Tag Archives: Anxiety

Huh, Would You Look At That?

As everyone does with their dreams, sometimes (read: all the time), I question whether I have the chops to actually achieve it. If I have the talent, the drive, the passion, the work ethic, the stubbornness, to pursue writing and my dream of being a published author (hint: I do, but it’s easy for my brain to convince me otherwise. Yay, overthinking!).

Usually, I’m able to swallow those doubts, shove them into a dark place I hope to never discover again, even though they always resurface eventually, and I push forward and continue on. I realized something, though, the other day, that will hopefully make these recurrences happen a lot less frequently, so I can continue chasing my dreams without interruption.

I write.

A lot.

That might seem like a dumb statement or like that’s not important or perhaps even obvious. But I didn’t realize to exactly what extent that I truly incorporate writing, almost every single day.

Let’s just look at an average week, based on what it’s been like for this year, and you’ll see what I mean.

I’ve been writing, on average, 2,000 words a day for five days a week, so 10,000 words in my new book. Then, I usually write three blog posts for this blog, all of them averaging another 1,000ish words, so there’s another 3,000 words. Plus my book review over at Erlebnisse, so that’s another 700 words right there. Then, emails. You’d think that wasn’t a lot, but between responding to work emails, catching up on personal emails, not to mention the few email chains I have to stay connected with Twitter friends (and each of those is easily 1,500 words, because hey, each of us are writers and we have a lot to say to one another), that’s a lot of words. Those email chains alone, I prolly have roughly four or five of those going, so let’s say another 10,000 words, just for shits and grins.

All in all, on an average week, I’d probably say I write at least 30,000 words before you even start thinking about social media sites, random letters I get to respond to, texts, etc.

That’s a lot of words.

And aside from the work emails, practically all of that is not only voluntary, but unconscious, on my part. What I mean is, I write that much because I can’t imagine doing anything else. I write books because I love it. Same with blogging. Email chains to stay in touch with out-of-state friends make sense to me, even though it’s weird to other people. I like writing book reviews to help authors out, make connections and rave/rant over a book I’d just read.

Looking at all that, how can I ever, even when the overthinking is strong, question my passion for writing or my desire to chase my dream focused on it?

Cheers.

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Wow, That Sucked

I was plagued by influenza for the past eight days.

And wow, did that suck.

I’m still not fully recovered. My body is achy, this cough continues to linger and even going back to work today is taking it’s toll, but I’m nowhere near as bad as I was the past week and a half, and for that, I am ridiculously thankful. I can’t remember the last time I was that sick. I’ve definitely never been sick in that kind of way before; to the point where your body is literally so weak, you can’t actually function. You can’t move, you barely have the energy to eat, let alone do things like shower or walk from room to room. Your entire body aches and becomes sore. I felt like I was coughing up a lung every time I coughed and, towards the end, struggled enough to need an inhaler, just to help after a really bad coughing spell.

Oh, I was also on my period and couldn’t stop focusing on the consequences of being practically bedridden for past two weeks.

Trust me, you don’t need anxiety and stress on top of not feeling well, but I had it in droves, particularly about missing work. Though I had a doctor’s note and I very obviously should not be in public with anyone, lest I infect them, too, and spread this unhappiness around, I kept worrying–like I do–that I was going to lose my job for something completely out of my control. Which obviously wasn’t going to happen, yet that stress was there, too. Not to mention I fell behind on everything: writing, reading, blogging. And I missed all the fun things, like two DnD sessions and a family gathering I’d been looking forward to all week.

Saying that the last week and a half sucked feels like an understatement and I’m not even 100% healthy, yet. Yet it also was a needed reminder, even if I wouldn’t have minded getting the reminder in a different manner.

In a blink of an eye, my life was swept out from under me and suddenly I was ill as ill can be. The entire To-Do List I made for the week? Unaccomplished. Goals I’d set? Forget about them. I missed meetings and work, phone dates and time with family, hanging out with friends and even just going outside. All of these things are things I enjoy doing…most of the time.

Lately, I’ve found myself complaining a little more than usual. Not wanting to go to work, just out of laziness. Not wanting to work towards my two main goals–working out and writing–out of laziness and fear, respectively. So sometimes I’d be lazy or sometimes I’d complain, wishing I could do something else or wishing that I didn’t have to work for the things I wanted.

And then, with this flu, all choice was taken away. I had to lay there, in agony, and do nothing. It didn’t matter what I wanted.

Of course, it’s a really intense flu season right now and cases are being taken a bit more seriously thanks to the severity and the magnitude of the outbreak. When my chest started hurting, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you, with the anxiety like mine, that I feared hospitalization or perhaps even death (because my mind always goes to the worse case scenario) and all I could think about was everything I haven’t accomplished yet and how much I still want to do; how much I missed living. I kept thinking how lucky I have it, to have a job that provides for me, that I enjoy and can count on. I have dreams that I know how to chase and I’m taking the steps to do so, even if that’s hard to do, sometimes. Sure, sometimes I’d love to just spend the day at home playing PS4 all day, instead of working. Sure, I have complaints and bad days.

But damn, compared to suffering from whatever strand of the flu I had, I have the best life in the world.

Going forward, I’m hoping to remember that. Of course, there are still going to be days where I complain or days where I’m not feeling it. There are going to be days where laziness and fear and apathy and doubt win out over passion and creativity and hope and motivation. There will still be days when I take things for granted. But I’d like to lessen how often that happens by choosing to work, choosing to be grateful, choosing to remember how quickly everything can change and suddenly, choice is the last option available to me.

Stay healthy, friends.

Cheers.

PS: Also, a quick shout out is in order, both generally and then specifically. When you get that sick, you also get really lucky to know how much people care about you. To my family and my friends who reached out to me and wished me well, including my parents, people from work, my Grandma, my writing group and then still others, I can’t tell you how much that was appreciated and how much that made me feel loved. So thank you.

But I also got to thank my boyfriend, who I don’t think likes public adoration very much, but he doesn’t read my blog, so he won’t get embarrassed by me gushing on him for a bit. 😉 I’ve never had a boyfriend when I’ve been sick before and I never realized how amazing it can be to have someone take care of you when you can barely move; someone who does your laundry and runs to the store and buys everything on your list (and then some); someone who checks in on you and adds another blanket when you get cold and makes you eggs a billion times in one week, because you’re craving it and can keep it down; who doesn’t complain when you keep them up all night coughing, who takes off work to take you to the doctor when you’re too weak to drive, who stays up late playing Borderlands with you after you slept all day and can’t sleep any longer.

Babe, you’re amazing and I don’t deserve you, and I will never be able to thank you enough. You’re positively wonderful.


Random Emotional Word Vomit

Hey, friends.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve wrote a post that wasn’t tied into my resolutions on this blog (and I’m sorry about that; hoping to write more soon!). Still recovering from the holiday whirlwind and getting adjusted working evenings again, seems like. Though I know I’ll have a video game review up here in a couple days (because holy shit, Horizon: Zero Dawn, you floored me), I also just wanted to write a post doing a little bit of word vomit, just to get some emotions out of my system (but, let’s be real: most of my blog is like that). I’m not 100% sure where this post is going to go, but…

Image result for here we go gif

You see, I’ve been feeling kinda…blah, lately. Not all the time, but just in little spurts, where my mood will just…plummet. To the point where I’ll actually tear up, if not cry outright. Usually about stupid shit, little things, minor frustrations; things I certainly shouldn’t be crying about or get super upset by. I’m honestly not sure where this is coming from, but obviously, I’d really like to stop feeling this way and enjoy the life I have. Especially because there isn’t really a lot about life right now to complain about.

Job is going well. Getting back into the routine of things, so I’m slowly working on incorporating my goals into my every day life again: writing, reading, working out, blogging, you know, the usual. I still get to see my friends on a regular basis, part of two DnD campaigns, I got to see my family a lot over the holidays (and I plan to make them more of a priority this year) and I have a wonderful boyfriend who makes me feel so, so incredibly lucky. What is there to complain about?

And yet.

I keep getting caught in this funk. With little seeds of unhappiness seeping in and affecting my entire mood, bringing it down. I know it’s something I just need to shake…which is kinda hard to do, when I can’t exactly pinpoint the cause. But it’s something I hope I can shake earlier, rather than later, because I’m really not digging it.

And…yeah. That’s just where I’m at right now. Short and simple, today.

(Okay, maybe not so simple, but you get what I mean.)

Cheers.


This Post is Definitely All Over The Place

I’ve written about my brain before.

Sometimes, my brain really sucks.

You know, like how it always goes to the worst case scenario whenever a situation pops up. Or how I overthink every little thing, to the point of exhaustion. Or how the combination of these things makes life just a little more complicated than it needs to be and even though this happens over and over and over again, I still repeat the same cycle.

Let’s go on some ramblings, shall we?

This year, I met a really wonderful guy. I fell for said wonderful guy and I’m very elated to be his girl. I’m hoping it stays that way for a long time, if I’m being honest. It’s the first relationship I’ve ever been in and, needless to say, that comes with a lot of firsts. Yet it’s also the first time I’ve really experienced a lot of the…more complicated aspects of being in a relationship, I guess? I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself.

I realized I have jealousy issues, so that’s fun. Fear of abandonment, thanks to all the guys who liked me, but choose a different girl instead. Super rad. Still got those bouts of confidence droughts that have followed me since middle school, which is every guy’s turn on, right? Sometimes, I struggle to open up to him about how I’m feeling, just because I care about this man so damn much that I don’t want to lose him over being a crying emotional mess, which, in turn, makes whatever I’m struggling with, build up and up and up until I break, and I end up being a crying mess, anyway (which, btw, if a guy is willing to leave you because you’re human and you feel things, maybe he isn’t the right guy for you? Luckily, my human is the exact opposite and is one of the most empathetic, patient souls I know).

Oh, and I really struggle at balancing things.

You see, this morning, I got a really surprising offer: to go on vacation with his family. Next week. To Disney World (I know, right? I’ve never been to Disney World *cue excited screaming*). Last minute, sure, but super exciting. Honestly, a trip of a lifetime.

Yet what’s the first thing I do?

Panic.

Can I even get off work? Do I have enough vacation time? How am I going to afford it? Will I piss off my family, being gone the entire week before Christmas? What about changing my eye doctor appointment or my phone call date with my friend?

the incredibles slapping GIF

Which then began the spiral of anxiety and overthinking that related to that balancing struggle I mentioned above. You see, ever since I started seeing him, he quickly became a really important aspect of my life. I want him to stay that way. My life began to become more busy, with dates and hanging out with his friends, things like that. So, some things, that I used to do when I was single, have sorta stopped happening. Like having an abundant amount of free time, not leaving my apartment for three days in a row, playing my PS4 way too much…

Seeing my family.

This has been bothering me for a while. Between working nights five days a week, having two different DnD groups that take up two large chunks of my weekend and then a man who actually wants to spend time with me, for a change, and suddenly, my family has been put on the back burner. Which really isn’t okay with me. If you know me, you know how important my family is to me, so the fact that I’m going a month–if not longer–between seeing them when I live less than an hour away, is really not working.

Then, you add in the changes that I’m experiencing for the first time, mainly the “being-in-a-relationship-during-the-holidays” shenanigans. Balancing two Thanksgivings and two Christmases has been something I’ve never had to do and it’s been a challenge for me personally (though this is a challenge I’ve always wanted to experience and I couldn’t have found a better man to experience it with). I want to spend time with my man during the holidays, obviously. I want him to be able to see his family and I want to get to know them better. But, my family is everything to me, so I want to spend time with them, too. Yet there’s still only so much time in the day, especially during the holidays.

Cue stress and anxiety.

Especially when I don’t tell anyone involved about any of these feelings.

Which results in bawling your eyes out in stress, fearing that you’re going to piss off your family to go on a vacation you really want to go on with your boyfriend, while also trying to figure out logistics of said vacation mere days before it happens while being a Type A planner, and oh, you’ve been on your period for over a week now.

You might be getting a mental picture of where I was at, this morning.

There are a few important things I’m missing, here.

One: I must stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.

Though I have gotten better about this, I do really need to take this advice to heart and follow it like it’s my religion. Because at the end of the day, this is my one shot at living the best life I can and the happiest life I can. If I want to take a day off work to do something else, I can (without worrying that my boss is suddenly going to think I’m lazy). If I want to spend the day with my man, I should do that (without feeling guilty it’s been a few weeks since I’ve hung out with my family). If I want to go and have dinner with my folks, I should do that (without stressing that my man is going to get irritated that I love my family so much).

I’ve gotten a lot better at being true to myself: being that nerdy, LOTR-obsessed, quiet, introspective, passionate, straight-edge, hopeless romantic I’ve always been, but sometimes too scared to stay true to. Now, I’ve got to also give myself permission to do what I want, as well, without considering every other party before I make a decision (because half the time, my anxiety is giving them untrue opinions/reactions to those choices to being with, which just makes everything unnecessarily complicated).

Two: Perhaps throw a little trust around, eh?

I have this ingrained fear of pissing people off. My friends, family, boyfriend, all of them are included in this fear, no one is exempt. I can’t really describe where this fear comes from, but it taints a lot of my thoughts and fuels a lot of my anxiety and my decisions. Yet it’s also wrong, because none of those people have ever given me a reason to doubt them or my relationships with them–not to mention the strength of those relationships, which I’m very lucky to have strong ones in each regard. I need to start trusting in that strength and the people that I care about; trust that their care for me is genuine and it’s not going to dissipate the moment things get rocky.

Three: The people I love can’t know what I’m thinking/feeling/needing if I don’t tell them. 

Self-explanatory, but apparently something I really struggle with. Gotta love the introverted shyness coming out in me, forcing me to resort to writing letters or long texts or hiding notes or passive aggressive blog posts to communicate how I’m feeling about something; causing me to wait until whatever’s concerning me has reached the boiling over point and I become the crying mess I was this morning. A mess who was answered by an understanding family, excited that I’m going on an awesome trip, instead of being angry or feeling jipped, like I feared; and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand why I’m not hanging out with my family more, because he knows how important they are to me–and isn’t going to go anywhere, if I do.

*sigh*

It’s safe to say, friends, that I’ve still got a lot of learning to do: in life, in love and in learning how to balance the two.

 

Cheers.


The Never-Ending Cycle of Learning Lessons

This freakin’ brain of mine, friends.

This freakin’ brain.

So, as you (might) know, my birthday was last week. *throws celebratory balloons* As such, it was a lot of eating really good food. Including cake. Like, Oreo Blizzard Cake from Dairy Queen (because my family is awesome). Plus, homemade strawberry pretzel salad (because my family is awesome). And letting me choose the restaurants, so places like Olive Garden (because, hello pasta) and Texas Roadhouse (can I have another basket of rolls, please?) were both consumed. It was a glorious weekend.

You know what didn’t happen?

Running.

Or working out of any capacity.

Monday’s are my weigh-in days. Which, in retrospect, makes me wonder why I picked that day, out of any day of the week, because it’s always after the weekend, which is when I usually fall off my eating plan and don’t work out at all, so it’s probably my “worst” weight of the week (as compared to Fridays, after I’ve worked out all week and ate well). Yet it’s also probably the most accurate, so I’m sticking with it.

Anyway, this morning, I was terrified to weigh myself. In my mind, since I went a little overboard with the birthday shenanigans, obviously I’d gained five, ten pounds back and I was going to lose all motivation I had to keep up this lifestyle I’ve now officially kept up with for a year and suddenly I’ve become the cow I always thought I used to be, before.

Dramatic, right?

Everyone told me to skip weighing, do well this week and then weigh next week. And I wanted to do just that, but I couldn’t. I wanted to be honest with myself.

So I weighed.

And gained 0.08 pounds.

Then, I ran three miles and weighed again, just for shits and grins.

And was right back where I was last week, perfectly maintaining.

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I know.

know.

You gotta love that overactive imagination, right? That over-thinking part of my brain that just so happens to be more powerful than other part of my brain? Yeah, it definitely took over this weekend, being so nervous that a couple days of not eating the best was going to ruin a year’s worth of progress. But I don’t believe that was the main factor, the main influence, for my over-thinking.

It was fear.

You see, the most amazing part about this lifestyle change; about losing 30 pounds of my 40 pound goal; about figuring out eating habits that are healthy yet aren’t restrictive; about incorporating working out as part of a routine (and a main part, at that); the most amazing part about all of this has been the self-love I’ve finally experienced, after so many years searching for it and failing to find it.

Ever since 7th grade and I first slipped into the 180 pound range, I’ve hated myself, physically. And that hatred manifested, through depression, into practically every area of my life.

For years.

Until this past year.

As I’ve discovered my strength, I’ve discovered a pause to look in the mirror when I usually stared at the ground. As I’ve discovered my control, I’ve discovered the excitement to go shopping for a new pair of jeans instead of dreading it. As I’ve discovered a healthy lifestyle, I’ve discovered the joy of releasing endorphins, actually creating the way my body looks, enjoying foods that I make myself and eating a healthy amount, all alongside discovering a love for me, and my body.

It’s an incredible feeling. Addictive, really.

I never want to go back to what I used to feel. I never want to hate myself again.

So when I mess up, I get scared. Because I’ve messed up before. Over and over again, I’ve messed up, which is how I got to 200 pounds in the first place, being labeled as in the “obese” category at the doctor’s office. And though realistically in my mind, I know that a few days of poor eating, or a week of not exercising, isn’t going to kill me. Hell, gaining a pound or two back isn’t failure. If nothing else, I should be confident that I can conquer any obstacle, now that I’ve already done what used to feel like an impossibility, so whatever I gain back, I know I can lose it again.

Yet the fear remains.

And that’s the next thing to conquer.

It’s especially prevalent now, that winter is here. Because I know I’m not going to run as much as I’ll want to. It’ll get cold or the weather will get bad and I’ll have no desire to run at all, let alone leave the warmth of my bed. I’ll want to eat warm, filling food and play video games. Plus, we got Thanksgiving coming up, not to mention Christmas. And all that Halloween candy still to eat. It’s the holiday season, paired with the worst weather to run in, basically setting me up to not lose weight. Or maintain, which is my goal. And potentially gain.

I know that, if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. I know that, if I focus on the unrealistic roots and unfairness of this fear, I can overcome it. I know that, if I learn to embrace forgiveness on the times when I mess up or the weeks that I don’t do very well, this fear will quietly become silent. I know that.

Now, it’s time to learn it.

Cheers.


My Desire To Be More

One of the coolest things, I’ve found, about your own personality and your own existence as a human is how the process of discovering ourselves and growing into the person we want to be never ceases. There is always the opportunity to better yourself and change aspects you don’t like, heightened the things you do or embrace an entirely new element about yourself.

Recently, I’ve discovered a couple things about me that I’d like to focus on changing. They aren’t necessarily bad things. Recently, I’ve been more akin to noticing them and how they are holding me back from being the woman I really want to be and that’s why my goal is to actively change them, whatever that my look like.

Be More Assertive

This aspect of my personality is something I’ve really struggled with. I’ve always been that introvert with extroverted tendencies. Someone who is more shy than outspoken. Someone who will be quiet over making her voice heard. Someone who cares more about the opinions and desires of others–and making sure those are met–than her own. I wrote a post that discussed this at some length, but it just keeps popping up.

Most of the time, it’s simple stuff, like feigning apathy when I actually know what I want for dinner or hesitating to offer a suggestion when an open call is asked for one. But at the same time, it’s still important. My voice and my opinion are still important. And, quite frankly, it’s also rude to other people, who also value my voice and opinion and want to hear it. Why hold back what I want to say or how I feel because I’m so concerned it might not align with what they want or feel? Why assume that, because I’m so used to swallowing my own desires and needs, that they will do the same and we’ll be stuck at an impasse? Why shy away from honest conversations where the needs, wants, desires and opinions of all parties are heard and discussed, before a conclusion is reached? It doesn’t make a ton of sense.

So I want to express my opinions, my thoughts, my wants, my desires, my needs. If I want to eat at one restaurant and my friend wants to eat at another, nine times out of ten, we’ll end up eating at the restaurant my friend wanted, to be honest. Though I want to be more assertive when it comes to expressing my own voice, that doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to be so assertive that my needs come before everyone else’s. Nor should it. But there needs to be more of a balance, between being selfless and silent, to being selfish and speaking. I want to be a little bit of both. I want to have a voice and make it heard, while still being super flexible–an aspect that I love about having a meeker personality and I don’t want to lose that as I develop an assertive voice. I do want to be a little more selfish when it matters, when I have a strong opinion, yet I also want to continue being empathetic. I want to balance putting others needs first and making sure my own needs are met.

Every day you have the opportunity to grow and make the decision to become a happier version of yourself. You aren't the same person as you were yesterday. Who are you choosing to be today?  Tag a friend  /// Get the best happy quotes from the week delivered to your email. Link to sign up in my profile. via @angela4design by @happsters

Be More Confident

This might be something I’ve always struggled with, ever since I can remember. I’ve always had body confidence issues, for sure, but it’s bled into every area of my life where I could possibly have confidence, to the point where I have hardly any at all.

And I kinda should.

Sure, I think being humble is awesome and that’s something I’d like to claim to be, but there’s a difference between being humble and then honestly belittling your own self worth and self image. This whole post might be talking about how I want to improve, but if I’m being really honest with myself, I like who I am and I like who I am becoming.

I need to stop apologizing for everything (something I also talked about on this blog). I was out with my family this past weekend and I realized feeling the need to apologize for every little thing is apparently something we all do. I was surprised at how annoyed I got with hearing utterance after utterance of, “I’m sorry” for things where no apology was necessary. Which I’m sure you find ironic, considering how I confessed to doing the same thing all of the time.

I need to learn to accept compliments and not immediately try to dissuade them and label the compliment as a lie. I need to be confident in my own skin and realize that, even though I’ve made progress in my weight loss goals and still have work I want to do, I shouldn’t be afraid to still flaunt and love the body I have now. I need to be confident in my writing and my stories and my ideas. I need to be confident in my voice.

I am starting to love me for me. I just need to let other people see that.

Be More In the Present

This one might be a little weird, but it ties into my anxiety, which I’ve also talked about. But I want to focus more on living every day as wonderfully as I can. I want to work harder at creating happiness from each moment, instead of constantly waiting for each weekend or the next big event; doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about the future things on my horizon that get me amped, but I want to be more present in my day-to-day life, appreciating the little things. More often than not, I lose myself to anxiety over the future or overthinking the past that I forget how to live in the present. The scary reality is, the present can change so quickly and not always in a positive way. So I want to focus more on just enjoying what I have, where I am, who I am, now, and letting the future happen as it happens.

Focus on the good.

I got a few things I’d like to work own. Like most good things, none of these changes are going to happen overnight–apparent by the fact that I’ve written at least one other blog post that ties into each of these aspects of my identity once before, so obviously this is a topic I’ve considered before or is on my radar. Awareness is a great first step and I’m there.

Now it’s time to do something about it.

It takes little changes, every day, to reshape, build and then strengthen these elements into my true personality and that is a challenge I really want to–and am very excited–to undertake. Have any tips on how to do exactly that? Leave them in the comments below. I’d really appreciate it!

Cheers.


My Life Can Be Told By The Awkward Yeti

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First off, I love The Awkward Yeti web comic. It’s fantastic and never fails to be absolutely relateable to my life.

This picture popped up on my newsfeed the other day and felt particularly apt.

I’ve written about it before, how my overthinking and anxiety causes me to focus on the negative instead of the positive (even though I usually have a glass-is-overflowing kind of mindset); how I’ll come up with the worse possible outcome and immediately assume that’s how the situation is going to end; how my brain will hone in on that one bad thing and completely miss all the good things that are just as important and obvious, yet completely overshadowed.

Obviously, those struggles are captured perfectly in the comic above.

It’s particularly apt because this past week, I’ve had a bit of a weird week. It’s been a mix of having days where I felt completely on top of everything and days where I was as lazy as the definition allows and felt worthless. It was a mix of feeling, oddly, at peace with how lucky I am in my life; how there are so many good aspects and elements within it that makes it hard to complain about anything at all; juxtaposed with feeling those familiar desires to overthink and lose it to stress hinting at the edges of my consciousness, desperate for that microscopic focus and attention that blurs out anything else. It’s been a mix of feeling totally content and utterly scared.

And then I saw that comic.

A needed reminder, if I ever saw one. I have a heart desperate to recognize all the good in life, even when it’s harder to see or there are other, negative distractions waiting to capture my attention. Of course, this will always be a work in progress. I’ll always have days where that picture describes me perfectly. But I want to work on having more days where I’m more like Heart and less like Brain (even though both are very important).

Cheers.

Also, here’s some of my other favorites from The Awkward Yeti. Enjoy. 🙂