Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I don't want to just be staying afloat; I'd rather be sailing.

I am really really stressed out these last couple of days. I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had hoped because I'm still a tad bit under the weather, and it's got me really down. And because I didn't feel good at all last week, we had pizza, and the mass amounts of gluten in the pizza have really seriously depressed me. It is an instant mood changer. Seriously. It's alarming how much of an effect it has had on my mental well-being. I'm just not myself.

Also, I've decided to cut back/give up coffee/caffeine this time around on the Whole 30. I had already started cutting back, but I'm going to go whole hog this time. It's been nothing but decaf all week thus far. Today I had two point five cups of decaf because I was up at 4 and started grading at 4:30 this morning. And really, it's more about the heat and the comfort. I started doing it this week so that way I'm not a total holy hell of a mess next week when I give up alcohol for another 30 days, too. I told you, I want to win this challenge!

All this is to say that being down and without the caffeine, well, I have a pretty low amount of energy this week in all aspects of my life here. Getting sick just really threw me for a loop. Now I'm stressed and behind on lots of things. It's a freaking struggle to get caught up. I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants all the time. I don't like feeling that way at all. It stresses me out even more!

The plan for the remainder of the evening is get the meat part of dinner prepped before I sit down and conk out. Then I will read until it's time to make the dinner, and then I will pass out after dinner. I'd like to sleep in tomorrow and not have to get up at 4 again to get the rest of my work done. But, that is a very real possibility. Truth be told, I might get some take out tonight. I've got to not have another week where I'm flying by the seat of my pants with the reading and the grading here. I've got to get more on top of things.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Still Plugging Away...

I hate to say that I'm glad that I'm not going to the g'parents' house today, but I'm tired. It's been another long crappy week. And yesterday I was just wore the slap out! I'm exhausted this morning, too, because we stayed at the party much longer last night than we had intended to. The J is so social and was having such a good time and everyone just loves him, so I couldn't complain really. And by my second glass of wine I was having a little bit better of an attitude, and since the chair had to talk to everyone and was busy being hostess, I didn't have any interaction with her until the end of the party. I was surprised that shafted colleague showed up. Ze upheld hirself with grace and tact, which is way more than I would have been able to muster and left the fiance' at home because ze was filled with rage and hatred and didn't think ze could keep hir mouth shut so colleague bought a mutual friend whom most people at the party knew. Anyway...

I posted on the Paleo blog that I'm doing another Whole 30. It's a gym wide "challenge" and I'm going to do it again because I do have some stubborn weight. I think I may have plateaued--truth be told, I haven't been on the scale in over a month. I go by how my clothes fit now more than anything. But my eating does need some tweaking. And I've been lazy about meal planning and the like, and this past week has by far been the worst week of eating in a loooooooooong time, like since maybe March, but I'd still put it at 50-50. I think what I need to see is that while it's relatively easy to do the Whole 30 over the summer when there's little stress and lots of time, I want the challenge of doing it next month--midterms, tons of grading, etc. It's going to force me to work on my organizational skills, which is something that I need anyway because I've started a scholarly writing group. Three junior colleagues (including myself) and a senior colleague. We're going to meet once a quarter to enforce deadlines on ourselves and get writing feedback. So now I've got a month to put something together. So I *need* this, really, to keep me on a schedule and keep me healthy.

Don't misunderstand me. This isn't something that's terribly hard--as you know, this way of eating has done wonders for my health, weight, and attitude, and I don't consider it a "diet" because I don't have to watch what I eat because in general, I eat super clean and I don't have cravings and I don't miss bad foods. But when stress kicks in, it's a different story for our bodies, which is why most of us, gender aside, gained weight writing our dissertations, gained weight the first couple of years on the t-t, etc., and I can see right now, with a new prep this quarter and a new prep next quarter, and the pressure to get an article out this year (if I get a longer article accepted, then I will have exceeded the requirements for tenure), stress is going to do a number on me, and when my eating is clean, stress is much more manageable, so I think this will be good. Plus, you know I'm super competitive, so I want to win! And have the best results! And the best food! And the most improvement! And I don't want to be the only one not doing it if everyone else is! I can't be left out!!

Plus, marathon training begins in about three weeks, so I've got to get my body a little lighter and in tip top shape for that, too.

And when my stress level is down, I spend less money. Seriously. So since we'd like to try to get out of debt, get the car at least half paid off or have that money for a new car for the J (his is on its last leg really, and I'm the one driving it because my commute is 2.6 miles daily, and is his closer to 70 miles round trip) and be able to buy a house by next Christmas, well, yeah, it's kind of important that I don't spend money stupidly.

Also, completely unrelated, but damn, I'm ready for fall. You know how much I love the heat and love summer, and maybe it's because I neck deep right now in the dark romance readings of the quarter, but I'm ready for cardigans and layers and scarves and boots and shorter days and cider and fires. I'm ready for the soft melancholy of the season, the crisp air, jack-o-lanterns, vests and nostalgia. Come soon you ironically revitalizing season. Come soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend To Do

I have a lot to do this weekend. I'm hoping some accountability blogging might help because I need to make a "to do" list and work on my calendar for the week, but I'd use that right now as a reason to avoid other work. It's a long list, too. But I'm not going to go to my g'parents' this weekend because since I've been sick this week, I'm behind and stressed, and I want to get caught up so that I do not prolong any illness.

To do:
  • Finish Tuesday's novel--making progress
  • Begin Thursday's novel
  • Read/prep for this week's survey class
  • Meal plan
  • Buy groceries
  • Meal prep
  • Work out
  • Dept. party
  • Clean--making progress
  • Laundry--making progress
  • Work on the ever in-progress organizational stuff so that I can stay on top of things like bills, work, research, etc.
  • When work is done this weekend, work on calendar for next two weeks
I'm trying to save grading and that stuff for my office hours. And now I will begin working on the novel reading as soon as I fill my coffee mug. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

A whole lotta WTF

This may perhaps go poof in time, but I'm irked.

As you already know, I was not happy that interim chair became chair. And as chair, I am finding it harder and harder to like said person as an actual person.

Ex 1: Lots of people are sick right now. And not just here. I think it has to do with the weather, the changing seasons, and for here at least that our air conditioning is either off, causing us to sweat and get light headed or it's on full blast. Case in point, although it's nearly 80 degrees outside, I must wear longsleeves to work or a sweater because it's cold, almost painfully in the building. I'm sitting in my office right now wrapped in a scarf. Granted I've been keeping the house cold, but I get adjust the temp or get under a blanket. Here I have no control. So this week, I was sick. Like more exhausted than I'm used to being (I'm usually tired in the afternoons after teaching--who isn't) but waking up exhausted to the point of tears with a headache and congestion (I did not work out these days). What did it for me though was that my lungs hurt. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. My insurance with the J's new job doesn't go into effect until Oct. 1. My concern is bronchitis. Oct. 1 is a long way off if it develops into that. So, I came in an taught my early class and was waiting to see how I felt after class. I felt worse at the end than I did in the beginning. That's a sign to call it a day. And my thoughts were it's better for me to get rest and nip it in the bud and miss one class than it is for me to miss a week (some people already have--and this is our second full week. Clearly, there's something going around). I went in to let my boss know that I was going home. That I had already contacted my students and given them a substitute lesson to do on-line, and I took care of making cancellation signs for myself. That I was exhausted and having trouble breathing and that I needed to rest because I didn't want it to get worse because of insurance, etc. Chair's response: "You know, in all of my years of teaching, I never took one sick day. The only day I ever missed was the day I was in a car accident."

Well, congratulations. You win! I'm a grown ass woman. I know when I need to rest and when I can work. I miss one day a quarter. That's it. It's much earlier this time, but I have yet to miss more than one day. And actually, I've only missed one full day. Truth be told, out of the 291 class sessions that I've had, I've missed a total of 5 actual class periods. That is a total of .02% of my teaching responsibilities that I've missed. POINT ZERO-TWO! Not even close to 1/10 of a percent. Not even close to 1%. My absence rate is virtually nil. And I get grief over this! (The last time, if you might remember from winter quarter when I told chair I was sick, chair asked if it was hormone related!! Gah!).

We have an instructor out on maternity leave for the quarter. Chair is pissed off that she decided to take it (I can only imagine because the birth occurred over the summer and not during the quarter). If the time ever comes, I do not look forward to dealing with that. I'll go to HR first before I tell Chair.

But this my friends, wow. One of our instructors was told that ze is out of a job come November. The powers that be "forgot" that the line for ze's courses had been cut, and ze was told that ze was lucky that they "managed" to "find" some money to pay hir for the classes ze has been teaching and that ze should really be grateful that ze's getting paid for her job because ze almost wasn't getting a paycheck.

The line was cut last year, btw.

Solution: apply for the office assistant's job and you might be able to get a class a semester to teach. So yeah, I'm sure ze wants to work for the very person who forgot that ze needed to be paid!

Since ze was not informed that hir job was on the line, and ze's finance' got tenure, they bought a house here. Over the summer. After the budget had already been cut and ze was out of a job that everyone forgot about.

Our beloved office assistant who is amazing cannot handle working for the chair anymore so ze has quit. And who can blame hir. Ze has to deal with these shenanigans 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

Also, Chair criticized me on Wednesday, too, for not having Zicam in my house and for not beginning a Zicam regimen the moment I started feeling terrible because if I had, then I'd be able to work through my illness.  Um no. I just nodded and said I'd pick some up. Chair's reply: "Well, it's too late now. But you should have some for next time. You're still coming to my party this weekend, right?"


Saturday, September 15, 2012

I am a ridiculous human being, and this post proves it.

I feel like it's been a weird and exhausting week, folks.

First, I need my paycheck. I am thankful for the J's paycheck, but I'm used to the once a month thing that I can't budget or handle the every two weeks. I've had to stagger bills. I hate that. And then what seems like it should be a lot of money isn't, and in my head is always, "oh, we get more in two weeks." No. I need my check for the bills, and his to put away, and I need for things to get back to normal.

I am having some guilt and anxiety though this morning because yesterday was payday. I paid two bills bought a whole bunch of food, we entered a race that while obviously I knew how much the race was going to be, I for some reason did not see its impact in the budget for the next two weeks because we have a ton of food already and the bills are paid. And then I bought the J a whole bunch of stuff for his birthday. And I spent $30 (total) on two friends whose birthdays are both on Monday. Small things--a DVD and a book. Because I knew the J was getting paid, I got my hair done--more on that in a minute. And, did I tell you that last week I broke my phone? I spilled salsa on it and in a momentary lapse of judgment, I ran the damn thing under water to clean it! Holy dumbass Batman! I was going to preorder the iPhone 5 because when the 4 came out, I maintained that I was waiting for the 5. For three years now, I've been waiting for the 5. Now, I'm going to wait for the six. Ha! If I preordered it, it'd be at least 3 weeks before it arrived. Or I pay some $30 one time charge for the phone upgrade to the iPhone 5 in the store. And pay more for some LTE data plan (although the guy in the store told me nothing would have changed). This seems ridiculous to me. So, long story short, I spent 99 cents to get the plane Jane iPhone 4 upgrade, which is no different than the phone I had. And I was considering non-iPhones, but the dude said that since all my computers are Macs, I shouldn't switch to an android phone. Anyway, this all sounds really trite and stuff. I feel like a reverse hipster or something. Three years behind the curve and I'm totally retro. But the moral of the story is--I ended up with a brand new iPhone for less than one dollar. Of course the case I bought was $50 because I need the tough guy case because I drop my phone all the time, and I need this to last at least two years. Or until the networks all switch over to 4G.

Anyway, my point is that now we're back to broke again, living on fumes, and it's my fault! My hair color was twice what I thought it was going to be! I had never just gotten it colored without the cut the before, so I thought it'd be much cheaper. Um, no! Holy shit. The lighting in the place throws me off, too. I never like how the color looks in there. So when I left, I was disappointed because it didn't look dark enough and still pretty red, so I was going to go back today. But when I got home, it looks like a totally different color. And I know my hairdresser finds me difficult because I *always* am unsatisfied. But she's good. The fact that I keep going  back to her should tell her something, right? It's not her. It's me! Anyway, so I called her back to tell her that I was in fact crazy, and that now that I was home, I actually loved the color, and I could tell she was so annoyed. But whatever, she got a nice tip because I am difficult. I'm turning to my father it seems like.

Anyway, all of this makes me feel like a giant loser because I can't keep our finances in order. I hate being broke without a plan. And I hate having to wait. This shit ain't happening again when I start getting paid. (Man, September SUCKS!) I'm working on paying off our debt by Christmas, and getting a new bed, in addition to making sure we have enough money in savings to cover 6 months of expenses. I'm a grown ass woman. I need to act like one.

My survey classes have gone really well this week. I don't feel like the novel one has for various reasons. One, I've had them sit around the seminar table, which I think it too crowded. Two, I'm not very comfortable there either--I like to be mobile, moving, expressing my excitement over the text. I provide a good energy to the class when I'm mobile, and I haven't done that this week. Maybe if there were five of us it'd be different. But we're too crowded. Three, the text this week was one I've never taught. Four, I do so little with the first half of the century now that I'm rusty and out of my comfort zone here with this. And I feel like it totally shows. Five, I've been stressed out this week, and it's literally making me bloated, so my clothes have been tight this week which causes more anxiety and lack of confidence, and it's just totally escalated every insecurity this week. Add that to my now extremely poor planning skills, and well, there you go. I feel inadequate as a scholar and as a wife. Two things I'm supposed to be good at. And now I feel like I have to bide our time until the 28th when we both get paid and I can figure out what the hell is going here.

And I know, it sounds so trite because there are people out there in much worse positions than we are and I'm complaining about spending money on mud runs, phones, and hair. My point is that I just feel very unbalanced. I know my spending is a result of this and my inability to do basic math is a result of this. And that were I not so damn insecure, I could have waited to get my hair done later, but sadly, the fact of the matter is right now, when I feel ugly, the whole world is ugly and sadly, yes, it affects my ability to actually like budget and keep things running smoothly.

I did have a good day yesterday until the $ thing. And I got my abstract written, so there's that, too. I have a busy weekend ahead and a busy week again this week, too, so we'll see.

Seriously. I'm totally ridiculous right? I should be embarrassed by this post and by my inability to act like an adult at my age. In the dictionary under "clown" is my picture.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stressed out already! Argh!

I can't even remember my last post here.

Well, we are officially in week 2 of the quarter, although last week, which was only 2 days, I'd say hardly counts as a week, and to be honest, I already feel like I'm in midterm week. That's how long this last week has been.

While my summer was somewhat relaxing and enjoyable and allowed me to focus on things other than academia, I'm regretting at this moment my poor lack of planning, focus, and discipline. I also regret spending the last two weeks not really thinking more fully and clearly about the abstract I have due today. I had a horribly crappy day Tuesday, which showed in the novel class, and feel a tremendous amount of pressure to redeem myself today.

Also, I feel fat. I'd say that our eating this weekend was 70-80% clean, but I think there are a few things going on here. I'm bloated as hell. In part from that 20-30%, in part from stress and not great sleep (my workouts are actually ok though), and I think I'm retaining a bunch of water because I think I've been in a steady state of dehydration all week. Generally I drink upwards around 128 oz of water a day (4 32-oz bottles), and lately, this week, I'm down to like less than one. And that's including the water I drink while I'm working out. So because I'm bloated like a beached whale, my clothes are tight which causes me anxiety. They shouldn't be. There's no reason for them to be. There's no reason for me to be bloated. Argh. My face is a mess. I dislike my hair cut and color. But I think I'm going to fix that color issue tomorrow afternoon. And my glasses are crooked, but I have to drive a half hour away to get them adjusted, and who has time for that? Anyway, who wants to hear about that? Whine, whine, whine.

Things have been a mess with J since the disaster deployment--he is still owed some time off, but he's had to go in early and come home late. I'm still trying to get into the pace of the new quarter and readjust to actually having to work (the pups are struggling with this, too). And man, you know April is not the cruelest month is you're an academic. It's September. While I'm thankful for the J's paycheck, it's just we're at the breaking point here. That stretch between June 1 and September 30 is just too long. Fortunately he gets paid tomorrow, but damn. I thought I had a handle on the finances. Turns out, right now, I clearly don't.

I'm trying to use my office hours judiciously here and get as much done on Sat and Sun mornings to make my life easier, but this weekend is going to be a mess. I've got to spend the office hours today finishing that abstract. And my first set of papers is coming in on Monday in two classes. Also, I've got to figure out what to get the J for his birthday, and we have people coming over for dinner Saturday. The house is a holy hot mess, and I have no idea when we are going to find time to clean. Sheesh!

All right, I'll quit complaining. I just don't ever remember being this stressed out ever at the beginning of a quarter/semester. It's throwing off my groove here. But whatever, I'll get through it. I think once I get this abstract done I'll feel better. And once the J's paycheck comes in in the morning, I'll feel better because then I can go grocery shopping. Yay! And I don't even have the first clue what I'm going to have for any of our meals today at all.

Okay, I'm going to finish prepping for class so that I can maybe alleviate that stress and get back to work on that damned abstract. Hope the rest of you guys out there are doing well!