quiet day diaries: week of September 13

Monday

Out of isolation now that my test results were negative. Back to the office and ready to catch up on all the work that I didn’t have the brain space for last week. It was a genuine struggle to be able to focus between the low-level migraine I was nursing and the sense of unease as I waited for my results, all while acting like everything was ok when interacting with people remotely.

My lymph nodes feel a little swollen after my flu shot, but otherwise no reaction beyond the initial arm soreness.

Tuesday

Started the day with a meeting. I cannot understand why anyone chooses to schedule meetings at 9am or 4pm (especially on a Friday). Those are terrible hours. No one wants to meet at those hours. Stop it, you’re a sadist.

Wednesday

Worked from home today because I had back to back meetings from 10 to 4:30 and I like the flexibility of being able to move around without needing to be locked in my office.

Thursday

A day off to deal with mom stuff. The cats were not pleased, but it made for a nice change of pace. Spend the morning reading, then did some tidying and finished up with a few writing sprints. It was a nice reset.

Friday

off to work, off to take another test. The cycle continues.

Saturday – Sunday

Back to writing and a bout of intense dusting. I even wiped down the walls (an easy task I put off for way too long). Next week, I deep clean the bathroom…

Test came back negative, but the boy has been going through something that may or may not be the panini (I heard someone call it this and I love it). Waiting on his test, but he’s doing ok so far. He helped me deal with some of the cat drama on Thursday, but it was a limited exposure so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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quiet day diaries: week of September 6

Monday

I’m starting to think that what I’m struggling with is the lack of change re: editing. At this stage in the process, I would normally be writing in public spaces (libraries, coffee shops, etc.) to give my brain a sense of space that I can associate with work, but every day is the same and every draft has been written inside the same four walls for the last year and a half. Maybe that’s why I’m struggling. It feels like I’m not making any progress because nothing changes. Rationally, I know that’s not true—I’m definitely making progress—but coming to this stage of the draft, where so much of the work is in the minutiae, it feels like it’s dragging along.

I might try music. This is not quiet sprint work.

Test came back negative but my anxious brain won’t let me stop wondering what if I tested too early. 😣

Tuesday

Test done. Hoping my results come in faster than the last time. My throat tightness feels better, but I’m not willing to chance it when I can wait for results. We’re too small of a department and too open to the public.

Wednesday

The place where I work has this absurd cybersecurity training program that happens every year. Well, this year the IT department made such a crap effort at sending out the initial message that I missed it. And so did everyone else in my department. Because it looked like a freakin spam message! Good job newsletter writer who buried the lead and did not even include a link to the training site(!). FFS. It’s due this week and I have a million other things to finish and no time for an hours-long training program that repeats the same information I had to learn last year.

Thursday

Test finally arrived late at night. Negative! Yes! Two scares in as many weeks is two too many. Also, I’ve gotten somewhat used to working on certain types of projects in my office again and this week has dragged.

Friday

Reported my results so I can return to the office next week. As I write, my neighbor is pace-stomping across the other side of my bedroom and I want to hit something. He does this for HOURS and it drives me bonkers. I swear he’s wearing work boots while he does it because it’s beyond loud. This is the guy who also thinks it’s okay to deadlift and slam his weights down in a second story apartment, so I wouldn’t put it past him. (I often wonder at the state of their floors. While my place has terrible carpet, theirs has the original wood floors.)

Saturday – Sunday

A super productive weekend! It was a working weekend, which pushed me to make the most of the non-work hours. It’s like the pressure before a deadline, I often find my focus when time is limited. Not a procrastination thing, just a pack as much as I can thing… not sure which is worse TBH.

Anyhow, I cleaned my car and got it washed (after spending 💸 on maintenance work), got my flu shot, and started going through crutch words I’m culling out of the draft. All in all, a good weekend for life projects.

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quiet day diaries: week of August 30

Monday

Back at the office, feeling like I didn’t get any time off because of my weekend shift (because I didn’t). I planned poorly and should’ve cleared my schedule this week, but no rest and all that. I’m taking a little extra time off during my WFH day this week to make up for it (and to rest my brain because, let’s face it, my work is purely cerebral).

Tuesday

Stormy day with a persistent migraine in my cervical neck area. Sigh. I’m definitely susceptible to the weather. Also, driving stress. It’s been an achy start to the week and I’m extra puffy from water retention because of the advil and the migraine itself. I hate it.

Wednesday

Mom’s test came back negative! 🥳

Thursday

Worked from home today, which was the right choice because I did not feel well during my afternoon meeting. Hurray for Zoom. And the mute button.

Everything feels so unsettled at the moment; it’s getting harder to focus when so much of the future is in question. Honestly, at this point, I’m just waiting for the day I get covid because so little is in my control with our current political situation. And don’t get me started on the latest wave of attacks to women’s rights. Every headline is a real-life nightmare.

Friday

Did I spend most of my day in traffic? Yes. It was one of those days. Just lots of driving. And another covid test. 😞

Saturday – Sunday

Am I avoiding my latest look at the draft? Maybe. Or am I just burned out? Likely, both.

Saturday started with a lost dog adventure courtesy of the boy and ended with a semi-planned jaunt across county lines to buy black sugar milk tea mix at my favorite Korean market. It was a worthy effort to procrastinate. Tomorrow, I will face the damn draft once again.

On the bright side, it’s been cool enough to open the windows for the first time in months. At least there’s a silver lining to the very wet weather we’ve had this week.

Sunday. Still waiting. It’s highly unlikely that my results will be available until after the holiday, so I’ve been put on the quarantine list at work. My throat feels tight and has for a few days, which is how my mom’s infection started and my coworker’s too. I’m hoping I’m wrong, but this may be th one.

No writing yet. Taking care of housework and trying not to fixate on possible symptoms.

Meanwhile, I’m catching up on the vlog.

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quiet day diaries: week of August 23

Monday

I work in education and classes have started once again. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about the influx of students on campus, though it is nice to see students get excited about our welcome back freebies. Even our ugly water bottles have been a hit. (They’re hideous. The person who designed them should never be allowed to design merch.)

Mom got tested today. 🤞 hoping she tests negative. The aide who infected her and my gran might also be offer her infection, so my mom might be able to get some help again (the agency, understandably, would not send an aide while they were infected… though, yes, it was an aide who infected them. It’s the crazy state we’re in).

Tuesday

One of the people in my unit is sick. We don’t know if it’s covid yet, but it’s not like it’s impossible. Luckily, everyone in my unit is vaccinated, so I feel some relief knowing that. Went to get myself tested and advised the others who were in contact with this person to get as well. I’m defying policy by doing that, but I care more about our collective health than some stupid policy.

Anyhow, it was a long morning, made longer by the fact that there was a poorly timed change to our library system a week ago, so the volume of phone calls, chats, and zooms has been bananas.

I saw an article in the NYT about folks complaining about being required to go back into their “isolation bubble” and all I can say is the grass is always greener. I wish I was in an isolation bubble instead of exposed to thousands of people every day, but that’s Florida for you.

Wednesday

Disaster. Mom’s test was invalid because the sample was bad. For reasons it’s really hard for her to get tested and now she has to do it again. I got her an at home test in the meantime.

Thursday

Got a negative covid test! 🥳An hour later, I get a notice telling me I need to test because there’s a confirmed case in my department and my timing might’ve been off. Deep sigh.

On the plus side, moms at home test is negative. She wants a PCR to be certain but I’m pretty sure she’s in the clear.

My life is a reflection of the sad state I’m in at the moment. Trying to stay positive.

Friday

Gran’s test came back and she’s still testing positive, 20 days after the first sign of infection (which was a mild fever). We can’t tell if she’s feeling anything because of her Alzheimer’s (she can no longer communicate) but she is showing no visible symptoms.

Still waiting for my test results to verify or negate my earlier test.

Saturday – Sunday

The weekend kind of got away from me. Worked on Saturday and it was non-stop busy. I felt drained after my shift and didn’t want to do much of anything, which led to a bit of unplanned restaurant spending. It’s a long story, but I’ve been trying to reduce my non-essential spending and the weekend definitely took me over my planned budget for the week. Sunday wasn’t much better, but it led to some nice moments, which I don’t regret. Memories are all we have sometimes.

Second test came back negative 😊. Hoping we don’t have another scare in my department.

In my exhaustion (cough depression), I failed to share the last few episodes. These were extra fun to record and brought some lightness to my days.

Minisode 47.5: Follow-up & First Impressions The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

Gricel laments the lack of time, Bee begrudgingly is amazed by a long-awaited trailer, and Kat invites us to a mysterious mansion for a cup of stars. The lady nerds continue discussing Ireland, resurrect the Matrix, and cannot escape Stephen King.
  1. Minisode 47.5: Follow-up & First Impressions
  2. Episode 47: Derry Girls
  3. Super Special: Summer of Love

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quiet day diaries: week of August 2 – 8

I’ve started posts for the last two weeks and given up. Things have been complicated lately. My cousins are doing better, but I’m not sure about my aunt. There are a lot of emotions tied to that side of the family and it’s never been a great relationship, hence, complicated. I’ve also been dealing with difficulties among my staff, which has been a challenge.

To top it off, my grandmother’s home health aide caught covid and my grandmother developed a mild fever two days after the aide started feeling sick. My mom hasn’t had any symptoms yet (knock on wood), but all my worries have come to a head and I can’t do anything to help them. I’m grateful that they were vaccinated as soon as it was available to them, but I’m upset that the one person they depend on never bothered to get vaccinated herself and put them (plus her other elderly clients) in danger.

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quiet day diaries: week of July 19-25

Monday

wfh today. caught up on several tasks that required concentration and outlined points for a video series that I need to record for work. WFH days are not new for me, but I’ve learned to value the uninterrupted time that I can get when I’m away from my office. (I love my office, but there are a lot of distractions and it can get chatty)

Tuesday

Back to the office to record those videos. Goodness, I’m out of practice talking with my presenter voice. Recording the podcast used to take it out of me during the start of the pandemic, but my work voice is more “professional” (re: clearer and louder) and I don’t have the same break in conversation if I’m talking to myself for hours. Seriously, like 2 hours of recording and editing for what came out to roughly 15 minutes of content 😅.

Wednesday

Learned that my cousins caught Covid and their mom caught it for the second time. They’re the side of the family that refuses to get the vaccine. My feelings are very complex. There’s a part of me that wants to roll my eyes and say I told you so but I also don’t want anything to happen to them. There are a lot of emotions tied to this side of the family too. We were estranged for years and there are still a lot of tangled feelings around that.

Thursday

The elder of the cousins ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. My mom called me in tears because the hospitals are closed to visitors and it hit her what that means for someone on the inside. It’s just one of the many tragedies of covid that so many died alone.

If you can get your vaccine, get the vaccine. My cousins are another statistic among the “young and unvaccinated” that are driving this current wave of infections.

Friday

wfh again today. It’s so hot though; I miss the cool air in my office. I told myself I would get some writing done today, but I’m having a rough time of it lately. This round of revisions is kicking my ass in terms of motivation and I’m starting to think it’s just burn out.

Saturday – Sunday

Feeling that low energy mood, but managed to get back to revisions. Baby steps. Stuck to the easy revisions instead of the energy-intensive ones… future me will hate me for it, but this is what I need right now.

I’ve been making some lifestyle changes lately. After a mild case of maximalism, I realize that it’s time to get back to a saver’s mindset and reevaluate what brings me joy and what I can go without. I’m going on a targeted No Buy for the next few months, starting with excess food spending (goodbye subscription box) and curbing my recent makeup and skincare binge (I really don’t need more makeup, it’s a sign of my dissatisfaction with life at the moment rather than a genuine need).

Latest vlog

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quiet day diaries: week of July 12-18

Monday

My summer of vet appointments is on a roll. All regular checkups minus the drama, so that’s a plus. I took the day off but it turned into a family day rather than a catch up on writing day. Let’s just say no writing has happened in days, though I did finish reading the draft and outlining revisions.

Tuesday

To work we go. I’m mostly alone in the office at the moment, which is great for my low-level anxiety re: covid.

Wednesday

Having a really hard time focusing this week. My PMS fatigue is at an all-time high, which is making it extra hard to focus on anything that requires solid concentration.

Thursday

Had an encounter that left me shaken. Saw a guy fall off his bike next to a median (moped type thing). It happened as I was turning onto the road (it’s a side street), so I pulled up to help. He was down and on the floor when I stopped to ask if he was ok, but he proceeded to blame me for his fall. Unbelievable. He looked fine and I didn’t want to get into an argument, but way to treat someone who wanted to make sure you were ok. Of course, my anxious brain keeps fixating on this.

Friday

Hosted an hour-long training session at work and realized how long it’s been since I’ve used my “work voice” for an hour straight.

Saturday – Sunday

I managed to write! I set a very modest 5k word goal for Camp NaNo because I’m revising minor details and rewriting specific scenes at this stage, but even that seemed next to impossible until this weekend. TBH, I’m unlikely to reach that goal with my current list of revisions, but I rewrote two scenes and got up to a 1230 words, about 600 of which were brand new to the story. That feels like some sort of victory after the last two weeks. I’ve barely managed to focus on developing my outline for draft 4 and it’s been a struggle to sit down and get to work. Hoping this becomes the start of a productive streak. As always, my goals are modest, but an hour a day should see me through this draft without too much strain on my wellness.

Recently on the pod…

Minisode 45.5: Follow-up & First Impressions The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

Kat amps up for a summer of love, Gricel is won over by coffee, and Bee preps us for a princess tale. The lady nerds unearth a forgotten 90s gem, continue to be charmed by Brendan Fraser, and give a millennial classic the royal treatment.

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quiet day diaries: week of June 14-July 2

in which I disappeared for a few weeks.

Monday, June 14

Office time. Spent the morning updating my CV for work… I really should get better about regularly updating this thing, but I know I won’t. It’s a pain every year, but not a high priority. At least I keep a general list as I go, it’s just not pretty.

Tuesday, June 15

So I finally made an appointment to see a neurologist about my migraines. Don’t ask me why I waited this long, I have no real excuse. Just been tired of having to see so many doctors over the years, but I’m growing increasingly concerned about my brain health given my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. I’m just scared that the migraines are affecting my brain… Anyhow, I have an appointment. In January. Sigh. It’s a step, at least. I’m on a waiting list for cancellations in the meantime.

Wednesday June 16 through today

also known as the days I was too distracted to track

I didn’t mean for it to happen, but with my draft off to betas and my autoreply on, I had the chance to go offline for the first time in… well… years. It wasn’t even planned. I took a day to read, walk, watch TV (let’s be real – it was YouTube and Netflix), and enjoy the little things. Then, one day became two, became three, became a week and a half away from my laptop. I signed on at the end of the second week to pay bills and meet to record the latest podcast episode, but otherwise, it was the perfect way to treat myself after years of writing on vacation or worrying about time away from writing.

Getting back to work felt different after being offline for so long. Almost like a fresh start.

Sadly, much of the weekend and week to date has been filled with updates about the Surfside condo collapse. The images are heartbreaking, yet I can’t look away. The chance that someone survived in the rubble is looking slimmer by the day, but officials say they still have hope because they’ve located air pockets in the rubble. It’s so tragic. It’s the sort of event that makes me value every second with my loved ones.

If you’d like to help, you can find how to donate on the Miami-Dade Emergency Management site: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/emergency/building-collapse/home.page

You can follow developments here: https://www.miamiherald.com/topics/condo-collapse/

On a lighter note, the latest episode of the podcast is live and it’s a fun one.

Episode 45: The Mummy The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

In which we revel in the combined hotness of the cast, give props to strong female leads while also wishing for stronger female supporting characters, and unanimously agree on the high enjoyment levels of the movie. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the 1999 film The Mummy.    

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quiet day diaries: week of May 31 – June 6

Monday

Day off! Finally sat down to record a very long, very belated thyroid health update for my channel… Besides my tieks reviews, this is the video that gets the most views and comments.

Also recorded a very long writing update about my current WIP. I’m feeling the existential dread of post-beta revisions (received feedback from my first reader, out to a second, and posted a couple of calls for volunteers). Baby steps.

Despite all that, today was a low level depression day. Likely hormonal, but never a fun time. Every little thing set me off and made me want to cry.

Tuesday

Off to work. Caught up on a fair number of tasks that were starting to pile up. I can’t tell if I’m getting more comfortable being in a public setting, or I’m glad to have the right people for company on the days when I go in to work. Either way, it makes for a nice change of pace even if I spend most of the day stuck to my desk.

Wednesday

It was a productive day, then I saw the power and light trucks roll up to the street beside my building and knew it was a bad sign. I blasted the AC units until the power went off at 8pm, dug out the camping lights I use for hurricane season, and sorted through the fridge for foods that could be shipped off to my BF’s house before they became a loss. It was a long night.

Thursday

Got to bed around 3:30 am. The cats thought we were having a sleepover as I tossed and turned on the couch, jumping every time the power guys made some crazy new noise that tore through my tired brain. Up at 7:30 when the cats demanded food then back to bed before having to settle in for the first hour of chat I optimistically signed up for on Monday. It was a long day and I was grateful for my hoard of ramen by the end of it.

Friday

It’s the first time I’ve gone to work on a Friday since returning to the office. Apparently, I was too sneaky because they shut the lights on me.

Saturday – Sunday

Saturday became a take care of life stuff day… As often happens, the laundry piled up while I was taking time to take care of all the other stuff that I set aside in favor of writing. The single life is lovely, but I do envy writers who have a partner that likes to take care of the cleaning and cooking. There, I said it.

The rest of the weekend was a blur of cleaning and laundry with too much caffeine to keep me going. The boy also decided to try to teach me to play some of his instruments. I failed as a musician years ago; this might not be a promising start.

In other news, the latest episode of the podcast may be my favorite to date 🙂

Minisode 47.5: Follow-up & First Impressions The Bluestocking Circle Podcast

Gricel laments the lack of time, Bee begrudgingly is amazed by a long-awaited trailer, and Kat invites us to a mysterious mansion for a cup of stars. The lady nerds continue discussing Ireland, resurrect the Matrix, and cannot escape Stephen King.

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video: quiet days in May [weekly vlog]

A very late update, but writing took precedence over the last two weeks.

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