I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunset Beach Day 5 - Beach Birthdays!

I'm back!  Life got busy really, really fast!  I had an absolutely wonderful vacation, which ended way too soon.  When I returned home, I felt re-energized and re-charged, for a few days anyway.  Then life got busy again and I ended up having to make some major changes in my life.  I've been hinting for months now that life had gotten really stressful and I think the time away from the stressful situations during my vacation helped me finally get to the point where I was really ready to do something about them.  So I made some big decisions, which made me really excited and full of energy for about five days and then I totally crashed.  Earlier in the week, my therapist convinced me to take a self care day and spend the day relaxing and making sure that I got enough rest.  I stayed at home and watched a movie with a friend and by the end of the day, I felt re-balanced, which was a fabulous feeling.  Eventually I will write about the changes in my life, although I will go ahead and tell you that one of them is that I am retaking my therapist's DBT course.  I am very glad to be taking it again, as I am sure that I will need extra help in remembering my skills as I navigate this different time in my life right now.

I guess I should finish telling you about my vacation.  So onto Day 5!

Day 5 was pretty laid back.  I still wasn't feeling that great physically, but I managed to have fun.  Some of us made terrariums using collected sand, shells, and other found objects put in these pretty glass bowls that we had brought with us.  They were fun, although I must admit that I think my younger cousins made the ones I liked the best-theirs seemed the most imaginative and creative to me, which isn't a surprise, since imagination is the more fertile the younger you are.

Here's mine:

And mine again:

My mom got the idea from this really cool antique store in Atlanta called Paris in Ponce.  If you've never been and you live in Atlanta, then you need to make a date to go pronto!  It's huge, it's fun, with a collection of antiques, new art, hipster crafts, and funky furniture.  They even have a red party room that you can rent out for events.  One of their vendors has a stall totally focused on terrarium items, with glass bowls, funky plants from Venus fly traps to all kinds of mosses and even small animal skulls! The potential for fun is almost overwhelming.  Their inventory constantly changes too, which also makes it fun to go back again and again.  It's where my aunt bought my birthday tiara.

That night was our big birthday celebration, since we had three people in our company with July birthdays, including my father. In honor of the occasion, my uncle made his famous shrimp newberg.

It's shrimp and scallops in a creamy mushroom sauce over rice and is absolutely freaking fabulous! Seriously, this dish could easily be featured at an expensive, gourmet restaurant.  The scallops were incredibly tender and just melted away in the mouth.  The sauce was rich and slightly sweet.  The shrimp...oh, I shouldn't go on anymore-I'm about to swoon.  I'm a bit bitter that my stomach was hurting a lot that night and so I couldn't eat nearly as much as I wanted to.  So sad!

Then came the birthday cake!

I had made two cakes earlier that afternoon-carrot cake, because it's my dad's favorite, and a red velvet.

Yum!

Here is a shirt that my dad received from my cousins:

I really like it.  I'm showing it to you, because it is designed by Guy Harvey, who is a very popular conservationist and marine wildlife artist in our area.  You could see products with his marine illustrations in every store in coastal North Carolina and they're really beautiful.  He is incredibly prolific - I guess he's the Steven King or Walt Disney of the tourist marine world.  There seems to be a whole Guy Harvey subculture!

I'm glad that I'm back embracing life and showing you all what I did on my vacation.  Soon I will write about day six.  On day five of the vacation. we celebrated three birthdays, but I think that I may need to have a celebration for myself fairly soon.  I've initiated a lot of changes in my life recently and they keep on coming-this Friday will be the last day of my current job.  These changes are hard, but they're healthy.  Even today, I checked off the DBT skills I did on my daily DBT skills checklist for the first time. In fact, I do know that I am going to treat myself to a massage with some late birthday money that I got recently.  I need to go ahead and set the date-as a therapist told me recently, it is so easy to get caught up in the drama of change, but it more important to stay present in the positive and healthiness of the moment.

Are any changes going on in your life?  Are any of them positive?  What are you doing to reward yourself?

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