Processing and Tasks

I blink and January is half gone, whisked away in a whirlwind of appointments and tasks. This beginning-of-the-year rush is once again leaving me with very little space to think and process between events and tasks. That is a problem, because I have many things swirling in my head that would benefit from closer attention. I spent the weekend at a director’s retreat for WCI with multiple classes on self awareness and life prioritization. I had hours-long conversations with amazing people who have different perspectives on life, parenting, work, and writing. I spent half a day in deep conversation with my parents about estate planning and hard decisions that are ahead of us that might be a little bit easier if we pre-plan some of them now. I feel a lot of things about all of it. I also feel the pressure of overdue tasks, packages that should have gone in the mail days ago. Emails that ideally would have gone out last week.

I want a day with nothing to do but think with no agenda for where my thoughts wander. I want a day were I can spend all of my thinking on getting tasks done. I want a day where I watch shows and read until my brain feels rested again. I want all of those days between now and tomorrow.

Since I can’t bend the space/time continuum to my will, I’ll settle for getting some sleep.

Priorities for the New Year

As I’m writing this I am floating in the space between Christmas and New Year’s Day, caught between finishing off the efforts of last year, and preparing to launch my plans for next year. Of course it isn’t nearly so neat as that. As you’re reading this, you’ll definitely already be in the new year since I’m scheduling it to go live on January first. Some of this year’s (2022) efforts will slop over into next year (2023), and for the efforts I want to launch, some of them aren’t ready yet. So I’m at a pause.

In this pause, I’m thinking about what I wrote when I started my new notebook in December. I want to pay attention to the life I had in 2022 and to make conscious decisions about what I carry forward with me into 2023. In 2022 I had a long-ish list of goals I was reaching for, not because I expected to grasp them all, but because the act of reaching would help my capabilities expand in the same way that in yoga practice you reach for your toes even if you can’t touch them. Then suddenly one day, you CAN touch your toes because over time reaching changes our capabilities. I reached for a lot of things this past year. I grasped very few of them, but I am much larger inside and more confident than I before. I’ve grown. However, the fact that I grasped so few of the goals tells me that the goals were misaligned with my priorities and I was reaching for too many things all at once. Also I spent large portions of this year feeling over-stretched. I must re-align my efforts and pick a few things instead of so many.

Last December I planned to write 12 short stories in 2022. There was no way for me to know that I would pick up piles of freelance work starting in April. I could make similar statements about many of the goals, there is simply no way for current end-of-December me to know what the me of next July will have to juggle. Instead of creating a list of goals I am likely to abandon, I shall pick some guiding priorities and trust the me of next July to set her own goals around those priorities. It has taken me several weeks of thinking, but my priorities have come into focus. Each priority comes with its own story.

Pay down debt and stabilize finances. I remember being a teenager in California during an earthquake, laying under my kitchen table in full body contact with the floor while the single story house with only a crawlspace between in and the earth moved underneath me. In that moment I had to re-evaluate my understanding of stability. The pandemic was like that.  The givens of our lives were thrown into question and we are all still riding out the economic, social, and emotional waves. There are still ripples that make our footing unsteady. My family had two added layers of destabilization. In 2020, while we were all still in the mask-and-isolation-we-have-no-vaccines stage of the pandemic, the twenty-year Schock Mercenary story arc came to an end. Thus ended the daily comic which was our primary source of income.  Disability is the third axis of movement that staggers me. Howard is disabled with a chronic fatigue form of Long Covid that impacts his ability to work. We’ve had to recalibrate all of our life patterns to accommodate for the disability all while trying to establish an income stream based on something new before the Schlock Mercenary income dwindles away completely. At no point have we been unable to pay bills, but sometimes we’ve had to increase our debt load to keep things covered. I can see in my private journals the amount of stress and thought that I’ve devoted to long-term financial worries. I want to spend less emotional and creative energy on financial contingency planning, which I can do if I pay down some debt and stabilize our income streams. The manifestation of this priority as I launch into 2023 is that we will run two more Schlock book Kickstarters next year. I’ll have to bend my life around that. I will also be continuing my work for Writer’s Cubed Incorporated because the steady freelancing paycheck will smooth out the lows between Kickstarters. There may also be other revenue generating activities. Some of them may team up with creative priorities.

Get more books onto the table. This goal is a bit nuanced to explain, because any time we set up a booth at a convention our tables are covered in books that I participated in creating. Every single book that Tayler Corporation has produced is my work. I am immensely proud of all of them from Schlock Mercenary collections to X-treme Dungeon Mastery, to Planet Mercenary RPG. Yet there is a different emotional resonance for the books where my vision, my creation, is the heart of the project. Right now the only two books on the table which fit this second category are Hold on to Your Horses and Strength of Wild Horses. The difference between these categories is nebulous, it isn’t work-for-hire vs work-for-passion, because I’ve been extremely passionate about many of my collaborative projects. Perhaps it is just that the creative works of my heart, the ones I feel called and compelled to do even though they cost money instead of earning it, have been forced to take up the space around the edges. Just like Hold on to Your Horses and Strength of Wild Horses get a corner of the table, an odd corner which makes people wonder why, in a convention booth full of space mercenary graphic novels and RPG books, there are two children’s picture books. I can’t help feeling that if more of my projects were put onto the table, if I took up more space with things based on my creative vision, the explanations would become easier. If we can expand to have Howard prose projects (Shafter’s Shifters, his new world that is percolating), shared projects (Schlock Mercenary, XDM2e), and Sandra projects (more picture books, my SLSC workbook, a middle grade novel) then it all feels more balanced. Whole.

I need to take up more space on the table. That starts with taking up more space in my daily life instead of relegating these heart projects to the scraps of time and attention that are left over once I’ve done all of the necessary work. I must remember that stories of my heart are also necessary.  And, yes, since my heart stories tend to be expenses instead of income, this priority may be in competition with the first one.

Go for more stupid walks. There is a meme with a picture of a bald eagle walking hunched over and looking rather grouchy. The caption says, “Going for my stupid little walk for my stupid mental and physical health.” That eagle is my vibe critter. In August my doctor informed me that I’m pre-diabetic, in January my calendar informs me that I’ll be 50 years old. I am healthy and energetic, but I have a giant list of things I want to do and I’ll only get to do them if I pay regular maintenance attention to my physical body. Mind and body are not separate, and time spent tending to my physical health will result in better mental health and more creative energy. So I’ll be going for more stupid walks, and I’ll be doing more yoga, and I’ll be thinking consciously about what I eat and how it affects my mood and body. This priority isn’t just about walking, even though I’m encapsulating the priority with “go for more stupid walks.”

Strengthen core connections. This priority is about the anchors that keep me stable when life becomes storm tossed. It is the family and friend relationships which save me when I’m drowning and where I drop everything else to rescue when called upon. It is the faith which connects me to deity and to my own inspiration, that clear voice which says “yes, this is your path.” It is the traditions and rituals personal, religious, secular, and public that help me remember who I am and what I hope to become. If I want to emerge from next year whole and more healed, then I need to put time into tending my core connections. I need to be reading books that help me think deeply about humanity and spirituality. I need to be scheduling time with people where we can do more than a quick summarization catch up. I need to go where I can find art and nature and the wind and the sky and blades of grass, all things which invite me to be present in the moment instead of always allowing my thoughts to gallop off into the future or memory.

That’s it. Four priorities. It feels good to state the priorities out loud, to feel how they resonate when I say them. (Even if I’m “saying” them in written text.) I could tell that they were the right ones because as I found each one, it clicked into place like it belonged. Obviously the exact expression of these priorities is going to shift and change from month to month. Sometimes they’ll be in conflict and I’ll have to choose between them, but most of the time I hope to have them working together. Being healthy in body contributing to my ability to pay down debt. Smaller debt giving me more space to work on heart projects. Publishing heart projects strengthening my core connections and voice. Having more books on the table helping to stabilize finances. The cross connections are multitude.

To support my priorities I need to put structure around them. One thing that I noticed as I was reviewing my year and assembling my annual book of blog entries, was my monthly practice of giving updates on all of my projects in process. Writing them out that way was hugely beneficial for a long time. It helped me see that even in a month where I felt like I accomplished nothing, I actually did progress on several fronts. It helped me quantify the work that I do and give it value and weight in my life.  However I also think that the shape of the update list was encouraging me to spread myself thin across dozens of projects. Rather like the vaudeville spinning plate act where I have to scurry from plate to plate keeping things in motion lest it all come crashing down. I want the new year to feel calmer instead of hurried and stretched. So I’m changing the way I think about and report on my projects. I’m going to pick a main focus and let the other plates rest neatly stacked in a cupboard until I’m ready to pick them up again.

In January my debt reduction focus will be fulfilling the Kickstarter for A Little Immortality with a side order of work for Writer’s Cubed Inc. My books on the table focus will be the Structuring Life to Support Creativity Workbook, since that project feels like it has the best chance of being a completed and publishable book before the summer convention season hits. My health focus will be pulling diet back on track, and getting moving more often. My core connection focus still feels nebulous. I have some books I want to read and I’m considering how to honor my 50th birthday.  Maybe I’ll pull blogging into the service of core connection. Or perhaps I’ll just try to put focus and attention onto the accomplishment of my other three priorities for the month.

So that is my plan for the new year 2023, but here I am writing this letter on December 27. I have a few days yet of the year 2022. Before launching into new efforts, I may steal these quiet few days and work on House in the Hollow, which is a project that even when draft complete still has years of revision and submission before it can land on the table. I want to write it anyway. So working on it is a gift to myself both past and future.

I don’t know how this liminal space between last year and next year finds you, whether you’re weary or hopeful. Just know that I’m wishing the best for you, that you can be heart-whole with enticing possibilities for the year to come.

All the best,

Sandra Tayler

Honoring the Occasional

Sliced avocado with a southwest hash and sourdough toast. Flanked on one side with a mug and the other with a book.

Sometimes the avocado is perfectly ripe on the same morning when I have leftover southwest hash, a loaf of sourdough bread, and a brand new mug that changes colors when hot. On such a morning I can pretend that I’m the sort of person who always reads complicated books over a lovely breakfast. The reality is that I spend more breakfasts with a microwaved burrito and social media on my phone, but occasionally everything aligns.

Yet, while I’m acknowledging that the majority of my breakfasts are far less photogenic, I should also recognize the occasional. The only part that is pretend is the part where I imagine that all of my breakfasts are like this, instead of just some of them. I’m sitting here with photographic evidence that gorgeous breakfast reading is, in fact, a thing that takes place in my life. I AM that sort of person. I give myself too little credit when I try to pass off today’s lovely breakfast experience as a form of cosplay.

We may not always be our most ideal version of ourselves, the person we want to be, but if we honor those anomalous times when we do have an idealized moment, they become less anomalous. Tomorrow’s sloppy and rushed breakfast does not counterbalance or erase today’s lovely leisurely one.

And every so often, the avocado is perfect when I slice it open.

Why I Reached Instead of Setting Goals

I found the post from last January which explains why I said I was “reaching for” things instead of setting goals. It is a beautiful thought that I want to carry forward with me. You can find the whole post here, but this paragraph catches the idea:

The yoga practice has been a particularly useful addition. For the few in-person classes I attended (before Omicron necessitated staying home again), I found a teacher who constantly emphasized accepting our bodies for where they are at. Reach for your toes. It is okay if you can’t grab them, because the reaching is what matters. I discovered that sitting in that reach, breathing in and out, slowly the reach extends farther. By repeating this practice gently day after day, in an unexpectedly short amount of time I can touch the toes I’ve been reaching for. Patience, breath, and acceptance has led to far more progress than I thought possible. Yet I’m not reaching for progress, I’m reaching for the sake of reaching, progress is just the inevitable result. There are so many lessons in this physical practice that I can use in all the other aspects of my life.

Exiting the Cocoon by Sandra Tayler

After reading that, I feel much better about failing to achieve so many of the things I was reaching for. The reaching was valuable and the process of reaching was part of what propelled me forward into lots of growth that isn’t measured by the list of things I was reaching for. My list for next year is starting to take shape. It isn’t going to be a long list of things I’m reaching for. Instead it will be a short list of priorities, pillars around which I’ll organize everything else.

Or at least that is the shape things have today. I’m still in the process of pulling blog posts, journal entries, and stray thoughts into my annual book. I’m moving through a year’s worth of growth and beginning to understand the journey of the past year. This annual practice helps me set important lessons and decide how to move forward. Like the practice of yoga, the process is far more important than the result. The reach matters more than the grasp. So I’m not rushing to define my thoughts for next year yet. I have reaching and processing still ahead of me.

New Notebook, New Lists

Today I’m starting a new notebook, the one I carry around with me to make lists of To Dos and catch thoughts before they escape. It would feel more neat if I could start the new book on January 1st matching my books to the calendar years, but I’m out of pages and I have things to keep track of in the two weeks left to this year. So I launch into my new book ready or not. The primary task of starting a new notebook is to decide what to carry over from the old one. Task lists are easy to copy over, no thinking there. But which of the quotes that I jotted down in the margins do I want to carry with me into the next book? Which tracking processes should be created anew and which should be abandoned?

In considering this, I am confronted by a list titled “Reaching for in 2022” that contains things like “teach 5-6 times” and “write 12 pieces of short fiction.” I didn’t call them goals, because I knew some of them were a stretch that I wouldn’t achieve. And in fact, I did not reach most of them. Some of them I barely reached for. My first impulse was to copy the list over, give myself another chance to reach for these things. Except the fact that I reached so few tells me something. These goals / hopes / reaches are somehow misaligned with the life I’ve been living. If they weren’t misaligned, I would have grasped more of them. Instead of assigning them to myself again, I think I need to take this space between now and the end of the year to assess what I’m really focused on and what it makes sense to reach for in 2023.

When I make my new list, I won’t even look at the old one. If I forget to put something onto the new list, that means it is no longer a high enough priority to be alive in my thoughts. After I’ve made my new list, I may compare them, just to see how I am different and how I am continuous. Perhaps when the new list is settled and feels right I’ll share it here as well as writing it into my new notebook.

Sidling up to Christmas

I’m sidling up to Christmas carefully this year. I would like to engage with it as a traveler to a strange land who comes to be surprised and delighted with what it has to offer. Unfortunately Christmas requires conscious creation and if no one shows up with lists and tasks and advance planning, the the space for Christmas to arrive does not exist. And in our house, I am the keeper of lists. But my list-brain is overtaxed and reaching exhaustion. I’ve never done the experiment where I do nothing, plan nothing and wait to see if anyone else steps up. I’ll admit that thought is attractive this year when I am tracking and planning so many other things. But it is always unfair to spring a test on other people unaware and unprepared. Doing that sets everyone up to fail. Also, disappointing people is a huge anxiety trigger for me. I would only add to the stress I experience around the holiday, not lessen it. I cannot abandon my usual holiday role wholesale. But I can, perhaps, offload pieces. Make it so that I am not the working solo on a holiday that must always be a group project if it is to function.

To be fair, it has never been only me making Christmas happen. The others show up gifts in hand. They’ve always participated in our shared production of Christmas. But maybe I can let go of being the Christmas taskmaster. I can let us all drift into the middle of December before someone puts lights on the tree. I can wait and see who decides that putting up ornaments is an essential element. I can let go of checking in on everyone else’s portion of the project. I could even abandon any lists related to the holiday and instead do the holiday things that happen to land in that triple intersection of available time, energy, and interest.

It is a scattered approach to a large scale project, but I might be tired enough to pull it off. And it might help me rejoice in the holiday instead of being burdened by it. I would like for this to be a season of rejoicing. It is supposed to be, after all, a joy to the world.


Frost viewed from the interior of a car windshield.

I’m trying to pause in my day to notice small beautiful things. Mostly this results in lots of mediocre photos that don’t really capture the beauty I was seeing. I’m not happy that the days are shorter and the world is cold. But frost can be beautiful.

A Pause to Process at the Start of a Busy Week

This morning I have a long list of things that I want to do, tasks I want to clear off of my list before the holiday weekend begins. I look at my calendar and starting tomorrow I have six days completely free of appointments. It looks glorious and spacious. Perhaps I could do glorious nothings in that space, excuse myself from productivity. Or I could pivot from business tasks to personal ones. I am very, very tired of looking at the partially deconstructed wall that separates my front room from my kitchen. Do I want to rest or do I want to cut a hole in the wall of my house and move a door? The answer is that I both want a chance to rest AND I want that door moved. I wish there were some way to grant myself a bonus month during the next five days.

I looked back over the last several blog posts. There is a strong theme (which this post continues) of longing for more open space in my life. That theme is the reason for this post. This is me stealing some moments at the beginning of my day to let my thoughts spill through my fingers rather than shoving the thoughts aside to get stuff done. I am taking a few minutes to process my life before addressing my task list. I am delving a bit to discover why I woke anxious. Why, mere days after concluding a wonderfully successful crowdfunding which will pay our bills for a while, my mind wants to balk at spending any money. Why a desire to cry is near the surface when I pause to feel things. On that last point I can make a list: The mass shooting at Club Q which demonstrates, again, how people I love are at risk for simply existing; the potential Twitter implosion/dissolution which changes the social media landscape and reminds my how very powerless I am in the face of corporations and billionaires; being greeted on a morning that I’m tired and could use help with the fact that one of my disabled household members is not able to carry any weight today so the dishes he usually does will have to be redistributed; the expensive chair that was delivered yesterday to help Howard with ME/CFS management has already had a mechanical failure.

So I suppose that is a sufficient list to justify the tension in my mind and heart. The question is what to do about it. Most of the stress is caused by things I am powerless to change. This too is a regular theme in my life. I have to find ways to claim autonomy and joy in the face of powerlessness. I must remember that Joy is an act of defiance. Today, as I contemplate my tasks, I will try to reframe them as things I get to do rather than things I have to do. I will steal moments to photograph small natural things, pet kitties, hug people, buy a new Pride flag for my lawn. I will pause and remember the whys of all of my tasks, the reasons that I put them onto my list in the first place. At the front end of the day this feels like (and is) additional effort, but it is an effort like putting tire into the wheelbarrow wheel. It makes every load so much easier to push that over the course of a day’s work I gain energy rather than lose it.

Deep breath. I can do this.

Becoming Digital Nomads

Over on Twitter much of the chatter is about the instabilities that have been created by Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform two weeks ago and the series of rushed (and bad) decisions he has made to change the platform since that purchase. For people who have been using Twitter as a professional networking platform or a professional promotional platform (a large segment of the publishing world) this instability is alarming. Some people are having to completely re-think their business plans around the possibility that Twitter will crash and burn. I haven’t been panicked, but only because I’m tired and having a tech giant make a decision that requires me to reconfigure my business is a familiar problem. I’ve come to recognize that any tech platform I use I might need to abandon or it might abandon me. Both Google Ads and Amazon associates were at one point a large part of our income stream. Both cut us off with no warning and no appeal. Both Patreon and Kickstarter have made moves which had me wondering if I’d need to leave, and if I left how I was going to continue feeding my family.  And now Twitter.

I’ve begun looking at all of these social media platforms with a very important question: If I have to pick up and move, how do I carry with me the connections I want to keep?  Because that is the real question, the real value of social media, it allows people to easily make and maintain connections. The heart relieving secret is that those connections don’t actually exist in the social media platform. They exist in the minds and hearts of people. Which means that if a connection pathway burns out, the connection can be re-made elsewhere. Theoretically. But it requires all of us to do the work to identify our important connections and make sure they flow through multiple points of contact instead of just one. It has become extremely popular for people on twitter to post “here is a list of other places you can keep in touch with me.” I’ve done it myself. And I’ve followed the links of others, followed on Instagram, signed up for newsletters, made a Mastodon account that I feel very ambivalent about.

In a strange way this process of identifying connections I want to keep has been heartwarming. I’m seeing alternate sides of my Twitter acquaintances, because different social media bring out different aspects. Also, every new follower on Instagram or for my newsletter is evidence that someone doesn’t want to lose connection with me. It is like getting a note in elementary school “will you be my friend, check yes or no”.  I’ve told my kids multiple times when they were trying to figure out friendships, that if you want to turn an acquaintance into a friend, you need to bring them into a different aspect of your life. A school friend stays just that unless you invite them to come hang with you at home or at the park or at a movie. So I’m in a period of discovering which Twitter friends will become Instagram friends or newsletter friends, or convention friends, or pen pals. We’re all shaken up and open to these possibilities in ways that we weren’t a month ago when the connections were comfortable and settled. It is oddly enlivening and fraught with possibility as well as fear.

I am not a nomadic person by nature. I have one childhood home where my parents still live. I currently live in a house that I’ve owned since 1998 (twenty-four years and counting). I tend to settle in and stay put. But I’m learning to think nomadically in the digital portion of my life. I’m learning to configure my connections so that they are portable: an email list that I can download, a contacts list on my phone which I can back up, a physical address book or address spreadsheet I can reference in case my phone decides to brick itself and I lose half my contacts. (Learned that last on the hard way two months ago.) Putting in this work to identify people I want to keep has helped me remember people I’ve already lost. It happens all the time, someone fades out of social media (or departs deliberately) and I didn’t see because all there was to see was an absence. Absence can so easily go unnoticed. Yesterday I looked up a woman whose blog I used to enjoy and follow to see if there is any trace of her online, any way to see if she still lives in a yurt doing yoga. I found nothing, so I’ll continue wondering how her backbend is progressing and if she finished knitting the sweater she was working on six years ago. There are so many people online who fit into that same space for me. I enjoyed getting glimpses into their lives. I learned so much from those glimpses. My life was enriched, but I don’t know if I ever interacted directly with them.

The challenge of being nomadic, even digitally is that everything you want to carry with you represents work. When you stay put, things can accumulate in undisturbed corners, but the moment you move suddenly everything you take has an opportunity cost. There is a limit to the number of friendship connections one person can reasonably maintain when that maintenance requires conscious attention. I’ve been feeling the reality of that as I contemplate what I’ll do if Twitter dissolves and as I look at how I’m interacting with the communities I already have. I’m already over stretched and not fully participating in some of those communities, even the ones I’m trying to build.

And thinking of that brings me back to the beginning of this post. I’m tired. I didn’t want to reconfigure my business model for the fifth time in three years. I’m also hugely grateful that the Twitter shenanigans got into full swing after our latest crowdfunding venture was already doing well. Whatever comes next, we’ll have some financial resources to carry us through the next six months. That piece is probably a large portion of why I’m able to write a philosophical post instead of being locked up in tight-lipped panic. I wish all of my Twitter friends could also have a similar stability, or something even more long-lastingly stable. I wish that Twitter weren’t being unstable at the same time as the economy is shifting, at the same time that publishing is having some upheaval, at the same time that we’re all still riding out the social and physical health waves of pandemic.

But these are the conditions we’ve got, and so I hope that Twitter sorts itself out without totally imploding. I hope that we’re all able to build ancillary connections that allow us to keep and strengthen critical supportive networks. I hope that as we move, if we have to move, we pay attention to who falls through the nets because the new platforms don’t serve them well. We can be the “no one left behind” type of nomads instead of the “those that fall behind stay behind” version.

Over Stretched and the Breaking Point

It has not been a good brain week for me. I probably should have expected it as the cost for an exceptionally productive weekend. Or perhaps I should have anticipated it as the natural result of election week combined with convention prep week combined with deadlines on event registration launches combined with I’m-running-a-crowdfunded-project, all of which resulted in a schedule so tetrised together that there was zero wiggle room. And then the driver side window on our 20-year-old car broke so that it couldn’t be closed and I found myself fighting wind and a tarp to try to keep the interior of the car dry during the stormy week between now and when the part to fix it arrives. There was no space in the schedule for car window tarping, nor for us having to juggle around having a single car instead of two. Nor for reconfiguring convention plans around not having two cars. I kind of broke for a couple of days. Today I’m functioning, but in a held-together-with-duct-tape way, not a running-smoothly-again way.

I had a conversation with a friend last week where I mentioned feeling a bit over stretched. I admitted concern that the level of stretch was not sustainable over a long period of time, so I either needed to increase capacity or knock some things off of my schedule. She looked at me over her glasses and gently suggested that I look into knocking things off my schedule because it isn’t actually possible to increase capacity, particularly not from a starting point that is over stretched. I listened. I eliminated a few things. Others I just had to hold tight and ride to the point where they naturally conclude. Then the car broke and I broke and some of my spinning plates came crashing down.

One of the nice things about a crash like that is that once the plate is smashed, I can just throw it away and not have to worry about keeping it spinning anymore. In some ways that is easier than making a conscious decision to put down a task. I’m always aware that when I decide not to do a thing, that doesn’t make the thing cease to exist. I’m just making it someone else’s task instead of mine, or I have to be willing for the thing to not be done at all. Which is hard, especially if it is a thing I care about. Sometimes I’m just moving the task from being a problem for me today into being a clean up for future me to deal with.

Truthfully, the only critical thing that broke this week was me. Everything else is “minor annoyance” levels of rearrangement which I can normally adapt for, but for some reason this week it broke me instead. Which means either I’m just having a bad brain chemistry week which will turn itself right side up in a few days, or I’m under estimating how over stretched I am and I need to be more aggressive about pushing some things out of my schedule. Either way, the correct response is to grant myself extra rest time today. Push off anything that isn’t absolutely necessary and evaluate after next week. Because next week is both Dragonsteel Con and the last push of crowdfunding. The week after that, the week of Thanksgiving, is beautifully clear of calendar appointments. I will definitely feel better once I get past this over-crowded week and into that empty one.

For now, I’m taking a moment to process in writing. Then I’m going to eat lunch. Perhaps after that I can think about what else is absolutely necessary today.