Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stress Management

With a month-long out of the country trip on the horizon, my "things to do" grows exponentially, and along with it, my stress level. It's evident in the little things -- like, our kitchen faucet has a pull out feature. To fill my coffeemaker, I pull out the nozzle, position it over the water reservoir in the coffeemaker and fill it. Easy, saves the hassle of filling a container and transferring water. But the other day, I went from step one to step three, turning the water on BEFORE the nozzle was over the coffee maker.

I spent a day "training" my "boss" how to handle the membership for the organization I work for because I'll be gone so long. It's nice to know he now has a clue what I actually do, but I lost a big chunk of time taking him to and from the airport and showing him how everything works. I had a conference call to South Africa with the meeting people dealing with logistics and setup (and somehow volunteered to put their badge label printer which they're ordering and having shipped to me into a suitcase in return for them meeting us at the airport and storing that suitcase with conference materials and wardrobe.) Figure out what clothes I need for the tour, what I need for the conference (since I'm working, there's a minimum standard). Shoes? How much underwear for a month? When/where will there be time to do laundry? Do South African hotels include hair dryers like US hotels? Hair appointment on the 17th. Should I have it cut really, really short in case they don't?

I did cancel the paper. I can't refil my meds on line yet--they won't let you reorder before a certain date. Email sent requesting an exception. Have to pick up a referral for lab work, then get said lab work before my doctor's appointment. Have to finish my POV workshop handout. Have to do the POV presentation. Book signing Nov. 3rd. Website promotion days. Make more chapter booklets for the signing. Pay bills. Arrange to have bills paid while away. What bills? Make list. Be glad my husband doesn't expect a three course meal for dinner every night.

I look at my calendar, my mental to do list, my jotted notes (yeah, I should write it down all in one place, and I'm sure I'll get around to that, too) and hope everything comes together before I get on the plane to South Africa.

I've turned in my final draft of Hurricane Breeze. I haven't received edits for When Danger Calls (which I should get next week -- more things to panic about). I'm at about 84,000 words in my WIP, which I wanted to turn in before I left. Only it's at that 'time to explain who everyone is and how everything happened' stage, and I haven't actually decided on all the details. I had a good brainstorming session with my daughter yesterday (Skype comes in handy when you're continents apart) but there were still niggling plot issues surfacing at 5 AM. Maybe I need to take sleep off my to do list.

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