30 December 2015

In the aftermath of more diagnostic testing

Princesses get special treatment
for diagnostic testing.
Yesterday morning, Tink had an endoscopy as part of her ongoing diagnostic testing to deal with her frustratingly unknown health problems.

This was not my first experience taking Tink for diagnostic testing. We've done it a lot lately. And this was her second time going under sedation (she did better this time coming out of it).

I keep reminding myself that we're making progress. We've eliminated a lot of things, and we're honing in on what is causing all the trouble.

We hope.

There's still a long way to go. Because there's a lot involved in finding a name for something in someone so small. So we keep working toward answers and her health.

Yesterday, that meant an endoscopy. Thursday, we discuss the results with her doctor. And we'll take it one step at a time from there.

11 December 2015

Promoting self-care

Life has been busy lately, especially with work. Not only have my regular clients been sending lots of white papers my way, but I've been working on getting ready for the career shift taking place at the beginning of the year.

As a result, I've been sleeping less than I should, working more than I (probably) should, and running myself a bit ragged.

And neglecting self-care.

Unfortunately, I've been feeling the effects of the neglect, and have been having lots of high-pain days in the past few weeks. It's causing me to move slower, which in turn causes me to have to work harder to stay caught up with the workload. It's a vicious cycle.

It's going to stay like this through the end of the year, but I'll have some time off at Christmas and New Year's that I can use to slather myself with Icy Hot and hobble around with peppermint herbal tea until I feel better.

Hopefully, the upcoming time off will be what I need to recharge and provide some extra self-care, giving me the energy I need to jump into 2016 with a renewed energy and outlook.

04 December 2015

Olive Kitteridge: a reflection on perceptions

I finally finished Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge yesterday while I was waiting for Puck in the after-school car line.

It took me much longer to finish it than I expected, but was by no means due to the story. Our autumn has been chaotic, and I wasn't able to make time to read as I expected I would be able to.

But I kept reading when I could, and as we settled into a better routine after the wedding, I was able to find much more time. Like in the after-school car line.

I'm really glad I did, too.

As I started Olive Kitteridge, I didn't really know what to expect. It was recommended to me by a writer because of how I described the coffee house book; they thought it would be helpful in writing and revising my draft. (It has been.) But once I really got into it, I was much more pleasantly surprised than I thought I would be.

The biggest surprise to me was in the revelations about the titular character through each chapter. As I read, I thought I knew who Olive was, and then, later, in one chapter, everything I thought I knew about her shifted, and I saw her in a completely different way. That revelation impacted my reading of the rest of the book, and left me in a very different mood than I expected I would be in by the end.

Sorry for the vagueness of this reflection. I really don't want to give anything away because you should read the book yourself. Truly.

Since I finished Olive Kitteridge, it's been sitting on my heart. I'm torn between wanting to keep my experience of reading it just where it is because of the surprise, and wanting to reread it in a few months to see how my reading changes now that I know what I know about Olive.

I had a wonderful literature professor tell me that "literature rewards rereading." I believe wholeheartedly that Strout's novel falls into that category. I believe that if I read it again in a few months, it will be like an entirely different book. I'll see things I didn't see before, and Olive will, indeed, be a different person. Maybe I will be, too. And maybe that's the point.

01 December 2015

Making a shift, making a career

Some time ago, I started taking steps toward a shift in my career. While I was excited about the possibilities and knew it would be beneficial, I was not able to move forward with it at that time.

Fortunately, things have changed, and now I can!

Over the next month or two, I'll be working on getting back into doing marketing content writing again. While I'll still be doing a lot of white papers, one-sheets, and other marketing assets, I will be restructuring the work I do in order to include bigger diversity in content marketing as well as moving into a niche.

I'm not going to get into details quite yet, since there's still a lot to do in order to finalize the plan and launch the business. (Yes, it will be an actual factual business, y'all!) But as we get closer to the launch, I'll definitely be sharing it here, and might do a little (not much) plugging, especially at the beginning.

One of the reasons I'm making this change is because I've been thinking about the longevity of my career. I like what I do right now. The content I write is fun and interesting, and serves me well. But if I stick with what I currently have, I'll be stuck where I currently am. In order to continue advancing my career, I have to take this next (kind of scary) step.

So I'm giving myself a promotion.

Essentially, moving in this direction is a way of branching out, making my work more relevant to the industry, and ensuring that I can continue doing what I love.

I don't know how it's going to go, but it's happening either way. 2016 is going to be an adventurous year.