Friday, November 6, 2020

Single Serve Society


Single Serve Society


I am really really tired of the prevailing attitude of humanity. People seem to be really lazy, or lacking in intelligence or intuition about life and our planet and the way they affect it. It frustrates me to no end because I MUST live on this planet among people and because of the overall attitude/way of life, it is almost impossible to be able to live the way I want to/people should.

It strikes me every single day, multiple times a day. The amount of waste that people produce just for a single home is astounding if you think about it. For the most part, in our country, people waste. We waste food, we waste electricity, we waste water. We waste resources, in general. Mainly this seems to stem from the desire of businesses and corporations to make money and make a profit from their items. Therefore, they use what is cheap, not what is BEST (for people or the environment.)

This morning when I brushed my teeth, I realized that I was almost out of toothpaste. Another plastic container, thrown away. I try to reuse as much as possible but truly, what can I do with a squeeze tube for toothpaste? I am at a loss, so into the trash it goes.

My kids are currently getting free school lunches from our school district due to the pandemic (they actually qualify for free lunch anyway, but the district is providing lunch to ALL children who want it, which I really applaud them for.) So we have started picking up the lunches and breakfast too.They are wonderful. Good food that kids want to eat, and so much of it. We are grateful every day to get the “mystery lunch sacks” as my children call them. We talk about how grateful we are and should be – that the food was given to us, that it is good food, that people went to a lot of trouble. Be thankful for the blessings.

But even with all that, I look at how much plastic waste there is from single serve items and it breaks my heart. People think I am ridiculous when I tell them it makes me sick to my stomach when I throw away plastic (since much cant be recycled and SO MUCH of the items we buy comes in plastic containers.) But the only thing I can think is where all this trash is going, and how much of a waste it is, truly.

There has to be a better way. People lived for thousands of years without plastic. Sometimes, the so-called advances of science and technology actually put people backwards. The waste that has been produced from: plastic bottles, medical supplies, item containers, shipping materials, food containers…. . . it just boggles my mind.

When my son was born 7 years ago, we started out using disposable diapers. Why? Because that is what had always been done in my generation. With my older daughters, now 12, I actually NEEDED to find good cloth diapers because of a condition my daughter had, and they were nowhere to be found. Yes I suppose I could have made some but I didn’t know how, or what to use. I didn’t want to make the skin condition worse. Luckily, a few years later, people started wising up and realizing disposable diapers are a stupid invention that hurts the earth. Reusable diapers started to become available and after a month or two with my son, I invested in those reusable diapers and was as happy as could be. They weren’t too expensive, they worked well, and I wasn’t hurting the environment. It was something to feel good about. He used the fabric diapers and we washed them until he was out of diapers around age 2.


There are ways. There are ways to do things better, smarter, healthier. But it is hard to, because society/businesses cram things down our collective throats. Our country is consumed by the throwaway mentality.We could come together and just get rid of the stuff that is harmful, but I doubt that will ever happen. Society has no interest, as a whole, in doing things better (unless it involves money). It saddens me greatly, and is yet another reason why I prefer to live in my own world, separate from people as a group. I realize my thoughts are in the minority. My overall attitude doesn’t match up to my peers.

I have small children, so it is unlikely I will be able to escape the throwaway world. I will still have to buy food from the store that comes in bad containers, and I will have to throw them away. (I started at one point to keep all the containers that could be reused, but after just a short while, we had such a glut of unused containers, I had no idea what to do with them any longer.) We still try to reuse and recycle anything we can. I have containers of old clothing/pieces of cloth for projects. A general “recyclables” bin where kids can put pieces of anything they find – plastic, metal, pieces from belts and shoes, broken toys, buttons, beads, paper tubes and wrappings, any number of items. But truth be told we can only hold so much. Eventually a lot of it winds up in the trash.

The using of safely burnable items doesn’t bother me nearly as much, or items that decompose quickly. Paper plates and napkins decompose fast, and don’t leave much of a mark, Plastic sits forever, ruining everything around it. Even food, although there is waste, decomposes extremely fast, and can leave little mark behind. So food & paper are the least of my worries. If I had a woodstove, I would be burning more. I do remember having a woodstove as a child, and we would regularly burn paper trash along with our firewood. Currently, I have built a firepit at the house I’m living in, and during warmer months, I can burn paper in the pit. At least that reduces our footprint some.

I think a large part of why people don’t recycle (or simply reuse) is because they don’t think ahead. They don’t think about the consequences of using these items and throwing them away. Out of sight, out of mind. Our last house was right behind a dump facility, and trash would regularly blow into our yard over the fence. A daily or weekly reminder of people’s waste. None of us is guiltless of this, but it’s a lot easier to forget when you simply throw it in a bag and its taken away. Out of sight, out of mind (except if you live by the trash dump, like us.)

I also think that people don’t look at the bigger picture. They want ease and convenience for themselves. They don’t think of the impact to other people or how it could be harmful. Also, “everyone else is doing it”, so it is the norm. In one college class I had, we discussed a similar topic and one younger student scoffed at her grandparents, who saved all their plastic butter containers, and other containers. “Why would anyone do that?” She asked aloud. Well, in my mind, there are a lot of reasons. But to a 19 or 20 year old who has grown up in this single serve society, I’m sure it seems super strange to save any containers. Why not just throw it away and get a new one? No thought to the repercussions for all.

When my daughters were small, we used to go to the library weekly and get books to read. One was called “A Spoon For Every Bite”. It was about a man who used a new (metal) spoon for every single bite he took. He accumulated a huge pile of spoons. Although the lesson wasn’t about waste, I couldn’t help but be struck how much this is actually like our society today. Selfish, wasteful, ungrateful.

I look forward to the future, to a day when I can fully control my life and the way I live. I’m leaning more and more to going “off the grid and providing for myself as much as possible. I’ve always had an interest in nature and going back to earth, to what has been naturally provided to us by an intelligent creator. Medicines and cures from our plants, light and heat from our trees. Furniture from our wood, clothing from our animals. Going back to the way things were supposed to be, before technology supposedly “enhanced” our world. Having meaning in life, being grateful, enjoying the work you have done to provide for and support yourself. The simple joys of watching the sun come up, eating food you helped grow, using medicines you created. My own world, my way. Far away from the waste and glut and capitalist consumer driven greed.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Day 1 of 2020 Remote Schooling in a Remote State! (Surviving...)


Hey guys! Hope everyone is well and holding up amidst the CHAOS that is school start for K-12 kids! (I know college students are starting too, but since I only have young kids, that’s all I currently care about!)

We are halfway through our first day of “remote learning”. That means material delivered via a computer (mainly). So far there have been video meetings (Zoom, Google, Skype, etc.) and about a thousand different required websites and platforms to deliver all the material (math, science, reading, spelling, on & on…)

Well, we have encountered all sorts of technical difficulties with audio & video, and trying to work out those kinks. Also have had teachers with tech issues, as I sort of expected. I don’t think the remote learning is SO bad for older kids…my daughters are in 7th grade now and use technology regularly when they are at school in person. But my son…yeah. He’s only 7. His attention span is not that great, plus he is just one of those high energy kids who NEEDS recess, play time, jumping around and so forth. He gets very restless and after about 2 minutes, tuned out of what the teacher was trying to say on Google (can’t blame him though, it was laggy and there was nothing really to keep his attention. He’s also shy so not a person who talks much in class ever anyway.) The poor teacher was having lots of difficulties so, basically…today’s school is over for him. Fine by me!

Now, don’t take this to mean I don’t care about my kids education. I absolutely do. However, I can’t teach my kids, at least not all of them. My son NEEDS a structured environment, and school has served him very well for kindergarten and 1st grade. He needs the social interaction and the structure, as well as the obvious learning. He has reading difficulties, and he is not that patient, so me as a teacher…it just doesn’t work out well. He winds up getting frustrated, tossing the book down and leaving. Forcing him to do the work at home is PAINFUL for all involved! But at school, it isn’t this way. Environment matters a lot. Even me, as an adult…it’s SO hard to concentrate on work at home. My son NEEDS PUBLIC SCHOOLING!

And my daughters, thank the lord, are pretty self-sufficient. They generally enjoy school and learning and will keep up on what is required, mostly. I don’t have to police them too much which is a HUGE blessing because if I did…well, with 3 kids doing different classes, schools, schedules, curriculum from home – it just wouldn’t happen. I know for a lot of people, it still isn’t happening, due to social and environmental issues (can’t be home from work, kids have to be in daycare, etc.) I myself am starting a new job in a week and so I won’t be here to help my kids. It will fall on their retired grandfather to help. God bless him for being willing!!! If he weren’t there…I honestly think they would just be left to their own devices. As a single mom, I don’t have a lot of options for this kind of intense child care help.

So that’s how it’s going so far! Whew! We will survive…somehow. Looking forward to in-person school resuming though!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Return of the Blog (Blogger…Blogging…)

Well, everyone, hello again! Writing this blog today is like reaching out to a long lost friend. It’s been about 5 years or so since I really blogged in earnest. Why? Well, so much happened in my life that prevented me from doing it. Even now, there is a lot of difficulty but I’m making the effort to return and resurrect this blog (and myself???) If anyone is even still there and listening, thank you friends!

So, let me break down what happened since I last posted, in ohhhhhh May of 2015! Let’s do a fun little timeline…

1) I was a psychology student at university, in the middle of a nasty contested divorce with 3 young children, and my health was tanking.

2) In early 2016, my divorce and child custody was finalized. I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Because of the divorce, I went through a period of not having health insurance, which sucked since I suffered a lot of health setbacks at that time.

3) I met and dated a lot of people. It turned out to be generally, more stressful than fun. I had no desire to get into another serious relationship and was just passing the time with people.

4) In late 2016, I sold the house that my ex and I had lived in, and began living with my dad in the interim while I was finishing school.

5) In late 2017, I moved into an apartment with my kids, graduated college with a B.A. in psychology, and got a job offer to teach counseling skills and the psychology of addiction at the community college, which I accepted.

6) Early 2018, I began part-time teaching (and a lot more learning ensued along the way!) My health was still poor, but I was doing my best to muddle through. I had a lot of random illness and couldn’t yet find a cause for it/them.

7) Mid 2018, I went to Florida to decide whether or not I was going to move there. I decided against it at the time, and stayed in my home state.

8) Late 2018, I knew that part-time teaching wasn’t a stable enough job to take care of my kids and began looking for full-time work. I needed a job to work around them and their schedule, and I decided to go through the process of becoming a grade school teacher. To do so meant entering graduate school for a year to get certified, and possibly go on to finish a Master’s degree in education.

9) Early 2019, I went through the process and was accepted into graduate school in a program for a Master of Education degree. I was also admitted for a year long internship for my teaching certification. My health was still poor, and getting worse, but I was trying to stay positive that it would improve.

10) Mid 2019, after declining steadily for years, I became so ill I was bedbound. Being alone, with kids, and supposed to start graduate school, I was terrified of what was happening to me, and beginning to get hopeless. I had to quit teaching, quit graduate school, and move in with my ex-husband for help with the kids and day to day living. It was an extremely dark time for me. I questioned my entire purpose in living and why I was even existing on this earth.

11) Late 2019, I was diagnosed with ME/CFS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, previously known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It was a relief to get a diagnosis, but in ways even harder, since there are no known cures for it and treatments are hit or miss. I spent the better part of a year not working, and trying to figure out my physical limits of what I could do so I could return to work. I knew teaching was not feasible anymore because of the physical demands of it.

12) TODAY! Mid 2019, my health has improved some and I’ve figured out some ways to work with/around my limitations. I’m back to looking for work and ready to be independent again! My kids are now 12 (twins) and 7, and becoming more independent themselves, which is helpful in allowing me to be able to do things for myself instead of devoting all my spare time to child care.

SOOOOOOOOOOO….a lot has happened! Surviving the day to day life. It’s not easy. Never has been. But I keep trying to find the silver lining in every cloud and the light at the end of each tunnel. It may sound cheesy but I’m always telling myself these mantras or sayings, and they do help me through my days and weeks when things are a difficult struggle. One of my favorites is “This too shall pass.”

That’s all for now folks. Just a quick check-in and a beginning, a place to start anew here and explore a whole host of new topics. Lord knows, after my last 5 years, I’ve got fodder to last for a really long time!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer is flying by - divorce is consuming my time & mental state! UGHHH

Hi guys!

Wow, it’s been awhile. I hadn’t realized it’s almost 2 months since my last posting. Life tends to fly by sometimes when you aren’t paying attention, doesn’t it?!?!

The school year ended in May and so I was just relaxing for a few weeks (my brain was completely strained from the math course I took…I am no math wizard! Haha.) I had so many plans of school related things I wanted to get done this summer:

       Study and test out of my next math class
       Study and test out of my humanities class
       Study for and take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam – Grad school admissions test)
       Get involved in volunteer activities in the psychology community in my city

WELLLLL…since my divorce is now beginning the legal process, that has been so stressful to me that unfortunately, over the last month I have been able to accomplish nearly nothing on that list :( It makes me so sad!!! Between dealing with my ex and his mood swings, dealing with kids (who are themselves out of school for the summer), and trying to sell half my belongings and move out of my house so I can sell it, school hasn’t exactly been my top priority.

There is a lot going on you can see. My head is kind of swirling most of the time and I feel quite overwhelmed, like there is a lot hanging over my head. I HATE that feeling. I am a list maker, a checker-offer. I like knowing I accomplished things and have them under my belt. Stuff that hangs in limbo…leaves me feeling anxious :/

So, that is where I am now! Summer is half way down and it is my goal to AT LEAST test out of my math class, at the bare minimum. The rest of the school stuff may have to wait. I’m in a bit of a rush to get my house on the market, hopefully a month from now, so there is a lot happening.

My mental state is….OK. I go on meds and I go off them…that is just the nature of things I guess. Once my divorce is final (it seems to be getting dragged out slowly and painfully, unfortunately) I think my mental state will improve drastically. No longer being attached in any way to a toxic relationship will help me so much to move forward and try to make positive changes in my life. Right now I’m still sort of dangling in limbo-land while things are not finalized. And that is the toughest part!!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bipolar State of Being listed as one of Healthline's Best Bipolar Blogs for the second year!

Exciting news everyone…it has just been brought to my attention that I’ve made Healthline’s list for the Best Bipolar Disorder Blogs of 2015!!! This is the second year I’ve been recognized by Healthline and well, I’m really happy about that. It’s nice to know that the work you’ve done is appreciated and ultimately helpful to others.

Here’s the review they gave my blog (which actually hasn’t changed since last year but since I never mentioned it, here it is!):

Each blogger brings a unique perspective to living with bipolar disorder. For Nicole, author of Bipolar State of Being, it’s surviving and thriving as a mom. Her insights into having this disorder and borderline personality disorder are pure inspiration. The blog should be required reading for all mothers battling mental illness.

Nicole posts a mixture of personal essays, poetry, and links to informative and useful sites. The posts are clearly a positive outlet for her, but they also provide hope and a sense of support and community for her readers.

You know, when I first started this blog, I didn’t think anyone would read it. I never intended to do it long term, but it spawned so much with just that quick decision to begin sharing with the online world. From my blogging beginning with Bipolar State of Being, I branched out and started video blogging on YouTube. I actually never intended to do that at all! I simply made a couple of intro videos for this blog, so that readers could see who I was. But my channel took off, and much like my experience with blogging, I decided to keep at it.

It’s now been 5 years and I do not regret this path at all…in fact, I would say going public has probably been one of the best decisions I ever made. I’ve come to feel comfortable in my skin and accept who I am, and that is worth more to me than anything. It’s been a long journey but completely worthwhile.

I have had so many amazing experiences and met so many wonderful people through this all, and that never would have happened had I stayed silent. It’s given me so much more insight, so much more perspective not only on what I live but the lives of everyone who is affected by bipolar or any mental health issue. I realized what a passion I have for this field, and have made it my career goal to enter graduate school so I can pursue mental health research, because it means so much to me. The experience of blogging/vlogging has been really, really great, and I thank everyone who has read, commented, emailed, shared their stories with me…everyone who has inspired me, thanked me, encouraged me…you all mean so so much to me! You truly do!!!

(And if you want to check out the list of Best Bipolar Blogs from Healthline for 2015…here it is!)

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Well, here I am. I’m in a mood today. I just feel like wallowing. I can feel that my emotions are quite raw at the moment, and it seems every sound I hear, and every sight I see is just like a heavy putrid syrup pouring over my heart and mind, coating it with stickiness I can’t get rid of. I could try to fight it and put on the fake smile but I just don’t want to right now. All I want is to sit and ruminate for awhile. And just let it be. I want to look at the white sky and the snow and float off. Listen to this melancholy music and watch the parade of images that dance in slow motion across the backdrop of my skull. Allow it all to occur, all the words that I don’t want to make sense of…just let them come. Lie around and do absolutely nothing of any worth. Wallow and bathe myself in these feelings that engulf me. Let them be and do not try to fight them.

It’s ok, because deep down I know it will not last forever. In a couple days, I will rise again. I will come up, I will get back on the horse and live again. I’ll keep striving toward the light. But not today.