Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TPD - blogmas 12!

I think you already know this, but just in case your forgot (or you're new to The Plus Diaries), I do not have kids.  With that being said, kids are hard for me to buy for.  I have a wonderful Godson and if it's Christmas or his birthday, I'm always asking his mom what he's into at the time.  Kids are ridiculously honest, so you don't want to get them a gift they are not going to like.  But, just in case, make sure you get a gift receipt!  

These are my thoughts when buying for kids.  You can never go wrong with toys (but try not to get ones that make too much noise).  You can never go wrong with educational items (books, learning toys, kid friendly magazines).  And as previously stated, make sure you know what the child is loving at the time.  Yes, that will probably change in the next six months, but they will love it right then and that smile on their face is so worth it.  

What are your kid friendly gift ideas?  

Photo credit: TLB 

Monday, December 11, 2017

TPD - blogmas 11

Disclaimer:  I wrote this post on December 6, 2017.  It's written like I wrote it that day, even though you will be seeing it on another date.  That date is important because of what I will be telling you in this post and the timeline.  Forgive me for getting so long winded.  

So, it's been a hell of a past couple of days. Who am I kidding, December 1 almost knocked me off this planet.  Not that I was suicidal or anything, but my anxiety hit me in a way that I had never experienced before.  I was actually writing my blogmas posts and when I got to this topic, I had to skip over it because it was just too much.  Well, it's still a lot going on, but I'm slowly and surely getting it back together.

I had an entire plan for this post.  I was going to talk about how having anxiety can be stressful during the holiday, about having social anxiety, and what it's like to be an introvert at all these wonderful parties.  Really, the draft was there...but I have to do something different.  Of course, we're still talking about anxiety, but instead of me telling you from the outside, I can tell you what happened to me December 1 to December 6.  

Time to decorate
Friday (Dec. 1) was pure madness that night at 8pm.  I had a wonderful Friday.  Work went great, my arm was finally starting to go down from the swelling from the allergic reaction I had, and my mani/pedi appointment went great.  On top of that, since I was running late, I just decided to have one of my favorite meals.  I got home and then my calmness went away.  When I walked into my place, it was immediately where I felt like something was off.  I couldn't figure it out, but something wasn't quite right.  However, I carried on.  We even put up my Christmas tree and some other decorations.  

All that happiness from decorating, the laughter, the dinner, and drinks - still something just wasn't making sense.  I knew it because I have a better handle on realizing when I'm getting in that slump.  I wasn't ok.  In fact, you can look at my sleep pattern Saturday (thanks Fitbit) and see that something wasn't too right. 

Didn't sleep well, but I was still cute
But Saturday came and I already had plans.  I couldn't cancel.  I refused to cancel.  I wanted to see my friends.  I wanted to enjoy myself.  I did enjoy myself, but I know it wasn't fully what it could have been.  Just because I put on a smile doesn't mean that I'm good.  The medication helps, but there are still some awkward days.  Sometimes, those days come one after another.  This time, that's what happened to me.  

Sunday, I decided to venture out.  I had some me time.  I did some shopping, walked around a little bit, and enjoyed one of my favorite holiday drinks from Starbucks.  I was getting back to myself, but I knew I wasn't all the way there.  Monday, I fought to go to work.  I made myself make that drive.  I made myself get out of the car.  I made myself stay all day.  And as the day went on, it did get better.  Plus I knew I was going to see some friends that evening.  A dinner, we talked and I played with a baby at the next table.  That night, I had to have a rather serious conversation with someone, but that was cool (and just in case you were wondering, it went well).  But it was Monday while sitting in the parking lot of the restaurant that I had a thought that sent me into a spiral of emotions. 


I guess sometimes you have to let that negative thought come out.  I think you have to let it come out because then you can deal with it...or at least start to deal with it.  When I let that thought finally fully manifest, I started to feel a little bit lighter.  And it was obvious on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday morning vibes
Tuesday, I felt more like myself.  It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't how I was feeling Friday and Saturday either.  Then today, Wednesday, something amazing happened to me.  I had told my friend Monday night how I was feeling and she was so willing to listen.  Yes, she listened.  She didn't give suggestions on what to do, she just heard me out.  Ok, back to today.  Today, she and I had lunch and when we sat down she simply asked me how is your anxiety?  Now, let me tell you what usually happens when I get asked that question - I'm really short with the people who ask because in the past, they have typically tried to fix me.  I don't need your help to be fixed because I have a doctor and medication for that.  However, today, I smiled and replied because I knew she was actually concerned.  Honestly, there are only a few people who actually get a reply because they don't fix me.  She's now added to the list of those people.  

So tonight, after throwing my original post to the side, this is where I'm at.  I'm here.  I'm working through last week.  I'm making it through this week.  And most important, I'm seeing the clouds break.  

In case someone has told you otherwise, it's OK to have anxiety.  It's OK to have a mental illness.  It doesn't make us bad people.  It just means we handle things a bit differently.  Is anxiety elevated during the holiday season?  YES!!!  It's stressful to people without anxiety.  But here is what I do believe, we are able to survive and see the day break again.  

Photo Credit: TLB

Sunday, December 10, 2017

TPD - blogmas 10!

This post is really important to me because this happened to me!  Since I only had to complete Fall semester to finish my college courses, my graduation ceremony happened in December!  It was such a great time for me - graduation and Christmas the following week.  What made it even better is that it actually snowed on my graduation day and when we went on Christmas vacation that year, I had my first White Christmas!!!  Oh wow, just thinking about it makes me smile!  

Winter graduation was fun for me because, at the time, tickets were not required and I could invite as many family and friends as I wanted to.  It was also fun because it's already such a great time of year and finally graduating from college was the best thing ever.  

I didn't really stress the job hunt.  I probably should have, but I didn't.  I was already working 3 part-time jobs in a great organization and I actually moved back to my parents' house to help save money.  So, when I got my full-time job in my major (9 months later), I was so blessed to have some money saved up to help pay for gas.  Fun fact, I was driving 2 hours to another state for work for the first 3 months of my employment.  Filling up my car every other day got expensive, but when I look back on it, it was absolutely worth the trouble.  

Another reason Winter graduation is so great is that you have the peace of knowing that you don't have to return to college after Christmas, unless you started a new program.  When January came and I wasn't going to class, I felt so great.  

I know not everyone is going to have a graduation in December, so here is what I want to know - what is your favorite December memory, that doesn't have to do with Christmas?