Mid Year Review

Recently I created another video for the Geeks Rising YouTube Channel (I’ll leave the video embed below).
I love these short favourites/highlights videos! They help me reflect on the good things that have helped me get through the challenges of life. Just the process of finding the things that I’m grateful for and celebrating the sparks of enjoyment is like a way to unwind.

The video begins with a few of my favourite nature connections so far in 2022.
* Warning – there is a video clip from a storm that includes lightning flashes *

Currently, my power set up is running on only 4 brand new batteries… which is not a lot of storage capacity. But the 18 solar panels are able to fully recharge them quickly. It’s winter right now, so with only 4 batteries I have to be extremely frugal with power usage on the dark days and at nights. The fuel bill for the back up generator is horrendous as petrol prices peaked over $3/L here recently.

Despite the lack of power, there is plenty of firewood. Work is chaotic and my days are long. But I have been managing a lot better in general. Which is such a relief to not be struggling mentally on top of everything else during winter!

I’ve been able to cope better because of several breakthroughs. The breakthroughs have consisted of several things: regularly checking in with myself which has mainly been facilitated by journalling. Also actually acknowledging what my struggles are, and then pushing through the pain points by doing things that I can to alleviate the pressures. And having support from friends. Even though that all seems straight forward and obvious, those things often feel strenuously unattainable when you start spiralling.

It was hard, physically and emotionally. I’ve not been sleeping well and that can spiral things: lack of energy, leading to lethargy and soreness, low motivation, busy days, feeling overwhelmed… Then I start to feel upset, annoyed, frustrated. I struggle to get up in the morning because I’m exhausted, but I have to drag myself out of bed to work. Except when I get migraines. Then I just try to breathe and sleep. Overall I start to care less about myself because that helps the downward cycle continue.

Eventually, when I’m really low, I begin to find it difficult to do basic things like wash the dishes after each meal, so they start to pile up a bit. It’s mostly the bulky dishes, that won’t fit or can’t be put in the dishwasher. Conversely, I love the dishwasher. It helps me maintain my sanity and it’s not a chore I forego. But the pots and pans and other things can at times pile up on the bench when I’m in a really rough patch. This helps me feel worse. Because then the task of cleaning up feels impossible. It’s literally not. It doesn’t take long to get through them when I get through the slump and tackle them, but in my depressed world it’s a gigantic mountain to climb.

Do you have magnets on your fridge? If so what kinds of magnets are they?
I have a bunch of various ones from different places I’ve travelled to, podcast logos from friends abroad, and one I bought when I was in my early 20s. It has a picture of dirty dishes with the words “desperate housewife” on it. I wasn’t a housewife back then, but I’ve known for a long time that dishes are an external sign that I’m really struggling. And it’s on the fridge to remind me to really look at the bench to see if the dishes have started to pile up, are the signs of my desperation showing? Nothing else in the list of domestic chores goes by the way-side. Just the dishes. They are my nemesis.

My kitchen is currently spotless, the benches are clean and clear. All the dishes are being done immediately after cooking, and there are always only a few that need hand washing so it doesn’t take much time, and I enjoy the small kitchen area being tidy, as I do the rest of my home.

I wanted to share that because although it might seem pathetic and you may be asking “why don’t you just always do them straight away?” I acknowledge that dishes are one of my signs of desperation. And though it’s scary to share personal things, I am proud of me for managing to cope so far this winter with life that I’m able to keep up with the simple chore of cleaning dishes. I celebrate those small wins because small wins lead to bigger progress. Big things are awesome, but I celebrate the seemingly small moments of nature I enjoy. I celebrate the various actions and items I’m grateful for that make me smile and help fuel my fire to keep going.

In the video I shared about my new tattoo. Now, I understand not everyone likes tattoos. My opinion is that they are personal thing, each to their own. I wanted my first tattoo design for over 15 years. And I have two now. My first one is on my left wrist which is a butterfly when viewed one way, and silhouette of a fairy walking forward with her wings behind her the other way. It is very simple and I designed it when I was 16 in class. I wanted to have a Japanese character aesthetic and combine two of my favourite things: butterflies and fairies and be a reminder to me to be light on myself and the world around me. My second tattoo would always have been something with a sun. This year I found a very simple design online of a star, moon and sun in a vertical line on the side of someone’s wrist. Mine didn’t turn out quite the same, but I love it all the same. The sun is closest to my hand, then the moon, then the star (which really looks like an asterix). The overall outline reminds me of the shape of a flower (the sun is slightly wider and obviously represents the flower bud, and the other two images are part of the stem). To me it is a reminder that I am apart of the universe. Sun power, moon cycles, and my love of the sparkly night sky. They are great reminders of my mantra to be [em]powered by nature.

I’d love to know what’s helped you get through 2022 so far? What have been your highlights, things you’ve enjoyed, and what have you got to look forward to for the rest of this year?