Medication Log — Stable Version?

This morning I printed up the medication log that I’ve been using, and I feel that I currently have it at a level where I hope that it will end up staying stable.  When I printed it I noticed two very minor corrections, which I have since fixed.

Medication Log 1.1.1

Medication Log – 2 Sided v1.1.1

Medication log in PNG format

PNG version of the medication log (relatively low resolution, not intended for printing, but should work)

The thing I have found for me, is that I have been really needing to do this, as I have been reducing my medications for a while now, and by doing it slowly like I have been, it means that at times it can be really complicated.

I don’t expect that anyone else would be able to handle this for me, and I have been working with trying to get the medications down to a level that I’m pretty much just taking things as I need them.  It will continue to take some time to get there, but I have got to a point that while I’m not entirely happy with how they are, it has become possible that if I happen to miss a day or two, I have only relatively minor problems that evolve slowly.

While I really don’t recommend missing medications, it is pretty important that if there is a chance that you will end up missing them, that you are not in a position where this will result in very undesirable effects.  At times if I was even a few hours late with my medications I would get severe adverse reactions, and in some cases, extreme withdrawal effects tat either would have to be endured for multiple days (I had to go through them for 4 days before I felt well enough to not continue taking them, and apparently said medications were “not addictive”).

I really want people to be safe with the medications which they take, and if they do decide that they want to get off of them, to do so in a safe manner.  This can mean a very long, time trying to get off of the medications, and depending the getting off of the medications can be very difficult.  It is always better to go off of them slowly, and realize that if you “go too fast” that things can be rough, but if you are going slowly enough, it can be better to simply continue at the dose that it is “too much too fast” rather than trying to go back to the previous dose, as some would recommend.

Anyway, wanted to post something about where I’m at here, and I’m hoping to do something more general in the next week or so about how being OK with where you are at with stuff is a good thing.  Ie. try not to make too many changes at once, unless you really are likely to be able to keep them together.

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Open Journalling — Health Log — Initial Thoughts

I have been working with trying to figure out how to do my health log for a while and I started to work with what I managed to do so far about 2 weeks ago.  The filled out (but with blurred stuff) form looks like:

Printed page with hand written notes on. Health Log.

Health Log – partially filled out

This is partially filled out, and probably will need a few different things done to it.

I am recording things broadly speaking on a daily basis.  Though I’m recording how often (by number of dots) it happens in the day.  I am only recording “notable” events, which I haven’t left in a readable (though maybe guessable) form.

This is just the start of it.  Though I think that I have a few changes, or more a single more important change:

Health log, with dots to fill in for the days.

Updated version of health log.

This has the way I want to be testing how to fill out the log a little better. I thought I probably would go in this direction eventually as I felt that just leaving the blank boxes, made it difficult to be clear what I was doing with them, but I wanted to get an idea of how many dots I would need in a given day, and how to best handle it. This feels like this may be a good way to handle it, as it should give enough for most of my days, and it’s probably better in terms of that than the current version which I feel one is “full” but I haven’t recorded all the “events” that have occurred regarding that.

I think that I have to remember that for this, that people will need to figure out (as I will) what health events to record, so you can’t really fill that out ahead of time.

With my Medication Log, I have decided to keep 4 lines of notes, as it works reasonably well, 3 felt like too few (the notes are only a reference to the notes I keep on a separate page).  Currently I am not getting anywhere near that, but feel that this will be good and possibly will be much more than I really need, but I will probably need to go through several iterations of this to really know how this will work.

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Natural Medicine – Is the community ableist?

Just watched this video, and while it is just over a year old, I want to talk about this topic.

The video doesn’t so much as talk about the fact that the natural medicine itself is ableist, despite the fact that is the title of the video.

What it is talking about is how people who are supporting natural medicine, and providing information about it, can and often are very ableist.  I want to talk about a few of the points that she has made in the video, and likely expand on them.

An important thing to remember, that neither of us are talking about natural medicines, but rather the mindset of people who promote them.  This is something that I often want to find ways to talk about.  This short video (just over 2 minutes long) does a good job of it.

In fact, already I’m probably at more than half the length of the video, in terms of people being able to read what I’ve written.  So the points:

  • Natural Medicine vs Natural Medicine Mindset
  • Natural Medicines
    • Some are helpful
    • Many find that they don’t do enough for them.
  • Natural Medicine Mindset
    • Attitude that natural medicines can cure disabilities
    • Insistence that pharmaceuticals are bad
  • Natural Medicines vs Pharmaceuticals
    • Hardly anyone is happy taking pharmaceuticals
    • Medical industry is highly questionable

My own points that I hope to address:

  • Issues around mental wellbeing and natural medicine
    • Dichotomy between natural medicine and pharmaceuticals
    • Biomedical approach in both approaches
    • Opposition to other by proponents of both systems
    • Lack of middle ground in most debates

OK, let me look at these…

Natural Medicine vs Natural Medicine Mindset

This I want to make a big point here, we are not really speaking of the use of natural medicines.  I like many people I talk with on a regular basis, use and support the use of natural medicine.  I really like to use natural medicines, in fact, I really would rather use natural medicines over any pharmaceuticals.

My preferred treatment for anything is food that I’m eating on a day-to-day basis.  That is my “regular meals”.  This almost never ends up being enough for me, but when I try to keep that in mind, I can at least try to have that be a helpful part of my self-care.

This is something that I have to speak a little bit to in terms of actually the degree of both the financial impact, and also the ability to manage the ability to prepare food.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I want to speak to the fact that diet sometimes can’t be what works for certain people.  I know at times I have not been able to afford the kind of diet both in terms of energy required on my part, and the expense (especially when low on energy) for food.  In fact, I could never be in market housing and have any money left after rent and utilities to buy a decent diet at this time.

While natural medicines can be very helpful for a number of people (and probably can be helpful for most people, though they can be unaffordable for many people), what often is not helpful, is the mindset that many people who promote natural medicines have towards, well pretty much anyone who they come into contact with around health issues.

This mindset is often a matter of “natural medicine can cure everything.”  This is a reasonable idea to hold on to, when you are speaking of people who you consider to be “the worried well” (a phrase I consider to itself be rather ableist in the sense that it almost always, if not always refers to people other than the person who is making the statement about “worried well” and it is an assumption those people “are just worried, there’s nothing really wrong with them.”) as it means that if you remove the worry the wellness will show through.

Natural medicine can be extremely helpful in removing worry for people.  It gives them something they see as doing for their health, and even if it’s not actually doing anything beyond placebo effect (which is real, and valid) it can be hugely helpful for those who don’t have problems of a physical nature.

The problem that exists with the natural medicine mindset, is that too often it’s one of “if you just did this, you’d be all better,” and a lot of times with little idea what the person has tried, or often little idea of what is going on with the person.  So most of the criticism is around the mindset, not around the use of natural medicines.

This can also apply to those who are promoting pharmaceutical solutions, especially around mental health conditions.

Natural Medicines

Natural medicines, I’m not sure how broadly or narrowly I want to define this.  It comes everywhere from the food that you eat, the fluids you drink and everything on that level, all the way up to some pretty highly refined products promoted as “natural” which are very refined, and in some cases well into the pharmaceutical level of product, but due to the natural origin, are not patentable, thus are not marketed as pharmaceuticals.

So, I’m mostly talking more on the “food” end of things, than the very refined end of things.  Though a lot of what I use is quite refined, though less so when it comes to herbals and such, and more in the case of vitamins and minerals.

Some are helpful

Most people will find some natural medicines to be quite helpful to them.  I think that is an important thing to remember, is that a lot of this is actually helpful, and for many people can provide a good adjunct treatment to pharmaceuticals that they use.

Many find that they don’t do enough for them

People who have disabilities (ongoing health conditions which interfere with day-to-day living) find that natural medicines can be quite helpful but often are not enough.  So they have to use other forms of therapy such pharmaceuticals.

Natural medicine can be expensive in time and money

Many natural medicines are either expensive in terms of monetary cost (especially for people who have coverage for pharmaceuticals) or the time involved in the production or use of the natural remedy.  I personally will make my own cough syrup, because it works well for me, and I’m currently managing the financial cost, as well as the time involved.  At other times I have ended up using pharmaceuticals that have been covered because I haven’t managed to find something that works for me that I’m able to afford in time and/or money.

Natural Medicine Mindset

Specifically this is the attitude that natural medicine can cure anything, or at the very least treat anything.

This has been interesting to me in the sense I see people who have this attitude speak to taking massive doses of vitamins and minerals as curing some condition, while at the same time speaking that pharmaceuticals are incapable of producing the same cure.

I’m not really wanting to go too deeply into that, but to me the taking regular medicine whether pharmaceutical or natural is pretty much the same thing.

Attitude that natural medicines can cure disabilities

There is an attitude that natural medicine can cure disabilities in ways that pharmaceuticals can not accomplish.  This is something that while I agree that natural medicines can cause significant improvements for many people, I am firmly of the belief that there is no good evidence that there are any genuine cures through natural medicine, though often some evidence of good treatments being available.

The lack of evidence isn’t so much a criticism of natural medicine as a whole, but rather a criticism of those who claim that the evidence exists, and that it is strong, but suppressed.  The lack of evidence often also exists in “evidence based medicine” in the sense that a lot of the research is limited, and sometimes stuff claimed to have “strong evidence base” is based on at best poor evidence for efficacy, and hardly any research done on “negative effects”.

Insistence that pharmaceuticals are bad

With a lot of people promoting natural medicine, there is an attitude that pharmaceuticals are bad, and that using pharmaceuticals is a problem.  There are even cases where people have refused treatment that would have greatly improved their quality of life, and in some cases, would have likely also increased their lifetime.

Yet, the natural medicine mindset would say that those people were doing the right thing by refusing “conventional” treatment.  Yet I don’t understand how they justify that claim, when people are having a demonstrably worse, and/or shorter life because of not seeking “conventional” treatment.

Natural Medicines vs Pharmaceuticals

This is something that I’d like to point out that I don’t see that this is really a “one versus the other” as in that they are different things.  But more they are different approaches to what hopefully is similar end goals.

To me, I think that for the most part there is a lot less difference between natural medicine, and pharmaceuticals than similarities.  Essentially I think that they are the same thing, though with slightly (or in some cases radically) different approaches.  The aims are largely the same.  The approaches are different.  And often the approaches aren’t all that different even.

Hardly anyone is happy taking pharmaceuticals

Most people are not happy taking pharmaceuticals.

I don’t like taking any of the pharmaceuticals I take.  Though I also don’t really like taking the “nutraceuticals” (natural medicine) that I take either.

The argument that people are taking pharmaceuticals because they are “too lazy” or “brainwashed” or many other claims of the natural health sector, is very misguided for a number of reasons, but the fact that they think that they want to take the pharmaceuticals, and wouldn’t take natural medicines if they just knew better or put more effort in is hugely ableist.

The fact that long-term use of pharmaceuticals (even on an as needed basis) is rarely something that a person with disabilities actually likes, is often missed by those who criticise said use.

Medical industry is highly questionable

No one seems to think that the medical industry is really working for people, but rather more that they are focused on profits, and maximizing those profits.

There are a lot of problems, even people who are involved with the medical industry have serious questions about a number of basic assumptions within the medical community.

The natural medicine industry isn’t a whole lot different from my perspective.  Again, I’m speaking of not the natural medicines themself, but the industry and/or attitude around that.

Issues around mental wellbeing and natural medicine

This is something that isn’t at all in the video, but this is something that especially with the topic of this site that I want to make a special mention of.

Mental wellbeing should not be thought as separate of from physical wellbeing, and in some cultures it really isn’t seen exactly as different (though I am not entirely sure that is true, as I have heard that they often are more dismissive of the mental wellbeing, rather than merging them).

Some groups of people like the use of natural medicine as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, or even more broadly the “mental health industry”.

Dichotomy between natural medicine and pharmaceuticals

This is something that bothers me greatly that there are people who are very heavy on either side of this argument, even to the extent of statements such as “Emotional instability is a symptom of a chemical imbalance as expressed by mood swings, mania, or depression, and is highly respondant (sic) to medication.”source

This is something that I feel is problematic with both the natural medicine supporters, and the pharmaceutical supporters.  Both of them have a strong tendency to believe that their way, is the only way.  Both will make statements which exclude alternative ways of handling things, especially when it comes to mental health issues.

Biomedical approach in both approaches

Both approaches have a strong sense that this is all about “chemical imbalances” which have never been demonstrated, and a claim that these actually “fix” some physical problem.

There is no evidence for this being valid, and it is practically impossible to test.  It doesn’t mean that it is “wrong” or that it is an invalid interpretation, but due to the fact that the closest we can come with either of these approaches is the claim that “these increase this chemical” or “these decrease that chemical” or whatever, and even these claims are potentially problematic, as that action may be either more broad or more narrow than it is believed, and there is little understanding as to other potential effects that may be going on.

Both approaches tend to use very similar arguments about how they work, and oddly, very similar arguments about why the other one is not the right approach.

Opposition to other by proponents of both systems

Both sides here will argue that the other side is flat-out wrong, and it is very difficult to find people who look at both what is right, and what is wrong with both sides.  This is an old “us versus them” type situation, and it rarely leads to actual understanding on either side.

The presentation of good arguments by either side, often is viewed as “fake news” (to use a relatively new term) or some other way of “false reporting” and even when the person is simply pointing out that the dichotomy is dangerous, they can be seen as attacking and harmful.

I have literally had people criticise me because I have said “please don’t create artificial division here,” and literally been called a Nazi because of stating things like that (no I am not exaggerating).  Simply stating that things are not black and white, and that looking at them in that way is dangerous has lead to calls of my being a Nazi, and an extremist.

Not specifically around these issues, but similar arguments have occurred, and the issues involved were mental health related.

Lack of middle ground in most debates

This is something which I see that we have become increasingly polarized in our discussion of practically everything.  Any and every criticism that a person may make about what is the better way to be, and whether or not the other person is actually making a valid argument, is considered to be blatantly false, and uninformed.

“If you watched the video you could just see how wrong you are.”  This of course is the argument of the person who either is being criticized, or is supporting the person who is being criticized.  They know that all it would take is to “watch the video,” or whatever, and they rarely, if ever actually look at any of the arguments which are presented to say “are you sure you are correct?”

My feeling is that too often the argument is often about one extreme vs another extreme, and my feeling is that almost always the answer not one extreme or another, but somewhere between the two different extremes.

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No Science Thinking This Month…

I had planned on writing a bunch of stuff on science, and looking at how people can look at science, and articles about science (including scientific journal articles) and better understand what I was going to really do with it.

I am not feeling inspired to do that, but I have been working with my “new” camera (it’s a new body) and trying to get it so that I have things the way that I want with that, but I haven’t really figured things out.  So, I believe that will be mostly what I will be working on over the next few weeks.  So, look over to the Datse Multimedia Site, and over at the Jigme Datse Site, to see what I’m up to. There may be some stuff here which is relevant.

The Jigme Datse site will just be mostly information about “what I’m doing.”  Though there have been a few “quick notes” I have written there which I hope to flesh out over here…

So, that’s it here for now.

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Open Journalling — Introduction — Getting Started

I just want to write a bit about what I think isn’t exactly new, but is based on a bunch of other stuff, and hopefully is pulling together some ideas in a new way.

I am wanting to create a different version of what often are “different journalling systems” and are seen separate, but really shouldn’t be.

These journalling systems are ones which are at least primarily paper based.  This is for personal reasons, and they are discussed below.  The idea here is that these really aren’t independent ideas, and that they ideas that I want to present can’t really be set in a single system.  So I’m creating this.

Introduction

I will start by saying that I am not trying to do anything to take stuff from other people, and I probably couldn’t do so myself.  I am not someone who is good with success.  I don’t like it, and really I haven’t found success (for the most part).  So I don’t want, or expect this to take off and become, “the next big thing.”

That said, what I do want, is to produce something which does not violate the ideals of the Open Psychology Project (which we’re considering changing the name of, and always have been) of openness and accessibility.

So, we are looking at different journalling systems, and trying to find ways that we can make something that we can share, call our own (whoever ends up contributing), and allow other people to do the same.

Origins

First, I am offering a bit of an “origin story” which parts have already been told here.  This direction has come from a number of different ideas coming together, but a few different key ones are that on the YouTube Channel, How to ADHD, I saw a video about doing Bullet Journals.  This got me thinking about Bullet Journals, which got me working on setting up a Bullet Journal myself, and I think it really is a great concept.

But then I also have a few problems with it.  First off, I think that the goals are great, and all the individual tools that are part of it are great.  There’s really nothing wrong with that aspect of it but I have a few issues:

  • The basic setup is too complex for some people
    • It’s a great system if people can understand the whole thing all at once, but some people can’t
  • There is too much of a “right way/wrong way” feel that people end up getting from it.
    • This is partially because Bullet Journal, is a proper noun, the whole thing is “owned” (as best I can by one person) who developed it for himself.
    • This is more to do with the idea that there is a right and wrong, which is just a societal problem.
  • This is at least partially protected by intellectual property laws.
    • I have seen no evidence to support that the originator has made an effort to make it open.
    • Unless declared otherwise, by law (in most jurisdictions) published work is covered under Copyright
    • The intellectual property rights thing is a “block” to our concept of openness.

About

So, here is where we are, and why we are building this “Open Journalling” (can’t find that someone else is using the term in this manner).  So I want to come up with some ideas about this, which I hope to expand on in the future:

  • Open Journalling is open…
    • This system is not protected as copyright or patented material (sources may be, which may require components either be removed, or changed)
    • People may use this how they want and contribute to the core if they so desire.
    • Any software form of this will be released under some “Free Libre Open Source License” FLOSS license.
    • Any non-software content created for this will be released under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA currently)
  • This system is first off flexible.
    • The first part about this is this is intended to be flexible, and that you bring what you want to it.
  • There technically are no core components
    • This is tricky, because it will look like there are, at least in initial forms of it, this how to get started will have core components in it.
  • This system is currently paper based, though the ideas can be transferred to your own electronic format.
    • We may be putting some sort of app together at some point.
    • Paper based is for a number of reasons.
      • It works for me.
      • Physicality
      • Cost/accessibility
      • Permanence (stability of access to the content).
  • The core intentions are:
    • This is to help people “get things done.”
    • This needs to work for the individuals involved.
    • The starting team (two of us currently) are using it in part due to disability issues.
    • Disability should be accommodated (this is part of why the simplified version will be presented).
    • The individual builds their own system (in the end it has to be individualized).
  • Principles include:
    • Open content.
    • Intention of non-encumbered components.
      • Many things will come from other systems, we try to consider whether we can use them as “fair use” or “open”.
    • Credit is to be given to sources.
      • Inspiration sources should be mentioned.
      • Components based on other sources should clearly have that stated.
      • Attempts to find original sources should be made.
    • Commercial use is allowed, under the relevant licenses.

That itself is more than I really wanted to write as an introduction, and a lot of this will probably end up changing as I write more about it.  I am going to want to have feedback, and will have a contact form at the bottom of this post, and will eventually work on a contact page so people have means to contact us.

Getting Started

Here I am going to take a bit of a break from actually writing, as I want to provide some pictures of what I am talking about, and I don’t have recent ones.

I am going to talk about a few different components and concepts, which for me are a very good starting place, and I will be using my actual journal as an example:

  • Notebook and pen
  • Page Numbers
  • Non-Linear:
    • Linearity not required more than it will be non-linear.
  • One thing per page
  • Page Headers
  • Components:
    • Key
    • Index
    • Daily Log

So here we go:

Notebook and Pen

This really should probably be stated (I almost forgot).  This system is based on your notebook, and a pen (or pencil) as the two basic tools.  The notebook and pen are whatever you want to use.  Nothing special here.

Your notebook can be a cheap “scribbler” or whatever you want to use.  If you happen to have a blank notebook, just use that.

Page Numbers

So, this is an interesting thing that I’m taking from Bullet Journals (but I think it’s a common thing), is the use of page numbers.  Now one thing that is interesting is that the basis is a “basic notebook” is where you start with this.

I use a different format for “front material” (upper case Roman Numerals) than for my main material, but I write them by hand as I am creating my journal.

I put the page numbers on the outer corner on the bottoms of the page.

Non Linear Content

The creation of the content does not need to be in a literal format.  Part of this is simply separating things out, but part of it is also “just put stuff where you want it”.

The page numbers in part come into play here.  Because the pages are numbered when you are creating content.  You don’t need to number the pages when you start, you can work with blocks of numbering or whatever.  I like to number all the pages at the creation of the journal.  You can also buy journals with numbered pages.

There are ways which we deal with this non linear format, and the one I will talk about is the Index.  There are other ways which we can use as well (none of which I have used myself).

One Thing Per Page

This is something which to me is related to the index, and what I think about the way that you can identify the pages as you are flipping through.

For me, a page title (which I put on the upper outside edge of a page) should refer to the whole content of the page.  These are really simple, but you don’t do a “sketch” and a “daily log” on the same thing.

For me, I prefer to keep a page spread (two facing pages) to be one topic, but this is a personal thing, and some people don’t really stick to that.

Keeping page spreads together, and also keeping one whole topic together (like the meeting notes or something) contributes to the non-linear nature of how things work out.

Page Headers

Page headers are what tell you what is on the page.  I don’t always manage to put them in before I start working on a page/spread, but I intend to.

I put page headers on the outer top corner of the pages.  I keep it simple, things like “Index,” “Daily Log” (or simply Daily), “Future,” “Notes,” “Meeting,” or whatever it might be.  It might be “Sketch” or “Doodle” if I’m doing that.  It’s an identifier of the page.

As I said, I try not to combine different content on a single page, but that may change, if for example I am writing notes, and I decide that a little drawing will be needed, or something like that.

Components

What I am calling components, are the different types of pages that you will have.  I am keeping this to what I consider to be the bare minimum.  I can see this trimmed down even further, but it is a good place to start, and I think that there is a good reason to use all these tools, and none of them are all that difficult to understand…

Key

I am writing these as I put them in the book (ie. as they fit in the journal when I am setting it up).  The pages are in the order they come in the book, but they don’t really work quite as well in terms of understanding them as they show up in the book, but that’s partially because the “front material” is references or notes for the later material.  So here we go.

Journal Key with the key entries for ways of marking my content.

Detail of the Journal Key. It lists my journal key items.

This is the detail the journal key.  The Journal Key is what there is for the content and I have it broken down into 4 different sections, and these are really not that well defined yet, because for me I am just mostly writing based on what is in the Bullet Journal system.  Some of this stuff I feel it is important to have as different things to look at differently (what you use is not that important).

  • · – I use a “middle dot” to indicate to do items.
    • This does not show up well in the text.
    • The “to do” indicator I think is important, but some other version may decide it is not.
  • o – I use an o to indicate an “event”
    • Events are things of “note”.  Birthdays, anniversaries, moon phases, whatever you want to note.
    • The “event” is not really something I use a lot of, and probably is something that I would say to simplify, you don’t need.
  • – – I use a hyphen to have a “note”
    • Notes are things which you are taking note of, but aren’t to-do, or events.
    • I use these when I am taking notes in a meeting, or when I am writing some notes about some ideas I have.
    • I keep these short.  This journal has no notes in it that I remember.  No longer ones yet.
  • With the “to do” items I feel that I need a variety of ways to handle them.
    • I agree with the “deal with each event” idea that Ryder (I think that’s how you spell his name) before moving to the next day.
    • This “deal with” is not really part of the “getting started” thing, but because it’s here I will at least note what the indicators mean.
    • With the “to do” dot, when you are going through the events you mark that dot different ways.
    • X – Indicates that you have done that event (on that day, week, month, or whatever the timescale of the page is)
    • Strikeout the event (through the dot) to indicate you are “dropping” the event.  You are deciding it is irrelevant.
    • > – Arrow to the right, you are moving that to the next item in “that timescale”.
    • < – Arrow to the left, you are moving it back to the enclosing “larger” timescale.
    • / – Slash through the dot, this is my thing, but it’s helpful for me, it means work has been done on that item.
  • Signifiers are important to note, but also sort of not part of the “getting started” so I’m just going to briefly note my thoughts on them.
    • I use signifiers (and I rarely actually use them) as an indicator of how the “to do” “event” or “note” should be looked back on.
    • They are ways to indicate more detail, without putting too much effort.
    • I have a very brief list, it’s just some starting out stuff.
      • * – Indicates this is something important, and I may want to note it quickly coming back.
      • ! – I use an exclamation point to indicate something is an inspiration for something else.
      • 👁 – I use an eye icon to indicate I want to look into more detail of this.
  • Abbreviations These are just a list of short forms of things that I use in my notes.  The list could become long, but mine is quite short.
2 page spread with Journal Key at the top, and various entries below.

Journal Key Spread, this shows the Roman Numerals at the bottom, as well as how this looks as a spread

This is how the journal key spread looks.

Most of what I talk about is talked about above.  You can see that I have written “Journal Key” on the outer top corners.  And on the bottom outer corners, I have I, and II to indicate page numbers.

I have already talked about how those work, but I wanted to give a bit of a visual of how that looks in my own journal.

Index

The index is the next component.  The Index is part of how we have things in a non-linear form.  You can find stuff here.

Of course with it being all by hand, it will probably need a bit of work on a regular basis to keep it up to date.

There are also other ways to handle some of this stuff.

text with Index at the top and different entries with page nuimbers after them.

The content I have put in the index. This is a very new journal, and really does not have a lot of stuff.

This is a detail of my index.

The Index spread looks much like the Journal Key spread, so I am not making a note of it.

There really isn’t a lot here to say anything about.  What I have is different categories of things, and I am noting the page numbers of each one.

The crossed out numbers are “mistakes”.  I made note of the page, but then things ended up on different pages.  Or in some cases “will end up” on different pages.

Something to note, I have Daily listed, and a couple of pages crossed out.  At the time of updating this, I hadn’t updated to put where I had been putting Dail Log content, so it looks like things are a bit out of whack (and they are actually).

Daily Log

The Daily log is the core content of the journal.

This to me is probably one of the main purposes of the journal.  This is entries created for each day, on that day.  This is only planning for the day you are in, and stuff which has happened that you want to take note of.

daily log with red ribbon bookmark.

The spread that the daily log shows. This shows the Arabic Numerals for my “main content” as well as the ribbon bookmark which marks the current main entry point.

This is a spread of the journal daily log.

There are a few slight differences from the Journal Key spread.

First off, instead of Roman Numerals, we are using Arabic Numerals.  In this case 9 and 10.

Second, something that you might want to think about, as you can see the “10” is slightly folded, this is not intentional, it is something that was happening with working with it one day.

Third, you may note I have “gaps” here.  And one thing of note is that today is the 31st, and there is no entry for the 30th, or the 31st.  This is because “I forgot”.

The other thing to note, is the use of the ribbon bookmark.  This bookmark is just where I am currently.  I like the way the ribbons work as they can nicely stay in place, unlike what I more commonly use as bookmarks, which is business cards, which have a habit (at least with my other journal) of falling out, and will get in the way, so I’m thinking of actually looking for some ribbons to use as bookmarks which probably will not be attached as this one is, because doing that would either be clunky, or difficult.

various notes from a journal, with two different days

Detail of the Daily Log, containing notes I have made in my daily log.

Detail of the daily log.

First of note, is this is not how things are intended to look.  I forgot to fully handle the 28th, so a lot of items don’t have an indication of what I have done with them.

That is just how things were (and mostly still are).  And I decided to leave these with them as they are, rather than try to get this to look the way it should.  I have not changed anything (that I remember) to this since I photographed it.

What is shown here is how I have handled “to do” items, and completed to do items, as well as a brief note.

The items with just the dot, are things I intended to do (though sometimes not expecting to do them).  I should have them (at this point) moved to the next day, or whatever.

I am about to look at today, and probably plans for tomorrow.  Other stuff will probably be coming up as I want to have some stuff for who I have started working with.

The intention of creating this with this person is in part “how do we work together”…  I am finding that I need to figure that out a little differently, and not quite sure how to do it.

Please feel free to use this contact form.

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

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Bullet Journal — Quick Update

Yesterday, I attended a meeting by Skype, and the previous meeting of that group which I attended, I had not been really wanting to be there, but I thought I might as well, so I didn’t make much effort.

Yesterday’s meeting I decided that I wanted to put some effort into being able to focus on the meeting, so I decided to record the meeting in notes, and previously when I have done that (since I started doing that) I had been doing so in my bullet journal.

The meeting ended up with me realizing that the reasons which I haven’t really been using the bullet journal except as a means of recording my medications, has been because it’s not where I am most of the time, and I don’t really think about it.

So, yesterday after the meeting I started thinking about how I would accomplish being able to use my bullet journal for things like taking notes about things, keeping track of my schedule (at least my day to day things I’m doing), and keeping track of the projects that I’m doing.

My solution was that I really need to keep the medication logging as I have done it, “over there” as even with it right where I’m going to be taking them, I’m still having missed doses and such.  Then I decided that for the other stuff that is more what I’m doing with my day, during the day, I feel that it’s good to have the journal right here.

So, as a solution to that, I started a brand new one.  Which I keep by my computer (at least that’s my intention) unless I have some reason to take it for something elsewhere. The point being, that I have decided that I really do need two different ones, because moving it back and forth, possibly several times a day, just will not work for me.

As I have been thinking today, and really somewhat yesterday, if I am keeping the medication log over in that location, there are two other logs (medication log is a combination of a printed schedule, and hand written notes) which I have wanted to work on.

So, after 3 months, I have decided to make a change.  And, it’s a pretty major one.  But, this is really what the process is about, it’s about building the process that works for you.  And I’m hoping that in 3 months, I will be coming back and saying, “yes this did work” rather than, “I tried it, and it still didn’t work”.

I want to do a more complete update with the updated journal, and the new forms, and how all of that ends up working out.  Though it’s possible I won’t do that until some time in July, as there are interesting things coming quickly in June.

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30 Days of Thinking About Science — Introduction

I have decided to work on some thinking about science posts in June.  This post is the first of the series, and is currently scheduled for May 17th, and future ones will either be on, or after the day of the month they have to do with.

On April 17th I decided to write a bit of a “will be coming up” as part of the “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” I am doing in April (it’s when I am starting this piece, though I’m giving myself a month to get to writing this in a better form, though I hope to be mostly not working on this, as I’m looking at the month of May being a “transition” month).

A friend was talking about what it is about psychology and how “hard evidence” in psychology “just can’t exist”.  There was a bit of a discussion about that science with another friend, which I will be looking at a bit before finishing this up:

  • Correlation does not equal Causation
  • Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack
  • Biased evidence is biased (decisions about what to publish)
  • New findings are sexier than confirming old findings
  • Small studies do not show support for conclusion (though support for research)
  • Knowledge of intervention biases results (reasons for doing double blind, or at least single blind)
    • This even applies to “hard sciences” such as physics, or chemistry
  • Gold Standard of study is not only valid research method (more on research methods)
  • “You can’t prove a negative” vs. “You can’t disprove a positive.”
    • Hypothesis generation
  • The placebo effect is a real effect
  • The nocebo effect exists, and is barely understood
  • Psychosomatic effects are real effects
  • Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it’s not happening
  • Quantitative research vs. qualitative research
  • Small studies help point to areas of future studies
  • Research methods
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Experimentaiton
    • Case Study

OK, things from that discussion:

  • The Scientific Method
  • Aggregate data generalizations vs. individual level generalizations
  • Science Methodology in General

OK, everything else I had already handled in my list, which is probably a good way for it to be.  That looks like I already have topics for most of the month…

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Disability Concepts

I think this might become another “30 days” project.  But right now I want to just look at a few different things that I try to keep in mind with dealing with people with disabilities.  Well, more so with anyone, because I can’t know that I am dealing with a person with disabilities, or a person who doesn’t have disabilities:

  • Assume Competence
  • Assume Good Intent
  • To as great an extent possible honour “Nihil de nobis, sine nobis” or “Nothing about us, without us”.
  • When things are “not working” assume some communication or understanding is missing

I don’t really want to go further into this right now.  It was just a brief thing that with working with someone that I have needed to remember that while others will try to draw me in different directions, from core concepts where things can work with a variety of different people, and towards an understanding that someone is a “bad person,” or “acting in bad faith,” or whatever.

This does not mean that things always are of good faith, or at least that the reasons that things aren’t working is related to something which can be resolved through honouring the person’s right to express themselves as they wish, but rather that the communication, or whatever breakdown is something fundamental and is not resolvable without someone taking a very different approach.

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Accepting Less than Perfect — Day 18 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Today is May 2nd.

Autism Acceptance Month, is April.

We are no longer in Autism Acceptance Month.

I am writing Day 18 of my “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” today.

I expect that this will be the last one of the series for this year.

So, why is that?  Am I giving up?  Have I failed myself by failing to meet my goals, and giving up on doing them even if they aren’t done in the timeline?

Is This a Failure?

I don’t believe I have really failed.  And there are a number of reasons for that.  Some of those reasons have to do with the fact that I really didn’t expect to finish on time (I think I only had about 3 or 4 days ahead of April 1st when I started considering this, and this really just evolved over the month, and I didn’t really expect more than about 1-3 posts per week, which would have given me at most about 12 posts over the month).

And while I had considered writing more well after the month had finished, I really don’t feel that “up to it” right now, and I am ready to move to the next project (30 Days of Thinking about Science) and start actually working on some of that (I think I may be working on at least revising the introduction post after this one).

I am a writer much more so than a “talker” in terms of my expressive communication.

I’m not even that good at things like considering drawing, or other non-spoken expressions.  It’s “words on paper” or in this case on screen.

Most people, really don’t get that.  In fact so strongly “don’t get that” that they can’t even fathom that anyone would want to read “just words”.  People want visual presentation so strongly, and expect it so much, that the idea that something would not have pictures is just unheard of for them.

So, before I get too far along, I think I want to organize these thoughts a bit as bullets, and look at how I want to move forward:

  • I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.
  • I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.
  • I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.
  • Being a writer may have played a role.
  • Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.
  • Limited positive outside feedback played a role.
  • Health problems got in the way.

I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.

Really this was something I was well aware of right from the very beginning.  I started March 29th.  I can’t remember how much I managed to get written ahead of the 1st of April, but I don’t think it was more than 4 days at the most.  I knew that even if I did well, that I wasn’t going to make it to 30 days by the end of the month.

At most, I really didn’t expect more than 2 posts to be written in a given day, and not more than 3 days with posts written in a given week.  Had I managed to do that, I may have managed to make it to the month with the 30 days worth of posts written, or at least close to it.

That “6 posts a week” really was my “most optimistic” estimate of how my time was likely to go.  And it was dependent on abandoning other work and social commitments almost completely.

did manage to abandon the work commitments largely, and went with not doing work on other projects except when it was justified.

I failed (and rightly so) to abandon the social commitments to much extent at all.  Yet, I got to post 18, with not giving myself enough lead time, and other issues keeping me from writing this up.

I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.

I had no idea if I was even going to come up with 30 days worth of content to even consider for the month.  That was a hugely ambitious idea, and at the beginning of starting this out, I had about 4 different things I was considering writing.

At the time I expected new ideas to come out of the series, but wasn’t really expecting to come up with 30 days of topics.

Right now, I have 26 topics I haven’t written on (and that doesn’t have this topic on the list yet), and 17 topics which I have written on, and this topic.

So, my sense that I probably wouldn’t come up with enough to write on was kind of mistaken.  I have enough to start off next year, that I will have almost (as of the writing here) enough for the month.

I may have more that I will add when I go to update that post after having written this, to fill it out.

Some of those topics may get written on, before the start of working on this for next year.  But I’m sure by next year I will have more topics to add to this list again right off the bat.

I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.

Even with that most ambitious expectations of 6 posts per week, I really didn’t expect to manage much more than about 12 posts during the month of April, or to continue much beyond the end of April.

I think with that in mind, being only on May 2nd, and writing “post 18” I should realistically feel that this is a great success.

Being a writer may have played a role.

Writing is undervalued.  As someone who is a person who writes as our primary form of expression, this is often undervalued to an extent that people give negative feedback on the fact that it’s “just words”.

I have not had that feedback yet with this, at least not directly.

When I was working on posting things for Medium, I had written a few different pieces which were my “typical just words” and they basically didn’t get noticed.

Then I decided I had something which would justify having an image on it, at least as the header image.  So I did that.  And within a week, it had about 10 times the interest of the previous 3 posts combined over the previous 3 weeks.

So, with that in mind, I got the “message” that I needed to add visual content on my posts, if I expected anyone to actually see them.

Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.

One problem that I hoped would be a solution was that I started looking for meaningful images to start adding to my posts, so that I could “draw people in.”

The point of doing that was really so that I would get the “positive outside feedback” that I was craving with having those “views” and maybe even some “version of likes”.

But this meant that on a “writing day” I would barely manage to get enough “together” to actually write two pieces, which meant that I really was not really getting the content out that I really wanted to.

At the end of having produced those two pieces, I would feel drained and in need of at least a “day of rest”.

On days when I “spent the day writing” but didn’t try to find visual content (unless I was particularly inspired) I could write three pieces, and manage to feel energized enough to think I could go forward the next day and do more.

So henceforth, I expect visual content will not be added, unless I’m inspired to do so.  Or if I am feeling like I want to do a “visual essay” or something just as a way of changing things up.

Limited positive outside feedback played a role.

This probably was towards the end.  I was looking at doing some writing about a week ago (about 10 am, and it’s now 3 pm 1 week later) but only “slightly inspired” which had been the best I think I’d managed in almost a week.

So the last two weeks of April, seem to have mostly been pushing a hard push past my sense that “none of this is working.”  I think part of that could have been related to other things coming from different directions than actual response to what I was doing.

Just the endless sense that I knew that for every single negative, and demeaning depiction of autism I ran across, I knew that 10 new positive things needed to be found to counter it.  And it was getting to the point that I was feeling I was needing to create 10 new pieces every day.

In desperation, and feeling like there was nothing I really could do, I ended up pretty much giving up.

I didn’t feel the final “I am done” as a conscious thought until about 3 days ago but it was sitting there in the back of my head.

Health problems got in the way

Back to last week, when I was sitting down, I thought I would take a brief break to just check out some stuff, and saw that someone who I really love their stream online, so I dropped in, and started paying attention, and was just doing my “hey I’m here” and “boom” health problems.

I really won’t go into details, but I decided that I just couldn’t focus until I got my shit together, with those health problems, so I failed to get anything done that day or the next even vaguely like work.

Friday I think I was able to do some technical stuff (it’s a lot easier to do when feeling like it’s not worth doing anything, or just not feeling like I can really properly focus) and then some time in the following few days (oh starting on Sunday) I just decided to dive into an attempt to replace Flickr for myself.

So that combination meant that while I expected 6-10 new posts by the end of this week, I am managing just one.

So with this, I am wrapping up my first attempt at doing a 30 days project.  I have the introduction for the next one scheduled to show up in about 2 weeks (15 days if I remember correctly).  And, I expect a few different things here, over at the Datse Multimedia site, or elsewhere to be showing up as well.

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Executive Function Followup — Day 17 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Today I noticed that someone on LinkedIn liked my post about Executive Function, so I am going to go and see what I can say more about this.  Currently I am just going to put quick notes, and this may end up being a multi-post thing, I don’t know yet, but here is the list of little things I am gleaning from that post from “Day 9”.

  • What is Executive Function?
  • Goofing off is fine.
  • Trying to work around other people is difficult for me.
  • Chemical sensitivity.
  • Social Overwhelm.
  • Communication Difficulties
    • Trying to help people make their communication work for me.
    • Explaining being in social overwhelm.
  • Sense of opinion not being important in this house.
  • Using tools to organize time.
    • Bullet Journal
    • Medication Log
  • Letting “failings” be an OK thing.
  • Giving time to other people, when I don’t want to.

There, those are the key points from that, so, now let’s get that to a post format.

What is Executive Function?

This is a little bit of a difficult thing.  I am not really sure how to say this simply.  Mind you, I’m not usually known for saying things simply that often.

Executive function is the ability to get done, what you want to get done in your day.

Now that’s really quite simple.  There probably are different ways to put that.  For me, often I have “failures” of executive function.  That is, I know that if I were to “put enough effort in” I could easily have accomplished what I had planned to, but I managed to not be able to.

There are a lot of different reasons that this may happen, and I will talk about some of them as I write more.  Probably the biggest issue with my ability to get done what I want to, is how I end up interacting with other people.  So, let’s see what more I wanted to say?

Goofing off is fine.

This is really an interesting thing.  I have learnt that actually in order to be productive, I have to know when I have lost my ability to be productive, and find ways to bring my mind back to that.

A lot of that could be considered “goofing off.”  It can be playing games (currently I have been playing Eternal Lands as my go to game), watching YouTube videos, watching Netflix, watching TV, or whatever.

Sometimes, it really is just a matter that I need to get some sleep, or at least rest.

So, in a lot of ways, goofing off is not only fine, but it is absolutely necessary.   If I am trying to do stuff when I just can’t do it, it’s far better for me to switch to something different.

Trying to work around other people is difficult for me.

When there are other people around me, it can be really difficult for me to be able to do my thing.  I honestly have trouble processing basic information when I am around other people.

For example, when I am feeding the dog in the morning (dry food, drugs, and flax oil) even on a good day, it becomes very difficult for me to just do the activities that are involved with getting her breakfast together.

Depending on what my interaction is with other people, it can take quite some time to recover from an interaction with other people.  If someone is talking to me, it becomes almost impossible for me to do anything else, without losing my ability to attend to the conversation on any level other than the most basic level.

When this happens, even once all of the interaction ends, I still am not able to do what can otherwise be not that difficult can be quite difficult when I have “recently” had a difficult social situation.  Sometimes this can be several hours, other times I might “settle” in as short a time as about 20 minutes, if I give myself the space to do that.

Chemical sensitivity.

I have found that I have sensitivity to a lot of different chemicals.  Now, usually people consider “chemicals” to mean “man made” or “synthetic” or whatever…  To me this includes all sorts of things like “onions” or “milk” or “wheat.”  All of which I have some degree of sensitivity to.

When I spend time around other people, when I get back to my own space, I realize just how much other people just don’t understand these kinds of things.

My original post was talking about sensitivity to cleaning supplies.  A lot of cleaning supplies have added fragrance so that they “smell nice”.  Most of these fragrances are things which I am sensitive to.

Other things I can be sensitive to is things like bleach (which I’ve found really doesn’t actually get things clean, but rather it removes the colour from the dirt).  So that can be a problem for me as well.

The problem with the fragrances is probably the most common thing I run into.  Too often being around people (not in any particular situation) means being exposed to fragrance which can cause me to have to leave a space in some cases.

Social Overwhelm.

I talked about this a bit right at the top, but somewhat covering even more broad concept than social overwhelm.

There are times (usually at least part of most days) where I can not be social in a way that feels at all “safe” for me.  I might be managing to “obey rules” in a good enough way that no one really notices just how difficult this is happening for me.

Most social situations I feel that I am having to make sure that I “do all the right things” and try very hard to not break social rules.  This leads to not being fully capable of being present in a social situation.

This leads to a lot of energy being used simply to be in the part of a social situation.  After a fairly short period I start to lose my ability to fully participate, if the space isn’t accommodating my needs to be able to be in that space.

As a conversation progresses, if those accommodations are not in place, I will need to start using different means to be more present in the conversation, or things can fall apart very dramatically.

Communication Difficulties

In a lot of situations I find that the way other people can communicate can be very difficult for me, and that I just don’t manage to process information in a useful way.

For example, when people present multiple pieces of information to me at the same time, each new piece of information becomes more difficult to process as they are added.

If I am feeling OK, then I usually can process about 3 items before things start to get some difficulty processing any more information.

On the phone, it can be a lot more difficult for me to handle communication, so I try not to do “difficult” things on the phone, unless I have to.

Trying to help people make their communication work for me.

Quite often as I am talking with someone, and I am having difficulty with the conversation, I feel that if I can help the person understand what is not working for me, that I can help them be able to better help me understand them.

My experience about trying to do this has been that it only very rarely proves to be a helpful thing, and often ends up being a harmful thing.  Well, harmful, in the sense that it leads to even worse communication.

I think that even in these situations, it can lead to the person getting some understanding how to better communicate.

In my experience, I have found that most people have little or no problem with communication which works for me (ie. If someone is talking in a way that works for me, most people will not have any problems with how that person is talking).

On the other hand, many people seem to be incapable to communicate in a way that works for me.  I tell a person that they are talking too fast, and then they slow their pace down to 1/4 the pace that they were talking, rather than 4/5 of the speed that they were talking.

If I am talking to someone and they keep saying multiple things one after another, and tell them that it would be way easier if they made sure I understood what they were saying, before moving on to the next item.

They then go to the point of saying “Have you unplugged your modem?”  “Do you understand what a modem is?”  “Do you know how to unplug it?” and breaking things down to a ridiculous level.

People seem to have a “2 modes” of handling how to communicate with people, “too complex” or “too simple.”

Another thing that I experience is that people will interrupt me as soon as they have heard only a minor portion of what I am saying, before really understanding the whole of it.

So, I will mention that they are not letting me complete my thoughts.  Usually, this will lead to a person either increasing the degree of interrupting me.  Or leaving long blanks which become very awkward.

Explaining being in social overwhelm.

I try to explain to people when I am just not being able to process what they are saying, and that I will need a dramatic change if they need me to continue in that situation, or I will need to take a significant break.

Once I have got to this point, I am generally not really able to stay in the situation safely unless the person already has a good understanding of the fact that they could be doing stuff which is seriously overwhelming me.

The only way that seems to happen, is when that person has experience of that happening for themself.  It means that when I say “this is getting too much for me,” the response is just automatically “Oh, sorry, what can we do to make it work?”

Otherwise, it usually requires me to leave in order to not get into a worse and worse state, where it will take longer time to recover.

Sense of opinion not being important in this house.

When I was talking with the cleaning lady about 2 weeks ago, I said “my opinion doesn’t really matter here” because it seems like it just is not all that well respected.

I’m not sure I can say a whole lot, beyond just giving examples of how when I want something, that I pretty much have to provide it for myself, or go without.

Using tools to organize time.

I have been trying to use a variety of tools to organize my time, and keep me on track with the things which I have been meaning to do with my time.

I probably can not really come up with all the different tools I have used.  But a variety of pen and paper tools, and a variety of computer based tools.

I started to use computers as a tool to keep me on track with my day to day stuff about when I was 10.  At that time, it was not all that common of a thing to do for anyone.  Especially not someone who is in grade 3.

Lately, I have moved more to keeping track of things with “pen and paper” as that just is something that (right now) just works better than any of the online tools which I have been using.

Bullet Journal

About a month ago (I think… Just over actually) I started to use the Bullet Journal (apparently it is a proper noun, as it is some sort of formal system) because I saw a video which made it “make sense” as to how it would make things work for me.

I have written a couple (or is it more) posts about that:

So only a couple of different ones.  Though I have put bits and pieces in various other places as well.

This is kind of a “build your own” type of organization system, which is part of why things are done with pen and paper, as it really does work best that way, because you can use things as you see fit.

Medication Log

The medication log which is part of my Bullet Journal is probably the most commonly used feature.  I have created a “print and fill out” version of the medication log, and I am feeling that I have a good enough way of handling that that I really think that my medications are working far better than they were before they were before.

The interesting thing about my medications is that I have “repeats” from every day, to a repeat which is 5 days (I don’t think there is a 6 day repeat), with every number of days between.  This means that if I want to make sure that things are not “breaking down” I really need to write things down so that I can make sure that I remember what I was doing the previous “week” (I fill 11 days at a time, which is weird, but most things I do are.

So, the medication log not only is something that is getting me to “touch base” with my bullet journal on a more regular basis, but it is also something that I need to keep track of things in a helpful way.

Letting “failings” be an OK thing.

I am starting to learn that when things don’t work the way that I plan, that this actually is an OK thing.  Ie. while I usually felt when I planned things that I should have been able to do those things, it is still OK that I didn’t get it done.

A lot of this seems like it can be “largely beyond my capability of handling things.”  Sometimes things which happen are really beyond my control.

Still, it means that I have to end up “catching up” which I find is often just a little too difficult for me.  But I also often am unrealistic in terms of my abilities to get things done.  I just am far more ambitious than I am really able to achieve.

Giving time to other people, when I don’t want to.

One of the big things that ends up doing me in, is that quite often I find myself giving other people “energy” which I really have no intention to give, and it often ends up coming at the expense of not only not being able to get enough done, but to actually end up getting very little back.

I really think that is pretty much “things done”.  I think that right now, I am not going to be putting a lot of pictures up here, as how I have been managing them, I am considering dropping entirely.  So, for now, you get boring posts which are mostly text.  Or entirely text…

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