Category Archives: Aggressive Happiness

Here goes something…

I am at work. Probably. Unless I got lost and took the wrong bus and ended up in  Gresham or something.

That seems unlikely, but you never know with me. When I first moved to Portland, I would occasionally get on the wrong light rail line and not realize it until I was pretty far away from where I was trying to go.

Anyway, not the point.

I am starting a new job today. I’m a wee bit nervous. This is probably not surprising. Also not surprising? I wrote this Sunday night, because I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to blog today.

I went to the new place o’ work on Thursday and got my employee ID number, found the building in which I’ll work, and selected my office. Today, I’ll get my benefits information (oooooh! Health insurance!), my employee ID, and my transit pass (ooooh! Trimet annual pass!).

It’s weird starting a new job. I was with my last employer for 8.5 years. I was promoted twice and switched departments once, but I still knew what I was doing and where I was going.

I am unaccountably nervous about today. Last night, I prepped my coffee, made breakfast, packed a bag (including my special Doctor Who mug), made the Bean’s lunch, set my alarm, picked out my outfit (none of my work clothes fit. none. ZERO.), double-checked my alarm, had a very serious conversation with the Bean about the extra-special double importance of being a really good listener in the morning so that mama wouldn’t be late to her new job, triple-checked my alarm, laid out my jewelry, found my shoes, poured a beer, and quadruple-checked my alarm. (Which is funny, because I bet I didn’t sleep a wink last night.)

Stress makes my already less-than-spontaneous personality even less flexible. Starting a new job is not as stressful as wondering if I was going to have enough money to feed the Bean in early February, but it’s pretty damn stressful. And I need routine to survive stress.

I’m hoping that after a few days, I’ll feel a bit more comfortable–I know the work, just not the culture and specifics. I’ll develop a routine–both for my new job and for my writing/editing/working out.

It’s going to be hard at first, and I’m prepared for that. I know what I need to do to combat that.

  1. Sleep
  2. Self-care (saying no is good)
  3. Move (now that I have to leave the house most days, that should happen easily)
  4. Eat regularly. This does not mean I can eat a Kind bar every five hours and call it meals. Apparently. Or at least so I’ve been told.
  5. Read – I know that seems like an odd thing to add to my list, but when I get stressed, I stop reading much. I’m not sure why, but I will sit and play stupid games on my phone for hours, which just gives me a headache. I love reading, it’s stress-relieving, but apparently when I’m high-anxiety, I’ll do anything to avoid feeling better (including sleep, exercise, eating right, and reading).

So – I’m probably surviving, right? WHO KNOWS!? Not you. I could be lying in a ditch in Gresham, and you would think I was learning all about my different dental insurance options.

Cross your fingers that all is well with me…now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to finish up my future post and go check my alarm. Again.

Hmmm…maybe there’s one more thing I should add to the list. This is in the first-thing-in-the-morning slot now.

Three Things Thursday: Adjustments

  1. It’s officially official now. I have a job. With an offer letter. I passed the background check and I start on Monday! This is exciting for several reasons!
    • They are planning on paying me in dollars!
    • There is this fancy thing called “health insurance” that they have!
    • I will be contributing to society in a meaningful way but have to deal with 100% fewer surgeons!
  2. It’s at an institution that I respect doing a job that I both know how to do and feel is important-especially in an era where science is not as highly valued as it should be.This news means I need to readjust everything I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing 5-7 hours of writing or editing or marketing (including blogging and reading books to review on said blog). I’ve also been going to bed late and getting up late for months. This means I’ll have to get back to my schedule. My first instinct is to dive in, metaphorical balls to the wall, starting Monday. Up at 5 every day, in bed by 10:30. Realistically, I’ll probably have better luck (and fewer annoying-to-others-snooze-button-issues) if I ease in and get up 15 minutes earlier every day until I’m back to my regularly scheduled morning cheeriness.
  3. This will, in no way, impact the release date of The Waning Moon. That is still set for late June. It’s with my editor right now, the cover design is being finalized, and I will need to do revisions, proof-read, and write the final back-of-the-book copy. I can do that with zero trouble between now and June. What it might impact is the release date of book 3, since that is a heavy rewrite. It might also impact my prolific blogging schedule as I adjust to being away from my home computer for 47+ hours/week.

The takeaway here? Yay job!

The day is getting right away from me…

This weekend was so busy and my week isn’t looking any less so!

Thursday evening, I did my best to take myself out. (Part of that included literally taking myself out.) I cut my right pinky on a pair of tongs while making dinner for the Beer Guy. Later, I broke a wine glass, and in an attempt to pick up the pieces, stabbed my right thumb with the broken stem of said glass. Later, after being bored to pieces, I talked the Beer Guy into taking me to karaoke. This was not my best decision to date. And then I fell down and sprained the shit out of my ankle, because that’s how I roll.

The "Most Interesting Man in the World" says, "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's my ankle."

I went to the Rose City Romance Writer’s Spring Fling on Friday evening and most of the day Saturday. I’d headed over to meet up with some writers for a pre-conference happy hour, but I couldn’t find them (and didn’t look too hard, people are scary, yo!), but I did spend a very productive hour filling in my new planner, having a beer, and making plans.

A beer, a planner, and a week's worth of plans

The morning session on Saturday (on marketing) was fabulous, I met some great people, and handed out my new cards to just about everyone. I’ve gotten to the point where I can say I’m an author, talk about my book, and encourage people to look into it. I’ve really grown a lot in the last year! I also spent more money on books in two days than in the last few months. Autographed romance novels are a deductible expense, right?

Romance novels by Farrah Rochon and Cecilia Tan

Saturday evening, I had dinner with a friend in town for the weekend. I’d met her at the RT convention last spring, so it’s not surprising that our conversation was about 75% book and writing related.

gin and tonic

There was also a G&T. My first of…more than one…that evening

The Beer Guy had a friend in town this weekend, too, so we hit up karaoke Saturday night (and talked even MOAR books…turns out we have a mutual appreciation for a lot of the same paranormal books and authors).

karaoke screen

I swear the Beer Guy is in that photo behind the inconveniently placed pole

Yesterday was a lot more chill, but I still managed to get a lot done in terms of The Waning Moon (details Wednesday!).

Today is all about errands, little business things (finances, marketing plans, freelance business planning), and wasting spending a great deal of time on a PowerPoint (complete with charts!) that I will be presenting to the Beer Guy tonight. Ideally, all conversations would have an agenda, copious notes, line charts, and trend lines. I have been informed that it’s a little weird, but have decided that I can embrace being a little weird if it enables me to get my point across.

Powerpoint Slide that says "Death by Powerpoint" in blood with a zombie

I swear, it’s not as bad as all this!

I’ll have a book review up tomorrow, some writing updates Wednesday, and my “Letter to Alvie: Five Years” post on Friday. (Thursday will be a surprise for us both!)

 

Three Things Thursday: (Lack of) Self Care Edition

In my further attempts to keep it real. Very little fake-booking here!

  1. I have discovered an inverse correlation between my ability to take care of myself and my stress levels. This is unfortunate because I think that if self-care increased with stress levels, stress levels might be manageable. Instead, I stop exercising, stop eating, stop meditating, stop sleeping, and catastrophize everything. For some reason, this doesn’t help.
  2. This is bad enough with regular, every day stress, but when you have super-mega-ultra stress, it’s worse. I become paralyzed from stress and end up with aural migraines (which are currently occurring at an almost daily rate) and random nausea and results of nausea (at least 3x/week).
  3. Things I know: I should eat regularly, do the things I’m procrastinating (I swear I’ll do it, Cat!), stick to a schedule, write every day, make time to exercise, go to sleep by 11, get up early, and meditate daily. Things I have done today: had two and a half very large cups of coffee, applied for several jobs, not showered, gotten dressed, or eaten even though it is after noon (or filled out any forms that I know I should do). I’ve also spent a fair amount of time staring off into space, paralyzed with anxiety.

Once I’m in the cycle, it’s hard to break out of it…I tell myself that “once xx happens,” all will be well, but depending on a future hypothetical to make a tolerable present is so far not working.

 

Three Things Thursday-Exercise Edition

  1. I have exercised as much this week as I did in the entirety of February. Just so we’re clear, that is a condemnation of “February Amy” and not an endorsement of “this week Amy.”
  2. It’s Thursday, and I have two trail runs (of 2 & 3.3 miles respectively) and two 45-minute-yoga classes under my belt. My ankles are killing me and I desperately need to gain strength and flexibility if I’m going to keep up with this running gig. Which I am. For as much as the first 1.5 miles hurt (omg-so bad! SO BAD!!!) yesterday, trail running is still the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
  3. Last night, I was so stiff from the running and sudden increase in physical activity that I was desperately worried I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed this morning. I tried to talk The Beer Guy into agreeing to bring me coffee in bed if that turned out to be the case, but he said “no” and something about “enabling.” Turns out, I feel fine today. My ankles and feet are not happy, but the rest of me is only pleasantly sore (which is such a great feeling, honestly).

Post 3.3 muddy, painful miles and I still have a smile on my face.