Using your writer RESET button asap


RESET just hit. Again. It’s been crazy – the day before yesterday I had to be coherent for over an hour in a meeting with the H/AC people – a sudden crisis because of an uh-oh! noise coming from the compressor/condenser/whatever they call the external unit, noticed by hubby when mowing the lawn.

Needless to say, I don’t do well without AC – my brain is as fragile as the chinchilla’s, and as useless when overheated.

And yesterday was the expected day from hell: with a whole bunch of incentives, all vanishing as the summer progresses, we bit the bullet and ordered the new system to be installed – immediately. Which meant they were here before 8AM on one of the hottest days of the year.

Did anything go wrong? Do we have AC?

They left by 2:30 – pretty amazing. It all works. We had a cool house by 3PM. Also amazing. Gizzy and daughter each had their room AC to keep them cool while they slept, sort of, as the gentlemen from A.J. Perri SLAMMED the door each time, about a thousand, they came in and out of the house. The whole house vibrates when you do that, and the sound is like having a two-ton piano dropped on the sidewalk behind you. I imagine, never having actually been present when they did it.

Note: when daughter or I leave the house, you can’t tell the door was closed, because we just close it.


It doesn’t matter – it still stops forward progress in my brain

Yesterday, all day after they left, I was completely fried and frazzled. Got almost nothing done except feeding myself. I couldn’t even get to sleep until 5AM. Naps and counted breaths and all my stretching yoga tricks – nope. Resisting carbs – nope. It is quite comical as I watch myself completely out of control – once I can watch myself. Which took until about a half hour ago.

So I just read my own post – this is why I write these things – and will continue the reset process with 1) starting to wake up daughter with sleep disorder, and 2) nap. Again. Until the process works, I’m back where I need to be, and I can function again. Which, if this comment is reasonably coherent, shows I’m starting to get to.


Is there a moral to this story?

I’ve been doing this for years, folks – and I still have to drag my brain out of the deep well it goes to hide – with the slightest provocation.

It still feels gut-wrenching, fraught with all kinds of dire thoughts and worries, and hours of simply not being human. I can’t describe it any better – maybe it’s that my brain is so full of debris, a special kind of debris from things I try not to let get in there in the first place, things such as having to make a decision in very little time, feeling pressured, worrying like crazy about the alternatives, worrying if we can afford it, worrying whether we can afford NOT to do it…

On and on for hours – and not stopping until we make the best decision we can – at which point the consequences will start.

What I am finding is that the cycle is shorter now. I KNEW I had written a post on having a functioning RESET process (as a writer, but that’s basically my life, so really everything). I read it with the beginning of the returning threads of whatever it is that happens in there (and which I wish would happen MUCH closer to the actual crisis, but I also wish to be 30 years younger and have a metabolism like a teenage boy (the skinny ones – I already have the other kind).

Sooner, rather than later, IF possible

This is the fastest I’ve processed.

Maybe I’ll learn – IF there is time (there wasn’t) – to set up the RESET process BEFORE it is needed.

There’s a thought. For when I have some extra energy.

Push the button, folks. The warnings sirens – like the ones the installers of our AC set off during the process of installing, I believe, a new CO2 detector – will stop eventually.

Do you know when to push your RESET button?


12 thoughts on “Using your writer RESET button asap

  1. Pearl Kirkby

    And this is one of the major reasons I follow you…

    While we do not all suffer the worst symptoms of CFS, or as far as that goes, CFS at all, fatigue of any sort takes its toll on young or old…but the older we are, the more disconcerting and nearly debillitating it can get.

    Sit down. Reset button. Visualize. Poke it.

    It helped.


    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: you’re amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thanks! I needed that.

      Sometimes I wonder if my friends are being indulgent with my posts – they are all very nice people.

      It’s been one of those days – another thing rose to the top of my list NOW, and when I tried to do it, found out that my careful planning in picking a week for a family vacation also seemed a good idea – for a whole convention of Buddhists. Ergo, there are no hotel rooms where I want to go, when I want to go.

      And I discovered this by having a bunch of the same symptoms I noticed when planning a family vacation to Seattle and environs years ago, when I picked a week where there was not a room to be found when I wanted to go! I solved that one by reversing the direction of our tour-the-area trip – the other weekend was perfectly available.

      Before I get completely off track: the symptoms are that all my Priceline techniques to get good rooms from didn’t work. But it wasn’t until this odd lack of availability at a reasonable price clued me in, and I called one of the hotels and talked to a human (as I did today) that I found out I had chosen a Seattle weekend with three or four major conventions in town.

      Stuff like this gives me a sinking feeling in the gut, and makes me less functional.

      You reminded me: I will cope. We will change location, hotel, dates – whatever is necessary and convenient to all – and this time I will lock it down asap.

      RESET. Breathe. I’m going to take a nap.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Also referred to as ‘going back to Kindergarten’ or ‘back to basics,’ when you get in a mess, what do you do first? What do you do after a family crisis has thrown you out of all your routines?

      Picking things up slowly and randomly and when you feel like it works for some people; I envy them. Not at all for me – then I will spend all my time with the ideas of what I could be doing all swirling around in my mind – like a sink with the drain plugged.


      1. marianallen

        When that happens, I sleep, if possible. I curl up in a ball and pretend I’m on a raft, floating far away from any shore, and nobody can get to me and I can’t do anything about anything for just a little while. I guess that’s my Reset. 🙂


        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          What you do next is part of the reset – get to work, on something however small, or go back (as I did today) to a time-waster after a nice nap.

          I’m working on it. Especially working on NOT worrying about promotion and marketing, but worrying about that over which I have any control. At this point: the Author Photo.

          I don’t know why this is next, but I’ve started it, and I’m not quitting until it’s done. A little tenacity goes a long way.

          There are a bunch of emotional things, gut things, that go along with photos in general, and selecting just one in particular, that I have to deal with. I don’t really care – but I won’t revisit this for a long time, and it’s worth a little time now.

          I like yours.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. marianallen

          Thank you, Alicia. Whenever we do photos for a new church directory, I always tell the photographers that I need a professional photo and pay for the rights to use the photos. Gives me a choice for the site, for social media sites, and for book covers. 🙂

          I like your next step of choosing one thing and focusing on working on that one thing. I usually cook.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      If I don’t make the huge effort and start the process, it takes a lot longer to happen. I never ‘feel like’ being functional, though I love it if the brain kicks on that day.

      I know it’s the CFS, but I have things I want to do – and they don’t happen. I have to make them happen. It doesn’t help that I know how little energy there will be to make things happen. But the alternative is to just sit here watching what’s left of my life go by, and waiting for the healthy people to notice me, and that is perilously close to self-pity, which we don’t allow. When I think that I have everything I need because of who I am and where I was born and the work that I put in before, I am grateful in the extreme.

      ‘Suck it up and get to work,’ or alternately, ‘I’m working on it,’ are my mottos.

      And I can sleep far better at night if I do get something done.

      I talk big. Thanks for reminding me I actually have to DO something on the Author Photo – and posts about it. It’s been a crazy week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Sigh. It takes a long time to reset. It is uncomfortable. I rarely get anything done until the day AFTER the reset. But maybe planning for it sooner – if there is a chance, and there wasn’t this time, is doable. At least thinking of the concept is better than being taken unaware, as I always seem to be.

      Liked by 2 people


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