In the next 6 months I will continue the routine set up in the first three months. This means rising, getting dressed, feeding me, feeding the animals, dishes, laundry, empty a box of stuff, work on OT school applications, work on volunteering, going to church, working on my car, cleaning out my house and yard,studying the Bible and making friends.
It will also mean slowly but surely adding friends to my life and actually going out and doing things with them. It will mean continuing my ASL studies. And somewhere in there, finding a new hobby that involves serious physical exercise.
Rock climbing. Alex Honnald is the best free climber in the world. Climbing without ropes is dangerous, but I would like to have the strength to climb to the top of Kissing Camels in Garden of the Gods with ropes.
It will mean going on progressively longer hikes with my dogs first on Fort Carson and then up in the mountains. I’d also like to start walking Nicholas, my oldest cat. He is overweight. I would put him on a leash, pick him up, and take him out the door. I would then slowly follow him as he makes his way down the driveway to the sidewalk, across the street and into the field.
In the next three months I plan to continue the routine I establish in the next month. This will mean emptying all the boxes sitting in my house, finishing my ASL class and putting together a budget for my Father the narcissist. Having emptied all the boxes sitting in my house I will begin emptying the boxes in my basement. Prior to doing this I will need to clean the floor of the basement.
So, if I break it down, I will do a box a day of sorting. One box. (I’ve been able to do one load of laundry and one load of dishes and feed five animals.) This means opening the box, and deciding if it’s stuff I want to give away, throw away keep or paper (throw away/keep). I have several flats from Costco that I can sort paper into. Once I have sorted into recycle/shred/file, I will shred. Filing a flat per day is a separate task.
Cleaning the house involves decluttering. Having things in boxes that are stacked clears a room and then I can choose a box and begin to sort. I just have to get up, do the daily feed (animals, self) and clean (laundry and dishes) routine and then add sorting to my routine. I need to add special tasks to my routine like: gardening and school and volunteering and applying to OT school and there are appointments (dental, psychiatrist, counseling) and meetings (worship on Sundays, prayer on Wednesdays). After three months, I will be much more accustomed to work and rest on a regular schedule than I am now.
In the next month I plan to stay up to date with laundry, paper, dirty dishes and vacuuming and finish gardening for the year. Finishing gardening means cutting down all the weeds to no more than 6 inches tall in both the front and back yard, moving contents of the compost piles into the front yard to make the entire yard level and trimming extra growth and dead wood. I also have to cut down half a tree.
I have promised a friend that I will start emptying boxes. This means I have to throw away, give away or sell ‘stuff’ and file or throw away paper. Why? Because I don’t sort my mail when I’m depressed. I toss it in a box. I have at least 50 boxes of ‘stuff’ (belongings I never use) and/or paper in my house.
If you were to walk into my house you would be overcome by the smell of cat and dog. Why? Because I have three cats and I don’t always keep up with the litter box cleaning and I have two dogs, one of whom is deaf and not house broken. Then you would see three boxes of stuff and a piano with vases of dried flowers. Underneath six baskets of folded laundry is a plaid couch. Next to shelving with VHS tapes, books, pottery and spider webs, is a couch covered by moving blankets. An air conditioner underneath a broken shade and many ceramic containers filled with dog treats sits on top of a credenza. A four drawer filing cabinet sits next to 3 bar stools and is topped by lots of stuff animals. My house reflects the chaos in my head.
There will be ASL classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, one or two counseling sessions each week, church on Sundays and maybe midweek meetings at church. This is an attempt on my part to establish a consistent routine, please my narcissistic Father (he has narcissistic personality disorder), network and make new friends.
Over the next week I will be making phone calls. I have to call my dentist, fix-it man, and storage people.
I will be going to school. I have ASL class on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This means I have to get up, feed the dogs, feed the cats, empty the dishwasher, do some laundry, vacuum, get dressed, feed myself, check to make sure that there aren’t any dangers in the house, start the car, go get the mail, drive to 4 Diamonds parking log, get on the shuttle and walk to class. I will then sit in class and mostly watch since it is American Sign Language (ASL). When class is over, I will stand up, walk out of Centennial Hall, walk up the stairs, get on the shuttle buss and get into my car. I hope to then drive up to the F lot, park and walk to the gym where I will either do cardio or strengthening work. I will leave the gym, walk to my car, drive home and park my car.
When I arrive home, I will walk the dogs and then take a shower. I I hope to be planting plants, filing paper, putting away clean laundry and weeding my garden since I didn’t do any of what I planned to do today.
On Wednesday when I don’ t have ASL class or maybe after ASL class on Tuesday or Thursday I will have a counseling session with my counselor. This means I will talk, cry and/or listen for an hour. I will walk out with an assignment and feel better.
Friday night at 5 pm, I will get into a halloween costume and then get in my car, drive to Fort Carson, drive to the gym and have my face made up as a zombie. For the next two hours I will act like a Zombie during the annual Zombie race. After the race is over I will stay for the party and then drive home. (I do not drink.)
On Saturday I hope to get out and have some fun. I haven’t had fun in a long time. I want to get some stuff done, but I want to have fun.
Next Sunday I hope to go to church. I plan to not read emails from my Father, but to see my counselor, call my Mother and review my ASL signs.
I hope to not spend any of the next week stressing out over my Father’s actions.
Plan: Monday Morning. Place: my bedroom, surrounded by three cats (all male), two dogs (both female). 0900 hours. Alarm goes off and regardless of when I fell asleep last night, I get up and head to the bathroom. I perform the usual functions and take my anti-depression meds. (I have bipolar depression, AKA bipolar type two, as opposed to the better known bipolar mania, bipolar type one.)
I will be surrounded by cats and dogs when I exit the bathroom. As I make my way down the stairs I will hear a thunderstorm of five 4-pawed creatures. The cats will precede me with their furry butts and soft paws and the dogs will accompany or follow me. At the bottom of the stairs the Border Collie, who is going deaf, will rise up on her hind legs and howl. The Border Collie/Lab will be standing looking at me, tail wagging madly.
Walking into the kitchen, I will pull a can of wet dog food from the refrigerator put it from the can into a bowl and put the bowl in the microwave heating it for about a minute. While it’s heating, I’ll fill the coffee maker with water and ground coffee and start the coffee maker. Then I’ll put dry dog food into one bowl and put another (empty) dog food bowl on the counter. Once the dog food is heated, I’ll mix the now hot wet dog food with the dry dog food. I’ll cut the amount in half and put that half into the empty bowl.
Opening the refrigerator, I’ll get the organic milk and the coffee creamer and place it on the counter. I’ll pull an empty bowl and a coffee cup out of the cupboard and place them on the counter. I’ll fill the cereal bowl with gluten free cereal and the coffee cup with coffee. Then I’ll pour the organic milk onto the cereal and the coffee creamer into the coffee in the cup.
Then the two dog bowls will go to the deaf border collie near the back of the couch and the border collie lab near the front of the couch. (They must be separated or the border collie/lab will growl at the border collie.) I’ll go back to the kitchen and grab the cereal and coffee and sit down on the couch so the border collie/lab will actually EAT her breakfast and not growl at the Border Collie who will otherwise keep circling the couch to check on me.
What will I do while eating the cereal and drinking coffee? I’ll have turned on the TV and opened up one of my course books and my laptop. I’ll be transferring my class notes into a word processing document and looking up American Sign Language (ASL) signs on the internet and placing them in a word processing document.
And then? I don’t know. I hope to get up, put the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, go downstairs and take the clean, dry clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket. I’ll then put the wet, clean clothes from the washer into the dryer. I’ll take the dry clothes upstairs and fold them and take all the folded clothes that have been sitting folded in baskets for 2 weeks and put them away in my bedroom.
At this point I’ll begin to feel tired and sit and watch TV and open up my email and Facebook accounts and check for new information. OR I’ll take pictures of my entire house because my Father the narcissist doesn’t believe I’m doing anything of worth. This is a beginning point for him.
I’ll then take a box full of mail, open it, recycle the junk, shred the stuff with information on it and place the important stuff in a box to be filed. Once I’ve emptied a box, I’ll file the stuff in the box in filing folders and then place the folders in a filing cabinet. I’ll take a picture of the empty box.
I will then go outside and plant one of three Chrysanthemums and do some weeding. When I’m tired, I’ll empty another box then go outside and plant another Chrysanthemum, and do some more weeding, and then empty another box of paper, then plant the third Chrysanthemum and start up the weed eater and do some trimming so the neighbors won’t complain.
At some point I’ll eat lunch. When I’m tired, I’ll take a nap. In amongst all this, I’ll open my notebook, find a word I need to learn and print out the sign for it so I can use it as review. I also need to call a psychiatrist, go see my dentist and clean my basement floor.
Then at the end of the day will be dinner and TV. If I’m exhausted early enough, I’ll take a shower, go to bed, read a book, turn off the light and go to sleep.
Today, Saturday, I slept very late, until 2pm. I got up, fed the animals, emptied the dish washer and vacuumed the first floor. I had coffee, ate cereal, and watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two, Monsters, INC and The Addams Family. While doing this, I looked at my Facebook account, my email and played 2048. I ate candy for lunch. I ate peas and candy for dinner. There isn’t anything else to add because, truly, that’s all I did. It was a more productive Saturday than usual because I got up before 5 pm and I did some cleaning.
Yesterday, Thursday, I overslept and missed my 11 am counseling session. I was getting ready to go and got a phone call from my Mother.
I rushed through getting ready for class and missed the first 15 minutes because I missed the noon bus. I missed the movie about Santa Claus and the start of the telephone game (they were signing phrases to each other). It is practice in signing and reading signs. Then we did a review of Units four and five.
I spoke with my ASL teacher on the bus. I drove from the lot to the parking garage near the gym. I walked to the Lodge and spent the time from 2:00 to about 7:45 pm eating, watching sit-coms, looking at Facebook, my email and working on my ASL journal. I didn’t eat anything with gluten. I got home at about 8:30 and finished watching “How to get away with murder” and then various movies as I completed the ASL journal and printed it. I took a shower and went to bed. I did not sleep very well.