Little Victories, Week 47

Welp, we haven’t done one of these in a while!

Reached 75 pages on my thesis.  Over halfway there, with about 45 pages to go before the chapters are completed!  I can do this!

Finished the rough draft of Book II of “Fallen Beyond Salvation”.  Guys, I am so in love with this book series.  You don’t even understand.

– Started hard editing Book I.  Editing SUCKS.  I’ll tell you that for free.  I get myself through it by telling myself, over and over again, that it will be worth it, that after the hard edits are done, I can send it off to beta readers and we can actually START getting feedback.  I’m nervous as hell, but hopefully it will go well.

– Completed NaNoWriMo!  This is something I’ve wanted to do since I first heard of it in 2006, and I managed to do it!  I hit 50,000 words yesterday.  So very happy with that.

– ALMOST finished a baby hat for a shower I’m going to tomorrow.

I’ve done pretty well this week, guys!  I’m getting stuff done, and I’m making myself happy.  And as a nice change from the last, oh, month or so, I’m sleeping a lot more and drinking less coffee.  That realization, a few weeks ago, from Dr. LW, that I was not going to finish my thesis by December (and that it was insane of me to ever think that I would) was really a wake-up call that I could not keep putting myself through this.  I needed to slow down, try to enjoy life and take care of myself a little better.  Fortunately, I’m learning, and it’s getting a little easier.  I’m going to be great.  Gonna get it all done, balance everything in my life, hit every deadline, and make it all happen.

I’ve got this.  In the end, my grandfather was right.  2013 was my year.

Midsummer update

I haven’t really been writing lately, and I don’t have much of an excuse, except that I’m suffering from burnout in a major way.  Anxious people will know what I mean: you know that feeling after you’ve had a massive, massive panic attack, where you feel like you have absolutely zero strength left in your body, and you just want to sleep for, oh, a decade?  That is how I feel right now.  Seriously.  It’s like we got through the divorce, and then my body said “You know all that tension and nerve you’ve been carrying for the last 22 months?  Yeah, we give up now,” and just fell apart.  I haven’t done the horrible keening crying, or “fallen apart” per se, but I just emotionally have very little to give right now.  The things that used to not bother me, or at least, didn’t bother me so much?  Send me screeching into the night, lately.  I’m tense, I’m exhausted, I just have nothing left to give lately.

Which lead me to asking my boss for a vacation week.  I’ll be taking it from August 31st to September 9th.  And I could not be more excited.

I don’t really have any plans right now, because a) I’m broke and b) who would I even go with?  But it’s really exciting to know that I have that option, that I’m going to have a week to sleep in, relax, take some time for myself.  Maybe get a massage, maybe visit some friends out of state (if I want to), and then top it all off with my trip to New Hampshire that first full weekend in September.  Yes.  It is a little over a month away, so I have plenty of time to plan ahead.

 

In other news, Wildfire is THREE WEEKS FROM FRIDAY OMG.  I can’t believe it came this fast.  I still have to buy a sleeping bag and start going over stuff I need to pack.

I got an email from Dr. LW, and my master’s thesis prospectus was approved and signed off by the Graduate Studies’ Office ON THE FIRST TRY.  Wahooo!  The good news is: three rewrites and edits before submission apparently did the trick!  The bad news is: omg, it’s time to actually write this thing and I am scared to death, here, let me spend another six months on research because actually writing it is scary.

But people who don’t write their Master’s theses don’t get Master’s degrees, and therefore don’t go on to become Ph.D.’s.  Or something like that.

I joined a fantasy football league, too.  That’s a thing that happened.    My transition from “Ew, football sucks,” to casual Patriots fan, to rabid Patriots fan, to rabid football fan, is nearing completion.  Look at my life, look at my choices.  I regret nothing.

Things are going pretty damn well.  I’m content.  Not ecstatic, not euphoric, but content, and that’s a pretty good place to be at 29 years and 10 months 🙂

Little Victories, Week Twenty-Three (with bonus Wildfire recap)

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

I really should have come in here after Wildfire and do a proper recap, because it was an extraordinary trip that really lit me up (pun intended) and left me feeling fantastic.  I definitely suffered the “post-WF crash” after coming home (I didn’t start feeling like myself until around Thursday), but all in all, it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to (hopefully) do it all over again in August (if I get a ticket! — we’ll find out on June 23rd)!

I talked a really big talk about being so assured that David and I would be fine going to Wildfire together, but NOT together (as in, hanging with the same people, but not actually camping together or being together at all).  The first night, my anxiety was almost crippling.  BUT.  I pushed through it, and we had an amazing time.  All of us.  There was no drama, there were no issues.  It was truly wonderful.  I’m so glad that we were able to put all of that baggage aside, so that we each could have a kickass weekend.

– I learned how to do fire staff at Wildfire.  I took four classes, I was kickass in two of them, and managed to keep my head above water in the last two.  I also did an impromptu affinity class with David and my friends Lyndsey and Matt, on Sunday, just playing around and practicing different tricks.  It was a lot of fun.  I lit up on both Saturday and Sunday evenings (Friday evening I did fans), and even though it was terrifying, spinning fire is one of the greatest natural highs you will ever get.  It’s like playing Prometheus or something.

 

 

Unfortunately, on Saturday night, while attempting a round-the-world with my brand new sexy staff, I accidentally clocked myself in the back of the head.  No harm done, but I did (briefly) catch my hair on fire.  I had a safety (David) who put the flames out instantly, before I even realized my bun was on fire.  The smell of burning hair really shook me up WAY more than the fact that dear God I just lit my hair on fire.  Lesson here, kids — if you have long hair, spray it down well with water before you spin fire.  Or just do what I did when I got home:

And cut it all off!

It was high time.  I had singed hair in the back, my hair had gotten seriously long (people were commenting on it) and because I can’t straighten it in the summer, I said “fuck it” and cropped it.  I. LOVE. IT.  It takes me about five minutes to get my hair styled in the morning.  No more messing with a straightening iron or tons of brushing or binding up when it gets too frizzy.  Love it.

– Set up my appointment to discuss the THIRD round of edits to my thesis prospectus, for next week.  Argh.  If the prospectus itself needs three edits (at least, who knows if it will need more?), what’s going to happen when we got to the actual thesis?  Can’t think about it, won’t be able to cope.

– This doesn’t TECHNICALLY count as a “little victory” for this week, but last week I ran C25K Week Five, Day 2…and did it the first try!  I can now run for 8 minutes at a stretch, no sweat!  (Well, okay, there was a lot of sweat, but I DID IT!)  Because I took a week off of running due to Wildfire and a particularly glorious sunburn (that made bra-wearing impossible), I’m going to dip back down to C25K Week Five, Day 1 today, and see where that takes me.  I made up my mind to not try and put a time limit on how fast I complete this, so I’m okay with holding back a little bit.

– Crazy Bruce has decided that after three years of weekly therapy sessions, I have finally “graduated” to bi-weekly sessions.  Instead of going every Wednesday, I will go every other Wednesday.  I was a little nervous at this idea, but he pointed out that, had the crap with my separation and divorce not happened, I would have reached this point a long time ago, since the reason why I first started seeing him (my anxiety and panic attacks) were almost entirely a thing of the past.  So rather than be nervous, I’m pretty proud of it.

PLANS FOR THIS WEEKEND!  My friend Jess is having a Tastefully Simple party tomorrow (really more a get together than anything) and we’re going over there tonight to help make up the samples.  Tomorrow: gym again (with any luck) and then cleaning the apartment, Jess’s party, and then off to Joe and Lyndsey’s for a spin jam (if the weather cooperates) or Cards Against Humanity (if it doesn’t).  Sunday I’m going to Mass at the retreat center with my father (it’s a once-a-year occurrence), and then…who knows?  Hopefully relaxing at some point.  Knitting has completely fallen off the radar in favor of fire spinning.  I really should try to get back into that…before throwing myself headlong into yet another round of prospectus rewrites.

And I will rise

I know I’ve been remiss in my updates, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks, what with filing for capstone, editing my prospectus and submitting it to the GSO, puppysitting last weekend, and running.  As well as work and still moving stuff (David’s roommates are moving in within the week and I still have a metric ton of shit in his apartment, ugh).

So this is a quick update.

– I’ve finished up to Week 5, Day 2 of C25K.  I am happy to say that I can now run for eight minutes at a stretch.  A few months ago, I couldn’t even do one.  I’m really, really happy with that.  The next step is run 20 minutes…so we’ll see how that goes.  I’m trying not to be hard on myself if I don’t succeed the first time.  I didn’t expect to be able to do eight minutes at a time on the first shot, but I did!

– Paperwork has been submitted to the GSO.  Now we play the waiting game.

– Most exciting of all…WILDFIRE IS TODAY!

 

….as for the fact that temperatures are predicted to reach 94 today and tomorrow (and possibly Sunday)?

That’s why there’s a lake.  And unlimited lemonade.

Half an hour left and then I’m free for a glorious three and a half days.

I.  Cannot.  Wait.
See you on the flip side!

Little Victories, Week Nineteen

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week, for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

(It is blowing my mind that we are almost to the mid-point of the year)

– MOVED.  That seems like a massive victory, not a little one, but damn I am proud of it.  I now have my new place, in a bigger, brighter apartment, closer to graduate school and my friends.  And I couldn’t be happier with it (well, that’s a little bit of a lie.  I would be if we had a washer and dryer that were completely plugged in — landlord is coming this weekend to check and make sure there are no leaks — and doorknobs that weren’t loose).  But still.  Power is on, cable is on, move is all but finished!  Pictures hopefully after this weekend.  We’re almost done unpacking!

– Finished my last two papers for Dr. S and submitted them.  This means that I…

More than likely finished my last class for my Master’s work!  As long as I get an A- or higher in Dr. S’s class, I should be golden for being finished with my graduate studies classes.  All I should have left is thesis in the fall…but I won’t find out for an undetermined amount of time whether or not my prospectus has been accepted.  (Which reminds me…must finish prospectus edits this weekend…)

– Successfully convinced my friend Drea to buy a ticket to June Wildfire!

– After a week of inactivity (well, of gym absences, since, as my mom puts it, I was working my ass off carrying furniture and boxes up and down flights of stairs), I went to the gym on Thursday and completed Week 3 of C25K.  I think I am ready for Week 4, Day 1, but we’ll see tomorrow.  If it’s too difficult, I’ll redo Week 3, Day 3.  Slow and steady.  I am determined to do this!

On tap for the weekend: finishing my final paper for the semester, gym, meeting up with Drea for knitting and a little introduction to spinning (if the weather cooperates, which I doubt it will).  Then Mothers’ Day on Sunday — church, lunch with Mom, and then volunteering for work in the evening).

I think next week I might just take the whole week off to relax.  This has been a crazy busy month, and it isn’t even half over yet!

So many updates…

Well…I moved!

It was just about as exhausting an experience as one can imagine, and I’m still sort of trying to catch up.  I lost three days last week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) to moving, and I’m still not done getting everything out of my parents’ in-law apartment and over to my new place.  I have (mostly) unpacked, though there are still two garbage bags full of clothing on my floor (that I need to sort through) and the kitchen is still a (mostly) unpacked wreck.  We need a kitchen table (we have chairs, just no table!) and a couple of bookshelves.  We’re getting these from Ikea sometime soon:

We also need a living room rug (probably going to get one soon too).  But the place is really coming together.  The kitties LOVE it.  And Samantha seems to love the kitties, which is good.  I overheard her and Tempest “talking” to each other today, and it was so damn adorable.

I finished both of my final papers for Dr. S yesterday and sent them in, so TECHNICALLY I am finished with classes for my Master’s degree (so long as I get an A- or above in that class).  I should only have my revisions for Dr. LW (due next Tuesday) and then I’m done done DONE for the Spring ’13 semester.  Holy crap, this went by fast.  Sometime over the summer, I’ll find out if my prospectus was accepted or rejected, and if I’m graduating in December like I hope, or in May (wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I don’t want to be in school for another year).

I also (with the help of Matt and David) convinced my friend Drea to buy a ticket to Wildfire in a few weeks!  I’m so freakin’ excited that it’s Wildfire season again.  Time for firespinning!  I don’t know how we live through the winter months, I really don’t.  I haven’t burned since August and I miss it.  Introducing a new friend to the spinning arts is seriously exciting.  I think we’re going to have the best Wildfire yet!

 

It’s all coming together.  It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but things are finally coming together.

Come the Spring

It’s another cold, sunny day in central Connecticut, but there’s hope in the air…it’s spring.

My journey to this point has been through fall and winter, without much sunshine and warmth, but this is spring, and it’s a whole ‘nother season.  I have to say that yesterday I struggled through the day (and it was a wet, rainy, sleet-y day) with a cold and aches and misery.  I tried powering through, but around 3 PM I gave up and said “Fuck it.”

Why was I slogging through this shit?  Some days you have to just say “I fold” and give up for the day.  Which is what I did.  I did all the necessary errands (paid my car tax, dropped off my car at the mechanic’s to get the timing belt replaced), emailed my professor my midterm paper, and then went home to crawl in bed.  And that was my day.  I didn’t do homework.  I knitted a little (I’m working on a prayer shawl to donate to church), and I watched The Conspirator” with my sister (a decent film, certainly nothing groundbreaking, and I could live the rest of my life without seeing Alexis Bledel in anything else — my God, she is awful).

And you know what?  I feel better today.  Not 100% — I’m still a little tired and my nose is a tad stuffy.  But probably at about 80%, and I’ll take it.

I’m leaving for Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon.  The lovely Nicki (my Game of Thrones partner) and I are driving to Maryland the long way (re: around the ridiculous amounts of tolls) and then to D.C. on Saturday, returning to Connecticut on Sunday.  I have been counting down to this trip for about three months, and I seriously cannot wait.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing, and I have to say it’s not only the opposite of constructive, it’s extremely destructive.  The only way that I won’t constantly be tempted to look back, though, is to delete my entire diary (on another website), which I can’t bring myself to do.  The entries may or may not be exactly happy, but they ARE mine.  It’s a record of my life, and even if they aren’t happy, they were my experiences.

I’ve been feeling like I’m stuck in a rut, looking backward, only tentatively moving forward.  And I just can’t do that anymore.  I have to move forward.  It’s the only way I’ll get out of this terrible limbo that I’ve been in since September of 2011.  A year and a half ago.  Hard to believe so much time has passed.  But i can’t keep looking back.  I have to move forward.

I have so much to look forward to this spring and summer: D.C., Wildfire June (if I get a ticket), Wildfire August (if I get tickets), hiking Mt. Washington, finishing my prospectus, finishing my thesis.  And there will be other happy events in there, events I don’t even know about yet.  Too much to look back on the things I’m missing.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. – Abraham Lincoln

 

2012 In Review — Part III

This is the third of four recaps of the 2012 Review Extravaganza.  I’m joining up with other bloggers, recapping the past year, three months at a time.

Have faith, guys.  This is the last three-month post of hell and crap!  After this, it gets better.

July: I’m not proud of July.  I moved out on July 1st…and moved back in four days later.  I don’t really have an excuse for my weakness or frame of mind.  I can only say that…living in an old house in the middle of the woods, the house where my grandfather died, while trying to figure out if I should end my marriage, didn’t work so well.  I moved back in, David and I decided to give our marriage another shot.  It didn’t work, needlessly.

In other news, I took a five-week course on the American Revolution from July 2 – August 5.  It was a really, really interesting course.  I learned a lot, I got to take two field trips, and got to cook authentic colonial-era food.  It was a great time.  I have never studied as hard as I did for that final, and I ended the class with an A-, keeping my GPA up.

August: August is pretty much a blur.  I know we went to Wildfire again, and that would have been a great time, except that it poured the first night and our tent got soaked.  So that kind of sucked.

September: A week into September, I found out that David had lied to me about going out of state, for the third time.  I couldn’t ignore the signs of infidelity anymore.  On September 11, the day before my 29th birthday, I told him that I wanted a divorce.  It was ridiculously terrible timing (worst birthday ever, right?) but at the same time, I turned 29 making a definite decision.

We went to Falmouth and Boston at the end of the month, with the intention of telling my MIL that we were splitting.  Unfortunately, David didn’t find a way to tell her until October, so that’s a story for another time.  I got the all-clear to rent the apartment that I’m living in now, back in September, but it would be two months before I could move out.  Living with your estranged husband for two months is…difficult, but we made it work.

I also threw myself into (what else?) graduate school, which was entirely necessary and helpful considering the emotional wreck I was inside.

Next week: the (somewhat) happier conclusion to what really, now that I look at it, was a rough year.  2013 promises to be better though 🙂

2012 In Review – Part II

This is the second of four recaps of the 2012 Review Extravaganza.  I’m joining up with other bloggers, recapping the last year, three months at a time.

April: On April 8th, Easter Sunday morning, my husband D told me that he wasn’t in love with me anymore, and he wanted to separate.  For the first time in our marriage, he took his wedding band off, which to me really said volumes.  I went through the motions that day, which hurts doubly because, as I later found out (and couldn’t have known then), this was to be the last holiday with my grandfather.  My last memory of him is of him sitting in my parents’ den, watching golf on the TV, blissfully happy…so I guess I can count myself lucky.

I think I reacted about the same as anyone will.  I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming.  Our marriage had never bounced back from the crushing blow it took in September of 2011, and although we had been seeing a marriage counselor, DS, since then, things hadn’t been as productive as either of us had liked, and I think D got tired and decided to throw in the towel.

The high point of April was going to Boston (a week after Easter) and meeting some fabulous friends from an internet message board that I’d only spoken to.  They were as wonderful in real life as they are online, and it was a great get-together.

I spent about a week lying in bed watching TV and crying all the time, and then something happened that jolted me out of it:

I got an A on my first major graduate paper since going back to school.

This was the wakeup call I needed.  I had to do well.  I knew I had to do well before all of this happened, but now it was even more critical.  It wasn’t even a case of “I won’t let him take this away from me.”  Because in the end, D couldn’t ruin my graduate career.  Only I could do that.  I couldn’t let me take this away from me, if that makes sense.  What good would it be to let my studies fall down?  Then I’d be divorced and a failure.  No.  So as difficult as it was, I threw myself heart and soul into being the best student I could be.

May: May was another difficult month.  D didn’t want to tell his family until we actually, legitimately separated, and I was having a difficult time finding an apartment.  We lived in a college town, and the housing market is ridiculous (affordable apartments are rarely on the market for more than 24 hours).

On May 12, I was a bridesmaid in my friend Tina’s beautiful wedding:

I spent the first three weeks of May tearing my way through my papers, and took three days off at the end of the semester to go to May Wildfire retreat.  I really wish I could find the video online of me spinning fire poi, because it was awesome.  But I can’t find it.

I came back from Wildfire, and found out that I had gotten an A and A- on my report card for Spring 2012 semester.  Which gave me a 3.85 GPA, the highest I’ve ever earned.  It was exhilarating.  I’ll admit I teared up at my desk.  I couldn’t believe that I had done it, that in spite of it being the most difficult few months of my life, I had rocked it.

I wish I could say that May ended on a high note, but it didn’t.  In the same week, my grandfather passed away at the age of 90 from what the doctors believe was an embolism.  And two days after that, my guinea pig, Milo, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.

June: I found an apartment, and at the last minute, I let it go.  My parents told me that my aunt, as executor of my grandfather’s will, would be willing to rent me his house, out in the woods, until it got a buyer.  With trepidation I agreed, because the house was so remote and out in the middle of nowhere (as my BIL said when  he saw it “People commit murders in places like this”), and I tried to find something else to occupy my brain.  I signed up for a five week course, starting the first week of July.

 

Okay, I wish I could say it gets better from here!  It doesn’t, but Week Four will, at least I hope, be slightly more uplifting!