Thursday, April 28, 2016

Upping my game for the month of May

For the month of May ReachOut is encouraging everyone to Up Your Game to raise awareness of
suicide to do this you can either Step Up - do something you would normally never do or Give Up - give up something for the whole month. When I got the email in my inbox encouraging me to sign up I knew I wanted to do it but I had no idea what I would do. There were a few ideas but none really clicked, my Mum suggested I give up sugar to which I asked her if she wanted to suffer for the whole month. It was only at Bible Study when someone suggested I give up my laptop (and offered to sponsor me if I did) that I knew I had found something!
I mainly use my laptop for Netflix and watching shows so for me to give it up would be challenging but I figure I can survive it. I will have access to the family computer but that means working around the family and no Netflix.

FAQs surrounding me giving up my laptop:

Why just your laptop why not screens completely? Because I need to survive! I also need to apply for jobs, keep in touch with people and keep up with the world. I will admit that I may have a binge watching addiction so this is a way to curb that while also allowing myself some freedom.

Won't you able to watch Netflix on your phone and ipod? No because as of Saturday night I am deleting both apps off of my phone and ipod. I am also planning on using minimal youtube for the month of May as well.

How much are you hoping to raise? Initially it was $500 but I have since decreased that to $250 as I am hoping to do another 5km walk for ReachOut in July and don't want people to feel preassured to donate to both.

How do you plan survive the month of May? By reading lots of books, I also have quite a few DVDs that I want to catch up on including Heros, Bones, Friday Night Lights and the first season of my beloved Greek plus I wouldn't mind rewatching the first 2 seasons of Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Where can we support you? Here you can also sign up to Up Your Game as well. Every bit counts and you know that it will be going to support ReachOut. I only do crazy things like this for organisations I am passionate and love about so you know I must love ReachOut!

Now if you excuse me I have some binge watching to do before May starts!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sick of Waiting

Its been very quiet on the job front this past week and my mood has pretty much stayed the same as it was in this post. There has also been NO jobs to apply for which hasn't helped me feel like I am going anywhere. To make things worse I am blocked on my employment agencies books due to Centrelink but according to Centrelink I am still with them yet they are the only ones who can unblock me. I am also unable to report online until my employment agency marks me as not working part time but they can't as I am blocked on their system. I am so confused and have pretty much told my employment agency to sort it out because I am getting nowhere with Centrelink and have no idea what is going on.
It's tough because if I knew I would get work in a couple of weeks I would just stop the payments I am getting and live off of my savings but at this stage this isn't looking likely.
I honestly just wish the end was in sight because I am over not working and over looking for jobs to apply for (I am pretty sure finding a needle in a haystack would be easier!). I did apply for a job a couple of weeks ago and that closed on Monday and I have another week and a bit to see if  I will hear from them but I am loosing hope there. If you could please pray that I get an interview for this job that would be amazing as for now I am grasping at any threads of hope and it would be great if I did land this interview (and potientally the job).
I KNOW God has a plan for me and one day I will get a great job but I am sick of waiting and waiting. I guess who I can do is just keep praying and know that God knows what he is doing even though at the moment I have no clue what that is!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hitting the point

I hit have that point, the point when I am over being unemployed, the point when I begin to wonder if it would be worthwhile to use my life savings and just run, the point where I overthink every little thing, the point where I begin to think that I have made a big mistake.
I have hit this point sooner than I expected and its crept up on me, one day I was fine the next I was stress eating and wanting to scream. I know I should just trust God and know that this is all part of his plan but I am having trouble seeing it.
I have been baking like crazy because when I bake I feel useful and that feeling is what I need. Plus its cheaper than shopping which I really can't afford at the moment.
There are very few jobs to apply for recently which isn't helping me survive this.
I have looked at the numbers and the bigger picture and I know in order to survive both financially and mentally I will need to work around 20 hours a week preferably full days so I have at least 2 days to breathe. I want to help people and ReachOut is that outlet for me, I want to start up my studies again and I want to be able to do it while working without burning out.
At the end of the day I will survive hitting the point though I may come out with some bruises I will survive it and I know God will help me through it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

How to set up a basic stall without loosing your mind

This past weekend I did a stall for ReachOut, setting up a stall is no small task so I thought I would put together a brief guide on how to set up a basic stall.

Put together a stall kit. This helps keeps everything in one place and when you do have a stall you can just grab it and go. I bought a large plastic container from Target and keep everything to do with ReachOut in that box. I also have a smaller box in that box that contains basics for presentations.

What you will have in that box will vary depending on the type of stall you do but this is in mine:
  • Plastic tablecloths - if they get damaged it won't matter and you can get them for around $2 from discount stores.
  • Sticky stuff - this includes bluetack, sticky dots and sticky tape you never know what you will need to stick down something so its good to be prepared. I need to stick posters down and it all varies where I have the stall and the surfaces I have available. I also have some washi tape in different colours in case I need to brighten things up.
  • Small whiteboard and markers - I grabbed one from Kmart and its been invaluable. I have used it to write down facts about ReachOut and other things. Mine is also magnetic so it means that I can use it as another surface area if need be.
  • Pencil case with the basics - including scissors, pens, pencils, permanent markers etc  another thing to include is some plain paper and card
  • ReachOut Merchandise - I have lots of stickers, brochures, post it notes etc all with ReachOut's logo on them which I give out at stalls. I also find having them with my stall kit means that I know exactly where they are and am able to keep stock of what I have and what I need.
Not included in my kit are two light boxes which I bought to use at events (not just stalls but partys and when I need to add some personalisation quickly), I find they add height and look great. I grabbed one from Kmart and another from Typo and when they aren't in use I display them in my room.
I also have lollies that I keep in the box to give out at stalls but these aren't essiental I just find it helps attract people to the stall because everyone needs a sugar hit (bonus you can eat them during the quiet times!). I buy lollies at discount stores (like the Reject Shop and Red Dot) because it won't break the bank (at the end of the day they are free so no one can complain).

When setting up the stall I find its good to stick to a theme, for ReachOut I stick to blue as thats their colour so I just make sure that the bulk of the stuff I use is blue. It also makes the stall stand out as everything is one colour and it draws peoples eyes to it. It also means that the stall won't look busy despite if you have different elements to it. When you walked in to where I held the stall you could spot ReachOut very quickly due to how blue it was which was my aim.

I kept the stall pretty symetrical as it was easy to set up that way and it still looked good once people took some of the merch from it.
I had two buckets (the buckets are actually popcorn buckers which I found at Kmart) of lollies on either side next to the lightboxes. The bucket on the right isn't filled all the way with lollies its only half full, I stuck some (blue) tissue paper scrunched up in the bottom of it before filling it with lollies so while it looks like I have a lot I really don't. You can use the same trick in glass jars using a clear glass tipped upside down in the middle of the jar and surrounding it with lollies.

In the above picture you can see some mints that I printed out and stuck lables to with nice things and labled them encourage'mints' this was a random idea that I had as I had so many mints leftover from the movie night. These were extremely popular so many people commented on them, I still have a heap leftover so they will be used for another stall or event at a later time. I think its fun to add your own ideas when doing a stall and try to think outside the box as it shows your personality and can make great talking points.

I love being a Youth Ambassador for ReachOut and its always fun doing stalls for them, I never consider doing ReachOut work work because I always have so much fun doing the events and the prep leading up the events. I also never put any preassure on myself when it comes to doing ReachOut stuff for me doing stalls is just another way to tell people about mental illness and how it affects so many people.

There is no right or wrong way to do a stall as long as you have fun doing it and you can walk away feeling proud of what you have accomplished.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five Friday Favourites

Thought I would throw together a quick Friday Favourites because I haven't done one for a while and its a great way to end the week :)
Lost and Found Music Studios - I binge watch shows when I am bored this happened to just be on Netflix when I needed something watch and I watched all 14 episodes within 24 hours. Its a great mindless show if you need something to watch and if you enjoyed the Next Step then you will enjoy the sister series to it.

Coupe - hands down one of the best games you can play. Its a quick game and on average most games only take 15 minutes, up to 6 can play it with the standard pack or you can buy the expansion (which is highly recommended) and play with up to 10 players along with a few twists and turns. It doesn't take up much space either so you can take it places to play with friends (I'm not a fan to taking massive board games when I am going away).

Livia - I suffer with period pain and Advil is my go to but I have recently found out that due to my anxiety medication its not recommended that I take it due to a risk of internal bleeding. So when I found out about this gadget I knew I had to buy it. It's cost me $135 including shipping with today's current exchange rates but I figure anything that helps keep me pain free is worth it. I am looking forward to using it when it arrives (which won't be until October) and am hopeful that it will live up to its claims.

Greek The Reunion - can I just say how exited I am that this is happening! I love Greek (and have probably watched each episode at least 3 times if not more!) and have been hoping that they would eventually do a reunion special, because everyone wants to know what they have turned out like. I can't wait to watch it and am looking forward to seeing all the cast post their pics on social media during the filming of it. Abc Freeform also has quite a few new shows in the works that look interesting, at this stage I just want them to renew Recovery Road, Baby Daddy and Stitchers.

Adorable Aprons - being a baker who more times than not gets coated in flour I am always after a cute apron, so when I came across Adorable Aprons it was love at first sight. I know $40 might seem steep for an apron but they are extremely well made, look cute and you are supporting a small business. I love my apron so much and already have a list of who I could gift a few to next! A great gift would be an apron, wooden spoon (or spatula) and a few of your favourite recipes.(Picture apron is Philippa and available here).

Hopefully everyone has a great weekend, I have a stall tomorrow for ReachOut so hopefully that goes well and the weather remains nice :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

More applications

Yesterday after hearing the news about the getting job I throw myself into job applications. I always find it strange how between the interviews and the waiting periods after the interviews that there is always no jobs for me to apply for but as soon as I receive the news that I didn't get the job a whole stack of jobs come up. I have to be picky when it comes to jobs not because I want to be but in order to take care of my mental health I have to choose jobs that have decent environments and are part time as full time overwhelms me and causes my anxiety to go haywire. I managed to apply for 3 suitable jobs which is a record for me considering the job market at the moment! One required a selection criteria which I do not like doing but thankfully I was able to copy and paste some answers from previous criteria's I have done for the same place (but different departments) which got me through to the interview rounds both times (maybe it will be 3rd time lucky?). I also added to the answers where I could to show more of my experience but it was helpful having the base answers done.
The other 2 jobs were ones I felt I could do and matched my experience really well. I am sticking to more admin based jobs rather than customer service. I did ring up a caring agency that had casual carers advertised but I felt overwhelmed especially as I have no formal qualifications and if I did get the job I would have to get a first aid certificate, up my car insurance and change my car registration which is freaking me out even thinking about it! I may go back and look into it more but at this stage I don't think its the right direction for me.
I also had a psych appointment yesterday afternoon (it always amazes me that I have the appointments booked just when I need them!) and the timing was perfect, my anxiety was on edge due to finding out regarding the job and the long drive helped clear my head as well. I just love being able to pour everything out and get a different perspective on things. My psych after hearing about the job I went for and what it would've involved told me that she didn't feel like the job would've been a good fit for me and that the perfect job for me is still out there and I shouldn't feel like a failure. I also should focus on the good points especially as my interview game is on point and my references are good. Its hard to believe what a rollercoaster you can go on in only 3 weeks! I told her about the jobs I applied for and she felt that any of them would be a much better fit for me, so now its just up to God to do his work!
I do feel like its hard to trust God with all of this but this year at church we are focusing on prayer so its been a good reminder to keep praying to God through it all. I tend to pray a lot when I am driving as its something I can easily do without actually having to set the time aside. I just have to keep remembering also that God did one miracle with getting my license back so he can do another with finding me the right job. I know my life has never been easy but I just have to trust that God is using me for him and that he will guide me through everything.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hi my name is Erin

Hi my name is Erin and I am still unemployed, I had a great interview and was the second choice for job yet that doesn't help me with finding employment.
Hi my name is Erin and I just let the tears flow due to not getting said job when a part of me was beginning to doubt that the job was the right one for me.
Hi my name is Erin and this is nothing new for me and I know I should be use to it by now.
Hi my name is Erin and once again I let myself get my hopes up regarding this job.
Hi my name is Erin and I have just spent a morning applying for jobs including doing yet another selection criteria which made me want to pull my hair out.
Hi my name is Erin and sometimes I wish that someone would hand me a job and say I know this is the job for you (I can dream right?).
Hi my name is Erin and I have anxiety, Dyspraxia and I am a fighter.
Hi my name is Erin and I have struggled all my life and survived much worse things than just missing out on a job.
Hi my name is Erin and I want to help people, I don't care what I am doing I just want to help people in someway.
Hi my name is Erin and I know God has a plan for me despite me not feeling like he does at the moment.
Hi my name is Erin and tomorrow is a new day I just need to survive this one.