NaBloPoMo Pressure – January

So I’m sitting here (at work, mind you), looking at my list of posts marked DRAFT. There’s 8 of them sitting there. Taunting me. Pressuring me. And I’m feeling quite agitated.

Is that even the right description?!

Either way, tomorrow I’m heading off overseas, and I’ve already started to create the draft posts that I will need to write as part of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Plus there’s the Daily Prompt ones as well, and by my calculations, by the time I get back from my trip next Monday, I will need to have completed 16 posts over the next 5 days.

See, you’re sitting there thinking ‘um, that’s actually really easy, stop complaining!’.

Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s actually not that easy. I started this entire daily writing challenge thinking this was so incredibly simple and easy to do, and that was with the NaBloPoMo challenge in November 2013. I immediately realised that I could almost write an entire month’s worth of posts over the course of a weekend (which I didn’t actually do), but I then thought I’d really challenge myself and take on the Daily Prompt challenge as well.

So, it’s been a bit of a struggle sometimes to get a two posts done per day, because of something called life. Life happens. Work, family, work, social, work, gym, gym, family, gym, family, work, social, gym, work etc etc etc etc. And then after a couple of days I’ve suddenly found myself with a backlog of 8 posts just to bring myself up to date, and then there’s the upcoming 8 posts that need to be written. And all this is somehow supposed to happen miraculously whilst I’m overseas on a work trip.

Jan’s NaBloPoMo theme is pressure, and sweet baby cheeses am I feeling the pressure now.

I wanted to try and smash at least two out yesterday between job number 1 and job number 2, but ended up with family commitments in between. PLUS on top of that I’ve been having very little sleep the last few nights because it’s been ridiculously hot here. It was 42C yesterday (that’s 107.6F for everybody else) and it’s been pretty hot like that for a few days now. So I’ve been having very little sleep, but in saying that, going to bed at 1:30 – 2:00am the last couple of nights doesn’t help either.

So here I am, sitting at my desk feeling like a bit of a zombie.

I am really struggling to focus and do my work, and I find that I’m just making so many mistakes. I was just in the process of writing a message to somebody overseas, and without realising I had picked up the phone with the intention of calling them, despite the fact that I don’t actually know their number overseas. I’m just doing really stupid things.

I just want to go to bed.

Tonight, when I finish my other job, I’ll get home about 9:30 – 10pm, then at some point have dinner and pack my suitcase before going to bed. I’ll then have a 4:00am wake up call so I can haul ass to the airport at 5:30 to check in before my flight @ 8am.


I’m already exhausted, and thinking about that, just makes it worse. I need a holiday just so I can recover!!

Jan 14: Determination

Marge Piercy said: “A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.” Tell us about a time when you did what couldn’t be done.

This is also partly in relation to a post I, literally, just finished writing, where I talk about experiencing strength, and for me, it was my rehab journey from my spinal injury.

This one is about determination, but it’s also related to my spinal injury.

So, the day after I injured myself, I wake up in bed unable to move my legs.

After I calm down from my completely hysterical outburst, I make some calls, and end up having my physio literally drop everything and make a housecall. She did some manipulation of my back and everything was okay again, and then said that I’d need to visit her a few times a week for the next couple of weeks.

I went and had x-rays, and MRI’s and tried all different types of therapies, and the final outcome was that I’d never dance again, and if I ever pushed myself too hard, the worst case scenario was that I would end up in a wheelchair before I’m 25.

So, after I get home and cry uncontrollably for a couple of hours because life, as I know, is now over, and all I can envision is that I’ll be the cranky person with no friends in a wheelchair, hating life and feeling miserable every single day constantly thinking about how I can kill myself.

…then I came to my senses and realised that feeling like that is kinda fucked up, and I need to change that.

I knew it was going to be a long road to recovery. I knew that it wasn’t something that was going to happen overnight. I knew that this was going to take some time, and a couple of therapists that I’d seen had said that it would take between 1 – 2 years, and I started thinking that that was acceptable. Whatever the recovery process was, it was going to slow and painful and frustrating.

I didn’t have a choice, I had to accept that.

For the first 8 – 10months I couldn’t actually do anything. I think that was the most frustrating part. Having come from a life where I was dancing, literally every single day, to go from that to absolutely nothing was a real struggle. I watched a lot of movies, and spent a lot of time in bed, and found myself in full-time work.

Then I moved and found a local gym, and that’s what really made me kick myself in the bum and force myself to actually do something to make myself better and begin the recovery process.

Jan 13: Strength

Eleanor Roosevelt said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Tell us about a time you felt your strength.

I remember when I was in my early twenties. I was still in a period of recovery from a spinal injury, and I had moved house, and I’d finally plucked up the courage to look at joining a gym.

There was a gym down the road from where I lived, and up until that moment in time, all I’d ever done was dance. But now that I couldn’t go back to dancing just yet, I had to begin a very long and slow process of rehab and strength training in order to get my body properly functioning again.

That process was initially quite painful and frustrating. Frustrating because I ended up going through three different trainers before I found one that would actually cater a program to what I wanted to do and what I could actually do. The others just had a set basic program that they gave to everybody, but because I had so many physical limitations due to my spinal injury, I was very limited in what I could and couldn’t do.

This particular trainer came along and was very thorough in her assessment and her program – she took things slow and gently pushed my limits, and over a couple of months, my progress became quite noticeable and I was quite surprised at what I was able to do.

Just as I was beginning to make real progress, my trainer left, and none of those other wankers stood up the standard that she had set… they just seemed so…. dumb.

They all offered the same generic information, but then I soon realised that they all had completely different opinions about what I should be doing / eating etc. In the end, I just threw my hands up and thought ‘fuck this, it’s too difficult’ and just continued to do what I’d been previously doing, and every now and then increasing the reps before I started feeling too comfortable. I still took my time, and used the mirrors to make sure that my technique was always right, but for me, just being in the weights area was always so intimidating, because everybody else there was already so fit and muscly and ripped, and I was just a skinny little weakling by comparison.

I hated going to the gym, but it was something that I had to do in order for me to recover and get better if I wanted to have any possibility to get back into dancing.

Until the day I joined this gym, I had never done any weight training whatsoever. I’d never even set foot inside a gym, or lifted weights. I felt so completely out of place. Then all of a sudden, I find myself doing leg presses and I’m pressing 90kgs. That was heavier than I was. I couldn’t believe it.

I also struggled to walk for a couple of days afterwards.

Achieving something like that was incredible. I was so impressed with myself, and I realised that, you know what, I actually can do this ‘working out’ thing – I can feel the changes in my body, and I can see those changes as well. I felt great.


Daily Prompt: I Was Here

You are the first astronaut to arrive on a new, uncharted planet. Write the note that you leave to those who come after you.

If you find this note, then it means I have failed and Earth remains in danger of an invasion.

I am the sole survivor of an unprovoked attack on our exploration mission of this planets surface. What we thought was unchartered and uninhabited was actually far from accurate.

Our instruments and readings all came up blank. We were wrong.

We arrived here 27 days ago, and I headed a 6-man exploration team of a fifty kilometre radius of our landing site. We returned daily with countless samples of the planets surface and environment with inconclusive results. The surface of this planet is unlike anything we have ever experienced or even speculated.

One of the researchers discovered a living organism on the surface in a chasm approximately 38km south-west of here. The research team did extensive testing and couldn’t confirm what it was. It was foreign and unknown and classified ‘Alien’. These reports have been sent to NASA and Sec. Defence and are classified – Level 7.

After our initial discovery, the organisms started appearing closer and closer to the ship each day. Although they are minute, their genetic structures indicate they are attracted to either the carbon dioxide being expelled from our base station, or the ships heat signature. We were unable to confirm which one.

We thought their migration patterns were unique and never thought it would be a threat. 

We were wrong.

Two nights ago we lost one of our team. They went out on a solo mission and never returned. NASA are receiving a direct feed from our helmet cams, and that’s being relayed to our station. At approximately 1300hrs, O’Reilly went out for a routine exploration. At precisely 1329hrs, O’Reilly went radio silent and lost video feed.

At 1341hrs we received an a directive to abort the mission and immediately return to the ISS for immediate return to Earth and we were to do so without O’Reilly. We were not told why, nor given any other information.

Departure was immediately scheduled for 1400hrs.

At 1350hrs we lost our direct feed to NASA and ISS and received O’Reilly’s video feed from his hemet cam. Our tech’s confirmed that the signal was not relayed from NASA satellites. Video feed origin remains unknown.

O’Reilly appeared to be alive. All we could hear was screaming. There was a blood spatter on the upper-right corner of the cam. He said his suit had been compromised and ‘they’ were everywhere. The light around him rapidly got darker. It then cut out.

We cancelled our departure to go rescue him. It was my decision. It was my mistake. I got our entire team killed. And now they’re coming for me.

If you find this, please tell my husband that I love him and I’m sorry and I love him. By no uncertain terms attempt a recovery mission of our bodies. It’ll be too late. You need to abort your mission immediately.

This planet needs to be destroyed by any means necessary… if you fail, they will come for you. 

They’ve just breached the air lock. I don’t have much time left. We never anticipated they could….