I’m averaging 1.67 pieces of birthday cake a day right now. Because when it’s my time, I don’t want to have any regrets. 😀

Yesterday, I went to a Zentangle class on Zoom. It almost didn’t happen because our internet has been so sketchy lately. But luckily the cable guy showed up to fix the line running to our house on Thursday. It’s so refreshing when things actually work out!

It was a great class, and I’m glad I did it. But I learned something about myself as it relates to learning Zentangle: I need independent study as opposed to live classes. The class lasted about three and a half hours, and I was seated in my horribly uncomfortable office chair the whole time. What will work better for me in the future is to seek out on-demand courses that are not live. That way I can pause, get up, lie down, sit in the sun for a few minutes—whatever I need to do to prevent my muscles from freezing into that awkward, seated-in-a-shoddy-office-chair position.

Because, let me tell ya, it’s really hard to walk to the bathroom afterward when your knees and waist are stuck at 90-degree angles.

Another reason to avoid Zoom classes when possible is to not see myself on camera. I’ve all but stopped looking in mirrors at home because it hurts to look at that tired, worn-out, cancer addled person. I’m not one to live in denial of reality, but I am one who tries not to force it upon myself at every available opportunity.

Anyway, the class and the teacher were wonderful, and here’s the Monet-inspired 3D Zentangle I created:

I love it, but I also want a do-over because there are things I want to change. I think I could do better. And by “better” I just mean that I know what I could do to like it even more. Luckily, Holly, the creator of this Monet 3D Zentangle class, gave participants PDF files of the shapes needed to recreate the water lily. I thought that was really generous.

So that Zentangle class was my birthday gift to myself this week. To continue celebrating all month long, I’ve opened up my webserial memoir, Who You Gonna Believe, to everyone. Sometimes creating this memoir in small chunks makes it feel like I’m not making a whole lot of progress on the writing front, but when I step back and gain a little perspective, I realize that writing 22 chapters (so far!) of anything is quite an accomplishment.

I hope you’ll read it. I’m not going to pretend it’s the greatest piece of literature ever written, but I do know that it resonates with some readers—because they’ve told me so. Right now it’s only available to read in a browser, but those pages are specifically designed to make the reading experience enjoyable, even if you’re on a mobile device. (At some point in the future I hope to make e-reader friendly versions, but time, money, health. You know the drill.)

Other than that, things are…going. I’m trying to suss out a new med due to some insurance changes and preparing to get my second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday. I am prepared for that to wipe me out pretty good again, so I’ve cleared off my to-do list for Wednesday though Saturday next week, literally writing things like “rest” and “sleep all day” in my Bullet Journal.

Speaking of Bullet Journal, the other thing I got myself for my birthday was the March subscription box from Archer & Olive. It’s scheduled to arrive the day of my shot, so I’ve got a little something to look forward to. Its contents are a surprise (there are some spoilers begin posted online but I am avoiding them). I enjoyed the first one I got so much I decided to spring for another. I anticipate I’ll do some kind of post about unboxing after it arrives, though I’m not sure if I’ll do a video, write up a blog post, or just post to my Instagram. A lot of things are going to depend on how I’m feeling.

I guess that’s not really any different than usual though.

If you’ve been thinking about Bullet Journaling or just want to know what it is, I’ve got a few videos on my channel. You can watch me as I learn (struggle?) to use it for managing my life with chronic illness.

Also, if you’re new to Archer & Olive, you can save 15% with this referral link they gave me. (You don’t pay any extra, but I get a bonus for referring you if you do decide to get yourself a little something.) You don’t have to buy the subscription box, if there are even any left. You can just buy individual notebooks and planning supplies—whatever. The prices might feel a little high if your budget is tight like mine, but the paper is 160 gsm, and you can use markers and watercolors and junk on it without any bleed-through. As someone who doesn’t get my hair done, get my nails done, go to the moves, drive anywhere or wear anything but pajamas, I feel zero guilt about the expenditure. Your mileage may vary though.

I’m just rambling now. Bottom line: don’t forget to bookmark the Table of Contents for Who You Gonna Believe. And if you haven’t received your vaccine yet, I hope it’s available to you soon. Regardless, stay masked and stay safe until the experts (not the politicians) give you the all clear.

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