End of the Year Hustle

The family got through mom’s possessions.  We got them divided up, organized and sent off to the appropriate sibling or charity.  This includes the difficult task of dividing up her jewelry.  Saturday was a very long and emotional day.

Now I’m working on gifts and projects.  I had five student worker gifts to make – can’t say what at this point.  Since Sunday I’ve gotten four of them done.  I’m hoping to make the last one tonight.  I’ll take pictures of them as they are new patterns and then ask my husband to please wrap them. 

This is the rest of my immediate needs for crocheting:

  • 3 baby bibs – moved up because the publication changed the date for the issue they’re going in
  • gift for my daughter’s boyfriend – again can’t say
  • blanket for the woman who organized my blog post
  • slipper socks for my niece
  • scarf and hat set for a client
I think these are the immediate needs.  I am still working on a blanket for my niece which I may submit to the publication – I may be too late for the issue.  I have to check since they rearranged dates of issues.
I’m hoping to get all of these done within the two weeks.  After I get these done, I’m going to think about making things for the markets I’m hoping to participate in.  However, I have a lot of writing things to get done as well.  
I’m sure I’m going to be bouncing back and forth between tasks.  It’s all a balancing act for me to keep moving forward in both of these areas.  
I’ve been feeling too scattered so I wrote up a to do list for my writing.  I need to break down some of the tasks into pieces so I can check them off but I’m hoping with the list, I’ll be able to focus a little better and spend less time bouncing around and more time accomplishing things.  
Work is winding down for the end of the semester so this means I can think about more things.  I’ve also got a long eleven days off over the holidays.  I’m looking forward to this as I’ll actually have about three days in the house alone.  I’m hoping those will be productive days for writing.  On the days where I’m sharing the house with other people I’ll work on things like posting patterns on Ravelry or marketing as that is easier to be interrupted than writing.  
I’m also hoping to start going through some of the photo albums of my mothers.  This is going to be a task as there are dozens of them if not hundreds.  Without a doubt there are thousands of pictures to look through, determine if they are good enough to scan, and pick the ones the family will be interested in.  My mother was a prolific photographer who snapped shots of everything.  Collectively, we’ve already decided we can’t keep them all and there isn’t time to scan them all.  Still it’s a big job and will take time.  I’m hoping to take a few hours on one of my days off and work through a number of them.  
After I get done with the pictures, the next thing will be the slides.  This is going to be time consuming as well.  Both my parents took a lot of pictures.  This means I’ve got lots of slides to go through from the beginning of their marriage to about the 70s (I think).  This will be slow going as well.  
All of this should keep me very busy through the end of the year.  I’m hoping to rest a bit during my eleven days off and come back to my day job a little less stressed.  I’m also hoping to get quite a bit of work done while I’m off. 

Life and Other Complications

Saturday I’ll be at the University Wisconsin Whitewater vendor sale from 10 – 3 signing and selling my books and some crocheting.  I’m concerned because the reader event I went to at the beginning of the month was a bust financially so I’m hoping this event is better. 

I’ve almost got all of my mom’s stuff divided up.  A few more days for people to look at the pictures and then I’ll print.  Next Saturday there will be a physical dividing of things. 

Mom had a lot of jewelry so I’m working on that next.  If I can get it all organized, I’ll be handing those things over next weekend.  But it’s a lot of going through and figuring out so I’ll have to see  how things go. 

A friend contacted me last night to ask about a book contract she was offered.  It wasn’t a bad deal but in reading the fine print I suggested she contact a lawyer to have it clarified.  Some of the terms were not the best. 

My author I’ve been helping has updates she wants me to make.  I’m hoping Sunday but I’ll have to see.  I need to finish the slippers I’m working on so those may have to take priority.  I have one and a half socks for the paid ones.  I have one pair to finish for the requested (from my niece).  There’s one more paid project to work on so I’ll have to see how my time goes.

At some point, I need to get mom’s paperwork all together and organized.  I’ve got it in piles so I need to organize those piles.  Then it’s a matter of hanging on to some of it for a year and then discarding.  Some of it will have to be kept for longer. 

There are times I feel like I’m drowning in tasks.  My day job has been super busy and life has been the same.  This leads to a lot of stress for me.  I’m hoping for the holiday break to clear up a number of things. 

Christmas is always hard for me and this year it is more difficult.  I find myself teary and emotional – defaulting on irritable because it’s easier to cope with.  I know this is grief but part of me is very impatient with myself because I have so much going on right now I don’t have time to fall apart.  I’m coping.  I’m tackling one thing at a time – though I have my moments.  I know it will all get done and I know people will understand if it takes longer.  Most of my deadlines are for me – I’ve already put off editing / publishing a book because of all the chaos in my life.  It’s a matter of giving myself time and reminding myself to take a step back when I need to. 

I know when I accomplish a task it helps ease my stress.  Right now I’ve got photo albums galore in my office.  My task – scan all the good ones and distribute to the family.  The problem – the clutter is driving me crazy.  It’s a constant reminder of all the tasks not done yet.  But if I get mom’s stuff and jewelry organized, I’ll have time to work on the next step – the photos.  Behind the photos I’ve got thousands of slides which are going to need converting to digital.  I know this next year is going to be busy – very busy.  One thing at a time and checking things off my to do list.


Last month I was neck deep in helping a non-fiction author get her stuff published, getting Wayfarer Resolve published and a variety of other tasks when my mother started a health crisis. 
Sadly my mother passed away 10/12/2018.  This led to a ton of tasks when I was not at my best.  Writing got set aside.  I don’t easily or lightly set aside writing because it balances and grounds me. 
Here I am a month later saying where did October and most of November go?  I know I went to my day job and worked through arranging the funeral, clearing out her apartment, and well you get the idea. 
I attended a book signing (my first) the first weekend in November.  The tasks associated with my mother’s death and estate are wrapping up but I’m left feeling unsettled, sad, and crabby.  I’m all for finding a nice recliner and curling up in a cave somewhere no one can bug me.  Reality is that isn’t going to happen. 
Writing is my sanity.  But I’ve not had time for writing.  This is never good.  I’ve got a manuscript in my bag and I started edits on it.  I’ve read on my phone using my kindle app to highlight grammatical errors I find as I read familiar friends (i.e. my published books). 

Over the last month, I’ve found little writing things to keep me sane.  This has helped with my grief and my stress.  I may not be able to climb into my comfy recliner in the luxury cave (yup totally have it designed with high speed internet and a large hot tub), but I am able to pick up writing tasks to ground me while I work through my grief.
Last weekend with other family members, we went through my sister’s house where mom lived prior to her health issues.  We sorted, took pictures, and discarded all of her things.  My niece struggled with memories and grief.  I shoved it all away, keeping the feelings squashed to get through the task at hand.  However, when I got to a box of stuff from her office, I discovered a stack of correspondence.  Some was letters from my sister who lives a few hours away.  The rest were all the cards her grandchildren had sent her.  She kept them all because the meant something to her.  
This simple thing – nothing worth keeping – cards with short little blurbs from family.  Yet I knew if mom were in the room, she would have said these were her most precious possessions.  This broke my reserve and brought tears to my eyes.  There was no point in keeping them but they spoke to me.
There are a few more tasks to work through, scanning pictures, figuring out slides, and so on.  Once we distribute her things among the family, her estate will be done for the most part.  The funeral and all the work will be behind us.  A part of me doesn’t want to let go of these last few tasks but I know like all the other times it’s difficult to let go – it’s time to let go.