TueSLAY – November 24th

Let’s catch up, shall we?

Hi. How is your NaNoWriMo project coming along? I’m at 36,404 words and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I think getting to 20,000 feels like a milestone but moving between 20,000 and 30,000 seems to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. But now that I’m past 30,000, I’m motivated to keep going because I’m getting so close!

My project has been ALL over the place this go around. I’ve been a NaNo Rebel, writing whatever comes to my mind. And that’s not necessarily been my “official” NaNoWriMo project. I’ve called my project “Limitless”, meaning without boundaries, without limitations. But I haven’t written a word FOR my project. I’m using this NaNo to start a writing habit. I’ve gotten out of practice and I want to get back into it. And call me crazy, but the more I write, the more I think of things TO write. It really is true about your brain, perhaps even your creativity, being a muscle you need to work in order to cultivate it and make it stronger.

Though I don’t think I’ll blog every day, I definitely want to blog more often. Whether that’s fiction, my life, or about whatever has been weighing on my heart, like our current political climate, for example. I must be doing something right because the number of hits on my blog has gone up. I think most of that has to do with the fact that I think the Word Press site actually featured my blog one day, according to the hits, anyway. How cool but nerve wracking at the same time.

This is me, in all my flawed glory.

I do think I’ve discovered the secret to NaNoWriMo this go around, though. Are you ready?

Writing sprints.

I have been DIGGING the writing sprints. It’s the next best thing to a writing group, honestly. In fact, in some ways, it’s even better for me because we all know how I feel about real-life friends. Well, maybe you don’t know, let me explain. I’m a loner. I’m an introvert and I’m happiest when I’m by myself. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy Kevin’s company or when the boys come over, but for the most part, I’m perfectly fin with my own company. Time is so valuable and when I have time to myself, I really cherish it. But. Being my myself is not very motivating. Which is a big reason I watch YouTube videos, for inspiration and to enjoy human interaction (though you can’t technically call watching YouTube videos interacting) on MY terms. I can leave whenever I want and I don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings.

So when I stumbled on to the writing sprints on YouTube, I’d died and gone to writing heaven. It was perfect for me. I felt like I was in a writing group without actually being in a writing group and we were all writing and working at the same time. I knew I wanted to do the Pomodoro Technique of writing and writing sprints incorporated that. I have really been digging the writing sprints. I mainly do writing sprints with the Word Nerds, though I have participated in some of Brooke’s as well. Though she’s sweet, she’s a little too cheery for my taste. (No offense, Brooke!) And today, I didn’t participate, though I will at some point, in Cam’s ten-hour writing sprint. Yes. He livestreamed writing sprints for ten straight hours. Now that’s dedication!

Anyway. If you haven’t tried writing sprints, I HIGHLY recommend them. I found them super helpful and I will absolutely continue participating in writing sprints all year long as I feel like that really helps my writing productivity.

This nurse I work closely with contracted COVID. In fact, her whole family got it. It started with her oldest daughter and then they all caught it. She’s been pretty sick, body aches, heaviness in her chest, difficulty catching her breath and now she has lost her sense of smell/taste. This has freaked out clinic out a bit. This is a little too close to home, thank you very much. So far, I have felt fin though I had a sore throat a few days last week I really think it’s been my sinuses. I feel pretty good today. But potentially being exposed made me decide NOT to participate in Kevin’s family Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, his youngest sister and her family decided not to participate some weeks back, the kids are too nervous to be around his folks, who are smack dab in the vulnerable age group for COVID. We were going to go, but not now. I don’t want to risk exposing them to COVID simply because I’ve been in close proximity to someone who has it. It has greatly upset my mother-in-law but unfortunately, these are the cards we’ve been dealt. I know it’s rough on our older generation as they would likely rather spend these twilight years with their family but God willing, we will be able to spend more holidays with them as opposed to celebrating this holiday and this maybe being the LAST holiday.

I think one of the reasons I remain healthy is because I’m naturally a recluse anyway. I’m not around a lot of people anyway, which is ideal for this nightmare we’re all living at the moment.

By the way, have you noticed toilet paper is hard to come by again? We were smart and stocked up over the summer months predicting this might happen and well, here we are again. Cases have spiked and we have 150 people in our hospital with COVID as of the date of this post. That’s the most it’s been since this whole thing started. I’m predicting one of the reasons cases spiked is because people were out celebrating Biden’s unofficial win and the MAGA march in DC. I also wonder how many of these cases are actually influenza as the number of cases this season have been suspiciously low. (They are most likely being counted as COVID cases. It’s so hard to know what’s true and what’s false nowadays).

I’ve only read two books this month so far. I know it’s largely because I’ve been spending all of my energies on writing but still, I miss having the time to read. I had to adjust my reading goals on Goodreads from 100 books to 90 books because I won’t make it to 100 now that I’m focusing on NaNoWriMo. But that’s okay because it’s been nice to flex my creativity this month – I feel like I set her free and she can breathe again.

(Yes, my creativity is a girl).

Blake turned 28 this month and Kevin is … older as well. (I’m not sure he would want me to mention his age). I can’t believe our first born is nearly 30!! This makes me feel so odd … because I know this makes me old but I don’t FEEL old. It’s such a bizarre feeling to look oneself in the mirror and SEE the sagging skin and the wrinkles and KNOW my age but don’t FEEL my age. It’s like I’m looking at an imposter, someone else has taken over my body and where did I go? I try not to think too much about my age and that time continues to march firmly on, but I can’t hide my head in the sand forever – I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get back into writing again – I’d like to leave a little bit of me behind. Death is so final.

 We put our Christmas tree up. We, okay, I, broke down and bought a new tree this year. Kevin wasn’t exactly thrilled that I bought a new tree but I got a really good deal on a 7.5 tree at Target for $100 and I went for it. I’m pretty happy with it. It comes in three pieces and when it’s fluffed, it’s quite full. It took me a quarter of the time it usually does as our old tree I had to put on each individual branch and then fluff it as I went. I haven’t gotten around to decorating it but Kevin did put multi-colored lights on it. I’m sort of satisfied with it only having lights on it, though I think I’m mainly just being lazy not wanting to drag all of the decorations out. As fast as time flies, I’m tempted to be one of THOSE people and just leave the damn thing up all year long because let’s face it, it feels like it’s only a few months from the time you take it down to putting it back up again anyway as fast as time flies.

So my hairdresser, whom I’ve been going to for … three/four (ish) years? Is closing her doors. It’s a small salon, just the two girls, they are best friends and unfortunately, COVID did them in. They are closing their doors on December 19th and will be going into the medical field. They will be phlebotomists. Which seems like a strange field to choose after being hairdressers but they wanted to do something in a field that they didn’t have to worry about having jobs everyday. I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been for them not knowing if they were going to be able to keep their business alive every day. It was sad, and I nearly cried, because you could tell they were upset by it, but, one of the girls will be working for the hospital that I’m working at and I was telling them they should look into becoming Medical Assistants. They didn’t want to go to school for that and guess what, you don’t really need to. Lots of places, including the clinic I work at, will hire you if you don’t have any experience or any schooling, you learn on the job. So I told them that if they get to the point they are thinking of becoming medical assistants to let me know because we’re ALWAYS looking for MA’s. We have a high turn over, not because of the job, though it is crazy busy and can be stressful, but because a lot of medical assistant go on to nursing school so the position ends up being a stepping stone to bigger and better things. So who knows? I may end up working with one of them in the future. You just never know.