Tag Archives: stress

Gotta Have Goals (November 2017)

Yeah, maybe it’s the middle of November almost, but bite me. The last two weeks have been wicked hard. The stress of being mid-divorce and facing unemployment have nothing on the stress of watching your child suffer* and not be able to help.

So, I’m a little behind on a lot of things. I have book reviews to write/publish for Mel Sterling as well as for Lit Buzz and a few others.

I am so fucking far behind on NaNoWriMo, which is unfortunate – not because I particularly care about winning (although this is the first year I didn’t buy my winner’s shirt in advance, and that’s probably why I’m not doing well), but because I do care about finishing Eleanor #4 and getting the beta-reading and editing process moving.

I am, fortunately, not behind on my editing projects.

I am super far behind on sleep, and as such have just been randomly falling asleep lately.

BUT – I have goals for this month (and a brief report on how I did in October).

 

October Goals

  1. I signed up for a thanksgiving 5K. My goal – to finish it without hating myself, whatever that means for me that day. – Ummm – I don’t even know why this was an October goal. Thanksgiving is totally this month.
  2. I need to be mostly done with Eleanor book 4 by the end of the month. – Oops. Not even close. Not even half.
  3. Stay on top of book marketing and don’t back out because of “hard” or “fear.” – Not bad for a newbie!
  4. Find a way to forgive everyone who made me angry cry today due to the colossal fuck-up that happened with my Bean’s after-school care situation. Note: this might be the hardest. Note 2: I think everything’s figured out. It was only two hours of Wednesday panic on my part. – This is so in that past. SUCCESS!
  5. Continue to eat 3x/day and get to bed by 11 on work nights. Work on popping out of bed a little faster in the morning. Meditate (with the bean). Moisturize. Self-care. – Eating = SUCCESS! Bed time = FAIL! Meditation & Moisturize & Self-Care = FAIL!

So – not that great.

November Goals

  1. Hit 90K words on Eleanor 4
  2. Finish all editing projects on time
  3. Find one new editing client
  4. Move 30 minutes every day
  5. Find a way to be present and let go of stress before I have a nervous breakdown

 

*Bean is okay. We are all okay. But sometimes life is hard, yo.

Meh Monday 

The last seven days have been a rollercoaster. The ups – The Ruby Blade has finally come out! – and downs – so much anxiety I can hardly stand it and a fuckton of stuff that I can’t talk about now (maybe someday) – have left me in a place that’s difficult to people from. 

Three books in eight months is not bad at all.


Now is when I cancel plans with vague excuses (not feeling well, etc) to avoid the additional stress of having to interact with other human beings. There are very few people with whom I enjoy spending any sort of time when I feel like this. Very few might actually be one people. 

I’m going to try to pull my life back together this week. For me that means finishing two major editing projects, writing 15k words on Book 4, and eating regularly. 

In the meantime, here’s a picture of my sweet boy dressed as Jean-Luc Picard. 

He’s wearing light saber shoes and Darth Vader pants and his star fleet shirt is hiding a Superman t-shirt. #nerd

The Missing Link

I am doing really well with getting myself moving most days. I’ve walked, run, or done yoga every day this week so far. Overall, I’m eating much better and more regularly, which is a huge struggle for me. (Last fall/winter, I was so very stressed out that I generally only ate if someone was there to see that I wasn’t eating. I developed an extreme hatred of food and dread of eating to the point that the thought of eating anything at all would make me nauseated. There was a point that I had trouble eating anything that I had to chew and subsisted on a liquid diet of coffee, smoothies, and wine. Surprisingly, that is not a recipe for optimal health, which is disappointing, because I’m pretty sure that weight loss book would’ve been a huge hit and I’d be a millionaire by now. BUT ANYWAY.)

Ahem.

Yes.

Exercise: good!

Food: mostly good!

Mindfulness: coming right along, but I have been slacking off a bit this week.

So, you ask with bated breath, on the edge of your seat, white-knuckled in anticipation, what is that missing link of which Amy speaks?

This is me, today. I’ve averaged about 5 hours/night for the last I don’t know how long. Some people may be fine with that, but I am not. I need between 6-7 hours to be fully functional.

I could probably turn off the light in my office, pull my blanket over me (it is unreasonably cold in my office) and fall asleep right now. Sadly, siesta-ing is not a thing in the US or I’d do it.

My problem is that I just don’t go to bed. I’ve had insomnia in the past, but this is not that. Once I’m in bed, I listen to my “go to sleep” meditation, and I’m out within the 12 minutes the meditation runs 95% of the time.

BUT BUT BUT! I need that time to be awake and at home and present! And since I’m going to bed too late, I’m not getting up early enough to have it in the morning.

The other problem? I really, really like my housemate. I enjoy spending time with him just existing. We watch a couple shows, chat about our days, and usually are working side-by-side on the couch on various projects (websites, blogging, writing, playing mindless games on our phones [that one might just be me]).

But this lack of sleep is really starting to take a toll.

 

I’m good at making positive changes – the last few weeks have shown that. Now I need to address this one thing that is making it harder to maintain the rest of my positive changes. I’m sans housemate for the next three nights (although the wee one will be home, but he’s usually asleep by 7:30, so I’m not too worried about him keeping me up) and I am going to go to bed (in bed, lights out, meditation playing) every night by 10:45.

I’ll report back on Monday and let you know how it went. My dream? That I did this without fail for three nights in a row and then used my newfound energy to run (Saturday), do a strength training routine (Sunday), and write about 6-8K words on The Ruby Blade.

Acceptable? If I get anywhere remotely close to success (as in, I don’t stay up until midnight watching tv and playing phone games and not writing).

Happy weekend!

 

Three Things Thursday: Health & Wellness Edition

Funny story! I’ve been having some…uhhh…issues with my lady bits for a few months now. As soon as I was re-hooked up with health insurance, the very first thing I did was make an appointment to get that checked out. It was pretty exciting! In addition to scoring my “now you’re 40” mammogram, I won a transvaginal ultrasound! (Yes, it is just as much fun as it sounds.) I also won a second doctor’s visit that came complete with a surprise bonus pelvic exam and a surprise cervical biopsy. (Nothing says Saturday afternoon fun like an unexpected Kevorkian curette all up in your business.)

ANYWAY, the diagnosis is that my endometriosis, which has been decently well-managed for the last few years, is angry and trying to kill me. In addition to being wickedly Vitamin D deficient, I’m borderline anemic because of delicate lady reasons.

The doc and I decided that the best way to deal with this is a complete hysterectomy. I’ve been trying to convince someone to cut out my baby-growing shizz for nearly 20 years, and now that I’m 40 (and sterilized), apparently I can make that decision for myself without consulting a man. (When I tried to get one when I was 23, I was told that I couldn’t because my future husband might not approve. Some random hypothetical dude’s opinion was more important than mine. Tell me about why we don’t need feminism?) However, I need to take 2-3 weeks off work for a hysterectomy, and since I’m in week 6 of my new job, not only do I not have the time built up, but it seems kinda unprofessional to disappear for almost a month. Nothing says I’m using you for your health insurance like scheduling a major surgery less than 2 months into your job.

 

So…in the meantime, what am I going to do to managed this horrific situation? I’m glad you asked.

  1. Endometrial ablation next week. Go ahead and click the link You know you want to. This outpatient procedure ought to eliminate/greatly reduce the worst symptom, allowing me to concentrate on managing the others.
  2. Strict AF diet & exercise regimen. The last 18 months took a toll on my physical health. Stress/divorce/job loss/working from home/moving (twice)/single momming – all of this resulted in an upwards weight creep and a downwards fitness creep. If I want to manage the symptoms, I need to be good at taking my supplements (gotta get my blood happy again and definitely need my once-a-week mega-dose of that D) and losing the weight that stress and anxiety and depression gave me. (Honestly-that’s a shit gift and there’s not even a gift receipt.) I’ve been doing better at meal planning (and following it!), and even when I didn’t have my planned meal yesterday morning and had to stop and get breakfast and lunch, other than indulging in a cold-brew, I stuck to the plan and got veg and fruit heavy items. Oh? And it was all fucking vegan. (I’m vaguely considering being an offal-tarian, wherein I’m vegan except for organ meats.) (Maybe an ovo-offaltarian? I do like eggs.) I’ve set aside time every day for a walk, and am 3/3 this week.
  3. Stress management. I have several weapons in my stress management arsenal that I’ve been working on (with varying degrees of success) implementing.
    (i) Daily meditation (nailing it!)
    (ii) In bed by 10:30 every night (needs work!)
    (iii) Therapy (holy fuck, it’s hard to get a therapist to call me back to schedule an appointment)
    (iv) Light therapy in my basement office (I am rocking this one)
    (v) Acupuncture (both for pain & stress management…this needs to be scheduled)

So there you have it! More information about my reproductive system than you knew you needed. What are your go-to strategies for stress management?

Here goes something…

I am at work. Probably. Unless I got lost and took the wrong bus and ended up in  Gresham or something.

That seems unlikely, but you never know with me. When I first moved to Portland, I would occasionally get on the wrong light rail line and not realize it until I was pretty far away from where I was trying to go.

Anyway, not the point.

I am starting a new job today. I’m a wee bit nervous. This is probably not surprising. Also not surprising? I wrote this Sunday night, because I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to blog today.

I went to the new place o’ work on Thursday and got my employee ID number, found the building in which I’ll work, and selected my office. Today, I’ll get my benefits information (oooooh! Health insurance!), my employee ID, and my transit pass (ooooh! Trimet annual pass!).

It’s weird starting a new job. I was with my last employer for 8.5 years. I was promoted twice and switched departments once, but I still knew what I was doing and where I was going.

I am unaccountably nervous about today. Last night, I prepped my coffee, made breakfast, packed a bag (including my special Doctor Who mug), made the Bean’s lunch, set my alarm, picked out my outfit (none of my work clothes fit. none. ZERO.), double-checked my alarm, had a very serious conversation with the Bean about the extra-special double importance of being a really good listener in the morning so that mama wouldn’t be late to her new job, triple-checked my alarm, laid out my jewelry, found my shoes, poured a beer, and quadruple-checked my alarm. (Which is funny, because I bet I didn’t sleep a wink last night.)

Stress makes my already less-than-spontaneous personality even less flexible. Starting a new job is not as stressful as wondering if I was going to have enough money to feed the Bean in early February, but it’s pretty damn stressful. And I need routine to survive stress.

I’m hoping that after a few days, I’ll feel a bit more comfortable–I know the work, just not the culture and specifics. I’ll develop a routine–both for my new job and for my writing/editing/working out.

It’s going to be hard at first, and I’m prepared for that. I know what I need to do to combat that.

  1. Sleep
  2. Self-care (saying no is good)
  3. Move (now that I have to leave the house most days, that should happen easily)
  4. Eat regularly. This does not mean I can eat a Kind bar every five hours and call it meals. Apparently. Or at least so I’ve been told.
  5. Read – I know that seems like an odd thing to add to my list, but when I get stressed, I stop reading much. I’m not sure why, but I will sit and play stupid games on my phone for hours, which just gives me a headache. I love reading, it’s stress-relieving, but apparently when I’m high-anxiety, I’ll do anything to avoid feeling better (including sleep, exercise, eating right, and reading).

So – I’m probably surviving, right? WHO KNOWS!? Not you. I could be lying in a ditch in Gresham, and you would think I was learning all about my different dental insurance options.

Cross your fingers that all is well with me…now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to finish up my future post and go check my alarm. Again.

Hmmm…maybe there’s one more thing I should add to the list. This is in the first-thing-in-the-morning slot now.