Planning to get Unstuck

Hello Fuzzbutts!

One thing that has stuck out to me in some of the conversations with people I’ve met is how many of them seem to fall into a mindset that they are just stuck. They hate where they are but they can’t move from there because one of reason or another (usually it’s a job situation and they can’t move out of it because they need the job for money). Other times, it’s a weird relationship issue where they want to leave but they stay for whatever reason is most difficult for anyone else to understand.

While I can’t help so much on the relationship front, the job situation and the feeling of being stuck is something that can be dealt with. We feel helpless to the moment and the way we’ve led our lives that we’ve made mistakes along the way and don’t see any way out. We’re so busy we don’t think to take a breath and assess the situation. Yet, that’s exactly what we have to do. Take a step back and start reviewing where you are and where you want to be.

Have a lousy job and want to take on a job in a field you’re more interested in? Find what skills you’re lacking and start learning. I don’t get paid by Udemy but I love recommending their online courses. Computer skills, singing, drawing, whatever. You’ll learn more about the subject and learn if it’s something you actually want to do vs whatever you think it is. A computer job might sound lucrative and cozy but are you prepared to stare at hundreds, if not thousands of lines of code trying to fix whatever is broken with a deadline quickly approaching? Dip your toes into the water. If it’s fine, then start gaining the skills you need and make that transition. I know a couple of people who dropped out of college, got entry-level biotech jobs, and are doing great without a degree because they were determined to get their feet in the door and then picked up the skills they needed.

What if you’re stuck because you hate your job and don’t even know what to do? Well your problem is you don’t even know what you want to do. Start writing up a journal! Brainstorm like crazy on a sheet of paper about the possibilities. You don’t have to figure it out in one sitting. Every time you sit down and start popping off ideas, you might not know what you want to do but you’ll learn what you DON’T want to do. When you do figure out what you want to do, start assessing all the aspects of it and then weigh the pros and cons.

Say you want to make fursuits. Do you have the skills to make them to begin with? Can you afford all the materials to just get started? Do you have customer service skills appropriate for dealing with furries? Can you take criticism in case you get a bad review? Can you set up the boundaries necessary so you can do your job without being micromanaged by your customer while also make sure you can hold up your end of the deal? How much should you price your fursuits and accessories to be able to compete with better-known brands? How will you maintain your schedule and social media presence? Can you figure out a tracking system that won’t become a huge mess when you have a dozen orders or a long queue?

How about a non-furry related job? You want to work in electronics? What kind? Sound systems, displays, robotics, etc? Are you making things or repairing them? What companies would be interested in those skills? Are there any do-it-yourself projects you can do at home as examples to show off when you interview? Are there certifications you can acquire that would help you land work?

How about just stuck in your position at your current job? What does it take for a promotion? Is there a different career track at your company that they might even enable you to take? Are there other companies nearby that do the same sort of work but would give you new experience (and probably an increased income? Sometimes they will even if you end up with the same title)? Is it time to update the resume?

None of what I said matters until you can sit down and take the time to think about these things. You don’t need a lot of time. Take 10 minutes in the evenings or even during your break at work (just don’t show anyone at work you’re working on changing careers!). The point is you’re not stuck. You just need to settle your mind, take a breath and a step back, and review everything going on. You can come up with a plan and come up with a direction for your life. You’ll gain a sense of control almost right away as you shift gears and you’ll realize you can handle this.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Dealing with the Post-Convention Depression

Hi fuzzbutts!

You’ve had your fun at the convention. Met friends you haven’t seen in ages and made new friends! You had a care-free fun time the entire convention and then you’re on the plane or in the car to head back to real life. The high of the con starts dipping down and you get home again with a desperate need to do laundry and put everything away. However, by now your mood has dropped into the deafening void and the various chores to accomplish look impossible and you lost pretty much all your motivation.

I know I went through this. I was willing to let my fursuit air out after a long weekend of use and just took way too long to get around to actually washing it. Dirty laundry sat in the washing machine way too long and I just flopped on the bed or at my computer and found it tough to get anything done. So I did a bit of inner exploration, realized I was depressed after the convention, and then decided to figure out how I can address this since I know it affects many convention goers.

One of the first things I realized was a sense of loneliness since most my friends had moved away. While I usually enjoy alone time, even I experience the lows that come with missing friends. So the first thing I did was start reaching out to those friends. I made new friends at the convention too and we shared our contact info and social media and I started talking to them too. They were all pretty darn chatty too so it was very helpful to keep in contact with them to combat the PCD.

Another thing I realized is my mood was down because I was just exhausted. At the con, you’re riding high and you’re having so much fun that it’s hard to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Starving yourself because you don’t want to eat without your friends but they’re taking too long. Then, when you do eat, you’re eating quick food or junk food. Sleeping late because there’s so much going on. Drinking and having fun like a crazy person. Then we’re surprised that so many people leave a convention with con crud (the almost immediate cold/illness you get as you’re leaving a con or immediately after a con). Being physically tired/weaker will lower your mood and contribute to the post-con depression.

So if you’re set on not taking care of yourself at the convention and want to party hard, the best way to recover after the convention is to just rest and start eating better immediately. You’ve put yourself through a lot and need to take the appropriate rest and eat something that will put your body back to normal, if not even healthier food than normal. Your body will recover and then you’ll just feel better there too.

So the gist of dealing with post-con depression is to put yourself out there and reach out to friends in a way that’s enjoyable. Don’t go telling them you’re so miserable and sad. Just be social and chatty. Also, eat something to help your body and take the appropriate rest. You’ll feel better way faster and your mood will improve to drive away the post-con blues. Then you can get back to being productive!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

BLFC Wrap Up

Wuffles! BLFC finished a week ago! Your post is late!

Yeah I know. I’ve been swamped with a bunch of cleaning, post con depression, and fursuit washing as I get back into my day job too! So many excuses but I finally made it.

Short of BLFC: I had a blast. Long: I spent the minimal time I could in the room and spent as much as I could with friends. I decided to have a couple of furries I had never known room with me to split some of the bill and they were a great pair of furries and now friends. My very first con, I had joined randoms and it was a nightmare so I’m so happy they were cool. Friends I hadn’t seen in a while were so much fun to spend time with. Didn’t make any use of the pool this time around since the weather was lousy but I miss everyone already!

As far as my furcon checklist, it worked out perfectly this time around as I went through and checked all the boxes. I had plenty of clothing to last me the entire time. All it took was two checked bags and a backpack so I still had room for a carry-on if I ever want to struggle dragging more stuff around.

I’m so glad I went and I’m going to try to make it to MFF this year too. I should have enough vacation days by the time it rolls around and I’m giving up on DenFur since everything is sold out anyway.

Lastly, I did talk to several people about the ways things were going for them and I think it has given me a couple of ideas on more posts to write so look forward to that. For now, I’m so happy I went, life is returning to normal, and it was such a great con.

Have fun, furries!

Book Club: Dollars and Sense

Hello fuzzbutts!

I enjoy listening to so many books and I just finished one that was great and I wanted to recommend to you.

So this one is called Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. It discusses the various ways we think about money and how absurd we can be when faced with situations.

One example is how people will watch a locksmith for twenty minutes struggle to unlock their door, breaking tools along the way, and then happily pay 80 dollars plus whatever fee to replace the tools. On the other hand, if that locksmith were able to deftly open the door in less than a minute, 80 dollars suddenly sounds like a rip-off. “You’re absurd. It took you two seconds to open that door and you want 80 dollars?”

It also goes into things like how the owner of an item values it for more than a buyer would (I know people who do this routinely and sometimes I do it too). The way language can focus our brains and steer us into a certain direction. Would you like a 20% fat burger or an 80% beef burger? How about the way the convenience and instant expectations we’ve developed as a society has affected our spending habits? Sunk cost fallacies.

The book does use pretty fascinating research and the humorous tone was delightful to listen to. It does give practical advice for a lot of the information it gives and, for some of it, just becoming aware of my own thinking will be useful in the future. Given the state of furries and finances, I think this book would be a great read to help the fandom.

Enjoy, fuzzbutts!

Going to Biggest Little Fur Con!

Hooray!

So this Wednesday I’ll be off to Reno, NV to attend my favorite furry convention! Unfortunately, the flights were either 6:30AM or like 9PM so I’ll be getting there SUPER early. I think my flight lands around 7:30AM. So maybe I’ll have a room ready or I’ll just have to leave my bags at the front desk and enjoy the casino for a while. Unfortunately, the same applies to my flight back so I’ll be leaving crazy early Monday morning.

I’ve got my FurCon Checklist I made (link on the left side) and I’m packing up some things in advance this weekend since I’m not going to have time to pack more on Wednesday and I don’t have much time in the evenings during the week.

If you enjoy my blog, I’d love it if you greeted me and I want to hear if there’s anything in particular you found helpful or would like to hear more about.

I wuff you all and I’m looking forward to this fun trip!

Trying a format change for the site

Hello fuzzbutts!

I’ve gone through all my posts since starting this blog and categorized everything. I added the categories to the left side in the navigation menu. Hopefully this will help everyone find the topics they are looking for without sifting through scrolling down and also gives me a reference on where I’m focused and where I should explore to make new posts. I am trying to help you (and myself) figure out how to develop all-around. All posts will still appear on the front page

I hope this doesn’t make the page appear busy and I’m thankful to all of you for visiting my site.

Have fun, furries!

Deliberate Practice!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today we’re going over the concept of deliberate practice. It’s a very general term that is intended to apply to anything you want to learn. It’s not just doing repetitive actions like memorization or drawing circles constantly, but it is focused on establishing and performing specific tasks to improve your performance. You find your weaknesses and look for ways to fix them. You look for specific ways to improve and follow those techniques.

Since I like talking about my own goals of drawing, I’ll start with that. I could spend hours upon hours drawing circles  and a few lines to represent heads. Unless my weakness is being able to draw a circle, this actually isn’t going to help me out. However, if I’m not happy with the way a muzzle or the eyes turn out, that’s something I could practice more. Not only just me practicing the eyes I draw, but looking at references and images that I admire and trying to imitate that process. I practice the eyes until I’m very happy with the way they are. I also practice variety since there’s so many types of eyes out there. It has a clear intention for me- draw better by drawing prettier eyes. If I eventually feel ok about eyes but now find I don’t like the way I draw hips, then I apply the same exercises I established and proceed from there to improve my art.

If you want to improve math skills or something more school-related, you can still apply deliberate practice. Study the problems and the solutions to them in the book. Then practice a few problems on your own and check the solutions. If you made a mistake, review where it happened. Try again and see if it works correctly this time. Unfortunately, in many math textbooks I’ve encountered, many practice problems have only some of the solutions and zero explanation of how the solution was even reached. In that case, a classmate or tutor might be able to shed light on where things went wrong in your thinking.

A good read on the principles of deliberate practice along with a ton of great examples can be found at James Clear’s Website and I recommend you look into it even just to get some ideas with regards to things you could apply the idea of deliberate practice to.

 

Good luck Fuzzbutts!