New obsession: Star Wars!

I haven’t been updating much because of one thing really. I’ve found a new obsession and it’s called Star Wars.

I always liked the original trilogy. I was amused by the new trilogy. I enjoyed reading the Rogue Squadron series in high school. But I never really got into it. I was too busy with Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings and whatever other fantasy series had captured my fancy. I sort of figured that I wouldn’t be interested in the rest of the extended universe. Leave it to my husband to disabuse me of that notion.

I read what’s commonly known as “the Thrawn trilogy” in a week. Six days actually. That comes out to approximately 1,125 pages. I also encouraged, forced really, my husband to watch episodes 4-6 with me. I was doing “research” so I could make sure I had the characters and events timeline correct in my head. I don’t know that he really believes that, but it’s true! I slowed it down this last week as I caught up in such silly things as sleep and homework, and I only read the first book of the Jedi Accademy trilogy. I’m about to go on to the second book, but figured I should at least pretend like I was paying attention to this.

Long story made short – I do this sort of thing. Find something which I focus on and don’t let it go until I’m bored with it then pick it back up later. While I’ve been reading these books other things have fallen to the wayside like video-games, watching some television shows with Nathan and I haven’t done any crochet projects in a while. All in all though, it’s something I long ago learned to live with and just deal with. I think Nathan’s learning how to as well. I hope. *crosses fingers*

Enjoy this awesome picture and score while I go back to reading.

Darth Vadar vs. The Doctor

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Social Anxiety

The last few months I have noticed that my social anxiety has increased. I am overwhelmed in public even more easily than I would have been a few years ago. I am even more intimidated by new situations, new people than I remember. I have started to get more of the physical symptoms including racing heart and occasionally even tightness in my chest.

All in all, it’s sucky, frustrating and scary.

I became acutely aware of this in the last week when I nearly started to cry while waiting to meet a new instructor for martial arts. I was making up a lesson from a few weeks ago and my normal instructor, hell any of the instructors that I knew, were not available so I agreed to work with someone I didn’t know. I got there a bit early and so had something like 7 minutes to work myself up nearly to tears, I couldn’t take a normal breath, I could feel my heart racing and I was uncertain if my stomach could tolerate much more acid build up before I would need to run to the bathroom and throw up. This was mostly because there was the one on one instruction with someone new in a place that I still am not familiar with and surrounded by others I didn’t know. It was compounded by the fact that I was stuck in a fairly confined space with over two dozen people coming and going. I haven’t felt that bad in a very, very long time. Once the lesson started and I began going through the new kata I’m learning I was able to calm down and I think even learn something. If there was too much time between different exercises the anxiety started to creep back up, but it was tolerable, especially since it was only half an hour and I was kept pretty active.

The other incident that comes to mind was Saturday night when I went out to dinner with Nathan. It was a Saturday night at just about 7, so of course it was busy and the restaurant was full of people. It was a pretty crowded space and it was so filled with people noise that I couldn’t hear the music. I couldn’t hear Nathan even when he spoke pretty loud, though I don’t know how much of that was because I had already hit my max for sensory stimulation and so my brain was shutting down the information overload to keep me from having a full on panic attack. There was again compounding in that I hadn’t slept well the night before and had been up since about 530am and it was the last day of my 3 twelves. It wasn’t until it had started to quiet down enough to where I could hear music (which is actually quite soothing to me) that I could even really start to think and was capable of responding to questions and carry on a conversation.

I am truly lucky that Nathan is as patient as what he is because I know he was getting frustrated and confused with me in both incidents above. He doesn’t like people much and can also get overwhelmed, but he is better at tuning out things and going into his own world. I can do that if I’m prepared, sometimes, but if I’m caught off guard then I just end up shutting down. That’s if I’m lucky and I don’t start to go the other way and begin to have building anxiety. Not so awesome. Not awesome at all.

I guess I just find it weird that my anxiety, which could be controlled, or at least ignored, a few years ago, has increased again. I can understand why it initially increased with starting a new job, but I’ve more or less settled into it. Yes, I have started back to school in the last two weeks, but I noticed the trend of increased anxiety before that, probably sometime in November. It was one of the reasons why I started doing yoga and working out again. I haven’t noticed any changes for the better despite better habits that have a lot of evidence behind them saying that they should have a positive impact on my symptoms. Actually, if there have been changes they have been in the wrong direction. It’s weird and I wish I knew what was going on.

Anyway, enough whinging. I need to find sleep and yoga and class. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a lovely day!

On the Question of Children

I have several friends who either have children or are trying to have children. I have friends who don’t have children and will never have children. I have friends who are undecided. I am asked weekly whether my husband and I will have children. All this has led to the question of children and the uncertainty of that future to be forefront in my mind. It has led to worry and wistfulness and pondering and uncertainty.

You see, I don’t know what I think about having a child/children myself. Not anymore at least.

When I was growing up it was always a forgone conclusion. When people grow up and get married, they have kids. It just happens. Hell, I didn’t always imagine the married part, but there was always the option of adoption or being a foster parent or something. I think it was Angels in the Outfield that made the adoption/foster parent option prominent in my thoughts off and on. As I got older and discussed future plans and whatnot with friends in middle and high school it also was “when I have kids” not “if I have kids.” There was the assumption of being a mom.

However, I never really thought much about what that would mean and how it would impact my life. It was always something I would just work through. If it was me and my boyfriend/husband, awesome. If it was just me, alright, I could do that. Even if I didn’t know how it would happen or when or whatnot, I just assumed I was going to have kids, I was going to be a mother.

There of course was fear as well. I was scared that I would handle disappointments and the trouble that kids get into like my father did. My brother and I were actually pretty settled kids. We didn’t cause too much trouble and could be eventually wrangled into doing chores and did well in school and didn’t really have friends that got us into trouble any more than we managed on our own. My brother was a bit more trouble than me, but still in the grand scheme of things, neither of my parents were the recipients of that universal karma that their parents threatened them with. Regardless, my father scared me and I could not imagine doing that to my own kids, but since it was something I had seen and grew up with from a young age I also was aware that I could very easily have learned those patterns and it wouldn’t be easy to avoid them and avoid swinging the completely opposite direction. Even with that there was still a “when” not an “if.”

Then I married Matt, my ex, and I discovered that my language and concept of children changed. I couldn’t really imagine children with him. It wasn’t right. It took me a few years to sort that out. Before then it was always a “maybe” or “someday, but not now” or “we’re not certain.” Which isn’t really surprising in hind-sight. I had trouble figuring out if I could actually see much of a future there anyway, though that also took me a year or two of thinking to determine that it was what I was thinking and why it was a problem.

And now I’m with my husband. I could easily imagine him as a father, a goofy and silly and awesome dad that would make most kids excited when young and *facepalm* but secretly be pleased when older. I like to think that I’d be a similar sort of mom. But he is at best neutral regarding kids though I learned last night that negative with the potential for a neutral opinion. He has never really had an urge or desire to be a father. If his girlfriend/wife wanted children then he would work with that, but his opinion is that they are noisy, are troublesome (not his exact words, but that is my impression) and require a lot of money and he could spend that on toys instead. Though he does agree that the toys kids have are kind of amusing, just not as cool as the type of kids he gets as an adult. He also doesn’t much like the whole first 5 or 6 years as they are not capable of taking care of themselves at all. With most animals, that phase only lasts a few weeks or months and then they’re capable of being self-sustaining. If it would make me happy to have children and that happiness would not be satisfied by a puppy/kitten or some other new pet, then he would be willing to look into the possibility with me. As it is, he is happy with just us and doesn’t see the need for anyone more.

This new information has left me even more uncertain. I can’t say that having children would make me happy. I can imagine that there would be joys, but it would be a different set of joys than what we would experience if it were just us. Again, I never really imagined life without kids, but I also never really actually imagined a life with kids either. I also have to take into consideration that my husband would rather not have children if the decision were left entirely up to him. I would not want to force my decision upon him – if something were to happen to me then he would be left as the primary provider for children that he had not thought about until I more or less forced them upon him. Also, there is the possibility that he would eventually resent them, the time and effort and money and trouble and energy that is required to raise children. He could come to resent me and/or the kids and that would be very troubling for me. And since my thoughts are still “if” about one quarter of the time then that would indicate I’m not certain enough to ask him to go with a decision which he is mostly against.

It’s funny in a way, there are times when I have wished to have kids and become nostalgic for an imagined future/life. I also really enjoy children and hope that with my experience at work and willingness to learn and all that good jazz that I’d do alright raising kids. Not perfect, but at least no more likely to make mistakes than other educated parents. And other times I do not have a desire to raise a child in this world as it is and am aware that in order to raise a child the way I would like to it would require a lot more effort on our part than what I received for certain, and likely more than he received while growing up as well. I guess that’s part of the whole educated thing.

Even with all that fear and uncertainty, if I really let myself think about it, I’m both relieved and disappointed when I do a monthly pregnancy test-yes, I am that paranoid that my birth control is not 100% effective-and the result is negative. There’s still that majority of my thoughts that have reverted to “when” thinking now that I have actually found my husband and feel like it’s something we could make work if we so chose to do so. There are still worries, concerns and a lot of what-ifs that would go with becoming a parent, but they aren’t so scary anymore. Just worries and concerns and what-ifs that always come with new experiences and a different sort of life than what I’ve ever experienced.

But… I still don’t feel like my opinion/decision should override my husband’s. Generally speaking, in a debate if there is no clear “winner” than the negative side, the side arguing for no change, is determined the winner and no changes are made. It’s similar with voting – someone with a neutral opinion would vote for no change and it would count the same as someone who was strongly against a change. There are two of us, if we have opposing opinions then the one arguing for no change or the least amount of change would be the “winner” or however else you could term it. Of course there are exceptions for strong opinions and whatnot, but for huge life changing things like the decision whether to have kids or not… that’s not one where one strong opinion should override the other.

*sigh* There’s really no easy, clear, or simple answer. This is not something that a coin flip, eenie-meenie-miney-mo or rock-paper-scizzors(lizard-spock!) can solve. Maybe just writing all this out will help me to be able to discuss my opinion a little bit better and I can stop freaking him out with really broad and open-ended questions. That’s probably the best I can hope for at this time. Well, that and the lesson not to spring such heavy, open-ended questions on him at dinner with no context… *blushes*

A good day and pictures!

Yesterday was a long, but good day. Despite only the “expected” things happening, it was still a very eventful day. The least expected thing about it was that I actually had fun playing with a camera. It is a “hand-me-down” digital SLR Olympus camera from my husband – he got a shiny new Canon 7D and didn’t want his Olympus to go to waste. So, person that has never really done much at all with a camera besides point it in the general direction of something and hope the pic comes out alright, was handed a camera that costs at least twice anything else she’s ever had. YIKES!

On the other hand, it was really interesting and fun. Everything from actually being able to easily the focal point and have more than a few zoom points to work with to being able to see how different things like a lens hood changes the way the camera reacted to actually getting some shots that look good just made it a great experience. I now have a new book on my kindle that will attempt to teach me what in the world to do with all the cameras options and fully take advantage of being in control over things like the aperture, shutter speed and everything else like that.

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I got some cool shots like this one above, which just were fun to catch.

Others like this one were much more about finally being able to get pictures of the pretty things that I’ve wanted to take nice pictures of for years and years.

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Mind you, I haven’t edited anything yet. All that will come after I’ve learned a bit more about what in the world I can do with the camera and with the pictures afterward. I’m hoping to be having more fun with this in the future. Maybe I’ll even share a few of the things I’ve shot and things I’ve learned here too.

I’ll start with the one term that I didn’t know about until recently. A lens that can take really close up pictures of small objects like, ahem, flowers is called a macro lens. The lens I was using for the above pictures isn’t a macro lens, but it is a pretty spiffy lens that can at least give a good go of it. Which, considering who was trying to make use of said lens, is actually not too shabby then. Maybe between the two of us a few nice pics will be had for all.

Pineapple…

I am currently eating pineapple, which is a rather odd thing for me to be doing since up to about four or five months ago the very thought would have been laughable in it’s absurdity.

I had been under the impression that pineapple (and coconut) were some of the most abhorrent foods out there and that everyone who liked them were crazy. This included many friends, all of whom agreed with me that I would most likely die if I were stuck on a tropical/desert type island just due to refusal to eat the local food.

Then my husband brought one home and was all sorts of excited to eat it together. Oh how bad I felt. I told him about my dislike, but because I hadn’t tried any in forever that I would be willing to try it that night. He was obviously disappointed, but was not willing to let me not try it. Fair enough… I was quite surprised to find that it wasn’t bad… Actually, the texture and taste had a bit of bite to them that I liked. I helped him finish everything that had been cut. It was quite amusing and I think he was more than a bit happy with his purchase at that point.

Suffice it to say, that is not the only thing he has convinced me to try again after several long years of saying nope, not going to try, not worth trying to me. It is however the one that I was the most against and the least likely to try. Yay for persistence from him and being willing to help me push some of my boundaries. He’s good man, and not in the Peanuts Gallery sort of way. 🙂

Random Goings on of Life

I have been working on a new post and changed the subject line at least three times in the last four days. I just can’t seem to actually agree with what I’m writing more than ten minutes after I am almost sort of done writing it. So for now I’ll just comment on a few things that I have had going on.

First and foremost I met my husband one year and two days ago. Yes, we got marred prior to even being together one year, but we also had decided that we didn’t want to be with anyone else after only three weeks together. So the last twelve months has really been figuring out what our life together is going to be. We’re still working on it, but I get the feeling that will never really change. I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather be with trying to figure it all out.

ON a not so much fun or positive note, I have been experiencing an all encompassing sort of fatigue that doesn’t seem to be affected by how much I sleep. I know I don’t get the suggested amount of sleep per day, but even with that taken into account, I shouldn’t feel as exhausted immediately after I wake up as what I do in the middle of the afternoon as just before I actually go to bed at night. It has been so bad as to have me worried about driving, especially in the afternoon when I have been further exhausted by everything going on at work. Tis no good.

I went hiking with my husband (I should really decide if I’m going to call him by his name here or not) and another very good friend on Saturday and it was one of the best things I have done in the last few months. It wasn’t a long hike, just something nice and relaxing and gave us some time to just do something a little different and herald the beginning of our outdoor spring and summer activities. I hope to be spending more time doing things like that.

I am still working on doing some things for my QMAP classes, but hopefully I’ll be able to complete everything by the end of this weekend, including finding locations, so I can start teaching in May. It’s taken way too long to get anything organized and not only do I need the money, but I also want to start teaching.

Oh, yes, tomorrow will be an awesome day for two reasons: the first is that I will be off for a much needed mental health day. I can try to get some extra rest and do something other than work for a bit. The second is going to dinner at Beau Jo’s, best pizza in the entire world, with friends including a mum and grandma from out of town. I haven’t met the guests of honor, but I’m looking forward to it. Their (grand)daughter is awesomesauce, so I’m anticipating that they will be along the same lines. 😉

And I believe that is more than enough for the night. Not a particularly insightful post or anything special, but at least I was able to finish it and even *shocking* post it. Huzzah!