It’s been four weeks today since I was sentenced to the boot for the Jones fracture on my right foot, and it’s been four weeks of hell–waiting for rides everywhere, not being able to help my husband with the driving when we travel, lugging around three extra pounds of boot everywhere I go. To say that I’m sick of the damn thing would be an understatement. Today, however, I see the podiatrist again for a follow up and another x-ray, and, theoretically, I have only two weeks left of bootness.
I still haven’t gotten the bone scan done, but then again, I can’t fucking drive myself to the doctor to pick up the order, and I can’t drive myself to the radiology department in town to get the scan done. I’m totally reliant on other people to get around. In the words of Gollum, “We hates it!” Maybe once the boot is off I can get around enough to take care of the scan myself and, hopefully, get some answers as to why my foot keeps breaking.
In other news, as of Monday I was down 27.2 pounds from my initial weigh-in of 287.4 pounds. I’ve been doing the keto diet for about a month and a half, and for two thirds of that time I haven’t been able to exercise the way I’d like, mostly because of the boot. Still, even with less mobility and less exercise, I’m feeling better, my clothes fit better, and I’m not craving carbs like I thought I would. Do I miss them? Sure. Do I sometimes wish there were keto-friendly snacks more readily available at work? Sure. Have I broken down and gorged on candy and bread? Nope. I’ve been a good girl. And, after the next two weeks have passed, maybe I can go back to exercising–and to rapier practice!
That’s right, my diet is going so well that I think I might be able to fit into my chain shirt again, which means more stabbing! I am so out of practice that I may have to start from the beginning, in a way, because I’ve probably forgotten a lot of the fundamentals, but my health and my confidence are up enough that I feel like I’ll be able to once again enjoy the only sport I’ve ever been remotely decent at!
Oh, yeah! Back to “fighting trim”–or at least trim enough to fight! Lol
I know my good friend and rapier teacher will be glad to hear that. I feel like I’ve disappointed her by quitting practice for, what, a year now? Or close to it. It’s amazing what a difference 27.2 pounds can make to one’s confidence, even though I’m far from my goal weight. Ideally, I’d like to be back down to the 150-170 range, which I know is a long time off. Realistically, I’m probably going to be content with getting down below 200.
Maybe the weight loss will take some of the stress off of my foot. Maybe it will boost my physical confidence and make it so I don’t get out of breath putting on socks. Maybe I’ll be able to exercise again and lose even more. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It’s all a waiting game, really, until this boot comes off and I find out what kind of activities I can partake in. Hopefully–fingers crossed!–I will be cleared for light rapier fighting. Maybe just practice for now, then work my way back to tournament fighting. I miss it now. Before, I was so depressed over my weight I didn’t want to fight. Now? Now I want to get back in there. I mean, the shirt fits. It would be a shame not to put it to use. 😉
Exercising might be tricky. I often am not out of work at a decent time to go to the gym where my friends work out and join them. However, now that I’m losing a decent amount of weight (and once the boot is off and I can drive again), I might make the effort to go out there and, yes, exercise in public. Where people can watch me. It’s a little intimidating to think about, but less intimidating than it was 27.2 pounds ago.
My advice if you’re trying to lose weight? Well, I have a couple of things. One: keep your mind open. If I hadn’t given keto a try, I might still be 287.4 and gaining. I’m not saying keto’s the only answer, but for me it’s working. If one thing doesn’t work after, oh, a month or two, try something else. Just try. Two: keep going. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. Take your health into your own hands and be strong about it. Three: Don’t be ashamed to tell people what you’re doing. If you hide in shame, you won’t get the support system that you need to motivate you. I’ve had coworkers and friends who never would speak about my weight before come up to me and tell me how much better I look, how I look more slender, how my clothes fit different. I know that they wouldn’t be mentioning it if they didn’t know I was trying to lose weight, but all the same it feels good. It gives me that boost of confidence I need to reassure me that I’ve made the right decision and that I’ll be okay. It may take a while, but I’ll be okay.
Two more weeks. Two more weeks, and then I’ll be free.
Okay, so Pixabay didn’t exactly have an image with a woman in scrubs, a woman in casual clothes, and a woman in SCA garb all together. Let’s just pretend that’s what’s going on in the above picture.
This weekend, I decided to take a mini vacation from both my day job and my writing. I needed that small break (and besides, yesterday, if you remember, was my anniversary). The SCA event we went to was not as relaxing as I had hoped, though, and I’m getting back to that feeling of “obligation” moreso than “hobby” or “volunteering.” It was like okay, I agreed to do the thing so I’ll do the thing, but what I really wanted to do was spend the day with my husband.
It would have been okay, but he got busy with autocrat stuff (he’s co-hosting an event in a couple of months) and I got a rash from the grass at the site and ended up falling dead asleep in the car for a good solid hour courtesy of the Benadryl I took. I barely saw him all day, and for our anniversary dinner he invited a lot of people, so it wasn’t as intimate as I would have liked for our anniversary. In fact, he sat with his back slightly turned playing host to the friends at his side of the table for most of the meal.
I discussed with him afterwards, told him I would rather celebrate our anniversary in a more intimate setting, and I told him that, even though our SCA “anniversary” tends to fall on the same weekend as our wedding anniversary, I’d like to keep the two separate.
Next weekend we have another two events. The weekend after is technically free, but I’ll likely be doing the embroidery for my good friend’s elevation to the Order of the Pelican because, well, the elevation is the very next week.
I’ve also got embroidery to do for my belting to my soon-to-be Peer, a Laurel I both admire as an artisan and as a friend. There’s also an art exchange gift that I need to finish before my belting–both of which are due the week after the elevation. Then, when all that is caught up, I need to finish the embroidery project that I’ve been working on for the past four or five months for Their Majesties….who will no longer be ruling by the time I get finished but who have told me that my friend’s elevation project comes first.
So, long story long, I have ended up with a third job in the midst of all this. The SCA is becoming obligatory instead of just fun.
Don’t get me wrong; I like doing the embroidery. I like when people take note of and enjoy my work. But it IS work, so I have to once again force myself to slow down and reflect on my priorities.
Day job (gotta pay the bills)
Writing (which I hope will some day assist in the payment of the bills)
Sanity (yes, I do need to include this in my list)
SCA events and activities
I don’t want to stop altogether. I like my SCAdian friends and family… I just need more of a balance.
In pursuit of that goal, I picked some Fridays next month to sign up for the live stream Writer Imperfect, where I get to chat with other authors and answer questions about what little I know about the publishing world. I still have an event in May, but it’s just one event. Those three Fridays are for my writing career.
I’ll survive. I always do. But my survival hinges more and more on me standing up for my needs and voicing my concerns when I get overbooked. And speaking of booking, I should try to get some writing time in today….
It’s my own fault, I suppose. I stopped practicing and fighting rapier because depression got the better of me, and now the rapier community in my Kingdom has all but forgotten me.
My husband gave up on rapier long before I did. He quit bringing his gear long before I did. But I’m a nonentity, a no one, so while he gets people asking him what gives, I get silence (save for a few steadfast friends who always ask where I’m at).
I don’t know. Maybe I’m not approachable. Maybe I hide off to the side too often, and people assume it’s where I want to be. Maybe they don’t know how much it hurts to think that almost no one cares if I’m out there or not.
Do I put on too good of a show? Have I hidden the pain that well? So few people seem to acknowledge my existence beyond a smile and a nod. I get a rare hug from someone outside my circle. I don’t get invited to stuff (except tangientially, as an extension of my husband or friends), and I often wonder if I ever cross people’s minds when I’m not there.
The worst part is he doesn’t realize how much it hurts me when he goes on and on about it. About how so many people talk to him and chat with him and I’m over here like “Hey, I exist too. I’m a person. I’m a rapier fighter.”
Have I lost that part of my identity? Am I perhaps no longer a rapier fighter? If not, then what am I? I’m not an artist until my husband shows off my work. I’m not a leader, not a helper, not anything. I just float along on my husband’s coattails, clinging to the hope that one of his friends will think I’m worth talking to.
I think I need to go to bed now. I’m clearly not thinking right. I’m getting emotional over something silly. Maybe these people do give a shit. Maybe they just think I don’t need conversation or comraderie or anything other than a smile and a nod.
It’s 0432, and I’m at a friend’s house for the night, waiting for my husband to wake up so we can go the rest of the way home. So what’s an insomniac to do but write?
I tried to take a writing break during Estrella War, but my story started speaking to me again, and I couldn’t ignore it. This is after weeks of little to no progress on Book 3, so I’m glad the Muses decided to become chatty. Still, hand writing when you’ve pulled a muscle in your back (on your dominant side) isn’t exactly fun. I’ve already called out from work–well, texted out, I should say–and I foresee a heating pad in my future once I’m home… Possibly a doctor’s appointment. Depends on how much worse it gets. At the moment, I really don’t want to yawn, as I discovered last night that breathing too deep causes pain in the pulled muscle.
My feet hurt, too, as well as my legs, but it’s more of an ache from overuse of muscles that I’m not accustomed to using. You’d be surprised how many new muscle groups you will discover when you have to sludge through half a foot of thick, slippery mud for days on end. It actually got to the point where walking on dry land felt unnatural.
I’ve been tasked by my publisher’s publicist to find and book no less than three (preferably five) podcast appearances by mid March. I’ve had terrible luck getting responses, so that’s another thing I’m going to have to do once my laptop is unburied from the mess that is our car. I’ve enlisted the help of Twitter, whose #writingcommunity hashtag is a wealth of help and knowledge for newer authors like me, but I’m still going to do the “legwork” of searching podcast apps and contacting shows. It’s going to take a lot of my time, but I know it’s for my own good. I need to keep promoting ABNORMAL even though I’m working simultaneously on ESCAPE THE LIGHT and Book 3. An author’s work is never done, I guess.
I’ll be glad to get home. I miss my cats, miss my shower, miss my bed. I miss my house, my comfy couch, and all the things that I couldn’t take with to Estrella.
I wish that I had ventured out from camp more during the War. I was so miserable that I didn’t make enough of an effort to see friends that I rarely get to see or even to meet new friends. To my SCAdian friends, I apologize for not having much of a presence this War. I’d promise to make more events or something, but I’m still not sure what my mental state is following this “break” from work. I feel somewhat refreshed in the sense that, aside from a few frantic texts, I haven’t had to think about work in a week. However, that little twitch in my right lower eyelid is still there, and I still don’t know how I feel about getting back into attending more SCA events. I want to keep active, but I also need to take my mental health into consideration. That being said, I got some of the best hugs this past week, much needed and sorely missed.
Estrella War is just a day away for me, and this is how my part of the desert is looking this morning:
Yes, that’s my land, just behind the house. It wasn’t much, but it snowed last night, and it’s supposed to be cold and rainy in Queen Creek for a good bit of Estrella.
We’ve got a new canvas tent (that’s supposed to be warmer than modern nylon tents). We’ve got a heater. We’ve got a wool coat for me and a reversible wool/cotton cloak for my husband. We’ve got thermal underwear for nighttime. We’ve got blankets and thirty-degree-graded sleeping bags. We’ve got throw rugs for the floor of the tent (because the floor is a tarp, not canvas, and that will be cold to step on in the middle of the night). We’ve got warm hats. We’ve got rain boots and fuzzy boots and thick socks. We’re set–right?
I sure hope so. Last year it got so cold that our silicone-gel-filled pillows literally froze. Rock solid. Not comfy. We had the heater then, but the nylon tent we had wasn’t very good at retaining the heat, so the heater was almost useless. Almost. I was sore and achy and miserable every morning because my arthritis did not appreciate the cold. So this year we’re packing extra heat-conserving methods.
Am I looking forward to Estrella? Sure. I mean, I’ll get to see people I haven’t seen in a long time, hang out with friends, teach some embroidery, and maybe get a little fighting in. (The last one I’m not 100% sure on, because I have the royal embroidery still to finish…so that’s going to take away some of my time.) But I am not looking forward to the cold.
Yes, I know, cold in the desert? It’s true. It can get biting cold, especially at night, and it’s not fun going to the port-a-priv at 3am to sit on a freezing-cold plastic seat. Sometimes when we’re camping and it’s cold in the morning I hold it for an hour or more just because I’m dreading the trip to the priv and the ensuing frozen butt.
I don’t know how much posting I’ll get done at the event. I usually have a few hours in the morning where I’m up and awake but not able to do anything like embroider because of the lack of light and the fact that the rest of the camp is asleep. However, if it’s cold enough, I might not want to sit up on the laptop or even lie down with my phone to post something. Regardless, I’ll try to get my weekly newsletter out. I think I can manage at least that.
One thing is certain: I’ll be glad to get back to my warm, warm house once War is over. Even though it snowed last night, I haven’t been cold inside at all, unlike the apartments we lived in. So there’s that.
I know, I know, I’ve been a bad blogger. A bad author, even. I took a whole weekend off to myself, and I spent absolutely none of it writing. No blog posts, no Twitter hashtag games, no new progress on my WIP. I basically spent the weekend embroidering, with bits of eating and napping thrown in. I was a lump.
Today I’m back to the “real” world, the world of work and deadlines and what have you. So I’m back, for good or bad, until the next rare weekend off. Today I plan on doing the #amwriting hashtags, I plan on getting ready for work and going in and doing my job. I plan on adulting.
Not much adulting was achieved this weekend. I took some of the trash over to my parents’ house, emptied the dishwasher, put away the laundry….all at the last minute. Oh, and I ate a salad. One salad.
On the plus side, I’ve hardly thought about work at all. This is a good thing, because work is one of the main stressors in my life, and one that I can only do so much about. It’s not like I can take time off of work just to decompress (like I have been with the SCA). I have to go. That’s just all there is to it. Which sucks, because the stress in my life is showing, and one supervisor and an administrator both took me aside at separate times Friday to discuss how stressed I’ve been and how they can help. Fuck. I hate when the bipolar seeps out to where it’s visible. That’s no good.
I did some reading this weekend as well. 1,4,3 by Alicia Sophia, a fellow Askew author. It’s good so far, but I think I’ve come close to figuring out the ending, which sucks because I’m only halfway in. But who knows? Maybe she wrote it that way on purpose as a ruse. I could be surprised after all once I finish.
Lots of rest did my soul good, but I need to put back on the jet pack and hit the ground running today. Gotta work, gotta come home and write or embroider, gotta work on a lesson plan for the embroidery classes I’m going to teach at Estrella, etc etc etc. Got a lot to do, and less and less time in which to do it. Why do I do this to myself again?
I’ve also got the embroidery for Their Royal Majesties to finish before Estrella is over. I kinda was working on my own stuff mostly this weekend. Bad me. Stupid flighty brain. But again, it did me some good. Focus on me, have some “me time” where I’m doing things for myself.
I hope I don’t seem as stressed at work today. I don’t need another supervisor taking me aside and chatting with me about how stressed/distracted I am.
Soon I’ll be back to writing. After Estrella, maybe. Get serious about cranking out Book 3 and that fun collaboration with my Askew author friend Angelique Jordonna. Her book, Dani (which I’ve had the pleasure of reading ahead of release), is amazing, and I know our book will be amazing as well. Just gotta get that first draft out. Lol
Oh! One more thing: I found out that a Laurel was looking at the embroidery I did on my husband’s Viking hood and, from what he says, she seemed impressed, enough so that she said she wanted to talk to me about it. That makes me feel good, because while I did slack a bit on the timing of finishing it, I worked hard on that hood. Plus, it’s a good ego boost when a Laurel is impressed with your work. Here’s a look:
Guess that’s all the update I have. Time to get ready for the ol’ day job. Shower, get dressed, put on some semblance of makeup to pretty-fy myself. That kind of thing.
Oh, wait! I did a live streaming interview/roundtable with some other authors! That was cool af! Here’s the link to the YouTube recording (it’s an hour long, but it’s a fun watch).
So the collaboration I’ve been talking about? It’s going great! I already knew that I had a lot in common with the other author, but we’re really getting into a rhythm here with this story that’s coming out of nowhere. It’s going very paranormal horror. I’m digging the story so far.
To give credit where it’s due, she wrote the prologue, which was originally intended as a short story. Well, we got to talking about how alike we are, and next thing you know we’re turning that prologue into a cool story.
Our minds seem to sync up with each other. It’s almost creepy how we just come up with similar plotlines independent of each other. And this is someone I’ve never spoken to in person (or even on the phone). Wild.
Oh, and my co-author? Angelique Jordonna. Look for her book, Dani, coming soon from http://www.rhetaskewpublishing.com. I’ve read it (yay for author sneaky-peeks!), and it’s amazing. It’s really going to be something to pick up. Trust me.
And yep, another Askew author. 🙂 We connected as fellow Askewians, and after chatting on Facebook for a while we realized how similar we are–we even wrote similar books. If you liked Whispers of Death, you’ll probably like Dani–and vice versa. 😉
We had a little bit of fun with our Editor in Chief when we got started with the new book, because Angelique is just that fun (and because hey, I’m game). She had our EiC guessing who her collaborator was, and it took a good week before she finally guessed it. Don’t get me wrong–it was all in good fun, and our EiC thought it was hilarious. The Messenger exchanges were especially funny…
I’m drawing a blank on Book 3 for now, but I think it’s because I’m not sure if I’m infodumping or not. Sometimes I get carried away with that, and I’m second guessing myself. Also, I can’t decide where to end the first chapter. I want to end it at a place where the reader wants to keep reading, but I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll come up with something for it soon. The weird thing is, I have a line I know I want in the book, but I’m not sure if it’s too early to use it yet. It’s one of those lines that’s like yeah, that would be awesome! Now I need to write the spot it goes in….
The bronchitis is inching its way out of my system, a little delayed by my forgetfulness with the medicines. I got them last night (thank you, Jeanette, for going out of your way to get my antibiotics and RA pills and crazy pills) so I’m back on the antibiotics, but I don’t know how far the two missed doses will set me back. I definitely had a hard time with the breathing and the coughing yesterday, but this morning I’m not coughing quite as much…which is good, because I seem to have misplaced my purse. I put it down when I got to the place we’re staying this weekend, but I have no clue where it went after that. It was in one place when I went to sleep, and it is clearly in another place now. So it’s a good thing I don’t need a cough drop too desperately right now, but I’ll have to find that purse as soon as my husband’s up to help me look. It has my inhaler, my keys, my wallet–my life, pretty much.
Well, missing bags, belated meds, and writer’s block aside, the weekend’s going okay. I’ll be glad to have a few free weekends coming up to chill and not be going going going. Then will come the insanity that is Estrella.
That’s what the surgeon at work says when he listens to a patient’s lungs. I always find myself unconsciously deep breathing with the patient as the doctor says this, and even though it’s relaxing in a way, it’s not enough for the day I had yesterday.
It was busy. I mean, I did some standing around, but it was mostly when I was standing still during the lasers. Mostly I was hurrying back and forth from room to room to room, and though I managed to get a break I never felt rested or relieved. It didn’t help that the heater was on at 73 all day long, and when I first got to the office it was so hot in the exam rooms that I immediately started sweating. From there, it got worse. Between the movement, the heat being on, and the stress of one problem after another, I ended up damn near drenched by the end of the long day. Even though the temperature was in the 40s when I left, I cranked the A/C to half blast and left a window open as I drove home. It took about fifteen minutes to cool off.
But I’m trying. I’m trying to calm down, trying to take those two deep breaths when I need to. I’m trying not to stress about the things I can’t change, and I’m trying to be more assertive in the things I can. Yeah, I’m still going out of town this weekend. I didn’t really try to fight with my husband on that. But I did tell him that I need to slow down and that I’m feeling stressed. I can’t do anything much about the work stress, but I can at least try to minimize the home stress. I will cut down on the SCA activities. Sadly, that sometimes means cutting down on time spent with friends who also participate in SCA activities.
Once my laundry is done–any minute now, really–I’m going to finish getting dressed, go to the post office, and go visit with a friend. I need that so much right now; “me” time with someone I enjoy talking to. I haven’t spent much time with my local SCA friends lately because I’ve been trying to cut back wherever I can, and unfortunately the local events and get-togethers have suffered. By the time I’m done with work, or back in town from a weekend away, or whatever, I just don’t have it in me to go exercise with my friends or go to rapier practice. I quit going to the monthly populace meetings and the months Court Nights because A – I’m not an officer anymore, so I don’t have to go to the populace meetings and B – no awards or recognitions are ever given out at Court Nights, so what’s the point? It’s generally a regurgitation of the information from the populace meeting, which I can easily get from my husband. So, long story short, I don’t see my local friends too much. Feeling kinda guilty about that lately, so I need to see when I can find the time to hang out with them where it won’t add to my already-full plate.
That being said, the next two months–basically now through Estrella War–are still going to be hectic. I still need to reevaluate the events I’ve agreed to attend and see which I can stay home for. I’ll feel bad leaving my husband to attend on his own, but I have to take my health and well-being into consideration. The stress is affecting me adversely, so I need need need to do this. For me. For my sanity. For my physical health and mental health. All of it.
Yeah, I know, that’s not how the line goes. But sometimes, even the day before Christmas, it’s hard to get into the spirit of the holiday.
Let me set a few things straight: I’m not Christian. So really, by “the spirit of the holiday” I mean “the spirit of giving gifts in appreciation of others.” December 25th is just a convenient, easy-to-remember day to give gifts that just happens to coincide with a day when a good portion of humanity is also giving gifts. Birthdays? Sure, I can give gifts on birthdays–if I can manage to remember them. Problem is, I tend to not remember. Facebook is about the only way I remember any birthdays, and that’s kinda cheating. Jesus’s birthday (let’s not argue the validity of the December birthdate just now) is a set date, a fixed point in time. The same every year, for everyone. Easy peasy.
I’ve got all the presents that need to be wrapped wrapped. Am I expecting much for myself? Not really–and that’s okay. It isn’t about what you get. I know people say that, but I mean it. I want to see my dad smile when he gets his gift; I want to see Mom smile. My sister, brother–I want people to be happy with what they get. What I get is inconsequential.
This is going to be a busy week–after Christmas comes a day of working on charts, then a Twelfth Night party with our household, then a full day of lasers, then a day off (whew!), then a weekend where I’m going to bow out of doing much of anything other than the craft projects that have backed up on me. I’ve got one and two-thirds Persian outfits to get done, a crapton of embroidery, and not a lot of time in which to get them finished. So I think I’m going to stay home for the majority of the Twelfth Night parties my husband has planned for us to go to. I just don’t have the time.