Card of the Day: The World, followed by The World reversed

Yup, that’s right, I got the same card back to back 2 days in a row. Two days ago, my tarot card of the day was The World. Yesterday it was The World Reversed.

Typically it’s considered a happy card signifying achievement of success, culmination of events coming to a (usually positive) conclusion. Generally, it’s a pretty good card to get in a reading. To be honest, I have NO IDEA how it relates to my day 2 days ago…that day was awful. Though the reversed card yesterday makes more sense. Reversed cards for me have tended to be a version of the card flipping its meaning on its head and giving it the middle finger so to speak.

The last two days have been, quite bluntly, shitty. Sammy and I both have colds. MIL couldn’t watch the kids because she’s sick too. So I was on my first days back from vacation spending the afternoons trying to double up adding parenting on top of trying to work. Which worked about as well as you can imagine. Very little work got done.

First Sammy wouldn’t go down for a second nap despite taking an early one that morning and clearly being tired…both days. I know she’s pretty much past the 2 nap kind of days, but damn, she needed it.

Then Jessi’s school misinterpreted my call about Jessi coming home instead of grammy’s and thought I was going there to pick her up, when I really just wanted the bus to drop her off at home instead of Grammy’s. So after waiting for the bus, which was later than usual, I also had to rush over to the school to get her late as she’s standing there waiting with her teacher. :/

The afternoon was filled with a bunch of parental guilt of splitting my attention between kids and work and fail at both in the process.

Dinner and bedtime were pretty much a shitshow. Sammy hasn’t gone to bed before 9:30 since we got back from vacation. Last night, I tried for 3 hrs before Greg got home and took over…and of course she then was out less than 20 min later.

 

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No FB – Days 2 and 3

[note: typed earlier as the subject title indicates, but posting majorly delayed. I blame holidays and vacation chaos.]

Classic me, I make a plan to try to post daily, and immediately skip a day.  Life takes over even the best intentions.

Yesterday afternoon ended up being taken up with a grocery trip, dinner, having Jessi make cards for teachers, wrapping teacher gifts, and making reindeer noses (see below) for Jessi’s school party today. Because, in classic busy parent fashion, there’s nothing like waiting till the last minute.

A tray of small pretzels, each with a slightly melted rolo on top, and a red m&m on top of the rolo.
Reindeer Noses

After getting the kids to bed, it took me most of the night to finish up my work. But now I’m FREE!! No work for 2 weeks. It’ll be amazing!

As far as the tarot card for the day, Lovers, I honestly have no idea what it was referencing. Hardly interacted with my husband that day. I did have a crush on my mind and talked with a friend about it a little, but that was something pre-existing and the conversation already in motion before drawing the card. So who knows. Love for my children? Love for the holiday? Not typically what I associate with the Lovers card.

Today has been packing and trip prep. I was doing good until I sat down at my computer to check my to-do list…then total ADHD rabbit hole…

  • Update my to-do list.
  • Check if book my husband was looking for was available on library’s e-book lists (it is).
  • Message my mom about something.
  • Remember my list. Go back and finish checking off things that are done.
  • Add a few things.
  • Remember that we won’t have wi-fi on the plane and start thinking of prep we need to do for that.
  • I decided to make sure my Google Drive files were set to be available for offline access.
  • They weren’t.
  • Get to the bottom of setting that up.
  • Double check that it’s working right.
  • Realize that my old Book of Shadows file that I just imported from my old computer is still in Word doc format. I want to use that for a ritual today and know it needs updating. Spend an hour fixing the formatting because damn…whatever I did before (I haven’t used the file in several years) looks like crap!
  • Remember that I hadn’t posted yesterday and needed to pull a card for today and post for today.

LOL…ADHD vortex sucked me in…

As for the whole no FB aspect of things. I do think it helped me yesterday. I was the most productive and focused for work as I have been in ages…which isn’t saying a whole lot, but I’m still happy at the improvement. I also think the anti-anxiety med I’m on (Buspar) might also be starting to kick in to help. (Probably should have waited until the meds had had their full chance to kick in before cutting FB to have a better idea of which thing helped…but oh well.)

The one thing that sucked about staying off FB yesterday was finding out that a friend had her baby. I did make a quick exception to log in and see a pic and say a quick congrats, but I wanted to lurk around to see more updates. They’re a couple who posts a lot and I’m sure there’d be updates. I’m having a hard time not logging back in to see more.

Today I’ve found it an annoyance to stay off FB. Wanting to hop on to ask questions of FB about this, that, or the other thing. Wanting to see political updates of friends as we hear how Trump is going on about how a shutdown would be a long one. Which is probably better for my productivity overall, but annoying nonetheless because I want to hear about these things.

So with that said…today’s card is… [I never did that drawing]

No FB – Day 1

Person typing on macbook keyboard. Only forearms and hands of the person are visible. Person has big watch with a small ring on one hand and a bunch of small bracelets and a thick ring on the other.

Staying off FB was HARD yesterday. This morning has been hard too but for a different reason. Yesterday, it was hard because of what I described last time how I use it as my escape from work anxiety.

Last night and this morning it was hard because I use it to share the cute silly little things my kids do (like how they thought it was absolute hilarity when we were kicking the dog’s ball back and forth like a soccer ball or when Sammy started having her lovie “blow raspberries” on my belly) and my little victories in life (I finished wrapping all of this year’s presents!!). It feels weird to have no one besides my husband to share those things with. Like am I really going to text a friend to share these random things? Like sure, maybe they might come up in the middle of a conversation, but to say that out of the blue? That’s weird. Plus, then it creates an expectation of a longer conversation which isn’t what I want to do. Beyond that, who do I send it to? I’m not going to send it to all the people who might have “liked” something like if I had posted it on FB…especially because not all of them are close friends. That’s just weird, even if I just send it to my few closer friends who’d like it. Still weird to do it out of the blue. So the cute moment goes by unremarked on. To be lost over time. Because without FB’s “on this day” feature bringing up old memories, those little moments get lost in our memories. I like sharing those moments with friends in hopes of giving them a cute/relatable story that might brighten their day. I also already miss seeing those cute/relatable moments from friends as well for the same reason. I imagine this is going to make the whole parenting gig seem a lot lonelier.

The other thing I’m missing already are the political/news posts that a small handful of FB friends share. Not the ones who post the sensational nonsense, those I don’t miss. But the 5ish friends who post real links, often with thoughtful commentary. THOSE posts I miss. The posts that help me keep up to date on the things that are happening. The posts whose perspectives help me form my own perspective. These friends post things that get me thinking about the news in ways I might otherwise not. Especially one FB friend who is a journalist (doesn’t cover politics himself, but has good insight) and another one who is a person I met through Occupy who always pushes me to grow in my thinking around subjects. For example, I heard about the “sweeping” criminal reform bill the Senate passed, but when I went to find an article about it, there wasn’t much detail mentioned about the contents of the bill. I know at least one of these people would have had a good article to share. What this is going to mean is that I’m going to spend more time watching the news again…which had been really contributing to my stress before I cut back.

So, at least so far, I’m not impressed. At all. I realize the first few days are the hardest, but uugh…I really don’t see how this is going to help me.

To attempt to replace some of the more positive things I get out of FB, I’m going to try to make either daily, or every couple of day, posts here about cute family stuff that has been going on or other things I don’t want to forget.

I’m also going to take advantage of a little bit of the time I won’t be on FB to do a daily tarot card drawing. Each post, I’ll list today’s card and include a reflection on the previous day(s) card.

Today’s card: The Lovers

FB Hiatus – Will it help?

A base of scrabble tiles upside down. On top of that base, are a few tiles face up that spell out "anxiety".

I’ve been struggling HARD CORE at work lately. Crippling anxiety that prevents me from getting much done on any given day. My most substantial way of escaping my anxiety is switching to looking at FB. I escape because I haven’t found an effective way to actually deal with the anxiety and work through it. The only thing that “works” is to avoid it until I can work up to confronting it…which obviously isn’t actually a practical solution.

So my therapist has strongly encouraged me to take a break from FB for at least a month. This honestly feels like an impossible task…which I recognize is probably a sign that there is a problem there. But it is my core social connection as well as news source and access point for various support groups. Yes, I spend too much time on it, but I fear that without it I’ll lose what little connection I have to people and/or that I’ll miss details about various political developments as well as the information I gather from the various support groups. But I’m going to give it a try. Because SOMETHING has to give. I’m in an unsustainable situation right now (substantial job hunting will also be beginning after the holidays).

I’m already having a hard time with my anxiety and I’ve only been off it for a couple of hours. I don’t know how to handle my anxiety without FB as an escape. Gah!! There will likely be a lot more posts here over the next month as an attempt to deal.

I’ve been trying to address my anxiety and distractibility with my prescriber for months now without finding the right solution. I’m getting extremely frustrated with this. It took me a while to convince her of the degree to which it’s an issue. Then we’ve had to try multiple things…which of course is a time consuming process since you have to try something out for a few weeks to know for sure if it’s going to work or not. I really want to find a solution on that front too. I know meds don’t solve everything, but I haven’t been able to resolve this on my own and I’ve tried a number of different things and none of them hardly make a dent in it.

The way this medication process has dragged on is making work particularly difficult to navigate. I’m sure to them it looks like I’m not taking steps to improve things. But it’s not for a lack of trying. It’s just that you can’t guarantee that you’ll get the right meds right away. Uugh…

Me trying to will myself to stay focused on my work…

Titled "Panic". Person crying, flushed face, with a frowny face heart saying "I need to get out of here!". Other labels on the image: hyper-ventilating, heart goin' crazy, can't breathe, sweaty palms.
Source also contains a number of other good anxiety related comics.

 

Also…

The first 60 seconds of a panic attack.
Source: http://www.ruwhim.com/?p=48718 Excuse the spelling error, not mine.

Magick: Is it Real? Does it work?

Generally speaking, I feel like it depends on how you define magick. What you see in Hollywood, that doesn’t exist. But I do think real magick does exist.

To me, magick is more akin to prayers. It’s about focusing on what you hope will happen and trying to make it manifest. Pagans tend to use more tools than Christians in doing so. We also tend to believe more in these things being under our control while Christians see these things being more under God’s control.

I haven’t cast a whole lot of spells. I’ll sometimes do little things here and there when people request prayers, but they’re basically just informally sending good vibes/energies (which means more in a magickal sense than they do in a mundane sense). But classic spells in the sense that come to mind when people think of spellwork…those have been few and far between.

But my most important ones? They’ve worked.

We’ve had issues with infertility. With our youngest, I didn’t want to do fertility treatments again. We had been trying nearly a year. I was losing hope that we’d ever get pregnant on our own. Then the night of the super moon we had back in November 2016, my family went out to check out the moon. As we were standing there staring at it, I made a plea to the goddess and made up my own spell on the spot. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I get a positive pregnancy test just before Christmas. And 9 months later, she was born.

Now about 2 weeks ago, I cast a spell for good financial luck and to help me find a new job that’s a better fit. Again, it was a spell made up on the spot from the heart. Then today a online acquaintance reaches out to me with a potentially amazing job opportunity. Like possible dream job type of opportunity. It’s the first time I’ve ever had someone try to recruit me like this. It feels good! There’s still details to discuss, but overall, I’m really hopeful that this will work out.

For both of these things, the timing is just too spot on for it to be coincidence. I do think at times spells and magick can make a difference when you work from the heart and out of sincere need.

Of course I’m not foolish enough to think it’s a full proof system. I know the world doesn’t always work out the way we might want it to. But I do think that sometimes you can directly make a difference in how things work out.

Here’s hoping that this job leads turns out to be as promising as it seems.

Take “as needed”

Oh man, I need to talk to my prescriber about trying out something different for anxiety. I spoke to her last time about this and she has had me trying Propranolol. Which seems to sorta be helping…I think? It’s hard to tell because I know I don’t take it as often as I probably should be taking it.

My prescriber told me to take it “as needed” but the problem with that is that every time I waste far too long debating if that’s really going on and if I really need the meds or not. You know that battle in your head trying to convince yourself to seek medication and therapy for the first time? (Do I really need it? Am I just overreacting? What if it’s not anxiety but really ______ instead?) It’s like that every time as I have to convince myself to take it. Like I give myself fucking anxiety debating if I need the anti-anxiety medication. I really feel like I need something I can take on a regular preventative basis. Ideally once a day because I suck at remembering mid-day pills.

The Energies Around Us

I don’t know if I’m alone in this, I imagine I’m not and it’s only that people don’t tend to talk about it, but I distinctly feel different energies from the world around me in different situations and locations. This is a large part of what has drawn me to a pagan path. Some of these energies charge me up and others drain me. These energies I feel are especially noticeable to me when I’m around the ones that charge me up and make me feel more alive. Often times I don’t pay as much attention as I should to the energies that drain me.

This is always a topic on my mind in the fall and early winter. It’s a time of year of change, of crisp air, of storms, of vibrant colors of the fall leaves, of holidays and celebration. Early spring can be the same way for me. Being outside in such weather always charges me up. Leaves me feeling motivated and in tune with myself and the world around me.

The more time I spend outside, the more I benefit from this feeling. It’s one of the reasons living in New England is such a double edged sword for me. On one hand, we have 4 very distinct seasons and brilliant fall colors. The seasons I mentioned above are pronounced and the intensity of that can charge me up like the Energizer bunny. And yet, for much of the year, the weather is too lousy for me to want to be outside: the stifling humidity in the summer, the bitter freezing cold in the depths of winter, and OMG the mosquitoes!! I never notice quite how much my lack of time spent outside due to poor weather affects me until I get a string of weather that draws me outside again. I suddenly realize what a fog I’ve been in and the clarity and lightness I feel comes in clear contrast.

This past year in particular, especially the last couple of months, I have been especially limited in my time spent outside. It has been a hard and busy year. New baby. IEP fights. Demanding job. Mental health struggles (mine and husband’s). Husband switching to a second shift job. As such, I’m stuck working all day and then stuck with the sole responsibility of dealing with the kids in the evening which keeps me inside much of the time. The weekends are spent scrambling to catch up on things that didn’t get done during the week rather than outside.

Until this fall hit, I hadn’t quite noticed how drained I’ve been in the slog of things. Fall always hits me like a refreshing splash of cool water to wake me up. I’ve been making a focused effort to pause and enjoy the weather each day on my way to pick the kids up from MIL’s house after work. I’ve noticed a difference.

Even beyond the general energy I get from the weather or season we’re experiencing, there have always been some places where the energy of the place stands out to me more than others. Sometimes it’s an outdoor place such as a specific spot along a stream (or once sitting on a large rock in the middle of a stream). But sometimes it’s an indoor place feeling the history of a place around you and the impact of its architecture. Some places I can never feel comfortable in, but other places can instantly feel like home simply based on their energies.

One thing I hadn’t noticed much before because I rarely have time to specifically sit down and practice my religion in any sort of focused way with rituals, spells, and the like is just how strong of an energy I feel emanating from my tools and my practice.

I recently got a desk to put in our bedroom so that I have some place to work that’s away from the kids during the day while my husband is home. I fully intended it to serve dual purpose as a place to organize my ritual and spell stuff as well, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet despite having the desk for a while. I have intended to, but never found the time because until recently, the baby was still sleeping in our room.

Today I go up to work at the desk for the first time in several weeks. I saw the incense holder I had placed on the desk (one of the only pagany things I had put there yet) and decided to light some incense. I realized that my lighter was in the hope chest with the rest of my pagan stuff. As I open the hope chest to get it out, I was hit with a strong energy filled with power and focus that surprised me. A sense that I had been missing and didn’t realize that my faith was one place I could pull that energy from (I have never been a super strong practitioner).

44148889_10106428852554750_549332970062741504_o.jpg

It’s an energy I’ve been in desperate need of, so I decided to take a moment and do a quick, rough set up a mini altar at my desk in addition to lighting the incense. Nothing crazy, just some basics. But I swear, I have been more focused and on task with work today, which is something I have really struggled with lately, than I have in in the past year. As I sit here, I can feel the energy pouring off the items I set up and wrapping me in this calm, focused, and empowered feeling.

Here it is, the beginnings of my first more permanent altar. It’s far from done, but it’s there and it’s mine. I wish I had done this ages ago.

This feeling also reminds me that I really should be putting more energy into becoming a practicing pagan on a regular basis. I have never made my religion a priority, and as such, since it’s not a religion I grew up with and don’t have any other fellow practitioners who I share my beliefs with, I often let this part of myself slide.

I know it’s cheesy as hell, but I want to be that witch who incorporates it into my daily life. Life goals would be to live life with everyday spells and little magick woven throughout my day celebrating every holiday on the turn of the wheel and the full moons…incorporating all of this into my family’s daily life as normal and pervasively as many Christian families do. But that’s hard as someone who’s still forging her own path and traditions and still learning the craft myself.

But that’s a subject for another post.

For today, I am just feeling the energy washing over me from this season and from the starts of my new altar set up, soaking it up, and thankful for it all. This is the stuff of everyday magick, simply being aware of and harnessing the energies around you.