And I’m Back! … Intentions

Sorry for the long absence. In addition to continuing to deal with my depression and lack of motivation, we’ve had a lot going on as a family. At the end of December, we closed on a house. Moving with a toddler was quite a struggle. It took us over a month to get everything moved out of the apartment and clean it up before our lease was up at the end of February. We still haven’t heard whether we’re going to get any of our deposit back. We aren’t really expecting to; we just don’t want to owe anything. Three cats and a toddler … you know.

We had a lot of boxes in the front/dining room and our bedroom for the first couple weeks after we moved. Having to look at and maneuver around all the boxes was very anxiety-provoking for me. It was my brother-in-law who suggested moving all the boxes to the living room in the basement, so they’d be out of the way. It was a great idea. I’ve gone through a box or two a week since then, but there is still a mountain of boxes in the basement right now, just waiting to be unpacked.

One thing I did manage to do over the last month was to get all of my books unpacked. While doing so, I came across a book I had forgotten I had: Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess. I had almost bought it again. I haven’t read the book yet, but I got it because of a draw I was feeling toward Brigid. It has been a long time since I read a book, and I need to start setting a good example for G. It is my intention to go down to the living room and get that book off the shelf so I can start reading it. (This has been my intention for almost two weeks now. I have yet to actually go get that book off the shelf!)

Yesterday was the full moon and Ostara. Once again the Sabbat has slipped by, uncelebrated. There is still time, though, to plan a little something for this weekend. We shall see…

Why is This so Hard?

This is going to be a pity-party rant; you have been warned. Stop reading now if you don’t like those, but I’ve gotta vent somewhere, even if no one reads it.

Why is it so hard to be consistent? I want certain things for my home and my life, but for some reason I can’t seem to get myself to actually do the things I need to do to make them happen. And the last couple months, I haven’t even been able to get excited about anything I want to do.

It should be easy. The things I need to do are simple; they don’t take a lot of time. But for some reason, the lazy side of me takes over. I see what needs to be done, and it overwhelms me. Instead of just doing a small task here or there to make some kind of progress, I freeze up and decide not to do anything. And because I do nothing, the apartment never gets clean, or I never get the activities I want to do with G planned.

It’s just an endless cycle from which I haven’t been able to escape. Occasionally, I will get a big burst of inspiration and energy. That’s when I usually decide I’m going to make a change, and things are going to be different from this point going forward. But it takes hardly any time at all (usually a week or two) to lose all that energy and momentum. So the cycle begins again: messy apartment, non-amazing parenting, and virtually no spiritual life to speak of.

Right now, I’ve been struggling with feeling like I can’t do much of anything. I just want to escape from everything, since I feel as though I’m failing at so much. I’m not the person I want to be. I want that feeling to go away, because it’s holding me back. But that’s probably not how I should be looking at it. I know I should try harder to fight through this depression.

But damn, it’s hard!

Slacker

I have felt like such a slacker these last couple weeks. Very little housework has gotten done, and I have rarely said my evening prayer like I planned to. I also feel bad that I haven’t written a post in two weeks. I’ve felt like I haven’t had anything productive or inspiring to write lately.

Home:

Currently, all our laundry baskets are full of clean laundry waiting to be put away. It’s starting to pile onto the couch now, since we have to dump it out to put in new laundry from the dryer. Don’t ask me why there are pillows in that one laundry basket; I don’t know why I put them there. There was even a set of sheets folded up in one of the baskets … from about three or four weeks ago (maybe longer).

I suppose I should take advantage of the fact that G is down for a nap right now. I could get most of this laundry folded and maybe even put away. You can probably tell by the picture that laundry is not my only problem. There is stuff all over the living room floor (all G’s). He’s getting much better at making messes as he gets older. We love him to pieces, but dang, he drives us crazy sometimes!

Spirit:

I will be attending a Lughnassadh ritual this afternoon. Maybe that will spur me into practicing more regularly.

Also, I am starting to feel a call from a Goddess. I’m not exactly sure which one yet (maybe Brigid), but I do feel something. I need to spend more time meditating or praying or something to help myself open up to Her call. I will explore this further and let you know what comes of it.

Well, I really aught to be getting to that laundry so that something productive gets done today. My plan is to get it taken care of and also to vacuum the floors (at least in the main areas of the apartment) and after G wakes up. I will try to write more frequently, even if it’s just a quick update. I think if I just lower my expectations of what is considered a blog post, I will write more often.

Bedtime Routine

G used to sleep so well. When he was 9 or 10 months old (after moving into his own room), he finally started sleeping through the night. Around 13 months, that all started to change. The usual routine didn’t work any more, and he started to wake up about once a night.

About a week ago, we started something different; we started a routine that has all the good stuff he needs in it. G’s bedtime is roughly 7:30-8:00, so we start the whole routine around 7:00. The times aren’t exact; sometimes certain things take longer/shorter than usual, and he doesn’t always get a bath. I know the whole routine doesn’t take a whole hour, but I haven’t actually timed everything yet. I will update the times if I ever do that. Here’s a rough outline of what we’ve been doing:

7:00 – Strip down to diaper, and have a snack. – This helps keep him from waking up hungry in the middle of the night.

7:15 – Clean up and brush teeth. – I try to get him to actually let me brush his teeth, but it doesn’t last more than a few seconds and then he just bites down on it. Better than nothing, though. Sometimes we brush our teeth together, and he’ll try to mimic how I brush mine.

7:20 – Bath time. – Because his dry skin is so bad, I try not to give him a bath every night, but he can get really dirty during the day sometimes.

7:35 – Towel off and put on diaper. – G is always really snuggly after his bath. If he doesn’t get a bath, this is where I change his diaper and lotion him up. We use off brand Aquaphor from Aldi and Target; the stuff works great!

7:40 – Put on jammies. – This needs to be done right after the lotion to help lock in the moisture.

7:45 – Sip of water then books. – G will often pick out a book, then he’ll sit in my lap on the recliner in his room while I read it to him. We usually read two to three books, depending on their size. Before the last book, I will turn on his sound machine and give him his pacifier and bunny. Then we read the last book for the night.

7:55 – Down to sleep. – I put him in his crib with his pacifier and bunny. Sometimes he fusses for about a minute, but he usually goes down pretty easily.

Like I mentioned before, this whole routine doesn’t take quite as long as I made it sound. It usually takes closer to 40 minutes or so. This routine has been working fairly well for us. Now, it’s just a matter of sticking with it.

A Kick in the Pants

Alright, so in case you don’t follow me on Facebook, I didn’t really have access to my site for a while. I decided I needed to change to a different host that would allow me to do what I wanted with my blog and also spend less money. Well, I have taken care of all that and gotten things switched over! Now to focus on those things for which I started this blog in the first place!

I really do feel like I need a kick in the pants … to get our apartment cleaned up and to focus on my spiritual practice. I have been semi-good about praying in the evening before I go to bed. I could do better. I think I didn’t do it the last two nights or so.

Also, I have family coming into town this weekend. So I really need to get this place cleaned up! We have a pile of large, broken down boxes on the coffee table, the dining table is covered with stuff, and our bedroom is super cluttered. There is so much work to do!

Wish me luck!

5 Ideas for a Daily Practice

There are innumerable daily practices out there. I have narrowed my list down to five that I feel I would be most likely to actual do at this point in my life.

1. Evening Prayer

I have been doing this standing in front of my altar. I light a candle to begin and either say a prayer aloud or mentally to the Goddess and God.

2. Morning Prayer

This could be done similarly to the evening prayer or even before getting out of bed. I would primarily give thanks for a new day and ask for guidance and blessings for the day.

3. Repeat Affirmations

Repeat, for example, “I am a good housekeeper,” several times over throughout the day. Eventually, it should manifest as truth.

4. Meditation

This one is tough for me, as I have monkey mind. I don’t have that much time alone to meditate, so it has to be done in spare moments. Just a minute or two a day at first will be a good start.

5. Mindful Eating

Thinking about where our food comes from is important. Who worked or sacrificed to bring me the food I’m eating?

 

My Disaster of a Kitchen

The last few days have been hectic. G has been teething, and it has been impossible to get much done. I’m sure that’s just a lame excuse, but he’s been taking up all my attention when he’s awake. So when he FINALLY went down for his nap, I set to work on my kitchen. Oh, it was awful!

The dishwasher hadn’t been emptied in over a day, so I did that. Then I loaded and ran it. That alone helped a ton! (see below)

After dishes

Then I needed to hand wash a couple of things. I hate washing by hand, so the two items that I’d rather not spend time on, I left in the sink until they could go into the dishwasher. There were some random things that didn’t belong in the kitchen, like the cereal box, a book belonging to my husband (not pictured), and some straight-up garbage.

Once that was finished, I was able to wipe down the counters and sweep the floor. It looks so much better (not including the upper counter that is still a mess). And it really didn’t take that long, maybe 20 minutes or so. It’s so easy to get stuff done with G is out of the way!

Kitchen after

Just Checking In

I ran the dishwasher this evening. I also cleaned the tub, but I didn’t have much of a choice since my little guy had an accident during his bath (thankfully at the end).

I also said a prayer to the Goddess and God before bed. I will try to implement evening prayer as part of my bedtime routine.

An Altar, Please

As you can see, I don’t really have much of an altar right now. Making room for our baby (who is now 14 months old) has sucked up any extra room I had for an altar before. His crib used to be where that table is now. The really bad part is that all that junk has been on that table for about five months, since G got his own room.

It’s kind of hard to see, but on my dresser, next to the broken jewelry box, is my statue of Cernunnos. In front of him sits an empty incense holder that rarely gets used and a necklace that didn’t quite make its way back into the jewelry box. (Pathetic, I know.)

^That was yesterday. Today, I have greatly improved the area, as you can see. I even set up my altar. (Yay!) It’s a work in progress, but it’s something.

I am hoping that having my altar set up will prompt me to do some kind of daily practice. I have not decided what it should be, though. I think I’m going to read a book and see if I can’t find ideas. I will share more on that later.

wall after

On the family side of things, we all three went to the local botanical gardens this afternoon. G loved it, and it was very nice to be out in nature. It is certainly something I want to do regularly for G and myself.

Geordi Path

The Kitchen Sink

Ignoring all the random stuff on the top counter, I feel quite successful. That is one clean sink! I have my second load of dishes in the dishwasher. There are just three more dishes to go in after that’s been emptied (tomorrow), and I hand washed all those that had to be. I should have taken a before picture. I will keep that in mind the next time I clean something.

I even wiped down all my counters and swept the floor.

Dana White has talked about how she has to run her dishwasher every day to keep her kitchen under control (see her post here). This is something I’d like to add to my list of daily tasks, which means there are now two things on my list.

In case you were wondering, making the bed every day is the other task on my list. That doesn’t happen every single day yet, though. But I’m trying.