Category Archives: Life or Something Like It

Losing time or gaining it?

I’ve often heard it said that as you get older, you begin to lost time, or at least, the perception of it. Three hours may seem like only one, days fly by and suddenly, it’s February when only last week, you were celebrating New Year’s.¬†Clock

That does happen to me a lot, but I also get this weird opposite effect, where I think it’s later than it is…mostly on days.

For example, because of the weather last week, I had to reschedule an eye doc appointment. I had it on the calendar for today, but thought I remembered them saying the 28th. Today is only the 27th. So, I call them. Turns out, the appointment is actually for NEXT week, February 4.

In the same vein, I sent out an email to my cleaners yesterday, as my apartment building is conducting fire alarm testing during the mornings of Monday and Tuesday. Cleaners are scheduled for Tuesday, so I wanted to be sure this was okay with them (mostly because the alarms are really annoying, as they should be).

Well, I did it again. I looked up the email from the building and the tests are next week.

I can’t even.

Thank goodness I thought to check these things.

A New Year, A New Look

New Site!

So, it took longer than I expected…as many things do these days, but I finally revamped my site.

I’m using the WordPress 2013 theme, with some minor tweaks. I like it, because it’s responsive (e.g., will resize depending on which screensize you are viewing) and it’s simple and clean. Also, very easy to set up and use. I did love my old site design but it was getting a little ragged ’round the edges/dated.

One thing that is new here, is that I’ll no longer have comments open, mostly because what I got was spam, and very little interaction with real people. I’ll miss some of you, but definitely come find me on Facebook or Twitter. I tend to hang out more often on those two places because as part of my day job, I have to hang out on social media. Tough, huh? ūüėČ

What I’ve Been Doing

The final audiobook of the Blood Lines series is done and up for sale at Audible.com and other places. Deciding to record my own audiobooks was a great idea, but definitely a lot harder in the execution of it. I should’ve known, as I did do some audio work back in the day, but I guess my brain thought digital would be easier. ¬†Some parts, yes, but mostly, the process is still extremely time consuming.

I’ve been doing a lot of resting – mostly because with fibromyalgia, fatigue is very common and I find that I must break up tasks into smaller bits to get things done. I spend a lot of non-day job time at home, in my recliner, reading or watching shows/movies. My brain REALLY wants to be doing/moving/going, but my body, not so much. It’s really hard for me, who was once (and not long ago) in the middle of many volunteer groups, social (in-person) groups, etc, to really grok that I can’t do that anymore. I’m learning, though.

Right now, I’m experiencing winter, in all its glory. I’m very ready for spring.

What’s Next?

I don’t really know. I’ve got tons of great story ideas whirling about in my head, but my energy levels are far too low. I’m not giving up writing, only taking a hiatus until I can marshal more energy.

I plan to be at World Fantasy Con in DC this fall. It’s being held at the hotel directly across from my workplace, so yeah, I’ll totally be there. Just waiting for some money to come in so I can pay the reg fee.

Hope you’ve all had a happy holiday season and are heading for a fabulous 2014!

 

Ouch, owie and eep, I have too much crap

rolling cart of stuff for junk swapOur office does a quarterly(ish) junk swap, where staffers can bring things they’d like to get rid of – be it books, clothes, gadgets, etc. The basic rule is bring stuff that is still usable, take stuff if you want, even if you didn’t bring stuff. At the end of the day, anything not claimed by someone else gets packed up and donated to our local Goodwill.

Slowly, I’ve been going through some of the final tote bins, books and piles o’clothes at home and bringing them in for the various swaps. It’s been a not-so-easy task, thanks to the fibromyalgia, but last night, I got motivated (I think it was the caffeine) and I loaded up a grocery roller cart* full to the brim with books, clothes and bags. Lots and lots of bags.

Some of the bags came from conferences. Some were purses or backpacks I’d bought over the years. I’d been leery of opening the tote bin o’bags, simply because I knew it would be tough for me to part with some of them. The nostalgia! The utter¬†usefulness¬†of some of them!

I was ruthless.

In went the awesome bag from Left Coast Crime in Monterey, CA more than a decade ago. In went the nifty blue bag from Lone Star Con. In went the black leather backpack/purse that I hadn’t actually seen in at least a dozen years.

After a couple of hours and a Tramadol, I was done. The rolling cart was full.

This morning, I rolled it down the hall, into the elevator and out through the lobby, somehow managing to get through the building’s foyer without help. Unpacked the cart into the back of Phil-the-car, then repacked it when I arrived at work.

The swap starts this afternoon at ¬†3 p.m. – Normally, I’d be a little anxious…do I¬†really¬†want to donate X item? Maybe I’ll keep it for a little bit longer.

Not today, though. I’m relieved–happy that more stuff is going to find good homes and perhaps even delight someone else.

Is my changed attitude because I’m getting older/wiser? Is it just the semi-annual burst of “OMG, I need to declutter?”

I don’t know.

All I can say is that I’m taking advantage of that urge and going forward.

Years ago, I could fit everything I owned into one small truck. I don’t know that I’ll get back to that point again, nor would I want to, but hanging on to stuff just because I can is silly and makes no sense.

Maybe I¬†am¬†growing up…just shy of my 55th birthday.

 

 

* the cart stands about 3.5 feet tall at the handle and is nearly 2 feet wide.

5 things make a post: the I worked on Inauguration Day edition

1. Am very glad I remembered to fill up the car tonight as tomorrow’s high is slated to be in the mid-20s. (BRRRRrrr)

2. I LOVE my eye doc. She gives me free samples of very expensive eye drops that I need to have.

3. Quarterly eye checkup was awesome. No inflammation. Pressure normal.

4. Now I need to heat up dinner and watch last week’s Scandal and last night’s Downton Abbey.

5. And by heat up, I mean cook the frozen DiGiornio cheese pizza.

 

(I’m trying out an experiment. Since I kept having writer’s block or ennui or whatever, I’m going to start posting stuff here that I’ve posted on Facebook. If you follow me on both, you may want to unfollow on one of them.)

Adaptability

Human adaptability has never ceased to amaze me…even when it’s my own. I’m not the most “go-with-the-flow” gal you’ll ever meet, as I enjoy my routines. I revel in the steadiness so I can enjoy other things as they change.

This last year has been a true lesson in riding the waves and making the best of circumstances. Learning to live with chronic pain and the ability to modify one’s habits is a tough sell, but a necessary one.

Now that I’m beginning to grok how everything I do must be thought about first, I’m think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Today, I had to say goodbye to an old friend – My lovely wee Smart car, Simply Red. As much as I adored it, I could no longer enjoy it thanks to the fact that I have freakishly long legs (thanks, Mom!!). Before the fibromyalgia pain, I was able to deal with that fine. I was flexible and driving around was great.

Over the past few months, that’s changed, and the pain just got to be too much. Coupled with a very timely email from my credit union offering 1.49% financing, I knew it was time.

After soliciting advice from family & friends, I found it. The right one. The steady, reliable one but with enough quirkiness that I could still feel like me.

Meet Phil…as in “His first name is Agent” Coulson.

My cane is there for size reference.

 

Phil

 


Phil is a 2012 Scion xB, purchased at Alexandria Toyota – a group of people whose customer service is unparalleled. I can see why they are constantly busy.

Phil has all sorts of nifty features, and he’s just a base model.

It’s been a heck of a busy day off – no sleep at all last night (thanks, Cymbalta), followed by 9:00 a.m. blood draw. Followed by a visit to the sleep doc (all is great with my CPAP use). Followed by a trip to the pharm as sleep doc gave me Rx for Ambien so I can at least get sleep. Then about 1.5 hours at the dealership.

I think I’m going to do nothing else of value the rest of the day.

 

More pics of Phil & a farewell picture post for Simply Red

 

Farewell, Simply Red. Hello, Phil

 

 

Sometimes the answer is unexpected

Wow, has it really been a month since I last posted? I guess it has. Dealing with life these days is definitely a one-day-at-a-time proposition.

So this happened:

* The futon frame on which I sleep broke. At first, I thought a leg bent, but then I realized, it was a metal frame piece that had completely broken. Oddly enough, some years back when I first bought this along with the chair version at IKEA, the initial chair frame was broken in that exact same spot. IKEA sent me a new one. Must be a manufacturing defect or something.  Sofa bed

* Kit, in his infinite kitty wisdom (or something), managed to puke up all over my white comforter. Even the comforter cover didn’t help. It soaked through and it’s pretty much ruined. He also managed to ruin a pillow.

I’d been considering doing some reorganizing of furniture–an urge I get now and again, especially as the sun begins moving into Virgo, my birth sign. I want to clean up, clear out and make things look different. Which, if it weren’t for the ongoing fibro flares, might be easier. I’ve got a feeling that the universe is trying to tell me that since I wanted things to look different, it would create a situation whereupon I had to do something – like buy a bed and new comforter.

I’d thought about just replacing the frame with the same IKEA frame – after all, the mattress is still in excellent shape. Only, after thinking about it, I realized that this might happen again in a few years. Instead, I’m going to buy a real bed, instead of a futon…something I’ve not done in nearly 15 years.

Boy, howdy, are beds expensive or what? I don’t want anything fancy, just a frame and mattress/boxspring set. I live in a studio, so a smaller footprint is the key. Even for a full-size bed, to get a decent mattress, I’ll be paying close to $800.

I guess it’s a good thing that I recently got a small stipend check that will, after paying estimated tax, comes close to covering that expense. Oh, well. ¬†The universe giveth & then taketh away. A ¬†friend of mine posted today on Facebook that she’s had unexpected expenses due to vet bills & suchlike, but got a very gladly received small windfall today. So I guess it all balances out.

Still, I’m happy that I do have the funds to do this. So many people don’t.

In other news, still working on audiobooks. Blood Bargain is now available at Audible.com and at iTunes. I’m hoping to finish up Blood Kin by September end, depending on the vagaries of my health.

Arrogance of the Healthy: Lessons Learned

I used to be one of those people. You know, healthy. And arrogant about it.

Yeah, I’ve always been “a big girl” (aka, fat), but I was the “good” kind: healthy (great blood pressure, cholesterol, etc), if not obsessively active, I wasn’t a great lump of lumphood – I could easily walk for a long time without getting tired. I had tons of energy. I was strong.

Did I say arrogant? Oh yeah, baby. Totally. I didn’t understand why everyone couldn’t just get up from the couch and move, dance, walk. If I could, they most certainly could.

Pills¬†And then, it struck. Chronic illness. Oh, not to me, not yet. To my mom (osteoarthritis) first. She went from a woman who loved the outdoors & activity to barely being able to walk 10 feet without stopping. Two bionic knees later, she’s active!woman – easy peasy fix, right? (yes, I’m being sarcastic with a dose of self-stupidity).

Then, a close friend went from being able to (albeit slowly) walk with me and manage the ridiculous amount of walking & movement required at conventions to barely being able to get from the hotel bed to the bathroom without stopping due to back pain and other chronic issues. Over the more than ten years I’ve known her, I watched her mobility disintegrate. She rides a scooter now.

Was I cured of my arrogance yet? Nope, not completely. I had yet to walk in their shoes.

You see, I’m one of those folks that learn first by watching, then by doing. Evidently, that aspect of my being had to come into play with health, as well.

A few years ago, the doing part of my learning began. I suddenly started to lose breath when I walked long distances. My brain chalked it up to a more sedentary life. I was working full time plus writing. Not getting out as much. I was getting fatter (I really wasn’t). I was getting older (well, yeah).

Then I developed some issues, all of which I chalked up to perimenopause. Aha! That was it. Only temporary, I reasoned. It’ll soon be over.

Continue reading Arrogance of the Healthy: Lessons Learned