If We Were Having Coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare. Sofi, AVPD mess and birthday season.

   Let’s have a coffee today, shall we? Or whatever else, if you’re unfortunate like me and can’t have coffee, or just don’t like coffee. We have a huge assortment of teas, and cocoa, both real and instant. Or if you’d prefer a cold drink, I can pour you a glass of refreshing kefir, or water, either sparkling or just regular tap water. Oh yeah, and my Mum has made broth. My Mum makes broth almost every day these days, because, well, if you’re a regular on here, you know my Mum is a health and lifestyle geek and right now she’s all about keto, and she says that broth is super healthy for the skin and such because it has collagen, and Sofi and I are supposed to get in more sodium for health reasons so this is a good way. Regardless of how healthy it is, it’s actually yummy, and I always have mine with parsley. Or you can have some noodles with it and get chicken soup. Sofi and I have got a huge box of candy for Christmas from Olek, and I’ll happily share some with y’all so you have some snack to go with your coffee/tea, and if you’d rather have the broth, you can also have some of my Mum’s keto salad with it, it has chicken, mushrooms, cheese and pineapple in it. Well, since it has pineapple I guess it would be more appropriate to call it low-carb, but who cares? Obviously you’re also more than welcome to bring your own drink and/or food, either just for yourself or to share if you want. As always, thanks to Natalie  who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share linky. 🙂 So, if everyone has something to drink and/or eat and is sitting comfortably, let’s catch up. 

   If we were having coffee, I’d ask each of you how you’ve been doing since my last coffee share, and in particular this week…? 

   If we were having coffee, I would share with you that this has been quite a mentally messy week for me. Well, not just this week really, but the last few weeks, with a few-days-long breaks in between the messy times. Very emotional and moodswingy, low-key paranoid, filled with rumination, cringe fits, self-loathing and other fun things. I call that AVPD flare-ups for short (if you’re new and don’t know, AVPD stands for avoidant personality disorder which is a condition that I have), even though technically personality disorders don’t have flare-ups, but I call it an AVPD flare-up when my symptoms get a lot worse than my baseline. Usually it happens to me after a lot of peopling, but lately it seems like even very small things throw me totally off kilter for days, sometimes I don’t even need any external event really. It’s been very emotionally exhausting and is very difficult to even put into words properly or express in any other way to other people, so the experience feels quite isolating because you can’t really talk to anyone about this no matter how understanding they may be, and on one hand you want to do it and share it with someone, but on the other you absolutely do not. All the more that communication pin general is also more difficult when I feel like that. But the weekend has been a bit better. Or else I probably wouldn’t be writing about this haha. We’ll see how long it lasts. 

   [For the next paragraph, tw for self-harm, not very graphic but at one point kind of Tmi and possibly a little gross  and mentioning methods of self-harm]

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On a similarly glum note, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Sofi has also been struggling lately, and we’ve only learned about it this month… Since a couple of months, Sofi has been telling us that her cousin is going to therapy, and how Sofi would really really really like to go to therapy too. Mum tried asking her why, but Sofi would never give any specific answer, so she just figured that Sofi simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about and doesn’t understand what therapy is all about so thinks that it’s something fun. I agreed, but at the same time it popped into my mind that perhaps this is Sofi’s way of asking for help or something, perhaps she doesn’t want to talk about something to Mum, whom, after all, she sees every single day, so sometimes it’s really awkward to talk to your family about some difficult things. And I suggested that to Mum and told her that perhaps she could get Sofi into some free therapy via the National Health Fund that we have here, at least for starters, and if she doesn’t have a problem, she’ll get bored with it after one or two sessions and the topic will be over, but at least we’ll know that there’s nothing serious going on. Well, but it turned out not to be so easy to get free therapy for a teenager who doesn’t really have any obvious issues and just really wants to go to therapy, plus, despite my having been in therapy for years as a child, my Mum didn’t really know how to best go about it. So it took some time before she found a therapist for Sofi, and in the end she’s paying for it herself. Already during her first session, Sofi’s therapist called Mum, telling her that Sofi has got some uncontrollable crying fit and doesn’t really say much, and that she has admitted to cutting herself, which shocked Mum because Sofi generally used to be a very happy child, and Mum had no idea why she could be doing this. Later at night Mum came into my room and just completely out of the blue asked me if I could tell her why I’ve been self-harming. I didn’t know about Sofi yet, so obviously I immediately got suspicious and defensive, but then she told me that Sofi is doing it too, and she just wants to understand why people do such things, and that she feels that maybe she is to blame. I was just as shocked as Mum was, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sofi for the whole night. I didn’t really tell her why *I* have been self-harming (too complicated story, and I didn’t really feel up for that so suddenly) but just generally told her about various reasons why people, and especially kids, may do such things, and that it’s unlikely to have anything to do with her directly. I get why she has such feelings though, after all, it’s two of her three children that do this now, I’d probably also take it personally if I were a mother. The therapist advised for Sofi to be seen by a psychiatrist and continue therapy, but the soonest appointment my Mum could book with any child psychiatrist was in May. Since then, Mum would often talk to me about Sofi’s self-harm, which I wouldn’t have minded if not the fact that she sort of expected me to be like some sort of specialist on the matter, as if I were a therapist or something. Which would make sense if I were completely over it, but unfortunately, I’m probably not. I self-harm a lot less frequently now than I used to, but I still do. In fact, the shitty truth is that, about a week or so before Sofi’s disclosure, I got this paronychia thing (some sort of nail infection that you can get from zealous nail biting or picking, which I already had once a couple years ago) but this time round in my toe rather than a finger, which must have happened when I was picking at my nail at night while ruminating and picked almost my whole nail off. It wasn’t fully intentional and more like absent-minded or compulsive, but also not fully unintentional, but I let my Mum believe that it was just accidental. (It’s almost healed up now, in case anyone is worried or something) So I felt really weird with her asking me stuff like what she should do now. What could I know? 😀 Thankfully, after Sofi has shared some more, looking at it with cooler heads, we think that this could (hopefully) have been a one-off incident for Sofi. It seems that her former toxic friend has played some significant role in all this, probably multiplied by the general suckiness of puberty and the raging teenage hormones. Sofi has been rather grumpy and a little withdrawn from family life for a couple years now (though some degree of grumpiness and sulkiness is just part of her personality and has always been), but as far as I can tell as someone outside of her brain, she doesn’t seem very depressed, luckily. She hangs out with her friends a lot, spends long hours chatting to them and laughing on the phone, and seems to genuinely enjoy all the other things that she did previously and to have normal energy. She doesn’t really seem chronically sad or anything like that. I believe Sofi doesn’t know that I know about her cutting, or even if she does we don’t talk about it, but you regular people on here may know that we have this play with Sofi where we pretend that Misha can connect to either of us’ brain and speak through us, and I like to use that sometimes to get stuff out of Sofi because she is more inclined to talk about things that are difficult for some reason with Misha, rather than directly with me or with Mum, because with Misha it’s more fun and relaxed and Misha never draws any conclusions out loud. So one day, I, as Misha, tried to get an idea of what she generally thinks about life nowadays, is it good, is it bad, whatever, and that didn’t sound too depressing either, though of course I do realise that she could be hiding what she was actually thinking, but it doesn’t look like it’s the case, and Sofi was never good at hiding that sort of things as an extrovert. . I also had a gentle feel of her wrists when she was sleeping in my room one night and while they were pretty much covered in  cuts which were quite heartbreaking to see on someone like Sofi, they seemed to be rather superficial at first glance. I think it’s also a really positive sign that Sofi was so open about it with the therapist and told her about it right during the first session. I feel extremely sad for Sofi and I wish I could help her in some meaningful way, but now that both Mum and I have cooled off a bit after the initial news, we are very hopeful that with further therapy, this won’t repeat again. Honestly though, I feel like chopping her “friend” up into pieces and grilling and sacrificing to Misha. Oh wait, that’s probably a really bad idea, he could get intoxicated too! 

   [End of the potentially triggering bit]  

   ***** 

   If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, after barely over three months of usage, my Mum’s Apple Watch died! :O One day she went swimming in a swimming pool with it, which I personally thought was a risky business to begin with – I’m just generally ultra careful and would feel really weird putting any electronic device into water – but Mum said she had previously swum in a lake with it, and anyway Apple says you can swim with an Apple Watch, so why not. Her Apple Watch worked just fine when she went out of the pool, but by the time she got home, it was practically dead. She tried rinsing it, thinking some chlorine could have gotten into it, and then kept it in rice in case there was some water left in it, despite she obviously had the water lock on while swimming, but all those things didn’t help much. She managed to resurrect it for brief moments several times, but it was REALLY sluggish and its battery died within minutes of powering on when it was originally fully charged, and the Digital Crown apparently didn’t work properly as well. Mum was really pissed. Apple Watch is a luxury to begin with, hardly anyone who has it seriously needs it for anything, it’s just a whim, and same is for my Mum. So it’s all the more frustrating when such an unnecessary yet expensive whim object breaks after just a little bit of use, especially when Apple says that it’s okay to swim with it. So, as I needed to go to iSpot (Apple’s authorised service and reseller here in Poland) to get a new battery for my iPhone, we brought Mum’s poor, sick Apple Watch as well. My Mum was even more pissed when she learned out that Apple Watches are not fixable and that the warranty doesn’t cover water damage. The woman who was helping us with our devices was so kind that she didn’t write that Mum’s Apple Watch was actually swimming prior to its death when preparing it to be sent for servicing, so we had a very slight glimmer of hope that perhaps they won’t figure out that it had anything to do with water and will give her a new Apple Watch. Not that Mum needed one, or even seriously wanted at this point, but it would be fair. The whole week after that, my Mum was telling everyone who wanted to listen that Apple just sells lies or something like that. She got even more pissed when a couple people with Android watches were really surprised that this happened to her and told her that they can swim with theirs no problem. She thought an Apple Watch would be better than Android since she has an iPhone now and likes it, and if it’s so much more expensive than, say, a Garmin, it should be for a reason. But, well, surprise of surprises, a few days ago, Mum got a text saying that a brand new Apple Watch was waiting for her in iSpot. Some people are lucky, haha. I set it up for her all over again and now she’s happy and no longer curses Apple. 

   If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that birthday season is about to start in our family. Ughhhh! 😩 Tomorrow is Misha’s seventh birthday (so he’s going to be 44 in human years, HOW THE FLIP?!) Then on Wednesday it’s Bibiel’s birthday, which I should probably be happy about or something but I’m not sure what’s so cool about getting older, and I’m not really looking forward to peopling, which will probably be unavoidable because everyone will want to make me happy lol. And besides, I still haven’t figured out why it’s such an unbreakable tradition, but, oddly enough, my birthday usually messes up with my brain. Either I get period PRECISELY on that day and have disgusting PMS, or I get really overwhelmed with peopling and all the attention, or someone vomits and my emetophobia wakes up, or something awful happens, etc. etc. Then next week after that it’s my Dad’s name day, and he didn’t have any celebration for his birthday last year, so he’ll probably have a proper name day this year. And finally two weeks after Dad, Mum and Olek have their birthdays on the exact same day. This is going to be already during Lent, so there won’t be any major celebrations for sure, but the thing is, it’s my Mum’s 50th birthday. She always used to say that she’s not going to do a huge 50th birthday celebration like a lot of people in our family do, because it’s cringey and childish, but then at some point she started saying that she probably should, and more recently that maybe she’d even like, and started seriously looking into where she could organise it and talking a lot about it, how she’d like it to be a dancing party etc. except she won’t be doing it now, but on her name day in July. I’ll have to think about some super fancy cool and fun present for her in exchange for not having to be there. 😀 

   Oh, and lastly, if we were having coffee, I’d share about something that happened a little earlier than last week, but I thought it would be good to update you all on that. Well, so the big news is that I was fired from job! For the uninitiated, I used to work at my Dad’s, who works as a lorry/truck driver for a larger company and delivers fuel, but that larger company requires him to formally have his own business because it’s more lucrative for them this way. When I was eighteen, his accountant advised him to take advantage of it and hire me, because, since I am disabled, it wouldn’t cost him anything. Here in Poland it works (or rather used to work) so that when you employ a disabled person, the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled pays you back the entire salary of such an employee and returns the cost of any adaptive equipment or other such things that make employing such person possible. So he wouldn’t suffer anything, and I would have some additional money alongside my regular disability benefits. I worked as an office worker, so basically helped him out with all the tech stuff that he needed to do as part of his job, which wasn’t much. Writing emails to his clients, printing stuff, tracking ships that he was supposed to tank etc. Except this year things have changed a bit and while my salary was still paid back to him, he also had to pay significant insurance premiums for  me, so it didn’t really pay off. So he officially fired me earlier this month. Most people (especially such as myself who aren’t really employable) would probably be really upset over this, but I knew that this was only going to be temporary, though honestly I did hope that it would last for a bit longer than it did. Still, I’m grateful for it anyways, as even working for those seven years that I did has helped me to save a fair bit, so that now that I don’t work, my financial situation will probably still be stable for a while. 

   Okay, I think that’s all from me. What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 🙂 

A li’l pic of Misha.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   A little while ago SH was interested in seeing Misha’s photos on my blog. And, well, I do have quite a few of them on here, but it made me realise that they’re all quite old, the most recent one is probably from two years ago. Which made me think that some new Mishpics would be a good idea. I just rarely think about this since, being blind, photos are generally not something I pay much attention to myself and often forget about the fact that other peeps definitely do. 

   Misha was taking a morning nap in his basket on the radiator in the living room (he also has a fox fur in it so it must be a really warm place to be in) and his paw was sticking out in a funny way, as if he was trying to warm it up by the radiator, so my Mum took a pic of him and I asked her to send it to me as well, and so here is a pic of Misha recharging his batteries Please do let me know in case I don’t insert this photo correctly or it displays in a weird way or whatever, because it is my first time adding a photo to a post using my Mac blogging app (just shows you how often I add photos to blog posts given that I’ve had my Mac for over half a year now 😀 ) and I don’t really have a way of finding out if I do it right since obviously I can’t see it. 

Grey Russian blue cat called Misha sleeping in a basket on a radiator with his paw stretched out

Question of the day.

   What do you think your pet thinks about you? 

   My answer: 

   I like to think that Misha likes me, if not for anything else than at least for being a fairly consistent part of the room that he most likes to sleep in, so like a part of his comforting daily routine or something. I think that, if he associates my Mum with food, which seems to be the case because she is his main food provider and he wants food every time he sees her, as if he thought that she’s some sort of food-producing machine who can make meat fall out of her hands randomly at will, then he must associate me with sleep. Very often when Misha and I are downstairs and then I go up to my room, he runs after me and wants to be there with me and sleep. I always tell him that it’s his room as well, because he doesn’t have his own separate room. He has a lot of places to sleep in in my room, but usually sleeps on his favourite blanket on my bed, and when it’s colder I also put his grey-coloured lamb skin over it. But before he actually falls asleep, there’s a whole ceremony to go through. He has to have his sleepy treat, and then I have to lay down on the bed and he goes on top of me and lays on my chest, sniffs my face and wants a deep head and face massage. This is actually very unlike Misha because he’s generally very afraid of touch, closeness and things like that, but this lying on Bibiel has become a part of his daily routine and he seems to like it very much. Mum once saw us like that and she said she’d never seen Misha more relaxed and blissfully glassy-eyed. 😀 Sometimes he ends up falling asleep on me, or we both do. And then when he’ll always wake up with a start and get off me, go on his blanket and move as far away from me as possible, ashamed of his extreme weakness and desperately trying to pretend that nothing happened and pick up the leftover pieces of his usual dignity. He’ll rarely sleep there when I’m not around or can’t lay down with him at least for a while or assist with his sleeping routine. Then he usually climbs up on the wardrobe or sleeps in my armchair and Sofi laughs that he looks like some mini businessman who fell asleep in the middle of his work day in the office or has nowhere to go at night so sleeps at work, because this armchair is huge in comparison with him. 

   I think Misha also associates me or at least my room with calm, because he’ll also always come here whenever he’s stressed or overwhelmed, like when something scary for him is going on or there are a lot of people downstairs or he’s had a difficult day or isn’t feeling well. I’ll always try my best to comfort him then and, if he feels like it and is in his clingy mood, which sometimes is the case when he’s sad despite he is usually not clingy at all, I’ll try my best to give him my full attention and cuddle him and make him feel safe and happy as much as possible ‘cause I hate to see him sad or stressed out or ill or something. 

   I’m also sure that Misha knows I like him most of all the people here. Whether he actually cares about it/appreciates it/it makes any difference for him, I don’t know, and I don’t think it matters really, but I’m sure he knows how much I like him and how important he is to me and sometimes he likes to take an advantage of it. Like, sometimes when he goes somewhere high up or gets stuck somewhere and can’t easily get out/is afraid to jump off it, he’ll cry very pitifully when he knows that I’m near him, ‘cause he knows I’m going to be worried about him and that he won’t be able to make it on his own out of wherever he is, and I’ll want to help him right away. But when it’s anyone else other than me and he’s stuck in the same place, he will jump off or extricate himself totally independently, with no crying or anything, even if it takes him a long time to figure out how to do it or how to jump off safely. Or he makes a lot more fuss of his sleep than when he sleeps with Sofi, who has no time for dwelling whether the reason for Misha’s not wanting to sleep is the fact that he doesn’t like her new blanket, or perhaps he wants to eat, or maybe he’s cold or whatever. If he doesn’t want to sleep in her room and cries, she’ll just kick him out, not wondering what might be the reason for him crying. So he’s learned that if he wants to be at Sofi’s he has to be happy with what he’s got and not complain. Meanwhile with Bibiel he can usually be the one who sets conditions and refuses to fall asleep if the bed isn’t made the way he likes, or Bibiel tosses and turns too much or he didn’t get his sleepy treat or not enough and Bibiel is a huge Misha-pleaser. Bibiel can go as far as to randomly come over to Misha while he’s sleeping and check if his extremities are not cold, no one else bothers. I also think that, while it’s Mum who has best eye contact with Misha and understands his different expressions and stuff, it’s Bibiel who is better at interpreting his sounds. Other people here don’t seem to have much of an idea what is the difference between a happy “hhrrru?” Or a sad “hhrrru?” Or that there is a special sound that says “Uh oh, I’m going to vomit soon”, or a special moaning sound for when he wants to the loo but the door is closed or something, or even a very rude, impatient sound that says something like: “Will you finally move your flippin’ ass and give me my food? I’m dying of starvation, you stupid peep! I want to eat, now!!! Can’t you see?”. My Dad doesn’t even think he does that deliberately, he says Misha’s sounds are just random depending how they happen to come out of him. But I’m absolutely sure that he knows what he wants to say and I think he knows that I know, because as much as he knows that he can get a lot out of me, he never meows rudely like that at me anymore, ‘cause when he used to do, I’d yell back at him and wouldn’t give him his food til he said something nicer. Meanwhile he talks like that to Mum regularly, and she just gets mad at him, because that’s how this sound makes you instantly feel, except she doesn’t seem to understand that it’s because of how he said it and thinks she’s mad just because he keeps asking for food, so she doesn’t address that properly. 

    I think he must also think that I’m weird, ‘cause I talk to him a lot more than anybody else here does and often about totally random things that have nothing to do with him. Or I sing to him.  Or I talk to myself when he’s around. 

   He also seems mind-boggled by some things that we peeps do. Like, just the other day I was praying, and Misha wanted a snack, but, well, I was praying, so I wasn’t up to giving him his snack just then. He was very patient and just stood next to me and waited, and I could feel him staring at me. I assume he must have wondered what the freak I was doing while being practically still for so long. Perhaps he thought I was sleeping in a kneeling position if he didn’t even ask for his food, only when I finished. Or several of us have noticed that Misha’ seems  very much interested in human toilet habits, like my Dad says that Misha regularly stares at him when they happen to be using their respective loos at the same time. He must also think that our food – like veggies, or chips, or eggs, which are some of the things he showed some interest in – must be disgusting. And I guess he’s also a bit afraid of all of us, because like I said he’s afraid of closeness and we want to stroke him all the time and Sofi and I want to pick him up and cuddle and kiss him all day because he’s almost like he exists solely to be cuddled and stroked and kissed and hugged and squeezed and carried around everywhere. So unlucky for him that he looks the way he does with the sort of personality he has. 

   When Misha first came to us, he had to learn quickly that being sprawled across the floor or getting  in the way of people might not be the best idea, as I managed to step on him on his second night with us while going to the loo, and then trapped his tail in the loo door on my way out of it, which low-key traumatised both of us, I think. Now Misha never gets anyone in the way but Mum says he seems to be particularly careful with Bibiel. I’m not sure though if he actually gets the fact that I can’t see him. People tell me that he often looks at me very persistently, in particular when he wants food or attention, or alternates his gaze in a very telling, reproachful way between me and his bowl, seeming equally baffled every single time that there is no reaction and that the food doesn’t magically appear in the bowl. 😀 But on the other hand he’s a lot more patient and forgiving with me than the other peeps. When he was very little and just arrived at our house, initially I would often unintentionally put my fingers in his eyes, and even though he’s normally so anxious and can’t stand when Mum gives him his eye drops which he needs regularly, he’d never run away or be angry or anything. Or when he wants to say hi, in the morning or when I’ve come back from somewhere, he’ll come close to me for a very short while and rub his head against me, whereas with other peeps he just looks at them in an acknowledging way, unless he’s really missed us or something then he’ll say “Hhrrru?” And will “faint” on the floor at someone’s feet out of happiness. 

   He also seems to think that we peeps have some weird superpower that allows us to locate him whenever he says something, because when someone accidentally shuts him somewhere like Mum often does in the wardrobe ‘cause he keeps going in there while she picks out her clothes, he’ll then “Hhrrru?” That he wants out, but as soon as someone realises that he’s closed somewhere and tries to locate him more precisely, he won’t respond anymore because he thinks if people know that he’s closed they must know where he is closed and will rescue him soon. You can call out for him till you die, and he won’t make a sound. He only will when you’ll stop actively looking for him. That can be a problem sometimes, like once we looked for him for two hours when he got stuck inside a sofa or other place that you wouldn’t necessarily think about. Once he got stuck somewhere in the bathroom soon after we got a new bathtub installed, but we couldn’t figure out where in the bathroom he was so Mum freaked out that the bathtub guys must have walled him up in the bathtub not realising that he was there and everything would have to be taken down and redone to set him free, if he wouldn’t starve in the meantime. But he only turned out to be in a cupboard. 

   Oh, and people are very good vehicles in his opinion. Just today in the morning my Dad came into my room with Misha on his back. It was totally absurd because my Dad claims he doesn’t really like Misha, because he doesn’t like cats in general and because, yeah, we have to say that, apart from his angelic looks, objectively speaking, Misha isn’t a very likeable creature, because apparently his gaze is rather unpleasant and his personality isn’t the most outgoing in the world. Yet, he’s managed to wrap even my Dad around his cute little toe bean. He kept sitting on my Dad and riding around the whole house for like fifteen minutes, and my Dad (even though he’s having a cold, which always makes him grumpy) was all smiles and kept cooing at him, and then when Misha jumped off him, he laid down on the floor, and my Dad was down on his knees next to him immediately, stroking his spine. That was so hilarious, but I didn’t dare laugh until afterwards, as I didn’t want to risk putting an abrupt end to this serene scene and snapping my Dad back into the reality. I’m inclined to believe that conspiracy theory that  cats have some sort of substance that brainwashes people and tricks them into loving the cat even if it’s against the personal interest of the affected human victim, and then the peep in question goes crazy or even demented over time, hence so many cat owners are crazy. I myself am a very severe case, as not only am I happy to serve as a vehicle for Misha as well, but I often do it voluntarily, so that he doesn’t have to walk too much, and walk around with him on my shoulder. With so much food, sleep and so many vehicles, lifts and other such available, it’s kind of a miracle that he still looks as scrawny as he does and isn’t a more literal fur ball yet. 

   So yeah, that’s what I can say about what I think Misha thinks about me and us. 

   I’m not sure how about Jocky but I suppose he must really love me because he’s always so happy when I show him any attention as if I was some sort of Bibiel deity, it’s weird because it’s Sofi who’s his mummy but he doesn’t get so crazy when Sofi plays with him, but with me he goes nuts and humiliates himself licking my feet all the time. Not to mention what happens when I give him food. And my Dad’s fishies are probably in awe whenever they see any of us, if fish have as short memory span as I’ve heard. They probably only care about Dad anyway because he feeds them. And perhaps sometimes Misha who likes to play fisherman when he’s bored and probably terrifies them, if they have enough kilobytes of memory to actually remember something for long enough to feel terrified. 

   How about your pets? 🙂 

TToT (about apples, sleep, Misha etc.)

   I feel like writing another gratitude list on here rather than just in my diary, and as part of it, I’m participating in the Ten Things of Thankful linky. In no particular order as always. 

  1.    Misha. Currently, Misha is sleeping on my bed, curled up in a little ball and seemingly very content with his life right now. That makes me very happy because he seemed a bit off earlier this week. I’m not sure if he actually was or if I was being hypervigilant as I often am in regards to Misha, but he wasn’t much interested in his snacks and isolated himself a lot, while now he’s decidedly more cheerful, if mostly very anxious but that’s pretty much the norm unfortunately. I check on him every now and then, more for my own benefit than him really needing regular supervision during sleep lol, and I seriously wish I could make a close-up recording of all those cute sounds coming out of him – his sleepy purrs, his fluttery heartbeat, all the funny gurgling sounds in his tummy, his gentle breath and little “Hhrrru?”’s when he stretches in his sleep – and show y’all, but I don’t think any of my devices would be able to pick up such mini sounds. 
  2. My room. Today I feel especially grateful for having a room which I don’t have to share with anyone (except for Misha obviously, I always tell him it’s his room too because he doesn’t have his own, but who would mind Misha?) because later this weekend I’ll have to lend it to my parents’ guests. Late last summer, my Mum invited her acquaintance – my aunt’s sister-in-law who really likes my Mum – to come over to us for a weekend. Back then she slept in my parents’ room, and they slept in the camper. She was really appreciative of how my Mum hosted her, so appreciative, it seems, that she wants to come again, this time with her husband, who normally works in France, but for a shorter time. Except this time round we don’t have the camper because it’s having some sort of maintenance stuff or such done, so they’ll have to sleep here and Bibielz will sleep with Sofi in her mini room). I can’t say I don’t mind, because I do (even though her husband is called Jacek), but this makes me even more appreciative of having a room just for myself the vast majority of the time. And aside from simply being my own room, it’s also a really cool room, so I’m sure they’ll like it here. Perhaps so much that they’ll come for another weekend sleepover in two months’ time. 😀 
  3. Going back to horse riding. I don’t know when exactly I’ll go yet, but I know I want to do it again. It may be the worst sport for me given my abilities (or lack thereof actually) and both mental and physical health situation, but it’s the only one I actually like, and I miss it despite the anxiety that has always been associated with it for me. I miss the stable and my regular horse and my instructor, and I want to give it a go again. Perhaps less ambitiously than before and more hippo therapeutically after all, but I really do. But the ultimate thing that actually made me make this decision was something else, which I won’t write about now but probably will quite soon. 
  4. My fazas and generally my faza life. The past year or so, my faza life has been very… well, weird, chaotic, tumultuous… I don’t really want to get into the details, plus it wouldn’t be fitting for this particular post because it would take up most of it, and I don’t really have enough distance to it to be able to write about it publicly like that at this point, but things have been really weird and a little confusing sometimes I’d say, and both good and bad. But this week has been pretty good faza-wise, if very intense, and I wonder if perhaps things won’t be becoming more stable from now on. I’d quite like that finally. 😀 ANyway, I got a massive peak on Gwil this week totally out of nowhere, and you regular people on here know that a peak is a great thing and works like the best natural antidepressant for me, so having a peak means I’m doing really well mood wise. No spectacular highs like peaks cause sometimes, just a serene, calm sort of happy feeling. 
  5. My Apple Watch. My Apple Watch may not be the most useful of my devices like my iPhone or Mac or PlexTalk, it doesn’t really bring anything extremely new to my life or its quality or whatever, but I just like it. This week I attempted to sleep with it for several nights to see how accurate its sleep tracking is, in particular sleep stages. I didn’t expect much because I didn’t believe a device like that could be reliable at all in tracking something as elusive as sleep, and because my Mum was saying it didn’t work too well and seemed very random to her, and claimed that it can only track your sleep during the scheduled sleep time, so if your alarm goes off and you’ll just turn it off and go back to sleep it won’t notice it. Well, my experience with sleep tracking seems to be better than my Mum’s. As far as I can tell, it’s oddly accurate. It knows very well more or less when I fall asleep, even if I fall asleep before my scheduled sleep time starts, and it knows quite precisely when I wake up, and it’s not because I use the Apple Watch right when I wake up, because even when I do check the time when I wake up I usually do it on the PlexTalk out of sheer habit. I obviously can’t objectively verify the accuracy of the sleep stages thing, but again, as far as I can tell, it’s pretty good. Like last night I kept waking all the freaking time and felt like I was sleeping very lightly, it did show that my sleep was very fragmented and I got only half an hour of deep sleep. After I let Misha out at half past four and went back to bed, I remember having a lot of dreams and Apple Watch said I kept switching between REM and core sleep pretty much til I woke up at almost 11 AM, and I remember having a very vivid dream right before I woke up and woke up with a raging headache, and Apple Watch says I woke up from REM sleep. Apparently it’s a thing to get headaches when you suddenly wake up from REM sleep like that. Also because I fell asleep at half past two last night and then didn’t really get the best quality sleep, I still felt very sleepy by the time my alarm went off at 8. I tried to snooze it, but must have done something differently than I originally wanted because Apple Watch turned off the alarm completely, while still staying in sleep mode and it knew that I was sleeping. So my Mum was definitely not right that it will only log sleep during the schedule, although I guess Apple Watches are still unaware of such a thing as naps. So yeah, overall I’m quite positively surprised and, who knows, maybe I’ll end up sleeping with my Apple Watch every night, after all. Not that knowing the sleep stages gives me anything really, but it can be just good to know. I’m also very curious if it’ll notice anything weird during my sleep paralysis. I already had it once with the Apple Watch on, but it was past my set sleep time schedule and I didn’t know yet that you can prolong it like I did today, so it wasn’t tracking my sleep. It was very helpful though because as I was in sleep paralysis, at some point I got an email, so my Apple Watch vibrated and I woke up. Which, while we’re at it, makes me also very grateful to the email sender, although I don’t remember who that was anymore. 😀 
  6.    Speaking of Apple – apple pie! 😀 – My Mum made one last weekend and we ate it during the week, but we couldn’t eat it all so in the end Mum had to freeze it. It was very yummy though. 
  7. And speaking of sleep, that dream I had earlier this week. That was really ridiculously hilarious. And yes, I find myself really liking the name Helenor. The next gem stone I get is going to be named Helenor (for all the new people here, I give names that I like to my gem stones because I don’t plan on having children and even if I did, many of the names I like are unusable for children). 
  8. My fluffy overalls that I got from Mum a couple years ago. She made them for me and they’re very warm and comfy and I love wearing them when it’s relatively cool weather like it’s been recently. 

Noticeable Welsh progress this week. I wonder if it isn’t the aforementioned faza peak doing this to me, because I haven’t really been doing anything any different than last week or the week before. The power of peaks. 😂 Anyway, I really appreciate it because while my Norwegian learning has been mostly a stroll in the park because of Swedish, Welsh, with all the related excitement and my feelings for it, has been quite an uphill struggle compared with my other languages, so even the smallest leaps of progress are very much valued by Bibielz. And Welsh-language music. Even now I’m listening to Blas Folk Radio Cymru and I’m really grateful that there are ways for people like me who live someplace completely different to also discover music in minority languages. 

  1. Chips for lunch yesterday. Mum was trying some new experimental recipe for chips, which didn’t sound all that good to me from the beginning, and eventually we both agreed that they turned out quite crappy, but then my Mum made «normal» chips, and these, as always, were very good. Good chips always deserve appreciation. 

   So, that’s my gratitude list. How about your thankfuls? What nice things have happened to you this week? 🙂 

Question of the day (7th October).

   This question is overdue for yesterday, but feel free to answer it in regards to either today or yesterday or whenever you’re reading it. 

   How has your day been? 

   My answer: 

   I’d say today has been quite decent. I really overslept though, so it feels like it’s been a pretty short day. Right now I’m in a phase where I fall asleep around 1-3 AM, even though I actually do feel kind of sleepy/tired much earlier but at the same time my brain can’t shut down or something, and then I naturally sleep for around 12 hours. I always have an alarm set to 8, which I don’t have to get up or even wake up for if I really don’t feel like it, although generally that’s what I do usually try to aim for to have a bit of a structure regarding my messy sleep-wake cycle and I like being able to wake up around that time, but even when I don’t and I’m pretty sure I won’t do it the next day, I still have it just to have some sort of sense of time. But the last couple of days I’ve been oversleeping my alarms completely and when I wake up I can’t even recall ever hearing or switching them off. And it’s not as easy with my phone to switch an alarm off on autopilot without waking up at all even for a few seconds, because at night I have music or radio going from the iPhone via my Bluetooth speaker, and VoiceOver doesn’t like Bluetooth speakers because it always yells through the phone speaker at max volume whenever it has to say something at the same time as the speaker starts or stops playing, and it’s impossible working around that bug. So when my alarm goes off, the speaker stops playing for a while, and when I switch the alarm off, VoiceOver starts babbling on about notifications and whatever and the speaker starts playing again so VoiceOver yells at me. I always silence it as quickly as possible so that no one wakes up in case someone is still sleeping, but yeah, the point is that it’s impossible not to notice that unless you’re so sleepy that it’s more like some other altered state or manage to silence VoiceOver on autopilot just in the right second before it starts yelling. So, my little theory is that the problem isn’t me, but my Apple Watch might be messing something up. It’s not really founded in anything other than that I heard my alarm go off only once over the whole time that I’ve had it, and I usually charge it overnight, during which time you can’t use it, so perhaps it thinks that if I’m charging and not using it, I don’t need the alarm either, be it on the watch or the phone. I hope my sleep patterns change some time soon so I’ll be able to verify if that’s true. Anyway, because of that alarm thing I only woke up after 1 AM and was quite horrified with my lack of moderation. 😀 I mean it’s one thing to fall asleep late but sleeping 12 hours?! Not that it doesn’t happen a lot to me but I usually don’t like it very much unless I have fun dreams or am depressed so sleep is the best thing in the world but otherwise it feels like I’m being totally lazy. I can’t imagine having a normal job with such habits, lol. 

   After I woke up, I did all the usual things most people do after waking up, except I had lunch for breakfast, as Mum was already making it when I got up. 😀 Then I talked for a bit with my Mum, and then Misha called me ‘cause he was already in my room and wanted to go to sleep but he won’t go to sleep without his usual routine, and he can’t do his usual routine by himself. So I gave him snack and then he laid on Bibiel for a couple minutes and had a quick ear massage, and then moved onto his sheep skin and fell asleep till 7 PM and made lovely sleep noises. 

   I then did my usual weekend Norwegian learning session for an hour and then some Welsh reading that I didn’t manage to do during the week for about 20 minutes. After that I read today’s Mass from the Latin missal which I do every day like Mum and Sofi, and then prayed the Rosary for an hour. I normally only pray one part of Rosary daily or sometimes less frequently than that, which lasts only fifteen minutes, but since October is the month that is especially devoted to praying Rosary, and because I’m having a sort of intensive prayer time since last Thursday for two weeks as I’m praying for someone important to me, I figured I’ll at least try to challenge myself a bit more and pray the whole Rosary every day for at least those two weeks. 

   Misha was very quiet for all that time and lay sweetly on his sheep skin, so after that I couldn’t resist and laid down for a while with him and we had a bit of a cuddle time and I read a book meanwhile. I’m now reading a book about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich concerning the lives of Jesus and Mary as well as Jesus’ Passion, I guess it must be in English as well but I’m reading it in Polish and don’t know what it’s called in English. I don’t think this whole book can be treated as her authentic visions, because it was written by a German poet Clemens Brentano based on her words, but it’s been said that he could have likely added a lot of details into that to make the descriptions of everything feel richer and more in-depth, and even without knowing that it seems kind of weird that someone would have such detailed visions of what people’s houses looked like or what plants grew in Palestina etc. etc, I mean it’s interesting but not relevant spiritually. 😀 Still, it doesn’t contain anything that would be contradictory with teaching of the Church and I just treat it as a sort of very religious and soul-enriching historical novel inspired by Jesus’ life and Passion that can help one’s imagination a bit when, for example, reflecting on the mysteries of Rosary, rather than a super factual account of what Jesus’ and Mary’s lives were like and that everything that is said in this book necessarily had to happen exactly like it’s described and that Jesus seriously said all that he does in this book. I’m really enjoying it overall, though it’s super long, so even though I tend to be a very fast reader, I’m chewing through it very slowly, because I started it a week ago and am still barely 30-something percent into it. 

   After that it was already well after 4 PM, and I checked my emails and all the other stuff that needed checking, and then wrote in my diary, which also took me quite a while because I didn’t yesterday so had a lot of stuff to get out of my brain. In the meantime my Dad’s colleague visited. He hadn’t visited my Dad in ages but he got divorced very recently and now he seems to have finally remembered where all his colleagues live and visits everyone to share his woes. Sofi also came back from our grandparents’ and we chatted for a while and she played a bit with Misha but he was super sleepy so not much of a playmate and soon went back to sleep. But now Misha is up and crying downstairs ‘cause Mummy has disappeared somewhere outside and he’s upset. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s on your mind right now? 

   My answer: 

   Ugh, nothing specific really. Mostly my mind feels muffled and jumbled because I’ve been having a yucky headache since about noon. It’s not quite a migraine I guess, or not yet though I hope that if it hasn’t developed into one by now then it won’t at all, but still it’s pretty bad, and then on top of that I’ve been having a weird earache for some reason since yesterday, which seems totally random because I’d never really had earaches or ear infections or anything like that. I don’t even think this is due to an infection because it doesn’t affect my hearing and other than that and the headache I’m feeling okay, plus I don’t see how I would have gotten it and why, but it’s annoying nonetheless. It isn’t even like a constant earache but more like brief, sharp pain every few minutes so it actually feels more like a nerve thing or something. I slept for three hours or so thinking it would help but it didn’t really do much, in a way it actually only made things worse because I got really bad sleep paralysis. I woke up about two hours ago or so and am still processing and recovering from those dreams. Luckily I don’t even remember much but still it always leaves a shitty feeling in my brain, and I do remember one detail very clearly, how “Ian” (which is how I publicly call my dream “friend) roared at me that “Your mum crashed into a fucking ditch and died!” (except instead of the actual word that you’d normally use to talk about a human dying he used the one that you use for animals in Polish). He says a lot of bullshit like that and I sometimes think I should write down all his threats, prophecies and stuff to see if any will ever come true, but even though few or none do, he can still be very convincing. My Mum is in Germany on a camper trip with Dad, and I wondered why he said it about Mum but not Dad. Anyway, after I eventually woke up, I had to call Mum and make sure that she was okay and she was.

   Also Misha’s on my mind. He’s been a real pain ever since Mum has left. Actually I’m not sure why we’ve only figured it out this year but Misha’s insanely attached to Mum. I mean we’ve always known that she is his favourite person and he often follows her around the house or watches TV with her and stuff like that, but Mum always said it’s simply because she is his main feeder so he associates her with food. But it doesn’t seem to be the case because he obviously still gets food  from Sofi, , and he keeps crying so so much. And it’s always the case when my parents go on trips, and he gets so whiney and constantly wants something, either food or water or to pet him in the middle of the night while he sprawls himself out in the corridor. I used to think that Sofi doesn’t feed him enough, because in previous years she didn’t feed him often enough or change his water regularly, but it seems like Sofi’s a bit better about it now and he has more than enough food if he manages to vomit it fairly regularly. He constantly wants his snacks as well and can’t sleep normally through the night and keeps moaning. This is very different to how he cries when he wants out, it’s a bit guttural like his happy “hhrrru?” Except more resigned and lower-pitched, and he keeps repeating it over and over and over and over and over again. As soon as Mum comes back, he goes back to normal and is very affectionate with her. So I wonder if it wouldn’t actually be better for him if he went along with my parents. It would sure also be super stressful for him, but perhaps less than being away from mummy. My Dad always calls him Mama’s boy now. Last night Misha kept waking us up and we both felt like doing something nasty to him, so Mum said we should put him in the cellar/laundry room for the night and leave him some food and water there and that’s what we’ll probably do because he likes being there, and associates the place with Mum because he often accompanies her there when she’s ironing and Sofi says she’ll let Jocky in there as well so Misha will have someone to listen to his Mummy woes and Jocky will be able to cool off ‘cause it’s been frying outside for the last few days. For that reason I’m really glad that they’re coming back tomorrow, but then on Monday they go on another trip, this time one that my gran is organising for pensioners from her town. My parents are neither pensioners, nor from her town, but since she is the boss in their local pensioners group and they had some free spots with no local pensioners apparently willing to fill them in, they’re able to join in and will be going to Prague. We decided that Mum is going to give Misha   his favourite pill (Prozac) from Saturday to Monday (but smaller dose than what the vet had originally recommended because we don’t necessarily want him completely zonked all over again especially while Mum wouldn’t be around) and maybe that will calm him down a bit until she’s back. 

   I’m also thinking what we should eat for dinner with Sofi, whether we should order something and if so what, or perhaps just keep it simple and have sandwiches or something, or Sofi said in the morning that she wanted to do some sort of pasta but she’s been out with a friend so when she comes back I think she’ll be hungry but not necessarily into making it. And I’m thinking whether I myself actually want anything for dinner at all given how I’m feeling. I don’t know about other people but for me a headache, never mind if it’s a migraine or more low-key, is always accompanied by more or less intense nausea so food isn’t really something I’d dream about then. But on the other hand I also didn’t really eat much at all today so perhaps I should eat something. How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s your favourite thing you own and why? 

   My answer: 

   It’s so difficult to choose just one thing! In line with today’s song of the day post, I could technically say Misha, because I do own Misha, but it feels a little weird to say it like that and call Misha a thing (I mean I often do, and I often say he’s my favourite thing in the world and stuff like that but usually when I call him a thing it’s kind of teasing, like when he lies of the floor and I walk past him I’ll touch him with my foot and be something like: “Whose is this thing here? I think it should be put in the bin, who needs a useless ball of fur”, and then I scoop him up and kiss him or something). So other than Misha, hmmm… At this time of year, when we’re having 27 C (which Siri claims is 80 F) I’m inclined to say my air conditioner. I finally got my new accessible controller for it just a while ago though I haven’t set it up yet so I’m curious how it’ll go. Anyway, yeah, AC makes life so much better and I often wonder why more people in the colder but not actually really super cold bits of the world don’t have it because it makes all the more sense to have AC in your house for the rare occasion when you do get a heatwave because your system isn’t used to handling it. But there are things that I own that I definitely have more of a connection to than the AC. I love my whole gem stone collection but I’m not sure if I have one single favourite stone, I like different ones for different reasons. But currently I’m particularly fond of Melisande nn Milzie – a little amethyst that I got from my Mum for my name day this year – (I give my stones human names that I love or like, especially ones that I find unusable for children even if I were to have any for some reason, and Melisande is unusable here in Poland because it doesn’t end with an -a as girl names here normally do and doesn’t go along with Polish phonetics, and I call her Milzie because that’s what one of my pen pals calls me and since I got it for my name day I thought it would be cool if her name had some connection to mine). I absolutely love my double bed, and spend loads of time in it, and I’m so happy I can have a double bed and not share it with anyone other than Misha who, unlike a lot of other cats I’ve heard of, always takes up as little space as possible and rarely stretches out on my bed properly, and even if he did, there’d still be place for one more Bibiel there no problem, so I can toss and turn and wriggle as much as I wish. I love all my Apple devices very much (oh and by the way, I haven’t told you yet that I managed to convince my Mum to switch to iPhone and now she’s had one for a couple days already and she seems to like it a lot too, so we’re an increasingly Apple family, which drives Olek nuts as he is religiously loyal towards Samsung, and as a result he said he wouldn’t talk to Mum, and he indeed didn’t the first few days after her iPhone arrived, but that was simply because he was away in Vienna, plus obviously he was just kidding). I love my Braille-Sense and PlexTalk as well because of being able to read books on them and because the Braille-Sense makes it a lot easier for me to use the aforementioned Apple devices effectively. So, I don’t know really, I like a lot of things that I have but I don’t think I like a single one a lot more than the rest. I really think Misha is the only right answer here, after all. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Ruth Keggin – “She ‘neen aeg mish as aalin”.

   And finally, the day has come for me to share a song in Manx with you on here. Manx is one of the languages that I plan to and would really love to learn at some point, and in case you’re not aware, it’s a Celtic language of the Goidelic/Gaelic branch which is spoken on the Isle of Man, which is an isle belonging to the United Kingdom which has been influenced both by Celtic as well as Norse culture. It is quite problematic with all of the Celtic languages that there aren’t really very many resources available to learn these languages from, especially if you live outside of the UK, and even more so if you’re blind and thus also have to take their accessibility into account. But with Manx, it seems to be the most tricky of all the languages. I have an impression that even Cornish resources are slightly easier to come across. Another thing that I think is quite a great pity about the Manx language is that, unlike with the Irish, Scottish and Welsh language, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of music in Manx out there. I know literally only about a few Manx musicians, and I wonder whether it is because I am so ignorant (inn which case Manx music definitely needs more promotion and recognition because I’ve really been digging for it) or if there really is so little interest in making music in this language, but, yeah, it’s a real pity either way. 

   Ruth Keggin is the first Manx folk singer I’ve ever come across, and I instantly liked her music. I believe I found her through Last.fm which I was using for music discoveries back then, and there was one song that particularly got my attention because it had the word mish in it, as in my little Misha, obviously, and I was like “Wow, if this language has the word mish in it, it must be an even cooler language than I’d thought”. 😀 Well, Welsh theoretically does too, because the word mis, meaning month, is pronounced as mish in the south, and even though I’m learning North Welsh, that’s how I always say this word as well. But this one is ACTUALLy spelt mish, yay! 😀 But then I stopped using Last.fm, and I think I forgot about Ruth Keggin a bit, and then when I was trying to look for that song, I didn’t remember anything more about it other than that it had “mish” in it, but for some reason couldn’t find it anywhere with just searching for “Ruth Keggin mish”. Even now it’s still not on Spotify which is my main place for listening to music outside of my SD cards collection, which is a bit of an inconvenience but I’m used to that with obscure/underpromoted folk music. 

   Well, but just very recently I found out that Ruth Keggin and the Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, several of whose pieces I’ve shared on here in the past, have released an album together called Lossan. And there’s another piece on there with Mish in its title, which I like even more then this one and will perhaps share at some point as well, or if not that one then some other piece from Lossan. Anyway, seeing this made me want to look once again for that older “mish” song, and this time round, I found it right away, and here it is. I have absolutely no idea what its title means as a whole or what this song is about, but mish is supposed to mean “me/I” in Manx from what I read. If that’s true, I like it even more, especially if this word is used as much as “I” is in English. 😀 

Question of the day.

   What are some positive things happening in the world right now that aren’t mentioned a lot? 

   My answer: 

   Misha is still alive! How can there be anything more positive than that there is happiness? Although personally, as a very selfish Bibiel, I am very happy that this isn’t mentioned a lot, because otherwise I might have ended up with my house turning into a pilgrimage destination of some sort, and neither me nor happiness would be happy, and he’d probably have stalkers galore. 

   What’s such a thing that you can think of? 

Question of the day.

   Since we haven’t had one in a while, let’s have a very general question of the day today: 

   How are you holding up? 

   My answer: 

   Not too bad at all. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Misha lately. He’s no longer on Fluoxetine – that’s beyond my Mum’s and my mental capacity to have him on it longer than a couple weeks, he gets so out of touch with the world that we were seriously afraid he’d lose it completely one day and we’d find him dead under a bed one day, and it wasn’t getting much better. – Plus, after he stopped taking it, I have discovered that the dose Misha was prescribed (10 mg) was  too high for him, because from what I’ve read almost everywhere it seems that a dose of Fluoxetine for a cat is 1 mg/1 kg body mass, and it totally spooked me out that not only was Misha on this dose for over a month, but the vet actually suggested that we could give him twice as much throughout the day, which would be enough for five Mishas. . Only one website I found claimed that cats can take 2 to 5 mg, not mentioning that it should be based on a particular cat’s weight, but that would still mean Misha’s dose was too high. Not toxic or anything, but why take a high dose and sleep your whole life away if you can potentially take a normal dose and feel like yourself minus constant sadness? I’m obviously not a vet, but Misha’s symptoms plus the fact that it says so in every single source I’ve read sounds really alarming to me and my Mum was scared too when I told her that. At the beginning of June, Misha has started to totally refuse his pills and when Mum gave him one and think he must have swallowed it, she’d give him something yummy right away and then she’d find the pill spat out next to his bowl. Finally one day when he spat out three pills and was drooling like crazy, Mum called the vet and said that she cannot give them to him, and then he was like: “Well, if he’s so much against it, then indeed it’s better not to”. I’d think that was quite apparent from the beginning that his whole being was very much against it from the beginning. He hasn’t been taking it since about two weeks and, yes, it’s back to crying, but I also have to say that we grew even closer after he has stopped taking it. While taking Prozac, Misha had a lot less interest in food, I guess not because his appetite as such had decreased as is apparently the case with many animals on it, but simply because his dominant interest had become sleep and there was little time for anything else. My Mum doesn’t have scales, but everyone in my family says Misha looks like he must lost a bit of weight during May – which he never had much to begin with. – So now that he no longer takes it, he seems to enjoy food even more than he did before and his pleasure out of it is very evident whenever he eats something yummy, so I take every opportunity to buy him something very special that he likes or give Mum my card to buy him something and I enjoy giving him his Mish ice cream. He has also really fallen in love with the regular people fat cream (which we now always have because my Mum is on keto currently), he always liked it but now I guess it’s one of his top foods and he seems so happy whenever he gets it. Instead of doing it the normal, civilised way and give him the cream in his bowl, I much prefer to smear my fingers in the cream and let him lick it off, as it’s a lot more fun, I think for us both but certainly for me. He now spends most of the time in my room and is still more sleepy than he was before he started taking the Prozac, but he’s also a lot more engaging than he was on it and seems to not only enjoy lying on my bed but also spending time with me and cuddling and playing together and is more affectionate and not quite so apparently unhappy all the time. I’m not sure what has changed him so much, but probably at least part of it could be the leftover Prozac, plus maybe having gotten used to the routine of constant sleeping and chilling out. Which makes it seem like perhaps if Misha was to be put on the right dose, it would work very well for him, but we don’t want to try it again, if only because Misha clearly doesn’t do pills. I guess we’ll just continue as we did, trying to make sure that he doesn’t escape and trying to survive the wailing on sunny days, there doesn’t seem to be a better option. After Misha stopped taking Prozac, I tried to research synthetic feromones, about which I learned from one of my pen pals. But it seems like most of it is a placebo thing, if not a downright scam. The most popular feromone diffuser seems to be Feliway, which is quite pricey to begin with, and of course they encourage you to buy a diffuser for every room in which your cat spends a lot of time, plus obviously an adequate supply of bottles with feromones in them. THen you turn on the difuser and… well, apparently it starts working, although you can only know that because you’ve plugged it in and turned it on, because obviously it’s the cat feromones so you won’t feel anything, and you have to wait for the magic to kick in. And it doesn’t seem to be a frequent occurrence, because the only research that claims Feliway’s efficacy has been that funded by Feliway or related companies. I’ve also looked at a lot of other feromone diffusers, but they don’t look convincing to me either as they claim to work on all sorts of pets, and the whole thing reminds me too much of the essential oils thing, which I have nothing against, they’re really nice – I even have a diffuser myself that I got from my Mum on Christmas even though I don’t feel scents but I like how it makes sounds similar to Misha grooming himself so that even if Misha isn’t here, I can run the difuser and think it’s Misha and it’s a cool background noise – but I have a hard time believing that it can work in any other way than placebo, and I guess placebo is not a thing with cats. 

   Generally, ever since Misha has stopped taking his happy pills, I’ve been researching all sorts of non-pharmacological “cat therapies” hoping that there might be something that could make Misha’s (and our) life easier, but the more I look into it, the stronger feeling I have that the whole pets thing is just one huge business, and treating pets often seems like a total guessing game and feeling around in the dark until, who knows, maybe something will work. So is the case with a lot of human treatments, but with animals it’s a lot more apparent. 

   Anyway, I like how Misha is now and how cuddly he is, and this makes me feel better too, by extension. Often, if I have nothing better or pressing to do, I’ll just lie on my bed next to Misha and listen to his breath for hours, it’s so beautiful and soothing and also kind of hilarious at the same time, I’m not sure why it’s so hilarious. 

   So yeah, it’s been very Mishful around here lately. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s something you never want to do again? 

   My answer: 

   Have another cat. Not because I regret having Misha, but for a whole bunch of other reasons, First, I feel so attached to Misha that it would be unfair on that other cat, because I’d always want him to be like Misha and probably even if he was “better” than Misha in some respects, like being more cuddly, I wouldn’t be satisfied because I’d want him to be  Misha. Also it would feel similar to as if I decided to get myself another mum or another sister if Mum or Sofi died. A new cat would definitely be out of question if I no loonger lived with my parents, as I don’t think I’d be capable to take good enough care of it. Even if I’d move out of here and live more independently while Misha would still be alive, as much as that would be sad and heart-breaking and despite he’s officially my cat, I wouldn’t take him with me. I can’t imagine giving him his eye drops when he gets his eye problems, or locating and successfully cleaning his vomit, or keeping track of where he is so that he doesn’t go out. I know blind people who are so keen on having a cat that they hang a bell around their neck so that they can know their whereabouts, but sheesh, if it were you, would you really like to hear a ringing sound every time you move? I wouldn’t feel good torturing someone like that, just because I WANT a cat. And my other reasons are consistent with those of my family’s, who also feel the same about having another cat. While knowing Misha has been one of the best things that happened in my life, I think we all feel a sense of guilt towards him at the same time. Because, well, let’s just say it out loud, in the grand scheme of things, he’s quite clearly not happy with his life. A cat who cries like Misha does when he wants out can’t possibly be happy. He thinks he’d be happy if he was an outdoor cat, which, practically, is not the most viable option for a Russian blue who has no idea about outdoor life and has always been mollycoddled, spoilt and taken care of, not to mention has had very little contact with other animals and is very anxious by nature. He can act very courageous sometimes when interacting with seagulls through the window, but that’s as far as his courage goes. He’s not even used to dealing with as much stimuli of all sorts that are out there in the world, so it’s a bit as if you kept someone in isolation and sensory deprivation for years and then you just let him out free and expect to act sane and calm and know what he’s supposed to do. 

   It’s also not a viable option for a pure-bred cat owner. You don’t buy an expensive, pure-bred cat to let him roam around freely so that someone can steal him or a fellow feline can annihilate him. So why do you buy a cat? Good question. Well yeah, ‘cause I WANT! I’m no better than those people who hang a bell round their cats’ necks. I have quite conservative views on animals, at least for today’s standards. I am not a vegan, animal rights activist, ecologist or other  selfless tree hugger. Same about the rest of my family. But the longer we live with Misha, the more we feel like we’re not fair to him. Sure, if not us, someone else would have bought him and he’d still suffer. It’s difficult to think of a life scenario for him where he wouldn’t. But if we didn’t get him, we wouldn’t be contributing to it.

   If you don’t let him out, he cries his lungs out and everyone is sad, stressed out and frustrated to no end. If you do let him go in and out as he pleases, he isn’t safe. If you try to control it and let him out at a certain time, keep an eye on him and make sure nothing bad happens, he’ll stilll cry as soon as you get him back home. Autumns and winters are very much bearable – if you don’t go out too much and if it’s not too sunny – but springs and summers are more of a nightmare each year. Especially for my Mum who has to keep an eye on the door constantly so that no one leaves them open while going out. Misha wakes up with the sun and starts roaming around the house, stopping by every window and serenading it – the sun – mournfully at the top of his lungs. He doesn’t even get much sleep, because every opening of a window or door, every sound of someone going in and out, of a bird calling, of Jocky barking, of people talking outside, every breeze or sun warmth coming through the window wakes him up, so he’s constantly undersleeped and cranky and properly hyperactive. It’s impossible not to feel pity for him, but also his constant meowing and howling and crying drives people nuts so it’s also pretty much impossible not to snap out at him at some point, especially if you’re someone like my Dad, which doesn’t help him at all. Sometimes my Mum gives in to him and lets him out on a terrace, or is just so resigned and desperate for a bit of peace and quiet that she lets him go wherever and for how long he wants, and every single day he’d go further, until at some point he’d go so far that it would start to feel really dangerous and my parents wouldn’t be able to find him, until finally at some point it’s usually one of our neighbours who would call worried that they saw Misha’s fur gleaming somewhere in the distance and give us a hint of where more or less he might be. We suppose that, if nothing bad would happen to him in the meantime, he’d always come back at some poiint, but taking such high risk and waiting when we know that he’s two houses away and could go further feels very silly and irresponsible. Every time he comes back – regardless of whether he wants it himself or someone has to bring him home – as soon as the door closes behind him, the crying starts all over again, except it’s more obnoxious. At some point my Mum realises that letting him out only makes him feel more upset and doesn’t help anything, so again the strict rules are put in place for Misha. 

   I know not every cat is like this. Perhaps even the majority are not. My aunt also has a Russian blue cat who is as laid back as it gets, in fact he seems to me like he’s on the opposite extreme to Misha, he can happily sleep on a rug and even when you pass him by and almost step on him he won’t move an inch. Sasha (the kitten we got on a whim a year after Misha and had to rehome after a few months because Misha didn’t tolerate company of his own species well at all) was a very cheerful kitten  who didn’t seem to need much at all to be happy, just a bit of attention and play, and some food that doesn’t need to be as sophisticated as Misha’s, anything edible and nice-smelling is good. Sasha did have a problem with pooping in every place possible except not where he should, the causes of which we couldn’t establish for a long time and which seemed to be emotional in nature, but eventually it turned out that it was Misha who must have scared him away from the litter box and that’s why he didn’t want to poop there but would rather do it anywhere else. I have no idea why Misha’s like this. I guess it’s just like with people and many just are born with weird brains for no apparent reason. I remember once reading an article about some study that claims that cats have a tendency to be anxious if their owners are anxious too, and vice versa. We’ve always thought it interesting how Misha and me are so similar in many ways, and same about Sofi and Jocky, and earlier Sofi and Sasha. And there’s such Polish saying that I guess could be roughly translated as like the stallholder, like the stall, which basically means that what is yours is like you, and my Mum always says that whenever the topic of Misha and Jocky being like me and Sofi respectively pops up. 😀 So perhaps it’s me who is responsible for Misha being “weird”. Misha’s mummy, with the very original name of Hansa Luft, had some problem giving birth to her offspring and so Misha was born through a C-section, and we’ve heard from a vet that used to be Misha’s vet that cats born via C-section apparently are more likely to be “weird”. Misha’s behaviour has always reminded me more of a severely traumatised shelter cat, so that sometimes I was wondering whether something awful might have happened to him at his breeder’s. He’s always been very fearful, wary of touch and closeness with people, easily upset by things – I mean even things like  slight, unexpected movements, a minor furniture rearrangement or something laying on the floor that wasn’t there whenn he looked previously. – He’s always overgroomed himself, though thankfully it never led to some more serious complications like I’ve heard it does in many cats who do. He doesn’t purr like normal. I have absolutely no problem with that, I love his quiet, soft purr which is more palpable than audible unless you literally  put your ear to his chest or face, but the truth is that it just isn’t a normal purr. 

   Last year, as you perhaps remember if you’ve been around on here back then, Mum took Misha to a behaviourist and he said that the only viable option he sees is to medicate Misha and he gave him fluoxetine/Prozac, which really shocked me initially but, like, what else can you do, I guess there’s no talk therapy for pets that you could try first. 😀 So my Mum gave him that Prozac, which wasn’t easy to administer at all because it was pills and it must be a nightmare giving pills to a cat judging from their struggles. Mum had to wrap Misha up in a blanket so he couldn’t move and scratch her or run away, force open his mouth, give him the pill, close his mouth and hold his face till he swallowed so that he wouldn’t spit it out. Not fun. It wasn’t long until Misha started to recognise the signs that it was pill time and would run away and hide. Moreover, the fluoxetine was making him very drowsy and he wasn’t quite himself. His crying had reduced a lot, indeed, but not because he felt calmer or happier, just because he slept through pretty much all day long. When he was awake, he continued to cry. Mostly though, it felt like there was no Misha anymore, just a little ball of fur with no Misha inside. He mostly hid under beds and didn’t want to interact with us almost at all. Sometimes I would find him somewhere and cuddle him and he’d seem to fall asleep in my arms but that was very clearly simply because he was totally indifferent rather than was in a more cuddly mood. I might’ve as well been cuddling a lifeless teddybear. At some point both my Mum and Sofi started realising that he doesn’t even actually sleep when he is under those beds, just lies there on his belly staring emptily into space with his eyes wide open. He ate very little. When he was awake and you’d call him, he’d just look at you and continue sitting like a statue where he was, a bit like he was too weak to carry out the complicated activity of motivating himself to stand up, standing up, moving his paws and walking to wherever the calling was coming from. Not even Mish ice cream did the trick. So finally, with all the pill troubles getting worse and Misha clearly not feeling well, Mum said she was worried that he could just die one day while laying sleeplessly like that, and we decided it’s best to stop giving him the Prozac, because we wanted Misha back and it was starting to feel rather creepy. He gradually did come back, and his crying wasn’t so much of an issue anymore, so we were hoping that perhaps it will just get better. 

   But this year, spring came again and finally it seemed like my Mum has reached her limit and was at witts end for what to do, as she and Misha basically kept repeating the same cycle with this whole going out thing every year, as if hoping that finally there will be a time when it’ll work and everyone will live happily everafter, whatever “happily” might mean for poor little Misha. And she said that perhaps he should try Prozac again, maybe if she stuck to it for longer than last year, which was only about a week, he’d start tolerating it better and get back to his normal self. And so she started giving him the pills again. She has even been to the vet, asking if there perhaps is another medication that Misha could take, that he’d perhaps tolerate better, or a different form of fluoxetine like liquid, but, surprisingly to me, he said that no. I did some research beforehand and there clearly are people out there who give their cats fluoxetine in liquid form or even topical, or use feromones to deal with emotional problems with cats, so I wonder if he’s just opposed to anything else or what. Instead, he actually said that Mum could even give Misha one whole pill rather than just a half as last year – one half in the morning and one in the evening – and if it’s a problem she could hide the pill in a bit of food. He clearly doesn’t know Misha. I honestly don’t even understand how other cats are so gullible that they can eat a pill with food just fine. Mum tried it first thing last year, but Misha would spit it out as soon as he’d taste the pill in the food. I sometimes feel like veterinarians underappreciate animals’ intelligence. Like when Misha once had to have a urine test, he was supposed to pee into some fake litter, and, much as we expected, he didn’t, because it wasn’t his litter. Is Misha really in a minority who is too smart/hypersensitive? I kind of doubt it, though I know nothing about other cats.

   Also there didn’t seem to be much point in upping his dose if the lowest one zonks him out so effectively. It’s not like he’s aggressive or something. I don’t think I even realised before that SSRI’s can be sleepifying like that, but perhaps it’s just different with cats’ brains than people’s. 

   He’s started taking it at the beginning of May and it’s clearly going better this time than last time because he’s a bit more social and lively than he was then in that he doesn’t hide so much and even plays a bit when he’s awake and is a lot more cuddly and a bit more relaxed than he normally is which doesn’t seem to be just a result of indifference, but he still sleeps through most of the day and night. It always used to be so that Misha woke up first, now he’s often still asleep when I wake up, and I’ve been rarely waking up before 9 this month, most of the time around 11. He yawns literally AAAAALLLLLL the time, and despite he sleeps so much his sleep seems to be very shallow, so perhaps that’s exactly why he sleeps so much more to compensate for it. He also seems very weak, or tired or I don’t know how else to call it. Just acts as if he had very little energy and reacts to everything very slowly. The pill administering hasn’t been easy for my Mum, because it’s so unpleasant for them all and my Mum is worried that he’ll develop bad associations with her, or will at some point totally refuse to take the pills, but we always try to give him something yummy right after he swallows it so he can forget about everything as soon as possible. I also firmly believe that, as much as Misha is very anxious, he also has some really impressive amounts of patience and gentleness for people, I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. I know that Mum actually realises it herself too, because he showed this virtuous trait of his very much during and right after Sasha’s stay with us, and Mum herself called it that Misha has a very “noble character”. So that even if people have to do something unpleasant to him, or do it thoughtlessly or accidentally, even if it affects him a lot he keeps being gentle-mannered, as classy as ever and good-naturedly understanding and forgiving of his peeps’ countless weaknesses. I think he might just understand in his little brain that Mum’s new whim is to give him this yucky pill every day, and he really doesn’t like it but, oh well… he still loves Mum. Today it actually went very smoothly and Misha didn’t even protest at all, so there’s hope that it’ll continue to go in this direction.

   But the biggest concern for me is that he has almost stopped pooping. I mean it’s really getting serious, because yesterday he cried so loudly and pitifully whenn he was in the loo, and was there for so long but nothing came out. Normally you could almost set the clock by his pooping, he would poop every day at pretty much the same hour, unless his breakfast was a lot later than typically, but now it’s good if he poops every three days. Unfortunately Mum wasn’t home when Misha cried yesterday in his loo so she could hear it, only Sofi and me did and told her about it, oh yeah and Misha very clearly tried too but Mum can’t speak his language. He ran to her as soon as she came back (he doesn’t really run much ever since he’s been on fluoxetine) and made a wailing sound which made us laugh because it sounded as if he was saying “Muuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyy!” And then kept following her and crying. She wasn’t particularly concerned. Probably because she didn’t hear how awful it sounded when he was in the loo. I’ve given her my card already when Misha first started to seem constipated and have been telling her for a long time to buy him some Miralax and she keeps saying that she will but she still hasn’t despite going to town almost every day. 

   So yeah, really, I most definitely wouldn’t want to make another cat feel unhappy like that. 

   What is such a thing for you?  🙂 

Question of the day.

   Why do you think cats are so fluffy? 

   My answer: 

   ! A lot of people seem to think that cats are as cute as they are – not just fluffy but also make all those cute little sounds and purrs and do almost everything in a cute way – because it’s their way of manipulating people into loving them so that then they can use it to their advantage however they want. And that’s certainly very plausible and wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was the case. I also think that a fluffy cat can be used instead of a hot water bottle and work just as well, if not better.

   But, actually, what I find a lot more interesting than why, is from where. Oh, how I wish I knew it! I ask Misha about it so often, “Where does one buy such elegant, luxurious furs? Is it somewhere in Arkhangelsk”, but he’s so unyielding. I guess most cats would have already answered me for their own peace of mind so I’d stop asking the same damn thing over and over, but not Misha! This is so awful, because I really, really want to know it, so that in case I ever lose Misha, I could buy an identical fur to remind me of him, and I would buy enough that I would be able to wear it as a coat in winter and have a muff to go with it, and everyone who’d see me would be jealous, and I’d sleep under it as well and use the muff as a pillow. But of course I wouldn’t want to use Misha’s own fur like that, ‘cause it’s his fur and he has every right to be buried in it and I would hate for him to be skinned posthumously just because of my whim, and that would be too little fur for a proper coat, my Mum says it would only be enough for a hat. I’d probably have to get a HUGE loan if he ever tells me where’s that mysterious fur shop, but I wouldn’t mind paying it back for the rest of my life. 

   You? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   You meet your thirteen-year-old self, but you can only tell them three words. What do you say and why? 

   My answer: 

   “Wait for Misha!” I think Misha is one of the best things that have happened to me in my life and I’d like to give my thirteen-year-old self something to look forward to in life. I was really depressed at that time (well when wasn’t i? 😀 ) I guess not in a suicidal way or anything like that anymore but I just felt really fed up with life and hated existing, and perhaps if I knew at that point that I’m gonna meet Misha in a couple years it would give me a little bit of motivation to keep going. If I told her “Wait for Misha” she still obviously wouldn’t know who that Misha is actually supposed to be and why wait for him, but I guess that would only make things feel more exciting. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What is something that drastically improved your mental health? 

   My answer: 

   Well, I could focus on several different things, as there have been many things that I’ve found helpful for my mental health over the years, some to a significant extent. But the most important one I think, it’s not something but someone. It’s Misha. Misha has helped me so much. In a way, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to form such a very strong bond with anyone as I have with Misha. This has been a very interesting experience, and also a very healing one, to feel so very strongly about someone and at the same time not experience any sort of anxiety or insecurity around such relationship, unlike what has been the case with all kinds of my closer human relationships. Well, I am scared of Misha dying and I suppose that’s quite out of proportion, but that’s an unavoidable part and risk of all relationships really. Other than that, I feel very safe in my relationship with Misha, and I want him to feel the same. I also feel kind of less lonely with Misha. I’ve never really been one to complain about loneliness, I know how to cope with your typical loneliness and it’s not much of a problem for me. But the sort of loneliness that I experience and struggle with more strongly isn’t something that being around others can help with a lot, in fact often it feels even stronger when I’m around other people because it can sometimes be fuelled by stuff like feelings of inadequacy. It’s a strong, gnawing feeling that’s really difficult to get rid of in any way, something that comes from within rather than from being alone and feeling sad or frustrated or bored in this situation. And, well, Misha hasn’t magically freed me from this, but when I look back at the time when I didn’t have him, it’s really clear that having him has made some difference in this aspect. I find Misha’s presence especially comforting at night when I’m struggling with this. He doesn’t sleep with me every night, but he will usually come of his own accord if I really really need him. His presence is also very comforting for me in dealing with these lonely feelings when I can have him close by when there are a lot of people. Perhaps because Misha doesn’t like peopling very much either, so I know he feels similarly and this makes me feel less alone and like I have someone who gets me, and someone who is, like me, though for totally different reasons, perceived as different from the rest of the individuals socialising in a given situation, so that we are both outside. Misha is outside and different because he’s a cat, so he can’t speak human, understands things differently and all that jazz, for many people from extended family he’s even weird for a cat because he’s apparently very different from all the cats they know who purr nice and loud and aren’t scared of every slight movement or something being placed somewhere else than it usually is and come obediently when you call something like pussy or kitty kitty whereas you have to call Mish Mish for Misha because that’s what we’ve taught him, and even then he’ll come when he wants, though personally I suppose the latter is what most cats do. I am outside and different because I can’t do peopling like most people expect their fellow people to be able to do it, I am blind, which makes a huge difference for a lot of people in how they see you, plus it means I am outside of a large portion of their non-verbal communication and my perception of things is quite different, just as it is the case with Misha. I can’t always have Misha close to me while peopling, even when we’re peopling at our house, because Misha obviously doesn’t care about people’s rules and won’t necessarily want to be there with me, or if he does, it’s usually for a very short time, unless there’s yummy food and people provide him with the kind of attention that he likes. But he’ll often be close to me at the start of various family gatherings, so that I can often come into the room with Misha on my shoulder, hearing his purr. It’s funny, actually, because this is the only situation when he sits on my shoulder and many people find it impressive like my grandad thinks we must have some miraculous connection if I can go around carrying him on my shoulder like that. 😀 This way, people’s attention focuses on Misha, whereas I feel calmer having him close to me. Then after a while he’ll usually sneak out to the kitchen or go up on the radiator into his basket, and then when my brain battery is low and I go to my room, he’ll always follow me and we’ll recharge together, as he tends to find all the people noise and the unwanted kind of attention especially from children quite overwhelming and needs a lot of sleep.

   When I’m having a particularly hard time due to depression, Misha can sometimes be the only thing that will motivate me to get out of bed really. I don’t know how I did it before Misha! When I’m not overly depressed, I really enjoy waking up to Misha’s sweet “Hhrrru?” Which is how he greets people. I love talking to him first thing in the morning, giving him his food and cuddling him for a while if he’s up to it. It’s really the best start for the day you could imagine. Some people are surprised that I don’t mind and even want to sleep with him and then have to let him out of my room in the morning at such insane hours as 3 AM sometimes, hardly any later than 6 AM, my Mum says it’s like having a baby. Perhaps it is, but I really don’t mind getting up and letting him out, and unlike with a baby, I can go right back to bed if I want and sleep to my brain’s content or even longer, or I can let him out without actually waking up, just on autopilot. 

   But most of all I think Misha has helped me with anxiety. Especially the more panicky/acute types of anxiety like my typical sensory anxiety aka sound/silence anxiety. It is such a relief having Misha at home in this respect. It doesn’t solve the problem completely, though I really doubt there’s anything that can always do it with 100% effectivity but Misha helps to varying extent every single time. I think this type of anxiety that I have must work similarly to fear of the dark that many young children experience, which I base on that I believe that silence and darkness are similar phenomena in a way, and that Sofi, who still deals with fear of the dark a lot even though she’s a teenager, seems to have a lot of similar experiences around it, though that could also be of course due to that we’re sisters and experience some things similarly. Anyways, while in general I’d say Sofi’s fear is thankfully milder than mine because she only experiences it at night, not in all kinds of dark conditions, and nothing else triggers it other than darkness at night, there’s one thing in which I really feel for Sofi regarding her anxiety. Misha doesn’t help her at all. In fact sometimes he even adds to her discomfort because he can be so quiet and creep her out if he’s in her room and she can’t see him. And I think that really sucks. For me, there are times when Misha can make a world of difference and allow me to fall asleep at all or alleviate my anxiety enough that I don’t need my PRN anxiety medication. I feel a lot safer when I’m at home with Misha vs just on my own. Even when he’s not directly in the same room as myself can sometimes make a glimmer of difference, knowing that he still is somewhere in the house. Sometimes when some creepy sound or a sleep paralysis episode triggers this type of anxiety for me bad enough, I have trouble with such seemingly unrelated things like being in the bathroom, whether as in in the loo, or showering. It’s really difficult to explain the connectioon and the whole sensory anxiety thing in general, but when I’m in this particular freak out mode it’s like everything seems murkily scary to me, it’s a really weird experience to describe with lots of different dimensions to it I’d say. But in such situations, having Misha with me in the bathroom, laying on the radiator while I’m showering, can help a little, or in the latter stages of the freakout phase quite a lot. We have a radio in the bathroom but it never helps half as much as Misha does when the world goes all creepy. Speaking of sleep paralysis, Misha can help that too, though of course for that to be possible, he has to be in the room with me. He has frequently gotten me out of a beginning sleep paralysis dream in the morning by frantically crying, hhrrru?’ing and scratching the door to let him out. I always thought it’s just a coincidence that he frequently happens to do that right when I’m floating away, but then I had a nap a few times during the day with Misha in my room. I don’t like taking naps because they dysregulate myy sleep cycle even further than it normally is and because they’re more likely to start or end with sleep paralysis, so I only nap if I really have to or if it just happens involuntarily while I lay on the bed for a while with Misha and we both drift off. Well, and I have happened to drift off to sleep paralysis in the middle of the day with Misha either next to me or at my feet, and every single of those times I woke up feeling Misha tickling my foot with his paw, as he sometimes does playfully. Now I don’t know whether Misha has some extreme superpower of sensing sleep paralysis in humans which even fellow humans are typically unable to figure out and think you’re just sleeping heavily, or perhaps he simply saw me wriggling my toes, as people sometimes do in their sleep, and which I do in sleep paralysis if I am able to because I discovered that it can slow down the initial floating/drifting and alleviate this sensation which I really hate, and if I wriggle them to a specific side it lets me float in a specific direction rather than being aimlessly thrown around dreamland until I reach the one and only right destination, and sometimes even the right toe move at the right moment lets me wake up. Misha, like most cats I presume, likes things that move, and he likes to make out with people’s legs whenever he’s only allowed, which is never but he never loses hope and perhaps he just thought my toe wriggling was an invitation and the tickling was some sort of foreplay. Regardless though, I’m glad that as it seems Misha is able to wake me up from this at the right moment before everything starts for good. It’s just quite shitty that he rarely is there when this is happening. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s a perk of being you? 

   My answer: 

   Well, that’s pretty obvious. I have the REAl happiness all to myself! That’s a huge perk in life! I sleep with Happiness, Happiness is often the first thing I see and hear in the morning, I play with Happiness. Who wouldn’t like having so much Happiness just for themselves? I’m the luckiest peep in the world! Paradoxically, having this whole ball of Happiness all to myself doesn’t prevent me from having dysthymia, but oh well… you can’t have everything, right? Perhaps if I didn’t have Happiness, I would end up having major depression, so I’m insanely grateful. 

   How about you? 🙂 

(Almost) ten things I am really good at.

   It feels like, ever since I’ve got my Mac, I haven’t really posted anything longer. But now I’m mostly used to all the basic stuff on it, and have figured out how to blog from it, so I figured I’d finally do some journalling prompt-inspired post now. 

   I am going to go with a prompt from the book called 200+ Journal Prompts for the Mind, Body and Soul by Riley Reigns and the prompt I chose to do is as follows: 

   What are 10 things you are really good at? 

   I have to say that these kinds of prompts aren’t really easy for me and I don’t really like them, because I never know what to respond with. I mean, sure, we’re all good at something, have some good traits etc. But I usually have a hard time coming up with things and also even though I’m normally not a perfectionist, I feel like I’d have to be significantly good at something to include it in a list like this. But, I decided to take it as a little challenge and see how it goes and if I can actually come up with ten things. So, here we go: 

  1.    Language stuff. As I frequently say, I don’t believe there’s such a thing as language talent. You simply have to like a language and find a learning method that suits your particular brain architecture, because when you like something, it’s easier. Or at least the difficult aspects of it are a lot less daunting than they were if you hated it, and you have a lot more motivation. I feel for people who have to learn a language they dislike or feel meh about, for school or for business purposes or due to emigrating or whatever else. That being said, I think there is an area in language learning that is definitely easier if you have a bit of a talent for it, and that is picking up the sounds. And I feel lucky in this aspect too. It used to really surprise me how people often don’t hear the difference between sounds in a language that are similar yet, to me at least, clearly different. But it seems to happen to people frequently so I feel really privileged that I hear those things, it makes learning languages a lot easier. Often it also means that I have it easier to reproduce these sounds even though they may not be a part of my native language, though sometimes it may still take time for it to sound natural and other times I may be able to differentiate sounds in someone’s speech but be clueless as for how the flip they make a particular sound, like I don’t think I would ever be able to speak Danish convincingly, although I’ve been told that apparently getting drunk and speaking Swedish is a successful strategy for some people but I don’t even drink at all these days so thank God that I’m not in love with it or have never had a faza from Denmark or I’d have a huge problem. Even in Swedish, they have a sound called Viby-I, or Lidingö-I, which is a variation of your usual ee sound except it’s definitely not the same. It’s something that used to only exist in some rural areas  but now, for whatever reason, it’s common in Stockholm and Gothenburg and is considered a posh thing. I was always taught that the letter I is pronounced as ee in Swedish, just like it is in Polish, except I would so often hear people pronouncing it in a way that sounded really odd to me especially when the I was long. Even when I got myself a proper Swedish speech synthesiser, she also pronounced the ee like that. I once asked my Swedish teacher about it but he seemed like he didn’t know what on Earth I was talking about. It bothered me, because it felt like if I can’t reproduce a sound that seems so common in Swedish and that people use all the time even in the media, I ca’t be like a really really good Swedish speaker, but eventually I just let it go, because I saw that some people don’t do it at all, so it can’t be a huge crime if I can’t, plus it doesn’t really sound all that cool. I once saw someone online describing it that it sounds as if you have a bit of peanut butter stuck in your throat, which is quite accurate imo. 😀 The normal ee sounds a lot better. But then I started learning Welsh and I was particularly interested in North Welsh, which has a very similar, but not quite the same, sound for the letter U. So if I wanted to sound properly North Welsh I just had to figure it out. It took me some time but for some reason was a bit easier for me than the Swedish I even though the difference there is very slight. And once I figured out the Welsh u, I was also able to do the Viby-I as well. Although I don’t really like it so it’s not how I actually speak Swedish, I don’t think it fits me at all and it feels kind of exaggerated. Also what I mean by “language stuff” is that I, at least in my native language, have quite an extensive vocabulary. People always say that to me and people in my family always come to me when they don’t know what some word means or aren’t sure how to say something. 😀 I really do like words and word play and learning new words and using them in interesting ways, and creating my own words. 
  2.     Judging people’s characters, observing people and analysing what I know about them. I don’t often feel like I am as good at it as some people tell me I am, like my grandad who goes as far as calling me X-Ray lol, mostly because i feel there’s so much I always miss because of not being able to see, as people always send so many visual cues about themselves – appearance, clothing, facial expressions, body language, gestures  – that are important, and sometimes not being able to pick up on those cues can skew the whole picture completely. But if we put all my limitations into consideration, i guess I’m quite good at it indeed. I like to rely on this skill a lot in my interactions with fellow human beings, as I always find them – the interactions, not necessarily the human beings as such, collectively – difficult, and having as many cues as you can is always helpful to some degree.  Plus, people are generally quite interesting and so complex and multi-dimensional. The variety in people’s personalities fascinates me quite a lot. Sometimes it works as a sort of defence mechanism as well. The downside to it is that when you use something like that a lot and it often works well, you might lose vigilance at some point and rely  on this too much, and it won’t always be right. I now know that my judgment isn’t always right and that I always have to keep it at the back of my mind that there’s a possibility that some or all of my assumptions are wrong, but I had to learn it through experience. 😀 
  3.     Listening. I like to listen to other people. Their problems, their stories, their fascinations. I like to listen about how they feel. And I believe a lot of people like to share their stuff with me because they often tell me things that I would consider personal, or. ask me for advice or something. And I’m happy about it, because often I feel like this is the only substantial way in which I am able to help other people, so it makes me feel useful. I’m not sure why people like me so much as a listener, other than that I’m an introvert and introverts are apparently generally considered good listeners (which I don’t think is a rule) but I’ve heard it a lot that people find it easier to talk about personal or difficult stuff when they’re not looked at and I can relate to that myself as well very much. So it makes total sense to me . I am often able to perceive when someone’s looking at me, particularly if they’re doing it in a very persistent way, and more like staring actually, though it’s not like I can feel it always, and sometimes I feel like someone is looking at me even though it ends up not being true. But I really don’t like talking to people about stuff that I feel kind of emotional about when they are looking at me, so I can understand that they might find it easier to talk to me than anyone else because I don’t look at their expressions. Also, listening to other people  saves me from talking a lot myself, or from having to deal with people focusing their attention on me. A lot of introverts don’t like to talk about themselves. I can’t say I always don’t, because with people I like and feel some common ground with, I like to talk about myself, but only when I want it, not when I’m forced to do so by circumstances and the expectation to do small talk, so in such situations I’d much rather listen. And you can learn a lot of interesting things this way. Sometimes, it gives you a totally new perspective on someone and their life than you’d have otherwise. Sometimes, when you have a lot going on in your own brain, listening to others is difficult and quite daunting, but I usually try not to show it too much unless I really feel that my brain can’t deal with someone else’s shit on top of my own and no one is going to benefit from this. I appreciate it that people consider me a good enough listener to come with their joys and struggles to me, and I try to be helpful and as attentive as I can. 
  4.     Avoiding people and scary situations. Well, I have AVPD for a reason I guess. 😀 I can be really creative and go to great lengths where avoidance is concerned. I can go as far as going out at night barefoot and in my PJ’s onto the terrace covered in snow and wallow in it to get sick and avoid going to school the next day. 😀 I hate peopling passionately and, as regular readers of my blog will know, I have lots of anxieties and phobias, big and small, so there’s lots of things that I avoid regularly and have a lot of strategies to do it and do it successfully most of the time. If I decide not to avoid something, it’s usually for someone else’s benefit, for example I go to some family gatherings because I know that there are some people in my family who are so weird that they’d blame my Mum if I didn’t go, or my grandad would be worried that I’m having a migraine or disappointed that I didn’t come, and I care about my Mum and grandad. 
  5.     Not eating, or perhaps I should say dealing well with hunger mentally, because I’d been so good with not eating in the past that I no longer am as good. As a lexical-gustatory synaesthete, I really love food. I can be picky with what I like, but generally, I love food. Yet, I don’t seem to have as much of a problem with not eating as many people seem to have. I’ve noticed that stuff like not eating for a day scares many people, or blows their minds as something that they wouldn’t be able to do or would never ever want to do for any reason. For me, of course it’s not pleasant or fun, but it’s absolutely not a huge problem. Whenever I’m under a lot of stress, especially if it’s something temporary rather than more chronic, I tend to eat very little, if at all, and what little I do eat I have to just force into myself. It’s because I usually have nausea when I’m really stressed or anxious, but also it feels like all my energy goes towards dealing with the stress, and all the other functions freeze for the time being so even if I’m not nauseated I rarely have any appetite, or simply forget about eating. It doesn’t even have to be stress, can be strong positive excitement or a lot of changes, good or bad, going on. It’s only after everything’s over that I start to feel super-weak and ravenously hungry and usually eat something like a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar in one go. When I was a kid and teen I also had a few extended periods where I’d be unable to eat much if anything at all during the day because of generalised anxiety and the accompanying nausea, or emetophobia (fear of vomit). I also had times as a teenager when I wouldn’t eat as a way of self-harming or solely because I didn’t like having needs like that and it made me feel out of control, or I’d eat very irregularly and sometimes very little, and sometimes a lot. I still struggle with eating when something triggers my emetophobia really badly, and still sometimes have times where I have a control or self-loathing issue with eating, or other times I’m so engrossed and absorbed with something really fascinating that food is the last thing on my mind until I go back to normal earthly functioning or start to feel so weak that I can’t ignore it any longer. Also, as a Traditional Catholic, fasting is something I’m very much used to and something very normal to me. I know some people, like our Sofi, for whom fasting is a big sacrifice and they find it really difficult to resist not eating, but for me, while of course it’s an inconvenience, it’s not a huge one. Just enough to be a bit of a challenge but not like: “Uhhh no, it’s Ash Wednesday again!” Or anything like that. However, I feel that all my eating troubles have screwed me up a little physically. Because now I’m generally unable to eat larger portions, or even just normal-adult-people portions, of food in one go. Or if I do, I feel ridiculously full ridiculously quickly. On the other hand, while I can mentally deal well with hunger and fasting, physically it’s sometimes different, because often if I don’t eat at all for a full day, I’ll start feeling real weak and wobbly towards the end of the day and it’ll get a lot worse towards the morning and I’ll barely be able to drag myself out of bed and it feels kind of scary because even standing is exhausting and feels like I’m going to pass out and I really don’t know if I’d live alone how I’d even make myself food in such condition so I’m so glad I have a Dad who can make me sandwiches in the middle of the night. 😀 I also had this weird thing going on even when I was little, but it was a lot less frequent, only when I was ill at the same time or something, so I suppose my shitty eating habits must have exacerbated something that I have a natural tendency to or something like that. Therefore, these days I no longer do full-day fasts, even when it’s actually an obligatory fasting day, I just do intermittent fasting, otherwise it’s rather counterproductive and it’s obviously not the point of it. Even with intermittent fasting I have to be careful and not too ambitious and if I start to feel weak I eat something, even if it’s something small as it’ll usually do the trick and see me through the rest of the day. Now that my migraines have become more frequent and easier to trigger, I also have to watch out for that if I don’t eat for a longer period of time, as not eating can be a trigger, and if that’s what has triggered it and I manage to eat something before it develops fully, I may even manage to nip it in the bud without any medication. Oh yeah, and speaking of migraines, when I have a full-blown one, I always have awful nausea, so I never eat when having a migraine either unless I end up feeling weak like what I describe, and when it happens during a migraine it’s really shitty because you’re already drained because of a migraine, and you’re so nauseated that the last thing you feel like doing is eating, yet you have to eat because otherwise you’ll keep feeling more and more drained, and when you do eat you feel even more drained because when you’re already drained to begin with, eating’s more draining. 😀 Ohhh yeah and add emetophobia into the mix. SO yeah, these days, I’m rubbish physically at not eating, but hunger itself isn’t really a significant inconvenience for me on a mental level. 
  6.     Misha. Yeah you can probably tell by this that I’m running out of ideas. So I asked Sofi, and that was the first thing she said. I asked her what she means by me being good at Misha, but she couldn’t quite explain. 😀 So yeah, let’s say I’m good at Misha. It sounds like a perfect thing to put on your CV! 😀 Well, I have a good relationship with Misha, though naturally he has best relationship with Mum because she’s like his Mum too and he always seeks contact with her the most and misses her most when she’s away, and, more important than that, she’s his main food provider, so he just associates her with food, and food is his meaning in life. But we do have a very good relationship and we often sense each other’s feelings and states of mind. If he associates all of us with something, then I’d say he most likely associates me with sleep, because we often sleep together and he often sleeps in my room during the day and there’s lots of places for him to choose in my room where he wants to sleep and everything’s designed especially for him. Communication with Misha, in particular understanding his needs, is rather challenging for me, because he’s generally not very fond of touch or closeness, and his language is mostly movements and facial expressions, so it’s usually my Mum who will pick up way faster and easier what he wants or if he’s feeling physically poorly. Yet there are things with which I feel like I may get him better than other people here, though we’ll of course never know for sure. I can usually spot when he’s feeling anxious or distressed with something based on his behaviour quite easily, and when I can touch him his muscles are all tense and twitchy then. I think I can pick up on Misha’s moods fairly well but I don’t really know what that’s based on, guess just my intuition mostly though he does tend to be more vocal when he’s happy or playful and they’re of course happier sounds then. And, as much as Misha isn’t into closeness with humans, with me he’s more physically affectionate than anyone else here. He has his very complex routines around sleep, and when he sleeps here in my room and I’m with him, he won’t settle unless I give him at least a small treat and lay down on the bed. Then when he’s finished eating, he’ll very slowly and carefully go on the bed as well and go on top of me. He’ll put his head next to mine and gently sniff my, hair, then my cheeks. If he’s in a particularly exuberant mood, he’ll even try to lick my cheek, but I’mm not overly fond of that so I don’t really let him. This whole licking and sniffing business only started a year or two ago. Then he’ll start kneading me and eventually will lay on my chest or tummy, and then he’ll silently yet forcefully demand an in-depth head, ear, nasal bridge, cheekbone and chin massage, purring louder than he normally does. This is still not as loud as your usual cat purr, but it’s very loud and powerful for Mish standards. Sometimes this whole session lasts just five minutes, other times even half an hour and we both end up having a nap until Misha wakes up with a start, horrified at the extreme weakness and softiness he has shown, picks up what’s left of his dignity and slowly moves onto the blanket, as far from me as possible, and starts the kneading all over again, or rather, as Sofi calls it, sleep-waltzing. Then it’s grooming time, after which he still sometimes wants to copulate with my feet no matter how much I discourage it, although he’s way better now with this than when he was younger, and then, provided that everything goes to plan, little Misha falls asleep. But if I dare  get up from the bed, or even move to much, he’ll jump off and go sleep somewhere else and there’s no coming back. When he’s very sleepy or upset, the whole sniffing and massage and sleeping on Bibiel part is left out, but if I’m here I still have to be with him on the bed ’til he falls asleep. Of course, he normally won’t do it either when someone else is in my room, now that would be too much of a disgrace, right? But my Mum has managed to catch us like that a couple times and apparently she’s never seen Misha with an equally blissful expression on his face. As much as he loves Mum, he rarely lies with her, because she doesn’t like it for some reason, and she never allows it at night. So when she does sometimes have a whim to have a nap with Misha under the duvet, she usually ends up regretting it, because he scratches her legs (I think he does it in his sleep actually but it must be painful nevertheless) and feels strongly attracted to her feet as well, which always ends with her calling him a pervert and kicking him out. So yeah, maybe I’m good at Misha, whatever that means. 
  7.     Not vomiting. I’m forever grateful that I’ve got a brain like this, which, most likely, blocks me from vomiting. Apparently that’s the case with a lot of emetophobics, and it seems to be with me too. And even if it’s not, otherwise I’m good at avoiding situations that could lead to vomiting. I’m gonna assume that I’m both. 
  8.    Ummm… what else…? Sofi says playing BitLife, but I think she’s biased here because she knows no one else who plays BitLife other than herself and me and to her I’m the ultimate BitLife player who knows everything about the game and does more than just endless crime (which is what Sofi does). I do like BitLife, even though I no longer play it as much as I did at the beginning when I heard of this game. I have an impression that BitLife is getting worse now, but it’s still fun to play once in a while. And I know people who are much more into it and have played a lot more than I do. I haven’t even completed any of the official challenges, I’d rather do my own thing. I like to think of what sort of character I want to play and who I want them to be and what I want them to do, and then play that character over the course of a couple of months. Of course there’s only so much you can do In BitLife, but I like to imagine that character’s life in more detail and think about motives behind their various decisions and try to go into their head while living their life. And then I like to live their child’s life, and then their child’s child’s life and so on and have a little saga of my own creation kind of. I’ve had one family which went on for 16  generations. Oh and I love naming kids in BitLife, I once had TWENTY babies (playing a man) and I relished being able to name all of them. That wouldn’t be quite so fun in the real world when I’d actually have to raise all those children. But I think that there’s one thing that Sofi is incomparably better at me in BitLife. Not counting things like burglary which don’t seem to be properly accessible or I don’t get it. This thing is winning money on horse races. Sofi gets it right most of the time and I have no idea how she does it, but she does! I wonder if she has the same luck in real life. 

   Uh, no, I’m not going to come up with ten! Actually, to be honest with you, I was only able to come up with the first two, and then I had to ask around and enlist my Mum’s and Sofi’s help, but even they weren’t able to come up with as much as ten. As my Mum stated, ten is a lot! But, so is eight, isn’t it, and I think I’ve made up for this with that I’ve elaborated on each of the things on this list. . 

   What things are You good at? List how many or few you want. 🙂 

Misha Mishenko – “Moment”.

   As I mentioned in the last post, the one that was supposed to go yesterday, today is Misha’s birthday, yay! Misha is now 6 years old. They say it’s forty human years! FORTY. FREAKING. YEARs! It’s so ridiculous that I’m not even gonna try to believe it ‘cause my brain would get a permanent freeze! 

   I’ve already shared two songs on my blog that have Misha in their title. Recently, i was looking for some more that I would like, and, while I haven’t found any particularly interesting new songs about a Misha, I came across an artist whose name instantly sparked my interest – Misha Mishenko. – That is how my Mum sometimes calls our Misha, even though his actual surname is Hhrrru? (Just like how he always greets people) and this is probably the only surname in the world that’s spelt with a question mark. 😀 Moreover, the first song by Misha Mishenko that I saw was called Moment, and that again made me thhink of our Misha. Misha has a lot of alternative names or should we say titles, as well as nicknames, that we make up for him all the time. And one day when Sofi saw him as he was just waking up and looking very cute and smelling like sleep, she went into an ecstasy and called him “a little moment of happiness”. That sounded so beautiful and cute and I really liked that, and sometimes, in very special moments, we still call him that. And then when I heard that Moment song, it turned out it’s a solo piano piece. I strongly associate piano with Misha. First, in my synaesthetic brain, the word Misha feels like black piano keys. And second, when we play with Sofi that Misha can talk and all that, we play that piano music is one of his favourite types of music. 

   I myself quite like piano music too, but most definitely not all of it, and I feel totally neutral about all Misha Mishenko’s music that I’ve heard. This piece doesn’t really move me very much, though it’s certainly very nice. But I can totally imagine Misha listening to something like this, whenn he’s not listening to very sophisticated jazz, or secretly yet loudly indulging in Russian D&B when he’s sure that no one will overhear. 

Song of the day (29th January) – Cherish The Ladies – “The Ballad of the Foxhunter” & Loreena McKennitt – “The Ballad of the Foxhunter”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   This time, I thought I’d share withh you two musical arrangements of the same poem, one written by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. The first of these two arrangements is by the Irish-American Celtic music female group called Cherish the Ladies, which came to life thanks to Mick Moloney, as a way to counteract the fact that the American Celtic music scene was highly male-dominated at the time, and led by flautist Joanie Madden. I’ve been familiar with their music, and this song, for years. The second version is by the Canadian multi-talented musician Loreena McKennitt from her album Lost Souls, whose multiple songs I’ve already featured in this series. She has released a series  called In Her own Words, in which she explains the origins and inspiration of every song on the album that a given installment covers. Loreena quite clearly has a strong bond with nature, and, as she says herself, has always had pets, and wanted to be a vet at some point in her life. Therefore it’s not surprising that she’s felt drawn to this poem and how it shows the connection between humans and animals, specifically dogs. 

   My Misha’s not a dog, but he’s still an animal and we do have a very strong connection and can often sense each other’s state of mind to a varying degree or so it seems. I originally wanted to post this yesterday, on the eve of Misha’s birthday but was unable to in the end, but it’s even more fitting on this very day instead. 

   While I like both of these arrangements a lot and each has its own advantages, I think I slightly prefer the Cherish The Ladies version. As a bit of a fun fact, I donn’t know if the melody to which their version is set is something they came up with or sung it to this melody first or if more people have used the same melody, but the Irish traditional song 

Nead na lachan

is set to the same tune. 

   Cherish the Ladies: 

 

   Loreena McKennitt: 

 

The happy new year post, plus the new My Inner Mishmash playlist.

As this current year is about to vanish into the past very soon, I wish all of you, my lovely readers, a very happy new year. Not necessarily happy as in that you should actually be super happy all the time, as that’s hardly realistic, but hopefully happier than this past year, and simply filled with moments, events and things that you’ll appreciate and enjoy. May you learn a lot of new things this coming year and make loads of fascinating discoveries. This is what my Mum and me always wish each other for new year, because it’s such a fab feeling when you discover something absolutely fascinating and possibly even life-changing in a good way. May it also give you plenty of opportunities for development in areas in which you need it, and maybe even in some in which you don’t yet know that you need to develop. 🙂 I hope it’ll be an interesting year for you, but also peaceful at the same time, as peaceful as it can be in our current external circumstances, pandemic and all. If you’re making some resolutions, or perhaps goals or anything like that, I am hopeful that you’ll be able to stick to them. And also, I wish you a lovely New Year’s Eve, regardless how you’re spending it, and a fabulous New Year, because apparently what your New Year is like says what the entire year will be like for you. 😀

Misha is wishing all the pets and peeps alike, as well as himself, some exciting adventures this coming year.

On my blog, New Year’s Eve is also the time for officially sharing my playlist with songs that have been featured in my song of the day series in the past year. So the playlist for this year is now ready and you can see it below. Also if you want to see the previous playlists, you can go to my

Blog Playlists page.

Christmas wishes, plus a bonus, Christmassy song of the day.

It’s Christmas Eve, so while a lot of people in a lot of countries aren’t celebrating Christmas just yet, for those who do celebrate it at all I’m sure the atmosphere is already very Christmassy anyway. If you’re a regular on my blog, you know that here in Poland we start our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve afternoon/evening with a very festive supper, and then a lot of people go to Midnight Mass, particularly if they have young children. In fact, it’s fair to say that in the whole Christmas period, it’s Christmas Eve that is most celebrated and festive here when it comes to traditions and the like. So I always like to send people Christmas wishes on Christmas Eve already.

I wish you all a very joyous and peaceful Christmas. May it be a blessed time for you, filled with a bit of everything good – prayer and true joy because of Christ’s coming, beautiful Christmas music, time with your loved ones if you have them around this Christmas, whether in person or perhaps only virtually, time alone, God’s presence in your life and thoughts, yummy food, amazing presents, joy from giving something to others, love, fun, rest, laughter, relax, sleep, snow, cosiness, some funn book or film etc. etc. – And please, I’ve already mentioned Him, but don’t forget whose birthday we’re actually celebrating. I think it would feel very rude for most if not all people if like a half of the world declared they celebrated someone’s birthday and yelled about it for a month in advance, but the person in question wouldn’t even get any attention from most of the birthday guests on the actual day but instead people would just give presents to each other and consistently ignore the birthday boy/girl.

For those of you who aren’t Christians but are also going to have some relaxing, festive sort of time, or for whom it’s going to be life as normal, may it also be a really good time for you and may you find something in it that will fill your heart with joy.

For those who identify with some other religions and perhaps celebrate some other holidays soon, or those who celebrate Christmas a bit later on, may you have just as peaceful and joyous and fun-filled holidays.

And for those for whom this Christmas season will be difficult for some reason, whether they do celebrate it or not, because they’ve lost someone, or because they can’t be with their family, or because it’s a very difficult time for you every year for whatever reason, I wish you hope, strength, and that despite the difficult time, you may also find a bit of comfort in it. At this time of the year there’s a lot of mostly very superficial, sickly sweet and toxically positive talk about how “magical” and merry it is, but it’s totally okay if you do not feel on cloud nine if for you this happens to be a time of grieving, or bad mental or physical health, or loneliness, or exhaustion/overwhelm due too many people around and perhaps also needing to cook for them or something.

Misha doesn’t really care about Christmas as such very much, but he likes all the comotion around it, especially wrapping presents and Christmas decorations, and the Christmas Eve supper because there’s a lot of fish, and a lot of good food for him throughout the Christmas period. So he’d like to wish all the pets a happy Christmas time, hoping that they’ll also get a lot of yummy food and maybe some nice presents and that they’ll have a lot of fun.

Since our actual song of the day today wasn’t Christmassy, I thought I’d do the same thing as last year and share a bonus Christmassy song in the Christmas wishes post. I had a bit of a problem choosing one though, because it seems like I’ve shared all of my absolute most favourite Christmas songs in the previous years. Finally I decided on a song that perhaps isn’t among my absolute favourites, but that I really like to listen to around Christmas ever since I first heard it on BBC Radio Cymru. And unlike last year, it’s not a carol but just a lay Christmas-themed pop song about snow and how beautiful/unusual Christmas time is, although I don’t understand it in its entirety so it’s a very generalised summary of it I suppose haha. Since it’s from BBC Radio Cymru, you’re right to assume that it’s in Welsh. It’s called “Nadolig Oer” (A Cold Christmas) and is sung by Ifan Siôn Davies, who is most known as vocalist in the Welsh indie rock band Swnami which I really like and whose music I’ve shared a few times before. The Christmas music period on my blog is really long though (goes from the beginning of Advent all the way to Candlemas) so maybe I’ll still fall in love with some new to me Christmas carol or song and share it.

Happy Christmas! 🎄