Category Archives: Goals

Geographical Oddity: Migraine Quality Headaches

Here I am, another morning hunched at the desktop, working through a migraine quality headache. I don’t think it is a true migraine because that has something to do with arteries. I’m sure this is lymph nodes. If the pain isn’t equaled to a migraine, it’s right below it and I always function though it with a heavy head.

This is such a waste of a day off, but I’m glad I don’t have to go into work like this.  I get too many migraine quality headaches to call in sick, so I just work through them.  I hate having my productivity or attitude judged by customers, co-workers, or management, so I will usually slink off and do some background work until I feel the tell-tale signs of a pounding heart-beat, rapid breathing, a hot-flash, then break out in a sweat. Then relief.

I write nearly every morning, migraine or not.  For one; I’m proving to myself that I am still productive and not a piece of waste. For two; I pray that if this is a life-long affliction I want a career that will match up to this lifestyle. …If I want to call it that?  If I wake up with a headache, I can go to the computer and still be productive at my own pace.  If I have to show up to an event, I can get through a couple of hours, besides I won’t have a migraine at every event.  Also, most of my headaches dissipate after 5:00 p.m. and for the release of pain, I get energy in exchange.  I can stay up all night writing if I want.  Or clean the house all night and get in a good work out without worrying about getting up for work in the morning.

This will work, if I can just step into my “Flow” as Oprah puts it, and meet the people I am supposed to meet and behave when my instinct tells me to act.

“If anything, I want the opportunity to be proven wrong.  I’m kind of surprised no one has taken me up on that offer,” says the defeatist voice that is my headache.

See why it is hard to take this thing out in public.  Although it does make for some exceptional character building.

12-29-2016 woke up with migraine quality headache.  Inflammation from geographic tongue has been reduced although white rings still present, with no new blooms.

Four days from start of inflammation of the tongue to migraine is questionable.  So is it connected or did I introduce something else?

  • I had Hershey’s hugs yesterday, which doesn’t make sense because I’ve had bits of chocolate everyday since Christmas.
  • Did painting my tongue and tonsils with Benadryl delay the migraine?
  • Also I’m trying to not put too much stake in this round because of a head cold.

 

NaBloPoMo 2016

img_0441I have been thinking about doing a daily examination of the word Independence. I figured NaBloPoMo would be a good tie in and get me posting again.  The last time I did this I took a cue from NaNoWriMo and wrote 1,500 words on one thing that drove me nuts about quitting smoking everyday.  But I did it in .pages.  It was a raw, whiney, rough draft that I could clean up before going public. I hope my writing and POV have matured since then.

BTW I am still working on that book.  I made a goal to be finished or find an agent by the end of the year.  Well I finally finished part one and the rest of the time I’ve been working on things agents want, such as an outstanding query letter a proposal.

Actually, I don’t mind working on the proposal even though it takes my attention away from the book, because it is like a business plan. If I don’t get an agent in the next nine weeks, I know what my next step is when I finish writing. I have a plan.

Plus, on top of that and a full time job, I just started doing some lessons on the Kahn Academy website, so I have been flip-flopping between that and the examination of Independence.  May as well just do it because I won’t be able to see if I fail or not unless I start.

The real question is, could I possibly have thirty essays defining the word Independence??  Curious.

Query

In this day and age of write and publish, I am writing query letters in search of an agent.

In my search, I passed on an agent but her submission guidelines stuck with me.

She wanted three short paragraphs.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why does your book need to be published?
  3. A short synopsis.

Wow. I got a little flippant at the first question.

“Who are you?”

A Writer. (.)

Wouldn’t that’d be neat to just end it there? LOL. Then I thought, “It’s true, everything else; wife, mom, employee, boss, woman, human, is just fodder for my writing.”

Then I thought number 2 and 3 were the same question posed two different ways. I mean, isn’t that what a synopsis is? I wrote this book … you need to read this book… because yada, yada, yada…

But, it’s all about the details, isn’t it? Sometime later I came up with this.

I am a writer.

I smoked for 28 years and smokers want to read what I wrote.

I had been very curious to know how to get from here (a smoker) to there (a non-smoker).  I wanted the information but I wanted it on my own terms without the threat of having my cigarettes taken away.

I used to ask former smokers how they quit all the time.  The common response was, “You have to WANT it.” I usually left the discussion thinking,”Of course I want it, but I want to know HOW?”

Today, people get curious and ask how I quit smoking. Turns out, going beyond the explanation of “You’ve got to want it,” is too much for one conversation, so much, that it creates a whole book.  That full circle experience with curiosity is how I know these books will sell.

 

 

 

Happy New Year 2016

I started the new year by writing queries to agents.  I am excited to find someone to work with.

Even though I am specific in who I query, I still expect to be ignored or at the very least turned down. No matter, I can handle the no’s. Seriously why would I want to work with someone who doesn’t want to work with me anyway.

It is the YES that I may have trouble absorbing. And I WANT that experience. Hopefully after some vetting and contemplation, I can say yes to their offer. After all, this is to be a good experience … an exciting experience. I want to relish challenges, share what I know, venture into what I don’t know. Ohh, I am so looking forward to meeting my agent.  This is going to be a blast!

Yes, I am excited for the New Year!

Exercise 1 Hour

Slide10You know the drill.

Alternate every other day, 20-30 minutes strengthening with 1 hour aerobic.

The more recent marketing focus is one hour a day and everyday.

I know I didn’t have the reserves to make this hour happen until I made some changes. Aside from this excuse of a crammed packed 24 hour day, my diet was constantly feeding a chemical reaction to create inflammation, induce migraines, disrupt my sleep, hindered nutrient absorption to make my bones weak, made my liver work overtime … and probably made my adrenal glands work overtime too.

On top of that this grain is a necessary staple for a healthy diet and not long ago we were supposed to get 12 servings a day.  I still need to go to the doctor and make it official, but until then I’m tracking my changes, if it’s not an allergy or a disease.

I’m not saying that you need to jump on any diet bandwagon before you start exercising.  (in this case gluten)  But what I am saying is to stop and figure it out.  Take a look at your excuses and start investigating them like symptoms.

I did.  My result is that I, at 45, ran 1.25 miles, for the first time since they forced me to in Jr. High.

I tell ya.  Running because I wanted to run and because I made the time to learn how to endure the distance and the idea that I could go much, much, much farther …  is so affirming.  It affirms that I was right as a child that I couldn’t do it like the others could.  It affirms that it’s possible for me to do.  It affirms that I am included in that group it’s possible for.  Not because I was a harass about it and I needed the pressure, but because I took the pressure off and took a good hard look at my excuses and figured it out.

I took the pressure off and now I want to double it.  I want to run 2.5 miles.  I know people run marathons, but seriously … is it in my future?

bwahaha.

Errands 1 Hour

Slide09I think this one is self-explanatory.  You get the idea.  I only allocated an hour a night.  In all fairness some of these are 2-3 hours one night and nothing on the other.  Now, if you have 3, three-hour events, or 4 two-hour events, then you’ve already gone over the one-hour a day allotment.

*I know I can spend a full hour at the grocery store.  Then there is shopping for clothes, toiletries.  –Even though some department stores are adding grocery to their stock, I don’t think this saves me time as I spend additional time in those stores.  It is convenient that I don’t have to make another stop and therefore saves on travel time.

*Appointments like doctor, dentist, massage, chiropractor, mani-pedi.  For some reason my hair appointment takes three hours.

*Volunteering — just an hour a week, usually accomplished in a 2-4 hour lump once a month.

*School and community events.

*Social Activities, well in busy households these errands are the social activities.

*DIY projects and some Home Maintenance. Catching overflow that you would actually classify as an errand and not a hobby, homework, or cleaning.   AND I think we’ve overshot an hour a day.  So lets move on to the next segment.

Travel Time 1 Hour

Slide08

I explained this to my daughter once. Even though I thought I did my fair share of driving everyone to accommodate their plans, she was mad that I didn’t do it more often for her and her friends.  As we left the driveway, I pointed to the clock on the dash and said we will time it. It took 10 minutes.  Then I explained that it is going to take 10 minutes to get back home.  That is a total of 20 minutes.  Then, when I go pick her up, I have to take another 20 minutes to do it all over again.  A total of 40 minutes. Then add time for each kid to pick up or drop off along the way.

A total of 40 minutes!

Actually I enjoyed having “car-time” with my kids and I love driving.  What I didn’t like was how much time it actually took just to make a short jaunt.

…Plus all the stopping and starting, to get home to start something then stop and pick everyone up.

…And… that it seemed to happen when I wanted to eat.  (we usually cook once then fend for ourselves for two days.)

For travel time, that is just dropping kids off at the skate park, movies, or at a friend’s house.  So what else is there:

  • to work and back
  • to school and back
  • multiple schools …with different start times?
  • errands
  • do you work out at home or at a gym?

If all this traveling takes more than an hour for you, we probably already have it covered with something I overshot with eating or cleaning or something.  By the way this is just the travel time to do errands, not the errand itself.  That is coming up later.

If you have ever got home and marveled at how long it took just to make a few stops; this is why.  It all adds up.

A 24 Hour Day? Cleaning 2 Hours

Slide06

Okay!  Two hours a day on cleaning tasks.  This one I can back up with Science!

Yepper!  Like seriously.  Two hours.

Actually several reports on Chore Wars between the sexes already exist, so I’m not going to repeat any of that.  This post is about the war against time and if there is enough time to meet our personal standard of clean.

It would be nice if we could agree on a standard. What used to announce health and vitality, is now used to judge the extremes of a person’s mental health.  These extremes classify people as neat freaks who live in fear of dirt and germs, or people pleasers who care too much about what people think, to judging them as hoarders, or immature and incapable of taking care of themselves.  Then there are those who can go nuts trying to find the perfection in imperfection by striking a balance between neat freak and slob.

All that effort can be useless as standards in cleanliness can be subjective.  One person’s clean is another person’s dingy.  There is A LOT of ground between the health department’s standards, and the collective proclaiming there is no shame in having dishes in the sink and dust bunnies under the bed.

Cleaning is one of the most challenging demands for the fact that it never ends.  The minute laundry is done, someone takes their socks off.  Plus.  No matter how much you’ve done, you can always go deeper to clean out the cupboards and get behind the TV.  Then, when you think you’re done, it’s time to repeat what you did yesterday, last week, last month.  …Or, what about last season?  If cleaning is so perpetual, when does a person sit back and actually take satisfaction?  Where’s the win?

Seriously.  With all the competition in the world, when does a person win at cleaning?

The proof that we seek this knowledge is all around us.  Tips and tricks are everywhere you look.  Some come with suggestions to buy that tool and create this organizational tasking aid.  But still, does anyone talk about … or teach how to incorporate cleaning into the day without a fight to get it done? Especially, without the money investment.  Especially, when time is limited.  Especially, when there are other things to do…  and those things are a lot more fun.

Learning how to clean is filled with conflicting messages.  For example.  If we snagged breakfast and left dishes in the sink before work, (because we were breaking free from the chains of the home to go after what the men have,) only to return with dishes still in the sink, we find this unfair, because we went to work.  (This is what we we’re taught? Right?)  So then we look to the men to get it done, BUT, they just got home from work too.

When we come home from work only to continue working in the home, a conflict clicks inside us and throws a BIG clue that something is not working. Wasn’t something said about freedom?  Yeah!  Where’s that freedom?

Then we go about it, as if, cleaning is the evil necessity that keeps women in the dark ages.  Any admission of deriving enjoyment out of cleaning is just crazy talk.  (Although I am hearing quiet admissions of soft, cuddly, warm laundry that smells good.)

Still, no matter what the exterior pressures are, at the end of the day, there’s your own personal pressure of sitting in your mess and feeling like you can’t ever get it together. (No matter how clean your house is.)  AND, once you find your comfort zone there is nothing like unexpected visitors to force that inner conflict to the surface.

All of this leaves out the very important message that to clean is to take care of yourself …and your stuff. Its not about catering to the husband or taking care of the kids.  It is about taking care of yourself.

Let me rephrase that.  We spend most of our teens just itching for our independence. To get our own place, to get our own things, to set up our own routine.  The sneaky little default underlying those wishes of “having and owning” is that we’re also wishing to clean it.  (go ahead, pause and think on that.  It’s simbiotic.)

So, how does one teach to incorporate cleaning into the day anyway? After all there are so many variables for everyone, small house/big house, single/married, working/home, child/children. Even my joyous claims of scientific proof are deluded by specifics.  Usually, they include chores like cooking and mowing while I allocated those to their own categories such as Eating and Home maintenance.  So how does that still add up to two hours a day.  Eventually I quit quibbling and got out the stopwatch.

This is what I got out of my little timing experiment.  If I were to start a load of laundry correctly, the way I think I should but never do, it takes me 7-10 minutes to check every pocket, zip every zipper and look for stains.  Ironically, (or duh, go-figure) when those same articles are dried, it takes me 7-10 minutes to fold and put away.  (My duh moment came when I realized that if I am handling twenty articles of clothing going in, I’m handling those same articles coming out and it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing with it.)  For one load of laundry, I’m only putting in 20 minutes of effort.

Humph, and I had the idea that laundry took all day.

Don’t take my word for it.  We’ll have differences, such as, I don’t have to run up a flight of steps to put laundry away.  I know some of you do, so get a clock or grab your phone and go time yourself.

But to finish my point, my daily chores are 1-2 loads of laundry at 20 min each, unload the dishwasher at 7 min, tidy up the main floor 2x a day at 5 min, then to tidy the bathroom, clocks us in at over an hour. (Tidying the bathroom normally happens when I’m in there; I don’t go in just to tidy it up so it usually gets it’s own time.) Remember, all this doesn’t include loading a dishwasher or a wiping down kitchen counter tops because that gets done with meals.

Now we run into variables, do you vacuum daily or twice a week?  Mop more than once a week?  Clean out the fridge monthly or twice a year?  Do you have a difference between cleaning and clearing out the fridge?  How often do you dust? Then to be honest, I quit timing myself to clean the shower because the length of time goes against the initiative to do it. But now that I have everything else managed, it’s easier to clean the shower every 10 days.  …Roughly. (Again, I have differences to where cleaning my shower, although hospitable, involves cleaning a basement wall and floor.)  I haven’t even mentioned windows and mirrors.  Watering plants?  No wonder it’s easy to forget and plants die.

To summarize if I were to do the daily chores, along with one weekly, monthly or seasonal chore, I’m clocking in about 2 hours a day.  Give or take about 20 minutes.

Not living up to expectations wrecks a good vibe, so I reorganized everything, my stuff, my thoughts, my actions, and rose up to meet my expectations before I lowered them.  Truthfully, some expectations were lowered without feeling the expense of doing so.  Some concerns just disappeared off the radar without training myself to put up with lesser quality of work.  It’s not perfect by any means and I don’t apologize for dishes in the sink or the fact that it is time to dust. Besides in order to dust it needs to get dusty.  I gained consistency and I get more done than I ever used to.  At the end of the day, the goal is to feel good about managing MY home.  It has changed my self-assesment of half-assed and not quite right. I figure this is where I truly cleaned without worrying about people’s expectations, because I had actually met my own and not other people’s.

Some of the nuances I noticed:

  • The pressure is off and I enjoy the mundane.  I found my comfort zone. Doing chores while upset is virtually non-exsistant as I don’t need get angry for the rush of energy anymore.  It did take some effort to change my attitude as I started out chanting enjoy the mundane, it quickly turned into muttering while I flung stuff around.  Eventually, I figured if I can’t force myself to be happy, (which I related to lying) then don’t be angry.  It worked, I am now content with the mundane.
  • I’m late only some of the time now.  I have better judgement of time.  For all the stuff I used to think will only take a minute, I now know it actually takes 3-5 and will make me late.
  • Better perspective. Laundry takes less than 10 minutes to fold and put away, and not all day and I don’t drag loads in front of the TV to fold and sort.  I quit saying (and believing) there is no time because there is time.
  • I stopped reeling in the should’ve and could’ve.  Since there is no finish line, it’s either I did or will do.  This serves as confidence in the face of people being judggie, or when I think people are being judgmental and they aren’t. (no apologies)

I used to think that I had to do it now or it won’t get done and I found out that doesn’t prove true.  Now, I find a better time to get it done right.  The result is that I found contentment and cleaning has a zen/yoga/meditation quality to it.  Cleaning is part of my day and not in the way of it.  I don’t wait to feel motivated anymore.   Most times I get it done and there is confidence in that.  Now, while sitting in my mess at the end of the day I don’t stress as much about it.  I am capable.

TGIM: Thank God It’s Monday

source unknown

source unknown

Today’s lesson in Blogging 101 is to participate in a blogging event from the Community Event Listings.   I chose to take part in the Thank God It’s Monday event from TASTE & SEEeven though it’s Wednesday and not Monday.

Why?  Well it doesn’t really make a difference anymore.  In our 24/7/365 lifestyle the weekend up and disappeared.  Poof.  We have days off now and they don’t always line up with Saturday and Sunday.  My Wednesday might be your Friday and your Monday might be my Tuesday.   For those who work 12 hr shifts they may have a Saturday and 2 Sundays.  The communal routine to get off work on Friday, get smashed, go to church on Sunday and ask for forgiveness to start the grind all over again on Monday is no more.

I chose this blogging event because I actually experienced what it is like to truly enjoy Mondays.  Things were so bad, that I wanted to put the week behind me and get fresh start.  Days off meant a stasis in the status quo.  I was trying to prevent things from getting worse and I had to work to get out of it.  The present sucked.  I was fighting, clawing, and pulling, to drag the future towards me.  With that I suddenly loved Mondays … couldn’t wait for them to get here.  Forget “the future is now” I wanted the future to be yesterday.  Mondays meant new opportunities, new chances, another step in the RIGHT direction. I wanted MORE of them.

Today, I have a less obsessive and more balanced outlook on Mondays.  If I love my job, (the biggest cause for hating Mondays) if I love my family, if I relish life, shouldn’t I love Mondays?

After the break of the weekend, shouldn’t everyone look forward to meeting the people they work with?   Shouldn’t I enjoy working with them.  Everyday is another day to experience family life, not just the weekends.  Everyday is another day to produce who I am to my family and their opportunity to produce who they are to me.  That is not dependent on a Monday or a Friday.

Day 4 Blogging 101: Dream Reader

I would absolutely love it if an agent or publisher would read my blog.  That is my dream reader.  Plus, of course, anyone else out that we’d marketed to after they signed me.

Except at the end of the day, if no one is reading, when there has been a lack of stats; the people I’m really talking to is my kids, and possibly my future grand-kids.  That’s who I think about.

Conversations are sometimes frustrating.  Probably one of the worst things I do to myself is I follow what other people are saying and get involved with contemplating their opinion that I forget my point.  Then of course, there is the usual “I should have said that,” because the best things are always thought of after the conversation.  Then of course there are all the interruptions.  They come from the people themselves, to the phone, to animals, or even an emergency.  Big or small, light or heavy, there are always interruptions.

So when I pass on some wisdom to my kids and I can tell there was no impact, but then later maybe had given it some thought … or if they have ever wondered what in the world was I thinking … then they know where to go. Or at least I’d like to think so.

I like writing and I love editing.  When I am writing on here i really hone in my point of view for the way life is.  In most cases, it takes me a couple of days to complete so I have time to think of things to include.  It’s nice that I can get a whole and complete thought out there and in the end I hope my children benefit from it.

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