Being Yourself While Being Sick

I’m finally recovering from bronchitis, which I’ve had for about a week and a half. The first few days had me stuck on my couch with a fever and no voice. I took one full day and two half days off of work- something I never do.

It was immensely frustrating.

While I was sick, I felt like I couldn’t do anything. Especially the things that made me ME. I didn’t have the mental fortitude to do much other than watch TV or nap or lay on the couch. I don’t mind watching TV, but I probably spend far less time than the average person doing so. Sitting around all day doing nothing makes me feel terrible, rather than relaxed. I had to skip work, two friends’ birthday celebrations, a Magic event, and a week and a half of boxing.

I didn’t feel like myself, because I wasn’t able to do any of the things that made me feel like myself. After I started getting better, I spent awhile introspecting about this. Okay, regardless of whether or not I’m sick, I spend a lot of time introspecting about who I am. But this experience was more enlightening than usual.

I felt like I couldn’t make any progress on my goals. I made very little progress on any creative goals and I stopped paying attention to what I was eating, because I had very little appetite and getting myself to eat anything was a challenge. I spent a lot of time home alone, instead of spending time with friends and family. I hated not being able to do these things, but didn’t quite feel well enough to do them.

I didn’t expect how much I would miss boxing. It took me a week and a half before I was healthy enough to go to another boxing class, and even still I had to take it easy. At first, I thought I didn’t really miss it, I just wanted to prove a point to myself or others about my enjoyment of working out. I was worried I was just faking my love for boxing and that I’d lost my momentum entirely and would never get back the gym.

Yesterday, I proved myself very wrong on that count. I went home from work early in a shitty mood. I was bored, and despite having a ton of work to do, completely unmotivated to do any of it. I walked my dog and, on impulse, drove to the gym. I had planned to wait until Friday or Saturday to go back, but I couldn’t stand it any more. I needed to box.

I was also worried my body wouldn’t handle it well. Not just because of the bronchitis, but because I hadn’t been in awhile. What if all that progress I had made was completely erased by this illness? What if I couldn’t handle it and felt like crap afterwards?

As it turned out, I was completely overreacting. I went to the class and, though I took things slowly, did quite well. I felt amazing afterwards. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed it and how much boxing had become a part of my life.

People tend not to realize how important things are to them, until they are gone from their lives (whether temporarily or forever). Don’t wait until you lose something before you appreciate it. Enjoy the people and activities you love while you have them!

Everyone Deserves Someone Who Will Take Them to a Masquerade Ball

I’ve always wanted to go to a Masquerade Ball. I’m not really sure that these happen in real life, but I see them in movies and TV shows all the time. You know the kind- where people wear fancy ball gowns and ornate masks, dance to a live orchestra, drink champagne, and eat fancy hors d’oeuvres.

I honestly have no idea where this desire came from, but it’s something I’ve wanted since college. I thought about it again, because the swordfighting club I used to belong to in Pittsburgh is having a Masquerade Ball in a few months. My first thought was I need to go to this! And the second was But I don’t have anyone to take me.

I don’t have a good solution to that second problem. I’ve been feeling really disenchanted with dating lately, as I’ve mentioned. But it’s not the fact that I can’t find dates or that I couldn’t find a partner if I wanted to. It’s that, well, I don’t know anyone who would take me to a masquerade ball.

I’m speaking of this, of course, in a metaphorical sense. The kind of person I want to be with is someone who wants to make me happy, who will read a post like this and say I’m going to surprise the person I love by taking her to a Masquerade Ball. For awhile, I thought my ex was that person. We talked about a lot of things like this that I wanted to do and I would dream of him taking me. But he never did. He never listened and he never gave.

Love is not an emotion. Feeling passionately about someone, wanting to be around them, feeling butterflies when you think of someone is infatuation. It’s obsession. These are not love, but they are so often mistaken for it.

Love is selflessness. The ultimate way to show your love for someone is to do things for them. To care so much about another person that you put them first, you think of their needs before theirs.

Part of the reason I find dating and relationships so frustrating is that I want so much to have that selfless love. I want so much to find a partner who is my equal in everything and who will selflessly love me as much I as will them. And I won’t take anything less.

Stop wasting your time with people who won’t take you to masquerade balls. Stop giving to people who only take from you. You deserve more than that.

Oh and if anyone wants to come with me to a Masquerade Ball, it’s Friday November 3rd in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

Inspiration and Pathfinder

This summer I started DMing a Pathfinder game. For those of you who are less nerdy than I am, it’s basically D&D- a table top roleplaying game. I’ve always wanted to do it, but was worried about the time commitment, or maybe more realistically, failing at it.

A lot of my favorite fantasy book authors say that before they were writers, they were the DMs for their gaming groups. They said it was a small step between DMing and writing their novels. I still want to be a fantasy author, and so this seemed a good next step for me. Plus, I had a great setting and some NPCs available to start my own campaign. I hoped the campaign would help inspire me for the novel I hope to write in this setting.

So far, it is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. It can also be surprisingly difficult at times. When things don’t go right, it’s easy to blame myself. I had a particularly thorny issue last week, where the party did approximately nothing for two and a half hours, which culminated in yelling and party in-fighting. It also included one of the players almost quitting. I was pretty shaken by the whole experience. It’s hard to tell as a DM how much of what happens in game is my responsibility. I felt I should have done something better. I worried my game was falling apart and that I was a failure as a DM.

This week though, the session was amazing! I was really proud- I had a cool idea and spent some time developing it. Importantly, I learned that it is much like writing a speech (I used to be really active in Toastmasters- a public speaking and leadership group). It helps to have the outline and idea of where you want to go. But it falls flat if you just memorize the words and what you want to happen. I found that sweet spot between planning and improvisation. I had a cool mix of combat and roleplaying. My players had fun, and so did I.

It made me feel inspired! I wish it wasn’t 11:15 on Sunday night and that I didn’t have to teach at 9 am tomorrow so I could write or plan next session. Or maybe get some writing in. Or both!

It’s a good feeling. Inspiration might be my favorite feeling. I hope I can keep it up so I can make good progress on my creativity month!

Creativity in September

Those of you who have been reading this blog closely might have realized by now that I’m doing a terrible job of following the order of goals I set out for each month. I’m a little neurotic, so I feel somewhat guilty about that. But on the other hand, I’m a big proponent of allowing yourself to procrastinate work with other work. If nothing has a looming deadline, why force yourself to do it in a specific order? Whatever keeps you productive and doing work instead of slacking off is what you should be doing.

So, this month, I decided what I really want to be doing is working on my creative projects. Partly, I feel a little overwhelmed with the idea of meeting new people- I’ve already got a lot of new activities that I started within the last few months (boxing, Magic, my Pathfinder campaign) and am having difficulty keeping up with all of them. I also feel like I’ve been doing nothing with my free time. Some people feel great about themselves when they spend all day doing nothing. I am not one of those people.

Last night, I had a few hours of free time and I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. I didn’t really feel like reading or playing my computer game- my go-to’s of the last few months. I thought about doing other activities, but it was hard to start them. I just lacked the motivation. And I was really frustrated about this! I want to be the kind of person who does creative projects in her free time.  I really do enjoy them, once I start, but sometimes I find it really hard to start.

Thus, I’m hoping to boost my motivation for my creative projects this month by making it my monthly goal!

Here are some specific goals:

-Do something creative at least once per day

-This month, finish my Alaska trip scrapbook

-Write at least one short story a week

-Apply to that Ohio creative writing contest

-Do at least one creative project I wouldn’t ordinarily do

-Get my shutterfly stuff before the end of the month (figure out what projects I want to do with photos, make photobooks for mom and dad)

-Get ahead on my Pathfinder campaign


Looking forward to updating you on my creative projects later on and sharing ones that turn out well!