Miseducated TV: New Years Eve – New Vlogs Every Thursday

his and hers

So this year for New Years Eve we went to a lovely party in downtown Indianapolis with an art collector that bought a lot of David’s paintings at a gallery recently filled with delicious Mediterranean food, handmade, glittery chocolates and lots of chatter. It was glorious! She, Emily, had just adopted a new Siberian kitten for her adult male Siberian cat and they were so gorgeous. Then we walked through hour freezing city (Indianapolis was SO COLD on this night!) to our car and had our own chat at home prior to making peanut butter fudge, having sparkling cider and snuggling up to watch documentaries with Bacon (puppy) and Calvin (cat). Every year we’ve spent together we have made sure to have our own little discussion about the former year and our plans for improving ourselves next year. We also have a private discussion about our relationship and how grateful we are to have the life together that we have. Every single year I feel luckier. The more things we get through together causes both of us to be the more open-hearted, close and connected.

As you know I love making collages with photos, videos and the like. This is what I’m enjoying most with making the vlogs. It’s like a new format of my collage-obsessed, mixed-media creativity process. I hope it reads ok! This is a quick video collage of New Years Eve and our New Years Resolutions as well as what we plan not to do. I really love the idea of not only putting a list of goals you’ll accomplish but also things you will refrain from doing. I think it’s great to think about these in both ways just to get a good idea of your goals for yourself.

I’ve also decided THURSDAY will be my vlog or new video upload day so I’m not doing 3 a week or none a week. Since I’m new to Youtube vlogging I’d like to be on a schedule from now on. This also means I’ll plan to post the videos here every Thursday regardless if it’s just a video or an article related to the video or both as well as the other usual kinds of posts about whimsical lifestyle inspiration that you find at Miseducated.

Do You Have the Winter Blues?

Pink, yellow and green oh my!

Please excuse Miseducated for being a little wonky lately.. I’ve been making changes that I feel are best for our growth (no more ugly ads!).
I’m only allowing your ads from now on.
I’m really overly anal about how things look around here, you might not pick that up at first from the rainbow headache you endure upon visiting but it’s true!

We talk about motivation a lot. What KEEPS you motivated? I continually go back to the same old thing, exercise and coffee. It never fails that when I put exercising off I begin to feel lethargic and unmotivated. Exercising produces endorphins which are especially important to those of us with depression and seasonal affective disorder! Let’s also not forget about those of us who are just tired. The winter makes us want to be more dormant, we’re stuck inside (we keep getting snowed in here!) and cozy. It’s cold outside. However if we could just push ourselves to reach a small goal we set for ourselves each day? And slowly raise it?

I haven’t been exercising since I had Colette so I’ve been forcing myself to start. It’s really invigorating… on top of all of the damn coffee and tea I drink everyday.

Finding Energy in the Dead of Winter

Wanwan loves her satin pillow~

Why is it so tough? Why do I feel the need to gulp down glass after glass of coffee all day and night long just to stay awake? Is it me? My medication? The season? The amount of close family and friends experiencing the same this time of the year leads me to believe it’s not just me. Everyone feels exhausted.

One way to instantly feel better is to do something. Anything. It will improve your mood and might just inspire you to continue or to try something else. This is one I hear again and again and it’s almost the hardest one to do… just get up and make myself work? When I feel like sleeping? When I feel like pulling the blinds and hiding in bed all day? Yes, even today.

A great way to naturally produce energy is by exercising. No matter how strange this sounds, exercise actually does give you more energy and produces endorphins. I feel like I preach this to myself all day.. exercise and eat well! I’m pretty bad at going for the sweets and caffeine without hesitation. This is why I feel so great one second and like absolute shit the next. These cause you to crash and then it’s even harder to stay awake and energized.

My heart sweets for you~

Take a nap. I know it sounds silly. Even a 30 minute power nap. Tell yourself you’re really exhausted now but when you wake up at (set your alarm now) __:__ you’ll be ready to work on whatever task you’d like to complete.

Don’t make your tasks sound large, break them down. Instead of ‘clean up kitchen’ how about ‘wash dishes’ and later ‘sweep kitchen floor’ and finally ‘clean counters’ ? It makes it a lot easier to get things done when you make them sound manageable. At your MOST LIFELESS you’ll still feel like you can accomplish wiping the counters.

Take in the small things. Light a candle and relax while you breathe the warmly scented aroma it creates. (try mint or eucalyptus scents for energy!) Slowly enjoy and experience a cold, refreshing iced drink. Put an energizing scented lotion on and take in the whole experience as you smooth it into your hands and smell the fresh mint.

One of my absolute favorite ways to find energy is to drink coffee and tea. However be careful because as I said before, caffeine causes a later crash. Have a cup of Earl Grey when you feel like going to bed. Enjoy the tea as you drink it and take in the aroma. You should feel more energized after you’ve had your tea. I know everyone knows this but I feel like we often forget or don’t take time to experience an afternoon tea.

Do you have some more ways to stay energized in the dead winter that don’t involve cold showers? 😉

How to Prepare for the Holidays

holidaysm

Like Ram Das says: You want to see how together you are, go spend some time with your family! This sentiment is particularly apt during the holidays, when emotions run high and painful memories are easily triggered. Especially if this holiday things are different than you would like them to be: i.e. you’re single (again), newly divorced, bringing someone home your family can’t stand, or maybe you simply dread the same old story your family dynamics dose on when you get together.

Here are a few tips that can help you face whatever may come with more confidence and grace than you’d imagined…

Embrace “what is”~ This is the quick way to holiday enlightenment! The sooner you accept people and things the way they are and not the way you want them to be, the more likely you are to experience some real joy! While this is no easy pill to swallow when you are feeling lonely, rejected, or not up for going a few rounds with your family, this truth will set you free. Try it; it’s the perfect gift to give this season.

Right-size your expectations~ If you’re aren’t quite ready to accept things the way they are, your next best bet is to curtail your expectations some. Try this (always works for me). Find someone less fortunate than yourself and do something wonderful for them. It’s a sure way to get an additional perspective. Sometimes we can get so righteous or stuck in our story we don’t leave any room for something different or magical to happen. The spirit of giving will soften your grinchy glare and open your heart up. ‘Tis the season to cut some slack. Plenty of time for therapy and analyzing everything and everyone come the new year!

Walk a mile in their shoes~ Refuse to participate in certain members of your family’s antics, or can’t possibly stomach your ex flaunting his “new and improved you” all over tinsel town when you’re still obscenely alone? Try a shot of compassion. While this is not easy, especially for novices (‘cause you have to actually care enough to take a moment and walk a mile in their shoes), in most cases it helps us take the edge off. Understanding that being human is complicated, and that we are all frightened and fragile whether we show it or not, helps ease the burden of needing everyone (including ourselves) to be perfect.

Stage fright~ Are you the type that thinks of the right thing to say or do after the fact? Like, you think of what you should have said, but freeze up and blank out and end up a mess? Then you need to rehearse your lines! Doesn’t matter who you are, when we are upset we don’t think clearly. No matter what awaits you, try and do a dress rehearsal so you can be prepared for anything. Write it down and carry it with you so you don’t get blindsided. And practice all the way there, and maybe even the day before if you have to. “No, Uncle Bart, I am not drinking right now. Thank you.” or “That’s lovely; I wish you both every happiness!” or “Congratulations on your new part in the upcoming porn film, I am sure you’ll be a great success.”

Let the train go down the track~ Need to make an appearance because it’s the right thing to do and aren’t interested in feeling, dealing or healing, or even saying the right thing right now (you know what they did, they know what they did, period)? I always say, when there’s a train coming down the track, get out of the way. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten, get something to eat, help in the kitchen, make call to someone who can help calm you down; and if that doesn’t work, excuse yourself, go straight to the bathroom, and re-group. Before you say or do something you will regret, remind yourself like a mantra, “Why should you always take the high road? Because that’s the kind of person you are.” Otherwise, leave town and send a Christmas card.

Have a pity party~ Speaking of leaving town: you might be fed up, feel the urge to fall apart, say the wrong thing, make a scene, behave badly, act inappropriately for the first time in your life, storm off and leave, or just stay in bed and wait for January. I say, let yourself have it. Maybe what you need is a little pity party. Go for it. Pick a start time and an end time and go for it. Maybe letting yourself feel what you’ve been stuffing is in order. Maybe you need to attend to some of what’s bottled up before it causes more damage to you or anyone else. Heck, you could invite some friends and just have a big negative merge! Who knows, it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Do overs~ If I feel like I can’t pull it together, or am unable to say something tactfully or gracefully, am intolerant, or simply full of crap and can’t get out of my own way, I ask for a “do over.” I attempt the right behavior, but if I can’t get it right, I will say something like “That didn’t come out right, I am so sorry, can we try that again?” Or “Maybe it’s better if we talk about this another time.” Then there’s always Plan B. I leave and try again next year… Give yourself permission to do what you have to do to take care of yourself!!

Bottom line: during the holidays, there is no more pain to be felt than at any other time of year. According to John James’ “Grief Recovery Handbook,” this is a fact. There are simply many visible associations with painful memories that keep us trapped in our habitual thinking. If we can remember that we are all connected, that most of us are doing the best we can, and that most of the pain and suffering we experience is a projection, we are less likely to take things personally and more prone to create connection rather than greater separation!

Avoid a mystical hangover this holiday season – watch Maryanne’s advice from author Roger Housden: