Press Publish!

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you may have missed this retweet:

Wait, that’s my name in that photo! Whaaaaat?

Don’t fear, I knew I was going to be a part of this event! Press Publish is a new event from Automattic – from the event website:

Press Publish is a one-day conference featuring inspiring WordPress bloggers and the people behind WordPress.com

Currently, there are two events scheduled: one in Portland and one in Phoenix. No, I’m pretty sure they didn’t pick those cities because they started with the letter P. :D

I’m going to be at the Portland event talking about Jetpack: the features that are beneficial to bloggers and tools that can help you manage multiple WordPress sites. I’ll also be doing a Podcasting 101 and will cover the basics on how to get started podcasting with WordPress and how it’s not as scary as it seems!

The Portland event is on March 28th – and clearly is the better of the two events because that’s the one where I’m going to be speaking. ;)

Hope to see you there!

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything

This is one of my rare, navel-gazing posts. Bear with me and you’ll be back to my infrequent postings about WordPress and code in no time.

One of my favorite book series is Douglas Adams “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy” – I will re-read it every few years and I’m itching to read it again.

If the book wasn’t so freaking big (I have the hardcover of all 5 books – it’s a good 2+ inches thick1) I’d haul it to read on the plane before my team’s meetup in Hawaii in March.

Now if you’ve never read the books, I’m going to spoil the ending for you so just go close that tab if you want to be blissfully ignorant.

Image credit CainaG on
Image credit CainaG on DeviantArt

Now then.

Faithful readers of this series knows about the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything” that runs through the entire series. From Wikipedia:

The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately no one knows what the question is. Thus, to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet was built from organic components and named “Earth”.

As today is my 42nd birthday, it occurred to me that I should have answers to some of the questions in this program called “life.” Looking back, all I have are more questions than answers.

What is happiness?

What is health?

What is normal?

All things swirling around my head nowadays.

It’s not well known outside my close friends and family, but my husband suffers from clinical depression and anxiety and at times it’s quite severe. During those times, my life is put on hold while his disease takes control of my every waking moment (and sometimes when asleep when I have nightmares about the worst things that could happen). Does that make me love him less, care about him less, make me less happy?

No. That would be like saying that I’m going to divorce my husband because he has cancer. Depression is a disease. It’s diagnosable. It’s treatable. But it doesn’t go away.

One of the things that bothers me about people’s perspective of depression is that it’s something that you can just shake yourself out of…that one just isn’t trying hard enough to “get over it.” That if you just “stop being a whiner” it’ll go away. That’s not depression.

Depression isn’t being angry that Sephora stopped carrying your favorite lipstick.

Depression is not being grief stricken that your grandma passed away.

Depression isn’t being upset that Starbucks stopped making Pumpkin Spice Lattes for the season.

Feeling depressed or sad is not the same as being clinically depressed.

True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or more. Reason doesn’t work. Logic doesn’t work. Tears don’t work. Ultimatums don’t work. All the love in the world doesn’t work.

All you can do is be there and be supportive. Make sure they’re taking care of themselves. Make them talk and not sit alone with their depression. Make them follow their treatment plan. It sucks. You have to put your feelings on hold and try to make it through those dark times, but it’s exhausting.

It doesn’t make it easier over time. In fact, the knowledge of what’s to come almost makes it harder. That doesn’t change things though. He’s my husband and I love him. Through sickness and health.

That’s one of the things swirling around in my head.

Another is about my birthday. While I never really made a big deal about my birthday, I still ended up doing something special. Going out for cocktails with our good friends, maybe a special dinner with the husband, cards/gifts/flowers, etc. This year, I was hoping to do something special, but the immediacy of other life issues means that “special” isn’t in the cards this time. I don’t always miss my MN friends, but there are definitely times when I wish they were around. Today’s one of those days. :(

Moving to a new state has had its ups and downs. I love where we live, I love the weather, and I love the memories and opportunities we’re creating. The downs of being away from our MN friends and family, getting used to new routines, meeting new friends, etc. While “meeting friends” seems to be an odd choice for a downer, it’s because of the void left by our really, close friends is so huge.

It’s funny really. Seeing our MN friends doing so many fun things and hanging out together, I get hit with little pangs of sadness and jealousy. Y U NO MISS US? :(

thursday

Ironic that my birthday is on a Thursday this year.

Tonight, I think we’re going to go out for ramen at our favorite Japanese restaurant, then I’m going to enjoy some wine while I watch TV. Nothing special, I know.

Maybe I should add cheesecake to the mix? Cheesecake makes everything better, right?


1 That’s what she said!

Thanksgiving Musings

I’m not one to get all sappy around Thanksgiving.

For most of my adult life, I never had plans on Turkey Day. My sibling’s in-laws were so insistent on having the holiday on the holiday and my parents didn’t care when we got together as long as we got together. This usually meant that we had Thanksgiving the weekend before or the weekend after the actual holiday. Don’t get me started about Christmas…we once had our family Christmas on January 15th. :D

Back to Thanksgiving.

This year, I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Family.

I have an amazing family. I didn’t know how much I missed them until I went back home to see them this past weekend.

Last year at this time, my Mom was knee-deep into her battle with breast cancer, but this year, she’s getting awesome test results from her oncologist and she’s still cancer free. I’m very thankful for that.

In fact, she’s doing great!

me-and-mom

I also had a great visit with my siblings. It’s not often that I get to talk to them one on one, but the way things ended up this last weekend, I had a good visit with most of them. My brother and sister plan on “road tripping” out to see us next year too! :)

I’ll always be in debt to my family for all their help – especially this year with our move to Oregon – and I’m thankful I was born into such a great family.

Health.

Again, with Mom’s cancer, I’ve been really trying to get healthier. CrossFit, which you can read about on my other blog, has been really important in helping me get back in shape. I’m amazed at what one month of it has done for my fitness level and general overall mental and physical health.

Friends.

While we left many good friends back in MN, I’m thankful for the connectivity that social media and the internet provides us to stay in touch. I look forward to visits from them in the future – and you know I’ll be heading back to MN to catch up too! :)

Tim.

I’m so thankful that he let me follow my wild idea of moving to Oregon. It took him some time to get acclimated, but now he’s as happy with Oregon as I am – especially now that winter is on its way. Our morning CrossFit workout was done in 60 degree weather. If that’s not the greatest thing ever, I don’t know what is. :D

Although we’ve had our ups and downs, he’s my soulmate and I can’t believe we’ve been together over eight years. Seems like yesterday…

Thanksgiving Dinner.

Oh who am I kidding, I love Thanksgiving dinner. Every year, even though we never have plans, I cook Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. With our new focus on health, we cut back on a few of the sides we didn’t really need (I don’t miss mashed potatoes) and decided to cut out dessert. Even with those cuts, I didn’t want for anything at all.

Get in mah belleh. Om nom nom nom.
Get in mah belleh. Om nom nom nom.

There are a multitude of other things I’m thankful for, but the siren song of wine, video games (Persona Q), and the couch is calling me and I must answer that call.

Happy Thanksgiving!