fail…but not disappointing fail

I haven’t done my five minutes since Monday, but I’m not upset about it. I’m itching to get back to it, which is what I’m doing as soon as I finish this update, but I’m not disappointed. Here’s why: my doula client gave birth early Wednesday morning, and I was with her from Tuesday morning through Wednesday around 9:30am. She was a total champ, with 34 hours of labor BEFORE she got her epidural, and a baby 5 hours after that. Everybody’s happy and healthy, and hopefully going home sometime soon today.

So now I’m off to my 5 minutes after a baby-birthing break!



five minutes–a success!!!

No, really. I’ve done my 5 minutes three out of four days this week! Wednesday was the one I missed, but considering I wrote for almost an hour this morning, along with another hour this evening, I believe I’ve made up for it.

Today’s glut of words came from an almost-asleep inspiration last night: I needed to start the novel I’ve been trying to revise for a year and a half at the dance scene. No one will understand this reference, as I haven’t let anyone read the thing because I didn’t finish it and it needed to be completely re-written. But instead of merely rolling over and thinking, “I’m sure I’ll remember that in the morning”, as I usually do, I turned on the light, pulled out my little notebook and a pen, and wrote it down.

Amazing what a little bit of determination can do, along with a computer which takes less than a minute to boot up. 🙂


ROW80, round 1, 2012

I just read Kait’s post about setting our goals for this new round of ROW80. I have also been a runner, and have been “trying” to become one again.

But I never heard about the Test Mile. At this point, I doubt very much I could run a whole mile (it’s been a LONG TIME), but I know I CAN jog/walk my way around the lake close to my house (almost 3 miles, and mostly walking).

I really like the Test Mile concept, both for running and writing. Like I said, I can’t run a mile, but I know what I CAN run. I very rarely make 1000 words in a day, but I can write 5 minutes a day. I was encouraged to do this in the previous round, and when I actually did it (rarely), it gave me a sense of accomplishment that kept me feeling lighter the whole 5 minutes before I went to sleep, since I usually only found the time at the very end of my day.

In early December, a good friend helped me build a schedule for my life around my 4pm-12:30am work schedule. It’s flexible, and I feel neither restricted nor bored with it. I was thinking yesterday, after reading a friend’s blog post about daily writing in the morning, that I could put my five minutes at the beginning of my day instead of just whenever I remember an manage to fit it in.

Getting out of bed to do the writing will also encourage me to be up and moving around so I can do my running, too. What a concept!

I think Monday will be an excellent time for me to start this–get up for my Five Minutes, and then get out and start walking again. It’s the only way to get a habit started, after all–just start!!! I’ll get to that Test Mile within a couple of months, too. 😉


First day back

Today was my first day back into the life a semi-normal person. Now that it’s been a week since I got laid off, I’m officially back in business. It’s time to get off my duff and get going!

First thing: new schedule. I have it roughed out, and will kind of go with that for a little while, and adjust as needed.

Second thing: business plan. Don’t quite know what that’s going to look like yet, but I have myriad sources to whom I can turn.

Third thing: website. Gotta set that puppy up so it looks professional, and then get the word on me out there!

In between these things, there is making a baby quilt, cleaning out as much of my crap as possible, getting organized, and figuring out what else I’d like to do before the doula biz picks up. No one’s paying me to write at the moment, but practicing is in the schedule every single day, whether it’s my 5 minutes or longer chunks of time. I want it, and the only way I’m going to get it is if I work for it. 🙂


2.12.12 checkin

I haven’t done my ROW80 updates this week, but there wasn’t really anythng to tell. I haven’t been doing my 5 minutes, I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been doing a lot of things.

I also haven’t been working; I got laid off from the job I’d had for almost 6 years on Tuesday. It was a surprise, but most definitely a GOOD surprise. My friend B and I decided that I could take the week off because of the layoff so I can relax and get used to it and get it all out of my system. This week, we start the business plan, fix up my doula website, and start figuring out how that business is all going to look–and what else I’m going to do until my doula business hopefully becomes self-sustaining.

Of course, I’d rather just keep doing what I was doing this week, with a little more writing thrown in. It’s been very relaxing…very nice. 😉

I did just buy a new computer yesterday, since I have to return the work one tomorrow. This one isn’t anything fancy; it’s got Windows 7 on it, but none of the Microsoft suite yet. Gotta love friends with Microsoft hookups for software… I mention the new computer, however, because the bootup time is pretty fast in comparison to the work computer (less than a minute as compared to about 10 minutes!), so I can get up in the morning, turn on the computer, go grab a drink of water, and come back, sit down, and do my morning writing. Now THAT’S pretty amazing! Looking forward to Monday morning, for the first time in a long time!


laid off, and yes, i’m happy about it!

Tuesday morning, I had a planned phone call with my supervisor. I thought she was going to be chatting with me about my schedule, or the fact that I have a doula client due any minute now and we’re short-staffed, or something to that effect. As it turned out, when I answered my phone, it was my supervisor and our director calling to tell me my position has been eliminated.

The company got bought out at the beginning of the year, which was a little bit surreal, because not much changed from my point of view. I went to work, did my work, and went home, same as always. There was new stuff coming down the pipe in terms of our processing line, but I hadn’t been included in any of the new project teams–nothing too surprising, and certainly not upsetting. I’m the kind of employee who doesn’t effect changes within the company, but I’m the total cheerleader for changes and learning new stuff when I’m told to. I figured as a low-to-mid-level peon who showed up and did work and cheerlead for changes, my job was safe. Turns out, not so much.

I wasn’t the only person laid off; there were 22 others sacked as well. Talk about a reorganization!

At first I was stunned; then once I got off the second phone call–this one with HR–and immediately started telling people my GOOD NEWS. This company knows how to lay people off well. And no, I won’t say which one. I don’t think they’re hiring right now. 😉

So yes, I’m thrilled I got laid off. It was far from a dream job of mine, and with the severance and such, it gives me some time to put my doula business together and figure out how to do it well–and then DO IT. It also gives me time to sort some things out for myself, both personally and literally; I’m spending time going through all those boxes of things I wanted to sort before I moved in August that I didn’t have time to sort. It’s taking a while, but it’s worth it.

The next several months will undoubtedly be fraught with moments and days of terror and worry about the next phase of my life, but for the moment, I’m good. 🙂


a wee bit o’ writer’s block

I did my 5 minutes this morning. It wasn’t anything exciting. In fact, it was pretty boring. The most exciting part was that I did it in red pen. Yup, you read that right–IN RED PEN.


Now I’m at work, in the last hour and a half of my shift. There’s only one thing to do, and I’m doing it–watching it go. Whoopee.

And I can’t think of a single thing to write about. I have some stuff started that I was writing for a whilte, and I just have absolutely no interest in any of it right now. Nothing else is coming to mind, either.

Maybe I’ll look up “writing exercises” on Google or something, and see if that gets me anywhere.


writing? not so much…

It’s been a busy month. I put one of my cats to sleep on my birthday (worst birthday ever, including the one when I had pneumonia), and shortly afterward got sick with what has turned out to be gallbladder attacks. Testing continues; surgery is likely, but not on an emergency basis. Turns out gallbladder attacks are manageable if you don’t eat much fat or protein… I’ve lost at least a pant size in the past 2 weeks. Not complaining about THAT, of course; hell of a way to lose weight, though.

It’s pretty easy to forget things like 5 minutes of writing per day. And brushing my teeth before I fall asleep. And taking the dry clothes out of the dryer. It’s a lot harder to forget things to do with my remaining cat; she’s loud and persistent at all times, but unless it’s dinner time, or her box is a mess, the only thing she really wants is attention.

So I haven’t written anything in quite a while, and I’m beginning to feel the lack of it in my life. I’m going to, starting Thursday morning, get back into my routines: specific bedtime with lights off, and specific wake-up time. Two seemingly small things, but both engineered to make my life better.

The third thing is my 5 minutes of writing. I need it like I need good sleep and healthy food. Will report on my progress on Sunday. 🙂


three actual followers!!!

This is very exciting for me. Of course, two of them are people I actually know, but the third is someone I have never met. I don’t think.

I did a tiny bit of writing on one of my stories this week, but it’s been a hard week with losing my Theo kitty. I’m doing a lot better, and a friend of mine helped even more this morning by telling me that there wasn’t anything that I did or didn’t do to make Theodora sick. Apparently there’s a genetic predisposition to it; not like a “runs in families” genetic thing, but just one of those things.

Back to work with me, now.


very sad birthday

Now I’ve had some not too fun birthdays over the years. Two years ago, in fact, I was deep in the throes of pneumonia, which I thought was just the worst.

Yesterday, unfortunately, took the cake.

My previous post, “sick kitty is sick…”, was about my kitty Theodora being sick (obviously). I was obviously very hopeful that she would get better. But over the past week of in and out of the vet, putting in a feeding tube so she wouldn’t have to fight over force-feeding, and dealing with her sister Wanda’s reaction to “that cat smells BAD!”, it became very clear to me yesterday that Theo was just miserable and suffering. Every time we tried to give her food through her feeding tube (no matter how slowly), she would throw it up.

So I made an appointment at the vet, they gave her a sedative, I held her until she fell asleep, and I left her there. Hardest decision I’ve ever made, and it totally sucked. Still does suck. She was snoring when I left–a VERY Theo thing to do–and twitching a little like she was dreaming. Also a VERY Theo thing to do. It made me feel better to know she was peacefully asleep, and that’s how I remember her when I was leaving.

In a VERY strange turn of events–one of those “holy crap, it’s a small world!” things…one of the vets who had been caring for Theo is from the small city just south of the small city where I grew up. We didn’t figure it out at the time, but later on, my brother told me that she’d been in his class at our very small Catholic grade school for a few years. He remembered she’d moved, and he remembered seeing her at our university a few times as well. And now she’s a vet at an awesome cat clinic in Seattle. Weird…but somehow a little comforting, as well. I’ll be dropping her a note to thank her, and I’ll let her know about that. 🙂

For now…it’s work time. Well, it’s been work time, and I’ve been working as I write this. Hopefully I’ll get some writing time in while I’m here, too; my goals of writing and walking in the mornings haven’t gotten going yet, but they will. It’s high time.