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Sunday, January 21, 2018


Warning: This post will sound whiny.

And it probably is.

Because it's about a death in the family. Not death itself, but the ways in which death affects the family, even nearly a year and a half later.

So yes, whiny.

Here's the thing; when death is new, the survivors are so caught up in grief - and numb with it - that basic life skills kind of go by the wayside.

I'm not talking about making stupid mistakes at work, though as they only occurred after Laston's death, I'm sure it was a contributing factor. I did it; I'll own it. And I'm not talking about the inability to cope altogether; that's a separate issue that - thank goodness - did not really happen to me for long.

No, here I'm talking about things like sleep, and keeping track of bills and other papers, and comfort behaviors getting out of hand.

These things are getting better.

But I look back when circumstances force the issue and... well, it's not pretty.

I don't know where my social security card is, for instance; the last time I remember seeing it was when I applied for death benefits for the kids. This makes it difficult to get hired (legally) anywhere, and as I don't have a passport and I haven't seen my birth certificate in even longer than my social security card, it'll be a few more days even though I have a job offer at a staffing agency. My mom might have a copy of my birth certificate, but I have a vague recollection of her giving it to me back in the day.

That's really the problem, more than anything else; just about everything is a vague recollection. And since I'm not working, and I'm waiting on an appeal to the denial of unemployment benefits, I'm kind of in limbo.

Then there is sleep. I'm sleeping better than I was. Even Lizzy is sleeping better than she was (though that's not saying much; Lizzy's never been a good sleeper. I'm told this is very common in children with autism, high-functioning or otherwise). I imagine that this is part of the reason for the vagueness of recollection as well; sleep deprivation over the course of two-plus years, that I'm only just in the last couple months coming out of, is not conducive to thinking well.

Comfort habits could be worse, of course. For me, the worst of these is eating. Duh. I wouldn't be on Weight Watchers if I didn't comfort eat. I wouldn't need to. But there are other comfort-y things that are just fine. I've rediscovered a number of old Big Fish Games (mostly Hidden Object), and even a couple of SNES games. Replaying Final Fantasy VI (the PlayStation port) by myself and Super Mario World on SNES with Abby is pretty hilarious stuff as a rule.

And I already own these, so they're free to play, right?

Anyway, the whole point of this blog is to write it out so I no longer feel so whiny.

I have achieved that.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

It's That Time Again!

Last year our song was "Do You Wanna Buy Some Cookies?"

But Frozen is old hat now.  These days Lizzy prefers Moana, Coco, and Trolls, in that order.

So this year, we bring you "You're Welcome!"

Cookie style.

The scansion limps a bit; cookie names do not always fit well into the rhyme scheme.

But starting at midnight (local time), Friday, January 19th, 2018, cookie pre-orders (or Operation Cookie Drop or cash donations if you prefer) are set to go! I'll publish a link to Lizzy's Digital Cookie site sometime tomorrow.

You're welcome.

(And thank you!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Good, the Bad, and the Facebook

For the past four days, I have been recounting the Good News and the Bad News on Facebook. Just whatever is happening that day.

It includes things like the head cold Lizzy and I both have (bad) and the Really Good Chili I made (good) in spite of having to concoct my own chili powder (bad). Also, hey, getting fresh air and exercise (good)... the little day-to-day.

Not included are things like continuing joblessness (except anything new that happens, like particularly great connections on LinkedIn (good), or the UI peeps denying my claim (bad)).

The Good outweighs the Bad. And I'm trying to keep it that way, if only in mindset. Mindset is key.

Sorry folks, short post. But you get the idea.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

And the answer is... not to resolve. Because here's the thing. Resolutions tend to be all or nothing. For me that sort of thinking leads to guilt (or maybe it's shame) if I don't succeed. And then I'm back in that vicious cycle of what Weight Watchers calls 'eating my emotions' and it all gets very ugly.

So instead of resolutions, I have goals this year.

The three big ones here are lose weight, get a 'forever job,' and avoid the Curse of Mom Leaving Town. (Click the link, seriously).

1) Weight. Yes, I know. And I may have better luck in the latest and greatest version of Weight Watchers Smart Points, because eggs and seafood and white meat poultry are zero points. I still have quite a bit of salmon and some hard boiled eggs left over from yesterday's Game Day too. Blue Dots can be achieved (my WW friends will understand that bit). And honestly, I have had so many fewer headaches and general malaise since leaving AT&T that I really think meeting, say, my step goals each day is possible. Stretch goal? I'm going to say 40 pounds in 2017.

2) Work. It's not working itself that causes me so much stress and the attendant headaches. But if you've read this blog for any length of time you know that my last job - although much enjoyed - was a major stress-bomb for me. Compassion fatigue, corporate politics, and quite honestly, probably an association with my late husband there. It was a very unhappy place for me for the past several months. So... I'd prefer something where I can use my degree in Intercultural Communications for more than customer small talk, where I can help people with more than their data speed, and with reasonable pay and schedule. I'm getting too old and tired for customer care. Ping me. Stretch goal: $60K a year, part-time telecommute.

3) Curse. There's not much I can do myself for this one except think positive and not allow myself to panic if something goes wrong when mom is not here. But it's been almost three years since her usual visit to her sister and we're stable enough now that she can go without feeling like she's failing us somehow. Stretch goal: Something positive will happen while she's gone! Perhaps I'll get my dream job (see number two) with a start date of the day after she gets back or something.

Loins girded, goals set. I've got this!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Four Fans of Christmas

It was a Very Fandom Christmas at Chez GamersBabes this year. The older girls can now get their own gifts for people, and so there was a lot of giggling over gifts. Lee got me a Thor mug, for instance, and my mom got Abby a Supernatural calendar (well, that one was more squee-ing that giggling). Abby got me a Doctor Who-themed necklace, and a girly-scientist kind of book for Little Miz Liz.

A good time was had by all, in spite of me (and the older two kids) white-knuckling our way down the hill from my aunt's house on Christmas Eve (as it was a White Christmas for the first time since, um... 2008, I think?) Lizzy actually slept through the whole ordeal; that may be the first time she's fallen asleep in the car since she was about three.

So, here you go, for the enjoyment of all:

Twelve SPN pix,
Eleven fandom shout-outs,
Ten-year-old a-sleeping,
Nine pairs of earrings,
Eight silly reindeer,
Seven chocolate candies,
Six appetizers,
Five Funko Pops...
Four silly clothes,
Three BrickHeadz,
Two boiled eggs,
And a renewed sense of Weight Watchers nee-ee-ee-eeeeeeed.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Once Upon a December

Not this one, although that role is in Abby's Top Ten list.

So, for those of you who thought that this would be the New Normal, be at ease. That one is simply for the purpose of making - as the URL suggests - a blog that is entirely safe for work... and more importantly, for potential employers.

But here we are, in December. Abby is fifteen (can you believe it?!). Lizzy is ten. We'e been through a lot this year, here at Chez Gamers' Babes, and in general we're doing okay. I'm unemployed, but confident in my ability to get work that will suit everyone. Abby got a role she really wanted at Studio East and Lizzy is being tested for the Highly Capable program in January (and getting a few test-taking accommodations for the process; her IEP allows for this).

I've learned that I have a lot more relevant skills than I thought I did, that the kids and I are doing pretty well in spite of the usual suspects of money issues, school problems (not a lot so far this year, thank Google), and the lingering effects of grief and loss.

In some ways, the holidays are considerably easier this year than last; it's been sixteen months now since Laston's death. Neither I nor those trying to support me are in shock and barely able to manage ourselves, much less support others. In other ways, it's a lot harder, for the same reasons. We're not in shock, so we're feeling it all, and some people... well, some people think we should be "over it" because it's been more than a year.

But this year I am more able to cope as well, presumably because the stressors are different; as an example, except for the past two nights, I've been sleeping well. The insomnia is now an unusual thing, not the day-to-day. And I find it very interesting that even though I really need a job, I haven't had a single migraine since leaving AT&T. That speaks volumes to my mental and emotional state while there, don't you think?

In any case, and in spite of my government doing its best to screw over the populace at large, life is pretty okay for me and mine right now.