Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Low key Harvest Home

September has been a weird month for everyone, I think.

Retrograde has not been kind to pretty much anyone I have spoken to. It's been a rough one, trying to remind ourselves to thinking before speaking and not locking ourselves into any long-term commitments or signing any paperwork. It's never ending game of chasing people, pleading for connection. Holding your tongue and your opinions to yourself, even if you feel you shouldn't. It's wild.

I have been pretty open about my mental health in the past, on my previous blog. I have an anxiety disorder and depression, both diagnosed by multiple doctors and psychologists. My recent work schedule had me working all evenings, pretty much opposite of everyone else I know, and weekends - when everyone I know is off. After almost two months of it, I was a raw nerve. I am an introverted person, but I was spending 90% of my time alone, not speaking to my husbands for days. I was feeling isolated, lonely, and burned out. My stress and anxiety are good bedfellows and play well together, so I was getting sick and run down. I ended up calling someone, who hooked me up with a counsellor/therapist. After speaking with her, and my very understanding workplace, I have opted to take 6 weeks sick leave to work with the therapist on a weekly basis to get myself in better shape mentally.

Mental health can be a bit of dicey subject for some people, but I have always thought it would be better to be open about it. It's like any other illness. If someone has diabetes, it's not usually treated with shame or skepticism - anxiety shouldn't either.

So with my ample time off, I've been working on some psychological exercises. I've been working weekly with my therapist. I've been trying to connect with friends I don't see often. I have been doing a huge purge of my apartment - 2 car loads to the charity shop. I've been trying to spend time with my loved ones. I'm headed home to PEI for a few days next week to see some good friends we missed at the weddings.

I've been trying to relax, but that is not something that comes easy. The universe has some funny timing about that.

We (our coven) opted to skip our regular equinox celebration since everything was crazy, everyone was busy, and retrograde was bringing the bullshit. This past Sunday, we opted for a day trip to the Annapolis Valley to do some apple picking. It's always an activity we enjoy, because it connects us directly with the harvest. Plus, eating all the apples our bodies could hold.

I lived in the Annapolis Valley for 5 or 6 years about 20 years ago, and it's one of those places that always feels like home to me.

Afterwards, we drove around to a few little spots, but spent a lot of time enjoying the valley views.

This cow was hilarious. I would moo at him, and he would moo back, and then the field of them would all moo, and I would crack up.

We rolled back into the city, content and full of fruit, the trunk of the car jammed with fresh produce to make many, many tasty things from.

Sunday night was the lunar eclipse, so we wanted to go out and watch it.

Remember how I said the universe has some funny timing? As we were walking down the stairs to the car, I missed a step and fell down the stairs. Yep. Full on fell. I was carrying photo equipment at the time, so I ended up slamming my metal tripod into my shoulder, twisting my knee and slamming it against the stair, hitting my elbow against the wall, and landing on my camera and tripod on my hip and ribs.

Ow. Just ow.

Other than some severe stiffness and soreness, and some bruises starting to form, I am in one piece. Nothing broken, didn't hit my head, surprisingly no photo equipment damaged. I won't lie, I am extremely sore. I can't carry anything, I can't stretch or bend over. I pulled my neck when I fell, so sleeping is difficult. Sneezing is excruciating. My knee was swollen for a day or so. Now I just feel like the bruises are starting to settle in.

So of course, I rested.

Yeah, right. I went out and took some photos. I won't spam with a bunch of eclipse photos, but we were slightly out of town, the stars were beautiful.

So I clearly came home and rested yesterday and today, right?

Nope. I canned. Well, DPM helped with the pickles. Baking is a creative stress release for me. I love it, I find it relaxing, and I especially love doing it this time of the year. Like the proverbial squirrel, I'm wanting to make and freeze all the things. 

Apple sauce, apple butter. pickled carrots, garlic dill pickles, apple jam, raspberry jam.... not pictured is the basil tomato sauce I made for the freezer.

So I got a pretty good stern talking to tonight from my husbands. They want me to rest tomorrow.

Let's be real, here. I'll probably make pie. I am terrible at relaxing. That is precisely why I am on leave from work - to relax. Tomorrow I do want to bake, but I am forcing myself to bake really easy things that require little movement. Maybe I'll make some pan rolls in the bread machine (for the dough anyway), and make a pie or some turnovers or something. I still have half a bag of apples to use up.

Or maybe I'll listen to everyone yelling at me, and spend the day on the couch.