There Appears To Have Been a Struggle

Before I get into the daily post content, there’s one thing I address every year on January 23rd, and this year will be no exception.

Watch that video. If you’ve never seen it before watch it, if you’ve seen it before watch it, if you’ve seen it every year when I post it watch it.
Justin (JewWario) was a friend and a former coworker, and this video was the last time I ever saw him.   The reason I never saw him again, is because on January 23rd 2014 he chose to end his life.  All of us who knew him, or who followed him online as he was a very popular among the YouTube video game crowd, can only speculate on the reasons for his suicide.  We’ll never know for sure.  I’m not going to throw my speculations out there publicly, but what I do wish is that someone had said to him what he said in this video.  It was so intensely heartfelt that it sounds like it was something he might have needed to hear.  And I wish I had had a last conversation that I knew was our last conversation, so that I could tell him all of the things I valued and admired about him.  As with all people, we didn’t always agree, there were a couple of times that stand out for me that he really hurt my feelings, and I’m fortunate to feel like our last conversation was a positive one.  I try to be genuine with people and tell them when they do things I value and admire and am grateful for when they do them, but if I had known that was our last conversation, there’s more I would have liked to have said about what he meant to me.  And I don’t get that chance.  There were so many people who loved him that I probably can count myself very fortunate in that our last conversation was a kind of “I love who you are, goodbye.” and that’s probably more closure than most people got.  I just thought it was a “goodbye for now.”

Having been deeply suicidal myself it’s maybe a little easier for me to understand how people get to that point, and despite what people say it isn’t through an act of selfishness.  So, based on my whole collective experience and perspective, I have two requests for all of you.  1)  Be aware of the people around you and what they’re thinking and feeling, and whether the way that you’re interacting with them could be pushing them toward this place instead of pulling them from it.  2)  If you ever do find yourself in a place where suicide feels like the answer, talk to someone first, no holds barred.  Talk to as many people as you need to until you find someone that listens.  I’ve had horrible therapists, I’ve had that therapist who’d rather I kill myself than have him continue having to put up with me. He was a dick, that didn’t mean my life was as worthless as I felt like it was. Talk to someone.  If you need to then talk to me.  I may not know you, but I’m going to listen.  I may not be immediately available but the second I’ve got your message you’ve got my undivided attention.  But more than anything, talk to those people in your life that love you, that care about you, that call you their friend or their family.  Give them the chance to have that last conversation even if there’s nothing they can say that will fix everything and make everything better.  They deserve the chance to try, and the chance to tell you all the things they might not ever have said if they didn’t know it was their last chance.

If you can’t make yourself talk to someone you know, talk to a hotline. They exist for a reason. They’re there because they WANT you to call. You’re not bothering them.  You control how much information you give them, they’re not trying to send the police after you.  They exist because they care and because they recognize that every life has value, and they can help you to recognize it too.

Then promise me one more thing.  If you’ve done everything else, if you’ve talked it out, cried it out, raged it out, done everything you can do and still feel like suicide is the right answer, then the other thing I want you to promise me before you do anything is to get some sleep.  Sleep doesn’t fix everything, but it can make a lot of things more bearable and it provides a lot of clarity, and a lot of hopelessness is really truly exhaustion.  So get some real, natural sleep.  No sleeping pills, no alcohol, sure melatonin if you need it, but get some real sleep.  It might end up being a lot of sleep, and that’s okay.  The world will wait for you.

That’s it for the heavy stuff.  The popular New Year’s resolution we’re focusing on today is getting organized.  Again, that’s going to be a pretty big spectrum of standards for different people, as what you may need to organize might be physical, it might be mental, it might be time, it might be space, it might be your whole life.

I’m a big proponent of lists, to me they make everything more achievable. So, from my experience of what does and doesn’t work for me, I recommend making a list of everything you need to organize, and then going through and making lists for each of those individual things and outlining exactly what you would need to do to make those things qualify as organized, and then going back to the original list, putting it in order by priority, and getting to work on it.  How thorough you want to be is up to you and where your bar is on the organization spectrum, but if you really want to be thorough I’d shoot for completing one of those lists per day.  If you really have a lot to tackle it might work better for you to put a little initial energy into every list on day one and then going through the thorough nitty gritty after you feel like you have a handle on things in the broader sense.

What I didn’t know, until a friend posted about how much she hates them recently, is that I’ve been using bullet journals for the better part of two decades.  I had never heard of them, and mine are more scribbled and scrawly than the cute impractical Pinterest bullet journals, but the concept is very much the same. Except instead of bullets I use runes to remind me the importance of doing something even if I don’t want to do it.  I feel like this is a really good guide to the use of bullet journaling. It walks you through the how and why and does a good job of keeping things simple and practical so you don’t spend more time on making a cute bullet journal than on actually doing the things inside it.

For me, when I bullet journal, after I’ve got all my bullets made, I make like really ridiculously specific time structured schedules like 8:00 Get out of bed, pee.  8:05 Feed cats. 8:10 Make & Eat Breakfast – Yogurt, Banana, English Breakfast Tea.  8:30 Put Breakfast Dishes In Dishwasher. 8:35 Shower. 8:50 Dress – Green tunic, black slacks.  9:00 Brush Hair.  9:10 Brush Teeth.  9:15 Write a blog about organization.  That sort of thing.  I give myself specific allotments of time to get things done in, because for me being on the Autism Spectrum getting dressed and groomed isn’t enough to really think about how long that will take and I’ll end up feeling rushed through whatever I need to do.  If I make myself schedules through the whole day it’s easy for me to find the time to do it all and also easy for me to transition from one task to the next one without having to think about what it is because I’ve got the list there in front of me telling me.  I alot extra time to the tasks that I know I don’t want to do so I can either spend that time talking myself into it or have time leftover at the end of everything to spend doing some mindless relaxation instead.  It all works really well with me when I remember to stick to it.  My problems come in when I have to factor other people into my schedule and they’re not as reliable as I am and it throws everything off and I get frustrated.

Other people would find my system really overwhelming cause it’s a lot of “oh my god, look how much I have to get done.”  So it’s really just all about finding a balance that works well and is comfortable for you.  If it’s not comfortable, it won’t be effective.  The bullet journal approach certainly won’t work for everyone either, you may do really well with an online calendar, or an old school day planner. (I have one of those too, but do less detailed stuff with it.)

Whatever your method is, I heartily support writing things down, even if it’s a simple to do list.  Our memories fail us more often than we think they will and if it isn’t written down or something with an emotion attached to it you’re more likely than not to forget it and find yourself cursing in your car when you remember something you were supposed to have done a week ago while on your way to something else.

Beyond that, if your organization resolutions revolve around your home, that’s part of what we’ve been working on in the daily tasks this month is getting everything cleaned and put in its place.  Everything needs to HAVE a place that it goes when everything is put away, or you’re never going to be organized and always going to have clutter. If you don’t know where it goes, it doesn’t, and you have mess.  You don’t need to Sheldon Cooper it and put labels on everything, but you should be able to go into a room and have a cohesive flow of where you would naturally want to look for an item and it being there.  So take some time today to spend a little extra effort on whatever room has been the biggest challenge for you and really dig in to the nitty gritty of it.  You may find yourself emptying everything out of cabinets and drawers to start over, and that’s okay. Just don’t get burned out and give up halfway through.  When I need to reorganize a room I first visualize what I want it to look like and then go through putting sticky notes on all the drawers or shelves or cabinets or what have you saying exactly what should be going in them before I start moving things around.  If you know where you want everything to go you don’t have to go through all the trouble of emptying EVERYTHING on to the floor and then having to put it all away again.  You can empty one thing out of the way and then domino moving things where they go until the spot for that thing is empty and everything is where you want it.  You may need to find yourself doing some minimalizing.  This goes back to that post about donating the things that you really don’t need or use.  I’m big on stuff, I’m not someone who’s going to tell you get rid of it all, but do make sure everything has a home it belongs in.  Sometimes that home isn’t going to be inside yours.

Apart from organization, today’s missions are:

Give yourself a facial toner.  If you’ve got some left from a previous task or have some store bought then absolutely feel free to use it, otherwise, the Do It Yourself Toner Recipe we’re going to use today comes from The Crunchy Moose.  Their instructions are simply to mix 1 part raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with two parts water.  So how much you make is up to you and really is only limited by what size storage container you’ll be using, but they use 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2 cup water. To use it they advise that in the morning you should wash & dry your face and neck as normal, then apply the toner with a cotton ball.  Allow it to dry, which should take 2-3 minutes and the vinegar smell should be gone by the time it does, and then you can follow with moisturizer and makeup as desired.  Guys, don’t let the makeup option confuse you into thinking only women need toner.  You’ve got skin, yes?  Toner tightens it, shrinks your pores (this is a good thing), removes excess oil, dissolves dead skin cells, evens skin tones, reduces acne, and balances pH levels of your skin.  Those are all things you want.  This toner has you essentially repeat the process in the evening, still washing and drying your face and neck as normal, this time removing any and all makeup.  Then apply the toner with a cotton ball, allow it 2-3 minutes to dry, and follow with moisturizer.  They say the longest they’ve had a batch is 2-3 months and it hasn’t spoiled. They don’t specify, but I’m going to say due to the unpasteurized nature of the vinegar you’re probably going to want to keep it refrigerated.

Clean your Bedrooms. Yup, all of em.  But we’ve been through them all over the past few weeks, so the big chores should be done and now it should be a matter of spot cleaning and general upkeep. You’re welcome 😉

Do some Mat Exercises for your Core Muscles.  We like to strengthen that core. Hopefully it keeps getting a little easier for you every time 🙂  Today we’re going to have you to 15 Crunches, 15 Modified V-Ups, 10 Oblique Reaches (1 on each side is 1), 10 Side Plank Crunches (1 on each side is 1), 10 Russian Twists (1 on each side is always 1), whether you want to use weight doing the Russian Twist or not is up to you.  If the movement is a challenge for you just do it without the weight and get used to the motion.  If you’re not feeling challenged, used as much or as little weight as you want without hurting yourself.

Do a guided meditation or listen to a subliminal audio to combat allergies and sinusitis.

That is it for today folks.  I’m not going to include a song today because I included Justin’s video on the front end, and the juxtaposition of topics just makes every song I consider feel wrong for the tone.  So you get away without an ear worm today.  It will be back tomorrow.  I’ll see you all later on Facebook for the Question of the Day!

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