An update on my VA business…

An update on my VA business…

I just thought I would share my good news; I have my first client.  This person is local, so it won’t actually be virtual, I’ll be going on-site to help with file management, bookkeeping and organization, among other smaller tasks.  I’m really happy that I finally have that first client, and I know that I can help this person, which is a real confidence builder for me.  And trust me; my confidence could use some building up.

Otherwise, I just don’t have much to say, and I’m sorry about that.  Have you ever woken up in a mood that just leaves you wanting to just do nothing?  And I mean nothing.  All I want to do is sit my big butt on the couch and read.  Not really going to happen, since I have laundry and am making chili for dinner tonight, but you get the idea.  Maybe it’s the lull before the storm, I don’t know.  I just know that after all the drama the last two weeks have brought me, I just want to put my head in the sand and pretend I can make life go away.  I can’t, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to flip a switch and just shut down every once in a while?  I chose the picture that goes with this post because it shows rays of sunlight breaking through a cloudy day, which is the best representation of how I’m feeling right now.

What’s really weird about it all is that things for the most part are going good in my life.  There is the whole hurt/forgiveness thing I wrote about last week that I’m still dealing with, but otherwise, life’s good.  I have my first client, my husband has a job, and we are in good health and all is basically well.  It’s just this mood I’m in that is very hard to explain.  And I feel like I’m rambling here.  I guess all I can say is that it’s normal that even when life is good, to want to shut down and have some quiet time. At least, I hope so because I would hate to think I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown!  Just kidding!  Enjoy your day.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Grocery stores are a serious pain in my existence!

Grocery stores are a serious pain in my existence!

Have I mentioned recently that I am an introverted home body?  Well, in case you forgot, I’m reminding you.  I really prefer to avoid the public at all costs, and that especially goes with grocery stores.  Now considering I do love to cook, you’d think that these stores would be an oasis for me.  They aren’t.  Well, they would be if there was no one else in them and there was a person to bag my groceries and no line to the cashier, then maybe the whole experience would be okay.  But that would be in the perfect world, and that doesn’t exist.  The reason they are on my mind is because I had to go to one this morning.  I had our menu planned out for the next week and had a massive list and I was just dreading it.  But I went, and I had to thank God for His grace when I got home because the whole thing took so much out of me to do it.

That’s one thing about being an anxious Bipolar that is really annoying.  The things that other people do with no second thought, take all I have in me to do.  Do you know what I mean?  Going to the grocery store is just one example.  Shopping in general is another.  I have to psych myself up to just do it and it annoys me that I have to do that.  Going and getting gas, I do everything I can to get my husband to do it for me.  Since he now works 60 hour weeks, things are falling on my shoulders much more and I think I am doing the best I can to adjust to being the main shopper, etc.  Do I like it?  Not really, but I also don’t have much of a choice in the matter either.  And the anxiety about doing something like grocery shopping even starts the night before, when I am lying in bed – it hits; the reality that when I wake up in the morning, I’ll have to go out in the public to provide food or necessities for my family.  It bugs me so bad that something as simple as going to a store has that kind of effect on me!

The only advice I have is to just ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen?  You get a crappy cart that gives you problems (like I had this morning), or there’s a line to the cashier, or you have to bag your own groceries (which I hate, but it is what it is).  Are those really life-altering events?  Not even close.  So, I just put my big girl panties on and just go do it, and the sense of accomplishment when it’s over is staggering.  Succeeding in something that makes you anxious is a thrilling feeling and just remember that is what will happen when you face your fears and overcome them.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Ennui

Ennui

I love that word, it just sounds better than the other words describing the feeling.  I learned it from a novel that I read a while ago.  Here’s the definition:

en·nui

noun

  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
synonyms: boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation

The reason I am sharing this word with you is because it happens to me a lot.  And it is a terrible feeling, basically a feeling of nothingness, just being numb.  Some days I am great, feeling like I can accomplish anything and all is right in the world.  But then there are times when the ennui hits and I just lie there and stare into the empty space that is around me.  I can’t explain it very well, that’s why I included the definition.  Being bipolar is not fun and the mood swings are a real pain in the butt.  I can handle the irritation mood, the elation mood, and all the various moods in between, but this numb feeling is very difficult for me to handle.

I don’t really have any practical advice about it either.  I can wake up fine and it will just hit and I have to work through it.  Usually, with a lot of tears involved.  But I do get through it and that is what matters.  The mood swings are difficult to handle like I said, but the silver lining is that they are temporary.  It’s a matter of just being strong enough to get through it, and I have my spirituality which definitely helps.  The only thing I can say about it is to just force yourself to get up and do something, anything, just keep going and you’ll feel better in time.  When it hits, I have my crying time, then I say a prayer and get up and paint or write or even just clean.  I also want to say that I think it is a totally normal feeling to have.  Bipolars are normal; we just have the roller coaster emotions instead of the steady state of being.  I know this is an odd post; I just wanted to share that this happens to me and if it happens to you, you’re going to be okay, I promise.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Today is my birthday, what a joy!

Today is my birthday, what a joy!

I don’t know about you, but on my birthday I do an inventory of my life, what I’ve accomplished or finished or just my general state of being.  And I usually concentrate on the things that I wanted to change on my last birthday and didn’t achieve.  But, I’m not doing that this year.  I am working on thinking much more positive about myself and the world as a whole.  Attitude is everything, and I’m working on improving mine.  So, let’s see what I have done positive this past year…

  • I started this blog. But more importantly, I found something I love to do and that is writing.  I take great pleasure in doing this blog, and no, I’m not trying to be the next great blogger or have 10,000 hits a day kind of blog because I just don’t care.  I do this blog just because I like to and that is all there is to it.
  • I’ve been as good a wife to my husband as I possibly could be. We have had a rough year, still are actually, but we are making it through it and doing it rather well.  Of course, all the glory of doing that goes to God, because without His grace, we would not be doing near as well as we are.  I know I have done my best to support and care for my husband, home and furbabies.
  • I worked a job and I saw it through to the end. Did I have to make it part-time because the full-time hours were wreaking havoc on me emotionally?  Yep, you bet.  But I finished the assignment – I didn’t quit!  That is a huge accomplishment for me.
  • I started my own business. I am working on believing in myself that I can do this and I am putting myself out there in a way that does not come natural for me.  For instance, last Wednesday, I went to a ladies’ networking event, and I made some good contacts and may even have a client very soon.  Was it difficult for me to do it?  Oh, you betcha!  Huge introvert here, remember?  But, I did it and that is what’s important.

All things considered, I kicked butt this year.  It’s all about perspective.  Have I clients calling my phone every day or a super-successful blog, nope, but who cares!  I am doing well and that is what is important.  I’ll be 45, and frankly, when I was 20, I never thought I’d survive to this age.  As they say, I would have taken better care of myself if I knew I would still be around at this age!  The point is to always keep moving forward, no matter what life throws at you.  You can do it, you can kick butt!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am!

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am!

Above is a picture of my beloved dog.  We got her in 2006 from the SPCA and the vet we took her to said she was a Doberman mix.  So, considering her German roots, I named her Gretchen Eva.  She’s a great dog and I love her to death.  This is something all dog owners know, when you leave home and come back, your dog is so excited to see you – like you’ve been gone for months or something.  I can be gone for like five minutes and I get the same reaction from her as when I’ve been gone for hours.  I think that is the one thing that is so endearing about dogs, how happy they are to see you when you get home.  I have cats too and I don’t get the same reaction from them, I assure you.  Also, she is wherever I am, whether in my home office, living room, doesn’t matter, she is always by my side.

Anyway, the other day I was thinking about this; how to my dog I am the greatest being alive. And I started to think how really great it would be if I thought this about myself, not the ‘I’m the greatest’ thing, but that I am worthy of such devotion.  When my dog looks at me, she doesn’t see the fat, the flaws, the shortcomings – she just sees me as being perfect.  That’s what I wish I could do for myself, to just accept the flaws and stop having issues about them.  I am what I am, and according to everyone else I am a great person.  Do I see that? No, I don’t.  All I do is constantly berate myself for not being good enough at being a homemaker, a Christian, or just plain being a human.

As you know, I am working on starting a virtual assistant business and days like today, actually, I just think to myself what a fraud I am, how I am completely unprepared to do the job, to help clients.  It doesn’t matter that I would do anything possible to give potential clients the best service possible, or that I would care about their business as I care for mine.  I just think I am just such a fraud, that I have no idea what I am doing and why would anyone want me as a VA, when there are ones out there who really do know what they are doing.  I can’t seem to give myself a break on this, and this comparititis that I have with other VA’s is detrimental.  I could be comparing myself to a VA that’s been doing it for ten years; of course, he/she will know what they are doing.  That’s why I want to see myself as my dog does, so that I can just give myself a break and be a whole lot more logical and reasonable about whom I am and what I have to offer.  Everyone I know sees me in a way that I just don’t and I really need to work on this because there are much less talented people out there that are successful because they had the self-confidence in themselves to put themselves out there.  Maybe I need to read a book or two about developing self-esteem, any recommendations?  I know in Scripture (Philippians 4) God says to think on good, positive things and the peace of God will be with us.  Maybe I should just take His advice, and learn to think positively!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

The things my husband has taught me…

The things my husband has taught me…

And he has taught me so much.  He is an incredible person and I am so lucky that he is my husband.  Do I sometimes want to stick a knife in his back?  Oh yeah, I mean what wife doesn’t have that thought once in a while.   When we met, we were both broken people for personal reasons I won’t go into, but you know about my mother’s death already.  I met my husband about two years after she died and I was still a wreck.  We met on a blind date on a Saturday, which just happened to be Valentine’s Day; we didn’t plan it, it just happened that way.  We met for breakfast and we just knew and were together ever since.  We were engaged by the end of the month and married in October.  We’ve had are problems but we got through them and are better than ever.

But this post is about what my husband has taught me.  The main thing he has taught me is how a man is supposed to treat a woman.  Before him, I was so messed up and vulnerable that I was easy prey, add in the fact that I am a naturally trusting person didn’t help the situation.  I was treated by men before him terribly and it had to do with my choice of men and the fact that I had zero self-esteem or self-respect.  But that could be another post in itself.  My point is that my husband treats me as a woman should be treated, he always puts my needs first before his and all he does he does for me.  That is the most valuable lesson he has taught me, how to expect to be treated and knowing I’m worthy of that treatment.

The other thing he has taught me is hard work and perseverance.  He never gives up, ever!  He loves to take machines that don’t work and work on them until they do work, and he does not give up until they do – and they always do get fixed, it may take him a while, but he always figures it out eventually.  He is the hardest working man I know, he is constantly doing something.  For him to sit down and actually watch TV or something like that is rare; oh, he’ll watch at night but during the day, nope, there’s work to do.  I have to be careful what I ask him to do for me, because I’m the procrastinator in our marriage, I have to think things out; he just does it and wings it along the way.  If I ask him to do something for me, it is done like right now, even if I’m not ready for it to be done.  It drives me crazy sometimes, but I’d rather have a husband who gets things done than one who is like me and procrastinates.  I guess what they say about opposites attracting is true!  We couldn’t be more different if we tried, yet somehow, we manage to stay together and be happy doing it.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Dealing with the mood swings

Dealing with the mood swings

I specifically chose a picture of a roller coaster, because it is a good visualization of what it is like being bipolar. I don’t know about you, but even with my basic stability, I still have to deal with major mood swings.  For instance, this morning alone I was irritable, then anxious, then crying, and then everything was right as rain again.  It’s exhausting!  Part of being bipolar is dealing with the mood swings.  We all have them, bipolar or not, just bipolars have them in a much more severe way.

Do I have any good advice on how to deal with them?  Not really.  Other than the basics:  good nutrition and exercise, adequate sleep, and some sense of spirituality.  It’s really just a matter of dealing with the roller coaster of our emotions as healthfully as possible.  There are going to be bad days and good days, you might be like me and have good hours and bad hours.  It just is what it is.  I can suggest you try to stay as positive-minded as possible, because I do believe attitude does play a key role in the mood swings.  I can remember back before I returned to God when my attitude about it was so bad – I thought that I had some God-given right to be miserable to others because I, myself, was miserable.  That just isn’t right, period.  I cringe at the way I used to treat others and act out.

The only thing that keeps me as stable as possible is the medications I am on and God Himself.  I can’t stress enough the impact returning to God has had in my life.  I am so much more at peace with myself, the world and others.  I do hope that you find your spirituality; I don’t care if it’s Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist.  Just strive for that inner peace, because without it bipolars can have a very difficult time of it.  I know, I was once a menace to society because of my attitude and lack of peace, not proud of it, but it’s the truth.  So, hang in there, the one good thing about the mood swings, is they don’t last, they’re only temporary!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth