science fiction and fantasy author

Category: unfracking my life

Holding the world against the wind

life support

Photo by the amazing Brooke Shaden.  If you’ve never seen her work before, go and look!

I feel like I’m spreading myself too thin again, and that there’s not enough hours in the day for what I want to get done.  I want to write, I want to read, I want to organise the house, I want to play with the kidlet, I want to get the garden sorted out, I want I want I want…

I need to breathe.


Getting things done in a smaller world

Kangaroo paws at sunset 2The process of unfracking my life continues.

I’m still slowly whittling away at some of my online commitments.  One of the things I’m giving over is the guilt at not interacting with people online as much as I’d like.  I’m not spending as much time on Faceboook, and I refuse to feel guilty over not commenting on blogs or replying to comments much.  I’ve never been a huge commenter anyway (I don’t like to comment unless I feel like I have something useful to add) but I’m probably going to be commenting even less.

I’m still making chains of the things I want to accomplish, and yesterday I played with the Pomodoro Technique for the first time, with success.  Something about having that timer ticking away, knowing that I was going to get a break in X minutes, really helped me focus.  I ended up with about 2200 good words after two pomodoros, which I think is a win in all senses.

Today, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.  It’s going to be interesting to see how the techniques work for me when I’m fatigued.  It’s one of the great annoyances of chronic illness, I find – just finding that damn hair-thin line to walk between getting things done and doing too much and sending myself into a tailspin.  But ultimately, I can complain about it until I’m blue in the face, and all I’m going to accomplish is wasted energy and annoyed people around me.  This illness probably isn’t going to kill me any time soon (though in reality, it may shorten my lifespan) and it’s mostly under control with medication and lifestyle adjustments.  I’m extraordinarily blessed to have a husband who makes good enough money that I don’t have to be bringing in a wage, and family who help with the kidlet (and whose help, if I’m brutally honest, has allowed me to be able to have a kid, since I doubt I’d be able to cope on my own).

You fall over, get up, get up again.  Keep going.


Making some changes

I’ve noticed of late that my internet time is becoming a stressful thing for me.  There’s so much drama in groups and between individuals.  It’s gotten to a point where every time I sit down at the computer I end up coming away stressed and frustrated.

And so, I am making some changes.

I’m stepping away from a bunch of online groups and I’m going to stop following people who seem to give nothing but negativity to the world.  This means that I’ll likely be cutting down lists on things like facebook, livejournal etc.

I’m pretty much moving all of my blogging over to here, anyway, so no one is going to miss anything.

It’s time to strengthen the connections that strengthen me.

Unfracking my life

Today, I am annoyed at my body at and autoimmune diseases that make things difficult.

I’ve had this series of posts sketched out to write, but the last few days have laid me low with increased pain and fatigue, making it difficult for me to be able to type and think coherently for any decent length of time.  For once, I’m allowing myself to rest a bit more than usual, rather than stuffing myself full of medication and pushing through it (which inevitably makes things worse).  In short, I am trying to be an adult and actually Look After Myself.

Even with that rest, I am trying to begin a great project: the Unfracking of my Life.  I’ve been a long-time reader of Lifehacker, and have a whole heap of articles and tips filed away for use in some nebulous undetermined future.  And this past week, Cat Valente, a writer and person who I greatly admire and am proud to call friend (albeit only online, thanks to this great damn planet in the way), started a new project at Tumblr, Girl Unlocked, taking a bunch of advice from another new-to-me tumblr, Unfuck Your Habitat, and a whole lot of gears just clicked together in my head.

On the surface of things, my life looks, for the most, pretty together.  The house gets cleaned, the laundry gets done, everyone gets fed etc.  But there’s a whole lot of things that I don’t tackle.  The random stacks of clutter (one of which is my desktop-holding desk, which is currently cluttered with a whole lot of Stuff).  There are a tonne of small household tasks that I endlessly put off.  I don’t really look after myself these days, as evidenced by the extra weight that I’m carrying.  And yes, I can reel off excuse after excuse, but you know what?  They’re just excuses.  Yes, I deal with fatigue and arthritis.  Yes, I have limits.  But I am still mobile, and I have a lot of freedom to organise my time.  And, shamefully, I waste a lot of useful time doing non-useful things (Facebook, I’m looking at you).

It’s time to unfrack things.

In an unrelated fashion, I’ve been trying to keep more on top of the things that I need to accomplish.  This year, I’ve already made a habit of writing myself a to-do list every day, and ticking off items as I complete them.  And lifehacker recently published an article on the don’t break the chain method of productivity.  This is a method that I’d come across before, but for some reason it just clicked with me now.  I already had a calender tacked up next to my writing area, and so I set myself some goals.

1.  I want to write something every day.  This could be fiction, or a blog post, but it had to be words on a page.  With this, I am actually letting go of word counts and just writing.  Some days it’ll only be a few sentences.  Others, I’ve found myself easily finishing 2,000 words.  It just has to be forward motion.

2.  Something needs to be done around the house every day.  Some days, like yesterday, this was bare minimum – dealing with laundry (which gets done daily, thanks to nappies and a kid who likes to mess up his clothes) and running over the floors with my handy-dandy rechargable sweeper thing to deal with the worst of kid crumbs.  On Monday, I vacuumed and mopped the heavy traffic areas, surface cleaned the bathrooms, did three loads of laundry, unfracked the bottom of our walk-in-wardrobe and probably other stuff that I can’t remember right now.  Again, it just has to be forward motion.

3.  This is the tough one for me (though it shouldn’t be) – doing some sort of spiritual work every day.  This is something that gets shoved aside all too easily for me, especially if I’m focusing on goals like word counts.  But my spirituality is something that is my lifeblood.  I am woefully behind where I’d like to be on my OBOD work, and I have a leaning tower of spiritual books that I haven’t read.  This one is seriously slow right now, since it’s a habit I’m establishing – some days it’s been as simple as taking a few moments to take notice of the phase of the moon.  It’ll come.

Three habits, three chains, and so far I haven’t broken them for over a week.  I plan on allocating myself “holidays” of a kind, especially for the writing, which will probably be 4 weeks off in a year, if I need them.  I’d really like to get more productive with writing and treat it as a career, but that will come.  One thing at a time.

Interestingly (or perhaps bleedingly obviously), I’ve actually been feeling much better in general mood-wise since I’ve started doing this.  And I’ve cut down on one of my medications without any kind of fall out mentally/emotionally.

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