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Day 387, Monday
There are some weeks where projects sneak up on me like bunnies appearing out of a hat. I think I’m all caught up, then bam! Not an ideal start to my week and my brain is scattered after the weekend’s productivity. I have to remind myself that this is a cycle.
Day 388, Tuesday
To the office for meetings and laptop updates (there are some updates I’m not allowed to run on work devices). The meetings took over my day, not much to show for my day except a pair of new laptop/monitor stands that I installed to alleviate neck strain at work.
Day 389, Wednesday
Posted last week’s vlog at long last [watch it here]. I don’t think there will be much of a vlog this week, if any [not a vlog, but a gentle reset video coming as scheduled].
My heart broke a little tonight. I’m grieving a part of myself and struggling to move on.
Day 390, Thursday
It was a rough night. I’m not in a great place, emotionally or mentally today. Like so many other moments, this is a season and it will pass, but it’s the kind of passing where something is irrevocably lost in the process.
Day 391, Friday
Hard to focus when my heart isn’t in it and my head hurts. I took a wellness day and only logged on for an hour of chat. The most work I was able to manage.
I made a list and feelings were discussed. It’s a start.
Day 392, Saturday – Day 393, Sunday
Focused on self-care this weekend. No writing, no worrying about being productive, just took time to take care of my physical and mental wellbeing.
Feeling much better this weekend. It’s been a journey of healing over the last few days.
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Day 380, Monday
So insomnia is back. Woke up at 4am, my brain spinning with thoughts and fixating on a random comment posted to one of the writing groups I recently joined. Went to work a little earlier, took a quick trip to my mom’s, and managed not to collapse until I got home.
Day 381, Tuesday
Slept a bit better, but I definitely have a migraine that keeps coming and going. Interrupted sleep isn’t helping.
The day was good, the evening not so much.
Day 382, Wednesday
Another crazy early morning. My brain just won’t stop whirring at random hours. I laid off the caffeine earlier than usual today. Hoping I don’t wake up at 1 am again. Yep, that’s what happened last night. Up at 1, fell asleep, up at 3, fell asleep, and so on until I finally rolled out of bed around 8:30 after shutting all my alarms off (even the one that requires me to get out of bed and walk across the room).
Vaccine #2 tomorrow. I’m so glad that I was able to get it. The numbers are starting to rise again in Miami, and I don’t look forward to having a campus full of unvaccinated 20 year olds running around this summer. My migraine/neck pain is still throbbing. Going to take some advil before bed (less than my usual dose) and hope I don’t have a full blown attack in the morning since I can’t take advil before the shot. The pain ebbs and flows.
Day 383, Thursday
Vaccine #2! Instant soreness and general lethargy. Had a giant breakfast to celebrate the milestone.
Day 384, Friday
Fever hit around 2am. On and off all day, but it finally broke sometime around dinner. Arm still mad sore!
Day 385, Saturday – Day 386, Sunday
Arm slightly sore on Saturday, but quickly improving. Started my CampNaNo project, which is to get as close to a finished draft as possible so I can send it off to betas.
Another early morning on Sunday. Woke up at 4am after some weird nightmare involving the little girl cat. Had to get out of bed and check on her just to calm my racing heart. Couldn’t get back to sleep after that, so I did something I never do—I sat down to write at 5am, cup of coffee by my side. Met my daily goal well before I normally get up, but there’s no way I can ever do this regularly. Aside from the nightmare, I’m not fully alive at 5am. I’ve tried it before; I burn out by the end of the week. If that’s your thing, more power to you. I struggle with chronic fatigue and insomnia, choosing work over sleep doesn’t end well for me.
Speaking of which, this week’s vlog is going to be a few days late. I thought I’d be able to edit it tonight, but it’s more than twelve hours since I woke up as I write this and there’s no way I’m nearing empty.
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Day 373, Monday
Only going to the office for one day this week. My schedule is too scattered and I’d rather zoom from home if I’m going to be sitting in multiple rounds of meetings. Let’s face it—I’m more productive (and pleasant) when I don’t need to sit in traffic for two hours.
Day 374, Tuesday
Working at home today. I’m still struggling to get back to my morning schedule since the daylight savings switch. It’s never hit me this hard before, but I’ve also been feeling really run down over the last two weeks. I don’t know if it’s the side effect of the vaccine, a migraine hangover, or just me.
Day 375, Wednesday
Had an Argentinian croissant stuffed with Nutella. It was an experience. I rarely eat Nutella, and Argentinian croissants are on another level, so it was all terribly indulgent. Such a rare treat!
Day 376, Thursday
Finished editing the transcript for my upcoming, pre-recorded presentation. A transcript wasn’t requested, but it seems only fitting for a conference about being inclusive. I recommend Otter, but you do need to clean up the transcript after the fact. 25 minutes at 4000 words makes me want to look more closely at the possibility of dictating a novel… think what I can do with that two hour drive if it works.
Day 377, Friday
Took the day I planned to take last Friday. Things obviously didn’t go as planned last week, so this was a much needed reprieve from my usual meetings. Managed to write and take care of all those little tasks I’ve put off for weeks. (Why do I do that?)
Kitty’s abscess checked out fine during her follow-up. This morning, it was barely visible. Such a relief. I don’t know if it’s the shock of a new space, but she’s more mellow with the emergency vet than she is with our regular doctor.
Day 378, Saturday – Day 379, Sunday
Success! Caught up to my writing goal for the month. After last week, I feared it was impossible, but I managed to create the writing retreat vibe that I needed to push through.
Saw my parents in the same place, at the same time for the first time in a year. They’re both fully vaccinated and I’ll complete round 2 next week. It feels like progress, though the likelihood of another spike looms near.
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Day 366, Monday
Back to work with the start of a migraine ☹️. Came home and laid in bed, but it was too late to stop it.
Day 367, Tuesday
Switched my days and went back to the office to record a conference presentation – recording in my place is bad enough when we record the podcast episodes. There’s always a truck, plane, train, or motorcycle that decides to roar past my apartment.
Day 368, Wednesday
Mom situation distracted me from my schedule… It’s only Wednesday, but this week is already a wash.
Day 369, Thursday
Another crazy early morning. Started with an hour-long drive and more meetings.
Day 370, Friday
Work up to find a giant lump under little girl cat’s chin. My usual vet couldn’t see her, so I had to sort through the local listings and hope for the best (I’ve had some bad vet experiences). I was so scared that I had missed a growing tumor. After my last two cats died of cancer, I’m extra anxious. Luckily (best of a bad situation), the vet found an abscess.
I planned to spend the day writing. Between the cat situation and two meetings that snuck onto my calendar, I’m not off to the best start.
Day 371, Saturday – Day 372, Sunday
Got about 3 hours sleep, all interrupted. Boy cat wouldn’t stop crying and little girl was so still, I couldn’t stop worrying.
Did a thing I haven’t done in nearly a year – ate at a restaurant! Sort of… The place was empty and we ate outside, but it was a lovely experience all the same.
Migraine is back. I knew the lack of sleep was going to trigger it. I’ve been puffy all week because of the meds. I hate it. It’s been a tough week. Not much progress, but at least I finished a chapter.
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Day 359, Monday
Back to campus for my third time in the office. Still adjusting, though it’s kind of a nice change despite the slight increase in risk (I say slight, because I see 4-5 people at most).
Day 360, Tuesday
One VERY long two hour drive through rush-hour traffic/early evening to pick up the boy after work. I haven’t driven such a long stretch since May-ish, when I dropped him off and had a panic attack on the way home. I drove right by the gas station where I pulled in that time to slow my racing heart.
Day 361, Wednesday
A short return to campus. My body was not cooperating and I headed home after getting some work done. No one really missed me. Finished working from home.
Day 362, Thursday
A year ago today, I started WFH.
Today, I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Needed a two hour nap and my arm is sore as heck.
Should I call these diaries Year 2 or continue the numbering? I’m leaning towards the latter. (The numbers are a little off because I didn’t start the diaries on day 1)
Day 363, Friday
Arm still crazy sore and a little swollen, but I haven’t had any other side effects so YAY!
Day 364, Saturday – Day 365, Sunday
Migraine and a parental health situation (not quite scare, but not quite routine). Not a very productive weekend, but my body told me to take a break. I planned to write for 6 hours, managed 1.5. I’ll take it.
Didn’t realize it was time to spring forward until I woke up in the middle of the night and my phone told me it was 3 but the clock on the stove said it was 2. Spent most of the morning in a migraine post-drome hangover. Hoping it will be gone by Monday.
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Day 352, Monday
Early start to my morning to get some revision done before work. The campus was quiet and being in my office felt more comforting than I imagined. Not many people around, and the building is generally quiet, so I didn’t feel as anxious as I feared. Lots of expired snacks needed to be tossed (actually, I’m taking them to my mom so she can feed her possum visitor). I set up my filter and love my new office kettle. Did some tidying—lots of old notes on my desk, old calendars, etc. I need to clear out books for donation, but that can wait until I bring the stack that I have at home. Not sure if I’ll be returning this week. If all goes as planned, my mom and gran should be getting their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, so my schedule will need to be adjusted either way. Currently attending an online, month-long conference/event and starting to outline a presentation that is due in April. At least my office is good for focus.
Day 353, Tuesday
WFH today and super busy too! Meetings and an impromptu grocery trip to pick up meds and stock up on snacks now that I’ll be going into the office on a semi-weekly basis. Luckily, no encounters with maskless fools, but the news coming out of the Florida legislation is worrisome re: our covid landscape. We’re already seeing the effect of irresponsible decision-making with this who return to the office because we can’t live in fear of the virus nonsense. I can very much live in fear of the virus. It has killed hundreds of thousands of people in this country alone, and almost as many people in Florida as we have students enrolled at my institution. So take your anti-science platitudes and shove ’em.
Day 354, Wednesday
Apparently, the Dr. Seuss thing happened. I mean, his past is pretty sketchy (google his history of propaganda), good to know his estate is doing something about it, but it also means there’s a push to make sure the copies we have at our library get placed in the archives and NOT someone’s ebay listing.
I never liked his books, not even as a kid. They’re obnoxious to the nth degree. Fight me (bite me?).
Day 355, Thursday
Back to the office for an online event. I took a little walk around the campus this time. It was quiet, but no more quiet than it is during our regular summer sessions—a few students, some staff. It’s never that crowded on our campus, which is a blessing at this time.
Day 356, Friday
Mom and gran are fully vaccinated! Success! It was a challenge to get gran to the place, but they were able to vaccinate her in the car and the boy helped to get her back into the house. We’ve reached the point where she’s forgetting how to walk and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get her to stand or find the balance to lower down into a chair, even with assistance. It’s a sad situation for everyone involved.
Day 357, Saturday – Day 358, Sunday
Double-down writing day on Saturday for a solid round of revisions. PMS is rearing it’s head though, so I was forced to slow down a bit on Sunday and take care of house work before I’m completely drained.
It’s been a few weeks, but my neighbors are smoking A LOT today and even my filters are having a hard time clearing the air. I hate it.
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Apparently, I never got around to posting January’s books amid all the new year excitement (and health drama), so here they are along with February’s reads.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken – Of course, all my holds came in at the same time… Loving this urban fantasy take on a Greek-mythology inspired Olympic murder fest. Basically, every 7 years the remaining gods battle it out, but the stakes are higher than ever.
The Art of Flaneuring: How to Wander with Intention and Discover a Better Life by Erika Owen – I’ve been reading this book on and off for the last year. It’s not fault of the book, it’s actually quite enjoyable, I’m just not in the frame of mind to read a book about exploring your city on foot when I can’t explore my city…
The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas – I never care about spoilers, but when I saw that this was the latest book on Heaving Bosoms, I paused and picked up my Kindle. I LOVED this book. St. Vincent is my surly hero. It hit all the marks for me–enemies to lovers, alpha hero who wants to make you comfortable, mildly high stakes. Just a win on all counts.
Naughty Brits by Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Louisa Edwards, Tessa Gratton, and Sierra Simone – I really enjoyed these stories, particularly Tessa Graton’s, but I couldn’t finish Sierra Simone’s. It hit a few too many hard limits for me and I couldn’t get behind the story. Especially loved the way the novellas evoked various parts of Britain and the British Museum. Really makes me want to put London at the top of my list after the pandemic (I visited in 2005 and have been meaning to go back since).
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo – This book made me mad in the best way possible. Highly recommend! The opening is a little quirky, but so powerful by the time you get to the end. I can’t stop recommending it.
American Girl, Molly Collection by Valerie Tripp – Molly and Felicity are the two original AG’s I never got around to reading. I was feeling the need for a WWII story to remind me that the world has survived some pretty grim times… Is it just me or is Molly a little mean? There’s the usual didactic element to each volume, but Molly is a bit of a spoiled bully, something I didn’t get from the other girls in the original collection. Am I just being nostalgic?
Awakening Your Ikigai: How the Japanese Wake Up to Joy and Purpose Every Day by Ken Mogi – I love starting the year with a self-improvement title. This came out during the wave of books about culturally inspired habits for happy lives… think Hygge and Lagom. Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy that encourages a balanced state of mind. It’s a quick, educational little book with lots of insight into the Japanese way of life.
Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole – this is the one that Sarah Maclean calls “Torture Island”. There’s definitely torture, not that this series is particularly light in general. I still enjoyed it. The reincarnation plot makes for some interesting stakes on top of the paranormal hunter/vivisection subplot.
Well, not strictly true but the one book I DNFed ended up being number insert double digit here in a series and completely impenetrable, so I returned it to the library.
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