One Week to Go…

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As a writer, my intention is to NEVER stop writing, like so many of us, however, as most of us are aware, that’s also not always feasible.

I’m in that situation right now… again.  I am getting frustrated because I keep going from one thing to the next and have been so incredibly busy that both my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Course and my writing have paid the price and to what?

Well, I have one week of work left in family practice.  The place I have gone every day for the last 12 years of my life.  Where it was a home away from home for 11 of those years.  Despite starting to feel like it was time to go a few years ago that has intensified enormously in the last 17 months.  Now I’m making my move… well, moves, plural.

In the long run my writing is, again, what ends up on hold.  I scroll through Facebook and I read posts from authors I follow thanks to Street Team mostly and I read posts from the Practice Makes Perfect team which is all about my Life Coaching and CBT and I frown because I’m currently reading Medical Directives and trying to create descriptions of what I’ll be offering at the Enhanced Wellness Studio in the next little while.

All I can say is that I am hoping that things all settle down and become a little bit ho-hum again and not because I like things boring but the last couple of weeks have had me losing sleep and feeling stressed.  I want to get back to a routine and I want to get back to writing.  I want to SLOW down.  I want to be able to blog every week, or more again and I want to be able to participate in NaNoWriMo in November.  I want to be able to come up with some great story ideas and follow them through!  In some ways I don’t even care if they are short stories or novels right now.

So, my friends and readers, keep writing, as always… live life but SLOW down.

 

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Back to IT…

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No, I’m not talking about the movie (1990 or 2017 version), I’m talking about work…

But I need another week or so off!

Everything came down the chute this weekend and I have been incredibly busy:

I had three likes on two different novels during last Thursdays #PitMad pitch day on Twitter so I had queries to prepare and send out;

Enhanced Wellness got in touch with the need for bios for me, and

Passport Health set up and communicated my email and other logins to me!

I also wanted to compose a farewell email for some of my patients, plus

I needed to finish my Instructional Plan for school!

My to-do list zoomed from 0 to 100 in 8 seconds!

I have managed to accomplish everything EXCEPT work out a schedule for Enhanced Wellness mostly because of the job change and the need to find some time for a training session or two as a refresher for the travel counselling.

Along the way I have started to develop another longer-term to-do list… mainly around my writing and I can’t help but wonder how much my writing will suffer with all this going on?  Or am I overthinking because my official start date for Enhanced Wellness is tomorrow, September 10, and my official start date at Passport Health is Wednesday, September 12.  All that means that I officially have three jobs–TWO full-time plus a part-time for the remainder of September.

YIKES!

Needless to say that on top of stressing about tomorrow my weekend has been FAR from relaxing as I have consumed myself in getting all this done!

So now I’m going to call it all quits and go sit down and chill out with a movie… and it might just be a Christmas movie!

News! News! Good News!

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Well everyone, IT has happened!  Unfortunately it’s not a publishing contract and nobody has commissioned me to write a series of articles.  It’s all about my sanity!

Whether you believe in God or some other higher entity or nobody at all, I have to be the one to say that though my faith has been tested, it has prevailed!

No, this is not a lesson and I’m not preaching, it’s merely me telling you that sometimes… just sometimes… really good things DO happen.

So after fretting like crazy about what to do about this part-time job I woke Friday morning with a migraine… a migraine to the point of nausea… I assume I’d had it all night to reach that point.

On Thursday afternoon I applied back to a travel clinic I had worked very part-time at about four years ago.  They had put up a post earlier in the week.

She had emailed back later that evening saying she really wanted to talk to me and asked me to complete a 30-minute questionnaire.  Well, before I spent 30 minutes on a questionnaire on Friday morning I wanted to know how part-time it was.  How many hours?  You get the drill.  So I emailed her back.  She wanted to call and I told her it was a great time.

I quickly cancelled the pick-up of the hiring package and waited for her call.

We were on the phone for 45 minutes… and it was amazing!  Oh my God (and I say that with utmost reverence)!  By the end of the call she had offered me the job at 32 hours a week and $2 more per hour than the posting because I’ve done this before and will require little training to get me up to speed!

I was so excited.  Even she said “I don’t know if you believe in God or a higher being but I sat here yesterday praying that the perfect person would come along and your application landed in my inbox.”

The other great thing is it doesn’t start until October 1st which means I am able to give that other guy a month’s notice.  I know most of you will say not to but trust me when I say that it’s being incredibly selfish ALL the way.  Despite him thinking it’s all about him and my respect for him (ha ha) it’s truly all about me!  I’m on vacation for another week so he has a week to digest it… he’s going to treat me like s**t anyway but it also gives him enough time to find and hire someone and that person should be able to start before I leave so there should be continuity of care for the patients that I will miss so much.

So for the weekend I have been at peace.  I am content with what has happened and I think it happened when it was supposed to for whatever reason.  Despite my lack of sanity at this point… where he has driven me to at this point, I can finally be at peace.

 

The Toughest Decisions…

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I am supposed to be on vacation!  Bottom line!  V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N.  That means I should be resting, renewing, relaxing and I’m wound up tighter than a spool of thread (or to quote one of my all-time favourite movies “tighter than my aunt Gladys’s butt” as stated by Richard Dreyfuss in My Life in Ruins)!

Why?

Well as I have made it well known, work is not easy.  I can’t give away the entire story but there are the cultural “servant girl” issues as well as all the mistakes and incompetencies that I keep correcting.  As an RN I’m definitely pushing the boundaries of my scope of practice!

So I have been looking, looking for just about anything to make an exit.  I got a job offer yesterday… retail, 32 hours a week at minimum wage.  I wasn’t expecting it, I was expecting a second interview request… a chance to ask more questions and then say “can I think about it?” at the end.

So since yesterday I have been freaking out.  I simply do NOT know what to do.  As I continue to think about it and do the math, I see everything I have worked for up to this point simply dwindling away.

I have been looking for work for almost 16 months and my mental health is starting to be impacted by this clown.  BUT… the bottom line, is just that… the bottom line.

For years I lived paycheque to paycheque and, I’ll admit, ended up taking cash advances off of credit cards in order to get through a month only to pay the credit card and do it all just before the interest was packed back onto the card the following month.  I can’t go back there.  Having my teaching as extra funds has created a small savings cushion for me.  Not as much as I would like and I do end up dipping into it at the end of each month but a cushion nonetheless.

I don’t think, with good conscience, no matter the impact of the stress, that going back to living that way is a good idea.  I think it would take its own toll on me and be far worse.  I have tried to compare it to having to take stress leave and ending up on 55% of my salary which would require me to basically give up my college pay but I think the unknown plays a big part in all of this.  I can plan all I want for this to be short-term… before the savings run out… but there are no guarantees.  I could end up there for a year and have to move back in with my parents!

Last night was a horrible night already worrying about the money… the lack of income.  I reminded myself that with my teaching pay this fall the one thing I do need to do still is get the kitten neutered something I have continued to put off in order to create a bit of a financial cushion.

I think I need to hold out for something that will be an improvement to the bottom line.  I know from church that it is wrong to worship money and from my Life Coaching course that money, though we should not worship it, IS a necessity in life and being comfortable with what we have, living within our means, leads to fulfillment.

I think the message to myself in all this is that I am going to have no other choice but to tell this poor manager who has been looking for floral help for a year that I just can’t do this right now.  That it’s just not feasible for me.

I will have to work harder at finding something else.  When I go back to work after my vacation the boss is supposed to be going away for three weeks… and then I’m off for another week… I think I can hold on for that long and, maybe, just maybe, something better will come along!

How does any of this relate to writing you ask?  Because whether you have read this far or not, writing this, put my feelings into words on the page, has calmed me.  It has provided me with more calm than I had all night.  It worked me through an issue and I think I have not only a valid reason to not take this job (that I would have killed though) but made me realize a number of things.

Hope From Despair–(True) Story

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I was at home tucked into my bed recovering from a procedure I’d had hours earlier to remove a lesion of abnormal cells when I got the text that something was seriously wrong with my grandmother.

My first instinct was to go; I wanted to be there with my mom.  But I couldn’t go; I had to take care of myself.  I would be no good to anyone if I didn’t take the time I needed to recover.  I did my best by text to help mom manage the situation with the nursing home staff.

By the time I did get to the nursing home the following evening grandma was essentially comatose.  She would open her eyes and cry out in what we assumed was pain because soon after the staff gave her a morphine injection she would settle again.

We sat vigil for a week with this woman we all loved sharing stories, memories, holding her hand and praying she would go peacefully.

It wasn’t that we wanted her to go but she had endured much over her lifetime being a divorced single mom raising two children and being active at church on top of working full time.  She wore her heart on her sleeve.  She never said no.  She gave more than she ever got and we all loved her.  We were devastated when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and we watched helplessly as she slowly slipped away from us and, though we sometimes shared laughs when she was confused, we cherished even more the rare moments when she was with us and could join in the conversation.  It was a relief when she got a bed in long-term care because she would get the care she needed but we could visit and spend time with her.

It was time.

We all slept with our cell phones turned on that week.  We shared tears over our imminent loss.

One week after that first text she took her last breaths.  She passed away with her two children and me at her bedside.  It was a relief but it was still incredibly sad.

I lost my grandmother, a woman who had been an anchor in my life.  We had always shared a love of music and musicals and had been single, working mothers generations apart and I would always be her nurse.   She had babysat my brothers and me and then she babysat my daughter.  She was special.

I had the opportunity to speak at her funeral.  I didn’t think, at first, that I could get up and speak without breaking down.  I did it and have no regrets.

Her death, a cancer scare and the loss of a much loved boss of eleven years all in the course of three months does change a person.  Change in life is inevitable and unavoidable.  When we’re young we don’t realize how much change we will endure in our lives.  We will suffer loss and we will grieve those losses.

It is what we take away from the loss and grief as each teaches us a lesson even if we can’t see it right away.  We will make decisions that will have a ripple effect.  I went on to choose, in light of some of those abnormal cells being malignant, to have a major surgery to eliminate a future of anxiety and the threat of the cancer returning.

I have only now, a year after her death and four months after my surgery, with the small green tips of my daffodils beginning to peek through the soil in my garden, begun the process of change and renewal in many aspects of my life.  It has all helped me to better define where I go from here.

I feel hopeful again.

Too much or too little…

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I’m finding, now that I’m on vacation, that it’s a bit of a struggle because yesterday I ended up fumbling around and not getting any writing done because my mind kept bouncing between work in progress!

First my mind was on the Mystery in the Attic sequel and then it was on the third installment of the Mysteries of the Past series and finally it was trying to create something separate altogether!  That does NOT add to productivity!

So I read through that little anthology that I had been published in and I cried when I read what I wrote once again.  It made me cry, again.  I realized that I wrote and posted The Letter and haven’t posted any of my writing since.  I obviously didn’t get accepted for the Guideposts Writing Workshop either so there’s another story that has been written and is now just that… an unseen story.

My challenge is… what do I do with them?  As soon as I post them to my blog they are considered, in most circles, previously published… I can’t use them again.  But I would love to share them with the world and, maybe, get some feedback.

Since the Anthology really isn’t available for purchase (at least I can’t find it) I think I will post that piece!

It will be in my next post!

Vacation!

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I have finally, FINALLY made it my vacation my friends!

It has been one hell of a long haul to get here.  And I’ve had headaches all weekend.  Yesterday’s headache was so bad I took a pharmacy of meds before it finally went away.

I don’t know if that is all the stress pouring out of my body or if it truly was the impact the weather was having.

So much has been happening and as I now sit back and put more perspective onto my writing, I am finding that, once again, I want to write!

I finished the Life Coaching program this morning and I now have my certificate.  I am a Certified Life Coach.  In finishing the work I did the 50 Questions for finding your passion and Writing was repetitive for me throughout.  If going through the program taught me anything it’s that it’s incredibly important to go after what it is you want.  Yes, finding who you are and your core values is incredibly important because it gives you direction and teaches you not to settle.

I have had an overwhelming crashing of writing ideas in my mind over the last 12 hours or so and I’m struggling because I suddenly need to do something about it.  I got some excellent story starters Friday from Reedsy and a number of them I could put to good use.

This is what my vacation is about… this is what my de-stressing time is about.

Next weekend I’m going to the trailer come hell or high water.  I hope to get some me time for writing… we’ll see.

For the time being I have to run with what’s on my mind.

For you… try this:

While sorting through some old keepsakes, you find an envelope with your name on it that hasn’t been opened. You recognize the handwriting. 

 

THIS is IT!

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It’s HERE!

And it looks FANTASTIC!  Why am I yelling?  Because, my friends, I’m THAT excited!!

Hyst_book_cover_FINAL

This is a picture of the actual cover.  Took them out of the package and took the picture!

So it’s done!  I just have to log into Lulu and give them my blessing and in a few weeks, or sooner, it will be available on Amazon!

I can’t say how much it will be on Amazon but I will be selling actual copies in the K-W area for $12CND.  If mailing is required then I will add that on.

Might want to compare it to the price on Lulu too.

So I have spent part of my day creating my business because I’m done the Life Coaching!  I’ve completed all the necessary sections and am just working through the Q&A section making notes on creating the business and how to get myself out there.

I have also been working on that because of the wellness studio idea and the fact that the person who I met with wants to make this work.  I just have to figure out the sorts of things I can offer because the life coaching, CBT, etc that I’m signed up to take isn’t going to fit into there.  I will have to do that on my own from some other location.

But will people pay to meet with an RN?  It will be a tough sell because they can see their doctor for free.  I have to think outside that box.  And, of course, I want to fit my essential oils into whatever I do there.

This is incredibly exciting for me and, if I stand back and blur my vision, I can kind of see it all coming together… from a distance… from a great distance!  I feel like I’m on Mars looking down on all of it here on earth and see the strands starting to pool together.

I can see myself having my own wellness center (probably not here) where I would offer Life Coaching and CBT and Counselling as well as assessments and classes on health as well as Writing as Therapy… grief writing, journalling, etc.

Go visit my new website that I’m in the very early stages of creating.  There isn’t much there at all but go check it out anyway… https://adviceprn.wixsite.com/adviceprn

The Good Side…

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Despite feeling as down about last week as I do, I have to admit is was also an interesting week.  I had applied, believe it or not, to a Wellness Studio looking for an MD or ND.  I figured, what the heck!

So I got an immediate response.  The lead in the studio wanted to meet with me ASAP to discuss.  At our meeting he told me that he was intrigued by my resume because two days before he placed the MD/ND ad he’d had a meeting with the team and asked if they felt the need for any other practitioners and the dietician asked if he’d ever thought of an RN.  So I am in the midst of a potentially brand new path in life where few have gone before me.  The potential is there, I can feel that, I get that, I see that, but it’s finding people who will use the service and pay for it.  That’s the biggest challenge.  So we’re working on that at the moment.

I am finding myself busy, busy, busy but still stressed out severely which is decreasing my energy which is taking away from things like blogging and focusing on other things.  Things at work continue to spiral downward, especially in the incompetence department.

My vacation starts in one week… I hope that during those two weeks I can find some balance, spend some time on the CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) program I have lined up to take next and be able to develop some ideas around becoming a Wellness RN!

Gee, maybe I’ll get some fresh writing in there.  I do plan on spending some time at the beach so maybe, just maybe, I can pick up a couple of new copies of writing magazines and sit in the sun and read!

Reorganization equals Chaos…

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Do you ever notice that?

You look around and gulp and realize that, once again (because you’ve done this a million times over as a writer) you need to TIDY and reorganize!  You look at your workspace and you realize that you couldn’t find something if it was slapping you because it’s GONE!

You know what is in the pile but nothing is where it used to be.  Where does a person go with anything?

I am finding myself short on space as I near the end of the Life Coaching Program and have all the printouts that I have been putting into folios.  Okay, check… went to Staples and bought a box of 100 page protectors and a binder.  Five folios have been transferred over!  I have reached Section 7 of 9.  This section covers the Seven Step Life Coaching Framework and then the following two sections are Q&A and End of Course/Program!

What a difference this course has made.  Do you know how many times, in working through the 50 Questions for Finding Your Passion & Purpose in Life I wrote WRITING?  I lost track so I can’t tell you.

I believe, once and for all (after 3 false starts) that I have solved the problem of my book cover and the new copies should be arriving anytime now…

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I think the solid top is the solution it needed!

Lulu, by the way, is currently offering free shipping until tomorrow (Monday Aug 20) night.  The code is BOOKSHIP2018

From the perspective of a writer, life is overwhelming at the moment.  I have a lot going on and this week was going to be the make-it-or-break-it week for a number of things including whether or not Guideposts was going to offer me one of the twelve coveted spots in Rye, New York for a week in October at their Writing Workshop.  Since I didn’t hear from them and the middle of August has now passed, I assume I’m not one of the lucky ones.

Seems to be my lot in life.  It sure doesn’t help bolster the desire to write.  I also had an editor from Australia reading my work as of July 17 and her email indicated approximately four weeks.  That has passed now too.  So, all around, this week has had more bad than good.

I do have another tale to tell but I’ll save that for my next post my friends!