Expectations vs You

Hello Fuzzbutts,

Hope you’re all doing well! Feeling good? Keeping yourself grounded? Maybe you’re a little stressed out because of everything around you or maybe your goals aren’t coming to fruition. It might be your expectations are off and the difference between expectation and reality is what’s driving you crazy.

Say you wanted to lose 100 lbs in a year. That’s almost 10 lbs a month. If you’ve never lost more than 4 pounds so far, is it reasonable to expect yourself to double that? Maybe. Maybe not. However, if you’re halfway through the year and you’ve lost maybe 20 lbs, you’re going to find yourself very frustrated that you’re not on track. You’ve made great progress, just not at the timetable you’re expecting. If you had been better about your expectations though and said 50 pounds, you’d still feel pretty good halfway through the year if you lost the same 20 lbs.

I also see a lot of people putting expectations on others or even the entire world. They expect others to behave a certain way or think a certain way. If it doesn’t happen, it really ends up bothering them. It would be like me saying “I expect everyone to be productive” and then getting angrier every time I see somebody wasting away all their time (there’s a lot of them). It doesn’t do me any good to put those expectations on others and it only results in feeling bad. There are certain behaviors that should be expected like not expecting a stranger to randomly run up to you screaming, sure. However, we have to be reasonable in what we expect of ourselves and others. Often times, it just means lowering expectations.

I hope you start to analyze your own expectations of yourself and others. Are your goals and responsibilities actually reasonable or are you expecting too much (or too little!). Are you putting expectations on others and becoming frustrated when they don’t live up to them? Reassess how you think when it comes to things like this and hopefully you’ll find the peace of mind you need when everything around you seems to be failing.

Intermittent Fasting to Productivity

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re doing well! I had an extremely busy and difficult week. Next month doesn’t look like it’ll be any better. When this happens, it becomes easy to want to retreat. You do your work, have a hard time, and go home to put on your potato fursuit and binge some Netflix. Who wants to be productive when you’ve been running ragged? You can push yourself to be productive for a bit but it’s easy to burn out too. So how do you maintain productivity and avoid the burn-out blues?

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? There’s different ways but it’s essentially changing your diet so you’re fasting at some point. It may involve skipping a meal every day. Sometimes you eat normal one day and then you do a 24-hour fast. There’s several methods. I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you as far as any health benefits (it’s interesting). What does this have to do with productivity? Maybe you’ve already guessed.

If there’s something specific you do that isn’t productive, it’s good to take a break from it. Likewise, if you’re so productive you’re leaving a fiery trail behind you, it’s ok to slow yourself down and take a break. Maybe you need a compromise on both.

For me, it tends to be video games. I come home, pop on a chat with friends, and play some games either to stream to them or to play with them. Then I lay my head down and don’t feel so great about how I spent my time. Sometimes I come home, spend a bunch of time working on something and when it’s time for bed, I still feel wound up like I can’t relax. When I catch myself feeling these ways, it’s time to figure out what to do. If I find I’m spending too much time playing, I’ll stop myself from gaming. That doesn’t mean I force myself to work on goals. If I stop gaming, maybe I’ll write a blog post or clean my kitchen or handle some other business that’s been in my brain. Likewise, if my brain is running on empty, I’ll hold off drawing or an online course. Either way, the important thing is moderation and keeping some control over your behavior and brain.

Is there something you do that you spend way too much time on and avoid your goals? Try just saying “tomorrow I won’t touch X” and avoid doing that thing. Finding yourself burning out? Before you do, say “tomorrow I won’t do Y” and give yourself a break. Take a little of the routine out of your life and try doing something new or at least avoid the usual things. If you always binge some Netflix when you take a break, do something else like read something fun or just chill out with friends.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Giving Back Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

One thing I keep seeing fuzzbutts post are things involving being a victim or sad or something terrible that has happened in their lives. It gets depressing when you see so many people losing it on Twitter or other social media (mostly Twitter). Sometimes it can be a true cry for help and other times people just wallow. Part of it is a lack of personal goals and productively working toward meaningful ends. Another part is that we can get stuck in our own heads. I have my own problems and therefore, how do I help others? If you don’t address your issues properly, you just end up stuck, focused on yourself and not getting any better.

Unless you’re the worst off person in the world, you have something to offer others. If you have a talent, like drawing or crochet, make a gift for somebody you life. If you have means, help out a friend or check out GoFundMe to see if there’s somebody you’d like to just help. Have some time? Volunteer for something to help out. I started volunteering at the Food Bank for the past few months. I sign up for a shift (no hourly commitment like other organizations), show up, get assigned some very simple work, and stick to it for a couple of hours. At the end, the organizer announces how much work was done and how many people we helped in that one shift. It does give the warm and fuzzies to be around so many people doing good, regardless of the reason they’re volunteering!

This isn’t some miracle cure for fixing your own feelings. Your feelings are the result of a bunch of factors that each need to be addressed. However, getting out of yourself and helping others is just one thing you can do to help yourself and improve your own life. You may even find yourself having an attitude of gratitude. So look into yourself for something you might like to do for others and give it a try.

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!

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!

Book Recommendation- 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview

Hi fuzzbutts!

Working hard at the new jobbo! It’s been fun so far and the training process is intense. Even then, they’re suggesting people don’t typically “get comfortable” until 3 months after they start. I intend on doing it within 2 months. Aaaaanyway, once I had the interview scheduled for the job, I had received a book recommendation from my pal Tabykat to study before the interview.

It’s a short book called 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview. It’s almost 200 pages. Before you panic and say you can’t read that many pages so fast, I’m just saying you should get it the moment you know you’re looking for a job or a promotion and review the stuff. Plus a lot of the pages are a decent skim or show tables, etc, so it’s not as onerous as it sounds.  It covers a lot of things an experienced professional things should already know but it also gives fascinating details and things to try.

Since I was feeling so desperate for this particular job (the lab was beautiful, it’s an industry I want to work in, I heard nothing but good things from people there), I did the extra work. Good news is that it worked! So what especially seemed to help? I’ll just go over what I wouldn’t usually do but I did it after reading and I feel like it helped.

Research the status of the company- how are the financials. Any good news from the company? Any new deals or partnerships? I had a chance to talk about this to the director who interviewed me and they were impressed with the level of detail I knew (even though it was about 10 minutes worth of googling). I also seemed to blow somebody’s mind when I mentioned how I liked the company’s recent growth spike.

Letters after the interview- I thought this was kind of a hokey idea. I had a rapid fire interview (different pairs of people for 30 minutes over a few hours). Between pairs, I’d jot down notes regarding each person about something we discussed. After the interview was all over, I wrote thank-you notes and mailed them to the company for each individual person, mentioning said item from the interview. Once I got my foot in the door, almost everyone mentioned it and seemed to appreciate the gesture. Considering all these people were part of the decision to hire me, it felt like a good move.

There’s a ton of other stuff in there that I think most people miss, especially those early in their career development. I just wanted to recommend the book in general because I feel like it helped me. I wasn’t sure when I bought it for my kindle, planning on returning it if I didn’t get enough out of it (since I paid full price when it’s dirt cheap for a physical copy) but I liked it enough that I felt it was worth the sticker price.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

When Things Get Frustrating

Hello fuzzbutts!

How did it go this week for you? Pretty good? Did it drag on and on and on? Desperate for the weekend? What about your work? Has the fire gone out and you’re just rolling with the flow while being bored or just hating it? How about anything else like these drawing habits I’m trying to build? You just sit there, despising it but unable to make a change. You need that job! You need that income! Maybe it’s not even that there’s anything in particular to hate about your job but you’re just bored now.

It can be very frustrating to feel this way in your day-to-day life. The fire just… went out. Now you’re miserable and just there.

When this happens, it’s important to find meaning in what you’re doing. I work in a lab and now I handle the operations side of things. I don’t go into the lab anymore to do all the sample prep or even analyze the data. It drove me crazy for a while since now my job went from being active and walking around to just sitting at my desk and sending tons of emails to coworkers or vendors. However, that ended when I decided to focus on my new purpose and why it was important. My job is to ensure everyone else can get their jobs done. I go from my own little bubble or preparing stuff to actually helping my coworkers do better. I also get to call the shots on how to arrange things in our laboratory now. Anything that can be done to optimize somebody’s work or the space? Boom. That’s this wuff’s call now. Sure it can feel a bit slow as I wait for emails or for other people to make certain big budget decisions but it’s still fun.

Your job has a meaning to it. If not some nebulous great reason in the universe, then remember you go to that job to fund *blank* or so you can get *blank* job later. If you can’t do it, then maybe start looking around for something else.

I get that I used a job as an example but this still applies to new habits you want to cultivate. Remind yourself why you’re working on this habit and why it’s important to you. Remind yourself why you’re building new skills!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!