Category Archives: Reflections

Life. Life Happened: State of the Blog and Goals

Life. Life Happened: State of the Blog and Goals

Happy new year, folks! How are your goals and resolutions working for you?!

It has been awhile since my last entry, and I wish I had a nice story about how it was because I was busy traveling the world and seeing new things and making new things, but I don’t. I did ponder over what to write and would say “this is the day I’m actually going to do something”, but I didn’t.

I burned out once again.

So what has been going on? Let’s start from where I left off, which was around September. I had a lot going on, between another move and a new job. It was a whirlwind of sorts and it didn’t really settle down until the holidays, only to pick up again. The holidays are generally a busy time for all of us, and it is perfectly fine to clear the plate (figuratively and literally) to make room for family time. Family is extremely important to me, which is why I have such a hard time with my schedule for my outside job; I get to see my daughter for a half hour every day due to her going to school and then getting home when she’s asleep. It is frustrating, but as this site is generating zero income at the moment, I have to make do. What I have done, however, is think of some goals. I don’t do resolutions (that word is almost setting myself up for failure, so yeah), but I set some goals so that I can keep my eyes on the prize, so to speak. Granted, this post is 4 months late, but better late than to just drop off the face of the earth, right?

I try to keep these goals attainable, and to not burn myself out again, I’m not setting a timeframe other than “by the end of 2017”. If it happens much sooner, great! If by December 2017 something is still not done, that’s okay too. I never made any actual goals for 2016; I just winged it and hoped for the best. The result? Lots of information, but generally a huge mess. I knew what to do, I knew what I wanted to do, but burned myself out no less than 3 times trying to do it. After hours and hours of thinking of what to say and what I’m going to do, this is it. For real this time.

On the site front

  • New theme. Despite burnout, I actually revamped my logo again. Sorta. It is the same thing, just in a slightly different style and I like how it came out. But I want the entire theme itself to be nicer. So that’s one thing that I’m gonna work on in the future.
  • Overhauling pages (again…sorta) I did this a while back, but there are a few things that I never got around to. For example, my about me page. That thing is so old that cobwebs are flying around on it. It has been in the works for since last March. Yeah, so it’s high time I suppose.
  • Finding me. F-bombs aside, I need to find my motivation to write again, and that means that I need to find me again.

On the real life front

  • Actually take steps to get out of retail. I’m not cut out for it. I really shouldn’t have tried it again, but when your passion isn’t making you any money, you need to make money somehow, and legally. These past few months have been one emotional rollercoaster, and one of my goals for this year is to make it a little more comfortable. Like I said, I know what I want, but I need to make moves towards it before my health gets to the point where it won’t do me any good.
  • Get health answers. This one is probably not gonna happen this year. It might not happen next year. But if I can get some answers, I can make goals to, once again, make things more comfortable. Luckily, this time around, I have a doctor willing to help and listen.
  • Write more. ‘Nuff said.

On the making things front

  • FINALLY get my actual business site up. I’m going a slightly different approach with it, but I need this. I have a burning passion and creating is that passion. I need to feed that sumbitch. This goes hand-in-hand with the taking steps to get out of retail.
  • Write more> ‘Nuff said.
  • Set up a “creative fund”. One of the things that I remember as a child was my mom being on disability for nearly a year after a bus accident. To occupy her time and stave off depression from not being able to work for that long, she started making decorative wreaths for all seasons. As I was too young at the time to help (although she did eventually let me make a small hat magnet), I was only able to watch as she made these things. She never made them for any profit, and I never understood why, but I’ve been thinking about it for the past year: why not make some crafts at home? Not necessarily for profit (although I’d be open to it eventually). Obviously this stuff does cost money, so I want to put aside a fund so that every few months or so I can dip into it and get some crafting materials.
  • Get somewhere with Marzipan. So what exactly is Marzipan? It was the novel that I was attempting to write for NaNoWriMo. I had to bow out due to November being crazy (I wish NaNo was in the summer!!), but I do have the desire to work on it. And that’s what I should do. I have intentions of it being a couple of books long (yes, it’s that big of a project).

Biggest goal of all goals…DON’T FREAKING BURN OUT.

This list isn’t exhaustive. This may grow as the year progresses. But this is a start, and focusing on what I love to do is what I want to do. Besides, if it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not really worth doing, right?

I know I haven’t been around for a while. But this is my love and unless something really extreme happens to me, I ain’t going anywhere. I am going to make this work. I need to for my sanity.

Burnout is a Thing: How to Identify and Combat

Burnout is a Thing: How to Identify and Combat

Okay folks, I know that I have been missing around these parts. I had a few other things I wanted to talk about first, but I decided that this post needed to be made in light of my own personal experience of burnout as of recently. Sit back with some coffee and let’s have story time!

Back in April, I decided to take on a 2nd job (third if you counted this gig). It was okay for the most part at first, even if it was stressful. Then one day in May, someone quit at one of my jobs. She was a midnight worker and I get asked if I can do midnights. I said okay, and was told that it was going to be just for the week. I decided that going to midnights permanently would be better for my mental state. It was to a degree. However, getting only a couple of hours of sleep when I got home made me spiral into a caffeine-guzzling, sleep-deprived mess. In fact, I was only functional with caffeine of some kind.

Skip to a few months later, and I have a panic attack seemingly out of nowhere (but it was stress-related). I ended up in the hospital for a few hours. It was at that point where something had to give. But what exactly? I decided that something did have to give, and my creative passion ended up being it. I had way too much on my plate to think about and literally the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and write. In fact, I took sleep over everything else. I couldn’t even focus on gaming. Certainly there had to be another way…

Thing is, back then I knew I was burning out big time, but couldn’t figure out how the hell to get out of that hole. Something still had to give. I slept on it, talked to a few people, and decided that if I ended up quitting one of my jobs, I will have more time to actually think. To be able to write again. To focus on what will be my endgame in the long run. So I did just that.

And while that was one less thing to worry about, I had to actually find ways to fix the rest of it. Slowly, but surely, I’m feeling everything calm down a bit. It only took 4 months, but better than never.

Here’s the deal: burnout is a thing. Burnout is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because it does things to you that will make you feel like you’re spiraling out of control. It feels like you have a plate of food that’s formed into a mountain and overflowing off the plate into another mountain. Soon you’ll have Mount Food all over and a huge-ass mess to clean up afterward. So let’s talk about the signs that you may be heading for the Great Burnout.

You may be burning out if…

  • You seem extra on-edge. Things that didn’t bother you at all suddenly does. Or people who you loved now can’t get too close to you without you yelling at them.
  • Your health seems to be deteriorating. Stress in itself shortens your life span. Your blood pressure goes up and you tend to feel like you can’t breathe. If you have other health issues, they appear amplified. Your pain level is now a 10 when it was a steady 4 most days.
  • You dread the days. Especially if you know you have to work on that day, you dread having to wake up and go through the day knowing that you really don’t want to be there.
  • You turn to less healthy habits. Is that one glass of wine turning into an entire bottle a night? Yeah, might wanna fix that.

Burnout is the hardest thing in the world to deal with, and it can hamper your wants and needs to move forward on your creative passion endeavors. I know that it definitely didn’t help my cause. When you’re feeling the burn, there are things you can do to make it not burn as much.

Here are a few ways to combat burnout.

  • Vent to someone, preferably an impartial someone. Sometimes just having an ear to yammer off helps. You can go to a therapist, or go the free route and chat with some friends. I say “impartial” for a reason; we all know that one friend who wants to tell you what you should do, but almost end up judging you in the end. You don’t need judgement in this rough time.
  • Find healthy habits. Before you down that last bottle of wine in your cellar, try putting on some music and doing a little jig. Or grabbing a coloring book. Or go for a walk. Anything that could take your mind off of things and won’t kill your body in the process.
  • Remember that something’s gotta give. We are not superheroes; try not to think you are and think you can take on the world. If you can give something up for the time being until things calm down, do it. If you feel that walking away from say, blogging, for a bit will help (and it might if it’s part of your job), then do it.
  • Also remember that burnout only lasts as long as you allow it. It sucks to burn out, but just remember that it can be fixed. DO NOT overload your plate again. Take baby steps into a normal life…or as normal as it may be for you.

As for me, I’m okay. It was a rough few months, and with a few changes to my life, I’m feeling better. I’m glad that I did take a step back from blogging, because I was able to not just get this post up, but overhauled my design as well! Do you like it? Awesome! Stay safe you guys.

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#findyourhappy: A month of passion and positivity focus

#findyourhappy: A month of passion and positivity focus
Find Your Happy: Focusing on the Positive

Yesterday, while I was at work, I had a breakdown. It wasn’t the first, and as much as I’d like to say it’d be the last, that’s not realistic. I had a chat with my boss and I simply said to her: I’m burned out. I’m moving house, and that’s stressful, all while working that around my packed work schedule. In that one moment, I felt like I wasn’t enough. It sounds crazy, but there are moments where no matter how much you do, it seems inadequate. At that one moment, nothing else mattered; I just was not enough.

Realistically, we can’t be in multiple places at once. We’re not superhuman after all! Sometimes it can be hard to realize that yes, it may seem like your best isn’t enough, but in actuality, like hell it ain’t. Sometimes we need reminders that we are enough, even if a moment of lapse makes you think differently.

To balance out these “miserable” moments, we need to take the time to notice the light side of things.

Blogging can be hard work. I struggle with finding things to write about that won’t bore the everloving fuck out of everyone, including myself. For the past couple of months, it’s getting better, but even with blogging, I have my moments of “is it enough?”. Geez, it’s almost like dating: “am I enough?” “is it enough?” “do I have lipstick on my teeth?” Life is full of miserable things. But let’s not focus on misery.

What are your passions? What is it that you eat, sleep and dream about every night? What steps are you taking towards making your passion a reality? If you can answer these questions honestly, then I have a challenge for you.

I call it the #findyourhappy campaign.

I explain it a little better in this video here1. Excuse the quality, I’m still a non-Snapchat video virgin, and it was before I even ate breakfast.

Good morning! Let's talk about the #findyourhappy campaign. For the next month, talk about your passions, your dreams, anything that makes YOU happy. Sometimes we focus on the stuff that makes us miserable. It's time to focus on the positive.

Posted by Namari on Thursday, March 31, 2016

For the next month, I want you to take to social media, using the hashtag #findyourhappy or #thatsmyhappy, and tell me what makes you happy. What drives your passion? I gave one example of my own: my daughter. While she can be a royal pain in the ass at times, she keeps me going. It can be in the form of words, a video, pictures, a cake, ANYTHING that makes you happy. I want to see it, and I’ll share with you my many interests and “my happys”.

With that being said, even though this lasts a month, it’s not a daily deal. Let’s be realistic here; you can post something every day for the next 30 days, but there’s this thing called life that likes to shove themselves into fun activities. So post as often as you like! Will this go viral? I’m not holding my breath, but the point is to keep our eyes on the not-so-miserable times. And to have fun while doing it, because fun is always a good thing.

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  1. By “a little better”, I mean besides awkward pauses

Why I always tip my waitstaff

Why I always tip my waitstaff
tipping waitstaff

Here is why I always tip my waitstaff, regardless of how my service is. But first, let me tell you a small story about what happened to me when I was 16. I went to a restaurant with an ex of mine1, along with a friend of his. I was surrounded by guy jokes for those two hours, but since I’m not very girly by any means myself, I didn’t mind it much. The waiter who helped us was, admittedly, not the best when it came to customer service. I don’t know if he had a bad day or something, but he wasn’t on his customer service A-game so to speak. As punishment, my ex and his friend decided to stiff him. I opposed the idea and told them to give him something. They didn’t listen, and as they walked out, I walked behind him, took out the tip and gave it to the waiter in secret.

My ex never knew about this. Or maybe he does now if he’s lurking around on this site, but highly unlikely.

Some people always talk about how underpaid they are, but they probably have never worked a job as part of waitstaff.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, tipped wage is $2.13. This is the minimum that a restaurant can pay, provided that the total tips they get total up to $30. Now there are state-to-state scenarios. However, the old adage of waitstaff living off their tips isn’t entirely false. If they’re not on their A-game, they get less tips, and thus less wiggle room for the essentials. If they’re awesome, they get more tips, and thus more wiggle room for the essentials. In other words, there’s a special place in hell for people who stiff them.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why someone would stiff a waiter or waitress.

  1. They weren’t on their customer service A-game. This is a common reason. They were probably having a bad day, under stress, etc. We’re all human with human feelings. Does it mean that they should bring it to work? No, but it does happen sometimes. We don’t know their story.
  2. You catch them doing something…erm…not so nice with your food. This doesn’t happen often, or at least you don’t know what goes on behind the kitchen doors. Those stories about snot ending up in your Egg Foo Young do happen, although it’s more kitchen staff than waitstaff, and they shouldn’t be blamed for that. If you feel that your food’s been tampered with, you do have a right to bring it up.
  3. The diner’s broke.…Then why the fuck are you eating out then? I’m sure that you can afford a few extra dollars to help out someone who probably can’t afford to eat out at all.

If you have ever worked into food service, then you know that it can be a thankless job at times. Don’t add on to their stress.

  1. There is a reason why he’s an ex, and that’s another story for another day

Valentine’s Day: Why not the other 364 days?

Valentine’s Day: Why not the other 364 days?

My thoughts about Valentine’s Day dramatically changed between now and many moons ago, when I was more cynical and bitter. Hell, I even wrote prose about it. It wasn’t until I met someone who the holiday was intended for (or so I thought) that things started to change.

Every year, I wore black. I even censored the holiday (V-***) on anything I wrote before this site. As far as I was concerned, February 14th did not exist. Okay, it did, just not for the same reasons. When I was in high school, it drove me nuts to see everyone with balloons and teddy bears and chocolate. It seemed like everyone (but me, of course) was hooked up. This day, as opposed to the other 364(5) days, I felt completely and utterly alone.

I felt alone, but in actuality, I really wasn’t.

Every year, my mom would buy us something for Valentine’s Day. It was usually a balloon and some chocolate. I would come home from school and find it on my bed. It made me smile, but at the same time it frustrated me. Why couldn’t that be from a guy?1

As I got older, however, it made me think: Valentine’s Day is for someone who you love. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a significant other (unless you want to get laid). But what about the other 364 days? Why stop with the chocolates on February 15th? Sometimes the best gifts are on every other day. I know that the best gift I’ve gotten was on July 28th…

Valentine doesn’t mean someone you love romantically. It means someone who you can stand to be around. If it ends up being romantically, then that’s just a bonus. By this logic, I have at least two Valentines.

And for once, I’m okay with actually saying V-Day.

  1. This was during a time where I was confused about my sexuality. I would’ve been open to gifts of both genders