Ups-and-downs are normal to have, but it’s rare to have such a good week be followed by such a bad one. No major catastrophes took place, and a lot of what made it so hard to handle the smaller difficulties was my period, which for some reason was very unusually long and harsh on my body. It, combined with other stuff, managed to sink me into a days-long depression. Most of my goals fell by the wayside.
This journal is pretty dismal overall, though it picks up in tone near the end of the week. I apologize that it’s not as cheerful as usual. It was just a really hard week for me. 😥
💔 CW: pet loss discussion in this blog post. 💔
🌈 Monday 🌈
Right from the start, Monday was not an easy day. Physically, I was still feeling down from the day before. I had been unable to stay on top of my goals for days for a variety of reasons. In addition, it was very cold, and the guys wanted to sleep with the windows open. This made for some truly miserable nights and mornings for me. And bad mornings tend to throw my entire day off track. I just felt unhappy, unmotivated, and like everything was a struggle.
I pushed myself and cleaned the snail tank this day, so my little guys didn’t suffer from my lack of motivation:
The cats stayed in cozy corners all day. Even Elliot spent time indoors. Here’s Kotoko hiding in one of the cat condo nooks:
Speaking of Kotoko, in the evening I decided to give her a bath in spite of the cold because she was just so dirty. She’s old and can’t groom herself very well anymore. As I was drying her, she peed, on my Jurassic Park rug no less. So that was great. I was upset about the rug, but above all because it felt like I put Kotoko through hell for nothing. 😟
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
This was another cold morning. At least Kotoko had forgiven me… I think the cold might have helped with that.
This day I went to visit my mom. From early on, I felt very depressed. I’d been down since the day before and just continued feeling increasingly worse. I wanted to take her to the movies this week, to cheer her up (she’s still not doing okay after Shampoo’s passing) and there is rarely enough money in the family finances for that sort of thing.
I was really down about that, but ultimately managed to sell a commission to take my mom to dinner and a movie the following Saturday. Thank you, Snow, for that.
Throughout the day, before I went to her place, I did my best to do my chores, work on art, finish another book chapter, take care of the pets. I did whatever I could to get through the motions, but it was hard. I hadn’t had to push through feeling so bad in a long time.
Once at my mom’s, whatever good cheer I’d managed to bring up hit the hard wall of Shampoo’s absence.
Seeing all of her special spots without her in them was terrible. Seeing her pretty little urn, while not hearing her usual loud meows… it was all very hard.
I managed to keep that pain to myself for my mom’s sake. But truly, more than my heartache over Shampoo’s passing, the fear and grief that an event like this brings is always mostly about Kotoko. I’m not afraid that I won’t be able to handle her loss when it happens. It’ll hurt, but eventually I’ll be okay. But I am very afraid for my husband’s sake. And I fear that the man he is now will sort of die when Kotoko dies, and whoever he will be after that, I don’t know, but I am very afraid that he will never be the same again, and I will never have this version of him again.
I don’t know what to do with that fear, and every passing year it becomes worse. Sometimes I feel like our beloved old cat is a ticking bomb of grief. This event has redoubled that, especially because I think he is in some deep denial about her advanced age and the limited time she may have left. This literally keeps me up at night.
Anyway… as usual, my mom had a little snack spread ready when I got there:
Then we had baked potatoes for dinner:
And seeing Sweeney was nice, but I couldn’t help thinking that he is the age Stimpy was when he passed, and Stimpy seemed pretty okay until near the end too. I guess I am full of grim thoughts right now.
For some reason, during this visit a lot of old fears and worries hit me very hard. Though I appeared cheerful to my mom, and I know she thought I was okay, I ended Tuesday feeling the most depressed I have been in a very, very long time. It was an overall feeling of hopelessness for the future, that I’m sure (I hope) I can shake off.
But it’s a hard feeling to carry for any length of time. I know what it’s trying to say. It’s whispering in my ear, cruelly, insidiously, “things aren’t going to be okay, but no one really cares”. It is a lonely feeling to carry.
When I feel this way, holding strong to my “do not buy toys” resolution is incredibly hard. I would love a small toy from my wishlist right now to distract me even for a moment from feeling the way I do, no matter how fleeting that relief is.
On the upside, earlier in the week a kindly commissioner sent me a set of colorful drawers where I will be able to sort all of my scrapbooking supplies for Project Night, which is set to arrive on Thursday. I’m thinking about that, to feel happier and excited about something to do.
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
After a Tuesday night full of nightmares and unusually strong cramps that lasted into the morning, Wednesday began.
It was a beautiful sunny morning, and I felt a bit less depressed, but now I was in a lot of pain instead (continued from the night). Maybe rather than feeling less depressed, I just felt like I was settling into my depression, I guess? Getting used to it? Maybe I’ll feel this way for some time.
We had mate for breakfast, but because I was in pain the whole time, I didn’t want any. Anyway, have some Sweeney toebeans:
I was slow, achy and tired for a lot of this day. Whenever I’m at my mom’s feeling really low, it’s hard, because I want attention from my husband and our partner, but I feel too low to even tell them I’m not okay or try to reach out for that affection. And if I do attempt to convey that, and don’t get a response, my frame of mind makes me read that as neglect and it can be very painful when I’m feeling deeply vulnerable already.
So it was really nice that at one point our partner did send me a random sweet little message, I don’t usually hear from him when I’m at my mom’s. Almost like he knew. That helped a lot, though I didn’t tell him I wasn’t okay, only that I was in a bit of pain. But it meant so much to get that message from him just out of the blue.
Still, mostly I just lay on the couch miserably for hours, though I did play more Pokémon Violet here and there and work on a couple of commissions. I did also read a little (still working on “It”) and since my mom was interested, we began to watch the original movies.
For dinner, we had these little mac ‘n cheese balls and fries:
And for dessert we had strawberries and cream! 🍓
Sweeney was very affectionate towards my mom all the time that I was at her place. I think for years, he’s been relegated to the background in all kinds of ways. Shampoo took most of my mom’s time, affection, and even vet-related finances. It could hardly be helped when it felt for years as though every day might be her last. Now Sweeney has my mom all to himself and will hardly leave her lap.
It is sweet, but also a little sad. He must have felt neglected all this time. My mom took him for a check-up today because he hasn’t had one in a very long time for the reasons I just stated. Hopefully all the labs come back with normal, reassuring results.
My mom and I got almost halfway to the second part of “It” (the 1990 version) when the guys came to pick me up. I would find later find out that Christopher, like me, had a pretty terrible day. But once we were all home together, things started to feel better, and I think he felt more cheerful too, though we both continued to feel physically miserable.
Something to note that has happened this week every time I slept (weather at night or a nap) is lots and lots of nightmares, or, at best, really bizarre dreams, usually connected to people or events present very recently in my life rather than those important or consequential to me. I’ve even had people I’ve never spoken to from one group chat I’m in appear in these bad dreams, multiple times. The topics are as varied as they are ridiculous.
Usually, but not always, the dreams are distressing, upsetting, or at best very annoying, so I’d categorize them as nightmares, but they aren’t the sort you wake up upset from. Just the sort that makes you go “huh” when you wake up. It’s as though my brain were going through some clean-up or organizing of thoughts at this time. It’s just bizarre.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Although on Thursday morning I woke up still in a lot of pain and sort of weakened by my way-too-long period, my mood was a little lifted.
I’m not sure why. I had a lot to do, and didn’t feel great yet. I suppose partly was just being with the guys. Just hearing their voices and seeing their faces, sometimes, lifts me up and is all I need.
All throughout this week, I struggled with, and mostly did not meet, my goals. I decided to call this week a wash. My body really, really conspired against me in the worst way.
We did play LEGO for date night, though Christopher was unwell and our partner had to work, so he couldn’t join us… but we did have LEGO and that was still fun.
Later, Christopher and I cuddled and watched TV. Rosie joined us too; here she is, blepping beautifully:
Unfortunately our partner continued working. He was concentrating hard on his coding and didn’t want to stop. He worked until past 5:00am.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Even on Friday morning my body still had the odd cramp. Frankly, I was really impressed. It never lasts this long. But this was the last day. In the morning, I built the new set of drawers. Mercifully, in spite of the terrible quality (which I was aware of) nothing was broken in transit, and it came out pretty good:
I’d spend the next few days completely reorganizing my scrapbooking supplies into this new colorful piece of furniture.
🌈 Saturday 🌈
On this day we took my mom to the movies, the three of us (Christopher, our partner and I). I spent the earlier part of the day doing chores and then we were off! I had my Totodile with me, and Pokémon graham crackers. I’ve been in a big Pokémon mood recently.
After picking up my mom, we walked around Brickell City Centre, a really cool and upscale outdoor covered mall in Downtown Miami. Our partner bought me the fancy French candies he’d long promised, and was kind enough to get some for my mom too. We walked around and took this picture at one point:
Then we headed to the movie early, because it was CMX Cinébistro and we had to order our food. Right before the movie, I had a drink called Strawberry Fields. It was pretty good. I actually hadn’t had a drink in a while. I do not drink much by anyone’s standards, but by my own, I felt I was drinking a little too much, so I decided to cut back.
The movie, a “horror” comedy titled M3GHAN, was pretty silly, but hilarious. I’m not sure it was always trying to be funny, but it pretty much was the entire time.
After the movie, we got ice cream and walked around some more. Our partner bought a tiny but really fancy candle, and then we dropped my mom off before heading back to the house.
When we got home, I had two nice surprises. The loveliest was this drawing from YuriFairy, featuring both of our characters, and it’s one of my favorite depictions of my little squirrel avatar in a few years. It’s so beautiful:
A package from ODU with a sample of a new design by me also showed up:
It’s so exciting to see a product featuring my art again after a couple of years! Here’s another photo:
We went to bed shortly after. Our partner just went straight back to work though, and had another late night. Christopher and I cuddled for a while and then fell asleep.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
Between yesterday and today, I sat for several hours sorting all of my scrapbooking materials and labeling them, like so:
There are many, many of these rugged plastic envelopes. Every single drawer is full!
Unlike before, everything is sorted by topic, not material. This makes it infinitely easier to pick out the materials I need for the theme of the page I’m working on, and everything is sorted out alphabetically.
Outside of the drawers, I sorted all my playing cards (which I collect specifically for scrapbooking purposes) like this:
Then I labeled the front of the drawers, too. Now, everything is really easy to find.
An added bonus of borrowing the labeler and of sorting all my scrapbooking supplies was that I finally sorted a bit of a mess I had in the studio closet, which now looks nice and neat:
This guy has been with me for so many years…
I re-sorted all of my beads and kandi-making supplies, too. This is also where the Furbys live. It looks a lot better now.
During this process, I ran into some traditional art I hadn’t filed away…
Not just this, but so many sketches, and so many unfinished things. It made me tear up with this intense nostalgia for something I lost without even realizing it. I decided to move things around and create a new permanent area for traditional art, because somehow, I didn’t have one anymore. This is what it looks like:
And here is a close-up:
I hope I can make traditional art a part of my life again.
I had one shelf that was cleared of scrapbooking supplies that got sorted into the new drawers, so I moved the decorations that were on this desk to it:
Speaking of, I haven’t shared my little collections in a while, particularly since I displayed them after opening my Christmas presents. Here’s the shelves with some of the newer Jurassic World additions…
A close-up of my lovely little Parasaurolophus, I love him so much:
There are a lot of dinosaurs in my studio…
(But not too many. There is no such thing.)
I feel like every day I love dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park / World franchise more and more, like it’s almost becoming a part of my personality. That phrasing seems wrong… I guess I mean it feels less like something I’ll emotionally outgrow and more like a deep-seated, truly lifelong interest, that I don’t think can ever go away because at the core, it’s about dinosaurs and nature, and I’ll never not love those things.
Finally, here’s Kalinka and Natasha. I decided to display them side by side because they look a little like sisters:
Because I spent so much time doing this, I was up until 3:00am doing housework, including cleaning the snail tank. Here’s some happy snails:
I’m trying to keep in mind the fact that, outside of my resolutions, I would normally consider this a wildly successful week. In spite of unusual physical pain, I did a lot of writing, took my mom to the movies, reorganized all of my scrapbooking supplies, revamped the studio closet, and reworked my traditional art work area. I went grocery shopping and worked on my blog. It wasn’t all so bad.
But I also can’t deny the obvious: this may have been a terrible week for me, but bad week or not, I failed at ALL of my resolutions outside of reading. So, I’m allowing myself a fresh start with my fitness chart. I also set a more reasonable goal, which would have me at my goal weight by April. I won’t beat myself up over the missteps. Instead I’ll celebrate what I did manage, dust myself off, and tomorrow start again with new renewed vigor.