If We Were Having Coffee on Halloween….

Jack Mug Halloween coffee share

If we were having coffee, I would be using my Jack mug. No other other mug would be more appropriate today. I would ask about your week and your plans for Halloween. Are you dressing up? It’s so much fun. I haven’t done that in a while though.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you Hubby and I are heading to his mother’s place for Halloween festivities. She usually has a Halloween themed buffet for everyone. This year, “everyone” is just her, Hubby and I. The rest of the clan has either moved away or is away on business. We’ll have a nice dinner and watch some vampire movies. My MIL is very picky about her Halloween/horror movies. Vampires have been approved, so we’ll bring our set of Underworld movies with us. She hasn’t seen any of them. I lent her “The Witches” last week, a movie based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same title. I’m looking forward to hearing what she thought. It was a favourite of mine as a kid…once I got over my fear of the Grand High Witch and figured out that real witches weren’t trying to kidnap me.

Have you seen it? Read the book?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I still get chills whenever I see Angelica Huston. She played the Grand High Witch so well. I have a clip below, but before you watch it, you have to know a little about real witches. They hate children, they can’t bear to be around them because they are disgusting and smell so bad. Children are taught to spot witches by a certain set of characteristics. Witches have no toes, they have stumpy square feet and must always wear square ended shoes. Witches have purple irises. Witches are also bald and always wear wigs.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have gotten over the frustration my MIL caused me last week. She wanted us to go out to visit her last weekend, she was lonely. We didn’t want to go because we were strapped for time and knew we would be spending a lot of time with her this weekend. Hubby felt guilty not going because his father was away and his sister had moved out recently. I came up with a compromise. She could come to dinner with us and my parents. This way she would get some company and Hubby and I would still have the rest of the day to run around get stuff done. Hubby thought this was great and called her to invite her. He gets off the phone and it turns out she was thrilled for the dinner invite, but she has also invited herself over to our place for the day. Not only can we not get anything done (which was the purpose of this plan to begin with), I have to get up extra early and make the place spotless before she comes over. *face palm* I was frustrated. Hubby lets his guilt get the better of him sometimes. In his defense though, she doesn’t listen. Her hearing isn’t good, but I think this is more of a selective hearing issue. She doesn’t hear “no” most of the time.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how frustrating DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) has been. In group I told them the MIL story and how I handled it. I thought I did a good job, but apparently not. They keep saying that I need to think more before I speak or act. I understand this and I think I evaluate the facts and my emotions before I do or say anything. If I spent anymore time doing so, I would never react to anything. I know they are trying to help, but they label me. It isn’t fair and it is not helping me with my issues. They assume I have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and assume that I react a certain way to the events I tell them about. Me telling them how I actually react seems to make no difference. It actually feels like those scenes in the movies where the character is sent to a psychiatric hospital and the more they insist they do not have a psychiatric disorder, the more they get treated as if they do. I suppose I could just smile and nod to whatever they say. It would help the others in the group that actually do have BPD, but it doesn’t help me. Isn’t that what I am there for though? Help?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the emerging theme I see here. Between my MIL, the DBT and my supervisor, it seems no one is listening to me. Considering there are three different situations, I would think the problem would be me. Maybe I am not being assertive enough? This is usually the problem. Since I am aware of this, I am consciously pushing myself to be more assertive than I usually am to get the message across. Maybe I am not being clear enough? What I say to them makes perfect sense to me. I have told my husband and a friend I work with about what I’ve said in these situations. They seem to understand the message I am trying to get across. So it is not that I am inarticulate. I suppose I could just stand firm and keep repeating myself, or say the same thing in a different way for them to understand. This is what I did with my supervisor. She is starting to listen now, but that took a year. A whole year! Ridiculous! Sometimes I feel like the only way to get people to listen is to be rude, aggressive or just yell at them. This is not the way I like to handle things. It creates resentment and in the DBT case, it would only reaffirm their labeling of me. I would like to give them all the benefit of the doubt and say it is not that they are choosing not to listen to me, but I don’t know what else to do. What do you do when being assertive is not enough?

If we were having coffee, I would say thank you for the chat. It helps to get my thoughts out of my head. I’m going to try to forget everything for the rest of the day and enjoy. I hope you will too.

Happy Halloween!

This post is part of a weekly link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster, join the fun!

If We Were Having Coffee…..

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you this blog just turned a year old! I’m glad WordPress reminds me of these things. I knew it was sometime around now.

If we were having coffee, I’d want you to tell me all about your week. I hope it was a good one with lots accomplished and time for fun. I’m going to need to take a few sips of coffee to warm up my voice before I attempt to speak. Yesterday was the annual university conference where all the various vision research projects get presented. I had a poster to present on one of the studies I am working on. I got to show pictures of the retina and there was a 3D virtual environment involved in the testing procedure. It is definitely one of the cooler research projects I have presented. This is probably why the poster was drawing such big crowds. The talk I gave for the poster was only 5 minutes long, but I had to speak loudly so the crowd could hear me and I had to repeat it nonstop for almost two hours. Now, my voice is all crackly and keeps coming and going.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that despite the success of the poster and its award nomination, I’m still feeling rather low. I came home from the conference yesterday and just went straight to bed. I don’t know, maybe it is just exhaustion that is getting me down. When Hubby got home he brought in some mail for me. It was a package from my aunt. She sent some stuff that I had left at her place along with some new paint brushes and a new stencil. Very exciting! Check out the stencil..an eye diagram! Awesome! That cheered me up a bit.

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If we were having coffee, I’d probably tell you about a friend and a colleague of mine. I am really worried about them. The colleague was supposed to fly in next week to work on that grant proposal with us but he has had to cancel on account of his heart. He has a weak heart and went to the doc thinking he had the flu. It turns out his heart isn’t sounding good, so he has had to cancel the trip and do a full workup. He is not the only one with concerning health problems though. Hubby and I had dinner with our friend Lynne last night. She is scheduled to have her surgery to have her liver metastasis removed in a week and a half. Her latest CT scan shows a new tumor. We are hoping it popped up on the portion they were going to remove anyway.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you my art class is tomorrow morning. I’m a little nervous. I hope it isn’t too clique-y. I’m also still doing the 30 Day Colouring Challenge from The Daily Marker. There is about a week left. I have been enjoying it. Here is a collection of this week’s stuff. Two of them are from colouring books. The rest I drew myself. I even used regular old crayons this week. It was fun to revisit childhood with a box of nice, sharp, new Crayolas.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a good weekend! Hope to see you for coffee next week!

This conversation coffee post is part of a weekly link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster

If We Were Having Coffee….

If we were having coffee, we would be having it at my house this week because I am too exhausted to move. Thankfully the apartment it relatively spotless. By relatively, I mean we still have cat hair. There isn’t much I can do about that with Ewok being the powder puff that she is. I hope you aren’t allergic to cats. So far I’ve been lucky. Only one of my friends is dating a guy that is allergic…and there is my sister. She chooses to bury her face in Ewok’s tummy when she comes over though, so I don’t worry much about her. Yes, Ewok is THAT loveable.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask how your week went and what was new with you. I hope you have some good news to share. I am hopelessly behind in blogging, therapy, art journaling and my Ph.D. dissertation. I’m not letting it get to me though. It was a really hard and busy week. I am hoping to lay low and get caught up on things this weekend. I am caught up on all the little side projects my supervisor like to throw at me though! I have been paranoid about how she feels about me lately. I feel like she has lost faith in me since I took a step back from my involvement in the lab. As if this grant she is preparing is to make sure my research idea gets done because she doesn’t think I am going to do it myself. I talked to her about it and she said that my research is still my own and I should look at this grant as my supervisor investing in my research. It’s a very nice answer to my concerns, but I don’t believe it. I think she is avoiding talking about what she really thinks because it is negative. She does this a lot with other people. She tells me about it. If this is how she handles conflict with other people, no doubt, this is the way she handles it with me. It is frustrating. One of her best friends and former Ph.D. students told me that I treat her too much like my boss and I should treat her more like my friend. Maybe it is worth a try.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I am glad #1000Speak has evolved into a monthly event. I think it’s a great idea. The last event was yesterday and the theme was “Building from Bullying.” I knew about it well in advance and was debating whether or not I wanted to post about my experiences with bullying. It is something I am sorting through in therapy at the moment. I finally decided that I did want to write something, but I ran out of time with this past week being so crazy. I am looking forward to reading the other posts though. If you are interested in reading some posts on “Building from Bullying” check out the linky at the bottom of Gene’O’s post.

If we were having coffee, I’d want to tell you about another great idea I heard about this week. This one is from Nerd in the Brain. It is called “There is Beauty in All of Us”. Basically, you send in a selfie, she will post it to acquire comments from other people..positive ones!! Then, all the photos will be put into a video showing how diverse beauty is. It’s a really uplifting project. Visit her blog and participate, or at least check it out. I am actually thinking of sending in a real selfie…not a drawing. You’ll have to guess which one is me when you see the video! haha.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m still plugging along with the 30 Day Colouring Challenge. It has been a comfort this week, knowing that I can set aside 10 minutes from working to colour something. I did them mostly myself. I used my Steampunk colouring book from Dover one day. Dover Publishing colouring books rock! These are my entries from the past week.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish a happy and productive weekend. I am off to get caught up on all my projects. I think I will start with the colouring challenge. I always feel better getting something checked off my list. It gives me the motivation to tackle the bigger things.

This conversational post link-up is hosted by Part-Time Monster, join the fun!

If We Were Having Coffee…..

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a happy Pi Day! You’d probably give me a strange look and then I would change the subject by asking how you were and how your week was.

If we were having coffee, I’d say I worked a lot this week. There are several studies on the go, a grant proposal in the works, a poster to make, student posters to edit, another presentation to make and my own research on top of that. My own research always ends up being at the end of the list. Everything else has an upcoming deadline or someone else depending on it. Those ending up getting pushed forward and my research trails behind.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’ve been communicating with an industry rep this week. I contacted him about using his product in my research over a year ago. We’ve been talking on and off since. Currently, he is having trouble entering the market here and thought I’d have some insight. I am all kinds of nervous about talking to him. When I took a moment to rationalize my anxiety, I realized it was because I thought he was better than me. He is a grown up with a real job, a title, a salary and he represents a company. I always see myself as some incompetent kid, but I’m not anymore, am I? I am almost 30 and a Ph.D. candidate. I know the field, I know the right people, I understand his product, why wouldn’t he want to talk to me? I just feel like a fraud, about to be seen through at any minute.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you work has been bringing me down lately. I’m not really sure why. There are some things on the go that I like, some that I don’t. Isn’t that the way work usually goes for everyone. I’ve been trying to lift my spirits with the 30 Day Colouring Challenge hosted by The Daily Marker. Colouring always soothes me a bit. Plus, I have new Neocolors and Gelatos to play with. Today is Day 11. Here are my entries so far.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I came across a rather nice surprise yesterday. I was starting a page in my art journal, trying a new technique. This technique required me to turn my book upside down to let paint drip down the pages. When I did this, two stencils fell out! One was dragonflies (my favourite!!) and another was a bird on a branch. I knew right away who put them in there. It was my aunt. I checked and sure enough, she was guilty. The last I saw her was at the beginning of February though. That would mean they were hiding in my journal for over a month!! She’s sneaky! I never would have been able to keep quiet that long if I were her.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you another one of my friends is having a birthday this month. She lives far away and is having a really rough time. I want to do something to cheer her up a bit, but I’m not really sure what to do. I thought of sending her a care package or some happy mail, but I’m not sure what to send. It can’t cost too much and should be small to keep the shipping costs down. I tried to think of her hobbies, but she doesn’t really have any. She spends time with her family and goes to church. I was thinking of making something. Maybe some cards with inspirational quotes or some of our favourite memories. I’m just not sure. Would you enjoy getting that sort of thing in the mail? Do you have any suggestions?

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

If We were Having Coffee…..

If we were having coffee, I would say it’s a Tim Hortons kind of day. I’d have a coffee and a blueberry muffin. I don’t have that type of muffin often, I have a craving today for some reason. What will you be having? The Red Velvet muffins are my favourite. They have also had a dark chocolate donut on the menu lately. That looks good too.

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the week just flew by. This weekend is going to go even faster thanks to Daylight Savings. I enjoy the extra hour during “Fall Back”, but “Spring Forward” always kind of sucks. How was your week? Did it seem to go by quickly like mine?

If we were having coffee, I’d yell you my Mother-in-Law cashed in her Christmas present yesterday. It was a spa trip to get a manicure. She had never had one before. I was a little nervous about going with her since the last time Hubby got together with her, she was asking all kinds of questions about me and my mental health status and so on. She didn’t bring anything up thankfully. After our outing Hubby thanked me for taking her. He thinks she really enjoyed it. I’m glad. I decided to try a new spa this time. it was really small, but it was the best one I’ve been too. There was no skimping on the hand massage! That’s the best part! I will definitely be going back.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I am nervous to go to work this coming week. I am once again, the sole Ph.D. student in the lab. The other guy was officially gone as of the beginning of the month and the boss has been away since. This week will be the first week she is around without the other guy’s situation on her mind. I just have a bad feeling a whole bunch of work is about to fall into my lap. I’m feeling kind of fragile and I just want to be left alone.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Hubby and I got a lot done during our March Break this week. Firstly, we did a huge cleaning. I mean the scrubbing and moving the heavy furniture kind of cleaning. We found all of Ewok’s toys. She has been very happy and playful all week. Last night she even got the concept of “fetch” for the first time!! Ewok is such a sweet cat, and the cutest ever, but not the sharpest crayon in the box. I think it’s part of her charm.

Ewok with her Catnip Banana

Ewok with her Catnip Banana

If we were having coffee, I’d tell the second big thing we got done was taxes. For the first time, we decided to go to HR Block and pay to have it done. It is such a frustrating process to do ourselves and it normally takes a whole weekend. My school bursaries usually complicate the process. This year, we got the whole process done in less than an hour and we got a lot of money back. We still had to pay them to do it, but we got so much back that it didn’t really matter. I think I’m going to start liking tax season, haha.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the most awesome thing we got done was to book our vacation! I am turning 30 this year, so it is a celebratory trip. We tried to book through a travel agent, but it didn’t work. To make a long story short, it was an upsetting experience and the trip almost didn’t happen. We wont be going back to that agent. We ended up booking by ourselves through Expedia. We are going for two weeks and staying a small boutique hotel on the Pacific side. We did the boutique hotel thing for our honeymoon in Belize and loved it. We haven’t tried the all-inclusive type vacation yet. Have you? What did you think? I am not much of a beach bum either, so we’ll be doing some activities; snorkeling, ziplining, river tubing, hiking, hot springs, volcanoes and so on. I am hoping I get to see some turtles and a sloth. What about you? Have you got any vacation plans this year?

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

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