thought overload

Posts tagged ‘Mental Health’

Overwhelmed in more ways than one

Oh, hello blog, this is what you look like…I remember you!

I have been thoroughly overwhelmed of late. University assignments, children going back to school and now the rain. Again.

It has been raining non-stop since Monday and looks like it is set in until Wednesday next week. We have had storm warning after storm warning and looks like there will be extreme weather events in the next few days. Welcome to South East Queensland, bring your gumboots and wet weather gear! There have been news broadcasts of people attempting to drive through flood waters, tourists playing tennis on flooded tennis courts and children rescued from raging torrents.

Here at Chez Vix, we are safe and away from the flash flooding. Roads are closed all around us and the poor neighbours had a tree split in half and squash their car. It’s wet, wild and woolly.  Fun times. The gloominess is getting to me, I do not do well with this weather.

Here are my top stress-busters , mental notes and conversations  for this week:

  1. Get out of your pyjamas and force yourself to take the children to school. Brush your hair.
  2. Smile and say hello to everyone, even though you look like a wet, absent-minded crazy woman who just got out of her pyjamas.
  3.  Get out the slow cooker and serve dumplings with everything. Satisfied bellies in wet weather = peace and quiet.
  4. Dumplings are a new food group, you can put anything in them. Left over ricotta is a winner, ask The Princess, she doesn’t like dumplings but ate these ones.
  5. Keep one room tidy. Pick a room, clean and tidy it and retreat there when you feel overwhelmed.
  6. Do not think about the electricity bill as you are shoving another load of washing in the tumble dryer. Just get the washing done.
  7. Star eating breakfast for once in your life. In fact, start eating properly. Crackers and fruit are not a nutritious diet.
  8. Drink more water than coffee.
  9. Do not think of looming deadlines for assignments and massive reference lists piling up. Do not even think about the Case Study for next Semester. Just keep plugging away daily and worry about the 5000 word count when you finish. Cull is a lovely word, short is not.
  10. The children will have everything they need for school by next week and so will you. The term ‘catch-up’ was coined for a reason.
  11. Playing Uno with Master 6 is a study break NOT procrastination.
  12. The clutter on the bench and piles of paperwork will find a home after your assignments are finished.
  13. The back to school expenses are astronomical but don’t the children look lovely in their new school uniforms and shoes? We can grocery shop next week ( see #4: Dumplings are a new food group).
  14. Laugh. Keys locked in the car and holding a torch in the rain for hubby ( while in your pyjamas) at 1am so he can break in  IS funny. No one saw you. Only crazy people are up at that time. And shift workers and people who are shift workers and have locked their keys in the car. And you.
  15. It’s  amusing, not sad, that there are still Christmas decorations laying around the house.
  16. Do not lament about children leaving home – they come back.
  17. Make pancakes for breakfast this weekend. Bieber loves pancakes and his girlfriend just broke up with him.
  18. Realise that you should have done Bachelor of Education Primary with all the extra schoolwork help for The Princess. Could have got a credit on that alone.
  19. Rejoice that you have dodged Homeschooling  once again.
  20. Do not feel bad when you have been caught repeating yourself, or forgetting conversations with Red. It evens out the times when he has ignored you and dismissed your words.
  21. Hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘Mum, we can’t take you anywhere’ or ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ cancels out all the bad stuff. I do try. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I break things and spill food on my clothes.
  22. When Bieber says ‘Wow Mum, we’ve been having all the foods I like’, smile. It’s golden.
  23. Stop watching late night TV. Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling is more entertaining.
  24. Remember to take your phone off silent before bedtime. Alarms will not wake you up with no sound.
  25. Plan to do one nice thing for everyone in the family each week so that they feel special, including myself.

It is Australia Day tomorrow and while most of the festivities have been cancelled due to rain, I have planned an indoor BBQ. The children have the day off school and I plan to spend it with them.

I was a tad disappointed that Denise or Bruce Morcombe didn’t receive Australian of the Year 2012 after everything they have been through and their tireless energy and support for other parents of missing children. Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush, another great Queenslander and a fan-bloody-tastic speech. I wonder who wrote it.

Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussies. Stay safe and dry to all my fellow Queenslanders.

English: The Flag of Australia flying over Pea...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

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Semantics r us – A conversation with Red

Red's Dream

Meta troll

Teenagers. Need I say any more? Right, thought not. Red is at the very end of his teenage years and is no less annoying/mystifying/emotional/draining than when he was twelve. Except now, we have the added bonus of a well- developed sarcastic wit.

I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible to have a conversation with Red unless I am on full ale If you are not ready for it, the outcome can be disastrous. I often think it would be nice if I had a visual textbox to decipher Red’s communication. Something that would be helpful on the days when I am not tuned in to his brainwaves.

English: The "SarcMark" is used to e...

Sarc or 'snark'???

The level of sarcasm on some days has caused me to develop the quick witted response and to find new ways to remind Red which side his bread is buttered on. It is also directly related to if, how large or what type of audience he has.

I also have to remember not to lay traps for myself. It’s mental gymnastics, hostage negotiation and war strategy all rolled into one. I have strategies to deal with Red.

Testing the water

When Red comes up stairs from his cave (his siblings assigned that description to Red’s room) in search of food, it is helpful to test the waters to check on his state of mind. Lack of sleep and all night gaming will guarantee a red alert (excuse me). Empty cupboards will enrage the beast. Red needing a lift to the train station or wanting me to make sushi will ensure a pleasant interaction.

Knowing your opponent

You must know Red’s perspectives and ‘get inside his head’. It’s  a scary place but it helps to understand how he will react to what you say to him, why he does and how to avoid the pitfalls. It’s basic mental health preservation. There is no empathy here. Red takes no prisoners and don’t be fooled into a false sense of reality.

Be prepared

Yep, Baden-Powell hit the nail on the head there. If you’re going to go into conflict, wear the right gear. I prepare for battle with quick- wittedness and just the right amount of rhetoric. I’m talking strategy here people. Battle plans are important.

I often have little Facebook messages like this…/denied or the favourite…/forever alone. Then there is the incessant trolling. I have to assume that if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t bother. I have managed a few comebacks in my time.

Today was not too bad on the war front. Only one cutting remark. More of an aside really. Red was in the kitchen with a friend and asked me about something. I told him. He asked me how I came to know about it. I told him I had made an educated guess. Pause. Head down buttering bread. Oh, right Mum. You can do that now you’re at Uni. I really hope he does knows which side his bread is buttered on.  Smirk.

Managing stress the Vixy way

This looks about right

 

I am not very good at managing stress. Actually, I will rephrase that. I am not very consistent with managing stress.

 

Some days I am right on top of it like a cherry on a sundae. Other days I am the cherry that slides off , falls on the floor and gets squished in to the ground. Ok, maybe not that dramatic but, you get the picture.

 

Today was a mix of both. I am totally on top of all my Uni work. Two assignments due within two days of each other all but finished. The product of 6 weeks of research, synthesis and write-up. All done with children at home for school holidays, over the Christmas/New Year period and husband working crazy shifts for the last four weeks. However, the children were running around the house like feral animals, the ironing basket is overflowing and Master 6 had no clothes in his drawers. Again. My husband came home from the store to announce there were  no mushrooms (Bieber rejoiced) and no bread left either except for ‘disgusting multigrain’ (I rejoiced). I also forgot to tell him we are out of dog food. The Princess came running down the stairs screaming that she found ‘something in her hair’. Quick, look Mum. You’re not looking. No, I’m trying to cook dinner. What is it? Muuuuuuuum.  I did, however manage to get quite a nice meal on the table. No mushrooms, but delicious nonetheless. I have absolutely no idea how I did it but, it involved a lot of tears and cries of ‘Why can’t you just listen/help me/do as you’re told/stop pummeling your brother and get in the bath/shower/get off the computer and set the table’. At one stage I had to pry Master 6 off his father who was play-mocking him right before I was trying to serve up dinner. I sure hope my husband had his Father Shield on because he was the target of ‘I hate you’ this evening. I burnt the pasta. I really, truly cried as I stood there, stirring the spaghetti sauce.

 

This sums it up nicely at the moment

Master 6 refused to go to bed, citing the reason as being the strange noises coming from his bedroom (we have a resident possum who makes the most God-awful noises at night and sets the dogs off barking). He also double checked every door in the house and scoffed at me when I told him I had used monster spray in all the rooms. There is no such thing Mum, you’re silly. He continued to wander from room to room to see if anyone was willing to have a sleep-over tonight. I won.

 

I managed to knock the set top box off the stand. Bieber did well, dropping the medicine box not once, but twice. This was  in addition to Master 6 breaking yet another plate, spilling his drink all over the floor and his breakfast off the bench.

 

The Princess tripped over and fell up the stairs, gaining momentum and landing with her head just inside the front door.

 

Ever had one of those days? I had yours and mine today.

 

Things I learned about today:

 

  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with toast for dinner two nights running
  • The ironing is breeding
  • You have to physically walk up the stairs and put clothes in the drawers, unfortunately they don’t get there by themselves ( Master 6 learned this too)
  • I should cook all the meals for the week in one day and freeze them, then I can just have one day of crazy and defrost and reheat blissfully for the rest of the week
  • There is no such thing as a SuperWoman
  • You can’t have: it both ways, your cake and eat it too, sanity in school holidays
  • Everybody in this house is nuts (including me)
  • We all need to get out, A lot.
  • I need a plan. I do not like plans but, I need one.
  • The Princess is a drama queen (alright, I already knew that) and
  • Cry loudly-people stop, look, listen and help or at least feel sorry for you

 

 

I did manage to sneak a few moments of sanity when my Canadian friend called me this morning. We chatted as I sat out on the back deck with my coffee. She always knows what to say and helps me gain perspective.

 

Thank goodness for friends

 

 

I took a deep breath this evening and looked at the the floor that needs mopping and the pile of laundry making faces at me. I haven’t taken the Christmas Tree down yet ( my Mother would have been saying that is bad luck). I need to go grocery shopping too. I decided it can all wait until the morning. I’m going out for ice cream.

 

English: This image was copied from wikipedia:...

 

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