Instagram Hiatus

I deactivated my Instagram over a week ago. I haven’t missed it since.

On Instagram, deactivating is not the same as deleting. Deleting gets rid of the account entirely; deactivating simply hides it and any likes and comments you’ve made. Once you log in again, everything reappears as if you never left.

I love taking hiatuses from social media. I took a Twitter hiatus last week. I went back on this weekend, though I haven’t been on that much as of late.

But Instagram stresses me out in a way that no other social media site does—except Facebook. Granted, Instagram isn’t quite as bad, but there’s still that whole “show every perfect moment of my life to demonstrate how I’m doing it all, all the time” aspect to Instagram. I don’t want to single anyone out, but a friend of mine posted a picture of her feet with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It was a nice photo and got a ton of likes and comments. But the whole time I looked at it, I kept thinking of how miserable she actually is because she’s on a career path her parents forced on her and she works twelve hours a day, if not more, and is generally unhappy with her life.

I’m just rambling now. My point is social media posturing makes me stressed. I’ll probably be back on Instagram at some point… but I’m so enjoying my absence I think I’ll stay off another week, at least.

P.S. I wrote this whole post on my phone! I hope there aren’t any typos.

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Even The Best Intentions…

…are sometimes thwarted. I had planned to blog every day this month, but that’s not happening now since I missed all of last week!

I’d planned on using the WordPress app on my phone to blog during some downtime at work (it was during lunch, I promise!) but then the cell service was out. AT&T, a company that must be rolling in money from all the customers paying for cell phones plans, landline service, internet, TV, and so on, can’t manage to keep its network reliably up. This is the second major outage we’ve had in 2018. I am not regretting buying an unlocked cell phone at all because if AT&T doesn’t get their act together, I can leave.

Also, another intention I had that was thwarted was knitting. This was a long weekend—today’s a bank holiday and I work in a bank, so most of us were able to take a paid holiday—and I’d planned to knit. But nope, that hasn’t happened. All I’ve done is clean, organize, buy food, cook food, pay bills, go over my budget spreadsheet, and do a ton of other things I didn’t really want to do but had to do. As a result: no knitting. Not a single bit on any of the three projects I’m working on.

I really hope I have time to knit later tonight. I think I’ve finished up everything. Knowing my luck, something else will come up, though…

A Vow

I have a vow: I want to blog every day this month, even if it’s just a short little post without much to say. So here we go for the first day. Since October is here, I found a nice picture of some autumn leaves to share.

From here

Summer 2018 Writing Report

Apparently, I have been so remiss in posting my writing reports that the last one was in April of this year! That’s crazy! I knew I’d missed posting June and July and obviously August just ended, so that one isn’t up, either, but I thought I’d done May.

Therefore, I decided to do a massive writing report for the four months of May, June, July, and August. September will (hopefully) be by itself, assuming I remember to post it!

May

May was… not the best month for writing—in my defense, I did take a vacation! Vacation is an excellent excuse not to write. I was editing that month, too, which brings down the total words produced. Vomiting words onto the page for a first draft and editing those words are two completely different stages of writing. It’s way easier to get high word counts with the former than the latter. Anyway, I wrote a total of only 1,683 words that month. That’s an average of 54 per day. I only wrote on ten days during the month, though, so it makes sense my word count would be lower.

June

June wasn’t much better, at least according to the writing log. I wrote a total of 3,877 words that month, which is an average of 129 per day. However, I was outlining a future novel with pen and paper, so those words did not get counted in the log. Counting words by hand is very tedious! Including those days I was outlining, I wrote on sixteen days during the month, which isn’t too bad.

July

July was a bit better. I wrote 6,243 words total, which makes for an average of 201 words per day. I also did some outlining that didn’t make it into the log. I went back to editing that month (in June, when I realized the structure of my novel wasn’t working, I took a temporary break from editing because I was so overwhelmed—I really, really, really wish they took the time to teach proper editing in school, as that would be a useful skill to have been taught). Including the days I outlined, I wrote on sixteen days, just like in June.

August

August was a very good month. In fact, it was the best I’ve had in a while, writing-wise. I wrote a total of 18,337 words, which is an average of 591 per day. Not too bad, if I don’t say so myself! And how did I accomplish this? I started writing every day. Since August 12, I have written every day. I wrote for twenty-seven days in August.

I was so tired of not writing and not having the motivation to write, so I vowed I would start doing it again every day. My only two rules are: 1) I have to work on something every day and produce at least 500 new words, and 2) I have to finish what I start. I was having trouble editing my novel, so I wrote some short stories instead, which was fun. Now I’m back to editing the novel. I may take another break, if necessary—but I’ll be working on short stories if I decide to pause my editing again.

And I just realized that I’ve only written about 300 words today, so I need to go write 200 more so I don’t break my streak!

A Very Knitty Day

I had an excellent day today, dear readers. I spent nearly the whole day knitting. When I wasn’t knitting, I was cleaning (no fun!), walking outside (definitely fun), and trying a new recipe (it tastes great, so that was fun too). All in all, it was a supremely satisfying day. I’m actually considering just not going online that much anymore and redirecting that time towards knitting. Doing crafts is a lot more fun than seeing tweets pop up in my Twitter timeline about the latest inane controversy, or seeing people post photos on Instagram of how amazing their lives are, even when I know that behind the Instagram facade, they’re miserable.

What is not so excellent is my neglect of this blog… I meant to write some posts but didn’t. At least I’m on a big fiction writing streak right now. I have written at least five hundred words every day since August 12. It may not seem like much, but all that consistency adds up. I’ve written two short stories since then! They’re both science fiction and set in the same universe. One of them leaves off on a huge cliffhanger, so I need to write the sequel soon. I have no idea what’s going to happen, so I’m in suspense, too. Sometimes my characters really surprise me.

Unmotivated & Demoralized

I have something to confess to you, dear readers. Going to work has been a real struggle recently.

It’s going to sound like I’m dwelling and obsessing, which probably is true, but I have felt so, so, so unmotivated ever since a very undeserving person received a promotion back in April. Seriously, just getting up in time to get to work has been such a struggle. I mean, why rush if she barely shows up and gets promoted anyway, right?

It’s also frustrating because I’m getting a bit bored with my position. I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve got things down. I’ve improved so, so much since starting at this job. I’m ready for the next level. I’m also not expecting it to happen. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s just so… frustrating.

Remember the undeserving person in question who managed to get that promotion? (I don’t know if I’ve ever said this, but she started at the company around the same time I did and until the promotion this April, we were at the same level.) Guess how much she worked last week, the week of July 23? Have a number in your head? Maybe you’re thinking 5 days, like a normal work week?

Well, dear reader, you would be wrong. She worked a grand total of 1.5 days. Yes, you read that right. One-and-a-half days. Yet she gets promoted to the next level up. If I don’t deserve a promotion, she definitely doesn’t.

Okay, rant over. I promise we’ll return to regularly scheduled programming concerning books I’ve read, writing projects I’m working on, and random fun things from my life next time I write a blog post. I just had to vent about this and get it off my chest.

(Unless you like reading about work drama. If you like posts like this, I can definitely oblige and give you more. Believe me, there’s more where it came from… 😉 )

Happy July!

Can you believe it’s July already? The year is half over now!

Anyway, I have some excellent news. Remember that graduate program I was talking about? Well, I got in! And I got a fellowship! Now I need to pay a deposit to reserve my place because I’ve decided I’m going to go for it. Next year at this time, I’ll probably be questioning my judgment since I’ll have to balance working and studying. 🙂 But I have my fingers crossed that some of the accounting concepts will be a bit easier this time around since I’ve done a lot of accounting at work in the last four years.

What else is new? Well, I’m scaling back on social media use this month so that I can get some work done on a fun novel I’ve outlined. It’s urban fantasy and it takes place in Moscow. And there are vampires. I’ve been looking forward to doing this idea for a while now, so it should hopefully be fun to write.

The Purple Cactus

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but I kept forgetting. While browsing on Twitter last month, I spotted this incredible photo posted by an author I’ve followed for a while.

I love this thing so much.

Yes, my friends, that is a purple cactus. I love cacti and I love the color purple (though not as much as my friend Ruth!), so I am really thrilled by this plant. Some brief internet research reveals that it’s a purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra, for the more botanically-minded out there), I think. Whatever it is, I think it’s great. I want one outside my house. Alas, I don’t live in the southwest, which is why I need to make a move to the southwest happen. Anyone want to hire a hardworking finance/accounting person out in Arizona? (Not even joking here, you guys! 🙂 The purple cactus is but one reason I need to move out west.)

Aaaaand… I Passed!

No doubt you’ve noticed I’ve made myself scarce around here this past week. That’s for several reasons, dear readers, all of which contributed to make me very, very busy. I had twelve hours of training on Monday and Tuesday, two phone interviews (one was for the grad school application I submitted last week—fingers crossed I get in and get a fellowship), and a professional certification exam.

There wasn’t much I could do about the interviews—I prepared as best I could, but interviews can vary so much depending on how you’re feeling, how the other person is feeling, how well your personalities mesh (or not), and so on. There’s only so much you can prepare for when it comes to interviews.

The certification exam was the major thing I was worrying about because whether I passed was within my control. I’d been studying off and on for a few months now before I finally decided to schedule a test date about two weeks ago. I studied every day after scheduling it, but I wasn’t sure that was enough.

Apparently, it was, because I passed! I can’t tell you how relieved I am. Things were dicey for a little while in the exam room—some of those questions were tough and I was afraid I was failing.

I pulled it off, though. I’ve had a glorious weekend free of any studying and I’m looking to turning my exam prep books back in tomorrow (our department at work lends them out).

Application Submitted! ✅

Yesterday, I finally submitted my graduate school application.

Yes, dear readers, it’s true. I’m applying to do another graduate program. I think it’s a good program and it’ll help me with career opportunities in the future, but I’m a little apprehensive about the whole thing. I wasn’t crazy about graduate school the first time around—I found the whole thing to be really, really stressful. That program had two years’ worth of credits smashed into a one-year curriculum (two full semesters plus a two-week summer intensive semester) and boy, was it tough to get through. I didn’t know anything about business, accounting, or finance, so I always felt like I was scrambling to keep up with my schoolwork. Plus, we were job searching throughout the program and my class didn’t fare well on the job market. (Fun fact: they removed us from the program employment statistics displayed on the website. It was that bad!) I received a grand total of one job offer at the last minute (literally two weeks prior to graduation) and all in all, the program was just really stressful.

I do have some things going for me this time around, namely actual work experience and knowledge of finance and accounting. I’m a bit worried about balancing work and school (I intend to continue to work full time during the program), but hopefully I’ll be able to manage the material better this time around. Not to brag, but I could probably teach one of the required classes, Auditing and Attestation. My life at work for the past few years has been full of auditing and attestation. I audit and attest so much that I can do it in my sleep and could probably teach other people to do it.

Of course, all this musing is theoretical at this point, as I haven’t been admitted yet. If I’m not accepted into the program, all this musing is pointless and I’ll have to enact another, as-yet-undetermined plan. 🙂