I can’t believe I’m still managing to get words counted! I’ve always struggled to maintain any sort of accuracy in counting but this Excel file is just about perfect for me.
On the writing, I missed 4 days and had a few under 500 days but I was very consistent overall. 35,417 words for the final tally for March, not quite to my goal and only 200 words better than February but, I’m still very happy with it. I got words in on all my projects but I don’t see that happening next month. My goal is to get Christmas in Bear Ridge zero draft done next month and I’m not super worried about anything else. Word counts are awesome and I’d like to stay in line if not do better than the last two months.
On the fitness front – I didn’t gain any weight so that’s not terrible. I didn’t lose any either though and that’s kind of annoying. I loaded up the MyFitnessPal app again and I’m trying to be good about it. I don’t always succeed but oh well. I’ll get there. I am moving more. This month there was a lot of heavier foods and too much eating out. I did get my stretching bands washed because they made me itchy and I’m able to do the steps a little bit better but in the biggest news, I successfully got up off the ground by myself. I would like to lose weight as I’m sure everything will be easier if I do but I’m not going to be miserable in order to do it – Calories In, Calories Out. That’s about all I have the tenacity for right now.
On the Rheumatoid front, I did spend a chunk of this month with my cane – my ankle did something ridiculous for no good reason and swelled up again for a few days, my knees were a bit achy, and some mornings, my feet were flat evil. My husband bought me a new cane – pretty much a length of knotty, maybe burled wood with a lot of character and a pretty grain with a natural grip and a height that works for me. I love it. My skin is still stupid splotchy, irritated, and now a little angry in spots. Yay makeup. Mostly, my meds are doing what they’re supposed to, even if it isn’t perfect. There are still days but I think that’s just going to be a thing now. It’s mostly pretty liveable but I’m still adjusting. My short term memory is still really stupid so I’ve been using a to-do list app to keep me on track and on target. It mostly works too! Any.do links up with my regular and Google calendar and makes my life much easier.
I didn’t get any art made this month but I thought about it and I planned some out in my head. Well, no, I did dye eggs. I’m totally going to count my six shaving cream and food coloring eggs as art. I had wanted to do more but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. April. Definitely April.
On the personal front, it was sort of a big month – I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen since the summer of 98, my oldest child got inducted into the National Honor Society, I had my annual meeting at the school for my youngest child’s IEP (always nerve-wracking, almost always easy), and, most importantly, celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary. I still can’t believe he’s put up with me this long – he must be crazy. Next month should be a lot slower so hopefully that means also more productive too.
The clocks have been changed and I’ve given up my hour to whatever powers decided this was a thing we still need to do. I understand changing the time for agricultural purposes but times and technology have changed and it’s not really a thing we need to keep doing. As a mom with a kid who is entirely rigid with his time and schedule, I hate time changes – it throws everything off for like a week. It did, however, get me thinking a little bit (I know, everything does that).
Time is a weird thing. For some things, it’s like no time has passed at all. For others, it feels like an eternity has passed when it’s been no time at all. I saw today that it’s been 8 years since Cory Haim died – that doesn’t seem right. It can’t have been that long. Later this month, I’ll have been married for 18 years which falls into both categories – I barely remember a time when my husband wasn’t in my life and it seems like just yesterday that I looked at him and saw forever. I swear to you that my kids were just babies and I’m still closer to 20 than 40 but also, I’ve been here since time immemorial.
Last night I was catching up with an old friend who I haven’t seen in ages but it didn’t actually seem that long. I think my sense of time’s passage is skewed. I don’t feel any different now than I did twenty years ago – except an extra lot of pounds and an immune system who loves me so much she’s trying to kill me. I might have gotten a smidge dorkier if only because I’ve had time to take in more of all the things I love.
Unfortunately, time is fleeting and I have no TARDIS or Delorean so, we must make due with what we’ve got and make the most of it. I hope I’m doing that and often worry that I’m not but, all I can do is my best and hope that’s enough.
This month has been a pretty busy, pretty decent month!
On the writing front, it’s been the best month I’ve had in a very very long time. I didn’t start counting my words until half-way through the month so it isn’t exactly complete and I didn’t write every day but I only missed three days in the last half of the month and that’s damned good. I wrote 12,585 words in the second half of January and I’m really pleased with that. I also finished the zero draft of Hunter’s Hell which I started in November so, I might be behind there but the bones of this book are solid and awesome. I submitted Purgatory’s Queen (sci-fi/thriller) and Demonborn (dark fantasy) so fingers crossed all over the place there. I also put in some words on the Gods of the Fallen first draft. I’ll be working both HH and GOTF first drafts for the next month or two. I’ll be very happy if HH is done mid-March.
On the health front: I’ve come a long way in the last six months but I’m not all the way there yet. I can do laundry all by myself now and stand up long enough to do dishes without using the tall stool to perch on. I can type at 3/4 speed for half an hour at a stretch. I’m not back to normal but I’m so damned happy to be where I’m at! I’m even exercising again. Slowly, gently, but exercising. I turned on my calorie counting app and hooked up the Wii Fit board. I’m only down about a pound but at least I’m back to going the right direction. Being off the prednisone is great but I think we’re probably not finished adjusting the methotrexate just yet.
The kids are doing well in school. Husband is the awesome. Husband’s family pulled through their recent health stuff, even if it didn’t exactly go as planned. This might be the closest month I’ve had to normal since my Dad died. ❤ Hopefully this month is even better!
I feel like I should have had more of them so far but, I’ll take whatever I can get at this point. I did everything on my to-do list today (not that it was a long list). I even put words in on Hunter’s Hell – a grand total of about 800 of them and that’s a whole lot better than yesterday’s 0. I put my face on and, while I need a lot of practice with the pretties, I can do my eyes. It’s not as pretty as what Heidi did yesterday but yeah. Pretty. I’m a very happy lady.
My list of things to do this year is pretty long and I’m doing my best to get on track to get them done. I added a few things to that list today, a few things I’d like to learn how to do or get better at doing. In theory, I know how to make paper. In practice, it’s been 25 years since the last time I did that and I don’t have my mom to help me now so I imagine there will be some trial and error there but I know I love artisan paper and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. I’d like to learn nuno-felting only not with lamb’s wool because I would like to not make my skin hate me but it’s just such a neat idea and I’d love to see if I can make something like what popped in my head when I read about that the first time.
Now I’ve got to set up my to do list for tomorrow that hopefully includes getting the kids ready for school again… fingers crossed it stays just a two hour delay.
I learned a thing today. There’s a thing called the Hedgehog’s Dilemma which uses the hedgehog’s gathering together with other hedgehogs to share heat but having to stay their distance so they don’t hurt each other with all the sharp pokey ends to illustrate the introvert’s biggest problem. I am a Hedgehog – there’s nothing more in the world that I want those close relationships and camaraderie and shared experience, I just want all that from over here where no one is touching me. Or looking at me. Or expecting me to be able to use real words that make sense in a vocal fashion.
We’re a few days into January and I’ve had the kids home extra days for the cold so I haven’t had but 5 hours to myself since the first day of Winter. I am not getting words outside of my personal journal where apparently I have a lot to unpack. I’m still working to get back to normal from the injury I sustained in mid-December! It should have been a minor thing, a bruise at most but my immune system just gets so excited at having something to do that it treats it like a mortal wound instead. I’m so close to being back to normal but it’s still stiff and sore and I’m still moving like it is both of those things. I enjoyed the kid part of Christmas but I struggled a lot with the rest of it. I’m missing my dad a lot and thinking about my mom a lot. I’m weaning off the prednisone but my family says it’s still mucking with me.
I know my methotrexate is doing its job, with every dose, the inflammation in my joints really does go down but with every upping of the dose, my icky, sick, tired time the next day increases by about an hour. Really though, five hours of ick is worth it for being able to do stuff the rest of the time. I’m even adjusting so I’m not terribly tired after taking it. I think it’s likely to adjust up at least once more before we settle out but I do hope it’s not much more than that.
I do need to get back to writing. I need to get the last threads down and finish Hunter’s Hell. I know how it ends, I just have to fill in the odds and ends and get it done then set it aside for a short time and come back to it when I’m not a weepy, emotional mess because it’s absolutely creeping into the words a bit. It’s not like I don’t have projects to work on – Hunter’s Hell, Eldercynne War*, Gods of the Fallen, Long Is The Way, and Soul Eater are just the main titles I have in various stages of progress (though I have two more I ought to be submitting to places). I’m struggling to even read books right now, let alone write them. I’m far too emotionally involved with fictional characters, my own and other writers’.
This year hasn’t started that great. I think I was hoping for some kind of switch from awful to awesome but I think it’s going to take more than a switch. I think it’s going to be a slow transition but I’m pretty sure it’s going to transition. I can’t take another year like last year so it’s just going to be better when all is said and done. Period.
*working title only, likely to change.
I think everyone gets at least a little introspective this time of year, looking back at the progress made, the failures, the successes, the gains and the losses. There’s a lot about life you can’t control so goals don’t always come to fruition but I really like to have them. I like to separate them into categories also – personal stuff, professional stuff, and the stuff that doesn’t really fall into either category.
Personally: I’d like to lose the weight I’ve gained (or rather, never lost after my youngest kid). I’d like to be comfortable in my own skin again – or at least as much as I can be. I would like to find a foundation or concealer that actually covers all my stupid red splotchies that have suddenly decided to be part of my life (yay weird effects of my RA or the medication for it). I’d like to be a little better at peopling this year also – less tripping over my tongue and more making sense. I’d really like to feel comfortable enough with myself and my anxieties to get pictures done – we haven’t had a family photo done since before my youngest was born and we should really do that – I just really hate being in pictures.
Somewhere in between the personal and professional is journaling. Not blogging. Not really a bullet journal. Just a journal, for me. It’s always helped before to get all this ick out somewhere and I just happened to get a pretty awesome Solo in Carbonite journal for Christmas.
Professionally: I’d like to write three books, four short stories, and forty poems. Those seem like doable numbers for me. I’d also like to do a little more artsy stuff than craftsy stuff – maybe not for the craft fairs but for the Etsy shop. I’ll be happy if I can get three of the things in my head to be real tangible things, especially some of the mixed media type art in my head. I’d like to do at least five vendor events and maybe a little convention. Maybe. I’ll be ridiculously happy if I can write some words no fewer than five days a week.
The stuff that doesn’t fall into either category are more like hopes than goals. I’d like to go a year without a panic attack. I’d like to go a year without a major loss in my life – real, imagined, personal, or otherwise. I hope we can get my RA under control. I hope my kids continue to do awesome in their classes and in just being awesome people. I hope my husband has the best year ever. I hope my friends and family have awesome years also.
I’m just tired of being sad so I’m really hoping for a year with a lot less of that. I’m taking steps to do what I can do feel better – it’s not working just yet but these sorts of things take time. Much more time than I had imagined.
There isn’t a lot of good in this year really. It has been one of the worst years to date for me. The loss of my Dad hit me really hard in some really unexpected ways. My stepmom moved to be closer to her brother, which is really great for her and I know it’s the best thing, but I’m missing her a lot too. Skype is great but it’s not the same. Finding the answer to my crazy hurting, swelling, and mobility issues was great, even if it showing up was not. I’ve had a bit of a time of things coming to grips with all of it but I’m grateful not just to have answers but to have it be something fairly treatable, even if it changes everything for me. There were far scarier words than Rheumatoid arthritis bandied about prior to all the bloodwork so I’m relieved it wasn’t any of those.
On the writing front, there’s not much to report beyond nearly being done with the sequel to Hunter’s Crossing. I’ve written less this year than any year since the 7th grade, when I finished my very first book.
I did open my Etsy at long last, even made my first sale, and started doing craft fairs with my books and weirdness. I met a lot of interesting people and had some fun – even with all the health crap that was going on.
There’s been a lot of loss in my life this year, not all of it is really something I can explain right. I try but words really don’t do it justice. I know there’s a lot of weird in my life – the prednisone makes all my emotions so much bigger and more annoying so all of this introspective crap is even worse. I think this year is just a lost year, more or less. One best forgotten and moved past and never spoken of again.
I went to my rheumatologist today – who I discovered that I like much better when I’m not hyper-emotional with the prednisone – and the difference is night and day. If I wasn’t worried about injuring myself again, I might even dance I’m feeling so much better.
The knee was about half as swollen as it had been but he still managed to get six full big syringes of synovial fluid out of it. The moment he said he was going to drain the knee, I was a little bit panicked. Big needle = scary. Hell, little blood draw needle = scary and ouchie too! Apparently, my rheumy is really good at draining joints. The worst part wasn’t the needle at all but the manipulation of my really stupid and crooked patella (My kneecap moves in an arc instead of properly up and down). Between the drainage and the cortisone shot (that I didn’t even feel), the difference is amazing. Absolutely worth being pressed like a grape. I almost asked if this was a thing they could teach me to do at home since it will undoubtedly happen again.
It’s my medication day so I’m still super tired and all that but I’m going to make the youngest kid’s day and meet him at the bus stop, something I haven’t been able to do all week. I can’t even tell you what a relief this is. I feel terrible scaring the kids like this and it just keeps happening. My stupid immune system just refuses to roll over and play dead. All my life, it’s done a great job, maybe too good and now it just won’t stop even though there is no reason for it to be at war with anything. I’m just so damn happy that I’ll be ambulatory for Christmas and the short one can settle out a bit about that.
We’ve come to the part of the year where I over-analyze everything and, since I happen to be laid up a bit, I might as well share more than I should. Every situation we come to is an opportunity to learn something. It may not always be something you wanted to know, but the truth remains. Just the other day I learned that I know way too many obscure Christmas facts and, according to my son, no one ever remembers who wrote what. Even if it’s Charles Dickens. And far too few people have seen one of our family favorites, Olive the Other Reindeer. This bit of knowledge makes me very sad.
I’ve learned a lot this year and very little of it did I want to know.
Good things I learned: I can laugh at almost anything. My stepmom has a really great family. My kids are awesome when the chips are down, even if they really worry too much. I was incredibly fortunate to have the parents I did. It is absolutely ok to stand up for yourself when people are being unkind or cruel, even if no one else sees past the official public face of said people.
Less than good things: Ibuprofen makes me rashy. There are not enough handicapped accessible facilities when you are limited in your mobility. And I was only on crutches – I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to try and get around when you’re in a wheelchair though the time may come when I find out. Prednisone makes me ragey and weepy. Some people are just plain compelled to one-up you in life, even (sometimes especially) when it’s about the terrible things (Is Munchausen by bragging a thing?). I do not understand that one. And the past never really goes away, ghosts crop up to clang their chains and muck you up just because they can when you least expect it. I also learned that even the smallest injuries can take me out now – for DAYS.
I like to sandwich the ick with better so I’ll go back to the good now. There are support groups out there for RA that don’t require me to physically go anywhere and they’ve helped me immensely in figuring this all out, especially understanding my bloodwork. I’ve learned by necessity to try and drink more water in the day before my bloodwork also but it really does make it easier and so much less ouchie. And best of all, though maybe bittersweet, it doesn’t matter how much time goes by, some ghosts still come to visit and I embrace them, even conjure them through perfume and shirts and I will never ever not want them to come and tell me stories in my sleep.
medication (or the lack of it) can make! We’ve started tapering my already low dose prednisone and I’m feeling a lot less … boom. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. It’s like I was feeling things too big if that makes sense. It couldn’t come at a better time as I always get weepy in December and this year, Thanksgiving is already going to be difficult. I’m a little more sore and achy than I was before but I’m definitely willing to push through that in exchange for not flipping out over everything or feeling like I want to cry all the time.
I’m definitely not going to win NaNoWriMo this year but I will have a draft for Leilani and Blake’s second book before the end of the year and I’m really happy with that. I have a lot of projects in my head, it’s just a matter of putting them on paper. It used to be I could work five projects at once but my brain is not working with that right now so, I’m going to have to focus on just one. If I can write a minimum of 500 words every day – which isn’t really that much when you break it down – I can get all of my projects finished. I’m really excited for some of them to get out of my head and into the hands of readers. I expect to have Hunter’s Hell finished by the end of the year and Eldercynne Knight by Valentine’s Day and Gods of the Fallen by my birthday. In that order. If I keep it in that order, maybe I’ll get done a little faster because I am super excited by Gods of the Fallen – some of the ideas are just so neat to me. I’d also like to get back to my poetry a little more but I have to figure out how that will fit into my writing schedule.
I think there’s more of my anxiety and depression rearing up than I usually like to admit to. I don’t think all of my sleepiness is just RA related and I know my inner critical voice is just going bananas over every misstep I’ve ever made in my life. It’s not like this part of things is new, I should be old hat at this by now and have it under control already. Except we all know that’s not how these things work in the real world.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, even if this year has been just a gaping hole of I’d really rather not. The kids are awesome, the husband is awesome, they’re all healthy and that’s enough for me right now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and eat some yummy stuff. Tomorrow, I make pumpkin pie and a veg and that’s all anyone is expecting of me and that is glorious.