19 March, 2013

Little Rituals

*How I am using  to improve my health:*

I have bipolar disorder and a lot of anxiety issues. I also have mild tendencies of OCD when I am manic, and issues with maintaining attention to tasks. This shapes up to a lot of complication and extra stress.

Lately I have been buying and swapping perfume oils from _Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab_ and some other smaller companies. BPAL is one of the only places I can reliably buy perfume, and the other smaller companies only have a few that I can try without headaches or allergic reactions. 

Why does this matter?

First, I rarely put perfume on first thing in the morning because of John's sensitivities to perfume. So at work, I put on my perfume and take my daily morning medicines for my bipolar, and any pain medicine I need to take. It's a good way to remember, because I remember to put on perfume more easily than to take my medicine (no idea how that works!). 

Second, getting the packages in the mail are a huge highlight for me, especially when they are surprise gifts from the people in my BPAL circles. I don't get a lot of personal mail, and they always come with tea or a card or note, and it's just very sweet. It also gives me the opportunity to send gifts out! Sometimes scents don't work for me, but they work for others, so I bundle them up and mail them. This is really nice.

Last, the organization is fun. It's fun to go through the bottles and imps and sort them by type or by preference, smell ones that I can't remember if I like, all that stuff. It gives me one small space that I can have total control over and organize however I want. That's actually really meaningful to me. It gives my brain some space.

Do you have little rituals or habits that keep you healthy and sane?



  1. Hiya,

    I hope you don't mind, but I'm actually replying to this post in order to reply to a post of yours over on Gaming As Women (specifically this one: http://www.gamingaswomen.com/posts/2013/03/secret-power/) I couldn't reply over there due to a lack of a Wordpress login.

    Basically I wanted to say that I support you, and that I think you're dead right that "game design theory" is massively hostile to newcomers (particular, I suspect, female newcomers).

    The big names in the community are accorded an almost *superstitious* level of authority, and a lot of the time, honestly, I think it absolutely *is* about power, and heirarchy, and self-validation. And not at all about actually providing useful ways for people to think about gaming.

    Nerdboys love to hero-worship other nerdboys, and we like to perpetuate a culture in which people who are the way we aspire to be are treated the way we aspire to be treated. We defer to the Cranes and the Bakers of this world because we want other people to defer to us. It's genuinely a faintly toxic situation.

    Particularly illustrative, I think, was Meguey's analogy: "If we are sewing, and I’m working on a gathered cotton skirt and you’re working on a fully lined princess-seamed double-breasted swing coat with two-piece set-in sleeves in cashmere". This is rooted in the assumption that what Vincent Baker or Luke Crane or Robin Laws do is necessarily more sophisticated or complicated than what you or I do when it actually, well, isn't. When you get right down to it, Dogs in the Vineyard is just some guy's homebrew RPG. I mean yes, if you want to design a game that is *like Dogs in the Vineyard* then you should probably have a look at what Vincent Baker says about gaming, but if you don't, that doesn't mean that you're working at a lower level than he is, just that you're interested in other stuff.

    At the risk of using a horrendously offensive, blasphemous analogy, game design theory right now feels a lot like religion in the fifteenth century. There's this prevailing notion that you can't properly understand it unless you've got the right background, understand all the precedent, and read latin (there's also something a lot like a Doctrine of Infallibility surrounding some of the bigger names in the community). This attitude is elitist, harmful, and as you say discourages perfectly competent people from engaging intelligently with issues that they understand perfectly well.

    1. Dan,

      I think you have some good points there, and I can kind of join you in your blasphemy.

      Thanks for the response!

  2. I bought perfume once. Happy. I never bought any other perfume. I still have about half of that bottle. I actually have half another bottle because independently my mom bought it but she didn't like it so gave it to me. (She liked someone else's perfume and asked what it was. It was Happy so she bought it but it didn't smell as good on her.) I go through phases where I'll wear perfume everyday for a week then not wear it again for a year.

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