A “not” vacation & a new kitten…

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I sit here, on this fourth day of my vacation, and sigh.  I feel it slipping away already, yet I have a week to go.  I have half a page of to-do items and that doesn’t include the marking I still have to do for my transcription class.

I was so excited to go to the trailer for the weekend just past.  Well, it wasn’t that exciting, unfortunately.  I have been feeling very anxious about leaving my house lately.  I thought it was linked to the stress I was feeling from work.  I think it’s just everything.  So Friday evening, after a big, long, drawn out teen drama, at around 8:30, I was so agitated I just wanted to pack up and come home.  I managed to quell that with a glass of wine and I settled in.  Saturday I wandered around town, something I never get to do otherwise and that was quite relaxing.  What wasn’t, and the other thing that got me down so much, was the beach was closed.  Beach access was taped off because we had so much rain that they were afraid of it washing out and stranding people down there.  Sure I could have gone to town to the public beach but I had a very specific destination in mind so I wanted to walk our beach.  Anyway, I ended up packing up around thunderstorms to come home and got here well ahead of my grandma’s memorial service in the chapel at the nursing home.

Monday morning my daughter texts me from the road… I found a kitten.  Inhale sharply.  Great, just what we need, a kitten.  Of course I have a mushy heart and I agreed to let her bring it home because the alternative would be death.  Can’t save everyone but we save those we can.  He’s about 8 weeks, extremely underweight (almost a skeleton), has an eye infection and possibly parasites.  He has to live in the basement until we get some answers.

On the whole, I’m grateful to be on vacation and out of the office.  I think those stress levels, at least, have lifted some.  Replaced by other stresses but not as severe as those from the job.

I’m managing to get a few things accomplished though I’ve also had a few rejections.  I tried to query to You & Me magazine and they promptly replied with a NO.  That was a bit depressing.  I had also applied for the Orcas Islands artist residency… well, no, no room at the inn.  At least they sent a comment that I can share in my books and on my website… a little like Sustainable Arts.

So I am moving onward… I entered my short story into a contest where the second prize is a week at a residency in France.  We’ll see what happens there.  Lastly, I finally have Confessions in the Mural published to Kindle and coming out July 1st in time for Canada Day!  You can find it at the following sites…

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Confessions-Mural-Mysteries-Pamela-Clayfield-ebook/dp/B073BLZLNG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498740649&sr=8-1&keywords=Pamela+Clayfield

And, of course, Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Mural-Mysteries-Pamela-Clayfield-ebook/dp/B073BLZLNG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498740605&sr=8-1&keywords=pamela+clayfield

I will also be running promotions for Canada’s 150th birthday by offering my other books free for Kindle as well.  Just go to Amazon, type in my name and find the book you’re looking for!

All-in-all, so far, I don’t feel like I’m on vacation.  I feel like I’ve just transferred my powers.  I also need to get out the other laptop and start applying for a few jobs before they disappear on me because I’ve been too busy.

Until later and I’ll keep you posted!

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Life Goes On

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Do you remember that show?  Or the song?  Oh-bla-dee, Oh-bla-da life goes on…

I often think of writing a post and then I don’t know exactly what I want to say.  I clicked on WordPress this morning and I’m determined to write a post.  I’m sure there are at least a few of you wondering!

I had a complete meltdown on Thursday night.  My drives to the college this week were exceptionally long!!  I don’t know why there seems to be more traffic than ever before but I also don’t care… I want it to all go away!  Anyway, they decided to close a lane of the expressway so my drive home at 9:15, the one where all I wanted to do was take my 20 minute drive home and crawl into bed I was that tired, ended up being almost 40 minutes.  I was SOOOOOOOOOOO angry.  My anger was beyond words.  I am completely and totally fed up with construction around here!  I have been dealing with it and detouring around it for FIVE LONG YEARS and it still isn’t letting up!!  I shared a few words with my daughter and obviously the cat was picking up on my mood.  When I was going to do my stretches, he attacked my arm… claws, teeth, and then flew off the bed knowing he was going to get it!

I gave up chasing him through the house when he ducked behind the couch.  I carried my weary and, now battered, body back upstairs where I couldn’t find band-aids and I just said the hell with it!!  Who cares anymore and in a crumpled pile I ended up on the floor crying, no, probably weeping in frustration and anger.  My daughter came running and joined me on the floor where she just let me get it all out.  I hate my job (not teaching), I hate the region in which I reside and I hate my life.  She barely spoke.  She just listened.  I explained that I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to go to work; I don’t want to leave the house.  My home had become my refuge, my safe place, and I don’t even want to go to my parent’s house these days.

I cried until there were no tears left.  I felt better and slept better.  I felt more relaxed at work until one more thing happened to annoy me.

Yesterday I stole away and went to the office and faxed off more than half a dozen resumes.  Friday evening I applied to a job that I had never thought of before the ugly “C” word entered my life, even marginally.  If it hadn’t, I probably would never have thought of it.  Perhaps things do happen for a reason.  Out of everything I have thought of and all the job postings I have searched for, I think that’s the one I’d like to do most of all if I’m going to stick with nursing.

I’ve been trying to stay in touch with the writer in me.  I continue to journal almost every day.  I found 2 more contests I want to enter… one for a week in Scotland, one for a week in France… I don’t know which I want more!

I keep thinking about writing and I think there’s a story in there that’s almost ready to come out but I think it might end up being a week from now and the weeks that follow (vacation) where the words truly start to flow.

I was never a big fan of Forrest Gump but I think there’s truth in his line about life being like a box of chocolates.

As always, I will keep you posted on my job search and my writing… leave a comment about your writing!

Still Trying…

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This past week was really tough and really got me down.  In a nutshell, work is not going great.  The “new guy” is taking on all kinds of new patients which is upsetting our days.  I have a to-do list that will never end!  I feel like I’m babysitting, constantly!  If it’s not one thing, it’s another… I wish I’d never given him my intercom extension number!

So it’s been another roller coaster ride.  A patient being extremely grateful brought flowers for each of us on Thursday which was a wonderful and uplifting surprise!

GorgeousFlowers

Aren’t they beautiful?  One of the other Stargazers is opening right now.  I love those lilies… they are my favourite flower.

Otherwise, I haven’t managed to get up to much… well, maybe I have!  I have yet to open my binder of past goodies but all in good time.  I have continued to journal but I was also made aware of an online magazine that publishes personal essays on medical issues.  I have visited their site and I have printed the submission guidelines.  I have also written a piece on my journey so far and perhaps they will actually buy it.  We shall see.

In regards to my cervical cancer, I feel like I’m in suspended animation.  I shouldn’t count down too soon because that means the summer is pretty much over and that’s my favourite season! But on the other hand, I really want to know!  I poked around online for ribbons, etc. that support cervical cancer and there’s very few!  If I want to pay a fortune I can go on Amazon but it was rather quite depressing.  So… I decided that I’d make my own! I bought some white beads and teal (well, I think they ended up closer to green but didn’t look that way at the store) and made a bracelet.  The only thing missing is a ribbon but when I wear these bracelets all day I don’t like things that dangle!

Bracelet_CC It looks nearly teal!  Perhaps it is teal-enough!

I have also felt like a human slave this week which has been getting in the way of my doing things as well.  School is going well.  MOA2 could have been laid out a bit more clearly for me but Transcription is going very well.  Hopefully everyone settles into transcribing.  It is not an easy feat that’s for sure… and mostly it’s just getting used to it!

So that’s where I am at these days.  I had another look through my Writer’s Digest because it was the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers edition and had a look at some of the websites I had marked.  There is a DIY MFA website which I have subscribed to.  Of course you don’t actually get your MFA but it runs along the same principles, mainly writing, reading and community that gets those people on their writing road.  The website, if you’re interested is diymfa.com

Another is Beyond your Blog which I’m also now subscribed to.  I look forward to getting further into this site as well and seeing if I can pitch my blogs elsewhere!  The website is beyondyourblog.com

There are a couple of others that I will take a look at and let you know in my next blog.  Hopefully those running the above two won’t be too upset that I shared!  If I’m promoting their sites I would hope not!

Time to go off and write!

 

Getting it Together…

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Well the last couple of weeks I have found myself getting organized.  I put to use a book shelf that was supposed to be purposed elsewhere but I got tired of it standing backwards in my dining room so I turned it around.  My dining room table is now mostly cleaned off!  It looks awesome!

I have printed off a number of old partial manuscripts and put them into a binder so I can re-read and edit and, if possible, finish them… one at a time of course!  I have also written down some other new ideas and, as expected, continued to journal.

I have spent my weekend in a LOT of pain.  More pain than I’ve had in a long time.  It has taken my breath away at times.  That said, it’s been difficult to focus on anything for any length of time.

I’m also planning on getting away to the trailer for a weekend by myself.  I really need that time that’s for sure.  Still won’t be enough but it will be a good start.

I also applied to that Artist Residency for January.  I got that application finished and sent on Wednesday.  It felt good to do that!  It felt normal, like I’ve done it a hundred times before!  I’m also trying to figure out where to send a short story I wrote in the fall.  I have it sitting here and I have edited it and it’s waiting for a place to put it.  As I was editing, I was wondering about a sequel… a series of short stories… like a TV show because they are short rather than long.  If I string them together then I might as well just write it as a novel.

Now I just have to figure out where everything else is taking me.  Life has a way of needing sorting out once in a while, just like all the writing we’ve spent months working on.  Some things just take longer than other things.

Somewhere, in a notebook far, far away is the memoir I started close to 2 years ago I think.

I also want to release Confessions in the Mural to Kindle come July 1.  Figure it’s a good day to do that!  Released the novel January 1 so why not?

Lots of plans… now I just need the time to IMPLEMENT!

I feel like writing!

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Yesterday I had the intense feeling to write.  This is a first in a very long time!  I don’t even remember how long.  I published book number ten on January 1st this year.  In the months leading up to that I was editing.

I have tried to get started again but have had a lot of false starts.

I have been journalling a lot lately trying to mourn and and process and digest.  That, for me, has helped some but not entirely.  I think I’m getting there but, of course, have a long way to go.

Work is not easy.  As much as I tried to open my mind, it’s not so easy when you are mourning losses in life including your boss retiring.

So I suddenly wanted to write yesterday and I didn’t. have. time.  That seems to be my unwanted mantra of late.  And it also seems that everyone has forgotten that writing is my thing to do.  They suck away more and more of my time like it’s nothing.

Then this morning I was enjoying my weekly Funds for Writers and came across a residency that I’m interested in applying to.  I’ve never applied to anything like that before so I’m trying to figure out where to start.  I may have to go back and try to remember how I applied to the Sustainable Arts Foundation grants in the past.  Then not do that since I clearly failed!

I don’t have very long either… May 31 is the deadline.  The first thing I have felt excited about in a while

One of the many things I have actually been thinking about has been where I go from here.  I realize that I will likely have to change jobs because even if I can see things changing and calming down at work I also can’t decide if I want to continue in health care or venture from the norm and find something else to do. Something else that will use my vast knowledge and make me happy which family health care has not for a few years.

One thing must happen at a time and I’m at a crossroads because I really do need my vacation so do I want to start something new in the middle of summer?

I find it difficult to accept things when they happen because I hate feeling out of control.  Maybe that’s mostly related to not having a lot of control over so many things for so long now.

Faith…

I’m trying to have faith!

The Roller Coaster of Life…

Thursday I got an email notification that Netflix had added a movie I might be interested in… the movie was Parenthood!  That movie was awesome!  Maybe some of you disagree but I’m not here to argue likes and dislikes.  Having raised a teenager in the time since that movie came out in 1989, and aged almost 30 years, it holds many more lessons than it did when I was what?  15.

Close to the end grandma talks about how much she always loved the roller coaster (and for the sake of this, I do NOT, nor would my back be able to take that or my balance centre but that’s another story).  The fear, the exhilaration, the surprise, the excitement, the “oh my God I’m going to die”.  She was telling to to her grandson and his wife who had 3 kids and were suddenly expecting a fourth.  And when I was 15 that really didn’t mean much.  28 years later, I get it, fully.  Life is a roller coaster and we are just along for the ride.

It doesn’t make what we go through any less of what it is.  We are emotional beings and we have this stuff thrown at us to teach us lessons.

My biggest issue is that so much has been thrown at me at the same time that I can’t register it all.  I’m finding that trying to work through it all and digest and accept is nearly impossible.

As you all know, my boss of almost 11 years retired a week ago.  That added more emotions to the potion and that potion isn’t sitting too well.  Let me tell you, this past week SUCKED!  The new boss, not very user friendly.  Everyone keeps saying to hang on and maybe it will iron itself out… the trouble is, having been included in the “deal” only until the end of August is not much comfort especially the way things have gone.  I can’t afford the rent on 55% of my salary so I think it’s time for me to light the fire under the job search.

So there’s one more thing to add to my list and, unfortunately, I’m not in any way prepared emotionally to start a new job.  But, as humans, we just push forward.

As for my cancer, well, I saw the specialist yesterday.  He did in fact miss some of the precancerous cells.  That said, he did go on to say that the cautery does kill off about 4mm of the surrounding tissue that is not included and sent to the lab so there is a possibility that the cells seen at the margins were, in fact, killed off.  BUT… we won’t know until we do another biopsy.  This time we wait and that will be August 30.  For the next 4 months (almost) I get to sit in limbo.  I get no further answers.

So I will carry on.  I will mark my calendar and I will try to deal with everything else.

How am I?

That seems to be the ultimate question.

It’s a question that I can’t entirely answer.  I’m having difficulties getting in tune with what my emotions are… I can’t seem to define them well these days.

Everything just seems to be rumbling around in my mind.  Monday was the realization that this is the last week with my boss and that made me over-emotional.  I struggled to keep my tears at bay for most of the day.

Everything just seems to keep piling up–I keep carrying everything inside.

As for being positive, well, it’s not like I’m BEING negative but rather I’ve had negative dumped on me and I have no way of working through it all at once.  It’s like jumping into the deep end and you hope you can swim back to the surface before you run out of air.

I’m also starting to count down the days until I see the specialist for the “official” results, even though I already have them.  We’ll see what he has to say about the cells he missed.

My boss retired Friday.  The party went off in spectacular fashion and so many people complimented me on a job well done.  I have a way of managing these things very well!  I always have.  I enjoy planning events like that and seeing them succeed.

But I worry about what tomorrow will bring with the “new guy”.  What changes he will make, what his expectations will be and how much I will have to push back and/or find a new job.  So if anyone hears of anything in nursing, or even event planning, let me know!  I’d like to at least take a look.  Of course I have my preferred list of what I’d like to do but I can evaluate each job posting.  I get job alerts from Workopolis, Indeed and Trending Jobs but you never know what is out there that isn’t advertised.

There’s even a position at the KW Art Gallery that I’m considering putting my name in for.  Why not?  It doesn’t hurt.

I think what I’m really holding out for is to see if Conestoga College is looking for a full-time professor in something I can teach but that wouldn’t be until September now.  And that’s fine… I can squash all my vacation time into the summer!

So much going through my mind.  If nothing else, sitting and writing this helps to put it out there.  Some of it you see, most of it, you do not!

I’ll keep you posted on what the specialist says on Friday.

 

 

“Happy” Easter!

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The first holidays after a death in the family are always difficult.  Easter was my great-grandmother’s favourite.  Grandma, I think, loved them all.  My favourite is Christmas.  There’s something about the season that draws me in and lifts my spirits and my hopes.

I can’t believe we said goodbye to my grandma only 2 weeks ago.

So here we are, now, at Easter.  A day that is supposed to bring hope around the world.  We will have a family dinner later today.

It’s amazing how life just keeps on going.  Whether you come out of the hospital doors after having a surgical procedure or you walk out of a nursing home after your grandmother has died and everything and everyone else is carrying on as usual while your life seems like it has come to a screeching halt.

Then you are expected to catch up to that world and carry on with it meanwhile your heart and your mind are left behind.

I had to bring home a folder full of referrals that needed to be done because I was 4 days behind and I could NOT find the time to get them done.  So now they are done and tomorrow morning I can put the phone on hold (or change the answering machine message to say we will be open at 2:15) and go in and print them and fax them.  That doesn’t totally catch me up but it gets me a lot closer!

I continue to journal as it seems to be the only way to try and identify my thoughts and feelings.  It’s interesting that I seem to only be able to do that when I’m alone.  I know that, with great excitement, that he got all the cancer cells out!  Those margins were clear.  I went back and had another look (because I remember seeing something… you know that nagging feeling) and he did leave some of the pre-cancerous cells at the margins.  Uncertain as to what he will suggest but I might get to go through all of this again… but at least I know the horrible monster cells are gone.

I tried writing the last couple of days… even if it’s a bit of an autobiography.  I didn’t really care, I just wanted to dip my toes in.  I actually took a look at 2 of my sequels, well, as far as I had managed to get when I stopped.  The Mystery in the Attic was left at page 123 and the third installment, the book to follow Confessions in the Mural, sits at only 14 pages.  I’m hoping that by reading one or the other that it will stimulate my brain into writing again.

Well, it is Easter, that time of hope… so maybe this time, I can get my mind back into writing.

So I wish you all a safe, Happy Easter wherever you are and wherever you are going today.

A tough, Tough Week…

The last four months, from today, have felt like a tour through hell.  Four months ago I got the voicemail message that started it all!

I can’t say things started to really spiral until I got the first biopsy report and had my follow-up consult.  The last 3 weeks have put me at the bottom of the pit!

Grief has consumed all of me.  I know this will pass and it’s better to work through the stages then try to sweep it all under the carpet.  But I don’t get a lot of time to try to get in tune with my feelings.  I haven’t even felt like writing.  Anything.  The only thing I have taken to doing is a bit of journalling.  Just my feelings on paper.

Yesterday I called Medical Records because my Pathology Report still hadn’t arrived.  I’m glad I did.  Apparently we were somehow left off as CC so I’m not sure what happened there.  Anyway, I had to get a translation done but I saw what I needed to see… the margins are clear!  That translates to: it looks like he got it all!  Of course I don’t see him until May 5 but I think I can rest easier.

It’s great news but I’m on emotion overload so I can’t be as excited as I should be.  I know I”ll get there and experience the feelings I’m supposed to.  I want to tell everyone!

I can look at that daffodil from the Canadian Cancer Society now because we beat it.

She’s gone…

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My grandma fought a hard battle her entire life.  She worked hard to get to where she ended up.

At the end, she fought another hard battle for a week.  Yesterday we were called in because her breathing had changed.  We wished her well on her journey and she died peacefully.

I have had a full plate these last few months and my emotions have been on a roller coaster.  My plate is full and I can’t handle anything more!

As we get older, the oldest generation dies.  My grandmother was the last of that generation and now my parents and their siblings are the oldest generation of our family.

Often that adds a dimension to us.  It causes us to reflect because all of a sudden we realize that we really are getting older!

I can definitely say my grandmother was a trooper.  She prevailed through things that most people couldn’t, or wouldn’t, at least in her time.  Being a single parent in the 50’s and 60’s.  Being a working single parent at that!  Her faith never left her and she went to church until she couldn’t any longer.

There was just one thing… she thought many people didn’t like her.  I wonder why that is?

I will leave my post at that as I take the time to mourn.