Routine

Well, vacation is over, I’m back home and going back to work shortly. Reality is setting in and I’m checking out mentally and emotionally. Why? I’m just at that vacation hangover stage. I spent so much energy while I was away that I honestly have nothing left. I haven’t had time to recharge before going back to work and back to all that is expected of me, but that is fine, that is what being an adult is right? Doing what needs to be done even when all you really want to do is stay in bed, with the possibility of blanket forts?
I’m okay being back to the grind as they might say. I do enjoy my job, I’m just tired. What I’m mostly ready to get back into is my routine, or at least trying to figure out what that routine is. There are many things that I feel need to be done in a day, or a week. I’m still working on figuring out how to get all of these things done as often as I’d like. I feel like this is something that I struggle with often and am the most verbal about. I’m not good at balancing my life, which is why when things start to get to be too much I just give up and break down. I just stop, and that is the point I’ve been at for the past few months. I haven’t made much effort to figure any of this out, even though I have wanted to do it. I just do things whenever the mood strikes me, and while that doesn’t really seem like a bad thing the honest truth is that the mood doesn’t strike me very often. More often than not I procrastinate until I have limited or no time left to do any of the things that I want and that makes me frustrated and want to not do it at all. So yeah, that is a nice cycle I have myself in.
I wasn’t really here to talk about any of that, but if you have read any of my past posts, you realize that I write about whatever happens to be on my mind that day. Which is another thing that I’ve been trying to change. I’d love to be able to schedule blog posts and then just write the ‘off the cuff’ ones as the need arises. That’d have me posting more than once a week and I’d really like that, however, that, like most other things in my life right now, requires me to get this damn routine or schedule figured out. One of these days I’ll know what I’m doing. I even have a tracker in my bullet journal that is supposed to be helping me stay on the right path. Really all it has done is show me how little I’m doing of the things that I want to do (that sentence was painful for me to write).
So what are my plans to figure it out now and why is it going to be different than it has been so far? Well, hell if I know. Right now I’m just in the planning stage of this idea. I’m trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong so I can figure out how to do it right this time. I am going to assume one of the first things that I need to do is get on the right sleep schedule so that I’m able to plan out the rest of my day accordingly. For example, today I got up a half hour earlier than I normally would. This allowed for me to get my coffee made, journal, and even write this, which normally I’d not have time to do this part. So, if I continue to get up 30 minutes early, that will allow me time to work on my blog every day, and that is something that I’d really love to be able to do. And today at lunch I will do my best to get my reading in, which is what I’ve been doing up to this point (minus vacation, of course). And after work, well that will be cooking, writing, working out time. And then once all that is done, I can try to fit in whatever other less important things I want to do with my day, before crashing hopefully by midnight. Then repeat tomorrow. I guess that sounds like I have some sort of idea on what I’m going to do. Which is more or less what I’ve tried to do in the past, but procrastinated my way through it.
I guess that means the key to this isn’t the schedule, but actually sticking to it. I will have to do my best to try and do that. What are you suggestions for keeping a routine? Any tips or tricks that might help me?

Obligatory Vacation Post

I’ve been on vacation since Saturday, which, if you haven’t already guessed is the reason why my normal Sunday post hasn’t happened yet. I might not even make it on time for this upcoming Sunday’s post. You’ll survive, I’m sure.
I had all these visions of what my vacation was going to be: a little visiting with family and friends, a little time out with the husband, and a lot of reading and writing. Well, I’ve done the visiting, I’ve done the time with family and friends, which seems never-ending at this point, and I’ve even been able to read a bit, but this is the first time I’ve written more than a journal entry. Yeah, I guess I have had the time to do it, if you count the times I’ve ended up falling asleep before I intended. I’m a bit bummed that I haven’t had much writing time, but to be honest, I’ve not given myself the opportunity to have much writing time. There has been so many gaps in things that I’ve been doing that I could have easily written, but I didn’t and now here I am complaining about it. Really, it is just my fault for not setting aside any time until it is two days left in my vacation and I’m worn out. Oh well, no use complaining about it now right?
Beyond the lack of writing my vacation has been going a bit better than planned. I’ve had some of the expected family drama, because isn’t that what happens when you go to visit family? You remember why you ended up moving several hours away in the first place? But, I’ve also been able to share some of the beauty here with my husband, who, even when we lived here for a year and a half, wasn’t really able to appreciate it any of the times before when we were here- mostly because many of those times everything was covered in many feet of snow. Spending time with my husband is one of my favorite past times, believe it or not after 11 years together we still actually like each other, most of the time. I’ve been able to do some things with my dog who took the trip with us too that she hadn’t been able to do before. I got to introduce her to my family, take her hiking, and even bring her to the river! She loved it.

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*View from the top of Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH. Photo credit: my mother*

I like to try to think about living here again, every time I come home the thoughts hit me, but I know- deep down- that this is a place that I can come and visit and be happy for awhile, but this isn’t where I want to be for the rest of my life. No, this is the home I knew, and it is still the place I call home, but only because I’ve yet to find where I really want to be. Which is something my husband and I have talked about during this trip quite a bit. We’ve got a few places in mind to check out and I’m excited about the possibilities there, but that is still far off yet I’m sure, so no need to get my hopes up at the moment.
I just wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that I am in fact alive and things are okay at the moment. I’m just not home or able to stick to a schedule much!

Friendship

introvert

 

I’ve been listening to Women of the Hour podcast lately. (I should be honest, I’ve listened to the first episode and am currently listening to the bonus episode as I write this, but I still wanted to use this as inspiration for this week’s post.) I have some great friends, especially for a person who is introverted, and has limited social skills. I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to figure out how to be a good friend and have a good friend. I’m not great at the whole friendship thing to be honest. I never have been. And I’m not even going to try to discuss how to be a good friend or even really tell you about my friends at all. So why would I even think that this has anything to do with Friendship? Good question.
I’ve been thinking about friendship lately. Sometimes you have friends for years and they are always apart of your life and no matter how much the two of you grow into your own person and lead your own lives, but then you have friends that you thought would always be there, but as you grow and move into your own lives you begin to see that you aren’t even able to say on parallel paths. It is sad when this happens, it really is, but I’m not sure if it is sad because I can see a friendship floating away that has been a part of my life for many years, or is it because of all the work that was put into that friendship that when you see it ending you get frustrated that you wasted that much time. Then I think, was it a waste really? I mean even if you don’t keep the friendship forever it was still important while you had it. For whatever time that friendship existed it was important and it was meaningful and it had a purpose, now it doesn’t.
So what do you do when you see this friendship moving on or forward into a place where you know it isn’t going to last? I don’t know, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ve survived many of these relationships ending, some in better ways than others. Some of them have dragged on years longer than they should. What can I say, friendship is something that still confuses the hell out of me and I often don’t know the right way to handle it. Other times I’m no sure I’m even in the right. I’ve mentioned, several times, I’m not great at friendship. I’m really bad at it often times, unless you want to have an online friendship, which takes minimal effort, then I usually do okay, but you have to be okay with me disappearing for several days or weeks at a time without a word. And as long as you are okay with that, then we can be online friends. I spend a lot of time alone and often don’t think about reaching out to the real world to let them know that I’m okay. Those are the kinds of friends that I need, ones that understand that I’m not a constant update kind of friend. I’m more of a weekly highlights kind of friend. Does that make me a bad friend? Maybe, but that is who I am and if you can’t accept that, or you want to change me into someone else, you will find out that our relationship will not last forever, no matter what either of us thinks.
So tell me about your friendships. Where do you struggle? What kind of friends are you looking for in your life? Do you need a friend that will talk to you once a month like me? Cause if so, maybe we could be friends.

Books- I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

I’ve spent a lot of time in the bookstore lately. I find it therapeutic- something about being around rows of books it just makes me feel better. I generally assume that most people feel the same way that I do about books and bookstores, but I guess maybe that isn’t the case? I don’t know really, you’ll have to fill me in!
The problem with spending so much time at the bookstore is that I also end up buying more books. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love books and I love buying books. However, I don’t always have the room and/or money for more books. Not to mention at this point my To Read list is so backed up I’m not sure I’ll ever complete it. I have made a list of the physical books that I own that I haven’t read yet (or most of them) and I am going to try to finish them before the end of the year, but this won’t start until after I’ve finished a few books I have digital that I already planned to read before moving on to anything else.
I won’t stop buying books in physical or digital format any time soon. This is something that I’m very much aware of. You can’t just tell a book addict to stop getting books. That won’t ever happen. Maybe I’ll never read them all, that is fine. They will hopefully be passed on some day to someone who will read them. That is what is important right?
I know this post is quite short, and I’m sorry. I’ve got some fun neck pain going on today and I really just don’t feel like sitting up and writing. I’m hoping that with tomorrow’s new month will come a new me, one that is more motivated to get things done. The most I can do is hope at this point.
I’m working on getting a routine in place for myself between my medication, writing, working out, reading and work I’ve got to figure out how to fit it all in. Would love to get gaming back into my life too, maybe even some Anime binge watching! Oh to dream!
Anyway, as promised, I’ll show you my books, but you better show me yours! (Sorry, not going to try to list all the digital ones)

Camp NaNoWriMo #2

So April is Camp NaNoWriMo. I have been trying to participate, but then the last few weeks my depression has gotten the best of me, so I’m behind. After the first week, I had to drop my word count goal from 50,000 to 30,000. This last week I didn’t drop my goal, but if I don’t catch back up soon I might have to do just that.
This week I’m going to have to do my best to catch up. I have enjoyed the experience of Camp though. It is my first year participating. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo in November for the past few years, but never Camp. I think I will add this to my yearly goals. If I’m not mistaken there is another Camp in June (or maybe July) and I plan to participate then as well.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ll start with NaNoWriMo and what it is. November is National Novel Writer’s Month and many writers gather and sign up with the goal of writing 50,000 words in the month. You can sign up and participate on their website.  If you love to write then I highly suggest it. You are sorted by region so you can meet locally or participate online doing word sprints and other fun events.
Camp NaNoWriMo  is held in the off months. April and June I believe. And you are sorted into “cabins” if you want to be where you can interact and support others of the same genre or whatever sorting you end up choosing. It is a great way to get the support writers often need to stay motivated and keep writing. The goal is the same, by default 50,000 words in one month, but it can be edited lower/higher, or if you are in an editing phase you can even change it to minutes instead of words.
I find the whole process of both of these events so helpful to my writing. As many of you know I don’t get out of the house much, so being able to participate online with my peers is something I need to keep myself going. Even when I’m depressed and not meeting my goals it is nice to have people there who understand me and what I’m trying to accomplish.
Sometimes this whole thing stresses me out, but it is a good stress I think. I’m pushing myself to do something that is important to me, but also hard for me because I can’t always just sit down and write, even though I so desperately want to do so. I would love to focus my life around my writing and my health, but since I work 9+ hours Monday through Friday that isn’t always easy, but I’m trying to do better at fitting everything in when I can. One of my goals is to get my word count in every day. I’m still about 60/40 for a success rate on it, but that is better than nothing at all right?
I would love to start looking for freelance writing gigs too, but I guess I’ll need to work up a bit of a profile first. My blog isn’t really going to draw anyone into my writing. Does that mean it is a failed blog? Naw, I don’t really use it to promote myself. I use it to be me. Writing is only a part of what I do and who I am. If you know of any freelance opportunities though let me know!

The Day I’ll Never Forget..

I’m not sure if I’m ready to write this post or not, but I keep feeling like I need to do it, so here I am, I’m going to try and I guess we will see how it goes.
On December 30th, 2016, my 34th birthday, it went like most any other day. I woke up to the Facebook post from my brother Matt of a Youtube Video of NOFX’s “New Happy Birthday Song” which was our birthday tradition. I had sent him a different version of the same video the day before for his 34th birthday. We have been doing this for about 10 years now, at least. And before you ask, no we are not twins, though we might as well be. In fact we are about 14 hours apart (give or take) and have grown up like most twins would, with probably the same relationship as most twins have, however, I was adopted and we are not blood siblings, but you would never have known that. We loved each other and there has never been a me without him, or a him with out me. Well, until that day anyway.
Around 8 pm, or so, my parents called. I figured, as was normal every year they were calling to say Happy Birthday, but sparing you the horrid details, that is not what they were calling me about. No, it was that call that threw my whole world into chaos, more so then my mind has been doing to me for the majority of my life (thanks anxiety and depression for that by the way!). I freaked out and tried to figure out how I was getting home as soon as possible. My poor husband tried to console me while I was on and off the phone with my best friends who are in Boston. Between the group of us we got me on the first flight out so I could get home the next day (I live in SC and home is NH, for those that don’t already know).
So now that you know the background, at least as much as I’m willing to share anyway since somethings between families remain private, at least for me. You should know that my brother- all of my brother’s (I have 5) mean everything to me. We have varied relationships some closer than others, but it doesn’t matter, I love every single one of them with every fiber of my being. They are what makes me who I am, I grew up with a strong sense of how important they were in relation to who I was. I have always felt a major sense of responsibility when it came to my brothers, even if I couldn’t see them as often as I wanted, or if we didn’t have as close of a relationship as I hoped. They always were, and always will be the most important men in my life.
Matt was my constant. He was my first best friend (that I can remember) and we were damn near inseparable. We shared clothes, friends, good times, bad times- everything. When he died, suddenly, I broke, or shattered is more like it and I’m still struggling to find all the pieces and put myself back together. Like anything that shatters, no matter how much glue you use, you will never go back together the same. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can never be the person I was before I lost him. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t talk about him without crying, or that I feel a huge void in myself at least once a day, or that I’m unsure if I’ll ever not have the urge to call or text him when I see/hear/think of something he might like. What I haven’t come to terms with is that my brother is gone and that at the end of this year our birthdays will roll around and I won’t be able to share it with him, or that I won’t be able to hear his voice telling me “Happy Birthday Turd Burger” when he gets on the phone after my parents. While I’m so lucky to have had him as a brother for this many years and that I know I’m the only person in the world that was as lucky as I am to have him as my brother and I’m so lucky to have all my brothers I’m still broken. I don’t know if I’ll ever find all the pieces of myself and I hate it. I hate it because I know and I can see him shaking his head at me for still being so sad, for still missing him, because he wouldn’t want this for me, but feeling any other way feels like a betrayal to him.
This whole horrible experience has changed me, and not always for the worst. I’ve gained new family with his best friends, who I adored before, but I adore even more now- and their 3 boys. I’ve started to work on staying in touch more with those I care about, which has never been my strong suite before, but I’m trying. I’m trying to get through the day every day, and I have a huge support system, my parents, my brothers, my friends, they are all here for me. I’m trying, I really am, but the one person I want to talk to the most when I’m feeling so down, isn’t here any more and that makes it hard.
I can’t write any more about this. It is just too much, maybe in the future, but for now, this is it.



Camp NaNo

I didn’t spend any of this week trying to figure out what I was going to write about today. I’ve actually been a bit busy during my writing time as it is currently Camp NaNo, and that means I’m attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For those of you that need a breakdown that is about 1,667 words per day and that really isn’t an easy feat for me. In fact I struggle and it could take me up to two hours to get that goal achieved, but I am continuing to push because this is a goal that I want to accomplish. I know I can do it as I have done before during NaNoWriMo.
I haven’t talked about my writing in awhile or so it feels to me. I thought maybe now was a good time as any to do it. I call myself a writer though I haven’t had anything published in many years, and when I had been published it was a few poems and a couple of letters to the editor. I was never what one would call successful in my writing career. Maybe one day that will change, and that will be great if it does. If not, I’m happy just writing for myself, just as I always have been.
This months project is an idea I’ve kicked around for a little while and it is in a slightly different genre then I usually write. It is a Paranormal/Supernatural/Horror story and I really hope it turns out well. Right now I’m jut working on getting the words out. Once I’ve done that I can really cut out the parts that aren’t working and shape the story into something fantastic, or so I hope. I actually haven’t read many books in this genre, which is something that is going to change of course, but if any of you reading this have a history with this genre I am always up for tips and/or suggestions. I’m not one to shy away from a brainstorming session!
I have a basic idea where my story is headed, but I’ve always been one to write my way through it. Once the story is out of my mind I can really get in there and work out my characters, settings, and of course plot, but I need to get the basic story out first. I just can not plan it, it has to come out on its own. I’ve tried many times to be a plotter, but it usually ends up with me in varied states of stress and frustration. I’ve given into my Pantser tendencies in the first draft stage and I won’t keep trying to change it now.
I don’t want to talk about the story very much, but just know it is shaping up to be a good one, and hopefully one that will keep you on the edge the whole time you read it. Nothing can beat a good binge read right? That is my goal with this story so fingers crossed I accomplish that goal.