Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Odds & ends...

I've had lots of little things flit through my head lately as "stuff I could blog about" but never enough inspiration for one grand post. So this is post is a bit of a brain-dump...!

It's been a busy (and very cold!!) couple of weeks around here. I am thoroughly sick of winter. And it's not even February yet! It was still a little bit light outside when we arrived home from work tonight & I can't tell you what a spirit-booster that was. Never mind that it was freezing cold outside, lol. A little sunshine can make the coldest day more tolerable.

FIL turned 80 last week & we went there on Saturday night to celebrate. BIL & family were there, and so was stepBIL & his wife and the new baby. He slept most of the time we were there, so it was not all about him.

Our gift to FIL (with BIL & family) was a digital picture frame, which I loaded up with about 175 digital photos I've taken over the past few years... mostly of the nephews, but some of dh & me too (why not?). I was also going through old photos of dh & me & pulling negatives to get some reprints done. I've decided to set aside the nephews' scrapbooks for the time being & work on an us/anniversary album, with the goal of having it finished in time for our 25th wedding anniversary in 2010. There will be a few pages with photos of us covering from the time we met through to our wedding, & then a spread for each year that we've been married, with photos & journalling covering the highlights.

Going through all those photos, both for the digital frame & to start the scrapbook, was a more emotional task than I thought it would be -- seeing how young we both were (not to mention skinny!!), so fresh-faced & full of hope and excitement about the future. I love scrapbooking, but I sometimes find myself getting strangely stressed about it. Part of it is because I'm a perfectionist (I've procrastinated on doing an album for Katie because, of course, THIS album HAS to be perfect!!) & I get very focused on what I'm doing -- & frustrated when the page on the table winds up looking nothing like the page I had in my head.

And of course, it can be hard to be scrapping photos of your nephews, or yourself, while all around you people are scrapping their babies. I try not to let it get to me & just enjoy the creative process, but I think it does get to me sometimes, at least on a subconscious level.

I like to think I'm a laid-back sort of person, but the truth is I have a lot of anxiety issues. I like to think I've only been that way over the past 10 years, but when I think back, I've had problems with anxiety all my life. Moving frequently, always being the new girl (not to mention the "brainy" new girl), being shy and desperately wanting to fit in will do that to you. I was never assertive enough to stand up to bullies, from the elementary schoolyard taunters to the bitchy roommates I had in grad school (I still have nightmares about that situation sometimes).

I haven't had a full-blown anxiety attack in at least seven years now (knocking wood...!), but it seems like I just get one issue or worry resolved, & something else almost immediately pops up to take its place. I find that, over the past 10 years, I've gotten hypersensitive about my health, in a way that I don't remember prior to loss & infertility. I think part of that is because pregnancy & infertility makes you hyperaware of your body & what it's doing & how you're feeling. And, of course, you become acutely aware of how fragile the human body can be & how quickly things can change and go wrong.

I think I need to get back to a yoga class. I need to practice focusing my mind & relaxing.


  1. Oh Loribeth, this is a good post. Maybe brain downloads are my favorite. There are so many issues here. Just take care fo yourself - yoga sounds like a great idea. It has certainly helped me recently (even if our nights aren't quite as long as yours - I hate winter too!)

    I like to scrapbook, but also get too picky. I really think we need to have a db scrapbook meetup - then we can scrap with pride, empathy, and understanding!

    Yes, Serenity's death has certainly made me aware of the fragility of life - even when you think you are healthy. It just sucks, doesn't it?

    The digital frame is great - I hope he likes it!

  2. The wedding album sounds awesome. I wish I had the patience for a project like that. I don't even want to imagine the emotions it must have stirred up.
    I love the digi frame too. I want to try one out, but again...patience.
    I'll bet when you do do 'that' album, it will be perfect. Absolutely.

  3. I am very mindful of those anxious moments as I get older. I do a LOT of slow deep breathing through those moments.

    hope you get to your scrapbook when you're good and ready.

  4. Oh man, this winter has been bad, hasn't it?! I'm feeling the way I normally do in late Feb/early March ... since early Jan!

    I know infertility has done a number on my and my anxiety level. For me, I think it's invaded my confidence a bit and I have to consciously tell myself "yes, you can. you are good enough." repeatedly. As for hypersensitivity to my own body/health ... I thought nursing school messed me up, but maybe it was IF as well ;-)

    I hope you enjoy making those scrapbooks when you feel up to it. They WILL be perfect!!

  5. Mmmmm,where on earth do people get time to scrapbook, I don't even put pictures in photo albums - but you've got me thinking.....

    If you're scrapbook isn't perfect, then what? Can't you redo a page here or there? Or do you use original photos or items in a way you can't redo them once it's done? Just curious, I see them at craft stores and it seems fun.

  6. I have always thought about making a "History of Us" photo album. Despite all we have been through, we have really had a lot of fun experiences. Something tangible to remind me that even though life hasn't turned out how I planned, it has still been a pretty good one.

  7. I think anxiety likes to just hang around, like some delinquent smoking out in the alley, waiting for something to latch on to.

    I've been helped a lot by yoga. It seems to redirect that energy into other, less taxing places beside the overactive brain.

    Thanks for your kind wishes, Loribeth! Keep warm up there!

  8. I can totally relate to being someone who doesn't think she has control issues, but who really had very deep control issues that can spur tremendous anxiety. For a long time I think I was just in denial about it all.

    Wishing you peace through yoga or any other means that helps let your mind become quiet.

  9. Deathstar, lol -- I'm not sure how I find time to scrapbook either... I go to all-day Saturday "crops" at a local store once every month or so, sometimes with a friend, sometimes by myself, & that's where I do most of my work. There are too many distractions at home.

    I keep photo albums too -- but I'm about five years behind on that too! My scrapbooking efforts to date have been mostly gift albums for other people, like my nephews.

    Yes, you can always re-do a page. Depending on what kind of adhesive you use, thought, you might have to use new/different paper & embellishments, as pulling stuff apart might rip things. (There is an adhesive remover on the market called Undu that is pretty effective.) I have always kept my negatives (& kept them pretty organized) & now with digital, it's very easy to order a print whenever I need it (or print it off at home, if I'm really in a rush).

    I've always loved taking photos, & journally, & scrapbooking sort of brings it all together.

  10. 'the "brainy" new girl' huh? You too? That bit sure does get old. In adulthood I've dealt with it by becoming an extreme extrovert. Funny how such similar paths can become so divergent!