Of Tigers and Feathers – Day something or the other

My cousin called me, half in tears, thirty minutes from midnight.
She texted me first. “Are you there?”
I found out later that she’d messaged me on Facebook first, then tried Line.
I don’t think I actually ever thought about ignoring her message, but I did nearly ask her, “有事嗎?”, or, “do you need something?”.
It was a gut reaction borne from the fact that we don’t talk. We barely know each other since we didn’t grow up in each other’s orbit and I will admit here that I used to have some resentment towards her for being the outwardly perfect daughter that I never could be.
Never could be. Never would be. Never truly wanted to be despite the sham acceptance it would buy me.
I swallowed that question, the direct question that could be seen as antagonistic, and I am glad for it.
I’d just been talking to Deb and Amaya about memoirs and my grandfather and how his narcissism sent ripples of tragedy through my family and how there were stories there, but they weren’t stories I knew how to string together into a coherent whole that would be of value to someone. They’d patiently spent a long time unraveling things, uncovering thoughts, and then, the message.
I texted back, “yep”. Or rather, “在哦”. Which is “here” and the “oh” tone at the end to convey friendliness.
She typed back, “I’ll call you.”
Okay then. What the everloving fuck?
She opened with a direct salvo: “You know grandfather’s back in Taiwan, right? Why haven’t you shown up to the dinners?”
Taken aback by the mixture of misery and almost-accusation, I blinked.
We went back and forth, me telling her that I was at the dorms, she saying that surely my evenings were free, me coming back with that I wasn’t done until 5:30pm…
Then it sort of oozed out.
Oozed, because pain in our family doesn’t exactly gush. Not unless the wound has festered to the point where lancing it sets off tectonic shifts.
She didn’t want to go either. She didn’t get off work until 5:30pm either, but she still had to schlepp herself across town for dinner. She’d already had dinner with them once yesterday, managed to beg off today, and was expected to show again tomorrow and likely for every dinner after that as long as grandfather was in town. Her husband didn’t want to go, wanted to rest instead, and they were fighting because he didn’t like her pressuring him and she was pressured by her parents to pressure him because they’re seen as a unit and and and…
And tears.
All the above, said in hesitant halting tones, broken by tears and jagged with restraint.
I felt as if I were standing on shifting ground.
What to say? What could I say?
Was she upset that I had just blithely done my own thing, not being summoned, not even giving his arrival a single thought? Did she want to badger me into being as miserable as she was, the way that my family often felt compelled to do? Or did she want advice? Or just to rant? How receptive would she be to my attempts to unravel the issues?
I had just been telling Deb and Amaya that all unhappy families were the same in my opinion, no matter what Tolstoy believed. Unhappiness stemming from people taking out their fear and anger at the world on the ones they were supposed to love and protect and cherish most.
So I started the dance.
There’s always the dance in my family.
Test the ground.
Two steps forward, pause. See if Logic will work here.
One step back and a pirouette to dance around anger if Logic doesn’t work.
Plea for mercy, ask for succor, request leniency.
My cousin is less enmeshed in the crazy than most others are, because my grandfather is a proximity poison and she hasn’t had much chance to get close.
She was willing to do the dance.
Pull Logic close and sway, checking the fit. Look Reality in the eye as you promenade forward. Waltz with Agency. Foxtrot with Courage.
I told her of how I’d dealt with the same issue.
Yes, there would be recriminations. Do you lack all filial piety?
Yes, there would be pressure. Make your husband heel, the way we all do.
Yes, there would be confrontations galore because saying things once, twice, thrice wouldn’t take.
No, Grandfather didn’t actually care if we were there.
No, people wouldn’t give a shit eventually once they realized we weren’t backing down and we were calm about our rebellion.
No, our crazy fucked up family wasn’t worth fighting with her husband for.

The tears stopped. The sniffling ceased. And she said that since she was suffering from not speaking anyway, she might as well try to speak her mind.
Brava, I applauded.
And then something popped up. Something I had to say. Something that I wasn’t sure was a Thing until it slipped out.
I very very softly said, deal with this now, because you know how our mothers have been tainted by grandfather and how they have affected us in turn. Deal with this now, so that we can spare our children the horror. Deal with this now, because if we do not, then eventually we might be the ones chiding our children for not showing up to dinners with their grandparents and passing on the strife.

Hello Fear my old friend. I really wish you’d stop stalking me.
But it’s good to know that you’re behind this too.
Does some secret part of me shy away from children because I don’t want them exposed to my parents?


I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately.

Boundaries are difficult for me.

Whether it’s because of my mother, whose actions are influenced by having grown up under a narcissistic father although not being narcissistic herself, because of my planets in the 8th house, because of my Venus in Pisces, because my father is almost certainly on the Asperger’s spectrum, or because Hades and Persephone are my OTP…

In many ways it doesn’t matter why.

The truth is that I find it hard to judge where the line falls, when to stop dancing, what to say and not to say, and how much laughter is too much. My default coping strategy for this used to be to segregate everything. If I kept everything in specific little boxes and people knew what to expect, then there would be little risk of annoying or insulting anyone.

Personal blog. Author blog. Personal Facebook. Author Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. Patreon. Wattpad. Newsletter. Etc etc etc.

What ended up happening was spotty coverage, if coverage happened at all. Spoons would run out, or I’d forget because of the brain fog, or I wouldn’t be doing enough in one area to be updating enough…

Not to mention, real life is messy. Everything is linked. To split myself like a chicken cut up into parts intended for different dishes is silly and doesn’t work. Parts of my life don’t live in a vacuum separate from each other and to pretend like they do is only hurting everything.

So I’m reassessing my boundaries and figuring out how to work things into an organic free-flowing whole.

For now:

I’m on Twitter for general hijinks, chatter, and commentary on what’s going on in the world as it passes by my timeline.
Newsletter will be reserved for new releases. For now.
I’m still updating the Sleeping Beauty re-telling on Wattpad on Fridays.
Patreon is the place to go for snippets, random story ideas that might get written with sufficient interest, and maybe an early unveiling of Phoenix Awoken.
As for this blog, I’ll probably be on here more, posting about Hades, astrology, tarot, the latest plotbunny, what the research has turned up, and so on.


In which balls were drop-kicked and are rolling all over the universe

I originally wanted to say that the “balls were dropped”, but that implies much less insanity than what actually happened.

In short: graduate school was much harder than expected and the health issues did not resolve themselves as neatly as expected.

However, I did manage to publish Not Just Human and Sunshine, so there’s that.

I’m currently working on a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty and the new experiment is to update it on Wattpad every Friday. Note to self: google alerts is your friend!

I’m also committing to actually trying to make a go of my Patreon account. This means regular and timely updates and bonus material, whether it’s exclusive or time-sensitive. At the moment, I’m thinking that I’ll post extra chapters of Past Love’s Triumph, the Sleeping Beauty story, ahead of the Wattpad schedule. Also, maybe short stories, and snippets. Perhaps deleted scenes – I always enjoy those.

So that’s what’s going on for now!

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 246

What they never say is that guilt hurts a lot more than ever suspected.

Maybe that’s why there’s so much mention of mortal sins and suicide. Even at my lowest, I’ve never been able to shake the thought that if I’d only been more grateful for what I have, I’d be in a better place. I suspect no one ever takes the out without a niggling of guilt, some submerged question as to whether they’re doing the wrong thing.

What’s wrong, however? If misery is misery, then can it be truly wrong?

Gratitude journals don’t help. I’ve tried being grateful for what health I have, what mobility I have, what opportunities have fallen into my lap, and it only makes me question why I’m not happy.

Look at what you have. Readjust your thoughts of what your life should be and instead focus on what your life could be. Don’t be one of those spoiled children who whine because their life isn’t all magic and rainbows when there’s people dying in terror.

All it does is pile on the guilt.
If I could just give it all away, I could. My life, my blessings, all that I have.
One of those ironic injustices of the world is that you can’t share true wealth when you want to. Easy enough to give away money, but everything else that matters, not so much.

I’m past the point where thinking about going to class makes me want to throw myself out a window, but even as the terrible dread is passing, guilt takes its place.

So the cycle goes.

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 243

It’s not you; it’s me.

This morning, I thought, I miss easy access to anti-depressants. I miss how much lighter I felt when I was on Wellbutrin.
Things were clearer then. Less anxiety haze. The way slings and shots slid off more often than they hit. How it was easy to see each day as simply another paver towards an end goal rather than another failure.

I want to die. If someone showed up right now and offered me a painless, immediate death, I’d say yes.

I don’t see a way out. I don’t want to work for the sake of living when life itself is misery. I resent being tired and ill all the time and I hate how everyone has some idea of what’s wrong and what I can do better to fix it. I’m going through the motions, but every day I wonder anew at the waste. I feel guilty that I can’t appreciate what blessings I have enough to make something of myself. I feel burdened by the need to be a “productive member of society”, whatever that means, and I feel like I’m being a leech.

They say, “always be closing”. They say, “bring value to the world, and only then will you be valued”.

I give up. Anything I can do, someone else can do better, or a few someones can do adequately. I’m not necessary to anything or anyone.

So what’s the point?

Eventually people will get over it. How many people manage to disappear into life, after all, without fanfare, without notice. It’s just the word that scares people. If it was anything else, a move, a fight, a “tragic” accident, cancer, they’d just melt away under reality.

Recently, I read Tabitha Barrett’s The Third Throne series. It’s yet another one of those Heaven/Hell setups where suicide is regarded as the ultimate sin. Suicides get dragged through the various punishment realms, burned to ashes, flayed with thorns, frozen until they shatter, etc. Why? Because it’s a waste of the potential God gave, a refuting of all of God’s grace.


It feels ableist, so very privileged. So very easy to say that suicides throw away God’s grace, that they haven’t lived up to their potential.

If the world doesn’t want what you have to offer, be better, try harder, but don’t you dare give up.
If you’re not happy, it’s just because you’re not doing enough, you’re not being the “best you that you could possibly be”.

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and stumble through every day just so the people around can feel safe within their beliefs of meritocracy and so they don’t need to be troubled with your messy emotions.

As if there isn’t enough rejection and denial in the world already, there’s also countless promises of more punishment and rejection in the afterlife if one should choose that way out.

The abyss stares back and I have no answer for it.

Maybe eventually I’ll gather up my courage, go traveling, blow all my savings, and then pick a nice place to die. It might very well be a better use of what I have than dragging myself through the slog and burdening everyone else around me. Too bad I’ve been thinking about ways to do it that would traumatize the least people and still have no clue.

Seems a bit immoral to have to make someone clean up after my mess, but I suppose eventually I’ll consider it to be the lesser of two evils.

Mercury Retrograde in Aries
Venus in Aries
Mars in Gemini
Jupiter retrograde in Libra
Saturn retrograde in Saggitarius
Pluto retrograde in Capricorn
Chiron in Pisces
Neptune in Pisces
Uranus in Aries
Moon in Gemini

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 164

The true danger in long distance relationships is underestimating the power of the superficially trivial.

How much easier is it to go out with someone for lunch or dinner than it is to sit down alone at a table and write someone a love letter.
How much easier to defer, to delay, to think that there’s always tomorrow when it comes to talking to someone time zones away.
How much easier is it to simply let life runneth over.

But it’s not just that.

“Everyone carries with them at least one piece to someone else’s puzzle.”
So wrote Lawrence Kushner in his book, *Honey from the Rock.*

In other words, you have in your possession certain clues to your loved ones’ destinies — secrets they haven’t discovered themselves.
Wouldn’t you love to hand over those clues — to make a gift of the puzzle pieces that are most needed by the people you care about?
Search your depths for insights you’ve never communicated. Tell truths you haven’t found a way to express before now. More than you know, you have the power to mobilize your companions’ dreams. – Rob Brezny


“For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.”
- James Hillman


Gertrude Stein defined love as “the skillful audacity required to share an inner life.”

Maybe there’s someone out there who has a vital puzzle piece of mine, and without them there’s a giant hole in my life, but it’s all too easy to let many others fill in the hole with their pieces instead.

In a sense, that’s grace for you. As the Chinese like to say – there’s no need to hang yourself dead from one specific tree.
In another sense, though, there’s the danger.

Easier to chase the low-hanging fruit. Easier to go with the fast endorphin rush, the candy-fluff joy. I can spend my entire life flitting from flower to flower and never come down from the sugar high unless I want to.

It’s not good. It’s not bad. It just is.

There’s always going to be someone who ticks more of my boxes than another. And there’s always going to be two or three or four or five people who could make up the lack of them if I’m lucky enough to find them.

Such is grace. Such is life. Such is the grief that strikes the puzzle piece holder become obsolete.

It’s hard to imagine a life with someone who isn’t there in person.
The day to day tiny joys that trip off the tongue with someone who’s tangibly there and which can seem all too petty when written down. The small pricks of frustration that add up to one long whine when turned into text or cross-time-zone phone call.
Being with someone long-distance requires courage and imagination and fistfuls of spoons. It requires far more skill and audacity than when you’re with a person who’s right there.

The person who cuddles you when you’re sad. The person who breaks bread with you on a regular basis and witnesses your life and allows you to witness theirs. The person who you share a cup of coffee with before work or a drink with after. The person who can pick you up when your car breaks down or when you’re stranded. The person who scratches your itch when you desperately want cock/pussy. The person who can offer a shoulder to weep on when you are at the end of your tether.

It’s not better. It’s not worse. It simply is.

It’s funny, truly.
The romantic in me (I blame Venus in Pisces, really) used to think of a True Love. The person who holds the keys to the kingdom, the sword that defends it, and the armor that shields it.
Wang Baochuan waiting 18 years for her husband to come home from war? Totes romantic. (never mind that she really should have just accepted the idea that he was dead, honestly, especially when he came back after having married a “barbarian” princess while “missing in action”)
I believed that people should always be true to the One. Or the Two. Or the Three+, in later years. But ultimately, I believed in holding out for someone who carries a large chunk of your puzzle in their soul.
I still do. If there’s anything that these two years have taught me, it’s that I want the someone who is capable of building the irrigation system rather than the someones who rain when they want to. (yeah, the analogies are getting strange)
But unlike before, I totally get why people don’t.
Because sometimes you just want to cuddle. Sometimes you just need someone, anyone, to be there and hold your hand and say they’re there for you. And when those someones are pretty cool people in their own right? Yeah.

Need is an interesting word, kind of like literally – you cannot literally use literally for literally everything. There’s plenty of things that we think we need that we probably don’t and many things that we think we do that we don’t prioritize and perhaps far too many things that we take for granted.

Chop wood and carry water – so and so it goes. The true question for tonight is whether the quest for enlightenment through chopping wood and carrying water negates the benefits?

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 153

Listening to Something Wild (Andrew McMahon and Lindsey Stirling) and having all the teary feels. I remember feeling the same way at the beginning of Up, when the girl and the boy were adventuring together.

Gentle reminder that everyone needs that warm, confiding hand, the soft word, the trusted one at your back. Everyone needs someone to look at their treasure map and agree that there is indeed treasure worth searching for where X marks the spot, despite fang and claw and raging storms.

“If you’re lost out where the lights are blinding
Caught and all the stars are hiding
That’s when something wild calls you home, home
If you face the fear that keeps you frozen
Chase the sky into the ocean
That’s when something wild calls you home, home”

It’s near the end of January 2017.
What maps have I drawn?
What hopes have I hung on?

Day 153 of this thought experiment of being attempting self-awareness, of dissecting need and desire, of trying to apply the tenets of minimalism to my emotional home.

What paths have I strayed down and wandered away from?
What tears have fed what roots and what sun has parched which shoots?

All I can hold onto to is the promise that I am indeed stronger than I know.

What wilderness lies within that calls me safe harbor? What beasties do I provide haven and sanctuary to?
What wilderness sings to me, promising more warmth than the concrete jungle ever could? What dragons fly just over the horizon, with wings of dream and eyes of hopes from nightmare?

I’ve been distracted by school and everything that entails and so I haven’t been doing much of anything this new year. Not yet made concrete resolutions. Not yet had a chance to look back at 2016 and my resolutions then to see where I have grown and where I’ve stagnated. Not truly looked at the terrain of my life to see where the holes are, where the dragons roam, where the wolves run, and where monsters live.

Good thing I still have Chinese New Year coming up.

And after that, I have my solar return.

And after that, the sun still shines anew every dawn, a reminder that with every cell division new programming can be done even if it should be hard.

Cast the circle with spirit instead of salt. Call the elements with nothing more than air whistling between sacred flesh. Pray to the gods with no other offering than pure adamantine will. Build an altar with fiery intent and set faith aflame rather than incense and ghost money. Every wisp of breath a prayer, our hopes written for the heavenly immortals to read.

There is magic, and that magic lies within us.

I don’t need to know where the wind goes and how the wind blows. Sometimes the answers to our prayers is indeed no.
I remember wishing upon endless falling stars for him to love me, for our love to blossom and never fade.
Some days I wonder if those stars wept at the waste, the travesty, the bonds turn unwilling.
Other days I think they smile at the folly of youth and the beauty in innocence.

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 100

New moon in Capricorn, conjunct Venus.

100th day. It almost feels like it should be significant, as if I should by rights have some sort of epiphany.
But no.
Not today, anyway.

It’s always fun to do those gut-reaction things because sometimes they end up being truly frightening.

This, for example, from Moon and Quartz:

I seem fated to __________________. I feel like a failure when I __________________. I have to be ___________________________ in order to be deserving of love. Successful people always ______________________. Life is __________________________. It’s best not to ________________________________.

Got filled out as:

I seem fated to _____fail_____. I feel like a failure when I ____breathe________. I have to be ________better________ in order to be deserving of love. Successful people always _______seem happy______. Life is _____hard_____. It’s best not to _____care_____.

Not even sure how to react. This feels strikingly like that time when I did the meditation to go deep within myself, to find the cave and meet my inner self, and got slapped by my inner guide. Right across the face. Hard.

I haven’t really done meditations involving my inner self since then. Which is possibly something I should rectify at some point. But judging from how my subconscious is rolling… maybe not just now.

Part of me wants to re-write that as affirmations. The other part of me stares silently, unable to muster up enthusiasm or joy to do it. Everything seemed particularly difficult today, with negativity spiraling and sticking like tar.

The legal translation for homework that I described as a gangbang. Dropping peanut butter on the fluffy blanket that requires a special trip to the laundromat back home to wash. Waking tired and staying tired all day. Finding it hard to breathe. Having serious thoughts about what I’m doing, doubts about whether or not I can be any good at interpreting, wondering what I’m doing when I have no passion for anything right now, feeling like a leech upon my parents, constantly questioning my lovability.

I don’t know if I should continue my degree.
I don’t know if I shouldn’t just try to find a job, some job, any job, and give up on all my dreams.
I don’t know… I’m going to be honest and say I don’t know if I should even bother to continue breathing.

Sagittarius moon, however, right? The season for faith, for seeking wisdom, for finding freedom. Right?

So let’s try this.

I seem fated to __love and laugh and love again__. I feel like a failure when I ____give in to depression___. I have to be __my most authentic self __ in order to be deserving of love. Successful people always __ control what they can and let go what they can’t control___. Life is ___beautiful and wild____. It’s best not to __dwell on the past. Learn from it and move on___.

Better, I guess, although I’m iffy on it still.

This last week has been difficult, both spiritually, mentally, and physically. But this is where I am and I am once again reminded of Daemon and his fight back to sanity.

(and reminded again to buy and re-read the Dark Jewels Trilogy)

Climb. Rest. See the beauty hidden for your eyes. Climb again, always reaching for the stars.

Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 93

Today, I’ve been wondering about the line.

They say to know yourself, to know what you want, and then to manifest what you want into your life.
They also say that true joy is letting go of what you thought you wanted, what you think you wanted, and to let go and let life and let universe.

They say that in order to draw love towards you, you must first be happy within yourself, that you should not be desperate and seeking.
They also say that when you let the universe know that you don’t need love, then the universe will skip by you when giving out the goods.

They say that we can never truly know what makes us happy, that fixation only brings suffering, and that happiness comes from detachment.
They also say that we can never truly own our lives unless we work for it, that good things come only to those who strive towards it.

They say to know what you want in a mate, to know your boundaries and needs, to communicate your desires clearly.
They also say to never go shopping for love with a list, that way lies a clear path to being a grumpy old person with too many pets.

So which one is it?

Of course, the ancients would say: moderation in all things. Walk the central path and all will unfold as it should.

Easy enough to say, isn’t it?

Right now, it’s night and I want to be touched with love. I want my hair brushed. I want to curl up in someone’s lap and be cuddled. I want skin privileges, to run my hands over someone, to explore their body with my own, and to be held close.

I want to lie in the dark and talk of everything and nothing, to hear the slow deep breathing of someone else, and know that there’s an embrace open to turn into.

If I’m to be honest, I want cock. I miss having access to one. I miss being able to play with it, and watch it do the weird things cocks do.

I miss the feeling of believing I’m wanted for myself, the luxurious beauty of being desired, the security to be found in being tethered.

I miss having someone to do things with, to take long rambles with, to eat and laugh with. I miss being able to reach out and have my hand held.

It’s the balsamic moon in Scorpio tonight. The time of the balsamic moon is a time to let to, to release attachments, to reflect and clarify. Being in Scorpio probably intensifies the need and perhaps the riches gained from turning within.

The question now, as ever, is what to release, what to reflect upon, and what to consider for the turnings ahead. I look to the sky, but I see no stars, only rain.

Deep focus, the work, boundaries, and self-love. Of Tigers and Feathers – Day 90

I’ve been reading about attention residue, the power of deep work and intense focus, and the value of showing up consistently. I’ve also been reading about listening to what my body tells me, burn-out, the treasure to be found in returning to a more natural rhythm for my body’s cycles.

There’s the usual questions of whining versus being aware of limitations, of treating the self well versus laziness, and the sacrifices that we make in one area to fulfill another.

Many of my friends live 12 hours away, 13 now with Daylight Savings Time. My morning is usually the best time to catch up with them to chat because otherwise I’m trying to talk to people at work.
I work best in the mornings right after I get up, if I don’t allow myself to get distracted by other things.
The work that I truly want to get done won’t get finished on time if I don’t get my ass in gear.
I’m depressed. It’s official because my period’s gone wonky again; I’ve gained weight because I’m stress-eating like mad; and I’m tired all the time.
I’m still fighting off sick and coughing up stuff in the mornings with a sore throat if I overdo.
The schoolwork does need to get done. In fact, one could argue that it’s of way higher priority than my work. On the other hand, schoolwork is doable with a fritzed brain, but the work isn’t.
Trying to rebuild a social circle while juggling the work and schoolwork is proving to be difficult. Made more difficult by complications.

New discovery:
I realized today when RTing things about Trump, that I was actually afraid that what I was RTing would come back to bite me in the ass when I return to the US.

Back in undergrad, when I said something college-kid-innocuous about killing myself if I had to eat at the student dining hall one more time, I later got a stressed-out phone call from the international student advisor saying that I’d been accused of being a terrorist threatening to shoot other people.
Other people. Not even myself. Never mind that a gun hadn’t even been mentioned.
That was how a bystander had parsed my words. Because I’m Asian. Because I’m other and therefore I can’t say something even vaguely violent without alarming the white people.
I got very careful about how I spoke in public after that. Be sweet. Don’t make waves. Never let on that you’re dissatisfied because otherwise “we can deport you/kick you out and you can always go to another school/go back to where you came from”.

Back then, however, I wasn’t truly afraid to speak my mind if I had to.

Now though? I am afraid. With every person that Trump picks for key positions in government, I get more and more afraid. I haven’t been this afraid since I lived in China, years and years ago.
Sites would get taken down without notice. The internet would get cut off if you searched for the wrong term. The government could and did make lives miserable if they didn’t like what you were saying. The forum that I belonged to got “audited extensively” a couple of times and it was nerve-wracking waiting for the verdict, waiting to learn if we could still congregate together, if everything that we had wrote and worked for would simply be taken away.
I spent six years terrified that my opinions would land me in trouble. Every time the internet cut off on yet another search I thought completely innocuous, I’d sit and wait, terrified, for the phone call or the knock on the door.
I never expected to feel the same kind of creeping horror, the ice that slides down the the spine, when discussing USian stuff. Things that are our right to comment on and expect answers to as American citizens.
The chill has already started, and so it behooves me to be more careful, more aware of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

So boundaries. Self-care. Self-love. Being true to the self and to the world that demands authenticity now more than ever.

I think what would work best as a start would be to commit to going to sleep at 10pm, or 11pm at the latest. 10pm is preferable because I have 8am classes and because I’ve found that the work is easier in the morning, assuming a decent night’s sleep. (no promises of this, however. the nightmares have gotten exponentially worse since the election)

I’d like to get back to waking up at 6am or earlier, so I can get in a solid hour of writing before I need to go to class or anything else. 5:30am would be best, or maybe even 5am, because that would give me 2 to 2.5 hours.

While I’m working, I’m going to turn off all notifications for everything. Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I’m vaguely concerned about wikipedia and my ability to get completely lost in research. With everything I’m reading about attention residue, there’s two ways the research could go – so long as I remain on topic, then it might not affect the writing adversely, or it’s possible that if I got too interested in something not immediately pertaining to the writing, then it might affect focus. I’ve tried leaving the research until later, and it just doesn’t work for me, so that’s unfortunately not an option.

I theoretically have only two days a week when classes are going to affect my ability to talk to people in the US in my mornings: Monday and Tuesday. I figure that I’ll survive. Boundaries.

I’m going to keep up the social media/news ban. I’ve lapsed a couple of time and I’ve noticed that I haven’t done well after. I guess I could reward myself with terror and horror once I get my work done, but I might refrain since I’m not certain how easy it is to get Bupropion in Taiwan. And speaking of which, apparently Bupropion literally gives many people hives, aka uticaria. What the everloving hell? Suddenly much becomes clear…

I’ve really lapsed on the exercise thing, and I want to get back into doing at least 10k steps a day, resuming the 30 day plank challenge, and the sun salutations. If nothing else, the 10k steps should help with mood stabilizing and hopefully stall the worst of the stress weight gain.

As for in-person socialization – meals still need to be had, but I might need to either cut out the afternoon teas, or insist that we actually do some work while at the coffee shops.

Let’s see how this goes.

Boundaries. Hope. Discipline. Love. *sigh*