A Wonderful Break, Back to Productivity

I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed with my work for a bit. On Saturday, I didn’t get anything productive done. I just played around on the computer and on my phone in front of the TV all day.

However, I knew what I really needed – I needed to unplug.

So, yesterday, I did wake up and get an article written, but then I took a nap and I felt a bit better after that “reset.” When I woke up, my grandma’s friend was here and I had forgotten she was coming over for us all to go out to lunch.

We have fun chatting until it was a decent time for lunch and I had only met her once before but she’s really nice. It was cool going out to lunch with her and Grandma.

When we got back to the house we pulled out a bottle of wine called “Plum Loco” that was the best wine I think I have ever tasted in my life. More chatting ensued, along with laughing, which was definitely fun. At some point, and I’m not sure how it came up, I mentioned that I crocheted and I had to crochet a stocking for my new step-dad (it was a tradition started by my other grandmother to make a stocking for any new family member by marriage or birth and I wanted to continue it) and my grandma’s friend jokingly laughed about me making her a stocking.

I said I couldn’t guarantee anything but I asked her what her favorite colors were anyway. When I went to Wal-Mart to get the yarn for my step-dad’s stocking, I got the extra for hers and I figured if I didn’t have time before Christmas, I would just take the yarn back. Well, in less than a day and a half, the crochet-work for my step-dad’s stocking. I just have to sew up the seams and sew on the embellishments and it will be done. So I am pretty sure I will be able to get hers done.

It was nice sitting in front of the TV to crochet. Actually, Grandma talked about how much I reminded her of her mom sitting there crocheting, even how much I looked like her. It felt cool.

But it was also nice just to be so relaxed when I got to bed and I didn’t have a headache from staring at a computer or phone screen all day.

When I woke up at 4am this morning, I actually felt really motivated to get started on my To-Do List. I have already gotten a decent amount done and Grandma and I havn’t even had lunch yet. I have:

  • Written two articles
  • Written two blog posts for myself
  • Did three reviews at Writing.com to finish up the judging of my poetry contest for the October round
  • Washed and put away my laundry
  • Washed my sheets and made the bed

And it’s not even 12:30pm yet!

I am pretty happy so far. I have my list prioritized with what I need to do the rest of the afternoon, but then I am going to relax and crochet again so I don’t get overwhelmed like I did this past weekend.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their weekend and is having a great start to the week. 🙂

It’s Official: I’m No Longer a Resident of Vermont

My lease on the low-income apartment I had in Vermont ended yesterday. I have to put my keys in the mail to my brother and have him empty my mailbox and send me anything that’s in there that may be important, and then drop the keys off in an envelope through the mail slot at the property management office after he gets off of work one day.

I’m glad that I have a plan for my life and where it’s going. (Notice I didn’t say where I WANT it to go like I would’ve said in the past. I don’t WANT it to go there, it WILL go there.) I make steps every day to make my life better and it’s on the right path. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s important to me to not only work my freelance business every day and build it up, so that I can pay my bills and save money, but also to work my Posh business. I do both of them because I love what I do. I love writing and getting paid for it. I love interacting with my clients and giving each exactly what they need. I have always loved customer service and feel I’m good at it, but I just can’t do retail in busy environments. I’m not social enough.

Granted, I’ve had customer service positions in the past where I didn’t have to work face-to-face with people and I did well, but many didn’t allow me the freedom to tell myself to take a little break if I felt my brain was getting a little overwhelmed. When in any traditional work environment, you can’t just say “Hey, I will be in the breakroom for 5 minutes, I’ll be back.” At least not as often as you need to. Since I work from home, I can take 5 meal breaks, 3 tea and cracker breaks, and 2 TV breaks if I want as long as I still get my work done for the day. (At least the way I do my work; some people strictly schedule their days and that works for them. To each their own.)

I am learning to be even more productive and that will go a long way toward saving up to get that apartment I want to get (and maintain) for my fiance and I. Oh, and I will have to pay for the move as well since I won’t obviously be staying in New Mexico where my Grandma is.

My goals may be lofty but they aren’t out of reach. And in the meantime I still have things to be proud of and grateful for.

Something I’m proud of: maintaining my level of motivation for my work each day

Three things I’m grateful for:

  • Waking up each morning to a sexy voice
  • Having a roof over my head thanks to family
  • Constant love and support from those I love and love me back

Another Productive Day Despite Lackluster Sleep

I went to bed early last night because I was tired and just wanted to curl up in the covers and relax. I ended up falling asleep early but I didn’t stay asleep. In fact, I woke up several times and then tossed and turned until falling back asleep. I finally woke up for decent bit at 3am, but by 7am I was so tired I fell asleep for another 3 hours.

When I’m used to getting up at 4am and starting my work and being productive most of the day, not starting to really dig into my to-do list until almost 11am really threw off my day. I was getting used to a schedule and whatever I was feeling, and for whatever reason, really threw me off.

However, I told myself that once I was up, I was going to sit down and be productive. I made myself a goal for the day to match my freelance writing word count from the day before of 5k words. It is not even 4pm and I am at 4k words and I have a few projects left I can work on that will definitely keep me busy.

I also had breakfast and showered this morning, I have chatted some portion of the day with my best friend and also my fiance, and I ate lunch that my grandmother warmed up for us. (It was leftovers from Mondays lunch of kielbasa, potatoes, and sauerkraut. Makes the house smell horrible but I love the taste.) Oh, and I read the newspaper (it’s a small town newspaper) as well.

Other than matching my 5k word goal from yesterday, I have to write a the December 1st newsletter for the Fantasy and Science Fiction Society on Writing.Com today, and I have to study a bit on a Digital Marketing course I am taking on Coursera that will help me market and run my business more effectively. Those were my three goals today.

I think I will take a break from the freelancing to work on that newsletter. I know it’s a “goal” but it’s more of a fun thing to do than anything. I put it down as a goal more to remind myself to do it than anything. Hahah! I like working on the course studies at night because then I can go to my room and play the course videos/lectures and not bother Grandma while she’s reading or watching TV.

Also, I have been forgetting to write down the most important part of my Swings & Seesaws blog posts, the “something I’m proud of” and “three things I’m grateful for” closing remarks. So, here goes:

Something I’m proud of: my newfound dedication to my goals

Three things I’m grateful for:

  • My fiance’s encouragement and support
  • My health
  • Having access to the internet so I can work from home

Working Hard to Make My Dreams Come True

My one dream right now is to be with my fiance in our own place. Of course, with me living with my grandmother so that I can save some money to pay for a deposit on the apartment we get and the deposit for the utilities, it seems we are as far away from that as we possibly can be. For Christ’s sakes, I’m even in another state. However, the fact that I’ve wanted and needed this more than anything else in my life has me working hard to make this dream a reality.

I have gotten some new online tools to help me stay organized and focused on my freelance writing so that I can increase my income without getting overwhelmed. I am going to work really hard on monetizing my blog on freelancing (http://www.writingfreelanceright.com) and I am working with my current clients to keep their needs met while attaining new clients that will be reliable in giving me regular work.

I even applied for a holiday/seasonal job at the local Walmart so I can just work for the next few months to save up some money that way as well.

I am working very hard to stay focused on my dream, and my goals each day, so that I can make my dream a reality as soon as possible. Because it’s not just my dream. It’s the dream of my lover as well.

Clover Clothing for Leggings, Tops, and More!

I am now a rep for Clover Clothing! The official site has not yet been launched so the products on the site are a bit slim but there are SOME and there are only 300 reps (limited at 300 until the official launch).

To shop the store, please visit the following link: http://clover-clothing-company.myshopify.com?afmc=7o

I love the fact that they have such a great range of sizes for leggings!

leggings sizes

Can you believe it! And they have some of the most adorable designs, too. Unlike some of the other companies that only have plain colors or really ugly patterns for the bigger sizes (trust me, I’m a bigger girl, so I know!) this company has cute stuff already and they aren’t even fully stocked yet! Check out this one pair as an example:

leggings example

But they also have graphic tees and cute long tops that everyone loves to pair with their leggings these days. Oh, and I didn’t even know you could get these, but they have top EXTENDERS that you wear under your regular length top or tee to make it longer to wear with leggings. How awesome is that, right?! Check this out?

Hurricane Shirt

That is my most favorite shirt right now and as soon as I get paid I am totally buying that. I need it! And then I need every color (blue, pink, and black) of this shirt:

Long Sleeve Lace Tops

So, check out this brand new company! I think you will love what they have so far and they aren’t even fully stocked yet. (They hope to be soon to have Christmas orders go out!) They will have clothes for infants, kids, women, men, and even shoes! You will hear a lot more from me about my new adventure!

Clover Clothing Company

Productivity: When to Relax!

My productivity levels have been extremely high lately, and not just for me either, I mean for anyone they would be considered high. I’ve actually had to scale it back a bit because I know I was overdoing it and it was starting to take a toll on me.

Freelance & Creative Writing

I have been extremely focused on my freelance writing and I have a little more work than I can handle on my own so I have been asking for help from a couple of other trusted freelancers. I still have to assign the work, edit the work, turn in the work, and make sure everything passes muster… but it helps to take a bit off my plate.

However, I have more clients coming back for more work than I ever have before. I am pretty sure this is a good thing, but at the same time it’s kind of freaking me out because I don’t know where to put all these clients! I sort of want to tell a couple of them to go sit on the couch and wait a minute while I finish up over here, but I can’t do that!

I’m also working on NaNoWriMo this month. I’m already severely behind in where I need to be for the month regarding word count but I’m confident I can make it up. I already love the story I’m writing so much that it will be hard to keep me from NOT writing it! I will have to share a bit of the story at another point in time.

Oh, and there’s a blogging challenge over at Writing.Com called the 30-Day Blogging Challenge that I’ve decided to enter. I entered it a few days late so I just got caught up last night but I think it will get me into the habit of writing in my blog every day over there on things that aren’t just the same things I blog about over here. Prompts are good for some things, you know?

The Job Front

Besides making money with my freelance writing, I have been putting my productivity to use in other areas. I have signed up to be an affiliate with a direct sales company – this one sells clothes like leggings and tops and things. And, of course, I’m still doing Perfectly Posh. I’m actually running a party right now for a friend of mine and I hope she gets a lot of sales!

I’m also considering getting my license to become a life insurance agent. A former freelance writing client I reached out to, to see if he had any work, told me about the venture he and his wife had started a couple of years ago that went national representing 14 different life insurance companies. There’s no cold calling involved and I like that they train their reps so well. I have a feeling I will do it, it will just take some time for me to do some more research on it.

In Conclusion

As always, I have to wrap things up with my usual “proud” and “grateful” things. I think this is a great way to end any blog, or even private journalling, as it makes you focus on good things instead of only negative. Leaving on a good note is always best!

Something I am Proud Of: Pushing myself so hard to support myself.

Three Things I am Grateful For:

  • Having Shoes
  • Having Clothes
  • Being Able to Shower

 

Writing, writing, writing freelance!

Yup, I’m writing freelance again!

I have been for a few months now and I’ve slowly been building up my clientele. It’s been nice having some of them come back to me for more work and giving me compliments on the work I give them. It makes me feel accomplished as a writer.

Not only that but it makes me feel appreciated as a human being, which is always nice.

I have also been branching out into higher paying jobs, and into niches I haven’t written in before. I wrote an eBook on Mindfulness. I had written about Mindfulness before, but never an eBook that long before so I was quite pleased with myself on that one.

I have been (mostly) getting on the computer every day to at least submit proposals to make sure I have steady work coming in (which is even more important now that I have a team.

That’s right, I have a team again! One of them worked with me last time and I enjoyed working with her very much. The other woman is someone I am sponsoring through a challenge on a creative writing website and we are working very well together at that and she is a great writer so I invited her to the team. She accepted and we are all working together to get some big projects done!

I hope this is a very successful venture for all of us and that our efforts will be fruitful!

I have been fairly stable. Just little ups and downs but that’s to be expected. No major ups and downs, especially none that last awhile.

The spells (stress induced seizure-type things) have ramped up a bit though and I have actually fallen and hurt myself a couple of times so I am trying to reduce stress as much as possible. The biggest stressor right now being my financial situation, I think that I can fix a lot of that just by focusing my attention on my freelance writing like I am and really making this my career goal like I have always wanted it to be.

Well, I have work to do (I have actually been writing this in between doing other projects – multitasking! HAHA) so I’d better get going! Nice to be blogging again!

Something I’m Proud Of: Working so hard toward my goals

Three Things I’m Thankful For:

  • My boyfriend
  • My friends and family who support me (including said boyfriend)
  • The beautiful weather

Bipolar Therapy, Bipolar Medications, or Both?

The first time I was medicated for Bipolar I, I was living in Las Vegas and I left shortly after. I didn’t really feel like the medications helped, but I was still on the lower dosages so the psychiatrist hadn’t had a chance to increase them to levels that would help me properly.

When I was in Las Vegas, I still had periods of mania and depression. When I was manic, I would gamble or shop, maybe even get in the car and drive five hours to the beach. I would be hypersexual and I’m quite surprised that I never contracted an STD or became pregnant.

When I would become depressed I would feel like I had the flu and would not want to get out of bed for a few days.

However, I had days of normalcy, too.

The bad thing about being unmedicated when I’m manic is that I do some dangerous things. When I drive, I drive fast or don’t pay attention to the road like I should. I married a man three days after meeting him in person and it led to a horrible experience. I took out $60k in private student loans (with my father as a co-signer, who has since passed away) that now amounts to over $100k, and none of that money was spent on school.

One thing that could’ve ended badly but ended up being the best thing in my life, was when my brother brought home his roommate from Phoenix. That roommate was Quay and we have now been married for five and a half years. However, we slept together on that first night, and then I stopped talking to him for almost a year. But then I just hopped on a Greyhound and within three weeks I was living with him in his ex-girlfriend’s house, I had a job in Phoenix, and we were moving into our own place a few months later.

A year later, we moved to Vermont, where Quay grew up, and I got and held a crap job at first, and left there only when I got one that offered me $30k a year with bonuses. I worked there seven months without medication or therapy until the working conditions became so horrible that I had a mental breakdown and ended up in a psych ward. Since then I have been seeing a psychiatrist. I started with a therapist, but once I was stable, that stopped. However, I got worse, and they sent me to another one. This one specializes in DBT therapy.

The medications I have been on over the last five years have been all over the place. Some I can’t take anymore because of side effects. Right now, I believe I’m overmedicated on the mood stabilizers, and my anti-depressant I have become immune to as it’s the same one I started with and I’m on the highest dosage recommended.

Mood stabilizers help push your mood down so you don’t become manic, and anti-depressants help keep your mood up. Mine are not in-sync or something because I spend 90% of my life not wanting to get out of bed, or shower, or take care of the pets, or clean my house. Before I was medicated, I could at least keep a job for three to six months if it was full time, and I wanted to do things outside of the house, and I took my dog for walks, and my house was cleaned on a regular basis.

What brought me to realize all of this is my therapist yesterday asked me what my manic episodes were like and I had to explain that I used to get happy and have energy, and now I get angry and irritable. She asked me why I was medicated then, and I came up with the best answer I could at the time, but I don’t think that I would do those dangerous things if I were to have the DBT therapy with her, plus my more stable life now having been married so long, having lived in our own home for so long, having health insurance for so long, etc. You know?

I still have to talk to more people I trust, family and friends and the like, but I think I want to come off my Bipolar meds, or at least reduce them.

Sorry this is such a long post, but this is an important decision and I need to make the right one so I can start feeling like less of a failure and more involved in my own life.

The View from Bayview

So Quay caught me in the bedroom with a pair of scissors against my wrist. He hit them away and then slapped my head, telling me to get my shoes on because he was taking me to the ER. The conversation during the ER visit wasn’t very helpful. In fact, I was quite relieved when the crisis worker took him away for a conversation. But then Colleen showed up. I had been in contact with her several times over the holiday weekend so it wasn’t a surprise, and actually calming.

They came up with a plan to take me to a respite house for one night, which is actually a group home with one respite bed in it, and then I would go to Bayview, which is the crisis bed. I was very upset at the respite bed because one person in particular was always angry and upset and when Quay and I were having a conversation, this person was certain we were talking about him. I which Quay would’ve stayed longer to make sure I was okay instead of just leave, but nope, he just left.

A little while later, they came to get me to take me to Bayview. It was already late so I just relaxed and went to bed. The next day was a lot of treatment work though and that was helpful but also hard. That night I slept much better than I had in many months.

Today, so far, I have worked with a new worker who has helped me determine why I self-harm and what my stressors are. We got about half-way through the packet and he said we’d finish the rest tomorrow. Tomorrow I also see my case manager and therapist.

They haven’t told me how long they want me to stay here but I feel safe here and I feel good working on things that will help me when I go home, especially the goals and working on stressors. They are repeating to me that I have a voice in my own home and it’s up to me to use it. I have used it before, I can use it again.

No, I Didn’t Drop Off the Face of the Earth!

As the title says, no, I did not drop off the face off the earth. It has been a while since I’ve written, and to be honest, I don’t really know what I’ve done with all that time. I know I’ve done some reading, and I’ve been tossing around ideas for creative stories, but I hadn’t been freelancing until just this week.

However, I went out of town with the hubby and my brother for the 4th. We went to Boston to catch a Red Sox game and we did some sightseeing around the older part of Boston. My favorite parts were Cheers (the bar from that ’80s sitcom), and Paul Revere’s house, and ye olde Union Oyster House (which is the oldest restaurant in the country). It was so much fun!

The only bad part about the trip was there was a lot of walking and stairs involved and my knee is messed up right now. I don’t really know how I messed it up but I know I made it worse when it went out on me and I fell on it. I’m sure all the walking and whatnot didn’t help either. But I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor on August 12th to see what they can do about fixing it, if there’s anything to be fixed, that is.

Oh, and my friend Courtney also dyed my hair for me. It’s now black with dark aqua highlights. I love it. It was black before but the highlights were purple. It had been months since I’d dyed it so my roots were showing big time. But I look so much better now! Thank you, Courtney!

Right now I’m just doing laundry and watching the Red Sox game. I think I need to go fold some laundry. I’ll try to write updates more often!