What I’ve learned from refinishing a piece of furniture

I found my new favorite hobby… refinishing furniture. It keeps me busy all day, tires me out, and I can listen to interesting podcasts all day long with no interruptions. I am fortunate enough to have a place to do this type of thing at — my bosses let me use the warehouse. Definitely going to try to do this again!

So yeah, I decided to refinish a little hutch-like thing that I bought off of Letgo. It probably would’ve taken half the time if I knew what I know now when I started. Here are some pictures of the progress…

Before:

 

Painted everything white, except the legs, which I attempted to stain a dark walnut color:

 

After I fucked up the legs with stain:

 

Scrapped plan A (stain the legs), stripped the legs and painted purple:

 

Final pictures are to come… haven’t completely finished yet.

 

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Taping, sanding, priming, spraying, drying, sanding, priming, painting, taping, wrapping, painting, drying… it takes a long time. Refinishing furniture is not a quick project.
  • I’m impatient, but not as impatient as I once was
  • I finally listened to the podcast ‘Serial’ and I liked it
  • I need to learn how to properly stain wood
  • If I fuck it up (like the legs) I just need to take time to figure out how to fix it, and then have EXTRA patience when I fix it
  • I can do a long project that requires a lot of patience without drinking during the breaks
  • Ibuprofen is a must after a long day of working like this

 

I had/am having a lot of fun working on this. The only thing is, I have to finish it by Thursday night to have it ready to move into my NEW APARTMENT on Saturday. I guess I haven’t mentioned that to WordPress Fam yet… I am moving out of sober living on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!

I have so many mixed emotions about moving out. On the one hand, I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. I can’t wait to get pets, have my own space, play music and watch TV when I want as loud as I want. On the other hand, I’m timid. It’ll be the first time in nearly 2 years that I’ve been in my own apartment. It’ll be the first time in 3 years since I’ve been in an apartment with no roommates.

I poured over the decision to move out on my own with no roommates. I’ve lived on my own in the past, and I’ve had roommates in the past — both situations have their respective positives and negatives. But, I ultimately came to the conclusion that if there’s one thing in the world I have complete control over, it’s the space I come home to at night.

I don’t want to come home to any surprises. I don’t want to come home after a long ass day to find a roommate drinking or using. I don’t want to open the cupboard or the fridge one day and find an open bottle of booze. I don’t want to come home to a roommates boyfriend, mess, problems, etc. So, I decided, this time, I’m going to make living solo work. I have to make it work.

I will be spending more money on utilities, rent, etc. without someone to share those responsibilities with, but I’ve come to the conclusion it’s worth it… to protect myself.

Now, this could go on in one of 2 ways… either I’m massively successful at living on my own, or I self-sabotage and self-destruct.

But, as my Dad once said, and I’ve quoted him before “sometimes you just have to go with a decision and make it work,” so, here I go.

I’m moving into a big studio on the upper East side of Chicago, just a couple blocks away from the beach and the park. I will be close to lots of neat shops and restaurants. I will be much closer to work, and right along public transportation that will take me anywhere I want to go. Because I’m moving pretty far from where I am now, I will have to make some new friends, which I have confidence in myself to do so.

I already have a feeling of good juju because the realtor that helped me find the place has 9 years of sobriety. It’s funny… when I met her, I just had a feeling she was in recovery. Nothing stand-out about her, I just had a feeling. Low and behold, she is in recovery. When she found out I was in recovery, she said for me to give her a call when I move so we can go to coffee together and she said she can show me some neat spots around the neighborhood. So I already have one acquaintance!

I got pretty smart and I decided to order everything I would need online before I move, like cleaning supplies. That way, they’re delivered to my house, and I will have at least 3 people to help me carry the boxes and bags out to the U-haul and up into my apartment, instead of lugging all of that by myself on the bus or train. I also ordered plants… Their names are Frasier, Daphne, and Niles.

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Anyway, I don’t have much more to add. I’ll try to write more next week, after I move in to my new place! I am going to be busy, busy, busy until then.

 

Sincerely,

Judith

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Writings from Rehab, part 9

We had to write a letter to ourselves that started with “I love you because…”. Here’s what I wrote.

 

I love you because…

You’re very smart and can do anything you put your mind to. You care about others & their well-being. You are strong, independent, and courageous. You have a good sense of humor and can find the silver lining in almost any situation. You’ve been through some things by age 25 that a lot of people won’t have to deal with in a lifetime. When you get knocked down, you pick yourself back up and keep going. You have a long road ahead of you, but if you keep focused on the bigger picture and do the next right thing, good things and opportunities await you.

Keep your head up and never give up.

-Judith

Impatience is my virtue

Image result for impatience

 

Impatience has been a struggle of mine, ever since I can remember, but it’s only really come to my awareness how destructive OR useful it can be since being in recovery.

So I posted yesterday about how I’m feeling ‘up’ lately, which goes with the impatience thing. My impatience extends to myself, people, and work. Not getting things done fast enough, not moving fast enough, and people not keeping up with what I’m saying fast enough. People not getting out of my way, annoying sounds, and general restlessness.

My impatience rears its ugly head now & again, sometimes I notice it while I’m doing it, sometimes I catch myself before doing it, and sometimes… I don’t think about how impatient I was until after the fact.

Like I said yesterday, this week has been especially hard. I’m all over the place. I’m crazy with thoughts racing through my head, blurting out everything I think, and impatience with almost everyone. I haven’t been sleeping well, and I’ve found myself so distracted I can’t focus on one thing for longer than a little bit at a time. Often times this week, I’m multi-tasking like crazy, which when I’m not up like this, still happens, but not to this degree.

Well, I felt the need to call my boss (because she’s out of town on business) and apologize for my impatience lately.

The thing is, my boss knows about my past. She is understanding, down-to-earth, and easy to talk to. So while some might say ‘that’s unprofessional,’ well… I don’t really care if it’s professional or not, I felt like it was the right thing to do.

So, this morning our conversation went like this:

J: Good morning, K, how are you?

K: I’m good!! What’s going on?

J: I just want to apologize for and let you know that I’m aware of my impatience lately. I am trying to take a step back and tone it down, but I’m having a hard time.

K: I’m really glad you said something, because I was going to talk to you about it tomorrow. Not in like a ‘bad’ way, just something that we need to work on.

J: Yeah, I feel bad that I’ve been pushy and all over the place, but I am aware of it and I want to work on it.

K: I’m happy that you know that about yourself. I’m sure that’s something you wouldn’t have been aware of about yourself not so long ago, so it’s HUGE that you recognize it. I see it as a strength in you, and I want to help you figure out how to use it for the better.

J: Thank you! I appreciate that. It is a huge step for me to notice something like this about myself, and want to do something about it.

K: What can I do to help you when you feel like this? Should I bring it to your attention, help you prioritize? It’s like T (other boss) said, ‘we give you enough rope to hang yourselves with’ haha

J: That’s so true! At this time, I don’t know what would help me. Bringing it to my attention, that I just need to slow down and breathe, would probably help. Prioritizing helps a lot, too.

K: Good, I’m happy when I can help. Like T said, we give you guys a lot of room to work, but it’s my job to reign that rope in when necessary, and I feel like I need to bring yours in just a little bit. We want to figure out how to use your craziness to better our business, and I never want to tell you ‘no’ to an idea that you have, and I also don’t want you to feel like you can’t bring new ideas to us, because both of those things are equally bad. So, we just need to figure out how to hone in on and use your strengths.

J: Thank you so much, I appreciate this conversation and I’m glad I called. So we’ll meet tomorrow when you get back to the office and sit down to lay out some priorities.

K: Yes, see you tomorrow.

So, I thought the conversation went really well. Besides her choice of words, saying ‘craziness,’ HA. I’m just particularly vulnerable right now to being called crazy, because I do feel crazy, but she’s right, we (I) need to figure out how to reign this wildness in and use it to better the company I work for.

I’m glad she sees it as a strength, because I do, too, when I harnass it and use it effectively. And I’m really glad she’s willing to help, and not wanting to fire me over it. I do work for a great company with great people, and this is just one example of that.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how to reign in my wild side and use it better. There’s a time and a place for this wild side, but I can’t control when it comes out.

I really, really think the weather has something to do with it. When the trees start budding, the sun stays out longer, and the temperatures start to rise, I get this agitated edginess that I can’t control, no matter how hard I try. And then I get frustrated because I can’t control it, and I’m feeling like this day after day, so I give up. In the past, I dealt with it by drinking.

On that note, my mom mentioned her thought that the weather has something to do with it, too. The last 3 years, during springtime, I would get like this. Restless, impatient, almost insatiable. In 2015, I dealt with it by joining a gym, reffing volleyball, throwing myself into work, drinking, and trying to get myself out in Milwaukee. In 2016, I dealt with it by only binge drinking and partying. In 2017, I dealt with it much in the same way as 2016, but by that time, I was already well aware that I was an alcoholic, so instead of going out, I tried to satisfy the insatiable feeling with drinking alone and drinking until I passed out/blacked out, and then I would feel incredibly guilty and ashamed, so the cycle continued.

This spring, obviously I need to figure out how to deal with it before it gets to a point where my work, coaching, and life gets interrupted in negative ways. I need to figure out how to tone it down so I stop feeling frustrated with myself and everyone/everything around me. I can’t function like this successfully.

I was thinking today, how some people are just so… level. They don’t get overly excited, they don’t get overly depressed, they just are. For a while, I felt like that. I was OK. I’ve even said something like “I can just be” in a blog post. But now I feel like I can’t just be. And I really want to get back to that feeling.

One step I took to deal with this overwhelming feeling of anxiety, edginess, restlessness today was that I called my health insurance company. Turns out, my new insurance doesn’t start until May 1. So, I left some voicemails for psychiatrists that are covered by my insurance, thinking that they won’t be able to see me until after May 1 anyway. Until then, I will continue to see the doctor and the therapist that I see now in an attempt to keep myself on the right path until I can see a psychiatrist.

Uuughhh… I’m just dying for a good night of sleep to calm my mind for a while, but I know when bedtime comes, sleep will evade me and I won’t be able to stop the racing thoughts.

But then I wake up, and I feel so tired, but it’s like the physical symptoms of being tired doesn’t hold me back. It magnifies the impatience and agitation, and then it just feeds into how I’m already feeling. It’s an exhausting cycle to be in.

Friday’s doctor and therapist appointments can’t come soon enough.

Any ideas on how to slow down in the meantime? Please don’t say meditation or prayer. Meditation makes me antsier because I can’t do it, and prayer is just… umm… not really aligned with my idea of spirituality at the moment. Keep in the mind, the weather here is dreary and grey. I’m thinking a collage, or doing something with my hands. Reading (my usual go-to) and watching movies/TV is not something I can sit down and enjoy right now.

 

Image result for impatience
I Googled impatience, and this is one of the first images that came up. Good depiction of how I’m feeling.

 

 

Thanks for reading and sticking with me through this — you know who you are.

Sincerely,

Judith

 

OMG my brain is going to explode!

I don’t know what exactly is going on tonight, but I have a million thoughts racing through my mind, and all of them I feel like I have to action, right fucking now.

The last couple days I’ve found myself with no filter. No holding back on what I’m thinking. This includes at work, at sober living house, at volleyball practice, and in my blog. Also includes the internal conversation that’s going on and on…. and on… in my head.

I have so many ideas, and I feel like they’re all great ideas. I am not sleeping well, I feel like all of my opinions are valid. I am seriously wondering if I am bi-polar… now that I’ve been sober for almost a year, I feel like this would be something I need to bring up to my doctor.

Sometimes I can sleep… sleep for 14, 16 hours at a time. And when I do, I’m perfectly OK with it. It’s not like I’m ‘depressed’ in the sense of hopeless, bleak outlook on life. I am just down… down in energy, exhausted easily, and always ready to go to bed.

Other times, I’m like I am today. I’m literally wild. I can’t stop thinking, doing, talking, typing, working, checking my Instagram and LinkedIn (besides WordPress, those 2 outlets are the only social media I participate in). I feel like all my ideas are good and that everyone should hear them. Then, I talk myself into telling bosses, friends, house managers, parents, roommates, EVERYONE my opinion because I feel like they would be better off knowing what I’m thinking. (What I’m getting at is a sense of grandiose-ness). I don’t sleep very much, or if I do sleep, I’m up and down, and lay awake at night with thoughts racing so fast through my brain I can’t even finish one thought before another one starts.

When I’m ‘up’ like this, I’m easily irritable, and, like I said earlier, I have a reduced ability to determine whether or not others actually want to hear what I have to say or if my ideas are even OK to just blurt out. I don’t want to eat much. I hone in on annoying things like plastic bags crinkling and people tapping their fingers and loudness of voices. I actually dread going to bed because I have so many things to do, stemming from the thousands of to-do lists forming in my head so fast I can’t keep up.

For the last 4-5ish months, I’ve had one ‘down’ cycle, and now this ‘up’ cycle. During the down cycle, I slept until 3-4 PM both days on the weekend, I would take any chance I could get to lay in bed and watch Netflix. I was content without bringing new ideas to my bosses. I was content with my recovery program, I had more patience with myself and others.

Now, in my ‘up’ cycle, I have zero patience, no filter, little to no appetite, and I find myself avoiding bed/sleep. I clean & cook like there’s literally no tomorrow, and reach out to old acquaintances that I haven’t talked to in months or even years. I tend to spend more money, and I make stupid decisions that I later regret and beat myself up about. I mean, one good thing that comes out of this, is I feel a need to revitalize my recovery program and so I read literature, talk to other women in my program, and dive in full-force to whatever is going on in my recovery community… but, it’s like, obsessive.

There’s no middle ground. I’m up, or I’m down. I sleep, or I don’t. I blurt out my ideas and thoughts, or I hold it all in. I’m 100% or I’m 0%. It’s black or white. No grey… no fucking grey area. 

Knowing what I know about bi-polar, these are some classic signs.

Now, I don’t know if the fact that I’m on an anti-depressant and take as-needed anxiety medication (which I’ve been taking about 1x every other day lately because my anxiety/edginess/irritability is THROUGH THE ROOF) has anything to do with this shit right now. There’s a lot of other factors at play here that make me wonder…:

  • The weather is getting nicer (verrrrrrryyyy slowly, but it’s happening)
  • The days are getting longer
  • I’m getting closer to one whole year sober every minute
  • I have a new job that I am bound and determined to kick ass at
  • I’ve been literally feeling like a rockstar lately — my positive affirmation has been ‘you’re a rockstar’
  • I’m making plans to move out on my own
  • I don’t have much time to just sit and listen to what the Universe is trying to tell me.

Family members that are reading this: I am NOT at risk of doing anything REAL stupid here, like drinking. I don’t want to drink, I don’t want to taste or smell alcohol, I don’t want to be woozy from the side-effects of the initial euphoria, I want absolutely nothing to do with it. The thought of alcohol is actually making my stomach turn as I type this. I just want to know if what I’m feeling is normal or is something that I need to tone down with medication, or if I need to deal with these feelings through therapy. Luckily, I have both a doctor appointment and therapy appointment this week, so I won’t have to wait too long to get my questions answered.

And that leads me to exactly what my questions are… which inculde… Is this normal? Do recovering alcoholics/addicts feel super energized and almost manic at this point? Do I need extra therapy or different medications or no medications? AM I DOING THE RIGHT THING?

Y’all know my mantra is ‘just do the next right thing’… I need to know (ehem… Universe) if I’m doing that. I need some reassurance, especially when I’m feeling a bit crazy like today.


AAaaaaanyway…

I think I offended our Marketing person at work this week.

Ok, here’s the thing. Uuuughhh, so I just don’t think she comes up with enough social media shit to post. Like, I follow a bunch of designers, builders, companies, etc. on LinkedIn and Instagram, and they post like every day, if not multiple times per day. That’s a lot of content — and someone is behind all that content; creating, editing, copying and pasting, filtering, scheduling, and clicking ‘post’. I don’t want to take over the content creating and posting, but I want to help… I want to contribute.

We post like…. mayyyybeee once a week. I went to a seminar when I was at the trade show in January, and I heard a statistic that was somewhere along the lines of ‘companies that get the most click-throughs and [whatever else] that leads to sales and ROI on social media, send emails [at least once a day or more] to their customers’. –Ok so I really paraphrased that quote, but I remember my jaw dropped when I heard the statistic.

We run into this little issue all the time at trade shows and conferences, etc., where people literally don’t know what the hell we do. They know we make beautiful wood components… but they don’t know what the wood components are for. They struggle connecting the dots from an unfinished wood component to a beautiful kitchen or bathroom or furniture piece. Soooo…. we need to communicate this, and we need to be NEW SCHOOL about this which is… social media!

I came up with a few campaign ideas recently, and because my bosses have encouraged me to be open about my new ideas, I gather some data, and put together a little presentation to email them, and I show them what my ideas are.

In the last couple weeks… I’ve come up with ideas that range from showing our components in a different ‘light’ (like, literally, a different light — meaning I take pictures in a really dark room with a spotlight on the product, because all our individual component pictures are boring), to a ‘get to know us’ campaign. I even came up with the name for the campaign and a hashtag. I also started making little videos and animations of our new stuff (which I posted here). Here’s an example of the different light thing I was talking about:

img_20180417_165834_6625139836442641069316.jpgimg_20180417_154255_6568419146747391956883.jpgimg_20180417_210235_0165719605851671673865.jpgimg_20180417_170048_946300271999205956983.jpg

OK — so the Marketing girl at my work just had her second child in December. She’s married and has a whole family to go home to. She’s not much older than me, but she’s got a lot more ‘adult’ responsibilities that I, currently, don’t have.

I mention that detail because I sense a bit of… I don’t know… jealousy? Envy, maybe? that I have a lot of time and energy to devote to work, and therefore, I have the time to create and innovate and come up with new ideas, and maybe she doesn’t have the time and the energy to do so? I mean, we are in the middle of completely revamping our website, and she’s leading that project, so I know she’s consumed with that…

In my position as E-Commerce Development Manager, I am absolutely invested in our marketing efforts! Without marketing, and good, stand-out marketing, the internet would not see and buy our products. So I feel it is part of my job to ensure our marketing, especially social media marketing, is competitive, on-par, and eye-catching.

Me and Marketing girl should work together, it’s in our best interest to do so. But I feel a push-back from her… and I’ve noticed that all my content and ideas have been placed on the backburner.

Which, honestly, is fine with me. Like, whatever, the images and ideas I’m coming up with can wait.

AND, it doesn’t stop me from posting my stuff on MY personal Instagram and LinkedIn. So, things like the images and animations, I end up posting on my own pages because I’m frustrated and impatient waiting for Marketing girl to publish through our company pages. I’m afraid to go ahead and post something like the ‘get to know us’ idea on my personal page, so I’m trying, oh so hard, to be patient, and wait until the time is right to bring that idea up again.

The thing is… my boss gets super excited about it and offers to pay for classes, subscriptions, and throws out her own ideas pertaining to the new things I bring to the table. Then, it gets passed off to Marketing girl, and then it remains stagnant… for weeks, months. So, I pick it back up, and where appropriate, post it on my own page, and guess what? I get our customers reaching out to me saying ‘hey! where and when can I get this’… BINGO. ROI on social media marketing right there.


Ok, so after all of this rambling and ranting and raving and venting, I am trying to bring myself back down to Earth and stay focused on doing the next right thing. What can I do today or this week about all of this stuff I talked about? Well, for one, I will go to my doctor and therapist appointments, and I will be honest with them. I hope they understand what I will be trying to communicate.

Ya know, it’s really not easy for me to go to a doctor and say what I’m feeling, because for a long time I exaggerated or downplayed what I was feeling to get whatever result I wanted. So, this time, I’m going to be honest and straight-forward and assertive — meaning, I’m dealing with something that’s distracting and interrupting my life (mania and ‘down’ cycles) and try to understand if I need to deal with this through medication or therapy, and realistically, probably both.

For two, I can keep putting one foot in front of the other, at a steady pace. Not sprinting, not dragging my feet, but a brisk walk. Keep getting things done, but not forcing my ideas and whatever else on other people.

For three, I can keep talking to my support group about how I’m feeling.

Lastly, I will stay empowered. I will stay empowered to keep my life on track… meaning, I am empowered today to not give in to alcohol. My life is so much bigger, better, and more meaningful, and I’m fully dedicated to keeping it that way.

If you made it to this point in my post, I want to congratulate you. Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Judith

Writings from Rehab, part 8

One day, we had to write our name on a piece of paper and pass it around the group for others to think of a word or a few words that first came to mind about that person.

Here’s what others wrote about me.

 

 

Intelligent

Insightful & brave

Very wise

You’re a fighter!

Determined

Compassionate & loving

Smart and gentle person

Brilliant

Driven

Very grateful young woman

Very strong and so insightful, I look up to you because you are so serious about your recovery

All sweetness

Well-spoken

Such beauty is in the eye of the beholder (?!?!)