Hanging by a thread

It’s almost here: the Yule feast that my husband’s in charge of cooking. The theme (which you may recall if you follow this blog) is Italian Renaissance. As Viking personas, we had no Italian Ren garb. None. So I’ve been scrambling to make two full outfits.

Did I mention I have no clue how to make period-accurate Italian Ren garb? Yeah. There’s that. I had patterns for my husband’s clothes (which, being “costume” patterns and not “historical” patterns, are not quite period-accurate either), but I needed a lot of help with my garments. Thankfully there are some really kind, really helpful ladies in our barony who were willing to give me their time and attention so I could be properly attired.

I’ve still got a few things to finish, but with (hopefully) a half day at work today, I should be able to finish everything in time. I have to:

  • re-sew the snaps on the stomacher of my dress because the dress ended up needing to be taken in a bit more (yay!)
  • add the buttons to my husband’s pants (and the belt loops he requested for extra security; not “period,” but they’ll keep the pants up lol)
  • finish the sleeves, collar, and hem on his shirt
  • add as much fancy trim as I have time to slap on there
  • iron the damn things

Once the sewing and ironing are done, I have to bust my butt to clean up the craft room and transform it into a guest room again. I have accumulated quite a bit more fabric since the last time I cleaned/straightened in there, so it looks like a trip to Wal-Mart or some such place is in my future so I can get more storage for all that crap. Then, once our guest is gone, I have to bring things back out again so I can try to get the one Christmas present I plan on sewing done before the holiday. I doubt I’ll be able to, though, and it makes me feel bad. I know I had a lot going on lately–sickness, injury (oh yeah, forgot to mention: I broke another bone on my foot back at the last war event), work, and garb–but that doesn’t stop the guilt from eating at me.

That’s not all in the sewing department; I have gifts for the women who helped me, a tournament prize, more garb (with a February deadline this time–easier Viking stuff), and assorted odds and ends that I want to make. Seriously, I have a list. Typed up. Because I’m a nerd.

Why am I typing this instead of cranking out garb? Well, I’ve gotten to a step that I can potentially skip, but I need to wait for my husband to wake up so I can ask him if he minds if I omit the step. He’s been stressed enough about the event, though, so I’ll let him sleep. I can find other things to do until then.

But as soon as he’s up and has made a decision, it’s back to the grind.

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Wallflower disease

I’m a wallflower. Not gonna lie. I enjoy my own company more than just about anyone else. So what’s so wrong with that?

Apparently it’s some kind of condition. Like, one where you need to check on the person constantly to make sure they’re ok.

Let me rewind a bit. Tonight there was a birthday party for a friend at a club. No big deal, right? Well, if you’re not a wallflower I’m sure it’s no big deal. Us petal people, however, sometimes have to make big adjustments to tolerate–or even survive–parties like the one tonight. My go-to coping mechanism is to find a semi-quiet corner and bury my nose in my phone.

I guess some people don’t like seeing that. There appears to be some kind of protective instinct that takes over and makes the non-flowers want to comfort the flowers, who are actually perfectly comfortable sitting alone. Not only did people come to me and ask if I was “okay,” they apparently asked my husband if I was okay as well.

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with wanting people to have a good time. I’m just saying maybe those people with their noses buried in phones or books or laptops are having a better time than they would be inside the crowd. Maybe those people in the booth corners are having the time of their lives off on their own.

Wallflowerism isn’t contagious, but it’s also not a disease.

The fabric of space

Made great progress on my Italian Renaissance dress today… Until it was pointed out to me that I need considerably more yardage to get the skirt done. Crap.

On the plus side, I had to take in the back of the top a bit because of the weight I’ve lost working out. 🙂 The three days a week of exercise have proven to be successful in shrinking me, even if I don’t see it myself.

I am ever grateful for my husband and our friends for encouraging me to exercise on a regular basis. I’ve never had the ability to stick with an exercise regime of any sort, but I’ve been working out with my friends for several months, and I have no desire to quit. It kills me and makes me ache for days on end, but I feel good knowing that I’m getting stronger and having more endurance.

I’m still going to need more fabric, though. Guess I have to hit the internet for the last of it, because the store didn’t have much left.

I take up less space, but I still need more fabric.

Kinda want something to do, kinda don’t want to be around people…or do I?

So here’s something about social anxiety that you might not realize: sometimes, we actually want to hang out. We just don’t know how to make ourselves approach people in order to hang out.

One prime example is me today. I had nothing to do, but I wanted to do…. something. I didn’t know what; all the things there were to do involved peopling. Go hang with my husband who was standing guard for the Queen? People. Going to an art class? People. Wandering through the vendor tents? You guessed it: people. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, this girl slept. I took a depression nap because I had nothing to do that didn’t involve being around people who were mostly strangers to me. Not exactly fun.

It’s hard to articulate. I mean, for people who don’t have social anxiety it might seem stupid. But it’s a thing. A real thing. And sometimes it pisses me off. I want to have something to do. I want to hang out. But I don’t. I don’t want to. Fucking frustrating.

It’s like wanting a cookie. But you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Or rather, your brain tells you you’re allergic to the nuts in the cookie. Your brain tells you that if you eat that cookie you’ll fucking die. But hot damn, that cookie looks good.

Right now I’m among close friends, so I’m cool just sitting around. I can handle this. I’ve got to learn how to let myself relax around semi-strangers, though.

I can only take so many naps.

Beatdown

I’m done. Done. Totally, completely, 1000% done.

Except I’m not. I have more to do, farther to go, deeper to dig. In other words, I’m shit out of luck.

Ok, let me back up a bit.

I’ve been covering for a co-worker who had surgery a week ago, and even though I learned how to do that position a little over a year ago, my training was quick and dirty. Basically, the only backup person for that position quit and I had to step up and dive in. Speed training.

Incomplete speed training.

Yeah. There are huge chunks of aspects of the position that are missing from my knowledge/experience base. Some of the things never came up during that speed training, and despite me pointing this out multiple times it has never been rectified. I literally am the only other person “trained” in this position, and as the past week has demonstrated I am not truly prepared.

I didn’t realize how much stress I was under this past week until this morning. My worsening insomnia, which I had been attributing to just me being me, has most likely been due to this sudden change in work duties. This afternoon, the buildup of stress and strain and pressure came to a head in the form of a massive anxiety attack. During the work day. Full-blown crying-my-eyes-out find-a-place-to-hide-from-reality anxiety attack.

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had an attack that bad while at work. I have to admit, I’m more than a bit ashamed of it. I thought I was past this kind of thing.

Guess not.

Now, work life isn’t my only stressor right now. I have other things going on that are probably not helping matters. Could I cut back on one or more of the non-work activities? Sure. I could. Will I? Probably not too much. Some of my private life things demand a certain degree of responsibility, and some of them involve dear friends who I do not want to disappoint or let down. So I’m going to plow through my off hours just like I’m plowing through the work stress. Will that mean more breakdowns? Probably… but hopefully I can keep any impending meltdowns to times when I can get away and hide my shame.
I’m not sure what I’ll do to destress aside from the date night that my wonderful husband has planned for tomorrow. Work will calm down eventually. I’ll get my personal life sorted to the point where I can function.

I just wish I could fast forward to this stress leveling off.

Soon, though, right? Please?

Under Construction

I have no idea why I thought I’d start up my Etsy shop again at this time of year.

I thought it would be fun: creating new stuff, possibly selling a few things, having a blast with it all… Then yesterday I realized that I have quite a few personal projects to get done before I can get to creating stuff to sell. There’s the bento box, the Italian Renaissance garb for Yule (that I accidentally forgot about until now), the masks for the Yule event, and oh yeah, I suppose I should start thinking about Christmas gifts for all my friends and family. Mania, why you no pick a better time for this?
I guess the Etsy shop will have to be put on hold for a while again. I can keep the current listings active, but realistically I should be focusing on the more pressing items on the menu. *Sigh*

Good thing I have lots of materials and patterns that I can use for the above-mentioned projects. It takes a bit of a load off stress-wise, but I still wish I could work on the crafting ideas I have. Oh well. Friends and family take priority. And being clothed for Yule. Those are important things.

Westward ho!

The migration has begun! Our Kingdom is trickling west to California, and our little traveling party is off as well. Tonight we’ll stop for a few hours before we finish the trip tomorrow morning.

Nerves have not quite set in, but I don’t think it will take long for them to hit. Strangers. Hundreds and hundreds of strangers. Lots of people I don’t know, and no doubt my inherent RBF will not make it easier to fit in. I wonder if I should practice AFF (active friendly face).

The RBF kinda worries me a bit. I mean, I have this paranoia that everyone in the other kingdom will assume that I’m just a superbitch because I don’t have that friendly expression. So making friends is going to be tough.

Will I actually make many friends anyway though? I’m media-social but not socially-social. Face-to-face interaction is still a mystery. I try to smile at people in passing, but most of the time the people glare back. Maybe they all have RBF too…..

I have to find a way past this social anxiety. If not, I’ll be a human barnacle to my friends, and that’s really no way to enjoy an event.