Friday, May 24, 2013

My Body Hates Me



"I do not!"

"Oh, don’t give me that shit, you have been a bitch for more than a year, and getting worse all the time.”

“Fine. Have it your way, I hate you. And I’m not done yet! Wait until you get this next blast of hormones!”

(This would be a great super villain weapon, btw - The Dreaded Hormone Blaster. Back to the dialogue.)
 
“Like I don’t know you have plenty more! And where the hell is my mind?”

“I gave her some string and she’s over there playing cat’s cradle.”

“Great. I need my mind and it’s wrapped up in string.”

*****

Yes, my life…the abbreviated version. While I’m falling apart and hoping to keep the diverse elements of my central identity from fracturing further and leaving the heart of me trembling on the stage of life, I have one thing that is keeping me from giving up and diving into a lake full of piranha.

Deadlines.

Yup. I don’t know why I did it, but I picked some dates on the calendar and I gave myself deadlines. I reached out to professionals and set dates for when material had to arrive in the inbox. I paid for covers, I contracted with outsiders. And somehow, it’s keeping me sane.

Barely.

I can’t call these goals because that feels like it has a higher purpose and doesn’t focus me on forward momentum the way deadlines do. Maybe it’s something about those words. DEADlines. Very final. Goals lift you up, deadlines prod you from behind. With pitchforks. Sharp ones, red hot sharp ones.

So, my body may hate me and is determined to screw with me constantly. My mind may be entranced by a length of string and focused on nothing in particular and everything in general…but I’m meeting my deadlines. Who would have thought that deadlines would be the thing to keep me from slipping into that padded coat and being carted off…

What keeps you sane when things around you are melting into an abstract painting?

17 comments:

Terri Osburn said...

Count me in the never would have guessed deadlines would work for you. You're usually so against structure of any kind. LOL!

Deadlines are definitely keeping me on task. Mostly. Distractions in the last couple weeks have been stronger than usual, for obvious reasons, but I'm coming out of the fog. Thank goodness.

Maureen said...

I really think there is something inherently scary in the word. DEADlines. As if life itself depends on meeting them. It just makes them so dreadful to miss.

I, BTW, just did something I hadn't set a deadline about. I just ordered the print copies of A Caribbean Spell. After a few days of wanting to strangle CreateSpace I managed to get it done, with the help of Leslie's incredible friend who helped with formatting hell...

Can't wait to hold this little baby in my hand! And get to work on print for The Pirate Circus!

Here's to coming out of the fog...drink this...I used dry ice so it looks like fog is rising, but it's actually falling out of the glass....

And where the hell is everyone this fine morning?

MsHellion said...

Prozac. And wine. Usually not together because I know that's bad. I'm also very vocal about the uses of a good nap (a short one that can reboost your mental energy.)

I think I had a mental deadline of March or April for the book and in all technicality, I should have had it done. There's not that much left, but now it's the end of May and it's STILL NOT DONE. But I'm not sure what a deadline would do me. If I don't meet the deadline, I have to put the book away? That's hardly a threat to me. I have dozens of half-finished stories to pick on. Right now I need something that's more akin to "You can't have dessert until you eat all the broccoli on your plate. And no, you can't have cheese. You have to eat it as is."

Speaking of deadlines, I have some folders to finish before a REAL HARD deadline so I'll have to work this out later. :) Sometimes you have to fix other aspects of yourself before your writing can be freed and sometimes I feel I'm in that state.

Maureen said...

The trick, Cap'n, is to set deadlines with OTHERS! Not like friends who will give you a break, but with professionals. Like proof readers. You know, people you PAY.

My prozac seems to have decided it's tired to fighting and is on vacation. Damn prozac. Wish I could take a vacation...

Janga said...

I hope you feel better soon in body, mind, and spirit, Maureen.

Externally imposed deadlines work well for me. With my freelance projects, it's knowing that the $$$ don't come in according to schedule unless the pages go out according to schedule. That's a real incentive. With other writing such as blog posts, the reluctance to disappoint anyone keeps me moving toward the finish line. Unfortunately, self-imposed deadlines for other writing don't work as well.

Maureen said...

Yeah, Janga...I wonder if it's the American in me. Put money on the line and I meet deadlines. Make it a matter of pride? Not so much.

The disappointing people is something that works somewhat with me... I wish it worked more...

Terri Osburn said...

The "not disappointing people" works for me. Not so much myself, though that did kick in eventually. But I've been early for every deadline so far. Some by weeks. I know lots of authors ask for (and get with no problem) extensions, but I'm determined NOT to need one.

Maureen said...

Pride is a good deadline!

The trick with that, I find, is once you've bailed on it and no one dies, it seldom works again. For me.

As I said, there is something about the word DEADline...

Marnee Bailey said...

Deadlines are a good thing. Even general deadlines. As in, I want to finish this book by mid summer and revisions by the early fall. Just a general thing, but gives me a bit of a finite thing to work on.

As to your body rebelling, I've felt like that since having my youngest. First I had the hernia in my belly button (surgery required), then they found a floater in my right eye (constant vigilance required now), and then my heart went all wonky (surgery required again). It's been a long few years. LOL!!

Though the hormone thing fills me with chills of fear.

Maureen said...

Marn - I suspect since you're already been on the hormone roller coaster, via childbirth, the midlife merry-go-round won't spin you too badly. It's we who have never known this trip who struggle the worst...

I know that personal deadlines don't push me as much. It took me almost three months to get that print edition done for A Caribbean Spell. I just kept putting it off, and putting it off, and putting it off...and I've put off the print for The Pirate Circus even longer!

I am the champion!

If I were paying someone to do it, I'd get the files done and to them on specific dates... I'm just bad that way!

irisheyes said...

I'm a "getting healthier" people pleaser and a "not much hope in sight" procrastinator. So unless I'm going to be disappointing someone or the deadline is in about 5 minutes I'm toast. I was that kid that had 3 weeks to do a project and was scrambling Sunday night to get it all done (and blaming everyone else for my lack of foresight). I've matured enough not to blame others for my shortcomings but still haven't gotten a handle on not putting off tomorrow what I could do today! LOL

I'm paying, though, cause I have a son JUST LIKE ME! That old curse mother's put on their children (I hope you grow up and have a child just like you) really works! On the plus side I used to work well under pressure and can completely clean my house in less than 3 hours before a party.

I definitely wouldn't recommend my way of doing things, though. The adreline rush and stress of always having to meet the deadline has taken its toll. I'm trying to mend my ways and prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

As for what keeps me sane - a nice hot cup of tea and a good book. I've become an expert at how to relax. And I do have to admit that my life now at this stage is a lot less hectic and a lot healthier than it was when I was first married, working and had toddlers.

P. Kirby said...

External deadlines work well for me. And for any actual chore, like feeding the animals, exercise, etc., actually sticking to a schedule - dog walks every day at 7AM, exercise after, then garden, etc. -- is the only thing that keeps me on track. I am so easily distracted.

As I've noted before, exercise, meditation and diet are what work for my crazy brain. Meds are out because I react poorly to ALL pharmaceuticals, and besides, I can't afford them. I think upping my intake of Omega 3's has also helped. I've got weird body chemistry, though, so what works for me, probably won't work for anyone else.

Sometimes, just accepting that I can't get everything done is very calming.

Maureen said...

Irish, I generally am not the last minute to meet sort...I'm more of an approaching the last minute to meet sort. I get close, but generally a week or two close and I get my ass moving.

I have a feeling if I had a last minute to do it kid I'd be sitting in prison somewhere...

Books are good.

Maureen said...

I think having hungry animals letting you know that they aren't patient can be a handy thing... I do want to try some meditation...

And yeah, the just letting it go is a practice I'm good at...in a bad way.

irisheyes said...

Sometimes, just accepting that I can't get everything done is very calming.

Amen, sister!!!! That has been a chant of mine for years.

quantum said...

Dead lines are great motivators but if you have more than one you need to prioritise ... and that might involve a time line. Concentrate on the top priority first before considering any others, then you have to knock them down one after another, a bit like skittles.

Maureen,from this blog I get a very clear impression of a person in desperate need of deep meditation. If you find conventional meditating difficult, I would recommend one of the excellent brain wave entrainment audios available now. You simply relax in a chair and listen for 30 mins. The audio will then resonate with your brain waves, slowing them from the beta state, down through alpha towards the theta (deep meditation) state while you remain conscious.

I have the Morry Quantum mind power system which I find works pretty well, calming me and focussing my thoughts. Though if you think of buying a program, be sure to look out for the special offers to save quite a bit of lolly!

I love the idea of melting into an abstract painting! Though my personal choice would be for a Picasso in his cubist phase! LOL

Maureen said...

Irish - as long as the can't get everything done doesn't turn into cant get anything done!

Q- I've heard of this type of meditation and really need to look into it. Might loop into a way to calm the body, too!