Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stress

I am exhausted. If I was a little less tired, I'd think of a brand spanking new word for how tired I am, but since I'm too tired for mental acrobatics, I'll just stick with exhausted. I'd like to say that I'm so tired because of fun recreational activities, but, alas, those activities are lacking.

No, I find myself so tired because of a combination of overwork and stress. The stress is a byproduct of being overworked, or rather the additional stress, since I'm slightly stressed most of the time. Back in the day, I used to be a manager, not just a server. But I hated it, or rather the politics of it, because while I am excellent at most things, I will never be excellent at having a penis. That tends to happen when you're a girl. And sad to say, the restaurant business is still very old boy club--which requires a penis. So instead of continuing to fight a losing battle, because I was not going to obtain a penis then or at any time in the future, I went back to serving. My stress level went down, my happiness went up, and so did my paychecks, crazily enough. The only fly in the ointment is that whenever our stores find themselves short on management, I get to pick up the slack. And by get to, I mean I'm appointed, and I have to fight tooth and nail for my server hours, which is where the money really is. So then I'm stressed because I have to manage the night shift, who are basically walking dummies, and because I'm worrying about having money to pay the bills. I've been lucky for the last few months, not having to pick any shifts up. My luck has run out.

This weekend is my high school reunion. Since I had to work like a dog earlier this year, pulling doubles and whatnot, even while I was sick, I was guaranteed five days off, i.e. my vacation time. I get three weeks of vacation time, and I was taking one of them, damn it. But one of the managers, who's been with the company less than a year, decided a month ago to go out of town. And they find themselves short a manager by one night. Guess who gets to pick it up? Yeah, you're all smart. So in addition to the stress of the reunion (did I mention I'm on the planning committee, so I'm really frickin' busy?), I get to lose a day of vacation time, and pick up a day of stress. This makes the second week in a row I've gone six days straight. It doesn't sound like a lot if you have a desk job. But I'm on my feet for, oh, about eight or nine hours. And I do mean on my feet. Six days makes parts of your body hurt that you weren't aware existed.

I would love to say I have a fool proof method of dealing with stress. I don't. I tend to just let it build up, and then lock myself in my apartment for a day. No people. No phone. Just me. That's usually all I really need. But this week, there will be no peopleless day. I'm living off frozen dinners, because I have no time to cook, Diet Coke, because I have no time to sleep, and Edy's Pomegrante Fruit Bars, because they're awesome.

As my coworker Kristy would say--"Let us pray."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Wall

First, let me apologize for my lack of posts in the last month. Between my birthday, planning for my 10 year high school reunion, and other personal issues the time I had open for blogging was...very small. Let's just go with that as one of the contributing factors, the lack of time. I also work full time, and try to spend time with my friends and family. Time is something I definitely don't have enough of, which makes me annoyed when I hit a wall.

I was thisclose to finishing up Shades of Desire. I could taste victory. Jude and the gang could taste it. Seriously. So effing close. And yet, it was not to be. I managed to bang out another five pages or so. And that was it. I can almost see every little detail of how the end of the book goes. I just can't get there. And I don't know why, which is even more annoying.

As for New Moon Rising, yep, I've hit a wall there, too. The difference is that I know what's causing the wall, and how I have to get over/around/under it. The scene in question involves a funeral home, and the next chapter will involve a funeral. It's kind of depressing that I should be used to people dying, but the church I grew up in had an abnormally large senior population, so all us youngsters got kind of used to the whole dying thing. However, my grandmother passed away in December. She was one of the most important people in life, still is, truth be told, and even seven months later I get choked up, and all sorts of emotional things. Since I tend to write in public, it would be a little awkward to explain the crying. So I just sort of stepped back and away instead of just plowing through it. Yes, I can be a wuss sometimes.

However, this is a new month. About 99% of the emotional crap of the last month is gone. The reunion is in a week, which means I'll have five blessed days of non-work. And if I cross my fingers, I'll have a new job altogether within the next six months. That 1% of emotional crap remaining? There's a good possibility it'll always be there. But I can live with that, because I have a helluva lot more good stuff in my life, as evidenced by the percentage.

So maybe sometimes what we see as a writing wall is actually a life wall. Our art is who we are, it helps define a major portion of our identity. It makes all the sense in the world, at least to me, that our subconscious would do its best to set us back on the right path, and that for those of us who write, it chooses that outlet to do so. And is it annoying? Yes, especially if you want to use writing as an escape. But it's a lot less annoying than winding up in Scranton when you were trying to get to Trenton and having to backtrack to Atlanta on the map of life.