Monday, December 15, 2014

I want to suck less at life.

I've started and stopped several posts the last couple of weeks.

I think my midlife crisis is indeed in full force. Or maybe not. I feel like this post might be a bunch of rambling and contradictory stuff, so bear with me if you're going to venture any further.

I have actually figured out a few things that are "wrong" with me, i.e., the things making me grumpy. My eyes are bad. Or, rather, my prescription is bad and it is making me super duper grumpilicious. I went to the eye doctor this morning. I got new glasses, new lenses, new contacts, the whole shebang. The contacts are more comfortable, but still, I'd rather have my glasses if I'm going to be at the computer or reading all day or grading or whatnot; however, I've got 10 days to 2 weeks before I get the new lenses for my old glasses, and probably around three weeks for the new glasses. I was hoping to have something by Christmas, and maybe I'll luck out with the new glasses. But my head constantly hurts from my old prescription now. It also turns out that I now have an astigmatism is both eyes, also probably contributing to my headaches. And I have this delayed onset hypersensitivity in my eyes from contacts that causes this inflammation on my cornea. So one or two of my mascaras I need to throw out because a couple of brands irritate me more than others if I think about it. My eyes and my head just hurt all the time right now. I know this is a big, big part of it.

I may also be coming down with a cold or something. Magpie is sick, again, what else is new, poor kid. So I'm sure my stress level, lack of real good sleep, and overall hating of all the things is affecting my immune system right now.

The big culprit though, and we'll see at the end of 30 days if this is indeed what is causing a large part of my problems lately is gluten. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm paleo; I shouldn't be eating gluten or grains anyway. It's the holidays. I cheat. At first it was fine. All I noticed was bloating, easily fixed with a run. But what I've noticed in the last two years, and what seems to get worse every time I reintroduce it to my diet (whether because of holidays or celebrations or being in a situation with no other choices except not eating) is that I find that my depression returns. It had been a long time since I'd felt really depressed (PPD aside), and maybe it's the Mirena in part playing havoc with my hormones, but there are several studies that have found that one does not need to be a celiac to have a gluten problem and that depression is a major symptom of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I can have it here and there, but the accumulation of it is what gets me, and I can never just have it "here and there"; it always snowballs into something more than occasionally after that. It is making me mean, angry, and just overall horrible. And then of course I beat myself up for it, declare myself unfit for everyone, and hate myself even more. All I want to do is cry. It's a horrible way to live. I know that sounds dramatic, but it truly is. I'm miserable. I don't have any other way to describe it. I know I've got to make some permanent changes here for my mental health. I hate yelling at everyone all the time. I feel mean and low. I feel like I'm on the verge of a crisis. I don't know how else to describe it.

The stress that I feel over this right now, too, is just hurting my body. I'm sore beyond the normal workout stiffness. And I've been phoning in my workouts, too, which in turn makes me feel worse about myself. Because I'm stressed and cortisol production is up, I've gotten really soft in the last month without gaining weight and still maintaining my regular workouts. My clothes are tight, and it's all bloat. Scale has not moved one bit, and I've been active. I've been trying to meditate as well, but I need to keep working on that.

There are some things I'm going to begin working on during the break. For this week, my goal is just to get my workouts in, eat Whole30 style, and try not to go ballistic on anyone, and get all my grading done. I want to finish the novel I'm teaching this week by tonight really and get the one for when we come back finished before break. I'm going to push myself this week so I can get ahead and not have to worry over break about that and so I can focus on other things. Over break I want to:

  1. Try to meditate for 10 minutes every day. I have this great app that I don't use like I should, and I really want to make this a priority for my sake as well as for others.
  2. Finish the pleasure reading book I started over Thanksgiving break. I read so little for pleasure, and I want to finish the book.
  3. Not treat my family like crap while I work through my own shit.
  4. Get rid of stuff. Finish the shredding. Make the bedroom and bathroom livable. 
  5. Run.
  6. Cook.
  7. Not think about work or school or what I need to write/research for at least one week of the break, and more importantly, not feel bad about it during that week or the week following it, unless I truly feel like writing or working. But I won't force myself to do so for at least a week. 
  8. Try to enjoy what's left of the holiday season. 
  9. Sleep. 
Over the next 30 days I am going to start working on cutting back on my caffeine intake. It's going to be rough at first, but since I'm already plagued with headaches from my eyes, will I even notice a caffeine withdrawal headache? Right now I drink coffee compulsively. I don't ever just sit with my cup of coffee and enjoy it anymore. I drink it without savoring it, and I end up drinking coffee or spark throughout the day to get me through the day (also part of my problems lately, too, I believe).  My caffeine intake has been jacked the last six weeks, and that's probably a major issue with trying to get some hormone levels balanced. So I need to cut back when I'm able to sleep and nap and stuff. 

While I am still bitchy and horrible and mean to everyone right now, I feel at least that I have identified some things as problems and I know what to fix or what to work on to see if it "fixes" stuff. And you know I'm a big fan of having a plan for everything. 

I just really want to suck less at life in general, and right now I just feel like I suck totally and completely in every single aspect of it. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In which I bitch and moan and verbalize a mid-life crisis.

Argh. I'm a bit disgruntled and annoyed. I think it's more hormonal than anything else, but I am finding myself perturbed at EVERYTHING. People on FB are annoying me with their racist bullshit. Actually, FB is just annoying me period.

The quarter started yesterday. I'm already annoyed and overwhelmed. My TR class are on the other side of campus. Not a big deal, but sorta. It's a giant PITA that I didn't want to have to deal with this quarter. Uh, I don't understand why there are the same amount of courses offered each quarter and suddenly there's no room in my building for me to teach in. Blerg. Whatevs.

Aside from hormones, I am also not dealing well at all with turning 39. I don't want to be 39. I don't want to be almost 40. I am totally having a midlife crisis. I feel as if I've accomplished nothing. I'm still struggling with trying to be healthy and fit and do all the work I need to do. I get up at the crack of dawn to work and it's still not enough. Magpie is getting so bi. I hate that I can't quit my job, spend time with her, do freelance stuff or something and support my family. My life feels cluttered and impossible right now.

I know, woe is me. I've been complaining for months now. I think it stresses me out having more than 2 adults in the house. When it's me and J, I'm fine. Me and my mom, I'm fine. Me and dad, I'm fine. Any other combination that equals three adults and one baby, and well, I'm just stressed. I actually sort of hate my schedule, but I cannot envision any other schedule for myself that would not involve the kid being in daycare from 7:30 am until 4 pm every day of the week. 8:30 until 4 is too much I think. I hate it.

My head hurts. My body hurts. I thought I'd get some stuff done over break, but surprise, the baby was sick and not in day care for the whole break. We did get tubes on Tuesday, so hopefully this will be a new start for her. I have so much to do.

Seriously, the last two months have been me dreading Saturday (my birthday) and like crying daily about it. And consuming chocolate. Like crazy. And that's not me. I am totally and utterly depressed. Lethargic. Blah. I know all of the things I need to do to better, but I cannot bring myself to do any of them. Even my Christmas spirit has been dampened, and I'm like Clark Griswold when it comes to freaking Christmas. I start celebrating Nov. 1. And now I'm just like "whatever."


I know. This is pathetic. Ugh. I'm sorry I'm such a downer! This blows. I need to figure out how to get to where I want to be so I don't have another breakdown next year when I turn 40! Egads.

I'm sorry for being a debbie downer.

Monday, October 27, 2014

For the first time this quarter, a full three weeks before the quarter is over, I have actually finished the reading for the upper division class a day early. Generally I'm frantically trying to finish the reading up the day I'm teaching, and more often than not this quarter I've not even finished the reading for class. So that eliminates a bit of stress at this moment for me. I've still a ton of grading to do, but perhaps if I don't have a line of students outside my door tomorrow, I can get some work done.

I'm annoyed at the amount of students I've had today simply because many of them came 90 minutes before their paper was due. I think next quarter I will institute a "you cannot come see me the day the paper is due for feedback. It must be at least 24 hours before it's due" rule because yeah, seriously the "how do I turn this from a C to an A in 90 minutes" is getting old. And uh, you can't. One stu got snippy with me because ze wants an A, and I said "well, try bringing me the paper more than an hour before it's due and we can talk about the work that needs to be done." Stu: "I have a whole lot of other stuff to do and I can't write these papers until the day they're due." Me: "Well, if you want to do better, then organize your time better." Stu: "Yeah, but I have a lot of other stuff for my other (which I read as "more important") classes." Me: "So?" Stu: humph. Stu is a bit of a PITA anyway, but still. Whatever.

So perhaps I can head into finals a bit calmer than I have been the entirety of the quarter. We'll see. Off to teach stuff!

Friday, October 24, 2014

My grand plan this morning was to get up early and read before babycakes awoke. Uh, I hit the snooze three times. So nothing got done there. Then I thought I'd spend the whole afternoon grading and just knock that stuff out, but it's already 1:30, and well, I just don't want to. The grading will get done this weekend. I'll just do it tomorrow while babycakes is napping. I need to think about dinner tonight. I need to get the kitchen clean. I really just want to be lazy today.

Apparently there was a grad faculty meeting today. It got rescheduled, thankfully, but apparently I never got the email about it.

I guess I'll get stuff ready for dinner and then read for a bit. I'm glad the J is home this weekend. It will make things easier. And it will be nice to have a weekend of us all together, alone.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I am impossibly manic this week I feel like. Today, a better day. I was able to workout this morning, and the J was able to get Magpie fed and the morning went smoothly apparently while I did some CF. And I think that is the biggest difference today in my being overloaded with work and behind but not not freaking out, stressing out, and everything else about it. Rather, I feel sort of like, "well, it has to get done, it'll get done eventually. I can only get done what I can, and when the rest gets done, it gets done." Will there be disappointed students? I'm sure, yes. At least I'm back to feeling more in control today. I don't know. I stuffed my face full of chocolate yesterday, too.

On the to do list for today:

  • Teach
  • Grade as many mini research essays as possible by 1:30
  • Finish prepping for afternoon class
  • Breathe
It's likely that I will not be able to get through all that I need to in the next hour or so. I'm okay with that. I'll make some coffee, grade as much as I can, and then whatever. I like these days where I don't feel so freaking crazy so much better. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maybe I'm just having some sort of existential crisis or something lately.

I think part of the problem is that I've worked out twice since last Monday. It's affecting my mood. This morning I chose not to go in order to get some things done around the house before I came to campus. I feel like this was probably a mistake. My mood is awful. I feel awful. My body feels stiff and angry at me. Yeah, I got some stuff done, but it was not the massive overhaul I had been hoping for (I even dropped the kid off early too in order to try to knock out some stuff).

Have I succeeded in getting caught up?


Am I cranky because of this?


I think for my sanity and for my health, the working out needs to be a priority. Not going last week helped me get some stuff done, but it wasn't the magic bullet to life that I was looking for, nor did it make that much difference in what I got done by not going. Rather it's made me cranky and less productive. I think come hell or high water, that needs to be priority number one because if I take care of myself, I'm better at taking care of other things.

Priority 2: Sleep.
Priority 3: Research and Writing
Priority 4: School stuff.

what I have to seriously consider is what am I willing to compromise or sacrifice for the sake of getting things done. But it pisses me off that I have to think like that.

So, what do I do? Suck it up for the rest of the quarter, the last what, three weeks, and make it through? Do I put effort into things to make them worthwhile for the remainder of the quarter? Here I am still trying to find a rhythm of some sort, and I just can't make my life work right now. it seems like other people have their shit together, are able to fit in the things they want, but I am not functioning that way this quarter. I feel like I'm getting way less done this quarter than I have in the last year. I need to rethink my assignments I think for next quarter and make things easier on myself so that I can get things done in a timely manner and still have, oh I don't know, perhaps some time for myself? I'd like to read a book that I'm not teaching or using for research.

I'm just back to grumpy, moody, and pissy again at all the things I have to do that are in conflict with the things I want to do.

On a positive note, the pediatrician got our referral in to the ENT specialist for the Magpie and we have an appointment set up for November. This is great news because once she's not sick, then perhaps things will get easier and I'll settle down, and I can get things done. Honestly, I don't know how people with truly ill children function and take care of themselves. The cumulative affects of small issues is enough to drive me insane.

The parents come back next week. While it will be nice I suppose to return to my regular workout class and have someone to help cook and do laundry, it has been wonderful just having alone time with the J. And it's little things like being able to walk to the kitchen in the morning in my underwear to get a cup of coffee, not tripping over people, really, in short, just being alone.

Well, I will grade a bit before I have to go teach. Blerg.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So it turns out that I might have just needed some sleep. I slept in this morning, and by slept in I mean I got up at 6 am. I'm letting some of the prep slide just to maintain my sanity. I was exhausted last night so I didn't work, and I didn't get up early to work either. And i'm the better for it today, honestly. I got the dinner in the crock pot this morning, got the kid and myself to school on time today, and I'll be able to get a good night's sleep tonight hopefully. At least I'll have a good dinner. I honestly hate feeling like I'm blowing off work here, but I think it's more of a matter of triage really. My only goal for this quarter is to make it through the quarter. That's it and that's all. I will look forward to next quarter and to getting my research done--which the priority right now is working on that. And if I can get sleep, then I should be okay. Nothing seems quite as desperate when I've gotten a good night's sleep.

And the J cleaned and organized the kitchen yesterday. It was amazing. I just wish the kid were feeling better, but I can only do what I can do for her right now to keep her fed, comfy, and relatively happy. So I'll do a little bit of work and organization, and then teach at 2. That's all I got for now.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I feel like lately I must sound like a broken record here. To be fair, it's not just me who's all disgruntled and whatnot--that seems to be the prevailing mood in my department or at least among my closest friends here. We all seem to be feeling overwhelmed, overworked, dissatisfied with our classes currently, and all other manner of things. I find myself totally and completely unmotivated still, counting down the days until the end of the quarter, doing as little as possible to get by, not that that seems to be alleviating my stress any. I am having trouble keeping up with my work.

In theory, my schedule should be a good one. In practice, I just don't know. However, my alternatives are getting up at 4:30 or 5 am every morning, a five day a week schedule, and putting the kid in daycare from roughly 7 am until 4 or 5 every day. None of these options appeal to me individually or combined in any manner.

There are two things that are really draining me right now: One, what I suspect is perhaps a hormone imbalance wreaking havoc on my system as a result of the IUD, which should have an obnoxiously low and very localized hormone dose, but which does not seem to be working in conjunction with my system, and I vacillate between getting it out now after only 5 weeks or giving it until my follow up appointment three weeks from now. And two, a sick baby.

A baby who gets an occasional cold or ear ache can in and of itself be draining, but the Magpie is still just sick. We are on our 7th, yes, that's right, SEVENTH double ear infection since Sept. 2013. I was resistant to tubes back in the spring because she was only 7 months old and I know it's minor surgery, but surgery on a 7 month old scared me and we did everything we could to keep the fluids from settling in the ears and it worked, for a while. But now this fall looks to follow last fall. Here's what's concerning me about this: the possibility of speech delay as a result of the ear infections, potential damage to the ear as a result of all the ear infections, and I wonder if her fear of walking has to do with feeling unbalanced as a result of some inner ear issues. And this last round of antibiotics is making her miserable, which in turn is making me miserable because when the J is gone, we're kind of trapped in the house because she doesn't feel well and isn't feeling adventurous. It also affects her napping, so I get less of a break when I'm at home with her all day like when the J has drill. Right now I'm struggling with feeling like a failure as a human being, a mother, a wife, and a professor. My whole existence right now is simply a series of just getting by, and I hate that feeling, and I hate operating like that. I just kind of move from yelling to crying, and that's not good for anyone!

I'm already just focused on next quarter. I obviously have to finish this one out, but I don't know how to just push through right now and not go insane. I'm trying to balance everything, but to be honest, I'm just exhausted. And I think the emotional exhaustion is what is taking it's toll.

So this week I am going to talk to the pediatrician to see if we can go ahead and get our referral for the ENT and try to get an appointment in before the holidays (I DO NOT want to spend the holidays with her being sick again, and I am sure she doesn't either). Swee'Pea is just so miserable.

I think one thing I need to do is make a plan for break. I think it's going to be crucial for me to use break to get ahead on the winter quarter so that I can make time for research. I'm going to have to rethink a couple of things for the survey class, too. And I need to figure out how to stay healthy myself. This allergy thing is kicking my ass also.

Well, thanks for listening you guys. I feel significantly less angry and pissy now. I'm a bit demoralized, but oh well. But alas, I will go talk about two stories I love, and then pick up the babe and enjoy some family time with her and the hubs. I will get to have a little bit of a lovely evening before I have to dive in and read more, which at this point will simply just be skimming to the end.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still battling some sort of sinus problem here. It's getting ugly again.

I've been sorta phoning it in this week in class. Movie in three of my four days of classes, and one canceled day of class.

My canceled day--an amazing lovely wonderful day with the Magpie. She seems to be feeling much better. And we've had some wonderful alone time during the mornings.

I may have hit on a workable rhythm here for myself. Some things I've learned already this week on my own:

  • Until I get my tenure stuff secured, I may have to be content now, when the parents aren't here, of only getting my workouts in MWFS. And I may have to give up my 7:30 class on MWF and go to the 9 am after I drop off Magpie rather than bringing her with me. This may change next quarter or after the first of the year, but I will try this next week.
  • I'm too exhausted in the evening to get any work done. There's no point in my trying. If I leave stuff to get done in the evening, it's not going to happen. But, if I get up early before the kid, I can get 1-1.5 hours of my own work done before baby girl gets up. It's just better for me to make a cup of coffee and sit in bed and read and take notes. I'm just gassed at the end of the day, and it's the only time I have alone with the J.
  • If I can get a handle on my work and keep up, then I can get all the prep, reading, and grading I need to do during my office hours--or most of it anyway. There's still time at night to read if I want--sometimes the J likes to read before bed, but if I'm forced to have to do work at night, then I end up more tired and cranky and very behind. And even 7-10 hours a week toward the book and article will go a long way. 
So there we go. I'm glad I have tomorrow off. Even though I'd like for Fridays to be my research day, but since the J has drill this weekend, tomorrow I've got to get to the grocery and get the food for the week prepped. 

And now I think I will enjoy the rest of the movie. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So I've yet to actually get to the research part of my life since the parents left; however, the house has not imploded; I've managed to get dinner on the table every night, and the kitchen has been cleaned and dishes put away every night as well. We've not ordered pizza once. Yes, lots of leftovers and easy things, but all is well. And we've not been without a few curveballs either. Magpie's cold turned into yet another double ear infection, so we had a weekend of a toddler not napping and requiring lots of attention. I was super sick on Sunday as well, and the J was gone for the morning to run a half marathon and was sore and tired himself as well. Monday saw a doctor's appointment and a tornado, an unnapped toddler, and no access to the school's server so I couldn't even finish up my grading at home. Oh, and the internet in my office has mysterious been cut, so I can't get the grading done there. I'm behind in just about everything.

I am, however, oddly more relaxed right now than I have been this whole quarter. I have some anxiety this morning because Swee'Pea will be at daycare until 4, and that's the longest she's been there thus far. It was all I could do not to cry. I'd like to keep her home Friday just to hang out, but the J has drill this weekend, so I won't get anything done this weekend, and grocery shopping and food prep needs to happen on Friday then.

I really think that the J and Magpie and I just needed some time alone. I had to cancel classes yesterday because Swee'Pea threw up her breakfast and so under the weather with the ear infection. So I stayed home all day with her; didn't get a lick of work done, and while that would have been nice, what was even nicer is that she totally had a great sick day. It was clear that she enjoyed having me all to herself without the grandparents here. And the same thing happened on Sunday and Monday when she had her alone time with the J. We didn't rush this morning (in fact, I still haven't showered or gotten ready yet, and the kitchen is horrendous from breakfast), but still made it out the door on time (if my mom were here though, she would have stayed home again today). I know she would have rather stayed home in her pjs, but this morning after breakfast we read some books, played on the floor, there weren't three people running around trying to get ready, there was no tv, and things were just calm and lovely.

This morning I got up with the J (well, about a half hour afterwards) and got to work for about an hour. I had some stuff to read for tomorrow, not done, but it was good for me to do so.

I'm thinking about readjusting my work/research at home schedule and my workout schedule so that I can get more done or make better use of my time. And this is my last week of barbell club, so I'll be able to give the schedule a "test drive" next week and we'll see what happens.

I guess that being said, I need to get my stuff together now and get ready for work. And just for shiggles, here's today's goals during office hours:

  • Finish grading take home exams
  • Grade in class exams for both classes
  • Grade lit analyses for both classes
And then tonight:
  • Finish reading for tomorrow during Royals game. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm going to continue my bitch fest over here. I think we're all ready for a break.

I'm not caught up on grading or reading for tomorrow. I refuse to spend any time at home over the next few days grading either. The J and I have a date Friday while the Magpie is in daycare, and we are very much looking forward to it. We are going to workout together after we drop off the babes, then have lunch, then go to a movie, and we may still have an hour before we have to pick up Mags after that!

I'm just done with this week and with this quarter. I know, it's terrible to say. I'm more looking forward to the stuff I'm teaching next quarter. I'm looking forward to break. And I'm aching to work on my own stuff.

As I think I posted yesterday, I realized that I have all of this wasted time about which I'm horribly resentful. I waste so much time. Like I don't even know where it goes. I need to take like a week to document what I do and when so I can find ways to eliminate this waste.

I think I said yesterday that I'm hoping that I can work on that next week when the parents are gone. Shoot, I may even be able to this weekend. It's been such a long 24 hours that I can't even remember what I wrote yesterday and I'm too lazy to go look it up.

Here are some other disjointed thoughts because that's where I am right now?

  • So this weekend I cleaned my room and my closet (hence my being extremely behind). My closet looks so good for the first time since we've lived in our place. I keep walking into it to look at it it looks so good. And I can hang up my clothes and get them out without tripping over things or kicking things out of the way. It's lovely.

  • I'm thankful that my mom went to the grocery store for me today so we have food for a week. She's not feeling well because her arm is swollen from getting the flu shot and then working out hard so her lymph nodes are working overtime. That was nice of her to do when she's not feeling well at all. 

  • The kid is just growing impossibly fast. She eats so much! She ate more for breakfast this morning than I did. She seems to be hungry all the time, and I can't seem to get enough food into her. Of course, we don't have words yet so she can't tell me she wants food. (I wasn't very good with the sign language thing). But last night and this morning she shoveled the food in my the handful, both of them! I felt so bad. So obviously, she needs more food. 

  • While I do mourn the loss of her babyhood and the development into toddlerhood, I am oddly not that sad about not having to make her food anymore and feeding her what we cook for ourselves. It's so much easier.

  • I think I just hate Fall quarter. I used to enjoy it as a time of starting over. Not anymore. It just seems like an extension of a stressful and crappy summer and a stressful year. I'm more looking forward to Winter Quarter. I just feel stale and stuck, you know? 
  • I am incredibly anxious to get back to my research which I suppose means that I am ready to make it a priority, finally. 
  • I think the problem with this fall, and the same problem that I had last fall, last winter, and last spring, is that I just never found my groove. I started off stressed and behind; my courses weren't set up; I did, and am doing, every thing last minute, still, so like I've been complaining about since the beginning, I've just not found my groove. And then it stresses me out even more that I haven't. I want a groove. I need a groove. And the groove eludes me. 
  • My halloween costume this year involves wearing pajamas. I'm beyond excited for this. 
  • I have a student right now who is going to spend an inordinate amount of time on the midterm so he can spend time with me. He's a former student's boyfriend. He kinda creeps me out. And I think he thinks I'm going to give him hints or pointers on the exam. Or perhaps I'm just being a real jerk right now and he really is struggling, but probably not as much as it appears.
  • I have an intense desire to be organized and clean out clutter, everywhere, right now. I think this is a good desire. It is probably in part to avoid grading and class prep, but I tell you what, since I cleaned my room and closet, I feel so much more relaxed in my bedroom. I sleep better! Plus, Mags is so close to walking that as soon as she gets her legs under control, she's going to make a beeline for anything within her reach and that means stuff needs to be out of her reach. 
I suppose that's all I need to complain about. I guess I needed to declutter my head, too. So if you made it this far through the post, then I thank you for reading all of the way through and enjoy the remainder of you day. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Argh. Most of the day has gone by. I'm still extremely underprepared for class--not totally unprepared mind you, but still. I'm unmotivated, hungry (despite having had lunch), cranky, and everything else, and not relishing a two hour class. Of all the upper division English classes I teach, this one is actually my least favorite because it's an elective  and lots of non-majors take it, so participation is meh. About half of them are disengaged, and maybe it's partly me here, but I only have so much energy.

I am complaining a lot today and a lot about this quarter in general. Honestly, I really sorta feel like I've already checked out a little bit here, and we still have about six weeks to go I suppose. I'm just ready to be done already.

I fully admit to my whining and stuff today. I'm borderline incoherent at this point, and I'd like to just go take a nap. Sigh. Off to class I go.
This girl needs to do some laundry because all she has is cranky pants right now.

I am in a foul mood. I'm annoyed at the world, my life, everything.

I got up at 4:30 to go Barbell Club. I'm woefully behind on everything for the 2pm class today, but I function significantly better when I workout, even if I'm behind. I can't imagine how much crankier I'd be right now. (And I'm typing this while my students take their exam. I can never get any meaningful work done during exam time anyway, so I'm taking this moment for myself). And I needed to throw around some very heavy weights this morning for my own sanity (I'll brag--15 backsquats at 140#. Yeah, I feel pretty tough). But here's the thing. I realized this morning how much wasted time happens during my mornings right now, especially on TR. When I get home, the J gets in the shower. Dad's usually in the other bathroom, so I have to wait until they're done in case the kid gets up. I get everyone's breakfast ready. Kid up by the time everyone is settled. Mom gets in and gets in the shower. Meanwhile, I'm still not ready for work yet. And it takes my mom an hour and a half to get ready in the morning, and they take the baby to daycare, so legitimately she does need to get ready when she gets back from her workout. I get the baby's lunch and everything ready. By 8:40 they're ready to leave, and I'm still in my workout clothes and haven't done a damn thing. So instead of being able to get to campus at 9 and get some work done, hours later, I'm still trying to get dressed and I'm resentful that the morning is over with and I've not had a chance to work.

I'm hoping, hoping that next week we can get some sort of schedule going for the three of us. On BBC days, the J will have to shower while I'm gone so I can get in the shower before Magpie gets up because I will be taking her to daycare. And I'd like to be dressed when I drop her off so I can head right to campus and get some work done.

MWF will be a bit different as she will have to come to the box with me for my workout, and I'll drop her off at daycare afterwards, then go home and get ready. That means she needs to be up and fed and ready to go on those days before we head to the workout, but either way, it *should* mean that I am able to get about an hour each morning for research because I haven't done shit yet. The thing that's going to suck is if we hit a groove, then the parents will be back, and maintaining that might be a struggle. They will respect the schedule though, but it means that I go back to not having a place to work at home because there's so little room.

Getting dinners done might be a struggle, too, but I will figure it out. It's a bit easier now with the Magpie because she's eating what we eat most of the time, so I don't have to cook anything special and make batches of food for her and freeze it and prep it. The only thing we do that for is breakfast, and that goes for all of us.

Anyway, I'm just full of piss and vinegar because I feel like everyone else's time is respected but mine, and even though they try to stay out of my way, it's not like they actually do, and I feel so f*cking guilty when I do work at home and everyone is home, but pissy when I can't get out to leave. Argh.

While it might be an adjustment, the J and I are looking forward to having some time to ourselves. I am so thankful and grateful for my parents being here and helping and cleaning and cooking and everything, but they need time to themselves and so do we, and I think it will be good all around, though I feel horribly guilty and extremely ungrateful for saying so.

On days like today, I just feel like I suck.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ahhhh, I have a few brief moments to myself right now. Class got out early. My office hours don't start for another 20 minutes. I've just been screwing around on the computer for fun. And I feel somewhat relaxed at the moment. I have to start grading again here soon before too long, but I've got a stay of execution, as it were. Oooh, I've also got some admin type stuff to do today, so I can't forget that.

I think much of my feeling overwhelmed a lot lately coincides with being sick. Both the J and my dad are sick right now. Magpie's got another cold (though nowhere near what the one two weeks ago was). My mom was worn out and run down in the beginning of the week, and so was I. I just felt like I had an anvil sitting on me and just felt kinda weak. I think for me though, this is allergy related. Once I got allergy meds in me, boom. I feel significantly better today, and nothing seems to be terribly hopeless right now. I have a lot to do, but I at least, right now, feel like I can get it all done. I've got a good lunch. I don't have to go to campus at all tomorrow. I'm mostly prepared for class this afternoon. At least today I've got a handle on things.

It's very frustrating though because I do all the things one should do to have energy and not be super stressed and all that, but I'm failing miserably at it. I'm trying to prioritize things in my life, and I'm failing at that, too. Again, I think part of the problem right now is that because my parents are still here, I don't *have* to do a lot of the things that I need to do because the parents are there to pick up the slack, so I don't actually have to be organized or put things away or do any of the things I should be doing. And this is hindering me right now. And I guess so is being sick/plagued with allergy headaches and lethargy. Although who knows. I might be a total basketcase without them. We'll see what happens when they leave next week. Will I survive on my own? Or will the house tumble into chaos and the J finds me under a pile of clothes and uncooked meals? Stay tuned for the exciting adventures of the grown up who isn't.

My feelings of overwhelmedness have manifested themselves in lots of on-line shopping. I find that lately I am dissatisfied with all the things, and this is mostly appearance related. There are very few things in my closet that I a) feel comfortable in; 2) fit; 3) are both 1 & 2. Most of the stuff in there makes me look frumpy. Hardly any of my clothes fit right. They may fit, but they just don't look good. And I'm having an image crisis, too. Because few things of my "style" currently in my closet look good anymore, I wonder if it's not time for a change? Maybe I'm more self-conscious about it now because I'm a mom and I don't want to look like a middle aged mom? Nor do I want to look like a middle aged mom who is trying to look like a 20 year old sorority girl. Most things just seem to be ill-fitted because my body has changed since having a baby and from weight lifting. And maybe I just really have no sense of style (though I used to). Perhaps I'm just lazy. But it's starting to bother me. So lots of time this week window shopping on-line in an attempt not to be frumpy. I'd settle for frumpalicious, but I'm not even at that level.

That being said, I'm going to start on those midterms I took up today and hope that by immediately starting them that that keeps some stress at bay this weekend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I've got a few minutes before my class, and I need to clear my brain out a bit. I'm exhausted, again. I've been grading, I feel like, non-stop for the last 36 hours. Now, it's my own fault. I got these essays 2 weeks ago, but had the misfortune of getting them while I was sick, so I had prep to catch up on first, these got shoved to the back burner, and damn, it's been painful! Most of them are awful. There are lots of reasons why they are awful, and mostly not a result of the students being dumb or lazy. I've got a bunch of students who want to sound smart and who wrote obnoxiously abstract papers that are just abysmal. I addressed this in one class today. Tomorrow we'll talk about it in the other class.

I've got about 22 left. That means I've done roughly 50. I've been grading since 5:30 this morning. I'm moving through them slowly, so I think it's time to step away from them and take the rest of the day off from the grading.

There's nothing really exciting going on except that the last week I've just been really down in the dumps. I'm back to feeling overwhelmed again. A large part of this is because I've not carved out time for myself for my research. And I truly hate that. But I still haven't found my rhythm at all. And I need to. Part of it is that I don't have to as long as my parents are here to pick up the slack, which means I don't have to be too organized and should have all this time to get my own stuff done, but here's the problem. If I want to work, I have to do it in my room or at the office or the coffee house. I can't just sit in my den in my reading chair and read. Not even at 5 am. Someone is always awake. But sometimes at 5, the J is still sleeping, so I can't read or work that early in the bedroom. I think I'm just running out of space and it's getting to me. And I'm stressed about that when I do find my rhythm, they'll be back for two more months and then I'll be right back here. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I'm just not functioning as optimally as I could.

And it's time for class. Have a good one everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I am having an exceptionally hard time concentrating right now. Perhaps because it's Thursday and the weekend is so near (for me--today is my Friday), I just can't seem to be productive. Maybe it's the result of a week of trying to play catch up, of recovering from being ill, or perhaps I'm just too jacked up on caffeine, or I just don't want to face what's left for me to do, but I just can't do it. And when I feel this way, there's no point in "trying to push through"--it takes me three times as long to complete a task as it should, and I regret the time spent struggling through the task rather than just not doing it. Sure I might regret it tomorrow or this weekend, but I'm really just kind of done with this week.

I feel like my schedule is exhausting, but here's the thing--every other schedule I could design for myself would be equally exhausting, and I'm always so thankful on Thursday nights that I have Friday off. Getting to Thursday can be a struggle, but at 3:50, I'm done until Monday. I like having a three day weekend every weekend.

I do wish that I had brought the work for my book that I need to have with me. Or I guess I could keep working on transferring stuff from my computer to a flash drive so that I can clean the computer out so that I can have a better functioning computer. It runs really slow because I have like less than 1 GB of space on it. But I hoard. I feel like everything, especially pictures should be at my fingertips, and I refuse to spend the money on a computer with a larger hard drive (especially when I have a terabyte external drive), because why? It's not going to make me any smarter. It will just be a shiny new thing with which to play and avoid work. It's not going to get the proposal written any sooner.

I'm teaching my first on-line course next fall. I don't want to teach on-line. I've been resistant to it for a long, long time. However, an on-line grad class in a subject I care about is preferable to me than a comp class. And it's probably only something that I'll have to do once every two years (or less), and shouldn't preclude other grad classes. Although, we don't get a course release for teaching a grad class, so I'm less excited about the prospect of teaching grad classes than I was. But if I can be online in my pjs in my bedroom rather than here, then that might be worth it.

I feel like the biggest slacker prof. Maybe I am, now that I am all make up free and here in a Darth Vader t-shirt and jeans. The students actually really dig it though. I think I'm becoming queen of the geeks and nerds here, which is fine. It attracts a certain type of student who wants to build rapport with me and means that class discussions get better. I don't mind being the prof that the nerds and geeks gravitate toward.

I guess I should attempt to get myself together a bit before class. Today is just one of those days where I'd rather just be at home in my pjs reading and working from there. I'm not necessarily opposed to work right now, I just would rather be bundled up on my chair feigning intellectualism aspiring toward productivity. Oh well. Such is life. So I will read a bit and do some make shift prep here and then be done with it and make my way through class which will get me that much closer to the weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I still don't have any sort of rhythm. And last week I got hit with some sort of flu-like plague. I only missed one class (yay for Fridays off!), but I spent three days in bed. Magpie brought something funky home from daycare--she was out for over a week. The J got hit with it, twice, and Mom got it once. Last week was a mess. But, it turns out that I just needed three days in bed. I had a burst of energy on Sunday and was able to get breakfasts for the week cooked and got all the food for the week prepped, so that was super helpful and has made the week a bit easier. Monday though I paid for it. I've got some allergy (?) sinus (?) issue right now--my head hurt so bad this morning that my hair hurt, but I finally feel caught up. I'm almost ahead. The only thing suffering right now is the book proposal work and that article, which those deadlines are looming; however, I'm not a total stress bucket at the moment.

Magpie finally, knock wood, seems to be adjusting to daycare better this week. We've discovered the "key" to her not having a meltdown--we drop her off when the kids are outside. She LOVES being outside. Starting her day at daycare outside seems to lighten the blow of having to be at daycare. So the last three days have been relatively tear free at drop off. And since I know how much she loves to be outside, it makes it a bit easier for me, and I feel so much less guilty for her being in daycare. So today we'll pick her up after afternoon outside time, so she's going to start spending about 6 hours a day in daycare.

I did something last week that was very new to me, but which I think most of you did years and years ago. Last Wednesday, I taught without having put any make up on. I'm not one of those people who can't leave the house without make up, but I wear make up to work because it helps me feel put together and professional. Well, last Wednesday we spent the morning at the doctor with Magpie (her cold turned into a massive double ear infection and strep), and I was exhausted and just had the one class and I didn't look terrible, so I went sans make up. And you know what? If anyone noticed, they didn't say anything. The ground did not open up and swallow me. There was no apocalypse. The students didn't shudder in disgust. No one ran running.

Dear God, was it so LIBERATING! I actually have not worn make up to class for a week now. I mean, this is a big deal for me. But I just love leaving that part of my morning routine out. The first thing I do when I get home anyway is to take my make up off and be free. I have found that ironically, I am less self-conscious without make up than I am with make up on. I'm not worried about it streaking or or my face being so oily that it jacks it up or worried about how awful it looks after a few hours. I like wearing make up and getting dressed up, but fortunately I work in a fairly casual department/university, so really, just wow. I may never go back. Now, I'll feel even better when I can get my melasma taken care of, and I might get to start working on that this winter, but for now, man, it's so nice not being made up every day.

Also, we have not only an offer but a contract on the house. I think we even have a closing date. Yay! Baby steps. Baby steps.

And eventually I'll start grading the massive amounts of stuff I got while I was sick and haven't looked at yet.

And the J turned 40.

I'm just happy that I'm feeling a bit better than I have been. Maybe by next week I can finally find some sort rhythm and schedule.

Monday, September 15, 2014

No rhythm yet.

I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough, like there's not enough time. I feel like everyone around is managing their lives--kids, work, projects, exercise, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I know it's an illusion. While I'm sure there are people who are hyper organized and have all of their ducks in a row, for me, right now, I'm really really struggling. I keep sacrificing my work on the book proposal and article (now with deadlines looming) to get other things done, but those things get sacrificed for other things like trying to cook lunches and breakfasts for the next week or two, and even just something as simple as trying to handle the stress of a sick one year old (I cannot bring myself to call her a toddler. I'm not ready for that yet). The J came home with a wicked cold. Magpie has been sick for a week almost now--she took her first nap in 8 days yesterday that was longer than 30 minutes, and has had a full blown cold since about Wednesday night. And I'm trying everything that I can to make this baby comfortable. We've got some non drug remedies, snot suckers, warm baths, fluids, tylenol, no school, cool mist humidifier, boogie wipes, lots of love and comfort and an old iPhone (she loves typing messages--don't worry--when she's feeling well, we limit screen time to 10 minutes a day), a nebulizer, organic food, fruits and veggies filled with vitamin C, lots of greens. It's not doctor worthy. It's just a nasty cold. But she is miserable.

The J is finally on the upswing of the cold, but my mom's got it now, and she feels awful. I was starting to feel bad Saturday night and then yesterday I just didn't feel good at all, so it's hit me, but not as bad as it's hit mom. But I don't have the time to be sick right now, so I will just try to keep it at bay through the force of sheer will.

We're in week three of the quarter and I have yet to find my rhythm. Generally by now I have, but the house is cluttered, my brain is cluttered, my office is cluttered. Everything is a mess, quite literally. And because of a summer of excess (I pretended that cyber camp was the summer camp I never got to attend and acted like a preteen with unlimited access to a dessert bar and no parental supervision), my clothes are tight and I don't feel comfortable with myself right now which I think affects my teaching a little bit. But that's an easier fix. As you know, I'm a big fan of paleo "challenges," especially when there's money and prizes involved (I'm doing this with the box and this with my mom and sister and her friend). I think one of the reasons I do these things is because it gives me a forum for my competitiveness, and it actually helps me organize my life. It forces me to prep food and meals for the week (or weeks), and if I've got the meals taken care of, then everything else really is easier for me. It's like if I can organize one aspect of my life, then the other things that need to be organized also somehow magically get organized as well.

I think I do just need to dedicate one day to cleaning things up and out, that's it and that's all. A day when Mom and the J are both here or perhaps this Friday if the Magpie is better and at daycare, then I'll work out  and start early and just knock stuff out, clean, throw stuff away, put Mom to work at the shredder so I can have a clutter free weekend. Okay, that's my new plan.

And babycakes is awake, so I'll tend to her and head out for the workout.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

So Down Today! I don't know why.

I came up to campus before my class in order to try to get some sort of work done. What am I doing instead? Blogging here. I'm just feeling overwhelmed by the quarter already. Everything feels like such a mess now. I hate feeling this far behind, or rather feeling not ahead, this early in the quarter. I worry at this point that having my parents around hinders my work more than it helps it. I mean, I hate to say that because I enjoy having them around and having the help, but my mom's not helpful advice is "well, just go work." It is that easy, and it's not that easy, you know. I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about.

I've been freaking out a bit lately because tenure application is looming, as in like the beginning of next year and I'm still short on my scholarship and I'm freaking the fuck out.

I found out yesterday that I still have two years. Apparently there was some big miscommunication and we all thought we were going up next year. Nope. Confirmed by the chair, our contracts double checked; I have a stay of execution. Of course that means I still proceed as I planned to this year with what I need to get done and whatnot; however, it means that I've got a cushion next year to get even more stuff sent out. And it gives me two more years of cyber camp to bank money just in case, rather than just one. And I feel better about trying to buy a minivan now. (Yes, I am JONESING for a freaking minivan).

I'm really really depressed this morning for some reason, too. If you asked me to attribute any sort of real reason to it, I don't think I could. I feel cluttered. Everything feels like it's a mess and that I just don't have time to fix any of it. I guess I can only do what I can do, right? But it needs to be more. I have plenty of time, I just don't know how to organize it.

Also, the last couple of days the Magpie has been getting up at 6. On the one hand, a huge problem because that leaves me no time in the morning to get last minute work done. On the other hand, come October when I have to start taking her to workout with me (it's either that or she gets dropped off at daycare at 7 am, and I'm not willing to do that), I'm going to need her to wake up around 6:15, and she's still getting 12 hours of sleep, and I know it's better for daycare because then by 11, she's ready for a nap, so I have to figure out a way to deal with that. Sigh.

But I guess now it's crunch time, and there are things that need to get done now to ensure that I'm still employed in the future, and I was fortunate enough to get to spend tons of time with the Magpie last year, and did very very little in terms of work, so I'm thankful for that. So I guess now it's time to get to work.

I may make a list today to keep everything straight and to feel like I'm accomplishing things when I cross stuff off.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wow, start of the quarter and I'm woefully behind already I feel like. I had a grand list of things to get done this weekend, and very few of them happened which means I'm not ahead (so I may as well be behind, honestly because it's a short trip from where I need to be to being way back). The Magpie has some teeth coming in so she is not sleeping--no nap on Saturday, only one hour on Sunday, and she didn't quite make 12 hours last night and was up at 6 this morning, so it's really put a kink in what I needed to get done for work and in terms of the house/life.


And yes, it's true. I need to be working right now, but I'm eating, and I've got stuff in my brain to get out before I pick my work back up.

I have placed and enormous amount of pressure on myself for what needs to be done by October. In some ways, that pressure is already shutting me down. But in other ways, it's motivating me. I have a plan of attack. What shuts me down is when the plan has a hitch. I don't adapt very well. But I'm working on it. I'll keep you updated. I won't write down what I'm working on because to look at the list of things to do might shut me down for the day. I have to think about it in the abstract right now.

One of the reasons for the push is that the parents will be gone for October, so I've got to learn to get organized. One of the problems is that I don't have to be organized right now because the parents are still here picking up the slack. Sometimes though the J and I do better on our own when the parents are gone. I think we're going to be okay. It is nice though to have someone else worrying about the dinner and the laundry. At least mom gets a rest now that Magpie is in daycare.

I am looking forward though to us being on our own as parents, even though I'm eternally thankful for the help and support we've gotten from my parents. That's hard to come by. And I'm sure my parents need the break, too. But it might be nice for me, the J, and the Magpie to have some time together.

If everything goes all right, we may be out of our house in Home City by November. Fingers crossed! We got a verbal offer on the house; written one should come Wednesday. Our relator who is working tirelessly on this got us a good deal. We are getting out of the house without paying a dime, so that will be a huge burden off our shoulders and more money in the bank. I'm a little sad--I mean, it marks the end of an era, but it's for the best, and it's really good for us.

I have more to say, but I feel like I'm at a good enough place now so that I can focus on some work until I have to go teach. Have a great day!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

And the hits just keep on coming...

Magpie has hand, foot, and mouth disease, I think I told you. It is the suck. Seriously. She is/was on the upswing from that though. It was running its course, but she has been so freaking miserable just about this entire trip.

Tuesday, her fever returned. And then she stopped drinking. Not totally. I think I mentioned that the other day, too. Only about 1/4 of what she normally drinks. Wednesday morning the ibuprofen hadn't brought the fever back down really, and she woke hot and dry. We ended up in the pediatric ER here. They were great; I'll give them that. She got a beautiful crocheted blanket and a really nice teddy bear. She also do a urinary catheter and a throat swab. The catheter sucked. Since there was no respiratory congestion or distress, her ears were clear, her throat is healing from HFM (but we did the strep swab to be on the safe side, which came back negative), the only other infection the doctor could think with her symptoms was a UTI. That came back negative, too. So, absent of bacterial infections, she has apparently picked up another virus. Fortunately she was only mildly dehydrated (not enough to cause concern at the moment), so we didn't have to stick her with an IV. She's had as much fluids in the last 24 hours as she's had in just about the last 2 days, so that's a grand improvement. She did not eat one bite of food yesterday, but ate a huge breakfast and her regular lunch. And going to sleep has gotten significantly less difficult. All things I consider to be amazing improvements. I wish she were drinking more, but she's been chugging water when she wakes up.

The one thing that really calms her right now, too, is being outside. Did I have room in the car for a stroller? No. Did I just now order one off Amazon and am having it shipped here tomorrow so that for the next 4 days I can make her more comfortable? I did. (And this is why it will take me forever to pay off my bills and whatnot, but that's another story). I figured this one folds up to about the width of my suitcase. I have all my clothes in compression bags. My clothes will just go under the seat or in the cargo in the trunk, and my parents will bring my suitcase back with them if need be. Will it make packing trickier? Indeed. Will it make the Magpie more comfortable for the next week and a half? Yes. And since nothing makes me feel like more of a failure as a mother than having a chronically sick baby that I can't comfort or help, then well, we will just have two strollers. One for traveling and out and about stuff, and one for jogging around the neighborhood and going to parks. Maybe that makes me ridiculous, and maybe it makes it clear that I still, after 14 months, have no idea what I'm doing yet.

In other news, the house in Home City? FINALLY ON THE MARKET! Yippee! And it's getting three showings this weekend! Hot damn! Fingers crossed that we're out from under that soon because oh my god, to have that money back which would be enough to cover our living expenses just for the summer. Oh to be out from under that house. J's ex-step mom, for all of her faults, is apparently one hell of a realtor, and it's not costing us anything to sell it, so yay.

This was supposed to be a nicer visit to the parents. We were supposed to go out and do things with the Magpie, but oh well. I didn't even need to pack 3/4 of the clothes I packed--I've been in my pjs pretty much the entire time I've been here. It's been too exhausting to even contemplate getting dressed for the day. At least I've been able to CF everyday since we've been here except yesterday and Sunday.

Anybody out there know how to boost a baby's immune system? She gets organic, grass fed meats, a decent variety of fruits and veggies, and we had started probiotics once she stopped the antibiotics, but since she's been on a bunch of medicine again, we haven't started them back up. Sigh. And you know, I can't help but to feel this is all my fault because I couldn't force her out and she ended up a c-section baby and then got hit with another whammy when I couldn't nurse her. This all just sort of reaffirms  the feelings of failure I've had since day one. Poor Magpie. I wish I could do better for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The poor Magpie did get the hand, foot, and mouth disease that was going around the daycare. This kid. She is so freaking miserable. The pediatrician said that it might get worse before it gets better, and I think we've gotten to the worse before better part. She seemed to be doing better, but the last couple of days, I don't know. She eats just fine, mostly. But really the last 12 hours, she hasn't wanted to drink very much, and she's been extraordinarily cranky. I think she might be mildly dehydrated. So I've got to see if I can make her throat feel better and get her to drink some water and some pedialtye. The complicating factor is that we're out of town. Sigh. I'm just worried about the little bit.

And we're still out of town until Labor Day. I feel so bad for this poor kid. She is not adjusting well to daycare. She's having a tough time not being in her bed, not being in her environment. Daycare has caused some major separation anxiety in her, too. When I leave or put her down in a room, she starts crying. This is all so new. Put hand, foot, and mouth disease on top of that, and well, it's been a long four and a half days so far. And she misses her father lots. Ugh.

But she's been putting puffs in her mouth on her own!

Friday, August 8, 2014

I am starting now to feel the pressure of the end of summer. In the beginning of the week it was still the beginning of August. Now it feels so dangerously close to mid-August that I can barely keep myself under control here.

I may need to find a shrink here soon.

I'm mourning the loss of many things this summer. My grandfather. My beloved Divine Miss T. Magpie's transition from infant to baby to just about a toddler. Magpie's starting daycare, which means after a year of my parents living here with us they'll be heading home, and I don't really like that at all. Neither does the J. Sure, we want to have time to ourselves, but we actually like my parents being here. I'm mourning the loss of summer and all of the things that didn't get done, but need to still get done. And I can't tell if I actually find myself at a crossroads or if I'm just depressed or if it's a little bit of both. I cannot seem to successfully organize my time properly and accomplish things. I spend too much money (and part of that is because I'm depressed, and when I'm depressed, I buy things). My computer is full of crap that I need to delete, but I'm a digital hoarder and I'm deathly afraid of losing pictures and stuff. I believe they're all on shutterfly. I need to also move them to google drive and onto DVD and make copies of them. And I need to go through where I have duplicates and get rid of those so my computer doesn't shut down on me again. These are the things cluttering my brain.

I have also found that lately FB makes me hate all the things, including all the people. I deleted the app from my phone. I have found google+ a much friendlier place to be. I do not like to be so misanthropic.

I went against my better judgment and said it was okay for Magpie to have fruit at daycare. (I provide her food because of her severe sensitivities).  I didn't think about it being canned fruit. She had diarrhea and horrible gas cramps Wednesday night. She was still crampy yesterday. Today the teacher told me that hand, foot, and mouth disease is going around and it has a two week incubation period. Just what we need over here. Sigh.

I will now look for a prescription hardcopy that was called into the wrong place so that Magpie can continue to get her formula. And then I will read.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Daycare Blues, but Some Other Positive Things

Ugh. Sending baby girl off to daycare still sucks. I just cry, cry, cry. Which probably makes things worse for her. But anyway, I won't dwell on that right now.

Some positives I will hold on to for the day:

  • Yesterday, I DID WORK! On the article and book project! (Because the article is one of the chapters that will be sent off with the proposal, so yay for double duty here). And today I will do more work! 
  • I'm getting sleep! Like 8+ hours a night right now. So that's great!
  • It looks like we may finally be getting out from under the house in Home City! The J's ex-stepmom is our relator, and she gave me a list of what she needs and what I need to do, and she'll have everything by Friday, and it looks like, even if we lose a bit of money, we will probably be able to do a short sale (not ideal, I know, but neither is another year's worth of mortgage payments), and hopefully this will all be over in a month or so. Fingers crossed!
  • For the second and third time ever I cleaned and jerked 100 pounds this morning. That's right. I got 100 pounds off the floor, into a squat, and then over my head. It's only 5 pounds off my one rep max, so I felt good about that. I'm hoping by the first of the year that I can work my way up to at least 125#. 
  • I get to see my hairdresser in Home City in three weeks, so that'll be great to have her coif me up nice and good. 
I just needed to get that out of my head. I wish I could just have a good, solid, long cry over Magpie in daycare, but I just can't seem to get it all out. On that note, I will just get back to work here for an hour or so before lunch.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Daycare Blues

I hate sending that little girl to daycare! I know it's good for her, but my heart aches when she's away. She did just fine on Friday, but yesterday and today she cried when I left her. So so did I. Ugh. Heart wrenching! I hate it. She's in good hands, but I hate it. I know it's also good for me though because it means I should be able to get work done. Which I'm going to as soon as I'm done typing here.

The J is in Germany, so I've had no one to really decompress with about the daycare stuff except my mom, but the J is what I really need right now.

I sorta feel like the daycare woman is judging me a little bit for the way that I'm raising my child. This may or may not be true, but she was somewhat aghast (perhaps) that Magpie doesn't feed herself yet and that her food is still blended (I've been making it thicker). I understand from a practical standpoint that the woman can't feed seven babies all at once, and it's not like we haven't been working on it. Magpie just isn't a baby who is interested in putting things in her mouth, which in some ways is a blessing really. I know she needs to be eating more table food, and we've been working on it, it's just Magpie does things on her own time. The woman seemed a little curious as to why Magpie wasn't walking yet either--she's almost there. We're so close. And you know, maybe I'm reading too much into this, but yesterday I just wanted to cry because she made me feel like a bad parent. And of course I already struggle with that anyway. I just kept telling myself, "the pediatrician is proud of me; the pediatrician is so pleased with what we've done with Magpie. Don't worry."

We'll see.

You know, I just love this kid so much that my heart breaks. I just want to hold her all day long and watch her and play with her. Sometimes I wish I had the kind of job I could leave for five years and then find a similar one when she goes off to Kindergarten. I'm sure it will get better once I see how productive I can be; and if I can get lots done when she's gone, then spending time with her will be less stressful because I won't have the "oh shit I have so much to do" in the back of my head. I know daycare is good for the both of us.

On the agenda for today--book/article work. That means just reading for a couple of hours and then about 15 minutes of writing. And there you have it. We'll see what I can do.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's been a long summer. Too much has happened for me to recap everything right now.

I'm wondering what to do with my little blog here. I have a lot to say, still, and I like this space, but I think I need to rethink what I need to use it for and how I think about myself.

There are four things on which I'm focused in various ways and with varying intensities:

1. My baby
2. My book
3. tenure and promotion
4. health-fitness-strength

So I'm stuck. I'd say 90% of my energy is on the Magpie. My god. That kid. I just want to spend all of my time next to her, around her, cuddling her, halting her from growing up. She goes to day care for the first time ever tomorrow, and I'm not dealing well with it at all! But now, after a year on the waiting list, she finally got in. There are many, many positives about this, but I don't deal well with change (as you guys know), and I just don't want her to go.

I have a book proposal due. What am I thinking??!!

I need another article for tenure. How am I going to do this??!!

Can I stay healthy enough for long enough to make some gains at the box??!!

This is where I'm at. I have lots of thinkings to do.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summertime means no rest for the wicked (or those going up for tenure next year)

Wow, my poor neglected blog here. It's not as if I haven't been busy as hell. And I've neglected all of you out there, too. I've no idea what's going on with anybody out there right now.

But I anticipate some somewhat regular blogging at least for the summer because I have sooooooo much to do. I mean, I know I say that every summer, and that every summer is crucial, but I go up for tenure next year, and I'm still short one article. And I'm working with a guy this summer who did not get tenure, and I feel like that's the universe's warning to me to get my shit together.

I'm not teaching, but I am doing the cyber camp which is half the time of what teaching would be. However, I didn't really realize until yesterday exactly how time intensive those three weeks will. What makes it worthwhile is that between the two camps (one in July), I should make enough money to pay off, for good, all of our bad debts. This is my single biggest motivator here. Because that hangs over my head, stresses me out, and cripples every summer. So I've got to look at my writing and revising here I think in the same way that I view my workouts. A little bit each day, and be consistent at that. If I consistently work five days a week over the course of the summer, even if it's only writing 15 minutes a day (though I've got some reading and research to do), then I should have a thing or two to send out at the end of summer. I'm going to revise a diss chapter or two and finish that article I was working on during the spring. I don't know if my goals are too lofty, but if I don't have lofty goals, then nothing gets done.

What that means is that since the next three weeks are going to be a whirlwind of activity and stuff (plus I'm going out of town for this camp in two weeks), there's a whole lot of stuff that I need to get done this weekend before camp starts. The two biggest priorities are getting a month's worth of the Magpie's food cooked (about halfway there), and getting the bedroom, where my computer and desk are, organized and clean so that when I have a moment to work, I have a space in which to do it. So I'm super stressed, but I'm feeling a bit better this morning with some sleep and stuff. I'm still freaked, but I need to take the weekend to come up with a plan and get organized. I have one article left for tenure, which I know means I need to have like four out there. But I'm nervous. But I can do this.

Okay, time to get ready for the workout. At least, my body is feeling better and I have more energy, so I might be able to get a successful summer in the books.

One thing I hope to do with the blog is use it for coming up with my writing/plans for the day or week and use this as a progress report type thing. So, there it is.

Hope you all are well!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Still here!

I'm just trying to bide my time, catch up on grading, and write a paper by the end of the quarter and waiting for the quarter to end.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Plugging along...

So I need to grade.

But I'm in too good of a mood to grade.

Therefore, I will not grade.

What I want to do is continue reading and spend a little bit of time working on my article/conference paper I need to work on. I was able to get ahead last week, and I'd like to keep that momentum. I feel like my schedule is pretty hellacious, but I seem to have gotten to a place that even when I need to grade, I can do that during office hours and still use my office hours to write and/or read. I've been reading at night during the week when everyone has gone to bed, and when the kid is asleep during the day so that I don't have to spend the whole weekend locked in my room working. Last weekend we actually went out to lunch and went downtown, and it was a beautiful day, and it was so lovely just to get out of the house. I'm pretty beat on Tuesday nights and then just totally and completely zonked by Thursday nights, but it's nice to only have office hours on Wednesdays and have Fridays off. I've also been able to maintain a pretty rigorous workout schedule; I've started another Whole30, and I've been able to get some sleep. So I hope I haven't gooched myself here.

Also, I was planning on teaching two classes this summer. They would have most likely been comp classes, five days a week for six weeks. I also work with this cybercamp over the summer, doing the movie intros, but this year I get to play a larger role and for more money. And then the opportunity arose to play an even larger role for even more money, so the J and I were thinking, maybe I should risk it, just take what I'm already doing, and not teach. We decided that that time spent teaching was going to knock out six weeks worth of writing I could be doing, and that while the extra summer money would be nice, tenure would be even nicer. The risk paid off. It looks like I can make a bunch more money with only three weeks worth of work (barely that long), and my time would be better spent both in terms of research and writing and with working with a summer program that I love working with. It's way more interesting to me, and while time consuming for those three weeks, the pay reflects the work and effort rather than back breaking work for 5% of my salary, which honestly, is not worth my time when I have other things that need to get done and are better for me (us) in the long run.

I think this is a better plan. My parents will be in for part of the summer, and god-willing we have child care by then, so I should be able to take advantage of the summer to get work done and still have a little bit of time to work, travel, and have some time to myself. I hope. We'll see. And now, it's time to get back to work.

For tomorrow's office hours:
  • One hour grading.
  • 15-30 minutes writing (I try to write daily in 15 minute chunks. It works for me).
  • Remainder of time: reading/prep.
Have a good one!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Killing the Last 20 minutes of Office Hours

So everything got resolved with the grad class. But yesterday we had to meet rather than Monday, and that was a long sucky day.

I was exhausted after such a long heinous day, and I let them go an hour early.

My day hasn't really gone to plan, at least not for my office hours. I had intended on spending only an hour on "work stuff" and getting through a paper from last quarter because the stu wants to use it as a writing sample for grad school applications so I promised I'd go through it with a fine toothed comb. All of these things would have been possible in an hour had I not had to circle campus twice to find a parking spot. On top of running late anyway. Then I had to take care of a couple of things on-line for my own self, post some stuff to Moodle for the students (which took forever to download), and well, here we are with only 20 minutes of office hours left, not enough time to get anything meaningful done. So, I listen to Pandora and blog instead and sit here an miss my baby.

9 months tomorrow! I can't believe it. She's so gigantic! And funny and smart and clever, vocal, spirited and active. I'm constantly amazed by this little creature we created. She is the most amazing thing ever. My heart aches to be away from her.

I've met with all three classes now, and 2/3 are great. The survey class, I'm afraid, seem to be full of uninspiring duds. But perhaps their first impression was just bad. We'll see. I'm not going to be pessimistic or a debbie downer about them yet. I feel like it's going to be a very long quarter though. I'm already exhausted.

Oh, did I mention that I signed up for this? I can't remember. On the one hand, it's been good for me to do it because I had been really really down about my working out, my confidence had been super low, and I'd been feeling really disconnected for quite some time from that community. And even though the last two competition work outs have been really disappointing for me, it's been good for me to partake in the competition because as you know, I have to be working toward something, I have to feel tough in the gym, and I need to feel like I can accomplish something in order for me to be able to get anything done in all aspects of my life. I feel better more consistently working out, even if I am still really struggling with my postpartum body. It's tough on the body to be an old mom and to have had a c-section. And I was in really good shape before and pretty good shape during my pregnancy, but that damn c-section is taking my body forever to recover from. I'm only just now really starting to feel recovered. So 9 months it's taken my body to really heal from that. Sigh. I do wish things had been different, but oh well.

And oh look! Office hours are up. Peace out! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hating all the things

Once again, my totally incompetent, completely flaky boss has taken my perfectly wonderful workable spring schedule and fucked it up royally.

I have a grad class. Boss: "When you like to teach your grad class?" Me: "Monday nights because the J is home on Mondays and he'll be able to watch the Magpie." Boss: "Perfect."

What does she do? She gives me a schedule that has me teaching the grad class from 6-9:30 on TUESDAY nights, a class that starts before the J gets home from work, by a full hour. A class that puts me on campus from 10:00 in the am until 9:30 at night. Child care aside, that's horrendous anyway.

I didn't notice this on the schedule because I had no need to check it. She told me the class would be scheduled for Mondays. I noticed last night after students were emailing me in confusion about the date of the class.

Her response: "Oh, well, I don't think there's anything we can do." I have the emails to her that show us agreeing on the Monday time. She emails the students so it "looks like her fault" which it is! to ask them if they can change to Monday because I can't teach the class on Tuesday, but puts in the email, "if you can't come on Mondays we'll just leave it as is." WTF? I can't come on Tuesdays! Why give the students an out? Why not just leave it with if you can't make this class, I will give you any other class of your choice and make it sub for this one. Fuck you boss!

What the hell am I going to do? I emailed the students myself and bribed them with food at the end of the quarter. I think my email was better than hers because I said I understood that it puts us all in a difficult position my asking them this and that I understand that I'm not the only one with scheduling and child care and work issues. I was so excited and hopeful about the classes this quarter and about my schedule but now, I mean, seriously, WTF? It's just expected then by her that J will take off work when mom leaves to watch the kid? Use up his vacation time because of her incompetence?

Maybe the students will come through for me and it will all work out. There are still a few days yet.

Any advice? What the hell can I possibly do about this as an untenured professor? Or, like last spring, am I going to have to take another one for the team (it doesn't seem that my male colleagues in the same position as me are asked to make the same sacrifices) because I'm untenured? Do I just suck it up, make the best of it, and avoid her for the quarter?

ETA: It looks like the students as of right now are able to make the change, which I do hope is true. Plus the grad chair just emailed them to tell them that class is on Mondays, whether they like it or not, which I'm sure she wasn't that harsh about it. It looks like we have to meet this Tuesday anyway so people can get their stuff in order to make the change, but thanks for letting me vent. I just needed to get some of the rage out and hopefully everything will work out. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WooHoo! Quarter is finally over!!

Thank God that damn quarter is over.

We're on break now, and it's glorious. I get to spend time with my mom, with the baby, with the husband. I don't have to rush anywhere. I might actually get to get some things done around the house. Wouldn't that be just the swellest thing?

I'm actually really looking forward to this coming quarter. I'm looking forward to the stuff I get to teach, and even though I have three preps, I'm actually looking forward to having only one section of the survey class. I'm looking forward to my research project. I'm looking forward to Springtime in general (which I usually don't. I don't much like Spring for some reason).

I'm feeling much better these days, too. A significant reason I believe is just the quarter being over. I was really getting down there for a while. I spent part of the last two weeks just crying and shuffling and not wanting to do anything. But the J decided that he was going to sign up for the CrossFit Open. And since I'm a total jealous cat and would have just been sick watching him compete and not take part in it, I signed up, too. Even though I have only two of the major skills and have no shot in hell of getting anywhere (not even in the box rankings), just doing the Open and doing the competitors workouts at the box have significantly elevated my confidence in general. I am finally starting to feel like my old self again. For the first time, in a very very very long time, I feel like I can manage the work I need to do; I feel like I might actually get a draft of this article written this quarter; I feel like I might actually be able to improve my performance in my workouts, too.

So, I'm going to answer a few emails and then go do some housework. Happy Mardi Gras all!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

So Ready for the End of the Quarter

I have to confess: I'm ready for the quarter to end. Like it can't freaking end soon enough. And not because it's going poorly--I'm freaking BORED! Yes, bored. It's bad, too, because I cannot make myself care about  grading even for the sake of busting through it and getting sh*t done. Seriously. I am at the point to where if I were a less professor, I'd not even give the finals. That is how little I care. Is that not the most awfullest thing ever?

A large part of it is that I'd rather be home with the Magpie, obviously.

Another really large part is that I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay way way more super interested in the stuff I'll be teaching Spring Quarter. Furthermore, my grad class is actually in my current field of research, so I'll be able to double dip here and the theory readings that I will be assigning are works that I need to read as well for my research. I have a better schedule I think next quarter--three day weekend every weekend. Word! So fingers crossed everyone stays healthy and I can get my article written. I was worried that a couple of people would be too busy for our "scholar's meeting" that we haven't had in a year, especially during the spring, but it turns out that everyone was jumping at the bit as it were to meet, so this will finally give me a chance to present something (I didn't have a chance last year), and everyone who presented their work last year got those articles accepted for publication. So it's my turn now to get feedback. Plus it will force me to meet a deadline and get at least half of the article written before summer. I'm very much looking forward to this.

And so now I need to finish up some grading and just get through the rest of this stuff the best that I can without driving myself nuts or shafting my students here in any way. We're all tired and ready for the quarter to be over, but that doesn't mean I need to lower my standards.  Grading I go!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving right along

Believe it or not, we're past midterm already here for the quarter which means that I need to start thinking about my two new preps for next quarter. I am on Day 10 of the Whole30 , and a couple of things have happened that I hoped would. I'm better able to stay on top of my work (pushing that limit with the reading though, but the grading I have a handle on). Sleeping better. Working out more. Staying healthier. It's all good.

While I do need to be working on some prep, I've been sacrificing reading time for writing time, even if it is only blog writing or journaling for now because I need it. It is helping me focus right now and work out some "life" issues--my career, where I want it to go, what I need to do to get there, and that's been beneficial for me.

I'm happy to report that my abstract for ALA has been accepted, and this is good not because I need another conference paper, but because it's the article I want to write, so I will write and article rather than a conference paper I plan to turn into an article; I'm going to do it the other way around, and this is the deadline I need to make sure I get to writing something. I can't have two years go by with only two conference papers and nothing else. I have a goal at least here. That's good. And I can at least bend the grad class to coincide with the research I need to be doing.

That's all I got right now. I'm exhausted and ready for break and for the quarter to end because I'm anxious to get to the stuff I'm teaching next quarter. I've also decided that in order to get closer to a real home, a house here, that I'm going to try to pick up two classes this summer so I can get some stuff paid off and get my credit score up so we can buy a house. And we've got to get rid of the other one. I'm not looking forward to teaching over the summer, but it needs to happen so I can get to where I want to be.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A good day! Yay!

Today is a rare moment when my office is quiet. I get to enjoy my lunch here. I am 100% caught up on grading. The Magpie's dr. appt (which was a "hey we need to come see you; her ears are bad we think; can we come in today" appt) went so well! The doc for sure though the ear drum was going to be ruptured--she won't let you touch the ear; however, her ears were fine! Yay! We determined it was residual pain/pressure from some congestion (easily alleviated by saline and a nebulizer and managed by ibuprofen) and from teething, all of which is highly favorable and much more easily dealt with and fixed/managed than an ear infection or ruptured drum. My upper division class is watching a movie tomorrow. The second half of the quarter in the survey class goes so much smoother than the first half, so right now, for the first time this quarter, I don't feel overwhelmed or like shit.

I even got to work out yesterday and Monday.

The Whole30, though only day 3, is going well.

I'll spend part of my office hours actually getting ahead! Word!

Oh, also, my abstract was accepted for ALA. I was sweating it. Truly. I was worried about my motivation to get working on what should be an article (pared down for a conference), so this will mean that I get something substantial written before summer. Whew.

And I'm very much looking forward to vegging out tonight with the folks and relaxing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm feeling a little bit better  the last couple of days. I wish I could get motivated to get my shit together and get stuff done. I think a large part of my feeling better has to do with the decision to do a Whole30 starting on Monday. I think since I've made that decision to try yet again to do something good for myself (mainly because I just can't seem to shake these colds; my sleep is awful right now; and I know it's all related. Stress through the roof...), I just feel better. Since I love to cook, and it relaxes me most of the time, I feel like this will help me get back to that, that I'll have something (in addition to getting my lazy ass out of bed for CF) that makes me happy, and I can share in the meal making with my Mom. Anyway, I'll be chronicling that over at the Paleo blog, so I won't bore you with it over here.

I've got a lot to do this weekend. I'm feeling sort of optimistic about getting it all done. Really, I'm just hoping to get through this quarter and do a decent job and try to finish strong in the Spring. That might be all I can do at this point. And I'm really looking forward to what I'm teaching next quarter. We'll see.

Now to head to class and do my best here. I'm so unprepped for this class. Last week I let them out early both days, and it's looking like today might be an earlyish day, too. I don't care.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I've spent a whole lot of time in my head this last week since I've been really sick. Now that I'm feeling better I find that I'm really depressed again. Perhaps it's still from lack of sleep (although admittedly, we all have been getting more this week! Yay!) and from being sick and just feeling down, but I'm sort of stuck in this place where I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. Ideally, in a perfect world, I'd have a healthy baby, we'd be out of debt and with only one house, I'd quit my job and be a SAHM, and I'd write.

I think the thing that bothers me is that I spend more time focusing on the ideal rather than my reality and the conflict between the two depresses me because I don't know how to make the ideal into the real.

Even though we're still about four and a half years away from the Magpie going to school, I am nearly paralyzed with fear about her going to school because there are too many assholes with guns out there. I panic over the possibility of a stray bullet ripping through her head during breakfast like that poor little girl in Omaha.

These are the things on my mind today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year's Post

I am fond of New Year's "goals" posts. And while I should be working and will probably regret later not getting any work done during my office hours, I haven't taken a moment to write for myself in a long time.

First of all, I got nothing done over break. The Magpie was sick. Like at one point sick enough to warrant a trip to the ER and then a overnight and full day hospital stay. It was a lot of fun Christmas morning with her, but she spent much of the break sick. So all of my plans to work were shot because a lot of the time she just wanted me, which is painfully sweet, but exhausting. I try to cherish those moments, and I love on her as much as I can. It makes me wish I had a job I could just walk away from and be a stay at home mom. Or that my life was such to allow for that. I'm still working on figuring stuff out. Since she has steroids in her system now from the croup, we've gone once again from nice 10 hour nights (at least) to waking up every few hours again. I not only feel like I've been hit by a truck, but like that truck has dragged me 25 miles. And because she was sick and everything felt thwarted, I'm bummed because I feel like the break should have been better, and I was so looking forward to it, and I hate that it was a disappointing break, but that seems to be how the last year has just been. Starts and stops and disappointment.

So given that it seems I just have a sick baby, I need to live my life under this assumption until she's like a toddler I guess. And that brings me to my goals for this year:

  1. First and foremost, I need to let go. I need to not dwell on the fact that last year didn't go as planned and that this year has started pretty crappily, too. I need to learn to just deal with things and be a bit more flexible and not get so depressed when things don't go as planned. Last year is done. Yeah, the first 7 days of this year have really sucked so far, but I need to accept it and move on.
  2. I need to just assume that the Magpie is going to be sick and get my work done when she's not sick and try to prep as much as possible in advance so that when she does get sick, I'm not totally stressed. Or I'll hopefully at least be able to handle the stress better.
  3. I need to realize that it's okay to put some things on hold for now, with the exception of the article I need to write for tenure. That can't wait, and I should probably devote whatever little time I have to trying to knock that out so things aren't horrifically stressful next year. That means that my Crossfit goals need to take a backseat to everything else right now, and I need to be okay with that.
  4. I need to take better care of myself and make more time for myself. That means going to CF regularly, but recognizing that I can't perhaps work out with the frequency and intensity I want to. But right now I've been stress eating and not working out so that I can prep for class, so that all of my waking hours become about teaching, and I need to be okay with letting some of that slide in favor of doing what's best for me so that I'm not totally resentful of everything. Part of that involves taking the time to prep the food for cooking so that dinner isn't stressful.
Other things I want to accomplish:
  • I need to write more. That's all I want to do. I have some specific writing goals for the year.
  • Sell house in Home City by the end of the year and buy a  home here by next January. 
  • Get the rest of the debt paid off.
  • Get a minivan. Yes, I just said that. I want a minivan. And a closet full of clothes from Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean. You heard me.
  • Donate more stuff and make more room for the sake of having room, not for the sake of having more stuff. 
  • Work on the savings account.
  • Secure daycare for the Magpie.
That's it. Really this year, in a nutshell, needs to be about acceptance, balance, self care, and creativity.

Hope you all are doing well!