An Update: Let The Water Flow

New Year,  new goals, fresh start to everything…it’s supposed to be an energizing part of the year right?    Sadly, I’ve spent whatever time I haven’t been at work or feeding the cats/myself pretty much sleeping or driving.    The reason for that goes back to Christmas really.    The holidays were great, my little brother flew in from Brasil just as The Lovely Housemate flew out to spend sometime with her family.    Christmas was really lovely and spread out over the weekend since we did Christmas with Housemate first and then normal Christmas Eve and Christmas with the parents, brother, and his Wonderful Girlfriend.

After Christmas was when it got interesting.   My day job is a payroll/garnishment specialist and while my job is amazing and I honestly love what I do…to work in payroll during the holidays is never a cake walk.  There are three months out of the year where it kind of sucks to be a payroll specialist, for the pure and simple fact that everything is super crazy and super high stress due to a couple of factors beyond anyone’s actual control (December, January, and April, in case you were wondering).    So with it being Year-End and having a couple of people out, the last week of December was more brutal than most.    Add to that, the fact that the temperatures in Tennessee started dipping down into the single digits and it was pretty hard just making it through for someone who doesn’t have pressure/weather-sensitive chronic pain.

And then it got interesting.   My parents’ are moving because the renovation of their upstairs is starting this next week AND they had to deal with an unexpected massive water leak as well as their furnace being broken.   My father was also gone for a week to visit his family and help his sister out for a short while.   So it was Mom, my brother, the Wonderful Girlfriend, and I working to get as much as we could moved downstairs or packed up and shoved to the upstairs balcony so that when Dad got back, there wasn’t that much left to do.   Got the vast majority of stuff moved downstairs/packed up and Mom got the leak handled.

However since the furnace still hadn’t been fixed yet ( the parts were wrong several times in a row), they had space heaters and the wood burning stove going constantly so that they didn’t have any of their pipes freeze in our almost subzero temperatures.   Which means that one person needs to be in the house at all times to make sure that the fire doesn’t die down too much and that the four-five space heaters don’t spontaneously spark and start fires.

So that meant instead of us hosting New Years Gaming, we packed everything up and put on a couple of extra layers and went up there for gaming fun.   Not a big deal, though I did make the Lovely Housemate drive (since I’d made four-five round trips up and back in addition to four trips to the airport and a full week’s worth of driving for work – I was a little tired).   Then came Tuesday and the realization that one of the three times we’d lost power on Tuesday had shorted out the power strip that the heat tape and heat lamp were plugged into for our water softening system and the pipes were frozen.

This is the first time since we’d owned our house that it had a) been THIS cold and b) we’d had any serious plumbing issues other than some flooding in a few places.

So begins the week of literally trying everything we can think of to thaw the pipes including calling the plumbers twice and yet all they could tell us was that we’d have to stick it out and wait until the ground warmed up.  We were doing all the right things, the pipes were just frozen.

We hit up the store for jugs of purified water for hair washing and bottled water for drinking for both us and the cats and made do as best we could.   It’s been an adventure.

Yesterday (Saturday)  we gathered up laundry piles and shower gear and headed up to the parents’ place to shower and do laundry since their water was still nice and hot and they’re always happy to have kids drop in.   Hung out, watched some movies and shows in between actual showers and laundry being done.

Today, their furnace got fixed and then we got some water flowing back into the house.  So progress right?

Until the pipe burst.  Luckily, it’s a small pipe attached to the water softener and not one of the ones in the ground and the plumber has been called again and we’re on the list of stops he’ll make.  We haven’t been the only ones dealing with frozen or burst pipes in the last week or so.   So that’s been one of the things eating up all the spare time in between work, food, and transit times.

Hopefully, your New Years have started much less eventfully than mine has. Anyways, normal blogging should get back on track this week, providing the stars and my energy levels comply.    I’m currently in the middle of reading some of the Christmas books I got this year as well as a reread of Kushiel’s Dart because weirdly, that’s one of my comfort books.

I have several More Joy posts that will be appearing and some articles about various research type things I’ve been doing.

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Self-Care and Writers: An Update

Writers are not really great about this self-care thing.  Just ask the Internet or any writers you know.   We forget food, errands, sometimes hygiene, all because we’ve got fictional words driving us to type them out and make them real on paper/word processor.    It’s a thing.    The frustration when we’re not producing up to our own standards is also a thing (see above for helpful links regarding all of that).

Self-Care is important. 

I have a double-dose of forgetting about self-care because not only am I a writer, my family is also the worst at this.   We grind and grind until we drop and then once we’re back upright, grinding more.   We never stop and we’re not overly fond of slowing down from the things we need to get done.

So in a move that really surprises no one at all, least of all me, because of all of the compounded stuff in the last three-four months (okay really since April to be honest) – I  hit the actual burnout point.  Technically I hit it at the beginning of last month, but I still had a con to do at that point, so I pushed through it.   Which meant that I spent the entire rest of the month of October reaping the whirlwind exhaustion and fatigue from having just pushed myself so far without a whole lot of down or recovery time.

I did 37 total panels at four conventions in between  a trip to NYC, my baby brother leaving for college, my best friend coming for a weeklong visit, and a whole wealth of immediate and extended family events, house issues and the ever present, always fun medical issues.    I’ve been to Atlanta three times and Louisville once. I’ve had a short story published and invites to submit to three other anthologies, the Patreon is still running for various short stories and novellas, and we’re coming up on the major holiday season.  It’s been a lot lately.

I’m an introvert so recharging generally means I’m sitting somewhere comfy by myself, enjoying the quiet and stillness of just being inside my own brain and not needing to respond to any exterior stimulae unless I wanted to.  Unfortunately with a day job and cats who demand to be fed at regular intervals, recharging had to come at points where I wasn’t working at the full time day job.  So literally everything else had to get reshuffled around to make sure that I could have the time to refresh and recharge.  So that’s why there hasn’t been a lot of posting here from me here (if you follow on me on Twitter, different story, but Twitter doesn’t lend itself well to good thinky posts like I prefer to do here).   You’ll see more posting now, some of it normal updates like the reviews and the wednesday reads, some of them will probably be hilarious posts about November and writing/writers.   It’s deep into NaNoWriMo after all (i’m at 18k and change and I hit the part of loathing all the words ever, so really I’m right on schedule for the nanocycle of writing or if you prefer, I’m right at “The Tango of Mirth and Shame” ).

So hi, everyone!  I’m back and you’ll start to see a lot more posts floating your way very soon.

 

 

 

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