Accountability Wednesdays: Week 15

I’m not going to sugar-coat it…it’s been a bad week for goals. Honestly, I don’t even know where the week went. It feels like it should be Saturday or Sunday, not Wednesdays. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it feels like my days are about ten hours long, max, and even if I sleep a full 8 hours a night that still leaves six hours unaccounted for. How is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the hubby bought me Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD for my birthday and I’ve been more than a little obsessed with it this past week. Maybe I’m just losing my mind.

Anyway, we may as well get this over with.

Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.

It’s big confession time. When I began this goal at the beginning of the year, I weighed myself to see where my starting point was, and made a personal note of that number. This morning I weighed myself again, mostly out of curiosity, and found that not only have I GAINED five pounds on top of that starting point, but I am now officially one pound heavier than my husband. He’s not a huge guy, so it’s not like it’s an enormous deal, but he does have about 8 inches in height over me, so it is a little bit of a big deal and I’m not happy with it.

This morning before I started writing this post I was actually considering putting this goal on hold for a month or so so that I could focus on the more important Goal #3, but now I feel like that would be a bad idea. I knew that I wasn’t doing well on this goal – I’ve been lazy and I never stick to a healthy diet for more than a day or two in a row – but I really wasn’t expecting to find out that I GAINED weight, and now I feel horrible. I am officially at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life, which is approximately 50 lbs heavier than I should be. NOT HAPPY. NOT HAPPY AT ALL.

In related news, I’ve been in to my doctor to talk about my blood work. While it wasn’t terribly revealing, it did tell us that there is definitely inflammation somewhere in my body, and I now have an appointment for a CT scan on the 30th to see if they can find the location of said inflammation. I doubt that this particular issue (and it’s eventual treatment) will have any affect what-so-ever on the weight-loss end of this goal, but hopefully it’ll help out a bit with the “become healthier” part.

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my “author platform”.

The week started out half decent with some blog community interaction and some tweeting and bumming around on Facebook. But the past three or four days have been truly abysmal. I have a major backlog of A to Z blog posts to check out from my fellow participants, and I don’t think I’ve replied to a comment on my own posts since Saturday or so. Not good, not good. Again, I’m truly disappointed in myself.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

At the beginning of this past week I was genuinely confident that it was going to be the week that I finally got some work done on this goal. I thought, at the very least, that I would get through the list of “invisible typos” that my beta-reader made for me. You can probably tell by the “tone” of my wording that this did not, in fact, happen. It did not happen at all. That’s why I was considering putting Goal #1 on hold for a while, so at least I could focus a little better (maybe), but now I don’t know what I’m doing. I think I might need to hire a time management expert. Or maybe I just have to take my laptop and leave the house for a couple of hours every day. I don’t know. Suffice it to say that this past week was abysmal, and I’m still very disappointed in myself.

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.

And finally, the goal that is usually my saving grace only serves to cement that inner disappointment that I keep prattling on about. This week, despite doing nothing at all toward any of my other goals and, truly, doing nothing productive at all that I can think of, I also managed to write bugger all. Over the course of an entire week I managed to force a grand total of 718 words, an average of barely 100 words per day. Truly, truly, truly disappointed.

On the upside, I’ve already beaten last week’s word count with just this one accountability post, so I’ve got that going for me. 😛

The Most Vicious of Vicious Cycles

I have a confession to make.

I decided to take a day off from blogging today so that I could try and get some cleaning done. Our house is in a bit of a shambles, you see, and I hadn’t vacuumed since Niece was here on the weekend, and the cat’s puked in the basement again, so I thought since I had no blog posts planned in advance that I would take the day off and focus on the homestead instead.

And now I’m here telling you about it because I needed to get this out:

Cleaning sucks. It’s the most futile task known to adulthood, especially to an adult who has a toddler and two particularly idiotic cats. The second I clean up the cat puke, one of them decides to “go” outside their litter box. I vacuum my daughter’s bedroom and two minutes later she crumbles a cookie all over her floor. I throw in a load of laundry, and god help me, the stuff still waiting to go in the wash seems to multiply exponentially. For the love of puppies, I can literally see a new coat of dust appearing before I’m even finished wiping away the old dust.

And here’s the thing…even if I’m diligent, even if I forsake spare time, writing time, and playing with my daughter, and I work my ass off to get the house sparkling…by the time I get from one end of the house to the other, the first end has gotten dirty again. Between baby messes, evil cats, and no end of hair and fur on everything, there is just no way to get ahead. And that’s not even taking into account all the organizing and purging that needs to be done.

So with that said, I implore my fellow bloggers, writers, and the random other people reading this post:
How the hell do you do it? Help! HELP! I’m losing my freakin’ mind!!!!

Taking Lucid Dreams to a New Level

As long as I can remember, I’ve had very vivid dreams. Where some people can tell me the general plot of their dream and who was present, I could tell you what the characters were wearing, the layout of the room we were in, the exact emotions I was feeling, and any other number of finite details. I kept a dream journal once, out of a curiosity of whether I might be able to interpret some of them, but it was ridiculously time consuming. I could wake up from a dream and start scribbling in a notebook, and my arm would get sore before I’d finished. I have dreams in that journal that take up more than ten letter-sized pages, front and back. I don’t have dreams, you see, so much as subconscious full-length motion pictures.

But last night’s dream took the cake in a way that compels me to write about it. I’m going to give you a basic outline of how the dream panned out, and at the end I’ll explain why this one in particular freaked me out a bit.

So the dream took place in the area of the Kearl Lake plant where I used to work. There’s an area set aside from the actual plant where that area’s workers have trailers set up for lunch rooms, changing rooms, offices, and so on. That’s where I was. I was wearing all my outdoor work gear; boots, coveralls, outerwear, toque, etc, and I was wearing a backpack. As near as I could figure, I’d just arrived for my shift, but I couldn’t seem to recall how I’d gotten there. Additionally, it was nighttime, even though I work day shifts.

So I’m wandering around the trailers, and there seems to be some kind of party going on. For a while I was just wandering around confused and couldn’t figure out what was happening, but after a while I realized that PCL (one of the construction companies that works on the site) was throwing some kind of festival or something. I could go into great detail, but suffice it to say that there were parades going up and down the streets, carnival rides in between the site equipment, and food stands around the trailers.

Aside from the crazy carnival stuff occurring, there were a few things that differentiated this dream from reality. For one thing, one of my cousins was there, even though he works at a Sobeys store in Nova Scotia. I remember him trying to tell me something about the woods outside the site, and he began sinking into some kind of quicksand. It turned out to be a joke he was playing on me. Ha ha, very funny. Then my husband’s cousin, who is working on becoming a continuing care assistant (also in Nova Scotia) appeared, and she started dragging me in and out of the trailers, snagging treats and things for me, which I stuffed in my backpack. At one point we were guarding some kind of large signature board, which, evidently, everyone who visited the carnival was supposed to sign. Sometime after this I went looking for my coworkers, but every trailer I went into looked the same, that is, a lunch trailer with no appliances and three people I didn’t know sitting there looking at me like I was nuts. I kept leaving and moving to another trailer, and it kept being the same trailer with those same three people. Eventually, at some point, I realized that people were lining up for the bus to take us back to camp, and I wanted to go join the line but my boots had disappeared and I couldn’t find them.

I really could go into a lot more detail, but for the purposes of this story, this is all you need to know: the dream made very little sense. It wasn’t an outrageously insane dream with purple elephants and giant plants trying to eat people, but it was definitely removed from reality. There were people there who shouldn’t have been, things happening that shouldn’t have been happening, and all in all nothing made any sense.

So here’s the weird thing…I was absolutely convinced it was real. Remember at the beginning when I said that I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there? I was genuinely freaking out throughout the entire dream because of that fact. I could remember falling asleep in my own bed at home after spending the day with my husband and daughter, and then all of a sudden I was at the work site, wearing my work clothes. Throughout the dream I kept trying to find my supervisor to tell him that I thought I was losing my mind because I couldn’t remember anything from the past 6 days and I had no idea how I’d managed to get on a plane and show up at site without recalling any of it. And yes, I’ve had dreams before that I would have sworn were real while I was dreaming them, but this one was truly intense. I can actually remember thinking, “The only way this would make sense is if its a dream, which I know it isn’t!” I can vividly recall paying particular attention to the way my legs felt when I walked, the way the wind cut at my face, the way my fingertips burned from the cold, and thinking, “I can feel everything, so I have to be awake!”

Needless to say, by the time I woke up I was pretty freaked out. I’ve never had a dream quite that vivid before, one in which I was actually desperate to prove that it was a dream, but every instinct and physical sense I have was telling me otherwise. It was a new level of weird, that’s for sure, which is why I felt the need to share it.

So how about it? Have you ever had a dream like this, that was so unbelievably vivid you were actually starting to think you were losing your mind? Please share, so I don’t feel like the only lunatic here!

Simplicity, Designed

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

62. Blog design/ 63. Web design

I’m combining these two because I see no reason why they should be separate. Blog design is a form of web design, right? I’m not losing my mind by thinking that way? Okay, moving on.

I’m a big believer in simplicity with web design. Back in the 90s when the idea of having “your own website!” was a huge deal we all used to go a little nuts. You remember it – endless gifs and huge, sparkly, neon-sign-type banners flashing everywhere. Those were the days. Except, no, they weren’t. All that flashy nonsense was fun, but it completely detracted from the actual website.

I don’t claim to be a web designer. I used to know a little about HTML but that knowledge has long since been pushed aside for more important stuff (like my awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe). Anyone with any kind of skill in web design can probably tell from a mile away that my blog is built from a template. Someone else’s programming tells all the bits where to go…I just uploaded the top banner and added a couple of extra pages. Badabing badaboom.

And that’s okay because blog design – or any web design anyway – shouldn’t be complicated. Your blog/site should look clean and fresh, be easy on the eyes, and be easy to navigate. You might not think it, but people will avoid your blog/site for such seemingly small things as an annoying font or a background color that is harsh to the eye. And they will especially avoid your blog/site if its so confusing and disorganized that they can’t find the place they want to go.

You don’t want people to avoid your blog/site do you? Of course not. That’s the exact opposite of the point of having a blog or website. So do a little research if you aren’t sure what looks good or doesn’t. There are endless resources online for this sort of thing and it would be a shame not to use them.