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Octopuses and Angel Wings

octopuses and angel wings

As long as I can remember I’ve been a fidgety person. Not because I’m nervous or anxious – I just like to be multi-tasking small tasks. I can’t watch TV or a movie without doing something with my hands too {otherwise I go crazy} and that normally means picking up my phone and playing a d.u.m.b. game. Even in junior high and high school I had to be playing with something {this was looooooooong before the days of the fidget spinners}.

After Madelyn died it got worse because my idle mind would twist and turn itself to the terrible, horrible until I was on the floor in the fetal position.  So, again, to combat that I would pick up a device and become the queen of Candy Crush, or Flappy Birds, or whatever the game du jour was…to the point that I was waiting for new levels to come out so I could beat those too. Honestly, it did what it was intended to do, keep my mind from spiraling but at the end of the day I had nothing to show for it {and didn’t really want to tell anyone that I was proud of playing level 1349 forty-seven times until I beat it}. Now we can argue semantics on whether I was working on my hand eye coordination or dexterity but let’s be honest, I’m a grown woman – those are just rationalizations.

My muscle memory is now so strong that at the end of the day the chain of events is: sit on sofa, plug in phone, turn on TV, open Monster Crushers, turn channel to mindless sitcom, play game until I run out of lives, find new game, play game, open email, read {but don’t reply to} emails, scroll through Instagram, scroll through Facebook, reopen Monster Crushers to play new lives…..well, you get the point. I can do this without even realizing what I’m doing or how long it’s been.

We all know this isn’t good. It doesn’t accomplish anything, and it just gets us more and more addicted to our phones {not to mention the Facebook Effect}. So I’m doing better. I’ve taken all the games off my phone {OK, not all of them, I still have a few – but not the 36392 I once did} and am working to be more in the moment. That still doesn’t help with my restless hand syndrome and I tend to want to reach for my phone…

Here’s my solution! I’ve found 2 great organizations that need help creating items for babies. I love handicrafts, especially making them, but never know what to do with them when I’m done – I mean come on – how many blankets, potholders, and scarves does one person need? My A.D.D. is also pretty bad – I love to start projects but pretty quickly get bored and don’t finish {I have a huge pile of unfinished projects…} These two projects are small enough that before I get bored of them they’re done AND they get given away so I don’t have to figure out what do to with them either 🙂

Project Robby offers support to families who’s babies were born prematurely and do not get to go home with Mommy and Daddy. They provide blankets, hats, and angel wings that are sized appropriately to fit those little souls.

Octopus for a Preemie gives small crochets octopuses to preemie babies in the NICU to give them something to grab – and to try to keep them from grabbing and pulling out their tubes. The tentacles feel much like the umbilical cord and helps put them at ease.

So now I’m stocked up on all the approved supplies, I’ve put my phone down, and I’m ready to do some good! This helps me to wean myself off my phone dependency while helping other families with their grief too.

If you’re having issues with your mind racing I highly suggest you find a project similar to these. They keep you engaged just enough to keep you from going to the ‘what ifs’ {all you really have to do it count and read, read and count} but don’t take so much mind power that you feel spent when you’re done. These small projects are great for someone, like I used to be, who can’t really focus on any one thing for a long period of time because their mind wanders {yes, this is a common symptom of grief}. It’s also therapeutic to make something for someone else.

We hope to find other great causes that need help with small projects like this to share as a way to help YOU heal. Do you know of a worthy cause? Let us know!

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