A Secondary Blog.

Are you obsessed with Gilmore Girls?

Because if I’m being totally honest with you, I am. I have been having in depth conversations (talking wormhole status) with my best friend, Chloe, for years. Something about that mother-daughter duo just rocked my world something fierce and has kept me wanting, needing, and obsessing.

Well, Chloe and I had originally planned to start a podcast together but we live somewhere around 3,000 miles away from each other. Plus, neither one of us knows the first thing about starting a podcast.

We both can write, though. We do so with passion. The obvious decision was to start a blog together. And thus A Table at Luke’s was born. On A Table at Luke’s you will find a multitude of opinion, comparisons, and some rabbit-hole type theories.

I’m pretty excited about it. More writing for me about more things I’m passionate about!

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Harsh Realities.

Divorce on television is nothing like divorce in real life. At least, not in my case. I did what I could to be civil. I tried to come to an agreement before filing. I tried to talk it out. When that didn’t work, I filed without help. I wrote out a parenting plan I thought would be fair. I tried to make it as easy as possible. Then when that nice-ness wasn’t being returned, I sunk to the petty level and returned the mean-spirited behavior. I’m not saying it was the right thing to do, I can accept I could have handled things better.

One day, I woke up and realized, this wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I didn’t want to be in a marriage that was 75% mental abuse and arguments, 15% stress, and only 10% happiness. I don’t want any of my children to believe that’s what love looks like. The moment I heard “why is Daddy so mean to you” and “why is Daddy always mad at me,” I was done. When I heard, “why do you and Daddy fight so much,” I knew that I was sending the wrong message to my girls.

Marriage isn’t fighting and lack of trust. Love isn’t constantly bickering over dirty dishes and clothes on the floor. And it definitely isn’t name calling and venomous words.

I take partial responsibility for my failed marriage. I did what I could to make it work for a long time. I let go of a lot of misplaced anger. I let go of small issues that were in the past. Unfortunately, it seemed like new problems kept coming to light. I wanted to make it to 50 years. I wanted to get old and gray and have two rocking chairs on a wrap around porch. I wanted the “white picket fence” life.

Sadly, it seemed like the more energy I put into it, I felt like I wasn’t getting that back. That hurt. I wasn’t being heard. What I wanted didn’t seem to matter. I wasn’t given a choice on where we lived – a story for another time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Oregon. It’s beautiful. But it was an ultimatum that got me here. I lost that spark within myself. I also lost sight of that spark between us.

I was prepared to end my marriage.

I was not prepare to lose my best friend.

I spent 4 years getting to know a person. I spent 4 years learning what made him tick, what made him smile, what he struggled with, what he excelled in… He introduced me to two of my favorite movies. I introduced him to the cult known as Gilmore Girls. I showed him Criminal Minds and NCIS and got him hooked. We shared a love for books, just different genres.

Four years of ups. Four years of downs. Four years of “no, you pick dinner” until we both got excessively hangry. We stayed up to late, talked about the world, dreamt of a better future. We made jokes, we laughed until we cried, we shared our secrets.

Deciding to change a toxic situation cost me someone I called my best friend.

One day I hope to look back, knowing I really did try, and smile. I don’t regret my decisions that got me to this place. I have no ill will or anger. Now, it’s time to focus on me and find the pieces of me that I lost along the way. It’s time to focus on my children and make sure they’re happy, healthy, and make sure they know they are very much loved.

Apology.

Ever wish there was just one more hour in the day? Or maybe you wish you had a clone.

I want to apologize to my faithful readers for not posting as often as normal. Aside from some life being a little busy, I’ve been working on my book. I’ve had a spike in inspiration lately and it helps unwind after a long day. Plus, I gave myself a deadline in hope to stay motivated.

I hope you all forgive me and understand. I will update with a much better post soon. The next one (I hope) will be something DIY related. I’m feeling artsy. My hands are itching to create something.

Tell me, when life gets busy, what do YOU do to unwind?

Five Ways To End The Stigma On Mental Illness.

Mental illness is a common issue in today’s world. 1 in 5 people suffer from some sort of mental illness. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am one of the 1 in 10 adults who live with depression. In the 16 years since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve learned a lot of not so wonderful things. One of those things is that there is a stigma that comes along with the diagnosis. A lot of people, whom are uneducated in what mental illness is or how it affects people, will label you a “psycho” without learning anything about the illness or the person diagnosed with it.

That brings me to this post – five ways to end the stigma on mental health.

One: Educate yourself. People are ignorant. It’s wise to educate yourself on all aspects of mental illness. Seek out resources. If someone you know has been diagnosed, focus on their diagnosis. I usually request that my friends or family do a little research on depression. It’s not just “feeling sad” or “being numb to the outside world.” Sometimes it’s needing a break between menial tasks because it took all your energy to do that one little thing. Sometimes it’s lack of motivation or passion for the things that you once loved. In my particular case, it’s a chemical imbalance. I’m not a “nutcase” or “someone who needs severe psychological help.”

Two: Learn to recognize the signs. If your friend or loved one is becoming more reclusive than normal or they are just “not themselves,” maybe it’s time to reach out to them. Maybe they stopped painting. Maybe they stopped hiking. Maybe they haven’t showered in a week or haven’t called you in a while. Maybe their dishes are piling up and their laundry has been sitting in the basket for a few days. These are all signs that they might just need a friend to reach out to them.

Three: Be encouraging. Be empathetic. Let them know you understand that they’re not okay and let them know that it’s okay to not be okay. Do not belittle them. Do not say “It’s all in your head.” (I mean, duh, mental illness.) Do not call them a “psycho” or a “nutcase.” Do not use labels such as: unstable, demented, wacko, or psychotic.

[Personal moment: Do NOT use their mental illness against them in an argument. Just because someone, like myself, has been diagnosed with depression does not mean we are terrible people. It does not mean I am a bad mother. It does not mean that I am psychologically unbalanced. My blog is not a cry for help. I promise you that I am more stable now than I was at seventeen. Making my blog seem like an unsafe place for me to write was a huge jerk move. But screw you. I’m going to keep writing anyway. Those who know me and are actually not ignorant on mental health will know the truth.]

Four: Challenge misconceptions. If you hear someone speaking about mental health in a derogatory way, challenge their viewpoint. Debate the myths. Educate them on the truth. It’s not laziness. It’s being exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s not being a Harley Quinn-esque “nut job,” it’s having a chemical imbalance or a misfire in the brain. Some pain isn’t physical and some wounds aren’t visible.

Five: Accept the person. Let them know that you love them and that their mental illness is not what defines them.

And there you have it. Five ways to end the stigma that sticks to mental illness. It’s time to stand together and knock out the bad misconceptions. It’s time to stop fearing mental illness. Stop assuming the worst in people with a mental illness. Build them up, don’t tear them down. Together, we can break the stigma.

Slacking.

It’s the middle of June. J U N E. 2019 is nearly halfway over and I feel like I had a list of things I wanted to do this year and none of it has been accomplished. More specifically, my book still isn’t 100% done. I’ve been in this editing/rewriting stage for months.

I’m losing motivation.

Add in a teensy bit of writer’s block and a slightly busy reality and you’ll have a small anti-writing cocktail. I’ve been slacking, hardcore. I need to write a few more chapters. I need to write up a couple blog posts. I need to work on building up my creativity level. I need to write more – I want to write more.

Unfortunately, staring at a screen for hours is doing nothing. I need a reset. I need to immerse myself in my fictional world… somehow.

Ghost of You has been my baby. I’ve been working on it for so long, it never seems good enough. I want it perfect. I want you, my readers, to read it and feel every emotion. I want you to understand why I wrote this book. I want you to enjoy every page. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence rather than a lack of motivation. Or both.

I promise to update with a release date soon. I promise I’ll find a way to get the creative juices flowing. Be patient with me.

Mermaids, DIY, and Cupcakes.

Today is the birthday party for both of my daughters. My girls are 6 and 7 and I honestly have no idea where the time went. It was just yesterday that I held them in my arms for the very first time. They’ve grown so much, in what seems like such a little amount of time, I don’t know how it happened. How did my tiny little babies turn into almost first and second graders?
I let them pick the theme of their birthday party every year. Last year was unicorns. I had a lot of purples and pinks. This year, they had chosen a mermaid theme. And, as life would have it, no stores in my area carry mermaid ANYTHING. No cake toppers, no decorations, not even a poster of some kind.
So what does this mama do? Well, she definitely doesn’t disappoint her girls.
I got some supplies from my store and did some last second DIY decorations. I used fabric to cover the table and make an ocean wave. I used “silver” coins, fake pearls, beads, and a treasure chest I already owned. Add in some seashells and we have an ocean theme! I also bought blue, teal, and white icing-ed cupcakes. (Is it iced? Icing-ed isn’t actually a word.)


It’s not to bad for something I threw together in about ten minutes. I think next time, I’ll remember to start shopping about a month in advance to make sure I have all my bases covered. (Ha! I probably won’t. I’m such a procrastinator…)
I think I’ll set up a kid’s pool and let them pretend they’re mermaids when their friends get here. (The ones that decide to show up, anyway. But that’s a post for another day.)
What last minute DIYs have you done? Leave a comment below!

Eight Signs You’re Burned Out.

Once upon a time, what seems to be a long, long time ago, I used to have an overabundance of energy. I used to disappear to the coast with my best friend at three in the morning and still get to class at 7 the next day. I used to balance school, work, and a social life.

Now? It takes everything I have just to switch from my couch to my bed at night. (The last few nights, the couch won the battle.)

So, today’s post is this: Eight Signs You Are Burned Out.

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  1. You are not taking care of your basic needs. Are you remembering to eat three meals a day? Are you drinking water? Are you showering? Are you socializing in any form? Let me be honest with you. I’m down to one meal a day, two if I remember to pack a lunch for work. I don’t think I’ve drank plain old water in over a month. And I finally remembered to shower two days ago. (I need to take one tonight.)
  2. You’re snoozing your alarm way too much. I have hit snooze so often that I had to drive my kids to schooie even forgotten to set an alarm. Yeah.
  3. Your to do list is overwhelming. Clean the house, fold my laundry, feed the kids, help the kids with homework, fold the boys’ clothes, buy groceries, go to work, pay the bills, cut the grass, make a garden… my to do list is never ending. Oh, and I almost forgot, I have to plan a birthday party in the next two weeks.
  4. Your life doesn’t motivate you. I have so much I need to do and I have little to no motivation to get it done. If it wasn’t for my calendar notification, I would have probably skipped writing a post tonight.
  5. You’re not having a break. It’s non-stop. Wake up, get the girls off to school, go to work, come home, make dinner, check homework, play with the kids, kiss the kids goodnight, fit in a shower, go to sleep. Rinse, repeat. I’m tired. So, so tired.
  6. You’re getting overly irritated by other people. I really don’t need to elaborate on this one. If you’re around me lately, you know that it’s true.
  7. You’re living on autopilot. Wake up, do life stuff, sleep, repeat. Repeat again. And again. And… again.
  8. Your thoughts are negative. I can say that this one hasn’t hit me. I’ve been keeping my negative thoughts out of my head since I was 18 years old. I’m not about to let them in again now.

And there you have it. Eight signs that you’re burned out; that you need a mini vacation. Take some “me time” and practice some self-care. Let people around you know that you desperately need a break to reset your mind. Don’t keep pouring from an empty cup – practicing self-care is self-love.

Need a friend to reach out? Drop a comment below. I’ll gladly lend an ear.