L-I-V-I-N-G with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Maine.


LOOK HOW FUN!!!! Winter is JUST THE BEES KNEES, RIGHT!!!!??? Uh, no. Actually, I have a long history of winter blues that subjects those around me to endless complaining about feeling cold, and not wanting to do anything except snuggle under a blanket on the couch. This year my ‘winter blues’ seemed worse than usual (…..perhaps there is a connection to my father dying the weekend before Christmas… just a theory 😉 )
So I took a quiz. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But then I noticed the quiz was on a ‘phototherapy light’ website, so I figured they probably diagnose everyone with SAD to sell more lights! So I searched for more appropriate diagnostic tools and found another, more lengthy, test from a more legitimate source. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. To which I thought, “Meh, it probably says everyone has everything.” So I took a test for depression, and then one for anxiety. It said, “No ma’am. No depression or anxiety in that little brain of yours. Ya just got the ole SAD.”
So what are the “textbook” treatments?
Drugs: No thank you. And thankfully, my home remedies have been working so I don’t even need to consider that route!
Exposure to sunlight: CHECK!! Even though they are INSULATING and keep the rooms warmer, we decided natural sunlight was worth the little extra we may pay for heat this year.
Light therapy: Open to it if needed, but I think I’m good!
Psychotherapy: All set thanx.
My treatment regime prescribed by myself, and Google…
After lots of reading and, previously learned knowledge having been in the mental health field for over 20 years now, I know the importance of exercise to mental health. I also know how few people actually follow through with this, so it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. So I exercise almost every day.
Several articles discuss the importance of engaging in activities, particularly winter activities, to find enjoyment during winter months. So, I stopped saying (aka whining) “No… it’s too cold and yucky” when Lonnie says, “Hey, wanna go _______?” We started Friday night board games, a new tradition I am LOVING!!!! I have PLANS to see Black Panther Friday night with friends and I WILL GO EVEN IF IT’S COLD OUT!! (I said it here so now I have to!)
  • I’ve hiked!
  • I’ve snow-shoed!
  • I’ve cross country skied (for about 6 feet)!
  • I’ve walked the dogs!
  • I’ve shoveled!
  • I’ve started a gratefulness/21 Days of Happiness journal
  • I’ve stopped listening to news all day
  • I’ve STARTED listening to Oprah’s Soulful Conversations instead of news! (Amazingly inspiring and thought provoking!)
  • I’m watching what I eat and drink and even doing a Whole30 (or 20) (maybe 8) (I’m on day 8 😉 )

We (speaking of “we,” having a super-supportive partner who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need to get your shit together and your ass off the couch doesn’t hurt!) are in full-on SAD battle mode and it’s WORKING!!! I feel great, and when I don’t, I recognize it, and FREAKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT— SEE ABOVE!!

::::Drug commercial tagline alert::::I may have SAD, but it doesn’t have ME! LOL Had to.

Travel Journal: Playa del Carmen. Again :)

moments_c9562aa5-a84b-4204-aa26-718e14e2005d_orig_res.jpgwp-1490135081982.jpgwp-1490135022225.jpgwp-1490135061720.jpgOK, So SOME stuff that happened in Mexico will stay in Mexico…… BUT….

This most recent trip to Playa had it all! Dancing, swimming, sunshine, sea turtles, tequila, shopping, parasailing, eating…… We had an eclectic group of people who mostly didn’t know each other and had a wide array of interests, but it worked!  Only in a place like Playa where you can walk, ferry or cab, to basically anything you could every want to do would this work so well. Everyone pretty much did their thing, and all came together from time-to-time to do stuff. No pressure. No drama. Lonnie pointed out that he was the mom of the trip, and I was the “cool dad.” So basically just like home 😉

Of course, with all that fun, we had to have a some not-fun. That part came Monday night when all the flight cancellations started rolling in to everyone’s phones and we learned that we would not be leaving Tuesday morning as planned, and not Wednesday either. and MAYBE Thursday. And we would be homeless. And also broke since we just lived it up on vacation 😉 So we had to find a cheap place to stay for a couple days.  It was…um…. interesting?  You can read my review if you want to on Tripadvisor   OK, but be ready for some challenges  I will say, the “Talking Spanish Translator App” was AMAZING and hugely helpful. I can usually get by pretty well with my very limited Spanish, but when I’m are trying to ask, “How will we get our $100 deposit back at 330am tomorrow when we leave since there is never anyone at the front desk?” I need to make extra sure nothing is lost in translation 😉

I am HUGELY BIGLY proud of my husband and kids though, and myself! We made the best of our unexpected extra days without lots of cash to throw around. Everyone stayed as positive as possible, and the last day, we actually had an awesome day of a little Mexican food, one last stop at our fav French Patisserie, and a little sunset photo shoot on the beach! A PERFECT way to end our trip and prepare for the grueling 3am-midnight day of travel ahead……..

Winter. (OK… This is mostly really about makeup LOL)

How cool are these little towels my aunt makes!?

As with every winter, even this mild one, I have faced my winter doldrums. My added schoolwork load just makes me even more whiney and blahhhhhhhh. Usually, our yearly winter getaway trip keeps me from just spending the winter under my comforter, but this year (thanks to Jessi),  I ALSO have my new makeup obsession as well.  I am having SO Much FUN playing with makeup every day, buying new stuff, and watching youtube and instagram videos. Even on days I don’t have to go anywhere, I find myself excited to shower and get dressed and sit at our vanity to play.  LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Obsessed. Yup.


Some of my favorite stuff right now…

Tartiest Pro Palette

Tarte Maneater mini palette

IT Cosmetics bye bye pores pressed powder (dude. This shit is made of magic.)

Tarte Lights Camera Splashes mascara (super natural looking and waterproof – – which is good when you are a crisis worker sometimes!)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara – – more glam, almost looks like falsies. (I save this one for going out and about ;-))

And some of my favorite YouTube makeup peeps….







And when I feel like keeping it real and not pretending I am 20….  lol

My always-contagious enthusiasm even spread to by BFF and we spent an awesome day just hanging out at my place playing with makeup and watching youtube videos of other people playing with makeup!  It was absolutely wonderful.  We used to spend SO MUCH TIME together, but our lives have changed so much over the years, we have to really make an effort to get that time together!

Buddies since birth!



Stick a pin in 2 more classes done towards my MSW, AND still rockin’ that 4.0, baby! Just started two more on Monday, which means I will have to do HOMEWORK while we are away on VACATION!!  BOO!!!




I love sleeping.  So.  So. Much.  However, this is the time of year every year (Which I didn’t even realize until a blog reader noticed a trend a few years ago in my posts as years went on!), I get a case of the winter blues…. cabin fever…. whatever you want to call it.

I usually combat my malaise with a vacation to someplace sunny and warm.  This year, I let Lonnie talk me into vacationing much earlier than usual, bringing us back to Maine with lots more winter left.  This has been a VERY mild, and non-snowy winter, but it’s still winter.  I still don’t want to go outside for a walk or a run, we aren’t going out hiking and fishing and stuff on the weekends, and there is not a lot else to do around here other than shopping and the movies.

So I have been sleeping.  A LOT.  My main excuse that I use is, “I sleep late because my job keeps me up late and messes up my sleep schedule.”   Which is true sometimes.  But not every day.  Honestly, I wake up naturally around 8-9ish, and then force myself to go back to sleep thinking, “Why get up?  To just go downstairs and watch TV or clean?  Fuck that.  I may as well go back to sleep.”

On Saturday I stayed in bed til noon-ish. I felt like crap when I finally dragged myself out of bed with that all-too-familiar “slept too much” feeling.  I decided that it was time to face that I had a problem, and even to say it out loud to Lonnie.  I even threw out the “D” word (DEPRESSION, silly, not divorce!).  We decided, based on all the other symptoms I would need to have,  that I am not having the D word, but that I am in a bad habit that needs to be broken. …and very possibly toeing the line of the D word.  So I made a “contract” with him to start getting up at 9 every day (well unless I have worked an overnight shift, of course).  Even if I was up too late, or don’t want to, I GET UP!  If I am that tired, I can take a nap in the afternoon.

Today is day 3 of this, and not-gonna-lie, it’s been tough.  BUT it has also been extremely rewarding!  I don’t feel like a sloth.  Once I am up, and have dragged myself out of bed, I feel ENERGIZED!  Yesterday I had SO much time, even BEFORE I started my work shift at noon!!  I have FELT like cleaning!  I have FELT like organizing!  It honestly FEELS LIKE SPRING, even though the weather has not changed.

They say “walk the walk.”
They say “fake it til you make it.”

This Birthday girl didn’t eat no cake

Normally when I disappear from the blog, that means I have fallen into a bucket of sugar.  But not this time!  I have found that with all the writing I am doing for grad school, my writing itch gets plenty of scratchin’! 

I celebrated my 42nd birthday on Saturday and I celebrated it with lots of love from family and friends and some super awesome presents, but NO CAKE or ICE CREAM!  I didn’t even want it.  I know that having that stuff will just make me want more and more of it, and I also know that it will make me feel like crap mentally and physically, so I skipped it.  Yes it felt weird.  No I didn’t feel like I was missing out.  Instead Lonnie and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making my FAVORITE spicy chicken Mexican bowls with homemade guac, and because it was my birthday and I am not a masochist, I even had some rice in my bowl.  (ACTUALLY I am reading a great book called ‘Paleo Takeout’ and I learned that there is considerable evidence that white rice is actually NOT the devil that we think it is.  And since I like that information, I am going with it!)  Starting out my 42nd year on earth in this way really feels symbolic, like this is my year. This is the year I get my shit together and shed some serious poundage.  When I finally get that exercise component into play LOOK OUT WORLD!




We’re back, baby!

Haha what a terrible pic
Just wrapped up day 2 of no sugar!  It feels SO satisfying to be back on track.  We were off the rails hard, and I felt completely out of control.  Last time we did this, Lonnie was completely on board and supportive, but he struggled because he was really doing it as a ‘solidarity’ type of thing.  On Sunday,  he decided to watch the movie “Fed Up” and then we watched “That Sugar Film” together.  I could never convince him to watch it last time because one of his pet peeves is my love of reading articles and watching movies that result in my wanting to change our entire lives 😉 
The two movies together were more than enough to inspire us to kick the sugar bullshit and start feeling great again!
My toughest days are Monday and Tuesday as I am busy busy busy with work, and now grad school stuff now on top of that, but I made it through like a champ with NO EXCUSES!!

Hello? Anyone there?

Remember when I said that when coming back from vacation it would be hard to get back “on it.”  Holy Shit– has is ever!??

I’m a mess.

I can blame that I just started grad school.
I can blame that my work schedule has just changed.
I can blame… well… it’s winter…. it’s this… it’s that….. blah blah blah

None of those excuses are actual things that have prevented me from eating well.  None of them.  What HAS prevented me from eating well.  I don’t want to.  I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to plan.  I don’t want o grocery shop

I feel gross.  I feel bloaty and fat and my clothes feel tight.  Lonnie has gained weight too, and because he only gains weight in his belly, it shows quickly and makes him feel gross.  We need to get our shit together.  ASAP.

How do you get that driven feeling back once it disappears!!??  I don’t even want to grocery shop for the “good healthy foods” because well…. probably because part of me knows that I am just going to waste it and part of me knows that if I buy it, then I should get back on it and I DON’T WANNA!!