Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Weapon Against Stress Right Now

My pretty cover is calming, to me anyway!
So I’m having to do a lot of choosing the good thoughts these past two weeks, let me tell you. This Word Whores’ topic is absolutely timely for me because my real life turned upside down just when I was releasing one new book and very close to getting a second one out.

I quit the day job at the end of February to write full time. Since then, I finally got my living space exactly the way I wanted it to be, hung all the pictures just so, arranged the knickknacks perfectly, even dusted (which I NEVER do). A week or so ago, I actually stood in the kitchen drinking tea, and thought to myself that things were going perfectly. Umm yeah, don’t ever give in to that thought, ok? Because not half an hour later came an e mail from the landlord, stating he was selling the place I’m renting and I have a very short time to find a new place and MOVE.

I’ll spare you all my teeth gnashing and anxiety attacks and just state with pride I did manage to find a new place to live less than four miles away (staying in this general area is high on my list). It’s the same rent. It’s a lovely building, nice people. The apartment is wayyy smaller. Apparently my landlord didn’t have a good feel for the local rental market, or was being really nice to me, because wow, have I been enjoying a lot of space for my bucks! Some quantity of those pictures and dust-free knickknacks may have to go by the wayside. My daughters, my new son-in-law and my best friend are rallying around to help me move. My brother was calling me every night during the worst of my anxiety, to talk me down. I was meditating and medicating (Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie cures all)….I released Ghost of the Nile on schedule and even did some promo for it. Not enough, but we do what we can, right? The book even made two Amazon romance bestseller lists - yay! (And my thanks to everyone who bought a copy!) 

I kept my previous commitments for columns over at USA Today/HEA and guest posts and judging a flash fiction contest.

Now I’m packing, doing all the stuff involved with moving, trying to deal with the copy edits  for my new science fiction romance, trying to keep making progress on writing my next book (late at night after I’m too tired to do any more work on moving, so you can guess how much the Muse is co-operating)…

I’m very VERY good at juggling many things, compartmentalizing and moving forward. But wow, I’m tired!!!

The worst part is my poor cats, Jake and Keanu, can tell something’s up and they’re tense. They enjoy climbing on all these new boxes that suddenly appeared in the middle of their house but they’re not too sure they like the other changes – things disappearing, people in and out, me being crazy stressed, etc. I feel guilty because Jake especially loooves the stairs here. His favorite game is to chase a ball down the stairs and maybe bring it back for me to throw again. And again. You guessed it – no stairs where we’re moving. They’re cats, they’ll adapt, I realize this. And I the guilty human bought them a top of the line, 7’ cat climbing tree thingie for the new apartment, which they’ll probably choose to ignore with great disdain.

We actually move in a little over a week, and then I get to go through the unpacking and the sorting and the hanging of pictures and placing of knickknacks in between writing. Sigh.

However, when my thoughts are going in the bleak, why me this is unfair I don’t want to move WHINE direction, I recall that a few years ago I came within seconds of dying, choking on a bite of food that totally blocked my airway. I literally had to show the person with me how to do the Heimlich Maneuver as I was passing out (I saw Dr. Heimlich demonstrate it on the Today Show once when I was a kid. My companion doggedly persevered and after 14 attempts, dislodged the food and saved my life. (Of course the instructions say to stop after the victim passes out but if he had, I'd have died so...) According to the doctors, I was lucky not to have suffered brain damage, let alone to still be alive. So I count every minute since that morning as a gift and a blessing. I may be less than thrilled to be moving, I may have to make do with a few less square feet of knickknack room…but hey, I’m here!

Remember that stress doesn't come from what's going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what's going on in your life. Andrew J. Bernstein

(And here's a good how-to video on the Heimlich Maneuver.  )


  1. Those kitties will LOVE the 7' climbing tree - awesome!

  2. OMG, talk about your real world exploding! Thank goodness you were able to find a new place so quickly, even if it is smaller.

    Hang in there. Trials happen to make us appreciate the bounty coming our way.

    1. So true, KA! I'm just trying to get thru the week now :-)

  3. ((Hugs)) I'm sure your cats will love the climbing tree! Take care.

    1. Thanks, Melisse! (I'll sprinkle the tree with catnip too, which will probably help LOL.)

  4. Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! I'm really sorry. I hope it ends up being a huge positive somehow, but I'm sure it doesn't feel like it right now.

  5. Oh wow. are still here, taking names and kickin writerly butt! (: