Tag Archives: stress

So Long 2017!

This year has been a huge mixed bag for me.

January had a trip to Breckenridge with The Beer Guy, then rats (!), then moving in with aforementioned Beer Guy.

You’re welcome for posting this picture and not a different January memory.

February, I turned 40 and published my first book (The Cardinal Gate is currently on sale for $0.99 – get yours today!)

Look at this magnificent cake that my friend Melissa made for me? How could it get any better than this?

Buy Me! Review Me!

In March, we celebrated the Beer Guy’s birthday, and I spent a lot of time with friends.

Please enjoy this dramatic reenactment of the Beer Guy’s birthday karaoke, in which I failed to actually get him in the picture.

In April, Alvie Bean turned five. I can’t even with that information, and that was months ago. I also started a new job!

In May, the Beer Guy and I went to the coast, where I started the outline for what will be the Oracle Bay series (due out Fall 2018).

RIP, that necklace whose pendant is lost.

June was amazing. I got to see NKOTB (and I TOUCHED JOEY JOE MCINTYRE!) and then, at the end of the month, The Waning Moon came out!

That is Joey McIntyre and my hand. TOUCHING!

July…existed? I was hard at work on Ruby Blade, got to know a lot of new, cool author friends better, and my mom came to visit and took the kiddo to the coast.

I love this kid like whoa.

August was busy AF. I did my first (and only!) book reading/signing at a local bookstore, and then, courtesy the Beer Guy, had champagne after with an assortment of my favorite local people!

There was also an eclipse and a kittening.

This is my “what? another motherfucking swear word?” face

Alvie with Rupurrt Giles

In September, my boy started school and had his first ER visit in 4 years!

First day of kindergarten!

In October, Alvie started a new kindergarten (he’d been on the waitlist for the Spanish Immersion kindergarten and we got a place at the last possible moment) and the Beer Guy & I went to Puerto Vallarta with his family. I have zero pictures of us together in Mexico, but I swear we were there! Last, but not least, I released my third (3rd!) book, The Ruby Blade (on the best of all holidays, Halloween.)

First day of kindergarten, take 2

This is the only picture I have of us together. I am in it only by virtue of having taken the photo.

Tiny Captain Picard!

November…was kind of a shit show.  Presumably good things happened. There was Thanksgiving? And a triumphant return to karaoke after a couple months off. And no one got expelled, and I had my first ER visit in 4 years!

I need a scribe. And a chauffeur. And a butler. And a pool boy.

And now – this year is nearly done. The last 2.5 months have been some of the hardest months I’ve endured in ages. The last 2.5 years have been hard. I’m so, so lucky to have so many bright spots.

I have three books published, and plans to publish 4 next year. I have an up-and-coming freelance business and my calendar is almost full for the first half of 2018. I have a dayjob that pays me in money, a healthy kid who is hopefully losing his first tooth right now, and a patient, wonderful partner who has put up with a lot of shit this year and swears he’s sticking around.

GAH! This guy! (Also, are we or are we not cute AF?)

I’m really looking forward to 2018. I’ve got some big goals for next year, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you!

I hope your holiday season has been filled with light, happiness, and the family of your choosing. See you next year!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

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?