you don’t want them, give them the name and voice of someone you don’t like or trust and would dismiss out of hand. “You’re terrible at this.”

    “Shut up, Kellyanne, no one trusts you.”

    “Just hit the snoozebutton, it doesn’t matter.”

    “Fuck off Chad, I’m getting up.”

    It just needs to be someone you would roll your eyes at.

    (h/t to the Check please fandom for this one, IDK who posted it first, but it stuck with me as one of the most useful things I’ve ever learned online.)

  3. Be nice to your future self by taking care of literally everything you possibly can the night before. Pick out clothes. Decide what you will eat. Have a checklist if you need to. Find everything that needs finding while you’re awake. I know this sounds overly organized but it’s something I’ve had to do because if I didn’t, mornings were hell and involved me driving people places when I wanted to be asleep because we missed a bus. It is ten times easier to find clothes when you’re not supposed to be out the door in ten minutes. This is all done cognitively. Some people do these things instinctively? I guess? I don’t. I have to think about every single step every time. But it’s worth it to not have a panic attack when I’m trying to get someplace important and am ending up late. When I was still responsible for getting my kids to school, I could get my middle child from sound asleep to the bus in about 7 minutes because everything was completely set up ahead of time.


Anyway. I hope some of this helps. If nothing else, remembering that this is a reasonable response to unreasonably stimulus has helped me immeasurably.



Health, LIfe, Mental Health
http://jenrose.com/tricks-for-dealing-with-feeling-disconnected/

(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:29 pm
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
I've been working on physical, non-digital, art. Paper, canvas board, acrylic medium. Cut up comic book panels into mashed together scenes. It is an exercise in humility and frustration. I'm fairly good at the planning parts, but my technique for the assembly sucks. It is easier to accept the limits of physical tools than digital ones, and not assign everything to personal faults. But I still often question if I'm using the right tools, if the paint knives would be more useful if I wasn't using them wrong, if there's something different I should be doing with the acrylic to keep it from drying quickly in the worst ways.

I set myself up for stumbling, even failure, in so many ways. I read tutorials grudgingly at best and resent the way they all skip over so many details about why and what else, the explanations are too narrow to trust. I do try different techniques, but rarely on scrap or waste material. The idea of proper scrap/trash is a concept uncomfortably close to luxury -- to have so much of something that you can waste some deliberately. Winging it is perfect for making something that works, but also guarantees rough edges and parts that make you cringe.

I should get the completed pieces scanned, for documentation, but I haven't managed to find a good way to do that yet. Selling prints is not an impossible plan, but feels even more out of reach than any other part of this -- who would want a mediocre print of a questionable scan of a piece of crappy art?

I make things that disappoint me and are mostly useless, but I do it anyway. I wonder if this qualifies as mindfulness, or some kind of monk-like devotional practice, or just pointless stoicism.

QotD

Oct. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Oh, take your time don't live too fast.
 Troubles will come and they will pass.
 Go find a woman you'll find love
 And don't forget son there is someone up above.
 And be a simple kind of man
 Be something you love and understand [...]"

  -- from "Simple Man", written by Ronnie Van Zant (b. 1948
-01-15,
d. 1977-10-20)
and Gary Rossington (b. 1951-12-04)

QotD

Oct. 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." -- Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson, b. 1958-06-07, d. 2016-04-21)

Well good lord....

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:11 pm
mab_browne: Auckland beach, pohutukawa and a view of Rangitoto from a painting by Jennifer Cruden (Kiwiana)
[personal profile] mab_browne
Apparently we have a Labour/NZ First coalition. Colour me surprised, although certainly not unhappy. I'd have thought that Winston's Blue Rinse support would have had him going with the Nats, although policy-wise Labour is a better fit. Now to see if Jacinda Ardern can wrangle him any better than his past coalition partners.

Interesting times, indeed, although thankfully on a smaller scale than some.

re:

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:30 pm
watersword: A empty box with the words "but I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through the walls of boxes" from Le petit prince (Writing: sheep through the walls of boxe)
[personal profile] watersword
this excellent post from [personal profile] rosefox's [syndicated profile] story_hospital_feed — does anyone have thoughts on what warmup exercises for writers might look like? I've encountered the concept, but not at length.

QotD

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"If you want to change the future, start living as if you're already there." -- Lynn Conway, 2013-07-14

[Though I think taking it too far and living as if "I don't have to work toward this because it's already done," might be counterproductive. Still work to make the change you want catch up to you.]

gratitudes

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:02 am
watersword: Karen Gillan as Amelia Pond in season 5 of Doctor Who (Doctor Who: Amelia Pond)
[personal profile] watersword
1. I went to my mentor's memorial and it was awful in basically every way possible, but I showed up and that is important.
2. I got to see my sister and my best friend.
3. Cat-petting!
4. Asian pears at the CSA.
5. Tea.

QotD

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++

Gosh has it been that long

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:48 pm
mab_browne: Auckland beach, pohutukawa and a view of Rangitoto from a painting by Jennifer Cruden (Kiwiana)
[personal profile] mab_browne
It's not that I'm not about, I'm just not chatty. Except for Tumblr, which does not count on the communication front. Chat on Chatzy does, but it's not DW/LJ. Ah well.

Have some link stuff:



The Beeb mined this one for human interest too - oh, we wacky Kiwis, right? :-)

There is new Maiden Rose coming, still doujinshi, but I'm forever grateful that their creator still loves Klaus and Taki as much as I do.

http://scarletmanuka.tumblr.com/post/166403608481

And I even posted about TS. Who'd a thunk?

http://scarletmanuka.tumblr.com/post/165958569416

QotD

Oct. 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"One week after Jeff Sessions changed DOJ policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he's seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first plac
e."

-- Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director, 2017-10-15

Ow

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:09 am
dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)
[personal profile] dglenn
Typing passwords from muscle memory with an injured finger sucks. It's a little like remembering a tune from its fingering on one instrument while playing it on a different instrument, but mistakes are physically painful instead of aurally. (And no, I have no idea what I did to the finger, just that even light pressure to the fingertip causes electric-feeling pain to shoot up my arm and moderate pressure makes the pain go all the way to my chest. No visible signs and I didn't have a violent mishap. Strange.)

QotD

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-26:

"The late John Greenwood, Q.C, who served as Ontario's Assistant Deputy Attorney General in the late 1970s, had a signature line he used to deliver with a straight face. "Anybody can convict the guilty,' he'd say to visitors to his office, "the trick is to convict the innocent.' People laughed uneasily, sensing it may not be entirely a joke."

-- George Jonas, writing about John Greenwood in the National Post.

[ http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/12/05/george-jonas-nigel-wrights-view-of-ottawa/]

(submitted to the mailing list by Z.D. Hora)

A time to pull away the football

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:52 am
rydra_wong: Peanuts. Lucy has just pulled away the football and Charlie Brown has crashed onto his back. "And a time to pull away the football," she says. (football -- time)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

noelfigart: (Default)
[personal profile] noelfigart




So, last week, I thought I'd try something with apples and leeks with pork in rosemary and red wine. Sounds great, right?

Well, that dish on top was what I did. I asked The Prince how he liked it and he shrugged. Since I'm making these meals at least in part because I want to post articles on my blog about them, I asked him what was wrong. His comment, "The pasta is okay and all, but you know that apples, onions and sweet potato dish you do in the Fall? I think that's what this dish is really calling for."

He was right.

The dish I do every fall? I slice apples, sweet potatoes, and onions, layer them in a dish with a bit of butter on top, cover, and bake. Delicious, and if you have an oven, I encourage you to try it. A friend of mine back over a decade ago brought it to a family meal once, and it really is very, very good.

Using The Prince's inspiration, I adapted this to a one-skillet meal you'll be sure to love. The pasta version is okay. The sweet potato version is All That's Good About Fall is and like angels singing.

Equipment you'll need:

  • Deep Skillet with a cover.

  • A source of heat that's reliably even

  • A sharp knife

  • A Cutting board


Pork Chops Graced with Autumn Goodness



  • 1 pork chop for each person you're serving. They should be reasonably thick.

  • 1 Medium apple, diced. I prefer the tartness of a Granny Smith to contrast with the sweetness of the sweet potato, but a firm, sweet apple would also be okay.

  • 2 cups sliced leeks

  • 2 cups sweet potato, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 3 T olive oil

  • ¼ c red wine

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, or 2 T ground rosemary

  • Salt and pepper to taste




Heat olive oil in a pan on medium. Add sweet potatoes and cook ~10 minutes, covered.



They should start to be softer around the edges but still firm. Add leeks and apple with rosemary and cook another 5-7 minutes covered until leeks become tender.



Add red wine and pork chops, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes on a side until cooked through.



Serve.

(The Prince insists that I must add the caution that one should not count on leftovers)

QotD

Oct. 14th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

If I had a "dollar" for every time I saw someone use quotes for emphasis -- Rex Morgan (@rexm), 2017-09-18 (reacting to this sign, but I'm sure y'all pictured several other examples from memory already)

To do, ta da

Oct. 14th, 2017 12:33 am
ailbhe: (Default)
[personal profile] ailbhe
 Ta da
On Friday I...
- Got out of bed to eat dinner, which is EVERY DAY THIS WEEK
- Played a tabletop game with the children
- Started planning how to have a stash of sensible food in the house in case of floods, snow, Brexit etc
- Supervised children through housework including making them understand that this is a necessary contribution to the well-being of the family
- Ate and drank properly all day
- Remembered morning and evening meds/supplements

To do
This weekend we must:
- Get bedding to laundry service
- Collect co-op food order
- Clean house (subtasks to be determined)
- Print Autism talk for Thursday
- Make meal plan and shopping list
- Shower and hair washing for everyone
- Paint or draw

This week I hope to:
- Paint or draw or write or sew
- Finish elasticating the hem on a rain cover for my mobility scooter
- Help Rob and a professional declutter in the attic cupboards

#PullTheFootball

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:17 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I've mentioned the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act before. This is the bill that would prevent the US President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war.

But there have been some recent news stories that make it particularly clear why this is important:

NYT: Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.

RawStory: GOP official imagines Kelly and Mattis discussed tackling Trump in the event he ‘lunges for the nuclear football’: report

TPM: Houston, We Have a Problem. LA, Chicago, STL, ATL, NYC, You Guys Too

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a post with everything: explanation, who to contact, scripts, a hashtag and an aspiration to go viral:

[personal profile] rachelmanija: Pull The Football - Save the World

Look, I grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I was a very anxious child who (like so many) read Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows way too early because a lot of adults didn't realize it wasn't a children's book, and also a book on how to prepare for all possible disasters (nuclear war included) which I found in my grandmother's house because anxiety is severely over-determined in my family. I still remember about building a lean-to from doors and whitewashing your windows, okay?

(And yes, I know that the UK is unlikely to be a direct target unless things spread and more countries get pulled in, whereas the South Koreans are absolutely fucked, but I can't even start getting into that kind of calculation before my brain shorts out because it's horrific to even be at the point of thinking about that.)

I am not interested in panicking or freaking out because I know that I can't live at that pitch of terror, and I have to secure the blast doors on my brain and not think about certain shit.

But if we do what we can do, we might be able to make the world substantially safer on this one front.

If you're in the US, contact your representatives and signal-boost on social media. If you're not in the US (like me), signal-boost for those who are. Take what action you can, then return to going lalalalait'llneverhappen because that's how we get through our fucking days, okay?

Let's give this one a shot, and may Stanislav Petrov's spirit watch over and bless us.

Improved icon

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:34 pm
rydra_wong: Sign with missing letters, reading "BUI DING A C NTRY THA ORKS OR RYON". (orks)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(After I saw a screencap of the final version, courtesy of Reuters.)

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