warrior.

Holy banana. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The world’s falling apart. The U.S. is becoming unrecognizable. I’m torn, being upset and feeling helpless about everything. And yet, there are good things happening, things that make me laugh and smile. I don’t know whether to be outraged and fighting every day, or to grab joy and relish it in whenever I can, because who knows how long I’ll have it?

So today, I’m choosing joy. At least for a while.
I have so much to update you on!
Settle in, if you’re interested.

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To be honest, I don’t remember much of the end of March, except plugging away at finishing up my Day Job, and preparing for a life of leisure.

Ha ha ha ha, just kidding. Sort of.

My life did slow down a bit, which was needed. Everyone was telling me I’ve been working so hard and that I deserved this time off to rest and recenter. I don’t know about all that… but I did welcome the rest.

Still, I’ve been up to a lot since the Day Job ended. I’ll break it down by month!

April
Catch Up! I cleaned my room (it’s since become kind of a mess again). I guess I did some general housekeeping. I spent time with Aidan for his Spring Break. I got obsessed with playing The Sims again. I started upgrading the PC that sat unused most of the year in the living room. I started limiting my time on social media to do a lot of soul searching.

My left shoulder started hurting… (and it still hurts to this day. Trying to figure out why.)

Watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet at the Joffrey and it was super memorable. Really enjoyable.

May
I treated myself to a spa day at Allyu Spa. I got the works. Facial, massage, sauna, shower, lunch, mani-pedi, chakra balancing. It was such a good day! And something deep in me clicked. I felt I was hitting a reset button. I felt the darkness that had followed me around like a storm cloud all year was starting to dissipate.

I flew out to Ohio to spend a week with my mommy, which was much needed! We talked and ate good food and shopped and spoiled each other. We both needed that, and I can’t wait to go see her again. The coolest part was Aidan came up that Wednesday to spend Memorial Day with Mommy, and he’d had no idea I was there. It was so much fun surprising him! I saw my cousins and it was amazing catching up. I hadn’t seen most of them in way too long.

I started making friends in the Sims community and watching YouTube videos, really upping my game and building. It’s such a great creative outlet for me, and a lot of fun.

Continued to be cautious on social media. Being more mindful of what I was taking in, and how I was letting it affect me.

June
I finished upgrading my computer and setting up my gaming station. I have to say it’s pretty sweet!

I’m a “casual gamer” and I’m OK with that, but I’m still glad I have a nice setup to play. Makes the game so much easier to play.

Aidan came for the summer. We’ve been playing A Way Out on the Playstation 4. We like our games!

I had a write-in and lunch with a couple of #ChiYA members. That was fun and productive.

It was a good day with @anna.waggener and @mizzlizziecooke 🌸 (repost from @mizzlizziecooke )

I started seeing my chiropractor again. I used to go in 2011, but I stopped when I left my job at Schawk. I’m glad to be back. Everyone there remembered me!

Saw The Incredibles 2 with Aidan. Wow!!

At the end of June, we headed to Georgia for quality time with the Selzer side of the family!

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We spent time in Atlanta, Jekyll Island, and Savannah! Jekyll is so magical. One of my favorite nights was high tide during golden hour. Another favorite night was stargazing and watching the big full moon rise over the ocean. I don’t have good pictures of that, but trust me, it was gorgeous.

Moonrise over the ocean a couple of nights ago 💙 #ocean #jekyllisland #sunset #moon #waves

When we got back to Atlanta, we visited with family and friends, ate good food, and had a general good time. We also got to meet a baby!!

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On July 4, I got to spend it with friends, some very old and dear. It was a day of meeting new people, eating good food, listening to good music, getting caught in the rain, and drunk karaoke. Good, good times!!

When you’re lucky enough to spend July 4 with super awesome people 🙌🙌🙌 #latergram

Aidan and I came back to Chicago on July 5.

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Aidan immediately disappeared into his video came and independent study cave. He comes out to eat and chat a bit, then he disappears again. Adam and I have been turning our place into a smart home. It’s so cool to tell Alexa to turn the lights on or off, lock the door, or play music. I love it.

I’m now fully in normal life. For some reason, I’ve been waking up fairly early, even when I stay up sort of late. I think my time in Eastern time has thrown me off a bit. I don’t mind.

My freelance load is picking up, there are some exciting things afoot (that I can’t reveal just yet), and Aidan is still here for seven more weeks! Next week, Aidan and I are heading to Atlanta (for one night) then Tennessee for a writing retreat. Writing and/or editing for me, not sure what Aidan will get up to! Probably video games. I’m looking forward to mountains and nature. Something about that is so inspiring.

Can’t believe it’s already next week!

Whew! I think I’m all caught up! Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than several months… but we’ll see how that goes. I have lots to say, but sometimes the thought of putting everything into words on here overwhelms me. I have to get back to pushing past that! In the meantime, there is twitter and instagram. Give ya girl a follow, eh?

Till next time!

That feeling when you just get back from the hair salon ☺️

real talk.

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Look. I try to be positive and upbeat despite… well, you know. Everything, really. The country is a trash fire, I’m scared all the time someone’s going to whip out a gun and shoot us all up (this is probably why I rarely leave the house anymore), I hate the cold, and I’m weary in my bones.

BUT

I try to live in this perpetual attitude of gratitude, because there is a lot to be thankful for. Black Panther is mind blowing. I still love my mini office. I get to drink tea every day. Electric blankets and “My Heat” space heaters are amazing. I have incredible, patient, lovely best friends. My agent is awesome. People make outstanding custom content for The Sims.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws right now. Sometimes I get desperate like that.

The fact is, so far, 2018 has been…not great. These are the main reasons why.

• My sweet, sweet kitty Fi passed away
• I lost my driver’s license. It was a pain to go through the hoops to get a duplicate. In Illinois, you don’t get your license the same day anymore. You get a temp, and they mail the real to you at some point. The post office RETURNED my license instead of delivering it to me. So I get to go through all those hoops again, and hope they don’t return it this time.

The Chicago USPS is awful.

• Depression/anxiety are trying their best to get me, and some most days it’s easier to let them win.
• I’ve already been sick twice, and anxiety makes me feel nauseated almost all day every day anymore.
• I’m not sleeping well due to various factors, such as the aforementioned depression/anxiety, noise, and stress.
• I’m not eating very well, because my appetite has been weird since I’ve been sick. Also, see anxiety/depression.
• My health insurance premium went up. Along with that, I have new copays and other copays that are more expensive.
• My expenses keep going up. Which sucks because…
• I get to go job hunting sometime in the spring.
• The universe decided it would be a really fun time to have a recruiter try to recruit me for the job I’m losing in April. Because I love it being rubbed in my face that I might be stressed out and worried about money in several months time because of weird rules and things I don’t understand. I’m so scared it’s going to be 2006–2007 all over again and I’m freaking out about it.

That’s just some of them. I didn’t even touch the biggest things.

I mean, I get it. I know my problems aren’t super huge. There is a lot worse happening in the world all the time. And the guilt of my frustration and sadness compounds the anxiety and depression…no wonder I can barely eat. Or sleep.

I’m looking at the first two months of 2018 like:

I was so excited to start the year. Now I’m scared of what’s waiting for me.

I’m really praying things get better.

as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

back to the grind.

After 90 days that included major surgery, recovery from that surgery, author visits, writing, lots of Netflix and DVD bingeing, travel, a writing workshop, visits to family, signing with an agent!!, losing my sweet Helena, and freelance work, tomorrow I head back to Humana. The DayJob™ is back.

I have mixed feelings! On the one hand, it’ll be nice to make money again, and after what happened the past couple of weeks in/on Amazon, Anderson’s Bookshop, Target, Whole Foods, Sephora, The Disney Store, Memebox, Planner Chick Designs—you get the idea—this is a good thing. I have a few credit cards to pay off, I want to start saving big time again, and also buy fun stuff.

I’ll once again have some structure to my day, which I’m both sad and happy about. It’s a good thing to have structure, right? But also, I’ll have structure, and accountability, and expectations, and sometimes that is scary. It shouldn’t be. I’ve been doing this a long time. I know I’m sad about losing the ability to keep my own hours. My body naturally wakes up between 1030am-12noon, and I tend to stay up until 3 or 4am. That’s just how I work best, and going to bed early tonight for a 745am alarm is going to feel weird. I have some melatonin to help with that!

I plan to continue working from home the majority of the time, which will help. Except my kitty cat has turned the living room into his giant litter box. We took him to the vet, and since he is so old, we opted not to do the biopsy. Instead, I’ve switched his food. I want to get him on all prescription food, but I need to get a MedCard since the vet is always out of the stuff. In the meantime, I have him on single ingredient food–the expensive stuff from Petsmart. Money is no object when it comes to my remaining kitties. I couldn’t stand a loss so soon after Helena. Maybe I’m overcompensating, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

My brain is all over the place, apparently. Sorry, but not really. I will have to spend mornings cleaning up after Fi before I can begin working. I have puppy pads everywhere to help with the clean up. He’s old—nearly 18—so I can’t be too mad at him.

I’m finishing up the revisions for my agent (!!! This is still very thrilling to me !!!). I have a write-in this weekend at Rena’s place (YAY I get to see Rena!), so I plan to really buckle down and knock it all out. I told my agent I’d have my revisions to her by 4/17. So I have time… but this weekend I’ll be in a place to really focus. I’m excited!

But for now, I’m going to spend my last night of “freedom” eating fish and chips, watching the OC on DVD, and reading. I’m going to take a long bath, do a face mask, and get everything laid out tonight so I won’t be a mess in the morning. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday, which means I have a weekend to look forward to right away!

Wish me luck!!

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