Monday, March 30, 2020

Weekly Update: Anxiety isn't ruling

Hey, all! It's Monday again! We've all made it through another week of quarantine/lockdown. I'm not going to lie, each week adds a bit more anxiety to my life. I have to go to the store tomorrow and I need to go to one of the larger towns around here and I know that they're "infection rate" is something like 6 times what it is in the county where I live. I don't have masks, gloves, or even antibacterial wipes/gel. It actually has me anxious, but it needs to be done. Once it's done, I'll be back in "hibernation" or at least another week.

I am working off of a daily to do list. Starting last week, on Monday, I've created a daily to do list with five items on it. They range from deep cleaning in the house to project work for clients. The cleaning focuses on a specific room in the house. Last week was the laundry room and it went pretty well. The room isn't done, but it's a lot nicer than it was before. I have plans to empty out the freezer and then sell it for about $50-75. We don't use it. It just takes up space and electricity. Someone else might as well use it. If I had more than Roger here this week, I'd try to get that done and the freezer moved out to the barn until things settle down some. I'm eager to get that space back. But, that's a no go for the moment.

Instead, I'm turning my attention towards the bathroom. It's been ages since it's had a really good deep cleaning. Now that I've cleared some space in my bedroom, I'm going to have Roger take the laundry basket upstairs which will let me move the air conditioner to where that was sitting and out of the way. It should be a lot easier room to do since it's so much smaller so I feel less stressed out about my list(s) than I did when I got to looking at the list I made for myself next week.

I don't know if this kind of thing will help anyone else, but it gives me something else to focus on when my anxiety starts to skyrocket. I can go and do something that I have control over. Sometimes that's all we can do; focus on what we can control. We can control things like washing our hands and keeping our distance from others. I know that it's tough. I'm naturally home most of the time but being told that I can't go out and just do things has made it tough for me.

Please though, be smart, be safe. I don't want to hear about anyone that I know dying from this. The sooner we cooperate and behave ourselves, the sooner this will all be over. I know that we'll make it through this, even though it's incredibly hard right now. Hang in there, my friends and as always, reach out to me if you need someone to talk to.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Weekly (Monthly) Update: Holy Wow...

Gah! Just when I think life is balancing out, there's a global pandemic. I handled the first week or so well. Roger was here and we were finding our new normal. I suppose maybe I ought to back up. Roger, for those who don't know, is my youngest and a college student at Michigan State. The school decided to go to online courses and to send as many students home as possible. For 24 hours, I had Ben and Dylan here. Then, they went to my ex-husband's house and I picked up Roger from college. I really like having him here. At the end of a week though, he decided to go over to his dad's as well with the plan of coming back here in a week.

Well, as of today, that plan is on hold. The governor issued a stay home order. We're allowed to go out to get groceries and things like that, but otherwise, we're to stay put for the next three weeks. You'd think that wouldn't phase me because I normally spend stretches of time like that alone, but it's made me anxious as all get out. I can feel a depression hovering around me. I just want to nap all day. I know I'm not the only one feeling like this.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, I made a list of 5 tasks to get done every day. I decided to tackle my laundry room. It's not in a bad shape, but it could use a bit of a face lift. The litter boxes need changing, shelves need to be wiped down...little things like that. I've broken them down over the week. Next week, I'll make a similar list but the room of focus will be the bathroom. That room needs a good scrub down. Since we're in this situation for three weeks, I'll have to decide which room will come after that. Maybe the living room...or I'll start working my way into "the wall" (aka my studio). I haven't decided yet. Thinking that far ahead freaks me out a bit. One day at a time right now.

Will my list work? It's hard to say but it gives me a focus. I also have client work which once I get started doing holds my attention for as long as I work on it. I guess I need to try to make life as normal as possible right now. One day at a time, one minute at a time, whatever it takes. I'll be doing livestreams on Facebook once a week, I think. Just something to connect with other people. None of us are alone in any of this and it's important for us to remember this.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Stay home. The sooner we all do this, the sooner we can all get together for a huge social dinner...or something...

Much love to everyone out there.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Weekly Update: Chaos

Holy crow, guys...this week has been crazy. Actually, the past 5 days or so. It started on Friday when I stopped at the mailbox to pick up the mail and discovered a notice from the county about past taxes being due and language such as foreclosure and forfeitsure. Since I rent, this sent me into a tizzy. Of course, it was Friday night and Monday was President's Day so nobody could be reached until this morning. Thankfully, the owners had also received a notification and are paying off the bill. They assured me that they won't sell the house out from under me and I can have it for at least a couple more years if I'd like. That's a huge relief. I can focus on downsizing and dehoarding instead of worrying.

As if that wasn't stressful enough though, last night Ben had a basketball game about an hour away. While we were there, it started snowing and by the time I left to head home, the roads were horrible. I was white knuckle driving the entire way home. A chunk of the trip is on the freeway and while we were going slow for the freeway (about 45mph), that didn't stop me from sliding right off when I tapped my break because the person in front of me slowed down. I got lucky. I didn't hit one of the drop offs or a guard rail. I managed to come to a stop just onto the grass and after a few very deep breathes and a small pep talk, I pulled back onto the road. I've rarely been so happy to see my driveway and hear the gps say welcome home in my life.

I could use a few days of low key. It's a busy week though with attending basketball games with Ben and then him, Dylan, and I are driving to South Bend on Saturday to watch Roger perform at Notre Dame with his jazz orchestra. It should be fun, but teenagers can be seriously challenging at times. I'm hoping this isn't one of those times...heh...

Once I get back, it's a bit more basketball while trying to prep to attend C2E2 in Chicago at the end of the week. I have a packing list and I'm slowly trying to collect things up, but it's going to be a hectic week of trying to get the usual things done and prep work. It's been a number of years since I attended this huge event, and I know that my body isn't ready for it, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. It's much easier to network if I leave the house sometimes.

In news of other note, I've upped my medication to a full dosage from the half dose that I've been on for the past six months or so. It was time and I think that it's only due to that increase that I haven't had a complete meltdown over everything. In fact, I've stayed relatively calm (for me anyway) and not spiraled. I'll take it.

Now, I'm off to build a small Lego cat as a reward for writing my posts and being a good girl. Have a great week!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Weekly Update: Making Plans

I started having some eye strain issues last week so I decided it'd be a grand time to take a bit of a screen break. It's totally my fault. I forgot that I ought to be wearing my glasses. Naughty me. But, the time offline was far from wasted. I grabbed a notebook and started making goals for 2020. These aren't New Year's resolutions. They're projects/goals that I'd like to accomplish and I broke each one down into "bite sized" pieces. They range from the house to business to personal. In fact, I'm still working on it when I get a few minutes here and there. Having it has given me a life line so to speak. When I'm anxious and don't know what to do, I have a plan right there in front of me.

Other than that, it's been fairly quiet around here. Ben had his first Special Olympics basketball tournament on Saturday which was fun. His team came in 3rd in their division. He scored twice and was great on defense. I'm super proud of him.

Roger turned 19 today. I can't believe that I'm mom to a 19 year old and a 20 year old. It doesn't seem possible but there they are proving me wrong.

Wow, this post feels really disjointed. I'm getting a headache which I think is causing it. So, for now, I'm going to sign off, make some tacos and then get ready to go take Ben to practice. Y'all have a great week!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Weekly Update: 95%

I'm back! I'm not 100%, but I'd put me at about 95%. I'm finally able to get through the day without having to take a nap. My body would like me to take one, but I'm not having to do it. My cough was gone, but yesterday I had to go out and do some shoveling and clearing off the car. Since then, I've been coughing some again...deep coughs. I hope it's not a sign that something is coming back. Fingers crossed!

On other fronts, I've started working on making sure that I'm taking my medicine every night. I have missed 4 days this month but I'm not beating myself up over it. I'll get back into the routine. I may move my pills up to my bedroom so they're "in my face" at bedtime. I haven't quite decided yet.

The kids are all doing well. Ben is doing Special Olympics basketball and has his first tournament this coming Saturday. Roger had a concert last night and it went really well. Dylan...well, I mostly hear about girls from him. I hope he's applying himself that much to his studies. He's impatient to get to the advanced courses and think the early ones are a waste of time.

I know this is a super short update, but I'm kind of blank as to what to write about today. So, for now...have a grand week and I'll see you soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekly Update: Pneumonia

Ugh. You may have noticed that I haven't updated in a couple of weeks. That's because I managed to get pneumonia. It's been two weeks and while the doctor assures me that I'm getting better, it sure doesn't much feel like it. Okay, I no longer have a crazy fever but I am still coughing until I throw up sometimes. The cough is dry and deep. I feel like a braying donkey or something...something not

Other than that, I've been struggling a bit with believing in myself. For ages, I've wanted to be a writer, but now that the chance is here, I feel as if I suck at it and nobody would ever read anything that I wrote. Due to being sick, I've had zero imagination as my body focuses on the act of breathing. Feeling blank scares me and part of me wants to just give up on this dream. What if nobody ever reads my stories? I gave a dozen beta readers my book of children's stories about a month ago and not a single person has read them. That's insanely disheartening. What if it sucks? What if what I thought was good is really, really bad? Ugh. I'm at the point where I want the feedback, but I don't want the feedback. I guess all I can do is wait and see if anyone reads the book. It's not like it's ready to go to print. I still need 4-5 pieces of art for inside of it and I've only sent the artist reference photos for 2 of those pieces. On top of that, I still need to come up with a cover.

Then, there's the last book of The Tether Saga. I sent it to Nick weeks ago. He said he read it, that it was a good base, and that he had a ton of notes for it. In essence, I'm hearing that I have to rewrite the entire thing. At first, I was excited about getting notes back, but as my health continues to suck and he continues to not send me the notes, my self doubt is sky high. What if I failed at that too?

Argh. Pneumonia is not good for self-esteem. It's left me too isolated but too sick to pull myself up out of this funk. Maybe once I'm feeling better and the holidays are over, I'll try to come up with enough money to take a night away at a hotel where I can take a long, hot shower and then sit and focus on what I really want/need for my own health and well being. Not like resolutions, but some self-awareness. I know me. I know what works and what doesn't work. I just have to decide what's worth working for and what needs to be put behind me. I can't imagine not writing which is weird because I seem completely incapable of writing right now. Maybe I just need all the notes from Nick and from the beta readers. Maybe they won't say you suck and maybe if they do, it will be constructive  and I can improve.

For now though, I'm going to try to get better. The coughing leaves me exhausted and I feel like I nap way more than any human being should, but it is what it is. Bonus is that my youngest is due to walk through the door any time now and that will lift my spirits. It's been pretty dang lonely sitting here all by myself while everyone is so busy with the holidays. It's good for me that he's going to be here for a few days. He's going to help me finish getting ready for Christmas and has suggested we do a bit of gaming. Yeah, it's good to not be all alone....

Monday, December 2, 2019

Weekly Update: It's Better Now

As I write this, I'm struggling with a headache, but I'm in decent spirits. Last week, some grand folks made sure that I had some food for Thanksgiving and the day or so after. Roger came over on Friday and I took him to go shopping for his siblings. Time with my boys is always sure to boost my mood.

Other than that, not much has changed. Money is still crazy tight and I have about $20 to get me to the 19th for groceries. It's rough but I'm hanging in there. I'm more concerned with how I'm going to feed the boys if they come over than I am about how to feed myself. I guess I should look up some instapot recipes that are inexpensive but filling. Teenage boys can eat a lot!

The other big concern is that Dylan has never been in the house and Roger would also like to have Molly come over for Christmas. While the house is better, it's still not outside people ready. I only have two weeks until the boys are off for holiday break from school so I don't have a lot of time to dilly dally. I've started doing little things here and there as I can, but I'm concerned I won't have the house ready in time. All I can do is try though...and hope my energy levels keep up. Since I'm exhausted at 5:30pm, it's questionable but I'm going to try. It's all I can do.

For those who have asked how you can help me this holiday season, the best way would be funds to buy groceries and maybe some gifts for the kids for Christmas. My paypal is ...Please don't feel as if you need to though. I'm a survivor and this isn't going to be what breaks me.

Until next week!

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