As We Head Into Fall

As We Head Into Fall

My, what a busy year this has been. Big changes at work, plenty of activities, and not enough time for housework, of course. We’ve stayed hopping most of the summer and I’m finally looking for some of the downtime that tends to come in fall/early winter. There are so many home projects that did not get lifted off the ground because we stayed so busy.

The work project consumed some crucial parts of my summer. I worked a lot. Our little garden plot was neglected because we just couldn’t devote time to it. Ditto to all the landscaping plans I had for the summer. There were only a handful of home improvements we managed to accomplish, but I did manage to make several decisions on paint colors and such, which means once we get back into the remodeling groove, we can easily make some forward progress. But it will probably be next spring/early summer before we can get going on that stuff again as the work project doesn’t wrap up until mid-spring. In fact the holidays look to be crazy-making with the level of activity.

In the meantime, I’ve not been writing much. I think the stress and crazy hours of work have kept my creative mind locked in a dark desperate hole for its own safety. When I sit in front of a story that I love and adore, or even just want to have fun with. my mind becomes blissfully blank. There are ideas floating.out there in the ether. I can feel them. I just can’t seem to get to them. I think stress seems to be a very effective lock to my creativity.

So, my next project is trying to figure out a way to tap that locked up creativity. I am thinking of tackling NaNo this year but I need an idea and none have come to me. So I’ll just have to puzzle it out. What fun things have you been working on?

When Life Hands You Lemons

Sometimes life sucks. And some things that you might have thought sucked doesn’t really in the end. And sometimes those lemons you were handed are just the extra flavor your dinner needs. There has been so much going on around here, that I’ve felt like I’m sitting tightrope strung between something awesome and the downfall of everything. Part of it I know is the situation at work. I’m trapped in this awkward place where I’ve been seriously stressed out, but I think the ending is going to be a good thing.

However, it does have effects on my body. I’ve had a flare of hip pain that I’ve not had for some time. My sacroiliac joints are defective, as I like to affectionately call it, and once they start hurting, it doesn’t easily turn off because it’s an autoimmune, inflammatory type of thing and once it starts, I just have to wait it out. Severe stress seems to be a trigger, so it wasn’t really a shocker that I had an episode. But it puts me down for the count when it happens and I am mostly useless. My productivity goes down the tubes. But after a week and a half, I seem to be recovering so long as I don’t over do it.

But we have made some progress on some home improvements. My husband is probably the true lead here. I just provide some direction. We went ahead and painted part of the pantry because I wanted to pull everything out anyway. It looks a lot better. Next we will make a few updates to the boy’s room. After that, I suspect we will tackle the master bath and the kitchen. The husband has also been working outside on making things better, which leads into the next area so well.

Spring has sprung and we are all outside more. In fact, I type this from a chair in the front yard. In addition to fixing up what needs to be repaired, my husband has been cleaning up brush and making a spot for a small garden. I think this year will have lettuces, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes, and some green beans. The kids are excited to be helping and can’t wait to grow some food. I have a feeling my greatest task will be weeding as I’m not the best gardener.

The Future Garden

One of the biggest pluses for this week is the fact that my doctor gave me test results and while it’s not great that my vitamin D level is low, it’s great that I can take the supplement for just a couple of days and feel a huge difference almost immediately. So I feel a lot better in just a couple of days. I’m working on some things with an allergist, but I’m afraid one of the medicines he is giving me is causing headaches and a sore throat. I think a few more days to pinpoint it and I can let him know to see what he advises me to do.

On the reading and writing front, I’ve been reading a few books, most recently finishing Sarah J. Maas’ Heir of Fire. It was really good. I haven’t worked on anything of my own, but I am hoping to remedy that. I need to find the rest of my energy and willpower to get some things done, with writing being a main one. I miss sharing words with my characters.

So there have been ups and downs, but overall I feel optimistic as spring rolls in. Can’t wait to get some things checked off my list!

Change of Seasons

2012-08-16 18.04.49Well, things have been exciting and I’m trying to get a good grasp of it all. A year ago we moved into our new house. In the time since, I’ve been figuring out what I actually want to do with the house. At this point, I have ideas for a few of the rooms and can begin to make some updates. It only took the whole year to figure how I wanted things to be functionally.

We bought a small tractor for the yard to help with some of the repairs out there. It has a loader, a box blade, and a mowing deck. I’m pretty excited that this has made the process of getting the garden area cleaned up much easier. I might be able to grow a few vegetables this year and that’s exciting.

But first we have to shake off the last vestiges of winter. Tonight the temperature will get down to singles digits and we’ll have highs in the  mid-forties and up this weekend and into next week. I’m hoping it signals that spring is almost here. For a multitude of reasons, the most important being that the children need to go outside and play to burn off some energy.

I think for the first part of the year, I am going to focus on taking care of the house. I’ve neglected things lately and that needs to change, so I’m putting some of my other things on the back burner. In addition to the attention my home needs, I’m joining a major project team at work, so I will be devoting a lot of time and energy to it.

There are lots of things going on as the change of seasons makes its appearance. I can’t wait to see what’s in store. What sort of changes are you expecting?

The Difference of a Year

I’m struck this morning by how different my life last year was compared to my life this year. For a significant portion of last year, I worried that my marriage might be ending. I was hurting a lot both emotionally and physically, and toward the end of the year, beginning the journey to figure out what was wrong with my hips.

For most of 2012, I was unwinding. I had taken a new job after leaving the one that had made me horribly miserable for most of the prior five years. My new job was a leap of faith because it was not a permanent position. But, slowly, I was feeling like myself.

But my marriage was still rocky. Then, I am not sure what happened. Late last year, my husband started participating in our family more. And what a difference it makes. He does more with the kids. He helps more with family chores. We talk more, opening ourselves up to each other more than we have in years.

The change in our house has been amazing. And it has continued for much of this year. I don’t feel like I am parenting solo most of the team and instead feel like we are a real family team.

We are also taking some big strides that would have been hard to do without us working together. Like buying our first house. We still have areas where we can improve, but I feel like we are moving forward this year and it’s awesome.

What has change for you over the last year?