Witchy Stuff: my favorite books, decks, and crystals

I don’t really consider myself a witchy person. But for the last year, I’ve found myself in a lot of witchy communities. Drawn to various aspects of those practices. Maybe because a lot of them are inclusive — people are the margins banning together to care for each other. Including some of these practices in my own life has led to personal growth and introspection I had not anticipated.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the items I’ve incorporated into my life and why I love them. (And yes, these are affiliate links where possible.)

Decks

I use tarot infrequently — whenever it sort of feels like I need a little extra reflection. I don’t see tarot as a tool for divination, for predicting the future. However, I believe it can be a very interesting, fun, and sometimes powerful tool for introspection. Think of it like journal prompts.

I don’t use the ‘past/present/future’ three card spread, but mostly a ‘context/focus/outcome’ one. I have a few others I use from time to time, but this is my main one. Also, if you’re not sure about buying a deck, there are many cheap and free decks available on mobile! I also highly recommend the Labyrinthos Academy for anyone wanting to learn tarot.

Linestrider Tarot: This was my very first tarot deck. There is this old belief that your decks should be gifted to you, however, it’s not really a followed thing. Honestly, the best advice is to find a deck that “speaks” to you. For me, it was the artwork. Siolo Thompson’s watercolors are beautiful. She has an oracle deck, and another tarot deck on the way next year.

Ostara Tarot: It took me a little longer to really decide I wanted this deck. I had seen various readings with this deck posted on Tumblr, and found some of the cards absolutely stunning. However, I really wasn’t impressed with some others. This deck has four artists. After purchasing it, though… I’ve really come to love this deck.

Inner Star Clarity Oracle: Another one I went back and forth on for a while. However, it was sold out, so I didn’t think too much of it. Then I saw on instagram they were running a small batch of reprints! So I went and pre-ordered as soon as I could afford to. Oracle decks are different. I really only use one card at a time, sometimes more. But these really are useful for self-reflection.

Sacred Self-Care Oracle: I thought this deck was really clever. It’s full of all sorts of activities that most of us are familiar with, however might not be great at making time for. Listening to music, getting a massage, creating art, cooking, connection with friends or family… There’s only one card I removed from the deck and won’t use: “connecting to your womb.” This is definitely a very Western feminine deck… and “sacred womb” ideals just don’t speak to me at all. I got this deck as part of my Sacred Self-Care course with Goddess Provisions.

Crystals/Stones 

I remember growing up, my mom had a rule about not buying crystals. Not getting involved with crystals. I never thought of her as superstitious, but for some reason that rule always stuck in my head. But then last year I started buying crystals. Which really, I just call them stones. Because that’s what they are.

The idea of using specific crystals to heal certain areas or to cause various things to happen… I mean, it’s a stone. They’re minerals. But if having a specific stone helps remind you of things? Yes. I don’t believe at all that wearing a Smoky Quartz necklace will get rid of my depression. But if it helps me remember that I’m stronger than my depression? Hell yes. I find power in that.

Amethyst: Useful for protection during sleep, bringing on restful sleep, and guarding from nightmares. I have a lot of Amethyst. On my nightstand is a large piece that was my grandmother’s. I don’t know what she thought about it, or if she even knew of it’s correspondence… But I like having this watch over me as I sleep.

Carnelian: Typically related to speaking well and productivity. I keep these stones at my desks. Now, I had one of these on my nightstand, and for a while wasn’t sleeping well. Read more about the stone and then moved it out of my room completely. Slept fine since. Any actual woowoo with that? No idea. But yeah.

Smoky Quartz: Known for dispelling and protecting from negativity. As I mentioned, this one has a lot of meaning for me as it reminds me to not let my depression

Rose Quartz: This is the stone of love and self-love. Honestly, it’s also just a pretty pink stone. My first stones I bought was a rose quartz bracelet that I purchased to remind myself to take care of myself and not let my anxiety overwhelm me. And if you were wondering how that went?Well, I purchase this before my breakdown, so… yeah, take the stones with a grain of salt.

Tips on buying… Ok, so part of me doesn’t want to share this because I like keeping it to myself. But, what’s the point in that? Yes, you can (and should!) support your local metaphysical shops. But if you’re on a budget, check your geological institutions! Museums, caves, mines.. A lot of them will have amazing specimen at a lot lower of a cost. Some even 50¢ per stone, where you’d be paying $3-7 for the same thing at a witchy store. Also, if you have a crystal and gem show in your area, you can get pretty good deals there. That’s where I get a lot of my stones for my jewelry.

Also: Be sure to do your research on your stones. Some should not be placed in water, others can’t be in direct sunlight. Rose Quartz, for instance will fade with too much sunlight. Others can be toxic to you if you put it in water that you consume. Whenever you are buying anything: do your research, especially if you plan on using something topically or internally. This is especially true with essential oils — never put them on your sick neat (or without diluting in another oil, water won’t work).

Books

I’ve purchased a number of books, some are definitely more useful in my opinion or other. Reviews aren’t always helpful when purchasing, so I’ve been checking tumblr and also trying to read previews where available.

Hearth Witch’s Compendium: This is just an amazing, big book of recipes! There is everything from food to cleaners to soaps to lip balms… I love it. They even have booze recipes! Make your own wines! I haven’t really tried many of these, but I have a lot of pages flagged.

Light Magic for Dark Times: Speaking of flagged pages… I have so many of these pages bookmarked. Now, this book is a spell book. But for those who want to add some rituals or activities filled with intention geared towards self-care but isn’t all sunshine and rainbow, this is a very good book. I purchased it after a very strong recommendation on the Fat Feminist Podcast. I really appreciate how this book embraces what some consider as negative emotions, like anger.

Jailbreaking the Goddess: If you want any sort of book to challenge you, then you need this book. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really big into “goddess” stuff. However, this book is equally about intersectional feminism. It uses a fivefold goddess model, rather than the threefold maiden-mother-crone. The fivefold one isn’t focused on Eurocentric biological ideals of who is a woman or what makes a woman. It doesn’t commodify our bodies and turn us, essentially into public property. I’m two chapters in, and really enjoying it. It’s also a really thick workbook with journal prompts and activities after every section.

Boundaries & Protection: I wasn’t sure about this one, but decided to get the eBook. This book is going to push me. In setting boundaries, I’m hoping to not only protect my self mentally and emotionally, but also allow myself to be more open, but, well, in a healthier way.

Other…

Fat Feminist Witch podcast: I love this podcast. Paige covers a lot of issues and all of it feels very true and authentic to her journey. She researches her topics very well and has really interesting interviews. And of course, a lot of book reviews as well! Episodes are about 45 minutes long, but I break them into a few sittings, which I appreciate that there are good pauses for me to do so.

Witchy Instagram: I don’t have *one* link for this. But with a little searching, you can find a lot. I’ve been finding a lot more through my self-care course, and really excited to get involved with this community. There’s some interesting discussion and debate on witchy instagram — and yes, a lot of it is gatekeeping. But you’ll find a lot in and around the aesthetics, and honestly, you can follow just for the pretty pictures or for the communities.

These fragrances from Twisted Twigs you can buy online! I love this Air Elemental room spray so much. And the Oracle perfume oil is amazing. I’m excited about getting some bath scrubs from them soon!

What sort of “witchy”, magical, or other spiritual items have you used or would recommend?

Beginning my Sacred Self-Care journey

Recently I wrote about taking a self-care week, since then I had been looking for something more. Something structured. Then low and behold on my instagram feed there it was…

I’ll admit, the goddess thing isn’t my style. Especially the combination of “sacred” and “goddess” together… I’ll refer you to an episode from The Fat Feminist Witch why I find some of this problematic, as she has some interesting points.

Anyway. It seemed like perfect timing. It’s an 8-week course, at a decent price, and includes an self-care oracle deck that I had been considering previously. So a day before the deadline, I signed up.

In these first few days, we’re introducing ourselves to the group — which is rather large, but not intimidating at all because it means we’re all likely to find at least one person to connect with.

I’m hoping that this course helps instill a routine of self-care into my life. Something that turns it into a habit. What I’m not looking for is surface level positivity, all rainbows and sunshine. That’s not real. Nor is it healthy, either.

I’m looking forward to cutting the ties that have been holding me back. Tending to scars. And just reaffirming that even though flawed, I’m still strong and still amazing. I won’t let anything or anyone ever convince me otherwise.

The past several months have almost been strange. I feel good — healthy, strong, confident… happy. Maybe strange is the wrong way to phrase it. But it definitely feels like a change. A very positive change. It’s one of those things where you didn’t realize something was missing or off about your life until suddenly things just click and you feel… well, you feel like the most you you’ve been in a while.

Have you done a self-care course? 

my self-care week

Maybe it’s because we’re hitting near the mid-point of the semester… But I just found myself not doing well recently. I didn’t realize that my stress and anxiety was building up silently within me, leeching all of my energy. Between my own health taking a hit by a rough cold, my mom being in and out of the hospital a lot the past couple of months, things that are happening on the news, and a case of bad attitudes going around — things needed to change. Something needed to change.

I needed a break. Things were not working the way they were going. So with Fall Break coming up (aka happening right now), I knew it was a good time to hit that reset button and start again.

I went back to the basics: better sleep, better food, and surrounding myself with as much positivity as I could. I watched shows I love (The Good Place), I journaled, I cuddled a friend’s dogs…

I wrote out a new schedule, asked my boss if I could switch hours (which will actually put me in their office for my assistantship more each week), and giving myself time to catch up on everything but also the forgiveness to take care of myself as well.

I’m definitely a firm believer that your mental and emotional health do impact your physical health. I had been internalizing a lot of stress from school and as well as some bad attitudes. Attitudes are 100% contagious, and I try to be mindful of what I’m putting out there. But for a bit there, it was kind of a spiral of exchanging bad attitudes back and forth. I wasn’t going to last the semester the way things were going. I needed to get away from the source of the bad attitude.

I hate this notion that we have to feel guilty for self-care. How is that ever a bad thing, taking care of one’s self? It’s like we wear being stressed out as a badge of honor. You’re obviously not living your best life unless you’ve run yourself ragged. Ugh. I can live a happy and productive life without driving myself to the edge of health and sanity each time.

That is the balance I am trying to achieve. It’s not always easy, and yes, I will fail at times. I will need more breaks for self-care.

I have some good support; online friends who are there for me regardless, and then another friend who just really builds me up and encourages me in a real and honest way. They remind me to be kind to myself, to see past the bullshit my depression or anxiety may tell me. I definitely recommend finding that if you don’t have it. That kind of support can come from a variety of places.

Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself, friends. Some indulgence in your life is good. Take break from the negativity in your life, and cut out the toxic areas if you are able to. Sometimes its easier to make a clean break. like I am with using Fall Break, but sometimes you just need to make small steps, and do a little at a time.

This world is only getting more stressful. Take care of yourself.

Fun Updates: car, crafts, and cats!

So a lot of smaller, but not insignificant, things have been going on. Thus it’s time for an update post! I’ve been wanting to blog more, but having a hard time finding anything I feel like you all would want to read about at any length. So, for the time being, currently and update posts might just be what happen. If you follow me on other platforms you might know of some of these — and heck, have probably seen some of the pictures.

With the third roommate moved out, and my other roommate and I rearranging most of the apartment, I finally have a little gaming/streaming corner. I moved my big antique writing desk into my room, and then got a basic ikea desk for the PC. There’s not as much room, because it’s not as deep, but it works well for this. I have a privacy screen to block off the rest of the living room, a lot of fun decor, and the cats have their own space as well. It’s a really good use of the space.

With my room being rearranged, I have more wall area to cover — because apparently I can’t have blank empty walls — so I made this moon phase wall hanging based off of one I liked on etsy. Rather than spening $40+, I saved a ton and kind of like it a little more because it’s something I made. I want to replace the dowel for a driftwood stick, which my roommate said she’d bring back for me when she visits Michigan… but overall I think it turned out well. I still need to adjust the left side a little with the length of the twine… but still not a bad job.

Maybe the big thing… I got a new car!! Back in March, my mom gave me her Honda Civic. It was a nice car — older for sure, a 2003, but she was the only owner. Well, after my grandma died, I was driving her dog down to Kentucky to her new home, and got into an accident. Essentially, because of the car’s age and mileage, it totaled the car. All cosmetic. Muffy and I were fine… Well, I had a minor concussion and some temporary nerve problems in my arms. It was just really disappointing, though, to have the car for 2 weeks — it wasn’t even in my name yet — and then that happened. I could have lived with the cosmetic issues… but the driver’s side door lock pins were misaligned, thus making it super frustrating to unlock. It was the base model, so no keyless entry either. Honestly, that is the main reason why I wanted a new car.

So, after looking for a while, I actually found a Fiat I liked that was a good deal. From there the dealer and I found a Mazda3 hatchback that I fell in love with. I even put money down on it. But because of my student loans and graduating soon, we couldn’t find a good point for financing it that I was really comfortable with. Yes, I could afford the car and the payments, but it was at the very top of my budget. So, the dealer did some talking and negotiating on my behalf… and we found that beauty. My new-to-me 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback.  She has great mileage, fuel economy, and is very roomy. We’re actually a two-Nissan Versa hatchback household now, as my roommate has a silver 2014 Note (that she got after totaling her previous car). So, yeah, the universe has a bit of a sense of humor.

I haven’t streamed recently — it’s still part of my fall goals — but I have been very active on Twitch. I’m a mod for a couple partnered streamers, and one has been doing front page stuff recently, so it’s been keeping me a little busy. But I love it. The community is great and it’s been a lot of fun hanging out with online friends.

I know I mentioned that I have been dating around a bit this summer… Well. I turned off all the notifications from the dating apps recently and not because of lack of options or anything. Not going to say much, but I’m excited to see where this goes.

Also, look at Tuija with her new toys. All food based, because of course. Not shown is the fish taco one she absolutely loves to kick around all over the house.

How are things with all of you? What’s going on in your lives? Any new updates?

Fall goals

Ok. So I’m one of those people who believe that the seasons start according to the lunar calendar — so Fall doesn’t official start until the equinox, on September 22nd. PSL out already? Sure fine, but it’s still technically summer right now. Weather cooling off? Awesome, we’re transitioning — still not Fall yet.

So even though I’m four weeks into my Fall semester, Fall hasn’t actually started, so this is a perfect time to think about my Fall Goals.

  1. Complete my CITI training and start my observation at my fieldsite. This semester is all about my thesis research, so getting permission from the campus IRB to do said research is the most important thing. Sadly, CITI training is just long and tedious, thus making it hard for me to want to complete. Need to just push through… maybe reward myself with something nice when it’s all done.
  2. Schedule a weekly visit to the gym. I need to find something that suits my work and academic schedule, but I’d like to spend at least 2 hours at the gym a week. Mostly this will be riding the bikes and then walking the indoor track. I have someone who volunteered to teach me about some of the weight machines, so I’m going to take him up on that sometime.
  3. Stay on top of tidiness in the apartment. So I guess task management and such is a theme… but yeah. I’m one of those where clutter bothers me. So unorganized things out on tables or counters just makes me a little twitchy. It’s not a major issue, so I have no need to really bring it up with my roommate ASAP, but for the sake of our friendship, I’d like to be able to say “hey, can we just check on these areas every so often? And also, what are the areas that you’d like to have checked for your sanity?” I, too, need to be conscious about leaving certain things out. (I tend to leave journals out on tables, and those need to go to one of my desks.)
  4. Stream.  I’m typically too tired by the time I think about streaming in the evenings, so I haven’t for a while now. I definitely miss it. I’m also modding in a couple partnered streams now, so that does take time away from my own things — only slightly; one is a morning streamer, so that does help. But I’d like to stream at least once a week or every other week if I can. Plus, I just finished setting up this sweet new streaming corner, so.. I should really make use of it and show it off.
  5. Put money from my paychecks into my savings. I’m building my savings finally so that I can actually have some money for when I graduate and start looking at moving away. I also want to get a new car, so, that’s a thing too.
  6. Figure out a plan for my business. I’ve taken a little break from my jewelry business, Lost is Found, but I’m ready to get back into it. So I want to keep the website updated, look at doing more on Etsy — even though I don’t really care for Etsy as a shop manager (it’s the fees). I also want to look at doing more local markets. Hopefully, I might be able to talk to one of my favorite shops about doing some consignment potentially.
  7. Set up a doctor’s appointment. Mainly I need to make sure I’m on a good dose of my heart medicine, but I’d also like a general check up since I’m really do for one. My mom’s been in the hospital a lot for her heart, so it’s definitely something on my mind.. And recently my SIL was in for emergency surgery related to the same procedure I had last year… so I’d like to do a check up on that to make sure there’s no complications and that I’m healing properly.

For the most part, that’s most of what I’d like to accomplish at this point. I’m sure I can think of more, but this is definitely manageable. Things are going super well. My assistantship is a great fit, class is going well, I’m staying in touch with my adviser regarding my progress… And, you know, I’m just having fun.

What are some of your goals for Fall?

Currently… (8/29/18): Beginning of the semester edition

Oh hai there.

Feeling: Tired, but good!

Watching: The Office (US), again. It’s my dedicated distraction show right now… Also watching UnReal, Round Planet, and Brooklyn 99 with my roommate. I need to catch up on Bachelor in Paradise, as well.

Playing: PoGo. I don’t do anything other than just catch the pokemon and hit like 2 poké stops… But yeah. I’m also still doing some Stardew when I can.

Listening to: Meditations! I’ve been trying a new meditation app, and so before bed each night I pick a new meditation to try. So far it’s been helping me fall asleep, but I’m also going to credit my new memory foam mattress topper, too.

Reading: … Actually not too much currently. I’m in that weird spot between the end of my summer break and my research starting. Honestly, I’m just enjoying the little bit of a breather.

Working on: Getting my thesis research approved by IRB so I can actually begin my work. It’s just red tape stuff that I have to get through to determine whether or not 1) my research is research (yeah, I know), and 2) whether it counts as using human subjects (which is unlikely). Once this all gets cleared, it’s full force into my fieldsites!

Thinking about: what to do with my hair… I got it colored right before the semester, but… unfortunately, it’s already faded a lot. (The picture at the top is from today.) I really liked the color a lot. He did such a great job on it. It’s just kind of a bummer. So, either I go to another salon and pay more… or maybe try doing something myself at home.

Craving: CARBS! Because when am I not craving carbs?

Looking forward to: Getting all my chore type boring stuff done. I have a pile of laundry that I’ve got to take care of. Most of it is just sheets and curtains (thank you cats), so nothing urgent, but just stuff to finish. We’ve also just have some small stuff to finish around the apartment, but overall, it’s really coming together. Furniture has been moved, boxes taken care of, extra stuff has been donated or trashed… It’s coming together.

Making me happy: life. Things are going great! Class is going well. Work is such a great fit for me. My roommate and I are doing well. I became a mod in a partnered stream, and am really loving becoming more involved in the community. I’m eating better, I’m sleeping better… My main frustration an issue with my car’s lock pins getting stuck, but honestly, if that’s my main complaint? Yeah, not a bad thing at all.

How have you been lately?

Preparing for my final year of grad school

It’s finally here. Or at least I hope it’s finally here. My last year of grad school. Nothing will be certain until I defend my thesis and submit it to the graduate school. But if anything, this will be my last year on campus.

As excited as I am for it, there is also the potentially paralyzing fact that I have no idea what comes next. I’ll graduate, get my degree… then what? I have some ideas of what I’d like to do, but honestly when I think of my future past graduation I keep coming up blank.

I think part of this is because there is so much ahead of me just to finish this degree. My entire thesis, essentially. My topic has been approved by my committee and the graduate school. Now I just need to go through training to show I know how to work with human subjects (i.e. ethics training), then actually start my research. After that comes the months of writing, rewriting, and editing.

As intimidating as it all is… a tertiary research question has brought about a new theme that I think might help shape future dissertation work. That has me really excited. Assuming I get to do further academic work in this field, that is. I know the risk of a Ph.D. — tenure jobs are scarce and the whole academic job field is imploding with poorly paid adjunct positions. I feel like I’m going into that with open eyes, I know the reality of this future… but I also cannot imaging being happier doing anything other than teaching anthropology at this current time. So I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try. Who knows, maybe along the way I’ll find another job that I love and all will be good.

I’ll admit, amidst all this excitement and happiness, part of me has been wondering when the other shoe will drop. Good things don’t last, right? But I’m working myself out of that thinking and just allowing myself to be happy. The past several months haven’t been perfect, but they’ve been good. I’m happy. I’m ready for whatever challenge this next school year will bring — and oh there will definitely be challenges.

I’ve got some things I’ve been working on, some potential adventures planned… and I’m just really excited to share those with you as the time comes. Just one more week and then it all starts. It’s like waiting in line for a ride… you’ve patiently waited for your turn, built up the excitement in your head, reassured yourself… now all that’s left is to hop in and hold on. Let’s go…

Self-care bullet journal (aka attempt number 27 to try bullet journaling)

Ok, so it hasn’t really been 27 attempts, but sometimes it feels that way. I never liked the idea of using a bullet journal as a planner AND a journal… and frankly, as a planner it never worked for me. I’ve tried a few different planners, and really only the ban.dō planners worked for me. I have no real reason why — they’re just basic planners, but something about them I liked and therefore I used them.

Anyway. As I was working my way through my actual journal (above — shown with two other daily pieces of my self-care regiment), I realized I needed something … different. I’ve always been a little envious of creative journaling and whatnot, and wanted my journal to be a bit more than it was. But the thing is.. my journal does work for me. It’s a brain-dump, and frankly, I need that. Yet, I still needed something to supplement that. Something maybe a little more structured, and uniquely focused on self-care.

So. Yet again, I ripped pages out of my failed attempts at bullet journaling, and am trying again.

It’s fairly simple. I’ve got a basic layout that is easy to replicate, therefore it only really takes me maybe 2 minutes to setup the next day. Each area is just to keep track of how I’m doing, and essentially, as best ink on paper can do, hold me a little accountable for taking care of myself.

I’m tracking my mood, activity, water intake, how I hygged, moments of positivity and/or gratitude, what I’d like to improve or let go of, daily health notes, and what action steps I’d like to take to address any issues or just things I need to do. I wanted something that, as I mentioned, was easy to replicate each day but also easy to change if it needed to evolve. It’s also very easy to fill out before bed. Outside of the action steps and what to improve/release, there’s very little actual reflection required of me. I’m able to keep all of that for my journal.

So while I haven’t had a good track record at all with bullet journaling, I’m more optimistic about this one. It’s sort of funny when you start googling “bullet journal” to get ideas… you’ll sometimes find these lists of Do’s and Don’ts… But honestly, there are no rules. And that’s one of the great things about any form of journaling. It’s either what you need, or it isn’t. You just go until you find what works for you — and sometimes that isn’t journaling. Which is totally ok.

I know I’ve asked before, but anyone else doing any self-care journaling?

And the living’s been easy…

I hope your summer is starting off well.

We’ve been on break for over a month now, and I didn’t quite realize just how much I needed this time off. It’s helped me adjust to having the roommates around again. And, I know this next year is going to be extremely taxing with completing my thesis and all of the impending edits and rewrites that are just part of the process — so I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and slowness that I’m being afforded right now.

Here’s some highlights of what’s been going on:

I have been playing quiet a bit of Stardew Valley. I actually even got my roommate hooked on it, too. Which wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t sharing my account for the game. Which is actually not even an issue. I don’t mind sharing my computer or Steam account. The only downside is that it looks like I’ve either left the game open for days or that I’m spending 16 hours a day playing.

On Memorial Day, the roommate and I went to Mounds State Park. We didn’t hit all the trails, but got in a nice little 3 mile hike. We saw the Great Mound maybe 7 times because of how some of the trails intersect. It was a lot of fun, though unfortunately I discovered that allergies are still a thing and we left earlier than planned because it felt like my head was going to implode. Next time I’ll know to take some meds before we go. We’re hoping to hit a few more parks this year, so it should be a lot of fun!

I should hopefully hear back about a job soon. It’s nothing exciting, but pays well and that’s just fine. Being able to get food and not being homeless definitely trumps any kind of snobbery about any job. I’m also starting the interview process for an assistantship position for this fall. It’s with another department, but in the same building which is nice. Regardless, it’s got full tuition and a stipend. If I get this, and keep the job, I’ve decided I’m still taking out loans for the year, but they’re going into a savings fund for when I graduate so I can use them for moving. I don’t want my finances to keep me from starting a PhD program or a job because I can’t get a U-Haul or put a deposit down on an apartment.

I have a couple health things going on — meeting again with a specialist for a follow-up this afternoon — but it’s still nothing compared to living with endometriosis pre-surgery. It’s sounding like the next step might be a pill-cam to check things out. Honestly, I’m not sure we’ll pin point exactly what’s going on… But I think we’re going to be able to control the symptoms. Despite the occasional pain from this, I’ve been feeling really well. It’s been over one year since my surgery, and as tough as a choice that was, I’m grateful for having my life back.

I don’t really have big plans for the rest of the summer. Hiking. Cooking. Adventures with the roommates. Hanging out with the nieces. Streaming. Reading non-academic texts. Quite honestly, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

How’s your summer starting off?

Currently… (5/18/18)

Feeling: Tired? Bummed? So you know how I wasn’t really looking for much on Tinder? Yeah. Met someone, thought we really clicked, and was super excited to get to know him more… and then everything crashed down. The next day he revealed himself to be an asshole. He accused me of being a slut and a liar… and.. yeah. I’m still kind of hurt about it. If this is dating, I’ll just pass.*

Watching: Nothing that spectacular. I’ve been going through a few shows, but nothing I’m super excited about. I’ve tried looking for new shows — maybe not that hard — but yeah, just haven’t found anything yet. Open to suggestions though!

Playing: Nothing really. Occasionally Two Dots or Dots & Co. on my phone, but yeah. That’s about it. I charged up the Switch recently, so I’m thinking of getting back to Zelda. And, after talking with a few friends, I might boot up the gaming PC and get back to Overwatch and Destiny 2 maybe. Of course, after the million of updates I likely have.

Listening To: Macklemore’s Gemini on repeat in my car. I’ve cut down on my podcasts, and haven’t needed to be on campus so early, so I’m not listening to NPR as much either.

Reading: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I haven’t read anything of hers before, but had seen an adaptation of one of the Earthsea novels once. It’s been going a little slow, but that’s more been to just being pretty tired in the evenings which is when I normally read…

Working on: my CITI training. It’s required for my IRB approval. Which is required for my thesis research. Basically it’s all the legal and ethical stuff regarding using human subjects for my research. It’s boring. Really boring. But required. Hoping to get it done next week, and then I’ll submit my proposal to the board for approval. And then my colleague and I will get our proposal ready for the independent research project we’re working on outside of our theses.

Thinking about: my car. I was in an accident back in late March, early April… and we’re still working on getting everything fixed. The accident could have been worse than it was, and my car is still drivable. So I’m grateful for that. But definitely ready for my car to be fixed.

Craving: a vacation? The semester ended, and then I had roommates move in right away. And while I’ve taken a small break from my research, I haven’t really been able to have a me break. And I need one of those. If I had the money, I’d just go off to a B&B somewhere within a day’s drive… but I don’t. So, I’ve got to figure out another way to get in a break.

Looking forward to: the market this weekend. It’s my second weekend at the market, and I’m hopeful to see some repeat shoppers! I’m getting to know the community there, slowly, and they’re getting to know me and my work. I’m excited about the sales I’m implementing this weekend!

Making me happy: … things are getting back on track. Yeah, that little tinder thing was a hiccup I didn’t need. But overall, things are good. I’m waiting to hear back about my position on the conference executive board. Hoping to get some mentorship programs going with my advisor. The jewelry business has gotten amazing feedback. My mentor said I had a superpower when it comes to my lectures. The weather’s great, I can sit on the porch and read… Things are just feeling normal again. And for that, I am truly grateful.

*I know not all dating is like that. And there are actual good guys out there… it just sucks to get excited about someone and to realize just how wrong you were about them.