2021-09-20 Monday Roll Call

Trending: Princess Beatrice is a mom! But nobody knows who Beatrice is because Gabby’s body might have been found and some Russians are dead too.

Last Saturday was national Cheeseburger day and I missed it. Damn.

I gained another pound since yesterday. It’s an unwelcome trend.

From Genesis Fitness: “It’s Our Birthday.” About every three weeks I get an email from the gym I haven’t been to in two years declaring it’s own birthday. They want to give me a gift but I’ll never know what that is because I open the email.

Three people have updates that Facebook thinks I’ll be interested in. I’m not. 

There’s a new poem from Rattle written by Ted Kooser about a man descending into his cellar to get a jar of peaches. It’s followed by a statement from Ted explaining that he’s 82 and he’s the subject of his own poem. It’s really quite good, of course. 

There’s an old poem from Paris Review that makes no sense. As I read it all I can think is that if someone wrote that poem today, it wouldn’t fly.  I also want to try sending some of my own nonsense poems to Paris to see if they will fly. Someday, maybe. 

There’s more.

There’s always more. 

But it’s kinda like bronchitis and I’ve got a lot to do today. 

Peace and love and all that Jazz, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-19 And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack…

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile

And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife

And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

I’m going to leave the past in the past and the future in the future today. I’m not going to let my mind wander into Tuesday or Wednesday or the end of the month. I want to focus on today and this moment and how I’m feeling, which is grateful and at peace with life. Today it’s all ok.

Today I went with my husband to take his dad to the grocery. His dad is in his 80s and doesn’t drive anymore. He’s full of vinegar and has lots of stories to tell. This morning was the one about the first time he had to be in charge of the ER in whatever rural community he served as a young physician. 

He was Twenty-five and nearing the end of that first rotation. It was the end of a long shift and a man came into the ER asking to borrow a wheelchair. As the conversation unfolded it turns out he shot his wife.

After that the story being told turns into a longer explanation of how the man came to be in that rural area with this woman, the truth of which is questionable. They had just gotten married and were driving to meet his family in Gretna Nebraska.

Whatever the full story was, it lead to the moment when he shoots the woman… to keep her from being hysterical? She’s hysterical because she’s just found out he’s already married with a family. Whoa!!

In my head I’m thinking “so he shot her on purpose??!!” But the punchline to the story was actually that the bullet hit some part of her insides that somehow saved her life. 

“An inch to the left and she’d have been dead immediately.” Is how that story ends. And that’s it.

He proceeds to ask me if I know what a store is called that only sells women’s hats. And then tells me the answer which I promptly forgot as he moved on to telling some other story about some shop in Ireland. I’m guessing it was a hat store, but I can’t be sure. 

Our trip to the market was uneventful and after returning home we saddled up the bikes and made a beeline for our favorite trail—around Lake Wehrspann. 

It was an ok ride but ohhhh the wind!! 

My Fitbit recorded that we rode for 33 minutes and I burned 171 calories with an average heart rate of 116 bpm. 

After that we drove to First Watch where I had brunch which was about 1000 calories (at least). Yeah… that’s about right. 

Stepping on the scale this morning I had gained two pounds since yesterday and the only way that makes sense is that I’m retaining water. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😜

I might try that intermittent fasting thing again this week. I’m also going to make a serious push to reduce my caffeine this week and am going to abstain from coffee. I’m going to do it. I really am! 

In other news, I’m back up to 40 active submissions. This means that I’ve got essays and poems under consideration with 40 different publishers. My goal is to be up to 50 by the end of the month. 

A few months ago I said that I was going to begin submitting to more “reputable” places. So far I feel as if I’ve failed to do that. It’s because my confidence has waned and also because, for some reason, it’s easier to just keep doing what I have been doing. Most of the journals I come across in the Submittable platform are fledgling, just like The Good Life Review. 

I’ve already gone on too long or I’d dive head first into describing the algorithm I created to “score” a publisher with a set of weighted criteria. Perhaps that should be where I start tomorrow? But I’m not thinking about tomorrow, remember??!! 😂

In any case. It remains to be seen.

All will be revealed in time. 

Once in a lifetime, 

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Title and opening lines by the Talking Heads. Such a great song.

2021-09-18 Just Another Typical Saturday with a Side of Health Updates

Today is Saturday and I’m walking on the treadmill while things are still peaceful here in the castle. It’s going to be a busy day. 

I’ve got a poetry workshop I’m looking forward to attending that starts at 10am and after that my son is having a group of friends over to the house for a game day. Not football or video games but a gathering of magic, or rather Magic the Gathering. I’m no stranger to this as his dad was (and may still be) into that card game. All I really remember about it though, were boxes upon boxes of cards and an insatiable appetite to buy more. He and his crew had to buy new packs every time they played. Whoever invented the game is a genius. What a racket! 

I digress. 

I’m happy he’s having friends over. He hasn’t done that much before and I’m hoping this becomes a regular thing. People need people in real life. Face to face and not just faceless across the wires of the internet.

I’m also going with my husband to visit both my parents today. I saw my dad a few days ago and he’s struggling and needs something that he’s not equipped to figure out. His health is a concern, both mentally and physically, and I really don’t know how to help him either. But we’re going to chat about it some more anyhow. 

My mom and her health issues are next level compared to that though. She’s just finished six months of chemotherapy for her stage 3C ovarian Cancer and on the threshold of another major surgery. That’s actually happening this week and I fully expect it to consume my thoughts and time. I’m sure there will be several blog posts about all of that tumbling out soon, but today’s visit is all about making sure Jim and I understand the status of her affairs and know where all her important papers are. 

I’m her power of attorney for health matters and named executor of her will. It’s not the type of thing I want to think about or talk about but I get that she needs to because she’s facing the reality of her age and circumstance. She’s going to be fine through this, though, I am certain.

With what little time I have to myself this morning, I’m considering my own health. 

It’s no secret I’ve struggled with chronic fatigue, poor sleep, and had issues focusing on anything requiring mental energy late in the day. Yeah, by about 8pm I’m useless and it creeps in  earlier and earlier each day the more time passes. 

Two weeks ago I went to a new doctor who ran a bunch of labs to look for clues. In truth, I picked that doc because he’s one of very few physicians in Omaha that does testosterone therapy for women. That’s really what I was after. I knew going in he would be treating me as any internist would, with comprehensive care and not just what I was asking for. Hence all the labs. 

There were no surprises in the results. I’m pretty healthy for my age. It’s good news, yes, but also just a touch frustrating because there IS nothing obviously wrong with me. Nothing big anyway. 

My hormone levels are ok and I might be entering what is called perimenopause but if I am, it’s super early. My thyroid is ok except for a slightly low T3 value for which I was prescribed a new med. Subclinical hypothyroidism is the official lingo but based on what the internet and my husband says, it’s not typically treated. 

Still, I grasp onto it because it’s something. It’s frustrating to have issues where the cause is elusive and nebulous. Maybe it is not why I’m feeling the way I am but the thought of taking a med that’s going to potentially speed my metabolism and give me more energy sounds like something worth trying. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of taking prescriptions. I’d love to find a more natural, homeopathic solution. I’m just at the end of the sidewalk trying to figure it out. If I wasn’t, there’s no way in hell I’d let someone put extra testosterone in my body. What nonsense, but again, seems worth trying. 

The doc also sold me some vitamins and  supplements. Vitamin A, D, and K and something called methyl factors. My hubby gave me the serious side eye when I told him. All I can say is that they are vitamins and what can it hurt? 

I’m pairing all these new pills I’m putting in my body with a mindset that it WILL have a positive effect and that I’m going to help by eating healthier and cutting down on the ridiculous amount of caffeine I’ve been ingesting lately. 

Only time will tell. 

One things for sure… I’m going to need all the strength and energy I can muster to get through the next few weeks with gratitude and grace. 

With that. My time is up. 

Cheers to the Weekend, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-16 Dealing with Deadlines and a Midlife Identity Crisis Part Two ✌️

Part Two? How quaint. 

Last night I banged away at my keyboard, pulled dozens of books off my shelves, and googled “emerging author bios” seventeen different ways. My goal, of course, was to write one short, concise bio for the back of my pending book and one longer version for only the Universe (and my publisher) knows why. 

It took me exactly four years to write something akin to all the examples I’d looked at. Name, geography, credentials, and experience with just enough personality to make it seem like I’m a real human. It’s not exactly inviting. It feels dry and academic and I hate it. 

Well, hate is a strong word and I don’t exactly hate it. It’s more like I read it and it does not seem enticing. It’s also tough to come up with stuff to say in a way that somehow glosses over the fact that I’m very new at this publishing thing. Most bios I read start off by gushing about previous awards and books published and I just don’t have that. But I have to start somewhere. 

Anyway, the short bio got written and I’m mostly satisfied. Then I had a little fun writing the “alternate” version. The one that was easy and oozing with my humor and charm. Yes. I can be funny. I actually like to be funny. And so that exercise was satisfying. 

Just about then my darling husband came up the stairs and I read him both versions. He said about the first…

“It’s well written and I can tell that you thought through each sentence and carefully selected each word.” 

That’s right. 

His reaction to the second one?

“Yes! You nailed it! That’s the one!”

At that point I closed my laptop and decided I needed to go to bed. I gave up on my deadline and promised myself I would revisit it first thing in the morning. 

When the morning arrived I kept that promise. I made a few minor edits of both short bios. I collected all the other items the publisher had asked for and I finally, FINALLY, pulled the trigger in sending those emails. The only thing missing at that point was the long bio.

Which short bio did I send? The answer is both. 

I even asked my friend M what she thought. She laughed at the second one and said she’d definitely read the book of that person. What’s a girl to do? 🤷‍♀️

Some feedback from my publisher will be invaluable. I wonder if and when I will get that. I still owe them the long bio and in my opinion, it will be helpful to know if the two (short and long) will be in close quarters with each other. 

If, for example, the short one appears on the back of the book and the longer one at the end of the book on the inside, then I’d want to minimize repeating using the same language. 

If, though, one is for the book and another is for mailers or postcards or other promotional material, then I can repeat certain phrases and elements and not be troubled by it. 

Am I overthinking this? 

Yes, of course I am. That’s my Way. 

In any case, as I began to struggle with the longer bio today, what I ended up doing was combining the two, adding an element that M suggested, and then changing some of the verbiage so that it didn’t sound too similar to either, shorter version.

And there you have it folks. The finishing line of the deadline for The Finishing Line Press. How apropos.

That’s it for today. Right??

Wrong.

I realized just when I was wrapping up this post that going on and on and on about these bios without actually including them is like setting up a joke and then never getting telling the punchline. Kinda worthless. Well.. not worthless but likely very unsatisfying. So here are the bios mainstream short, humorous short, and long:

Official (95 Words)

Shyla Shehan is a writer and engineer born and blossomed in the Midwest. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska where she received an American Academy of Poets Prize in 2020. Shyla is Co-founder and Editor of The Good Life Review and currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, children, and four cats. She enjoys digging in the dirt, road trips, and she accidentally breeds snails in her spare time. Her full bio and an account of her published work are available at shylashehan.com. This is her first book.

Alternate / Humorous (99 Words)

Shyla Ann Shehan is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven books of poetry, essays, and flash-forward fiction that have not been written yet. Her most noteworthy accomplishment to date is divorcing her (now former) career as a Healthcare IT Integration Specialist. Since then, she has pledged her undying love and fealty to Poetry but has so far refused to get matching tattoos. Shyla spends most days tending to a healthy household and accidentally breeds snails in her spare time. She is currently suffering a mini-midlife identity crisis over writing this bio for her first book, Unsuspecting Cinderella.

Long (209 Words)

Shyla Shehan is a writer and engineer born and blossomed in the Midwest. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska where she leveled up her poetry game and discovered that the writing life has more to offer than just a way to cope with the chaos of the Universe. 

Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, Plainsongs Summer 2021 by Corpus Callosum Press, Gyroscope Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts by Matter Press, and elsewhere. Her most noteworthy accomplishment to date is divorcing her (now former) career as a Healthcare IT Integration Specialist. Since then, she has pledged her undying love and fealty to Poetry but has so far refused to get matching tattoos. 

Shyla is Co-founder and Editor of The Good Life Review and currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, children, and four cats. She spends most days tending to a healthy household and she accidentally breeds snails in her spare time. That’s a joke; she has no spare time. 

She is currently suffering a mini-midlife identity crisis over writing this bio for her first book, Unsuspecting Cinderella but is nonetheless grateful to you for reading and hopes you will visit  shylashehan.com for more. 

***

Now that’s it. I’m sure of it. And it is most certainly enough. Good gravy.

With peace and love and fluffy new kittens, 

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. If you have an opinion, I would be interested to hear it. No joke.. I really would.

2021-09-15 Dealing with Deadlines and a Midlife Identity Crisis

Today is the day. The day the materials—manuscript, bios, artwork, and blurbs—for my book are due. So far my biggest issue with this process has been the very hands-off-and-on-your-honor approach my publisher has had with regard to what they need from me. I’m great with deadlines. I manage my time well. They have made the list of requirements perfectly clear as far back as January when I was signing the contract. 

The problem (which is my problem) is the fuzzy nature of when all the artifacts are due. If I had a solid deadline of May 15th, I would have managed that. Let’s say it was August 1st. No worries. I’d hit that date. But leaving it open ended to where the materials are due at the latest roughly one month before the pre-release, means that all the self-imposed deadlines I’ve set for myself have come and gone and the pulling of the actual triggers has not gotten done. 

Yes I have the final manuscript completed with title pages, section pages, artwork, table of contents and acknowledgments.

Yes I have one to three author photos ready and waiting. 

Yes I have three blurbs by other authors singing the accolades of this magnificent collection of poetry. 

Yes I have the internal artwork and am expecting the final cover design to be delivered to my in-box today. 

So what’s the hang up? What’s still missing? What’s going to keep me from hitting my latest self-imposed deadline (in case you missed it, that’s today). 

The answer is Author bios. One short, single paragraph version and one longer, three or four paragraph version. I swear I’m getting deja vu typing this because I know I’ve written about writing my bio recently. 

How meta… Writing about writing about writing an author bio. Whoa!!

At this point in the game I’ve written dozens. Tweaked them almost every time I get the urge to submit some of my writing somewhere new, which is probably every couple of weeks. Needless to say, I should have this down. It should be easy-peasy in the bag. But it turns out it’s not. This will be on my first book and not on some random web page or anthology nobody is going to read but me and my mom. 

This is going to be the first impression many people get when they pick up the book and in time, part of the deciding factor. The decision for what you may ask. 

Take it or leave it.. or rather, buy it or don’t. My entire universe hangs in the balance with these three or four paragraphs. 

If it sounds like I’m being melodramatic it is because I am. I want to put a lot of weight on this because it means a lot to me. 

And just now my brain did a brief departure from thoughts about the bio to dip into the pure terror that resides inside thoughts I have about the prospect of initiating a social media campaign to promote my book. Good grief… did I just type the words “social media campaign??!!” 🤮 

Bring it back. Focus. This post is about writing a new, longer bio that is going to accompany the collection of poems I’m still not confident are good enough to be out in the wild world and available for public consumption. 

I’ve googled how to write my bio. I can probably list the top 7 how to’s and tips for what makes a good biography. I’ve looked at dozens of examples. 

About 90% of them start with this line… 

“First Name Last Name is the <NYT> Best Selling author of seven books including “Book Title” which won the <insert fancy award here> prize. And yadda-yadda goes on from there to say some serious things and quirky things that reveal who they are, where they live, and what makes them tick. 

Easy. I got this. Except…

This is my first book and I recently changed my life completely and am still struggling with a midlife identity crisis. Can I say that? Is that allowed or is it just too strange even for an ex IT engineer turned poet to admit to?

Five years from now when I grab a glass of red wine and pull that book off a nearby shelf and read the bio will I regret it if it’s too dry and boring or silly and impish. Will I care at all? Will I be working on my second NYT best selling book or will I have given it all up to chase some other yet undiscovered dream? 

If you’d have asked me five years ago what I thought would happen in the next five years, I could not have predicted this. None of it. 

Not the job changes and career dump. Not the Graduate degree in Poetry or meeting the man of my dreams and getting married. Most certainly not this book or the need to sum up who I am and what I’m about in three succinct paragraphs. 

What I’m saying is, there’s no way to predict where I will be or what I will be doing five years from now. Guessing is a useless exercise. 

All I can do is sit down and write something I can commit to for today. Something that’s factual but also let’s my personality shine through. That’s it. 

Writing this has given me a few ideas and there’s no time like the present. If I try hard, I can still hit my deadline….. maybe. 

(Probably not).

Yours truly,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Putting off writing my bio by writing this blog post instead is a a part of my master plan. 😜

2021-09-12 Twenty Years

I didn’t write anything yesterday. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about nine eleven either except little discussions and rememberances that popped up in the course of conversations with Jim. Where he was. Where I was. How he had a one year old son and I had my first child on the way.

He told me a story about where president george bush was at the time and how the news was broken to him. Then shared the still motion photo he found on the internet—the one that was captured of the president as one of his aids was speaking to him at a visit to an elementary school.

I still can’t get my head around it completely. It really happened and human beings really do conspire to do horrible things to each other.

We visited ground zero on our trip to New York in 2019 but that did not come up in conversation yesterday. Still.. all those artifacts we saw are burned in my mind and I can’t help but become emotional if I think about it too long. Seeing all that made it a whole lot more real. Like sometimes you know something is real but your mind kind of denies it anyhow. I think that’s how it is for me. 

Twenty years. 

Where are we now? What’s become of the situation and people involved? How are people coping and healing? 

The truth is, that not a lot has changed and there probably is no real coping and healing for those most affected. They just have to keep living life like the rest of us and they either do it, or they don’t. 

Don’t get me started on the Taliban or Afghanistan. What a mess! 

One thing I find necessary yet frustrating is that the day, “9-11,” has developed into a day made for rememberance. The memorials and events designed to do what? Not forget? Yet it comes and goes and then that’s it for another year. It feels too fleeting. Tweet your tweet. Write your blog post. Google the news. Maybe share a memory. Then the sun goes down and comes up again and we all go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Again.. what else is there? What more should I expect? What more can I do? The answer is not a lot. And the other answer is that I just have to keep doing the best with what I’ve been given. Because if there’s anything that 9-11 reminds me of, it’s that time is a gift and we should not waste it. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-10 What’s New for Little Miss S?

What a doozie?! What’s up? What’s down? What repeats and goes round and round?… 

“Little Miss S in a mini-dress”

What can I say? I’m a hot mess this week. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Monday was a holiday and I was already so done with “taking care” of the household I just wanted to be left alone. So when Tuesday arrived and everyone else had to go back to work and school I felt relief but was already a day behind on my work week and that caused me to be super grumpy. 

Litter boxes, laundry, dishes, cats, cleaning, cooking, groceries, trash. And a few “honey could you please” requests from my darling husband on his way out the door. 

All needing to be done by 2pm so I could make it to yet another doctors appointment. Another new doctor, for yet another professional assessment of what the hell is wrong with me. 

The symptoms? Afternoon fatigue (bordering on sheer exhaustion), brain fog, lack of motivation, low libido, waves of sadness, unexpected spikes of anger. What’s new? None of that but in the past few weeks a new physical symptom has been added to the list. 

My right hand and fingers go numb and tingly for no apparent reason. Or at least it seems like no reason. It happens and then I move about a little bit and shake it out until it goes away. Quite literally thinking of T-Swift’s song “Shake it off” right now. 

I deal with this new development lightly on my own for about a week and then consult the doc. My doc. His quick assessment is that I’ve got compressed discs C6 and C7 is what I think he said. He shows me a diagram about how the nerves in your hand are connected to the spine and when those discs are “pinched” it’s just like cutting off the circulation. 

This makes a lot of sense to me. Sometimes it goes all the way to my pinky finger and I think that’s C8, but mostly it’s my thumb and palm and first two fingers. And also predominantly my right hand.

He’s quick to this assessment because he also has compressed discs which he’s told me for years will eventually require surgery. Surgery of the spine? No thanks!! 

Right now he treats his own issues with traction. It’s an apparatus hanging in the bathroom on the closet door and it’s self administered. He urges me to try it and shows me how.

It operates with a weight and pulley system. The weight is a bag of water you can adjust easily and that’s connected by a wire to some straps you fit around your noggin to pull you head up when you let go of the safety bar. The idea is pulling apart the spine gently thereby releasing the pressure caused by compression. 

Five minutes, once a day and it should help. Unless you are me and you don’t hear the part about five minutes and you start with too much water in the bag. I didn’t feel it right away, but it totally fucked my neck up in one shot. 

That was Monday or Tuesday and so by Wednesday I was in serious pain and could hardly move my head around at all. Especially side to side. Then Wednesday night it got so bad it messed with my sleep and I hardly slept at all. This resulted in Thursday (yesterday) being an absolute shit show.

After scrambling at the beginning of the week trying to get caught up on chores, I had naturally pushed some meet-ups and to-do items down the line and all this culminated in the perfect storm of misery. I literally could not make it to 9am before I started panicking and cancelling and self administered pep-talks about how it was going to be ok. 

The first casualty was my dad who I have been trying to visit on Thursdays on a regular basis. I pushed that to the weekend. Then it was J who I promised to play pickleball with but have been putting off for several weeks now, and then finally… when I realized I needed sleep and would not be able to make it through the evening without a nap, I dipped on my friend M, who I was going to take tomatoes and salsa. 

Now I’m on a steroid for my pain and my hand and, like I said, waiting for my next follow up doctor’s appointment to get the results of the labs taken on Tuesday. Hopefully there’s a clue there. But I honestly doubt it. I’ve had all these labs, thyroid, hormones, cmp, etc done before (about a year ago) and it was all normal. 

I might try to log into the patient portal of that last office to get those labs so I can see how these compare. Modern medicine… good grief! 

I’ve got other stories to tell. Lots more on my mind suddenly but the day is waiting and all the nonsense this week has caused me to be dreadfully far behind. 

Stay Frosty My Friends! 

~Little Miss SugarCookie in a Mini-Dress

PS. I’m not at all like the little Miss S in that New Bohemian’s song. The lyric just works cuz I love mini-dresses. 🤷‍♀️

2021-09-05 Working through Control Issues

This morning I’m thinking about control. I’m thinking about how to truly let go of something I have no control over and more than that questioning why I let something I know is out of my control dig at my insides. 

My day yesterday was consumed with taking a car in for an audio upgrade, getting a bike for my daughter to use on campus from Craig’s list, and catching up on different house projects. The goal for me is always about balance and all that had to be over and done with by 4:30 ish so Jim and I could get ready for our double date. 

We planned a morning bike ride and that did not happen because Of timing and the bike search. I wanted to get some steps in the afternoon and that did not happen because my time was hijacked by the realization that a group of folks from my MFA program have just launched their own lit mag. This, folks, is the thing that set my anxiety off, for whatever reason, and then all of a sudden I felt threatened and insecure about my own endeavors. 

Yes, I realize my insecurity and anxiety were not rational, but it took root anyhow and pretty soon I could not stop thinking about all the things “we” at the GLR could be doing better. Everything we have not been able to do and all the things I’ve personally been procrastinating. I worry that people on our staff will decide to leave us and join their team instead. I worry about other things too, but I know it’s irrational and don’t even want to acknowledge these worries. 

Instead, I want to be a better person and let go of that which I can’t control. I know there are literally hundreds of online lit mags and hundreds of publishers operating out in the wide world today and one more doesn’t affect us. I want to congratulate those people I know who are finally realizing a dream they’ve had even before the GLR was a seed planted in our heads. I want to embrace this circumstance as positive because it means more success for people from our MFA program. It’s win-win and that’s the way I want to view it. 

Still, it takes me a while to sort through my feelings and the information is so new. And.. get this… since they just opened for submissions (unpaid) I happened to have already sent in a poem. 

This shows how little I’m paying attention to the places I’m submitting. I read their mission and vision but did not visit the masthead. If I had, I probably would not have sent something in since there is too much IRL connection. Or maybe that’s ok and I’m just overthinking it. I’m not sure. 

In any case, I felt compelled to reach out to each person individually and congratulate them on their launch. It takes me a while to compose exactly what I want to say and so that consumed some of my time in the afternoon. However, after that was done, I did feel better about all of it. It was good. 

I was able to enjoy my sushi double date with some new friends and, getting back home by 9, get to enjoy and early evening bedtime. Yes it was Saturday and I’m old and lame but I don’t care. I was spent. 

Here’s the rub.. I had rotten dreams all night, restless sleep, and woke up feeling anxious again. Good gravy!! What in the Universe am I supposed to do now?! 

I know it’s not all about that one thing. I’ve got a host of feelings about different things eating at me. Angst about my relationships with my parents, a new experiment my husband has asked me to partake in regarding the news, and strangely enough, the drop-deadline for materials for my book. I need (need need need) to get those things submitted and ASAP.

What I feel like I need is one or two days in isolation to get on top of all of the things that are under my control. I just want several hours of uninterrupted time. Not 30 minutes to scramble and do something half-ass. Ugh!! 

Today. unfortunately is not going to be a day for that. Today my focus is spending time with the family and then going to Lincoln to spend some time with my darling daughter and bring her some things she needs to be successful this semester (including that bike we picked up yesterday). 

That all starts now. And my treadmill time is done. 

With peace and love and rainbow rolls, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-09-02 New Month, Same Ole Miss SugarCookie 🍑

We’ve officially turned over the month are on the fast track to pumpkin spice latte season and sweater weather. 

I’m doing pretty good this week and trying to stay focused on my to-do list while balancing managing the household and nurturing my interpersonal relationships. 

If I haven’t written about the resurgence of the lunch/happy hour meetups, it’s because up till recently I was still snug in my pandemic hidey-hole. On one hand it was good for me to disconnect for a while and not put too much pressure on my introverted, anxiety plagued self to get out there and be social. 

On the other hand… people need people. I know this to be true so I sometimes have to force myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love my meetups with friends but I have a history of over committing my time and then feeling like a failure when I can’t get it “all” done. 

If you read my last post you know that the one thing that hasn’t suffered is my commitment to exercise. In fact, I probably spend too much time on the treadmill and if all things seem to set aside that first hour of my morning (after house chores) to that. The rest of the world be damned, I’m going to get my steps. 

My sacrifice is consequently everything else.. my writing, revising, researching, submitting, working on the lit mag, and yes… my meetups with friends. But like I said, I seem to be finding time to do that this week. 

So far this week I’ve met up with Margret, Sam, and Michelle and have a lunch meet up today plus visiting both my parents tomorrow. In the grand scheme, visiting my parents doesn’t really count because that is an obligation more than a benefit to my mental health like the others. 

***

I paused just then to think about the fact that last week was my birthday and my mom made a point to meet me and my sister for lunch last weekend but my dad didn’t even text me on my birthday. 

On his birthday this year we took him out to dinner. And on mine he didn’t even text to wish me well. He texted the day after and said “sorry, I forgot.” Whatever. 

Yesterday was his wife’s birthday. His wife who passed away last November. And since then I’ve been trying to visit regularly to make sure he’s ok, but each time I do I get little reminders of how his step children and grand children are much closer. Last night when we spoke on the phone he made a point to tell me he went out to dinner with them for her birthday. To one of her favorite restaurants. And he had two glasses of pinot Grigio. He had just opened another bottle at home and was clearly tipsy when we talked. 

I don’t blame him. It’s got to be so tough to lose your spouse of 30 years and have your whole life change so quickly. But damn if he just doesn’t seem to show me the same love he shows those girls. What am I gonna do? The answer is nothing. 

Suck it up, keep visiting, and enduring the comments and realities I’m faced with. What else can I do? 

Anyway, that’s apparently what’s on my mind today. Well that and the fact that we had a plumber over two days ago and I came home last night to water in the basement again from that overflowing drain. I effffing hate this house. I really do. I don’t care how great people think living in this castle must be. When every single damn day brings a new broken down thing, it gets really old after a while. 

That’s it for today lest I launch into yet another rant. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-08-30 Confession Time… (dun-dun-dunnnn)

Confessions? There are confessions to be made? 

Well. Yes.  I think so. 

Several things have happened this month and I’ve not been writing about this and that like I usually do. One might even say Miss SugarCookie has been AWOL in August. It’s true. 

I’ve previously lamented about not feeling like writing or not having much to write about but in all honesty that’s never stopped me before. So many days and weeks of my life have gone by and I’ve always figured out what’s most on my mind to muse about. Lots of spins around familiar broken records, lots of days when the biggest news was the weather. So how has the last month been different? 

First I’m going to blame TV. More specifically several shows that piqued my interest. Which has also happened in the past so that can’t be the full story. 

Next, I blame cardio. Well, not exactly cardio because that’s not a thing or a person, but it is a goal. It started with my desire to add a certain amount of cardio to my exercise each day. You know.. for my heart health. My original goal was 20 minutes of cardio at least 6 days a week. 

But I HATE running and jogging and have only ever been able to get my heart rate really up there with exercise classes, like Jazzercise. Which I really enjoyed and actually did for several years. But when the pandemic hit, I quit Jazzercise. Then when things started to return to normal, I was on the fence about it and tried some other classes. Nothing stuck. 

Then one morning I thought I would jog on the treadmill and distract myself by watching an episode of the bachelor. Actually, I think it was the bachelorette. KT’s season. Oh yeah.. that stuck. 

Before I knew it, I was getting not 20 but 30, 40, and 50 minutes of cardio every day. Straight up jogging like I’ve never been able to do before. I was actually looking forward to it and would binge several episodes at a time. I was burning calories while being entertained! It was a total win-win!! 💃💃

The loser? This blog. Sadly I can’t jog and type at the same time or that would totally be a thing. I know it would be a thing because when I first started blogging from the gym, I used to type while I was on the elliptical machine. My machine. Same time, same machine every morning. Those were some days for sure.

 I digress. 

I abandoned that gym and machine when I moved to a different part of town and got hitched. Now my gym is in the basement of my castle and the treadmill is my machine of choice so I took up walking and writing instead. 

That is, until this cardio thing happened. I really thought it would be short lived. I mean there are only so many episodes of bachelor and bachelorette on Hulu. Eventually I would run out (no, they do not have every season available or I would probably be able to watch for a really long time). Sure enough, Katie T. picked her man and that was the end of that. 

Except, it wasn’t. I found another show, shortly before Z and I went to California called Master Chef and apparently it is kind of a big deal. Now THAT show has some power over me I don’t quite understand. It is the same thing every episode and I still get so sucked in that I can’t stop watching. But I’m still jogging so it’s good for me right??! 😉

Fast forward through the entire month of August and I just finished season three while I was jogging on the treadmill this morning. I literally promised myself that when this season was over, I would quit watching and get back to writing every day. I said, “September is a new month and a new opportunity to refresh my daily landscape and either get back to writing or at the very least, begin getting my thoughts down each day. That promise was made just a few short days ago as my birthday week was winding down. 

Today, I broke down (already) while eating dinner alone and watched episode 1 of season 4. But I can quit anytime, I swear. 😜

I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to. 

So that’s it. That’s my big confession. I’ve been slacking on my writing because I’ve been using the morning hours I have to myself to binge watch a cooking show. Oh yeah, and Bachelor in Paradise just started a few weeks ago so now I’m totally watching TWO shows at once. At least that one is only out once a week so I can’t binge watch it for 3 episodes at a time. 

As I always say, though, the key to life is balance. So instead of swearing off TV (or cardio) I am going to commit to doing a better job of balancing my time so that I can write and walk and watch and jog. ⚖️

On that note, it is about 7:30 PM and I had to exit the gym because my husband’s son wants to work out and probably wants to be alone. I know if I was him, I would not want my step mom milling about while I listened to my music and did my own thing. 

Maybe tomorrow will be more balanced and I’ll actually write two days in a row. Only time will tell. 

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie