I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to share this month’s musing newsletter, because I’m really happy with this piece, so think of it as advertising for all my new stuff on the site, and for the newsletter. Sign up here for monthly musings or less frequent product updates (or both!).
Now follows an edited version of the newsletter:
I hope you’re doing as well as you can do, and you’re being kind to yourself.
November has been a busy busy month for me at SCB towers! I’ve launched a few new things, made the website even better, and I’m a YouTuber now!
November new things!
– The website now has a dedicated section for free SCB resources (including wintery/holiday colouring sheets!)
– There is now a helplines and resources section! (I’m looking for more resources from other parts of the world, if you have any links, I will greatly appreciate them and add them to the site (with attribution if you’d like 😀 )
– It’s now easier to specify a different delivery address on the shop so you can easily send SCB products as gifts (I’ve had two gift orders this month and it gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings inside :D)
– I’ve added some individual and bundle products on the site, so you can order specific items or add on items to an existing resource pack. If you want something a bit custom, get in touch and we can work it out 😀
– The SCB holiday pack is here!! This really pulled from my own experiences, so I’m really proud of and happy with it. Plus it has the encouragement cards, which are one of my favourite things I’ve ever made.
The SCB youtube channel is here! There are two videos to check out! I’m really enjoying making these, and I hope you enjoy watching them. Videos will be out every other Wednesday.
Holiday season musings
I have a weird relationship with the holidays. I love Christmas in theory – at least, the secular side. I prefer cold weather, I wasn’t built for the heat so a winter festival is A+ in my books. I love making warming comfort food, lots of stews and potato based meals. I love giving presents, spending time finding something someone will love. Decorating the tree and having lots of fairy lights is amazing.
But I have a lot of experience of not great holidays. I’m not gonna go into details of my tragic backstory, but until quite recently, I would dread Christmas, starting in about July, and getting more intense until Christmas was over. As a side note, if you are interested in reading some stuff I’ve written about my background, I’ve written a piece I’m really proud of here: https://www.cassandrahl.com/blog/learning-to-be-myself-identity-stories-1/
My biological family were very good at making that time of year the most stressful and unhappy possible. Some of it was definitely the stress of the year – we were poor growing up but there was definitely a pressure to have a lot of things for us kids to open, to have an indulgent christmas. There were other things but overall, the season was incredibly stressful for me for a long time.
It means that I prefer a quieter Christmas, and although I love buying presents, I’m more here for being with people I love, and having good food and good times. It’s hard though, my mental muscle memory means I have to remind myself a lot that I have control over my holiday season and I have no expectations other than ones I impose on myself. I’m still going through the process of learning and re-learning things.
It’s especially odd being in a position where occasionally I look forward to christmas this year, knowing I’m surrounded by people who might be dreading it this year. I’ve been in the other position, where I’ve been dreading it and others have been talking about looking forward to spending time with family, so I know something about having incongruous feelings. There’s nothing I’ve been able to find that completely gets rid of that weirdness, other than reminding myself that it’s okay to feel what I feel, and I can be sympathetic to people, whilst not lying about my own situation.
I think this year, more than others, people will be reaching out for support. Some people will be staying home but will be incredibly conflicted, desperately wanting family and normality after this year. I think they’ll also be some people who are secretly going to enjoy and excuse not to travel and have holidays in their own place, with their own plans. Some people will skip the holidays altogether. However you plan to cope or celebrate, its valid. Whether you cling to the traditions you can, or make new traditions, that’s fine. If there was any year to throw normal out a window and pull in something new, its this year.
I will be about online over the holidays, and I’ll be tweeting and retweeting things as needed. Would people like a check in at some point? Like a zoom or something where people can come along, say hi, get some space where they can admit they’re not feeling it or something? I can put something together if people will think it would be helpful.
Take care, stay safe, and be kind to yourself.