I’m Making it a Good Year

Happy New Year, WordPress-ians! Are you as excited as I am that this year is going to be different? I have that feeling and I hope I can transfer some of it to you guys, but first here’s a quick recap since my last post;

My Mother was released from the hospital and is now at home in the recovery stage before starting any cancer treatments, she has her first oncologist appointment coming up and we’ll go from there. I’m back in therapy on a weekly basis to help with everything that has happened and it’s been relieving. I had almost the entire month of December off from work since I couldn’t take any vacation time during the year. We couldn’t afford to go anywhere or do anything vacation-like, which was kind of sucky, but the payoff of having almost an entire month off was huge. I highly recommend it because that time off has revealed to me what I need to do.

I am 98% sure I am quitting my job, no matter what.

For me, that’s both terrifying and freeing at the same time.

My time off from work has revealed to me what a gigantic fucking problem my job is. It’s all stress and unpleasantness and it’s bringing me down. Midway through my month-long vacation I imagined going back to work and an almost tangible feeling of dread settled on my chest. I imagined working with the same people, dealing with the same customers, working the same hours, I was repelled at the thought and that wasn’t even the biggest sign that I needed to quit. The epiphany came when I thought about the new job opportunity that was offered to me that would take me away from the people, customers and hours that came with my current position and I didn’t want that either. I told my boss I wanted it, it was a step up and a new opportunity, but the longer drive, new people, the personality adjustment I’d have to make, was no longer appealing.

Unbeknownst to anyone, I have no plans to take that new job despite telling my boss and future coworker otherwise. I have decided this feeling of peace is more important and I will work any other job to make that happen.

I have a plan in place which has bought me time to stay in my current position without having to take the new job. It’s totally real and legitimate but because my end goal is buying time before quitting it looks like I’m being sneaky or taking advantage of a federal benefit provided to me. I will be using that benefit in the way it’s supposed to be used, there is no dishonesty there because my family needs help. However, I will also be utilizing that time to find other employment and ease into the transition out from under my current employer. I’m already anticipating the drastic cut in pay and from now on I will live as frugally as possible and will only be spending money on the bills I owe each month plus the other necessary expenses such as food.

What about the soap biz? That is still on the table and during my vacation I made two batches (I would’ve liked to make more but the opportunities escaped me.) The two batches I created showed me that I need some actual hands-on teaching, not just YouTube videos and forums so I took some Christmas money and invested it in a set of quarterly classes. I will be learning from the Soap Queen herself about techniques and a better way to soap. I am very excited about this.

2015 looks to be the year I actually Go Left and create an existence that I am happy to be a part of. I have this yearning feeling inside that’s telling me it will work out and I’ll be safe.

Before I sign off for today I wanted to share an experience that helped me recognize that this is the start of me getting on the right path. You don’t know me in real life, but I am very much a Type-A personality, I over-analyze and over-think and I like having control and knowing the outcome of everything (which is probably how I got myself into this mess in the first place!)

I am on the mailing list of Modern Soapmaking and the owner generously decided to do giveaways for the last 10 days in December. Prior to the revamp of her website she had her own learning materials available to purchase, I held off on buying her essential oil guide and when I decided to buy it I found that she had taken it down and her books were now part of a monthly membership. Dammit! I was totally kicking myself because at that time I was ready to try EO blending and I missed out on her own little cheat sheet she made for other soapers. However, for her giveaway, she said she’d be offering up learning materials as prizes and I hoped that book would be one of them.

Here’s where New Age stuff comes in and you’re welcome to close the browser now if you don’t want to read any more.

I really really wanted her Essential Oil Blend book. So I took some time and thought about it, imagined seeing my name on the winner’s list and I imagined myself reading her book and taking my soap scents to the next level. I did this before I fell asleep so I had very few distractions and I only did it for a minute or two. I was manifesting.

When I got an email saying to check out the giveaway page for the prize and winners I clicked over and guess what??

The essential oil blending book was a prize! YES! Did I win??

I didn’t win.


As a consolation she made the book available for purchase for a short time! So I bought it! And there I was, reading her book and learning about essential oil blending to take my soap scents to the next level which is exactly how I saw myself when I was manifesting. It didn’t work out exactly as I envisioned but I still feel I used the law of attraction, I have the book don’t I?

That was the first time I had really believed in manifesting and I feel it worked out. I am taking that as a sign that I am turning this car called life in the right direction.


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Not About Soap

FYI, this post will not be about soap or moving towards independence so go ahead and skip it if you’d like, I won’t be mad.

This post is going to be about Families, turmoil and stepping up.

Last week, on my Mom’s birthday, she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. A trip to the emergency room for excruciating pain followed by some tests revealed a shadow that they wanted to investigate further and because of this shadow she would have to be admitted. My Dad and I sat there, on either side of her bed kind of stunned, after all my Mom never said anything to anyone about being in pain or unable to go to the bathroom and apparently that had been going on for 6 days before the pain got so bad she thought she was dying.

The doctor said they needed to find a room for my Mom so we would have to wait in the ER until they did. No problem, of course I can wait with her and be there for her, I was scared but she was probably more so. My Dad on the other hand decided this was a good time to go and “take care of stuff.” He listed some household chores that needed done and at the time I thought it was justifiable since he raced out of the house to follow the ambulance my Mom was in. He left and I sat there with my Mom until they found her a room and then I sat with her up there some more. That day is a blur and I can’t recall anything specific after the emergency room. The next day, her birthday, is when they really started to see what this shadow was about. My Dad called me several times to make sure he knew when I was going up, he was bringing Mom flowers for her birthday. And just like the day before, after 30 or 40 minutes he had to leave to “take care of stuff.” I couldn’t believe it and I didn’t say anything aloud to call my Mother’s attention to the fact that her Husband couldn’t stay to just sit with her, to be a comforting presence for her. He left. I stayed longer but left when they came to do the testing since I couldn’t be with her for it.

That night, after some GI testing, the doctor called my Dad with the colon cancer diagnosis. He called me and I felt a ripple of what I would call lightning run through my body. She was resting now he said and he mentioned how he almost fainted when he got the news. Immediately I knew we had to go up there to be with her. We didn’t know if they told her the news or if she was asleep or what but I knew after hearing that, there wasn’t a question about it, I had to be there. Dad, on the other hand, was hesitant about going up there. Only until I said “Are you nuts? Of course we have to go up there!” that he relented. We drove separately and he stayed a full 30 minutes before booking it.

I pretended it didn’t matter, after all, I was there and comforting for her but his actions were infuriating me. What the fuck was wrong with him? He can’t just sit there for her? How fucking hard was it?

The next day, we got more news but most of it was fluid, things could change, doctors needed to discuss stuff, basically they didn’t really know anything. What I did know was that if my Mom came home any time soon, their house and set up would not be suitable for her. She could barely walk the seven steps to the bathroom in the hospital so she would need close access to a bathroom at home. The master had been under construction after a water leak for at least a year, I use the phrase “under construction” loosely because neither of them put in any effort to put the bedroom back together after the roof was fixed.

She needed a new bed, one that was high enough to get in and out of easily and a nightstand or table, basically a whole bedroom set was needed. We were in the room when I told him we (meaning he and I) had to go to IKEA to get this done and if she was going to be released on Friday, we had to get it done by TONIGHT. The excuses, the buts, started flowing and he said we could do it another day but not the weekend because IKEA would be crazy. I reiterated that it was Wednesday, tomorrow was Thursday so if she was released on Friday, we had to buy the stuff tonight and put it together. It was like talking to a brick wall and I finally had enough and said “Whatever, we have a truck and I have a credit card, I’ll take care of it.” And I did. My supportive boyfriend, who works construction all day, stepped up and we went to IKEA, browsed, measured and tried every reasonably-priced frame and mattress in the place. We found one we thought was suitable, bought it and made our way to their house, I texted that we were on the way and that he would be putting it together. But after I told Boyfriend that, he said he didn’t trust him to put it together so we would do it to just get it done.

During the time my guy was putting together the bed, I took the opportunity to talk to my Dad about his actions and how it looked to me, Mom and my brother. He listened, understood and only once did I have to hold in my frustration and speak calmly but I felt I got through to him and I felt a little better but I hated having to talk to my Father about how to be an adult. We got the bed together and left the nightstand for my Dad to do and we left the house. As of this post, the nightstand is still not together.

The next day at the hospital my Dad showed up with a paper, I thought that was a good sign that he finally saw how his actions were being hurtful to us but the paper only extended his stay to a full hour before he had to go. My brother also couldn’t come in that day so I stayed all day and well into the night. When I paid for parking, my ticket said I was there for nine hours.

A very extensive surgery was ordered for my Mom, they had to cut the cancers out, remove things, put things back together, the works, it was scary sounding. The morning of surgery, we both got there in time to see her off (an accident closed all the ways but one going to the hospital, I thought I was going to miss her going in) and we were sent to the surgical waiting room to wait. I thought the waiting room would be more.. comfortable. I suppose would be the right word, after all, surgeries can go for hours on end but it was a typical doctor’s waiting room with a mix of chairs and one couch-like section that was taken up by everyone who was there before us. Dad and I sat there all day, listening to the news on the tiny TV and then looting out the remote because soap operas came on and there was no way we were going to watch or listen to that for the next four hours. Luckily the few people left in the waiting room didn’t care.

Finally, after a 5+ hour surgery, the surgeon came out to talk to us. There was no bad news, everything went well but there was no overly positive news and like everything before, it was a wait-and-see situation. It would be about an hour before Mom would be taken back to her room, the doctor suggested we go get dinner. Almost immediately after he left Dad said “Ok, I’m going to take off.” and I said “Seriously??” But by that point, what did I expect? He looked at me before he left and said “Don’t be mad at me for leaving.” and that’s when I realized that my Dad cannot handle this. My brother showed up not long after and we talked about our Dad and whether or not we’d need to find a nurse or something and how we would pay for that. My family is not rich, we’re working-middle class, both of us know that after she’s out of the hospital, things are going to get tough.

Now I am caught up to present day, I’m here, typing on my laptop avoiding getting a shower because I just don’t feel like it. My Mom probably needs to rest well into the afternoon today so I’m taking advantage of some zoning-out time and writing out my feelings. I honestly don’t understand how someone, anyone, could act like my Dad in a time of crisis. It makes me sad, especially for my Mom because she’s honestly scared to go home because she doesn’t think she’ll get the care she needs. How can he act like that? Why can’t he step up? I’m stepping up. My brother is stepping up. Where is his courage? No one wants to be at the hospital, we all wish this wasn’t happening but it’s happening and it’s unavoidable, you cannot ignore this any longer.

That last sentence really sums it up for me, it’s unavoidable so why are you trying to avoid it? Who are you? I thought you were strong. This is your wife, you two were together before your kids came along, why are your kids doing your job for you?

Since I’ve been in therapy I’ve learned ways to “let things go” something I’ve had problems with doing. My therapist taught me that I can say what I need to say and the other person is allowed to take it how they want it and then their reaction is their own. Their reaction has nothing to do with me and I can’t change how they feel. Learning that has been the biggest help to me in this situation and I’ve had to put it into practice everyday since my Mother’s hospitalization.

I am really disappointed. Being disappointed in my own Father is really hard to reconcile and I think about that feeling and try to categorize it into acceptance, but I can’t.

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I have not been around for a long time. I feel dumb about it because I told myself I was going to commit to this and soap and whatever else pops into my head. Well, I haven’t and that sucks.

But just because I haven’t been active on here doesn’t mean I haven’t been active. I bit the bullet and spent some money on soap supplies and got myself cooking. Turns out, I can really get behind this. The worst part about making cold-process soap is the wait time; 4-6 weeks before using. FOUR TO SIX WEEKS! Safe to say soap is slow and good planning is really required.

Only two days ago have I been able to use my first batches and they’ve been great. The picture above is an all-natural orange soap made with orange essential oil. It smells exactly like orange. I’m not sold on the scent, it’s good, but I feel like it needs a partner. I am thinking of what I could pair it with for my next batch. I also made a peppermint batch, the soap gives off a really bright scent, but it doesn’t stay on your hands. I’m unsure if that’s good or bad.

As for my medication, I’m still on it and it’s still working. I’ve had good results. I don’t feel like a robot, I still get all the feels, the difference is, I’m seeing the Pros rather than the Cons in everything and that’s helped. One downside is the medication has affected my appetite so I’ve lost some weight. Ok, not really a downside, but since I’m eating less I have less energy so I have not worked out in months. No yoga, no running, no anything. I lost the motivation and energy and my endurance to do anything strenuous has been depleted. I keep telling myself to get started, do anything, but I’d much rather sit on the couch and play Xbox.

New goals: Keep soaping and start exercising again.


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The Next Step

I have been in therapy for a while and really lucked out with the woman I see, she is really great and we share the same viewpoints on many things. One thing we discussed is to try natural remedies for how I was feeling, see how those went and if there wasn’t a significant change then turn to a prescription medication.

For a while I have been taking natural supplements and I saw an improvement however it always felt as though I wasn’t quite there yet when it came to feeling ‘good’ and ‘happy.’ With the natural stuff not working as much as I needed it to we decided to move on to a prescription medication. We talked about possible side effects and what to watch out for, mostly stomach upset, so keep crackers or pepto bismol at hand. That was the symptom I was most worried about because I had a busy week at work and I couldn’t be sick. My hands were shaking when I took that first pill. Nervous about side effects and nervous about changing the chemistry of my brain.

I am officially on an anti-depressant.

I’ve been taking it less than a week and no side effects, yes! Although I know no therapeutic benefits have started yet I have been feeling pretty decent lately. Psychosomatic? Probably. I’ve still been really stressed out lately about some things (there is a major rift in my cat pack) but the stress hasn’t triggered the ‘depression survival mode’ that occurs when I get overly stressed. No going to bed as soon as possible to escape, no only taking care of the bare necessities because anything else takes too much effort, none of that. That makes me feel good.

As I get the blog started and rolling now we have something else to talk about other than soap, pills!

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Not Bad

SuppliesI’ve been focusing a lot on soap and the potential to use it to slowly and easily introduce change and independence in my life. My existence is truly ruled by The Fear I’m fearful of failure, going broke, losing things, bad credit, not being able to provide for myself, inability to pay bills, needing handouts, and being unsuccessful. The job I have now quells those thoughts because it’s stable, pays okay, I have benefits and little supervision but it leaves me empty, unhappy and mentally exhausted. I don’t want this job anymore so I try for a new one but no one wants me so here I stay. I can’t just quit because of The Fear so my life is stable but wholly unfulfilled.

I started my mission to get all my soap making supplies at thrift stores or as cheaply as possible and over the past two weekends I’m happy to report I’ve had some level of success! Soap making equipment consists of mostly kitchen supplies which is both good and bad. Good because it’s easily sourced from just about anywhere, bad because kitchen supplies can quickly get expensive. Due to the nature of working with Lye most of the equipment needs to be stainless steel which equals $$ hence my thrift store hunting.

On a whim, Jon Snow and I decided to go to IKEA to check out the As-Is section for furniture and that’s where I finally scored by finding a stainless steel pot and two large stainless steel spoons for $14.98. We then went to Marshalls where I found my mixing bowl and when I checked another Goodwill I found little mixing bowls for colors and essential oils so I may be about halfway there. My investment so far is $24.16 which is including a $.99 Kindle Ebook on Soapmaking so it’s not so bad. I still have to get a scale, immersion blender, a larger stainless steel pot, a glass measuring cup, some measuring spoons and of course all my material for actually making the soap. These are the big ticket items and probably ones I will not find in a thrift store however I am keeping my hopes high but my Amazon Wish List has been made as a backup.


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Attempting Creativity


Picture from ipinion

I’m not sure how many people will know what this means but Mercury is out of retrograde so it seems safe to come out now. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a struggle and I’ve had some terrible days where my self-esteem was quite low. I wasn’t taking the job rejections that personally but getting no responses regarding positions I am fully qualified for still stung. I suppose in this economy it’s an “Employers Market” and they have all the power.

Instead of wallowing, I decided that this must be a sign from the Universe cryptically telling me “that’s not your path.” While difficult to trust in something so invisible and a little hippy-dippy, it’s kind of my only option if you really look at it. For now, I’m (trying) to open myself up more to the idea that I can do something on my own and perhaps even be successful at it. What is that something? Yeeaah, I’m still working on that part. Right now I’ve landed on soap making. Soap making? Yes, soap making. Not the go-to-Michael’s-and-buy-a-kit soap making but the original way of using LYE, it’s called cold process soaping.

I watched some videos, read and bought some books and am currently attempting to source all my equipment from Thrift Stores – basically it’s a lot of kitchen inventory like stainless steel pots and bowls, glasses and measuring things. I could use some of the tools I have already but I’d prefer to have a separate set so I don’t have to worry if I neutralized the lye enough to measure my sugar water for the hummingbirds (as if I cooked for myself!) I hit up two thrift stores over the week and left without anything on my list besides three spoons. Is buying three spoons at Goodwill, weird? But I did find an awesome Owl picture and something that hit me hard from my childhood so I had to buy it! I thought getting the kitchen items would be much easier than that but apparently I was wrong. I only have three spoons to start my adventure.

Poking Around

I need to learn how to do things the WordPress way.

I’m working on figuring out a good theme for your eyeballs and my wonderful, not-working-in-his-field graphic designer boyfriend has designed a logo for me which may get tweaked as well.