Thursday, November 21, 2019

Forgetting It Sucks

I feel like it's been awhile since I've posted about what life is really like. Away from book reviews and kids being fun (and sometimes not), there is a lot going on in my life. Some of which I'm not ready to share because I haven't quite worked out how I feel about it. And that's OK.

It seems like every November I really struggle with life. Last year was pretty bad and I guess the good thing is I forget how bad its already been. I know fall of 2016 was really horrible because I was planning my suicide. So, I guess we've gone up from there. 2017 was bad. 2018 was really bad but by then financial issues were catching up with us and they are still here so that really sucks, but every year it's like the depression morphs into something new, if that makes sense.

I've really struggled this year with the realization that this actually is it. I'm really at the peak of my depression treatment. I've really come to the end of the road medication wise in some areas and my mood stabilizing medication can obviously be increased but I've been waiting to do that to make sure I really need it so I don't max out sooner than I should. Nobody can ever say I'm irresponsible with my medications because I'm scared of everything so I'm willing to suffer until the absolute last minute before I change anything.

Every day though I sit at home while all four kids are in school and I just think about how difficult life is. How hard it is to just get out of bed, then to get dressed, then get them to school and back, and all of the stuff a mom does during a day. I'm barely keeping anything together as it is and I'm just so mentally exhausted. I just don't know how much longer I can do this, you know? I'm not sure what I'm doing as a mom, I'm a really crappy wife and I know that Matt is absolutely tired of always correcting me and double checking what I'm doing because I probably screwed something up as usual, I have no desire to do anything, and I just don't know how I manage to get through every single day.

Last week I brought Penelope to school when she had no school. I had almost left her there. I was late for a therapy appointment and that wasn't good. I had to pick Jackson up from school for an appointment, I went to the wrong school. In fact, I went to a school none of my kids have ever been to. Explain THAT. We had family pictures taken and I inexplicably ordered 168 photo cards. We needed 60. Thank god Matt was able to get that fixed and save us $82.

Needless to say I cried a lot last week. I forget something, get frustrated, so then I forget more, and get more frustrated, start messing things up more, so now I'm angry. It's a spiral. I get upset because I'm frustrated my brain doesn't work right. I'm angry that any of this has happened to me. I'm exhausted because pretending I'm OK is really hard.
On my really bad days I obsessively "clean" and "organize". I put those in quotations because that's what I call it when in reality I'm really just moving things around. I move books from one shelf to the other. I organize pencils in a cup. I take everything out of a drawer and put it back in. Over and over again. (I found this note on Wednesday that I had kept and it was just everything that day. I needed it.) I can't even tell you how many times I've written and re-written our Christmas card lists. I have to be nearing 30 times in the last two weeks. I'm not kidding. I'll see that a letter doesn't look right and now I have to re-do the entire thing. I know it's obsessive behaviors but I can't stop.

I have a lot of big changes and stress happening in my life and 2020 is going to kick my ass. I already know that I won't handle it well and knowing that I am not in a good space to deal with them scares me. While I still think of wanting to be gone, I'm now medicated to the point where I know that isn't true so now I scare myself. The last two years death didn't scare me and I just wanted to be there. This year I'm so medicated that while I want to be dead I am absolutely terrified. I am having my nightmares again of dying and I'm waking up terrified and crying. It's horrible. I'm tired of feeling like I can't share how bad things are for me because it makes people feel guilty or feel like I'm a burden. In my head I know I can't control how other people feel and that's on them. I know that. My feelings don't know that so they are always reminding me of what a pain in the ass I am.
I hate talking about it because I often get the "is therapy even working for you?" question and YES. Yes, therapy is working. Therapy is the only reason I'm even here. If I didn't have therapy I know without question I would have been dead by June 2017. No question. I had one attempt and several days of toughing it out on the phone with my therapist, praying to anything to get me through the day. So yes, I know its working. I know people are sick of it and god- nobody is sick of it more than me. Nobody. Try living this EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's Groundhog Day. Every day its the same version of hell. No better, no worse. I keep being told I didn't die for a reason, I haven't fulfilled my purpose, but I sure hope that purpose is shared with me soon because I just don't know. I'm not nearly as strong as people think I am.

It's just a shitty season. Every year I get through the winter and days get easier, and I think it's OK. It's just a bad season.

Then that season rolls around again and I'm reminded that it sucks and every year it seems to outdo itself. I'm just tired.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Book Review: WOMEN

If you  have a budding feminist on your Christmas list, or maybe you have a bad ass woman or some girls who need inspiration, this absolutely needs to be their gift this year. No hesitation.

WOMEN: The National Geographic Image Collection

#MeToo. #GirlBoss. Time's Up. From Silicon Valley to politics and beyond, women are reshaping our world. Now, in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, this bold and inspiring book from National Geographic mines 130 years of photography to showcase their past, their present, and their future. With 300+ stunning images from more than 50 countries, each page of this glorious book offers compelling testimony about what it means to be female, from historic suffragettes to the haunting, green-eyed "Afghan girl."
Organized around chapter themes like grit, love, and joy, the book features brand-new commentary from a wide swath of luminaries including Laura Bush, Gloria Allred, Roxane Gay, Melinda Gates, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and the founders of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements. Each is accompanied by a bold new portrait, shot by acclaimed NG photographer Erika Larsen. The ultimate coffee table book, this iconic collection provides definitive proof that the future is female.

I'm coming right out to tell you I am giving this one 5 stars without hesitation because this was AMAZING. I would consider myself a feminist in the sense that I likely won't ever be burning bras or marching. I am a feminist in the sentiment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg who never identified with women marching but instead used her brain and her grit to make movement. Not that there is anything wrong with marching. I think we need a visible faction and we need brains, we both play a major part of moving forward. One of my favorite women to read and listen to is Roxane Gay who is featured in this book but is quoted on page 317:

"I think that feminism should be a default feature of humanity. Women deserve equality and equity with men. - Roxane Gay"
Within this book there, of course, sections called "Portraits of Power" with famous feminists that we all know such as Oprah Winfrey, Nancy Pelosi, Jane Goodall, Laura Bush, and Melinda Gates (and more). The rest of the book are sections of Joy, Beauty, Love, Wisdom, Strength, and Hope that has every day, regular, you and me women. It's women from every culture around the world doing what they do to live their lives. It looks at the education of women around the world, women and reproductive rights and beliefs, careers and hobbies. I really enjoyed the Beauty section because the definition of beautiful is different no matter where you are in the world and it's astounding to me that we as a society in America doesn't recognize the value in that.

Without question the photography throughout this book is exquisite and looking at the women and their traditional wear is beautiful. Frankly, we look like a really lame society in comparison to everywhere else. Throughout this book it shows you that women are, and always have been, made of stern stuff and if you can get through this entire book without a new appreciation for yourself and all of the women in your life, I don't know what would get you there. This book features women now and women from years and years ago. Some of the images are beautiful and some are startling and some will make you look at your life and realize we don't have it so bad as you see women doing their thing in the starkest of landscapes. It's just an amazing collection of images and stories, it's inspirational from the first to the last page, every step of the way.

An incredibly HUGE thank you to National Geographic for sending me this book and TLC Book Tours for letting me host on this tour. All opinions are my own and this post contains affiliate links. Happy reading! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book Review: We Met in December

If you follow any book blogger on Instagram you've probably seen this book multiple times, it's everywhere! It's got the cutest cover that is screaming to be read. Also, can we make note that this book officially finishes my 2019 Goodreads challenge?! This is book 110 of the year and for a few months I definitely wasn't sure if I would finish the goal this year but here we are with a month to go!

We Met in December - Rosie Curtis

Two people. One house. A year that changes everything.  

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.

I hate saying things like, "I wanted to love this one!" because that automatically implies that I didn't like it or that there was something wrong with it. In fact, I really did want to love this one because I love the romantic triangle trope and the premise of this book is kind of a dream set up for any romance novel. My primary issues with this book are that it is a bit of a slow read, I wanted to know when stuff was going to happen, and I was rather frustrated when both people are kind of morons and scared to ask each other what's going on, "are we friends or do you want more" kind of thing.

From every account of this summary you think this is a Christmas romance and no, it really isn't. Other than the fact they meet right after Christmas, this book takes place over the course of the year and doesn't resolve itself until the next Christmas so truly, this isn't a Christmas read and don't go into it thinking that otherwise you'll be greatly disappointed. Right away we meet all of these roommates and almost immediately you realize Jess is awkward but so is Alex in a way, and Emma is the worst. Everything about Emma oozes mean girl who is incredibly insecure so she's going to be extra snarky just because she can. How guys fall for this I will never understand, but Alex definitely does and it makes his budding friendship with Jess a little awkward. It's clear that they both want to be more than friends but confused me was why? I don't know what it is about either character that makes the other interested. I mean, Alex sounds handsome but Jess doesn't really sound like his type so the whole thing just felt odd.

Overall, I really struggled with this book. It wasn't awful but it's not one I'm going to remember and it's not one that I'd include in Christmas boxes for friends. I don't know, I expected something different so I ended up a little disappointed.

Can we take a quick minute to say you can find this in the HarperCollins store, along with a LOT of amazing books? They often have free shipping once you  have $49 in your cart and if you need help with a list, let me know. I can get you to $49 quickly!
Thank you to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour! All opinions are my own and this post contains affiliate links. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sara's 2019 WISH LIST

I cannot even tell you how hard it is to put a wish list together because I'm at a weird point in life where I like presents but I also feel weird getting them. Does that make sense? I mean, when in doubt, PRESENT. Always. Obviously. But I also really struggle with what the heck do I even want? So this is the culmination of an entire year of thinking.

1. Handheld Fan: I know this sounds dumb, but these things are awesome. I get so unbelievably warm out of nowhere in the summer and having a fan I could pull out of my purse would be amazing.
2. A New Mop: You know you're old when the idea of a new mop is exciting! But our current mop is the worst and sometimes the steam mop just doesn't do it, you know?
3. No Tie Shoes: I have become a huge fan of sneakers I don't have to tie and are squishy.
4. New bedding: We actually only own one comforter so when ours is dirty it's an entire day affair to get it washed and there have been times we've been up to almost midnight waiting for this thing to dry. Someday I'm going to have a washer and dryer that handle huge comforters but until then... it's a process. So having another one so we aren't exhausted waiting for the thing to dry would be nice. 
5. Socks. I really like socks. I can't help it. 
6. Scrapbook Goodies: If you know me at all you know my favorite scrapbook supply company is Doodlebug Designs, so anything by them is my go-to supply.
7. Books. You guess had to know that books would OBVIOUSLY be on my list!
8. Sweeper Thingie: Again, pulling into Loserville, because I hate to sweep. Hate it. I would vacuum all day every day but I hate to sweep. Unfortunately, I have to sweep every day at least twice and even still... I feel like it just isn't enough.
9. Gift Cards: I know people hate to give gift cards, but I really love them. I mean, do you really want to go buy me bras and underwear? I mean, no. I love my friends but I'm not trying to buy you underwear. I have a dog who likes to eat underwear and so I need some. Gift cards to Victoria Secret, Lane Bryant, Target, Kohl's, Maurices, Old Navy, etc are awesome because I can buy the things that fit me when I feel emotionally ready to enter a dressing room. You know what I'm talking about.
10. iPad: This is a total pipe dream gift but still. You never know.
11. Fitbit: I just want to know my heart rate and how many steps I'm doing. I don't want anything fancy because I won't be able to figure out how to use it, I'm a simple gal.
12. Gift Cards, part two: Matt and I would like to go on dates but honestly, if it isn't a childcare issue it's a cost issue. We like to go out to dinner and a movie, so gift cards to restaurants are cool. Or ones the whole family could use because all six of us doing stuff together is pretty expensive.
Honestly, that's a lot. I really like anything I end up getting. It's really nice to get something because someone saw it and thought of me. I always really appreciate that. It's always nice to be thought of.

What is on YOUR wish list this year? What is on your kids or grand kid's list? I'm still trying to get ideas for Olivia and Jackson because their lists weren't super helpful for me this year.