Fibronaut At Home

It’s All How You Look At It

Some things I’m grateful for and would not have had were it not for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

-Time to bask in nature’s beauty.  I enjoy watching the leaves fall, watching the snow pile up, listening to the birds call, watching the squirrels play, sitting in the sunshine, to name a few.

-Time with my children.  I’m getting to do what I’ve wanted to since they were babies.  I pick them up from school, I share my love of reading and sewing with them, I fix them meals and I hug and kiss them and talk to them whenever I want.  I’m able to volunteer at their schools, go to class parties and other special events.

-New hobbies.  Sewing was something I always wanted to do, but never had the time.  I crafted, but not as much as I wanted to.  Now, one of my daily goals is to create or bake something.  Today, instead of cursing the tear in my son’s Halloween costume and the too-big skirt on my daughter’s, I fixed them myself.  I have lost count of all the clothes I’ve upcycled, mended and taken in, saving us money.

-Thrifting is another hobby I’ve picked up again.  It has become a way of life for us.  Anything I can get for cheap, second-hand or make myself, I do.  One of my favorite money-saving, environmental projects I’ve done is to make my own cloth napkins out of an old tablecloth.  We haven’t bought paper towels or napkins in several years.  They go in the wash with my towels and don’t take up any more room than a paper towel roll would.  It used to be a goal of mine to wear something I made or thrifted every day.  I don’t have that goal any more because the majority of my clothing is thifted or home-made.

-Recycling has become a passion of mine.  Everything that goes in our trashcan gets inspected by me first.  Plus I reuse everything I can.  I always look at something I’m thinking of throwing away and think, “Could I use this for something else?”

We’re headed out to the comic book store for our free comics today, but I know this is a subject I’ll come back to in future posts.

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Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Not literally.

Today, in continuation of my happiness project, I vacuumed out my van.  It has not been vacuumed in YEARS!  The sad state of my van is one of those things that bugs me daily, not to mention embarrasses me anytime someone else sees it.  I was waiting for my hubby to clean it and obviously my hints of “This van is so dirty” every time he was in it, weren’t working.  I’ve long since given up nagging about the cleanliness of my van and just kind of let it go.  Then, while reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, I started thinking of things I could do for myself, that I normally nag the hubby about.  She talks about how it’s not really fair to expect her husband to do certain things just because he’s the man.  If I don’t want to do it, he probably doesn’t either.  I’ve now added “clean van” as one of my monthly to-do’s, because as I’ve noticed and as Rubin also talks about, doing something more often makes it easier to do.

Thinking back, there are other tasks I’ve taken on since I’ve started feeling better that normally I would reserve for the hubby.  I’ve taken a more active role with our dog, I’ve been more involved in the trash duties and I’ve been hanging pictures and other things myself, rather than nagging incessantly and cursing the hubby while he largely ignores my tirade.  I’m sure he appreciates the decrease in nagging as well.

I just looked and the title and realized that I forgot to talk about the dead birds.  In vacuuming the van, I have also worked out.  BOO-YAH!!!  Two birds, one stone.

Side laugh:  I was just doing my tags and I typed “two birds one stoner”.  LOL.

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The Happiness Project

I have finally started reading “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin.  Julie Ryan of Counting My Spoons, suggested the book to me months ago and I’m so glad that she did.  I’m only half-way through, but I already love the book and I’m heading back towards the totally awesome me that I found in April.  I’ve been in a slump lately, which is the main reason why I haven’t posted here.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling, though my hubby and my Mom knew.  I’m ecstatic and relieved that I’m back.

The main goal that is sticking with me now and that could be life-altering for anyone, but especially for others like me with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is, “Act the way you want to feel.”  I was already trying to do this and seeing that it worked for someone else, really helped me.  I think I went into a slump because I was starting to wonder if what I was doing was really working.  Rubin had a similar experience.  Reading that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my doubts and gave me tools for combating the negative thoughts causing those doubts.

Even though I was doing all the right things, doubts crept in and the old conflict of to-work-or-not-to-work started playing havoc with my mind.  If I don’t work, there isn’t any money for extras and if I do work, there isn’t any time for extras.  I want a part-time job so I can still pick up the kids from school and spend my evenings and weekends with them, but most places only have full-time available, or I just can’t imagine working there.  I talk myself out of jobs before I even apply for them.  I have finally come to the conclusion that, when it’s right, it’ll happen.  When I find my mind going to that black hole of never-ending worry and what-ifs, I sing to myself, “Que sera, sera.  Whatever will be will be.”  A little silly, but it works.

We’ve also had extra stress dealing with some school issues.  I’m not going to go into it.  I think we’re almost through it and I can look back and see that despite all the stress, some good things have come out of going through this.

I’ve gone back to keeping track of all I accomplish each day.  Even if no one else notices, it makes me happy to see all these tasks completed.  I have a spreadsheet I found in Microsoft Excel that’s meant for a chores list, but works perfectly for me.  Each week, I’ll start a new spreadsheet, so I can look back and see how much progress I’ve made.  There are some tasks that I do daily, some I do twice a week or more and some I only do once a week or once a month.  I don’t have to look to my hubby or my kids for validation that I’m reaching goals.  I’ve also added several items since I started.

I’m learning to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bleak.  I’m learning to be grateful for where I am, who I’m with and everything that I once took for granted in life.  Those are some pretty big statements, but I’m confident in them.

I’ll probably post again about this book because there is so much helpful advice in it.  I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you feel like you are happy and especially if you don’t.

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