More Movies That I Don’t Quite Review

I watched more movies. I’m kind of anti-television at the moment. It feels like too much of a commitment to pick a series and watch eight episodes of something that I’m not sure I’m going to love. Is that weird? I’ve been watching series with one of my kids – WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and we’ll watch Loki when it comes out. But otherwise? I don’t have the energy.

So what did I watch?

Monday I watched Skylines. It was one I’d started and got just a few minutes into and thought it felt familiar. I left it so I could figure out why it was striking such a chord, and forgot about it.

Turns out its the third in a series which is not as easy as it should be to discover. The first two films were Skyline, and then Beyond Skyline, and I’ve seen one of them before, but I’m not entirely sure which one. That’s why it seemed so familiar.

So it’s science fiction with aliens, and they fill in enough blanks to make it watchable without the first two, I think. The aliens remind me a lot of the ones from District 9, actually. There was quite a bit of flying, betrayal, new loyalties, and teamwork. All in all, not a bad show, and it made me want to see the second film in the series and see if it was familiar, or if it’s the one I saw before.

I started another film after that as I was writing blog posts and trying to work on new affirmations. Outside the Wire has Anthony Mackie and my favorite secondary character, the guy who’s always playing a slightly weaselly sidekick, Michael Kelly.

At any rate, it’s a war movie with some science fiction thrown in, where Anthony Mackie is playing a robot, kind of, and he’s working with a disgraced and reassigned drone pilot. There’s a lot of the “learn a hard lesson by being in the thick of it when before you were just on the peripheral” kind of thing. A lot of “we’re here to to a different thing than you thought we were going to do”. And there’s a twist (of course) that I’m pleased to say I didn’t see coming, which means that the actors and the director did a good job. Very good, and a solid three thumbs up.

Moxie was up next, and was by far my favorite movie of the day. It’s another high school aged girl, an introvert, who meets a new student who calls out the bullshit when she sees it. The introvert ends up making a zine to bring attention to the bullshit that now she’s even noticing, and it evolves from there. It’s a little bit high school romance, a lot of awesome feminism in action. I identified a LOT with the main character, and it was fun to watch her rollercoaster her way through the film: quiet, introverted, a little bit badass, a lot badass, a heap of reckless, some jealousy and rage pointed in the wrong direction, a little more reckless, but ultimately awesome. Amy Poehler directed and played the mom, and it was just…great. It was great.

So somewhat related to Moxie, why do I identify so hard with these awkward teens? I felt the same way with Dumplin’. I need more teen women movies, so if anyone has any recommendations along the lines of Moxie, Dumplin’, or Yes, God, Yes, I’d really appreciate it.

Riding the Ride

I renamed my blog. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t.

Shit, that reminds me I should forward the old domain over here. BRB.

Okay, now that I’ve renamed my blog and made it possible for anyone who knew about the old URL, I can go into my story.

My word of the year for 2021 is


(always to be written in some kind of fancy way to encourage a singsong delivery when reading or speaking the word).

And with ≋m≋o≋d≋e≋r≋a≋t≋i≋o≋n≋ as my word of the year, I’ve noticed something neat.

But it’s hard to explain. So please forgive me if I’m all over the place.

I have, in the past, tried to Go Big on everything I attempt. For example, in 2017 I started independently publishing under a pen name. I wrote a lot, and I wrote it fast, and I published it just as quickly. I was doing really well, writing series that continue to sell to this day, and that are the stories that continue to bring in a few bucks every month.

Aaand I burned out.

I started a YouTube channel in 2020. I was running out of content, and so I decided to create my own. I was putting up 2-3 videos a week at one point, being consistent, and building an audience.

And I burned out.

I’ve taken up walking daily, and walked myself into foot pain, and ruined my motivation.

I’ve started blogs I later delete. I’ve started writing books I can’t finish. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I. Keep. Burning. Out.

So I picked up m̳͒o̰̲͆ͣͪ̚ͅd͙̝̺̲̫͗ͣͦͦẻ̱͔̬̗̺̲̗̫͐̅ͪr̖̙̘̙̱̭̹̖̟̭ͤ̑͊ͨa̖̮̝̺̝̜̝̜͕͍̙̥̘̐ť̟͎͎͔͕͉̰̟̗̹̾ͮ̾i͎̩͔̰̱̠͙͓͒͛̅̚o͈̲̜̪̠ͩ̍̈̎n̻̲̟̈́̒ͯ̏ as my word of the year in an attempt to, well, moderate my activities.

For example – stop trying to go all-in on everything. Film one video a week. Be okay writing 1,000 or 500 words a day. Allow myself to only blog every few days, or even to ignore the blog all together.

Which is kind of what happened, but not really.

What has actually started to happen is that when I feel my attention shift and I’m no longer recording a video and posting it every few days, when I don’t have any more ideas, and suddenly all I want to do are watch movies, I’m letting it happen. When I feel like journaling online, I’m doing it, and when my attention shifts and I forget for a few days, I stop trying to remember to get it done daily.

When I feel like writing four blog posts in a day when I haven’t posted for a good six weeks, I do it. When I get sick of it and don’t have any more ideas, I’m going to let it go.

I’ve been doing some low content publishing on KDP, and I was very enthusiastic for about two weeks. Signed up for a service that would have helped with keyword research, if I’d used it, at a discounted price.

And I realize I’m not using it, so I just cancelled it. No beating up on myself, just let it go. Moving on to the next thing to catch my attention, and giving that 100%, or more, until something else comes along.

So it’s one of those things where my word of the year (uoıʇɐɹǝpoɯ) no longer really defines what I’m doing, and instead I’ve just given the word a new meaning in my head. Instead of “the avoidance of excess or extremes”, my word of the year means grace for myself, forgiveness, and the acceptance of shifting passions. In fact, it’s rather the opposite of moderation, in that I’m accepting the excess and extremes. Eight movies in two days? Okay. Because in a week, I’m not going to be able to sit through a film to save my life. Four hours and a late night on a low content book to get published on KDP? Not a problem, because in a couple days, I’m not going to have any ideas. Three videos posted three days in a row? Sure! Because there might not be anything else worth sharing for a month.

I actually might do a video on this, because this is fun stuff.

Have you ever stuck with a word of the year before? I haven’t. Do you try to avoid the squirrels that pull at your attention, or do you follow them and see where they lead?

Because I’m fucking chasing squirrels over here, and it’s a fucking 🅱🅻🅰🆂🆃.


You know that thing where people have said “Yeah, that’s what I meant by…” so many times that you are afraid to offer input any longer because nothing you say is going to be helpful, because “that’s what they meant by…”?


Gratitudes and Affirmations

First off – why in the world is “gratitudes” not a word? I’ll be adding it to every dictionary I use for eternity, it feels like.

Okay, now that’s out of the way, here’s what I really came to say.

I’m back with my morning gratitudes and affirmations practice. It’s a good thing. And I say that like it’s a surprise that it’s a good thing, but it’s not a surprise.

Well, kind of it is.

I finally picked an affirmation that’s creating some change in my life.

Maybe a little backstory. (Yes, I’ve brought this up before. Is it still on this blog? I don’t know. Forgive me if you’ve already heard this.)

I did a motivational conference with my workplace. Their spiel was that you should look at all your expenses and what you wanted to do with your money, and set an earning goal as an affirmation. Along the lines of, “I enjoy earning $125,000 with my writing by December 31, 2021“. I use writing as an example. My industry isn’t writing, it’s something else.

Anyway, I went ahead and tried their method, even though I wasn’t working in the industry that did the conference. Workshop? Seminar? Something along those lines. I made my goal completely unrealistic, as we were encouraged to do. No limits. If you could wave a magic wand and have anything you want, like that. So my affirmation was I enjoy earning $937,500 by 12-31-2016.

Oy. Even if I had joined the industry instead of just being industry-adjacent, I couldn’t have met that goal. No amount of high vibrations could have brought that into existence. There isn’t enough positive thinking that could have gotten it done. Even hard work wasn’t going to cut it.

But I wrote it pretty religiously, through several notebooks, daily. Because, you know, that’s what the course asked of us.

That’s been five years ago, now that I think of it. And I don’t remember what I did between then, when I finally stopped the frustrating and defeatist practice of writing a dream that I was never going to achieve, and now.

But I started up again recently. I started hanging out in a Clubhouse room with a bunch of people who have also done the same seminar/course/workshop/conference. One of them is a coach for people who have taken the course and want to progress in the industry in question. And even though that course was so long ago, it really did set me on my personal development journey that has brought me quite a bit of insight and education about myself.

The difference between my affirmation that I chose this time and last time is stark. Instead of setting a money goal (don’t get me wrong – I am still actively financially motivated), I set a habit goal. A habit I want to develop, that will strengthen a weakness I have by putting that habit it into practice.

And to my surprise, it’s working.

Honestly, I don’t think I honestly expected it to. Which is weird, because if you don’t expect an affirmation to work, it won’t work. So why is this working?

It might have something to do with a thing that conference I went to ages ago talked about.

Your non-conscious can’t take a joke.

You can switch out “non-conscious” for “subconscious”. The bottom line here is the theory that what you tell yourself, the part of your brain that isn’t actively helping you live your life you is listening to the things you tell yourself. When you tell yourself that you’re a failure? Non-conscious is listening and helping you behave like a failure. When you tell yourself that you can’t do anything right? Non-conscious is accepting that as truth and helping you screw up.

So the theory is, you tell yourself you can do all the things, and your non-conscious is like, “Okay, mother fudgepacker, let’s do all the goddamn things.”

And honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever really subscribed to that theory. It sounds like woo-woo crap, doesn’t it? Like magic.

But I picked a new affirmation (I mentioned it in my last post, but I’ll share again):

I use what I have before buying more.

Because I have a shitty habit of buying more things before I’ve used what I have. I buy more notebooks. I buy more books. I buy more whatever when I still have it. Heck, it applies to using things, too. I always have to start a new, fresh notebook when I have an idea for a project instead of using what I have already started – and I start plenty. You would think I live in a damn stationery shop. I don’t need more pens, more anything.

That’s the story. I found an affirmation that is actually having an effect on me in a good way, not driving my mood down. And it’s time for me to pick a new one. This one is working, and I can see it working, and that’s good. Now time to build on it.

I have a small stack of index cards. I’m building it to make it larger, but for the moment, it’s a list of things I need to read every day. Most of it is things to read and set the mood, things like

  • I am always working toward healthy
  • I am creative beyond measure
  • Keep showing up every single time

I need more specific things. Specific habits to change. Small things I can hope to see a result on quickly.

I think I’m going to make it something about cleaning one space every day. Something that will add up over time.

Wish me luck.

What kind of affirmations do you have? Any? Do you feel like they work, or do they feel like a waste of time? I’m interested to hear what you think.

Finishing and Catching Up on Movies

I’ve been using an affirmation lately, writing it 25x as I do.

I use what I have before buying more.

So when I decided to start paper journaling again, I went through my stack of notebooks to find the one I’d left off with last. And I found it, which was good.

And apparently it applies to movies as well in my head, because I started watching movies I’d started and are on my Continue Watching list on Netflix.

It started yesterday with The Social Dilemma. I had started and gotten about 15 minutes in several weeks ago, and then got completely horrified and ready to delete all my social media, so stopped watching it. (I haven’t actually deleted all my social media, but I am deleting some.)

There was also Yes, God, Yes which I had started and I don’t know why I only made it about three minutes in before stopping.

So yesterday I decided to finish those. I watched a few minutes of YGY, then a few minute of TSD, and back and forth for a while.

YGY was fabulously cringe-worthy. It’s about a teen in Catholic school (Alice) discovering her sexuality in the early 2000’s. The film is full of AO-Hell chats, awkward cyber sex attempts, and religious prudity. (Maybe prudity isn’t a word, but hopefully you know what I mean.) It was so awkward, I had to stop watching it several times to compose myself. I remember so much of what she was going through, although about seven years earlier.

But then it was amazing. While the rest of the characters are stumbling through and playing up to the popular kids, our Alice is making actual discoveries about herself. It ends on a wonderful note, where Alice has things figured out a heck of a lot more than anyone else, including the adults.

So I would absolutely recommend Yes, God, Yes.

And then I finished TSD. It was pretty much as bad as you would expect in terms of the things it’s telling you are things you know but maybe don’t want to think about. Facing those things was helpful, and as pessimistic as the entire film was, it ended on a higher note than I expected. I came away with several things I want to research more about, and some habit changes I intend on figuring out how to make.

Again, I would absolutely recommend The Social Dilemma. And if anyone has suggestions on further reading, I’d be interested.

That was all yesterday during the day. In the evening, I moved on to My List in Netflix.

I read an article recently about Dave Bautista not wanting to do any more Guardians movies, so when I saw he was in a trending zombie flick, I decided to give that a shot. Army of the Dead was gory. Like, gratuitous violence, needless blood splatters, and not great special effects. And, which I am not used to, there were levels of zombies. Master zombies, Alpha zombies, and the regular version (they called them shufflers or something, I can’t remember). There were more plot twists than were strictly necessary, there was a zombie tiger that paraded around, and there were some very predictable moments.

But it was fun. It was a zombie movie, so maybe I’m biased (I love zombie movies). I’d probably watch it again, and I don’t think it was a waste of time.

And finally (yes, I essentially watched 4 movies on Sunday) I watched The Wrong Missy. I had started it because I hoped it would be fun in a similar way to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it was actually more like There’s Something About Mary. And that’s not a positive thing.

I was clued in to how this was going to go when I saw in the opening credits that it was a Happy Madison Production. The film was problematic. There was some non-consensual sex (you can’t give consent to sex when one of the parties is asleep), lots of pretty foul language, Missy is pretty obnoxious most of the time, and Tim is an asshole. I’m sure there’s more, but I was drinking, so.

Ultimately, there’s an audience for The Wrong Missy, I’m just not it. The message at the end was kind of sweet, that Missy was just trying to help Tim live his best life, and that wasn’t going to be accomplished trying to be something he wasn’t at a company that didn’t care about him. And when Tim realized that, he went back to her to beg forgiveness.

But ugh. I would be interested to see the same plot in a less vulgar film.

So that’s it! Movie reviews by someone who doesn’t necessarily pay enough attention to be a good reviewer.

What movies have you seen lately? I’m especially interested in Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney options, since I have those subscriptions. I don’t usually toss money towards new releases on streaming services, choosing instead to wait for them to release elsewhere for free, or on sale. So…what do you have?

I gave in – an AZ-plaination

Greetings and salutations friendly friends and people-y people!

I wasn’t going to do this. But now I am.

I was going to create a coloring book. But now I don’t know what I’m going to create.

I’ll probably be creating videos, to be perfectly frank. And maybe blog posts to go with them.

I will stick to the A-Z theme as much as each entry will have a focus on that letter of the alphabet.

I have not planned ahead.

I may, at some point update this blog header to reflect the new YouTube channel I’m currently posting at.

We shall see how much energy I have for such things.

It’s been a while since I’ve tried to flex my blog muscles.


Do you want me to be honest?

Understanding of this particular essay may depend on a basic knowledge of the character Dr. Gregory House from the TV show House – he’s smart, he hates people, and he’s not afraid to show his disdain, often with a heavy dose of rudeness and lack of social niceties.

So I was watching an episode of House (S5E17: The Social Contract) with one of my children recently. The patient had frontal lobe disinhibition, and he kept saying everything he thought, much of which was inappropriate. He alienated his wife in the process by admitting he sometimes regretted marrying her, that he thought people who helped others do great things did so because they couldn’t do great things themselves, he disparaged her career choices, etc. The patient also clearly felt horrible about all the things he was saying.

At one point, his wife reached her breaking point (understandably), but after House treated the patient and was discharged, we saw his wife come, tension high, and told him about her new job in the same vein as the career choice he had insulted earlier. His response, now that he had his faculties back, was along the lines of, “That’s great, honey. I know how hard you worked for that. I’m so proud of you.”

We (the audience) know that’s not what he felt at all. We know he thinks her job is a joke. House would have told her the new position was a joke much as the patient did before he was “cured” and he got his life-preserving “inhibitions” back.

But that’s what he chose to tell her.

So often I worry about what people think. Do they think I’m fat? Stupid? Are they laughing at me behind my back? We all have insecurities like this. “If I make decision A, which is best for me, will person X slam me in their head for not making decision B, which might arguably be best ‘in theory’ for ‘us’, but will actually make me miserable?” Sometimes it affects our behavior or decisions.

But watching that ending scene, I was so proud of the guy. Just a character in a TV show made up by writers like me, but still – despite the fact that he was trashing his wife, her choices, being lecherous with the doctors he was attracted to on the show – at the end, when he had the ability back to choose between honesty and care, he chose care.

Sometimes people tell us white lies, they avoid hard conversations, and what they tell us isn’t the truth, the whole truth, or anywhere near “nothing but the truth”. And maybe that’s okay. Do we need House-level honesty all the time? Not really. If our spouse thinks a thing we’re doing is stupid and unnecessary, does it help us to have that pointed out? Probably not. If it’s dangerous, sure. If it’s helping us deal with anxiety, stress, etc? Can we just let it go?

Thinky thoughts.


I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone tonight, not for the first time. I logged out of it in Chrome, too. This doesn’t usually last for very long. Usually about a week before I log back in, and another couple days before the apps go back on my phone.

Why this time? Ah, it’s probably silly. A YouTuber posted an opinion that hit a little close to home, pointing out that in a situation I’m currently experiencing, women like me are…well, in the wrong.

And that’s no big deal. I can brush that kind of stuff off. But the shock was the sweeping statement of absolutes. This Thing is a Need. Period. An absolute for all.

But…air is an absolute. Food. Water. But this Thing? No. A variation on the Thing? Yes. But what was said was more similar to, “Meat is a Need,” when we really know that it’s “Protein,” and all of the vegans out there are going to fight you on that meat shit.

So yeah. I know it wasn’t directed at me, but I’m still hurt. And part of me is doubtful of my worth now because of it. And that sucks.

💔 Crack.

Prepping for 2021

If I was an organized person, I would probably have a 5 part series of how I get ready for the new year. Okay, no. I am an organized person sometimes. But I’m not planning this. How’s that for correcting negative self talk? TAKE THAT, INSECURITIES!

Oh, hey! That’s the entire gist of my post! So if you’re bored already, go ahead. Scroll on.

It’s okay. I don’t mind.

So as I posted in the twit, I’ve set up my tracking spreadsheet for the new year. I got the idea to track things from a friend, and smooshed it together with the concept of tracking your word count for NaNoWriMo. It’s been several years since I started, and this year, I’ve adjusted it yet again to suit what’s currently going on.

My first tab has always been for tracking daily word counts. This year I had intended to try to write 1,000,000 words throughout the year with the intent to publish the stories or books that resulted. A friend was doing the challenge with me. I’m not sure how they fared, but I fell off the wagon fairly early. You might feel safe assuming that happened about mid-March, but it was actually about a month earlier. Stress from illness brought me down, and then quarantine and family stress kept me there.

So this year, my first tab is actually for tracking Mood. This is something the friend who was doing that million word challenge with me started for a mutual friend, and I decided at the very least, I want to look back at the year and see my colors. The mutual friend uses it as a reminder that most days aren’t as bad as they remember, and I think that’s going to be helpful for me as well.

My second and third tabs are YouTube related. Currently I’m focusing so hard on just making it through the end of December without additional, manufactured obligations that I’m not considering YouTube a priority. I’m hoping to get back on some kind of track in the new year, but honestly, I may not do that, either. But there are tabs to track both video titles of existing videos (which I need to update), as well as ideas for future videos.

Finally my fourth tab is for tracking words written. I have all 365 days laid out and the spreadsheet will calculate total words for the week, the percentage of change between one week and the next, the expected word count goal for that 1,000,000 word challenge (which I may hide), and how many words I should write to keep on track with that goal (which I may also hide). It’s pretty intense, actually.

The fifth tab also relates to words, and it’s a summary of the weekly words written for the year. It also shows the percentage of change from one week to the next, and color codes the best days down to the worst in terms of words written. That tab was a lot of fun when I was writing regularly. Now that I’m not, I’m not sure I’ll want to look over there, but it’s set up anyway.

There’s another tab, the sixth, for monthly totals of word count along with a pie chart to remind me about that 1,000,000 word goal. I’m leaving it in because it’s easier to do that rather than to put it back in later.

My final tab, for now, is the one tab I’ve been carting around since I started this tracking, and that’s my Title Tank. I keep a list of book titles I love with the intent to write them someday. I’ve tried once or twice, but it’s never paid off. So it’s probably just a list of books I’ll never write. Oh well. I still love them.

And that’s all the planning I’ve been able to manage lately! I may talk about doing a Yearly Review in the coming days, because that’s something I’ve always liked the idea of but haven’t ever managed. I did keep a pretty regular date book this year, though, so I may flip through those and gather the highs and lows. To see where maybe I’d like to improve, where I need to cut myself some slack, and what I want to make sure happens this next year is a good thing — but only if it comes without the ridiculous amount of pressure I tend to put on myself when I make lists like that. Baby steps, you know?


Advent 2020

I’ve always wanted to do more for Advent than I usually do, which you might find strange for an atheist. But my parents are retired ministers, we’ve generally been at least the Easter/Christmas crowd before then, and so Advent is a thing.

I miss the Advent hymns at church the most. Or perhaps it would be more honest to say I only miss the Advent hymns. I guess I kind of miss some of the other hymns, especially when you’ve got an organist that plays at a decent pace instead of a dirge. But when Christmas rolls around and I get morose (because that tends to happen to me around the holidays because of stress, I think), it’s because I never made time to get to the Advent services at the local church denomination when I grew up in.

Of course, this year church is not an option, and that actually relieves a bit of the guilt of not having made it to services. I have options, as I’m certain there are oodles upon oodles of Advent hymns on YouTube available for listening. Some churches will be doing online services, and I could make an effort to catch some of those. But I digress.

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for Advent (aside from attending church services to get my hymn fix) is to write a series of short stories, or perhaps even novellas, for Advent. In the style of the A-Z Blog challenge, my initial intent was to write A to Z titles around holiday themes. I even had a list at one point for topics, or maybe titles. I was going to have them ready to be gifts, and I really wanted to find a way to deliver them each gift wrapped individually. The idea was that each book would be opened on the correct day, and you’d have a story or book to read each day of Advent.

That hasn’t happened yet, and may not happen at all as I’ve explained it so far. We’ll see how far I get in future years when I have the mental and emotional energy to write again.

But something I had never thought to try before this year that I have managed to pull off was to create an Advent calendar type of gift series for the kids. I got the idea when watching someone do an unboxing of a high-end cosmetic Advent calendar. I liked that it wasn’t just 24 days of the same thing, but a variety of samples of the brand’s cosmetics and perfumes. So I went to Amazon to see if they had stuff like that, but of course when you look for that kind of thing you end up with 24 (or if you’re unlucky, 12) of the same theme. Twenty-four lego toys, or 12 different Minecraft minis, or 24 stickers, that kind of thing.

So I quickly stopped searching on Amazon. I ended up buying at a variety of different stores snacks, small toys, fidgety things, and a couple inexpensive gifts. I got a couple different gift bags I can write on, and a variety of tissue so I can change things up every week or so.

Thus far, it’s been a hit. A package of movie theater candy one day, a $5 bill the next, then a different kind of candy, maybe a chocolate covered marshmallow Santa, a fidgety Rubik’s cube kind of thing, and so on. Other ideas that didn’t quite make it were mini notebooks (I couldn’t find them in time), actual books, and gag gifts.

I even wrote out a calendar so I know what goes in each day, so I always have a good variety from day to day. And on Christmas Eve, because both kids have always wanted to open a gift before Christmas (we usually do all our gift exchanges on Christmas morning/day), I have an actual gift to wrap so they can get that achievement ticked off their life list.

I’m pleased with myself for all I’ve managed to pull together for this month. With the help of my husband and eldest child, we have lights and two small (nearly) cat-friendly trees in the living room. I’ve got our Christmas shopping done, and I’m just waiting on a couple of gifts that will arrive in the next couple of days. I plan to wrap next weekend (I had thought to do it today, but I only want to do it once, so I’ll wait until everything arrives).

I’m stringing as much holiday joy as I can out of this otherwise craptacular year.

And, as difficult as this is for someone who loves streaks, it’s all thanks to giving up on NaNoWriMo.

Yep. I’ve won every year since 2003, and this year it became very, very clear that I was putting myself through an incredible amount of stress and emotional suffering to get something written during November. I’ve known that this is a thing for some time, actually. NaNo stopped being fun for me my last year as Municipal Liaison several years ago, and when I made the difficult decision to step down, it was because it was too stressful to run on my own. I thought just giving that up would help, but it didn’t. It kind of got worse, with added guilt for wanting desperately to give up on an event that had previously brought me so much joy.

It’s been a rough year, but in spite of that, this is the most prepared I’ve been for the holidays yet. And even though I usually pull through November with a good in-process story to finish up by the new year, I’m so grateful I put the streak aside and just focused on myself and my family. The intent is to hopefully keep up that particular streak so that when next year’s shenanigans roll around, I’m more prepared to deal with them than I was this year’s.