On Loss, Remembrance, and Renewal

Last Wednesday, we said goodbye to the Murphy-dog. I’m still not one-hundred percent sure what happened, because he was doing better, and then just sort of crashed, but due to several other health issues he’s been dealing with, we opted not to treat this time, and instead had him euthanized. Thanks to our amazing veterinary team, it was quick, peaceful, and I was able to be with the Murph right up to the end, even with pandemic precautions still in place.

Murphy was one of the best dogs we’ve ever had, bar none. Sweet, kind, independent, stubborn, smart, lazy, loud and seriously goofy. There will never be another quite like him, and I’m so glad we got to have him in our lives for the last five or six years.

As we all do, I deal with the grief and letting go in my own way. The day of is the hardest, and the next few days after a mixture of loss and guilt and second-guessing. Distractions are welcome from that point on, so things can be dealt with in small bites rather than big gulps. As I move through the next few weeks, I’ll remember the small moments as I move through my days, a sort of ongoing tribute as time passes. And much like Murphy’s head prints in the snowbank outside my back door (he loved to go out and rub his face in the snow, which always made me laugh), the pain will gradually fade and the memories will make me smile when some small, everyday thing brings them to mind.

After awhile, when you’ve lived and loved enough, this sort of ongoing random tribute happens a lot. I’ve said goodbye to seven dogs now, and I still remember each of them often, for specific things they liked and did and disliked. They are each always with me in spirit. I love that.

For now, it’s just Athena here with us, and she’s dealing with the loss in her own way. The happy howling is on hold (I miss that!), and she’s quiet, unsure. But like the rest of us, she’ll get through this, and soon enough, she’ll have a new friend to bond to and play with. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right fit, but we’ll start looking this week.

Life will go on, as it always does. Happiness will prevail, as it always should.

We will make sure it does.

Rest well, my big, gentle goof.

Hair, Everywhere

Hair is such an oddly complex thing, mentally speaking. It’s one of the first things people see when they look at us, and an integral part of our personal identity. Many of us hang on to a certain style or color for years just because we can’t see ourselves any other way, and others of us cycle through hairstyles and cuts like seasonal decor.

Our hair often defines us, either by style or cut or color, and while we’re all told not to judge other’s appearances, for some reason, we generally do just that, at least at first. I’m betting that actual first impressions are often made subconsciously, before we even realize what we’re doing, which is probably an instinctual/survival thing.

I was thinking about this and how it relates to my writing (or should), and I’m annoyed and kind of embarrassed to say that…I really don’t know, because this is the first time I’ve given any thought to it. And that’s really not a good answer, because given how important hair is to real people, I think it should have at least a similar amount of importance to my characters and decisions they make. It certainly will going forward, for sure.

I’ve been growing my own hair out for about eight and a half months now, and it’s gone from a short pixie cut to just barely shoulder length at the back (the sides and top layers are still pretty short). It’s a process that has included a lot of ups and downs, both physically and mentally, but the experience isn’t so different from when I first cut it off. I still have days when I just want to chop it all back off, and days when I wish it were mid-back length, and days when I feel like it’s fine just the way it is (not often at the moment – it needs a tad bit more length to pull the flips into nice waves for that).

Eight months of hair growth, from a pixie cut. The three pics in front of my shower curtain are without styling, the fourth in front of my bookshelves is straightened and styled.

When I decided to grow my hair out, several people assumed I’d also be letting it go natural too (salt and pepper with a lot of pepper on the bottom is my “natural” color now). I wasn’t ready yet, so I said ’no’, and have spent a lot of time since trying to figure out how to successfully dye my roots, not just in the front, but also in the back so I can pull my hair up without white showing. Alas, I finally figured out that not only is it nearly impossible to color all my roots every time, but they grow out so quickly that I’d really have to touch them up weekly to avoid them showing at all against my dark brown/chestnut dye job. Also, my hair is thinner than it used to be in some spots, and while it doesn’t stand out so much against the white roots, it’s a rather stark contrast with my darker dye when my scalp peeks through.

Needless to say, there’s really only two good, easy-maintenance choices since I have so many more white roots than I had when I started dying my hair. One is to cut my hair off again, so that it’s easy enough to just dye the whole thing every three weeks, and since there’s only one real style to that, it doesn’t matter if the underside gets missed.

Or I can grow out the henna/indigo as I’m growing my hair longer, and let my natural color take over. That’s the choice that feels good to me right now, so that’s what I’m going with.

I wish I’d been ready to make that decision last year when I stopped getting my hair cut. I’d have pretty much grown out the dye by now, and the process would have been a lot easier. I was already dealing with flippy, annoying hair, so different colors would have just been one more thing.

But I wasn’t ready then, and this isn’t something you can really rush, so I’m starting the color grow-out process now. It could take as long as two years, or quite a bit less if I decide to chop my hair off as soon as the gray is long enough for a shaggy pixie. We’ll see how long I can stand that sharp demarcation line that will be evident on top of my head soon enough. I could just dye the top/most visible roots with a color conditioner too, and I might do that, depending. I just need to see what it looks like when a decent amount of the roots have grown out, and for that…well, it just takes time and patience.

I don’t regret dying my hair for the last…12(?) years or so. I think that and the short hair cut gave me a lot of confidence, and people definitely treated me differently than they had before (that was a lot of what gave me the confidence), which certainly worked to my favor, at least professionally. I think it was very attractive on me, and made me look a lot more outgoing and approachable than I actually am, which served me very well.

But, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I needed to with that look, and that maybe I can afford to be more authentic to my original sense of style and color now (more natural, low-maintenance). I like longer hair (I can always put long hair up, can’t take short hair down), and while the salt and pepper look will undoubtedly make me look older, I’ve looked younger than my age for my whole life, and it might be refreshing to have people not question my age or experience for a change.

It’s going to be another long wait as my roots grow out and look…well, not great while they do. But, a lot of women did the same thing when the salons closed last year, so I’m a year behind the trend is all (story of my life). I think it’ll be a change for the better, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the new ratio of white to brown to black will be when the dye is finally gone.

Updates here and there, as the grow-out progresses. Another adventure begins, and with it, a character or two in a story who has to deal with gray roots, demarcation lines and conflicting emotions about hair.


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Doggie Vertigo, Routines, & Other Stuff

You know how when you set up a bunch of new routines that are almost guaranteed to be successful just because you’ve done the research and testing and everything is finally ready to fall into place and then…it’s like the universe knows you’re on the cusp of something really, really good, and takes it as a challenge, and suddenly in the space of a few hours everything falls apart due to one completely random event that has to take precedence over everything?

That’s how my week started last week.

Monday was a horrible day, from the minute I crawled out of bed, and just kept getting worse, culminating in a trip to the emergency vet after work so the Murph could get diagnosed with “old dog vestibular disease”, which is basically the worse case of vertigo you can possibly imagine.

That led to two days at home making sure he was on the mend and safe to leave with Athena the Cyclone. Thankfully he was able to walk again within around 16 hours or so, but it was shaky (literally) for a good while there (and still is occasionally).

Even so, my new routines have been proving themselves mostly worthy, though I’m not getting as much writing done during my late writing time as I’d like (despite moving it up by half an hour). I’m just not awake/alert enough at that time, and I need to figure out how to wake myself up enough to get a good hour’s worth of writing in, while not keeping myself up much longer than that. But otherwise, things are working. Which is a nice change.

I didn’t meet my publishing deadline for this month, but considering I didn’t set the deadlines until mid-Jan, I’m going to cut myself some slack on that, and focus on meeting February’s deadline. I have a plan, I have motivation, and I’m pretty confident that everything should work the way I’ve set it up. I just need to show up at the keyboard and do the work.

In non-writing related news, I’m definitely getting better at dying my longer hair, and it’s getting to a place where I’m going to need to get it cut soon. Which means picking out a new hair stylist. I was hoping to hold out until we were closer to the end of the pandemic, just because it seems like a bad idea to have someone who can’t see the bottom half of my face figure out how to cut/style my hair, but…well, we’ll see.

I also figured out my hip issue and have almost completely rehabbed it. Huzzah! Now to just keep getting my body into better shape, and strengthen the muscles in that area to protect against it happening again. That’s the key, really. No being lazy, no skipping workout sessions. It’s important.

The only other thing really bothering me at the moment is my eye, and that is going to require a very up close and personal exam, new glasses, and probably a referral to a cornea specialist. I’m still trying to wait that one out, but it’s probably contributing more to my productivity problems than I realize, and it might be better to take the risk and make the appointment sooner rather than later. We’ll see.

It’s a new month, and despite everything, I feel optimistic about what the next few weeks have in store. Here’s hoping.


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Change and Patience

Words for the Week: Stress, exhaustion, bloom.

Changing routines is hard. I am trying rather valiantly to switch things up, with moderate success, but it’s slow going considering I have to rewrite neuro-pathways (essentially muscle-memory for the brain) and also actual muscle memory/kinetic energy. But! I was able to get back to the office at 11pm every night this past week, and after comparing the time it takes me to transcribe with the time it takes to just write, and the editing time required after each…I was able to determine that for me, writing the initial draft instead of dictating it, and then transcribing it later is definitely more efficient.

So, no more dictation, though I may use that just for capturing random thoughts to set the scene or details I want to include later. We’ll see.

It also means (given the editing component) that I have a lot of rewriting to do from last year. *sigh* But I can use my dictations as outlines of sorts, so all isn’t lost.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out how to motivate myself to keep up with daily/weekly chores so small issues don’t become big issues. Like the fact that I had to clean out my fridge yesterday and it was completely gross. Or that I routinely let non-dishwasher-safe dishes pile up in one of my sinks, and they sit there for weeks simply because I hate hand-washing dishes so I don’t do them right when they’re “generated”. And there’s the recycling that I don’t take out to the garage, so then I have empty cans and bottles piling up on my kitchen counters making it more difficult to cook.

Laziness is the only reason I don’t take care of these things right away, before that pack of celery becomes goo on a fridge shelf, or before there are so many cans on my counter I don’t have room for a cutting board. I know it needs to be done, I just choose not to take the 5 minutes to do it because I don’t feel like it, or I’m too tired, or just unmotivated.

I’m not sure how to motivate myself to do these things right away instead of waiting until they get to the point of no return (which then requires several hours of time to catch up rather than 5 minutes). I know routine is part of it, so that even when my brain doesn’t feel like it, kinetic energy and muscle memory just pull me into getting it done. I rely on that a lot for daily things, and it works well, once it’s coded into my brain. Re-coding though is…often problematic.

But I need to do something. Keeping up on these things gives me more time overall, and that is what I covet most…more time not doing housekeeping or cleaning chores. I also really hate cleaning veggie goo and moldy leftovers out of my refrigerator.

Am I trying to change up too much, too quickly, between the writing and household stuff? Possibly. I’m impatient with the fact that I can’t make quicker progress, mostly because I’m finally motivated to fix these problems, and it’s stressful going through the change. So I’m anxious to get through the transitional period and to the other side where this stuff just “happens” without so much mental effort.

Alas, “extra mental effort” seems to be the theme of the past 12 months and continues on. So I don’t know why I expect personal growth to be any different.

I did make some monthly goals for writing/publishing, and a plan for reaching those. I may have made them too late to hit this month, but it’s still a solid plan going forward. So there’s that.

I’ve been working on rehabbing my hip too, with good progress. Slow and steady with that…Friday was the first day I could do three sun salutation sets with zero pain. So this week, I start strength training for the muscles in and around my hips, in hopes of keeping any future damage to a minimum. Yet another change where patience is required (or a lot of damage could occur).

And my hair has hit another awkward point of growth…I really am going to have to find a new stylist soon, if only to even up the back and then sort of calm down the flippy-ness of the upper layers. That will be a February project, I guess.

Change and patience. Patience and change. Two things I am quite weary of at this point, but with enough patience and time, things will stabilize and get easier. It sometimes takes awhile, but they always do.

Eye on the prize, and all that. *sigh*


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Fiction Friday: In the Snowstorm

For this first Fiction Friday (Fiction Friday continued? Whatevs…), I thought I’d share a quick bite I wrote for the writing class I took in December. Partly because it’s about snow, and we’ve had virtually none this year. I miss snow. *sigh*
Enjoy
, and Happy Friday!


Nick tucked his chin and nose down into the thick woolen scarf his grandmother had knit years ago, and fought to steal a full breath against the cruel wishes of the icy sideways snow that pelted his skin with microscopic needles. Tiny pellets tapped at his rough canvas coat, and stung his legs through not-thick-enough acid-washed jeans. He hadn’t wanted to bother with heavy boots and thick socks for the drive into town, a decision he regretted as he dragged one tennis shoe after the other through two-foot high drifts, his feet already numb and clumsy.

The old Toyota had gone on strike in front of the Meadowlark County Courthouse, an imposing, three-story square stone building to the north only just visible through the fierce flurry biting and whistling at Nick’s ears. A single illuminated globe hanging from a small stone awning cast a wide, reflected glow over the stately stairs and double wooden doors that led inside. It was the tallest building in Juniper Falls, and also one of the least likely to be populated on a Sunday.

Small town Montana had seemed like a good idea last spring. He leaned into the storm and trudged forward to forge a path where he thought the sidewalk went, wishing the cell service didn’t suck.

Southern California was probably nice right about now. Hawaii, too. No storms howling like a wolf through the night, just waiting for its prey to nod off before making a final attack.

Tilting his head to the south just slightly, Nick peered through the ice flakes on his eyelashes across the road at the shadowy outlines of buildings almost completely hidden behind the gauzy static. One church-shaped with a prominent steeple, another flat and squat like an oversized shipping box. Both dark, without even a curl of smoke to wish on. Closed for the winter.

The cold wind-wolf snapped at his head and he stumbled, falling sideways into a deep, soft bank that cradled his body as he sunk deep and rolled to his back. It was quieter inside, the cold not so sharp, the smell of fresh ice reminiscent of snowcones. He stuck out his tongue, tasted the snow-slush, not so cold as he’d been just seconds before.

He should get up, keep moving. Someone would be at the bar.

There was always someone at the bar.


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Aging and Prioritizing

Words for the Week: sigh, social, depressed, frustration, birthday

Yes, only five words this week…I missed a couple of days. Remembering to choose a word on Friday and Saturday nights when I’m not reading/writing may take some time.

Last week was very frustrating just due to the slow speed at which things I needed to get done were getting done. But I did fight to make progress, and the little I did make was good and solid, so there’s that.

I turned 46 yesterday, and it’s the first time I can remember that I actually felt like I aged over the previous 12 months. I think the near constant stress and change of pandemic and election year living, coupled with my body going deeper into perimenopause certainly contributed to that. And then there’s my stupid hip which has been hurting for the last six weeks or so, and miraculously fixed itself Saturday night (a somewhat painful process that felt like a tendon or ligament slid fire-like over my hip bone to get back to where it needed to be). Hopefully that’s on the mend – I’ll be careful with it for awhile and work on building up the muscles in that area to stabilize, if I can.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been low in iodine, as a couple sheets of seaweed daily seems to be helping with some other problems I’ve been having. Problems or changes, I guess, depending on how you want to look at them. Either way, I’m game for whatever helps me feel the most normal, relatively speaking.

I’m still trying to figure out a good writing workflow, and that’s frustrating me more than pretty much anything at the moment. Mostly because the workflow I have, which is to dictate on my way to and from lunch at noon and then transcribe during my late-night writing hour feels like it’s just too slow. I don’t really feel like I’m making enough progress, which is annoying and frustrating.

All this means I need to either figure out how to be more awake at that late hour, or I need to figure out how to prioritize my writing for earlier in the evening. I’d prefer not to do that, because that’s my unwind and relax time with the dogs and hubby, but…if I want to be on track for the 10 year retirement plan, I need to step up my publishing game. And to do that, I need not only to write, but to finish things on a reasonable timeline.

I think for this week, I’ll try getting off the couch at 10pm (instead of 10:30 after the news, or 10:45 after Colbert’s monologue), getting the kitchen cleaned and making sure I have a full hour to write before midnight. It means skipping the news, but…do I really need to watch it when I get news and weather all day long via the internet? I like it as it’s kind of a “end-of-day” signal for my brain, but it’s certainly not necessary. And it’s the least difficult thing to cut out of my evening – I still get dinner, gaming and TV with the hubby, and a walk/time with the dogs.

So, that’s the plan. Alarms are set. Here’s to more words this week!


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Unfocused Short-Term, Focused Long-Term

Words for the week: Perseverance, Begin, Success, Intention, Pain, Content, Confusion

It’s been a crazy week, and I’ll admit my focus got seriously fractured round about Wednesday the 6th. I’d like to believe it’ll get better (and it will, eventually), but I suspect it’s going to be a month or so before things quiet down on the political front. Yes, I’m following, even though I don’t discuss politics online. This is a turning point for our government and country, so of course I’m paying attention. We all should be.

I’ve been off work since last Thursday, burning extra vacation hours and healing the latest session on my Medusa back tattoo. Friday I took basically the whole day to write out and redo all of my routines, in order to accommodate my yearly goals. I still need to create schedules and deadlines for my writing, so I have an idea of how much I need to get done in a day, week, month, etc. And then…then I should be ready to move forward, finally. I feel good about that.

My writing class is done, and I’m itching to put my new knowledge into practice, but I signed up for several more that I can take at my own pace. So I need to figure out when to slot those in as well. I’m excited to take them, and expand my knowledge.

I’ve been easily distracted lately, which is probably a sign of both the times and hormone imbalance. I don’t think women give themselves enough leeway for changes in their bodies, because we’re taught to just “tough it out” and keep acting like nothing’s wrong. Thing is, even if nothing’s wrong and it’s just a normal up or down, I don’t think we should have to deny who we are and the physical challenges that come with it. My body is aging and it’s going to do that whether I want it to or not – why can’t I just acknowledge that some days, I’m not going to get as much done as I’d like, and *that’s okay*? I need to work on that – on giving myself permission to have an “off” day here and there, when my brain isn’t focusing as sharply as I’d like it to.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want for the future – what my goals are for ten years from now. I like my job and the steady paycheck/insurance/pension that comes with it, but I freely admit that the only thing I’ve ever truly wanted to be was a full-time writer. I’ve never thought I could make enough money solely as a writer, but in ten years, I won’t be eligible for social security, but I will be eligible to take county retirement early, because I started with the county so young. Given that, and the fact that I’ve found a way to learn writing that is giving me new confidence, I think I’ll work towards the goal of being established enough as a writer in ten years to retire from the county and write full-time. I’ll be 55 then, and that seems like a good point in life to make a major career change to self-employment, barring any major issues that come up between now and then. And hubby will be either retired or ready to retire by then, so we could retire together (easier for traveling!).

Ten years seems like a good amount of time for planning and preparing for such a big step. So that’s the first goal deadline I’m setting. Now I’d better work backwards, and set the goals and deadlines that will get me to that point on time. Goals are good, and this one’s been in the works since I was 16 years old. It’s good to feel like the dream might actually become reality.

Time to plan!


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Resolutions, Goals, and Rough Starts

I was planning to post this Monday (the 4th), which tells you how my year has started off so far. I’ve had all sorts of issues, both organizational and mental, so I’m off to a bit of a slow start. That said, the “mental” part of it was mostly trying to decide on my “big three” resolutions for the year. I wanted to choose things that would really positively impact my life over the long term, but were well within reach without straining too much.

Given those parameters, these are the three Resolutions I chose:

– Get 5.5 hours of sleep daily
– Write 12 flash fiction pieces and publish as a collection in December
– Read a minimum of 12 books this year.

The first and third will take some time to…well, set aside the time on a regular basis. Routines need to be redone, and honestly, I’d prefer six hours of sleep, but I made the resolution for what I thought was actually doable. Getting enough sleep is really the resolution that will have the most impact on everything else I want to do, simply because when I’m rested, I make better decisions, I manage time more wisely, and I perform better no matter what I’m doing or trying to do. Sleep is the cornerstone of everything in life, but it’s also the one thing I’m most willing to give up when I want to do something else. Sleep is boring and feels ultimately unproductive. But it’s vital, and I need to give it much higher priority than I do.  

I haven’t been making time for reading at all – whenever I get a quiet moment, I’m generally either decompressing or writing. Quiet moments are unfortunately hard to come by. But I have a ton of books I really do want to read, and I just need to set aside time to do that. I want to make it a priority. So I shall.

As for writing…man, I feel like I’ve been drifting in this story wasteland/dreamscape for the last several years. I lost confidence, I lost ambition, and while I’ve been writing all this time, I haven’t bothered to publish anything in way too long. I knew I needed to learn and grow in order to gain confidence, but a lot of writing “instruction” tells you what to do, but not exactly how to execute it. This leaves people like me, who need things broken down to base elements in order to learn, floundering.

But I recently took a chance on a writing class called Depth in Writing by Dean Wesley Smith, and he broke things down in such a way that I got it. And my writing improved dramatically in a short time – noticeable even to myself. That was a huge confidence boost, and I bought several more of his online classes to take throughout this year.

Sometimes with learning, it’s not the subject matter so much, but the best match in teaching styles and learning styles.

So now that I have some confidence back, I need to establish a writing workflow that’s conducive to daily progress. I also need to come up with some deadlines, so that those twelve short stories aren’t the only things I work on all year. They need to be strictly flash fiction (1k words max) so I have time to work on the longer novels and short stories I’d really like to publish this year.

In addition to these “big three” resolutions, I also have some other goals I’d like to work towards. Things like cleaning my makeup brushes more often, and losing ten pounds, and keeping my kitchen sinks cleaned out better. And definitely writing and publishing more books.

I’ve also decided to do a journaling project of sorts. I bought myself two journals, one small, and one a more comfortable writing size, though still not too big. The small one is for a word-of-the-day. Instead of picking one word for the whole year, I’m picking one word for the day, and writing it down in the small journal each night. No commentary, no explanation, just the day’s date, and the word. It takes very little time at all (though I’ll admit I have not hit everyday just yet – creating new routines takes time), and at the end of the week every Sunday, I’ll go back and grab all the words for that particular week and put them in the larger journal. I might write a story, I might write an entry that includes them, I might just right down the list of words and close the book. I think it will be interesting to follow my daily whims and moods, and see what becomes of the practice at the end of each week.

So that’s the plan for the year so far. Three big resolutions to sleep, write, and read, some smaller goals that I’ll get to if I get to, and a word of the day journaling project.

I know we’re starting out on a bumpy note, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a very clarifying year overall. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Do you make resolutions or goals? Or are you just winging it and hoping for the best? Either way, I wish you luck, good fortune and good health.


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Year in Review – 2020 (Ugh)

I kind of feel like we’re all at the same point with the year right now…which is:

“Goodbye and good riddance. Go ahead and let the door hit you on the way out – you deserve it.”

Something most of us can agree on in a mostly disagreeable, disjointed, and socially schismatic time…yay!

Personally, my year started pretty well. I had a plan, I was ready to go, I was writing regularly, reading again, and feeling good about things.

Then I got sick (like, sicker than I’ve been in a long time) at the end of Jan/early Feb. Work was crazy, I couldn’t get rested, I wasn’t writing or doing anything else…and then just when I was finally starting to recover…pandemic! Civil unrest! Election year! Seriously. The crazy just wound right up and spun out of control and that was that.

Needless to say, many of my resolutions were pretty much left in the dust with my personal motivation and focus this year. Which sucks, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I have been starting to claw my way up from the rubble, and I feel like I’m in a pretty good place at the moment. I have some health issues to address in the new year, and some book business decisions/issues to address, but nothing that seems insurmountable, at least not at this point.

Some good things actually did happen this year though, including a new fridge and stove, curtains instead of blinds for the living/dining room windows, and the promise of new, easy-care landscaping first thing in the spring. I’m writing again, and I’m taking a writing class at the moment which I think is really helping me to improve as a writer, so that’s exciting.

I’ve discovered new ways to grocery shop, including our local food hub, which is great. I discovered a few more local shops that have become favorites, and I started using Instacart, which doesn’t work for everything, but does work for main grocery shopping and saves me a lot of time each week. I will probably have to go back to shopping for myself next summer, just due to the amount of box and bag waste that not taking my own reusable bags creates. But at the moment, I’m enjoying having that time to do other things. If reusable carrying media was an option, I’d probably keep getting my groceries delivered indefinitely.

I’ve gotten a much better handle on my finances, and feel pretty good about being able to control them going forward. That was one of the goals (in a more specific way) that I did meet, and arguably one of the more important ones. I am stalwart in my weekly budgeting now, which is a very good thing. There are a few other things I need to get to that point with as well. One thing at a time.

All in all, aside from ten extra pounds I don’t need (and five more I should lose just for good measure) and the aforementioned health issues, I don’t feel like I’m in too bad of shape going into the next sun-cycle, but…time will tell, I suppose.

I’ll be setting my goals for next year later this week, and will post them next Monday to start the new year off on a hopeful note.

Until then, I hope your Christmas was bright and merry, and that the first day of the new year will bring feelings of peace and hope.


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Humbug

I don’t really understand how the first couple months of this year flew by, and then time pretty much stopped from March until December 1st, and now, this month is flying by in some sort of weird warp speed as if even the calendar has given up and said, “screw it, we’re all done here.”

I wouldn’t mind so much if I was actually ready for Christmas, but I’m not, so…a pause button would be appreciated while I figure out how to catch up. I’ve had a hard time getting in the mood (that’s not a new or abnormal thing, it’s just…me), but I need to get there and fast, or…well, there is no “or”, I guess. I just need to get done what needs to get done. Like finishing my gift shopping and figuring out which cookies to make and how many this coming weekend.

I need to get my cards sent out too…this week. I need to call a plumber about a minor/slow leakage situation we have going on, so I think I’ll take whatever day we can get someone over for that off work, and work on catching up and getting organized then.

I have new curtains coming for the living/dining room and kitchen this week as well – thicker velvet thermal curtains to keep the cold air more at bay than our current fancy window dressings do. It would be nice to at least get the front curtains swapped out, since those are at my back when we’re relaxing in the evenings.

Did I mention I’m taking an online writing workshop in the middle of all this? There was a sale, I feel like I really need to work on adding depth to my writing (which is the very focused topic of the workshop), and that’s how I ended up doing a writing assignment for the second week of class this past Sunday night instead of writing a blog post (well, that and not reading the calendar correctly – I had one more day before that assignment was due, so…my bad). It’s already straining my brain, which is both good and bad – good because I obviously need it, bad because…well, it’s yet another thing to sort of stress over at the moment. But at least it’s a stress I *chose*, rather than one that was just flung at me. So there’s that. And hopefully I’ll be a better writer afterwards, which is the main/exciting goal.

All this to say…I’m not really overwhelmed, just unmotivated and uninspired for the holiday. Maybe (hopefully) as I get my cards out and get closer to finishing my gifts up, I’ll feel a little more holly-jolly. We’ll see.


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