2021-11-28 Parenting Through Tough Situations + The MOST Disturbing Dream

Yesterday my primary concern was the argument my children found themselves in after a rotten turn during a board game we were playing. Yes, I said a board game. It was painful and unnecessary but just like a married couple that is stuck together for life, one argument often stirs up years of angst and incidents long past. 

So it wasn’t just about the board game, it was about a few of their less than stellar character traits, of which we all have some. It’s human nature and nobody is perfect.

My son brings up my daughter’s need to control every detail of a situation, her attitude when she doesn’t get that, and her entitlement as first born to get her way. 

My daughter brings up my sons casual attitude and the way he doesn’t care when he says something that hurts someone’s feelings. She’s upset he doesn’t want to spend time with her when she’s home even though the reasons for that are what I just listed above. And she refuses to recognize her own flaws. 

My son recognizes his flaws, but, as I said, doesn’t seem to care. 

I tried not to pick sides. I tried to just deescalate the situation and help them both see the others’ side. But, they are both stubborn which makes sense because I am too and so is their dad. The situation did not get resolved and that left me feeling aingsty. 

Yesterday came and went and I had a lot to do that did not involve them, but I did have brief moments where I could just “check-in” to gauge how they were feeling. They’re both fine. Probably because this sort of thing is a scene that’s repeated many times in the past and they’re used to sweeping it back under the rug. 

My fear is that it will taint any future attempts by me to engineer a family game day. They will remember the end of this one (and not how much fun we had for 6 hours but just the fight at the end) and not want to go through it again. Time will tell.

Today is a new day and another opportunity to talk to both of them. I’ll speak to her before she heads back to UNL and him before he heads back to his dad’s house. As a parent, I have to keep working to make sure they are the best versions of themselves and sometimes that means helping them recognize where they are flawed or wrong.

Easy to say but not always easy to do but unlike married people they are stuck together for life as siblings and they need to be there for each other. At least that’s how I feel about it. I want them to have a good relationship throughout their lifetime. I love them so much and just want good things for them both and their lives.

Of course I have to balance parenting with all the other things I’m committed to today. This includes being a good wife and the promise to go to brunch with Jim. It includes being a good daughter helping my mom a second day in a row setting up her new phone. 🙄 It includes being a good editor and meeting my co-founder to discuss all things Good Life Lit Mag. It means being good to myself and getting exercise today. 

It’s tough to have a well balanced life. 

***

I felt pretty good when I woke up today. Physically, I mean. I felt well rested and ready to get up and go but relaxed enough to just lay in bed and think. 

At that moment, however, my primary thought was WTF! That’s because I was having a dream right when I woke up and it was unpleasant. I had been sitting across a larger wooden dining table from a few other people, two women and a man engaged in conversation. 

The woman was going to lose some financial benefit or advantage because she lost her status in a certain position. Details escape me. But the uncomfortable part for me was recognizing that it was my fault AND .. wait for it… it was because I married Donald Trump. I was mortified. There aren’t enough 😱😱😱😱😱😱 horrified emojis in the Universe to express the feeling. 

They talked and in my head I was trying to puzzle out how it could have happened and at the same time justify that he swept me off my feet and I didn’t know who he was. Good gravy!!! 

After that I had a solo consultation with the man in the room who was some sort of environmental plant shaman and we looked at several of my potted plants that were in serious trouble. He explained my poor care of them and neglect had caused their suffering, again, I felt terrible, begging him to tell me how to save them. 

So yes, I woke up disturbed but also relieved it was only a dream. And then I laid there asking myself where the hell all that came from. I didn’t ponder long before I got up and got dressed for my walk but it’s apparently still on my mind. 

Stupid brain. 

The house is still asleep now and I reckon it’s be got about 30 more minutes before that changes so I’m gonna get some serious cardio. 

I had both the Covid moderna booster last evening and a flu shot so I want to use this energy I have now before my body could decide to turn this into a day I don’t want to do anything. Having all those plans I mentioned earlier will not go away so I hope I don’t take a dive. That would be rough. 

That’s it for now. 

Stay frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie 

(NOT Trump!!! 😱🤬😜)

2021-11-27 Not enough time to get anywhere…

Hi! I’ve only got about 20 minutes to walk here before I have to get going. Somehow my Saturday filled up with stuff without me realizing it. I’m going to a friend’s house to chat this morning after which I’ll probably be heading directly to my mom’s house, who is super anxious for me to set up her new phone. She bought herself an upgrade and I’m the apple fan girl of the fam so it falls on me to assist. 

Of course she also has some other chores for me while I’m at the house. She’s still on a 10 pound weight restriction which means someone else has to get the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the basement. I’m not sticking around to help beyond that. I’m not even in the mood to decorate my own house. The magic of Christmas hasn’t hit me yet. 

When I get home it will be time for Jim and I to hit the Walgreens where our Covid booster and flu shot will be at 4pm. After yesterday we agreed that tonight will be date night for us so we’ll be spending the rest of the evening together. Probably dinner and perhaps enjoy some games in the basement, perhaps a movie. 

Yesterday I declared game day with my kids and we played board games for about 7 hours straight. It was all fun and games until we got to the end of Catan and a huge fight broke out. C played a monopoly card and took all the clay and then Z wanted to rage quit because that was her whole next play (and her largest resource supply in the game). 

I tried to diffuse but it just escalated from there and… ended with Z in tears and C acting like he didn’t care. 

I subsequently had conversations with both of them in their respective bed rooms and they were very different conversations. Z was personally and emotionally centric and with C it was like he was still focused on the game and how that turned out, trying to rationalize why things went into a downward spiral after that play. 

Anyway..  have way more to say about this but I’ve got to git. 

More later, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-25 Happy Turkey Day Y’all!! 🧡🍗🥓🥧🥔🥐🥦🌽🧡

Yes.. it’s THAT day again and I’m feeling pretty good.

Let’s agree to set aside the sketchy origin of this holiday and instead focus on gratitude, spending quality time with people (hopefully), and…. FOOD!! 

One meager year ago we were in isolation. No meetups or visits with friends and family and for sure no big gathering with a hearty meal. 

Instead, it was five of us at the house and I cooked a small Turkey with all the fixings. I don’t have to go back and read my blog post about it. I remember it well. It was a nice time and I was grateful to have the kids here. 

This year I don’t have my kids. It’s the nature of the beast known as divorce. I would say I’m used to it but I don’t think I’ll ever really be used to it. It’s always hard. The holidays are tough for a lot of people for different reasons. Going to family events without my kids is just one of my reasons. Still, I’m grateful we’re all healthy and have board game day tomorrow to look forward to. 

I’m also grateful for the fact that my small circle of friends and family is also helpful. Especially my parents who have both had a really tough year—mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

I think they are through the worst of the physical stuff 🤞 but the emotional challenges often linger and take longer to mend. I’ll be seeing both of them today at my sister’s house. Plus a handful of other related and not related people, mostly her boyfriend’s family.

Pretty soon now I’m going to turn my attention to the FOOD part of this day. I’ll be making brunch for Jim and I at 11 and at the same time practice cooking my appetizer for the feast today. Practicing has literally been on my list all week and I have not gotten to it. If I procrastinate anymore, I won’t get practice at all because it will be the real thing.😜

My plan was to make bacon wrapped dates stuffed with cheese or almonds or both. There are lots of popular recipes on the internet and I just made sure I had all the ingredients for a few of them, and then planned to practice and decide what to go with. As the day ticks by, we’ll see how it plays out. 

Other than that, I don’t have a lot of plans for the day. Perhaps I’ll give myself a break from my daily grind like Everyone else?? I probably should. 

With that I must be moving along. But before I go, I think you should know, I’m grateful for you too. For spending your precious time reading. Time is one of the only things we really have in life, until we don’t. So don’t waste it. 🧡💕🧡💕

With peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-24 Which Way is Up + 10 Reasons Why Tuesday was Tops Compared to Monday

I swear the Universe is conspiring to mix me around something fierce in a way that leaves me not knowing which direction is up.

Two days ago I was the hot mess I often complain about being here in this semi-anonymous space. Yesterday was like the exact opposite. I felt great and for no damn good reason. I actually finished writing yesterday knowing in my heart today’s writing was going to start with 10 reasons why Tuesday was awesome (except I just said there was no good reason). 

Then last night happened and I’m all like “what the actual hell??!!”

I was stirred awake by one of the cats banging on our bedroom door, which they normally can’t to get to because we close the doors of the room that leads to our bedroom. That was 3:45am and I never was able to go back to sleep. 

It’s now 4:30 in the afternoon and I still haven’t slept or napped or anything that would bring me some relief for my utter exhaustion. What have done instead? 

Well after trying to go back to sleep for like an hour I said fuck it and pulled out my laptop. I had a poem accepted Tuesday for publication (Reason #1 Tuesday was way better than Monday). 

When that happened I promptly realized that I had to withdraw said poem from the 35+ other places it was stull under consideration at. Yowza! 

So I used today’s time in the wee hours to do that but you know what that means. I was on the Submittable platform and looking at all my open submissions and it’s a slippery slope with that “discover” button so close to my mouse pointer. I could not help myself. I started looking and then I started submitting. And before I knew it, it was 7am. 

I got up to cook breakfast and when that was over and Jim was off to work I took my dog-dodo feeling self and matched back up to the spare bedroom, took off my pants, climbed back into bed, and went right back to it. 

On Monday I had had like 3 rejection form letters come in and on Tuesday there were none (Reason # 2). Needless to say my count had dipped and though I said I was going to let it go for the rest of November (maybe the year).. I decided to work my little fingers and get that count back up to 100. Between the withdrawals, acceptance, and rejection, that meant I had to pull the trigger on about 10 submissions. 

After withdrawing the same one poem from 36 places, I wasn’t too keen on having that happen again so I opted to send in some nonfiction. All my polished pieces are flash (under 1000 words) and that got me most of the way there. Then I got stuck. This just means that I kinda ran out of places that fit the pieces I have with deadlines coming up. 

This forced me to turn my attention to my slush pile for something new. All the stuff in that pile is either unfinished, really rough, or has been abandoned. I scrolled through and I’m sure made some terrible scrunchy faces in the process. So much garbage. And then I opened a file, read it, and decided that was the ticket! 

I probably worked for two hours reading and revising. Reading and revising. Reading and revising. You get the gist. 

I subsequently sent that to a few places. It’s my first true hybrid piece.. a personal essay with a poem at the end. Hybrid work is all the rage these days so I’m sure it will be snatched in no time. 

What a relief to feel that way. I’ve lost so much confidence these past few months with all the rejection that even the pre-release of my book this week didn’t lift me up like it should have. Instead I felt like a fraud. Like an imposter poet that is about to be called out because their book doesn’t pass muster. 

Then I read the blurbs on the website, shared the link with a few folks, and had a friend reach out to let me know they’ve already ordered their copy (thanks Vis). This is Reason #3 why my frown turned upside down on Tuesday. 

(Dropping the link here for anyone interested in this so-called book: Unsuspecting Cinderella. Don’t wait, order your scintillating copy today!!)

Anyway, I’ve got a ton of shit done today and my count is back up to 100 despite feeling terrible physically today. 

I tried to nap, but could not so here I am on the treadmill writing out the play-by-play. Which brings me back to the other 7 reasons…

#4: My son is done with school for a week so there will be no homework fights for 5 glorious days. 

#5: I was able to get to my mid-week/pre-turkey day grocery run before the stores got ridiculous. And found the wine my husband has been looking for. 

#6: On a whim I made an appointment to donate blood. Walked in, passed the test, and donated in under an hour. Plus I got a free tee-shirt. Score! 🥅 

If you know me you know this is extremely rare. I usually fail the hemoglobin check and it was 13.6.. WHHHAAAT??!!!

#7: I maximized my time waiting at the Red Cross to book an appointment for Friday at a Walgreens to get my flu shot and Covid booster. Jim too. Woot! 

#8: When I stepped on the scale first thing in the AM, I had lost a pound and a half. 

#9: Despite the low energy and no cardio, I still got 12K steps. 

And finally #10: I was able to finish the first of a long list of posts for the GLR AND posted to social media. 😱😜 I actually feel on top of all that more than I’ve felt in a long while. Like I’ve finally got my act together. Hopefully it’s not just the Universe playing tricks on me. 

Speaking of the Universe, today is as good a day as any to request that the next 4 days are smooth sailing. Thanksgiving with my sometimes dysfunctional family, quality time with my kids on Friday (since they will be with their dad and his family on the actual holiday). I’ve tried to engineer a game day and I hope we can all get along. Saturday and Sunday are pretty open but I have one coffee meet up and then meet with my Co-EIC on Sunday. 

We’ll see, we’ll see. 

Times up my frosty friends. Check you on the flip side. 

The Truest,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-23 Pulling that Pin Out and Tossing it in the Trash 📌

Yesterday I suffered from a mini-existential crisis and wanted to write through it. I wanted to write long enough for my brain to start unlocking the doors to potential answers. Hey.. it’s worked before so why not? 

However life itself got in the way and I truly did not have enough time to get to any meaningful conclusion. Well.. I got glimpses down different avenues of thought but nothing as definitive as a real window with a view. 

Mixed metaphors much? Windows, doors, avenues, oh my! 

Just before I had to exit the writing scene I “put a pin in it” to return today for more. Just before I pushed that proverbial pin into the corkboard of my brain (ouch), I was on the precipice of asking the next question…

Within the context of things that I do or can do that bring my satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment—another project I put work into on the regular is my beloved Good Life Review. I ask myself why the lit mag doesn’t do it for me. I might answer that it does, but it’s so short lived. It’s like any regular job where there are things you like and things you have to do that you don’t like and at this point in time there’s just so much more I don’t want to do that it doesn’t balance out.

Diving deeper, that’s not exactly true. It may not be the tasks I work on themselves because I do enjoy most of it.

I enjoy connecting with other writers and getting to accept their pieces and work with them in a way that (I believe) leaves them with a positive experience. Hearing someone say kind words about me or the lit mag also gives me a warm feeling inside. There’s more to this but let’s move on. 

I enjoy working on the website, editing pages, and producing something beautiful I think people are pleased with. It’s about giving those writers a lovely home for their words. But the WordPress stuff behind the scenes is kind of my jam. As long as WordPress isn’t being a total butthead (that happens). 

I enjoy interacting with people on our editorial team, as long as it’s more like a one-on-one interaction. I dislike team meetings and group conversations frankly because of the whole social anxiety thing and not wanting to be the center of attention.

I don’t like dealing with people issues. With a team this size (approaching 20), it’s sometimes tough to continue making sure people are happy with how things are going. I’m probably failing at this lately but I also don’t think I’m alone in that. 

I love reading most of the pieces our editors pick to accept. I’m impressed by the creativity and craft that comes my way, each story or poem shining a light on some truth of life. Sometimes I’m blown away and that’s a great feeling. That what we are doing is going to allow more people to read and connect and give those writers work a platform. 

However, I don’t like social media which is a necessary evil in the publishing business. I think if I never had to think about it again, it would be a huge weight off my shoulders. I cringe every time the subject comes up. 

I also don’t like sending rejections. The process as we’ve constructed it is probably too time consuming and in general it sucks. It’s never fun delivering unwanted news. It’s part of the business and having been on both sides of the rejection form letter, I know it just is what it is. Yuk! 

Bringing it back around to where I started, with the good stuff, I would say that with this last release (our Autumn issue, one week ago), I realized that the most fulfilling moment is when it’s done and we get to sit back and celebrate. I love sending the “issue live” notification to our contributors and getting there responses lifts me up. But it is so, so short lived. Like the rest of life, the emotions are fleeting and at the end of it all, it’s a damn lot of work for that hot-minute payout. 

Since it’s only been a week I’m still riding that wave (except yesterday, good gravy what was THAT??!!). Ask me today and I’ll tell you we are doing good and it’s so worth it. Wait a month and ask again. Ha!

Anyway. I’m in it to win it now so this whole meandering is probably moot. 

The original question remains. What am I doing with my life? And then I Ask myself, does this question ever have an answer. Is the point just to live it and then you know?

I dunno, I just want to be in the driver’s seat, in control of the direction and speed. I don’t want it all just to happen and check the rear view to find the answers. 

Yesterday was a total bust. From sunup to way past sundown. The feeling of failure followed me all the way to my pillow and the last “good night.” 

It’s days like that where I truly hope the mood really is like the weather in Nebraska, where we can wait a day and it will change. 

And what do you know? Low and behold.. it did! I can’t even begin to explain it but today almost everything has gone my way. I would go so far as to say it’s been magical! Whatever! 😜

I’m sure another bout with self doubt and feeling lost in the world is just around the next bend. Stick around.. it could be a good one. 

As for elaborating on what exactly has gone my way today, it’s just going to have to wait. I’m totally out of time again. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have time to do a deep dive into something more productive, or positive at least. 

As Bugs Bunny says, That’s All Folks.🥕🥕🥕

(Crunches a carrot) ,

~Miss SugarCookie

(Dropping the link here for anyone interested in my book: Unsuspecting Cinderella. Don’t wait, order your scintillating copy today!!)

2021-11-22 Today the Completely Organic Miss SugarCookie asks the Relentless and Unforgiving Question: What Am I Doing With My Life?

I had one job today and I failed. And no matter what I do now, no matter what happens for the rest of this day or the next or the rest of the time I live in this house.. every time I see the result of that mistake I’ll be reminded. It’s such a trivial thing in the grand scheme but c’mon people. I feel like I can’t do anything without making mistakes lately. 

I just got back from Austin. 4 days of well balanced rest and relaxation where I should have been able to get my mind right. But I feel like I failed at that too. Sure, I let go and had a nice time and got into some good conversations but for some reason now that I’m back I missed my opportunity to really get something out of it. I just swept all my angst under a proverbial rug and today it’s like I lifted the rug to toss it in the washer and was disgusted to discover all that mess is still there. 

I think I will continue to look for a therapist. I think I should continue to put effort into figuring out what is wrong with me that I can’t just be happy with what I’ve been given. 

Maybe it’s because I don’t take hand-outs and feel as if I don’t deserve the gifts I’ve been given. Why do I think if I haven’t earned it or paid some price, I don’t deserve this goodness. Worse yet, why do I think I’m on a train that’s not bound for solution town? That I’m just stuck here with no way to actually fix what is wrong with me. 

It’s mental. It’s physical. It’s emotional. It’s exhausting. 

Today of all days I should feel exhilarated. I should be over the moon that the book I worked so hard on and have waited so long for is finally.. FINALLY.. available for pre-order. But no. 

(Dropping the link here for anyone interested in this so-called book: Unsuspecting Cinderella. Don’t wait, order your scintillating copy today!!)

Instead I’m grumpy at myself and life. I don’t even want to open the 7 (yes, seven) emails I received from the publisher with all the info I need to promote my book. I mean, I’m just guessing that’s what they are all about. Maybe I’m just terrified. Which makes no sense, but sometimes humans don’t make sense. 

Last week before I left for Austin I hit the goal to end all goals with regards to my submissions. 100!! 🎉🎉🎉

And with that I told myself that was it. I headed to my home away from home and let it go. I was letting it go and truly going to try and ignore all the of that for the duration and of the week, month, and maybe even the year. 

Seven rejections later and I’m so tempted to pick it back up again. It’s like an exercise in futility. 

Last month I became obsessed with compiling not one but two more chapbooks and a full manuscript with my mountain of poems. I worked fervently for a couple of weeks and felt, wait for it.. HAPPY doing what I was doing. It made me excited and hopeful and looking forward to the next day when I would wake up and get back to work. 

When I was finished and satisfied with my work, I did some research and wrote cover letters and submitted them to a few publishers. That was also neat and made me feel like I had accomplished something, however not quite at that same level. 

So far I’ve had one publisher reject both my chapbooks and that’s kind of shitty because it happened so fast. It made me feel like they didn’t even have time to read, contemplate, and compare. They just took my money and said “thanks but no thanks.” So dumb. 

Anyway so maybe it’s the rejection that’s got me down or the fact that I haven’t been able to write anything new for a while now. All I have is the same pile of poems from my MFA that i continue to work over in different ways. 

Maybe I need to jump into some workshops or a class or something. Maybe I need to do something that gives me more of a sense of a purpose than grocery shopping, dishes, and exercise all day. What am I doing with my life??!!

Am I getting somewhere or going nowhere? I need to figure this out but right now I’m outta time. I gotta go cook dinner. Cuz, real life.

Like they say in the biz “put a pin in it”  and we’ll come back to it later. Maybe. 

Never ever my own but forever and always completely yours, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-20 Austin Adventure Day 1, 2, 3, 4, & Done ✅

I’ll only be in Austin for one more hot minute and while it’s still fresh, here’s the rundown (for posterity)…

Day 0: Land at the airport and be briskly whisked away by my Texas bestie who wastes no time heading to our traditional first night dinner spot. The District Kitchen. I depart from my norm (ordering a cocktail and cheeseburger) and opt for a cocktail and steak instead. Not a bad call as it was delish. 

After that we head home and have a relaxing night and are in bed early. 😊

Day 1(Wednesday): I hide out in the master guest suite until the kids are taken to school and my friend is back at home. She makes me avocado toast for breakfast and also reserves a tennis court for us for 11:am. This is strange to me as we have plenty of open courts in omaha and I’ve never had to make a reservation at a club. 

We volley the ball for about an hour and a half and then enjoy lunch at a cute restaurant where we sit outside. This time I ordered the cheeseburger. Cuz… it’s what I do. 🤷‍♀️

When we arrive home I get cleaned up and go for the ride-along to pick up the kids. 

We leave shortly after arriving home to meet another friend out for a drink and sushi dinner. I can’t recall the name of any of the places we went to, which is definitely part of the “letting go” that was a primary goal of this trip. 

We’re not really out that late and go to bed early (again). I realize this makes me sound old, but at the same time I don’t care because it also makes me happy.

Day 2(Thursday): Spa day. I actually had to set an alarm because Rebecca wanted to go early to our day spa destination to take advantage of the saunas and tubs before our treatment. The spa was a 45 minute drive and we spent about 4 hours there. I had a massage and facial and we walked the grounds and down to the river and also had lunch. It all made me feel really spoiled and pampered and relaxed. It also made me wonder if there’s anything like that in Omaha?? 🤔

On this day we did not have to pick up the kids and basically ordered take-out from a Tex mex place for dinner and sat on her back deck and watched the sunset. It was a little meh, but obvi I can’t complain!! I had less than 6K steps all day which is the lowest in a long while.

Day 3(Friday): There really was no plan except for the fact that we wanted to counter the laziness of Spa day with more activity. 

We had scrambled egg and bacon breakfast tacos and headed out to the Hamilton Pool … which is not actually a pool but a nature location with trails and lake water people sometimes swim in (swimming closed because of Covid). We hiked both trails and it was neat, but mostly good for the conversation as the scenery was nothing special. One of the trails ends at the water with a large rock overhang that had water cascading off of it. That was super neat but we weren’t allowed to explore as most of of that was off limits.

After this we went back home to clean up as we decided to hit another one of our regular spots which is a winery that is right next door to a fantastic Italian restaurant. I ordered my standard pork chop with Brussel sprouts and after, we walked over to the winery and got a glass of wine to enjoy at a table outside. 

Since we ate so late that day, we didn’t really get dinner. Just rummaged the refrigerator for leftovers from the previous meals out. Since I almost  never eat all my food I had like 4 things to choose from. 😜

We spent that evening playing card games with the kids and drinking from the bottles of wine we bought on the way home from our lunch outing. Then once the kids went to bed we settled into chatting about all sorts of different topics. It’s nice to have people who know your history and conversation that’s just effortless. This was probably my latest night up, but I was still in bed by 11:30. Lame by comparison to previous visits, but again.. I don’t care. 

Day 4(Saturday): I slept in and kept to my own space until about 10:am at which time we had a quick breakfast with the kids and played a few more card games. Once the kids were tired of that and went off to do their own things, Rebecca and I got dressed and went for a neighborhood walk. She promised me there was a Hindi temple within walking distance and it was actually super close to her place. We’d been on walks on visits before and had never seen it so it was striking when we rounded the bend and there it was!!

Clearly this was the most visually stimulating adventure of the week as it is where I took the most pictures!

When we got back home I decided it was time to rest and pack a little bit and then didn’t come out of my room again until it was time for lunch. She offered to cook but I opted for leftovers again because I didn’t want the food to go to waste. This was about the time I started feeling a little sad I have to leave soon but also that I’ve seen and done enough and don’t want to interject myself into more of their family time.

Us three adults had one more round of the card game, which I dominated 😜, and then I headed back up the stairs one last time to collect my things for the drive to the airport. 

Sad to be leaving but happy to be headed home. 

All in all it was a wonderful visit and the weather the entire time was amazing. Clear skies, little to no wind (except on day one when our tennis was happening), and no precipitation. Temps were between 50 and 70 the entire time.

It’s the perfect time of the season to visit. Not sure when I’ll be back after writing this, I hope I can make it happen more regularly like I used to now that the pandemic is (mostly) behind us.

***

My goals this trip were to, as I said, let go, but also relax, catch up with a good friend, and do enough thinking and recharging to come home with a clear head and fresh perspective on life. I believe I have done that and am ready to be home, back in my own space.

Perfect timing since the plane just touched down in Houston and I have only one more flight to go to get there. 

Peace and Love from Texas, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-17 Hello Austin.. Ohhh, How I’ve Missed You

If I would have posted what I wrote yesterday, the title might have been “Miss SugarCookie is On the Move Again” or “Austin Adventure Day 0” or maybe “Seven Reminders Why I Hate Air Travel” but I only wrote a handful of sentence that had nothing to do with traveling or my trip and then my headache and frame of mind prevented me from writing anything else. 

Today I am waking up in a familiar bed in a familiar place that is my home away from home. At long last, I have finally returned to Austin and am extremely ready for some great R & R and QT with my Texas bestie. 

Part of the problem in trying to get here (both mentally and physically) is letting go of my responsibilities at home. Yesterday was a doozie and I want to leave the past in the past. Sometimes I go on and on about how my new job as a housewife is actually more work than my old job as an IT engineer but that is because it is often true. But, being a housewife and SAHM are not my only gigs now and getting the latest issue of my lit mag up on the site was part of the full court press I’m trying to let go of now. 

I’ve just now sent a few follow-up emails and once I scrawl some tasks I don’t want to forget down in my planner, I will be free from all that at least for a few days. I’m excited to turn my attention to other things. More specifically–enjoying conversations with my friend and doing all the fun things she has planned for our mutual “vacation.”

Today will be walking, and tennis, and meeting some other folks out for a good meal. I’m looking forward to catching up but also to THIS. Which is laying in bed past 8am, not being needed to cook or clean or scoop litter boxes, and having the time to write from my laptop instead of multitasking from my treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, I love my treadmill but sometimes it is nice to just sit and write without feeling like I should also be doing something else productive to maximize my time. 

On that note, it sounds like my friend is home from taking her kids to school and I should probably go downstairs and say Hi. 

Time to truly let go and get into the zone. The home-away-from-home zone.


Peace,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-11 Doing Something is Better than Doing Nothing

My husband Jim had said several days ago that I should “wait a week” and see how I feel. Ok. 

Two nights ago I talked with him again and he’s come around to my line of thinking. He said that he will support me in my decision to see a counselor/therapist. Honestly, I don’t even know the difference between a counselor and a therapist but it might not matter. Does it matter? I guess the bigger question now is who. 

I mentioned previously that I have friends that see people and have had good experiences with them so that is the most logical place to start. One of those folks lives far away and so her person is probably out as I believe I am in need of some real, face-to-face conversation. Another friend who is local told me about her person and that is definitely a viable option. I found her practice on the internet last night and sent an inquiry via email. We’ll see where that goes. 

This morning I told Jim at breakfast that I was also discontinuing use of the thyroid medication. Yes, it was prescribed by a physician based on lab tests (a slightly low Free Triodothyronine), but my lab level was soooo borderline that he (Jim) had originally discouraged me from taking it. He had said to try just the testosterone for now and see if that has any positive effect first, before adding a second variable into the mix. But I was so desperate to get some relief from my chronic symptoms, I didn’t care. The thyroid med seemed (on paper) to be the perfect pairing and would zero in on some of the lethargy I constantly feel. Plus boost my metabolism which also sounded super enticing because I have also been dealing with weight gain lately. 

So why stop? Well, I didn’t exactly tell Jim “you were right” and he didn’t exactly say back to me “I told you so” but in a roundabout way, that’s it. I have been feeling different and in some ways it is good but in others it is worse and damnit if it is tough to know if it is the testosterone or the thyroid. One clue is likely the changes in my body temperature. That’s something I don’t remember feeling the last time I tried the testosterone so I’m fairly confident the heat I’m feeling is from the thyroid med. 

I’m a little bit in denial that that temperature issue could be a pre-menopause, hot flash thing. I still don’t think I am there yet. In my heart I believe that because I was such a late bloomer as far as puberty is concerned that my body clock is just slow and that all that “change” nonsense will not happen for me for a while. In fact, my lab tests do show that to be the case as my girlie hormones are still right where they would be for a woman who is still technically able to bear children. 

The last lab test I had indicated that now that same lab is high. So maybe I should not discontinue taking it but reduce the dose?? That is something I’m going to continue to think about but one thing I do know for certain is that I’m not going back to that doctor. I really did not like him and the only reason I went there was because there are very few places in town that do testosterone therapy on women. My fall back is to go to my OBGYN who also does it. It has been a while since I’ve gone there anyhow so I’m probably overdue for my annual visit.

Anyway, that’s where things stand for my physical and mental health and no matter what, I think doing “something” and not “nothing” actually also makes me feel better. Like I’m trying to take control of things, even if a lot of it feels very outside of my control.

When Jim originally told me to “wait a week” all I could think about was that a week from then, I was going to be getting on a plane to go to Austin and of course.. OF COURSE.. that would make me feel better. I’m not going to do house chores for 5 days AND I get to hang out with my bestie and walk her property which is peaceful and calming and have a total spa day that she has planned for us at some fancy retreat sort of a place. It will be like taking a girls trip but we are actually just staying at her place. It’s been my home away from home for years and I’ve missed going because of the pandemic and also because of all the other changes in my life the last couple of years. 

Today, after I’m satisfied with this “me” time I’m going to turn my attention to the lit mag. We are getting ready to release our 5th issue and our arts and crafts person has been busy putting together the full issue. I do the pages in wordpress and she has final say on the artwork and then puts all the content together in a stunning PDF. If at all possible, I would like to get it wrapped up and released into the wild world before I leave for Texas next Tuesday. I think it is totally possible as long as we are able to collaborate on the finishing touches and she’s satisfied with the final product. Fingers crossed. 

On that note.. It is time to wrap this up and get to work. 

With sugar and spice and everything nice,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-11-09 Do I Need Help? 🤔

About a month ago, before I went on my vacation to Oregon I finally told my husband Jim I was serious about finding a counselor or therapist. I elaborated on my reasoning and the thought processes that led me to the conclusion that therapy could help me.

I clearly have issues I’m struggling with that I think another person could help me with. Yes, I’ve not had success with the counseling process in the past (long ago during my divorce) but that might have been because I didn’t have the right person sitting across from me.

I have several friends I’ve talked to about it and not only do they say something it is something that helps them, but one friend relies on her person for all kinds of advice and has been guided through a number of really difficult situations successfully. These friends are people I trust whose opinions I value. I told Jim this. 

He disagrees with the idea of me getting a counselor, and his rationale comes from his own poor experiences with counseling. He said that I can talk to him about anything. Which I feel is mostly true. He said we would go deep with it on vacation and that set my mind at ease. I let it go. 

Vacation came and went. We didn’t “go deep.” In fact, we barely touched on things bothering me at all, mostly because of my need to enjoy the moments we had together and not spoil it all by bringing us both down. I wasn’t surprised as this has been my MO in the past, sweeping my problems under a rug for the sake of not making waves. It has not served me well. 

Since returning from vacation I’ve had my ups and downs, but it’s mostly been down. Yesterday was another bad one. 

I’m just getting over my period so it’s not PMS like I know it is sometimes. Usually after that day 1 release, I feel both physically and mentally better. But that was not the case this time. 

If you were my therapist (which by the way you are) I would have to make sure you have all the info to make good assessments and give me advice. 

My chronic fatigue, brain fog, and sleep issues are not a secret. I’ve written about these so many times I’m sick of myself. Mix in low libido, flare-ups of anger and bitchiness and we get closer to a full picture.

Now top it with the cherry and whip cream of weight gain (which is a BIG deal for me), and waning sense of purpose in life and THAT my friends is a recipe for full blown depression. But I’m not here to diagnose myself. No. That is what a therapist is for. 

But wait… there’s more. 

This part of the story I’m telling is new. In the past I’ve tried a lot of things to fix my sleep issues and chronic fatigue and have failed. Sleep aids, meditation, yoga, CBD oil at night before going to bed, and the list goes on. Much of this failed because my core motivation (and willpower) are not what they used to be. Some of it was just plain bad news, like the Benzodiazepines. 

Enter stage left, the newest experiment. Not a new, new experiment as I have tried it before but did not find positive results enough to stick with it. What I’m referring to is testosterone therapy. 

Yes, I’ve historically been against hormone therapy but I’m desperate and have read and heard so much about how it can help. So I’m giving it another go, with a different doctor this time. And I think it’s doing something to me. Not all good and not all bad. 

In running a preliminary panel of lab tests, this new doctor found a slight issue with my thyroid for which I’m now taking a supplement for also. So it is tough to say if the changes I’m experiencing are from the testosterone or from the thyroid med. Again, not going to try and figure that one out myself. At the moment, I want to focus on the question of whether or not to get a therapist. 

I brought it up with Jim again. His stance on it has not changed. He believes that my mood lately is being caused by several factors–continuing to adjust to not having a regular day job, my daughter leaving for college, the thyroid and or testosterone, etc. He did not directly site our relationship but did allude to the fact that there are additional stressors there which we can work on together. He also pointed a finger at my monthly cycle and urged me to wait a week before setting up any initial appointments with a professional. 

I agreed again, just as I had before we went on vacation. I’ll give it a week. In the meantime, I need to do something to feel better about myself. I’m trying to stay productive and give myself lots of me-time too to see if that helps. It certainly didn’t yesterday. 

I went to bed super early last night (like 8PM) and read a book and then drifted off to sleep. Of course I woke up around 2 and did not fall back asleep. Instead, I worked on finishing edits of my full manuscript and also composed a cover letter I felt was sufficient enough of an introduction to my and my book that I could send to prospective publishers. The deadline for several of the places I’ve researched is Nov 30th but I want to be done and over it by the time I leave for Austin to visit my Texas Bestie. That is in exactly one week. 

Today we have painters here at the house and they are working on the gym so I’m avoiding that area. That means no treadmill or elliptical time for me today unless I change up my routine and do that stuff this evening. But since I have been awake since 2, I’ll be dead by 6PM and it probably will not work out. 

So as my current therapist, what do you think? Should I get an actual therapist? Am I normal or am I nutz? Should I just keep waiting for this “funk” to pass or do I need real help? 🤔🤔🤔

Ta-ta-for-now,

~Miss SugarCookie