2019-10-15 A Serious Lack of Motivation

The week is rolling now and there’s no time to waste. I’ve got another big packet due on the 20th and I’ve been doing that classic SugarCookie thing and procrastinating the parts I don’t want to do. It’s this big craft essay thing. It’s mostly done but the final section and conclusion and a pretty bow to tie it all together. I’ve been putting all my energy into the creative portion and revisions, which is necessary too. Arguably more important. But that’s almost done and there’s no putting off the other any longer.

I’ve also got work things creeping in on my time. But at least I’m making some $$ for that. Everyday living expenses are one thing but when it comes to special road trips to KC or some new shiny laptop, it’s different. I need my own funds for that and every hour I work makes me feel better about that.

I’ve been struggling with new writing lately including this blog. Like my poetry, sometimes I think “so what”. I don’t have anything truly important or impactful to say and I’ve got lots of other stuff to focus on so why put the effort in. I think I need some convincing and and most of the time I’m pretty good at self-talk but lately I’ve been needy for external validation.

I’m now participating in several writing/workshop groups which is great. Sometimes I get so sick of reading and working on my own stuff and so switching gears to read other people’s stuff is a welcome treat. Still, that doesn’t fix my motivation issue. Especially when it comes to this blog.

I used to write everyday and now it’s like every 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 days. There’s a direct correlation to my time on the treadmill which used to be an hour every morning and that’s spotty now too. I just haven’t had the push to make myself do it. Everyday there’s just other stuff that needs doing. I use the word “need” loosely. Some things are and some are just an excuse.

Right now I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and my energy is zapped. I’m trying to reduce my caffeine intake and now instead of feeling dead by 11am, I’m dead by like 9am. That’s seriously serious! I could/should do a whole post about the caffeine and the sleep and the energy, but that a perfect example of a road that leads to the /shrug and question why?

I think I’m going to need to try changing things up and do something completely different. Not sure what that would be but I’m open for suggestions.

Perhaps I’m just having a down morning and need to wait a few days for it to change.

Time to cut and run. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Be kind to each other,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-12 Great Day’s and Girls Only Getaways

I ended my post a few days ago with “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Great.” And indeed it was and how did I know that? How?

On Wednesday evening when I was walking the treadmill and thinking and writing I was sort of in a sour mood as I had been running around all day and did not accomplish much. The things I did get done were not very satisfying. I guess I was thinking (or hoping) that the day to follow was going to be better. Perhaps more self-fulfilling prophesy than premonition. Whatever it was.. the next day (Thursday) was really great.

Of course because it was great, I didn’t have time to write about it and the day that followed that (yesterday) was pretty stellar too and super busy. No time for treadmill or writing or even just sitting and thinking about stuff. Is that why the past two days were so great, because I was busy and had no time to spare? I would say maybe a little bit, but for the most part no.

Yesterday is still so fresh in my mind and far overshadows the day before that. It all started a few weeks ago when my Z sent me a text message about a concert she wanted to go to on October 11th. Skillet is one of her favorite bands (in her top 5) and she begged me to go but the closest show was in Kansas City. KC is about a 2.5 hour drive (2 to the outskirts where the Airport is) and so it is a pretty quick little road trip for us. Not that the road trip part of it mattered, because we both love road trips so even if it was 7 or 8 hours we probably would have gone. I actually briefly considered the Oct 10th show in Chicago. That would mean she would have to miss school though which would be bad parenting (not that I haven’t bent those rules before in certain circumstances).

The reality is, my time with her at home is really getting short now and a year from now she will be off at college. I want to take advantage of any opportunity I can to spend QT with her. The fact that she is 17 and still thinks of me first when doing this sort of stuff is pretty great and I knew it would be a good trip for just the two of us. I actually had other plans I had to cancel (the Phil Collins concert in Omaha), which I was really looking forward to (because I’m an old nerd), but it was totally worth it.

As it turns out, with Parent Teacher conferences this week the kids had a 4 day weekend so there was no school Friday. This meant we could leave at whatever time we wanted and take our time and make a whole day of it. I had several things to take care of in the AM before leaving (work and also the last harvest of the season before the temps drop to freezing) and after that we got on the road.

I knew I would not want to attempt to drive back to Omaha after the concert so we booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express. We arrived just in time for check-in. Shortly after that, we made a quick run to target for a few things (because every good road trip needs a Target run) and then it was back to the room to get all dolled up for dinner and the show.

The concert was in the heart of downtown KC in the power and light district at the Arvest Bank Theatre (super cool vintage venue). Doors opened at 6 and the show started at 7. There were three bands total and though I dig concerts, the music at this one was not really my thing. The first two bands were extremely loud. I never was a big heavy metal fan and they were both rock approaching metal. Even Z covered her ears for a lot of those first two acts.

The band we came for, Skillet, was a little closer to something I might typically listen to and therefore more enjoyable. She clearly enjoyed it, beaming from ear to ear when each new song she recognized started. It was a medium sized venue, so there were really no bad seats, but we were in the very top section, with all the other people who don’t stand during the show. We were at the end of a row so she had a perfect view of the stage. It was so great to see her so happy.

The whole thing lasted about 4 hours, which included us getting half way to the car before realizing the sweatshirt we bought was the wrong size and had to walk back to exchange it. I’m not sure what time we arrived back at the hotel but I was wiped out and ready for bed. I fell asleep as she was messaging with a few of her Cali friends and someone who was in a time zone where it was only like 2:30 PM – good grief where in the world must that person be?

The room was too cold and the pillows were just all wrong for me and so I did not sleep well at all. I was actually awake at 5:30AM and contemplating sneaking away to the hotel exercise room to walk and write. I didn’t though. I just turned the heat up and laid there for a while. Eventually I pulled out my laptop (yes, the new shiny) and .. waa-la.. here we are.

If it were up to me, we would be going down to take advantage of that “free” HIE breakfast right about now, but she’s still fast asleep.

I suppose I could climb back in bed and see if I can remember why Thursday was so great or what was so different about Thursday compared to Wednesday. Some days I think it’s just a mood or a vibe. Today will probably be good because we get to drive back to Omaha and then I get to spend the rest of Saturday with my fiancé without any obligations. Keep those great days coming!

Cheers to the Weekend!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-09 I Went Shopping for Shoes and Came Home with a Laptop 👠->💻

I finally pulled the trigger on a few items I’ve been toiling over for quite some time. I spent several hours driving around town. And yes, of course I also did the dishes. Where does all the god damned time go?!

I drove to village point and I swore at the steering wheel “I’m not leaving this stupid shopping mall empty handed”. Who decided outdoor malls in Nebraska were a good idea? Idiots.

I can’t buy shoes online. “That way lies madness” (a favorite saying of one of my former co-workers). So I spent about an hour in DSW trying on shoes, for my wedding. It’s like the very next thing on my list and I can’t get the dress altered until I know how tall I’m going to be in the shoes. Spoiler alert. I didn’t find any.

What I did find was a brand and style I liked and the sales gal said they have other colors online. I wore those 6 and a half black heels up and down the aisles and all through the clearance section. They passed the test. Too bad nothing else in the store worked. I suppose if I was getting married for the first time I would have a white dress and the shoes would be a slam dunk. As it is, my dress is slightly off-white, not white, and not ivory so I’m not even sure what goes or how to match that.

Jim’s been buying dress shirts online and just sending them back when we open them to discover they clash. Like I said.. madness. After all that jazz at the DSW, I went to the Apple store. Still determined to NOT leave empty handed.

Yeah.. I dropped some cash there and felt a twinge of regret as I drove away with my new laptop. What else was I to do though? My current laptop is from 2012 or 13 (it was a refurb I bought from my previous employer in 2015) and it threatens death every time I need to use it. Which is pretty much all the time. It won’t run unless plugged into the charger and sometimes it acts like it won’t turn on at all. Yadda-yadda. But that’s already too much ado about that topic.

I did my research and almost went with the Dell XPS but my Apple fan girl heart just can’t buy a windows machine. No apologies on that one, but wow those apples are pricey. I looked into an Apple certified refurbished one but they are almost as much as brand new. I haven’t had a new machine in like 9 years and the hope is that this one will last a long time. Call it an investment I guess.

When I arrived home I did more research on shoes and bought the pair I wore in the store, only in a blush pink. I saw some others online which may also work, so I guess I’m going the way of madness anyway. /shrug

In any case I checked a couple boxes and felt like the whole day didn’t amount to much. I guess they can’t all be winners. Just like this blog post. 😉

Tomorrow’s Gonna be Great.

Just Wait!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-08 Tennis Anyone? 🎾

I’ve got a list of health related updates that I’m wrinkling my nose at. Why the wrinkle?.. it just seems so snore, you know. But I used to do this weekly status check thing and I feel like there’s value in it. For one, it forces me to think about it and if I’m thinking, then I can’t avoid obvious problems. For two, if I’ve written about it I have that history to look back on. If I ever question what was going on 3 months ago, 6 months ago, a year.. I could read back and find out.

The weekly status thing fell off about 4 or 5 months ago and at that time I professed I was switching to monthly updates. I don’t think that’s happened though. All this to say.. stuff has been piling up and I’m feeling the need to spend a wee bit of time doing some written accounting.

The biggest update and the one that makes me so so happy is that my tennis elbow, that tendon I injured about a year ago is finally on the mend. It came on slowly last year as fall switched to winter and was so painful and affecting every activity, including sleep. By January I went to an orthopedic doctor and had a shot. That took away the pain for a nice long stretch. A couple of months actually.

It was a miracle that the pain was just completely gone and I had high hopes at that time my problem was solved. By March though, the pain started to return. I tried to hold out as long as I could and was so down and discouraged to have to go back to the doc. When you have an injury that takes a long time to heal, it feels like it’s just never going to get better.

This particular injury is funky. It’s the tendons around the elbow that are frazzled (like a frayed rope is how the doc explained it to me), yet the problems manifest from activities in the hand and wrist. It’s all connected. Bending and flexing the wrist would cause sparks of shooting pain in my arm and elbow. Even just at rest, my arm would throb. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and immediately be reminded that my arm hurt. Ugh!!

I begrudgingly had another shot in late June (I think). Funny now I can’t remember exactly unless I go back and read about it. See what I mean about writing things down! Anyway.. I of course had relief again. Again it felt like a miracle but this time it came with a skepticism that the pain would return again. That it was just a band-aid and I was convinced that I was in that 5-10 percent minority that would eventually have to have surgery to resolve.

Sure enough, around August the pain started to return again. My heart just sank. I steeled my resolve to once again go as long as I could without getting another shot. Around the first of September I made another appointment but the doc could not get me in for like 3 weeks. I was already at the tipping point and was immediately dreading those 3 weeks.

In those 3 weeks, though, something started to change. I felt there were little micro improvements in the pain. I was mentally noticing it less. There was a glimmer of hope. By the time the week of my appointment arrived, Jim and I discussed just cancelling and waiting to see what happens. That’s what I did.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been in that holding pattern. There’s still pain, but is definitely better and not worse. I no longer wake up at night and think about it. And when I do notice it.. it’s more minor than before. If I straighten my arm completely or hold something heavy or try to bend the elbow too much, the pain is there, but it’s not bothering me with regard to daily activities. I’m thinking it’s just such a slow recovery that it will keep getting better until it’s completely healed. Yay!!

Jim thinks the free weights I’ve been doing aa a part of Jazzercise consistently since about August has been the factor that is helping. It’s just enough weight for strength but not so much to do more harm than good. I’m not sure if that’s it or if the injury has just run its course. They say it typically takes 6 to 18 months to heal naturally.

My hope now is that it will be all better by the cold winter and the holidays. That it will not follow me to Thanksgiving and Christmas and if there is a little lingering that it’s for sure all through by February 2nd, when I’m marrying my man. Yeah, that’s still happening too.

I miss tennis a little but can live without it if it means I can avoid this injury again. Tennis was always a thing with Josh and I anyway and I barely speak to him anymore. Funny the way it is. Life.

Well – I have other updates but I’ve gone on too long already with just this one.

Perhaps this whole week should be dedicated to health and wellness. I know I sure could use a reset where a lot of things are concerned.

One, Two, Cha-cha-cha,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-07 The Assignment

The assignment (I may have mentioned) was to select the most difficult time of your life and write about it. I tried to. I wrote some words and turned them in. It felt like a failed experiment. How do you put yourself back in a place you tried so hard to climb out of and forget. How do you find imaginative language to help you describe your pain?

The assignment, though well meaning, was just all wrong for me. I tried to follow the prompts but the heart and mind aren’t always compliant. It all just feels so far away and it would be nice to forget, you know?

A question on my mind happens to be about writing what comes when it does versus putting your mind into a frame where it’s got to produce something. What’s right? What’s better. I get all these exercises. I get the point, but I read the words from my peers and it just makes me feel unworthy. They wrote some really great stuff from those prompts. Mines just garbage.

Turning that rock over in my palm, the other stuff I’ve written this semester, sans prompts, has been better. Quite good, in my not so humble opinion. This is obviously leading me to a conclusion. But what of it? It is what it is.

It’s Monday again and I have class today and we’re doing workshop. Yay for more feedback. I really enjoy going to class and so far the reading assignments have been good. I’ll be interested in how workshop in class will differ from the MFA Res workshop.

I really don’t have a lot to muse about today. The kids are going to their dads house for a week and that always makes me a little grumpy. It’s 11:30am and I’m still off caffeine and feeling a bit eye dead. It seems when I’m tired my eyes feel it the most. They get sore and I have a hard time focusing. I’m on the treadmill and looking at myself in the mirror and they are red and I look like I’m on the verge of tears. Maybe I am. I dunno.

I think that’s all I have in me today. Just one of those days.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-04 Un-caffeinated Wanderings

Pick a title.. any title. Spin the wheel, where it stops nobody knows. Except when they do… 🤔

I’m like 2 weeks into operation “good good night” where we make some life changes to get better sleep. We kicked the cats out and I no longer drink water after 7pm to limit my trips to the bathroom at 4am. The next phase in the plan was to reduce the caffeine intake and let me tell you. Let me just tell you I’m coming to terms with the fact that my willpower to resist caving in on some resolve is apparently approaching non existent. Which is to say, it’s tough.

I used to get caffeine from no-doz pills in the name of saving myself from those unnecessary calories of sugar and cream I have when I have a cup of coffee. Then I would end up having a coffee anyway. Total face palm. And just so we’re clear, when I say “I used to”, what I mean is like everyday for a few years now up until two days ago.

Yesterday was the first day I did not have that morning shot of caffeine and it wasn’t that bad. By mid afternoon I was totally craving a coffee (not that that’s any different than any other day) and I caved and had that. I was truly surprised that I didn’t have any headache. I would have expected a slight withdrawal factor but maybe the afternoon coffee was enough.

That makes today day 2 and I’m on the treadmill now and obviously thinking about it because it’s the first thing I went for when I started to write. For a person that walks through days exhausted often, that little boost was so great. I sound like an addict. Wait… is that what an addict sounds like? I dunno.. I just really want that boost.

That’s enough about that mess. Seriously.. so many other things to focus on.

My daughter applied to UNO for her undergrad and already got an acceptance letter. That was yesterday and I’m all like woohoo!! She also applied at UNL and UNK and told me in the car that she would never go to UNL, that she hated that campus and the school was too large. I’m scratching my head about it. “Why did you apply?”.

Apparently the after school program she participates in had them apply at several in-state options. She’s also looking into a few schools in Missouri and Kansas and I need to help her work through the options. I also suggested Colorado and Iowa schools and she just sort of gives me this look. She said she won’t go to an Iowa school and I just can’t quite figure out why. She has no good reason. I’m good with whatever.. just happy she’s decided going somewhere far away is not for her. That’s not for me either. I need my Pudding Pie to stay close to home.

I’m super excited for her. This year is already going super fast. Too fast.

Speaking of things going too fast.. my wedding day is now less than 4 months away and I’m needing to kick planning into gear this month! I literally spent the whole month of September like a zombie and didn’t do shit. I mean about anything. I did the minimum requirements and crossed about 1 of 20 things off my monthly to to-do list. Now.. there’s not enough room left on my whiteboard for more and there’s about 20 new things that need to get done this month. I’m starting to feel like I’m approaching panic mode but still can’t find the motivation to do stuff.

I probably just need some caffeine or something. 🤣

I think I was able to do 1 thing on my list each day I would be in good shape by the end of the month. I want to be able to roll into the cold months not having anything I have to get out for.

Anyway, it’s Friday again and I’m excited for the weekend. I’m excited to get to spend some QT with Jim getting stuff done here at the house. I feel like I barely see him during the week. I’m hoping the weather outside is good for yard work. We have a ton of fall cleanup to do. It’s just one of those things about fall I do enjoy. That and sitting and sipping a hot cup of coffee or some latte. Oh my my.. my brain is a one track mind sometimes. ☕️

I’m sticking to my resolve today though. I need to prove to myself that my willpower still exists. That I can have the same kind of resolve that I did years ago when I’m put my mind to something. I kinda want to prove that age is not the cause of my problems. That I can still be like 32 any day of the week if I want to (though I used to say 24). Ha!

Nobody wants to be 24. Ick!! At 24 you’re so young and stupid and you still think you know everything about life. You haven’t been cut to your knees yet by life. And all that misery is still in your future. No thanks.

My misery is behind me now and I’m just gonna say “no thanks” when life offers me more (I know it will). Come to think of it, most of my worst adult misery was between the ages of 32 and 44 so perhaps I don’t want to be 32 either. 🤔

Today my goal is to submit a set of poems to a publication and do some revising of some new stuff and get back on my exercise game. Tonight there’s a poetry reading at Kaneko and I’m planning to go to that too. Plus.. at least 1 other thing on my October to-do list.

That’s it! Times up. Thanks for playing along.

Cheers to the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-01 Yo.. It’s October! 🧡🧡🧡

Wowza.. how the hand-baskets did we get HERE?!!

Hold up yo. Rewind. Yesterday was such a transition funk. I literally just sat there not knowing what to do with myself all day until people started arriving home and I had their needs to attend to.

First I did this mad dash to get all the Monday things done and when that was over, I just sat down and sulked. Then I got mad at myself for wasting time I could have been exercising (kinda slipping off that wagon lately). But did I make a move to change it? No. Then I had this internal argument with myself about it being ok to be lazy sometimes. Seriously! Why is it I can’t just be lazy?

I checked my bank account and paid my credit card bill online. I resisted the other bookmarks, a depressing set of rabbit-holes. I downloaded a meditation app on my phone and did “lesson 1”. Even when trying to meditate my mind wanders to the question of productivity.

He said in a calm and pleasant voice “your mind has wandered away and that’s ok. When you notice this, bring it back and focus on your breathing”. THAT is easier said than done.

I’m like whoa! How did he know that? I know it’s because the human brain can be really predictable in this scenario. Especially an untrained one. Fast forward back to now.

October 1st and it sort of feels great to be out of September. It’s the stupid month everyone holds on a pedestal, toasting pumpkin spice lattes to autumn and fire pits and relief from the heat of summer. The reality is that September is just a poser. It’s tricks don’t fool me. It’s still summer, hot as balls outside and nothing has really changed.

But October.. is the real deal. Take a look at the extended forecast. Look at the natural shriveling of garden vines. The air outside smells of change and the winds are shifting. Notice the birds flying like nature’s arrows to a place they can call home while winter blankets the Midwest. Nature knows.

Today it’s going to be rainy and dark and I’m just gonna snuggle down. I’m going to let myself feel October sinking in my skin. And make a promise to not be too hard on myself when tomorrow comes and October 1st didn’t amount to anything. All I can do is try. Right?

On that note.. it’s time to lean into that thought and make it happen.

Cheers to the Real Deal, ☕️

~Miss PumpkinSpiceLatte