Friday, October 7, 2016

The Pace of Things

I've been meaning to write here for what seems like ages!  I really have.  It's just that I haven't had a spare minute.  And that is exactly I wanted to write about.

I am tired.  I am so tired.  I imagine all of you can relate.  It's just years and years of sleep deprivation adding up to an overall lower energy level and slower pace of doing things.  Which leads to more things not getting done, and then stress about those things not getting done.   I thought I was used to it, and I was doing okay.  But then when I ended up at the doctor's a couple of weeks ago, I realized that this is not right.

Some people like to be busy.  I don't.

It's not like I want to do nothing.  I mean, I work 32 hours per week, and I work out once a week, and I'm making a sweater, and I take Bean to swimming and Monkey to soccer and Hebrew school, and we plan play dates and go to birthday parties.  I just finished preparing to host 9 people for Rosh Hashanah dinner, and I'm working on buying Chanukah presents and starting to think about Bean's birthday party (and my dad's birthday, and Halloween...).

And I like that stuff.  But I also need my down time.

Sleep is part of it.  I have been focusing on getting more sleep, aiming for at least 7 hours a night, and it does help.  But it's not just that.  I read somewhere (I have no idea where, so this may not be true) that while people have always needed about 8 hours of sleep, in the Victorian era, people also spent about 4 hours a day doing calm, leisurely things.  I don't know what - needlepoint? writing letters?  social calling?  And while I can't imagine spending four hours on that, I do think it's what is really missing from my life.  From the time I come home from work until I go to bed, the only time I sit down is when I'm eating dinner.  There is never a moment when I'm not thinking about what needs to be done next.  Weekends are the same - I might sit to watch Monkey's soccer game, or to talk to other parents at a birthday party.  But I never just have time with nothing to do.  And since there's always something more to do, I never really feel like everything has gotten done.

My sleep itself is probably not that restful, even, if I'm rushing from one thing to another, climbing into bed at 11, and then rushing to get moving again when my alarm goes off.

Sometimes, when I think about what's missing from my life, what I want most is to lie in bed with a book.  (I also want nobody to steal the covers, but that's another story)

How can I fix this?  We must all have this problem, right?

I have a few thoughts and things I'm working on:

  • I must encourage/teach Monkey and Bean to do more things for themselves.  Usually I'd rather do something myself than yell about it, but that's not proving to be a good long-term strategy.
  • I need to look for a job closer to home.  I've been doing that, with not much luck, but I do want to continue to focus on it.  The commute is a huge part of what makes me tired and stressed!
  • I am trying to go to bed earlier.  Feeling more well-rested leads to being more efficient/neater when I'm awake, which leads to less stress and more free time.
  • I am spending less time on Facebook.  Reading my phone too much gives me a headache.
  • I need to recognize how I am feeling and give myself permission to just rest sometimes.  My health really is more important than the toys on the floor.
  • I could also hire someone to clean the house once a month.  For some reason, that feels like a ridiculous extravagance.  But it would probably make a huge difference in my well-being.  I did say in my last post that we were trying not to add extra expenses.  Maybe I'll see how things continue to go financially for a few months and then revisit this.  Because seriously, it might be the thing that would make the biggest difference.
What do you all do for yourselves to stay sane and relax?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Having Enough Money

First, a quick update:  I did call my PCP.  She gave me a pregnancy test, which was oddly embarrassing, like I was a teenager engaging in unprotected sex.  But it was negative.  She did many blood tests but couldn't find an obvious cause for the fatigue.  I'm feeling better lately, though, so suspecting some combination of low-ish iron and dehydration?  We'll see.


Coffee has been doing well at work lately.  Like, really well.  I don't know what's responsible for the winning streak, or whether it's just that he sells better the longer he's there.  But it's been wonderful.  We've been able to get caught up on bills in a way that we haven't in years, and we'll even enter the slow season (Nov-April) with some money saved up.  That's always been our goal, but we've never been able to make it happen.  Even to enter the slow season without being behind on a single bill.  Despite our best efforts, we couldn't do it.  But we're almost there.

What's more incredible, really, is that we have a system for keeping track of what bills need to be paid when.  Coffee looks at the chart when he comes home on payday, and either he pays them or transfers money so I can do it. When I explain to him why something needs to get paid, he does it.  If I set something up to come out of his account automatically, he doesn't get mad.  He just reshuffles things.  And he listens if I say, "no, you can't move that one to next week!  move this one instead!"  We're not fighting about money.

For the first time ever, the bill calendar on our wall shows every bill that we have received in the mail to date.  This might not sound like a big deal.  I mean, there was a time when I paid bills by keeping a stack on my dresser and just taking as many off the top as I could each time I got paid.  The goal was to have the stack be empty.  But it's been a long time since that happened.  Lately, when I make the calendar, I put as many things on it as I reasonably think we can pay in a month, but it's not every bill we have.  The ones that can wait, wait.  Or we might owe the internet provider two months' worth, and I put one month on the chart.  But this time, every single bill we had was on the chart.  Which means every single one is getting paid.  (Not the medical bills, which get a little at a time.  but all the other ones.)

It's such a great feeling.

I always said, the tricky thing would be, once we started earning more money, not to accrue additional expenses.  That might sound obvious.  But we've been going without so many things, things we really need, it is hard to continue going without them if the money is there, even a little bit.  For instance, the other day we were talking about all of the light bulbs that are out in the house.  A small thing by itself.  But if a 2-pack of fluorescent bulbs costs $9.97 at Home Depot, and three sets are out in the house, that's $30.  That's a good chunk of our grocery bill, or most of the gas bill, that wouldn't get paid.  It would be really nice to go out and buy those light bulbs!  Or the ceiling tiles that have water stains - I'd love to replace them.

We're doing okay on staying reasonable, though.  I think we're a little less cautious of every penny, but we're not being crazy either.  When I went to buy a birthday present for a party we were going to, I bought Monkey a $4 toy and Bean a $6 pair of pajamas, too.  I wouldn't have done that before, but it's nice to be able to.  Last night Monkey wanted ice cream, so we went to the drugstore and bought a pack of ice cream pops for $4.  It's nice not to have to tell him I don't have the money.

Most significantly, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted to know that the smaller, yet essential items don't all need to be planned for in advance.  In the past, there have been times I've run out of toothpaste, or deodorant, or dish soap, and had to wait until payday.  I'm not exaggerating.  And while it's nice to know I can manage if I have to, it's a huge relief not to have to.

I feel like Coffee and I are on the same page.  And that's awesome.

Yes, I know this could be temporary.  We could hit a really rough slow season at his work, or have  an unexpected large expense.  But first of all, we're getting caught up to try to avoid that situation.  Second of all, we're paying off debts.  Thirteen months until those credit cards are DONE.  And the car loans slowly get smaller, and the mortgage.  And the retirement accounts grow.  And he's put some money away so far, and is planning to set aside more.  And I have some small savings accounts to help cover the fun items.  And hopefully I'll get a better job before too long.  So, I do believe we'll be in better shape than we have been, regardless.

I guess I knew the finances were a huge weight on both of us.  But the change I see once part of that weight has been lifted, it is just huge.  I feel like the day we have been working toward, the day when we are actually living comfortably within our means and not stretched to the very edges of it, is finally getting closer.  Maybe not 100% in hand, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Infertility Messes With Your Mind

OMG, I am posting so many times this month!

I've been feeling really tired lately.  I've been sleeping 8 hours a night, which I've rarely done since having kids, and I still wake up tired.  Last week there was a day when I was struggling to stay awake on the ride to work.  All this week, I come home from work and need to lie down.  I frequently do that on Fridays or even Thursdays, because I get more tired as the week wears on.  But on a Monday, it's unheard of.  Mondays I come home from work and blow through chores, still full of energy from resting over the weekend.

At first I thought maybe it was anemia.  I'm a vegetarian, I was anemic with both pregnancies, and my periods have been heavier due to my Paragard IUD.  It seemed logical.  I had several friends who told me "don't self-medicate, go to a doctor" but of course, I didn't listen and bought myself some iron pills.  They aren't helping.

As it happened, I had my annual gynecological exam last week (funny how I can type that word just fine but can't pronounce it), so I asked the midwife.  She said that taking iron pills certainly wouldn't hurt me, but I should try to rest more and if it didn't help, I should call my PCP.  She said it might be my thyroid.  Which also makes sense, because my mother and grandmother both have/had thyroid problems.  But of course I still put off calling the doctor.

This week the fatigue has been ridiculous, and this morning I also woke up feeling nauseous and warm.  I told myself today is the day I'm finally going to call my doctor.  I even told Coffee, who graciously told me that I'm probably tired because I don't sleep enough (this was highly unusual, as he's usually trying to win at the "whose life is harder" Olympics).

But sitting at my desk, fighting the fatigue and nausea, I realized what else has these symptoms.  That's right, pregnancy.

So of course, I pulled out my planner to check when my period is due.  Today.

To be clear, there is no part of me that really believes I'm pregnant.  There is a big part of me that's just putting off calling the doctor (and I'm hoping this post increases my accountability).  However, I also know that I won't be able to stop thinking about this possibility until my period actually arrives.  And that when it does inevitably arrive, there will be a tiny part of me that's disappointed, even though I don't really want another baby.

This is what infertility does to you.  This is why, despite being fortunate enough to not have needed IVF, and despite being fortunate enough to have conceived and given birth to two biological children, I will always strongly identify with this community.  Because no rational, fertile person would be contemplating buying a pregnancy test right now.  She'd be more worried about the very light-colored pants she unfortunately chose to wear today (believe me, I'm worried about that too).  I think the experience just permanently did something to my brain.

I thought you guys might understand.  And please, hold me accountable for calling my doctor.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I've been thinking a lot lately.  I was driving home from work yesterday, and neither of the podcasts I've been listening to had any new episodes.  So I just rode in the quiet and thought about things.  My job, my commute, my kids, my marriage.  I wasn't upset or angry or anything... just thinking.  This morning, I did it again.  It was really nice.

So often, when I'm in a really bad place,  I don't want to think about things.  Sometimes my thoughts just won't stop, and I want them to stop.  I'll turn on music, or a podcast, or go on Facebook, just to quiet my mind.  When I was in college, I went through a brief phase of taking Nyquil before bed to avoid that moment of lying in bed with thoughts running through my head.  Luckily that didn't last long, but I've had many, many nights of falling asleep with a book in my hand for that same reason.  So this whole idea that I was voluntarily spending time alone with my thoughts - not because I had some urgent problem that needed solving, but just because I wanted to - was an unfamiliar one.  And I liked it.

It's not that nothing is wrong.  Not at all.  The thoughts that have been running through my head are about the backstabbing and negativity in my workplace, and how to manage that while simultaneously looking for a new job.  They are about my persistent feeling that my husband views all house-related or kid-related matters as my job, and that while he's gotten better about "helping" he will never see it as anything other than helping me out with my tasks.  They are about how I gave myself a little break from tracking everything I'm eating, because I felt like I wasn't taking it seriously anymore, but soon it's probably time to get back to it.  They are about how I finally finished season 4 of Orange is the New Black, and I am obssessed with that show, but also I understand now that when everyone told me the ending was "awful", they didn't mean it was poorly written/produced, they meant the content itself was heartbreaking.

So yeah, lots of thoughts.  But what's key is, I'm not really feeling anxiety or stress about any of them.  They're just there.  Part of navigating life and figuring out what's next.  I'm not feeling out of control or like life has gotten away from me.  I'm feeling peaceful - I think that's what it is.  Like in the grand scheme of things, I like where I am and where I'm going.

It's summertime - for a few more days, at least.  I'm always happier in the summertime.  I like being outside, and having longer days, not worrying about shoveling snow.  The kids and I walked to the ice cream shop last night.  Also, Coffee always makes more money in the summer, so the persistent feeling of imminent financial doom has been lessened.  My goal is always to start the fall in decent financial shape, so we have a little wiggle room when things slow down, and we're not doing too badly this time around.  I think we're better than we've been in a long time.

I really hope this feeling lasts.  It's such a good feeling, and I think I've worked to get here.  I haven't been to therapy in a few months (did I write about that??), but I continue to feel like I'm doing a lot of work myself, understanding my feelings and insecurities and trying to fix what I can in work and relationships.  Some of it happens here, some of it in FB groups, and some of it is just during that time I'm spending thinking.

It's a great feeling.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Financial Progress

First, a response to a question many of you had about Bean's hospital visit: we don't know if it's asthma.  Probably.  The nurse practitioner said that technically, if it's only happened once, it can't be considered asthma.  However, given the family history of asthma (Monkey's, and my sister Traveler's) it is likely that that's what it is.  They just can't give it that name unless it happens again.  So far she's doing well, but we're headed back to the doctor today, and the allergist in 6 weeks.  I'll keep you all posted.


I haven't been saying much about my financial situation recently.  For some reason, that seems to be one of the hardest things to open up about.  I guess the short version is - it's getting better.  Not overnight.  We're still behind on many things and have little spending money. But we're doing so much better at communicating, and I think we're both starting to see that the big picture is improving.  I've had two big milestones lately that I wanted to share.

Number One - as of last week, our credit card debt is now a 4-digit number.  Yes, I know that's a lot of debt.  But we've been paying a huge sum of money each month to our debt management program for the past four years to get to this point.  A number greater than what we pay Monkey's afterschool program each month.  Almost as much as we pay Bean's preschool.  Suffice it to say, we've paid off a ton of debt.  In fifteen months, we'll be done.  And that will be amazing.  But seeing that 4-digit number right now feels pretty awesome, too.

Number Two - there was a period of time when we had negative net worth.  I know that's common, especially among people who don't own homes.  But we do own a home. And  it felt horrible.  It felt like we had negative worth as human beings.  Part of the problem, in addition to student loans and credit cards, was that our home had lost so much value.  We were never upside-down, luckily, but I think at one point we had less than $4000 equity in our home.  And of course we'd sunk all our cash into it, so...

Over the past few years, our home value has gone back up until it's now slightly over what we paid for it.  Like maybe $20,000, for a home we've owned for 10 years.  We've also, of course, put money into our 401k's, made credit card payments and student loan payments.  Around when Bean was born, I calculated our net worth at around zero.  It felt good to be in the black again.

Sometimes, especially as our home value is going up, I like to calculate our net worth when I'm stressed about finances.  It reminds me that the goal isn't day-to-day purchases but long-term stability.  It makes me feel better when Monkey complains about all the things I don't buy him.

Recently, I was engaging in this exercise yet again.  I came up with what I thought was a respectable number.  Probably less than many of you, but probably more than the average American.  Most of that is home equity, though.

And then I realized something.  In about six months, as long as we keep paying our credit cards and student loans, and putting money into our 401k's, we will soon have assets that are greater than our debts, even without taking the house into account.  I'm sure there's an accounting term for this but I can't remember it.  Anyway, the sum of our 401k's (which let's face, are our only real savings, despite the few hundred dollars in the Togo fund) will be greater than the sum of our credit card debt plus student loans.  Which means in theory, we could actually pay them all off.  I would never do that, because that is terrible financial advice.  But I could.  And that feels so great.

I just wanted to share.  :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hospital Visit

It's been a rough week around here.

This past weekend, my kids and I, along with my sister and a friend, attended a folk music festival in the Berkshires.  We go every year - this was my 18th time attending in the past 21 years.  It wasn't the best one ever, but it was fun as always.

Saturday, Bean had a runny  nose, but I didn't think much of it.  She's 3 1/2; she has a runny nose all the time.  Saturday night she was coughing all night.  I wasn't too worried because it seemed like a garden-variety cold.  Her preschool is closed this week, and the plan was for my mom to watch her on Monday and Tuesday.  I was pleased about the timing, since my mom is usually my backup for sick kids anyway.  I figured my mom could watch her while she recuperated.

As Sunday wore on, though, Bean became increasingly listless.  She wanted me to carry her everywhere, and she kept putting her head on my shoulder like she wanted to fall asleep.  But she never actually fell asleep.  I felt bad for her but kept thinking that a good nap would  help things.

Around 2 pm, when she started seeming worse, I took her to the first aid tent at the festival.  The tent is staffed by doctors, nurses and EMTs, who get to attend the festival for free in exchange for volunteering about 12 hours of their time over the 3 days.  She was seen by a couple of volunteers, who felt her belly, listened to her lungs, looked in her ears, and took her temperature.  They pronounced her constipated and dehydrated, with some kind of cold/virus.  They asked me to encourage fluids and keep her out of the sun.

So I tried.  Getting her to drink was a challenge.  We got cold juice, thinking it would be more appealing than our lukewarm water bottles.  I'd have to hold it up to her face, and she'd take one sip, then turn her head away.  I probably got 2-2 1/2 cups of juice in her over a 4-hour period.  Meanwhile, she was getting more and more lethargic, and her breathing was starting to seem labored.

At 6 pm, I brought her back to the first aid tent.  The staff looked concerned and offered to let her rest in the shade until we were ready to leave.  I sent Monkey to find my sister and friend and let them know we'd meet them there.  The staff agreed that her breathing sounded labored, but they thought that putting her in an air-conditioned car and getting her to sleep would help.

It didn't, really.  She made grunting noises the whole way home, in what I now know is a sign of struggling to breathe.  When we stopped for dinner, she couldn't sit upright at the table but slumped over onto my chair.  Somehow I still thought it was a cold and she was just tired, although I was increasingly worried.

My friend was riding with me, and she was awesome with Bean.  This friend spent months nursing her dying mother this past winter, and it showed.  She was patient and nice and encouraging, and she managed to greatly improve the dehydration.

We dropped my friend off at her condo, and we finally got home at 11 pm.  I went to put Bean in her pj's, and I noticed when she took a breath her chest totally caved in.  I measured her respiratory rate and got 73.  A quick Google search told me normal range for her age was 20-30.

Now, I'd called Coffee earlier to tell him we were leaving the festival and tell him Bean was sick.  The call was dropped, though.  The rest of the way home, I must've called him 8 times, and he never picked up.  Even though he couldn't help from so far away, I wanted to talk to him.  When we got home and Bean was doing so poorly,  I had the idea to go to and log into Find My iPhone with his username, to see where he was.  The computer kept freezing, and finally I just decided to call the on-call pediatrician instead.  She told me to go to the emergency room.

I told Monkey we had to go.  He'd (correctly, it turns out) pointed out that she looked like he does when he's having an asthma attack, and he put his shoes on without complaint.  Around midnight, I loaded both kids into the car and prepared to head to the ER alone.

Just at that moment, Coffee's car pulled up.  He'd been at a party and had left his phone in the car.  I told him we were going to the ER and he should get in the car.  He got right in, without going inside the house first.

We went to the ER.  Having been there once for Monkey's asthma (not to mention numerous other child issues), I thought I knew what to expect. They'd give her some medication, watch her for a few hours, and then send us home.  To my surprise, that's not what happened.

They ordered a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia.  Then they inserted an IV.  They gave her two rounds of albuterol via nebulizer, and I thought we were on the mend.  She was talking and laughing for a little while.  But then her breathing started to seem labored again.  There was talk of admitting her, and she was put on a continuous nebulizer.  We'd arrived at the hospital around 12:30 am, and by this time it was 3:30 am.  Once we knew Bean was going to get admitted, Coffee and Monkey went home to sleep.  I tried to sleep curled up on Bean's hospital bed.

At 5:30, the doctor woke me up to say there had been a change of plans.  They'd decided Bean would be best cared for at Children's Hospital of Boston, instead of our local hospital.  This added a whole new level of severity and scariness for me. I'm familiar with our local hospital.  I had both of my kids there.  We've taken them to the ER for falls and allergic reactions.  I had my gall bladder out there.  It's nearby and easy to visit.  Children's was a whole new ballgame.

We had to be transported by ambulance.  At around 6:00, the transport team came for us, and Bean was loaded onto a stretcher, with the nebulizer mask and all the monitors hooked up.  It was way scary.  I actually asked one of the transport nurses for an emesis bag, because I felt like I had to throw up.  (I did not end up using it, and now it's living in my car, for long car trips.  Bonus!)

Anyway, Bean was admitted to Children's Hospital very early Monday morning, and was released Wednesday after her nap.  It was long and exhausting for both of us (well, really, all 4 of us).  I stayed over the whole time, and while I had plenty of visits from Coffee, Monkey, my parents, my sister, my aunt and two friends, it was still challenging.  I could never leave Bean alone, especially toward the end as she was starting to recover.  The nurses monitored her vitals, of course, but they couldn't stay 24/7 to be sure she didn't climb out of bed or feed her saltines with peanut butter or restart her movie.  She was in the ICU, so it was one nurse per two patients, but they couldn't be there continuously.

The hospital didn't provide food for me, so I struggled to figure out how I could eat 3 meals a day without breaking the bank.  Breakfast was tea, raisin bread and peanut butter from the family waiting room.  Coffee brought lunch one day.  A friend bought me dinner one day.  I also ate in the cafeteria.  But I had no snacks, and leaving the building was hard, so basically I was never quite sure when I'd be eating next.

Also, while the nurses monitored Bean's vitals during the night, as time wore on and I learned more about what was going on, I was frequently watching the monitors for small changes.  A warning alarm would sound if her oxygen dropped below 91%, but if I caught it at 92% and I re-positioned her, I could prevent it from dropping.  The first night I slept well because I was exhausted, but the second night I kept waking up and worrying.  There were also incidences of things like me jumping out of the shower when I heard the alarm bell go off, even though I knew the nurse would come.

Tuesday and Wednesday there was a lot of back and forth about whether she'd be discharged or not, but in the end they let us go Wednesday after naptime.  Even in the middle of the nap, there was a moment when her oxygen dipped and they almost had to give her a nasal cannula.  If that happened, an hour before we'd planned on going home, we would've had to stay another night.  But it didn't.

So, now we're home.  I am so appreciative of having my family all together again.  It was really hard on Monkey having us away.  I am also appreciative of being able to go get food whenever I want.  Coffee did a decent job caring for Monkey in my absence, and he made a mad dash to clean up the house before we got home.  But it wasn't the same for any of us, and we're glad to be back in our routine.

I am, however, exhausted.  Our second day home, I'm now starting to really believe that Bean is healthy.  Although I don't own a pulse oximeter, yesterday I was obsessively measuring her respiratory rate and heart rate.  Both were normal every time, and she's certainly back to herself.  But it's really hard for me to think about other stuff (dishes, laundry, work, my upcoming birthday).  So if I haven't commented on your blogs, I'm sorry.

I could go on and on, but this post is getting long.  Hopefully things will continue to improve, though, and I'll get my mind back.

Friday, August 5, 2016

When You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

I've noticed lately that I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again.  It's not that I don't realize I'm making them, or that they're mistakes.  I just keep doing these things.  I don't exactly know why it's happening, and that's what I'm hoping to figure out.

I'm not talking about major things.  At least I don't think I am.  It's things like knowing that traffic is always awful on Thursdays, and yet failing to leave work the 5-10 minutes early I need to pick up the kids on time.  Knowing that when I go camping, my stuff always gets wet, and yet failing to come up with a way to keep everything in a dry place.  Or, to pick a super minor example, using the wrong size jamberry sticker on my big toe, and then not checking which size I used last time before applying them again, or finding a more careful way of measuring.

So I end up rushing and being 5 minutes late again, or wearing damp clothes, or having the wrong size toenail designs.  Again and again and again.  Why?

It's forgetting my water bottle every single day.  Or not having enough tampons in my purse.  Or writing things on stickies all over the place instead of a planner where I can keep track.  Or forgetting to look at my planner and notice I have a whole free weekend coming up, so I can make plans instead of being bored and cranky.  Or not proofreading a document and sending it out with typos, even though I was under no deadline and not in a hurry.  The list goes on and on...

There's diet stuff, too, but that's a whole different story.  Every time I know I shouldn't eat something but do it anyway.  And budgeting (which I'm getting better at). But it's not just big things - here I'm thinking more about the minor things.

Why??  Why?  It's just not that hard to leave work 5-10 minutes early, or take a few seconds to measure the jamberries more carefully, or keep backup tampons in my desk or purse!

It's not that I can't.  It's just that I don't.  Sometimes I'll even make changes, and see that they're working, and then I'll decide to go back to doing things the old way.  Why?

I'm sure there's some psychological reason for this.  It could be a big, serious one like fear of success.  Maybe being well-prepared conflicts with my self-identity.  Or it could be something simpler like laziness.  Or lack of attention to detail (I don't think that's it, because I know what will happen).

These are the kinds of things I had hoped to discover about myself in therapy, to understand my behavior better.  Unfortunately, that devolved into us just sitting around chatting about our husbands and kids, which was a waste of time.  I do want to go back to therapy eventually, but not to that therapist.  I suppose at some point I'll need to tell my old therapist I'm not coming back instead of just "taking a break."  No rush, though.

Anyway, what I do know is that for some reason, I feel less stressed when I'm making these silly mistakes, not more stressed.  It's like instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, I've already dropped it, so now I can relax.  I don't have to worry that I'm masquerading as some organized, on-top-of-things person, when I just don't feel that way inside.  But I know that nobody does.  Everyone's just faking it until they make it.  Why can't I do that?  It wouldn't even be faking it!  I really do know what I need to do, whether it's planning my time better or packing a bag for a trip.  Why don't I just do it??  I really don't know.

Maybe I should do a trial period.  Like, instead of vowing to stop making all these mistakes forever and ever, I try to be on top of things for a month and see how I feel.  Maybe it'll exhaust me and stress me out, but maybe I'll find it's not that bad.  I don't know.

I'm going camping this weekend, and I'm starting by double-checking my packing list and putting my stuff in the car at the slightest chance of rain.  I already scored myself points by remembering to check whether the motor for the air mattress needed new batteries.  I'll report back to you.