Fall off the wagon? Time to get back on!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’re those good habits coming along? Start drawing more? Eating better? Exercising more? All those good things? Did life get in the way?

Sometimes you’re eating better and then the convenience of lousy or fast food overtakes your new habit again and you’re back to eating some terrible food. You got active and healthier but then you got sick and had to stop. You’re all better now but it’s hard to start again and you feel like you’re starting from scratch again.

Well I have good news! Just because a good habit (or anything replacing a bad habit) has stopped doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch again! Stopped exercising? You’re still healthier than you used to be and you know what to do the next time you hit the gym. Stopped drawing? Well all those extra hours or days of experience you built up before you stopped still have you as a better artist than before you got into the habit.

Imagine how awful it would be if you stopped drawing for a month and suddenly all your ability devolved to how good you were when you were 3Ick! 

So, since you were closer to your ideal life before, you just need to pick up the ball and run with it again. Resume working on those skills! Keep working on losing that weight! You’re further along than you think and you already did the hard work of starting the first time. Starting it up again will be easier this time. So dust off that list of good habits you stopped working on and give it another go!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Random Acts of Love

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I wanted to talk about something I’ve been doing recently. Lately, I finally decided to take the pressure off myself as far as dating and enjoy my own company more while spending less time stressing about romance or being on the numerous apps I used. I noticed a shift in myself as I actually felt much more relaxed than I have in a while. More than that, I’ve found myself spreading this energy out to those around me and I feel like it’s been good for me and the responses I get make me feel even better.

Know anyone who creates? I happen to have friends who make a lot of art and also follow a ton of talented artists I’ve never spoken to. I happen to like their art. So why not tell them it’s great? Heck, if I get more than 20 favorites on a piece of art, I feel awesome. I feel even more awesome when people actually comment something positive on the piece. So how would they feel if I sent them a direct note? So that’s what I’ve been doing- Emailing, direct messaging, or noting the artists and creators once in a while that I appreciate their work and just how I think they’re so talented and amazing.

It’s a small gesture. It’s extremely small for something in a fandom where the content creators are really what drives the furry fandom. I feel the love of furry art, fursuits, and other media is what bring us furries together. The artistic world is full of self-doubt so you never know when an artist is feeling a little self-conscious or down on their abilities. So let them know you appreciate their work and how you feel about what they produce.

As a disclaimer, do not do this AND THEN ASK FOR SOMETHING. Nobody likes feeling manipulated and it undoes any good feeling the artist was getting from your compliment. It’s just a bad move and it’s not cool. Send a genuine compliment and just let them know you like their art.

You’re okay the way you are… or are you?

Hello fuzzbutts!

Happy to be here to bring you another post! Hope you’re all doing great. I’ve been having a good time but I’ve been thinking about something a lot of furries tend to do that pretty much self-sabotages us.

Something in life isn’t going the way we want. It might be something about the job or our bodies or something in our own behavior. We recognize there’s an issue and we get down on ourselves about it. Sometimes we share this with a friend. Our friend, well-meaning, responds with “You’re fine just the way you are.” You don’t actually feel any better about it, but you decide to push the problem away for now. Later, you’ll think about it again, seek validation that you’re still okay the way you are, and then avoid doing anything to help yourself.

However, if the problem is something that would improve the quality of your life like you want to get more fit, stand up for yourself more, be more patient with your friends, etc, then it’s a problem worth addressing. Blow up at somebody over something little? Overweight and think you need to get healthier? Feeling useless or like you’re a drag on your friends? Then you’re NOT OKAY THE WAY YOU ARE! You have some self-development to work on. Don’t let yourself settle for staying the same. You are the lead character of your own story and it’s a FACT that the best stories involve character development. I enjoy reading and nothing is more annoying than a main character who doesn’t evolve and grow as the story plays out. Same for movies. So many of the best stories involve a flawed main character who works to overcome their weakness and become the hero or heroine the observer can respect. That’s supposed to be YOU.

I want you to be the best you can be. I want to see you evolve and grow as people and fuzzbutts alike. You can’t do that if you stare at your own flaws and then say “Well I guess I’m fine the way I am.” Nobody is perfect and nobody will be perfect. On the flip-side, everyone can grow and do better.

Fall in love with your self-development. You know the things you’re doing wrong already. If you can’t think of it right now, stop for 2 minutes to think about it. You’ll come up with a pretty big list of things you could start to work on in very little time!

I love you and I want you to get on this journey to become the best you can be. Good luck, fuzzbutts!

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!