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Hi everyone! I've been super quiet on here lately and I've been meaning to tell you why:

A) I'm still sick as hell. I'm actually working on getting comfortable with the word disabled and the reality of the situation, since my doctors have essentially given up on me and told me this isn't getting better. Of course, I'm still going to continue advocating for myself and trying to get at least somewhat better, but I am also focusing more on how to have a fulfilling day to day life despite this reality, which brings me to...

B) Bruno and I built a website, it's called Textillia! We've been chipping away at it as time and energy allowed for over a year and finally launched it in mid-November - a super early Beta launch - lots yet to do but we wanted to let people start using it! For anyone who knits, the easy explanation is that it's a sewing site like Ravelry... Or maybe more accurately like what Ravelry was 8 years ago when it started out! Textillia is still a fresh-baked little website, but we have big plans for it!

Textillia homepage

This post is Part 1 in a 3-part series on my quest for a calmer mind. Part 2 on healing and boundaries is here, and part 3 on meditation and mindfulness is here.

I've lived with anxiety problems since I was a teenager. It took me years to figure out that's what was going on finally seek help for it, and even longer to fully understand why it was happening. It's only in the last two years, particularly the past year, that I've finally gotten a real handle on it and learned what it feels like not to be spinning around inside my head at a dizzying speed, day in and day out. This means approximately half of my life was spent in a haze of uncontrollable thoughts and anxiety. In my quest for a calmer mind, I've discovered several changes that have helped, and one of them is modifying how I use social media.

Train ride from Vancouver to Seattle

This spring, I took a month off from Facebook. Now for those who might not know, I use Facebook a LOT. I've got family and friends I want to keep in touch with spread around the world, and because of my health problems I rarely even see local friends in person. I'm a recluse, and these days Facebook is my main connection to the world. I also use a multitude of other social media, read blogs and news online, write online, etc. but Facebook is the BIG one. I can spend a lot of time on there, and it's not all well-used time. Much of it is what a friend of mine recently termed "scrolly-scroll", ie. where you find yourself zoned out and endlessly scrolling down the page.

In the spring, I did a Facebook fast. But as much as my Twitter usage has declined since back when I was working in tech, it easily substitutes my usual scrolly-scroll of choice. Nothing else sucks me in like those two platforms. YES, they are an effective way to connect and engage. YES, they are a convenient way to keep up to date on things. There are tons of positive things about them! But they change the way we live our lives, and not always in a good way. I know they change me. And over the last year or so, I've developed the distinct sense that they change how my brain functions when I use them too much.

Hello and happy late spring!

I've been a bit quiet on here lately, but it's not because I've grown tired of writing online, or any of that nonsense... I still love having a way to "talk" to you and share, and with Facebook "pages" going down in flames, this feels like the right place to keep doing that. The reason it's been quiet is because Bruno and I were giving my site a spruce up! A new design that's more colourful and has an inviting vibe.

IMG_8243

Since my creative energy started flowing again over the last several months, I've been frittering a lot of time away on various projects. Writing Chronically Yours, sewing, drawing, painting, working on my 365 project. That on top of the usual things I do these days: self care (sleep/eat/exercise as able; go to appointments/get tests/take supplements and medications), house stuff, garden maintenance; rest, rest, rest... I've been feeling a little all over the place. Not exactly what I was going for.

 I had so many favourite moments the week before last at DrupalCon Chicago, I started jotting down a list so I wouldn't forget them all. Here are some highlights...

Freezing! (crazyhair c/o Chicago wind)

So first, a little catch up from before my last posts... back in June, I went to Saskatoon for a weekend to go to the wedding of one of my next door neighbours from where I grew up. The Sulatyski family lived next door to me my entire Saskatoon-life (plus a couple years after I moved to Vancouver), and are like my second family... sometimes I feel like I grew up more Ukrainian than any other culture!

Me and the boys

What's that? Oh yes, that is the smell of sweet, sweet VICTORY!!! 

Photo Booth

And just like that it's over. It's a small miracle that I actually made it to San Francisco for DrupalCon SF.  As I mentioned before, I caught the flu just over a week and a half before I was supposed to leave for the conference, and was SOOOOO sick. I got a fever, then the worst cough I think I've had since I was a kid.  My mom saved my ass and came out and stayed with me for a week, I hardly left my bed the entire time. She went back to Saskatoon about three days before I was supposed to leave for SF, but I was still pretty sick, and was about 5 days into a week of having lost my voice. Making the con did NOT look promising.

This one's all Drupal folks, cause that's pretty much all I've done for the last two and a half weeks. This is what happened when I asked the question, "Is there some reason we don't just fix it all?" I did not know then what I was getting myself into...

A small inconsistency

It all started in late summer, when I was testing some Drupal 7 core patches for moving fields and image handling into core, and at some point clicked my way into the Help pages. There was a blatant typo on the Node module help, and then a change in language that needed to be made, so on August 1st, 2009 I created an issue for it.

And.... the busiest of months has come to an end. Exhales.

Untitled

October was a great if not overbooked month. Between BarCamp Vancouver, the Drupal 7 Conrib Sprint, and the big PNW Drupal Summit in Seattle last weekend, I had only one weekend off the entire month (on which there was also Drupal Camp Portland, but I decided that would be pushing it).  I made up for the past month in a big way this weekend, going out to socialize only once (last night for Halloween), sleeping in till 10am both mornings, doing laundry, cleaning my bathroom, cooking, reading, chatting with my folks on the phone, and generally being a homebody.

Lots of things to catch up on...

BarCamp Vancouver 2009

BarCamp was this weekend - I was so-so on it last year, it was still fun, but not many sessions really did it for me, so I came in with relatively low expectations, thinking that maybe I'd just been to too many Camps and Cons now for them to still inspire and interest me...  I am happy to report that I actually had a superb time, and am not too old and jaded to enjoy these events. :-)  The organizers did a great job (thanks a bunch, you are all awesome) and everything went off flawlessly.  Enjoyed the sessions I went to, and there were many more I wish I could have made it to (most sessions are listed here, some have notes/slides).

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