Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Well, I am not making the progress I'd hoped to be making at this point. I'm slowly plugging away, but I've got to up my game on all fronts here. I'm just so slow at everything I feel like. And I've been super depressed. Like almost shutting me down during the day depressed. Okay, actually a couple of times last week I just laid in bed all day in the dark and did nothing.

Tomorrow is July 1. That means I have less than two weeks to put together my article and get it sent off before we head out for my sister's wedding. The thought of it makes me want to just lay in bed in the dark, again.

It just feels like my entire life is just one slow process right now. Five weeks ago, everything seemed possible and doable, and now I'm confronted with how little time is left of the summer and how even less time is left if you take into account traveling and family and whatnot.

I guess that means I should make the most use of the time I do have, right?

And I hate to say it, but my sister's wedding is really stressing me out. First of all, as the matron of honor, I got shut out of the shower planning. Supposedly my sister's fiance's sister in law had been trying and trying and trying to get a hold of me and never could (I call bullshit--not one FB message or voicemail or text or email or anything like that), so our sister in law is helping plan, which is disastrous. But whatever. My sister also wants another shower the night before after the party she has planned for the afternoon but doesn't want to do the shower at the party and wants to do the shower later which is going to be a pain for the people traveling because they'll have to get up early because the shower on Friday is at 10 am, and it is not the brunch that was originally planned, so everyone will have to scramble for food before the shower. So I know the old people like the aunts and mothers aren't going to want to come to a shower that starts at 8 pm after a day of traveling and then having to get up early, and those are the people my sister wants to attend. She doesn't want to do it early for that reason and because the other bridesmaid won't be able to make it. But if we do it after the party, I will miss a good portion of it because the guys are staying at the party for a brewery tour, so at some point I'm going to have to point my child to bed and attend to her. Plus, a party, a shower, another shower, a lunch, and then the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner between 5 pm Thursday and 8 pm Friday? That's a lot of stuff packed into 27 hours.

Or maybe, per usual, I'm just being an unreasonable bitch. It's just ugh. I'm terrible at planning things. I hate planning parties, even for myself.

Enough with the negativity. Here's something positive--
We're going to become minivan owners! I'm so excited. Fingers crossed we'll be making this wedding trip in a minivan. Woot!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Everything is cool again, both literally and figuratively.

And I don't know, maybe it's PMS, burn out, stress (it can't be tiredness; I am pretty sure I'm getting enough sleep), but whatever it is, it has me totally depressed. Like crawl under the covers and weep all day depressed.

But I suppose I shall sally forth and get some work done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In which there are many expletives

OH MY GOD! I am seriously ready to start punching people.

First of all, the AC is out. That is horrific for the area of the country I'm in. It's at least 80 degrees in the house, and I can't stand to be hot. Not to mention, it's not good for the kid who was sweating just running around the house this morning. On top of that, as if I would fucking forget to call the landlord to ask him to come fix it, especially when it's supposed to be like 100 degrees today. Do not keep reminding me to call the landlord to fix it. I don't fucking need to be micromanaged. And then don't get pissed off at me when you ask what the landlord said and I say "I left a message, but I will let you know what he says as soon as I hear from him so you don't need to keep asking" (because you've already reminded me twice and called me from the fucking car to remind me again, so I'm assuming you're going to ask like every time I come out of the room) and then don't sit there and pout because I've hurt your feelings. On top of my parents annoying me, my aunt is all worried about the Magpie because her inflection in her voice seems off which means that I need to pop in at the daycare to see if all they do is yell at the kids because she doesn't seem to know volume control (uh what fucking two year old does??) so something must be off at daycare. Um, no. I've never heard or seen a teacher yell or be cross with a kid there at any time I've ever gone there. "Isn't the doctor worried about her words and her hearing? I just don't think she understands anything. Now, don't get defensive..." Um, no. For the third time of this phone call, the doctor said as long as she is showing consistent growth in her speech and understanding, then she is fine. Do I need to repeat that again? three new words since Saturday. I don't give a shit that your trainer's 16 month old can repeat everything you say. Good for him. The kid has only really been able to hear clearly for about 6 months now. Give her a break. Her hearing test was perfect. And her teacher who was convinced that there was something wrong with her just can't believe how much she's blossomed and improved, so if she's not hounding me about her language and she likes kids who are textbook, then just back off.

And if I hear one more time, "oh, it's not like your working this summer..." I'm going to go ballistic. I've been doing this for almost 16 fucking years now. All I do is work over the summer (except when I had that baby you know). I'm not sitting around doing nothing here. I mean, it's summer and I don't have to be at campus, but I get up at 4:30 and go work out for 5 am so that I can maximize the amount of time I have during the day to work. This morning I worked out, stayed late at the gym with the J which sort of pissed me off because that meant that by the time we got home, kid was up, so I didn't get to shower because as soon as Mom got home, she got in the shower, and 2.5 hours later, I'm gross and sticky and sitting around in dirty workout clothes. In the meantime, I've fed the kid breakfast, wrangled her, made her lunch, got dinner ready, changed her, walked the dog (twice) meanwhile Mom spent an hour on the phone and Dad sat and read--"what's your problem? why are you so grumpy?" And I didn't want to be in the shower and not be able to say good bye to the kid, so yeah, I'm fucking grumpy.

Meanwhile, Me: "Heard from the landlord. AC guy will give me a call."
Dad: "No, no. I don't want to know. Don't bother telling me. I don't want to know."


Me: "fine, I'll just be in the back continuing to be a bitch."

Also, and I'm sure this will sound bitchy, but my sister's getting married, and my god, it's driving me nuts. I was going to do a surprise shower for her since everyone is out of town and have the gifts mailed and then surprise her with a bunch of shower gifts. No, instead, she wants two showers, two days in a row that I'm supposed to plan out of town in three weeks in a place I've never even been to. I've got no guest list. No times. Two people who live in the town who are supposed to call me (but hey, I'm not working, right? I should be the one on this), but who haven't bothered getting in touch with me (whose numbers I don't have but they have my info), and people are getting antsy with me because I don't have any information. Not to mention my sister is planning everything for the evening, which okay fine, but I also have a toddler to deal with and no babysitter so I don't know how I'm going to do all this. All the while, since my parents are still here, seems to indicate I feel like like I'm incapable of raising a child on my own, as evidenced by their constant micromanaging. My mom's infamous "Well, you really need to do this..." I like having them around, and I appreciate their help, but I don't appreciate the micromanagement. Yes, it's clear that I suck at life, so whatever. Thank you for the constant fucking reminders that I'm not good at anything.Because you know it's not good enough that in the process of the great purge of 2015 I've organized my closet and my work space and I've got five, yes FIVE fucking bags of clothes, shoes, and purses plus a bag of fashion jewelry to donate and a trash bag in progress of old makeup and nail polish (not to mention the emotional fucking toll of purging that much stuff at once), no it's not good enough that I've done that, rather it's "so when are you going to get around to Magpie's room? And when are you going to go through this stuff and that stuff? You know, you really need to do that." Oh, really? I do? Oh, thanks, that thought hadn't occurred to me at all. Thank you sooooooooo much for pointing out how much more I have yet to do because what I've started doing isn't good enough. But nooooo, now I'm just ungrateful.

Plus, I had a shitty fucking workout this morning, body image problems, and no coffee. A toxic combination at best. And my dad is going to fucking pout and be impossible until I fucking apologize but would he ever apologize? Fuck no.

In short, if this day ends up sucking for everyone, it's going to be all my fault.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sometimes research really excites me.

Sometimes it just shuts me down. The task seems insurmountable and I wonder, why bother? There's too much to read and not enough time. I see the amount of reading that goes into even a short article and I think, how am I going to come close to this kind of thoroughness?

I am also a bad researcher. I will waste time on reading through stuff that isn't helpful just in case something 300 pages later might turn out to be helpful, but usually never is. This shouldn't surprise me considering I can't get rid of clothes "just in case" they come back into style or fit me magically wonderfully one day when I finally lose the 20 pounds I need to. I guess I "hoard" research in the most unproductive way "just in case." I've not developed the fine art of skimming; I don't know when to quit because what if someone challenges me on page 345 of the book I stopped reading at page 344? That will be the thing to make or break the article and I'll be doomed. At least this is how is plays out in my head. It's also an easy excuse to avoid the writing of the thing--I can't! I'm not done reading yet!

Today, I've only read two articles, which I feel is completely pathetic given that tomorrow will involve cleaning and the weekend is Magpie's SECOND birthday and family will be in, so there will be no time to myself AT ALL, and there will be no chance to work. Of course, it's my fault for not being more organized and planning better or being more diligent. But when the WHOLE family is here, I need space to myself and time to myself (and EVERYONE will want to be here early so they can maximize time with Magpie, which is fine), but I'm just filled with anxiety about this. Family gatherings do stress me out.

However, I will go get the dinner prepped and ready to go, and then when the parents go pick up the kid, I'll spend some time trying to make some sense out of what I read today and write a little bit in order to feel like I'm doing something toward this article and tenure. I have much much more to say, but I need to get the dinner going so I can do some writing later. And I need to move around and get out of the bedroom, too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Great Purge of 2015

The Great Purge of 2015 has begun.

I think I have come closer to figuring out the sources of my discontent.

I have too much stuff. I do. I spend so much time cleaning and organizing only to find my stuff multiplying (it seems) and collecting dust and I look around my house and I feel stifled and trapped. So, I think part of the problem is the excess amount of stuff I have.

I have hoarding tendencies. I do not want to become a hoarder.

I'm done "organizing" stuff. I'm ready to get rid of stuff.

My ongoing discontentedness is making me depressed. It's prohibiting me from work, from weight loss, from getting things done. I just sort of sulk and I have found that I don't really like being around anybody except my husband and kid. But I've found that my temper is shorter with them, and I don't want to be one of those parents who loses patients with a toddler simply because she's a toddler (like last night). This just makes me feel guilty and worse and perpetuates the problem.

I feel cluttered. My existence feels cluttered.

I am going to work toward a kind of minimalism, a rational or practical minimalism. I probably won't purge my DVDs or books. And I will continue to hang on to much of the Magpie's stuff (if/when there's a second kid, that will probably change). But for me, papers, clothes, shoes, junk, things from old boyfriends, things I've attached meaning to but actually have no meaning, that stuff I will be purging.

It is hard though. On Monday I went through some clothes, knick knacks and jewelry (fashion jewelry, farmer's market stuff, too) and oh my god. It was hard. I cried three times. It's difficult to let things go. I kept asking J if it was okay to get rid of x or y or whatever. And then I stuffed my face at dinner. I totally emotionally ate after my first "purge." I knew why I was eating, too, and there really was little I could do about it. (A large part of this as well is I think PMS behind the scenes here).

I'm reserving Mondays for this type of cleaning during the summer. I may add Friday this week to the list too because we've got people coming in for the Magpie's SECOND birthday (2 years! Oh my), and I'd like to get some stuff in the den and in the kitchen taken care of.

I honestly expect that it will take me close to six months to accomplish this.

I'm hoping the purging of the useless things will help me to have better focus on my health and my work. I think it will help my attitude towards life, too. And we are hoping to buy a house here within the next year, so the less stuff we have to move, the better that will be. We'll have more space when people come over. We'll have less to clean, wash, whatever. Really I just want more space. There's just too much stuff.

I think if I have a cleaner, less cluttered environment, I'll be able to focus better on work because I won't be thinking that I need to clean or straighten or whatever.

I've also decided that even though it's summertime, I am going to workout early--like the 5 am class (it's really small right now, too), so that way, by this time of day I can get be working. I have a July 15th deadline (which needs to be July 10th since I'm going out of town on the 12th), so that takes priority here. But again, I will be able to focus so much better once things are less cluttered and crazy here.

On that note, I will get the laundry started, meditate, then get to work until lunch time.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Host of Complaints and Gripes

Please indulge me some more as I continue to whine here.

I'm in a rut. Again. It seems like my life is a rut. Honestly, I think this is in many ways the result of camp. I like the camp; I like my colleagues; but there is no down time whatsoever during the week, and while I can be fairly social, the constant barrage of people gets to me. I should go hide in my office for a bit during the week; however, if my boss knows that I'm hiding in my office, then it won't solve my hiding problem.

Part of the problem, too, is that I appear to be moderately depressed right now. All the time I spent cleaning before camp just seems like a waste as we're back to clutter because there's no time to maintain anything which means that Monday again becomes a sort of wasted day because I have to sort of "redo" everything so that I can work again and while it's a minor thing, that just gets me down. Even though I feel like I'm trying hard, I don't think I'm trying hard enough, so there's that anxiety to deal with as well. I have the time to do the things I need to do, but I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities and summer seems like it's slipping away (although I know that yes, it's technically not even really mid-June--almost, but not totally). And maybe I should have just slept in. I might feel better then.

I realize that there has been a dramatic shift in my attitude in the last two weeks. In part I recognize that that's camp. While I do have the option of a break or two to come home for lunch and dinner on camp days, I'm at camp for over 12 hours most days, so even when I am trying to be productive, it's hard to focus on my work. The others seems to be good at it, but when they all leave to go do stuff, someone needs to man the fort. And again, to go to my office means risking getting snagged by boss which would guarantee that I not get any work done. At night I don't like to be up on the second floor at night by myself.

Furthermore, I know that the kid is struggling with my being gone and not spending as much time with her.

However, I think at the heart of my kind of malaise right now, which is always festering at the back like an academic sore, is if I want to stay here. I know I wrote back in the beginning of the year about how I needed to and was working on shifting my attitude toward my job. Don't get me wrong; it is a good job. I know the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side, and there are lots of reasons for me not to even attempt to look elsewhere, most especially because of it's location near my family (at least many of them are between a few hours to a day's drive away), and that makes a big difference. Believe me, I know and understand the privilege I have in having a t-t job, too. And there are hardly any options whatsoever in my field right now.

Herein lies the problem: how do I do what I want to do with the options I have? I can't figure out how to make my life work. I have some idea of how it should be, even in its messiness. But that's my problem with everything just about--implementation. I can see the big picture; I can see the very narrow, focused picture, but everything in between in the problem for me.

Another problem I know I have right now is the focus on things, the material, that if I had x, y and z and all the rest of the alphabet would fall beautifully into place and solve my problems (right? which is the fantasy of looking for/getting another job--it would be magic!) and I recognize that and struggle against this. If I were happy with my appearance, then I could focus on my work. If I had a bigger house, then I could focus on my work because everything would have its place and we wouldn't be tripping over each other. If I could pay off bills, I would have to work over summer and could focus on my work.

It seems the obvious solution then is to actually focus on my work. In my head there needs to be this magical time when all the stars align and things are perfect that allow me to settle down and focus, when the solution is to fuck everything else and just settle down and do it.

And so I wait. I wait for Monday to arrive when the duties of the weekend are over, when there is no camp to rush to, when I can actually sit for a couple of hours and read some stuff I need to for my article. I bide my time until then.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I don't know what it is, but I am super duper depressed today. It really started yesterday, like I spent the whole day just trying not to break down and just cry uncontrollably in front of my colleagues. And even when I got home, I just didn't feel like I could break down. I have nothing about which to cry. And today I feel the same way. Just so much doom and gloom. Maybe it's because I'm tired and stressed. Maybe it's because I'm really jonesing to do my own work and not camp work. Maybe it's because I want to be outside, even though it's like a bajillion degrees outside, I'd still like to be out in the sun roasting. Maybe it's because I haven't seen my family a lot lately, and that's what I'm craving. 

I think I have a plan at least for balancing some stuff so that I can feel productive both in terms of my own work and in terms of the work I need to do for part II of the camp.

This afternoon will be devoted to Camp Part II work. I'll get anywhere from 2-3 hours to work on that. I think I can get a lot done. Then tonight while the kids are watching the movie, for the first hour, I will go to my office and work on my research and then try to get some more Camp Part II work done the second hour of the movie. I think if I do that today and tomorrow, I'll feel like I've got something accomplished. Then if I can get more Camp Part II work done Friday afternoon, I should be able to make some progress here on it. 

And maybe that is the root of the general malaise here. Not getting things done. I think for non camp weeks I will have a solid work schedule down. And I've got to get my other calendars set up so that I can have the deadlines right there so I can see the big physical picture of what needs to be done by when, and then I need to learn how to break the big task down into the smaller tasks so that I don't shut down from such giant undertakings and so I can see the progress with the smaller completed items chipping away at the larger ones. 

Before I had the kid, I had been pretty free from depression for a while. Especially with the changes in my diet. I think I'm still struggling a bit from some latent PPD, and it might not even actually be that, but definitely hormone related, and I feel like it probably will take another month maybe for my hormones to figure things back out. I don't think it's been a month yet since I took out the IUD, so that may be a large part of it, too. I think I've had some foods that have had traces of gluten and soy in them, so that's not helping--they're just building on an accumulation of that stuff that's in my body right now. And I'm doing my best with my time and resources with the camp this week, which I why I keep looking forward to next week, a week when I'll have time and that time will slow down a bit, too. I'll be able to get up, work out, see the kid, and then spend the day at home working, cooking, resting, etc. 

While I have a lot of academic and scholarly work to do this summer, I need to heal myself in many ways. I need some rest. I feel burned out from my life, from my career, from my exercise routine. I need to mix that up a bit. I feel like I can do the work I need to do if I am recovering at the same time. The stuff I want to write and work on feels more therapeutic than trying to do that and think about classes and everything else at the same time. I have a July 15th deadline for one article. It's totally doable, if I get serious next week about it, when I can focus on it solely and not have anything else to think about. I'll have time to menu plan and cook. Basically I'm hoping that for the next month I get to have the type of summer I envision having and get as much done as possible, taking a break for my sister's wedding and for Camp Part II, then spending another three weeks getting to work, getting the courses for the Fall ready, and then hopefully being able to take another 2 weeks off before the quarter starts again. 

That's the goal anyhow. We shall see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I know I'm sounding like a broken record here, but I'm exhausted. It's only Tuesday of week 2 of camp, but damn, I'm wiped out already. And the Magpie is just missing me a lot, so this has been a long day on that front, too. And then she sort of cried herself to sleep. she didn't actually make it to sleep. Sigh. I like the paycheck that comes with camp, and it's only a week, but I always forget how really exhausting it is. And this isn't even the long camp, or rather the super intensive camp.

However, as the only female of the camp, I do feel excluded from a lot of the stuff. The men are kind of cliquish. Meh. I'm not here to bitch about that though.

One of the things I am most looking forward to camp being over is getting back to my own work. I think I've come up with a plan/schedule for the summer after this camp is over. I'm already behind. I've not been able to get my own work done like I had hoped. That is basically due to my spending all of last week, and I mean every.single.damn.day screwing around with this computer. I had to erase it and reboot everything. It seriously took almost 15 hours to get all the OS crap redone and get most everything set up. I still don't have the printer reset. It runs okay. It runs well enough to keep me from buying a whole new laptop. I actually don't need one. This one is nice and clean now and I've got everything stowed away on various drives and stuff. Now it's just a matter of getting organized.

I have been working hard here (harder than I need to) on trying to change the way I am approaching my weight/body issues. I need to return to the basics. Keep it simple. Quit trying new things. As much as I wish I were, I'm not an elite athlete, in the least. And I want to be shredded, but whatever I'm trying still just doesn't seem to be working. It's disheartening. What I need to do then is shift my thinking back to health and performance and let the rest of things fall where they may.

But right now, I'm dying for  twix.

And dying to get back to work on my own stuff. Oh Monday, I long for you. I'll find something positive to post about soon.
In theory, I love the summer time. In practice right now, it has me totally stressed out.

If I can't make my summer go for me like I need it to, then next year is going to be stressful and difficult.

I'm in this weird place between being totally hopeful and optimistic and completely despondent. I feel both confident and on unstable ground lacking in all confidence in every way. I feel both happy and entirely depressed. I just don't know what's wrong with me.

I am entirely focused on my body. This is a large part of the problem. I'm back to being obsessed with it. This is not healthy. I know when I focus on health and fitness the weight comes off. Right now, I am utterly obsessed with the scale, which makes me hate myself for being focused on that, and that's not healthy either.

I feel like I have somehow developed an eating disorder (and I don't say that lightly) in the last few months. This is why I cannot get anything done, and cannot be like anybody from Frozen and just "let it go."

I have to think through this. But first, the kid is awake, so to be continued...

Continued, a day or so later..

I am really really struggling with body image. So much so that it's taking up a lot of my mental energy and actually preventing me from being able to get some stuff done. I've had to do a lot of rethinking about what I'm doing. I mean, in the last three months I have become obsessed with trying to lose weight and in the last eight weeks, I have obsessed over food, had much more food guilt than I normally do, and I weight each thing I eat in terms of "okay, if I eat this, what will the scale say tomorrow? If I don't eat this, it will be lighter."

That is not healthy. Not at all.

I've gotten a bit better in the last few days about this though. It's just that I look like a linebacker in the bridesmaid's dress. For real. I'm not feeling very confident about it.

I hate that I'm so focused on my body/appearance. But, like I said, in the last couple of days I've gotten a little bit better about it.

I'm tired though. I've spent too much mental energy focused on this. I want it to stop.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I'm going to continue to air some grievances here. I am the only female in this camp. All of the guys have been invited out to whiskey night. Guys. That is, everyone but me. I'm a bit irked and feeling a bit shafted. I wouldn't have been able to go anyway; however, the invite would have been nice.

Even though it's only June 3rd, somehow I feel that the summer is already over. Ugh. As much as I love the money, I am feeling the pressure and anxiety of how much I'm not able to work on my own stuff this week and next week. Although, even though it didn't amount to much, I did get a little bit of reading done today during the camp (I will remember to bring my headphones tomorrow), but I have been able to work on getting some pictures and stuff uploaded to another online drive site and put some of the photos on another external drive (I am a HOARDER!) because I'm deathly afraid of deleting them and losing them, but my computer is so full that it is not functioning anymore!

Even though I just bought a new desktop, I now want a new laptop. I was looking at some touch screen laptops online earlier.

I think the desire for new things is tied to a desire to reinvent myself. I've not done so for a while. I feel like, and I believe I have spent a lot of the last two years or so blogging about how I feel like I'm in a rut. I have lots of ideas and stuff, but I have produced anything aside from conference papers since I got pregnant. I'm considerable unhappy still in my post-pregnancy body, and I really wish I weren't. And I just feel irrelevant, in my job, my life, to my friends. I know I'm not to my family, but I do sort of feel that way. I mean, I love, absolutely LOVE being a mom, and I would give my life for that child, and I wish I were a SAHM (although I only wish that so I could have the freedom to read and write most of the time--I'd still actually put her in part time day care), but I feel like for everyone around, that is all that I am. I feel like I am no longer seen as a scholar, professor, athlete, person. And maybe that's it. I think my students, upon learning that I'm a mom, somehow think less of my abilities (uh, they should think more--I created a human, a smart and funny one, too, and I still have a career!). Maybe it's all in my head.

Maybe I just needed some sleep.

So I've had to also, this week, which has been an enormous time suck, but I think in the end has ended up being worth it, but I had to back up everything in multiple places on the laptop because it just sort of has ceased to function properly because I only had like 330 MB of free space left on it, and it seemed that the more that I deleted, the space available decreased with it, oddly. So I just wiped out the entire thing. Now it's like a brand new five year old mac air. It's kind of nice though. Nice and clean. It's almost like having a new computer. So I think I'm going to go buy a new thumb drive for this and the new pc at home to keep everything clean and organized.

But since I've not got this computer mess to deal with, now I don't know what to do with myself during camp. It is the last day. I could try to work/read or something, but maybe I'll just blog all day.