Saturday 27 December 2014

Sharks in Pools: Who's Crazy Now?

Okay okay okay. So I had to share this with you all. Because us anxiety disorder sufferers spend so much of our time feeling like nutbars, and yes we can be...but sometimes we're not.

Last month I wrote a post here about how my brain tries to convince me there's going to be a shark in the swimming pool when I go to the gym. I wrote about telling myself how insane that was, and trying to get over the fear. And then yesterday, THIS popped up on my facebook newsfeed:

It's like the time I saw a psychologist for a while to talk about my phobias, and I told her at the start of the sessions that I was pretty sure spiders are literally out to get me and she told me I was being irrational...but then, in our last session, after hearing all about my encounters with them, she said (I kid you not): "You know, Jordan, you may actually be right that these spiders are out to get you." She wasn't even kidding.

Sometimes we're crazies, yes; but sometimes we're just way ahead of the curve.

Friday 19 December 2014

This Christmas Isn't Even About the Giving.

Usually for me, I think Christmas is all about the gift-giving, because I love giving gifts.

Not this year. This year, it's all about what I've received.

Christmas stands as a marker of the passage of time. It's like a cairn in the great journey, and it reorients me to where I am--both in time and space. Each Christmas season I reflect on the twelve months that have passed, and this year, I'm overwhelmed by the people.

There are the rotten ones, the ones that I've weeded out. I found a quote last January that read, "Let go of what doesn't grow", and I spent this year trying to do just that. That means I let go of some people, gently and with great care. At the time I often felt miserable about these partings, but now I see what's managed to grow in the spaces these people were previously occupying...and strangely, I now feel gratitude for those who were weeded out. Thank you for saving that space for the next thing; thank you for going away when it was time.

There are the wonderful people in much greater numbers, though. Old friends who I've reconnected with, and old friends who I've barely seen, but who I love to have as friends even at a distance. New friends who have become permanent fixtures in my life, bringing with them fresh new joys never before experienced. And new loves, bringing with them all the heartrending treats and tribulations, the sweet stinging pain of human affection.

I have been gifted this year with support at home from my best friend, MJ. I count myself blessed to have someone I love so much be so close at hand.

My work has been made more rewarding by the friendship and mentorship of my business partner, someone I so much enjoy working with--but probably even more enjoy making laugh.

My dog trainer, who has become a cherished friend and has quickly become one of the first people I think of when I need to ask myself, "What would someone wiser than me do in this situation?"

My co-editor, Pepper, who has no earthly idea how much I appreciate her for her skill and her patience.

My boss at the school where I teach, who has helped me realize my dream of teaching and who is so marvelously supportive and encouraging.

There are so many more, some of whom have touched my life in such personal ways that I can't bring myself to explain them here.

This year Christmas isn't about the gift-giving for me, because there is absolutely no way I can possibly express my admiration, adoration, and gratitude to my people. It's overwhelming. I've faced some serious trials of late, but all these wondrous people have softened the blows and sweetened the victories. I cannot possibly say 'thank you' with little things wrapped in paper. There is nothing on earth I can give them that would equate to the gifts they give me. I am in awe.

I feel like I got to open new presents every day this year, all of them on two legs. Oh, and sometimes four...can't forget the pup.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Best of: Crafty Geeky Christmas on Girl, Crafted. Stockings!

I love making stuff by hand for Christmas, especially when people have very particular tastes that cannot be satisfied by store-bought, mass-produced things. A couple Christmases ago, I shared this DIY geeky stocking tutorial when I made three stockings for three special friends. I thought you should know that I, too, go back and revisit my old posts, use the tutorials, follow the recipes, etc. So this year for a new friend who also didn't have a stocking (poor deprived children!), I made a very special archery-themed one.

This is much less sparkly and colourful than my personal taste. It's quiet understated for a holiday decoration. BUT, it is perfect for the recipient, and indeed when I asked him if I could add just a little glitter, he gave me an emphatic 'NO'. So he can keep his understated stocking as-is, which is still pretty great quite frankly.

If you'd like to try your hand at a stocking, here's the original tutorial. Once you've got the basic jist, you can make any type of stocking you might want. And these actually make great Christmas gifts, because you can personalize them so much and they'll be using them year after year.

Fifteen days 'til Christmas...keep calm and craft on!
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