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Life mental health Uncategorized

I Made It Through Yet Another September (well, almost)

September.

Ever since 2010, the months of August, September and December have been so hard due to some hard times and family things. The depression hits, the mood swings are worse because of numerous reasons, my sleep suffers and I really struggle to even get out of bed most days.

This summer was a very intentional summer in my home. I made a real effort to have fun with the kids, help them make their own decisions (big and small), do things they wanted to do and at the same time fill my own cup with making our adventures educational and memorable. The summer flew by with their first camping trip, their first tenting experience, time at my husband’s family cabin with just me and them, nature walks, sunset chasing, dragonfly saving…ALL the things! I needed it, they needed it. I also made sure to allow tons of time for them to spend with their cousin who they will not be seeing much now that he is starting school many hours away in Moose Jaw. They had their last play date and we were all sad saying good-bye. I worry about him being so far away. And I also worried daily about the 2020 school year looming and what it was going to look like.

Mid-August my youngest turned 5. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened so fast. The day of his birthday I received an email asking all families to let the school district know if they were NOT planning on sending their children back to school. This was a big decision in which I had been speaking to my kids about probably more often than necessary. They knew their options and understood that there was no wrong answer but I wanted them to make that decision from their heart.

Starting September 9th this year my children began new journeys that they had a part in deciding. I am proud of them for making the decision and I am in their corners all the way.

Brody

Brody began grade 5 with a teacher who shares my son’s love of all things nature. He is catching grasshoppers for the class salamanders and helping his teacher find all sorts of bugs and animals outside which his teacher documents and photographs (he is working with some sort of group having to do with nature-I really can’t remember what it is though). The fact that he needs to wear a mask all day and on the bus has not worried him one tiny bit! (Polar opposite from his mom here)

Karina

Karina began her grade 3 year as a homeschooler. We decided not to do remote learning or distance learning. It wasn’t really as much our decision as what ended up happening because of lack of information and poor communication…I can always fill you in on that later lol. Regardless of where her education was going to come from though, she was not going back to school (at least for now). We are only 2 weeks into it and we have already had many ups and downs but I’m learning what kind of learner she is, what makes her tick when it comes to school, and trying to remind myself that I am teaching her, Karina, not me. We all learn differently and this is not a classroom in a school.

Ryan

Ryan started his first day of Kindergarten on September 15. He will be going every second day for the whole day. This is so great for him! He gets to spend time with so many other kids other than his brother and sister and I know this was the right choice for hi as well. Lol, he didn’t make that decision on his own but he did get to give his thoughts and concerns. The mask was not a concern (for him, different story for me haha). I can’t wait to see what kinds of great pieces of art work he will bring home! I just love watching them grow and change throughout their years!

The Workplace

My biggest struggle by far has been my workplace. When they implemented mandatory masks for employees and customers this meant that each I worked I fought back those anxieties and all the trauma responses that come with it. It is exhausting to have to find a way to do my job, deal with customers yelling and threatening (another big trigger for me), my own mental health including the panic attacks that were incurring constantly due to all the triggers and extra stress…I was a mental mess. I still am, to be honest. I’m finding it very hard to cope with it all.

I also worry about the impact this year is going to have on people world wide long term. I fear we’re going to end up with more mass shootings or bomb threats or heaven only knows! I don’t feel there’s enough mental health support for everyone during this pandemic. It worries me that someone could literally *snap* at any given time and I sometimes worry that someone might be me or a teacher at my kid’s school, or a customer that I ask to please pull up their mask. The fear is real.

Anyway, take care for now friends. I’ve missed everyone over the past couple of months and I can’t promise how often I will be able to pop in, at least until I can find some sort of groove with this crazy life, but I’m over here thinking of all of you!

I also want to say a special thank you to Dwain for reaching out. It’s not the first time and honestly I hope it’s not the last. You know when those bad days just pile up and nothing is going according to plan, when the depression has hit too many times to count and you just feel like nothing you do matters anymore? Dwain, your email helped me realize that there are people out there who (even though we’ve never met) care. This means a lot and I truly appreciate your kindness.

-Ang

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Busy Busy Busy

We’ve been busy the last little while with all sorts of stuff lol. My daughter has been making bracelets to sell and we’ve been doing more baking raising a little money to help out the local food bank. Shes a craft loving girl. She enjoys making dolls, cat houses, barbie clothes, drawing, etc.

This is my 8 year old daughter Karina. She’s an old soul with a heart of gold and she spreads kindness to all around her (except her brothers :D). She’s also got one heck of a teenage attitude already and the two of us butt heads a lot but I’m trying to pick my battles carefully. I remember the moment when I heard my mother laugh echo through my head (as clear as if she were right next to me) when I remembered her say to me that she hopes one day I’ll have a daughter just like me.

I thought I would maybe introduce my family a little more. Part of my goal of opening up and being more vulnerable.

Until next time,

-Ang

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I Miss The Library

The kids and I usually take out 15-20 books a week from our small local library. Since it still hasn’t re-opened we are going nuts without having new books to read! The school has a couple of sites set up for all the students to read online but it’s not the same as holding and smelling a real book. It may re-open in August. Fingers crossed!

I also found out that our librarian has retired and oh man! Are we going to miss her!! She is the most amazing person! Norma has lived in the area all her life and is a well known and much loved member of the community. She loves children and is always ready for an impromptu game of anything! She somehow managed to always put together a summer reading program for the community every year and plans out the games and crafts for about 40 kids each day. She’s just such a wonderful person. She also has cerebral palsy and another job she goes to everyday after the library closed each day. I don’t know how she managed to find the time!

So our days have been filled with tons of outdoor play and even some time with a couple of friends. I have allowed some extra screen time for the time being since that’s how we have to read our books now. It’s so hard on the eyes and my eyes hurt so bad by the time bed time rolls around. Which would be now but I’ve been attempting to catch up with my reading on here for so long now. I wish I could just grab my laptop and head to the lake, let the kids play in the water while I work on my blog sitting on the warm sand. But the sun glaring off the screen would drive me nuts and I get called to the water too often to actually sit on the sand. LOL the dream is there.

But…I managed to do some catch up this evening and there’s a storm rolling through. Power was out for 3 hours already today and so I think I’ll wrap this up just in case.

I hope everyone is well!

-Ang

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Happy Canada Day!!!

No fireworks today but we usually don’t go out to watch any even when they’re on! In a couple of years maybe, but the kids get pretty cranky when we don’t get home until midnight due to a small display of sparklies in the sky and a long drive.

It’s been a crazy whirlwind since I was last here and I have really missed catching up with everyone! I’m still behind (story of my life really) but I managed to get quite a bit reading done 🙂

I had some challenges with my mental health journey and so I needed to put a lot of focus and energy into that and just trying to keep my head above water. I know I’m not alone in that area, so many of us are struggling. I will be taking more time away during the next month for sure as I spend the majority of my time with the kids doing summer things.

Did you have any plans for Canada Day?

-Ang

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creative writing short story Uncategorized

Searching For Helena

The sun was scorching hot but as I entered the darkened shadows at the edge of the woods the coolness licked at my skin sending shivers up my spine. I could hear soft whispers ahead of me, behind me, above me. The laughter of the squirrels as they played tag through the trees. The footsteps of the unseen moving away from me as I moved deeper into the abyss. What lay waiting around the next tree? Was it a sweet wild bunny or one of the little people that I was warned about? Were they really dangerous? Perhaps they were only misunderstood.

What was that? A sigh of content? A hushed whisper that was more than the leaves rustling overhead? All the sounds seems eerie and yet beautifully mysterious. The musty smell of the dirt and moss teasing me as I watch a fawn scamper off towards its mother. A woodpecker tapping out a love song somewhere in the distance brings me back to the moment and I remember I’m cold. I’ve wandered without care or attention and I can’t see my way out anymore. I look up, up past the tallest of trees and I realize that the sun is still shining so brightly up there, like a whole different world. A world I am craving now, a warmth I am yearning for.

I open my little wings and fly as high and as fast as they will allow. Up over the pines and past the spruces and as the warm sun brings life to my cold iridescent wings once again, I can go faster and faster until…

I see my cozy little home off in the distance over the meadow and next to an old abandoned house. The little girl built a home for me hundreds of years ago before she was taken by the long-haired stranger in the night. My home is inside the flower pot on her bedroom sill that still holds the key to her diary. I promised I would guard it for life and that I would one day find her to give it back. I still have the key but I can’t find Helena.

-Ang