life

stabilizing.

Morton Arboretum 2013

When I last posted, I was feeling rather down. So much was coming at me, so much of it out of my control, that I couldn’t get a grip. Plus starting therapy, my body and brain readjusting to taking my medication properly, and the scope of my contract. And worrying about how I’m going to make it through the next few weeks. Right now, I am very overwhelmed with work and really should be working instead of posting this, but I felt like a follow up was needed to my last entry.

I feel better now. I think my medicine is finally stabilizing. The therapy and journaling homework seem to be helping me process things and figure out why the hell I think the way I do and why I am the way I am. I suspect I’ve only scratched the tiniest bit of surface, but it’s a start.

I’m still rather tired, but that has to do with me not making good choices over the weekend, a BOATLOAD of client work, DayJob™, and many events and social engagements and appointments. And it’s only just beginning. I think I may treat myself to a day at an expensive, fancy spa downtown when I’ve made it through this month. I’m talking one of those places where you get naked and walk around in a robe all day. Massage, facial, mani-pedi, the works. A place with a zen room and fountains and pitchers of water with cucumbers floating in it. Sounds like heaven.

But for now, back to work.

Ronni

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gearing up.

Untitled

Today is the autumnal equinox. Sometimes, a change of seasons is a big deal to me. Other times, not so much. This one though? It feels different. I can’t put my finger on why. It just does. Things feel unsettled, in limbo, suspended. Like I’m on the precipice of something. But I have no idea what.

I’m not sure if I like it. It’s anxious-making and scary-making and exciting all at once.

And it’s confusing. I don’t know if these feelings are real, or if they’re the result of meds, caffeine, delusion, or all of the above. There’s certainly nothing currently pending in my life to warrant this feeling of edge. :(

{gear up.}

Starting today, I have a new contract with one of my favorite clients. The scope of the work is immense, which means long, long days for the next month. In addition, it’ll be AEP time at Humana, which means nonstop editing all day every day. Plus, Aidan is visiting for a long Columbus Day weekend, my friend Sun is coming for a visit, and there is the YA Lit Conference. I feel like I’m forgetting something(s).

Fall’s going to be busy. I was up from 3–5am, worrying about how I’m going to juggle all the stuff coming at me the next few weeks. It’s hard for me to say ‘no’ to a paying client, so I’m kinda hoping no one else asks me until October has passed!

{create.}

Writing/revising is definitely on the back burner. Novel is off hopefully being read and garnering feedback. I will brainstorm and stuff, but nothing serious right now. It’s a lot of work with little payoff at the moment, and let’s be real, I gotta do the paying work first. Because I like having a place to live and I like buying things. I will likely go on a Twitter break so I can spend time focusing instead of mindlessly scrolling.

Writing is the one thing that makes me so super happy, yet also so very devastated. Wait, scratch that. Writing is great. Revising is better. The publication journey is what hurts. So very much.

{deliver.}

In August, I posted my lists of fall To Dos and Goals.

Here is my progress so far:

To Dos
– get car jumped
– get emissions test
– register for Anderson’s YA Lit Conference
– massive laundry
– various medical things
– trip report blog post
– process photos

Goals
– write a short story
– read at least 6 new books (to make my goal of 15 for the year) – note: I’ve read 5, so only 1 more to go!
– start writing a new novel
– go to yoga at least 10 times – note: I’ve been doing weekly private yoga therapy sessions at Room to Breathe with sweet Serena. They’ve been going great. I may not get up to 10, but I’m doing *something* at least.
– pay off 2 credit cards
– visit the arboretum (I missed it last year)

{now.}

October is busy for Adam too. It’s his ghost/historian month, so he has tours and speaking engagements and God knows what else. He also began driving Lyft, and he LOVES it. It really is the perfect job for him.

The apartment is kind of a mess. I’m about ready to buy 4839584950 crates and fill them with all the things and put all those crates of all the things into the garage. I’m overwhelmed by clutter. I still haven’t completely unpacked from Disney World OR my cousin’s wedding. Helena had a trip to the vet because she refuses to pee in the litter box. And naturally all her blood work came out clean…but she is still pooping right next to the litter box and picking random places to pee—and that will be her spot for several weeks until she picks something new. Basically, she’s just a bad cat and that’s our cross to bear for now.

I’ve been watching House Hunters on Netflix. I finished the latest collection last night. Some of the people are infuriating with the silly things they get fixated on, which are most likely “quirks” assigned by the producers to create drama. But I enjoyed seeing some of the couples. The diversity is great. And I like that they show a variety of incomes. I’ll likely never be able to own property in Chicago, and I’m OK with that, because I’m not trying to live here forever anyway. The show does make me dream about owning a big house again someday. I miss the house in Pataskala a lot. Just a place to fit all my stuff, and room to put in more stuff. I’m a homebody, I like to have everything I need and want at home.

I wake up every morning about 4 or 5am to use the bathroom—then I climb back into bed and proceed to toss and turn for at least an hour with a racing heart and mind. Anything and everything creeping in, pushing out sleep, and making me worry. Monday, my therapist said something about me taking time to process thoughts instead of watching them float away (like they tell us to do in yoga all the time), but I think my problem is that I process them too much and too long, and that’s why I’m up in the middle of the night like, “Sleep, dammit, you can’t do anything about [various dilemmas and such] now so just go to sleep already.”

I am so tired.

I just got an email with the subject: Feel Better in Your Body With Probiotics
And it made me realize how very rare it is for me to feel good in my body. Ongoing medical issues not withstanding (and which I’m waiting for test results for), a lot of times, I just feel wrong. Like I want to rip my skin off. I know I’ve posted about this before. It keeps happening. It’s physical, emotional, and psychological. I want to climb into bed and hide under the covers and burrow. And it doesn’t help that there was cilantro in my lunch today and now I have that taste stuck in my mouth.

Anyway, wrapping this up because it’s over 1000 words of nothing. Maybe soon I’ll get up the Disney pictures.

Till next time…..

Morton Arboretum Autumn 2012

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right now.

#latergram Driving thru Indiana #winter #indiana #snow #white

Hard to believe we’re already into March, and that it’s been almost two months since my last update. Whoops. I have to say that this winter has flown by, and I’m glad. It’s also been super mild. Thank you, El Nino. We had some crazy cold days, but nothing like winters of past. I don’t have to go out a lot, but when I do, it’s nice that the wind isn’t stabbing my face. It’s also nice that I finally own Uggs, and that they feel like warm, fuzzy clouds on my feet.

It's all about that #ugg life.

No excuse really for me not updating here, except that there’s not a whole lot going on. I did go through that extreme exhaustion phase I go through every January, except this year it lasted clear through to almost the end of February. I’ve also been craving and eating meatballs like crazy. I am not sure if the two are related or not.

I’ve been working, writing, playing games on my phone and facebook, listening to music, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I visited my mom at the end of February, and brought almost all of the laundry that I hadn’t done since the last time I visited her in September. I KNOW. Sometimes I fail at #adulting. But now I have a lot of clean clothes and I vow to never go six months without doing laundry again.

(For the record, I’ve said this in the past so take that vow with a grain of salt.)

Visiting Mommy was nice. She’s doing well. We watched The Oscars (finally, Leo, dang), hung out with cousins and aunts, Aidan was there (!), and I got to eat good food. Corky & Lenny’s, Bob Evans, and Mommy made me Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and corn. Mmmmmm. So yummy. Her kitty cat is so sweet, and visiting Marc’s always makes me happy because yay for snacks I can’t get in Chicago and cheap spaghetti noodles and Tahitian Treat.

It was a nice visit.

On the writing front, I’ve been revising my novel, talking to lots of writerly people, making friends, and well, I’m getting there. In December, I got the news that I’d been accepted into the Writing in the Margins mentorship program. Super exciting. I got my mentor introduction in January and you guys, I adore her. She’s been amazing. It blows my mind that this super successful author is willing to take time to read my novel and work with me to make it the best it can be. I am so lucky and hope one day I can pay it forward. She says 1–2 revisions or so should do it with this novel. It’s crazy that it’s finally nearly done. I definitely did not work this hard on ONLY YOURS, but then again, ONLY YOURS never sold. Or maybe I did work so hard but I just don’t remember. That’s a huge possibility, now that I think about it.

So, I’m dealing with a lot of FEELS in regards to this. I don’t know if I want to go into them here because I need to process them in my own safe space first. Luckily, I have plenty of notebooks and journals such things.

Wanda made me a hat!

Don't ask. It's better that way. 😜

Isn’t it pretty? I get a lot of compliments on it and I wear it everywhere. (The hat, not the face I’m making!) Ha ha. :)

This year, I’m making a point to support #ownvoices YA authors, especially authors of color. I thought I could put a limit on the works by mainstream authors that I purchase this year, but well LOL NOPE. Aidan gave me a booklist last weekend and a bunch of them were Dan Brown books. I’m never going to begrudge my child books, so I got him three. And there are some books in series that I already have pre-ordered. But here’s the thing. Buying #ownvoices books by authors of color has been remarkably easy on my budget so far. Not okay. I’m not even going to get started now but I have a lot of feels about that subject too.

*takes deep breath*

So much stuff in the works over here. It’s a bit overwhelming, to be honest. But let’s think about it. When am I not overwhelmed?

Till next time.

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adulting is hard.

LEGOLAND Florida

We had our first snow of the season, so I’m protesting by posting this beautiful flower.

I really don’t have time to be blogging. I’ve been doing the 9–5 thing at Humana 5 days a week, then coming home and doing 3–5 hours of freelance every night, plus revising my novel on top of that. No, I don’t need sleep, why do you ask?

Actually, I do need sleep and I haven’t been getting enough. I got 3 hours Wednesday night, so Thursday I was pretty much delirious. I try taking Benadryl at night to make me sleepy, and I bought some earplugs–but they only work when they’re perfectly sealed. The other night night, it took 20 minutes just to get one ear sealed and it still wasn’t very good. There has to be a better solution. I wish I didn’t need them, but my neighbors are so loud. The cats are loud. Adam snores if he is on his back. And if it rains, it sounds like someone’s beating the window with drumsticks because our property managers refuse to properly clean a gutter.

So, for many reasons, I am frustrated, tired, and cranky. Moon time is upon me, so there’s number one. Not only does it wreak havoc with my mental state, it also messes with my physical state. And I’ve been working so much. While very grateful for all this work (because YAY $$ and YAY for companies who trust me and call on me time and time again to copy edit their materials), working is pretty much ALL I have been doing for the past…I’ve lost count of how many weeks. Here is the bright side of that, besides $$ and it being work I typically don’t mind: I get to do most of it from home. When I’m home, I can listen to Spotify, which is great because Spotify tells me things like when a new Enya album drops (like one did yesterday!) and it shows me new music all the time. Spotify pretty much has my number when it comes to the atmospheric, intense, lyrical music I like, so its suggestions are often spot on.

I can also take naps during lunch if I need to when I work from home. That came in very handy October 9, when I had a sick migraine.

So, other than working like a working thing, here are a few other life updates:

1. Made a new friend from work. I used to, a long time ago, be adamantly against becoming friends with co-workers. Well, in theory anyway. I never really actually practiced that, except with certain people and at certain jobs. At all the major jobs I’ve worked, I’ve had at least one cool person to hang with and be friends on Facebook with. But this person and I get along so well, we have a lot of the same goals and she’s just super awesome. So, I’m really glad for that.

2. Got trained on new stuff at Humana (which is how I met the friend in #1!). It’s still intimidating, but for a while the editing workflow was so low that they were talking about reducing my hours. When it became known that Rena needed backup, I took the opportunity to learn something new AND fill my hours. So, I got the word that my hours are NOT being trimmed at Humana which is great because I like working for them. My boss, Ginny, is really good to me, and the person I sit next to when I go in to the office, Phoebe, is fun to talk to.

3. Received feedback from an agent and her reader about my novel. Lots of really positive comments but also some revision requests. Well, one BIG revision request. I mean, even though a “not now but maybe later” always stings a bit, it’s so much better than a resounding “HELL NO.” Or no answer at all, which always means “no.” And seeing as this was my first horse out of the gate since 2007, when I look at it objectively, It’s really not so bad. But when I look at it compared to where I want to be? I feel very disappointed in myself for not doing it right to begin with. All those people I was in the writing world with in 2005 have moved on and I’m still…here. I get really down on myself and my skills when I really think about it, and believe me, I am always really thinking about it. I worry, all the time, that I’ll be “almost but not quite” and every day I wonder why the hell I keep doing this, why I can’t let it go, and why do I torture myself when it’s such hard work with no guarantees? But I’m revising and getting feedback and revising some more and hoping that this book finds its place in the world in a big way.

4. I joined the blogging team at The Theologians! YES it’s a Theo James fan site, but it’s also so much more. I adore the two women I blog with, and it’s really fun to have people to chat with about Theo and his projects. Pop on over and check it out!

5. Speaking of blogs, Anywhere Is turns 15 on Friday. I don’t know if I’ll remember to post about it so I’m posting about it here. Can’t believe I’ve had this thing for 15 years, and have had a web presence since 1997. I guess when I really get committed to something, it’s long term. Even if I take long, long breaks from time to time.

6. I very, very briefly met Drew Barrymore at the end of October. She’s a sweet, generous person but there were fans at this event who were so out of line that I doubt she’ll do an event like that in Chicago again. I knew there were people who thought of celebrities as…objects? But to see it in person was appalling. I felt so bad for Drew. Maybe she is used to it, but she didn’t deserve it.

Anyway, I should stop. I’m blabbing into the ether here, and I have work to do. I am ready for two days off in a row–two days where I don’t have to go anywhere–but I don’t know if that’s happening any time soon.

So, I’m out.

Oh, wait. Here is a picture from last night. Icky snow.

#chicago #cold #firstsnow #snow #white

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out of sorts.

Daytona Beach

{I know I owe you a big ass trip report and I promise I will get to it eventually. I finally got the photos uploaded to flickr so it’s just a matter of time.}

It’s the end of July already and the temps finally feel like summer in Chicago. Things have been weird since I got back from Florida and the beach. I miss the rental car I was driving, even though it was a boring old Ford Focus. My Hyundai is a 2002 and has none of the newfangled things that the newer cars have as default, so driving the Focus was a lot of fun! And people in Florida are reasonable. The rainstorms come in, people slow down and put in their hazards. (I heard it was the law?) If I need to get over, people actually let me over. I don’t feel like I have to be so aggressive and angry when I’m driving there. I don’t have to be aggressive at all. The only time I hit bad traffic, the entire time I was in Florida, was getting through downtown Orlando. It was smooth sailing other than the rainstorms, where everyone slowed down and drove like sensible people.

It’s hard being back here where driving and parking is a major chore. People on the road are jerks to the max, every man out for himself, being reckless and using their phones. Doing stupid crap like blocking an entire street so they can get a sandwich. Like, seriously? And the traffic lights. The muther effing non-synced traffic lights. Took me 20 minutes to get to work this morning. My office is 1.7 miles from my apartment. I probably could have walked there faster. People don’t wait their turns at stop signs. It’s like a game of chicken. A friend of mine got in a bad wreck recently because of some chick on her phone. Come on. You don’t need to be talking on the phone or texting while driving, people. It can wait.

I’m very happy about the temps being warm. It finally feels like summer here. I’m working for a new client now and it’s been good. I had to go into the office for some on-boarding which was fine. The office is nice and the people there are friendly. It has an agile workspace, which means you can move seats as long as the one you want isn’t taken. I was sitting in a seat by the window but it was way too cold, so I moved to a slightly less cold seat. Now I’m in the office two days a week and working from home the rest. I have a company-owned laptop and I have to sign in through a VPN to access their network. It reminds me a bit of working at Nationwide, except not as political. But that might be because I’m a contractor and not a full time employee even though I’m working full time hours. I like it. :)

On the days I work from home, I open the curtains and the window so I can get flooded with natural sunlight. I also turn off the AC when Adam’s still at the coffee shop because otherwise I get too cold.

My body is getting more and more intolerant to the cold! It’s to the point where 80F is too chilly for me if I’m not in the sun. I need a light hoodie in 80F weather! What is wrong with me? :(

Tomorrow Aidan’s best friend comes to stay with us for a few days. I’m excited for Aidan. I’ve met him and his family and they’re all cool people. Saturday we’re heading to La Grange because Anderson’s Bookshop is opening a new location there. Adam got invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony and there will be other authors there as well. You know how I love authors.

I had hibachi food for the first time in years on Monday. Except now it’s called teppenyaki style? I am not sure when that changed but I don’t mind the new term because IT IS STILL DELICIOUS and I’m craving some right now in fact.

When I was in Florida with Aidan, things just seemed so easy. The only time he got on my nerves was the day he begged me to leave Magic Kingdom before I didn’t want to go. But I think deep down I did, because a storm was rolling in and I was exhausted. I was being stubborn because it was my last day there and well, that’s always a sad time. Other than that, it was an easy time. We got along really well, knew when to give each other space, had good conversations, and got to relax and have fun together.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our trip:

MK_OUTERHLEFT_7354070651

Yes! We had a really good time. When I was done with the Disney leg of the trip, I was exhausted and ready for the next adventure. But now, the stirrings have come again and I wish I was back at Disney World. But maybe not until fall. And I want Aidan with me again.

But now, it’s regular life. Things don’t feel quite as easy. Working. Writing. Revising. Video games. Reading. Too much time on the computer/iPhone/iPad. Working a lot which is a blessing and I am not complaining. Trying to make myself go to more barre classes. It’s challenging now because of timing. I miss yoga. I went to The Dailey Method for the first time yesterday in a long time. It was good. I’d missed it. I’ve been sneaking back to yoga as well. I want to do more. I need to do more. Some of the clothes I could fit before vacation are uncomfortable on me now and I’m not okay with that.

There is good. So I’m not sure why I’m feeling so… weird. Actually I know exactly why. But I don’t feel safe enough to write it here. So I keep it inside. Or I vent to people I trust deeply because they’re the only ones who will listen and not shrug me off or tell me to get over it or try to outdo me. Or I retweet a few people who say what I’m thinking and feeling but only the mild versions because I don’t want to be harassed by trolls. Not that I have that big of a reach or anything anyway. Every other day I see something, not even in the news because they won’t report on those things, but through social media that knocks my feeling of self-worth down a billion notches. I second guess everything. I second guess my very existence.

I see loss on my news feeds too often. And it gets me to thinking about my own mortality. And I think I’m not ready for my time on Earth to end, and I worry that I’m wasting the time I have. I’m realizing there are things I will never experience in this lifetime. Some of them I’m OK with letting go. Others, I am already grieving for. Sometimes I don’t even know what I want in this lifetime and other times, it seems as clear as day. I just want to leave a legacy.

I downloaded this graphic from someone’s tumblr the other day. Trying to make myself believe it but honestly, it’s getting harder and harder. {I have GOT to stop reading the comments. They help NO ONE and end up making me feel even more horrible about myself.}

allowed

Because I feel like those messages are only meant for “certain” people, and I’m not in that group. I doubt people like me are who these graphic makers have in mind when they make them. I doubt almost everyone’s intentions and am finding it hard to trust anyone deep down. On the surface, all is well. I’m sunshine and roses hooray! Inside, my mind is spinning a million miles an hour, wondering if the people who smile in my face would turn their backs if I said the things I really feel and think about so many things in this world. It’s happened before. I’m used to being the one left behind, chosen against, ignored.

But on the bright side, there are those who have stuck around, and those are the ones I should be embracing with all my heart because they know my shadows and love me in spite of them. So. Times like this are the times I always learn who my true friends are.

I don’t even know what *this* time is…except we have a Blue Moon coming up, we’re in the throes of Venus retrograde, AND Saturn’s in retrograde (but not for much longer) and that’s throwing cosmic energy all over the place and it’s affecting me big time this week. I suspect my depression is trying to flare up as well. Like I need that right now. I really don’t. But sadly, despite what many people think about depression, it’s not like I can control when it hits. I can just try to take my medicine, eat better, exercise, and …self-care self-care self-care. SO MANY FEELINGS and I’m getting overwhelmed by all of them. Maybe it’s time for bed. I think it’s time for bed.

Till next time.

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