It’s been in the mid 80s Fahrenheit these last few days here where I live in Alaska. I got my new chest binder yesterday during the hottest day yet, and before yesterday I have never been able to say that I have fought cloth before. Luckily I won the battle.
For those of you who don’t know what a chest binder is, it’s a special undergarment used by people who wish to make their chests appear more flat in a manner that is more safe than, say, Ace bandages, which will end up hurting you in many ways. Ace bandages get tighter with movement, and they can end up messing with your chest and even end up cracking your ribs! Not a good time.
I will likely not wear my new binder for a very long time today just because of how hot it is for me. An extra layer in this weather is very uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. I keep remembering the scene from the first Pirates of the Caribbean where Keira Knightley’s character goes outside in Caribbean summer weather dressed in 29427525 layers and passes out.
Soooo I got sidetracked taking pictures of the random beautiful things that grow in our yard and twisted my ankle coming up the driveway yet again. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, I swear. I got some really cool pictures of the lilac bushes that line the driveway, though.
The flowers are starting to die, but smelling them as I came up the driveway is one of the highlights of this summer. I also made a sweet discovery with the help of my husband and our roommate:
The picture is kind of terrible, but this is a rhubarb plant. The stalks turn red and you can make all sorts of tasty treats out of them. Mixed with sugar, rhubarb tastes like a Smarties candy. It was around midnight when we harvested a stalk and I stewed it in sugar and ate it ALL without giving anyone else the chance to try….whoops. I will definitely make more and possibly give others a chance to eat it before I gobble it all up for myself. It was delicious.
Now I’m sitting in bed with my ankle up while my husband naps next to me. It’s hot, it’s almost two in the afternoon. Many Latin American countries take afternoon naps around this time, so what he’s doing definitely makes sense to me. I might join him when my caffeine wears off. It will do so shortly.
You can feel free to call me a wuss for melting in 80 degree F/20 c weather, but when it comes to cold and anyone from Arizona comes up here in the winter freezing their buns off, I will say “I’m sorry, welcome to Alaska.” I am so glad I live up here. I have always wanted to live someplace as cold as this, and Idaho school was my training ground for that.
I am very, very excited for winter, mainly for two reasons. The sun is more reasonable in the winter in my opinion, and I can wear all of my long sleeved button downs AND my favorite coat without melting. I have a favorite coat, you probably have seen it if you have been following B+BD for awhile.
Here it is again. I love this coat so much. I always wanted a coat like that, and I got one this past winter. I cannot wait to wear it again. We got it from Burlington Coat Factory.
I suppose that if I had to pick a defined topic for today’s post, it would be something along the lines of “things I love” or “things I’m grateful for”. Those are always good things to write about.
I’ve found myself getting caught up in sad things again recently and have been operating from a place of frustration, not of wonder. I’ve been super jaded and frustrated. I have been thinking that the universe isn’t out to help me anymore, it’s been out to punish and to harm. I’ve been losing that sense of hope, if I’m honest, and I feel mentally like I’m back in this past December. I worry that I don’t do enough, that I’m not learning fast enough, that I don’t deserve to be happy, that I’m a failure, that I’m unlovable, that, at the end, there’s no hope for me. My husband got frustrated with me today because he notices things I don’t and made an observation that I was sad because I wasn’t doing anything. Not that I wasn’t being helpful or wasn’t being happy or productive, it was the absence of doing that was hurting me. I was not even being. I was existing at best, and my mind had already set off on some pretty dark paths.
A note: Dear friends, although I was (and kind of still am) very sad, I am safe from harm of any kind.
Both of us have noticed that the absence or presence of doing is the deciding factor as to whether I am being or existing. A lot of the time, being leads to thriving, and most of the time thriving means happiness.
I’m very scared about how sad I have been, and like we have been saying, it’s tied to the act of doing, doing something, anything, regardless of how enjoyable it is. I don’t think that doing is an act of distraction, it’s more an act of self care and at times, catharsis. I am the kind of person that does not do well with excessive free time. Take this with kindness, God and universe, take it and run: I want to be busy, busy to the point (especially with my tutoring) that I am stressed in a good way, that I’m motivated to get out of bed early, that I don’t get to spend a lot of time letting my mind run free into dark places. My husband is the hardest worker I know. I want to work as hard as he does on my various projects.
I define good stress as a stress that motivates and doesn’t shut me down. It’s a sign that I have things that are good in my life that require work to turn out well. It’s not a sign that I have too much on my plate like I once believed, it’s not a sign of burnout, it’s not a sign of “OMG, I’m going crazy.” It’s not that at all. So long as it’s healthy, it’s a sign that I have things that I’m looking forward to that require effort. I’m coming to realize that effort is a wonderful thing. It leads to rich results.
Speaking of all this effort business, I’m going to be hovering around the blog for a bit building some history pages. Here’s the first one. One on Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia will be up shortly!