Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In
This is my last Joey gif. I might start re-using them at some point, but for now, let the memory of this beautiful shirt carry you through the coming apocalypse.

This is my last Joey gif of that catchphrase. I might re-use them someday, but for now, let the memory of this beautiful shirt carry you through the coming apocalypse.

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.

75 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Lynn says:

    Manka, before I forget — my sister-in-law decided she wanted deviled eggs for Thanksgiving, so I volunteered to try out your boiled eggs method and it was absolutely amazing. The whole time I was scooping out the yolks I just kept marveling over how gloriously yellow and bright they were. My entire mom's side of the family was impressed — especially with the putting the carton upside down trick.

    The holiday was not too bad, even though we got stranded in Dallas overnight because our first flight was late (we stayed at the Grand Hyatt which actually was so nice for an airport hotel that we are seriously considering breaking future trips that way on purpose). But I thoroughly acknowledge that the thing I had to be most thankful for are that there are no Trump voters on my mom's side so there was no politics talk except commiseration. Also my cousin's kids are adorable and finally getting to the age where the fun to fussy ratio tips to the fun side.

    Today I get to send out letters telling people we are giving them money which is the best day of my job every year, so it has improved my mood considerably from my post holiday funk.

    I am still wrestling with what boundaries I need to set with news consumption as I just can't function in a perpetual state of outrage all the time and it's very difficult *not* to be at this point. I am testing a system where I basically only check news when I feel prepared to handle it (or am in a place where I can yell/punch pillows without repercussions), we'll see if that works. I'm kind of afraid it will turn into my experiment with not checking Facebook from my phone, though, where scaling back turns into not participating at all (which is fine with Facebook but not with knowing what's going on in the world).

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh, I am so happy to hear my boiled egg method worked for you! Thank you for letting me know!

      I hope you find a way to moderate and control your news consumption in a way that still allows you to be informed and active. It's a hard line to find, much less walk.

    • pseudonymica says:

      My news consumption method may be one of the reasons things are so screwed up, but…I get my news from Facebook and funny talk show clips on youtube. I can't stomach this reality without laughter and human emotion. I stay reasonably informed by my Facebook friends, who are intelligent, sensitive, and diverse (I unfollowed or unfriended the exceptions). I'm trying not to react to any headlines until I read the actual article, which helps – and I'm not bothering with the most sensationalistic. I google specific things that I find unclear or urgent. Like yesterday: "Would Pence be worse than Trump?" (I still don't know the answer.)

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Boundaries for news consumption to avoid perpetual outrage: excellent goal. I have achieved only a few steps in that direction. Here's what's helping me, somewhat.

      Text-only info allows me to skip triggering or rage-inducing material. I go to washingtonpost.com daily and my small town news website once or twice per week. I limit myself to reading only the headlines on the home page. I open new tabs for very few of those headlines, and never for any I know will derail my momentum. Some days, just reading headlines is enough.

      Best wishes for your wrestling match with news and boundaries. I'm certain you'll win, if you pace yourself.

    • fiddlergirl says:

      Just wanted to voice additional support for setting boundaries to avoid perpetual outrage. I'm figuring that out for myself, too, and it's a work in progress, probably will be for a while. But I've done the perpetual outrage thing before and like you, I couldn't function and it didn't lead to anything good or healthy or productive, for myself or those around me or any of the causes I care about. Engagement and self-care are both important. Good luck to you! <3

  2. damngoodcoffee says:

    I am doing alright. Pretty well, considering. The election has definitely motivated me to donate and to call and to look into different options. I'm even planning on attending the Boston protest walk in January w/my coworker. Just got some pins saying 'Nasty Woman' & 'Not My President' that I need to put on my bag w/my safety pin. I've been paying more attention to the news and what's going on, and I haven't felt demoralized by it (not that the content isn't demoralizing, it totally is); I just seem to be in a place where I can handle it. I'll just keep in mind that I need to watch for if that changes.

    I also seem to be able to do something I've had a hard time with for years, which is to make eye contact/friendly faces at people on the street, and just in general be more outwardly kind to strangers. I've avoided it for obvious reasons- that kind of politeness has been taken advantage of in the past (I was followed home by some guy once b/c I smiled at him briefly when I passed him on the sidewalk, for instance). But, at least right now, I seem to like being able to be more outwardly nice in that way. The election has, at least thus far, made me want to reach out. [I mean, I'm also more careful when I'm out in general, but I still try to be nice, if I can.]

    Otherwise? I'm looking forward to the upcoming December holidays and seeing more of my family. I'm reacting with lots of gleeful spite after watching the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. I have some social stuff coming up in December (holiday party, old friend coming by, metalsmith/forging workshop – my first, so we'll see how that goes), and I don't know how much it's all going to test my bandwidth, but I know I can back out if I need to.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Also, to make this even longer, I've been thinking again recently about how much I wish I had my own office. Right now I share an office with another person and our office is separated from our coworkers by walls that don't go to the ceiling, so we can all hear each other, all the time. Now, it's a lot better than my previous job where we had a seriously awful open plan office. But when I need to concentrate on something (like planning a workshop) I will literally just do it at home, and I hate that. I feel like I just can't reach that level of concentration without my own private space. And part of me feels super guilty for even complaining about it, but really, I feel like I'm a _lot_ less productive than I could be, and the office situation is the primary cause.

      • CleverManka says:

        Glad to hear you're back to being outwardly nice, especially if that helps your own mentality! Also hurray for feeling less demoralized. *fistbump*

        Is there any way you could wear earbuds? I have my own office (so amazing) but I have to leave my door to the very busy hallway open unless I'm at lunch or in a confidential meeting since I'm back-up to our part-time student assistant receptionist. I use MyNoise.Net a lot. I'm using right now, in fact!

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I do often use earbuds, but it's not enough. It's not so much a noise thing (though that's part of it) as much of a hyper-awareness of other people (who will often come talk to me- we have a very open policy between the offices), and that's apart from the students who come in- them I actually don't mind. It's just a very 'plan to be interrupted' type of space, and I always feel a little bit on guard, even w/the earbuds, unfortunately. We're getting a new director soon, and I'm hoping the new person will be open to changing either how office space is allocated or how telework policies are laid out.

      • pseudonymica says:

        I'm pretty sure I've seen good arguments that back you up here. I always pause to think "HA!" when I come across stuff like that because I'm rabid about privacy and open floor plans fill me with rage. You might assuage your guilt and make a very professional argument for working from home more often if you google it.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          Once our new director comes on I might see if we can do this, and maybe swing some telework deal out of it (I mean, for a lot of our jobs we have to be in the office, but even just like one day a month would be great, just to stay home and get prep work done for upcoming stuff).

    • fiddlergirl says:

      I've also been trying to ditch (or at least moderate) my avoidant tendencies and do the eye contact with + maybe even smile at + be kind to strangers. Connection feels so important after the election and this is a change for me but it also feels like something I'm capable of, for maybe the first time.

      Metalsmith/forging workshop sounds so cool!!

  3. CleverManka says:

    I got slammed at work an hour ago and don't have time for a long comment of my own but I THINK DR. SEXY'S DRUGS ARE WORKING. This is the second day in a row I've made it to (nearly) noon and haven't felt like dying. Yesterday I even felt okay as I was leaving work.
    <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/290907/290907_original.gif"&gt;

  4. LaxMom says:

    So it's in the last 2 weeks of the semester and I find myself with that overdeveloped grad student sense of guilt which means that I feel lazy for getting a whole 8 hours of sleep and lazier for staying at home to fight my data instead of doing it in my cubicle where 'good' students work.
    Oh, just kill my brain, please.

    Things with Teenboy have been fine. he's happy at 'college', he loves math, he interacts nicely with me and his sister, we talk school, future college, etc. at his prompting…so it's like last week's outburst never happened, except it did.
    Drama runs in my family. I just hope he and counselor can work on this now that counselor knows its there and I've prettty much bowed out, at counselor's request and obviously because it's not helpful to boy's progress if all he's doing is lashing out at me. I suppose it is hard to feel satisfactorily rebellious if your mom a) keeps saying, "of course you're rebellious, you're supposed to be" instead of getting angry like a mom "should" and b) is doing the same thing you're doing, which is going to college doing hard math/science and trying to figure out what to be when you grow up. Hard to be your own person when it looks like mom.
    (still occasionally want to cry, I don't ever want him to talk like that to anyone, I am really hoping it was aimed-at-mom-hurtful-on-purpose talk. Given the nasty human that I was as a teen, I have hope). Also given how happy he is with everything else in his life. Robotics is really going well and they have an out-of-town competition this weekend that he's looking forward to.

    Girl tested for her last-stripe-before-black-belt yesterday. I had class. I told her that I had extreme mom guilt for not going to see her test and she (cruel thing that she is) smirked and said, "Would you feel even guiltier if I broke something bigger this year?" That's in reference to her last big test, where she got a boxer's fracture and didn't tell anyone or cry until after the test and all the handshakes were done. Cute, kid. (rolling eyes). She did just fine!

    If I finish 2/3 of what my goals are for the semester I'll be a rock star. But I'm not sure I can do that, what with my body forcing me to occasionally sleep and stuff. 🙂

    I'm starting to have the "its a no kid christmas that means I get to rock the cynical bitch divorcee mode". Not sure if that's healthy or not, but I usually let myself for at least a day or two every other year when it's my birthday, almost christmas, and my kids are with you-know-who.

    • vladazhael says:

      "I'm starting to have the "its a no kid christmas that means I get to rock the cynical bitch divorcee mode".

      I responded to my new and unwilling singledom by booking a solo Christmas trip to Chicago to go hang out with friends who are younger and hipper and more energetic than me. Raise a glass to freedom.

    • CleverManka says:

      What a relief to hear a not-terrible update on Teenboy! I was worried and thinking about you and him a lot this week.

      Also, you are already a rock star for real.

    • pseudonymica says:

      I am incredibly weird so my experience may have zero applicability to your life, but my mom and I started college together when she was 41and I was 14 and it transformed the usual teen+parent dynamic. The timing is probably too late for your son and it sounds like he's just being an asshole sometimes, but maybe he'll settle into the realization that you're in the same boat.

      On the other hand, my boyfriend's 21 year old son is in his second or third year of college and I am still pleased with my decision to let him sink or swim. He's on the autism spectrum and just got a teenagery attitude of superiority this year. I give him judicious amounts of advice, he ignores it, and I work hard on not giving a fuck, hooray!

  5. LaxMom says:

    Also, I couldn't help being flattered, but I suspect it may have been an undergrad's way of spreading good thoughts to the world? Yesterday as I walked back from Starbucks some guy coasts downhill on his bike smiling at me and saying, "You are very beautiful and my mom told me to live my dream". What a goofball.

  6. vladazhael says:

    I'm starting to have the "its a no kid christmas that means I get to rock the cynical bitch divorcee mode".

    I responded to my new and unwilling singledom by booking a solo Christmas trip to Chicago to go hang out with friends who are younger and hipper and more energetic than me. Raise a glass to freedom.

  7. vladazhael says:

    Time is doing weird things in my head, and I had to go back to look at when I last posted and what I posted about.

    Parents stayed through Thanksgiving and left the day after – all went well and they promised to visit again much sooner this time. Ex came home same day – also okay, and despite the circumstances, good to have him back home. Also it looks like his new girlfriend (which is a word I can use now! go me!) will likely be visiting in December, and I am so far pretty solidly okay with this. It's part of a circumstance (e.g. the breakup) that is essentially unwanted and painful at its core, but for all that, this aspect and really all the other parts that aren't the breakup itself are being handled as respectfully and sensitively as I could ask for. The visit was brought up as an "is this okay" rather than a mandate, and I've been assured without prompting that everything will be kept PG while I'm around, among other considerations. So I'm willing to do my best to roll with this plan as long as I keep seeing signs that the other people involved are doing their best to make it something I can roll with.

    Also I booked a trip to Chicago yesterday to go stay with Cute Younger Friend and see other friends I haven't seen in far too long. I was debating whether it was a good idea or not, because most of the time all I'm really motivated to do is sit in front of Netflix and knit, and my latent anxiety is closer to the surface in non-routine surroundings, and also I HATE northern winter weather. But I think it's a good idea emotionally, psychologically, socially, and really in every possible positive healing sense that I could offer myself, and I feel brave for having committed to it and overall excited to go. It's a pretty grand opportunity to get my ass out of the house and go do independent things around people without it feeling (at least so far) like it's lots of big, scary, unpleasant work. I don't feel like I'm forcing myself to human, but I am in fact humaning, so I must be effectively tricking myself into it.

    • CleverManka says:

      Also it looks like his new girlfriend (which is a word I can use now! go me!) will likely be visiting in December, and I am so far pretty solidly okay with this.
      You are a fucking saint.

      I'm so excited by your trip to Chicago! I half-moved there many many years ago but things didn't work out. In retrospect, it was for the best, but wow, what a city. Please feel free to post all the fun details after your return! With pics, if you want!

      • vladazhael says:

        Nah, I'm no saint. I just have a limited amount of fucks allotted to give about something I can't and ultimately shouldn't change. And ultimately I'm more interested in nurturing the remaining friendship (which feels good) than nurturing a grudge (which, aside from occasional, minor, petty indulgences, feels bad).

        I MISS Chicago. I used to go there quite often when I lived in the same geographic region, but it has been actual years at this point. I will most certainly report back!

        • CleverManka says:

          I'm more interested in nurturing the remaining friendship (which feels good) than nurturing a grudge (which, aside from occasional, minor, petty indulgences, feels bad).
          Seems pretty saintly to me, but maybe I just have a low bar for sainthood?

          • vladazhael says:

            Vlad of Appalachia, Patron Saint of She's 22? LOL OK Good Luck!

          • RoseCamelia says:

            You are delightful!

          • pseudonymica says:

            Yup, a saint – and I did literally laugh out loud at your official title. 22!

            My ex-hood was precipitated by Peter Pan (I decided he needs a name) vigorously defending his choice to spend time with the worst person possible – let's call her Captain Hook. Peter just told me "Captain Hook is doing great not using. She got off methadone even! But she did call me begging for drugs because the guy she was seeing knocked her up and then dumped her." I was like…😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆. But I said, "this is the problem. You tell me these things and then forget what she's like and get mad and deny it when I remind you." He denied that he ever denies anything. 😆😆😆😆😆

          • vladazhael says:

            Wooooooow. That's… just… that is many, many layers of fuckery. Peter Pan can keep flying string on 'til morning if he's going to get tangled up in that shit.

          • pseudonymica says:

            Right?! For some reason, I was especially fixated on the layer where he made it sound like Captain Hook had nothing to do with her own impregnation – maybe because it's not as disturbing as some of the other layers.

            By the way, have fun in Chicago! Remember that you don't have to be in adventurous fun mode every minute. I can't get through a vacation without retreating at some point.

          • vladazhael says:

            Thank you! Yeah, there is at least some movie watching built into the venture, and this friend and I have a solid history of chill togetherness, so really the only thing I suspect might keep things a little on the crazy side is how much there is to do in so little time.

          • CleverManka says:

            Peter Pan can keep flying straight on 'til morning
            <img src="https://media.giphy.com/media/QgixZj4y3TwnS/giphy.gif"&gt;

  8. pseudonymica says:

    Yesterday was intense in all sorts of alarming ways but maybe I'll share the good moment instead: I am reclaiming music, which I had lost although it used to be an essential part of me. I played the flute. I was good. I have a bachelor's degree in music performance. I never thought I'd let it slip away, but I did. I went in the direction of my other passion, social science, and when I try to pick up my flute again I am painfully bad at it.

    I've had a beautiful tenor recorder sitting around forever, and I decided to teach myself how to play that. It's similar enough to the flute that I was able to jump straight ahead to being decent, but different enough that I don't have high standards. It's glorious.

    Also, I aced a fifth grade reading test and passed a sixth grade reading test at vision therapy on Monday, which means I'm making progress. Last month I passed a third grade reading test. I was reading at a twelfth grade level when I was actually in third grade. Life is weird but I guess okay.

  9. Heathered says:

    My email was hacked some time this month, and I ended up losing a not insignificant amount of work as a result. Changed password, but my location is still showing up as incorrect. This is not great, but I will navigate it. Therounseling (I'm not sure what it is I'm doing) knocked me for a loop today, sad, hard, and exhausting. Trying to balance making a measure of peace with having no IRL social support where I live and still trying to pursue that = being between a rock and an enormous pile of recently emptied litterboxes. No like.

  10. Doc_Paradise says:

    I haz the sick. I caught the cold that made my partner's face look like he was going to murder the world for four days. I don't have enough energy to murder the world. The world is safe for now.

    Partner (the one who is also sick) and I ejected Mr. Helpless from our communal gaming potluck with a large mallet made of words. The email that partner wrote was a thing of beauty. It was clear, straight to the point, emotionally appropriate and made it clear that being a shit to me wasn't okay. Ending friendships is fraught and triggery for me… but I managed the shitty feelings of self-recrimination and self-blame that come with that territory and got through okay.

    Mr. Helpless responded with apologies for big shitty things he did (not the stuff we called him out for), dismissed our list of issues as being things he didn't understand (*cough*misogyny*cough*micro-aggressions*cough*mansplaining*cough*), admitted that he knew there were problems… but he didn't know what to do, so he did nothing, and, welp, he guesses it is too late now alas.

    I'm proud of myself for recognizing that as an empty bid for more time on the emotional labour gravy train. (Not going to happen.)

    Oh… and I discovered that golden moles exist and look like pocket sand tribbles.

  11. sherwood21 says:

    I am growing a tiny human, and it is EXHAUSTING. I haven't been sleeping well, or enough, or too much, and I only have a minimal amount of energy for a few hours at a time. I have to sit down and rest after I do something strenuous, like start a load of laundry or take a shower. :/ I'm so tired that it's really hard to do basic self-care things, like eating better and drinking more water. Have checked in with the doctor, and everything else is fine – if I can get my sleep back on track and make myself stay hydrated, I'll feel better. But ugh. I just want to have energy again. (I know you know those feels.)

    • CleverManka says:

      UGH and yeah, unfortunately I do know those feels. I hope yours get better soon and I hope you and your support network are allowing you all the rest you need. You deserve to be literally waited on hand and foot for real.

    • Crivens_the_hag says:

      Manufacturing a human is EXHAUSTING! They hijack all host systems for their own use. But eventually they turn six and start making up goofy jokes, so long term it's good. Best wishes and get all the rest you can.❤️

  12. Kazoogrrl says:

    J and I need to figure out how to monetize our hobbies because it was such a drag to come back to work. I will bust my ass for things I love, but being productive at work is like slogging through quicksand.

  13. SimperLegens says:

    I need help you guys. We are going to see my parents for Christmas (my dumb plan) and still haven't made travel plans. Here are the salient details:
    1) They live 900 miles away.
    2) Plane tickets are roughly $400 each.
    3) Driving will take about 14 hours (too long to do comfortably in one day, too short to completely justify the expense of a hotel)
    4) I'm hoping it will be slow-ish at work (I work remotely), but I can't really take time *off* before or after Christmas.

    So – what will I resent less? Spending oodles of money on plane tickets and saving time, or spending oodles of hours in the car and saving money?

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Important: Are you at a latitude far enough north that snow or ice could be a factor? If so, buy those plane tickets today.

      And I'm not sure driving saves money. My little car gets 30 mpg on the highway. 1800 miles round trip means 60 gallons of gas. At $2 per gallon, that's $120.

      So flying is where you save money. But I fully support avoiding airports at all times and especially at the holidays.

  14. SimperLegens says:

    Good point. They live in southern VA, so there might be some snow, but not, like, say, Maine or Canada levels.

    We talked about it last night, and I *think* the plan is to drive, but keep an eye out for deals on plane tickets in the next few weeks. Ugh. I just wish we didn't have to go at all 🙁

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