Grace, Happiness, and Zombies


Reading time: about 5 min.

There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line

“Closer to Fine,” Indigo Girls_

I purposefully didn’t write a post a month ago. I had reasons, primarily that I wanted it to be, more or less, a regular day. And it was and it was nice.

It’s been five years and I am, random wobbles excluded, stable. I’m about as better as I’m going to be. My spleen is no longer enlarged, the collateral veins I needed in my abdomen seem to be all grown in, as I’ve only had two or three paracenteses this year.

I’m extraordinarily grateful for this state of being and I would like it to continue for as long as possible. I feel like I’ve received a little bit of grace, and it’s nice to feel secure in my body (more or less) again. I’m never going to be the person I was five years ago and I feel like I’ve come to an awkward state of peace about it.

And–and–I am off all my blood thinners! I got a new hematologist and she didn’t understand why I was still on them because at this point the damaged veins would be scar tissue. And no blood thinner means: I can get a tattoo or three. Not like I haven’t been plotting for the last 30 years on the subject.

Also, in even better news, my psychiatrist put me back on Wellbutrin as he determined that since I’d only had a “seizure event” and I do not have a seizure disorder, that it should be safe. It’s been three months since I restarted it and–the difference is night and day. About six weeks in, I could literally feel is starting to work: better ability to focus and stay on task and a significant improvement in my mood and daytime anxiety levels.

Unfortunately, I’m still not sleeping well, which is a combination of not enough physical activity (I have a prescription for PT that I need to get sorted) and too many daytime naps, so that’s something I’m still working on.

But overall, things are pretty good in the health department and I’m hoping they stay that way.


I’ve been trying to keep a minimal number of pens inked these days and, um, ten pens is reasonable, right? This is what I’ve got going:

How I use my pens is that I pick one pen for monthly time tracking for work (Eco-T Demonstrator), and then two different pens for each week–this week I’m going with the two browns, since I just inked them, so the Franklin Christoph and the yellow Lamy (thank you not-my-sister-Caryn for the latter). One of them is used for headers and the other for daily tasks. I lay out each week across two pages, including any meetings or medical appointments. The left page is for a weekly overview and team meeting notes, the right is for daily tasks. This is to ensure I don’t give myself an endless list of things to do, which I would without constraints.

Oh, and I have a Ferris Wheel Press Carousel inked with their Peter Moss ink, but I can’t really recommend the pen: It’s a $30 injection molded plastic pen and while the nib is nice, at that price point I expected a bit more finishing. The ink is good, but I would definitely buy samples of their inks–from someone other than Ferris Wheel Press–before investing in a full bottle. I use it in my Medical Shit planner and it works well enough.

And it’s August, heading into September and a girl’s thought’s turn to next year’s planner. Obviously, I’m keeping the same format for Medical Shit and for Work Shit, but my undated Traveler’s Notebook did not work out. I need a dated Monday through Sunday planner and…I guess I’m going back to the official notebooks for that. I’ve been using a Mac/iOS only app called Tot to capture things I need to do (and to hold all the official Habitica colors and my notes on git commands) and to keep track of the current clothes cleanout project.

Last week was my rest week at work and I took 22 bags of clothing to three different Goodwills. The bags dated back to 6 years ago, so to before I got sick. They comprised size changes, shape changes, style changes, and crap I bought on Amazon when I was miserable at OldJob and needed a shot of dopamine to keep going. I was also able to score a small four drawer dresser for next to my bed.

I still need to go through the clothes in my drawers and the closet and there is a method to my madness: I want to try to do #project333 because I know I have more clothes than I need and I need to get a better handle on what I have versus what I actually wear and that perhaps the lessons I learn there will help me to be more mindful of other kinds of consumption.

But planners. I’m really annoyed with myself that my experiment with an undated planner didn’t work; I feel as if I’ve wasted money on it. But now I know I need pre-printed dates–and I like the TN format because I can fit it in my purse. But I am mightily tempted by this and the matching purse. Maybe I’ll get back on the Hobonichi train. I don’t know. I’ve got a few months to think about it.


Been reading a fair bit. I just read all nine of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series specifically to see it Peter becomes less of a prat (not really). I’m also working on the new Kat Howard, A Sleight of Shadows because hi, it’s a new Kat Howard book. And after that, I’m going to reread Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison’s The Doctrine of Labyrinths quartet because they’re finally out in ebook! (I own the hardbacks, but I am not a fan of reading fiction in hardback.)

And I’ve been reading this fascinating book of moral philosophy and nature by Melanie Challenger, How to Be Animal: A New History of What it Means to Be Human. I think it was literally just remaindered because between the time i put the paperback into my cart and the time I went to check out, it was no longer available as a new paperback but was available used with a like-new quality with only a remainder mark, no signs of it being read at all. Anyhow, I’m finding it really challenging and interesting and you might, too.


As for the zombies? My spouse accumulated $500 in Amazon gift cards because he never buys himself anything so he decided to buy a PS5 with them. And therefore, I’ve been able to play Diablo 4 and crush all the zombies and skeletons and other various monsters coming my way because the necromancer class is way OP. It’s a great stress reliever, me and my army of skeletons. Explode Corpse is the best skill ever and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

P is playing Mass Effect through for the third time so I do nothing but give him shit about his decisions, like the 1985 Avon Pink lipstick he gave his Shep. That’s my job, right?


So, despite some ongoing challenges I don’t feel like talking about, this has been a pretty darn good few months and I think the feeling I’m having most days is happiness and/or contentment? It’s hard to tell, honestly. I’m so used to naming and working through my negative emotions and now I have to do the same with the happy ones? Sheesh.

One thing I can say is this: I am so glad that I got out of OldJob. I’m not happy with how things ended–I’d rather that had been on my terms and with consequences for OldBoss–but if she hadn’t pushed me, I would never have left. I am very much at peace (mostly) when it comes to what happened there. I can’t change it, all I can do is move forward and I think I’ve done a pretty good job.