Gonna try something a little different, folks. I usually approach these as a comprehensive walkthrough of the previous month, but to be honest, it’s exhausting trying to remember all the tiny details.
So this time, we’re going off the top of the ol’ noggin. If you and me sat down over coffee and said, “So, how are you?” this is what I’d say.
Florida keeps changing and it’s making me insane.
The second part is a slight exaggeration, but the first part is 100% true.
We signed up for this adventure in January, aimed to leave for August 1, listened to wisdom and bumped to November 1, then Lino’s visa paperwork got accepted last week (way faster than we thought—woo!) and now, because of the way we filed, we’re here until question marks. Could be before Thanksgiving; could be after New Year’s. We just. don’t. know. *retching sounds of a control freak trying to get a hold of herself*
And while we’re happy that we’re not rushing around in a panic to sell/pack/move stuff and that we do get to say our goodbyes (unlike some of our fellow adventurers), it’s hard being left behind. Every delay, every change of plans, there’s another twinge of doubt about whether or not we’re actually supposed to go. I don’t want to live in the meantime.
But it’s not up to me. I meant it when I said that even if we are driving away in the moving van and that’s when God says to stop, we’re not going, then I’m okay with it. I might be angry and broken down for a while, but in the end, I know that I’ll be grateful for the process once I get to the other side of disappointment. I always am.
I am not grateful, however, to be staring down the barrel of another Canadian winter. Why, Lord?
American immigration is complicated.
Having gone through the Canadian system for myself and the citizenship-claiming process for Mack this year, I can confidently say that the US process is the most arcane of the three. There are so many grey areas and straight-up contradictory statements in the documentation that’s supposed to help you. I’ve shed more tears over this application than I have over Artax in the Swamp of Sadness.
There’s a reason for it, though. Every single family that’s going to the States has ended up taking a different route to residency—that’s not a coincidence. Neither is the fact that literally every adult on the team is now an immigrant, whether US–>CA or vice versa (or both). It’s become evident that God is using this process to tenderize our hearts with compassion for the people we’ll meet in Florida. While our exact situations may not be the same, we’ll get it in a way that a lot of other folks won’t.
Legal and political stances aside, I just keep thinking about someone’s 80-year-old abuela who needs cancer treatment trying to figure out all this crap. No wonder people sneak in. Desperation is a powerful motivator.
I signed back up at the gym!
I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER, YOU GUYS. There’s still a little stiffness and physical crabbiness going on, but like 90% less. I’m so glad I listened to my body telling me to move and didn’t get (too) caught up in guilt for spending money when things are so tight.
I also discovered that despite not working out for four months and being super not attentive to my eating, I barely gained any weight AND after only three weeks back at it, I’m nearly back to my previous lifts. *flexes mightily*
I confess that I’m in a bit of a transition phase, though. When I originally signed on, my goal was to shed extra weight. That’s almost taboo to say that these days, but it’s true. I felt sluggish and uncomfortable in my body, and between working out and changing how I ate, the weight came off. But then my surgery happened. Going back now, I have to change my goals—trying to lose weight would be dipping back into the pool of dysfunction. So for now, I’m gently shifting my focus to endurance (run a mile without stopping) and strength (move from machines to deadlifts). It sounds small, but it’s huge for me as someone who’s struggled with body dysmorphia, anorexia, and bulemia for the better part of twenty years.
Gonna get swole.
Is that still what we say? Swole?
I already knew this but had forgotten, and now God is using this lean financial time to remind me: Need expands to your resources. While we’re living on 30% of what we had this time last year (or four months ago), somehow, there’s always enough. I do our books, and I do not understand how we’re not defaulting, bouncing, and overdrafting constantly. We just…aren’t. There’s always enough. It truly is miraculous. It’s also made us pissed at ourselves that we’re still drowning in debt after living so high for so many years and somehow barely making it. Shameful.
Even if we don’t end up in Florida and the only thing God is doing with this whole thing is teaching us to steward our finances better, then so be it.
Freelance work is stretching me, and I want more.
That being said, I am still looking for new, cool people to work with. My best work is done when I’m helping other writers accomplish their book-creating goals, and I’m dying to grow this wing of my business.
If you (or anyone you know) wants a battle buddy for a creative project, please do drop me a line, m’kay?
I’ve also been working with Rebilly as a Real Copywriter, which is so far out of my comfort zone that it seems to have looped all the way around to become doable. I’m deeply grateful my handler/boss gave me a chance despite my utter newbieness and for all their grace, patience, and teaching. It’s giving me new skills with which to build both the Kingdom and my family’s foundation for the future. Bless.
Forgotten Relics is on my mind.
(If you have no idea what Forgotten Relics is, don't feel bad. Short version: I used to write urban fantasy novels, and I quit just before getting pregnant and haven't been able to finish the last book of the series since. I promise to write about this someday.)
I re-read Mirror of Ashes last month, and you know, guys, that book is actually pretty good. I know writers aren’t supposed to say that about their own work, but it just IS. When it came out, a reader told me it’s the best book I’ve ever written—I didn’t believe them until last week. I wrote it at the height of my career, when I was the most engaged and fluid with my work than ever before, but I was also totally burnt out from the sheer pace I’d been operating at for three years. I didn’t want to quit; I had to quit. It was eating my soul alive. I shudder to think how wretched I’d be now if I hadn’t stopped when I did, especially given how much internal work I had to do to prepare for parenthood shortly after.
But Cora and Jack and Sofi and Manny are still with me. Even Wex and Samir and Eris. The world lives on. And I’ve carried this burden of needing to tell the rest of the story and finally closing that door with honor for the past four years.
And yet, something’s in the way besides the obvious barriers of time, energy, and braincycles natural to the SAHM with a toddler. A staticky heaviness that materializes any time I open the Apple of Chaos notebook or scratch out a paragraph in the file. Anxiety of some kind. I don’t know if it’s a warning (“it’s not time yet”) or a challenge (“rise above”), but I’m still pushing, still testing, still wanting. We shall see.
Miscellaneous: Not everything is a neat sentence.
- I am feeling Fall this year. Usually, it makes me sad—my heart is a heart of spring—but there’s a loveliness in the air this go-round that’s got me smiling and thinking all things are possible. You, too?
- Did you see the massive bag of flour I bought? I’ve been baking all our bread, plus being the dessert person for any dinners we have/go to, and I was going through those normal-human-sized bags every other week. This was quadruple the amount for half the price. I think this officially makes me a Real Baker? Anyone need a cake?
- I can’t with this Murakami book. I heard “The Second Bakery Attack” a while back, then got the collection as a gift, but for whatever reason, his “wild, imaginative genius” is not clicking for me. What am I missing?!
- I do not PSL. Just in case you were wondering.
That’s it for me! Now it’s your turn.