Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Are You Supported?

Let's talk about support today.

It is something that we all need.  In various ways and at various times in our lives we require support.

In our home, as children, we need to feel support by our parents and siblings to help us learn and grow and accomplish things.  As an adult, in our home, we require the same thing.  It looks different at different times.  Support can be a counsellor to help us navigate the chasms of our mind.  Support can be a teacher, a guardian, a parent, a friend, sibling, life-partner, coworker or some other mentor. 

Life is difficult when you do not feel supported.  Life takes on a lot more meaning when you do have support. 

Today, I'm talking about support because in the past I did not feel supported at times. 

To be in a relationship and feel less than supported by your partner is hard.  To feel that you can't trust that the support that you need will be there, is very hard.  You feel alone a lot of the time.  You feel like you are fighting for yourself, and probably your partner too, trying to be the support that they need, even though you aren't receiving the support you need.

To be in a relationship that has support there, and that the other person genuinely wants to support you can be a foreign feeling for a lot of people.  To be able to have open, honest conversation even int he tough situations, and know that in the end, resolution, and support will be there is a very rare thing.  It should be cherished.  It is the foundation of love as well.

So, let's talk about support for a moment.  Do you feel supported in your home?  In your relationship?  At work? 

If you do - GREAT! - I'd love you to tell me about it in the comments!

If you do not, let's talk about this for a second.  What does support mean to you?  Can you articulate to yourself what you need as support, and what it looks like for you?  This is the first step in being able to ask for it, and receive it. 

Do you think you've got a handle on what support looks like for you?  If yes, great!  Now comes the hard part.  Being able to articulate that to the people you require support from.  Because I guarantee that even though you've tried and tried to convey what you need, it isn't translating to the other person.  I'm guilty of this as well, especially in the past. 

So sitting down with yourself is the first obstacle - purely because we aren't great at knowing ourselves, or spending time with ourselves, or even being kind with ourselves.  Then actually writing out what support looks like for you is the next major step.  Once you've got this nailed down, you can really talk about it with your family and friends and coworkers even.  Then, believe it or not, when these people do the thing you've asked them to do, you need to listen too.

So often we get steps one and two done and have the talk.  Then when those people start doing what you told them to do, we lose it.  It's a sign that we aren't ready to receive the feedback and information we say we need.  So after the talk, the next step is learning how to receive.  Receiving can even be, a thank you for your feedback.  In the future could we be a little more kind with the delivery?  It's amazing how many times people hear you, listen to you, and then put their own spin on it because that's how they need it to be said, not how you need it to be said.

This is a reflection of their own projection of what they want but can't articulate back onto you.  We train our family members, coworkers, and friends how to speak to us and deliver things to us even in our complacency of correction when disrespectful communication occurs.  We do this even in our own self-speak.  We've conditioned those around us on how to deal with us because we don't deal with ourselves with kindness.  Some of the work here is being able to set your boundaries and stick to them.  Some of the work on gaining support is actually retraining the people in your life that you need the support from, to better speak to and support you.  The conversation and words we use for ourselves is a great indication of what we will tolerate from others...even when we don't like it. 

How are you being supported, or not?  What do you need to be supported? 

Drop me a comment - or a paragraph or essay - about what support looks and feels like for you.
Let's start the conversation here, so we can all improve our support systems and self-speak.  This is a safe place to put it all out there.  Feedback is always appreciated.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Working Hard and Taking Time To Rest

Sometimes best laid plans are a little more than you can handle.

I am learning about how my own depressive episodes work and how they come to pass.

For me, it usually happens when I've depleted my energy and neglected to take the time to properly replenish them - giving too much of myself that I do not leave the part I need to for me. 

In the past, my depression has manifested in filling my life with material possessions in an attempt to fill the void I feel in my life.  Other ways it has presented:  extreme laziness, wherein even the basic hygiene items and household hygiene items are not completed, small amounts of hoarding inexplicable items for reasons that are not clear, a serious need to sleep - through days of life, without leaving the bed for days or even weeks, and a need to not be at work functioning as an adult, but wrapping myself in a cocoon of protection.

The sleep thing is usually triggered by the fatigue of over extending myself in something I no longer find joy in, or our of a sense of duty and obligation. Then days later - sometimes weeks later - I am able to lift myself out of the wallow and function again. 

Alas, I've gone on a tangent!  Ha ha! 

Learning these things about myself has been helping me systematically move towards a more balanced life and existence, maintaining the possessions I enjoy in my life and releasing those items that I no longer need in my life.  Really, these are items that were brought in under the guise of necessity, but really where void fillers, self-soothing through shopping, and are not actually needed in my life at all.  The sheer amount of space they take up and the weight of them has been tangible and unfathomable.  And so, it is here, I update the list from where I was when last I posted, to what has been accomplished so far:

Started here:

To Do:
1.  Rearrange Blu-rays to incorporate the ones from Christmas
2.  Pack up extra set of dishes for donation to family in need. <- Bubble wrap required.  Bubble wrap now acquired, via the "Accio Bubble Wrap" spell, and now, this evening whilst watching the Canadian Junior Hockey Team play for Gold, I am able to complete this task.  Now scheduled for this evening (Tues. Jan. 9).
3.  Remove boxes from spare bedroom closet for sorting, putting away, purging and garbage review.
4.  Go through all 6 boxes, and make decisions on the items held within.  (Re: Item #3)
All six boxes have been reviewed.  Three are absolutely empty.  Three require putting away.  This will be completed later tonight. 
5.  Purge files for stale and out of date items to burn/shred.
6.  File paperwork from 2 bags (one in bedroom, one in living room).
7.  Take donation of towels to animal shelter.


And we are now here:

To Do:
1.  Rearrange Blu-rays to incorporate the ones from Christmas
2.  Pack up extra set of dishes for donation to family in need. <- Bubble wrap required.  Bubble wrap now acquired, via the "Accio Bubble Wrap" spell, and now, this evening whilst watching the Canadian Junior Hockey Team play for Gold, I am able to complete this task.  Now scheduled for this evening (Tues. Jan. 9). BOOYA THIS IS DONE!

3.  Remove boxes from spare bedroom closet for sorting, putting away, purging and garbage review.
4.  Go through all 6 boxes, and make decisions on the items held within.  (Re: Item #3)
All six boxes have been reviewed.  Three are absolutely empty.  Three require putting away.  This will be completed later tonight. Three remaining boxes also require a home to be permanent.  The boxes were reviewed, and are now in their storage resting place, whilst a home or secondary decision on the usefulness of their contents is reviewed.  I'm calling this a done!
5.  Purge files for stale and out of date items to burn/shred.
6.  File paperwork from 2 bags (one in bedroom, one in living room).
7.  Take donation of towels to animal shelter.  Donation set up.  Will be delivered Jan. 16, 2018.


This week we have SC3 in the house with us.  As such, some of these clearing items will slow down a little.  With the third person in the house, and the tendency of that third person to voice opinions whilst these types of activities are taking place, it is more easily managed when the task can be started and completed in 3 hours or less.  Some of the items left on the list also require personal documents to be reviewed that lead to nosey questions of unnecessarily explained to SC3 items.  And so, a new To Do list may be created in the next day or so, and a few of the remaining items may be shifted to 2 weeks from now. 

For the better part of this week, I'll be working on recharging my batteries.  As well, I will be able to pull out some of the files I have and purge through them.  One file at a time doesn't cause the great mess I usually make, and can be purged and returned to it's rightful home as I go.

When you guys are cleaning up and clearing out, what method do you use?

For me, it's a pile it all in the middle (on the bed, or in the hall), then take stock of each item and decide to Keep, Donate, Trash or Sell.  At the end, I have the items I want where I truly want them, and three piles - Donate, Trash or Sell, left to handle.  The saleable items get photos and appropriately posted to sites and are often moved from the dwelling in the next week.  The donate items go into a bag or box and are carted off to the appropriate donation site, and the trash items are immediately put into a garbage bag and sent to trash.

I know others like to review their items in their place and make decisions as they go, individually, and I find, more time consuming - but that's just me.

I sit firmly in the bigger mess before it gets righted camp.  Strip the shelves, the closets, the tops of all furniture, and remove some of the furniture items as well, to usually the hall or adjoining room.  I then play the furniture flow game to ensure the pieces are truly in their best orientation, clean out the corners, the stale dust bunnies, the gunk of energy left in the nooks and crannies, and then we start putting things back in.  At the end, I usually have a pile of "I'm not sure" because by that time I'm also tired of the task.  Taking a break at this point (often about 2 hours of time), helps come back with that last burst needed to get through the "I'm not sure".  The items here are often take them or leave them.  Sometimes they are the given to me because they were grandparents that have passed or something the person thought I would like that just doesn't have a place there anymore.  Sometimes these are the "I'll get that for a hostess or just in case gift" for a person that isn't immediate family.

So, how to you go about cleaning, clearing and organizing?  Are you the bigger mess before the job gets done kind of person?  Are you a one thing at a time from it's current place sort of person?  Do you have some other style?

In the mean time, four more boxes are broken down and leaving my home in tomorrow's recycling day.  So far this month, I'm up to 12 boxes of stuff emptied and removed from my life.  And 12 other boxes of donation items.

The kitchen has been sorted and righted.  The back closet has been provided with the required storage unit and has been righted.  The dining room has been righted.  The living room, in it's current iteration, has been completed.  This room still has a furniture shuffle to take place, as there are flow issues with the current iteration.  This may see a piece of furniture or two also leave our house and moved on to someone else that can love it, though this remains to be seen yet.  Once this furniture shuffle has been attempted, this room will be completed and our main floor will be deemed completed.

The spare bedroom will be relieved of one bulky bookcase, in favour of slimmer, lighter coloured units to help created more space in the room itself.  The closet has been reclaimed for any guests already, which makes me very happy.  SC3's room is tidy and neat.  One piece of furniture will be replaced with another slightly larger and more functioning piece residing currently in the basement, and does require a desk chair for homework purposes.  We have a little time for the chair yet.

The master bedroom has been tidied, save the dresser top.  That's the last thing to be completed in that room.  A decision on the chaise in the room will need also to be made.  It's lovely and comfortable, yet bulky and big, and the area may be better suited with a reading chair and ottoman.  As well, a box and bag of items to be reviewed still requires reviewing.  All in all, this room has been finalized.  The master bathroom is also complete.  Inventory has been taken, organization completed and it has been determined that toiletries, other than conditioner, are not needed for a good portion of the remainder of this year.

That leaves the basement.  We have the main rec-room mostly sorted.  A christmas tree requires return to storage, and a few remaining decorations the same.  The laundry/storage/utility room is an entirely different story.  This is where all the stuff to still be reviewed.  All of my boxes of stuff from my move are currently residing.  Easily I have 20 boxes left to review down there.  The room itself will need some organizing, and some improvement in lighting.  It is a bit dark, and difficult to really see. 

For those of you playing along, remember that door in Monica's Apartment from Friends?  You know the one she won't let anyone into?  It's that room for me.  The difference being, a good portion of the stuff in the room are in boxes still stacked up for review and shifting, or bags...gosh I'm really quite a bag lady when I'm packing! 

So, it's time to grab a bag and complete the bag.  The goal is to get three of these bags done this week.  3 bags of see what is in it and get it handled. 

In other news, I have not yet completed my electronic items either.  The computer and the files are a little like my house at the moment.  The electronics will take place in a couple of months I bet - or a day when I want to waste away in front of a computer, unpacking, deleting organizing and saving. 

This week will, although I have 3 bags I want to get done, is really more about resting and rejuvenating.