Discombobulation (And How I Deal)

Besides being a fun word to say, the above title is exactly how I’m feeling at the moment. So bear with me on this post, which is unplanned, off the cuff, and potentially definitely going to be rambley (rambly? rambl-ey? You get the point.). But at least there are gifs.

Since last week I’ve had the sudden feeling that December/Christmas is right about the corner and I am horrifically unprepared. There are house projects I want to get done, presents to be made, blog series I need to prep, photos and photobooks to be put together, and parties to plan for. It’s all suddenly piled up (in my head). And I am. Freaking. Out.

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I’ve spent the whole day so far twirling from room to room touching from project to project without ever actually getting anything done. The result is my living room and bedroom are trashed as I try and reorganize our bookshelves (we just bought a new one), the kitchen counters are full of things I need to ‘put away’, and the dishes are still piled up from this morning having not magically done themselves like I hope for on a daily basis. And everything needs vacuuming. Cue brain speak: You suck as a housewife! Your house is in shambles! Don’t you know you have parties to be prepped for in two months?!

Also, it’s supposed to snow this weekend which means my brain goes into Mommy panic mode and speaks to me like this: Congrats dimwit, you have yet to buy a winter coat or boots for your daughter yet! What are you going to do, send her out in the snow and ice in her Hello Kitty sneakers and a sweatshirt? Great parenting!

Then there are all the art/Christmas presents I’m making. Tomorrow is a new WIP Wednesday and all I can think is that I haven’t gotten much done. So should I draw?! Paint?! Sew?! All of the above at the same time?!?!? And of course, anxiety brain  must kick in: If you weren’t so slow at painting and sewing, you’d have all this done by now! And your graphite portraits should be finished by now, way to go!

I don’t consider myself an overly stressed out person. More often than not, I am a very relaxed gal who enjoys days with her little one. But every so often, things in my mind pile up like this and my brain turns into a total asshole. It tears apart any shred of self confidence I have in my abilities to get things done, and it can be quite discouraging.

Luckily, I have gotten quite good at managing jerk brain, and kicking it in the keister. My top tips?

  • Take a deep breath. Or ten. I know how cliche that sounds, but when I’m in the throws of anxiety ridden stress, closing my eyes and taking a few minutes to just BREATHE really makes me feel like I can manage things.
  • Make. Lists. I live by lists, but sometimes I need to break down everything and make it into list form. Checking off even the littlest thing gives me a sense of calm knowing that, yes, you are accomplishing things even if it seems like the list is endless.
  • Walk away. Take a nap. Okay, I know this seems completely counter-productive, but sometimes sitting down to watch an episode of guilty pleasure on Netflix and ignoring my endless to-do list is just what I need. That hour is like a reset for my brain, and I come back ready to tackle my projects!

To sum up:

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What do you do when you find yourself totally stressed out?

October Goals: Life & Blog

I really, really loved making a goals post last month. It helped keep me organized, was a great motivator, and in general made me feel more productive. I’m certainly continuing the trend for October!

october goals

Life Goals:

  • Paint pumpkins for Halloween. I never really decorate too much for holidays, with the exception of Christmas. But Halloween is so much fun, and my little loved painting pumpkins last year so I definitely want to do it again!
  • Go to a fair. This is kind of a two-part goal, part one being ‘save the money to go to a fair’. But I must do at least ONE fair before the season ends!
  • Clean off our sun porch. We have a small sunporch with glass windows. It has the problem of being a greenhouse in the summer (completely suffocating heat) and frigid in the winter since it has no heat going out to it. This makes it hard to use as a ‘room’ so it has become a storage area. A completely messy, unorganized storage area. I really want to fix that before the cold sets in.
  • Complete a sketch-a-day challenge. I think this is going to be my hardest goal to complete. I have a hard enough time staying on track with a photo-a-day challenge, let alone one where I have to sit down and draw something! But, I’ve always wanted to do one, so this is the month I give it my first try!
  • Make 3 more Christmas presents. My list of presents to make is still pretty big, so I need to keep whittling away at it!

Blog Goals:

  • Purchase ad space on other blogs (for November). This goes with last months goal of finding blog I want to advertise on. I didn’t do that, so now I need to do both and be ready to go for November.
  • Continue my 3 ongoing series. I really like only have three regular series – WIP Wednesdays (on Wednesday, duh), Links to the Past (Fridays), and Life In Photos (Sundays). It leaves me plenty of free post days, but also gives me a fallback if for some reason I have nothing else for the week.
  • Look into/install Disqus. The reason for this is only because I have no idea if other people ever see the responses I write to their comments. I know that on blogs without Disqus, I generally never see the follow up from the blogger. I opt not to check the ’email me notices about follow-up comments’ button because I don’t like receiving an email about every other person who comments – I just want to see replies to my comments and that’s it! I’d love some reader feedback – do those of you not using WordPress see my responses? Do you prefer Disqus? Thanks in advance for any input!
  • Contact people about artist features. Sigh. I really have to do it. Send people emails! I don’t know why this makes me so nervous. Even if people say no it changes absolutely nothing in my life, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to hit send. I must overcome!
  • Promote my posts on Instagram. After over a year, I finally feel comfortable blogging. I’ve met some great people online, and finally feel like me when I write here. Therefore, I’d like to take little steps to promote my blog some! I love Instagram as a social media platform (what can I say, I love pictures!), so I’d like to start promoting my posts there and see if it brings in any new readers.

There you have it! I’ll check in at the end of the month and see how it all turns out.

September Goals Wrap Up

As September comes to a close, I am happy to say that I feel prepared for October! Often at this time of year, I feel as if time is just flying by and I am behind on absolutely everything. This year, I honestly feel caught up with the major stuff, and have a decent balance in most aspects of my life! I think planning out my goals, my posts, and a vague ‘schedule’ for my art goals has helped with that tremendously. I love being able to look in my planner and see what I have coming in the week, or what I know I need to accomplish before a certain date. Here’s hoping I can stick with it! For now, let’s see how I fared with September’s goal list.

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Life Goals:

  • Bake at least three new recipes. SUCCESS! I made Gooey Chocolate & Cream Cheese Cupcakes, attempted French Macarons from scratch, and also made Honey Nut Cookie Sandwiches which I opted not to post about as they were rather underwhelming. Though I did learn I like macadamia nuts, so bonus?
  • Take a big (1 hour +) walk at least three days a week. SUCCESS! We actually walked close to five days a week, but they weren’t all the big long walks. Sometimes the three year old just isn’t into a giant walk!
  • Back another Kickstarter project. FAIL. No excuses here; I never even looked for one! However, I do have one on the horizon – a game called War of Zodiarcs that looks so right up my alley. It isn’t yet ready for crowdfunding, but if you like strategic JRPGs, definitely check out the link!
  • Finally replace the breaking, leaning bookshelf in our bedroom. FAIL. We went to IKEA. We found a bookshelf we liked. Then we found a different option we liked better, but didn’t have the measurements for where we wanted to put it. So we came home, measured, it won’t fit, and now we’re back to where we started with no bookshelf. Sigh.
  • Complete at least three art Christmas gifts. SUCCESS! I actually completed four! Go me!

Blog Goals:

  • Continue my WIP Wednesday posts. SUCCESS! I am loving using this as a motivator, and also loving the positive feedback on my art. It makes me feel all warm and glowy inside!
  • Cut back on Can’t Get Enough posts. SUCCESS! I didn’t do a single one, but that was mainly because of a lack of free post days. I have at least one on deck for October.
  • Make myself a damn blog button!!! SUCCESS! I made a couple, and Jessica of the Pyreflies was an absolute doll and made me some out of the kindness of her heart!! However, I haven’t actually uploaded them and made them available for button grabs yet, but it will be done this week.
  • Look into buying sponsor space on other blogs. FAIL. It’s at the top of my to-do blog list, but I haven’t yet visited sites, written down costs, or made any decisions about where I want to advertise.
  • Put plans in motion to feature artists. SUCCESS! This is a really tiny success haha. All I’ve really done is make the list of people I want to email/contact, but I haven’t actually SENT any inquiries! Deep breaths, I can do this!
  • Complete this video game blog challenge. SUCCESS! I had a lot of fun doing this challenge, but I have no intention of doing one again soon. It ate up basically ALL my free post slots (I don’t like to post more than once a day, so I consider a day with a post scheduled ‘unavailable’ for another). In fact, I had to post EVERY SINGLE day in September just to complete it (I skipped September 11 because I didn’t want to blog about 9/11, so I took a ‘blog silence’ day if you will). I have nothing against posting every single day, but I want it to be on my terms, not because I feel like I need to.

Not too shabby! I’m quite happy with everything I accomplished this month. Stay tuned for October goals this week!

Out of Balance

It’s June already. (Thank you, Captain Obvious). And while I’m really excited for June (planting my garden! First camping trip of the year! Hiking! The beach!) I can’t help but feel like as of last month things in my life started to feel off kilter. I’ve been (mostly) keeping up with projects, but in a very disorganized manner. I always feel like I’m bouncing around the house like a madwoman jumping from personal projects to playing with my little to housecleaning and on and on. I just feel out of order and out of sorts!

Lack of organization is a big part of it. I’m realizing that lately I fell out of the habit of making to-do lists, and I know that has a huge impact on why I feel so chaotic. Also, in classic form, every day I think of new projects and things I want to do without finishing up other projects. Constantly adding to your plate is really NOT an effective way to get things done. Clearly knowing this fact doesn’t stop me from doing it anyway.

However, despite feeling somewhat off balance in my life, I am still so content. I’m doing everything I want to be, even if it is in a messy and disorganized manner. Do I want to straighten it out a bit? Definitely. Am I going to stress myself out about it? Absolutely not. Instead, I’ll take the steps I can to try and refocus, and get the balance back where I want it. Starting with a to-do list.

So bear with me if blog posts are a bit random, not on any schedule, or rambly (coughthispostcough). Be on the lookout for a new look for my blog too! Working on lots of art for it – my one year ‘blogiversary’ is coming up at the end of June and I’d love to celebrate it with a new look for my blog, and a giveaway too! Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!