Work · Writing

Keep Going

Welp, I did not meet my goal of 4 hours yesterday, and probably won’t today either. It’s my fault, definitely, but I’ve been having trouble sleeping these few days because I’ve kind of been binging on bad news about Omicron. Yes, again, I know that’s bad for you and you shouldn’t read the news, especially on reddit, nowadays. But I did. And so I’m paying for the consequence of sleepless nights, really late wake-ups, and more worrying when it’s prime time to work. It’s a bad cycle.

In addition, I’m just sitting here looking at my document and characters, and thinking over and over how I don’t know anything about anyone, and I’m a terrible writer, and all kinds of self-doubt things. It’s stressful af I’m telling ya lol. The one small silver lining is that I am sitting down and looking, every day, despite it breaks me out in cold sweats. So maybe like, after a week or two I’ll get slightly less freaked out from exposure? I mean, my characters aren’t going to contribute to my stress, which is the difference between my writing and a forum where all kinds of random people can say things that add on to my stress. (Which is why I should ban reddit from all my devices not just my work computer, but alas, I sometimes like to read it for cute things.) I’m hoping me sitting here every day feeling inadequate would become me sitting here not feeling as inadequate in a month or two. Or at least tomorrow I’ll feel a smidge less inadequate than today. Sounds like coping but a couple of therapy exercises my psychologist assigned me seemed to utilize the same trick. So maybe it’ll work.

The key is just to keep going. So here I go sitting and stressing about how stupid my characters and me are for another few hours before giving up and going to sleep. And repeat the same thing tomorrow. And maybe I can snatch five or ten minutes here and there to work in between hyperventilating, which eventually will lead to less hyperventilating. Then, uh, I don’t know. Let’s get through this week first.


So Many Issues!

Okay, so this trip to Hawaii is super complicated apparently. Mostly due to Covid and the changing restrictions, but also because I am an idiot and suck. But first, let me talk to you about my mom.

Yeah, so you know the whole older generation doesn’t understand technology stereotype? Add to that the immigrant and speaking bad English stereotype, and we got an accurate picture of my mother. She’s not hopeless; she knows how to use a smartphone and can answer email and upload pdfs and pictures and such. But how to navigate a website so she can do all the pre-travel registrations to Hawaii? Yeah, no. (My dad’s even worse than her so he’s of zero help.) So what that meant was me staying on video chat with my five-year-old phone with her for hours, showing her step-by-step where to click and what to put in. My phone’s usually out of battery by the end and running super hot – yeah, guess who’s not upgrading to ios15 when it comes out? And before you ask why don’t I just enter everything myself, I can’t. It’s her email, her vaccine card, her travel itinerary, and also she usually tries to do things herself, and then get stuck, and then call me. Rinse repeat. And so, I also conveniently discovered that I literally cannot work if I get multiple phone calls from my mother throughout the day. Like, she’ll need help and call me, and then I help her for like 20 min. Then I hang up and try to go back to work, and takes like 20 min to get back in work, and then after 10 min she calls again. And it takes me even longer to get back into work mode. Whole work day wasted.

So I’ve decided I will block her when I work. Turn on DO NOT DISTURB, not 100% block her number. I also told her I’m doing this because I need to get work done so I told her if she needs me to do things call me after 9 pm her time. If it’s emergency leave a voicemail. I will periodically check to see if I have calls so I’ll definitely call her back if something happens. So yeah, I don’t want to not answer my mom’s calls but I think this is the best way. I know there are plenty of people who can continue things after a slurry of interruptions. Well, unfortunately I’m not one of those people. Again, the lesson I learned so far is work with reality not wishful thinking. So if reality is block your mom’s number, then that is what it will be.

And now, let me talk about my own fuck up. So my driver’s license expired. I was going to just get a Real ID one, but then the pandemic happened and everything shut down. So it got put on the back burner. Well, I realized my license expired and so I renewed it online. Except I was an idiot and didn’t realize the address was still an old address! Should’ve checked before I sent for a renewal! Sigh. So now I have scheduled a visit to the DMV to get this dumb thing fixed. 100% my fault, and such a stupid time too because it’ll arrive AFTER I leave for Hawaii. At least my passport is still in date (I definitely checked!). It’s like, not that big a deal by itself but with everything going on it’s just a giant pile of stuff to deal with. I seriously need a vacation.


Insurance and Water Leaks and a Million Phone Calls, Oh My!

Wow. You never realize how many steps there are to get some tricky medication covered by insurance until you have to, well, deal with insurance because you’ve received tricky medication. Well, it’s not “tricky,” it’s just a higher-than-average dosage, but apparently insurance freaks out over that. I’ve spent literally the past two weeks calling among three different insurance departments, two different pharmacies, and my doctor’s office every single goddamn day for at least an hour to get my new meds covered. Basically it needs to be verified by the doctor and the pharmacy, then get pre-authorization through several departments, then get an override because of the dosage increase, since insurance mistakenly thought I already picked up the full new dosage when I only picked up the old dosage, but because of that they won’t let me refill it before October when I needed it yesterday. The whole huge process is just a crapload of time wasted on phone calls and listening to hold music and explaining the same situation over and over and over and, yeah…

Good news is that I finally got through and successfully picked up my meds an hour before closing at a pharmacy I don’t usually go to. Turns out the factory that makes this medication was shut down for a while because of Covid, and so the prescribed amount did not arrive on time for me to pick it up. The pharmacist at my regular pharmacy is really nice, and she’s like, well, I would fill it partially but I’m afraid that it’ll trigger something with insurance and you can’t fill it again and then you have to do this whole thing again, so I’m just going to see if I can transfer you to this other pharmacy which I think have the full dose and you can go there. Oh and did I mention it’s like $400 of meds, for one month, and I need to be on it for at least three months even if everything goes well? The other pharmacist was like, are you sure this isn’t a mistake and I was like I wish, but no. She said when she called my regular pharmacy to verify she was told of the ridiculous runaround I had to do to get it covered, and she sympathize greatly. Good times!

While all this shenanigans are happening, our bathroom drain pipe decided to spring a leak (probably because one of the earthquakes) and soak a giant water bubble into our downstairs laundry ceiling. We peeled off the paint and drywall, put a bucket under the drip, and called a plumber. Someone came and fixed the pipe (small, simple leak) and then we got a water damage crew over to look for mold. They said there’s very little mold, and it’s a small job, but haven’t given us an exact quote yet. And then we have to call some construction people to patch the hole in the ceiling and/or replace the cabinets, depends on if they’re warped from water damage or not (won’t know until the water damage folks get going). And all these things are all relatively “small” but they all add up, you know? There was a lot more phone calls and texts and emails being exchanged but my s.o. handled most of those. What is with these few weeks? I’m having try #2 at getting pregnant next week and all these crap just have to pile on top of each other, don’t they? You know, they say the year 2020 is bad luck for folks born in the Year of the Rat. Superstition and all, but sometimes I really wonder.


It’s November!

It’s November folks! NOVEMBER!! Argh, I’m completely unprepared for this. Not for NaNoWriMo. Not for the trip to France. Certainly not for my novel to wrap up before the end of year. I’m so overwhelmed!!

I’m going to pack this weekend. Not leaving until mid next week but heck, it’s been a while since I’ve done any long-distance traveling. I also need to buy so many things – mainly makeup. So apparently the dry weather here (I mean So Cal was and is literally on fire; pretty close to where I live too. ) got my skin freaking out. I’ve developed either eczema or seborrheic dermatitis (had to google that word!) or something, and it’s annoying af because not only does it look crazy, but I literally don’t have any heavy coverage concealer that matches my skintone. Because I had combination skin (had, keyword) I always used very sheer coverage items, and I have horrible undereye circles so my concealers are two shades lighter than my light foundation. Now I have these ghastly red peeling skin and I have nothing to cover it up properly! Totally sucks – and, yeah, I’m certainly not walking around in PARIS looking like crazy. Don’t worry, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist, but I won’t be able to see them until I get back. Until I get a prescription cream to help it’s the magical power of makeup to the rescue.

Anyway, didn’t mean to go on that tangent. It’s like the least of my problems but it all adds up you know? I don’t think I need to see my therapist – yet – I can’t schedule a session anyway because he only schedules two weeks in advance. Meanwhile I might just make a new journal and just, confess everything that’s bothering me every day in that. You know he did tell me to do this as a strategy to cope before. After I got my depression and anxiety under control I stopped doing it. I really should pick that back up again. It’s definitely stifling my creativeness, and I can’t let that happen. I’ve got a book to finish after all.


Mood Tracker

I made a mood tracking page today in my bullet journal. The idea came when I was looking through Habitica (my productivity tracking software – I have a lot of trackers, okay??) and they had a challenge thing that say you should try to track your mood, three times a day, for a month. Well, October is the only month I actually don’t have to be anywhere else for an extended amount of time, so I thought why not? Made a tracker in my bujo and off we go.

Just so you know this morning I already woke up stressed. Don’t want to go into detail, but it was just me not ‘adulting’ right and general anxiety issues. I guess if I look through arguably my least crazy month this year and find out I’m stressed most of the time, maybe I should go back to my therapist. But then again, if things are getting done and I’m progressing forward, do I really have to go check myself? Major signs of depression is inability to do anything, right? I don’t think I’m depressed, because I’m still doing things (not at my peak capacity, but still doing things and not just, say, playing video games all day). If everything makes me anxious but I squash the anxiety and do everything anyway, and I don’t want to take more pills, does going to a therapist accomplish anything more?

(In the past I’ve only gone to my therapist when I couldn’t get anything done, as in I just lay in bed for weeks on end. Or stare at a blank page for three month in fear while not putting down a single word even though I already know what to write. Stuff like that. If I’m stressed while working but still working I’m categorizing that as ‘a normal adult life with responsibilities.’)

So I guess we’ll find out in a month how stressed I really am, and compare how much work I got done, and establish a baseline. That way I’ll know when stress is too much and impacting my productivity, and when it isn’t. Could be a good idea. And don’t worry, I can recognize when I’ve fallen off the edge and need to see a therapist again. I just don’t think it’s necessary right now.


No Motivation

I’ve been bitten by the lack of motivation bug lately. By lately I mean, well, most of this year so far, barring the super productive month I had of April and the two months before that where I was as sick as a dog and couldn’t even sit up to look at my computer. The point is, my May and June should’ve both been as productive as April, but they’re totally not. And I’m a little pissed off about it.

I know people get discouraged a lot in life. Most people have to just keep pushing no matter what, and I’m definitely on the luckier side in which I won’t starve and be homeless even if I don’t do much. I mean I won’t be rich by any means, but I can get by. And that just makes me feel really, really bad. Like I’m a leech on society. My work is definitely self-motivated, and there are so many people who work so hard and see absolutely zero recognition in the field of writing (and no money whatsoever). I’m accepting of that; I don’t expect fame and I don’t expect J.K. Rowling level of money. Hell, I don’t expect Gregory Maguire level of money and fame (I don’t actually know how much Gregory Maguire makes, I assume much less than Rowling but still significant. Plus, he’s a name people have heard of, and if you haven’t, well, he wrote the book the Broadway musical Wicked was based on.) I don’t expect fame at all, with maybe enough money to scrape by, but that’s not what I’m angry about. There’s a huge difference between you finish a book, get it published, and it doesn’t sell well; and you never finish the book in the first place, and you’re afraid of even picking up the damn, metaphorical pen.

I know people who’re passionate about their projects and their jobs who live and breathe the stuff. I wish I could just devote myself to the project, like those folks do, 24/7. It’s stressful just thinking about the work right now, and I’m not sure what exact steps I can take to address this. You know my husband once did say that maybe I’m actually more suited to a more traditional job, and if that’s the case, too late now! There’s nowhere to go but forward, even though every steps is more (mentally) painful than the last, and I can’t really see the end any time soon.