Monday, June 22, 2015

So many hobbies, so much stuff!

A big challenge of being separated and alone again has been keeping myself busy, happy, and organized without someone else doing the planning. Also, without breaking the bank!

One of my favorite activities is sailing. Sounds expensive, right? But because I live in Maryland and work at a place with a sailing club it’s a cheap activity. It costs me $10 per person to rent the sailboat for a half day or $7.50 to participate in a regatta, aka a boat race. Gas is $15 if I drive alone. $25 isn’t bad for an entire day’s worth of fun.  

The hardest part has been making sure that I have all of my stuff ready for sailing. I can’t believe how much gear is involved! The first two times I went out this year I had to turn around and go back home because I forgot things. I ended up late to the marina both times. One of those times was the morning of a regatta. Not good!

My sailing instructor suggested a go-bag. It’s just a pre-packed bag. The idea is that when you get home from a day sailing you re-pack it so that you’re ready to go the next time. An important part of the go-bag is a list of all of the stuff that has to be added on the day-of. This way you really don’t forget anything. 

Here’s the waterproof card I keep in the bag. It tells me what needs to be in the bag at all times.

Here’s what all of the pre-packed stuff looks like.

On the morning of a sail I can use this card to know what to add. 
And since my glasses case isn’t big enough to fit my huge sunglasses, I store them in my sailing gloves. Instead of buying a new pair of sailing gloves ($25+) I just repurposed my old gardening gloves. The ropes on a boat can give you awful blisters so the gloves are a must!

If you’re like me and you’re always forgetting things on the way out the door, a go-bag works great. The bag just lives next to my door so that when I’m running out the door at 6:30 on a Saturday morning I don’t have to think!

Looking forward to another day out on the water.

How do you prepare your gear for hobbies you participate in often? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What a year it's been, are you still the same?

Has your opinion changed?

Those are some of my favorite lyrics from a song I love, I Don't Know You Anymore, by Savage Garden. In some ways, it sums up my life since I've stopped blogging.

So here's what happened.

In January of 2014 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II. Then they started throwing meds at me. Five in total. Then, I didn't realize, the medication made me crazier than I was to start with. I spent a week on a psych ward, voluntarily. I got out of the hospital and spent 9 months thinking I was well.

I wasn't. I was happy but I was bingeing more than I had in years and I was incredibly disconnected from the world, from my work, from my husband. The only things I could do well were write stories, write music, spend money, and sleep.

Of course it all came crashing down on me. In March I almost lost my job because I couldn't focus.

In April the Chief Engineer left. Whether he's coming back in another question. Some of this is to do with the mental health issues I've struggled with, some of it is his own issues, and some of it is that we've been together for 10 years and grown into different people in that time.

So where does it leave me?

I'm off the bipolar medication. Not a decision I regret, as I'm able to focus on my job-related work and on the people around me. When I went off the meds the bingeing almost all but went away! So now I mostly have the ups and downs to contend with. It's going to take a while to learn to deal with them without medication and without using the eating disorder to numb those emotions.

I have the condo to myself and the only one to pick up after me is me. I also now have a car and a car loan. I also have the guilt associated with both of these moves as I wasn't financially prepared to buy a car and I told myself that I would never lead a life where I would need a car. But I need it to see my aunt and uncle and friends who live nowhere near me, all of whom are keeping me sane right now. I have discovered that it was a huge mistake not to have a bank account to myself. I feel like I'm starting over financially, emotionally. That's not a bad thing. I made a lot of mistakes before. I'm only 32, and still willing to learn.

Back to budgeting, decluttering, and sorting myself out emotionally. I'm ready for the ride.