Identity Theft and YOU! (Well, me, actually…)

Every month and a half or so, I assume the identity of someone I’m not and sign a signature that isn’t mine. Which, here in Canada, makes me guilty of the criminal offences of “fraudulently personating another person” and forgery.

Phew! I’m glad I got that off my chest.

In my defence, it’s all because of a silly mixup. And if ever I were taken to task for it, I would hope that any judge would be completely understanding of my plight and the motivation behind it (but just in case, please don’t turn me in!)

Here’s how it came about…

Every six weeks, my daughter requires a delivery of medical supplies. When hubby first set up our account with the medical supply company, he listed my daughter’s name (since they’re her supplies) and his name (since she’s a minor and an adult’s authorization was required and he was the one typing in the info).

So far so good.

Now comes the tricky part.

When the supplies are delivered to our door within 1 to 3 business days by our friendly neighbourhood Canada Post mail carrier, a signature is required. My daughter, who is always at school when the supplies arrive, and is, as previously noted, a minor, is therefore neither present nor eligible to sign for their safe receipt. And while hubby is over the age of majority by several decades (sorry, hon) and therefore eligible to sign, he’s always at work during the day when the supplies arrive, rendering him unavailable.

That’s where I come in (yes, she of works-from-home-and-is-always-here-but-is-not-one-of-the-names-on-the-account renoun).

The first time the supplies arrived and the carrier said, “Delivery for Luc or Vivianne M.)” I didn’t even hesitate. I signed my daughter’s name. Whether this indicates quick thinking or criminal tendencies is up for debate. But because I didn’t change my name when hubby and I got married (again: sorry, hon), I didn’t want to complicate things by using my own name and risk not being allowed to take the supplies.

This went on for several months with no issues. And since it was always the same carrier, we kind of got to know each other. We’d talk about the weather, he’d tell me about his weekend plans, I’d forge my daughter’s signature and he’d hand over the goods with a chipper, “Thanks, Vivianne! Have a great day!”

But then it happened: I screwed up. I must have been distracted, pulled away from some critical task like avoiding writing my novel or descaling my coffee maker. In any case, there it was in black and white (well, grey-tone, actually; it’s a digital signature on a tiny handheld device): my actual name, “Jen Y.”

The carrier looked at it, looked at me, looked back at the screen.

Thinking I was finally caught out, I was quick to explain why I was signing for a package that wasn’t addressed to me, stammering, “Vivanne is my daughter…”

He studied my face again. Then his eyes widened and he smiled.

“Wow!” he replied in disbelief. “Do you two ever look alike!”

I could have corrected him then and there, and in retrospect I should have. But sometimes situations get to the point where they’re just too embarrassing to even address. It’s simply easier to play along.

So to our friendly neighbourhood Canada Post mail carrier, I’m still Vivianne most days (apparently she’s home more often than Jen). To the point where he even asks me to “sign for your mom” when he delivers her (I mean “my”) Nespresso capsules for my (I mean “her”) pristine coffee maker.

I never meant to live a life of crime. But I’m in so deep I can’t get out now. And I’m pretty sure that “Well, Your Honour, I was too embarrassed to stop” is not a valid legal defence for my actions.

So if ever the authorities catch, convict and lock me away, just be sure to tell my husband and my mom (I mean “my daughter”) that I did it all for them.

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Nothing to Worry About

“I’m afraid I’m not good at things,” she says.

She’s 10. That’s normal, right? To be 10 and worried about not being good at things?

“Why do you say that?” I ask.

I’m the mom. I’m supposed to ask. Not to assuage (“Oh, Sweetie, that’s silly! You’re good at lots of things!”). Not to assume (not good at math, not good at piano, not good at sports) but to inquire, to let her take the lead, to listen so that she feels heard.

“Because I’m worried…” she says.

Worried is worrisome. A big word for a little girl.

She hesitates.

I worry too. I’m the mom. I’m supposed to worry, right? And this conversation is starting to worry me.

Because I’ve always been a worrier, since I was her age, in fact, my thoughts in constant overdrive, my psyche and my shoulders forever bearing the weight of an uneasiness here, a burden there. The anxiety of school and tests and marks. The anguish about friends and boys and relationships. The existential questioning of my marriage, my parenting, the weather.

But most of all, I worry about her. The typical worries that every mom has for her 10-year-old daughter. The being snubbed/being picked on/being left out kind of worries. The getting lost/falling off your bike/getting hurt kind of worries.

And worse worries, too. How could a mother not worry about worse things, with the never-ending barrage of tragic headlines and Facebook Amber Alerts? The being abducted/being assaulted/being murdered by a stranger kind of worries. The being betrayed /being violated/being destroyed by someone she knows and trusts and loves kind of worries.

But I’ve got other worries too, worries all my own. The worries of a mom whose 10-year-old daughter has diabetes.

And this is why I’m holding my breath, dreading what she’ll say next. Panicked that despite my best efforts to protect her from my own insecurities, she’s seen right through me. Flooded with guilt that she’s figured out that she’s at the root of my fears. Terrified that my worries are now hers.

Because I worry that no matter how closely I monitor her blood sugar, she’ll drop dangerously low. I worry that no matter how precisely I calculate her carb intake, she’ll spike dangerously high. I worry that every minute that she’s not with me (she’s at school, she’s at her grand-parents’, she’s playing outside with friends) is another 60 seconds that I can’t keep an eye on her and on her continuous glucose monitor and on whether she’s trending high or low and whether I need to do something about it.

(“Have a juicebox, Sweetie.”)

(“Looks like you need another shot of insulin, Sweetie.”)

I worry that I’ll make a mistake. That I’ll do her harm. Those are two of the worst worries. But they’re not the ones that keep me up at night.

(Because I have made mistakes.

I’ve miscalculated her dose and given her too much insulin and watched her blood glucose plummet. “Give her anything she wants to eat,” the on-call doctor advised over the phone. “Ice cream, cookies, bacon…now’s the time to let her indulge. Just get as much food into her as you can.” Because you can’t take the insulin back out once you’ve injected it in.

And I’ve forgotten to take the needle guard off her insulin pump infusion set before I inserted it into her belly and seen her blood glucose skyrocket. “Take the pump off her now,” yet another on-call doctor advised during yet another frantic call. “Give her an injection of 10 units by syringe right away. Check her urine for ketones again in two hours and then call me back.” Because if the insulin doesn’t get into her, her useless pancreas certainly isn’t going to pick up the slack. And the last thing we want is another trip to emergency for diabetic ketoacidosis.

Everyone makes mistakes, right? Even moms.)

No, the worries that wake me up at night, the worst ones are the ones that haven’t happened yet.

Because, even though the everyday is exhausting at best and overwhelming at worst, it’s never just about the diabetes. It’s about all of the potential future complications she faces because of the diabetes.

It’s her increased chance of developing celiac disease. (Let’s add the burden of going gluten-free to all of the carb counting and calculating, shall we?)

It’s the fact that one third of people who have had diabetes for more than 15 years will develop kidney disease. (She was diagnosed at 6. She’ll be a tender 21 when this becomes a distinct possibility.)

It’s the potential nerve damage that could lead to infections, gangrene and amputation. (Please, god, don’t let my daughter lose a limb.)

It’s the eye issues: cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy. (Please, god, don’t let my baby girl go blind.)

And while we’re at it, how about anxiety? Depression? Eating disorders? It’s bad enough that she’s a girl and already more likely than her brother to have mental health, self-esteem and body issues. Let’s make her hyper-aware of every morsel of food she consumes, force her to prick her fingers for blood tests 10 times a day, attach an insulin pump and tubing to one side of her stomach and a continuous glucose monitor sensor to the other, and see what those do for her mental health, self-esteem and body image.

Those are the ones that keep me up at night.

So when people ask how we’re coping, I don’t say, “We’re getting the hang of things. But what if no matter how hard we try, we can’t control it?”

When people ask how she’s doing, I don’t say, “She’s doing better. But what if no matter how well we control it, she ends up anorexic/on dialysis/blind anyway?”

And when people insist, “Yes, but how are you?” I certainly never say, “Really, I’m fine. But what if she dies and somehow it’s my fault?”

Because this is what’s at the core of every glance at her glucose monitor to see what her numbers are. Of every extra finger pick just to be sure the monitor is calibrated correctly. Of every recalculation of every carb. Of every verification that the insulin dose her pump is recommending corresponds to what I’ve already figured out it should be, based on her current blood glucose, her insulin-to-carb ratio for that time of day, and what sort of physical activity she might have coming up in the next hour or two (or already had in the hour or two previous).

Yes, I worry. But really, I’m fine.

(But what if?)

And honestly, there’s no point getting into all that. I wouldn’t want to worry anyone.

“…because it could happen, you know,” she’s saying, and I realize that in my panic I’ve missed what she said.

She sees it too, and with a petulant little huff, she repeats, “The end of the world, Mom! I’m worried that if the world was ending and I had to save my family, I wouldn’t be good enough at stuff to save them!”

Not at all what I was expecting. Although considering the books she’s been reading lately, this isn’t a total surprise. Like her brother, she gravitates towards adventures. Stories with children unwillingly propelled into extraordinary situations. Confronting great challenges. Facing terrifying odds.

Sound familiar?

I can’t help but see the parallels that, for now at least, she is completely unaware of: the fact that she’s already on her own harrowing adventure, confronting daily challenges and facing terrifying long-term odds.

No, this isn’t what’s preoccupying her 10-year-old mind. It’s not the alcohol swabs and insulin, the blood tests and injections, the highs and lows. It’s not that this is her everyday today and, until there’s a cure, her everyday in the future. It’s not the scary unknowns. It’s not, in fact, the diabetes at all.

No, for now, what’s weighing on her fragile little shoulders and bringing my daughter to frustrated tears is that she’s worried about being strong enough for us.

I exhale.

Oh, Sweetie. That’s nothing you have to worry about.

Dead People Dreams

Last night I dreamt about Grandma (Dad’s mom, she of the pill suitcase).

Do you ever dream about dead people? No, that sounds a bit too Sixth-Sense-ish…I guess I should should ask, “Do you ever dream about people who have died?”

But wait…I really do mean “dead people.” Because when I ask, “Do you ever dream about people who have died?” it sounds as though in the context of the dream they are still alive, in some incarnation of their if-not-younger, then at least not-yet-dead self.

But in my dream about Grandma, I knew she was dead, even though she was right there in front of me, walking and talking and, OK I’ll admit it, complaining.

She was mad at me, you see. Pissed off, to be exact, that I hadn’t thought to send her a beautiful bouquet of Easter flowers.

“But Grandma,” I protested, “I’ve never sent you flowers for Easter!”

Never during her life, I meant. And certainly (obviously!) not since she’d died.

But that didn’t matter to her. She was still upset, fuming in fact, and threatening not to speak to me anymore.

And in my dream, that didn’t seem weird.

It’s not the first time I’ve had that oddly dualistic but somehow completely normal feeling in a dream of “here I am talking to someone, who I know passed away years ago, and it doesn’t at all seem strange that they’re right here in front of me, seemingly alive and well, but dead.”

But it’s not usually with Grandma. More often, it’s Mom.

In the heart-breaking months after she died, I dreamt of her often. And whenever she made an appearance, I knew she was dead, but I was just so happy she was there.

And who knows? Maybe she was. Not a dream, exactly. Definitely not a ghost. Just…there.

Even now, 18 years later, I dream about Mom from time to time. Last week she showed up in a bizarre dream about my best friend’s wedding (which she didn’t, in real life attend (already being dead and all) but to which she most certainly would have been invited had she still been alive). It wasn’t bizarre because my dead mother was there as a wedding guest–that seemed perfectly logical in that illogical dream-like kind of way–but because my best friend had chosen six girls I’d never even heard of to be her bridesmaids, while I was relegated to driving the limo. In any case, I was surprised but thrilled to see that this time around, instead of the close-cropped salt-and-pepper chemo fuzz she was left with at the end of her life (and that she’d continued to have in every dream I’d had of her since), Mom was sporting a full head of thick hair in the red tones she’d always preferred.

I don’t need Freud to tell me that I have some unresolved guilt about not being a very good grand-daughter. Or that nearly two decades later I’m still working through the grief of losing my mom, but might finally be getting closer to remembering her for the woman she was instead of the cancer that took her. (Or even that it’s been too long since I saw my best friend and it’s time to set up a coffee date.)

I guess I’m just fascinated with how a dream can seem more like a visit. And how the conscious mind can deny what is real and true so fiercely (“she can’t be dead,” “she can’t be gone”) while the unconscious mind can reconcile what seems to be two opposing, impossible states with one bittersweet duality: she’s here, but she’s dead. But she’s here.

 

Feeling grey. Or is that blue?

Last week we had several straight days of rain. Even a little snow (sorry, my fault…I washed and put away the hats, mittens and scarves for the season but Mother Nature got the last word in).

I feel it both mentally and physically when the days are grey like that. I’m more tired and draggy. Headachey. I don’t feel like going out. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. I just want to curl up inside and wait for some beautiful blue skies.

So…grey bad, blue good. Right?

Not always.

Since The Great Ensuite Reno of 2015, I’ve been systematically repainting every wall in the house in shades of grey. (For the record, the book lied. There are way more than 50.)

First I took the same pale shade that’s on our ensuite walls (Benjamin Moore’s Barren Plain) and covered the sickly yellow of the upstairs hall, staircase, downstairs hall and living room. I had always been unhappy with the yellow but because we had paid a professional to paint it a decade earlier I had learned to live with it.

The difference was remarkable. It made the hallways simultaneously brighter and calmer. Plus, it made a perfect backdrop in the living room to the pair of vintage blue tub chairs I had inherited from my dad and his wife.

So…grey good, blue good. Right?

Yeah, no.

The dining room, which was another colour our “professional” had chosen for us, was next on my list (somewhere between olive and mud is the best I can describe it). I wanted a deeper, more dramatic grey than the living room and spent the better part of a week moving paint chips around the room at different times of day to determine which would be best. Finally I settled on Pigeon Grey (also by Benjamin Moore).

Have you seen a pigeon lately? I guess I’d never noticed how blue they were. While I love my vintage blue chairs and blue decorative accents in the living room, I never intended on having an entirely blue adjacent dining room. And unfortunately, with the light from the one small dining room window reflecting off the snow outside, the Pigeon Grey on the walls ended up much cooler and, well, bluer, than I’d intended.

So…grey good, blue bad.

Sorta.

Thankfully once the furniture was back in, the new curtains were up and the snow outside melted (thank you, Mother Nature), the blueness of the dining room warmed up a little. Satisfied, I dove into my next painting project: the entryway.

The entryway was painted a deep rosy-taupe that we had chosen the year we moved into the house (1999) to go with the circa 1986 pink 12″x12″ floor tiles (I would call them “vintage” too, but let’s face it: they’re just ugly). It owed us nothing after 18 years and was way overdue for a refresh.

There was no money in the budget for flooring, so the best I could do was find something to downplay the pink (including a large door mat). I wanted to stick with the grey theme, and since I had lots of Pigeon Grey leftover I slapped some of it on the walls.

If you think grey looks blue in a north-facing wintery dining room, imagine how it looks next to pink floor tiles. It was like a pigeon had exploded on the walls.

So I tried a little leftover Barren Plain. Which was so plain it looked white, which made the tiles even pinker.

Several hundred paint chips later I painted the entryway CIL’s Granite Grey. It’s the perfect dark, dramatic grey I originally had in mind for the dining room (don’t worry, Luc, I won’t be repainting it anytime soon). And, paired with a large charcoal door mat and black accents, elevates the entryway from functional to, dare I say it, sophisticated (pink floor tiles notwithstanding).

All of this to say that yesterday was our first bright, sunny day of spring, complete with crisp blue skies and warm yellow sunshine. And while I dislike both yellow and blue on my walls (especially in the soupy combination we had going with olive, mud and rosy-taupe), I don’t mind any of them in any combination outside, the way Mother Nature intended.

And today, we’re back to rain and grey.

But I’m writing away in my calm and soothing grey-toned house and loving it.

So…grey? It’s all good. And there’s no more feeling blue. You might even say I’m tickled pink.

 

 

 

 

 

When the cat’s away…

A few years ago, when we were still MeWomanYouMan and MeManYouWoman, Luc and I wrote about business trips.

Guess what? He’s gone again.

Not that I’m bitter. Over the ensuing years, I’ve come to accept his relatively infrequent (yet still somewhat envy-inducing) work-related jaunts across the continent and beyond. I even got to accompany him to Las Vegas last year for a whirlwind 48 hours, when a conference he had to attend coincided perfectly with our 20th (also known as the “How the Heck is that Possible?!”) wedding anniversary.

In fact, I’ve realized that there are actually some perks to his being away.

  • Clean sheets. I’ve always enjoyed crawling into a freshly made bed, but until a friend of mine confided that on sheet-washing day she will actually bump up her bedtime by hours if necessary just to get in there before anyone else (i.e. her husband) has time to mess them up, I didn’t truly appreciate the luxury freshly laundered, tightly tucked bedding can afford. Luc hadn’t even started packing his suitcase yesterday morning and I was already stripping the sheets off the bed in anticipation of washing, drying and remaking them into a cozy little flannel cocoon just for me.
  • Uninterrupted sleep. Much as I get a little freaked out anytime I have to sleep alone with just me and the kids in the house, once I fall asleep (after checking and rechecking that the vehicles are both locked, the garage door is down, all entry points to the house are barred, the oven and burners are indeed off AND cooled down, and the handle to the gas BBQ on the back porch is in its full and upright position–even if the last time we BBQ’d was months ago) I sleep like the dead. I do love a kiss goodnight and a warm body to snuggle with but, admittedly, Luc and I have mutually irritating sleep habits that don’t always make for a good night’s sleep (he snores, I snort; I fidget, he twitches; he fluffs his pillow against my head, I hog the covers; I check Facebook after the lights go out, he checks BBC News before the sun comes up…). But when it’s just little ol’ me, I can snort, fidget, hog and FB to my heart’s content knowing that I’m not bugging him and he’s not going to be waking me.
  • Breakfast for dinner. When the four of us are here, I try my best to plan out healthy meals for most of the week. But when we’re down to three, my different-lean-protein-every-night/vibrant-veggies-and-whole-grain-carbs-on-the-side approach goes out the window. The kids want toast with peanut butter for dinner? Sure! Maybe some scrambled eggs? Why not! Cheerios? You bet! Luc would never eat breakfast for dinner, so as much fun as it is for the kids, it’s also a happy break for me…and Luc is none the wiser.
  • Decorating freedom. For some reason, decorating inspiration always comes to me when Luc is away. He’s come home to everything from rearranged knick-knacks on the mantel to new throw pillows to a completely repainted main level (needless to say that one occurred during one of his lengthier business trips). Part of the fun for me is waiting to see if he even notices–once, a new painting hung in the front hallway for weeks after his return before he asked, “Did you do something different in here?”  (And yes, I’m sure there’s a small element of “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” in there too.)

So this time around, while the cat’s away, this mouse is going to get a great night’s sleep in fresh, clean sheets after a delicious pancake dinner…and maybe tackle the powder room in the morning! 😉

 

 

 

7 Things I Realized/Discovered/Learned in Mexico

We’ve just returned to Canada from Mexico, our fourth Big Family Vacation (Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Dominican Republic being the other three).

I’m not sure why, but sizzling heat, salty margaritas and coconut-scented sunscreen seem to be my perfect ingredients for introspection. Here are just a few things I realized/discovered/learned this March Break.

  1. Being x pounds lighter (or heavier) will not make one iota of difference to how enjoyable a vacation can be. When we went to Florida in 2013, I was at maximum density for my adult life (excepting the later months of my pregnancy with my daughter when I put on a whopping 50 lbs’ worth of Mocha Frappuccinos). For our 2014 trip to California I lost 13 pounds. For our 2016 trip to Punta Cana I re-lost the same 13.  This time around, I was down 6 (or is that up 7?). In any case, was any one family vacation better than any other because of my weight? Sounds stupid even asking the question, doesn’t it? So yeah, no more putting “lose weight” on my vacation to-do lists. And on a similar note…
  2. Embrace the bikini. Sure I’m up 7 (down 6?) pounds, my skin is Irish ancestry/Canadian winter white, and my belly bears the stretch marks and crêpey folds of two pregnancies. But my hubby still finds me hot in the navy blue/white polka dot push-up bikini I splurged on at the last minute and wasn’t even sure I’d put on. And my girlfriends in the group we were travelling with gushed over my confidence (totally fake, but I’ll take it) in baring almost all. Over the week, I saw women of all shapes and sizes rocking their bikinis and from now on, I will too. (Plus, I happily realized, when you gotta go, pulling a bikini bottom up and down is WAY easier than contorting out of and back into a sopping wet one-piece.) Speaking of great swathes of unprotected skin…
  3. Not all sunscreens are created equal. Sprays are quick and painless and pretty reliable, but my fire-and-explosions phobia prevents me from ever packing aerosols on a trip that requires cruising at an altitude of higher than 10 feet, so I always pack lotions. But we discovered by painful accident that even within this category some sunscreens work significantly better than others. Luc and the kids HATED the thick and gooey Banana Boat Sport Performance I slathered on them over the first few days. But when we switched to the lighter, thinner, smoother Coppertone on Day 4, everyone burnt to a crisp. Same 30 SPF, same religious reapplication, way different results. So on Day 5 and for the rest of the week, it was back to thick and gooey. And not to get gross, but…
  4. ALWAYS PACK GRAVOL AND IMMODIUM. ‘Nuf said. And while we’re on the topic of universal constants…
  5. Sometimes the Big Dipper is upside down–but not for the reason you might think. One evening on our way back to our rooms, one of the group’s teens pointed out the Big Dipper–and the fact that it was upside down from what we were used to seeing at home in Ottawa. From whence ensued a deeply intellectual yet highly un-scientific discussion of why this might be. The best we could come up with was that it had something to do with looking at it from further south than we were used to, which didn’t seem quite right, since we were still in the Northern Hemisphere and figured the equator had to factor into the equation somehow. Plus, we couldn’t figure out at what point when travelling north or south the constellation would visually “flip”. And would it actually be invisible if you could place yourself at the perfect point in-between? Everyone, from the 9-year-old to the nearing-50s among us, had a theory. Of course, we could have googled it, but…
  6. Screen-free is freeing. Long before we boarded our 6 a.m. flight from Montréal, the kids knew that this was to be yet another screen-free vacation. When we camp: no screens. When we cottage: no screens. When we Disney: no screens. And when we all-inclusive: no screens. For our family of four, this meant that all extraneous electronics were left at home to avoid temptation; two of the three phones that made the trip were kept on airplane mode in the room safe; and the one cell that was kept on for emergencies only (“emergency” being defined as 1. urgent calls or texts from extended family at home 2. calculating the Canadian dollar/Mexican peso exchange rate during heated negotiations for tacky souvenirs and 3. being used as a camera when the camera card was full) stayed in Luc’s pocket for the duration. Sure we could have quickly pulled it out and looked up the whole upside-down dipper phenomenon, but that would have cut the discussion short with pure and simple facts…and where’s the fun in that? There’s more talking, more debating, more mulling, more joking, more laughing, more theorizing, more imagining, more sharing, and, much as I hate the word, more “interacting” when there’s nary a screen in sight. Which makes Mama a happy camper, and brings me to my final deep thought…
  7. There IS such a thing as the “Happy Place Paradox.” When I’m trapped in the vicious freeze-thaw-snow-rain-sleet-hail-ice cycle of an Ottawa winter, there’s no place I’d rather be than on a sunny, white-sand, turquoise-water beach down south. But by the time I get to the end of 7 days away (no matter how wonderful a no cooking, no cleaning, no working, no worries, margarita-on-demand vacation can be), there’s no place I’d rather return to than home. Which makes Mama a very lucky–and thankful–camper too.

P.S. If you’re dying to know why the Big Dipper is sometimes upside down, check out the quick and dirty explanation at Cool Cosmos or the lengthier explanation at Constellation Guide (yes, we googled it on the way home).

 

 

NaNoWriMo OR Why I Plan to Ignore You This November

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November is National Novel Writing Month.

Every October I hear about it.

Every October I lurk about the NaNoWriMo website.

Every October I consider joining in this “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing” that challenges writers to buckle down and produce approximately 1,666 words on a daily basis towards the goal of drafting a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.

And every November I don’t.

Which is surprising on the one hand. I’m always up for a challenge, especially if there are rules and regulations and checklists (my house wouldn’t be as organized as it is if it weren’t for Nourishing Minimalism’s Decluttering Challenge, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and The 30-Day Minimalism Game).

But not so surprising on the other. Because this is writing we’re talking about, not decluttering. I can come up with a million excuses not to write. (Funnily enough they’re the same ones I use not to exercise. Even more funnily “I need to go declutter something” is one of my favourites.) But it comes down to this: I’m afraid to start. And I’m even more afraid to finish.

But this November I’m done lurking and am ready to participate.

So if I don’t reply to your texts, if I don’t answer your emails, if I don’t pick up the phone and if I don’t like your shares on Facebook, please don’t take it personally. (And if I do, please tell me to stop procrastinating and get back to writing!)

I’ll be writing under the username JuniperWE if you care to do some lurking of your own. Or, if you decide to join the NaNoWriMo challenge and are looking for a writing buddy, look me up!