Monday, November 3, 2014

Final Reflections on October 2014

October started out really promising. True to what I posted last month, I began making a more concentrated effort to organize my life and time. On a friend’s enthusiastic recommendation, I joined HabitRPG, a game that helps one develop good habits. I’ve found that it suits me well. In short order, I was exercising regularly, getting my chores/errands done more consistently, and writing a lot more. My life felt busier, my mental health improved, and I felt better physically as well. (Side note: I also interviewed for a part-time job working for an acquaintance but won’t know for a few more weeks if I’ve landed the position.)

However, about a week before I was to leave on a planned trip to Portland, my husband came home from work sick. Of course, that means I spent the next week sick, although not as sick as him, exerting as little energy as possible in an attempt to get better before my trip. It nearly worked. I was feeling better, although not completely well, by time I left. Unfortunately, the combination of travel, cold/wet weather, and lots of running around in Portland made me worse again and I spent most of my trip sick anyway.

All that is to say, I had to put my HabitRPG character “at the inn” during my illness and trip, which means that all the good habits I’d started to build fell by the wayside. After coming back from the trip, I convinced myself that I needed a break from my regular life to “recuperate,” but I realized over this past weekend that I only have about a week until a visit from my brother and a lot to do in that time, so today I’m jumping back into the swing of things.

The weekend before my trip, I got the first edit of my manuscript back from my editor. I was feeling poorly enough that I didn’t spend much time looking through it. My main goals for this week are to finish looking over the manuscript and to begin one of the things I’ve most been dreading: the search for a cover artist. The whole process of actually publishing the book (now that it’s nearly finished) is both daunting and scary to me. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s very far outside of both my skill set and my comfort level. I’ve been dragging my feet on this for a long time.

However, the other night, I was talking to a friend who’s nearing completion of a photography degree. He was expressing similar feelings about how difficult it is for him to push himself beyond the moment of creation, into that next step. It was comforting to be reminded that what I’m feeling is neither unusual nor unique. It was also sobering. I’ve pushed myself a lot these last six years; I’ve been forced to learn to adapt and evolve through a lot of difficult situations. I thought I could take a break from it for a while, but it’s become clear to me that I can’t, at least not for now.

My focus for November will be on doing the nitty gritty tasks of the book that I’ve been avoiding - finding a cover artist, building my website, etc. - in addition to entertaining my brother and planning another trip, this time to Texas in early December. It seems like a lot, but I’m feeling up to the challenge.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, my Portland/Seattle trip was great. I powered through being sick (hopefully I was no one’s Typhoid Mary in the process) and did everything I’d planned and really just had so much fun. I’ve always loved Portland as a city, it’s still such a great town even though it’s changed a lot in the last six years, but seeing my old friends reminded me why it’s been such a huge part of my heart for so long. They’re all such witty, intelligent, fun people. I hadn’t laughed that much in ages. 

My October in a nutshell: a little bit of fun, a little bit of illness, and a little bit of getting my act together. All in all, it was a pretty good month. If you’re stopping by to read, why don’t you tell me how October went for you?


Patricia said...

Well, except for the illness, it sounds like a great month full of accomplishments and realizations big and small. Well done.

My October was fantastic, and you were one part of what made it fantastic. Thank you!

I'm hoping for November to catch up on things that slid while I was celebrating my birthday and also get ahead of my writing. I've been just barely keeping up with my writing group. I've got two four-day weekends this month, so hopefully that will allow room for writing.

balyien said...

You were a big part of what made October good for me too! Good luck getting caught up on writing this month! I know you can do it. :)