#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal

AtoZ2019Theme

Yo, here I am on a Monday after a (yet again) too short weekend, and today is the #AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal!

I vowed that I would choose a theme early this year so that I could prep my entries, given that I’m doing two other writing challenges, and so that I could ensure that this year, my posts could both have focus (instead of being meandering messes) and be relevant to my blog.

So, that’s being said, my A-to-Z Theme is, My Life with ADHD.

I’ll blog a bit about neurodivergence in general, and share personal stories and opinions (and advice, for what it’s worth) about living my life with one.  I’m excited to dive a bit into this, and hopefully find/attract some other adults who are dealing with some of the same issues.

I’m looking forward to combing through the Master List for the Challenge later and maybe finding some new blogs to follow!  (I’m also hoping to both get some drafting done and get a few non-Challenge entries written soon).

Is everyone else psyche for April??

Alarming Alarms

person touching black two bell alarm clock
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I’ve never had a problem remembering appointments or tasks involving other people; I think my intense social anxiety and fear of letting people down has caused me to be weirdly hyper-vigilant in that arena.  No, it’s the more solitary, everyday sorts of things I forget – I forget essential items when I leave the house; I leave my bag behind in classrooms, restaurants, people’s homes; I forget to check on dinner; I forget to factor in time to shower or eat; I forget to pay a bill or a loan.

So I set alarms for the most mundane things; I have to. Pay Student Loan, Remember Work Badge, Time Sheet Due Today.  They’re generally effective.

Except I never actually deactivate them.

I could.  I should.  There is literally no reason why I don’t, except that, in the moment, when the alarm goes off, my first and only priority is to turn the damn thing off.  Swipe to dismiss, perform the task (usually; but that’s another story for another day), and then forget about the alarm.

Until, say, Wednesday at 10:15 rolls around again.  And my alarm goes off at work, and I have a small scale panic attack while I spend approximately 2.5 seconds trying to decipher what “FIND K. GIVE PAPERS” means before… dismissing the damn thing again and having the same exact occurrence the following Wednesday.

How long does this go on for?  I recently disabled an alarm set for Friday at 12:52 pm for some reason?  With the alarm name “STROLLER 4 ARISIA” which, ah, was January 18th.  So, what, seven weeks?  Yeah, so at least that long.

So yes, for those of you who ask me if I’ve “tried settings alarms” to help aid my ADHD, yes I have.  And yes, actually, they do work for me.

They just also wake me up at weird hours, disrupt my work shift, and randomly startle me in the grocery store.

Still, it’s better than forgetting my wallet or not submitting work hours.

You’ve gotta take the good with the bad, I guess.

 

Friday, Fri-yay: August 24th, 2018

& (1)It’s my last Friday before they, like, actually start meaning something again.  Honestly.  I meet the end and the beginning of the school year with equally mixed feelings – on the one hand, I feel better with a schedule and a routine, and I kinda sorta have to have one foisted on to me, because I suck at self-regulating.  But at the same time, I miss late nights to myself, staying up late reading fanfic, or doodling, or Facebook messaging stupid memes to my sister.  I miss pool parties and beach days and not having to cart a 30lb. coat everywhere, and not taking an hour to get all Bear’s snow gear on in the morning.

But – fall is pumpkin spice and apple-picking and cinnamon scented candles and taking Bear trick-or-treating and having weekend crafternoons where I serve finger foods and hot apple cider, you know?  And on top of that, I get a routine.  So, yeah.  Sad to see summer go, but I am pretty ready for fall.

And so much is happening!  I literally already have myself booked through September, and we still have a week of August left.  No clue how that happened.

Anyway, this week:

I guess the first big “yay” is just having such a busy schedule the next few weeks – getting back into the routine and the daily grind is always easier when I know I have non-work fun stuff to look forward too.  This includes a festival and a party tomorrow, a local feast/street festival next Friday, a trip to Connecticut next Sat., a pool party next Sunday, and a birthday party on Labor Day proper.  Throw a few more events in there throughout the month, and then cap the month off with both Welcome to Night Vale Live and Hamilton.  September will be busy.

Second, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back on August 28th.  Yeah, roll your eyes ;it’s over-hyped, it’s so cliche, yada yada yada.  I’m too old to either feign ironic interest in things I genuinely enjoy or pretend to be somehow “above” stuff that I like.  I love lattes, and I love pumpkin spice.  Call me basic.  I’ll be over here sipping my delicious damn drink (also, for further exploration into how you’re not better than me – and almost certainly have your own PSL – see Jim Gaffigan’s McDonalds bit).

Third, Barefoot wine has a sweet red blend that has been the jewel of my evenings this past week.  It’s been a while since I branched out from reisling or moscato, and it was worth it.

Anyway, it’s later on Friday than I’d wanted to get this out, but I got it out – ha ha ha!  Take that, crappy executive functioning!  What’s been good in your week?

On Niche Blogging and Authenticity

Oh, please, please don’t call me a “mommy blogger.”

No offense to mommy bloggers – I follow a lot of them.  I read them.  I enjoy them.

I just don’t feel like one of them.  Not really; not deep down.

I’ve never been good at keeping a niche blog.  There are a lot of people who do it and do it well, but to me it’s always felt like, in order to be “successful” as a niche blogger, I need to turn off (or at least tamp down) certain parts of my personality.  People who were following me for a particular brand of content wouldn’t, I figured, be interested in anything I posted that deviated from that “brand.”

When I was a creative writing blog, I attracted a lot of followers who were also creative writers.  And that was great; lots of them as interesting insight into the writing market, or wrote beautiful poetry, or intriguing short stories.

But all they wrote about – overall, for the most part – was writing.  And I felt like I, then, should only write about writing.

But I also wanted to write about cooking.  And art.  And parenting, and work, and family, and gender, and anxiety, and crafts, and fandom, and being a geek.  And I felt like I couldn’t, because no one was following me for that.  That’s not what my followers wanted.

Eventually, it became the question of, do I write about what I think my followers want, or about what I want?

Niche blogging is great.  I love being able to find blogs that go in depth about a topic I’m interested in, and reading and absorbing, and learning more about a particular thing.  But I’m not good at compartmentalizing my life – I love so many things.  I love children’s books, and cooking, and crafting, and organizing, and parenting.  I love writing, and fandom, and conventions, and my job.  I love bargain hunting, and thrift shopping, and home decor.  And yes, I love parenting.

So if you have to label me, “lifestyle blog” might be a little closer to the truth, since I write primarily about my life, and the things near and dear to me.  And honestly, while I welcome (and in fact, invite) others to follow me, I write for myself first and foremost.  I write to document my thoughts and catalog my ideas.  I write to keep track of my progress and remind myself of things that are good in my life.

But I think, even more accurately, would be “personal blog.”  Like, a truly personal blog.  Or at least, that’s what I’d like to be.  It’s what I’d like to return to.

Anyone else grow up on LiveJournal? Or Xanga, or Diaryland?  Do you remember, on the best day, how wonderful it felt, to meet and connect with people on a personal level?  How many bands, and books, and shows, and hobbies and interests did you wind up falling into because someone on your Friend’s List blogged about it incessantly?  Personal blogging – on LiveJournal for me, specifically – got me into Supernatural and Doctor Who; it got me attending conventions and helped me find awesome roomies for them; introduced me to Ludo, and The Decemberists, and Muse.  I got to read about people’s lives, live vicariously through the cool things they did while they were on summer break, or laugh conspiratorially over the stupid, mundane crap that took up their Friday nights.

So, ok, back in the heyday of LiveJournal and Xanga and all the rest, most of my generation were angsty teenagers sans a filter, and maybe I don’t want to return to that.  You can never truly, fully go home again, right?  I’m past that, past meandering “what I did today” daily posts, past passively-aggressively posting song lyrics and ending the post with “you know who you are,” past posting five or six random, non-sequitur one-liners in the middle of the night.

But I still want the freedom to talk about – thoughtfully, and probably with fewer XD emoticons – whatever the hell pops into my head.

Work.  Marriage.  Parenting.  Fandom.  Food.  Weight and body issues.  What I’m learning.  Goals.  Music.  My writing.  Craft ideas.  Gushing over books, or movies, or TV.  Gender.  Mental health.  Just… life, you know?

And I want to be concerned with readability – is this well-written and coherent? – but not marketability.  I don’t want to be a product.  I want to be a person, and I want to meet other people.

I’m here, everyone.  Let’s connect.