Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In
IDEK I've just always loved this photo

IDEK I’ve just always loved this photo

This is the weekly post for those of us who are traversing together this hellscape called Personal Growth. Brag about this week’s accomplishments, ask for support, talk about what worked, what didn’t. Tell us how things are going for you.

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140 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    I'm attempting to make gnocchi, so I'm looking around for recipes. (Advice? Recipes? Anyone?) This week's communal meal will involve using the players as test subjects.

    I have been mostly okay and had an excellent anniversary weekend until I ran out of energy. The food was wonderful. (OH FOOD… how I love thee…) Because I couldn't drink, the guys got to do full wine/beer pairings with the meal so they were happily tipsy by the end.

    I'm a bit bummed at the moment as we have a friend in a bad spot and we thought we could invite her over for the communal meal… then I realized she has a communicable disease and I might have a compromised immune system. I had to raise that and we backed out… and I feel bad about being ill. I'm trying not to blame myself for being ill, but I've got this story in my head… sigh. I'm mostly coping. Using the new techniques I'm learning. That's helping.

    • Heathered says:

      I remember someone on The Toast linking to a ricotta gnocchi recipe that looked SO GOOD, but I've never made it so I'm no help. Do report back–maybe you'll spur me to try. And being ill is definitely a place to apply the idea of fault. It's unfortunate for your friend, but hopefully she'll understand. If you know enough people to make a communal meal for, maybe a few of them can check in with her or even drop by some gnocchi for a short chat?

    • littleinfinity says:

      Ricotta cheese gnocchi are ridiculously easy! Here's an example recipe: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013318-ricott… There are lots of other ones out there. You can totally do it and it comes out delicious. High reward-to-effort ratio 🙂

      I know you know this, but: being ill is not your fault! It sucks and you wish it wasn't the case and you would change it if you could. But it's not your fault.

      Glad the anniversary meal was delicious!!

    • CleverManka says:

      My best advice for gnocchi (keeping in mind I haven't made it since I gave up grain flours) is that slightly sticky is better than too dry, so add your flour slowly.

    • Onymous says:

      Potato Gnocchi for cheaters:
      1 cup potato flakes
      1 cup almost boiling water
      1 cup flour
      1 egg yolk OR 2 Tbs ricotta (when doubling just use a whole egg)
      1 pinch salt

      mix together potato flakes and water until smooth (should be stiffer than you usually eat them) add everything else mix into dough. Separate into 4 balls, roll into ~1 inch thick snakes cut into ~1 inch pieces. chuck into boiling water, fish out as they start floating.

      Personally I usually eat them as such: in an oven safe skillet add ~2 tbs of butter, garlic, sage, italian seasoning. melt butter and stir everything, turn off heat. As the gnocchi float use a slotted spoon to transfer into skillet (don't let it drain too much you want a little water in the pan by the end) stir up, coat liberally in parmesan and broil.

      Makes enough for 1 as the only course of a meal or enough for 2 as a side dish.

      adapted from Gennaro Makes Gnocchi

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        Thanks! I steamed my potatoes in an electric steamer. Potato flakes would be faster.

        • Onymous says:

          The real upside to potato flakes is you can control the moisture so you never end up having to add extra flour, or worry about over working it or anything (so much internet advice when i was looking was like "don't let a knife anywhere near your potato the cells will puncture and you'll have soup").

      • Räven says:

        I have never heard of potato flakes! I have looked them up now. How wild. WHO COMES UP WITH THESE THINGS.

  2. Heathered says:

    Self-recrimination is going GREAT this week. Improvement is kind of at a standstill. It's normal for me to not eat with great interest in my food, but there is eventually a meal that breaks through the fog and tastes great, meaning things are shifting to a more open, happy state for a while. But that's not happening lately. And last night, after trying from 9:30 pm until 1 am to get to sleep, I tried to do a breath work technique that's good for sensing into your chakras and can give you a happy ending if you play it right, and…I can't find anything in my torso. At all. This discovery was very much the opposite of a happy ending. I hope I come back to myself soon.

  3. CleverManka says:

    I still don't know if these hot flashes I'm having several times a day (and night) are menopause related or my Niacin supplements that I'm taking for my energy levels. I'm ready for them to stop. I'm also ready for an increase in energy. I would like improvement on any front at this point. At least I've already stopped wearing makeup so I don't have to deal with the psychological ramifications of sweating off my makeup by 8:30am.

    I'm a little worried that I'm becoming depressed. I'm already experiencing mild dissociation. So relieved about the upcoming three-day weekend.
    <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/69674/69674_original.gif"&gt;

  4. Frumiosa says:

    No movement on any projects. No agents are interested in my book, because they won't be able to make money off of it. It's an essay collection, so no matter how well-known the contributors are, it's a hard sell unless a particularly big name will do a book tour for it, which is unlikely when they're just one essay out of a bunch. Major sighs, not sure what to do at this point. It's been years putting this together, working connections to get contributors, getting them to write on spec, putting a proposal together, with several agents getting excited about the project, saying it's a great idea, and then ending up passing. I haven't given up yet, but maybe I should. If it won't sell, why keep throwing myself at the wall? It just kills me, because the concept is a great idea, and I know that before long someone else with connections will end up doing it. Meanwhile, I've been trying to write, to not have all of my eggs in this rickety basket, but I've been really blocked lately, and my fear is that it's a side effect of my switch to a new anti-anxiety medication that is finally working. Of course, the fear at the ugly bottom of all of this is that I'm not blocked, I just have no talent and nothing to say to begin with. So yeah, one of those days. Blech.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I'm so sorry; I wish I had advice to give about the literary world/economy, but am completely out of my depth on that one. I can say I think you have talent and awesome things to say, just from what I know of you/your posts, and that I hope something comes up soon that is really motivating (motivation is so gd fickle, seriously).

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      What is your book's concept? (If you can say.)

      • Frumiosa says:

        An essay collection of spiritual coming-of-age stories – here's part of my blurb I've sent to dozens of agents, for your enjoyment! :

        "an irreverently reverent compilation of essays from noted authors, scholars, and personalities on what they were thinking about life, the universe, and everything when they were young people, and how that may have impacted who they became. It also includes voices of teens today, of all and no religions, exploring what questions of God, faith, and existence itself means to the next generation. Most of all, it addresses these issues in a grounded, funny, human way, accessible to adults and teens seeking honest writing."

        ETA: Copyright Diana Jacobs-Komisar 2016 (yes I know this isn't a thing but please internet don't steal my idea)

        • Heathered says:

          After reading this I'm a little furious on your behalf, because I'd read it in a hot second and I know lots of others would, too. I don't know if there's anything I can do to help, but if you want to throw ideas around email heatherlseggel over at gmail. Definitely do not give up on this idea. It *can* make money and people will read it if you can get it in front of them.

          • Frumiosa says:

            Thanks! It has a lot of stuff going for it – my editing partner is a well-known writer on religion and pop culture, I have 20+ contributors on board (including Kima Jones and Laura Ortberg Turner – I asked Mallory and the Nicoles and they all declined, oh well), so I really don't want to give up. It just needs someone to believe in it – though a huge name wouldn't hurt. Anybody have a connection to Tavi Gevinson?

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          That sounds like it could be a series.

          I've seen something similar for atheists that was published through an indie publisher. (I'd look it up for you but I suspect it isn't a good fit.)

          Good luck.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Aww that all sounds so rough. When I'm feeling blocked, I find it helpful to switch to another medium for awhile (usually between painting and music). Can you take a break from writing and try some other creative outlet?

  5. damngoodcoffee says:

    Work-related word vomit ahead:

    So I'm a librarian who went into reference because I like being able to help people one-on-one. I ended up working as a research/instruction librarian in academia because when working in public libraries I learned I had no real interest in the type of programming involved and when working in a federal library I learned I hated the fact that I was surrounded by people who completely disrespected what I did and couldn't even call myself a librarian. So now I'm in academia and mostly things are excellent, but because I have very little classroom teaching experience the whole process of creating lesson plans and telling a large group of students to fill out worksheets and stuff tends to cause me quite a bit of anxiety. I'm not sure how my interest in instruction will play out long term, but right now, esp. at the beginning of the school year, I'm struggling to relax, even in my down time, knowing how many classes I have to teach.

    I guess what I'm really asking is this: does anyone have any advice on how to stay balanced when you have a lot of anxiety-inducing stuff to do and no way to get out of doing it? I have a feeling the more I do it the less anxious I'll feel, but it can be hard to see that far ahead when all I see in front of me are more classes and me stewing over them even on weekends.

    Er, like I said, word vomit.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh. My method for stuff like this is to just do it, get it over with, and then drink myself into feeling better after work. Obviously this does not work for people with substance abuse issues, so if that's a problem for you, maybe someone will chime in with a more mature/less damaging suggestion.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I don't drink, but I usually have some of my own things I use to get out of my head that I go to for when I know the end date of some difficult task (usually some combination of Netflix/ao3 :)). But because this is ongoing, I feel like that wouldn't work as well, because I just can't stop myself from looking ahead at all the stuff I still have to do (which, the looking ahead is probably the problem).

        Ugh, plus a not-so-stable coworker just snapped at me in front of a student, so that's wonderful.

    • littleinfinity says:

      No advice on staying calm in the face of anxiety-inducing stuff (I am in a similar boat and also would love any advice on this), but regarding teaching: the first time you teach any class is nervewracking x 1000. It's terrifying! I know! BUT the good thing is that anxiety will decrease steadily throughout the semester/quarter. The first time is always the worst time. Next semester if you teach the same classes again, it will be SO MUCH easier, trust me. A friend of mine in grad school came up with the saying: "This is the last first time I have to do this!" The last first session of the semester, the last first time of teaching Library 101 (or whatever), the last first time you meet your students. It will get better in a few weeks. (but I know right now it is the worst. good luck with everything and don't be afraid to ask questions of your colleagues!)

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Weirdly, this is actually part of the problem for my situation at work: we teach one-shots in faculty-taught classes, so every term (and there are 4 terms a year) there's something new. That said, there will still be repeat classes (just with different students/sometimes different classes), so for those I am definitely counting on it getting easier. I've been here just over a year and have experienced that kind of repeat once already, and it was SO relieving.

    • Frumiosa says:

      For the lesson plan stuff, anyway, i would advise the Pomodoro technique (I'm using it now! Writing this comment in between working on my job!). There's an app for it, but you can also just set your own timer. Simple concept – 30 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break. Sprint through a lesson plan, rejuvenate, sprint again, suddenly three hours have passed and you've actually done something. You gotta make a deal with yourself to actually adhere to the times, though, which can be tough.

      ETA: This is anxiety-reducing for me because sprinting leaves me no time for my anxieties, and the break lets me run around the room and blow off steam. YMMV, as always.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Ooh, thank you! I've used the Pomodoro technique before but only for reading, never for lesson planning. It sounds like it'll be really helpful for that, though.

        I do yoga for most of my exercise, but when I'm already anxious that only sometimes helps- I think you're right about more cardio/aerobic-type stuff. I do have a rowing machine, which I haven't been using much lately, so this weekend I'll try to burn off some anxiety on that.

        • Xolandra says:

          I was coming here to suggest yoga, but if you already do that, maybe a more aerobic version of it? Ashtanga turns my brain off even when other yoga won't work, though ymmv of course…

    • vladazhael says:

      Given that several of us here have mentioned perfectionism and unfamiliarity with failure/having to work hard at mental stuff as recurring problems, I wonder if maybe a piece of advice from (oddly enough) Trent Reznor might be applicable here: don't be afraid to suck. Are you anxious about doing these things, or are you anxious about not doing them perfectly? Because you don't have to do them perfectly. Do your best, sure, but it's okay to fuck up sometimes, and that's a hard lesson for a lot of us to internalize.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Oh yeah, I mean, failure I know, but perfectionism is something that has never gone away from me. Just reading that quote actually helped, thank you!

    • CheddarBiscuit says:

      I'm a fellow anxious person who has done a decent amount of university-level teaching and has ended up actually being able to enjoy it. In addition to the good advice that had already been offered, I'd add that being really thorough with my lesson plan so that I leave very little to chance when actually teaching the lesson helps lessen my nervousness a great deal. Like, really making a detailed outline of what I want to have happen in the classroom and the approximate time I want each step to take…then, when I show up it's really just a matter of execution. I'll often even plan out extra activities/material that I'll include if we move through things more quickly than expected, as well as an idea of what I can take out if the students take longer with a certain activity or discussion.

      Beyond that, I think just accepting that it's normal to be anxious about this helps. I've known very experienced and accomplished teachers who STILL get butterflies at the beginning of the year and consider it a good thing because it means that you care about what you're doing.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thank you! I didn't think of planning extra activities/material, but I'll definitely do that, because (esp. when I'm feeling anxious) I tend to move more quickly than I realize through material.

    • Heathered says:

      I'm a big fan of trying on organizational systems the way other people might be into shoes–Bullet Journal has been a good fit for me but I'm also looking at GTD and other ways to corral life plans as well as day to day stuff. Main thing is to get the data out of your head and onto the page, then leave it there until you're working and checking things off.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thank you! I just started doing the bullet journal thing- not for my everyday tasks that I need to do (for that I use Evernote, just because I add to it/change it so frequently that my daily to-do list seems to work better in digital format), but for daily habits, 'done' lists (stuff I've already accomplished), random lists (books/movies to read, things to be thankful for, etc.), and there's even a section at the back for rants/solutions (I totally got all these ideas from Buzzfeed). It's only been a little over a week but it IS helping me keep on track with self care (daily habits are things like '# of meals I ate w/vegetables,' 'hours of sleep,' etc.) which has definitely been helping my anxiety not be worse than it has. I haven't tried GTD just because the Evernote/bullet journal combo seems to be enough for now, but I might try that in the future.

  6. Lynn says:

    Manka, I have tried and tried and intensedebate hates me (or my browser), so I apologize for making you have to continue to approve my comments.

    Anyway, today is deadline day for the grant application I oversee so I have been fielding calls from anxious applicants for the last several days. This is the time of year I both love and hate — I actually really like administering the grant process, but it is also the most stressful part of my job because it has concrete deadlines and requires a lot of maintaining other people's egos.

    On the plus side, I have a salad waiting for me that includes fresh mint that I grew myself in my baby herb garden. And I got a white noise machine that after one night appears to at least somewhat be helping with my sleep.

  7. LaxMom says:

    I think my teen is trying to wear me out! Tonight we get the rabbit to the fair, then starts 5 days of driving 45 minutes back and forth at least twice a day for rabbit care, and parking, and bad fair food–all while keeping the 8th grader from stressing over homework, the 11th grader in his college classes despite needing him to drive his sister, and me in my classes/job. Friday is his first home football game, Sunday is a band bash at the fairgrounds.

    Kid who got license and car last week on his 16th birthday thought I'd let him drive to connecticut solo on sunday. Yeah, no. He has a "skype girlfriend' (what his sister calls her)/"imaginary friend" (what he calls her) that he wants to meet. I've talked to her on skype before, they are pretty supportive of each other. But Ohio to Connecticut and back from 2 pm Sunday to Monday night late?
    If his therapist can't talk him out of it I will go with him, and we will take my car (which he will hate but I'm not going out of state in a car my ex owns), and we will try to at least swing by and walk around Yale.
    In 2 days.

    He's trying to kill me. I know that's what teens do, but…sheesh! We looked and his calendar doesn't have any other option before snow starts flying, and then I refuse to drive unless forced.

    • Crivens_the_hag says:

      Words. Fail. I just cannot. (incoherent babbling)
      A of all, teen romances are inherently short term, even the in-person ones. Second of B, even considering taking him out of state is WAY above and beyond the call of duty. Where would you stay? Does Skype gf's parents know about this planned visit? Just…wtf? On the thirded hand, you are busy!!! Maybe more overtaxed and extended than any other person I (virtually) know!
      Your needs count! Take care of yourself, too!
      (endeth the rant of butt-in-ski toast friend)💗💗

      • RoseCamelia says:

        This.

        LaxMom is a rock star parent and I trust her judgment. But I gotta wonder if Teen Boy might benefit from being required to jot down a list of his mom's responsibilities and available hours. Then he can describe how he thinks it will all get done, in which hours his mom can sleep, how many days she must operate at top efficiency before she can relax. It's a useful learning experience for time management.

      • LaxMom says:

        You can butt in whenever!
        I posted down there, but I remembered that all the college trips with older boy were last-minute squeezes too. If we can pull off a college trip I'm ok with it. He's very proud of his driving, and anything that will motivate him for college is a good thing. I plan on sleeping Saturday afternoon as soon as rabbit judging is over.

        • Crivens_the_hag says:

          See, college visit that happens to be near Skype gf is totally different math!
          Still, take care of yourself, too!
          😉

    • LaxMom says:

      Well, he's putting on the effort to look into tours already, and check with her parents. I intend to skype them to make sure.

      Teen boys, cars, and hormones are a crazy-making mix. Especially when dad is the car-czar. I'm about 87% sure that if I said no he'd respect it—there would be drama. The other 13% —based on experience with his older brother, he might just go anyway.

      He is not his brother. This I know. But–brother LOST hi driver's license before he even GOT it, due to sneaking out without an adult and getting caught right in front of his girlfriend's house. Apparently dad had been telling him it was fine
      A year and 50 hours of community service later, he lost it again when he totalled the car on a dry road. Called dad, dad called insurance, cops, etc. Nobody told me until I got home from work that night. So I don't put it past him to say go ahead to teen boy behind my back.

      In the end, though, it boils down to this: 18 hours in a car with my kid. Even if he sleeps half of it, that's a lot of quality one on one time. I think it will be good for us.

      ETA: From experience with the previous kid, college tour trips all happen like this, pretty-last minute and squeezed in between crazy schedules. So this isn't too far out of the norm, for me anyway. I'm still not convinced the school will give tours on a holiday, but we'll see. That is his job tomorrow, to schedule it.

  8. vladazhael says:

    DragonCon? DragonCon. DRAGONCON!

    For someone a bit newer to this particular scene and more low-key about it than some, I have QUITE the con-prep brainscape going right now. I keep finishing little things and then thinking of other little things to do and I could probably keep perfecting costumes right on into eternity if given the chance. Even at work, away from anything I can physically tweak, my mind is a network of contingencies of what to wear when under what conditions, which I wasn't going to obsess about since I was planning on wearing the same fabulous costume as much as possible, but the most important piece of that won't arrive on time (or at least mostly not on time) and I have to a) improvise and b) plan to wear other things that will make me feel almost as fabulous. Which is fine, because I can do that and I will enjoy it – I just must SCHEME. ALL THE SCHEMES. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHA. HA. ha. …I stayed up late last night experimenting with lipstick and I'm really tired and punchy.

    Anyhoo. I shall try to get good photos of my costumes, but that can be a crapshoot, especially as I am not among the naturally photogenic and most other people are not among the naturally photographic. My man-person is sitting this one out and staying home with the pets, and I have permission to make out with Charlie Cox should he happen to spot me in an elevator or bar and become hopelessly smitten. Entirely fair, I think, given the recent shake-up. I will use my powers only for good.

  9. SmrtCookie says:

    This week has a been a good one for me! My Madame Clairvoyant horoscope last week was so great, I keep thinking about it and it's helping me break out of bad cycles reclaim the best parts of me.

    Aries: When you’re pulled by gravity and love, the demands of the world might feel heavier than you can bear. In the midst of so much spinning change, it can feel difficult to keep your own balance. You can lose your sense of your own shining core. Use this week to rediscover the parts of yourself that have slipped out of sight, the ones you thought you had to lay down. We move along strange wide orbits, but nothing is really lost. The best parts of yourself can still be yours.

  10. MuseKray says:

    I'm wondering how long it will take me to build my social circle and finally feel like I have a home. I know it takes time, but I want it now.

    Just curious, you know that advice that one should volunteer as a way to make friends? Has anyone ever had the luck of picking organizations that seem really cool, but once you're volunteering people barely look or talk to you?
    I mean, I still pick organizations I believe in and like contributing to, but I think I've been having bizarre luck so far. I hope it's just bizarre luck and not me being inherently unlikable.

    • SmrtCookie says:

      I've had bad luck making friends from volunteering. It's hard to go from "it's nice to talk while we contribute to this shared cause" to "hey let's hang out," especially as a new person to the group if that's not something they usually do! I've also run into volunteer groups that have way different demographics than expected and ones that are weirdly clique-y. It's definitely not you being unlikable!

      • MuseKray says:

        I mean, I don't expect to make a bff right away or at all. I would just like to socialize.

        Just need to keep trying.

    • CleverManka says:

      That stinks, bb. I'm the worst for advice on this sort of thing because I've spent 40 years cultivating a persona that strangers don't want to engage with. I hope someone has some suggestions for you!

      • MuseKray says:

        Aw, thanks.

        My problem is that I've been a nomad due to graduating right as the recession began and not having the time to set down social roots. Once I establish that, I hope to be a frightening woman who repels the Unworthy.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I've had that problem quite a bit and after talking to a few people (and trying quite a few organizations) it seems to have come down to this city just being insular and a bit hostile to outsiders (and political). Also, in related groups have the same people in them and that means they have the same problems.

      I've mostly stopped trying to join groups outside of my fields of work interest and I tend to create groups for my hobbies that run by my rules. That isn't great for meeting new people.

      A few things I'd probably try the next time I want to join a group for making friends would be:

      1) Get a friend to bring me in and vouch for me.
      2) Not get too invested until I've scouted the culture and friendliness of the group.
      3) Look for groups that have newbie recruitment and practices that are actually newbie friendly. (ie Starting with people means we are all in the same boat.)
      4) Staying the fuck away from groups that contain people I already know to be toxic and groups that appear to have active "missing stair" habits.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I often feel in a similar boat (and then other times I just feel like a hermit who wants people to go away), but I can say this: I don't think you are at all alone in this predicament. I think chronic loneliness (not that that's what you in particular are dealing with, but it's related to looking to make friends, etc.) is pretty widespread now, and people are feeling increasingly isolated from each other, whether or not they actually make it known to anyone (and if they have no one to open up to, who would they even tell?). That helps me, sometimes, because often I do feel like it's just me, and this is somehow easier for everyone else. I think that most people are feeling it to varying degrees, though.

    • Heathered says:

      IT IS TOTALLY NOT YOU!!! Sorry, I might be a little invested in this idea on your behalf, but it's true. Weirdly, when you move on from the volunteer gig you may find warmer relationships with the people who seemed to be cold shouldering you at the time. I have no explanation for this phenomenon & hope it's not yet another facet of the Mercury Retrograde charm offensive. Good luck to you from the same boat in another body of water.

    • Xolandra says:

      Yeah, adult classes are also terrible for making friends. _terrible_.

      I found awesome people through ravelry, but such is not always the case or useful for everyone. Honestly, I think it just takes time – time to figure out where your people hang out, what they do, who they know. It took me two years to figure this city out, and it is still really hard to find friends, in large part because as adults, people already have full friend cards; they already have that person that they go to shows with, go to movies with, go to the gallery, museums, chill… I made my best friends in my new city because they had recently decided to make life changes that included different friends and i was at the right place at the right time.

      Remember, sociologists suggest that humans require 100+ hours of "unstructured socializing" in order for friendships to develop. It's not you, you are lovely and are totally worthy of friends. It is the wacky world in which we live that makes friend-making impossible. :toasthugs:

    • Yarnybarny says:

      I volunteer at lot and I make a lot of friends at those places but it isn't necessarily friends I can hang out with outside of volunteering – if that makes sense? Although a few have invited me to things outside volunteering so that is good. Right now I'm looking for a new volunteer place to spend some time and make some new friends. I'm going to such a place this very evening! It is an inner city farm called Common Good City Farm in DC. I'm going to a Pickle Making Class tonight and I'll check the place out for volunteering. I'm very excited! The last organization I volunteered at didn't work out so I'm hopeful this one will be different. Besides continuing to try I would recommend also being a steady presence. Like volunteering once or twice won't really grow friendships. I like one Saturday a month as a minimum and then throwing in a few extra days. I also recommend being ready to say "no, this place isn't right for me" and not getting yourself tied down if you aren't happy (which can be difficult for me! I can be stubborn). If you are in DC (slim chance, I realize but just in case) I'm happy to let you know about where I'm volunteering and how it is going with making friends. I hope you hit the friend- jackpot soon!

    • meat lord says:

      Godspeed on social circle-building! I wish I had useful tips, but I just have a lot of sympathy for how dang slowly friendships can form.

  11. Xolandra says:

    Holy hell, can this week ever SUCK IT. My monster-cat (best beloved, 14 years old, all mine for all those years) has colon cancer. My good friend who is also an alcoholic relapsed. I am bad at my job. My dad is depressed, my grandmother and brother have chronic pain, and i still have mystery uterus pains that aren't bad enough to go to the hospital but aren't not bad enough to ignore. My mayor is a racist douche. And because MY mood is so foul, I am struggling with "be nice just be nice you never know what everyone else is trying to cope with throw a little nice out there because the world is nicer when you are nice" versus "bad behaviour deserves to be shamed" (I'm looking at YOU car that tried to run me down while i was minding my own business on the sidewalk).

    Eff. This. Week.

  12. Crivens_the_hag says:

    Glorious space witches and bread friends. Last week my work/Adulting obstacles were entirely of my own stupid making. This week all others conspire to thwart me. Arrgh!
    Better than self sabotage? Probably. Still prevents meaningful progress.
    Like Sisyphus, off to roll the boulder back up the $!@* hill.

  13. Merripat says:

    So I'm back from apartment hunting. It went better than expected, but not as good as I hoped – I still haven't found anything.
    I'm still not sure if it's the "right" thing. Sometimes it's better, sometimes worse. My brother and I talked a lot about how I feel at the moment, and how he knows some of these feelings so well, and assured me that he'll be there for me when I move and that it's going to be alright. My other brother is more reseved, but I know I can count on him as well.
    Some viewings went really well, which was a confidence boost – I looked at four flatshares (two good, two not so good); one of each already fell through. I'm waiting to hear back from the others.

    Then I heard of a really great offer through a friend; it's a small flat, near where one of my brothers lives. I went there, the landlord was nice and seemed to like me. I, however, still needed some papers – she promised to e-mail me the one that my parents needed to sign, but never did. I followed up with an e-mail a couple hours later, she didn't respond, and this morning, she wrote that somebody else (one of the two other people who looked at this flat) had all the papers ready and signed the lease right there yesterday evening. But "it's too bad, you would have fit in our house so well!" Well, thanks a lot, lady.
    And now I'm really frustrated and disappointed. I could have had the stuff ready this morning! Even yesterday evening! I specifically said, twice, that I could rearrange my travel plan and stay longer!
    But instead, I took an overnight bus back to old town yesterday evening. I was really scared of coming home and feared everything would come back and I'd feel terrible again, especially since not a lot of my friends are here at the moment.
    Then I heard about the flat, developed a strong headache, AND it's still really hot here which is not comfortable.

    I have a glass of red wine next to me and am going to bed soon. I asked a friend if we could meet once a day, so I'd have to get out and do something. She agreed, but she's going on holiday herself on Sunday, and then Pregnant Couple will be the only friends I have here right now, and they have other things to do at the moment.

    Another good thing: Yesterday I met up with another Toastie in new city!

  14. Kazoogrrl says:

    Goal achieved: to make it through Supernatural S1 and see if it stuck. It did. Go me!

    Ahh, and I managed to complete a piece of official paperwork for my house and get it mailed the day before it was due! Now I'm getting ready to dig in and fight the city about my property designation (no, it is not a multi-unit rental dwelling, it's a single family home!).

  15. Pantechnicon says:

    Back in the days of The-Toast, I posted anonymously a couple of times about my ongoing struggle with my husband's infidelity. From the beginning his story has been that his actions were all about himself and his insecurities, and had nothing to do with me or our (20+ year) marriage. We've been seeing a therapist, and in our session today I told him that even though I would like to believe him — have tried to believe him for the better part of two years — I think that story is bullshit. Can't wait to see where this goes…

    • vladazhael says:

      Man, that shit is going around lately! One of my close friends just found out her (already emotionally unsupportive) husband cheated a while back and he's soooo sorry but oh, he feels soooo much better coming clean and he's all relieved and she's just trying not to strangle him in front of the kids. I'm sorry you're having to deal with that, but glad you were able to articulate your feelings so clearly. That's a skill that too few of us develop.

      • Pantechnicon says:

        Lol, thanks. It has taken me way too long to be able to acknowledge that feeling to myself much less articulate it to him. Hello! I'm allowed to take it personally when my husband cheats on me! He took it really well, though. To his credit he seems to be truly remorseful and is doing everything I have asked of him in our efforts to move forward.

  16. Fancy_Pants says:

    Are we all having a bad week here? I was up suuuper late last night moving into the new apartment and was then too wired to sleep well, and then so many things are just…breaking at work and I don't know how to fix them and I am so tired my eyeballs hurt. My personal growth goal for the night is to get out of bed long enough to find some ice cream.

    Please send soothing gifs of beautiful men.

  17. fiddlergirl says:

    I'm on a threeish week streak of feeling exhausted most of the time. I am not pregnant, can't blame this on antidepressants since those started last week, incidentally had a physical 2 weeks ago and no red flags… Been trying to get more sleep and have managed to bump the weekly average up from 6.5 hours/night to 7 hours and change. Bah.

    Positives! Said yes to a few social things, completed an assignment for my Coursera creative writing course, made a plan to start working on songwriting with my voice teacher (I have an assignment for that too so my hand is forced), did my PT exercises for the persistent hip injury this morning.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hope that fatigue bullshit passes SOON. Good for you doing your PT! I'm struggling to get back to mine since my back and hip are starting to flare up again because of lack of movement.

  18. meat lord says:

    I am a mess. I don't know what I need to do in order to improve my mental health, since I'm already doing therapy/medication, but something has got to give.

    Tonight I'd really like to work on some creative work, because for the last…. I don't know how long…. I have only been able to get anything done on days when I don't have job-work. But I feel tired (at 7:15 pm!) and soul-sucked and what's the point anyway, and so on.

    God, I complain a lot in these threads.

    • meat lord says:

      Ah. As it turns out, my missing step might have been "talk to humans other than therapist about negative emotions."

      In good news, my coworker gave me a ripe heirloom tomato from her garden, and I used it in a cream cheese/tomato/garlic powder/salt toasted bagel sandwich. HEAVENLY.

      • Xolandra says:

        Aw yiss, garden tomatoes are the best! And I don't even like tomatoes.

        I hope that your energy levels come back, though I don't know where to find creative energy that has been sucked by a job. Lemme know if you find a way, cause I would like to share it. ♥ Also, complain away. No one can offer a solution if you never complain.

        • meat lord says:

          No one can offer a solution if you never complain.

          That's a perspective I've never considered! Wow, that explains a lot.

    • Crivens_the_hag says:

      Soul-sucking jobs are the worst. Good luck with mental health. Have no useful thoughts on that one.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      It's OK to complain here. I think you know that. Just a reminder to tuck in your pocket for later, when you need it.

      I've been where you are. Therapy/meds, too tired after work. Two schedule alterations helped me. I did one for a while, then the other, not both together, though that could work, too.

      1. Go somewhere not-home after work. Do some of my after work unwinding walking at a park or air-conditioned mall. Or go to a public library after work and browse the stacks. I had to set a timer on my phone; I lose all sense of time when surrounded by books. Or go to a coffee shop after work and read something pleasurable and/or relaxing while sipping something warm and decaf. Go home when finished with warm drink. I felt good enough for creative work when I did get home.

      2. Change my meal timing. I was exhausted after work partly because of low blood sugar. I tried a protein snack an hour before the end of the work day. A handful of peanuts or almonds. Or a glass of cow's milk. Or a wedge of aged cheese. Then I put off my supper to 8 or 9 p.m., after a little creative work and/or a small chore.

      • meat lord says:

        Thanks for your kind words and for the tips! I have noticed that #1 doesn't work for me (unless I wrote while at a coffeeshop before coming home? Hmmmm) but #2 might give me results.

  19. LaxMom says:

    YAAAAAY!
    Bragging and moaning here, but mostly bragging. My mom's apron won 3rd place at the fair! My daughter's orange cranberry scones–that she had to enter in the adult baking contest because there was no category for scones at the junior level–won FIRST! Blue ribbon! And lol, we made them, realized they asked for six and we'd cut the scones into 8ths, she made a second batch as quickly as possible, accidentally poured double the amount of glaze on them, and then while they were still hot put them in saran wrap and I took them to the fair. Apparently we'll have to make all those mistakes again next year!

    The moaning is, I entered a pretty complex cabled scarf that I made for my mom this winter. They put it on display next to the blue ribbon winner—a doctor who scarf. Now, I'm as crazy about doctor who as you can get, but the first thing my boys knitted was a doctor who scarf…it's just miles and miles of one stitch. I wuz robbed!

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