rambling

time management failings

Hi beautiful readers!

I hope everyone had a great Easter, despite the social distancing making a dent in a lot of people’s plans. We had a whole lot of storms over the weekend, but still managed to have a little bit of holiday fun and dressed up the Tiny Princess just because. She was so stinking adorable in her little Easter dress.

I’m not great at time management. Or prioritizing things that need to be done, come to think of it. I’ve had less than stellar health for several years and I tend to need more rest time throughout the day than someone else my age might need to. And then I’m working through some harmful perfectionist habits that make it hard to get as much done as I would like. And now I realize that there is a lot to unpack in this paragraph already, but today is not that day.

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

It was slightly easier to manage my time when I was working because there was less of it to deal with. The few hours in the morning and the few hours in the evening, and once you consider making food in those hours, they dwindle down even further. I think I got a fair amount of stuff done in the little bit of time I had, but it never ever felt like enough.

And then I quit my job to stay at home and suddenly I had all the hours of the day to play with. Theoretically, of course, because baby. Before she was born, I usually set timers for myself. If I cleaned in the living room for 20 minutes, I got a rest break, or I would write for 15 minutes, or whatever. Timers are no longer as effective a strategy though because there is no telling when I’ll have to drop everything and do something for her.

Now, I try to get one chore done during each of her naps. Or I fold the laundry while we play on the floor. And I’m starting to teach her about picking up toys so that the house doesn’t get overrun. It’s a different sort of challenge.

If you google time management there will be a billion things that pop up. Everyone has a different way that they organize their day and prioritize their to-do lists. And nobody’s way is wrong. My strategies look totally different right now during quarantine because The Husband is home and that changes a lot of things around. (basically, my strategies flew out the window. help.)

This lovely post from Blessed Simplicity outlines six tips for time management as a stay at home mom and I’m doing my best to implement the ideas she lays out. We’re still in the middle of setting a good schedule for the Tiny Princess so of course that takes precedence over everything else right now, but I’m looking forward to having a little more stability and order in all of our lives once that is established. The other tips in the post are also things I’ve been trying to do. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. I mentioned last week that I do try to wake up earlier so I can get a headstart (aka wake up) before she does. That’s probably the most consistent thing I do, and even that’s not all that consistent. Yesterday I got up at 6:30. Today it was 7:30. Ah well.

Maybe one of these days I’ll have more strategies that I can write about, but all I’m here to say today is that time management is HARD, especially for creative folks. And it’s okay not to be perfect with how you manage or break up your day. If you did anything at all, you’ve succeeded. And that’s that.

Maybe one of these days I’ll make some more coherent blog posts, but today is also not that day! Until that day arrives, enjoy my ramblings because I have a feeling this is what quarantine has done to my brain!


Love, light, kindness, AND happiness today and all the days!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Creative Writing, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, 0 comments

An Interest in Everything

Hello beautiful dreamers!

March is actually here now and I’m still a little panicky, but my planner and I had a heart to heart last night and I’m calming down. Maybe even getting a little excited again!

Today’s post is a bit of a recycled one. Kind of.

The third post I ever wrote here on Elemental Dreamer was a post I called Multiple Interests. It was a bit of a ramble that I wanted to get out at the time about a problem I’ve struggled with for most of my life – I’m interested in EVERYTHING.

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I enjoy riding my horse. I love writing. I find it so much fun to draw and paint and maybe even sculpt? I don’t know. I want to travel and learn more about vlogging and have The Husband teach me to shoot and edit films the way he does. Etc, etc, etc.

But it’s not feasible to do a million different things every day. Or even every month. I used to make goals for a month by taking all the things I was interested in at the time and choose one small project that I was going to do each month from each interest. Yeah, that didn’t work. Halfway through the month, I was usually distracted by five NEW things. So much fun. I always felt like I was failing at everything. Now, I think I was exploring everything, which sounds much more positive.

When I wrote that post almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea I was going to have a baby so soon or what my life was going to look like. I still felt like I was figuring a lot of things out.

Now? I still don’t have most of those things figured out, but I have finagled a system that seems to be working out okay so far for my strange little brain.

One. I try to spitball all my not so amazing ideas on The Husband. And then I go see my therapist and spew all that nonsense at her too. The poor people in my life.

Two. Things certainly settled after The Princess was born. At this point, I either have energy or time. Never both at the same time, so it’s hard to just jump into whatever vague idea I have at the time.

Three. I chose priorities for the YEAR. A year is a fairly long time. I guess. So I decided that for 2020, I would choose the most important things and go from there. Which ended up being family, horses, and writing.

My mind still works almost the same way it did a year and a half ago, but I’m handling it differently now and it’s been helping me to feel a little less spread out all over the place. It’s not to say that I don’t still want to do various other things, but that I’m not giving them the same level of time or energy that I might otherwise. I still have my sketchbooks and art supplies on my bookshelf so if I feel the urge to do an art project I can pull them out for a quick project. But only for a quick project, not a week-long project. That’s been my sticking point.

So much of my life seems to be figuring out what makes my brain tick and how to work with that for the best possible outcome. It’s a challenge for sure, but I think I can say that while I’m still definitely interested in a million different things, I’ve learned not to jump on every idea that comes my way. And that works for me.


Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

Thoughts for Autumn 2019

Hello, all you other autumn-loving folks!

We all know by now that fall is probably my favorite season of all. I enjoy the coziness of winter and I look forward to spring since it usually marks the end of my seasonal depression (SAD) but autumn is still, and always will be, my favorite season.

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The weather is finally changing! Actually, as I write this we’re in the middle of a cold front with the temperatures down to the 50s and 60s during the day. We’ll have some good days in the 80s and 90s again before the month is over, but still, it’s a nice break from the 100 degree days! Considering I was dealing with those while being eight and nine months pregnant, I am absolutely LOVING this cooler weather. It is the best thing ever.

Since the weather has been cooler I’ve been able to break out my flannel shirts and soon enough I’ll get to unpack my sweaters. That excites me way too much probably but I don’t care because fall fashion is my favorite. I think I wrote about that last year actually.

I’m finally feeling ready to have a hot drink again, so far mostly just tea in the evenings, although I did have an internal debate in the drivethru the other day about whether to get my usual hot or iced. The iced coffee still won out that day but I would bet money on that being the last time for the year.


It’s hard to ramble about how I’m feeling because it’s not just the seasons that are changing – I’ve been in a huge shift personally lately as well… mentally, physically, and spiritually. All because I’m still adjusting to being a mom and figuring out what exactly that means and looks like for me.

But this time of year I always start feeling those homebody vibes. Wanting to be cozy and focusing more inwardly, both on my relationships and my own self. I start looking ahead to the holiday season, mentally feeling out possible Christmas presents and craving pumpkin pie. It’s already becoming the most wonderful time of the year for me!


The fall season of 2019 doesn’t really hold a lot of big projects for me. Starting our biggest adventure yet – the adventure of raising the Tiniest Princess – is top priority, of course. Beyond that nothing else feels super important yet.

I may or may not participate in Nanowrimo this November after all. It’s been something I planned to do all year, and really I’ll still be able to, time-wise at least. But so far I don’t really have any idea which project I want to work on. So it will probably come down to whether I come up with a good idea before November 1st or not. If I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. There’s always next year if this year doesn’t pan out.

Although, now that I’m writing this I did have an inkling of an idea that might work out. We shall see!

This isn’t so much an autumn project, but rather just an end of the year project… but I want to make a bigger effort not to be caught up in the consumerism of the holiday season today. I want to try to limit the amount of store bought gifts for Christmas and I don’t want to let myself buy into the stress of Black Friday shopping. It’s a bad habit of mine that I am trying to break. Living in a smaller space right now definitely is helping since I don’t have places to put new stuff!

Something I don’t really get into on this blog is my spiritual life (oddly enough, since I try to be so honest about my mental health journey) but this season of life is finding me in a state of rediscovery, of questioning a lot of things and making some choices about my inner self. I’ll get into this a little more in one of next week’s posts, but I’m allowing this to be a journey that I give a little more focus to this autumn season.

Do you love the fall season? What do you have planned for the next few weeks/months?


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

Saving Our Mental Space

Hello dear readers!

Today I’m coming at you again with a post about mental health. Exactly the content you were looking for today, I know!

I am a very introverted person and I’ve had to learn how to manage myself so that I don’t overwork myself or use up all my energy on things that aren’t really worth my time. It’s a delicate line to walk and I don’t succeed nearly every time.

We all know the detrimental effects that can be felt when we push our physical limits too far. Something could go wrong or we could get injured and then be out of commission for a long while. At some point we are forced to take a step back and realize that we can’t take on everything all at once. It just doesn’t work that way.

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I want to take it a bit further and offer up the idea that maybe we’re not just pushing ourselves physically but also mentally and emotionally. We already have schedules that get filled up far too quickly and we’re having to find space to squeeze this new thing into them. But I find that regardless of my actual schedule, I often still end up giving away space in my mind for things that don’t really belong there.

My brain moves a million miles a second. It’s exhausting just being in my head sometimes. But yet I still end up taking on the problems and burdens of everyone around me which then makes everything even more exhausting!

Mental health is finally being talked about more and I’m so happy about it! It’s a great thing that the world is finally starting to see mental illnesses in a similar light as physical illnesses – hopefully more people will be able to get the help they need without having to deal with the stigma and backlash that comes from it.

I truly think it should be a normal thing to turn something down, not just because it might not fit into your schedule, but also because you might not have the mental capacity for it at the time. I have many times when I have absolutely nothing on my calendar for the evening, but someone texts me at noon and asks if I can help with something that night. Most of us, if we don’t already have a prior commitment would feel guilty if we didn’t do so. But what if I’ve already had a really tough morning and that evening off is what I need to get through the rest of the week? Does that count as a good reason to say no? My personal opinion is to say yes, it is a legitimate reason.

More people just need to acknowledge and understand the fact that just because someone seems okay or in good spirits does not mean they really are. I have days where my anxiety is nearly crippling and I still make it to work and I still smile and keep a brave face on. My coworkers are awesome, but the customers I deal with sometimes have no idea that their attitude or their way of dumping their crap on me just because I happen to be sitting in front of them is a major trigger for me. They don’t know, but it comes down to the saying that floats around Facebook sometimes: “Always be kind because you have no idea what that person is going through.” And it doesn’t just apply to being rude, but also to being emotionally taxing.

I am very very blessed to have close friends who understand what I go through and will usually check in with me before they lay out their own problems. I love my friends and I never want to turn them down but there have been times where depression is trying really hard to drag me down and I simply can’t be the support system that they need. In those cases, it’s not going to help either one of us.

There are people, some of them in my own life, who would say that people have just gotten too sensitive about everything. This often presents itself as that “problem with millennials,” which is so silly to me. I think instead that people have simply gotten a lot more outspoken about how they are feeling. People are finding the courage and the space to express the fact that they are hurting. The bottom line is that we need to learn to respect that. I don’t think people are necessarily hurting or feeling more than they did fifty years ago, it’s more that the space exists now and the idea is more prevalent that those feelings and pain are valid and legitimate.

I’m glad that mental health information is more widespread now. I’m glad that more space exists for personal expression and emotions are being more accepted as valid instead of weaknesses. The next step is to really see that it’s not our job to fix everyone else’s problems or explain everyone else’s feelings. We need to learn better how to handle and balance our own issues so that then we can support our friends and family better on their own journey.

This is something that I’m personally working on. I don’t have a lot of mental space to spare. Between focusing on my marriage and my family while still battling anxiety and depression, I have a lot to deal with. Knowing that I don’t have to fix my friends’ problems though but instead just support them through whatever is going on? That helps me balance things out though.

I rarely have a soapbox moment but I guess this could be considered one of them. Most of this probably doesn’t actually make a lot of sense together, but it’s been on my mind lately so I decided to cobble a bunch of thoughts together. Maybe it made you think a little bit too. At least I hope so.


Lots of love and kindness, because today’s world can be incredibly cruel.

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, mental health, 0 comments

Summer Thoughts

Good morning beautiful fellow dreamers!

Living in Northeast Texas, I’ve gotten to experience some pretty intense summers over the years. We don’t usually get the worst of it but as someone who doesn’t really coexist with the heat particularly well, its bad enough, thank you very much!

And despite being born in the middle of July, summer has never been my favorite season. I enjoy it for a while and then I’m ready for something else.

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This year, being seven and eight months pregnant during the worst of the heat, has been a little extra rough. I’ve been outside very little and when I do get out it wears me out ridiculously fast. So I’m just drinking a ton of water and staying indoors most of the time.

The best parts of summer though, are just the simple things sometimes. It’s the evenings spent sitting and talking while the sun goes down. It’s the laughter in the swimming pool and the sheer volume of lemonade that gets consumed in a single day.

Where I work I have a prime spot for people watching and the last week has been pretty crazy. People are doing their school shopping, getting ready for this next phase of the year. It’s exciting and it usually really makes me miss the feeling of the new school year.

But even though autumn is my favorite season and probably always will be, I’ve found myself holding onto summer this year. Maybe it’s because autumn is bringing some big changes to my life and I want to cling to these summer moments before they pass by. Or maybe it’s because I’ve found something about summer that is worth holding onto for once.

Whatever the case may be, and despite not really enjoying the heat, I’m enjoying summer this year. For me, since I don’t have to think about school, summer isn’t really over until Labor Day, but it’s coming quickly.

The little things are the important ones, even if it is just a simple summer day.


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments

Thrills and Fears

Hello you fabulous readers!

This week kind of feels like a rollercoaster for some reason. And it’s only Tuesday!

In case you don’t keep up with me on social media, I was finally able to announce yesterday that I’m taking my writing hobby on a new adventure and finally making the push into the freelancing world as a writer and editor!

Now you can check out my new professional website while I slowly figure out how to break my way into jobs and side gigs that I really love spending time on! I’m a whole mix of terrified and excited because this is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have never had the courage or drive to really go for it.

But anyways… starting my new business isn’t what I wanted to write about today. Not really. Or at least not quite yet. We’ll come back to it.

Today I want to talk a little bit about the thoughts, the thrills, and the fears that I have about the other adventure I’m embarking on… the one where I become a parent.

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I wasn’t the girl that grew up dreaming about the perfect wedding or knowing that one day I would become a mom. Nothing against those things themselves, but just that I had other priorities and interests that kept me busy.

It makes me cringe because it’s so cliché but I only started being interested in having kids after my husband and I got together. We’re not going to talk about why that might have happened, but that’s the way it was.

But even after we had talked about it and decided that children were in our future, it still didn’t really sink in just what I was getting myself into. Even now, there are a lot of things about the whole situation that scare me to death and if I wasn’t on this adventure with the person I am I probably would have already died of panic. (Sorry, anxiety talking!)

The logical, rational, thinking side of me keeps me kind of sane. I know that my husband and I are an incredibly good team, that we have the same values and ideas, and that we’ll be able to handle this. I’m aware that I have a big group of friends and family that live nearby who will be able to help me learn what I need to know and take on some of the work when I need the backup.

I am super blessed to have a full-time job right now that is supportive and understanding of how real life works so that I’m not stressed about that adjustment after baby A arrives.

Then there’s the terrified aspect… I am very aware of the fact that I don’t know a lot about taking care of a baby. Honestly I only learned a few months ago how important it is not to leave blankets or pillows in a crib with a newborn. I didn’t really babysit as a teenager and I wasn’t all that interested in small children so information like that never really stuck in my mind.

I’m really scared that I’ll do something wrong and she’ll never be able to sleep on her own at night. I’m afraid that the cats aren’t going to get along with her and I’ll be forced to choose (thankfully I already have a long list of ideas on how to fix this problem if it arises).

And somewhere in the middle of all that fear and panic is the realization that I am already completely smitten with our baby girl. I already love her more than I ever thought I possibly could and even though its still scary I am so excited to be able to show her just how important she is to me and to her dad (who might be even more in love with her than I am). It’s humbling (and frightening) to think that she is going to rely on us for everything, that we’re completely responsible for her.

But the whole adventure is so thrilling too because even now already, before we’ve even met her, she is exactly what we hoped for and so much more than we could have dreamed of.

So the rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety and panic? It’s all there because I never realized how much the process of becoming a parent would take over my entire life.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Love and kindness…

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, 0 comments