I Was Plague Ridden

You might have seen it on the news recently – there’s some new superbug out there that is like the stomach flu on crack and it’s super contagious and can last up to two weeks – not your average overnight stomach bug, if you know what I’m saying.

Well, I got it last week. Christmas was the last day that I ate normal food. I barely made it through work Thursday night, and the exodus of ALL THE THINGS FROM MY BODY began on Friday morning and hasn’t really stopped until today. Today, finally, I am starting to feel better and like I can eat real food without having to run in agony to the bathroom to do totally unspeakable things.

All I have wanted to do for the last four days is lay on the couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and I did just that until this afternoon when I ran out of episodes to watch and refused to sign up for Hulu Plus to watch more. I have a thing against Hulu – so sue me, I don’t want to have to watch ads on a paid service like that. Netflix has spoiled me so.

It was after I finally ran out of Grey’s episodes that I dragged myself out of the house for the first time in days to get more yarn (finally) for the blanket that I have been working on.

And that’s where I am at. On the mend, laden with yarn, wondering what the hell to watch on Netflix now.

Any suggestions?

Happy Freakin’ Holidays

I’ve been avoiding the internet for the last week and a half, tired of seeing all the Christmas posts that remind me over and over that I don’t really like Christmas all that much. I suppose I would like it if I had some money to spend on gifts for people, but really all it does is stress me out and remind me of how little I have. I’m not just talking about material things – I feel very alone at Christmas, too. I don’t have “that special someone” to share the holidays with, and I have a very small family so the day is always quiet.

Also, today is my daughter’s birthday. She’s eight today. Yeah, I had a Christmas baby, whoopdee freaking doo. People have a lot of things to say about that – I don’t really have much to say at all, except I feel bad for her because I feel like she got gypped out of having a special day for herself. Though, she’s eight now and doesn’t really seem to mind.

I don’t know why I came to post today – maybe to break the silence, maybe to say HELP ME I’M DROWNING IN CHRISTMAS SORROW.

There must be other people out there who just don’t really like the holidays, right?

Six Things That Suck

#Reverb13? I can’t even right now. I abandoned the internet for almost a week because I couldn’t face logging on to WordPress and writing posts that rip out my heart reflecting over the past year – the year that sucked more than any other year.

I have nothing positive to say today.

On my old blog I did a weekly practice called Grace in Small Things where I would list five things I was grateful for that week. Sounds nice, right? So why is it that half the time I was thinking about what to write in those posts I was coming up with things that I was UNgrateful for?

At any rate, here are six things that (in my humble opinion) suck big ol’ donkey butt:

1. Kids that don’t listen. Seriously. Every parent has had that moment when they are standing in a roomful of people repeating over and over: “Put on your coat. Put on your coat. Put on your coat now!” and your kid is just doing anything BUT put their coat on, up to and probably including laughing at your vain effort to get them to just do what you say. I had to deal with this last night when I was leaving my friend C’s house, so it’s fresh and nasty in my mind.

2. Fucking depression. It sucks. It makes me curse a lot and write blog posts in list form because I am just too messed up in my little head to write a coherent blog post about how I’ve barely left the house for a week and all I’ve done with my time is watch five season’s of Grey’s Anatomy and crochet an entire blanket, a scarf, and about 1/3 of another blanket.

3. Psychotic Grandmothers. My little Squido’s grandmother (not my mom, the baby daddy’s mom) CUT SQUID’S HAIR this weekend. Herself. Not at a salon, but in her bathroom. It’s. Totally. Butchered. And of course I didn’t have time to take her to a salon so I had to send my poor kid to school today with a shitty haircut, and the worst part of it is, Squid thinks her new cut is awesome. She’s wrong.

4. Snow. I just hate snow. I know there are a lot of people out there who get all jazzed up and Oooo it’s so beautiful, but no. Snow, for me, is hell. It is not a fucking winter wonderland. We had a few inches of wet, slushy snow dumped on us on Saturday and then last night what was left of it froze over and turned my porch and driveway into a sheet of ice. I expect a fall.

5. When you run out of yarn. This could be a metaphor for all artists, but I am running out of yarn for the project I am working on and that’s just so annoying when you think you bought enough for your project to begin with. Artists run out of paint, musicians run out of energy, writers run out of words. It’s a thing that sucks, I think.

6. The chocolate in Candy Crush. Notice that I didn’t say Candy Crush sucks. I am a total convert addict to this game, the game I vowed to never play because I have seen so many people become addicted and be ridiculous getting so mad at their phones. But then, one day I dove in and downloaded the app and I’m hooked. I’m relatively new to the game, so I’m only on level 57. Now, as soon as I took the train into the Minty¬† Mountains, I’ve been experiencing this new phenomenon of chocolate that grows luck a fucking fungus and totally messes up my game. What is this shit?!?!

Sorry folks, I’ve had a bad week.. and what are blogs for if you can’t bitch and complain on them?

It’s Not the Critic Who Counts

There are stages to writing a book, and right now I am in the midst of one of the hardest ones. I am in the thinking/planning stage. Not quite to the planning/outlining stage, but in a darker, more muddled place. I’m just thinking, brainstorming, trying to rip characters out of the murky character abyss and breathe life into them in scrawled snippets in notebooks.

It’s a scary, frustrating stage to be in, because when you’re in it you never know whether you are going to come out of it with something alive. There are times when I come out of this stage empty handed and beaten.

This can’t be one of them, because I said I was going to publish my first book in 2014.

The book I haven’t written yet. The book that I’m still just thinking and dreaming about.

daringgreatlybadge1But, I’m doing it. I dedicate time every day to working on this novel to be, and I may go so far as to create a schedule for myself – set deadlines – get even more serious.

Because I’m doing it.

“It’s not the critic who counts. It’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled. Credit belongs to the man who really was in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come short and short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. It is the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and knows the great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And, who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

Theodore Roosevelt was an amazing man and a great president, and this quote has been special to me for years before Brene Brown wrote the first self-help book that I paid actual money to read.

I read Daring Greatly earlier this year, ordered it last winter when I was in a dark, cold place, and here we are in that time again and I’m thinking now of pulling it off the shelf, thinking of it now because of today’s #Reverb13 prompt: What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?

Well, I’m going to write this book. That’s a challenge, because I want to write my big epic vampire saga, and let’s just say I’m having a little trouble bringing it all together.

Hard work isn’t going to stop me. Naysayers, and there are so many of them when you are trying to write a book, are not going to stop me. I am going to be in the arena with words, and I’m going to keep trying every day to meet my own goals, and that’s doing it boldly.

Focus On You

 Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013? How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014? Р#Reverb13

reverb13How did I cultivate a life worth loving? Ha! Ha! Bahahahahahaha!!

Unfortunately I didn’t cultivate a life worth loving this year, but I’m working on it, week by week with the skills I learn in therapy, I’m working on loving life. Right now I just try to get through the days without crying, and I’ve been doing really good at that lately.

I feel hopeful as this year is coming to an end, this year that started out so badly for me. I know I won’t look back at 2013 with fondness.

I do auto-pilot through the days. I don’t like to dwell on that fact, but it does help to get through them, just going through the motions and doing what has to be done with the most minimal of effort, because I just don’t have the energy for more.

Anxiety drains me. Panic grips me and panic is sometimes the highlight of my day because it means I’m at least feeling something through all the banal dullness of my life.

It’s never as pretty as it seems on the other side, you know.

But I’ve learned some things. Mindfulness. It helps.

Remind yourself that there are beautiful things in life. Smell the flowers at the grocery store. Take a hot bath. Read a book for as long as you want and don’t let anything interrupt you.

Focus on you.

That’s how I got through 2013. I paused the auto-pilot for a few minutes here and there and opened up for something better, and I let the better in.

It’s something you can do too, you know. It helps.