๐ŸŽ 2022 Third Week โ›„

“Passion rules reason, for better or for worse.”

– Terry Goodkind

MEANINGFUL VALUES JOURNAL:

I’m still exploring the Kwanzaa values, it’s the thrid week of Kwanzaa in my area (my own mind):

Faith is believeing it’s worth it to invest in myself and my dreams and trying to do better. (Metal/Priorities)

Unity being part of a family who I will protect, as much as I can, or should, deciding how to make that work, what is right, how I can finish my resposibilities. (Metal/Social/Boudaries)

Proactivity is knowing what I want, even if it will take time to get there. (Metal/Physical/Goal Setting)

Teamwork is finding how to work smarter as a gropup, in our school and family. (Social/Mindfulness)

Connection is shareing my passion with the world and accepting others gifts. (Social/Balance)

Purpose know how I will serve others as a mother/teacher/family member, knowing what is most importat, where I stand, who I am, what I need to do first. (Social/Awareness)

Creativity is thinking of new ways to do things that could be better. (Mental/Flexibility)

HEALTH JOURNAL:

Social Health: Teaching Karate classes this year: 2. Adventure Scouts meetings zoo = 2 ocean = 1.

The past two weeks feel more real than the past two years. Last week I remember I didn’t enter a day in my journal and three days later I could barely recall it at all… During the pandemic a lot of my passion projects were destroyed, cancelled or just slowly died, this year they are coming to life again like spring blooming through a winter snow. It’s kind of scary to see good things and have fun, scary it may get taken away, barely recognizable is the feeling of just relaxing and enjoying life and having to remember what day things are coming up.

Physical Health: Lost a little weight right away and then stopped, but that is okay, I feel pretty good because that first 2Kg/5lbs is staying off and it looks like about half the belly fat went with it. I am following a meal plan of peas, chicken, broccoli and beans with other things sometimes thrown in there. When I don’t finish my workout that day I find myself catching up at night because I don’t want to miss the next day.

Mental Health: I’m getting better, exercise seems to be helping, but 2 weeks in, I was surprised the first 2 weeks I felt no mood boost. I have energy now, I’m still mentally confused at times, but my body is ready for a hike or beach trip or teaching class, for whatever my life has my body can meet and exceed the needs, yet I wish I could say that of my mind.

Saturday Faith

Saturday: Looking back on the past two weeks I had a lot of baggage, I’m really hesitant to vent or to be in the space of looking through my baggage, until I can no longer cope. Then I’ll get intensely angry, then I’ll think about why I’m so tense. I’m a tense person, but on a good day I’m a cello string and on a bad day a violin string over tightened… so I don’t know what the future holds, but I can try to live my best life as I’ve been doing since my kids were born, I don’t like the family tension but I can refuse to feed into it more than what it is on it’s own, I don’t like not knowing if I’m doing the right thing disciplining my kids the way I am, but it really seems to be working well for once and ultimately all I can do is what I think is best in the present, it’s still going to take a long time to clean up after the storm, but I like that we are all thinking about how we can build differently, not just stronger, but to make sure we are putting things how we want them and not just how they were before, my clutter is kind of how it has been, I push through to a new status quo and then I can maintain it, yet there is no way for me to do a fast push, I make progress in a room or half a room or a countertop and that’s all I can do for quite some time, but unlike what I’ve heard from others it mostly does stay, with the exception of the places that get used super frequently like the kitchen prep counter and the school office…

Excited I just got some new plastic boxes, because those wood/cloth/woven will get ultra-moldy where we live (in the tropics). My husband brought me home the tubs yesterday and I actually used all of them today! I didn’t make any excuses, instead, I made a lot of decisions about what to keep and where and a lot of progress returning things to where I designated them to be, and then changes and some regular cleaning of hair/gunk/ext…

I made action bins for the most part, like a math bucket with all my son’s math blocks, calculator, abacus ext, so when it is math time I can get the whole bucket down and it’s ready, like a first aid kit, but for math.

There are 14 school kits now, there is a clay/bead kit (orange), painting/drawing kit (orange), math K level kit (yellow), math 2nd grade level (yellow), language writing k level (green), language 1st grade level (green), botany (purple), geography (purple), electronics (blue), robotics (blue).

There are locked sets of legos, blocks and magnet, grouped extra supplies, electronics, books, papers… those things are sorted by when I use them, or what they are. Many things were discarded.

It feels good to have my son’s toys, daughter’s toys, music stuff, and school stuff separated. There are still a few boxes of clutter, about three, but that’s better than what it was before. I am noticing my kids don’t have too many toys, enough for our small space, but actually not too many. They do get to play digitally though, and they enjoy music and art as if they were toys, so the amount feels like enough. It feels like we finally separated the wheat from the chaff as far as the toys go… I feel guilty I have been too tired to pick up the toys for the past year, and that even though I kept my stuff mostly in order my kids stuff did get chaotic plenty of time.

This Saturday I have faith in myself, that I am a good teacher to my kids, that I can organize the house (at least the common parts and my parts), that I will keep being a good teacher to my kids as long as we are together, and that their education will be both enough and helpful in their lives. I didn’t always feel I would conquer the house, but now my husband is helping me by supporting minimalism and funding buckets, having the right materials and furniture is a part of minimalism, which perhaps puzzled me before. There is saving money, there is living with what you have, but there is also not being willing to pay what you need to for the materials you need to live your best life, that’s not healthy long term.

ORGANIZATION – As I am getting more organized I feel a lot more confident, I feel like I can clean easier, do art projects with the kids more, get a better school routine with everything nicely organized.

CLOTHES – I have one rack of dresses, a jacket, a hat, I general I really like having just a few clothes, I think I am at the perfect level to do one in, one out, and that is new.

BOOKS – I think I should designate my book space vs my daughter and son’s, they both have a nice white shelf, so maybe that can be their clothes/book/paper area, I think toys will overflow into other areas.

PAPERS – I had too many papers and notes when I was in college, I moved out with my fiance with a file cabinet and about four boxes, we moved to our first married home with about two boxes, from there I reduced to one box, we moved to Hawaii with less than one box of papers… now all I have is a two file folders. A lot has gone digital, but some was also cut. Eventually, I will have to hit some digital decluttering as well, but it won’t be moldy and no one will trip on it at least.

TIME – It really is a possession, so it has to be decluttered as well.

6 Writing Time 7 Exercise/Shower ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ/๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ, otherwise I catch up at night.

8:30 Breakfast/Language ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

9 Bus/Song Time/Writing ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Add day of week song.

9:30 School Roll/Calendar/Writing/Planner/Letter of the Day/Feelings Pond ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ write date and word.

10 Lecture 10:30 Music Time ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

11 Story Time Youger/Lecture Older ๐Ÿ”ฅ Older child wants help, could both read? Or both exercise?

11:30 Block Time ๐Ÿ”ฅ Same Issue

12 Lunch 1 Outside Time ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

2 Values 3 Stoic Quote/Play Youger/Story Older๐Ÿ”ฅ This has become a catch up lecture.

4 Dinner/Science Chemistry Show ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ/๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ

5 Lego ๐Ÿ”ฅ

IMPROVEMENTS?

Sunday: Last week hot springs with friends.

Monday: Last week added more music and outside time back into the school day.

Tuesday: Last week we covered significant figures and error, accuracy, precision, average and range calculations, learned about Wilma Rudolf, my son finished kindergarten math.

Wednesday: Last week zoo, karate, our dog was really sick.

Thursday: Last week harsh discipline, left quad tear, want to put systems in place to do most normal stuff, like take in groceries, return other people’s items and throw away trash.

Friday: Last week dog really threw me off timewise.

(This will be an ongoing post this week.)

โ›„

๐ŸŽ 2022 Second Week ๐Ÿ‹

Saturday Faith
Sunday Unity
Monday Proactive
Tuesday Teamwork
Wednesday Share
Thursday Purpose
Friday Creativity

โ€œIf you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint 

and that voice will be silenced.โ€

– Vincent Van Gogh

โ€œLikewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos; you want to use them, not hide from them.

You want to be the fire and wish for the wind.  

– Nassim Taleb, Antifragile

Social Health: Restarted martial arts, classes this year = 2. Adventure Scouts meetings zoo = 2 ocean = 1.

Mental Health: Starting the clean-up and organizing the office/school stuff has been uplifting so far…

Physical Health: Losing 7 kilo, 2 lost so far, getting in better shape in general. Saturday did Cardio, Sunday Total Body Circuit and swimming, Monday Alphabet Exercise and Speed 1.0 Thursday Cardio again, then skipped Wednesday and ended up on the original schedule, which is easier to remember.

Saturday: I vented a lot, I know I could delete the complaints, but they were all a bit necessary to me finding out why I was so angry… I did some garden work restoring a little access to the backyard… via the paths. The new sickle works well for ginger. I took orange peel off the lawn it made me really angry it was there… it must have been a family member just dumping trash in our main view, it bothers me that I would have to ask anyone to throw trash in a trash can, it bothers me a lot.

IDENTIFIED STRESS POINTS Venting is important for me personally, because stress had been sapping my energy and I needed to parse my points of stress to see which I could do anything about, which were unimportant vs which were major points to address, in the end, my main point of stress 1. I don’t where I’ll be living in the next 1-3-5 years. 2. tension in the family over hoarding. 3. disciplining the kids. 4. clean up after a big storm. 5. my own clutter in the home/trouble organizing.

EMOTIONAL EXPANSION – I felt better after venting by writing and just “expansion” of just feeling okay feeling angry.

DETERMINATION – I made up my mind to do the best I could to live where I am despite that we may be moving later, that is particularly hard for me because we moved around every two years when I was a little kid, so you may make friends, but then you have to leave them, in the end, that’s what turned me from an extrovert to an introvert, friends weren’t worth the pain of getting to know and then losing so soon. Part of the reason we moved was my mom didn’t clean, so a new place is nicer than one which hasn’t been cleaned in two years, my dad didn’t clean either, so cleaning was tricky to learn for me, but I was never tempted not to clean, I’m not the best at it, but I don’t like things crazy messy at all.

ORGANIZATION – Organizing my own stuff has been interesting, I’m combining two households of school/art materials, me of California and me of Hawaii, yesterday my daughter went through her drawings and drawing notebooks to pick which ones she wanted in her portfolio, I didn’t question her about which to keep, the ones she kept we put in a plastic sheet binder because otherwise, paper drawings will mold here very soon. I would rather work room by room, but my bedroom is a mix of kids’ toys, craft items, and school stuff and so is the office, so it’s better to group what I can.

CLOTHES – It’s kind of Kon Mari style right now, but I don’t think I have excess clothes because I am always looking to discard excess clothes whenever new ones come in or when I notice the old ones are “quite” old.

BOOKS – So, I guess it should be books time then, I have a bit too much in the bedroom bookshelf, I could separate a milk crate of books out from that.

PAPERS – As I was sorting the papers I found a ton of draft schedules that I had tried… It was kind of sad that I am always struggling to make a schedule, but at least it is also written evidence that I’m always trying to live my best life and do the best I can for my kids… Many I finally threw away, it felt good throwing away planners I didn’t need, some had cool activities we did in school, or habit formation notes, like how many times we went swimming, but none of it was really needed, all the school activities are in my brain as well.

One schedule stood out:

8 Exercise/Shower 8:30 Breakfast/Language 9 Bus/Song Time/Writing

9:30 School Roll/Calendar/Writing/Planner/Letter of the Day/Feelings Pond

10 Lecture 10:30 Music Time 11 Story Time 11:30 Block Time 12 Lunch 1 Outside 2 Values 3 Stoic Quote

4 Dinner/Science Economics 5 Lego

I think I will try to bring that schedule back kind of, but I am able to get up at 6ish lately…

So 6 Writing Time 7 Exercise/Shower 8:30 Breakfast/Language 9 Song Time/Bus Time

9:30 I Am the Pond Meditation, EQ Calendar, School Roll, Letter of the Day Writing/Drawing Practice

10 Lecture 10:30 Music Time 11 Story Time Younger 11:30 Block Time for Younger (Lecture 2 Older)

12 Lunch 1 Outside Time 2 Stoic Quote and Values Story Time Older (Play Younger)

3 School Younger (Free Time Older) 4 Dinner with Crash Course Chemistry 5 Lego+

So when I started organizing school I ran into videos about organizing the time/curriculum of school, specifically Charlotte Mason type schools, that is not what I was looking for, I wanted to organize the “stuff”, but going through my papers I found the old schedule that somehow called to me to adapt it… it really felt special, throwing away 40+ old schedules, this one really called to me emotionally, so much so that I bought a bus to do bus time again. It was $34… I’ve really been spending a lot lately, I notice that, but I’m not yet worried about it. I kind of miss working and making my own money, but for now, things are okay the way they are, really no one wants to babysit my kids while I work yet, maybe when they are older. I’m actually very excited to go with this schedule it had been working really well in California before I moved to Hawaii, the kids were 1 and 4, now they are 2 and 6, before I used all my own curriculum now we use Acellus plus my lessons, a lot has changed for the better. While my personal mental health suffered and the world suffered my school improved and my kids’ life stayed decent, I think that’s what I was sacrificing for and in the end, I’m not sorry, but I have to put a bit into my own tank too, or it won’t work long term… the pandemic showed me who cares about me (my husband and sister) and who I care about (my kids), but it showed me the limits of my husband’s patience, my father and sister’s mental health and the limits of my ability to respect my father and meet him halfway, I can’t really do that, I hit a breaking point with him where I won’t put on a facade that he wants the whole family to share, he is welcome in my life, but I won’t accept his restrictions on my life or his criticisms or even his judgment, he may “have it”, but I don’t have to “accept it”. Once I thought I could never fit in my dad’s shoes, now I find he isn’t half the man I am, even though I’m a woman. It’s because I don’t hide from problems in TV or anything and he does, it’s because I don’t leave dishes for other people to clean and throw my trash everywhere and he does, it’s not that he isn’t a good person in any way, it’s because he takes the easy way out more than the hard way and I take the hard way more than the easy way. That’s the truth about why I have lost respect for him and gained it for myself.

Sunday: Visited hot springs with friends, it was really fun and relaxing. The first day that felt right in a long time.

Monday: Tried the old school schedule, did exercise, music, outside time, storytime, and music time didn’t go well, but exercise and outside time did. Tired from swimming yesterday, but so glad that we formed an “Adventure Scout Unit” for our girls. It may be stupid that I want to teach martial arts, but that’s what makes me feel like life makes sense. And I think taking the kids to play with their friends is that for them.

Tuesday: Second day on the old schedule, the kids enjoy it, we get less done with the class progress, but that is probably fine. The kids have both learned so much I want to integrate what they know more than I want to just teach a lot. In chemistry we covered significant figures, we covered error:

[(Measured-Actual)/Actual]x100%

Yes, it was hard and above grade level, but I like it because I want to show that we need the math before we get to it in math so it makes sense to be learning it at all. This is exactly the kind of math/science integration I wanted to get and I’m happy to be doing it even if it means going slow and looking for examples. We covered accuracy vs precision as well and average and range calculations, so it was a dense day for my daughter. We learned about Wilma Rudolf who went from not walking due to polio to three Olympic gold running metals, that was really inspirational. Health and chemistry classes have been really useful to talk about those topics. My son finished kindergarten math, he is not yet three, but almost three, he is reading really well and I think if he talked clearer people would notice how smart he is, but he doesn’t write or speak too clearly (about normal) so if it wasn’t for me seeing him do his school work I wouldn’t have known how good his is at math and reading either. My daughter is quite smart, but my son is very surprisingly ahead, probably due to my daughter teaching him…

Wednesday: Went to the zoo, had a great day, taught karate, but coming back home the dog was really sick or seemed that way… had to clean up a lot of foul blood and urine and vomit off the floor, beds, and sofa… so.

Thursday: The dog being sick distracted the kids during school, still got some math/agriculture classes done, but having a sick dog wet blankets the day a bit, though the kids still wanted to sing. My daughter lied to me about her 1 hour game timer going off to try to get more time and I gave her harsh discipline, lying is one thing I can’t abide in people who expect me to do my best with them and be honest with them. I was sad to discipline her, but the sooner she learns not to lie to me the better it will be for her, her first grade report card says “respects the rights of others” when you lie you rob others to their right to the truth… I know I’m very stubborn about lying, but I think it’s an upward trend towards honesty or a downward spiral to flakiness. I think when you lie to others too much you do something worse, I think you start lying to yourself, then you do it so much it’s automatic, ANTS automatic negative thoughts have been shown to hurt your brain, therefore honesty is actually a health concern. Exercised at night, but it was awkward, felt my left quad tear a bit so I stopped massaged it and restarted. I need to stretch more. Been frustrated trying to get the house clean for about a year already… when I came back last November it was full of mold, clutter, spiders, mice and broken glass as if no one lived here, but my dad and sister were living there that way… after my grandfather died the funeral being delayed seemed to make the family really gloomy, but I was surprised they knew I was coming and didn’t at least pick up the broken glass since I was coming with a baby and child. But they didn’t. My family has issues. So it’s that extra element of frustration that I am the only adult fighting the clutter, my sister goes to her room to avoid it and my father alternates between causing messes, ignoring messes, and complaining about other people’s clutter without cleaning his. I’m so angry about it, I think I can actually clean it up though, I think once systems are in place to do most normal stuff, like take in groceries, return other people’s items and throw away trash, then even though my family is messy I think they will be able to keep going on a system… it frustrates me and it confuses me that they don’t already have a system, but it’s the as is situation so therefore got to deal with it.

Friday: Our dog is really ill, started medicine today at least. Magots are hatching in the kitchen also… so extra cleaning and laundry put me behind on my workout, but maybe going to do it at night… School is going well, covered reproduction in avian and mammals today, both genders, also covered the romantic period of theatre, Goethe, and “or” “and” computer coding. School is really going very well, added music, added music lessons, added EQ/labeling emotions, added outside time, just very well over all. Kind of off schedule though due to the extra dog issues.

So trying to do my best despite the dog being really ill… not that I don’t like the dog, but not everybody gets to fall apart all together.

๐Ÿง‰

๐ŸŽ 2022 First Week Resolution – Be True ๐Ÿชถ

Mental Health: Kwanzaa has become soothing to me since I started before the pandemic and it’s still something I can do, so I’m going to be doing over and over for a bit.
Saturday Faith
Sunday Unity
Monday Proactive
Tuesday Teamwork
Wednesday Share
Friday Creativity

Physical Health: Exercising a ton more, it’s helping with my body, I lost six pounds, but it hasn’t been a cure-all for my mind this time around. I am still grumpy, I am still not as optimistic as before. So I lost six pounds of belly fat in one week, especially due to the bean/broccoli meal plan, but I don’t feel great about life as I normally do when working out.

Saturday – Ab Workout

Sunday – Tai Chen

Monday – Off Day

Tuesday – Kick Time at Home

Wednesday – Double Workout 6:10AM Kick Time at the Zoo

Thursday – Off Day

Friday – Stretch Day

Thursday Purpose

Social Health: Met up with a small group for martial arts class, class size of 4 kids from two households, it felt very ok to me to have a small group meet at the same time public school classes of 25 kids from 25 households are still meeting up, the 2-3 household sizes we meet seems fair and without any social contact I think my kids will lack normal experiences in a way that isn’t fair to them. It was really good to see the kids smile, hear them laugh, hand out some pine bonsais I’ve grown from seed, it felt necessary to my sanity to see real people and remember there are other people who still exist in the world non-digitally.

The first week of 2022:

Saturday: I was really grumpy during New Year’s Eve, people kept talking over my sister and I, and I am sick of that, we both speak more quietly, but I’m not going to listen to other people with respect who don’t do the same back. Done with that. I may have to hear loud people, but not with “respect”.

Sunday: I’m really excited to start martial arts again, but it’s been rocky because setting a day was hard, then it got postponed because my son was sick, so not only did I want him to get better “to get better,” but also to not pass along germs, and give me time to clean the majority of the germs out of the house, so restarting the restart was a bit sad, because I don’t like to be the weak link.

I’m halfway between wanting to try to do a lot and wanting to do nothing, therefore, have nothing fail due to the pandemic or other outside factors… that’s the truth, I can no longer push myself to pretend that I’ll be unaffected by the many changes and restrictions still going on, I can do some things, but being unaffected, that’s unrealistic in my area.

Monday: I had fun during Kwanzaa, because it was something I could do that was unaffected, so I was thinking of doing a mini Kwanzaa all year long. The first day of Kwanzaa is Umoja unity, I would spend some family or friend time on Sunday, then Monday the first of the challenges, Kujichagulia/Self Determination I would do goal setting. I know if I do that Monday it’s not all set for the start of Monday, but right now I’m okay with that. I didn’t want to tell people my real resolutions because of “how supportive” my family is… but I’ve got two, starting to teach martial arts again and working on a book, it doesn’t matter if I finish, but it would be good to start or at least start starting ie work on specific writing skills or habits ext.

Still enjoying homeschool, it was really cool my daughter’s favorite author sent us the beginning of her new book early so for reading class we got to popcorn read a brand new book written by my daughter’s favorite author, I also took the time to have her write her top three reasons to learn English so that she knows she is working towards learning something useful to her future instead of something useless and purely arbitrary (which school can often feel like as a little kid).

When I looked back on last year most of the things I wanted to do didn’t work or weren’t perfect, but many things like teaching Spanish to my daughter, happened about 250 days out of the year, so that’s 69%, which isn’t perfect. I wanted to record a bitmoji/day each day, that didn’t happen, yet it happened a lot. I wanted to write a book, it didn’t happen, but I did write somewhat. I didn’t exercise a ton, but I did enough to actually stay in good-ish shape. I didn’t do everything right, but I did work towards a lot of things I wanted to do, rebuilding my family relationship in therapy, using more consistent discipline at home, deciding on homeschool, relocating to Hawaii, deciding to teach Karate for now rather than BJJ or not at all. A lot of invisible decisions were made and priorities shifted, I realized I couldn’t really make a farm full out yet, not with the energy/funding/time I have right now. I could plan and prep and take small steps, but in reality, there are limits and if I am going to home school and teach martial arts, and exercise and clean up, and meal plan and meal prep, that’s 95% of all my energy/funding/time without farming. Maybe someday. But my real resolution was to stay honest in a world of fake news and liars, there are plenty of honest people, but sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you are surrounded by people who lie.

Tuesday: Super grumpy, didn’t want to hit the manual writing problems we hit in homeschool. Been disciplining both kids more, but hoping that it’s a phase and that they learn to do what we say ie don’t throw the glasses, don’t hit your sister in the face with a truck, if not on their own, at least hoping when they are told they will stop. I’ve never had the kids do as I say and it gets really old. Some parents ask too much, but on the other extreme when they won’t do basic stuff when they are told they are so embarrassing they get taken out less, eventually, they lose out when they are not motivated to behave within normal limits, I’ve been on that extreme for a long time and I know it’s not a better place than the opposite extreme, trying to head towards the middle ground this year.

Wednesday: The opposite of Tuesday, Tuesday being a rough and off day, Wednesday was a rare day when I felt truly alive and most things went well. It started with black beans for breakfast, being able to nail down a meal plan, however plain, was essential to being more successful this week.

What kept me from meal planning before, was that my daughter and I don’t eat the same things, so I just asked her what she wanted that was healthy and wrote it down. I delegated her meal plan to her… she is six, I was impressed she could think of something.

Actually looking back Wednesday didn’t start with breakfast, it started with exercise at 6AM, I did a double day, then later breakfast, then teaching karate, then playing at the zoo. Breakfast was cool though, because we all ate together, black bean soup. We all really enjoy black beans.

Starting martial arts is always emotional for me, as the instructor you have to feel like you have enough to teach that it is fair to the students, no one is perfect in martial arts, skills really aren’t about the belt level, and belt levels aren’t really about skills, it’s more of a motivational thing to validate that the school is providing results via improvement of some kind. Bruce Lee was known to oppose the belt system in principle and I do as well. When I was in karate it was a slight unevenness of skill, but in Jiu-Jitsu it’s a vast unevenness. Someone may walk in with a white belt and dominate or nearly dominate a black belt who is hesitant or confused, blue belts, purple belts, and brown belts may or may not have a firmer grasp of sweeps and correct techniques and blue belt teachers may or may not match a black belt teacher at teaching, depending on what they are teaching. Each individual has a different threshold for attention to detail, there are some personal traits good teachers need that you don’t need to be good yourself. I think the things that make a good martial arts teacher are attention to detail, kindness in corrections, and consistency. Also belief in the moves, which is helped from competition or use, and a lack of hesitance. I’ve known teachers who are monetarily successful and well respected who are harsh, tyrannical, and disrespectful, but I’ve known teachers who were steadfast, held their values along side the techniques (for example not gambling on students at tournaments, not doing excessive belt testing to make a larger income, not sleeping with students ext). There is definitely a technical aspect of teachers knowing where the leverage should be, how the set up leads to the move and leads to defense or counters ext, but there is a dignity that was inherent to the older martial arts, as they were taught by monks, that simply isn’t there in all modern instructors. There was an ethical code that was a part of the asian martial arts, which is nuanced and hard to understand. So what I’m saying is that there is the technical side, but there is also the ethical side to martial arts and for me they don’t ultimately stand apart, they are both essential. Prepandemic I was a MMA Instructor, Late Pandemic I am a Karate Instructor, so it was a big shift, to teach an older art form, modern changes are made, in equipment, in custom, in rules, in inclusion, but some things stay the same from thousands of years ago forward. Judo is the predecessor of BJJ, Karate the Japanese localization of Kung Fu, so it’s back to Ng Mui a female monk from the Henan Shaolin Monastery (destroyed by Manchu forces) who defeated emperor Kangxi during his reign in 1662-1722 and retreated to the White Crane Temple. The legend goes that without her kung fu would have been lost, that it had dwindled to one teacher, but I don’t think it can be lost in much the same way mathematics isn’t lost, I think each region of martial arts develops a distinct, but equivalent form over time.

But yes teaching martial arts I feel I have to question myself as a holder of the technical knowledge, as a person, am I physically fit, am I mentally fit… from there I question all the techniques, for example the inside to outside block uchi ude uke replaces on a superior tan sao block, so is it worth drilling it vs the tan sao? Then the logistical details, how many mats, what location, what time slot, how much conditioning, how much partner drills (kihon).

But the nice thing about martial arts is that you see the truth, if something you thought would work, doesn’t work, you see it. A sweep needs to move you from bottom to top, if it doesn’t, you need a different sweep. A block off balances the attacker and puts them in the position you want to set up for the next move, it might give you momentum as well, it might distract them as well, it may divert an attack as well.

So, I restarted martial arts, I bought a new uniform six kilos too small, and I’m losing some winter fat to hopefully fit it when it comes. If I do I will be at my ideal health weight, but I don’t know if I will do the opposite and go up in weight from muscle gain, but for me it doesn’t matter as long as the fat burns off a bit. First I went three pounds up, I think in muscle, then six down, I hope in fat loss.

Thursday: In school, we covered agriculture (feed rations), social studies (including George Washington Carver), it was another hard day of discipline. We were able to finish our first project of repair from the huge snowstorm that hit our area, the Kona Low, rehanging the gate after weatherproofing it… since my husband came home it’s still a lot of work with both the house and the kids, it always feels like we are missing one person we need at home. School was not perfect but both kids made progress, I moved into the living room and out of the bedroom and office so I would have room for both kids’ desks to be near one another to go back and forth helping them.

Friday: In school, we covered theater, particularly theatre riots, which was interesting, many things such as racial tension have caused theater riots in the past, in Paris, in the US, all over. We also covered math and computer coding. After school, we watched Little House on the Prarie, an episode where an Irish man didn’t want to be teamed up with an African American man to drive a wagon of blasting oil, even though he was a good worker, that paralleled the George Washington Carver lesson well, but parallels modern life a bit too well also. Another hard day for discipline, it feels like I can’t keep bringing up the same issues, but it’s my goal to bring them up every time and hopefully, when 2022 is over I hope both the kids will do what they are told to do most of the time. Because it’s not cute when every meal is annoying, it’s not cute when I spend 7 days without them listening then don’t get a break, because we don’t have babysitters/relatives who will take a long shift with them, it’s not cute that they hit people and throw other people’s stuff like glasses and phones onto the floor hard… it’s not full of liberty and wonder and magic when children don’t become disciplined.

Metathinking:

My social and physical health has been on a huge uptrend, but behind my mental health has been mid to low all week, I’m worn down mentally, even as my body has energy my mind is running on empty. Discipline is really draining, but I’m not going to not do it. I’m able to ramp up what I’m doing with the kids, painting, blocks, exercise, yet not nearly as much as they still would like. I’m able to ramp up cleaning the house, which looks horrible at times and other times looks okay but has mold due to our climate… It’s a dangerous game of being already spread too thin and wanting to do much more than I can do. Exercise pays off, because I’m not injured or out of shape it pays me back more energy than it costs, and mine, in particular, is quick 25 minutes a day on average, eating well pays off, again more energy. I didn’t know during the pandemic I put on about 7 kg/16 extra pounds, but now after losing 2/6 of them I do feel better. My mood has been swinging around a lot more than normal for me, anger, grumpy, optimistic, without a relaxed mood that normally fills my days. If I had to guess I would say the pandemic is wearing on me, because my dad blasts the death count/ill count each day around dinner time, which I HATE. We are not the CDC is there any reason for a daily update other than to go crazy or be angry? I don’t know why a weekly death count wouldn’t be more than fine, but neither did I save enough money for my own home, so yeah it’s stressful when you live with someone who has anxiety because even if you don’t share it, there is this tension that you know you may not be willing to tow their line or tolerate their rituals, you do care for their well being, but they don’t allow you to help them with that, they don’t go to therapy, they don’t troubleshoot solutions on a household level, they just fixate on scary things, don’t take actions, don’t have relaxed open discussions… Right now I live in Hawaii and I’m growing my life here, but my husband and I will probably move in the next few years because of how not-fun it is to live with someone with anxiety. It sounds unkind, but it’s more important for us to live our best lives and give the kids the least stressful home we can, but we don’t think it will ultimately be the one we are in now, so hanging over making friends, getting in shape, making routines, teaching martial arts is the feeling it will all be torn down soon and we will have to start over again somewhere else. There is a feeling of anger at my dad for being the way he is, he was always a hoarder when I grew up, he left broken glass and fish hooks all over the apartment for us to get hurt, he didn’t bother to see the mess we lived in or clean it up, now he has a new house so it’s not too dirty, but he is starting to clutter the outside, all the clutter isn’t the worst thing, the worst thing is the way he obsesses over meaningless things and disengages with living people, then he snaps back and is upset nothing social is planned after he refused to go to it for weeks, he holds grudges about made up occurrences, he imagines people are stealing things that are not there and that he needs to fortify the house from theives instead of just getting a security system or a regular fence…

I’m not trying to complain, I’m trying to identify why I feel so tense and drained.

I feel so tense and drained because I’m doing my best living in a household that I probably can’t even be healthy and happy in, I know I’m going to have to move again and I’m scared to “unpack” myself if I will someday have to move again, I feel bad that things aren’t working out well living with my dad because I wanted to help him as he gets older, I wanted to be close so he could enjoy the kids, but it doesn’t seem like that will happen because his clutter and anxiety really bothers me and my husband a lot. We aren’t leaving yet, but when we do I don’t know if it will be on good terms to return in the summer or on bad terms to pretty much not worry about coming back.

So my family of four moved to Hawaii to be close to my dad and help him with his garden and home, but he annoys us so much with his anxiety and tangential communication style that we will most likely get the F out when we find a new home, then I don’t know if I’ll return to clean a massive mess once a year, or not at all. Ha… so that’s my main stress.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ Computer Coding at Home ๐Ÿ’ป

Teaching computer coding at a home school, we started with Grasshopper a free app by Google, that app starts out easy and gets harder progressively which is good for older learners but good for younger learners who can tolerate challenge. This teaches JAVA, but it’s a good place to start.

Free; Grasshopper

For younger learners who want to go slower, LEGO produced BITS N BRICKS which works well for kids. This teaches routing, which is a component of coding and can also teach some logic and mapping skills.

Free; Bits N Bricks

Accellus/Power Homeschool is a great school option for kids, it has a 10 year coding course that has an optional “Robot Dance” class to start with. You can simply simulate the robot or buy it, we didn’t buy it because we had a similar robot.

New Acellus Course Released: Robotics Dance Programming
$25/Month; Acellus Robot Dance Programming with Dr. John

SmartGurlz Coding Robot has a learn coding app that I found too advanced, it is an okay introduction to coding, but there “learning” section on the app was not beginner-friendly, it would be better if you already understood the basics of block coding such as loops ext before attempting to go through the course. I strongly prefer Grasshopper to this to understand coding from a new learning standpoint.

$87; Scooter Robot works with Android Tablet

The JIMA robot was different, you build it from scratch, the learning section of the app was slightly better for a beginner than the SmartGurlz Robot, but both would benefit from prior knowledge of block coding as you can learn from the Acellus class. If it is an option completing Acellus Robot Dance Class and STEM Coding 1 would be a better place to start before transitioning to the SmartGurlz or JIMA robots application learning lessons.

$52; Jima Dragon Robot works with Android Tablet

In order to build the Jima Dragon robot it helps to have practice building with plastic peg units, we started with the Gekobot (not a coding robot, just a moving robot) and when we got to the smaller plastic pegs of the Jima robot, the construction made more sense having done a similar construction of the same style already.

$35; Gekobot Robot

So coding is not robot building, but it can be more fun to code for a robot that you have built, rather than one that comes already ready to go. Coding and robot building together is a fun way to see how technology that is digital/abstract interacts with something tangible/physical.

Summary

For an adult learner, I recommend jumping to Grasshopper, free and fun for a small amount of daily practice.

For a young child, I recommend some kind of block coding app, such as Bits N Bricks, then when it’s possible the Acellus programs, if not to Grasshopper as well.

A good movie about computer coding was “Hidden Figures,” which is also a good movie about math, it’s not learning material, but sometimes knowing the context and history of a field of study can be inspirational and motivating.

๐Ÿ’ป

โ˜ƒ๏ธ Cold Moon Coming ๐ŸŽ‘

The “cold moon” will be the last full moon of the calendar year, on the 19th. We just got hit with a blizzard here, in Hawaii, really… so I guess the blizzard didn’t wait, but it was definitely invigorating in a way. Power went out for about three days, so just coming back from camping helped me be in the mindset for using the camping stove for meals, hand washing dishes, hand washing laundry. It was cold, but not super cold, we lost the fridge food, but not the freezer. My favorite tree came down and some others as well, a lot of small damage including all three of my greenhouses. I don’t know where or if I’ll set up another one. The damage of this year, the loss, it doesn’t make me feel like giving up, but it makes me realize how far I am from controlling nature, and since my hobbies are outdoor and nature-related, also my hobbies and goals to a large extent are out of my hands. This state is backward of pandemic progress as I’m sure a lot of places are, my family got kicked out of the swapmeet for trying to eat food sold at the swapmeet, “at the swapmeet,” no sign said we had to eat in our car, but I guess that’s the rule.

Everything is uncertain right now, my husband doesn’t have work and won’t really apply until the vaccine requirements are lifted, we don’t know if we will settle here now that he left California or a new place, or if he will leave by himself for work. So my family is together, but with a huge tension that we don’t know for how long, when or if… We are not doing badly though, we are all in good health and although grumpy not too PTSD or depressed or paranoid…

I’m still into the moons of the months, shifting that perspective on time somehow makes me feel like I have more time, which feels good. I know that the sun calendar is more accurate astronomically, but something about the moon calendar makes me feel more at home. Maybe since I’m part Chinese and they are still on that system, or maybe for other reasons, but a few months after remembering it, it still soothes me a bit. So I’m preparing for the Cold Moon, and I’m hopeful that I have time left in the year, but at the same time the year is ending and I’m thinking about trying to make sense out of it.

My take on the pandemic was a cold (rhino virus are colds and COVID is a rhino virus) which was more deadly than a normal cold, but marganilally deadly in the grand scheme of the universe descended on the news, who either ethically or unethically super hyped it, kind of forcing the government to take action against a respiratory pandemic, which it had in the 1960s, but Gorge Bush had changed the laws to be able to enact stay at home orders, which wasn’t the US that most people thought they lived in. I thought the US would value freedom above public health (as usual) just because that was the image I mentally had of that country, but it sure didn’t, it followed China in almost all ways after criticizing China repeatedly… in an article about Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown one comment by Lars Calmfors was “We like to think of ourselves as being very rational and pragmatic, “I can’t recognize my country anymore.” We are on opposite sides of the lockdown issue, but the same boat of having our view of the countries we live in forever changed. America home of the restricted and the panicked. It doesn’t sound right, but I guess it’s the truth lately and perhaps it has been the truth longer than I was able to see it was?

I must admit I feel more pain for African Americans lately, now I have to check that my kids don’t watch Youtube videos my dad or husband are watching of news with people being beaten or horrible anti-Chinese ranting. My husband watches one stock analyst who thinks it’s classy to bash Asians publicly on financial news… it really brings down my level of respect for not only that guy, but my husband too, those who really believe in racism, they have a limited ability to be logical, because the real truth has always been a stunning diversity of ability, ethics, and talents in each family, if each family is so diverse, how could it be so that the larger races are not so? It wouldn’t be, it’s just a simplified notion born of fear, taken at times too far, but it seems to gnaw the sense right out of the brain to hold those tendencies. Everyone knowing cats knows they have individual temperaments, only someone who doesn’t know them at all would think them all skittish and unfriendly. Racist people are simply people who don’t have the mental capacity of understanding each human being is an individual hodge podge of culture, values, talents, dreams, and identities. It is difficult when it’s your turn to be on the bottom of the social ladder when the people being ranted about are the same people you are trying to inspire your kids to learn extra about… it’s harder to feel it than it seemed like it would be.

I’m trying to think of 20 good things that happened this year,

  1. I learned about Harriet Tubman, she was so cool. We glossed over it in school to the extreem, now I was teaching 1st grade social studies and it came up so we watched the movie. I had no idea she commanded the army and saved so many people. It’s also important to see how much the non-african american anti abolutionists helped, altruism and ethics exist often, they just aren’t universal.
  2. I learned about Ghandi, also saw the movie. You always here about him, but since it’s not US history, very glossed over. I immagined Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were the first, but Ghandi was doing those things, he was really ahead of both his time and this time.
  3. We celebrated Indigonous People’s day this year, my daughter was excited to celebrate a new holiday. We watched Dances with Wolves and made Navajo flat bread, maybe next year I’ll have something better planned.
  4. We (our home school) celebrated Veterins Day/Rememberance Day for the first year, after learning about WW1/WW2/Cold War via the “Oversimplified” Youtube serries and also Ken Burns first hand WW2 documentary. We walk at an ex internment camp, because it’s our closed park, and we are also Japanese and German, so it was particularly important to me to eventually get through WW2 with my daughter. Not to say people are bad, but people are capable of bad things and there we can and must make the descision of if the crowd is going the right away, what we can do and what we should do on an individual basis.
  5. We went camping and didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m a big fan of gratitude, but not just on one day and not a holiday associated with genocide of my ancestors… not for me.
  6. We celebrated the winter on December 1st, it made me feel ahead of the game and I don’t often feel that way. My sister’s birthday is the 31st and I don’t feel the need for bunched up holidays at the end, but I just didn’t make the schedual change that worked for us ever before. There is a certain freedom of knowing our holidays don’t affect other peoples, for some reason I always felt stuck with the traditional holidays I hated, but I really haven’t been, it’s only been a prison in my own mind.
  7. I started homeschooling my daughter, it was a really rough transition, her public school was open and took her, but she hated it. It depressed my father that she came to homeschool, I don’t know exactly why, but nor do I truely care. I had to restructure my life quite a bit. I use a hybrid system of Acelles computer learning that some 65,000 public schools students use, so it doesn’t really feel like home school to me, we are very organized and though so it feels more like a private school of two than a homeschool, but either way it’s going very well academically. We do computer coding, robot building, lab science, Spanish, theatre, music ext that there wouldn’t be at public school, but also the “common core” stuff as well. It was a good thing, but it didn’t feel good at the time, kind of like pregancy is for me…
  8. We watched “Hidden Figures” it was a really good movie, it helped inspire my daughter in both math and computer coding, it gives you a bit of racism, without too much, which is nice to use to talk to kids without depressing them too much.
  9. We watched “Ruby Bridges” that movie was so so, but the story is really powerful. Part of the reason I don’t understand my father is that he lived in the time before segragation and he had to not speak his language of heritage ext because it was outlawed to do so in Hawaii in WW2, they outlawed Hawaiian in Hawaii… they outlawed Chinese and Japanese, he made an active choice not to pass down any of our heritage to us, because he thought it would only possibly hurt us. My sister then was a Japanese major in college, I wan’t but did learn Japanese and Chinese. So my sister and I regained our heritage and my father abandoned his and part of what divides us is that we embrace who we are, our roots, and in my opinion my father has no authentic culture, but instead a gaping void of emptiness.
  10. We didn’t have electricity for a few days and then when we did the kids were really excited to have it, I wouldn’t have thought to turn it off myself, but living without it is really valuble to knowing what it affects (for us the water pump is electric so it stops everything modern) and therefore being able to understand why it was an advancement, why we pay for it and what comforts it provides, both for me and for them. I’ve lived without it for periods before, and camping, but not for days, I was born in an electric world.
  11. My husband left his job and mom’s home, I didn’t think he would ever leave his mom’s area, I don’t know where will end up, but it’s nice to see him get out of the immigrant area his mom moved him too over thirty years ago, I’ve been wanting to get out of that area for thirty years and I thought he would never leave.
  12. I got so grumpy with my family that I made it clear I have boundaries and will leave any of them who doesn’t want to meet a middle ground with me, and I actually will.
  13. I got inspired to try to live my best life when this is all over, like the end of Shaw Shank Redemption style… I gave up/took a strategic break for now, but I’m gathering mental energy and strength to keep trying to accept the massive changes to my mind and lifestyle.
  14. I felt a lot of loss, we lost many pets, lizards, fish, we lost a large beautiful tree, other trees, three greenhouses, took a lot of damage to the ponds, tarps, pathways… but something about the loss was freeing, maybe even healing. Because I faced them. In the past I would deny the bleeding and I was disconnected with how I really felt or was affected. This time I had loses, I felt them, I grieved, I can move on whole… when you don’t feel them, you have more energy and look more cheerful, but you aren’t really whole and you aren’t really joyful. On the other side of grief is joy and freedom, on the other side of denial is more denial, bitterness, twisted perspectives about reality…
  15. I discovered Chopin through the Frederick games, I started falling in love with Chopin’s piano music and started playing it on piano. I thought I would play more cello, but in the end I played a lot more piano and had that to turn to when I felt depressed, Chopin music is great for those times, he was quite depressed and it resonates between the soul of the music and the moment of desparation of the human soul.
  16. I broke free of feeling responsible for my parents. Through seeing how codependant my father wants to be emotionally, I realized that it isn’t a fit for me, I can do all the things I think are right to do to help him, but we aren’t friends, we aren’t kindred spirits, we weren’t close before the pandemic and we aren’t close now, we didn’t have common interests and we don’t have common interests. There was some amount of wanting to be like a Hallmark movie that has completely died and now all I want to be is like non-toxic coworkers.
  17. My daughter, who is six, continues to have a great relationship with her best friend, we may not see many people, but having someone that my daughter can share life with adds to my well being, I’m sure many people are isolated and they didn’t get an opportunity to change that, but I guess I have “here” on WordPress and she has a great best friend. If I knew my daughter was lonely and didn’t have a chance to meet other kids, it would break my heart.
  18. I am more greatful in general for the good things we used to have, museum access, swapmeets, concerts, being able to stand 4 feet away from other human beings, the fresh air on my face without a swampy mask irritating me.
  19. I found Acelles Academy/Power Home School, which helps a lot with keeping home school organized. It wouldn’t be enough without what I suppliment, but pretty much all of it is good, so it’s 80% of what I would have to organize myself already organized and then I can just add to it. I really like the enthusiasm of most the teachers and the content is pretty legit, better than when I went to school for sure.
  20. Suprisingly Word Press kept me connected to the world as much as I wanted to be. I had a lot of adjusting and thinking to do, but I didn’t feel disconnected because of a few other articles people were writing about the real experiences of the pandemic world, I knew I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t feel like I was. Some people struggled more with depression and others were crazy productive, but I think it’s fair to say we all felt the pinch of having to adjust to extra regulations and shift to ever changing restrictions rather than carry on with a “normal world” we were already used to living with.

โ˜ƒ๏ธ

๐Ÿฅœ A Stay at Home Parent, Medical School Drop Out, Life Story in a Nutshell ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ

My daughter’s birthday is coming up, so I finished a three year photo book for her as a present, I’ve done that once before. Each year, is too much for me and once a lifetime would be too little. I find knowing your own limits is what matters, it doesn’t matter if your limits are ahead of other people or behind them as much as it matters that they are yours and that you know them.

So I was thinking three years is a more reasonable time to think in than one year. Yes in science the year has a meaning, the Earth does one orbit, but as a person I change more on a three year basis than a one year basis.

Example a baby, from zero, one and two they are mostly dependent, yes they learn to walk and talk, but they talk unclearly and depend on a lot. I guess I would call it the age of innocence, there may be some selfishness and lies, but mostly people this age can’t comprehend enough to even be guilty.

Three, four and five, mostly you can understand them, they have complicated feelings that they kind of understand, they can do a lot of things, yes are dependent for a lot of safety and other things, but there may be as many things they can do as can’t do. It’s much more mixed up what they can do, what they can understand, they are grappling with humanity already, death, ethics, social structure. So here is the age of exploration, knowing what kind of family you are from, an urban one, a mixed one, a fishing one, a musical one, ext.

Then six, seven, eight this is the beginning of advanced knowledge, digging deeper into interests and forgetting what isn’t relevant. I’ll call it the age of diverse growth.

Finishing my daughter’s first two books made me think of my past, the fact that I never sorted it out mentally, that I didn’t form a cohesive narrative of my own life, which is supposed to be a healthy thing to do.

Just touching on the first three ages, I would say during my age of innocence I really treasured my grandmother, but actually that wouldn’t be true, I lived with my grandmother more in my age of exploration. My memory is really twisted, I’m aware that memory is fallible, but even closer to the time things happened I had a tendency to be about two years off about what really happened.

I’m not interested in beginning an autobiography, but I am interested in piecing together a basic summary of my own life that is clear and cohesive. When I started college, I had a counseling class that assigned me that homework, but I wasn’t able to really deep dive into life then, even though I only had 16 years to go through, I couldn’t make those 16 years form meaning. I couldn’t sperate detail from main picture, I couldn’t face how little I had done or how painful some of the painful times were. I had all the same pieces as now, but I didn’t have the gluten to make them form up into anything sensical.

Anyways this is the second time I try, now I am 36, which is 12 “ages of my life”, but I feel more able to speak about the past now, now that it is the past, no one cares much. The people involved are really not those people any longer, as me, I’m at least half way not that person who lived the life I remember.

So I was born in 1985, 1985-1986-1987 were my “age of innocence,” my sister wasn’t born, for that time I was an only child, for that time I had a two parent family, but even in that time things were bad between my parents and I was aware of it much more than I wanted to be. I was the first child so my mom did her best, teaching me to read by two and in general throwing her 19 year old self into what her best was despite post partum depression and not all the wanting to be a mother instead of a teenager. I should be more grateful for that I am told, but I haven’t found a way yet to be grateful to a person who caused me pain more often than days that end in y.

1988-1989-1990 were my “age of exploration” these years I spent mostly in Hawaii, which has been my hometown in my heart, although it isn’t legally. This is when my mind was aware of the world to mark what it “should be like”.

1991-1992-1993 were my “age of diverse growth” I was moved to California to intentionally separate me from Hawaiian-American culture my mother thought should be beneath us… even though it was home for me, for my dad, it was an inferior and foreign life style for my mom and she didn’t want my heritage to rub of on who I became? My mom was embarrassingly racist and it shaped me in a way of me heading towards the diametric opposite. Looking back, I didn’t know the word for the feeling, but when my mom made stupid comments about telling me over and over not to wear my clothes the way black did, ext, I was ashamed. Ashamed to be a party to the conversation, unsure about exactly why it bothered me. Every time I felt like she was degrading me, degrading herself much more than the obvious disrespect towards whatever the target group was. Many people of the past were racist too, it makes the “Great American Heros” a bit less great when they were known to rape their slaves even though they were married and Christian… People tell me I have to judge people by the times they lived in, but I don’t believe that in my heart. Doing evil things, I think you know, I think you lack restraint and make excuses, but I think they knew very well rape was wrong, because they didn’t want it done to their loved ones. That indicates that they very well knew it was wrong. Anyways my mom had no heroic feature to her to counterbalance the racism, just a drug habit and a bipolar disposition. I knew something was wrong with her, I knew it was hard for me to live with her, I knew something was deeply wrong with our family in general, that life shouldn’t be quiet as FUBAR as it inevitably was (or I hoped at least). I had self worth issues, I loved reading to escape and to learn and just the art of words, but I also wanted to set myself apart that way, I claimed the identity of an “intellectual” I was hoping to build a castle in the sky on bricks of books and smartness.

1994-1995-1996 “age of dreams” Life was all over the place, my parents divorced, I was shuffled back and forth, the one child of two, who neither parent wanted. It was all messed up, but my identity apart from my parents as “an intellectual gem” and “a future success” made me feel like there were better things coming soon as long as I worked on myself and kept “believing in my dreams”.

1997-1998-1999 “age of excess” I became an active alcoholic during this time period, even though I was a minor, for some reason I thought I had better do it before college since I would have to focus then. I don’t know how I feel about it after all this time, I’m not ashamed, I’m not even sure I could have done better, it was basically the stress management technique I was able to discover first and I feel like I really needed something. In hind sight there may have better ways, but I didn’t have any meditation or therapy or yoga or even a squishy stress ball, I didn’t have anything better in real life to deal with the misery and disappointment of a broken family. It would be easy to say “I could have done better” but really I did the best I could at that time and I couldn’t really “have done better” even if I can “do better now”,

2000-2001-2002 “age of great expectations” I started college, life seemed hopeful. I was 16, I was smart, it was a time classes were short due to low funding, it took longer to get the classes I needed, significantly longer, but it wasn’t my fault personally, so I didn’t add guilt on top of disappointment, but just hoped it work out and gave life my all. I worked hard, not smart, working graveyard at a doughnut store all night and going strait to class the next morning. It was a rough adjustment, I was a self appointed semi-genius as a child, but about a so so student in college and I didn’t quite understand why. Basically everyone goes to school as a child so there are people doing poorly because they don’t want to be there or can’t do better in the conditions that are given, in college many people that don’t want to be there, aren’t there, so it’s a tougher pool of intellectuals to mentally tower over… I did my best, but poor time management, poor life management, being free to make choices with pretty much no leadership skills, it was really rough.

2003-2004-2005 “age of community college” I remember these years the least… I was 18, 19, 20, what a lot of people say are the good times, I remember taking a lot of math classes, a lot of science classes. When I started college at 16 there were major problems in my state college system, but no one in a place of power cared enough to fix them, like a main street under construction causing crazy traffic for those who have to use the street, everyone not involved didn’t care much… but anyways. I also had to go backwards in math to go forwards, that was because I had a terrible time with fractions and surprisingly fractions are all over science, so I had to go back and retake everything from beginning algebra to calculus, that march of math dominated my time. Science labs and classes were no joke, but nothing takes up a lot of time like math homework for the struggling math student. For my major I would need a biology, chemistry and a math or physics each semester to be on time, I was lucky if I got the right biology, chemistry or physics alone in a year, that made it three times longer to get a two year degree, plus the times when I missed the sequence, because physics was a three class sequence that started only every so often, as was biology a five sequence class, and chemistry a five sequence class, miss the sequence, the next class wouldn’t be next semester it would be in a year, but that didn’t mean there was space available. I was poor, I was a student and in a way I was also a poor student. Meaning I didn’t have great study skills, little did I know I wouldn’t really need the classes I took for a job, I was working really hard to build a debt that wouldn’t pay off later. The reality was the opposite of everything society brainwashed me to believe. I like the knowledge, but financially I still haven’t made more and have made a lot less due to being a graduate in my exact case.

2006-2007-2008 “age of the real world” at 21 I was trying my best in college, but starting to notice that I was taking forever to finish or even progress, I wanted to support myself so I worked on an ambulance 72+ hours a week. That sounds so good, but it’s a trap for many people, it makes studying difficult, but it’s still possible, so you keep pushing. You notice one other student succeed so you think you can, but you don’t notice the nine others who drop out or never finish. There is nothing wrong with that job as a job, but it’s not a good stepping stone, it’s not a great study environment, what it is is a near entry level, near minimum wage job, with not a lot of upward mobility. I was still in community college during this time, but somehow work seemed real and college seemed more and more like a ghost ship that faded when the sun rose.

2009-2010-2011 “age of minimum wage and internet college” What is more fun then minimum wage working in Hospice? Minimum wage working in hospice while doing internet college so you can imagine that someday your life that hasn’t made emotional sense or fiscal sense will at least make fiscal sense someday (but little do you know you are horribly wrong to assume that what they told you – education will get you a good paying job – is horribly riddled with restrictions that apply). Good news I got a degree, good new I got into medical school, bad news not in my own state and that meant… it didn’t end up working out for me, it’s okay it’s not like it was a huge financial, temporal, existential and emotional waste of energy. Ha, ha, ha. Those MCATs are so fun, studying for them, taking them repeatedly to continue scoring averagely because you are very average yourself, what fun.

2012-2013-2014 “age of true love and true disappointment” This was a bitter sweet set of years, I fell in love, got engaged, had some of the best years of my life, but also moved in with my fiancรฉ and had some of the most irritating years of my life as my husband had different standards and was passive aggressive and pouty about asking me to meet his expectations or setting or communicating his boundaries. There three years have the most days I would want to go back to and the most days I would never want to go back to.

2015-2016-2017 “age of marriage being a mom” I got married, then boom, I was a first time mother, I concieved four days after being married, miscarried a baby, kept the twin, was extra vomity for the duration, had my first baby, had a short intense post partum depression that runs in the family and moved on to struggling to be “perfect” after the baby even though I had never been perfect before. I had no married life not related to pregnancy or kids and I don’t think that is optimal for my marriage, but I guess I will never really know, maybe it is what kept us together? Who knows.

2018-2019-2020 “age of special needs training” I had a second pregnancy and left the work force, after having always worked from 14-34 it was weird how my identity immediately abandoned wanting to be in the work force. It was weird feeling like a servant and a maid since everyone assumed I want to do their dishes, laundry, clean their spills since I’m already cleaning my kids dishes, laundry, spills. I damn don’t. I may not tell everyone face to face, but it’s nice to say it here. I don’t want to clean your mess because I have kids, I don’t even want to clean my kids mess, the only mess I remotely want to clean is my own. That the truth. During these years it becomes painfully obvious I have a special needs kid, I get her a diagnosis and the long long road to finding appropriate treatment and doing that treatment and approaching a faรงade of normalcy.

2021 “age of the brave new world” The pandemic has been rough, but one thing it did was make a new division in my life, there was that time before the pandemic, and there is this time now. I live in “the future” I dreamed of as a child, I am no longer a child, it is the 2020 times, not many flying cars (the tech is there, but they are too expensive to insure), but yes day jobs, yes traffic, yes high cost of living, it’s like a ground car the Jetsons.

Okay so it’s not perfect, kind of bitter and sarcastic, yet I’m still kind of glad that I did look back on my life, like I was supposed to be able to do many times in the past, but couldn’t really.

“When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident.”

– Harper Lee “To Kill a Mocking Bird”

๐Ÿ”ช

โ˜” Week 34 – The Stoic Life ๐Ÿ–๏ธ

Before: Boring Task List

Cleaning List Before (Google Keep)

Using Zazzle to make images to help me focus or get inspired, is one of my “jams”, I don’t buy them, I 1. personalize with edit and 2. then take a screen shot via “print screen”, 3. paste to sketchpad.io (via control + v) and viola, I have a more inspiring picture that is still clear.

After: Fun Inspiring Task List

Cleaning List Now (Zazzle – Cute Cartoon Vacuum House Cleaning Services Business Card)
So I can just see my daily tasks I separate them.

Living Stoic Quotes: Week 34

โ€œNothing is burdensome if taken lightly, and nothing need arouse one’s irritation so long as one doesn’t make it bigger than it is by getting irritated.โ€

– Seneca

My daughter just let me know she liked the pirate show she went to yesterday, at 6:45 AM, she let me know she wanted cereal at 6:45 AM… it makes me mad actually, because she is damn loud and other people are trying to sleep.

But I should take it lightly, I should remember she is five years old. Five year olds should be annoying and she is, so great, everything fine here.

Take it lightly… not don’t pretend it’s not annoying, but yes, take it lightly that it is annoying.

Take It Easy


Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand.
Just find a place to make your stand…

 – The Eagles


“In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double


The landlord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don’t worry, be happy.”

 – Bobby McFerrin


Todo aquel que piense que la vida siempre es cruel (Anyone thinking that life is always cruel)
Tiene que saber que no es asรญ (Needs to know that it’s not like that)
Que tan solo hay momentos malos (That those are only bad moments)

y todo pasa. (And everything passes)

Todo aquel que piense que esto nunca va a cambiar (Anyone thinking this will never change)
Tiene que saber que no es asรญ (Needs to know)
Que al mal tiempo, buena cara, y todo cambia. (At a bad moment, have a good outlook, and everything changes)

– รšrsula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso

Seneca’s statement that “Nothing is burdensome if taken lightly,” doesn’t say that it is easy to do that or that nothing irritating or bad happens in life, but that making it a bigger irritation will make it worse. It doesn’t say, you have to smile, you have to like it, you have to find a good in it, it just says don’t make it worse on yourself.

One thing that helps me not get irritated with the kids is “Father Forgets”,

โ€œListen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleepone little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast, I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, โ€œGoodbye, Daddy!โ€ and I frowned, and said in reply, โ€œHold your shoulders back!โ€

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came Up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before you boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive โ€“ and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. โ€œWhat is it you want?โ€ I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding โ€“ this was my reward to your for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: โ€œHe is nothing buy a boy โ€“ a little boy!โ€

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your motherโ€™s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.โ€

– W. Livingston Larned

But oh how fast I forget the feeling I have when I read that and go back to being irritated that my kids yell at me, ask for things they know are against the rules over and over, vie for attention, bicker over the smallest toy, refuse to use the toilet and then have an accident…

Part of it is that I hate it when they act dumb, and I don’t just let myself hate it. I don’t say internally, yep they are acting dumb again because their brains are like 50-70% functional so far… I try so hard to repress my truth that it keeps amplifying until I can’t ignore the truth of what I am feeling.

If I admit I hate kids acting normally in annoying ways it seems like I hate kids, and if I do hate kids I have two, and then if I hate kids and have two, I must not be good at making big decisions…

So either I’m not good at making big decisions or I hate kids… yet I think everyone really hates kids. Or most people. If most people didn’t hate kids there wouldn’t be 55 and older housing, that’s just there to avoid people raising young kids or who are young adult (older kids, the brain is “adult” at 26).

Yes we all hate kids, that’s why we don’t let them be many places that would be safe for them. Perhaps we also love kids, but the evidence of hating them is the children’s section at the library… go to your own section kids, despite your reading level, just go there.

Why do we old people hate kids? The noise is the big thing. Not all kids are noisy, but with no recourse to yell at, hit, kill, or explain to loud kids that are not your kids, kids have the power to interrupt peace and quiet pretty easily.

I really like quiet, but I was foolish in that as a quiet person I thought I would naturally have quiet kids, I was wrong. Very wrong.

So each time my kids are loud I see my own stupidity of thinking they would be quiet, I also don’t see how to fix the problem I’ve created for myself.

Kids tend to be happy being loud and be loud when they are happy, I tend to be happy when the environment is quiet and be quiet when I am happy.

So, it’s my fault and I don’t have a solution, but I shouldn’t take it out on the kids, they didn’t ask to be born into my family.

Maybe I’ll just keep earplugs on all day and tell them to email me if they have any questions?

One thing is that they will grow up, the little one is two, I’m guessing at six they will be decently not annoying, so four more years perhaps of almost non-stop annoying behavior I hate. Yet it’s my own fault and I will try to remember not to make it bigger than it is, because it will just be worse on me that way, which in a way is worse on everyone.

Note to self: Illegitimi non carborundum.

๐Ÿง’

๐Ÿง  Neuroscience ๐Ÿคฏ

01 emotional brain

Neuroscience – Mild Irritation would trigger the amygdala but as the hypothalamus shifts into a rage where thinking and well being diminish. Of course it’s more complicated because the hypothalamus does so much, love, happiness, lactation, rage and more… but there is a real shift from a bit irritated to rage and that is not a deeper shade of gray, but a whole different animal best avoided most of the time, or when logic is needed. ๐Ÿง 

๐Ÿ”ญ Self Leadership ๐ŸŒŸ

Letting go of baggage:

I wake up in the morning to do self leadership, but I’ve been really scattered about exactly what that is and what to do in that time.

Before looking at books or things like that I want to define my own metric and set my own intentions. Basically I want to be mindful about what I’m going to do with my life that day. I know I may get off track later, but I do want to know, at least in the beginning what I will be doing.

One thing I noticed is that I am greatly aided by habits, if I always wash dishes, it becomes easy to do that, so I am making the habit of having self leadership time in the morning without even knowing what to do with it.

My daughter gets up at about 6 AM and tries to talk to me, I felt bad asking her not to, but 1. I need my own time, 2. she is loud, 3. I will not be nice to her if I’m talking to her before I really wake up and have coffee, because I’m not the sweetest person in the world. So I may as well let go of feeling bad for not wanting to talk to her in the morning and let her draw or do something she enjoys that is something else. I hate talking to anyone during the early morning, not just her. And my well being matters as much as hers, so I should stop feeling bad about it… it’s hard though. I feel like each chance to connect I don’t take I may regret later, yet I thus far have never regretted not talking to people from 6-7AM.

At my core is a little girl who was lonely, didn’t have anyone to talk to most of the day, grew into the silence, and eventually became so used to silence everything else is annoying.

I can’t really be present with myself when others are telling me what they think and feel, it’s not that I never care or want to hear, but it takes me away from being able to really check in with myself and figure out what I really want from life, eventually I get angry without knowing why. Because I’m not getting/giving myself what I need to thrive, which includes a little peace and calm in everyday.

I feel guilty for hating that my kids wake up early, it sure does make getting to school, or being on time for anywhere easier, I can feel that they will have an easy time leaving for work in the distant future, yet it means the struggle for personal time starts literally at dawn.

My kids don’t like me to have a potty break, a water break, they want me to serve food and drinks and bring towels and then run off to play without eating myself, they want me to play with them, look at their drawing, load their video game, say good job, ask about their “secrets”, look at their tiny scratch, they want me to be a constant spectator in their lives, and I get sucked into it so badly that I forget to be a spectator, coach or player in my own life. It’s a huge weak point for me, because I do love them and they are a priority, but both of them would grind me into the dust each day if I didn’t fight for my water break, potty break, meal breaks, cleaning breaks ext.

They have this desire to be seen and loved, and I want to see them and love them, but the amount of time they want and what I have to give them is a huge conflict. I’m still looking for a solution for that. Right now my daughter just brought me a rainbow picture to look at and said please look at this… a “good mom” would have perhaps like to, but I balled my fists up to not be rude, because I was questioned over and over at 6:20 about breakfast, I served breakfast at 6:58, and got interrupted again and again and again to brush hair, answer questions ext and I hate it. I don’t care about the rainbow picture, I can’t remember any times I enjoyed looking at my daughter’s pictures and I’m getting so close to saying that to her. Which makes me feel guilty. But it doesn’t help me shift into a mode where I like to be interrupted and look at her drawings. I like to see her in the process of drawing, I like to know she is doing well, but I just want to be left alone.

I’m noticing I have some anger and deep bitterness, it’s perhaps not pretty on paper (or in person) yet writing it makes me feel better.

The difference between the life I want and the life I have is the anger and burnout inside of my heart.

I am responsible for my life, I am the adult, but I’m only human, my boundary setting skills are low, my conflict resolution skills are low, my EQ is low, those lagging skills make it an uphill boundary to get enough time for myself.

If my kids had conflict resolution I wouldn’t need to be involved with trying to help with that and melt downs, EQ would speed up issues with family conflict so it didn’t waste an hour or half hour to talk things through and apologize, boundaries would give me the time to get my responsibilities done and not feel bad about putting them off because my life was too chaotic.

At the heart of my problem is that I have a special needs child and I always pencil her in for a regular needs time slot, I at some level don’t want to believe she is high needs, I know at some level that I, as I am, am pretty unhappy and uncapable of dealing with a special needs child. It scares me. It scares me to know that I am short tempered and independent and I somehow am supposed to step into a role that patient and nurturing people would be good at. It puts me in the position of either trying to be someone I’m not, or being uncomfortable with my workload.

It’s more work on a daily basis and I don’t enjoy it, I became burnt out a long time ago, guilting myself that my kids childhood passing doesn’t help the burnout at all. Knowing it will be over someday gives me hope that I will have wellbeing again, someday, but it doesn’t really let me know how to thrive now.

I know some people thrive, and possibly some people with kids thrive, but I’ve never done it. So six years into having kids, it’s a depressing span to be failing.

The whole time I didn’t give myself the time I need to be well.

I don’t want to wait for my kids to grow up to be well again, to enjoy life again, to be clear about who I am and what I like to do again. I don’t want to, but I don’t know if I will fight hard enough to establish boundaries to crawl out of the burnout ditch I’m in.

I don’t know if I can, I don’t know if I will, but I want to.

I don’t like who I am as a parent, I’ve become bitter, I’m rushing myself to help, so much so that the help is resentful and no one likes to live with a resentful person.

It’s not who I used to be, not who I want to be, but I’m not sure of a path forward.

Perhaps when I get angry I shouldn’t “try to be more patient”, but rather take a break from doing things I hate and resent (but may need to get done at some point) and actually do something with my life I enjoy at all?

Perhaps my anger is there to remind me I’m dying each day and I should enjoy life TODAY, at least a little bit?

I guess I have a tendency to let myself become mentally a martyr mom, I do less than other moms already, so I think “I’m not doing enough for them,” and people in my life are quick to join in and think of things I’m not doing enough of, enough cleaning the whole family’s mess, enough supporting the whole family’s emotions (which I hate), enough spending time with my kids because they are still acting up and my dad thinks it’s because they don’t get enough attention… but if I stop for a minute and think I can’t do this much without being burnt out, so I shouldn’t add more, I shouldn’t buy into what other people would like to burden me with… that makes more sense. It makes sense that I would need to do less, take a break, make an attempt at healing from the burnout now instead of in 16 years… after being bitter for my children’s whole childhood.

I need to slow down a bit, I need to fight for time alone, I need that time alone, I need to make new habits.

In essence I need to consider myself equal to the kids, so it’s not them eating and me washing their dishes and drying them and setting up their next toys without eating myself. That needs to stop or I’m never going to not be bitter and I won’t even stay well enough to do that anyways.

Also I need to prioritize by energy not just time. Right now the limiting resource is energy.

I need to shift from sprint pace to marathon pace.

In “The Last Green Valley” there is a time when the horse wagon driver has to whip his two horses to avoid being caught in a tank battle, I’ve been treating myself like that for too long.

I’ve been bearing the burden of being responsible for my kids alone for too long, now that my daughter is in a school a few hours I clean and take care of my son and I am still busy and I can see that I had too much to do before.

Some kids need one on one attention, if you have one and have another kid, wow, it’s kind of brutal, but no one may notice because normal kids can be handled in groups of two or four or whatever. But my reality is I have a child who would do better one on one and a second child and it’s going to be a little FUBAR even on a good day.

So I need to prioritize what I want to get done, know that it will take a lot of effort to appear as if we are normal, when we really are not, and forgive myself that every one in my life makes comments about my being an “underperformer” compared to before.

I notice that I’ve been off loading a lot of emotional baggage and also strategizing how I can be a different person in the way I set boundaries, I think that is probably something that will come up a lot during self leadership.

Yesterday, the week wasn’t updated, some of the project list wasn’t either.
Today, I changed “people” to tidying and updated some of the other things…

Focusing on what I want:

โ€œHow do you defeat terrorism? Donโ€™t be terrorized.โ€

-Salmal Rushdie

The kids in a way terrorize me, or I let myself be terrorized by them. Also cleaning and meal planning, it feels like they are ahead and I’m behind and getting further and further behind.

Today we decluttered the office, I watered most of the plants, I think I will alternate between the front and the back watering rather than try to do it all each day, I think that may be alright.

This is a super mundane post, but I’m going to post it anyways because something about that makes me more accountable.

๐ŸŒ 

๐Ÿคบ Working Through Overwhelm โœ”๏ธ

Working with the list of things to do and things on my mind from the last post:

Adult Stuff: Medical Form to Fax ๐ŸŽ‰, Insurance Form to Fax ๐ŸŽ‰, Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence (Tried to Log In but Security Shut Out)… bait cockroaches every two months ๐ŸŽ‰ , bathe dogs when they scratch ๐ŸŽ‰ wash their bedding Sunday and Thursday ๐ŸŽ‰ , poison slugs ongoing during dry weeks ๐ŸŽ‰ .

Building Stuff: Mosquito Netting on Patio, Mosquito Netting by Pond, Drip Irrigation for Hedges, Filter for Gutter

Farm Stuff: Watering, Lawn, Fertilizing Hedges, Prune Veggies, Transplant, Build More Garden Beds, Mulch, Tidy Paths, Pathway Edging, Large Back Pond, Small Side Pond, New Pond, Aquaponic System Switch, Mushroom Logs, Bonsai Area, Water System, Watermellon Trial Locations, Moss Garden, Weed Rasberry, Weed Ginger, Set Up Compost System, Source Clemintine Trees, Research Wasabi Root

Minimalist Stuff: Declutter: 1. Office, 2. Closet 1, 3. Closet 2, 4. Green House, 5. Green House 2, 6. Patio, 7. Chicken Coopย 8. Bathroom, 9. Kitchen 10. Clean Windows

Personal Stuff: 1. Cello, 2. Piano, 3. Time with Child, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 4. Meal Planning, 5. Cleaning Routine, 6. Exercise, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 7. Writing, 8. Art Projects, 9. Reading

Responsibilities: 1. Care for 5-Year-Old, 2. Care for 2-Year-Old, 3. Clean Dishes, 4. Prep Meals, 5. Watch Fish, 6. Feed Dogs, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 7. Let Out Chickens, 8. Put Away Chickens, 9. Feed Chickens, 10. Wash Dogs, 11. Shush Dogs, 12. Educate 5-Year-Old, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 13. Prep 2-Year Old for school, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 14. PCIT Training Each Day, 15. Reading with Kids, 16. Doing Laundry, 17. Pick Up from School, 18. Drop Off from School, 19. Constant Emails from School, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 20. Sending Photos and taking Calls from Husband, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 21. Picking Up and Dropping Off Dad and Sister from Airport.

Extra Issues: 47. Fixing pond leak, ๐ŸŽ‰ 48. fixing pond flow rate, ๐ŸŽ‰ 49. wondering if husband will move to my state or buy home in his state,๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 50. wondering how daughter will adjust to school, ๐ŸŽ‰ 51. wondering if Iโ€™m doing the right things in life, 52. wondering what my purpose is,๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 53. struggling to get along well with dad. ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

Pandemic Issues: 54. ethical questioning if I owe others to get vaccinated, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 55. needing masks, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 56. remembering masks, 57. needing to wash kids mask, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 58. needing to answer questions to kids about COVID again and again, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 59. needing to remind kid about mask, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 60. fighting with family about COVID, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 61. fighting with kids to wear mask, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 62. hating COVID, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 63. hating government, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 64. hating hating COVID, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 65. hating hating government, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 66. hating COVID opinion shouting, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 67. hating the waiting feeling, 68. hating not knowing if things will ever really go back to being non-germaphobic again. 69. hating the stress of COVID with little kids together. ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

Philosophical issues: Separation Anxiety 69. Am I doing enough to help others, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 70. am I a decent person, 71. does it matter what an individual does, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 72. does life go on, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 73. is there more life in the galaxy, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 74. will we leave Earth soon for Mars ext, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 75. should I be more patient or am I right to be who I am as I am, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ76. what meaning should I ascribe to my life, 77. am I living fully, 78. do I need to exercise for health or is it a waste of time when healthy, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 79. should I be eating meat or not ethically, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 80. should I be doing more for the environment, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 81. should I be doing more for orphans, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 82. should I have written a book as I committed to doing, ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ 83. am I pushing myself too hard or not enough?

Doing some stuff today and letting go of a lot mentally because I see how it isn’t helping or fun or necessary to think about all the things “other people/family/the news says to think about”, it becomes:

Adult Stuff: Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence (Done for now: bait cockroaches every two months, bathe dogs when they scratch, wash their bedding Sunday and Thursday, poison slugs ongoing during dry weeks.)

Responsibilities: 1. Care for 5-Year-Old, 2. Care for 2-Year-Old, 3. Clean Dishes, 4. Prep Meals, 5. Watch Fish, 6. Let Out Chickens, 7. Put Away and Feed Chickens, 8. Wash Dogs, 9. Shush Dogs, 10. PCIT Training Each Day, 11. Reading with Kids, 12. Doing Laundry, 13. Pick Up from School, 14. Drop Off from School, 15. Picking Up and Dropping Off Dad and Sister from Airport.

Minimalist Stuff: Declutter: 1. Office, 2. Closet 1, 3. Closet 2, 4. Green House, 5. Green House 2, 6. Patio, 7. Chicken Coop 8. Bathroom, 9. Kitchen 10. Clean Windows

Pandemic Issues: 1. remembering masks, 2. hating the waiting feeling, ๐Ÿ”ฅ 3. hating not knowing if things will ever really go back to being non-germaphobic again. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Personal Stuff: 1. Cello, 2. Piano, 3. Meal Planning, 4. Cleaning Routine, 5. Writing, 6. Art Projects, 7. Reading

Philosophical issues: 1. Separation Anxiety 2. am I a decent person? 3. what meaning should I ascribe to my life? 4. am I living fully? 5. am I pushing myself too hard or not enough? 6. wondering if Iโ€™m doing the right things in life?

Farm Stuff: Watering, Lawn, Fertilizing Hedges, Prune Veggies, Transplant, Build More Garden Beds, Mulch, Tidy Paths, Pathway Edging, Large Back Pond, Small Side Pond, New Pond, Aquaponic System Switch, Mushroom Logs, Bonsai Area, Water System, Watermellon Trial Locations, Moss Garden, Weed Rasberry, Weed Ginger, Set Up Compost System, Source Clemintine Trees, Research Wasabi Root

Building Stuff: Mosquito Netting on Patio, Mosquito Netting by Pond, Drip Irrigation for Hedges, Filter for Gutter

Then letting go as much as I can of all pandemic stress, which I just don’t want to give any more energy to:

Adult Stuff: 1. Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence, 2. Clean Windows (Done for now: A. bait cockroaches every two months, B. bathe dogs when they scratch, C. wash their bedding Sunday and Thursday, D. poison slugs ongoing during dry weeks.)

Responsibilities: 1. Care for kids, 2. Foodservice 3. Feed Fish, 4. Chicken Feed and Cooping, 5. Dog Wash and Shush, 6. Playtime with kids, 7. Reading with Kids, 8. Laundry, 9. School Transport 10. Airport transport. 11. Remember mask.

Minimalist Stuff: Declutter: 1. Office, 2. Closets, 3. Green Houses, 4. Patio, 5. Chicken Coop 6. Bathrooms, 7. Kitchen

Personal Stuff: 1. Cello, 2. Piano, 3. Meal Planning, 4. Cleaning Routine, 5. Writing, 6. Art Projects, 7. Reading

Mindfulness: 1. Separation Anxiety 2. am I a decent person? 3. what meaning should I ascribe to my life? 4. am I living fully? 5. am I pushing myself too hard or not enough? 6. wondering if Iโ€™m doing the right things in life?

Farm Stuff: 1. Watering, 2. Lawn, 3. Fertilizing Hedges/Drip System, 5. Prune, 6. Transplant, 7. Build More Garden Beds, 8. Mulch, 9. Tidy Paths, 10. Pathway Edging, 11. Ponds, 12. Aquaponic System Switch, Mushroom Logs, Bonsai Area, Water System, Watermellon Trial Locations, Moss Garden, Weed, Compost, Buy Clemintine Trees, Research Wasabi Root

Home Improvement Stuff: Mosquito Netting on Patio, Mosquito Netting by Pond, Filter for Gutter

So now I can make a note of the list and a shorter list as well:

Priority Stuff: Get Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence, clean windows, play with kids, declutter office, play cello, ask if I’m living fully?, water plants.

So, adding two notes to Google Keep, a master to do and a pinned shorter to do… using bitmoji for pictures.

This last step is important, bridging what I want to do and what I can remember I want to do in real life is important.

So I’ll keep trying to build my hard habits and get through my tasks and maybe I’ll try to wake up earlier to check into the master list and move things from the master list to the priority list as possible.

Just doing this exercise has made me feel more on top of things, it motivated me to get the faxes out that needed to go out and so I see that right now when I have a minute I can clean windows or play cello to make progress towards my overall goals of a well-balanced life and/or a clean organized home.

๐ŸŽญ

๐Ÿ’ฃ The Last Green Valley ๐Ÿž๏ธ

Just read “The Last Green Valley,” by Mark Sullivan, it was a historical fiction book based on a real story of a farming family who had to leave East Europe to find somewhere to thrive, which eventually they did in Montana.

I feel so many parallels to the book in my own life, that I can’t comment on it as a book.

The main characters are a couple, a man who doubts himself and feels a loss of control, a mother who is fairly consumed with taking care of her two children in troubled times without her husband. I feel like both people. I don’t know if it was intended in the writing, but the book seems to draw you into all the people as mirrors of yourself.

Since moving to the house I live in now we had slugs (gray, Cuban, semi-slugs, and leopard slugs), skip beetles, spiders, mice, feral cats, orb weaver spiders, plaster bagworms, hammerhead worms, fire ants, German cockroaches, and now fleas. I think the fleas are under control, with boric acid and salt, vacuuming, bathing the dogs, cleaning the baseboards with soap and water, steaming the floor and baseboards, but who knows. I also poisoned the slugs again today, but that is never-ending. We also have mosquitos, flies, and stray chickens, but for some reason, those just seem normal and inevitable.

So again I’m behind in my gardening and organizing, but that’s just life, at least the main parts of the house are useable and pretty decent looking.

So I’m trying to think of an inventory of what needs to get done and it’s so much I feel like I have to write it out this time:

Adult Stuff: Medical Form to Fax, Insurance Form to Fax, Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence

Building Stuff: Mosquito Netting on Patio, Mosquito Netting by Pond, Drip Irrigation for Hedges, Filter for Gutter

Minimalist Stuff: Declutter: Office, Closet 1, Closet 2, Green House, Green House 2, Patio, Chicken Coop

Farm Stuff: Lawn, Fertilizing Hedges, Prune Veggies, Transplant, Build More Garden Beds, Mulch, Tidy Paths, Pathway Edging, Large Back Pond, Small Side Pond, New Pond, Aquaponic System Switch, Pest Control of Slugs, Mushroom Logs, Bonsai Area, Water System, Watermellon Trial Locations, Moss Garden, Weed Rasberry, Weed Ginger, Set Up Compost System, Source Clemintine Trees, Research Wasabi Root

I felt a little stupid that I have to write out what I’m trying to think about doing soon, but now that I see it, I understand why I’m overwhelmed and a lot of my life has shifted.

It used to be my problems with my daughter and enrichment of her education took up 70% of my mental energy, but today she is in kindergarten at a wonderful charter school we were unexpectedly able to get into via lottery.

So they are now my village and I’m able to do other things now that were really too much before, I’m able to start doing more enrichment with my second child, get the house “really” clean, think about cooking better food, possibly exercise, play cello, play piano, read, write, draw, work on projects…

Personal Stuff: Cello, Piano, Time with Child, Meal Planning, Cleaning Routine, Exercise, Writing, Art Projects, Reading

So, it’s a lot of things swirling around my head.

Adult Stuff: 1. Medical Form to Fax, 2. Insurance Form to Fax, 3. Additional ID Source to Get Before Appointment for Licence

Building Stuff: 1. Mosquito Netting on Patio, 2. Mosquito Netting by Pond, 3. Drip Irrigation for Hedges, 4. Filter for Gutter

Minimalist Stuff: Declutter: 1. Office, 2. Closet 1, 3. Closet 2, 4. Green House, 5. Green House 2, 6. Patio, 7. Chicken Coop 8. Bathroom, 9. Kitchen

Personal Stuff: 1. Cello, 2. Piano, 3. Time with Child, 4. Meal Planning, 5. Cleaning Routine, 6. Exercise, 7. Writing, 8. Art Projects, 9. Reading

So about 25 things on my radar right now other than my main responsibilities:

Responsibilities: 1. Care for 5-Year-Old, 2. Care for 2-Year-Old, 3. Clean Dishes, 4. Prep Meals, 5. Watch Fish, 6. Feed Dogs, 7. Let Out Chickens, 8. Put Away Chickens, 9. Feed Chickens, 10. Wash Dogs, 11. Shush Dogs, 12. Educate 5-Year-Old, 13. Prep 2-Year Old for school, 14. PCIT Training Each Day, 15. Reading with Kids, 16. Doing Laundry, 17. Pick Up from School, 18. Drop Off from School, 19. Constant Emails from School, 20. Sending Photos and taking Calls from Husband, 21. Picking Up and Dropping Off Dad and Sister from Airport.

So that’s 46 things on my mind, which is really too much for me to feel good about. For some people, it may feel productive, but for me, it feels horrible. I’m not sure how much I can handle, but that much is… past comfortable. Every little tiny change makes me irritable because I’m already overloaded.

Somehow writing it down feels good though.

I stopped watering my plants and some are really young, so that’s not good. It’s been since Monday, so today is day 4. I know I’m really overwhelmed when I stop watering my plants. I used to do it in the morning, but I can’t see that happening now with a school drop-off, we do a short language lesson, meal, getting ready, play time together for 15 minutes, and it just isn’t going to work for watering now. When I get home I feel like cleaning, but I should have watered then instead, doing it late feels weird.

The first day I left my daughter at school I felt so much separation anxiety there was no way I was going to be very productive, the second day she failed the temperature check in the check in and I educated her from home, so today the third day is the start of having time without her. I cleaned up a lot rather than play with my son, because I’m clearing out fleas so that they won’t be here anymore.

I think it’s valid, but my son so often gets swept under the rug.

Extra Issues: 47. Fixing pond leak, 48. fixing pond flow rate, 49. wondering if husband will move to my state or buy home in his state, 50. wondering how daughter will adjust to school, 51. wondering if I’m doing the right things in life, 52. wondering what my purpose is, 53. struggling to get along well with dad.

Then the pandemic has extra issues,

Pandemic Issues: 54. ethical questioning if I owe other to get vaccinated, 55. needing masks, 56. remembering masks, 57. needing to wash kids mask, 58. needing to answer questions to kids about COVID again and again, 59. needing to remind kid about mask, 60. fighting with family about COVID, 61. fighting with kids to wear mask, 62. hating COVID, 63. hating government, 64. hating hating COVID, 65. hating hating government, 66. hating COVID opinion oversharing, 67. hating the waiting feeling, 68. hating not knowing if things will ever really go back to being non-germaphobic again. 69. hating the stress of COVID with little kids together.

So 68 things on my mind. I guess it’s normal, but it feels like too many. Is there a way to be responsible without feeling the weight of being responsible?

Then philosophical issues: 69. Am I doing enough to help others, 70. am a decent person, 71. does it matter what an individual does, 72. does life go on, 73. is there more life in the galaxy, 74. will we leave Earth soon for Mars ext, 75. should I be more patient or am I right to be who I am as I am, 76. what meaning should I ascribe to my life, 77. am I living fully, 78. do I need to exercise for health or is it a waste of time when healthy, 79. should I be eating meat or not ethically, 80. should I be doing more for the environment, 81. should I be doing more for orphans, 82. should I have written a book as I committed to doing, 83. am I pushing myself too hard or not enough?

So 83 things on my mind… at each level I think, that’s all there is, then I realize there are more things.

In the past I would write “morning pages” maybe a mind like mine really needed that brain dump aspect of morning pages, which are two pages of anything on your mind.

My mind holds on to a lot, for good and bad. I don’t forget an average amount, yes a bit, but barely at all. So my life is a massive yarn ball, rather than a tapestry. Perhaps I’ll have to weave it into a story for myself, not because I want to or think it will be cool or inspiring as a story, but rather to get it off my mind so I can live freely as I imagine other people live.

I guess I’ve been holding onto too much mental clutter waiting for someday to clear it up.

“The Last Green Valley” it has a similar theme to my life, it’s the theme of trying to enjoy life and be grateful, yet it has a Christian take on it and I don’t that share that. I can’t quite put my finger on why or what the distinction is. It’s not as simple as, I’m not part of that group and they mentioned it, it’s more complicated than that. It’s more of a philosophical distinction, between the philosophy that God changes the world for people to suit their heart’s desires and my understanding that people compete or cooperate to attempt to get what they want largely independently of God. That’s why the story doesn’t resonate with me on a deep level. It’s a good enough story, yet the story of one family being successful during that dark time doesn’t to me prove that it’s because of their ability to dream, I think Ann Frank had just as much faith in God and the ability to dream. Ultimately I don’t believe in.

I thought about it for some time, it’s not that I don’t believe God does ever, or could help, I just don’t believe every little thing is destiny or God is concerned with each penny of each person’s income tax. I’m sure if God does help it’s more of a from time to time thing, that’s how I feel anyway. That puts me in a slender middle ground, there are many people who don’t believe in God or not a God who helps and many who believe God will help and should be involved in ALL things. I think it’s more like we are ground soldiers and sometimes we call in for an airstrike and we get one, and sometimes we don’t. I put off thinking about it for a long time because many people tried to push beliefs on me when I was younger and the whole topic got a bad taste in my mouth, but it feels better knowing what I think than it did as a cloudy unknown. Of course, I know there is no real evidence (that I am aware of) for any side, but even so, we have a guess deep within our hearts and whether we say so or not or know what it is or not, it does affect the way we think of the events that happened in history and in our lives. I think for a long time I didn’t want there to be a God, because I didn’t want a God that would let war and genocide and rape ext happen, yet they do happen, so either you blame God or have a God who is super mysterious so that you can’t understand why God allows those things or a God who gives humans free will and humans than do those things, without being stopped.

God is a distant concept for me, but there still is no way I can believe in a God who has a hand in everything who still has ethics I want to be a part of.

God if they do micromanage everything that happens is a force I don’t want to be personally involved with. I’m not angry at God, because I don’t really believe that God has a hand in every little thing. I think it’s us humans who make a lot of problems for ourselves and do horrible things when we act without thinking. I think there is a God, and they are involved in some ways with us, but I don’t think it’s in a way understood by any religion I’ve ever come across.

Writing this down has helped a lot. I think “The Last Green Valley” specifically brought the question of God to my mind, it wasn’t in a bad way, but they definitely drew conclusions influenced by and in alignment with Christianity more than is true for me.

I found the book uplifting, yet I found the beliefs some of the characters had to be understandable and powerful, yet not exactly true, the belief that if you hold a dream in your heart and work towards it, it will certainly come true, I don’t believe that. Yet I do believe that we can usually achieve our dreams. For example, I wanted to bring my miscarried baby back from death to life and see her grow up with her twin that survived, if I held that in my heart, it wouldn’t come true. It really wouldn’t.

So for me it’s a mix of dreams that can come true and dreams that can not and never will. Like in Full Metal Jacket, the Born to Kill, and Peace Symbol, I see duality in life, not dichotomy.

I was reading the book before bed, hoping to escape from the stress of life, but it caused me to question myself and become more present with life, so it was kind of a success and a failure. It was inspiring, but draining, when I was hoping for soothing.

Noteworthy Historical Fiction Rounding Out the Human Experience of WWII

It’s hard to comment on the book as a book because it was pretty accurate on many accounts and it was mostly an accurate life story, so it becomes really “uncomfortable” for me to say, “your life story sucks” or “your life story was great, I liked when you fought off rape and your relative’s legs got cut off…” it becomes in a sense awkward for me to comment on someone else’s life and family. Yet in a way war is better told like that, so it’s not 1 of 10,000 soldiers and 1 out of 8,000 civilians dead, but rather, my uncle who liked to laugh and fish, gone. Since they are real people on a massive scale, I’ve always liked real stories better, yet there is an awkwardness to being able to talk about them, there is a dignity it feels like the dead should carry that makes it awkward to consider them in the same way fictional characters can be analyzed and diced up into simple boxes. I think I understood why Mark Sullivan took so much time to be so accurate, I think even as an author, that he didn’t want to write this story, but just tell it, for the world to consider the true cost of war, the true value of life, the effect of government oppression, and the value of hope and goals and the cost of holding hate, particularly hate of God on a long term basis.

๐ŸŽ