Captain’s Log, Stardate 5.9.19


This year has been nothing like I had planned so far. the past few months have been particularly stressful. I’m not making excuses, not going to give you the whole sad song and dance. I will be perfectly honest here, I’ve been struggling. Struggling to keep my head above water, struggling to get any words down, struggling to keep it together.

My planner vaguely resembles the Captain’s Log on Star Trek.

 

Date: (Stardate) March 19, 2019 (31919.1) Larry called, had to drive to Perryville to get him, his mom had a stroke. They took her up to St. John’s because Jefferson wasn’t equipped to handle a stroke. 

(31919.2) Same ICU unit that my mother was in –  kind of jarring.

(31919.3) Monitoring her for brain activity. 

(31919.4) We sat in on the doctor’s round table discussion. Looks grim. 

I  had found a layout for my bujo that worked well for me to track the things I needed, and make my daily to-do lists. All of that went out the window.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.28.19 – apparently chaos rules the universe. My family has gone off the deep end. My heart goes out to them and I will be praying. Sad situation!  They are transferring MIL to rehab center,  but it’s up near St. John’s. 

In planning my releases – yes plural releases – which is a huge step for me,  I had set April 23rd as my release date for Fury. The date came and went, I had other things on my mind, and occupying my time. to be honest, I’ve struggled to find words to put down on paper or virtual paper.  It’s difficult to make plans when things are up in the air so to speak, and your world is in turmoil.

To add to things, the stress that we’ve been under has manifested in aggression towards each other in arguments. Emotions are at a heightened state!

Captain’s Log Stardate 4.15.19 – I get the stressed out part from work and with family, but taking it out on me is not going to make things better. In fact, it made things much more difficult. We are about to come to blows. Shields up, set phasers to stun, prepare to be boarded!

I completely missed posting anything for A to Z in April, and I had some cool writing terms to share. Who knows, maybe I’ll still put it together down the road.

To add to all of this, I had a biopsy – benign, discovered a lump – also benign, had surgery and an allergic reaction to medications that felt like I was having a heart attack – I am not exaggerating either. All of this stirred together for a deadly concoction that left me feeling like an utter failure and worthless in life. Talk about dysfunction!

Captain’s Log Stardate 5.7.19 – What is wrong with me? I have so many books to write, and can’t muster myself to put pen to paper or get out my laptop for longer than a few minutes. It’s not for lack of want to, because I want to get all of my books out there! It’s not a lack of ideas –  I have thousands of ideas.  It’s not a lack of imagination,  I have imagination to spare! So what is the problem? 

I messaged my soul sister Misty and ironically, she’s experiencing a similar slump. You’d think we were twins separated at birth or something, it’s uncanny. We should be Gemini’s or have the same birthday or something! With Misty’s help, I’m taking some baby steps to get back in the game. My confidence has been shaken,  but she’s holding my hand.

Captain’s Log Stardate 5.7.19.2 – made contact with Admiral Harvey. This quadrant of the galaxy has proven  troublesome crossings for her as well. Our discussion included guidance for traversing the upcoming storms, and keeping crew on standby for imminent dangers. For now, we will take it slow and steady, with all systems on alert. Our course?  Second star to the right, straight on till morning. These are the voyages of Starship Mack, signing off.

That’s the point of friendship isn’t it?  We pick each other out of the muck and help dust each other off.  Sometimes we share a laugh,  sometimes we share a cry. A true friend is one that you know has your back, will go to the ends of the galaxy with you in spirit if they can’t in person,  will stand by your side and support you and encourage you. I can only hope that I am as much of a friend to her as she is to me.  That goes for my other friends as well –  I hope you consider me a good friend, one that is there for you!

It’s been a difficult few months. I’m not making excuses, just telling it like it is. I’ve been down in the mullygrubs not knowing how to dig out. When I finally cried out for help, Misty was there for me. Being an author can be a lonely career that is often not supported by family or loved ones.  It takes a friend with the “Write Stuff” to get it, and she does.

I hope that each of you have a Misty in your life,  that will be there for you when you need it.  I hope  that you don’t find yourself in the pits as I have been,  but if you do, your friend(s) are there!

Write on my friends, write on!

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I’m a Survivor


Hello!  Is anybody out there?

*tap tap tap*

I want to get off this crazy carousel that my life has been this past month! 

I had plans and goals –  they’ve been tossed out the window.  I’ve had intentions but we know how many roads are paved with those, right?

So, to catch you up to where things are with me:

  • Have been all but living at the hospital – ICU, waiting room, regular room, and now rehab center.
  • Have NOT had the focus nor the time to do any writing.
  • Have NOT made any progress on Fury, thus my release date will be pushed back.
  •  Have managed to piss off family – something  I seem to be a pro at.
  • Have been derailed from my progress with the green smoothies by existing on hospital cafeteria foods -yuck.

Now to get back on track, and take control back over at least part of our lives.

My BFF Misty referred me to an awesome video that I am going to share at the end, that really hit home with me. Thanks Misty,  I so needed that!

Life for the past few weeks has been in a complete state of turmoil. In any sort of family crisis, tensions are high and people lash out and blame others for everything.   Trust me,  I get it.  I understand why; still doesn’t make it right. So in addition to feeling emotionally like everyone’s whipping girl, the self-doubt, the self-criticism for failing to meet my goals had me at the bottom of the pit, not even daring to look up to see how far I had to climb out.

So what do you do when life deals you a raw hand? Do you lash out? Do you roll over and play dead? Do you take it? Blame others? OR do you set your face like flint and muster through it?

It’s never fun – never! Regardless of how you deal with it.  But how you deal with it is the most important single element to determining how your life will be in the future.

It’s not about what life deals you,  it’s how you deal with the life you’ve been given.

I so want to rant and out everyone’s indiscretions, their finger pointing,  the unfairness, but what will that help? NOTHING

Even when you feel that it’s a situation that you can’t overcome, you probably can but it’s going to come down to your attitude, and what you do with it.

I was sexually abused from age 3 to 10. THAT does NOT define me.  I let it overshadow me, make me feel like damaged goods,  like I was good for nothing for too many years until I learned not to be a victim.  I WAS a victim as a child,  but I am a SURVIVOR!

I faced rejection from my mother, and have had many other issues because of those roots of rejection.  BUT, that does not define me. My mother made her choices, as I have made choices to love and respect her and value the good in life. I WAS rejected by my mother, but I am a SURVIVOR! I want my children to know they were wanted, planned and are loved every day of their lives!

I was diagnosed with cancer, which completely turned my life on end. I WAS a cancer patient,  I AM a Survivor!

The current drama life is violently shoving in my face -amateur! You clearly don’t know who you are dealing with here. Let me clarify for you – I am a survivor! 

I will deal with whatever comes my way. As Kelly Clarkson sings – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller, Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter, footsteps even lighter, doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone.

I’m not going to roll over and play dead.  I’m not going to keep taking the hits and not fight back. If I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. Life deals us some tough blows, so I take the time to recover and get back up.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  Nobody does! but I will face it head on. Change is scary. Being the one to  make the necessary changes is scary. That’s OK. I’ve stared Cancer in the face.

I was going to play catch up on my A to Z Challenge for April, but that seemed less important than the motivational  words to shake off the muck and mire.  I hope you got something out of this.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

Old Habits Die A Slow and Painful Death


Week 9: Stress Eating: The Whys and Wherefores

Happy March!
Welcome to week 9 of the MFRW Blog hop. IT’s ironic that this is the topic for the week. I have a lot of opinions about this. You might want to buckle up!

Bad diet protection food concept with a group of greasy fatty fast food falling down like rain and a green umbrella stopping the unhealthy food as a metaphor for poor nutrition and changing eating habits.

I have had a lifetime of bad eating habits, stress eating, overeating, junk food – you name it. I hate to keep throwing the big C card out there,  but, here I go again. Before cancer, I never took care of myself.  Who cared if I ate wrong? Who cared if I self-medicated with food? Seriously,  I knew I ate poorly.  I knew I ate too much and too much of the wrong foods. I was stuck in the cycle:   emotional eating/ fasting/ scarfing down whatever/ fasting/ binging/ emotional eating.
Everything in life was handled with food from as early as I can remember.
Oh you had a bad day? I’ll make you a cake.
You got all A’s? I’ll make a cake, we should celebrate. 
It’s your birthday? Let’s have cake. 
You lied to me? NO cake for you. 
That’s a bit simplified,  but essentially that’s how it was. My mother was an excellent baker. Breads, pies, cakes –  Mom’s tasted better than any bakery near us.  However, I was not a fan of her regular cooking. In a way,  that helped me later on, because I learned to cook for myself and my family.
I developed a sweet tooth early on. In the past, my stress eating was sweets. I have eaten a whole pan of brownies before. Not proud of it,  but there it is.
Today,  I’d give my right arm for a decent sugar-free brownie –  LOL
However, since  I can no longer have sugar, and my cravings for sugar have subsided quite a while ago, . . . my stress eating is more along the snack crackers and chips variety. Keep in mind,  I can’t eat many processed foods so most chips are off the menu. I have found a few that I can have.
Sun Chips, Veggie Chips, Sweet potato chips. wheat thins and triscuits.
At the end of January and part way through February I was waiting to hear the results of a biopsy as to whether or not I had a recurrence of cancer.  It came back benign by the way thank God! For two weeks I stress ate oranges like they were going out of style.  I consumed 3 bags of oyster crackers alone. I ate an entire bag of sun chips in 2 days. OH, I disguised the need for so many crackers with creamy soups but I ate the rest like they were chips.
I felt miserable.  I was stuffed. I  gained back 6 pounds in a matter of weeks. I knew I had to stop, but the stress and fear had a firm grip on me at the time.
The day I got the results, I can not even begin to tell you the relief that flooded over me. I threw out the partial boxes of crackers, the remaining dregs of chips and vowed to get back on my healthy eating plan. I had to face my dietician with these facts as well.
She was like, What happened? She got the entire detailed story.
It just so happened that the next day,  I saw a challenge in a Facebook group and figured – why not!
It was a challenge to drink a green smoothie every day.
I have read about and heard a lot of talk about green smoothies but they are rather off-putting.  You want me to drink spinach? You’ve got to be kidding me.
I had alread given away all of the clothes that are too large for me.  I don’t want them around “in case” I gain weight. NOPE NOPE NOPE
I was bloated, frustrated with myself and at rock bottom. Fine –  I’ll do it. Thinking as I am going into this,  I deserved to be punished.
Wow! Let me tell you how wrong I was! I tried a couple different variations of the green smoothie, some I liked a couple not so much. Kale is of the devil!
Green Smoothie 1:
3/4 cup fresh spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 banana
3/4cup frozen mango
6 ice cubes and 1 cup water
Green smoothie 2:
3/4 cup combination spinach and kale
1 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 mixed berries
1 banana
1 cup cold water
Green smoothie 3:
3/4 cup spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 banana
frozen mixed fruit ( mango pineapple peach and strawberry)
1/2 lemon
I lost six pounds and I feel more energy.  Even better, I haven’t been sick for two weeks.  That is a record since I began taking cancer meds.
So, even though I was able to put a halt  to the stress eating, I reverted right back to those nasty old habits, proving that old habits are hard to kill and when they are replaced,  they still die a slow painful death.
 What do you stress eat? Do you stress eat? What do you do to NOT stress eat?
Share your thoughts in a comment below! IF you want to hear what other authors have to say about this –  go check them out HERE.
Write on my friends, write on!

Music Soothes the Savage. . . #MFRW Writer?


Week 8 – MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge  #MFRWAuthor

Week 8:  What music, if any, do you prefer to write by?
First off, I can’t believe it’s week 8 already, and I have only managed 3 of the previous seven posts. I think I will add in other days of the week some of the previous ones that I have missed.
Anyway, Happy Friday and welcome to the MFRW blog challenge post!

vector illustration with neon line abstract music background

I’ve shared on here before that I love music.  I love listening to music while I write. Depending on the genre I am writing, or the scene,  my choice of music changes.  Music helps me to stay engaged and helps to channel the mood that I am trying to convey in a scene.  It soothes the savage beast of ADD and anxiety within this writer.
I used to make a playlist of my favorite songs but I don’t do that anymore.  I found myself singing along with the music, and typing in the lyrics. DOH!
Do you have any idea how frustrating and hilarious it is to proofread the story you’ve been typing away on to come to a part that reads:
Drake brushed the strand of hair back from her cheek, caressing the back of his fingers along her jawline. Her cheeks were instantly flushed with heat and a soft sigh escaped her. He clenched his jaw to hold back the groan as he felt his inner fires growing. Gods he wanted this woman,  but he knew he had to go slow.
She was not familiar with their ways and he didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable in any way.
Wake me up inside. Wake me up inside. Call my name and save me from the dark. Bid my blood to run before I come undone, save me from the nothing I’ve become. Now that I know what I’m without, you can’t just leave me. Breathe into me and make me real. Bring me to life.
At first, I thought, wow, Dragon Naturally speaking really messed up that day. What on earth was I really saying? It took me a bit to realize it was the lyrics. In fact, not until I got to Bring me to life.  This wasn’t the only incident of doing this either.  I found myself inserting Shakira, Pitbull, Heart, Annie Lenox, whomever I was listening to into my manuscript. Nowadays, I listen to instrumental music while writing.
Deadmau5 is a favorite because it’s upbeat with no lyrics. I have found various instrumental tracks on Youtube and I have those running in another tab while I write.
It’s true that you can’t think one thing while you are saying something else.  This was an exercise I have used in the past for changing negative thoughts. When that inner monster is screaming things to you – YOU SUCK being a big one, I have a laminated piece of cardstock with 40 encouraging affirmations. that I will speak out loud.  It shuts down that inner voice and the act of speaking it out loud helps your brain to accept the affirmation. It’s more powerful when you speak it yourself than to listen to a recording.  This is scientifically proven, involving the reticular formation in your amygdala. You can look it up if you want.
But, the point is, it makes sense why I was typing the lyrics, because I was singing along with the song, and then that’s what started coming out in my writing.
What do you listen to while you write? Or are you one that needs silence to hear your thoughts clearly? I have one daughter who needs silence, and the other is like me, needs some background noise for me to focus best.
Share your thoughts in a comment below! IF you want to hear what other authors have to say about this –  go check them out HERE.
Write on my friends, write on!

Getting Organized


Sometime in January,  I usually share a post on how well I did at hitting my goals in the previous year and my goals for this year. I think maybe I’ll do that Sunday if y’all tune in then. I’ve been thinking a lot about what to blog and since I haven’t done so well at getting them published, I’ve got a backlog of words that are piling up. Multiple ideas, categories, things I’m dealing with, things I find interesting and things I think others would be interested in. I’m hoping that my readers can help me get organized on this blog!

Row Of Falling Files For Getting Office Organized

So, in that vein, here are a few categories that I’m thinking about making regular posts this year.  If you read this post, please leave a comment and let me know which categories you want to hear about, and which you do NOT.

  • books – mine and other authors, cover reveals, releases, reviews.
  • teasers and tasty tidbits – teasers of my current WIP, and a new recipe, hopefully with pictures of the finished product. (Keto, diabetic, sugar-free, regular)
  • Monday mojo –  my Monday motivational posts,  they always seemed to be one of the categories that do well and that readers like.
  • On Writing – plot, characters, story, mary sues, flat stanleys, writing prompts, contests, submission calls.
  • Life – stuff we all go through,  dealing with difficult people, learning to say no, emotions, and all that stuff that gets in our head.
  • Random madness – you know the ones,  those crazy posts that seem way out in left field,  but once you read through you go “ah yes, now I get it.”  Or something just off the wall, because creative minds are never waffles, but spaghetti.
  • Crafts, DIY, hobbies – painting, BUJO, bullet journaling.
  • Excerpts of my work.
  • Deals – when books are on sale, when I am doing giveaways.
  • Sports, politics, finance, – I won’t say never,  but 99% sure you won’t ever find these here.
  • Humor – because if you can’t laugh once in a while, you seriously need to.

I plan to do a few more vlogs this year, getting a little more comfortable in front of the camera. I mean, hey if you aren’t put off by my mug on here,  then I’m willing to talk your ear off! By the way,  if you want to see some really embarrassing stuff, go check out my youtube channel and see my Splendies unboxing.  HAHA! I have to reload the latest one,  it cut off on me.

Anyway, that’s it for today, have had Doctor’s appointments, done my housework and got 1300 words down. I’m calling today a win! Oh, and I shared today’s fashion on Instagram!

Before I leave you,  I’ll drop the last few lines of my Current WIP, Fury: Book II of the Valkyrie’s Curse series, here:

Morning sunlight shimmered upon the waves. Elias Westergaard stood at the stern railing of his yacht, enjoying the rich bold flavor of his imported Colombian coffee.

He had done everything right. His timing had been impeccable, as always. Helena was to blame. She had somehow managed to thwart his plans. She would pay.

 For now though, he needed to lay low. There was no safer place for him than on the open sea. He preferred to stay within sight of the shore,  but the current situation demanded otherwise.

“More coffee sir?” Martin Tanner stood to his right, back a few paces behind him.

Elias held his cup out, allowing the boy to fill it. Martin was a nuisance to him, but he kept things running smoothly on the yacht.

“Will there be anything else, Dr. Westergaard?”

“No, that will be all.” He lifted his cup almost to his mouth, “Oh Martin,” pausing for a moment his arm in an odd angle as if posing for a magazine.

“Yes sir?”

“There is one more thing. Inform Walter I’d like the lobster bisque for lunch.”

“Yes sir.”

He lifted the cup the remaining distance, closing his eyes as he relished the hot liquid warming his throat while chasing away the chill of the air. He needed to brace himself for this dive.

Keep in mind this is only the first revision and hasn’t been touched since NANO camp last April.

Write on my friends, write on!

Connections


IN case you wondered, I”m not dead!

My internet has been. We had a series of storms come through and it knocked out power. When we got our power back,  we realized that we didn’t have any internet. It’s been weeks!

I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I had become. Yes,  I ‘ve had very real withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to go to local businesses to use their wifi in order to finish work related business. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic about this. I’ve had to budget my time a little differently is all.

It’s still not working correctly,  but my husband has managed to “redneck fix” it. NO duct tape was involved.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

My new book just released. I’ve not been able to get on to order print books to have available. I ordered a few for prizes from release parties,  but that’s it. Then I find out that 2 recipients did not receive their prize packages –  but USPS tracking says they were delivered. I get it,  we have our mail delivered to wrong addresses all the time. It’s still frustrating though.

You’d think with all this time offline,  I’d have volumes written,  but I don’t.  I have made progress on the second book, and I’m in chapter 6.  I may start sharing some snippets from both – don’t even know if anyone would be interested in them.

I’ve taken my connections for granted, I’ll be the first to admit. I like having my wifi connections.  I like being able to scroll through my tablet from the comfort of my sofa.  I like being able to check facebook with my morning coffee.  I like being able to write a blog post when I have something to say – which is often. OF course, you’d never know it from the past few weeks, now would you?

So, I plan to get back into the saddle as soon as things get straightened out,  but in the meantime,  I have to budget my online time between the library and our local YMCA. After spending an hour and a half in my aquacize class, spending another couple of hours sitting in their lobby is not my idea of a good time. Besides,  I’m hungry after the classes!

Until next time,  be thankful you have internet!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

What Can I Say?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to get the first week in –  defining moments. Sort of.

You know,  it’s like as soon as I make a plan to do X the universe conspires to make sure it doesn’t happen. Yes, that is an exaggeration,  but it sure seems like it at times.

What’s been happening in my world? Aside from the panic that comes with book publishing after the revisions are dead, I’ve been swamped in the day job. That and a general malaise that I”m trying to overcome with a change in medicines. (Have I said lately that Cancer sucks?)

I feel really bad now because I invited other bloggers to participate in this and I haven’t even managed to post.

Today I’m going to touch on something that defines us as individuals.  Or rather me.

I read a book once, can’t remember the title,  but in the first chapter, it asked –  how do we define ourselves. Without using our usual monackers of mom, wife, sister, our job – what defines US.

I had a tough time with this, and it really made me think. Beware, we’re going to the deep end.

We are not defined by our jobs-  that’s what we do. We are not defined by our titles or monackers – mom, sister, wife.  I was me before I became a mom. It changed me sure,  but I was still me.

It’s not achievements we’ve made, the laurels we have achieved, or battles we’ve won.

So truly, what defines me as different than everyone else? What makes me stand out from the crowd or am I just one in a crowd of lemmings?

I have to be honest,  I didn’t finish the book because it sent me into a tailspin. Since then, I’ve still thought on this many times.

This is the conclusion that I’ve come to: the essence of what defines us as individuals is ultimately our soul. It’s how you treat other people. It’s your humanity, your compassion, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and the love that you show towards your fellow human being.

Human being – not those who are the same religion as you, same skin color as you, speak the same language, or have the same lifestyle.

I’ve shared my faith before and I am appalled at the hatred and prejudice that comes from many claiming to be Christians.  All of us are in the same human condition – flawed, broken, and mortal.

Love is the answer!

Seriously, would you expect anything less from a romance author? Wait let me amend that –  a romance author and paranormal fantasy suspense author.

The Awakening: Book 1 of the Valkyrie’s Curse series releases on June 20th! Yes, I had to get that in there-  I’m proud of my accomplishment and  I think this one will blow you away!!!

 

 

The Awakening 

Helena Eskildson is obsessed with Vikings and Norse Mythology. Neither Helena nor her sister know they are Freya’s daughters – Valkyries, the shieldmaidens to Odin.
When her obsession leads her to a remote site at Roskilde and it’s two monolithic rune stones, her destiny is awakened.
While the team wages a battle between a cursed site and a sociopathic killer, time is ticking closer to Ragnarok.
Will her friends be able to save her before the gjallerhorn sounds?

 

Available now on PReorder for $0.99

 

Write on my friends, write on!

Nothing Goes As Planned


Welcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing! You know how I love new things!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.
~~~~~~~~~
And this is where things have gone terribly off track!
Seriously, I had a plan outlined and scheduled to write on for each day this month.
Then, Tuesday through Thursday,  I was neck deep in it getting my manuscript ready to send to the editor and formatter.
I was determined to get it sent out to the point I have neglected my housework, preparing proper meals (What adult has a PBJ for dinner one night and BLT the next?), and pretty much everything else in order to make certain that I had my t’s crossed and i’s dotted.
So here’s what I’m going to do since I’m a few days behind.  I”m going to give you the abbreviated versions of the other Defining Moments.

Day 5 – Public Speaking

I am an extrovert. I’m the kind of extrovert that most introverts hate.  I will talk to strangers in an elevator.  I will smile and say how you doing to a stranger as I pass them in the hallway.  In fact, I will confront someone who is doing something uncouth.  Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not going to be stupid about it.

When my mother was in the hospital numerous times,  I hate that ‘get on the elevator and stare straight ahead and don’t talk to anyone’ thing.  The guy is holding a plant with a Congratulations on a new baby balloon – heck yeah I’m going to comment “Good news I see”  Or if it’s nothing so obvious I’ll comment about the weather –  whether it’s hot, cold, raining, or gorgeous.

Most people will respond with at least a nod.  Here’s the thing though,  our society has been teaching kids for ages “Don’t talk to strangers”.  But, in a self-defense class, one of the things that they said was rapists and muggers will target the fearful.  I don’t cower.  I don’t walk with my shoulders slumped,  or curved inward.  I walk with my head held high and if a guy is coming towards me with intent to harm me,  I’m going to make the biggest loudest scene I can. 98% of criminals will walk the other way and wait for an easier target.

For that 2% –  I have pepper spray and know some maneuvers to protect myself.  Anyway,  this isn’t about not making myself a victim.  This is about the extrovert thing.

When I was in college and had to give a presentation to the department staff for my senior theses, I was shaking like a leaf.  When I was first asked to speak publicly it was awkward,  filled with OK, and ummms,  but I lived.  The next time it was easier.  If I have the time to add lib a little I can have the audience laughing.

I’ve mentioned before that I try to use the EIEIO method, it seems to work for me. Along with informing and educating,  you have to entertain them at least a little.  If you can do that you can keep their attention.

OK, well it may help that I’ve been told that I should be a stand-up comedian as well.  Not going to happen,  but I use the sense of humor to help with speaking.  My largest crowd so far has only been about 150 people which is small,  but I’m not done yet.

Day 6 -Moment of Clarity

I really don’t have a better way of describing this. So here goes.

Several months ago, the doctor prescribed a medication for me to deal with the increased anxiety after the cancer diagnosis.  Part of that is I can’t “cope” with the same habits I had before.  I am a stress eater.  I have self-medicated myself most of my life to avoid the feels, the hurts, and the emotions. Just being honest. If you have ever watched Biggest Loser,  you’d see that the majority of fatties are in the same boat.  It’s not the simple formula of less food in more calorie output equals weight loss.

Why does someone eat themselves up to 200, 250, 300 or more pounds? It’s insulation.  Insulation from having to deal with life.  Having to deal with our past.  Having to deal with emotional wounds and baggage.

So I can’t do that anymore,  most of the “comfort foods” I would turn to are now off the menu because of the big C. Hence, the increased anxiety.

So I was taking this medicine and my daughter commented that I was considerably more chill.  IF it weren’t for some very bad side effects that I couldn’t live with,  it really did help. During the time I was taking it,  I could see clearly the issues.  I could see that the problem was that I had all these emotional issues that I would have formerly turned to food and that wasn’t an option. I’ve said before,  the best diet in the world doesn’t fix the most important six inches.

During one of those moments of clarity, I was reading some articles that the dietician had directed me to, and one of them was a quiz for a food addict. I got a perfect score! NO, that’s not a good thing.  I had to say yes to every single question. I never put two and two together,  but after answering those questions,  I can see it.

Trigger foods that cause that reaction inside my body or head,  that I have to have more. The biggest triggers across the board are sugar, carbs, chocolate, fast foods, and most junk foods.  A new study shows that the brains of women with food addictions are similar to drug addictions and an alcoholic. Since then, I’ve recognized the cycle and been able to stop before binging.  I”m happy to say I’ve stayed on the wagon.

We all have our issues,  don’t judge.

DAY 7- The Big C

Cancer has a way of leveling the playing field.  One day, you’re carefree and even though you know you’re not immortal, you plan to live to a ripe old age and spoil grandbabies and cause a ruckus at the old folk’s home. (I’ve already warned my kids that if they stick me in a home it better be in Florida or I’ll be causing a scene weekly.)

Then one day you get a diagnosis that literally changes your life. Cancer is an equal opportunity bastard of a disease. It doesn’t care what race, religion, persuasion, financial status, or age you are.

At first, I was in shock. I’ve shared before that from the date of diagnosis to the day of surgery was a whirlwind that didn’t give me time to think.  It’s just as well. It was during the radiation treatment while taking the oral medications that I had a true “Come to Jesus” moment.

I was slapped in my face with my own mortality, and I very much view this as a second chance to get it right.  What was important to me?

What did I want to accomplish in my life?

What would my legacy be?

The most important thing to me is my family. I decided that I would make certain to spend time with my family, including my siblings and extended family.

I wanted to publish as many of my books as I could get out.  I looked at the pace I was going and realized that I was a long way from getting even half of them out if I didn’t kick it into gear. When I first tried to sit down and write,  I couldn’t focus.  My mind was blank.  I cried numerous times thinking that I may have lost my opportunity. However,  after radiation was over and I was slowly beginning to recover,  it started coming back to me and I was determined in a way that I was never determined before.

I don’t even care if people don’t like Roxy Sings the Blues,  it will forever be an important milestone to me because I managed to finish that after Cancer. It made me realize that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I was going to have to put out a concerted effort which meant I have to focus.

There are many other moments in our lives that we could say are defining moments and many other moments.  It’s what we do with those moments that matter.

What are your defining moments?

Write on my friends, write on!

Resignation/Retirement


WElcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.

DAY 4 – Resignation/Retirement

For most of my young adult l had focused on career. Graduation from high school was briefly celebrated as I moved to the next stepping stone – college. College was a means to an end – a well-paying career.

I had already made the decision that the double major of forensic anthropology wasn’t going to work, and focusing on cartography. My father worked for Defense Mapping Agency and urged me to pursue cartography.  It’s currently known as National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Cartographers make good money –  I mean, really good money.

Life was great. I was in a department that I enjoyed and had worked my way up to target expert in the digital productions division. I was a shoe-in for the position after working in points during Desert Storm.  I liked what I was doing and I was good at it!

Then I delivered my second child. I returned to work after maternity leave,  but my daughter caught RSV virus at the daycare that we had our children in and ended up in the hospital.  My husband and I alternated who would take off work to stay with her. The opportunity came up to do a buyout, and essentially retire. We ran the numbers and I was shocked to see that despite my great salary,  I was essentially working for 5 an hour after gas, auto maintenance, and daycare expenses. The decision was easier to make after seeing the numbers, and the nudge that made the decision final was another admission to the hospital for my baby. It’s hard to see your child under an oxygen tent, and that was the last straw.  I had to stay home with my kids.

Before that, I identified myself as what I did in my job. I was identifying myself as a mom also,  but when people say tell me about yourself,  the government employment came first.  I was proud of my job, proud of my work,  and proud of who I was.

IT was quite a shock to only be a “mom” for a while.  Don’t get me wrong please,  I love my kids with everything I am. It’s just that I was a professional for ten years before kids. It took some adjustments.

I loved those years though,  and so glad that we made the decision because I was able to raise my children, not someone at a daycare. Which of course means that anything they are screwed up about is on me!

I enjoyed the majority of those years.  I would trade the vomit in a heartbeat, but everything else – priceless!

OUr kids have turned out to be amazing young adults that I am so very proud of, I guess maybe I did a few things right or I was just blessed with amazing kids.

Anyway, leave a comment and brag about your kids if you want!

WRite on my friends, write on!

Get On With It


It’s been a little over a year since my diagnosis, and a year yesterday for surgery. Wow, what a whirlwind ride this has been.

I’m thankful to still be here. I’m thankful to have hair, even though it’s white now.

I promise I am not going to dwell on this forever, but since I’ve been riddled with anxiety for the past week over just about everything, this is part of my healing process.  I have to process these thoughts, learn to manage the emotions and the overwhelm.

What has changed?  Everything.

OH, on the surface onlookers may think I’m the same old same old. but I’m not. I am learning to make myself a priority –  still learning, still trying to use that word NO, and still doing the self-talk to tell myself I’m worth it. Because you know what?  I am!

We all are.  Each one of us deserves a fulfilling life and to achieve our own happiness.  Each of us is a unique one of a kind original. It’s hard to keep that in mind at times when the lemming tendencies of our society scream that we need to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.

How are we ever going to stand out from the crowd if we are doing the same thing, looking the same, wearing the same hairstyle?  There is nothing wrong with being ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless of that mean bitch from school says.

Screw her! OH wait,  most of the guys already have!

That was a joke, sort of.

We need to stop being influenced by those mean girls and the pretty people. They are a minority and we outnumber them into the millions. Why do we ever care what they think?

For me,  I’ve always had this element of people pleasing. It’s a lifelong habit that I’m working on breaking.  It’s part of exercising that word NO.

What do you think?  What do you want to do? I”m not saying that you do whatever you want even if it’s illegal or immoral. I’m talking about pursuing your dreams, setting goals for yourself and learning to get our thoughts in line with drawing what we truly want out of life.

There are times when the overwhelm is just too much for me. This was never an issue before cancer. I’ve been thinking about why that is.  Part of it, as listed in the side effects of the chemo meds I have to take is increased anxiety. OH, joy! But I take the meds because I want to live cancer free.

Part of it, I’ve deduced is because I’ve spent a lifetime stress eating and putting myself into a food stupor when I was overwhelmed so that I could numb myself from the pain and anxiety.  Do you think overweight people simply eat too much?  It’s so much more than that.

OK, you take someone who has put on twenty pounds because they’ve been hitting the pizza and beer too often and no biggie,  they cut down on their consumption and within a short time have taken the weight off. But a fat person?  I mean someone who has been overweight for a long time, maybe their whole life, it’s a psychological issue as much as it is about overeating.  Hence the yo-yo up and down the scale.

Anyway,  this isn’t about being fat or me being frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off faster. This is ultimately about change and learning to control the thoughts and emotions.

Some things change quickly –  surgery – I had cancer, they removed the tumors.

Some things take time –  it took many treatments for the radiation to be effective.

Some things take even longer – learning to eat differently, learning new habits, learning new limitations.

Ultimately though, aren’t we all learning? Whether we are adjusting to dietary limitations, or physical limitations or emotional,  we have to overcome, adapt, and learn what our best is each and every day.  Maybe today it’s learning that “I’m OK. Tomorrow it may be “I can’t do that but I can tackle this.”

Early in the week, I was a whirlwind of energy and productivity. Yesterday I fell into a pit of overwhelm and could barely function.  I was a mess of tears, snotting and snorting and nearly hyperventilating. My friend Misty talked me down. She walked me through the sensory steps,  reminded me of the four agreements, and then my husband called around lunchtime and told me to throw away my list.

 NO, not my list! The LIST is like, THE PIRATE CODE.

Cue increased panic.

He reminded me that nothing on my list was mandatory. (But,  it’s my list.  I don’t list unnecessary things to do.) Nothing is mandatory and has to be done today.  The only mandatory things on the list were my day job, getting my blog post up (because it was a personal goal) and making sure I did my physical therapy.

As I glanced over my precious list of twenty-seven items, I realized he was right. As much as I wanted to get those other things accomplished and checked off the list –  only list makers will get that – the world was not going to end if I waited for another day to try to tackle them.

One of those items was a social situation with someone that causes me continued stress. At the end of the day, I realized that it was in my own best interest to say NO, and bow out. The second part of that is allowing myself to not fret over the decision and accept that I need to take care of myself.

Why does it have to be so hard to say no? What is it that I was so afraid of? That they would be mad at me? They don’t like me anyway. Hard to imagine, but they don’t.

I refer to Agreement Number 2: Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do or say is a product of their own reality, their own dreams and actions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of suffering.

Breathe.

Inhala . . . exhala . . . and now I can get on with it.

Write on my friends, write on!