Busy Before Sunrise

 

Good morning all and special shout out to the new friends I made this morning while the registers were down. (*Waves* Hi Samantha!)  It took me a little longer to leave the store, but it all worked out in the end. Sometimes things that should be irritations work to our benefit. It’s not always easy to see it that way but I am happy when I can.

In case you are wondering why I was out and about before the sun, I took the kids out for pancakes before the rest of the world became too crowded. I am doing much better. I’ve had a few anxiety attacks since my last post but no more panic attacks.

I have taken the precautions of avoid large crowds when I can and I’ve cut out most caffeine for now. For frequent readers of my blog, you know of my love of tea and coffee so this has been difficult. I bought decaf but I just can’t bring myself to drink it. Silly, I know.

I haven’t managed a lot of writing over the last few days. I tire a lot easier right now than I normally do. Most of my concentration has been spent on feeling better and household tasks. However, I plan on spending a lot of time catching up on writing today. I have several books that really need to be finished. I guess I better get to it.

Open book magic on black

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Thick With Sleep

Garfield-Mornings-garfield-172375_312_318Waking up today feels like pulling myself out of a tub of molasses. In a good way. I slept solid last night. I entered so deeply into the realm of dreams that I don’t remember sleeping and I’ve not quite returned to waking.

Yesterday was my son’s 11th birthday. His party was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It was three hours of happy social interaction but by the time I got home I was done in. Only stubbornness helped me stay awake until a reasonable bedtime. (I would have just given in, but my daughter was out with a friend. I was waiting for her to be brought home.)

catnapAfter weeks of restless sleep and waking feeling like the day before never stopped; this thick with sleep feeling is welcome. It is cool outside which makes hot coffee all the more enjoyable. I don’t know what this Monday will hold but I am greeting it with a sleepy contented smile and a warm cup.

Worries By Moonlight

moonlightIt is roughly 4:30 in the morning where I am right now. I have an alarm set to wake me up at 8:15. No, I am not sleep typing and I didn’t write this in advance and set it to post at dark thirty.

I am awake even though I don’t want to be. I imagine I will want to be awake even less around 8:15. I took a sleep aid, a warm shower, and read The Hobbit to my son for two hours. He fell asleep but I didn’t. I can seem to turn my brain off.

barrel-373040_1280I close my eyes and imagine barrels, heavy laden with dwarves, bobbing down a cold river and then my brain shifts to all the things I need to do before 2 PM and the imagination bubble pops. Out of desperation I am now trying cold cereal.

I agreed to go watch the new Jurassic Park movie after 2:00, so everything that I can accomplish needs to be done before then. I can’t put anything off because my son has plans on Tuesday and I go back to work Wednesday.  I can’t even say my to do list contains a lot of writing. It is more like doctor’s appointments and phone calls.

I really need to get this home schooling thing sorted before I have to go back to work. I need to return to the doctor for a follow up on some blood work.(I was supposed to last Wednesday but skipped out because I was exhausted.) I have to set up an appointment for my son. (I’ve forgotten that one for three weeks in a row.) And my daughter needs to get a shot before they will let her back to school this fall.

Really the home schooling is the one I am stressing out over the most. With doctor’s and things I kind of know what to expect. Home school is an unknown variable for me. I don’t have enough information to begin making a plan.

I even gave the poor dog a bath at 1 AM, thinking that maybe if I got at least one thing off my list I would sleep better. The dog was confused but didn’t fight me. He seems to be sleeping well too.

This sleeplessness has been a running theme for me lately. I am tired but I can’t sleep. My brain just won’t go into standby mode. However, my bowl is now empty and the house is two degrees cooler because I fiddled with the thermostat. I guess I will go give it another shot. Maybe writing down my worries has helped.

A Monday For Facing Fears

Hello. It is Monday again. The sky is overcast and the grass is still damp with dew. I have been up for a bit but I am just now sitting down to write this. I have been stalling.

You see, if I sit down and write a blog post that means it is really Monday. This Monday. The Monday where I once again have to do something that I don’t really want to do because it scares me a little.

Now before any of you get ideas of doctor appointments or tightrope walking into your heads, it really isn’t that big of a deal to the rest of the world. Once I go and get things over with it won’t seem like a big deal to me either. It is the time before I actually step out of my door that is the worst.

I have to go out into the world and adult today. Yes adult can be used as a verb. If you don’t think so, just wait. One day you will do a thing and it will be something that is necessary but not really something you want to do. In fact you would probably like to avoid that thing all together. However, you will take a deep breath and do it anyway. That is adulting. (In some cases “adulting” can be not doing a thing you do really want to do.)

I have to put on my adult costume and go pretend to be something I’m not. I am an adult. I have bills, pets, kids, laundry and everything. It all gets paid, fed, or washed. But to the rest of the world I get the feeling that I am just not quite adult enough. I have to go confront the local school board over my son today. I may even be home schooling before the day is out.

(Summary of the issue is that they want my social anxiety afflicted son to move schools during his last year of primary because he is not zoned for the school he has attended since kindergarten. Makes sense except for the fact he has never been zoned for that school but it hasn’t been a problem until now.)

Sometimes I feel I have to over adult because once someone in power find out I am a single mom, for some reason my adult meter drops. I watch it happen. There is this little smirk that comes up in the corner of their mouths and their eyes say “Oh, that’s what we are dealing with.”

If they find out I am pursuing the dream of being a writer the meter drops even more. It is like I am a little kid dressed up in her mom’s shoes and no longer have to be taken seriously. I hate, hate, hate being humored or patronized. If you are going to look down on me at least do it in a way that gives me a chance to fight back.

I am not on welfare. I am paying my own mortgage. I work 72 hours in one week, then come home and do all the other stuff people have to do and be mom.  (Okay my incredibly wonderful mother helps me out with some of that.) Then I write because I am a writer. I can and I will pursue that dream. Just because I happen to not have a mate does not mean I have to give up on everything and go wallow in how hard life is.

I even have a freaking vegetable garden in the back yard! If anything I feel like they should be taking me more serious or at least trying help me out a little. But that is not the way it goes. Instead I am silently put into a stereotype box and anything I say from that point on will be viewed wearing shades colored by that box.

It is incredibly frustrating and I don’t like confrontation to begin with. Writing it all out here has helped. I don’t feel so uneasy now. I am going to go forth into battle before my courage fades. Wish me luck.

Insecurities and titles

Tammi05-SneakPeek-AI am still getting used to the idea of being an author. I like the term writer better. It feels less…well self important, I guess. I am more of a bluejeans and t-shirts type of girl. The word “Author” makes me think of button up shirts and pressed slacks for some reason.

I should know better. I have met a lot of different author and every last one of them was very nice and not pompous at all. There were some in suits and some in slacks but there were also those in pirate costumes and utili-kilts with bottled frappacinos in the pockets.

It is an insecurity I need to over come. It is not like the other authors are going to turn on frabz-Pitchfork-Mob-ready-and-waiting-253c36me in mass and start yelling, “Fake! She’s a Fake! Raise the pitch forks!” Yet that is what I secretly expect.

However, it is the same at school gatherings too. I never feel like I fit in with the other parents. I feel like I need to make sure I am close to the exits in case the P.T.O demands a human sacrifice or something. Because deep down I know that it is going to be me or one of the lone dads in the crowd and I am pretty sure they can run faster.

Part of it comes from being an introvert and part of it comes from self doubt and the ghosts of nay sayers. Insecurity is a hurtle I will over come. It shrinks with each new book. I have three manuscripts in the re-write stage and one short story that is almost through editing.

you_fail_only_if_you_stop_writingThe short story will be sent off to my cover artist soon and then will be available on Amazon for the Kindle and ect. I have too much writing to get done to be hung up on insecurities. I will face them as they come. The title “Author” is just a shield. I am still a “Writer” underneath it all. Just like a Knight may wear armor but is still a squishy human inside the metal casing.

Dealing with the family demon

I am sitting at a cafe with a cup of coffee and my ten-year old son asleep across the booth. All around me the clatter of noise bounces but we are safe from the chaos thanks to the tall seats of our refuge. My son is snoring softly and that is the only sound I care about at the moment, not the squeaky string music piped through the store, not the loud whisper of voices from other tables, and not the hiss of steaming milk.

My son should be at school right now but neither of us really slept last night. We were too busy doing battle with the anxiety demon. I am reminded a scene from the movie done about Bruce Lee’s life. In the film, there is this haunting snippet that is sort of like a dream sequence. He has to face the demon that is his family curse dressed in armor. My family demon is anxiety. It is more ninja like than armored warrior. Even when it is expected it can still surprise us.

Today I have a meeting with the principal of my son’s elementary school. I may be leaving with my pockets a bit more empty than they already are, because they may decide to slap me with a fine. Too often he has been late to school and that apparently violates some state law.

Perhaps keeping him out on the day I have this meeting seems like a bad idea, but we were losing our minds this morning thanks to stress and no sleep. So after the second time someone burst into tears I decided enough was enough. I dropped my daughter off at school, stopped by the pharmacy for some tissues, and then sought out breakfast. My son worked on some homework and I organized my notes for the upcoming meeting.

There is a reason why my son is late often enough to require a meeting and a fine, some days he gets so upset at the thought of school, all the people, and facing a teacher who keeps trying to change his very nature that he throws up all over himself. Usually this will happen right before we leave or even in the car. That throws our schedule off because it takes time to change clothes and clean up. Also there are days that he dreads going so much that he drags his feet as much as possible. I have had to carry him to the car before. So getting him to school, even late, feels like a victory those days. (He has been late 8 times this school year.)

After looking over his records I have discovered he is most often late on Thursdays. Thursdays are Rally days at his after school program. All of the kids are crammed into one room and it is really loud. I think him dreading that crowd of chaos at the end of the day is the reason he is often late at the beginning.

Now that we have each had a warm drink, our anxiety demons are at least soothed and napping. We can step forward and face the day pretending to be people unaffected by invisible monsters. At least until the next attack.

Sharing Burdens

I feel like I am hanging on to the end of a frayed rope and my palms are sweaty. If I think too much I will have a major anxiety attack and end up back in bed, under the blankets, and trying not to hyperventilate. I’ve got troubles. Doesn’t everyone?

I know that the things going on right now that are stressing me out will pass. And once time moves me past this trial it won’t seem as insurmountable as it does now. Sometimes living with anxiety depression makes you feel like even small tasks are the equivalent to Frodo taking the one ring to Mount Doom.

Today I am facing a second trip to the doctor for my sick son. I also have a million tiny errands that need to be done. I need to make some phone calls, buy cat food, acquire doctors notes, and manage to pick my daughter up from school.

Monday I have a meeting at my son’s school because he has been absent a lot this year. He has inherited my anxiety demon. It, combined with a few other stressors, has made this school year hell. There have been times I have had to drag him begging to the car and you don’t want to know how many times he has thrown up on himself because of stress.

This meeting has me all tied in knots. I am trying to prepare for it. I don’t like confrontation to begin with and now I have to stand up and plead my son’s case or leave with a fine. Ironically, the day after he brought home the note for the meeting, he woke up with a 103.3 degree fever. I took him to the doctor yesterday and they said it is the flu. Again. (He has already the flu once this school year, before Christmas.) They want to see him again today. He will be out all week.

I did have plans to attend a Cherry Blossom Festive this weekend. That has been scrapped in favor of playing Nurse Mom and fretting over the future. I know worrying over the out come of the meeting will not change anything, but that doesn’t stop my brain from going: What if… and then chasing the thoughts around and around like a dog going after his own tail.

I find  that writing things out does help. That is one of the reasons I am writing this. I don’t have to share these words on line but I probably will anyway.  Because, I know I am not the only anxiety depressive out there. Sometimes reading about other people’s struggles makes your own seem smaller. Sometimes it makes you feel less alone.

If one person reads these words an thinks “Oh, I do that” or “Yeah, feeling overwhelmed sucks,” then these words will have meant something more than just me calming myself down. They will have reached out into the world and connected me with another person, and that is a precious, wonderful thing. It means I am not alone either.