Writing in God’s protective bubble

I can honestly say that, to the "normal" 26 year old woman that my life is boring. And I like it that way. If I'm completely honest, it's sort of like an introvert's paradise.

Yesterday dad had his chemo, so for the next three or so days my job is to be at his side. This equates to staying home in my pjs, in the air condition during a 104 degree Arizona day, watching Netflix on the armchair in his room. I can work on art, make blog posts, drink tea, and generally laze about to my heart's desire. That is unless company comes, at which case I vacate the armchair and can do little chores around the house but basically continue to do the same thing.

On my "active" days, I cook, clean, and continue to be on the computer basically all day. Maybe I go out to Sprouts for more supplies.

Then I watch YouTube and I laugh, physically laugh, at the stories that those my age regale. I laugh because I could literally never handle a non-God related world, especially in the romantic sphere.

"Oh, I had this disaster date," "Oh, this guy followed me home while I walked down the street at 3am," "Oh, this girl passed out on my couch covered in her own vomit and I had to carry her into the cab"….like how? And the craziest thing?! People go to work the next day. I could never imagine going to bed at 3am, having to go to work at 7am, massive hangover, possibly still slightly drunk from the night before…

I'll take my lactose free chocolate ice cream and bed by 8pm thank you.

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The lazy caregiver

I've noticed in the past few weeks I've been tired a lot, as well as going to bed exceedingly early. Like 8 pm while the sun is still out early. Could it be that I'm sleeping too much? Or am I just…lazy?

I know the real answer is that I'm unhealthy. My breakfasts tend to be sugar based which makes me tired, and I don't exercise often enough to get myself energized for doing things. Also my meds tend to have a groggy after effect, so it's kind of amazing that I do anything at all.

That being said…how do you keep up your energy? When your job is home and sometimes just sitting and chilling with your family member….how do you cheer them up if you're face first in the couch arm? That's more a rhetorical question, but I am curious if any other caregivers out there know. Again, I know the obvious is to do more housework and things….but sadly I seem to find my attention span for chores to be…limited.

Also perhaps I'm sleeping too much. I sleep usually from 8:30pm to about 6:30am or so, so that's….jeez like 10 hours. I know the recommended is 6 but I've never been able to do that. But maybe I should pair it down to 8? Hmm…

Anyhow. Thank you for listening to me ramble, in an ironic twist I'm going to bed now.

Dad’s baked cod fish

  1. 2-3  wild caught cod fillets
  2. olive oil
  3. sea salt
  4. pepper
  5. garlic powder
  6. onion powder
  7. basil flakes
  8. paprika

Set oven at 400 degrees F, and lay out fillets on a baking sheet.  Make sure the fillet’s thickness doesn’t exceed an 2 inch or two fingers widths.  (If it’s too thick either cut off the thicker piece and slice it into thinner pieces, or you can just cook the fillet a bit longer.)    Lightly pour olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, and paprika on fillets.  Cook fillets 15-25 minutes, or basically til the fillets have thinned and flake off the fillet.  Always test your fish before eating.

Social media frenzy

Have you ever found yourself stretching out a bit thin?  I think when it comes to social media, I have a tendency to do that in mass.  Here are some of the examples of  my digital media pan out.

Art

Caucasian artist working in studio : Stock Photo

 

Stores

Little girl shopping in supermarket with mom : Stock Photo

 

Donations

Woman's hand placing dollar bill into collection box filled with money, studio shot : Stock Photo

 

Other ones I spend way too much time on

Young woman peering inside laptop screen : Stock Photo

  • Tumblr (artsiesteph), Instagram (stephanie_russell_art and artsiestephlife), and twitter (@ArtsieSteph and @ArtsieStephArt), and ChristianChat (ArtsieSteph).

So yeah.  I have a problem with going on the internet waaaaaaaaay too much. Heck I didn’t even mention all the time I spend watching videos on YouTube…

Balancing everything

One thing that I’ve really been struggling with, both mentally and emotionally I guess, is the idea of balance.  I have none.  Like I try, but whenever I try to excel at one thing, another thing inevitably falls by the wayside.  I know it’s cliche, but that spinning plate analogy really hits the nail on the head.  So here are some of the lovely things I struggle with keeping up!

 

1.)  Housework

Image result for cleaning stock images

I am a sedentary person at best.  And I either tend to have two modes of cleaning: light or panicked.  Most of the time the hardest thing, and hilariously the most enjoyable thing by far for me, is the dishes.  They just pile up so easily.  That and counter cleaning.  I never remember to wipe them, and dad has to remind me near every day.

2.) My health

Image result for plus size person exercise stock images

Literally the only exercise that I do/enjoy is Dance Dance Revolution.  Other than that, I never really exert myself in anything but cleaning.  I am prediabetic and eat like a child.  My dad is genuinely concerned, but I tend to feel no motivation to change any habits.  Which I hate and am ashamed to write.

3.) My social life

Image result for socializing stock photo

At this point I don’t have one.  My socializing is done via the internet.  And that’s not to blame anyone or my own situation, because frankly I have a phone and could speak to anyone anywhere if I wanted to.  The issue is that I’m actually a sort of an antisocial extrovert.  I need people time but I also need me time, and often that balance is out of wack because of my own weird quirks and habits.

4.) Christian life

Image result for bible stock photo

I admit it, I always could be doing better in my walk with God.  Now I know for a fact that it’s your relationship with Him that matters, not how much you do of something.  But I still sometimes feel, once again, like a negligent friend to Him.  I know He will always be faithful and loving, which sometimes makes my lack of sitting and spending time with Him feel all the more mean.

5.) Not being negative

Image result for contemplation stock photo

As you could see, I am very critical of myself.  With care giving, that idea of “you’re not doing enough” can really amplify that self-focused negativity.  And to be totally honest, I have to just fight that.  Because it’s a really easy hole to jump into.

6.) My art

GOOFY SOCKS

I put this one really down low on the list because it tends to not really suffer much with all my time spent on dad’s ipad while he sleeps.  Marketing said art?  That takes longer.

7.) Taking care of dad

Image result for old hands holding young hands stock photo

I put this one last because it is the easiest, yet emotionally tough, things I do.  My love for my daddy makes it the first thing I’m willing to do, other than going on the computer.

 

So yeah.  Such is my life.

I guess I can kinda turn this into anything I want at this point

So when I first started this blog, my dad and I had this giant brainstorm of what it could be.  Basically the journal of a caregiver, to hopefully give hope and insight to other caregivers.  To become something that would help others going through the same things. And for the longest time I’ve tried to stay within those parameters.  I wanted to try and keep things upbeat, keep them positive, make sure there is some kind of take-away at the end of each post.

Then I get this from dad, “Oh this was more for you, and if people happened to see it then that’s fine.”

For some reason that kinda threw me for a loop.  I was like, “Wait, this thing can be about me?  I mean it is about me ad my journey so far, but more of a journal and less of a self-help thingy?”  Because I think that was more what I was viewing it as.  And hilariously enough, I had no idea.  Not til he changed the perceived lines that is.  Hilariously, I feel a lot more freed now.

Like a couple times I wanted to do some cool reviews of things I had been watching, but I was like “No I can’t do that on this blog because it’s care giving centric, and that has nothing to do with anything.”  But now I feel I can!

Or maybe it gives me more freedom to just kinda let myself fart out all my ideas as they come…?  Yeah I kinda speak like a 8 year old boy sometimes, so I warn you now.  Though admittedly I think I have a little more freedom to speak in my own voice, be it silly or whatever.

So yay!

 

Balancing what I think can do, vs what God wants me to do, or both

God has given me a lot of great talents, and I tend to enjoy my art one the most.  It’s what I went to school for, it’s what I do the most out of anything…. And I think maybe it could be something career related?  I don’t know.

The good thing about visual art is that there are a lot of different venues with which to make a “business.”  I think the hardest thing for me is being able to really commit to one specifically and put all my efforts into that.  I kind of have a “jack of all trades master of none” thing going on right now.

I have about 5 small stores with art prints that I have done hardly anything with other than a little advertising on my social medias, a patreon that I never post to, a Youtube where I started to make story videos but gave up because I kinda don’t want it to be about me, and this.  Plus several ads on freelancing sites for my art.

So it’s like I have a ton of tiny feelers everywhere, and I find myself saying “If I were famous I’d be making money” but I don’t want to wish for fame.  I want to make God famous, not me.  I think that “well if God is gonna be made known if you’re known then that will be good” but I still feel like that’s me justifying that want for glory.  So I really kinda don’t wanna have any “internet fame” but just something to support myself to make my daddy not worried about me if he passes.

At the same time, it’s like I can’t really commit to anything right now because I’m taking care of dad.  Not to say that I’d really even decide if dad was healthy with nothing wrong.  But I mean…..should I try and make some kind of basis for a business while a ll this is going on?  Would it be too much pressure for me without my realizing it?  Hm…..

Adulting.  It’s insane.