Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 12/31/18

Y’all, 2018 is almost over! How on earth did that happen! Seriously, does anyone else feel like this year went by incredibly fast? Not that I am necessarily complaining. This year was a tumultuous year for me, in good and bad ways. By the end of this year though, I feel like things are finally settling down. I feel more positive about life than I have in a long time, and not just because I am trying to make goals for 2019, but because my life is just better now. Let’s take a look:

  • Celebrated by 10 year anniversary with my husband.
  • Finally left my old job (for good this time) that was killing me and am now in a job working for a company that legitimately cares about its employees’ welfare.
  • Still battling with my various health issues, but since leaving my old job brought a significant drop in stress, my symptoms have gone way down.
  • Working on building my relationship back up with my daughter and making plans to help her with some of her goals.

All good things, right? How is this my life now!

I have some health related goals for this year, but seeing as this is primarily a book blog, I am going to go over my reading goals, starting with how I did for last year.

goodreads-icon

I originally, due to my reading slumps, had made my GoodReads goal to read 35 books this year. I met that goal in September, so I bumped it up to 50, and met that earlier this month. A lot of this has to do with the fact that I re-read two series in December that I read pretty quickly, but in my defense, it had been a while since I had read them the first time. So they were due. Here’s my final list (assuming that I will not finish my current read today):

  1. Want by Cindy Pon
  2. The Circle by David Eggers
  3. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  4. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
  6. Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
  7. Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
  8. Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
  9. Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
  10. The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman
  11. Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
  12. Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
  13. Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
  14. Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
  15. House Rules by Chloe Neill
  16. Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
  17. A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
  18. Fables & Reflections by Neil Gaiman
  19. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  20. Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman
  21. Biting Bad by Chloe Neill
  22. World’s End by Neil Gaiman
  23. The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
  24. The Wake by Neil Gaiman
  25. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  26. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  27. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  28. Wild Things by Chloe Neill
  29. Blood Games by Chloe Neill
  30. Dark Debt by Chloe Neill
  31. Midnight Marked by Chloe Neill
  32. Blade Bound by Chloe Neill
  33. Steel Lily by Megan Curd
  34. Iron Pendulum by Megan Curd
  35. 18 Things by Jamie Ayres
  36. Furiously Happy:A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  37. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
  38. 18 Truths by Jamie Ayres
  39. 18 Thoughts by Jamie Ayres
  40. Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
  41. Splintered by A.G. Howard
  42. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
  43. Ensnared by A.G. Howard
  44. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
  45. Feed by Mira Grant
  46. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
  47. Deadline by Mira Grant
  48. Blackout by Mira Grant
  49. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  50. Paper Towns by John Green
  51. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  52. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
  53. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
  54. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  55. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  56. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  57. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Reading colors your life

Sigh. One day, I will do better at this goal. I really will. I have a list of 30-something series that I have started, but never finished (you can see it here, along with my other goal stuff). I had wanted to finish at least five. I finished one (Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill). On the plus side, I also made the goal of trying to finish any new series that I started, and I finished all of those (Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Periodic by Megan Curd, and My So-Called Afterlife by Jamie Ayers). So the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice will be added to the list for next year. Not really much progress, but hey, at least I didn’t make it worse!

Reading Goals for 2019

I am going to keep my GoodReads goal at 50 books in 2019. I am trying to make sure I read every day, even if it’s only one chapter, to avoid the dreaded reading slump. I’m on a good pace right now, so hopefully that will continue.

I will complete three series on my “Complete the Series” list, as well as finish all new series that I start in 2019. Let’s see if I can manage that at least.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2019 bring you health, happiness, and lots and lots of new books to read!

Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday . . . 12/17/18

It’s nearly 3:00 PM as I’m writing this, so I assume that most people are up by now, although I suppose that could be up for debate. I am up and at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m 100% awake! The past month or so has been brutal in that regard. Part of it has to do with some upheaval in my day job (which has thankfully led to a slight raise, a promotion, and increased job stability for me at least), part is due to being in another community theater show, and part is due to my kiddo having some issues that has definitely made me lose some sleep.

And now it’s almost Christmas. How the heck did that happen?

I am spending my time now trying to figure out presents for two teenagers (how the heck did THAT happen???) who really don’t need anything, as well as presents for two adults (my husband and my mom) who mean the world to me in ways that no gift wrapped box can express. Both will tell me that they don’t need anything, but that’s not the point of Christmas presents! I have something for the hubby, so he’s taken care of, and I know he will like it because ever since he found boardgaming as a hobby, he is ridiculously easy to shop for.

My last show is Wednesday, so after that sleeping should be a bit easier, or at least, I won’t be out quite so late. And after this week, I will have some time off of work the week of Christmas, so that will also be helpful.

In other news, I am working on a new blog/web project that will hopefully kick off sometime in the New Year. So keep an eye out for that. It should be fun, but I’m also a little nervous about it. We’ll see how it goes!

Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 10/8/18

But I don’t want to.

Seriously, sleeping in would have felt sooooooo good this morning! Alas, it’s not meant to be.

In this random post, I want to talk about a dream that I had. This post might get a bit personal. The dream has made me think a lot this past week about a lot of things, in that random way dreams do. I’ll explain.

In the dream, I was waking up from a nap, but I was not in my house or any other home I’ve ever lived in. I was sleeping on a couch, curled up at the end, using an arm rest as a pillow. The couch was not in a house or an apartment – it was in a library. The library didn’t seem to be open – the lights were mostly off except for a few. It took me a few minutes, but I soon realized that I recognized the library as the one that I worked at when I was in college. I didn’t remember a couch being in that spot, but I did remember the room I was in.

I look over and notice that I’m not alone sleeping on this couch. This is the weird part. My ex-husband was sleeping on the other side of the couch, slouched down, his head resting on the back of it, snoring lightly. That’s when I should have known it was a dream – he never snored that quiet! Before I could even process this, I hear someone running towards me. I look up and see my daughter, arms outstretched, a big smile on her face. Only it’s not her now, as a teenager. She looks like she’s maybe seven or eight years old. I ask her what she’s doing there and she throws her arms around me, tells me she missed me, and that grandma “brought her early.” I look up and see my mom walking behind her. She waves at me. My ex wakes up. And then I wake up, for real.

So, a lot to unpack here.

While I’m not necessarily a person who believes that ever dream is meaningful, I haven’t been able to get this one out of my mind, so I’ve been trying to process it. The only thing I can come up with so far is that I am feeling very nostalgic for a particular part of my life, which the location of this dream would point to. I loved being in college. I loved everything about the environment, which is part of why I had originally never wanted to leave. I wanted to either be a professor once I got my Master’s degree, or to come back and work at the library as a regular employee. Neither of those things ever happened for me, and I’m starting to realize that they most likely never will. It’s next to impossible for me to ever get my Master’s and I would need one for either one of those scenarios.

This also fits with seeing my daughter as a happy little girl. As much as I was stressed as a parent back then, it is so much harder now! I worry constantly about her mental health, her safety, her school, not to mention the fact that the world is getting to be a much more negative place. I do miss when she was little, but mostly I miss how easy it was to make her happy. This has been an ongoing thing with me. I see a cute little outfit in a store and literally start crying. I would give anything to go back to that time and spend more time with her.

The only thing that doesn’t quite fit here is my ex-husband (yeah, he didn’t quite fit in my life either). I don’t miss him or miss being married to him. At all. Those eight years were some of the hardest of my life. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I miss him living closer because of our shared kid. He lives several states away and it has put a mental toll on our daughter and, as such, put a toll on me as well. I don’t miss him as a husband, but maybe I miss him as a father since he is missing out on so much.

I don’t think my mom in the background represents much other than the fact that she is always there in my life. With everything I have been through, she has been my constant, my rock.

So maybe this dream is just a way of acknowledging things that have been and finding a way to say goodbye to them. Saying goodbye is always hard, but maybe it’s just time. Time to accept that this is where life has taken me and, even though it’s not where I thought I would end up, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good place.

 

Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 10/1/18 edition

“Wake up, it’s Monday!” posts are pretty much just the ramblings of an under-caffeinated mind that I post. If you want to skip my ramblings, that’s totally fine. I cannot guarantee that the following post makes any sense at all.

Holy Moses, can you believe it’s October already? I sure can’t. Luckily, it’s starting to feel a bit more like autumn outside. It’s not quite so hot and humid, which is a good thing for us, because our air conditioner decided now was a good time to just stop working. Our house is HOT right now, and not in a good way. We can’t keep most of the windows open because our cats are crazy and will make a bid for escape (they don’t know how good they got it, honestly). It has made me more than a bit cranky, which I am trying to control. This is a totally First World problem and I get that. I should be thankful that I have a roof over my head at all, especially given what all has happened out on the coast with Hurricane Florence. I still can’t help myself when I am sprawled out on the couch, begging for any hint of a breeze through the front screen door.

I. Get. CRANKY!

On top of that, yesterday we had my kiddo’s birthday party. Wait, I have been told that she “doesn’t have birthday parties anymore,” so this was just a group of friends coming over to hang out, and coincidentally there was pizza and a cake with candles. But it was NOT a birthday party! That should be clear. So our already hot and humid house now had 3-5 additional teenagers in it, depending on when various people came in and out of it. They did spend a lot of time hanging out on the back deck (it was cooler there), but still. It felt completely chaotic and crazy and I was very glad they came, but also very glad when everyone finally went home.

It was nice though, seeing the kiddo smiling and having fun. I don’t see that as often as I wish. Depression and anxiety have taken some of that away from her, which is sad, but she has been getting better and has been working through it. I’m proud of her that she’s made it this far. I honestly can’t believe she is fourteen years old.

So I spent a good part of yesterday feeling awful but trying to be upbeat and fun so her friends will like me. I have been dubbed “the cool mom” because I don’t sweat the small stuff and have always talked to kids the same way I talk to adults for the most part. And now, I will try really hard to be upbeat and professional at work, even though all I want to do is curl up and sleep in my air conditioned car. I feel bad complaining. My husband hasn’t complained at all, but he’s a much more patient, rational person. I envy that. But he is handling getting a repair person out to our house (soon?? please??) so hopefully that issue will be resolved soon. Then I can focus on all my other issues, of which there are plenty.

Hope everyone else out there has a good week!

Drabbles

Imposter Syndrome

While yesterday was mostly an upbeat, positive day, today has . . . not been. I’m not even sure why. In the past month or so, I have been bouncing wildly between being really happy to being really sad. There is sometimes a good reason: I was supposed to be really happy that I found a new job. I was supposed to be sad when my daughter started having problems with her suicidal thoughts again. So some of these I can account for, but most I can’t. I will probably start using this blog somewhat as a means for tracking this sort of thing, just to see if there are any patterns or anything else I can recognize.

Today I feel very down, which concerned me at first, but then I looked at the date. Yeah. This one I get. Even if I didn’t know immediately what the date was when I got out of bed, the energy was in the air. It’s weird how you can feel that, even when you are by yourself. And I’m not going to spend this blog post talking about 9/11, except for this one paragraph. It affected me, of course, but only as it affected all Americans. I wasn’t there. I didn’t know anyone who was killed or injured in any of the attacks. I was scared for my country and for the uncertainty that had suddenly been put upon us, but other than that, my life continued on in a pretty normal pattern. I realize how lucky I am to be able to say that, to the point where I almost feel a bit guilty for admitting it. Which brings me to what originally inspired this post.

A video popped up in my Facebook memories, which I shared again today because I thought it was funny. I am not savvy enough to link the video here, so I will just describe it. A mom is watching her kids walking to the bus stop from her window. She is telling the camera about how she is hiding from the “fancy moms.” You know, the ones who are always put together and seem to know all the right things to say and do. This mom (and I absolutely adore her) was still in the clothes she had fallen asleep in the previous day. She couldn’t figure out how the “fancy mom,” who was in clothes to play tennis (which she apparently does every day), was able to not only be so perky, skinny, and awake, but also drinking from a “wealthy person mug.” This real mom is not the one who will be bringing homemade cookies to school, but she will be glad to write a check. “I’m the check-writing mom,” she says towards the end of the video.

While I don’t go out of my way to hide from other moms, I’ve never been completely comfortable around them. Like other parents at my kid’s school, for example. So many of them just seem to have, not just parenting, but their whole lives figured out. They either have a job that they are good at and find satisfying, or they stay home and raise their lovely younger kids.  With few exceptions, they never seem frazzled. They always seem completely in control.

I wish I could feel that way. Even if it was only for five minutes.

So what do I do when I have to interact with these people? I fake it. I fake it so hard. Seriously, anyone who thinks that I am a bubbly, upbeat person is someone who does not know me well. At all. And then I go home hating myself because I had to fake it in the first place. Why can’t I be just like all the other moms out there who have everything put together and figured out? I moaned about this on Facebook, mostly as a joke, partially as a cry for help, po-tay-to, po-tah-to. And here’s the funny thing: I got several comments and messages back from friends of mine who are moms, all admitting that they have no idea what’s going on either. And not just moms my age – one of them is the mother of a girl I went to high school with! We’re all muddling through it, and none of us have a clue what we’re doing! Yay!

It made me feel a bit better (and also a bit worried for the rising generation who will be looking to us for guidance at some point). It’s easy to forget that you are looking at usually people’s best selves when looking at social media. Vacation pictures. New babies. New pets. If someone posts about a hardship, you see outpourings of support and prayers, followed by a heartfelt thank you for how much that helped. When I was a kid, I looked at the adults that surrounded me and thought that they all had life figured out. That was just what you did, right? You grew up, you understood life and your place in it. End of story.

If only, right?

One of the commentors on my Facebook memory said, “Imposter syndrome is a very real thing. I always feel like someday people will find out that I’m not really talented or kind or good or intelligent or (insert whatever here).” And it’s true. I replied that, “I keep wondering how long it’s going to take before people realize that I’m just a scared kid in an adult costume!” So I’m putting it out there now. I am a scared kid in an adult costume. I have been since the day I turned 18 and expected this wash of knowledge and “adult-ness” to come over me. It never has, and it never will, but here’s the best part. I’m starting to believe that I am not alone. This is what most of us go through and you know what? That’s okay.

We’re okay. Or at least, we’re gonna fake it. And most likely, that “fancy mom” is faking it.

And that’s okay too.

Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 9/10/18

Good morning, folks! I am still adjusting to being up early on Monday mornings ever since school and my new job started, so I’ve decided to try and celebrate it. As much as one can when one is not a morning person.

So it’s Monday. What can I say about this week coming up? I’ve recently finished two wonderful books, both very different but both very inspirational. I will try to get reviews posted as soon as possible. HOLD ME TO THAT, INTERNET! I am really bad at follow through, but I am trying to do better about that.

The new job is going well. There are still lots of other aspects to learn, but I have been told that I am doing a great job so far. My only real concern is that I really need to buy some new clothes. At my old job, very few people saw us, so we could wear whatever we wanted. I actually think I rolled in there in pajama pants once when I was not feeling well but wasn’t sick enough to actually stay home. My new job not only expects me to dress like a grown up, but a well-dressed, professional grown up at that. It’s an adjustment, to be sure, but probably a good one. It does feel nice to dress nice. I just need some more comfortable dressy shoes at some point.

I think school is going well for the girl child. Who will BE TURNING 14 THIS MONTH!!! When did that happen? It just doesn’t seem right! She had a bit of a slip during the first week when anxiety and depression got the best of her, but she is doing much better now. This weekend, she got to spend some quality time with her grandma, which she always enjoys. She has also done something else that made me really happy – she ordered a bracelet from Life Token. Her phrase: Stay Strong – You Matter. Such a breakthrough for someone who has been battling with depression so young for so many years. I’m really proud of her.

It left me stuck with the boys for a good part of the weekend, but we amused ourselves. We decided to dust off our old Dungeons & Dragons campaign (of which I am dungeon master – heaven help us all). I don’t even remember when we started it, but the Boy has been through two characters so far. The first one didn’t die, he just decided it was too boring. So goodbye, human fighter, hello dragonborn bard! The Hubby is continuing to play his half-orc paladin, although he has stopped trying to convert the goblins to the worship of Lathander. For anyone familiar with D&D, we’re running the Lost Mine of Phandelvar starter adventure and are smack in the middle of the Wave Echo Cave. Still trying to figure out where we’re going to go from there if we keep playing.

Hope you are all ready for a good week! Stay positive. That’s what I’m trying to do. I know things are really hard for a lot of people right now, but we can get through it all together.

Drabbles

Reflections: the end of August and the beginning of a new life

The last time I posted on here was during my July Blogging challenge, which unfortunately went belly up during our family vacation. I tried to keep it going, but things just got too busy. Which is, ultimately, the reason I always give when I stop blogging: I just don’t have the time. This reason is hardly ever true. Blogging isn’t what you would call a major time commitment, but it is easier to say that it is than to sit down and actually think about what I want to say.

Life has been a bit crazy and unpredictable. You might even say that I was living up to my blog’s title – I have no planned plot, and no idea what I’m doing. Flying by the seat of my pants, mostly, and it was most evident in the events of last month. Let’s list them, shall we?

  • I got semi/sort of diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
  • I quit my job, giving no notice.
  • I went on an unplanned trip to Florida to visit family.
  • I opened an Etsy store.
  • I started writing captions with Rev.
  • I went back to auditions for the theatre group that I’ve done shows with before.
  • My daughter went back to school for 8th grade.
  • I started a brand new job.

Those last two items both happened at the same time and both were just last week. The new job was a bit of a whirlwind. Interview Wednesday, second interview Friday, start Monday. So far, I think it’s going well. I like my co-workers and the office is very nice. Still learning all of my duties, so there’s some downtime right now, which feels strange since I’m used to running full speed. I’m also used to knowing my job inside and out, so this is all a bit new.

I’m hoping things will work out better this time. I’m hoping I can find some things to help my body work better. I’m going to use this blog to track some of my progress, in addition to the book reviews and other shenanigans. Going into September, I am setting a new blogging goal, not with prompts, but to try and find more positive things to write about, whether they are books or other things going on in my life.

I’ve been mired in negativity for too long.

It’s time to really change that.