I have a secret.
I’ve been keeping this secret for over two years now but now it’s time to confess. Are you ready? Don’t think less of me …
I wear false eyelashes. *GASP* I KNOW!
But hear me out. I wear falsies (every time I hear that word, I think of pasties and that’s VASTLY different and something I DON’T do) because now that I’m a *ahem* mature woman (I know – I can’t believe it either – because I certainly don’t act my age), and I’ve gone through the “change”, (yes, I’m really THAT old), my hair is thinning – every where. Not only on my head, but my leg hair (doesn’t THAT sound attractive) doesn’t grow as fast. Which, BONUS. But my arm hair has virtually all fallen out, (I used to have hairy arms – no more!), and the hair on my head is thinning, which I’m NOT a fan of (hence the reason I now take Biotin and have to clip my fingernails and toenails way more often – which is a con, in my book), but it also means my eyelashes have thinned out.
They were already short, thin and straight before, now they’re short, thin, straight and sparse. Yeah. Not a fan. Plus, I love the look of false eyelashes, so long and curly, they really frame the eyes and I’ve often been told my eyes are my best feature (they’re the color of poop, the cardboard colored poop, not the inky black poop that could indicate serious GI problems – can you tell I work in healthcare??) so it’s fun to add lashes and really make my eyes pop.
But I was scared to death when I started wearing them. I was convinced my co-workers would look at me strangely, seeing something different but not sure what was different but too polite to actually ask me. And they would have if I had chosen to wear the big spider legs long lashes but no, I choose to wear lashes that don’t “stick out” that far. (See what I did there?) I wear KISS brand “Shy” lashes as I find they give me just enough “oomph” to make my eyes pop but not enough to make people do a double-take when they look at me.
I use dark eyelash glue because I wear a lot of black eyeliner and I feel like it really blends in nicely with that. And I use a lot of glue because your girl has NO TIME to worry about wonky lashes during my work day and I want to make sure those suckers stay glued down. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert of putting them on, but I am definitely more confident and faster than I used to be putting them on.
I can make a pair of lashes last six days before they start looking ratchet and clumpy. I clean them have way through. I know that sounds gross, but I don’t have patience to spend 20 minutes on plucking the glue off each lash so by the end of the third day, I soak them down pretty good with mascara removal, I use this kind, and once they are good and wet, I grab hold of some glue with my fingers and tug it off. Sometimes it comes off all together and it’s so satisfying when that happens, but more often than not, it doesn’t and I end up stretching the band and I have to trim the ends because now it’s stretched so much it’s too long for my eyelid.
Though they look like they’re been worn a full week by Saturday, (I go makeup-less on Sundays to give my poor face a break), they’re really not that bad and I probably could make them stretch another week if I wanted to but again, I don’t want to take the chance of people looking at me and thinking, “what the hell is wrong with her face? Why does it look different today?” Especially since I wear glasses and I feel that is a neon sign that messages people TO LOOK AT MY EYES, WILL YA?
Anyway. I’ve gotten used to them and I like the way they look and I have pretty good luck with them keeping their curve and looking decent.
Until this past week. I’m in the middle of a package of lashes so I don’t think I got a bad batch, but the lashes I’ve worn this week have a lost their curl and now they just look like my normal lashes, only longer and more clumpy. Meaning, they stick straight out instead of curling nicely. It took me until today to figure out what likely happened: Thanksgiving happened. And I cooked, that’s what happened.
I never cook, just to be clear. But since we were forced to spend Thanksgiving away from our family, (well, we weren’t forced to spend Thanksgiving away from our family we CHOOSE to spend it away from our family because it was the responsible, adult thing to do since the nurse I work with and her entire family tested positive for COVID), I had to cook for my family. Kevin cooked chicken fajitas for lunch and I cooked spaghetti for dinner … do you see where I’m going with this? I cooked hamburger meat and noodles, which means lots and LOTS of steam. I’m pretty sure I steamed the curl right out of my lashes.
How annoying. And proof positive that cooking SUCKS. That will be my excuse the next time I need to cook for a get together. “Um, sorry. I can’t cook dinner – it will make my eyelashes droop.” I can just imagine Kevin’s face. HAHA!
So I won NaNoWriMo!! Woohoo! It’s been a hot minute since that happened. Let’s see … I’ve been with the hospital for nine + years now and I haven’t done NaNoWriMo since I started working there so … wow, ten years since I’ve participated. I did NaNoWriMo four or fives times in the early 2000’s but I think I’ve only won … two other times? Those times are not recorded on the NaNoWriMo website, which I’m bummed about, but I get it, it’s been nearly ten years after all. And the NaNo website has been overhauled since I last participated.
At any rate, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m especially proud of myself because writing 50,000 words and working full time is no small feat. There is no way I could have done it with small children though so any young moms out there, whether you’re working outside the home or not, kudos to you for whatever word count you achieved.
I was a total NaNo Rebel. I know myself and my writing “style” and I knew there would be no way I would stick to one project. I have too much going on, too much on my mind, to just stick to one thing. Kevin and I have rather become political junkies and between that podcast and my own podcast (which I plan on getting back to now that NaNoWriMo is over), there’s just too much to think about and sort through. So, I took a hybrid approach this challenge. I counted all of my blog posts and my fiction, of course, toward my final count. However, I wrote nine pieces of fiction this month so I’m pretty happy with that. I was also able to keep track of the crazy election
fraud process as well as COVID which I wrote about on the blog, too. I just have too much on my mind to stick to one project and honestly, I think it helps my creativity because I’m dumping my chaotic thoughts into this blog which frees up space to jump-start my creativity.
I’ve also been journaling in my bullet journal as well. I write my private thoughts in there, things I wouldn’t want to share with the Internet, and that has helped clear our even more space allowing my muse room to spread her wings.
I really enjoyed writing Maya, Dree and Jax’s pre-stories. I enjoyed getting to know them a bit better and to switch scenarios. It was also fun to write from a man’s perspective. I find myself wanting to put in “dude” a lot, as if guys really talk that way to each other, for the most part. I went a little overboard on the word count for Jax but … his story seemed to demand more. I wanted to show his relationship to Gabi and Bethany as I felt it would make the end even more impactful. I have no idea if I succeeded, but I’m pretty happy with it.
I almost bought a “Winner’s” t-shirt, but I decided against it. I’ve already spent so much money on the boys for Christmas that I felt it was a bit overboard to spend another $25 dollars on a t-shirt. I did buy the NaNoWriMo 2020 t-shirt, which I actually don’t like, but I wanted something to remind me of participating in NaNoWriMo.
Things I learned from this experience? A lot, actually. I’m beginning to think I’m not capable of writing a novel but rather, maybe I should focus more on a collection of short stories. I think it would be fun to somehow weave all of those short stories into a bigger story line or a theme. I know that quantity is not really an issue for me. For example, I used a lot of writing sprints on YouTube, which were HUGELY motivational for me and I hope these same YouTubers continue to do word sprints throughout the year, but when comparing my word count to those participating live at the time, I usually wrote way more than anyone else. My issue is, quality. Well, quality and direction. I write a lot but it doesn’t seem to go past a certain point. I get to that point and mark it done when it really isn’t. I don’t even know what I write could be classified as stories, but maybe more like scenes.
Maybe I should write a collection of scenes that somehow makes a story and/or a novel.
I’m also fascinated by the whole AuthorTube thing on YouTube. I’d like to become part of that community, maybe even participating in live streams, but I don’t know. I’m so much older than these kids and though I’m okay with putting my work online, who knows if I’m good enough to be accepted into a group. Does that make sense? All I know is that I’m very interested in the AuthorTube community and I wouldn’t mind giving that a go. Better yet, I think a hybrid approach of being part of the BookTube and AuthorTube community would suit me better since I’m an avid reader. My problem with the BookTube part of this is I read so fast and am itching to get to the next book I don’t have the patience to slow down and talk about the one I just read.
But … (this is what it’s like to be inside my head, ya’ll), I don’t see myself reading as many books in 2021 because I really want to keep this writing momentum going so … maybe participating in both BookTube and AuthorTube will motivate me to continue reading and writing.
Thought I would share a screenshot of my stats with you.
I pretty much stayed on task. I went three, sometimes four days in a row without writing a word, but then I caught up on the weekends and produced 6000/7000 words. Anyway, it’s over now and I plan on continuing to write. I hope YouTubers continue to host writing sprints because those were SUPER helpful and productive for me.
Telemedicine is killing me. Seriously. I can’t even tell you how stressful this year has been at work. And I don’t even work directly with COVID patients, I can’t imagine what kind of toll it’s taken on the poor saps assigned to work directly with COVID patients. But Telemedicine is it’s own special kind of hell. When it works and things are going smoothly, I love it. It really is efficient and it’s nice the patients don’t have to come into the office. But when it doesn’t …. good God, give me patience. It astounds me that in today’s society, with smartphones and all sort of cool gadgets that I thought people were used to by now, people do not know how to access his/her email from their phones. Or how to download an app. And I’ve never claimed to be patient, in fact, I would say I’m one of the most impatient people on planet Earth, but holy cow … I really should get an award for keeping my cool and not blowing my top and making a fool out of myself. I can’t tell you the number of times I have literally felt like walking out and a few times, I’ve gone to the restroom and thought, “what would happen if I just got my stuff and left?” I’ve thought so much of doing that that at times the thought becomes more and more possible, which scares me.
We’re still only seeing patients via Telemedicine. I think my doctor is doing it for us because with our nurse and her family coming down with COVID, I think he’s trying to protect us, his team. I get that, and I appreciate that, but I WISH we could go back to seeing patients in the clinic. I never realized, until COVID hit and we had to go to Telemedicine how much easier that was! I used to bitch because seeing patients face-to-face all the time was exhausting and it is exhausting, but when compared to the sheer frustration and mind-blowing madness that is Telemedicine, I will never again bitch about seeing patients face-to-face again. All of my doctor’s partners are seeing patients in the office, or the majority of them, anyway. I’m jealous of those teams. I’m jealous of those MA’s because the sheer work that goes into Telemedicine is off the charts. Calling everyone and talking them through the process is not a five minute conversation, it’s not a ten minute conversation, I spend, on average, 20 minutes with each patient leaving me very little time to get my regular work done or to return other phone calls. So that by the time I get around to my other work, it’s time to prep for the next clinic, clean up the previous clinic and/or fill in and help another doctor and his patients because we’re short handed and the people we’ve hired are still in training and won’t be up and running by themselves any time soon.
We still have a hospital full of COVID patients. We still have quite a few employees out with COVID so I understand the precautions, of course I do, but this year has aged me. And there are days I get home and just feel WIPED. OUT. I’m mentally tapped out. Do not ask me to speak or think because I’m incapable of it. I spend my time zoning out on YouTube videos because I can’t bring myself to think about another single thing.
I know some of it is because my nurse has been out and though I’ve had plenty of help from other nurses, it’s not the same. This job has challenged me like I’ve neve been challenged in life before and though it’s rewarding on so many levels, other times I look at myself in the mirror and ask, “WHY AM I DOING THIS??” I could go anywhere else and have a lot less stress (and probably make more money, let’s be honest) and yet, I stay. I feel loyal to my team. I could never abandon them, especially with our nurse being out right now. But …. *SIGH* this COVID nightmare HAS TO END. Right?? It’s can’t go on forever, right?? I feel like everyone has been pushed to his/her limits and we just can’t take anymore. Something has to give. Something has to change. We can’t keep this momentum indefinitely.
And now Dr. Fauci is talking about canceling Christmas and New Year’s Eve. STOP ASKING US TO GIVE UP SOMETHING. The American people are close to snapping. We can’t take much more of this. Truly. Something has to give. I have a feeling it might be my sanity.