The Change-Up – August 10, 2021

So, this entry is going to be a bit of a departure, one that will change the nature of this blog moving forward.

When I started it, this blogroll was meant to be a place where I could record my progress towards hopefully becoming a published author, but over the few years I’ve been posting, it’s morphed into something else, more of a life-journal, a sounding board of sorts. In that way, it’s helped me get through some pretty tough times.

It’s also gotten me in a bit of trouble occasionally. Pouring your raw thoughts and emotions out into the ether can sometimes lead to over-sharing. Over the course of this blog I’ve at times revealed things that perhaps I should have kept to myself, things which hurt some people I never meant to harm. Given the blogsphere’s public nature, I’ve also held quite a few things back that I really could have used this space to work out, things in my life and parts of who I am that I can’t discuss without revealing more than I’d want to, and potentially hurting some people that I truly love. 

Lately, I’ve come to regret not making this blog anonymous to begin with. Then I could air out all of my laundry without the worry that it would come back to harm me or anyone else. Then again, this blog was never intentionally meant for that purpose, despite how helpful it’s been to my wellbeing.

This past month has been full of some wild ups and downs, many of which I’d very much like to write about here. Writing about my troubles and triumphs helps me to deal with them, put them into perspective and take some time examining them. Doing that has helped out a lot in certain circumstances, and in others, it’s pushed me closer to a resolution, or closure as needed. It is really unfortunate that I can’t feel comfortable enough to do the same for some issues in my life that, by necessity, must remain private.

So, I’ve come to a decision.

I’m not going to be posting personal issues on this blog any more. I’m going to continue to keep it up, but steer it back to being just about my writing and creative projects I work on, such as my Traveler Van or my home renos. I am, however, going to start up another blog, a “secret” one, where I can feel free to write about what I need to, without any fear of reprisal. 

So, if it’s secret, why am I telling you about it? Well, I know that some of my most dear friends do occasionally read this blog, and for some of them, I may send a link to the new one, as they’d not likely judge me for the things I’d write there. I also wanted you all to know why the blog might look different moving forward, so that you wouldn’t question the change when and if you did notice it.

I’m hoping that my proposed “secret” blog will help me talk through the issues that are causing me the most consternation, but that I can’t feel free to talk about here in case my words hurt or embarrass those closest to me. I’ve danced around some of those topics here, alluded to them enough that those of my friends “in the know” could easily tell what I was talking about. A few even reached out, privately, to offer advice, which I appreciated very much at the time. 

I do need more, however. I need to “vent my spleen”, as that little-remembered saying goes, without fear of reprisal, or of hurting anyone in my life by what I feel I need to say. As the hastily constructed bubbles of “safety” that we’ve built around ourselves over these last 16 months begin to be dismantled, we all have to try and find our way back toward “normal.” I don’t feel I can properly do that without having a place to freely express myself. I’ve come close to revealing things here better left unsaid, but I do need a place that those things can be discussed so I can get a better grasp on how to deal with them, or to live with them.

I’m going to re-commit myself to get back to work on, and to finish, my latest novel attempt, “A Kiss From A Dragon”, though as I mentioned it hasn’t been going well and I’m not very happy with how it’s turning out. I do need to finish it for my own peace of mind, and to prepare myself to move on from it and on to my next project. 

I’m going to try a new tactic with my writing to see if it can help me get back on track. I’m going to give myself an actual deadline to finish this latest novel attempt, to see if that can spur me to finish it.

These past three years I’ve participated in Nanowrimo, an annual on-line writing challenge where you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Participating in Nano was what really started me down this path toward becoming a writer. Nano begins on November 1st, and since I’ve always taken the month of October to plan out and research my Nano attempt, I’m giving myself until September 30th to finish my current work-in-progress. That’s a little under two months.

I know I can do it – I once wrote ten thousand words in one day to finish a story in the time I’d set. The question is, will I?

Starting this week, as I return back to work and we inch a little closer to what we remember as “Normal”, I’m hoping to get back into writing at least a few hundred words every day, and to make time to finish the other projects I’ve let languish.

Though I may have been slacking off on some things, I have been working hard to get back to work on my health goals, now that my gym has opened back up. I’ve been going consistently for the past few weeks, and I’ve been much better as far as following my diet. As a result, my daily blood glucose levels have been much better, which I’m happy about. It’s seems to be the one aspect of my life that actually seems to be going ok right now.

The progress on my Traveler Van, the Rocinante, has slowed quite a bit, however. Personal issues this past month have sapped me of much of my motivation. I have to get back to it soon if I want to use the van at all before summer’s end. I’ve come to accept that it will be a multi-year project to build the can out as I’d like, so my goal is to get it usable for camping in the next few weeks. That means finishing the bed, and trimming out and covering the windows. 

There is quite a bit more I’d like to get done, but I”m going to concentrate on the absolute necessities for now, so I can actually have a chance to do some camping in her this year.

I have managed to finish a few projects around the house that had been ignored for far too long. Last year, during the “Second Great COVID Lockdown”, I began building some bar stools and a tile-topped bistro table laid out like a chess board. I finally got around to finishing that project last week, as well as a few other minor but neglected projects that were keeping me from calling the Kitchen Reno complete.

Those may sound like accomplishments, but given the amount of down time I’ve had this past summer, I’m kind of ashamed that I haven’t finished more. The Rocinante being a case in point.

One last comment on the state of my mental health, and the steps I’m taking to (hopefully) improve it, and then I’m going to relegate that topic to it’s new home.

A few weeks ago, during a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment, I discussed with my Family Doctor the possibility of going on a very mild anti-anxiety medication. I asked for two reasons, the most obvious being that I have been having anxiety issues over the last while, whether exacerbated by the current Pandemic situation or not, and I was looking for a little bit of help to deal with that. The other reason, the one that in the end actually pushed me into asking for my doctor’s advice, is that stress and anxiety can effect blood glucose levels. 

One of the bits of advice I’m always getting on managing my blood sugar is to find better coping mechanisms for stress. Elevated stress can make it very difficult to maintain a healthy glucose level. I’ve tried a few stress reduction techniques over the years – meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises – but I’m wondering if my tendency to get anxious in stressful situations might not be better dealt with through some mild medication.

My doctor prescribed a 10 mg dose of Escitgalorpram, which I’m taking her word is a very low dose. It’s also commonly called Lexapro. I’m hoping that it will help reduce the incidents of anxiety that I have been experiencing lately, possibly exacerbated by the pandemic like so much else has been, and help me deal with some of the issues I’ve been having. 

I also hope that being on the anti-anxiety meds will help a bit with regulating my blood sugar. I’ve only been on the pills for the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t noticed any significant changes yet, but then again, I’m not even sure I would notice them if and when they were to happen. I’m hoping it helps with at least one of those issues, if not both. Time will tell.

Well, before I veer off into old habits and start posting maudlin anecdotes about how awful my life is, I think I should end this here. I’m sorry to all five of you that follow this blog, as it’s likely to get  more boring from this point forward, as I’ll be limiting what I write here to only discussing my creative projects.

Hopefully that will make me seem less morose, and a few of you can continue enjoy following my progress with my writing journey.

Hope you’re all well,

Rob.

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