This week has been all about taking a step back, reassessing, and hitting the reset button.

The Writing

As I hinted last week, I have been struggling with my book lately. Things were getting out of control, it was broken, and I just didn't know how to fix it. I even had a meltdown last week, and I'm so thankful that my friend Colleen managed to talk me down from the "just-kill-them-all-and-start-something-new" ledge.

I'm also thankful that I have been involved with a critique group since last fall. On Monday night, at our regularly-scheduled confab, my colleagues very gently, very kindly told me to throw out an entire chapter from last week's submission--a first for me.

And they were right. I thought about how I'd been struggling so hard to make the book do what I wanted it to do for the past several weeks, and realized that the problems they saw were exactly the reason why. My book was broken. I had lost my story, the reason for telling it.

It was time to reset.

So this week, I have been re-reading the entire thing from the beginning. Yes, all 129,000 (!) words. Now that I know my characters and my world pretty well (since I'm quite close to finishing the book), it was good to go back and tweak a few things anyway, but also to remind myself of the direction in which I had begun. I'm only about half-way through, thanks to a week that went nothing according to plan. But I can already tell that once I hit the tail end of the words I have already written, the goal will be in sight and it will be pretty much a straight shot to get there. Resetting was the right decision.

Fruits and vegetables for days!

The Body

The other thing that's been getting reset this week is my health. The last few months, I have had some of the worst brain fog and exhaustion of my entire life, barring the nine months or so immediately after Levi died. I knew that I was still struggling with the exhausted adrenal glands brought on by the trauma and shock of losing him, but I also knew that I could do something about it. (You know it's bad when you caffeinate and then need a nap worse than ever.)

Last summer, I juice-fasted for about 45 days, then eased myself off of the fast over the next two weeks to address several serious health concerns. It worked, and in the process I lost the 30 pounds I had put on from stress-eating the previous summer.

It also successfully allowed my body to get rid of the fibroid cyst on my ovary that may have otherwise required surgery, as my doctor was concerned about the potential of cancer. (Can you see why I was willing to do something extreme?)

So this week, I began juice fasting again. By day three, I had already noticed a significant improvement in my cognitive powers and alertness. Today is day four, and I feel so much better than I did a week ago that I know I made the right choice. (Plus, I'm already down six pounds of extra winter "fluff". Bonus!)

I do not intend to go for nearly as long as last time. My current goal is 10 days. I'm thinking that I may still go see a natural health care practitioner afterwards for more suggestions of ways I can support my body right now--but I know that this was a good step.

This time around, Jason has decided to juice fast with me, too. He's only on day two, as he was away for the first part of the week. I'll keep you posted how we both fare.

Lady of the Lake, though art beautiful but tiresome...

The Knitting

In the meantime, I am making very slow progress on my "Lady of the Lake" shrug that I began on our way to India in October. Slow, because I do not find the knitting on this design particularly enjoyable--though I love the result. I put a pattern repeat or two on it ever week or so (each repeat taking two hours--yes, I timed it), so it is slowly growing. At this rate, it should be done in about five years. :-)

Happy Friday, friend!