Writer’s Journal: One step forward and two steps back

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!


By now I’m sure everyone knows I have been leaving my house almost every day to write. A delightful new bakery opened in my tiny town and I’ve been going there four days a week for two or three hours and writing.

I’m still working out a routine around this change. I had already been struggling with getting exercise and God time back into it. Now I can add cooking to the list of items that has fallen by the wayside.

I titled this post “one step forward and two steps back” because that’s how I have felt the last week or so. Taking myself out of my house that I love and am comfortable in and going somewhere to write was a huge step for me. It still is, because, frankly, I much prefer being at home.

However, my dog is too attached to me. He’s too clingy. He’s full of anxiety on a good day, and reacts badly when I’m gone too often or too long. It’s not healthy for him for me to work at the house all the time, so out I go.

I have friends that tell me it’s not healthy for me when I’m at home all the time, either, but I kind of doubt that. Home is my happy place, my comfort zone. It’s where I prefer to be above anywhere else. Regardless of my feelings on the matter, out I go, and my friends believe this is an excellent thing. They love me. 🙂

Anyway … back to the topic at hand. I just said that going out to the bakery has been a big step for me, and it has. I get writing done there. The amount I accomplish varies, depending on how much sleep I got the night before and how many customers come in … and how loud they get. This is where the two steps back comes in.

You see, the older I get, the harder it has become for me to get a good night’s sleep. There are two general causes for my lack of sleep on any given night. One is acid reflux, the other is sinusitis.

The sinus problems I can’t control. There is no way to predict if I’m going to be able to breathe or not from one night to the next. What worked last night may not work tonight, even if I can sleep on my stomach. There’s nothing I can do about this, other than change the sheets frequently and make sure I take allergy meds and use my neti pot when I need to.

Which leads me to the other cause of sleeplessness: acid reflux. I have to severely (in my opinion, anyway) limit certain foods, or I will end up with acid reflux in the night. Sugary foods, rich foods like Alfredo sauces and cheesecake, and tomato sauce will all give me reflux. I have to eat mostly protein at this point. If I can keep groceries in the house and remember to eat, I’m usually okay. When my routine is messed up is when I begin to have problems. Last week, between going to the bakery and having a conference and book signing to go to on the weekend, I was so discombobulated, I wasn’t sure what way was up. As a result, I didn’t get enough good food and had way too much stuff that was no good for me. I had acid reflux two nights in a row. I had one good night after that, and then forgot to eat the next night and had acid again in the night.

The good news, after all that complaining/explaining, is that there is something I can do about the acid reflux.

My original plan was to buy apple cider vinegar tablets to take. However, my research revealed that it only really works for mild reflux and makes the condition worse for some people. I classify my reflux as severe, to be honest, so I scrapped that idea.

I did a second search, this time for home remedies for acid reflux. I found a website that lists seven things you can do to fight it. Two are teas: ginger and chamomile. Well, ginger tea I already have. I drink two or three cups the day after an acid attack to settle my stomach, which tends to be upset after a bout of the nastiness.

Other simple things I can do are to chew sugar-free gum for half an hour after meals and eat ripe bananas or mustard. There are drawbacks to some of these, because if I chew gum, I’m going to bite my tongue and that’s not pleasant. And, I’m not fond of mustard.

Many of the recommendations I found in my search for natural remedies for acid reflux are things I already do, like limit carbs and not eating immediately before bed or lying down right after eating.

So, here’s my plan:

  • I already have ginger tea. I’ll drink at least one cup of it every day. That’s not a difficult task, because I like the taste of it.
  • Buy some chamomile tea to drink before bed.
  • Keep the groceries stocked.
  • Cook on days I don’t go to the bakery and make enough to last the four days I do.
  • Plan meals, and make them low-carb and high-protein.
  • Don’t buy more than two cookies at the bakery.

I feel better just having this plan. Once I’m sleeping well every night again, my productivity while I’m at the bakery will increase, and the rest of my routine should fall into place. I hope, anyway.

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3


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