Personal Posts, Uncategorized

Long time no see!

Hey guys!
I’m happy to be back after a much longer than expected hiatus.

***And here’s a little disclosure, I started writing this post Sept. 1st 2020, things have changed a LOT since then so I never finished but I am keeping the post intact after debating for a while whether or not to start over… Towards the bottom you’ll get more up to date info on what’s been going on these past two crazy months.***

I had a lot of things going on in my personal life that kept me way too busy and, quite frankly, overwhelmed. Most of my time was dedicated to others or yet another crisis of some sort, so I’ve barely had time to take care of myself let alone worry about this.
Not to say I didn’t worry or guilt myself periodically and harshly about not updating or writing anything… or about not really working on much crochet work.
Then again we all need a break sometimes.

I know I haven’t spoken to you guys since last year! And so much has happened… especially if you live in the circus that is the United States right now like I do!

Back in mid-March my state implemented a shelter in place order. It helped keep the numbers down for the most part in Illinois, started to see the cases go down. We re-opened in phases.
I knew my job would not be back for a while as it was part of phase 4 to reopen. This I was completely fine with, as I was able to draw unemployment and we actually had some time to recover and breathe a little.

I’ve also never been happier that I made the decision to not have kids in my youth.

I find it funny that I somehow ended up being more busy not working than when I work a full time schedule. It most definitely wore us down even more, before we could recover from all that we were doing for others it was announced that we would be entering phase 4 on July 1st and reopening.

This required us to go back in June for retraining and to talk about the changes we have to make to make it work.
We have been open for about two months so far and I’ve noticed a lot of issues. People refusing to wear their masks properly. Complaining about them constantly. (I can’t breathe etc.) Though the most alarming thing is that we consistently are not being sent the needed cleaning supplies to keep things sanitized. Now I knew this would be an issue, so I’m not surprised. We consistently have issues getting in basic supplies from our regional manager, who will also not give management the power to order supplies as needed. It’s completely asinine. We have since taken money from the register and bought supplies locally.

Now the reason these are so important in my line of work, is because I work at a little gambling parlor. There are 6 slot machines. People come in and jump from machine to machine and touch everything. Therefore in between someone jumping from seat to seat, machine to machine, we have to follow behind them and wipe everything down so that the next person who sits down has a lower risk of infection. Needless to say we go through a LOT of cleaning supplies. We have had a few scares since reopening. A lot of local restaurants are having their employees test positive and shut down. Recently a local place shut down because of an employee testing positive. Around that same time 3 of their employees were frequenting our gambling parlor. They honestly might still be, we have 2 locations and they usually go to the one I don’t typically work at. Though I did the night before it was announced.

Me being immunocompromised, I was freaking out. If I catch it, my girlfriend who is also immunocompromised would get it as well. We both would not fare well… we both would not have income during the time we recover from it. So it’s really scary… I’m happy to say I’ve made it through all of the scares alright. *Update at the bottom*

I can’t say I haven’t had any of the symptoms, because I have over half the symptoms on a daily basis anyways. Therefore I have to wait to see if a fever develops or if my lungs get to where I can’t breathe without a LOT of pain.

Since Illinois has reopened cases have spiked.
What’s sad is 40% of the new cases is from down south and have nothing to do with the most densely populated areas around Chicago. Most of the counties in my area are at warning stages, some counties north of here have had to implement more restrictions and policies to keep the numbers down after passing the threshold given.
With the extra money we would be getting with unemployment gone, we would only be making maybe 200 a week on unemployment when they shut us back down… That’s terrifying. Are you able to pay all of your bills on $800? Plus have food? Plus medication? Hopefully they get it straightened out in Washington… ***again I wrote this before***

All of this being said. I do have a LOT to be thankful for. I know there are millions of Americans out there in a much worse position than I am. My heart goes out to them and their families. If you are able, please donate money, food, and supplies to charities, organizations, and small businesses that are helping families in need.

Now let’s see… since we last saw each other here I have made progress on a few creations! I have also completed a few for around my home and for myself in particular. I made a really long and colorful runner rug for my bedroom. It’s made entirely of scrap yarns and completed with a thick black border. My cat Daryl likes to hide under it, so half the time the rug is not in it’s place.

I’ve also made myself a laptop bag! I can’t wait to show you guys that one! It took a lot of ingenuity and use of some cardboard for the final product!
I’ve made some storage containers and bags as well. I’ve also been working on getting a list of products together to try to take things another direction for now.

I really haven’t crocheted as much as I thought I would this year. I have however taken time (during lock down) to take a break and play some video games, read, journal, and just relax. Though I can’t say it’s all been relaxing, in the first month or so we weren’t all that busy and I had some time to do some inner work on myself.
I continuously have an issue with thinking I have to be productive all of the time or I’m wasting my time, and then I guilt myself if I’m ever not being productive. So for me to take a break such as this, was a big step for me in learning how to let go of all of the made up expectations I set up in my head. As I said, something I’m definitely working on.

I have been getting ideas for new projects quite a bit as of late, but I’m trying to improve upon my discipline. I fall into that classic category most of us creatives do, starting on a new project, getting excited about another idea, starting a new project, and so on until suddenly we are buried under 15 works in progress with nothing finished. It causes me a lot of grief and constant guilt. So instead of letting myself continue the cycle I’m trying to be a bit more disciplined and finish things before starting on new ones. I still mess up all of the time on this. I feel that the mindfulness of this cycle is a good start though. When I do slip up, I still try to contain it to 3 projects tops, and work hard to finish my current ones so I can start another.

I’ve also been working on being kinder to myself and giving myself a break so that I don’t feel guilty quite as much.
Let me tell you, I feel guilty about something 100% of the time.
They are all usually things I shouldn’t even feel guilty about but, here we are. Carrying that guilt constantly in life is not ok either. So if you too, are guilty of feeling guilty constantly, it may be time to do some work on yourself and figure out why you feel this way.

Mindfulness is something I’m really focusing on right now. Meditation is another thing I’m really working to set aside time for. I think it’s really important for us all to learn and set aside time for. I learned from a monk (on YouTube) that I’ve been going about it all wrong for years and that’s why I’ve always felt I was a failure at meditation. I found out I was doing it right all along but just felt like I was doing it wrong because I couldn’t keep a clear, quiet mind. That’s a misconception that has spread like wildfire!
If you’re interested in learning more about meditation and would like to watch the gentleman that helped me put it together and realize I was doing it successfully all along, here is a link to his channel!

Working on meditation and mindfulness will help you explore your mental health and your life in general and help you to make sense of things. It can even provide you with a starting point to change the things you’ve always wanted to change, but have never been able to manage. With the stress that the world is under currently, there is no rush to do any of this. There is a lot on everyone’s plate and it can be hard to try to focus on inner workings when our physical realm is so insecure and uncertain.
Just do one thing for me.

Be kind to yourself and to others.

Give yourself a break. Give your partner a break. Your boss, your employees, your children and family members… they are all feeling it as well. We have to keep our humanity even in times of crisis.

Now for more recent events. And I want to start by saying cases have been spiking in the area to the point that we are getting tighter restrictions starting Thursday for my region.
September 6th we found out a coworker tested positive for Covid-19. My girlfriend and I went and got tested that day, and found out on the 10th that she was positive and I was negative. Weird. But it makes sense based on the research that has come out. My blood type is O+ which they say O type is resistant, as where A type is more susceptible. I am also a daily cannabis user, which has also been shown to help treat and prevent covid.
I’ve never been so thankful to not catch something. Poor Catie on the other hand…
She is a diabetic. So any type of infection will cause her blood sugar to spike. She had mild symptoms, and after 2 weeks was released from quarantine by the public health department. Day 3 of her being back to work, she started vomiting…. a lot..
The two week crash as it’s called. She started shivering, having fever spikes, she was so incredibly miserable…. sick as a dog…. a horrible cough developed. And when I say horrible I mean, barely able to catch her breath during and after, so severe her chest was always hurting and she was consistently pulling muscles in her back and neck.

We were doing our best to keep her symptoms managed and her fever down. After 2 days of this she started to feel pain in her foot. I took a look, we had been treating a small diabetic ulcer on her toe. There was redness and swelling and she was tender. There was no doubt that she had an infection… we went to the ER right away.
Within 48 hours we went from “this can be treated outpatient with oral antibiotics” to “we can’t save it, we need to amputate”

This was in September.
I’m very upset to report that we are still not out of the woods…

Her covid symptoms have gotten much better, especially this week we have seen a big improvement in her cough. But as I type this, we are anxiously awaiting what comes tomorrow.

Another surgery to clean out the wound after the amputation, hopefully that will be all, but we can’t know for sure. This is a little over 2 weeks since she was released from the hospital the last time. She has been on IV antibiotics every day since this all began, but she still ended up with another infection…

All we can do is keep going. Just keep swimming, just keep breathing. Whatever phrase works for whoever is reading this. It’s all the same message, and it’s all we can do. Just keep going.

I have to say through all of this we have had so much support from friends and family that it’s truly astounding. Our manager at work has been busting her ass covering shifts and ensuring that we still receive a regular paycheck throughout this whole process. Family and friends have helped with groceries, rides to infusions, and have just been amazing support through this all and we are so thankful that we have such an amazing support system. We couldn’t do it without everyone so thank you all. So much.

I’m going to try to enjoy the rest of my evening and get some sleep, big day tomorrow. I promise more updates in the future.
I met someone today that gave me even more motivation to make sure I get this going again despite all of the obstacles life throws my way.

I hope you all are well or are at least on the right track for improvements.

Until next time
~Shara

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