I don’t know about you, but I occasionally have days where everything seems to annoy me, and I’m not talking about people (well, I have those days too, but this is different). I mean, every single physical sensation has an annoyance factor nearing painful. So far today, I’ve had to remove my rings just to be able to use my computer, I’m regretting wearing my hair in a ponytail because it’s swinging against the back of my neck in an oh-so-aggravating way (I could easily be convinced to chop about 5 inches off at the moment), and I’m about to rip the tags out of my shrug because they’ve been scratching the hell out of my back all day long.
Do you have days like that?
Perhaps it’s just because I’m an HSP* and today more sensitive than most. I don’t know. All I do know is that I’m about to scream, rip off half my clothes, and shave my head, all of which would be entirely inappropriate for the workplace.
*HSP: Highly Sensitive Person. More information after the jump…
If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive.” I answered 19 true. (Out of 27. I took this quiz back in July of 2007 and have been saving a draft post of the following until a day just like today, when I’m annoyed enough to write more about it.)
- I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
- I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
- Other people’s moods affect me.
- I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
- I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days, into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
- I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine. (More so now than a year ago, apparently. Monday night I had some iced tea with dinner and didn’t fall asleep until after 1:30. I actually laid awake in bed for almost 3 hours. Blah.)
- I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
- I have a rich,complex inner life.
- I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
- I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
- My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself. (I’m nearing this point today.)
- I am conscientious. (I’d like to think so, but perhaps this takes someone else’s evaluation. Afterall, isn’t conscientiousness directly related to other people?)
- I startle easily.
- I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
- When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
- I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
- I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
- I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.
- I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
- Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me, disrupting my concentration or mood.
- Changes in my life shake me up.
- I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
- I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
- I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
- I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes.
- When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.
- When I was a child, my parents or teachers seemed to see me as sensitive or shy.
- You, your partner, or someone important to you have a heightened awareness of subtleties in your environment, whether it’s sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell.
- You can become stressed out and upset when overwhelmed and may find it necessary to get away, maybe into a darkened room, to seek solitude, relief and comfort.
- You are very conscientious, hard working, and meticulous, but may become uncomfortable and less efficient or productive when being closely watched or scrutinized.
- You feel compelled to file and organize things and thoughts, also enjoy simplicity and may become overwhelmed or even immobilized by chaos, clutter, or stress.
- You are very uncomfortable when feeling things are getting out of your control.
- You get a sense of comfort and well being when around a lake, river, stream, the ocean, or even a fountain.
- You experience mood swings, sometimes occurring almost instantly and can also be affected by other people’s moods, emotions and problems.
- You have a deep, rich, inner life, are very spiritual and may also frequently have vivid dreams, and possibly nightmares.
- You are very intuitive and you feel that you can usually sense if someone isn’t telling the truth or if something else is wrong.
- You get concerned and worry about many things, and have also been told “you take things too personally.”
- You have had the experience of “cutting people out” of your life.
- You were considered quiet, introverted, timid, or shy as a child.
From About.com’s Holistic Healing page:
The trait of Highly Sensitivity causes them to process and reflect upon incoming information very deeply. It is not that they are “afraid,” but that it’s in their nature to process incoming information so deeply. Highly Sensitive People may even sometimes need until the next day to have had enough time to process the information fully, reflect upon it, and formulate their response. The trait of High Sensitivity can be viewed as having both positive as well as negative characteristics, and it is a valid and normal trait and is not a “disorder.”
Highly Sensitive People’s systems are very porous, meaning that external stimuli seems to be more directly absorbed into their bodies. (It has been said that it is as if HSP “have no skin” to protect them from these outside stimuli.) Non-HSP generally are less porous and have natural defenses which defuse external stimuli thereby not directly impacting and overloading their nervous systems.
Perhaps the best find yet, Coping Strategies at HSPSurvival.com [link removed], including a section with great potential on the work environment.
We did plenty of other things and kept quite busy. And to take ‘s perspective on things (she recently said something about this regarding Mother’s Day), it’s not always necessary to do the remembering or the appreciating on a holiday, when one should really be doing it year-round (in responding to some of her fellow church-goers who were sad that neither of her daughters were coming over to her house for Mother’s Day, when in fact we have good relationships and sent her gifts and she feels quite appreciated). I have a grandpa who served in a war (which probably contributed to his alcoholism), and an uncle, and a cousin who returned from Afghanistan last summer so that he could get married (and he’s not going back), as well as a surprisingly large number of youth group kids who went into the service. I fully appreciate their contribution to our country, especially since I really don’t want to do it and obviously somebody has to (barring the debate about whether or not we should be at war, blah blah blah). So no Memorial Day cookouts for us, no visiting gravesites or anything. I touched a flag on Saturday, but it was attached to a boat and really had nothing to do with the upcoming holiday.
So what did we do this weekend? Well, we finally got some projects done! I know! Amazing! More exclamation points! I only have pictures of some of them, though. More pictures coming later this week, though.
We finally got the light fixture in the bathroom replaced. This involved patching, sanding, priming, and painting, but the end result is very worth it. (Top: old light fixture; bottom: new light fixture.)
did most of the work, but I helped. Specifically, I painted.
Also, the last of my houseplants went outside to catch some sun, and I got the corner unit cleared off. Now, however, it seems too empty. I'm not sure what to do with this space.
I cut out a lot of fabric. I mean, a lot. Three skirts, two pairs of shorts, a pair of pants, and three tank tops, to be specific.
Of course, I can't do anything until my sewing machine is returned to me. I anxiously await that time. I'm trying not to be impatient, but I don't have much more I can cut out. I ran out of patterns. I would have cut out another skirt and a dress, but the patterns I have were the wrong size range, so I'll have to get different ones (curses on the system that is totally and completely different sizing from store-bought clothing - I know that it's the store-bought clothing sizes that have changed, not patterns, but it still means that I wear a 6 at the Gap and a 14/16 in patterns, and that's just... wrong).
And, of course, I made cookies on Monday. Black and Whites, to be specific.
I've never had one, and certainly never made any. They're an interesting cookie. Cake-like, almost, in flavor and consistency. A very different dough than regular cookie dough. I hope to post recipes sometime this week, but I don't have the cookbook with me here at work, so that makes it quite difficult. You'll have to survive on photos of yumminess, and in the knowledge that if you're coming to SNB tonight, I'm bringing a cookie for you.
- Referral :: Source
- Indiana :: Jones (duh)
- Foil :: Aluminum
- Horizon :: On the
- Event :: Sale
- Sailing :: Boat
- Footage :: Film
- Sunday :: Church
- Breathtaking :: View
- Dude! :: Seriously! (actual quote from this weekend)
The tree at our house is blooming, which usually results in many photos being taken.
Here's my favorite (click on it to go to Flickr where you can see a bunch more).
The amaryllis is grow-grow-growing! And finally, it sprouted what will be a flower! I was getting worried that it would just be leaves this year, but all that worry was for naught, since this sprouted up within a few days.
I made more cookies on Sunday (through Tuesday). I also made banana bread, but it wasn’t photo-worthy. I made up Oatmeal Cream Pies (recipe linked earlier in a linkfest post, from Tarheel Table) and they were yummy. I made up the dough on Sunday but by the time the banana bread was done baking (who knew it took an hour in the oven?) it was 9:30 pm and we really needed to do grocery shopping. So, into the fridge the dough went and sat until Monday night. Even after sitting out and warming up for a bit, this dough did not respond well to being refrigerated, so I don’t suggest trying that. Still, they were delicious, if not the best-looking cookies in the world.
The cream filling recipe made up more than I needed, so they got extra-filled, which, as it turns out, makes eating them very messy.
It made up a plate full, which is more than enough since I can handle about one a day, and I love sugar.
These are very sweet, however, and made me feel a little old. Delicious, and something you should try and bring to a party or in to work for your co-workers or something.
One day soon I’ll have a pictorial update on the garage, as well as the new light fixtures we bought over the weekend. Alas, those projects aren’t actually finished, so no update just yet.
SNB on Tuesday was just and myself, so we ended up at the mall and didn’t do the Shrinky Dinks craft we were planning on. It’s been postponed until next week, when hopefully more people can come. If not, her and I will have a ton of fun by ourselves.
Last night I stopped at Target and one of my purchases was some new underwear. Perhaps you didn’t realize this, but if your pants don’t fit because you’ve gained a little weight, it’s most likely that your underwear doesn’t fit either. And the combination is, well, just awful and embarrassing and I can barely believe I haven’t been arrested by the Fashion Police in the last few weeks (at least that’s when I started noticing it – who knows how long before that?). Well, the new stuff I bought fits and is super comfortable, but definitely nothing that Vicky’s would sell, if you know what I mean. Well, who cares about cute underwear anyway? I have it on good authority (aka my husband) that men really don’t care about that stuff. They especially don’t care if it matches. So if he doesn’t care, why should I? And who else is seeing my underwear? No one, that’s who. So Hanes is working fine for me.
That was probably TMI for you. Oh well. Maybe I should make it a regular blog feature, TMI Thursdays. Thoughts?
Do you need more motivation to use your kitchen, to make food and consume it, thus adding to your waistline, or to make food and give it away, thus upping your karma? Here are some more suggestions….
Chocolate and Peanut Butter, a timeless classic
Banana (I have maybe a half dozen more of these that I printed off for for his birthday, but don’t have them linked here at work anymore, so if I make any of them up I’ll have to share)
Other Dessert Items (because if I don’t fit into my pants, no one else should either – on second thought, forget that, because a world in which everyone walks around pantless is in no way a good idea)
And with that, I have cleared out the majority of my bookmarked pages to share with y’all. Oh, there’s about half a dozen right now, but that’s so minor to the… 150 or so that had built up.
Either I’m hungry all the time or I have a newfound love of food (or at least preparing it) due to there being a television in my kitchen. Methinks it’s a bit of both. Either way, I had about a jillion bookmarked recipes that I’ve decided to share with you. Hopefully, they’re in small enough chunks for you to digest (please complain in the comments section if it’s still too much). Oh, and I probably found most if not all of these recipes via Tastespotting, my new Internet addiction.
Other Dinner Items (Entrees, veggies)
Bacon (Otherwise Known As… Foods That Should Never Have Been Invented)
Pies and Pie-Like Deserts
OK, I’ve got 3 more categories, but I’ll save them for another date (but just so you know, they’re “Chocolate and Peanut Butter,” “Banana,” and “Miscellaneous Desserts”).
Do you know how tired I am today? I am so tired that I have Restless Legs before 9 am. That, my friends, is a serious pain in the behind. If you haven’t experienced restless legs, then you don’t know the torture that it is. Perhaps you’re familiar if you’ve ever lived with someone who gets them, since I’m sure understands at least partly what it’s like. I’ve been known to describe it as wanting to rip my legs off so they can go do laps around the house to work off the extra energy while the rest of me lays on the couch and quickly falls asleep. Conveniently, I’ve found a nice over-the-counter remedy that seems to work for me, and I don’t get them all that often (though I am on my third bottle of the OTC remedy), and they’re not all that strong ( used to wake up with hers, and now she wakes herself up with them because she’s a lighter sleeper than she used to be). I think I’ll be finding some to take momentarily, to avoid the insanity that comes with feeling this way in the middle of the day (or middle of the morning, as it were). I don’t think I can adequately describe how crazy it feels to have restless legs in the waking hours – it just doesn’t seem right, and it feels much worse when I’m stuck here in a cubicle all day.
Why am I so tired, you ask? Well, I was tired yesterday because I didn’t get to bed until 12:30 on Sunday night (which means 5 hours of sleep, far too few in my opinion). Last night I got to bed shortly after 11, so that wasn’t that bad. But in all truthfulness, it’s because it’s that time of the month for me to be exhausted. For some reason, it’s very tiring to sit here and without any conscious thought at all shed the lining of my uterus. I wouldn’t have known such an activity requires so much energy, but it does apparently. I’m going to go get some caffeine shortly, and maybe some food of some sort.
I’ll post a weekend update sometime today, or at least I’ll try. For now, it’s taking all my effort to stay awake.
Why I’m not voting for McCain (surprisingly, it’s not his environmental policies, which are amazingly forward-thinking for a Republican), and another article on feminism and the election. I was going to comment on these, but… I think you can pretty much guess what I would say, and it’s nothing new or original, so I’ll just let the pieces speak for themselves.
Cute article entitled “Everything I Know About Women … I learned from my niece” – no, it’s not entirely accurate, but there are some gems of wisdom in there
Trying to get pregnant? Good news if you were on the pill.
This CNN story on Islamic schools in Africa [link removed] tugged at my heart strings.
Are first borns more organized? DeClutter It discusses.
This website… I don’t even know where to begin. There’s too much. I’m overwhelmed.
Trying to give up caffeine and still feel awake in the morning? 7 Tips. Me, I thought briefly about trying it except that I wasn’t willing to deal with two weeks of headaches. I’ll save that for when it’s necessary.
Clean Sweep Assessment, if you’re looking to simplify your life, or just feel… balanced in your space. I’m not promoting all the ideas, but some were helpful.
- Concentration :: Classic
- Relocated :: Office Space
- Clot :: Blood
- Joints :: Pain
- Satellite :: Office
- Money back :: Guarantee
- Kittens :: Cuddly
- Shady :: Tree
- Drain :: -o
- Stroke :: Heart Attack
Things to make:
- Reusable Sandwich Wrap [link removed]
- A purse like this or this [links removed]
- Fruity Button Napkins (from How About Orange)
- A small photo album using an accordion fold kit
- Shrinky Dink Rings (from PlanetJune), which we’ll be making next week at SNB – if you’re in need of the plastic, you can try the ReadyMade store [link removed] (though I bought mine at Michael’s)
- Free Sewing Projects (from About.com)
Fun home decor
Fun fabric to use on any of the above:
Block Poster – a free service to create really big poster prints for your walls. From this post on IkeaHacker about a cool headboard / wall mural idea that I love (second photo down). Think we can do that in our next house? I think the key is having the right photo.
More fun wall graphics:
Flat-Fold Grill, for those of you who might need such a thing.
Some things from Anthropolgie I liked lately (because I can’t put them on my Wist due to their site being Flash-based):
Got a cat hair problem? Or dog? Get the FURminator to take care of it.
Always coming up with new ways to wake us up in the morning, ApartmentTherapy tipped me off to this product that can only mean your pillow is more uncomfortable than it already is (but theoretically you’d get out of bed sooner). No worries, it’s only conceptual.
Some links I’ve saved up for you lately on things related to food….
Hungry Girl – the author has been making the rounds lately on television and some blogs I read.
10 Commandments for Dropping 10 Pounds and 10 Years (DumbLittleMan)
How to use Food Baths to Cool Food Safely (ApartmentTherapy) – since it was unknown to me, I thought I’d share it with you and make the world a safer place.
What to Eat When to Sleep Better (LifeHacker) – in order for me to utilize this information, I think I’d have to become a morning person, and wake up even earlier than I already do, which I find unacceptable. But maybe in my old age when sleep is more elusive and I’m already waking up at 5 am (instead of the blissful 5:30 or 5:45 that I currently get to “sleep in” until on weekdays), perhaps I’ll give this a try. At the moment, I think my goal needs to be to get to bed earlier so I get more sleep, because I’m getting way less than I used to and it makes me crabby and unhappy and potentially fat.
Small Step (.gov) – Trying to eat healthier? This government website is going to help you do that, one tiny step at a time.
Australian Rieseling (ApartmentTherapy) – considering my love for Rieseling, maybe I should try to find this wine and give it a shot. It can’t hurt to have more than one label that I like.
I’ve had several partially-formed blog posts in my head for the last week. None of them really make up a full post on their own, and they’re probably too random to make up a meaningful post, but they’re cluttering up my head, so it’s time to get them out.
I am currently on a bird kick, as in all the cute things on Etsy I’ve noticed are bird-related. Don’t worry, it’ll pass. Before that it was milk glass, frogs and ladybugs, and plants. These phases usually last a week or so, so to avoid buying the entire world, I just put everything on my “favorites” list and let it sit there until it no longer amuses me. Of course, this means I have 17 pages of favorites right now, many of which I have no intention of ever purchasing. There are lots of duplicates, too, since there is a lot of fabric out there that I’d really like to buy but I’m trying not to at the moment.
I mentioned yesterday that I moved some things around in my cubicle. Specifically, I moved my printer to the opposite corner, and switched my garbage with my purse. I’ll be confused for several more days, but in the end I think this new arrangement makes more sense and is aesthetically more pleasing.
The book I’ve been reading, Apartment Therapy (yes, that Apartment Therapy of the website I check all the time), has taken a turn for the worse. I love the website, and have generally been enjoying the book, though I ignored it for a few weeks (which is no good for library books, since they have to be returned within a finite amount of time). The design advice is, generally speaking, good, and well written and simple enough (yet detailed enough too) for those who don’t instinctively understand good design (I do not consider myself one of these people, as I think I generally do a good job and have a good eye, and one of the careers I considered in high school was interior design for good reason, but I do know a few people who don’t have this knack and I think this book would work for them too). But, the last few chapters have turned… well, pretentious. The author has taken to suggesting more than just brands of cleaner or that organic cotton sheets are a good idea to suggesting things that are far beyond what the purview of the book should be; this morning as I was reading on the book, he suggested a brand of men’s razors. Really? How is that helpful?
Now, I’ve been trying to get what I could out of this book without following it (since it’s designed around the idea of spending 8 weeks “fixing” your house, which is not helpful for what we’re doing since we’re not planning on staying in our house), and trying to take things with a grain of salt since the author is located in New York City, and let’s face it, New York is different than the Midwest. It’s like watching “What Not To Wear” or any of those style shows. The advice is good, great even, but slightly impractical or just out of place for those of us not in NYC. Spending $300 on a pair of dress shoes, no matter how well made, is just simply not something that most women in the Midwest are going to do (yes, there are some who will, but it’s just not important to most of us). And a lot of the design advice is like that too, which has been OK because the book is admittedly aimed at NYC apartment dwellers (owners or renters) who live in very small, very expensive places, and for whom the cost of living is just greater in general and the trends, things of importance, etc are just very different.
So I’ve been trying to gleam the important parts, like this morning’s selection about the importance of good lighting and what the light should focus on, where it should be placed, etc. I’ve been trying to finish this book because 1) it’s due back on Monday, and 2) I desperately want to read the other book that’s due Monday, You On A Diet, so that I can 3) read the three other books I have checked out on PCOS and Insulin-Resistance and health (that’s one subject, three books). I hesitate to think that I might not finish the book, because I know I’ll never check it out again, but it may not be worth finishing. That makes me sad, but glad it’s a library book and not one I paid for.
Wednesday, I walked part of the way to work. I drove downtown and parked at Metro State, as I do on days I have class (since it’s $2.50 to park all day, compared to $2 – $7 all day downtown plus then having to park at the university lot), and as I was getting out of my car, I saw the bus I take to get back downtown and knew I wouldn’t even come close to catching it. So, on a whim, I decided to walk the rest of the way to work. I figured it was probably 2 miles (I was wrong – it’s 1.25 miles, which means I am a very slow walker, but I did have to wait at a lot of stoplights and wasn’t carrying an ideal bookbag/purse, etc.) and I could handle that fine. I realized much too late that I’d inadvertently forgotten to put on deoderant that morning (which was quickly rectified at work, since I have backup there). The bus passed me about 2/3 of the way there, and it took me just less than half an hour, so I still got to work well before 8. It was nice. If I had the luxury, I would have walked back before class, but I didn’t want to be late and had exactly half an hour from when I got off work to when class started. Then yesterday I toyed with the idea of getting off the bus a stop or two early downtown, but got lazy at last minute, and ended up being glad I was because my butt was sore from Wednesday’s walk. This morning, however, I got off at Rice Park, stopped at Starbucks, and then walked the rest of the way to work (just a few blocks, but every bit counts, right?). I got in about 15 minutes later than usual, but our bus is currently detoured which adds 5-7 extra minutes to our commute, so that’s not bad. I’ve been trying to get as much outside time as is reasonable lately, or at least during the work day (apparently I don’t feel so compelled when I’m at home, though I do get the uncontrollable urge to open all our windows and air out the house, daily).
There were probably several other piddly things I was going to talk about, but I can’t remember them. Must not have been important.
I’ve reorganized my cubicle (slightly, but enough to throw me off balance temporarily), I wiped down all the surfaces in my cube, and I even cleaned up a ton of bookmarks in Firefox. I got around to setting up a bunch of “linkfest” posts (divided up into smaller, easier-to-consumer chunks since the last time I had a big post it wasn’t helpful in the end) that will be posted over the next couple of days.
Apparently, it’s spring cleaning time in the office. Now if only I made myself get around to dealing with the stack of papers that’s “filed” (and by filed, I mean generally in the area where the files are, but not in anything more than a large pile) in our office area at home. I need to get that done some time in the next few weeks, since it will need to be taken care of before putting the house on the market.
I can’t believe now near we are to June, our proposed time for putting the house up for sale. We’ve made some definite progress, and have been working what seems like “all the time,” but there are still plenty of things to do still and not that much time. Hopefully we won’t just blow by the June deadline, since lots of people think that August is a good time to buy a house and I’d like to capitalize on that.
In case you were interested in what got for his birthday on Tuesday, here’s what I gave him:
Favorite Words - Pickle
Conveniently, I got a new book for myself at the same time, one I'd checked out of the library and liked enough to want to own.
A while back, I mentioned that someone I knew only through their blog (and who probably doesn’t even know me) had broken up with their significant other and how weird of an experience that was for me as a non-involved person in their lives. Well, they recently got back together after much secrecy and are now engaged, and so now I’m quite happy for them, in a weird way.
And to further prove that I am still attempting to figure out how to navigate the blogosphere (whoever thought up that word should be shot), a few days ago I left a comment on someone else’s blog (something I rarely do but am trying to do more of because how else do you create relationships and I always wish that more people commented on my blog so maybe I should comment on theirs…. Anyways, I commented and was very long-winded and probably pretty b*tchy (not towards the person, per se, but about someone in their life that they care about deeply) and potentially offensive. I didn’t mean to be, but apparently I was in a mood and not able to censor myself or step back and think about how what I was saying would sound to this person. In other words, I was talking to hear myself talk, not to be helpful. This person has consequently taken down their post, which is a bummer since I was actually interested in what other people had to say (not in response to my comments, but in response to the original post, because I did actually find it an interesting subject, my comments notwithstanding), and they will probably never again come and read my blog or comment.
So, yeah, I screwed up. Hopefully I won’t make that mistake again. I have made some positive progress in recent months towards forging relationships with people via their blogs (I am theoretically making a veil for someone’s wedding because I offered it as a possibility for saving expenses), but this week I took a step backwards.
Well, I’d like to think that I learn from my mistakes. Hopefully next time I will try to remember what the other person is truly asking and wants to know/hear, and not just spout off my own opinions. After all, I don’t want to turn completely into my mother (and this is her most offensive trait to me, for while you always know where she stands on an issue without asking, it can occasionally be her downfall or hinder her relationships).