Krissie: Trapped

Photo on 5-7-13 at 10.09 AM All I do is work, and my spirit and body are protesting. I have a lovely spot, I’m loving my book, but I’m being really brutal on myself and everything is rebelling. TMI information time — I pee slowly. Runs in the family, and it’s worse after the hysterectomy. No problem,it’s just leisurely. So I have a handheld solitaire game in the bathroom. Nowadays when I take a pee break my hands shake when I play solitaire.
Now my hands tend to shake anyway — not sure why. They shake more in times of stress or depending what meds I’m on. In fact, they may shake because of the meds. But this shaking is a lot worse.
And I’m so tired. All the time. I need a break. The weather’s been gorgeous, and I can see it out my window (I’ll take pictures, I promise) and feel the breeze, but I’m still trapped up here.
I gave up for a while, went downstairs, cut and filed my very long fingernails which are one of my genetically gifted pieces of real beauty. They’re long and oval Photo on 5-7-13 at 10.15 AM (that might not be clear because, duh, my hands are shaking). Anyway, those are some seriously fine natural fingernails. Problem is, they’re a bitch to play guitar with. It’s hard to get enough pad at the top of the nail to press down on the strings.
But I digress —
So I went out on the deck and tuned the old Guild guitar and played it. My voice was shit, which is interesting. I can belt out “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean” in faux operatic splendor for the tryouts for Music Man, I could sing my solo nun parts quite nicely. But my country voice is shot to hell. And I couldn’t remember lyrics. Jeesh!
So I gotta find my old music notebook, because the Guild is easier to play than the acoustic or my Martin. And sitting on the deck playing and singing is a very good idea.
But even that wasn’t good enough to make me sane again. It’s Deadline Dementia, and there’s not a damned thing I can do but work my ass off and try not to go insane.
I did start a new shawl (the Amita shawl in soft yellow yarn, compliments of Crusie) while I watched the Voice and lusted after Adam Levine, who I like because of his self-deprecating sense of humor (and his tats). So that started to relax me.
We’re getting days of rain starting on Thursday, which we badly need, but tomorrow is going to be another glorious day. I haven’t had a day off in more than a week, and i really need to get some food in, etc. So I think I will try to rise early and then go shopping. I have to get to the point where I’m ready to soar on through to the end (I’m still revising) and then the long drive (65 miles to Costco) will be great for brainstorming.
I just hate how I tend to make myself sick when I finish a book. It’s not fabulous of me.
Okay, a new goal. How to re-imagine my way of working so I don’t become a little puddle of exhaustion and hurt by the end. How do I control what I can’t control (the girls in the basement?). How do I say no to all the distractions that call my name?
How do I find a little balance in all this?
And don’t I have truly great fingernails?

32 thoughts on “Krissie: Trapped

  1. I have no answers but many of the same questions so I’ll be coming back to read the other comments. Whatever you do, enjoy the sunshine and cut yourself some slack. To use an old cliche, life is a journey. We must remember to enjoy the trip!

  2. You do have gorgeous nails–mine suck. My mom’s were like yours and she always had them beautifully manicured.

    ReFabbers, I need prayers and good energy. My dear friend, Dee–the one with retroperitoneal cancer–is going to into the hospital on Thursday for a wicked-bad 4-day chemo treatment in an attempt to shrink the monster inside her. It’s for pain relief, not healing. But the chemo is so awful, they need to sedate her through it. She’s very frail, less than 100 lbs, feeding herself through a stomach tube, and unable to even swallow her own spit, but her spirit is amazing. Please send her good energy and pray all the angels around her. I’m sick with worry–terrified we’ll lose her though this, but it’s her choice to give it a try, so I’m supporting her in it. Thanks…

  3. Kieran says:

    Krissie, we have a family tremor in my gene pool. My mom has it badly now. She just turned 77. We’re trying to find her a weighted fork. It’s not Parkinson’s. I suspect I’m on my way to getting it. Occasionally, I have a tremor when I pick up something heavy with my left hand. It’s a nerve thing, not related to alcohol/caffeine withdrawal or anything like that. Mom’s on a beta blocker for her heart, and it helps somewhat. But whenever she goes out now and eats with other people, she tells them about it because she has to grip her fork like a little kid, in her fist. She says that if that’s the worst that happens to her, she’s fine with it.

    I know what you mean about the deadline dementia. I *have* to find a way out of mine, which is why I’m becoming so regimented with everything but the actual writing. I need extraneous stuff off my plate, big-time, if I’m to survive as a writer and if my family is to survive me during those stressful deadlines.

    See if you can focus on getting exercise twice a week. And consider eliminating (or reducing) just one bad thing in your diet–and at the same time adding one good thing, like lots of water each day.

    That’s all. Do that for a while. See if your energy comes back! :>)

  4. MJ says:

    My daughter (who lives 2,000 miles away) and I are taming deadline panic with Skype work sessions. She has a huge project due, and I am thisclose to self-publishing Book One but stalled by fear.

    So we meet on Skype, chat a couple minutes, tell each other what we’re going to work on, then set a timer for 45 minutes. The camera is on, so we can occasionally wave or comment to each other. We can also hear each other’s keyboard clicking, which is inspiring.

    When the timer goes off, we stretch, congratulate each other on what we’ve done, take a break, then plunge back in. Three shifts per session is about enough, what with the time zone difference. It’s been very productive.

    And one night we got bonus participation from my son. He had no camera or mic, but he could hear us and text his comments. It was silly and fun, which really helps tame the beast.

  5. MJ says:

    Let me add that for business purposes, I got Skype Premium ($60 a year), which lets me host calls where you can see more than one person.

  6. Barbara Cameron says:

    Krissie, I feel that I work all the time, too. And when I look at the clock, I see that I put in plenty of 10 and 12 hour days. It never feels like I get enough time for a book and my agent has agreed with me. She thinks writing a book every six months is amazing.

    Anyway, what I do is plan little breaks in the day. I take a half hour off to watch a favorite cooking show and eat my lunch. I take mini-breaks where I sit on the back porch while my little dogs enjoy the yard and have their potty breaks. And I never go to bed without reading for a half hour or more.

    Unfortunately, as the deadline nears, I work seven days a week and that stinks. I want to get to a point where I take one day off a week. I’d also like to set up my sewing machine and sew occasionally since I used to love it.

    When I get really stressed over everything, I take an hour or two off and do something like go to WalMart to shop for quilting magazines and books and something small for the house (going there in a few minutes!). I also work hard at remembering that I am so grateful to have this job where I get to stay home even if I spend too much in one room sitting in front of the computer. That works until I get a break!

  7. You do have lovely fingernails. Mine are ugly and stumpy – I get manicures regularly to keep the hangnails/broken nails at bay, but they’ll never look like yours.

    I have a different kind of stress going on – DS has started having behaviourial struggles at school again and those phone calls make my stomach hurt, plus on-going issues about my mother’s health. Work has suddenly gone from dead to frantic and my “frenemy” co-worker is up to her old stab-me-in-the-back-in-public tricks (the more senior peoiple in the room the better). My head feels like it close to exploding. I’m focusing on taking deep-breathing to keep myself as centred as possible.

  8. Lovely fingernails. Perhaps simply accepting the process instead of fighting it might help? Don’t have any real answers. I am sure that you will find your path. Blessings to you.

  9. Oh Nan, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and Dee! I hope she gets through this and it gives her some relief and more time.

  10. Jane F says:

    I love this. I just need someone I feel comfortable doing it with i.e. not judgmental asking for essentially reports on progress. I’m dealing with anxiety which lef me to take time off from school. I’ve been working hard to get better but I’m facing school work for one class again and feel paralyzed by the deadline. And it’s seeping into the rest of my life.

  11. Very lovely fingernails! When I’m not biting mine (as I am once again — stress? moi?), mine look really good and I keep them short to keep them out of the way.

    All the suggestions others have offered look good. Maybe a 3-5 minute breathing meditation a few times a day would help? It helps to center, focus, and relax you. Which is what it sounds like you need.

    Take care of yourself. This too shall pass. Then you’ll get to go see Crusie!

  12. We, too, have a genetic tremor–everyone in the family always calls it “the palsy” as in, “Ain’t it terrible how Grover’s got the palsy? His hands shake harder than leaves on a tree in October.” Stress makes is worse. So does dehydration. Not Parkinson’s but my dad’s doc says that some of the anti-spasmodic meds they use on Parkinson’s patients can help even for this kind of thing.

    Hope you find your zen. It isn’t about wrestling it all into submission, it’s about finding the way to fit your own needs into the chaos a little bit at a time.

    Big hugs from a friendly stranger. 🙂

  13. Therese says:

    You do have very nice lady fingers! And elegant nails. My own hands are a bit um, manly, with big knuckles and rather blocky, square nails. And if I don’t remember to take calcium, the nails go all soft & bendy & then they break.

    As for the focusing and accomplishing and not freaking the eff out about deadlines? I got nuthin. Sorry. I’ve been told I’m one of the busiest people that folks know, but my house is always a disaster and there are countless unfinished projects everywhere I turn, in every aspect of my life.

    It’s not that I never finish anything, it’s more that I keep starting new things before quite finishing all the other things. I’ve heard this described as “constructive procrastination” whereby you have something you’re ignoring, but its looming presence drives you to accomplish or finish something else. Somehow it doesn’t seem quite healthy…

  14. Cath G says:

    Your nails are great. Would that mine would ever grow long enough to need cutting!

    When we were kids in the ’50’s my Mom put a set of 1930 Compton Encyclopedias in the bottom of the linen closet. Everybody sat and read them – we clocked more bathroom hours than you can imagine (6 people, 1 bathroom).

    I understand the need to meet a deadline. But working seven days a week will make you sick. Mini-breaks help. Stretch, have a cup of really good tea, take the dogs out for 15 minutes.
    And any other little things that appeal to you. Unless you write by rote you need recharge your creative energy throughout the work day.

    Just finished your book Breathless. Read it in one sitting, finished it a 5:00 AM. A fun book.

    Have added Nan’s friend Dee to my prayer list. She gets a lot of credit for doing having such aggressive chemo.

  15. Susanne says:

    Wow. Did anyone ever tell you what nice fingernails you have?

    What everyone else said.

  16. Micki says:

    My sister got the great fingernails in the family, and so did one of my daughters. (-: One set per generation? Mine are rather spatulate — narrow at the bottom of the nail bed, but then they widen as they reach the tips.

    All I can do is send you best wishes about the deadline — maybe you’ll get a chance to relax after it’s done?

  17. Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. It means so much to know I have your support–I think I’m in for a rough road for a while. I know I’m going to need you.

  18. MJ says:

    Yup, there’s a fine line between accountability and nagging. It helps to lay out the parameters up front. And it’s really effective: bit by bit, we’re getting things done. You can do it, Jane!

  19. I have been moaning about the end of books for two decades. I keep saying there must be some way to be more balanced. There must be a way…

    But every book, I’m locked in my office for a couple of week, weary, cranky, and lost in the book. My theory is that I have to immerse in the other world so that I can finish, and whatever I say, this is the process. To feel better,while I do that, I have to walk the dog every day. No junk food. Go to the gym once or twice in the evenings to work out the kinks so I sleep better.

    Still exhausting, but not so unhealthy as it used to be when I smoked, or drank 100 cups of coffee, or ate skittles.

  20. Sharon S. says:

    Krissie…I just finished A Rose at Midnight…Loved it, loved it, loved it. Thank you!

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