If anyone would like proof that I don’t do well with commitments, here it is. My weekly “Week In Review” entries have morphed into “monthly-going-on-occasionally”. Maybe it’s that I’m lazy, maybe I’m preoccupied, or maybe some weeks are just boring—you be the judge. This one had a little excitement, so here we go!
First, the basics:
- Hours worked: 40. That might seem normal, but actually keeping it at that level is a bit of a challenge. Not that I don’t have enough work to do; it’s the opposite, really—I have too much today, especially in a week like this, and being salaried means that it’s all too easy for the boss to say “get this done”, even if it means four hours of unpaid overtime.
- Hours of sleep: Not nearly enough. Five to six per night, on average, which is less than my already-low usual. Why, you might ask? More on that in a minute.
Okay, enough of that. That’s as basic as things get where I live. Now, what else?
- Water leaks: One, and it was a whopper. I should have known something was coming; I had a good day. That’s always a bad sign, as contradictory as that may be.
I went to bed feeling pretty good. Somewhere around 2:45, I was dreaming; and I distinctly remember thinking, “When did this dream get a waterfall?” The dream ended; the waterfall didn’t. You see, in a bizarrely stupid bit of engineering, the hot water heater in my house is inside my bedroom closet. I woke up to the sound of water spraying, under pressure, from a pipe at the top of the heater (thankfully, a COLD water pipe), flooding my closet, and spraying out around the door to soak the bed and me. And it gets better! This is a rental home, and I have already said that I’m mechanically declined; I had no idea where the shutoff valve could be found. I called the landlord, and he actually answered (something I would probably not do at 3 AM), and the two of us spent the next twenty minutes crawling around under the house and working on the plumbing—by which I mean, we both crawled, and he worked. It has taken me the better part of the week to clean up the mess and get the house back in decent order. (On a side note, my kids—who, as I have said, are notorious for getting up incredibly early—slept through the whole thing. Their only concern was “Daddy, why are you sleeping on the couch?”)
- Needles: Three. One was to have blood drawn, a process that still, after all these years, makes me lightheaded. Phobias should be limited to one per customer; they are not to be trifled with. The other two were the second round of injections of the new medication I’m taking, and I am proud to say that I neither passed out nor injured myself (considering that the truly phenomenal bruise from my first attempt has only just gone away. I will never be a medical professional, ever.)
- Fistfights: One. Not me. Two of my clients at work. It was more of an assault, really, as I think only one of them ever got in a punch. Thankfully it stopped short of one clubbing the other with a conveniently handy brick. And everyone thinks this job is all paperwork!
- Threats against me: One. Same client that perpetrated the assault. This woman is VERY
serious about her cigarettes; it happened because I refused to give her two packs on the same day (for the record, there is a one-pack-a-day rule for our people, as they have a budget to maintain). I think that she thought she was on a roll, after beating up her neighbor the previous day. Sometimes, working in mental health is like refereeing an MMA match: you can dodge all you want, but eventually, you’re going to get hit.
- 911 Calls on the job: Four. Three of them pertained to the assault situation, over the course of two days (the fourth was unrelated, for a medical issue).
- Arrests: ZERO. Despite the fact that the police were called three times in two days over the same situation, no one was arrested. Way to go, Beckley’s finest!
- Clients discharged from our program: Three, with one pending. Yay!
- Clients taken into our program. Three. Wait, let me do the math here…oh. And life goes on!
- Migraines: One. But it lasted for 9 days. Nothing would stop it. The doctor thinks it was a side effect of trying to adjust to the medicine, and I’m inclined to agree, because it has mostly gone away now, after the second round of injections. But the next time someone complains of a migraine, I’ll just nod sympathetically.
- Words written (on the manuscript, that is): Approximately two thousand total. Even I hit a wall sometimes. In this case, the wall came in the form of a plot hole that didn’t reveal itself until the last chapter. I sat on it for three weeks, trying to figure out where the problem was, before I found it. Ironically, the fix took about an hour. Now, I know the rule, if there is such a thing, is that you leave the revision alone until AFTER finishing the first draft—and that is ordinarily the way that I work. In this case, the problem had to be fixed in order to proceed with the first draft—the ending falls apart, otherwise. NOW I can go on with this! I hope to have the first draft finished by the end of the month, which will make a total writing time of eleven months (not great, but not terrible either). And then, maybe I’ll actually come up with a title! (More on that in a later entry.)
- Good news: One major piece. I found out that a couple of friends are expecting their third child! Not so sure that they thought it was good news at first glance—they weren’t expecting to go through this again. They seem to have warmed up to the idea now, though. So, congratulations to them!
Have a great week!