Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

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.

219 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    I'm feeling somewhat better today. I'm back on schedule (ie structure, food, work, exercise, slept okay last night but with weird "dreamed I was awake" iterative dreams). I saw my therapist yesterday. One of the things she does for me is remind me of my successes and forward movement. Which is useful. The difference between me after coming back from Boston (happy, energized, validated, forward moving) and now (depressed) is large and holes are hard to see out of.

    I'm listening to this now: https://youtu.be/RAQ8809LNhY

    My partners also requested tea eggs so I have a big batch of those on.

    • CleverManka says:

      It really sucks that your Boston energy has gone AWOL. I'm glad therapist was useful. Stupid low-visibility holes.

    • Heathered says:

      That mix is HEAVY. (And YouTube suggested "If you like this,why not check out the Buena Vista Social Club?" Free comedy!)

      I hope you continue to see light over the edge of the holes. A book I was reading last night suggested mounting a legal defense against negative self-talk, but my own is so central to my being it's more like organs than thoughts. If you can isolate yours it might be helpful?

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        *snerk*

        I'm fond of Industrial music and am one of less than a handful of people I know that like Gravity Kills.

        My depression is affective rather than cognitive.
        https://www.kgrierson.com/mental-health/affective

        This has made it hard to get help. Most therapists and people start with the cognitive model of depression (with good reason, it works for many or most people). It, unfortunately, doesn't address my problem. I used to think that I sucked at CBT, but I've since discovered that I am excellent at it and use it regularly… it just doesn't work on my set of problems. Psychache is an excellent term for it. (I've read the suicide book referenced in that article. I adore it.)

        Part of the reason I mentioned "starvation" on the previous post that you wrote was because of my own experience with the outcomes of emotional starvation (emotional neglect).

        • Heathered says:

          Oh, this makes sense, thank you for sharing it. The book I was reading (How To Not Kill Yourself by Set Sytes) throws a lot of spaghetti at the wall very casually in hopes a strand or two will be of use. I ended up picturing Matthew McConaghey in suspenders in some movie where he was a lawyer, and my depression would beat him so hard his head would spin without doing anything at all. I never thought about it as the concrete shoes you get when people keep throwing you overboard. Huh.

    • littleinfinity says:

      I had to google tea eggs – those look really interesting and delicious!

      I'm glad your therapist helps remind you of the progress you're making. It can be so hard to remember the little victories when you're stuck in a hole.

    • redheadfae says:

      Being in the hole sucks, I'm so glad your therapist can remind you of your successes.
      I'll have to try tea eggs, those look interesting!

  2. damngoodcoffee says:

    So I have very little time to write this (I'm teaching a class that I have to leave for in a few minutes) but I wanted to just say it's been a few weeks and I've missed everyone here! I had a wonderful holiday break, and am now back at work trying to roll with all the changes going on (my office mate is leaving and three new hires started on Monday; things are all over the place).

    Personal growth: I have been really, really enjoying my alone time in ways I feel like I haven't let myself do in years, or possibly ever. Becoming more accepting of my own very introverted nature, while acknowledging I still desire social/familial contact in some form and making sure to reach out to those closest to me, has been a pretty long journey for me. Especially because I have been taught for most of my life that my introversion is not a good or healthy quality to have. My social life/free time has been full of shoulds, and I've been breaking out of that (doing things like spending long mornings and afternoons alternately reading, napping, and watching movies alone and actually letting myself enjoy it. I don't know exactly what prompted this change in perspective, but I'm really loving it, rn. Anyway, I have to go but I hope you all are well!

    • jenavira says:

      *introvert high-five (delivered over the internet to be consumed at your discretion, the best kind)*

    • CleverManka says:

      I have been taught for most of my life that my introversion is not a good or healthy quality to have. My social life/free time has been full of shoulds
      I always think about this from A Softer World when the issue of "shoulds" comes up. I'm glad you're getting out from under that.

      So good to hear from you again! Hurry back!

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Holy shit. I just clicked on that link, audibly gasped, closed it, and then clicked on it again to bookmark it.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Ohhhhh, that is a very good comic. Gotta mull that over.

      • jenavira says:

        How is A Softer World calling me out directly from whatever year that strip was initially made?

      • Xolandra says:

        O god, what if one doesn't have to imagine? D:

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        That's a wonderful link- I think I end up getting caught up in how we all kind of reinforce these ideas of what is 'good' for us. Like, it's healthier to be more social, etc., but in truth everyone is different and what's good for one person isn't necessarily going to be good for another.

        For a long time I thought I needed to be more social to get that close friend group, but really it just made me not appreciate the things I had already, and the life I had already. In an ideal world I would have a group of friends that all lived close by and we'd hang out a lot and just do nothing together, but in reality I can't magic that into being, and spending time going to (or guiltily avoiding) social events I have no actual interest in just with the goal of one day getting that ideal, unrealistic situation is not helpful to me. I think I'm finally at a place where things can happen naturally, and I don't feel the need to constantly push myself to be different. In my actual life, I get plenty of daily social interaction at work/with family/skyping with my close friend, and other than that I genuinely like and prefer to be alone. And that might be partly situational and might change somewhere along the line depending on my circumstances, but I'm good, now, and for the foreseeable future. I feel settled in a way, about myself and how I spend my time, that I haven't in a long time.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Yo. Also an introvert. *raises glass*

    • Lee Thomson says:

      that sounds really lovely, I'm so glad you are getting more comfortable with yourself alone!

  3. CleverManka says:

    Ugh, indeed. I'm home from work with some sort of ~~lower intestinal distress~~ It's my second day of it, and other than sudden emergency trips to the bathroom, I feel okay–no body or headaches, no chills, etc. (not really nauseated, although I am not terribly inclined to eat much)–so AtN and I are hoping this is just my guts recalibrating to some new, improved state. Here's hoping.

    Did I already mention here that I had to get glasses? I was terribly misled when I got my LASIK surgery a few years ago because they assured me that worst case I would need reading glasses in a few years. I was 100% fine with that, I just never wanted to have to need corrective lenses to navigate around in the world at large again. Seven years later, here I am back in glasses for near-sightedness with no option for contact lenses bc the surgery changed the shape of my cornea and it's no longer suitable for them. I am not best pleased.
    <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/340393/340393_900.gif"&gt;

    • Absotively says:

      Have you asked about gas perms? I have gas perms rather than disposable contacts because of cornea shape reasons. They're unpopular enough that it didn't really occur to my eye doctor to suggest them, and then when I went to get them the specialist who fit them was a bit "why are you getting these, most people only get them if their vision can't be corrected with glasses."

      Which makes them sound horrible, but they're honestly not bad at all. They're quite comfortable once you're used to them, and they give me excellent vision. (Disclaimer: I haven't actually worn mine in ages, because of other eye problem reasons, but I do have the ok from my eye doctor to start again, and I keep meaning to do that.)

      • CleverManka says:

        Oh, I remember those being A Thing but didn't know they were still around and being used (or how, or why). I'll ask about them at my next eye doctor appointment. Thank you!!!

        • Absotively says:

          You do have to go to a specialist to have them fitted, and they are kind of pricey, though they offset that by lasting for ages.

          Actually, it's possible to get them fitted by a regular eye doctor, but you shouldn't. I tried that when I was a teenager and it didn't work out and then I thought for over a decade that gas perms weren't an option for me because of my cornea shape. My current eye doctor made clear that he wouldn't try to fit them himself even if I asked, and it's one of the things I like about him. (In my childhood eye doctor's defence, the nearest specialist was probably an eight hour drive away.)

    • jenavira says:

      Thank you so much for the LASIK warning, I've been considering it on and off but I already have astigmatism and the chances that it'd be a total waste of money and the moral fortitude required to STARE INTO A LASER are too high for me.

      • CleverManka says:

        Well, it did clear up my astigmatism completely and that at least never came back. But yeah, if relapsing into nearsightedness is a deal-breaker for you, save your stress and $$$.

    • Heathered says:

      *Tina Belcher sliding onto the floor GIF*
      You're rice-free, correct? I've tried a slurry that's somewhere between jook and horchata for tummy funk with limited success, but I'm not sure what a paleo equivalent would look like. Meat loaf? Here's hoping it's as suspected, a way station on the road to tummy DELIGHT. And yes, glasses can Suck. It.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      *frowns* Well, that sucks. If I remember correctly… you do have some cool frames, does that help at all?

      • CleverManka says:

        I ordered new (perfectly fine if kind of boring) frames from eyebuydirect because I wanted to pay as little as possible for these damn things ($47 wit shipping). It would've cost at least three times what I paid for these just to get lenses put in my old cat eyes.

        Now that I know the stuff from eyebuydirect is fine quality I might spring for some of their more expensive frames, though. I already bought a pair of prescription sunglasses and they should be here next week.

    • vladazhael says:

      If it's any consolation, lower GI events seem to be a theme over the past few days among people I know. We're all excreting some wonders.

    • Xolandra says:

      Fingers crossed that your guts are recalibrating and that you do not instead have what I had over Christmas, which basically was runny poops and abdominal cramping for a week. Not ~more~ poops, just runny when they came, no fever, no chills, no ague… my mom figures it was probably the Norwalk virus, but she is a) an RN and therefore prone to worst case scenarios and b) thinks I have cancer when i lose weight so UNRELIABLE DIAGNOSER. In any event, it finally passed, just in time for me to come back to work, SIGH.

      Re: Lasik – i asked my eye doctor a few years ago and he basically told me not worth it for many of the reasons stated above. Glasses 5vr, it seems.

      • CleverManka says:

        I DO NOT WANT THIS FOR A WEEK NO

        I really wish my eye doctor had given me that advice. *sigh* They all but assured me in writing that I would only need reading glasses, and only then after a few years. ASSHOLES.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Here's hoping, indeed. Guts are so damn sensitive. I did this thing at my parents' house over break where I took a gluten enzyme pill and ate a piece of every kind of cookie in the house (there were at least 10 different kinds). My stomach did not thank me for it later but I had to give it a shot. I really hope that you feel better soon!

  4. meat_lord says:

    That eye makeup is a thing of delight.

    I have a whole bunch of Crucial Tasks to accomplish, both at work and outside work. Getting myself to do the non-work ones will be harder, because no one is paying me for my time on those. I also need to figure out how to … not lie down and turn into a puddle when I get home from work every day. (I think the trick is to avoid physically lying down, but I have a studio apartment and my bed functions as my sofa/ is my only comfy seat.)

    • CleverManka says:

      Best of luck with the Crucial Tasks and not puddling. I so feel you on that puddling problem. I was planning to take my laptop up to bed for the day but now that I'm on the couch, climbing up the stairs and taking laptop and hot tea with me just seems…too difficult.

    • Xolandra says:

      If you work that out, let me know how? Puddling after work is the #1 barrier to my bestlife, for sure. I blame the fact that I was a waitress (and worked nights) for years, so my Ideal Structure is At Home Puttering until worktime, worktime, puddling time, sleep, repeat. This whole worktig, At Home Puttering until bedtime, puddling sometime??? thing does NOT work for me.

  5. Xolandra says:

    House update: NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Tomorrow I will call the contractor to be like "YO, WHEN YOU REBUILDING MY WALLS? It better be after the 20th, because electrical work starts Monday, and there won't be power for power tools after that". Actually, maybe I should do that today.

    I found a video of Erykah Badu rating things either over or under rated. I haven't watched it yet, but the Tori one delighted me, so I have High Hopes:

    Navigating Patriarchy update: the other day i was wearing my beautiful powder blue lipstick and went to the lobby of my office building with my work BFF, and this bedraggled middle aged white man in a dirty parka muttered as he walked past us "yeah, because you needed to make yourself uglier" and I was like ?????? I know he wasn't talking to my work BFF because she is goddamned gorgeous, but it took me long enough to work out that he's been talking to me (there were few other humans in the lobby, and no on else near enough for him to have been addressing them) that I didn't mock him at all and now I feel like it was a wasted opportunity. OTOH, my total lack of reaction perhaps served the same purpose; letting him know that his opinion means nothing to me.

    Also. Manka. THOSE EYES. Is there a tutorial on how to do those eyes?

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, fuck that dude. God. Ban men.

      I think the tutorial would basically be: 1) Be born with incredibly steady hands, 2) Buy a good pen liner, and 3) Practice Practice Practice.

      • Xolandra says:

        1) check, except ruined by intoxicants over the years. 2) noted 3) *whines

        That dude upset me remarkably little, as I got to spend much time chuckling to myself about how he thinks his opinion somehow matters, when it clearly does not. PERSONAL GROWTH, yo, this shit would have ruined my day a scant few years ago.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          God, isn't that such a nice feeling? Like, "I… don't care." It's so wonderful to realize you're in that place where you're just distractedly like yeah, yeah, fuck you, dude.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        4) Have access to a professional makeup artist who will DO IT FOR YOU

    • littleinfinity says:

      Yeah I love the eye makeup too! Nowhere near skilled enough to do it, but <3 <3.

      Bedraggled middle aged white man sounds like a real treat. The enlightened response to this is probably something like "I'm sure he's just insecure and unloved"… my actual response is "hey asshole, please go die in a terrible mechanical accident".

      • Xolandra says:

        Sod bedraggled middle aged white dudes. Of all the humans who deserve my compassion, they are BOTTOM OF THE LIST. TBH, tho, it bothers me remarkably little. Like, I wear weird crap a lot because I feel like it makes these horrible judgy assholes out themselves and I have warning? Like, my inclination is to be nice to strangers, but that man just saved us both the trouble, hahahahaha.

        Maybe not die. Maybe just a terrible rash? So that someone someday is as repulsed by him as he was by me?

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I've finally learned to react in the moment to the 'smile' decree (always, always stated angrily, as if I have done something to offend) by random men on the street- my reaction is a glare of contempt/"I'm too busy for your bullshit" and I'm very proud of it. But I don't know how I'd react to any other random angry comments. I agree that your lack of reaction probably did serve the purpose of letting him know exactly how little his unsolicited ridiculous opinion means, but I'm sorry you had to deal with it all the same.

      • Xolandra says:

        My least proud moment was when a dude stopped me walking down the street with headphones on in order to, in one breath and without pause, compliment my style, ask if i would have coffee with him, and ask if it was within the realm of possibility that someone like me would have someone like him. I stammered and stuttered thanks and the impossibility of coffee as I was on my way to an appointment, and so when he reiterated "but would you have coffee with someone LIKE me?" I did not say "my dude, wipe the snot from your face and then ask, you'll be more likely to get a yes" but rather "I will have coffee with almost anyone, but if you will excuse me, I have to go now".

        There is a fine balance between being as cruel as most men deserve and acting with a generous heart. I am still looking for it.

    • pseudonymica says:

      That eye makeup would look amazing with powder blue lipstick. I can just see you gazing disdainfully at that guy and his eyes would focus on the "ugh" and he would wonder if he could suddenly read minds and he would question everything (most especially his worth as a judge of others' beauty). But no response is better.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      "You're so cute!"
      "Hunh?"
      "Look at you thinking anyone cares about your opinion. So cute!"

  6. jenavira says:

    I have returned from my hermitage (=my warm, cozy apartment on a week-long staycation during the coldest week we've had in years) and oh my god. Oh my god, I knew I was exhausted, I knew I was burnt out, but I did not know how much a week of not interacting with people would help. I thought that eventually I'd get bored and lonely! I thought I might make myself worse by giving myself a whole week with nothing to do! I was so, so wrong. I'm gonna do this every year. I recommend this to everyone: take a week of vacation, kick everyone else out of the house, and do literally whatever you want, it is so freeing and wonderful.

    (I did do some work, but not, like, painful work. I picked up my yoga practice again thanks to the New Year Yoga With Adriene series. I made a point of accepting my needs and desires and not beating myself up for not Making the Most of My Vacation, which is what I usually do. I did not get any writing done, which I do kind of regret, but there is still a weekend coming up.)

    • Heathered says:

      It's so nice (and weirdly restorative) to read about such a restorative experience! If renewing yourself isn't making the most of a vacation, phbblt to the alternative. Warm, yoga, breathe, perfect.

      • jenavira says:

        If renewing yourself isn't making the most of a vacation, phbblt to the alternative.

        Hah, yes, that is the one thing I needed to puncture the last little bit of regret. 🙂

    • CleverManka says:

      : take a week of vacation, kick everyone else out of the house, and do literally whatever you want
      <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/113127/113127_900.gif"&gt;

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      There are cabins for rent in the national park nearby. They are supposedly for groups (ie parties and skiing) but I've considered renting one for me.

    • Xolandra says:

      O hai, yes, I sometimes do this. I just had three weekends with zero party plans and one part of my brain is like GO FIND FRIENDS and the other part is like no you're good, you still haven't even cracked your journal.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Yay you! I am feeling much the same (as my happy introversion comment attests). Like, I've gotten so used to being down on myself about 'not going out enough' that I forgot how much I enjoyed the hell out of it. I read like 4 books over winter break and I loved every minute of it! I love Yoga w/Adriene but haven't done her vids in a while, as I like listening to podcasts/watching TV while doing yoga b/c I need to be distracted to trick myself into doing exercise, apparently. But when I need more of a flow, rather than just holding poses, she is so great for that.

    • LaxMom says:

      I didn't know we were both doing that. I had a lovely hermit experience last week as well, broken by my ex dicking around with the kids and not bringing them back when he was supposed to. But I am still pretty damn restored.

      I did so much just letting myself pick out dream projects on Ravelry.

  7. Heathered says:

    The good: I did some Hollywood Upstairs Medical College surgery on my toe that at least has me out of pain for now, and ordered salve in case it wants to be a jerk later. (Personal growth includes toenails, right?) So on Saturday I paid museum admission like a real person, and while I regret not going earlier and staying longer, I got to see a slide show and talk by this woman (http://www.erikaislandglass.com/blue-sky-blue-water/) that was just amazing. Her newer works often have an oak leaf with an acorn centered in it, and I was wearing a pewter necklace with the same design that day! Such woo. Many wow.
    The bad: My trash rates have indeed tripled! I am trying to find a fix, because this means me not using the electric heater for fear of a bill too big to tackle, and as a result, uh, brrr. No polar vortex here but it's still winter goddamnit. And if you cancel service entirely they charge you $10 every month for existing at an address. I, just, what.

    • CleverManka says:

      Personal Growth definitely includes dealing with problem toenails because that shit is debilitating.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      You are not using heat so you can pay for trash? How much is trash?

      • Heathered says:

        It went from $5 a month to $17, and I put my cans out about once every three months. Just, straight-up punishment for limiting my consumption.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      This might be a dumb question, but…you have to pay…for trash removal? Maybe I'm oblivious because I've never owned a home, but I always assumed that sort of thing was paid for in some bundled fashion by like, property taxes or suchlike. Maybe it's different in rural areas?

      • jenavira says:

        It's different everywhere! In my previous suburb trash was kindly included by the rental company in our rent, but if I'd owned a place it would have been $5 per bin or $20 per month. In my current suburb it's included in property taxes. In the suburb next door it's $5 per trash bin every time you put one out.

      • Heathered says:

        Generally when you rent an apartment it's bundled into the rent. There's a building on the property that has a bunch of apartments and they have a dumpster and recycling/greenwaste bins. But I'm in a building with three apartments and it's charged separately. I found this unfair and ridiculous when it was $5, but $17 is insanity. This is a rural community, but I live downtown in the county seat, like, two blocks from the courthouse. It's just slimy.

      • redheadfae says:

        Here in Kansas, ours is bundled with our water bill, oh joy, and get this.. we have to PAY to recycle! Insanity.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Wow. Her stuff is beautiful. I really like the "all things red" gallery.

  8. vladazhael says:

    Having been back to where-I-keep-my-stuff for almost a week now, I am working on cranking up the moving prep actions since I have a lot to get done. Technically I didn't give myself a full break from it like I intended last week, because I was still actively doing the housing search, but I'm still adding things in this week as inspiration/motivation make themselves available and at the same time trying to keep the functioning low-grade anxiety I live in now down to a dull roar.

    I've also quite recently enacted a dietary shift, wherein I attempt to cut out the egregious amounts of incidental sugar and processed carbs my schlubby western lifestyle entails, allow myself more meat (because paying attention to responsible sourcing is at least as ethical as haphazardly avoiding meat out of squeamishness while indulging the fantasy that animals don't get maimed and killed in non-livestock farming), stop worrying about most fats (because I'm learning more about how fat became the nutritional boogeyman and it seems to be… not quite right), and cook more for myself in the interest of avoiding processed foods, building good habits, and overall learning more about cooking, which is apparently a big gap in my adulting. So far it seems to be going well – I'm sticking to the general plan (aside from using up some of my less responsible items) without letting it become just another kind of disordered eating, learning to do new things, not experiencing the intense blood sugar spikes and crashes, and not really having any trouble with self discipline or unwanted hunger flares. I've even gone the last 3 days without a single drink without even trying; I just haven't craved a nightcap like I usually do. We'll see what this does to my body composition, of course – even if I make great strides in self acceptance, I just can't tolerate the wardrobe needs of constantly putting on weight – and if I need to make adjustments, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. But I'm hoping that feeding my body stuff it can use turns out to be a better tactic than trying to make it run on less than it wants.

    • CleverManka says:

      feeding my body stuff it can use turns out to be a better tactic than trying to make it run on less than it wants
      Great plan!

      If some external validation helps with the fats thing, back when I was lifting my coach asked me how many of my calories I estimated came from fat. When I said probably at least 30% sometimes as high as 50% he said "good, don't go lower than that." The type of fats are important, tho. I have tons of info on the best types of fat you should be eating (and how the worst types of fat can affect you long term) if you're interested in that. 100% understand if you're not up to dealing with that tangle of stuff right now, though.

    • littleinfinity says:

      More (responsible) meat and fat sounds like a good tradeoff for less incidental sugar and carbs. If you want a book recommendation, I got "Salt Fat Acid Heat" by Samin Nosrat for Christmas, and it is incredible!! The first half is a "how to cook book" with drawings and diagrams and very accessible explanations of why ingredients and techniques work the way they do, and the second half is recipes that are linked to the techniques of the first part. HIGHLY recommend.

      • vladazhael says:

        Ooooo, thank you! I was looking for something exactly like that – something to be read in a narrative style that will teach me theory rather than rote steps.

        • littleinfinity says:

          It's really good, I love it and I'm going around recommending it to everyone!!  I feel like it's actually improved my cooking already, in the way I think about tasting as I go and checking for balanced flavors, and my understanding of things like searing vs sauteing, etc.  As a funny side note – I actually received two copies because my mom and my brother did not coordinate their wish-list-present-buying – and one of the copies had several pages out of order (pages 45 to 55 or so were all jumbled up). So, I guess one of the printings ran into an error? But my other copy was fine, so if you order it and notice some page weirdness, it should be fixable with a return-and-replace.

      • CleverManka says:

        I've heard really great things about that book!

        • littleinfinity says:

          Fancy_Pants seconds my recommendation! It's really great and I think anyone at any level of cooking (aside from Complete Expert) can probably pick up things from it. Plus it's very adaptable to whatever ingredients fit within your diet.

    • jenavira says:

      I have been doing a similar diet thing, and I know I feel better, although my body has not changed much in appearance yet. (It's been a month, minus holidays, so…not much time at all.) I did a spreadsheet with the USDA nutritional recommendations, which I know is wildly politically motivated but fuck it, there is no actual scientific guideline that makes sense. And wow, I'm eating way less protein than I thought I was. I'm hoping that getting my protein intake back up will help with my energy levels, too.

    • Xolandra says:

      I have long yelled about fat being not only delicious, but necessary. Like, if I have the choice between homogenized milk (that's 3.25% for non-Canadians, and yes, we call it homo milk, and yes, it is amazing) and skim, I will give the skim terrible side-eye and yell about all of the sugars and non-digestible wood pulp added to the skinny stuff to make it look like milk and why would i do that when i can just have milk.

      Also, if you ever want to talk about the impacts on your life schedule as well as pocketbook for making these choices, I am interested to hear how that plays out south of the border. Hands down my biggest challenge in "eating right" is the time and energy it takes to make a goddamned meal after work. I am ALSO here to chat about industrialized farming and local meat versus veg diet (I'm veg and try to local as much as possible, but let's be real, the only cauliflower I am getting in Feb is going to be sourced from Cali) because this is a thing I struggle with on the regular ^_^

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Oh yeah, eating right is a Whole Thing. It's like adding a part time job or a new hobby into your schedule. I'm not even doing a restricted diet, and literally the only reason I'm on top of my food situation right now is because I'm not working full time. And food is just…so expensive. I mean it's totally worth it, because feeling good in my body is objectively the best thing, but it kind of boggles my mind that everyone isn't constantly yelling about how unbelievable hard it is to properly feed and care for a body. It's so much.

        Hah, fellow Canadian here, it would be impossible to eat both locally and vegan. Especially in the winter. The quality and availability of locally raised meat was a huge factor in me giving up my vegetarian diet.

      • vladazhael says:

        Also, if you ever want to talk about the impacts on your life schedule as well as pocketbook for making these choices, I am interested to hear how that plays out south of the border. Hands down my biggest challenge in "eating right" is the time and energy it takes to make a goddamned meal after work.

        So far my focus is mostly just making a gradual, sustainable transition to actually putting some time and energy into it without trying too hard too fast, overwhelming myself, and giving up. Being by myself at the moment, I find that cooking just about anything halfway decent involves having leftovers at the end of it, which is handy time-wise for future meals. This will change when I move in with Manfriend, but at that point we'll also have two people to do the work and a whole cohabitation routine to figure out anyway. Using weekends to cook the more time-consuming stuff is a plus, and will be my slow cooker, I suspect. As far as responsible sourcing goes, it's not terribly easy where I live now (the American south is not known for its progressive thinking or animal rights focus), but I have figured out a few hacks, including eating lunch at the socially conscious Whole Foods knockoff grocery store near work. And sourcing concerns will be far easier to manage once I move, because the city I'm moving to has far, far easier access to locally and responsibly sourced foodstuffs, to the point where I'm likely to stumble on it without even really trying. The scene in the first episode of Portlandia with the ordering of chicken – that resonated HARD when I was living in said city before.

      • jenavira says:

        Also, if you ever want to talk about the impacts on your life schedule as well as pocketbook for making these choices, I am interested to hear how that plays out south of the border.

        Buying a farm share/CSA subscription changed my life last summer, and that was in the middle of a deep depression. This year I'm buying one that delivers straight to my door. It's a solid investment up front, but not actually more expensive than groceries (since, when I don't go to the grocery store because I already have more food than I can eat, I don't buy snacks and ice cream and soda and other things not on my list).

        • vladazhael says:

          I did the same when I was first living in the aforementioned city, and it was a great way to force me to learn to cook and eat new things, and I even started canning because of it. All of that has since lapsed due to Life Stuff, but I was just talking with Manfriend last night about doing a CSA share again once the move is complete. (He has also done that before and OMG you guys I am so not used to being with the sort of adult man who would think to do that sort of thing on his own. Hallelujah, praise Jeebus.)

  9. Fancy_Pants says:

    Creativity check-in time! Is anyone doing anything exciting at all? This week has basically been a wash for me creatively, other than some more desultory poking around with my music production software and one very nice jam session with my lovely friend where we learned a new song together.

    BUT I'm recognizing that my main priorities right now are (1) staying physically active so that my mental health doesn't take its usual nose-dive at this time of year (I've been noticing my usual dark shadows starting to flit around at the borders of my thoughts, so I'm on high alert right now), (2) pick up the cooking/cleaning/errand running slack for the household while Fancy_Partner transitions into his teaching contract, and (3) stay on top of (and slightly ahead of) my workload for the class that I'm teaching. And honestly, that's enough. The creativity stuff should be a fun bonus, not a source of guilt.

    So I have a few small and manageable creativity goals for this week:
    (1) Buy some hooks and clips to hang blankets on my bedroom walls for extra soundproofing (so I feel less weird about playing music in there, YOU GUYS)
    (2) Buy some big canvases so I can start working on paintings to fill the blank spaces on my walls
    (3) Replace at least 20 minutes of wifi-coma time in the evenings with sketching/doodling (conveniently an activity I can still do from the couch)

    Do you guys have any small creativity goals for the upcoming week?

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      My drawing group was cancelled this week, but they put out a call for models. I'll put my name in. I'm doing a photo shoot on Saturday with Dr.TBD and a professional model to get a set of photo references for some drawing and painting I want to do. I can't direct poses in my drawing group (except when I'm a model and then I don't get to draw) so I'm getting photos instead.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Oh, that's a fantastic idea. Do you have a specific project in mind that you're working towards, or is it just for practicing certain poses/angles?

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          Practice mainly. Also as a resource. I have a sense that they would be useful for the direction I'm going in. Usually, that is a good sign that I should do or get something even if I don't have a clear plan for it immediately. I have a direction more than a plan… I find that the human body is better at communicating emotions and disconnection than most things.

    • vladazhael says:

      Indeed I do! I have been manically educating myself on the knitting of socks, which is going quite well. (Though I may end up starting this most recent version over again to increase my number of cast-on stitchest, tweak the sizing, and start from two different skeins of the same yarn since I'll need two anyway.) I do not have a finished, wearable pair yet, but I am on track for that and have greatly increased my knowledge of how they're put together, so I would say the achievement is partially unlocked.

      I am also trying to learn more about the basics of how to cook things and how to cook new and different things. I'm realizing now how little I've learned about it as a craft, except for basic survival skills and the occasional thing I've decided for whatever reason to learn how to do. Most of what I know centers around baking, which is really mostly the opposite of the shift in eating I noted in my own post, so I'm trying to answer questions like "how long do I bake these chicken legs to not poison myself?" (50 min. at 425, apparently) and "how do I use an endive?" (unknown).

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Oh, I'm so excited for you because cooking is essentially transmutation magic, and it's such and EMPOWERING skill to have. Like the last time I came home a bit tipsy and hungry and looked in my cupboard and was like "well, I have pasta, and I can whip up a bechamel sauce, so gourmet mac and cheese it is!". It's also just super cool to know how things are made, especially if you have any chemistry nerd leanings.

        This book https://www.saltfatacidheat.com/ is a fun read and a cool cooking theory resource.

        Also, slow cookers are incredibly powerful arcane artifacts that can transform cheap cuts of meat and cheap wine into healthy and delicious meals.

        Oh boy oh boy, HAVE FUN!

      • Xolandra says:

        I HAVE BOTH SOCK AND COOKING (but not meat) SKILLZ and I am here if you need advice!! Are you doing toe-up or cuff-down? Afterthought heel? Have you seen the thigh high socks I made?

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        Oh oh… I like cooking and it is fun to try things out with it. I like Cook's Science/Cook's Illustrated as a resource because it is about the why's and how's not just an ingredients list.
        https://www.cooksillustrated.com/science

    • jenavira says:

      I did a ton of knitting in the last week, but I'm not done: I want to wash and block the things I finished (and also my mittens that I got cream cheese on in that week after Christmas when breakfast came from the drive-through every day), to finish this hat I've been working on forever and still had to order more yarn to finish (it should be here Friday), and maybe knit some boot cuffs. I finally gave in to my desire for some Whales Road and I think it'll go with my wardrobe nicely.

    • CleverManka says:

      I figured out how I'm going to organize the chapters of my memoir! =D That's about the most creative I've been in ages….

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      I met with my two Writing Friends last night, and it was *fantastic.* We all love each other's ongoing projects now, and we all had really great snippets to share, so it was a wonderful few hours of mutual respect, praise, critique, and brainstorming. I have multiple thorny worldbuilding-related problems to solve, one I knew about and one I hadn't noticed, but I came away with so much confidence.

      My creativity goal for this week is to let that confidence carry me to actually writing more.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Mmmm I tried to do some creative things with the envelope liners for my wedding invitations but ended up in tears because I just don't have the right skills or tools or something to make it look pretty. So now I am saying fuck it and they will be less fancy but just as acceptable (I tell myself, because honestly I need to just get it done).

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Oh friend. That reminds me of the time I decided that I had to hand make all of my wedding thank you cards with zero skills or tools and ended up staying up until like 4 AM watching basically an entire season of Gilmore Girls and making the MOST hacky and mediocre garbage ever. AND because I decided I had to do this dumb thing, it took me over a year to get my thank yous out (haha the ones that I actually got done, some still are not done *sigh*).

        HOWEVER, as much as I berate myself for the above episode, I still think that handmade and mediocre is way cooler than just store-bought and perfect. So good on you for trying! Whether it's a good use of time, well…

        • littleinfinity says:

          I've been pretty good so far about not overextending myself in the DIY realm, but I got caught in second-guessing “are the invitations pretty enough? are they fancy enough? have I done enough things? will everyone judge me if there is no sparkly liner?”  But the invites are DIY already in that I customized a template through an online site (picked colors/ fonts/ etc), and I am hand-addressing the envelopes and there's a cute little gold ink stamp that I put on the back flap.  Adding extra DIY stuff to the liners is really not going to make or break anyone's day, including mine… it's just that like you said, once I decided I had to do this dumb thing, I got invested in the dumb thing despite myself.  But I am (just barely) wise enough to know that when I start crying over squares of paper, the juice is really not worth the squeeze and I need to chill out.

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            Oh I get it. I find it hard to just do a "good enough" job on things. Planning a wedding is a great time to practice letting go because the stakes seem high but they are actually incredibly low. People are either going to be happy for you or judge you regardless of what you do, so just do things that make you happy.

            FWIW, we just sent our invites by email because we are The Laziest. It sounds like you're doing a great job.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            that is completely correct, and important to remember

          • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

            That was definitely advice I needed to hear.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            A (weird) friend of ours dissected the wedding invitation we sent him, and sent it back with commentary attached to each piece. The part that most distressed him was the envelope liner – he had many questions. Mr Crow still remembers this.

          • littleinfinity says:

            Oh noooooo don't tell me this!!! I'm sure he is the exception to the rule but … wow.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            He's really, really odd. I don't think you need to take his reaction as routine!

    • Xolandra says:

      I am kind of poking away at making an alien face eater for a friend, but it is HUGE and I'm trying to convince myself to Math and it's hard 🙁 Most of my creative energy present is going into putting the house away for impending contractors.

      I also wrote a letter and placed unicorn stickers on it, thus taxing my Art Skills. AND I think it might be time to learn another Brahms piece. It is certainly time for a new piano piece, anyway, as I grow weary of the like 6 things I can play, hahaha

      • vladazhael says:

        Actual work meeting yesterday, paraphrased –

        Boss: *joking* Now that your office mate is gone, the person closest gets the work. We need some web code done. How's your math?

        Me: I'm good at knitting math. I could knit you a website.

        Coworker: Is there a lot of math in knitting? Isn't it just counting?

        Me: LET ME SING YOU THE SONG OF MY PEOPLE. *explains everything, amazes coworkers with how complicated knitting is, side rant on social devaluation of soft skills*

        • jenavira says:

          How much do I want to knit a website? SO MUCH.

        • pseudonymica says:

          I've been crocheting a lot to "rest my brain," but I keep wondering if I'm actually working my brain harder than usual and the restful notion is just an internalized stereotype about women's work.

          It's enjoyable, though.

          • vladazhael says:

            It really depends on what you're doing. I've done projects that involve a lot of focus and math and I've done projects that are simple and repetitive and intended more as a meditation exercise than a means to an end. Right now I'm tackling socks with a lot of mental resources, but this time last year I was crocheting multiple versions of the same scarf to ease the anxiety and life changes I was struggling with.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            >intended more as a meditation exercise than a means to an end

            That's the reason I took up origami (so many cranes) and crocheting. Doing something with my hands helps with anxiety.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            so long as it is enjoyable, then it is working?

    • Heathered says:

      This week has been a creative non-starter, but you know that mushroom used as the header on my piece Monday? I pried the dude out of it and sewed on some little silver polka-dotty beads and it is now a Statement Necklace.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I'm flailing, more or less joyfully, at a pile of things onna list. It is amusing, and I am learning some things. The list is at the blog (https://leethomsonart.com/2018/01/09/heres-to-2018/) I call it flailing because I have no emotional connection to the outcome, I just want to try stuff. You could also call it experimenting.

      I have made Joomchi (Korean felted paper, mixed results on 4 or 5 tries) and tiny things in boxes, and then adding lights to the boxes.

      I wrote a thing today. I have a commitment to write another thing soon. I need to spend some time sewing because that is a thing that is good to do.

  10. Absotively says:

    I have made zero KonMari progress, but I've been catching up a bit on laundry, cooking, dishes, and sleep, so overall I'm happy with the past week.

  11. Flitworth says:

    Welp. Last week was probably the worst week of my life on a literal level which means simultaneously I'm lucky and also, WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK, REALITY? DO NOT WANT.
    In response, husband and I have made the following 2018 commitments to combat stress:
    No alcohol
    10 minutes of meditation (ha! almost said mediCation)/day, even if it's just breathing
    30 minutes of whatever on the treadmill everyday, minimum 3x acceptable because life
    Reduce obligations, which now includes closing up the chicken concern for a year or two because hauling out to the coop 2x+ a day rain or shiver for 0-3 eggs from 28 birds is just ridiculous. Goats stay.
    Reduce non-essential spending
    Consider ways to reduce other stressors (like maybe hire someone to clean at least part of the house?)
    Ask for help/accept help

    I got paged Saturday and the guy had done no due diligence at all so I sorta ripped him apart for it and told him he could page again when he'd done his job (slightly nicer than that). This was in the car (pulled over) so then had to explain this to tiny human who then spent a few minutes saying "that man needs to do his job". Then I got to where we were going and made a 'do not page me if' flow chart with crayons, which I sent along w/ my payment to my therapist basically for fun (note: "I was paged Saturday, I think Adam is sad he did that, see attached") because she seems to find this entertaining.*
    So far the open adoption option has been rejected and trial starts tomorrow. I will likely testify (blerg). So I'm going to try to make an appointment to get my hair court-ready and buy a dress for that.

    *It was traditional to leave a polite goodbye letter in all the mailboxes at the nonprofit I worked at, even if nobody knew who you were so when I left I made a card w/ a drawing of a ninja and a picture of me all in black with face hidden by a black bandana riding a Pikachu in Korea and wrote "Don't think of me as gone, think of me as the ninja you always wanted but never had". Therapist requested a copy.

    • CleverManka says:

      I really hope things ease up for you SOON.

      Thank you again for the card, I loved it! Feel free to include a flowchart or Pikachu riding nijna in future correspondences. =D

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      *SNERK*

      YOU WIN the "Polite Goodbye Letter" awards. You can pick up your award any time. I don't expect to see you do it… I believe you are an excellent ninja.

    • pseudonymica says:

      SAME HERE WITH RECENT HELL. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, LIFE?

      I've had over a week to recover and I thought I was doing a pretty good job taking it easy but I was wrong. Your list is excellent. If I were you I would start out with good intentions and then get lazy about self care and get a terrible headache that doesn't go away. (That's my current state of affairs). So I hope you're not like me and you keep it up and do lots of relaxing and definitely hire someone to clean part of your house and ask for lots of help all the time.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      That is a most excellent polite goodbye letter, and I love the idea of TH repeating "that man needs to do his job" because really, that is SO applicable these days.

      I am not a fan of chickens, I heartily support your decision there.

  12. Rillquiet says:

    After last week's humbling on the lyra, I've recommitted to a regular stretching routine and am using Antranik's splits progression. Riding horses and having a desk job both limit my hip mobility, but while I don't care about getting to full splits, being able to do more than 90 degrees in a v-sit will support some of my other physical endeavors. And long stretching sessions are something to do while waiting for the January gym crowds to settle out a bit.

    I'm also trying to be more consistent about calling my grandmother. Her twin sister died on New Year's Eve–with hospice care, not in pain, fully compos mentis, having seen and said goodbye to her loved ones–and while the two of them didn't always get along, they were one another's main social supports. My gran is in good health for 92, but she lives alone out in the country and will not hear of moving into town before it's necessary, so her contact with people is limited and her far-flung family is concerned. (She has told us where we can put that concern but says she appreciates the phone calls.)

    • CleverManka says:

      Yay, splits! Such a fun goal! If you ever want a little variety from that program, here's the yoga sequence I used a couple years ago when I was working on the same goal. Looking at it again, that looks…actually very fun! I'm going to add it to the core/glute PT exercises I've been slowly reincorporating. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Xolandra says:

      OMG, splits. I have never in my life been able to do the splits. I'm keeping these links!

    • Lee Thomson says:

      After 3? 4? years of Family circus class, I might have had 2 degrees past ninety – I do not bend that way gracefully! And yet, I have a perfect butterfly, feet together, knees on the ground….

      Best of luck with the splits!

      • Rillquiet says:

        Good lord, woman, what adventures haven't you undertaken? I had that butterfly in my youth, then for a few years of medical blather in my teens I wasn't allowed to do that stretch, and it's never come back to me, waily waily waily. Still we stretch on, boats against the current, etc.

  13. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    I'm considering signing up for a gym tonight, in terms of personal growth. It has been Too Darn cold outside for walking around the neighborhood, my only regular form of physical activity. I figured it might be a good idea to give a gym a try in the remaining cold months. Does anyone have any recommendations for a first-time gym goer? And how bad an idea is it to take a book and read as I use the treadmill or stationary bike or whatever?

    • Flitworth says:

      Whether it's a bad idea to read just depends on your body's tolerance (I can't focus properly on most equipment to read).

      Don't put pressure on yourself to do too much too fast. Be proud of whatever you get done, regardless of what others can do at the gym. Showing up and doing anything is a win. It is within the bounds of gym etiquette to shin kick people who leave their weights on machines.

    • Rillquiet says:

      Audiobooks and podcasts can fill in the gap if you're not able to read while you exercise. This will be the busiest time of year, so if you have the flexibility to go sometime other than the rush period (5-7:30 PM, roughly), you'll have a better chance of finding available cardio equipment.

      The Hairpin's Ask a Swole Woman has the perfect article to answer this question!

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Yesss, that link is exactly what I needed! Thank you!

        • Rillquiet says:

          Glad it helps! One thing is that the article assumes you have already chosen a gym; if you haven't and if more than one gym is convenient to you and you're not sure which one fits your needs, ask for a trial membership! Some places will offer up to seven days at no cost–I recommend asking for a trial week, because it lets you see what the gym is like on different days–but some will charge you for a short-term membership. If you do get freebies, have no guilt at all about telling the salesrep that you're checking out different gyms to see which one suits you best and then flitting from one to another. You don't gotta tell 'em you only plan to look for a free treadmill. And even if you know a place is out of your price range, if they're willing to give you a free trial, take that sucker; you might pine for a place you can't afford, but you're less likely to end up with buyers' remorse. (In my broke 20s, I spent a solid month coasting on free trials. After the first couple, I was shameless about asking, because after all the worst they can say is that they don't offer freebies.)

    • redheadfae says:

      If your gym offers a freebie with a trainer, DO IT. I learned so much by it.
      You might ask locally if anyone recommends one over another.
      Grab a provided towel from the front desk when you go in, you'll want it to wipe off the equipment after you use it. (another good reason to shin-kick those who don't).
      Don't get talked into a lengthy contract.
      Read if it works for you. I can't read while I'm walking, but for the recumbent bikes, it gets a boring thing over faster, lol.
      Also, if walking around is your favorite form of exercise, is there a mall or some large place that you could walk in lieu of the gym? Some places even open early for the "mall-walkers".

    • CleverManka says:

      Personally, I am against reading while exercising because (IMO) it allows too much focus to drift from what your body is doing which sets you up for repetitive poor body mechanics which is an open door for Injury Monsters. I think podcasts or audiobooks would be safer (unless it's the sort of topic/story that you're really involved in).

      Best of luck finding a gym that works for you!

    • Lynn says:

      Boyfriend largely just uses the elliptical (and particular styles of elliptical at that) because he needs something that is low impact on his knees. But yes January is always the busiest time of year for gyms so if things seem way too crowded at your preferred time try to stick it out a few more weeks before settling on a definite routine.

      Also make sure you walk around the entire facility at some point early on, even if you think you've identified where your favorite equipment is. Boyfriend discovered there was a weird extra room in his gym that was down a corridor past the staff offices months after he started using it. It's apparently just another part for public use, but it has two more of his favorite elliptical and tends to be less busy because a lot of people don't ever bother to walk that direction.

    • littleinfinity says:

      I always see people reading on the bikes/ treadmills! (At least I did back when I used to go to the gym semi-regularly … ha.) Totally a good idea. If trying to read messes with your equilibrium you could also try audiobooks or music instead.

  14. Lynn says:

    I'm in a weird mental space right now. Like truly weird, not good or bad. I have been able to maintain my energy level and I'm finally starting to settle into a normal routine that includes regular exercise, housekeeping, hobbies aside from mobile phone games, etc., which is great. And then at the same time, I have developed an extreme apathy to my job. I don't hate it or anything, I just am feeling particularly bored and uninterested. This could be winter blahs or it could be that the projects I have on my plate right now are in my least favorite stage of planning, or it could even be that I've forgotten how to work when I'm not either in short-staffed busy season mode or when I am actually capable of enjoying my personal life and so going/staying home actually has some appeal. (Or, because this is how my mind works, the fact that new hire has been so great and nothing fell apart while I was on vacation means I've finally been able to put down the "I'm keeping the whole department afloat" burden I've been carrying for a good 18 months.)

    Anyway, I've never been in a situation like this before – my previous jobs all became untenable because the job or environment became awful, I've never had the luxury of outgrowing a job just because of personal development. And I'm not even sure that's really what's happening here. Anyone else know how to distinguish occasional professional blahs from a more serious sign that you need to move on?

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm very interested to read responses by people who can answer that question. The only jobs I've left are ones I couldn't stand anymore (or had to quit because I was no longer a university student).

      So happy that you've maintained your energy levels and are accomplishing things in your not-work life! What hobbies are you getting to indulge/explore?

      • Lynn says:

        I've been knitting some (and planning more knitting, which is sometimes more fun) and also playing some board games with the boyfriend, and plotting the decoration of our bedroom — I ordered some wallpaper samples the other day. I've also been watching a lot of quilting videos on youtube and thinking about how I have all the materials I need to redo the binding on the quilt my mom made.

        I'm very much enjoying having the planning elaborate craft projects part of my brain back.

        • CleverManka says:

          Yay! Welcome back, craft brain! A friend of mine is a Big Quilting Person (she even publishes her own patterns) and I've always been so intrigued and intimidated by it. Someday, someday…

          • Lynn says:

            I am not a quilter at all (so far my biggest sewing project has been a robe), but I am pretty good at mending stuff and minor alterations, and the T-shirt quilt my mom made me when I graduated high school has seen better days. So years ago I bought real quilt batting, ripped out the old edging and relayered it but I never got around to sewing back in the binding. I am going to do some new projects but my goal for the year is just trying to finish off some of the projects that I've been carting the materials around for for 3-4 moves now.

            I've been watching The Midnight Quilting Show that Craftsy publishes on YouTube and it's very soothing to watch even as I keep telling myself machine quilting can't be as easy as she makes it look.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            it is not that hard, and you might be able to do it on your regular machine if you can drop the feed dogs and free-motion. That is how I do a LOT of my work! Ask if you have questions!

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      What paths can you see to change in your job (including ones you could create)? Do any appeal?

      If nothing changed in your job, how do you think you will feel about it in 1 year, 5 years, etc?

      Has anyone at your work (or anyone you know) been through this type of situation? How did they deal with it? How did it work out for them?

      What do you want from a job? Is there benefit in having a job which merely pays for the rest of your life or do you need something more?

      • Lynn says:

        These are such good questions, thanks!

        Interestingly I just now received an email about a job posting that is essentially my equivalent at a much larger organization. Pondering how it matches up to my current job through the framework of your questions has taken me to some unexpected places so far.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I can tell my own connection to the job by how many lottery tickets I buy. If I buy any, the job is in trouble and requires change. One a week, and it's time to talk to bosses and start really working on changing responsibilities and processes. More than two in any given week – start looking for the next job.

      • Lynn says:

        Heh, after my last job (where I had this giant desk that I used to joke about hiding under …until I started actually having to fight the urge to really hide under it) I tend to phrase it as "well, I don't feel like hiding under my desk, so I'm fine."

    • jenavira says:

      I get this semi-regularly with jobs, and I've found the most productive thing to do is a) appreciate that my job isn't taking up more mental space than it needs to, and b) pour some energy into my personal life and development. If I wind up inventing a new project for work, or developing skills that I can apply to work, the job is fine it's just a fallow period. If I wind up resenting the job when it starts to pull my attention back, it's time to consider if it's fitting my priorities.

      • vladazhael says:

        Pretty much the same. I don't having a lot of experience with jobs just going "meh" rather than "AAAAAGGGGHHH abort mission!", but what experience I have has generally been resolved by focusing on other things and waiting it out.

  15. Lee Thomson says:

    That is the best eyeliner EVAR.

    I'm working on flailing in January – trying new materials, new techniques, new productivity tools, new processes… (basically I am justifying the amount of time I am wasting) and trying to establish a process for me to Take To the (actual) Sea sometime this year. I'm interviewing to be a naturalist on one of the Maine Windjammers on Feb 2, hold a good thought for me there, and working on organizing and submitting applications for residencies and competitions for the coming year.

    Feb is going to be Make Something Every Day month. Please join me – Feb is short, there isn't anything else to do when the weather is the persistent crap that it is in Feb, it'll be fun?

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Flailing… I LOVE that you are putting time aside for flailing. That's wonderful.

      Okay… I'll do something everyday in Feb… I just need to figure out what. Postcards? Maybe?

    • jenavira says:

      That's a glorious idea, I am on board with Make Something Every Day month.

    • CleverManka says:

      FWIW I thought that paper felting experiment looked really cool. Will definitely be crossing fingers for you and your applications!

    • vladazhael says:

      I like this idea, though some of my contributions might be "make a dent in this pile of moving related tasks".

      Does anyone have interest in perhaps a daily checkin/tracker sort of thing where we can share our progress?

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I disagree with calling it "wasting time". Time is not wasted if it is enjoyable, given no dependents in current need. Flail away! It's all fodder for future creativity, including the wrong turns and dead ends.

      I am excited about your applications for naturalist and BOAT-type stuff.

    • pseudonymica says:

      I want to participate in Make Something Every Day Month!

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Oooh that sounds fun. I should be able to Make Something Every Day.

    • LaxMom says:

      I think maybe I could unpack the craft room by February, I will tentatively agree to join you. I may only be making cards or fimo kawaii creatures but that sounds like a fun goal.

  16. Doc_Paradise says:

    FYI – I've discovered that Rodenbach Grand Cru (aged in oak foeders, handers red ale) is my favourite beer ever. It has many of the same notes as some ciders.

  17. jenavira says:

    Yes please!

  18. redheadfae says:

    I find myself getting anxious about the upcoming surgery, and how long I'll be down in bed afterwards (I don't heal fast, but my skin heals well. It's the interior that has issues, apparently). Mainly anxiously trying to get things done, and frustrated because I *finally* got the Man back to work, survived the holidays and just when it was time for me to get going on the clearing out, I'm going to be down for another six weeks. :shakes fist at the gods:

  19. Kazoogrrl says:

    We realized we'd missed getting regular tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and I pulled it together to buy them through a tour site, and get the Paypal invoices out to the other two people, so that's today's win. Other than that I want to hermit in my house and not talk to anyone.

  20. faintlymacabre says:

    I had an incident over the weekend where I was 100% in the wrong and handled it like a 100% asshole and it made me realize just how tired and fucked up the job has been making me and I need to take steps to change that. I have given myself permission to quit in three months if things don't get substantially better, as my body and my relationship with my sister will not withstand longer. In the meantime, good faith efforts to improve things at work, aim for a small amount of yoga today, and not feel guilty about sleeping through weekends, because I need it to recover. I feel much better having resolved this, though I do wish I had a time machine to avert my weekend assholery.

  21. LaxMom says:

    I went to karate today but forgot to eat or drink most of the day because the semester hasn't started yet so I was alone in the grad offices all day and just forgot. I ate lunch but anyway, the gist of it is I nearly blacked out hyperventilating while doing burpees so, body, you better get with the program because I need to regularly kick things.

    They didn't process my tuition waiver and I got nasty letters from the bursar so that was today's excitement. I really hope there is still money left for my assistanceship because otherwise that's the end of school! I don't have tuition money!

    We are supposed to have a wipeout ice storm with feet of snow friday night, I will not have my kids, so I will stock up on nutella and bananas and toilet paper and knit/crochet the whole time.

    • CleverManka says:

      Well I guess it's reassuring to know that other universities fail to post tuition waivers in a timely manner. UGH. Academia.

      I hope you survive the storm cozily and happily! Eat some bananas and Nutella for me!

  22. ru_ri says:

    *waves hands wildly*

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