2013 Recap

My Thursday posts have always been about myself and my mental health, and I quite liked the little things that I came up with.  Whether I inspired someone or not, at least I got something out of it for myself.

Things have been rather hectic lately – for the last two months anyway.  My husband and I have started working on our marriage and the results are nothing short of a miracle.  We are getting closer than ever and it is taking a while to forgive past transgressions, but they are being forgiven and we are moving together into a new world.

That includes a new venture – my husband is going to be working for himself once more.  And while he is nervous about this, I actually feel confident because I know he has the know how and ability to make this work.  Hopefully between the two of us we will  make this business a success.

I have really enjoyed the Teacher Aide work I have done this year, I have some close relationships with some of the kids, which I have to keep at arms length, even though I desperately want to wrap them up in my arms and hug them.  Most of them are so bruised by life, and I know I can’t make it better for them, but at least I can be there for them.

I have managed to write three novellas this year, and plot out the first story in a trilogy, so I am excited about next year.  Even have myself a few new critiquing partners, and looking forward to working with them.  A couple of them are published, so I am hoping that we can really pull things together.

Overall, it has been an up and down year for me, but going into the worst part of the year for me, I actually feel – even – that is the only way I can describe it.  Even.  Not up, not down, but on an even keel.  Long may it continue.

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A Week of Two Halves

Last week was a good week for me, and today I have crashed.  I think because we had such beautiful weather over the weekend, and then my husband was late getting out of here and rushed away, I feel I didn’t get to have my cuddles with him.

Let me break that down for you.

If there was an award for procrastination, I would have won it hands down last week.  I wanted to write, desperately, I plotted and replotted and subplotted, only to realise that I was really overcomplicating the story – doh!  So instead, I have put it on the back burner to concentrate on Ice Planet – my completed, then lost, then half recovered story.  I love this story and it has potential to be a great romance – if I could just spend the time on it.  I printed out the prologue and first chapter… and they are still sitting on my laptop – oh dear.

I signed up to a Critiquing site where you try and match yourself with a critiquing partner.  I have found a couple that I like, but haven’t really had a chance to get my act together and approach them yet.  Hopefully this week!

I can say, in my defence, that I have been busy at work lately, with some extra hours required – I don’t mind, I get paid, but they do take a toll on my day to day life.  The hours I normally have are great, and I cope well with them, but I haven’t had a Thursday free in a couple of weeks, and I notice that.  I need a day to get my head together before my husband comes home and we have my steppies over for the weekend.

With the beautiful weekend (the first time in 10 weeks that it hasn’t rained!!!) I made the most of it and got out into the garden, relishing the Vitamin D and the sunshine and dug the oats into half of my veggie garden.  They will need to be dug in a couple of times, but they are in, which is a good start.  I also made a pea teepee (try saying that really fast), only to find on Sunday morning that the cats thought the soil was a great place to dig!!!

Yesterday was whitebaiting and what is normally a few hours turned into a whole day mission.  I didn’t mind, I had T G Ayer’s Dead Embers to read, and I finished it last night (OMG I can’t wait to get the next installment!!!)

Which brings us to this morning.  A bit of an anticlimax to my hectic week, and with my husband rushing out the door and not seeing him for a week, I am feeling a little… flat.

So this week, I have about 5 hours at school (instead of 10 – 15) so I intend to crack down on Ice Planet, tidy my house properly (not just the quick lick and promise it has been getting) and try and focus myself, ready for the holidays which begin next week.

Phew!

Finding Balance

I had all sorts of names for this blog, but none of them were very positive, so will have to go with this one.

I have recently started working at the school, and they have increased my hours, so I now work 10 hours a week, which is fantastic.  I love working with the Year 9 kids.  I have learnt more in Maths and Science than I did in my third form year!

But yesterday, on my only day off, I was sitting in the sun contemplating what I was going to do next when I realised, that if I wasn’t careful, I would over balance myself and end up back in my depression.

While this thought was fleeting, it did give me something to think about, because I am also  writing / editing, selling and recruiting for Avon and working on my health, fitness and wellbeing, as well as being a mum, wife and step monster.

I don’t want to squeeze anything out of my day, but I don’t want to feel I have to accomplish everything either, not that I have reached that stage yet.  One advantage of being on antidepressants is that I don’t have a care in the world, and nothing really stresses me out too much – unless I stress myself out, so easy solution – don’t focus on it!

My health and fitness are an area of my life that definitely need improving, and I have started on a new program that focuses on health and fitness for life, not just for the short term.  This will help with my depression.  I have found working with the kids has had positive results too – I am a natural encourager, good and supporting others, but crap at doing it for myself.  Seeing them achieve is fantastic, even if they do need bribing every now and again.

So, for the next few weeks, I think it will be a case of playing it by ear, and if something upsets or stresses me, then I will have to just let it go, move on to another project until I feel less stressed, but the exercising has been fun, and I have lots of encouraging friends, which is always beneficial!

Don’t worry, writing won’t be going by the wayside, but it was just something that I wanted to put out there, part of making myself accountable .   🙂

The Demon returns…

Winter Sunrise

I have recently had my antidepressant changed, and while the Doctor assured me that there wouldn’t be any of the hassles like when you first start taking them, I have really been feeling very flat – two dimensional and wondering why I really don’t care!

It took me a couple of days to recognise it, but the darkness was lurking in the background, but I have found that focusing on something else does help to ease it, and get  me back into the light.

I have recently signed up as a Leadership Representative in my Avon business and working at building a team underneath me.  Actually going out and interacting with the public is the LAST THING I feel like doing, but smiling and making small talk does help me to move back into the light.  It helps me to focus on something other than myself and my hopelessness, which is how I feel when I don’t have anything else on.

But I am not burying my head in the sand, because I am tired too, so I am not pushing myself.  I have every second day off and just focus on homelife, tidying up, watching funny programmes on the telly, and just giving myself some peace.

All of these things are working for me, and slowly, so p a i n f u l l y  s l o w l y I am getting better.

I only want to keep taking the antidepressant to get me through the winter, then I hope to come out into the spring with a bright new outlook and able to cope without the medication.  Fingers crossed this all comes together!

I’ve Made It.

Now before you get all excited and think that I have had something published, no.  That is not the case.

But I have made it to the end of the week without too much stress or difficulty!  Yay!

Why is that so exciting?  Well I haven’t been feeling the best lately, health-wise, with an annoying cough, you know, the kind that tickles your throat when you cough, making you want to cough more until you want to throw up – yeah, THAT kind of cough.

I have also had some crappy sleep with the above mentioned cough, because I didn’t want to wake up my husband, and everytime I did cough or move, the cat thought I was getting up, or that it was time to get up, and thus purred loudly or tried to get into bed with me… Grrrr!

It is also the school holidays, and I don’t do kids very well, but I am pleased to report that I have actually made some significant inroads into my relationships with my steppies and we have all had a good time (even if they have spent most of it inside playing playstation or outside kicking a ball around).  To be honest I really haven’t seen much of them, apart from an altercation yesterday afternoon when two of the three boys decided it would be safer in the lounge than in the bedroom with the third rampaging boy.  Turns out he was pushed and antagonised, so my sympathy went with him.

I also had some paid work on Thursday through to Tuesday which went relatively well, there weren’t too many hitches and I hope I haven’t left a mess.  I tried my best, and that is all that matters.

I even managed to get some editing done yesterday, which is better than I expected due to the school holidays.  I also got to read a couple of other writers work and made some comments, so if I keep going like that, I might get it finished in a couple of weeks!

So while I am still not 100%, I have made it through this week.  I survived the gauntlet of the school holidays and I am looking forward to some “ME” time next week when it is just me, myself and I.

To Do List

Where does time go?  Is there some vast magical space where all of the collected time sits and wonders where it went?  Or does it just pass us by only to slip into oblivion?

Why do I ask such a weird question?  Because today, being the first day back at school for my boys, has just flown by! 

I knew I had a lot to do, because today I created a to do list – jobs that needed to be done, work that needed to be finished, stories that need to be written(!) and by the time I finished the list, I had 17 things on it – which included write a report for work, ring two people (work related), write up minutes, type and agenda and set up dates for next meeting (completed these things!) Prepare 4 writing challenges for a website for the next month, my tax stuff that needs to get done, a referee letter for a builder and transcribing.

Why a to do list?  Lately my mind has been very busy and I get stuck into a project, only to discover that I hadn’t done something I was meant to do, like work!  This to do list is for this week (although the ird stuff is until next week) so that I had some time to do little bits, and not stress too much about the amount of work I still have.

Tonight I have three things crossed off, 7 things in progress, which leaves 7 things still to be actioned.  Which is a great start considering I only had 6 hours, two of which were spent having coffee with a friend!

This list does not include my writing, because that will be done regardless of whether it was on any list or not.  It is on my goal plan, another list that I have, but this one is taped to my wall.  The to do list is floating around my dining room table – although it is typed and saved, so if I lose it – I will just print out another one!

So today, although it has flown by, has been a success, because of a damned list!

Nuts and Bolts

I don’t know why I thought Editing was so boring and tedious in the past.  Perhaps I have reached a place now where I am happy with my work and can see the diamond shining underneath all the dross!  Anyway, here is another example of my editing at work. 

Paseta, the medicine man, shuffled through his side satchel, trying to locate an item inside.  He had long grey hair and suntanned complexion that showed evidence of a handsome youth.  His nose was small, but jutted, the result of a childhood fight.  His hair wasn’t receding like most of the tribal men.  At the age of 333 seasons, he was still energetic and joyous as he had been in his youth.  He was still young and agile of mind.  Paseta was training up three young people to take over his position in the tribe.  He was still undecided what to do once they reached Amasedon.  He wanted to stay, find his family and retire, but a part of him yearned to continue the adventure of tribal life. 

It felt kind of long winded and unnecessary.  I picked out the parts that I thought the reader needed to know, like his age (which by the way is in seasons, so divide by 4…) but I want the reader to create their own picture of this man. 

Paseta’s long grey hair hung down around his suntanned face as he shuffled through his shoulder pack. At the age of 333 seasons, he was still energetic and joyous as he had been in his youth. He found and opened a small red bottle of a foul smelling essence and waved it under Tycelon’s nose.

So I am curious, how do you picture this man?  Look forward to hearing your comments.