Krissie: Aiyee!

I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking of all the things I have to do, all the things I want to do. Right now I’m printing up the mss. so I can curl up and start revisions. Of course, I need to find a neat, quiet, secluded place to read through it — good luck with that.
I need/want to put the autumn stuff away and start bringing out the Christmas stuff. I need/want to sew. I need/want to finish clearing the decks, rearrange the living room furniture, bring up the christmas mugs, get rid of one book case (consolidate stuff), bake pumpkin bread, see my therapist, do some food shopping, read the stack of magazines that piled up, figure out the entertainments for the church Christmas luncheon this Saturday, bang my head against the wall, work on revisions, make a trip to Goodwill, send off the advent calendars to my daughter and her roomies, go food shopping ….
As I said earlier, aiyee!
Okay, priorities. Which is get the book done. Get the revisions done. Once that’s taken care of the rest will fall into place. I tend to be pretty good at letting go of the things that don’t get done in time (like my daughter telling me yesterday that she’d like a new quilt — six months warning might have been nice).
So I guess I go with time-sensitive. As in, first book, then holiday stuff, except that everything that’s not book is holiday. It’s weird — I don’t have to send any presents away — we’re not exchanging presents with Richie’s sister. (I doubt I will ever ever forgive Richie’s sister). Everyone in my family is dead besides Mini-me (except, of course, for my nuclear family, and nothing better damned well happen to them). So it’s just us chickens.
Inch by inch, row by row.
the problem with writing is that it’s so overwhelming. It’s hard for the brain to encompass the big picture, and my brain hasn’t been working at top capacity recently. It’s sort of like someone’s thrown a blanket over a light — everything’s shadowed and muffled. Depression sucks.
But I do see my therapist today. And they’re changing … crap, my printer’s running low on toner, goddammit … anyway, they’re changing my meds, so that may help (we’re trying cymbalta).
And the draft is done, Alleluia, (or Hallelujah, depending) and we just take one step at a time.
Inch by inch, row by row.
Anyone else feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? I usually just flat out adore them. In fact, even now I mostly do, now that Thanksgiving is over. I just have to figure how to get my work done and make things a little easier on myself.
In the meantime, down in NJ, Jenny will get one or maybe two dogs to cuddle with (even though she’s dealing with snow right now). Over in Ohio, Lani and family are dancing around all 5,000 square feet in their underwear playing air guitar. Sisters are doing it for themselves, even if they’d rather have each other around.
Next year we’re going to have to plan a way to spend some quality, holiday time together.
Next year, I’ll be happy and healthy and wealthy and wise.
Next year, pigs will fly.

43 thoughts on “Krissie: Aiyee!

  1. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Hang in there! Book has to be Nr. 1, for all of the obvious reasons. Everything else? I suggest doing that which gives you the most pleasure (’cause you need cheering up!!!). If it’s decorating for the holidays, then go for it (and give your daughter a picture of the new quilt-to-be for Christmas…). If it’s quilting, well, then go for that!!

    If you’re struggling with depression, then you need cheer-me-up activities, not downers (and most definitely NOT things on which you cannot see actual progress, because then you will be more depressed from not seeing results from something you really don’t want to do — double whammy!)

    I didn’t have Thanksgiving last week (because of being in Europe), but I am making a Thanksgiving meal for 16 people on Saturday. Have ordered the turkey from a local poultry farmer (can’t get anything bigger than 6-7 in the supermarket over here). Still have to find cranberries though. And discovered Libby’s pumpkin at a dept store downtown, so I don’t have to make pies completely from scratch! Not overwhelmed yet, but probably will be by Fri evening.

    I had to laugh (ruefully) when I read your comment about your brain feeling muffled like you’d thrown a blanket over a light. It was a perfect description. I have been feeling like that for ages. I have blamed it on menopause (which certainly plays a role) and stress (which most definitely plays a role)… I had likened it to slogging through quicksand, but I think your description is better.

    Cheaper up — and take it easy on yourself!!

  2. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Well, just poop: that’s “cheer up” not “cheaper up”!

    (Unless you prefer “cheaper”, in which case, I’m okay too…)

  3. Deb says:

    You are soooo not alone. Totally overwhelmed by the holidays and work is ramping up too and family issues have my parents travelling taking care of siblings in various parts of the country….which is great…but I’m taking care of their household with the dog, chickens, cattle, etc. Which is still great, since they take care of my household when I travel….but it adds to the stressed feeling. AND I’ve ALREADY received my first Christmas card….actually received it last Friday. WHO does that?!

    What I really want to do is hibernate.

  4. I’m a bit overwhelmed myself. I’ve been trying to get some holiday things taken care of because I knew what was in store for me. I’ve made a tiny dent.

    Last night I got the galleys back for book #1 and have to proof those. Then the editor said the final edits for book #2 will be back next week or so, prior to the publishing house going on break. And a lady friend is sending negative vibes because I declined an invitation to a movie and dinner. She keeps saying but you have to eat. I don’t have the strength to explain that going out also means taking a shower, getting out of my pj’s, and brushing my teeth. I can exist on toast and tea and a bowl of soup. Ha ha.

    I don’t know how you multi-published authors keep doing this several times a year, year after year. I think I’m retiring after the third book comes out. It’s a rat race.

  5. I hope calm comes to you soon, Krissie. Maybe with the book done and off to wherever it’s going, you will feel calmer. Especially with your new meds. Then everything else will look doable. Except for that insta-quilt your daughter asked for.

    You can manage, and all will be well. But it does sound like you need a sister get-together for the holidays next year.

    5,000 square feet? I cannot imagine living in that alone. I bet now the girls could play hide and seek with all their friends and spend all day at it.

  6. Cindy says:

    You are not alone. I’m overwhelmed financially for the holidays. There just isn’t enough to go around. I took my mom who has Alzheimer’s Christmas shopping, and she commented that I’m cheap at gift giving. I’ve been on a budget for years. Things have been beyond tight. My brothers on the other hand have been doing great. This year is no different. That stressed me out even more.

    And on top of that our health insurance switches in a few days from PPO to HMO, so that is stressing me out BIG time. And I have so many appointments for everyone in the family.

    I feel extremely overwhelmed, and what should be an extremely joyous season, just feels overwhelming and dark.

  7. The fact that you can still care about stuff shows that you’re beating the depression.

    I’mma buy a new doggie shampoo for my doggie. Because he seems to react to the one we use. Unless someone has a better idea?? Any a$$vice welcome.

    I need to dance around and play air-guitar in my underwear. It sounds just what I need to get through the last few days before vacation.

  8. Yep. Totally overwhelmed and sad. ‘Tis the season and all that jazz. I am going to listen to my Peanuts Christmas music now and ignore the rest of it. I am going to write more and start taking care of me more. And generally just fork the rest of it, ya’ know?

  9. The bottom line is that no matter how much you think you want to do all that stuff, you can’t. You’re one person. (And I know we’ve beat this to death but you are NOT the only person living in that house and I don’t see why some of that can’t be done by someone else. But I digress.)

    I’m a habitual volunteer bossy-pants who loves to run things. And in the past have tried to run every freaking thing. I nearly lost my mind. You have to just say to hell with some of this stuff. The clutter can wait until after the holidays. Set one hour when you pick an area, throw everything in a box, throw a blanket over it, and wallow in the joy of a cleaned up space.

    Some may say that’s not a good idea but damn it you need some sanity woman. And it’s killing this bossy-pants that I can’t come up there and just get that place fixed up. LOL!

    Anyway, you didn’t ask for assvice and I don’t usually splatter it like this, but the crazy-making described in this blog just called for something. 🙂 Say no! Clear an area. Finish the book. Christmas is about the spirit not the plastic decorations scattered just so.

  10. Focus on what you can do sweetie. And what you ant to do. A new quilt for XMas three weeks beforehand isn’t going to happen – take a sharpie and a hunk of pretty scrap fabric and write dearest daughter an IOU.

    1 – sanity
    2 – health
    3 – book
    4 – everybody else

    I started taking Cymbalta for pain and it had the happy side effect of cheering my ass right up. I hope it works for you babe.

    Hugs and love!

  11. Like everyone else, I’m saying you do what you can and leave the rest. Shorten the list. As a quilter, I’m in the “don’t even think about adding that to the list” camp. I don’t think six months notice is “nice” — I think it’s mandatory and you can explain that to your family. You can tell your daughter that a quilt might be headed her way for her birthday (if that’s far enough away) or perhaps next Christmas. Unless, of course, making the quilt would make your heart sing. That’s a whole other story. But, still speaking as a quilter, my experience is that non-quilters have no idea how much time, effort, and money goes into making a quilt.

    Meanwhile, I hope the change in meds helps, that getting the book out the door will be a relief, and that you get your decorations out where they can make you happy.

  12. Feeling just a bit arghghgh! I’m away for Sunday-Tuesday on an interview, and there seems to be a lot to do…

    1 Normal preparation and marking of usual lessons…we’re in the run up to exams, so there’s a lot…
    2 Prepping cover worksheets for two days for all classes to make sure they don’t slack while I’m away.
    3 Prepping interview questions and materials, plus lesson plan for the sample lesson I have to teach.
    4 Making sure all washing/cooking is done – and there is food in the fridge for boys to heat up
    5 Buying tchotchkes for people to say thank you because they’ve put themselves out for me.
    6 Making sure that the three exams my students are sitting on 7th, 10th and 14th December are all ready to roll.
    Somewhere in there is a manuscript dying for some attention. Sigh.

  13. Cindy says:

    It’s Wednesday… Can I get a little WTF Wednesday in here, please? My mom with her Alzheimer’s just got a little under my skin today. She brought up some 6 month old stuff. She was saying how my brothers and sister-in-law don’t really believe that my daughter is really sick, so it’s good that I found a doctor who believes her. It just really, really hurt. So add that to my feeling overwhelmed.

  14. Lynda says:

    Breathe, Krissie. Then work on the book. Then breathe again. As for the Christmas stuff, I’ve known you for nearly thirty years, and I can’t remember a single Christmas where you didn’t make yourself half-crazy, so I don’t really expect you to change now. I assume you’ve discussed this with your counselor, but it never hurts to bring it up again, if only to vent. (Hmm. Isn’t the root meaning of “vent” something along the lines of “breathe”?) Personally, if one of my kids told me they wanted a quilt for this Christmas, I would just laugh. A few years ago I did start a quilt for my mother shortly before her 90th birthday–my own last-minute bright idea—but at her birthday party I gave her a card with some fabric swatches enclosed. It was a couple more months before I sent her the finished quilt.

    I know you won’t listen to this, but there’s nothing wrong with delaying the Christmas celebration till you’re ready to handle it. I believe most historians say that Jesus was probably born in the spring, and the date we celebrate is actually an amalgam of Saturnalia and many other mid-winter festivals. If you don’t want to celebrate Saturnalia, there’s always Epiphany in early January, which at least gives you a couple more weeks of breathing room. Just a thought.

  15. Maine Betty says:

    In case it gives you a feeling of more time and less pressure, it might help to consider that most of December is the season of Advent. A quiet, reflective time of waiting and anticipation. O.K., and gingerbread and calendars with chocolate in them. It’s extremely difficult to observe it in our culture, of course, because there’s so little money to be made from it, but it’s a lovely time, and it has great carols. I also love Epiphany, because of the baby, and the wise men, and the donkey, etc. in the manger.

    I’m sure you can tell from the above that I’m nobody’s Mom, so I don’t feel the “I must make Christmas perfect all on my own” pressure I know many women experience. i know it’s harder when you have a family of your own, even when the kids are grown up.

  16. Amie says:

    I agree with the other two – don’t want to click like, but you have my sympathy. Just remember she’s not 100% aware of what she says and tell yourself that like 50 times in a row so you won’t take it personally. I have a grandmother-in-law who is schizophrenic (she has gotten much better since she’s in her 80s), but she has said the most hateful things to me before, and I just tell myself to write it off (hard to do, but if you tell yourself that enough times, you kind of start to believe it).

  17. Mariana Chaffee says:

    I read, or maybe heard, something that made sense about prioritizing once: take a piece of paper and fold it into quarters (you can just do this mentally if you like). Top half of the page is “important”, bottom half is “not important”. Left half of the page is “urgent”, right half is “not urgent”. Write your stuff-to-do list on this page, in the appropriate quadrants/boxes. Now do the stuff that is both important and urgent, then decide if “urgent/not important” trumps “important/not urgent” and act accordingly. The “unimportant/not urgent” category is entirely optional, in my book. If it ain’t fun, jettison it. This works pretty well for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and perhaps it would work for you.

  18. jinx says:

    Well, what do I know, but if it were me, I’d first clear, pack the car with Goodwill stuff, rearrange & clean, then go off to Goodwill (drop-off ONLY) while thinking about revision ideas.

    Then, I’d revise in the nice new rearranged less cluttered space.

    Then and only then would I start undecorating, redecorating, and sewing.

    For the Church entertainment, I’d have people draw numbers out of a hat and then tell stories about the best and worst Christmas gift they ever gave /received/ heard about. The group will entertain itself, the tales may give people new gift ideas that will benefit somebody else, and you won’t have to do any more work.

    And then all the rest of the stuff can proceed. Magazines will keep until you are snowed in and cozy. Advent calendars can arrive a few days late. And even though your list had grocery shopping on it twice, you only have to do it once in the next few days, so you’re ahead already!

  19. Carol says:

    You do what you have to do to maintain a measure of sanity and shove the rest out of the mind until you have a “come to Jesus cleaning day.”

    At least that is what happens around here. It is so messy right now, I can’t think and get blue just thinking of all I have to do, including the Christmas holidays. It’s been a WTF “how did my office get so messy” Wednesday. I’m going to clean out my office, re-arrange the furniture and start clean and fresh on Sunday afternoon after breakfast at the cafe.

    Hope you feel better once the book is done and you can focus on other things.

    This will be my first Christmas without my mother. There will be a few tears and then we will tell funny stories to make us laugh at “only Granma Mac” would do and say that. And the Granddaughter’s first “tearing the packages open” Christmas should help a lot.

    Cheers to do what you can, when you can.

  20. Carol says:

    Way below the belt blow. Shame on them. Tough with your Mom telling you, she doesn’t have a filter anymore. Perhaps she was showing her belief in your perserverance by saying how good it was to have the doctor who believes your daughter. There were many days I would come home from the care home so down I had to learn to shake it off. It’s hard. Sending love.

  21. Cindy says:

    Thank you, all of you. My mom was not a nice person before Alzheimer’s, but she’s been much nicer since. Yet every once in a while I get hit with little blows out of the blue, and it catches me unawares. Plus it makes me think about all of the grief my daughter will have to deal with when she’s out of the nest. I know other people who have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome deal with people not believing they’re sick. Ugh.

    Anyway, thank you for the support here. Getting it off my chest helps.

  22. Reb says:

    You poor thing. Hopefully the alzheimers means your Mom misinterpreted what she heard. It’s great that you’ve got a diagnosis and your daughter’s improving. Your perseverance really paid off.

  23. Reb says:

    Christmas is very low-key round here so it’s not stressing me out. But in the last fortnight I’ve had a weekend of art photography (fantastic), a work trip to California (cool, but 18 hours of travel time each way for 2.5 days on the ground), and my church fair (good, but 2 days of solid work). I think I can breathe again now.

    All you can do is pick the most important stuff, do that and delay the rest. You can get to it all eventuallly. Doesn’t have to be today.

    How about gifting yourself a nothing-but-the-book day? One where you aren’t allowed to do anything but working on the book and relaxing.

  24. Jane F says:

    Warning: Assvice Ahead

    It seems to me that the others living with you could help take care of some of the errands. If the goodwill load and the advent calenders are basically ready to go someone else could drop them off at the appropriate locations. If the Xmas mugs’ general location is known someone else could take on swapping them out. Same with clearing the deck. Finally decorating (perhaps with Xmas music) could be a group activity (you choose the group.)

  25. Micki says:

    Not quite code red, but I’m starting to feel the stress . . . this year, the house got particularly cluttered, and the place we usually put the tree is packed with books and “important things.” All of the old hidey-holes are filling up, too.

    Gotta do something. My refrain for all of November . . . .

  26. Ah. I normally would be totally stressed about now. We haven’t gotten the Christmas card picture taken and there are a million things I could always be doing,


    I broke my leg. It’s a get out of jail free card. I’m doing nothing.

  27. Totally understand how you feel about the money situation. It isn’t fair for those that have it to look down on those who don’t. When will they learn that money doesn’t buy happiness and it’s not proof that they are better than everyone else? Grrr.

    How were your daughter’s tests? Or are you still waiting for results? I hope everything went well.

  28. Each dog is different. I found that a tea tree oil based shampoo works for the dog I have now. Other people I know use Oatmeal type stuff. And someone also told me they now have a line of shampoos for dogs with sensitive skin, but I haven’t gone looking yet. Good luck!

  29. I’m joining the crowd that says you’re trying to do too much and you should get those other two people to help you out! So do what you can starting with finishing your book. That’s what earns you money and you would be kicking yourself up one side and down the other if you didn’t handle it well. Get the other two started on the house. And ditch the quilt for your daughter unless it’s something you can use to help keep you sane through the Silly Season. Good-luck!

    As for me, I, too, am dealing with clutter, clutter, clutter and a looming deadline on my son’s Eagle project he left till last minute. Apparently everything has to be done before his birthday in January (he turns 18). Fun, fun, fun. (Hmmm, the first time I typed that it came out run, run, run….)

  30. romney says:

    Just because you want or ought to do something, thats no reason to do it. As everyone says, cut back to an achievable list that will make you happy throughout, the process and result.

    The book is necessary. It enables pretty much everything else.

    Just because someone wants knitted socks for xmas, doesn’t mean they’ll get it from me. If they really want handknit socks, they can wait until the New Year!

  31. romney says:

    One year I was so exhausted we didn’t have a tree. It was so much less work! Slap a shopbought wreath on the front door and have a nice sit down with a glass of red wine in front of the telly is my assvice. Thats my idea of festive.

  32. Cindy says:

    Hi Robin,

    The test went well. It took forever, because the barium didn’t make it to its lower destination in the two-hour expected time. We were there for about 4-1/2 hours. She was fasting, which is really hard on her. We’ll get the results in 3 weeks or so. This new gastroenterologist is working out for us. The last appointment went really well. He didn’t beat her up about her weight. He actually told her not to beat her head against the wall about it.

    So good stuff right now with that. Any little progress is good.

    Thanks for asking!


  33. Late again – but I say, let the magazines go. As they sit there begging you to read them, you feel guiltier and guiltier and they get dustier and dustier. (Or maybe that’s just in my house?) I took ALL my holiday magazines to the dentist the other day. I’ve been throwing out ALL the catalogs that come in, without looking at them (can’t afford to buy from them, anyway). It’s a small step, but it’s helping.

    Sending you LOVE!!!

  34. TaraLee says:

    I just thought I would send a comment about the meds. I have been taking Cymbalta for 3 months for neuropathy. the side effects are atrocious! Constant hot flashes and sweats with your skin just dripping, and the nausea and fatigue is horrible. You have to eat heartily with it. Just a snack won’t cut it. And even then you may still be nauseous. Also, the manufacturer has had to send me 2 replacement boxes because of empty pill casings found in my prescription. So be careful with this drug. The doctor told me that in time the symptoms would cease but they have only gotten worse as we slowly increased the dosage. Now I’m weaning off it as the symptoms are so much worse than the reason I’m taking it. This is the first time I’ve ever had trouble with a medication, but I just wanted to warn you before you start it.

  35. Slowly recovering from a lurgy. Grand-kids keep bringing stuff back from pre-school. All I can do is send {{{HUGS}}} Brain not functioning very well and neither is the rest of me … Urgh!

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