A Dream is a wish your heart makes…

Tina here. It has been a while since I was last able to make a post! Kris made sure to bust my chops about getting a post done for this week.

Today I would like to talk about dreams. Not like the kind you have when you are sleeping but just things you want to do with your life. Big topic I know. I think we can work on this.

First thing, I wanted to make sure to touch on this subject far from any dates that might draw you to make yourself promises out of obligation. I want a more organic feel to the ideas you have. So, to get this whole ball rolling, let me share some of my dreams with you. NOTE: Many of them are contradictory to each other. That’s okay I think. It gives me lots of paths to look at.

Small time dreams:

So this is anything from getting Nik to pick up his own toys without being asked, to finishing my new Jenna Moreci book.

Small time dreams are there to help remind you that little steps can have a large change in your life. I like to have lots of little dreams that I can work toward. Currently, I want to help Kris get our kitchen in order, renovate the yard, which can be broken down as: plant in front garden, clear out spaces, plant garden in back, fertilizing the yard, and setting up a single place for Izzy to go to the bathroom and training her to use it. All for the dream of having a lovely yard for my friends, and family to enjoy this summer. I want to be able to host people during events like RTX where I work as a Guardian. I live close enough to Austin that doing a cook out or something with local Guardians would be fun. My son is also starting to get to the age where he wants to have people over to play with him. I want them to be able to have nerf battles out in the yard without having to worry about landmines of dog poo or fire ant hills. Our kitchen has slowly started to build up the things we want to use to make our own food, however, we are quickly running out of space for it all. We needed to work on storage solutions. We made a great stride on this front this week in buying a large shelf from Costco to keep our small appliances and Nik’s lunch stuff on. So he can help in making his own lunch each day.

 

Big/Distant Dreams:

These are not impossible, they are going to just take some work to get to the end of, and I have to keep reminding myself what I am working toward. College. I have been attempting to go to college and further my education since I found out I was pregnant my Senior year of high school. I always found reasons to fall out or fail, or reasons found me. However, now I am enrolled in a free online school working toward my degree in Business. Which will push me toward my other dreams. Such as running my own cafe. I had a dream my first year of high school, that one day I wanted to open my own cafe. A place that I would have wanted, and that I heard my friends longing for. Just a place that was easy to love. I have named, dreamed, and built this place in my head for years and years. Getting my degree is the first step to moving me to understanding everything it will take to not only make it happen, but make it work for a long time. This dream however does directly conflict with my life long dream of living in Japan. Japan has been a dream of mine since I was 11. I was largely influenced by a man named Ken Yamamoto. He was a family friend and gave me my first taste and understanding of his home country. Since 11 years old. I wanted to go to Japan. I went for my 17th birthday, thanks to hard work and an amazing Aunt and Uncle, I was granted the chance to visit for 3 months of my summer. I loved every second of it. Even when I cried, even when I was unsure. I loved it all. I want to move there. However, now I have a family. Not having a degree limits my options, and each time I take a step closer, I get pulled a little tighter to stay stateside.

 

These are all things that I am always dreaming of and working for. It keeps me active every day, working toward each one. What kind of dreams are you working for?

Building my support

Tina here! I want to look back on the last year of mental health improvement that I have been working on and mostly remind myself of how far I have come and how far I can still go.

When I started out on my journey to help my depression, I didn’t have much hope that anything would change. I spent everyday in bed. Food and drinks were brought to me. I entertained my son with videos and video games and limited my interactions with people to the point that I truly believed I had no one besides my husband. Even then he was just putting up with his lot in life because he would never give up. I had convinced myself with what I felt was firm evidence that no one wanted to be around me, that they put up with me for one reason or another.

One day, Kris said that there was help being offered at work. He encouraged me to take the information and just talk to someone. I didn’t do it because I had some epiphany that I could get better. No, I truly thought my family would be better off if I was gone. I did it because the one person I saw as having a choice to stand by me was asking me to try. Not some like lovey dovey reason. Just that it might make his chore of caring for me a little bit easier.

So I called the number and talked with a coordinator who took action to get me a list of people in my area I could go talk to. Which is great but it took many reminders from Kris and several follow up calls for me to even start calling anyone on that list. I didn’t know what to say or if I would say something wrong. I tried several of the numbers only to leave messages that were never returned or to be told they had no openings. I was defeated. I gave up. Kris had a few more weeks of sad mopey me who had “tried”.

I get a call from the wellness coordinator with my husband’s work who was check in to see if there was anything she could do to help because of recent ER visits for migraines. I don’t know what sparked it in me but when she said, “But seriously if there is ANYTHING I can help you with please let me know.” I cracked. I started bawling and telling her of my struggle to find someone to talk to and how I had gone over the list and still couldn’t find someone.

This amazing nurse jumped and started calling for opening herself. Then gave me a list of those. She then helped me set up a Primary Care Doctor so that we could get me started on long term treatment plans. I called and left messages on 3 phone number and felt defeated again. I was sitting there crying about how even if I wanted to change that the universe was against it, when she called. My saving light. She called me back and set up to have me come in the next morning.

Jane was my push. She saw me not as someone broken and needing to be fixed, but as a strong intelligent woman who had faught for so long and was so tired now. She helped me rebuild that confidence and self reliance that I had once been so proud of, and she pushed me to seek help for the things I often dismiss as unimportant.

She helped me realize that it is okay to be tired. It is okay to feel useless. But you have to remember who you are in your core, and set up people around you who know you and can remind you at times as well. Build your ladder as my favorite YouTuber Martina says. How to build your own ladder.

What kind of ladder can you start building today?

Enlightened and Rambling

Howdy ya’ll, Tina here.

I am now in my 6th week of classes at the University of the People, UoPeople for short. It is a tuition free, online based, accredited university that is open to people around the world. When I say tuition free, I mean, you don’t pay for books, you don’t pay for classes, you only pay for your application and final tests.

“Tina, that’s great and all but I don’t really care…”

Yeah I know and you are so sweet to be so supportive of me in my three sentence intro. I only said something because I am so excited about the application I have already given to some of my current classes.

I am seeking a Business Management degree and in my business class I had to create my own mission, vision, goals, and strategy using the various methods we are being taught. They were to pertain to my own personal life and what I want out of it. Well, see, trouble is, I have never really known what I wanted out of life. I have always held on dearly to the dream of living in Japan, but other than that I never set my mind that I would become something more than just me. Mostly because I don’t tend to think very highly of myself. Now before you get all, “Oh poor Tina” , I have to say that a great deal of who I am today as a person was shaped by my past. Even more of who I am has been shaped over the last few years as I learned to move past that and push on with becoming my own person. So I would say the whole self discovery thing was just, uh, delayed. I talked about my assignments with family members who all without knowing what the others said gave me the same advice.

“Tina, you love Japan and writing. Always have.”

See, writing as a kid was therapeutic for me. It provided a way for me to press my own feelings, goals, hopes, dreams and demons onto someone else. Pretending for a while that it wasn’t me going through it. I wrote everything, love stories, poems, dark and depressing or light and hopeful, I wrote adventure, and I wrote horror. Lots of horror. I don’t really know why writing didn’t pop up to me right away as a possible goal for myself. I guess really because I think of it more of a thing someone does as they work a real job. However, as my mentor and cyborg queen overlord has said over and over again, Writing is hard, and anyone who says differently isn’t a writer. Writing is a real job, with insane hours, a cranky and sometimes rude boss, unrealistic goals and dreams, and a killer time sink if you just quit. So if you dive into it, you gotta be ready to live it. Family and friends don’t support you, or worse do but don’t understand the kind of commitment you need to give to writing and call you selfish, it is gonna happen.

I have been given the most amazing ideas and creativity that can spin up yards of ideas in an instant. My husband is logical, intelligent and always willing to help me out. He is my chosen editor and key reader for my works.

 

So, if you have never done it before, find out what you want from life. It might surprise you and lead you to joy you didn’t know you had access to.

Creatively Speaking

Howdy all, Tina here.

Kris and I have been talking about it and we would like to let you all know that we are planning to start a podcast. We want it to be a more personalized voice to our whatever we end up making our blog post about that week.

Now, so much has happened. We got decent mics so that we would sound less horrible and we both have been doing research into what type of podcasts out there might be similar to ours. We talked about format and how we would upload it. For now we are working on getting an Apple ID, Google Play and others to post the podcast too. For now it might just be via a link in the blog post to our youtube page.

“Tina, what will you guys talk about?”

Psh, what won’t we talk about?!

Politics… I don’t wanna talk politics, because that requires much more research and dedication to time sinking activities that I just frankly don’t want to do.

Other than that, EVERYTHING. Science, parenting, school, writing, crafting, cooking, you freaking name it and we are willing to try it out. I want to do a weekly update about our life then just jump into whatever topic we are doing that week.

“What if I don’t want to listen to your soft, honey smooth voices?”

That’s fine… I guess. We will still be posting a weekly blog, the podcast will just be supplemental to it.

“Will you talk about my (INSERT PRODUCT/PROJECT HERE)?”

Sure, but we are going to be honest. That’s just who we are. I don’t want my name attached to an idea that I don’t support. But you wanna talk about your book. Want us to talk about your podcast? Meh, why not!

Also, for those of you who didn’t know we do have a twitter, @keyboardcouple . Tweet us a tweet. Well, thank you all for listening and I can’t wait for you all to hear from us soon!

In which Kris ends things

Kris here,

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately practicing writing short ideas in a concise format. See, I’ve got about a billion ideas in my head just like everybody else, and I can start them off pretty dang well. We’re talking ideas for days here. But I’ve been tripping up around the 50-60% mark on the whole actually having a plot thing. I’m like oh man this is fantastic my main character is A BOSS! And Tina’s like “but Kris what’s he bossly doing” and I’m like “well look he just set a landslide on fire and threw it at an army” and she’s like “oh yeah. Okay but why did he do that?” So of course because it’s an ARMY hello!? But what’s it doing, why’s my guy caught up in it? PSH! Who cares we need more fire in here! “How does it end?” Uhh well I suppose he just, I don’t know he wins a medal and lives in a castle.

Okay that’s not a real life example but I feel it’s exaggeratory enough to get the point across. I have to combat my lack of forward progress or my actual weak point in writing: Ending. The. Story. These things ramble on forever, like holy cow man put a lid on it already! I get exhausted reading through my own notes a week later. This is a problem of course – if you can’t read your own work, who else is going to put out the effort? So I did what any rational adult in my place would do and I just Googled around for like an hour looking for an easy way out.

Ugh, turns out there’s no easy way out. Well there might be, but the people with those secrets are greedy. All the advice I found regarding “How to end my goddang story” revolved around things like “5 ways to end your story. Number 7 will wig you out!” There’s probably a lot of good info out there, but my attention span is basically a knock knock joke and sometimes it’s easier done than said.

I ended up devising a cool practice to help me out. Yeah you guessed it – I just wrote a bunch of endings. I got a (basically) brand new notebook and a pen, and I wrote a brief concept and wrote a plot and ending immediately. Okay, the first try was ten pages long. That’s why it’s practice! I’ve got another few 8-10 page ideas thrown around in various places – I haven’t actually kept them together, that would be silly. The last few days I’ve actually managed to piece together a few one or two page ideas in an outline-able format. This might seem like a trivial issue to both accomplished- and non-writers, but remember: nobody reads stories for the beginning. I’ve never chatted up a fellow reader like “boy this book sure started out amazing. I’m going to spread the word, but just about the first 50 pages!” No way- they’re doing this for that sweet endorphine rush at the end. You gotta nail that bit.

There are probably quite a few authors and writers hanging out here thinking to themselves “Wow this guy is really dumb. I write 100 pages a day, it’s pretty easy.” I totally agree, kudos to your monstrous efforts on the 100 page thing, that’s really good. Lots of people I talk to personally or threads I read through on writing forums are all about how to move a story forward, or I wrote my character into a corner – how do I get out of this?

Try it out sometime – spitting out 300 pages of book into 5 pages is fast, you can write and re-write 20 times with various changes or whatever you want in any writing style that fits your theme. Mine usually don’t include names – the last one I wrote had a main character named “Kid,” supported by two characters named “bro” and “ninja” and the antagonists were “bastardlord” and “gloriousleader.” Of course they were fleeing from the country of THIS to the country of THAT. The important thing isn’t the details of these (hopefully throwaway) stories, it’s the practice you get in resolving those fine details.

Remember, names aren’t important, backstories giving your protagonist reasons to throw flaming landslides at people are important.

The cost of Education 

As our youngest started on his journey of education it gave way to thoughts about my own education. I got pregnant my senior year of high school and was pressured into going to an alternative school where kids that couldn’t go to school with others for some reason or another were sent to work at their own pace. I took that as a personal challenge to get my full senior year plus some done before Thanksgiving break. I had the whole rest of the year to myself to think about college. 

I did enroll. I attempted to attend a local Christian university that had offered me a scholarship. However I was working two jobs to pay for daycare and had a full course schedule. I overloaded myself and quickly dropped out. I attempted once again to go to a community college with just a few classes. Fearing overload again. However, unresolved medical issues stepped up and forced me away from school again. 

I spent the next few years researching and diving into ideas for different ways to go to school but always failing at going any further due to lack of funds. 

Cue my 30th birthday, I had been feeling like this one simple thing called a degree was missing from my life. All my goals and dreams hindering on a 4 year commitment to working my ass off. So, now I am working on becoming a better me via Threopy and working closely with my doctors to make myself better each day. That has included enrolling in an undergraduate program for business management. I am working hard and facing my personal struggles head on. I know things will get better and that all things change. Our universe is in a constant state of change so your bad luck one day will pass eventually. 
So enjoy the moments in your life that make you smile, chase after the dreams, because you were built for the chase and don’t worry over the mistakes, they fade with time. I love you all!
Tina

Always on my mind

Howdy everyone, Tina here!

So as another day has passed, I am now ever closer to that fateful day when my dear sweet little boy, goes to school.

Now I know what you all are thinking, “Congrats! You have made it 5 years without mortally wounding your child. Now you get to send him off for half the day and experience your own time.” Well my friends, you are so wrong!

The last few years that I have spent at home with Nik have been amazing. He is so inquisitive and full of life. I worry about how I will do without him. I know he is going to do amazing in school. He has been practicing his whole life.

 

 

 

Making friends. Check. He will say hi to nearly everyone he sees. He seems to have a knack for honing in on those people with extremely sour dispositions and doing everything he can to get them to acknowledge him or just say Hi if they are really stubborn. Many a rideshare driver has met and talked with Nik, which is great for me because I get to just sit back and let him do all the talking. Even with our mildly grumpy roommate Watson, Nik knows that he doesn’t really like kids but will tell him jokes or do silly things to his dad to get Watson to laugh or smile. He tries sneaky ways to try and get him to talk to him too. He is getting better at it and even Watson admits that he keeps forgetting his own rule to ignore anything that can’t spell in a video game.

Schooling. Check. As far as general education goes, he is so ready. He has been working on his vocabulary since he found out he could talk. Kris and my hard fast rule to never baby talk him made sure he understood everyone around him and that he was well understood. He loves watching shows with me and his dad, so we worked on showing him all the coolest shows we loved from our childhood. Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, Zoobumafu, among others. That had us finding ones he really liked like Octonauts, Finding Stuff Out, and Wild Kratts. He loves learning about animals, nature, and space. He told Kris and me that his goal is to become a Firefighter, policeman, and astronaut in that order. I have no fears that when it comes to learning that he will shun away from it. I think he will be the one gathering others to it, hopefully not to explode or anything.

Challenges. Check. This kid has the iron will of a rusted shut bear trap. When it comes down to getting Nik to do something he doesn’t want to do, I have learned. You don’t demand, you challenge. Which to some might sound silly. He’s my kid and should do what I say when I say it right? No, he is his own person with his own set of ideas about what he does. You want him to do something different, please explain. So I could yell and scream and hold my breath and stomp my feet and we both end up feeling bad, or I can explain it to him for hours on end until I feel like my head is going to explode, or I can make it a race, make it a game, make it a spoonful of sugar if you will. I can let his willfulness get the best of me or I can work with it and help him to find the challenges and fun in life. I would much rather he make every day things seem like a game than watch him ho-hum though life.

So, will I cry on Tuesday of next week? YOU CAN COUNT ON IT. Not because I am scared for him or it means he is growing up. He reminds me everyday that he is getting older and bigger. No, I will be crying because my brightest beam of joy and love will be missing for most of my day and being faced with his own new challenges and learning. I will stand there however, with a brave face and a warm smile and hug to see him off. I will wave to him as he goes off to class each day, ready to learn and enjoy the things he finds. I will smile each day he goes to school, because for him, this is his newest adventure, and for me as well.

Niko chill