A Title Eludes Me

dusting of snow

Well it’s the first day of December. Where are my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo? Nowhere.

Okay, so I did 19,927 words before fear and gloom won out. Again.

I feel like a football player who’s had 10 players pile on top of him after the tackle. Someone please throw a flag! And get that darn elbow out of my ribs!

I started the novel writing effort to try and head off the blues and anxiety that were in hot pursuit. I thought that if I could follow through on something I started, actually complete a goal, then I would be okay. That worked really well for me, didn’t it?

I’ve been told that I’ll be fine. Things will get better. That I’m a strong woman.

Oh sure, I can be brave when it comes to pushing myself physically beyond what’s wise, or draw my sword and face off inanimate objects like a horse trailer or animals that are mindless with their own fear.

But ask me to make a phone call or approach an actual live person to ask a question or approach someone to ask them how their daughter is doing, whose name I can’t remember because my memory sucks, which is another anxiety producer, and I freeze in my tracks. Or I ramble….

I’m afraid of forgetting what I meant to say.

If I’m ordering something, I might forget what exactly it was I wanted.

They might ask me a question I don’t know how to answer. Is my answer the right one? Or are they smirking on the other end of the line?

Or my brain might freeze and I’ll start tripping up on my words.

For crying out loud, besides the script I write for myself, I also write down my address and phone number before I make a phone call just in case I become so nervous that I can’t remember even the most basic information.

I exaggerate, but not much, and I have experienced all these fears. Most of the time now, I’ve moved beyond complete terror. But then life bucks me into the dirt — too many things need to be decided and taken care of all at once; too many things are unknown and out of my control; I can’t seem to break things down into manageable pieces because it seems like it all needs to be taken care of RIGHT NOW — and that’s when the fear hits the worst.

I become so frozen I can no longer do any of it, which only makes me more afraid because besides me, who else is going to do these things? If you’ve never experienced this kind of freeze frame, then you are fortunate indeed.

I know I have this really together image to uphold here and all, so I really shouldn’t admit that I have a few issues. I mean, after all, I generally do a pretty good job of looking like everyone else. Probably because everyone else has their own issues.

Please tell me that you do…

And in the midst of all this lameness and trying to drag my ass off the floor, I discover my hay supplier has run out of hay. But people respond to my plea for help here and on Facebook by calling around and asking farmers they know about hay and giving me suggestions on where else to look for it, and a couple people volunteered to help me load and unload hay. These offers of help mean so much to me.

And once more, Maery rose.

All is not lost. I think I found a 100 bales of hay, I just need to go check and make sure it’s as good as the guy says it is.

And I didn’t write 50,000 words in November but I wrote quite a bit, and just because November is over doesn’t mean I can’t keep working on my story.

And on Saturday, I took Java for a walk, then I took Luke for a ride. I wasn’t sure how well my ride would go since I haven’t trail ridden for about three weeks. Plus it was 2:30 by the time I started riding and the sun sets by 4:30 so the ride was very “purposeful”. We trotted and cantered most of it, which might be the key to not having any horse trouble on the trail — keep moving — because I had a great ride with no shying or acting up.

And I talked to my son and heard about how he made potato salad from scratch. He gets the same kind of reaction that I do when he makes something. “YOU made that?” said with absolute incredulity.

And speaking of cooking, I made this delicious turkey tortilla soup. I boiled up my turkey carcass with celery, carrots, and onions to make turkey broth, which I then used in the soup. I kind of followed the recipe – the diced tomatoes, onions, cumin, green chiles, corn, and broth, but I used my leftover turkey meat instead of ground turkey, added garlic, salsa, salt and pepper. And it turned out yummy.

tortilla soup

Life is good or at least food is good.

And when all else fails to cheer me up, Java is always good for a laugh. This is how Java looks after I arrive home from work or from running errands. “Play with me… NOW,” says Java, in Terminator voice or voice of governor of California, whichever is scarier to you.

dog with ball

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  1. I sure know that I have similar issues. When the ‘list’ gets too long or contains too many stressful things, I just lose myself in things that I like and ignore it. Then, the next morning, I start out completely stressed over the list again, and repeat the previous day’s escapism. I’ve gotten a little better, learning that dealing with stuff is less stressful than putting it off… but anyway, my point is that lots of people have ‘issues’ that they battle.

    Oh yeah, and I hate the phone calls too. It mystifies people who know me that I’ll do almost anything to avoid phone calls to strangers (even to set up a doc appt).

    Let me say that you wrote a lot of your novel, and it sounded really interesting so please keep going!

    Love the Java pict.

  2. I know the aliment well. It’s called STRESS LOCK, and it was very common where I went to college. You see, I studied on the block plan, where you take just one class at a time, but you do a full semester’s worth of work in 3 1/2 weeks. For example, my first-ever block, I read something like 15 books, wrote 5 papers and took two grueling essay exams.

    It was not uncommon for me or fellow students to just lock up once in awhile. Unable to think. Unable to move. Unable to do anything productive.

    As I get older, it gets a bit easier. I’ve also set limits, on the advice of mentors. If I need to wallow, I only do it for 24 hours tops, then I have to do something … any forward motion counts.

    In this grown-up life, I’ve learned often the only way forward is THROUGH whatever is whatevering your days.

  3. Hey! I’m so glad you commented on my blog today! Gave me a chance to come over and stalk ya awhile!! I have my “issues” as well. I HATE talking on the phone. I, too, write down what I need to say sometimes. I have this great fear I will sound like a total idiot. Even minor stupid things I worry about. Ridiculous!

    Come by and visit more often! I’ll never call ya!

  4. KB – Sometimes a little escapism is good. Or I use my escape as a reward like ‘I’ll make this phone call, then I’ll go take a walk with Java.’ Having to call around to every hay farmer I’ve ever bought from has been a real test in stamina.

    Roxanne – What’s really been hard is I know what your saying but for the first time in about 15 years, I just couldn’t push myself through the stuckness. What finally got me out of it was the response to my hay dilemma. I guess I just needn’t confirmation I wasn’t completely alone with my problems.

    The Wife – I do stop by your blog quite a bit. Always enjoy your photos. And I can’t imagine you ever sounding like an idiot.

    GP – Java is definitely good for my mind and my heart.

  5. Maery Rose, Glad you found some hay..100 bales will last you how long? If you run short again..leave your email for me on my blog. My sister lives in your area..she lives at Mora..and may know of someone..she is also a horse person. She is gone right at the moment..on a mission trip.
    You wrote something cause you have nearly 20,000 words..I would say that is an accomplishment. Heck I just thought about it..
    The stuck thing, I think it happens more than people talk about..I find that if I am not moving forward that I make a list and stick to it that I do much better.
    Chance has that same toy..he loves to play tug with it! Java is such a good companion for you:)

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