I’ve been in a mental fog for awhile. I thought I was coming out of it last spring, but it descended again instead and has been thickening. I do take a couple of medications, and those have helped with the sense of depression, but less so on the focus, on being organized, and on not losing time. I seem to lose a lot of time to what feels like nothing. It’s not that I’m sitting around in a daze. It’s more like I’m doing things sort of mindlessly and when I look up again it’s days later and I haven’t seemed to get anything important done.
Part of this has to do with dealing with life changes. Boy of Size headed off for college this year. My folks are in their upper eighties and needing more support and my brother and sister aren’t at all useful on that front. I’ve got a dog who bites (me and my husband, mostly, but mostly me).
I’ve been doing a lot of work with him and seeing a veterinarian behaviorist, and this is helping. That’s good because I just can’t make myself feel right about giving him up. I don’t know that he even could be rehomed, but he’s a member of the family and I just can’t give up on him. The couldn’t cope with the guilt. He’s super lovey most of the time and always has been, but has some fear aggression. So we’ve been trying to get him feeling safe, even when he’s half asleep, which is when he tends to bite. I reach out to pet him and he wakes up and snaps. That’s been changing and he’s been doing more waking up to see what’s going on and then deciding what to do, which, when he does do that, he immediately makes rubbing his belly far more convenient for me.
My daughter is also busy in HS, particularly in competitive marching band, which means she rehearses three to four times a week, has a performance or practice every Saturday, all day Saturday, performances on most Fridays, and I’m responsible for driving, volunteering, bringing food, bringing clothing and forgotten items, and all that goes along with that. My husband does some of this, too, but he’s been significantly ill this fall with a cold that made his asthma get bad and recovery has been slow and worrisome. But he is improving, but he’s been struggling with significant job issues, getting his house chores done, and trying to help me with mine.
And then there’s the usual home chores and such.
My fog seems to be with me not being able to see more than a couple feet ahead of myself at a time and doing just those things. Oh, and as usual, money issues, the teaching job, the state of the world, medical issues and expenses, and the deaths of some friends, being the emotional center of the family–all these play into it.
All this to say that my professional life is in shambles. I’ve not been able to write much, not been participating enough in the professional organizations I belong to, including Bookview Cafe, and basically just trying to make some forward progress on the novel I have under contract. I’m trying to figure out when I went off the rails this last spring, and I’m trying to figure out how the hell to get back on them.
I’ll be attending World Fantasy Con this next week and I’m hoping that just being with other writers and talking will help me get focused and come up with a plan. Or maybe not a plan. Maybe an actual schedule where I get things done. A schedule I can keep that involves house upkeep, dog care, errands, life, teaching, and writing.
On the positive side, I am exercising every day, which I know helps me stay sane. Without it I’d be in trouble. One thing I think I need to do is seriously declutter and get rid of stuff. I think that when it’s here, it closes in on me, or makes me feel like it’s waiting for me to do things I’m not doing, and I get to feeling guilty.
And now, I’m going to go figure out why I can’t seem to get through this scene on this book. I suspect I’m either spending too much time on the scene in the book, or I’m not making it work hard enough and so it needs to do more.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for all your patience. I’m hoping that actually saying this all in a public space will help me get to where I need to go.