Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Feels like spring

I may be pushing the outdoor yoga season a bit, as there is still some snow on the back patio, but OUTDOOOOOOOR YOOOOOOGA. Even though it wasn’t quite 50 degrees out, the sun felt wonderful, and now that I’ve had a taste, I’ll be back out there every possible day. (The ability to do this is one of the bigger payoffs of having developed a solo home practice; highly recommend.)

The fact that it’s spring-ish means it’s almost time to decide whether I want to swim with Mik’s team again this summer, and I’m torn. There are some huge downsides (getting up really early, nearly freezing to death) but also some huge upsides (bonding with Mik, free swimming opportunity). Last summer I was glad I had done it, so I guess there’s my answer, except did I mention nearly freezing to death?

Hmm, but also I’ve developed an ability to run a tiny distance since last summer—might be fun to run part of the way home this summer. I think that means I want to do it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

When your favorite hobby is change

One of my online accounts has locked me out, and the security question—of all things—is “What is your favorite hobby?” I don’t know exactly how old the account is, but honestly I find it hard to imagine that I would have ever set that as a security question. Was there a time when I had a “favorite hobby” for more than a month or two? (I know I stuck to triathlon-related interests a lot longer than that, but I have already tried “triathlon,” “running,” “biking,” and “swimming” as answers.)

I mean, I have an entire blog basically dedicated to talking about whatever random thing is interesting me at that moment, and my “hobbies” change so quickly that I don’t even always get around to writing about them before I’m done with then. That or they get incorporated into my life to the point where I no longer find them interesting enough to write about. Here are some of the things I haven’t said a word about here, despite minor obsessions, just since January: my essential oils diffuser, my vibration platform, the Mortified podcast, short morning runs, color knitting patterns, and several new herbal supplements. And that is during a period of time when I was working 11- or 12-hour days six days a week.

I know I need to just call the customer service line and get the account sorted out, but honestly a hatred of calling customer service lines is one of my few true norths.

Monday, March 5, 2018

I won't be offended if you laugh at my art

I’m writing this post from my standing work station, because the Official March Habit o’ the Month is to start each workday standing rather than sitting. Even if I then plop into my chair and sit the rest of the day, it would be a great habit to get into. With the long days I’ve been having, any time out of the chair is a plus.

Speaking of long days, I took Saturday off even though it meant a TREMENDOUS amount of work on Sunday. (I think I’ve reduced my backlog for the coming week to a human-manageable amount, though. My goal is to see that backlog go steadily down now instead of up, which would be a great feeling.)

But the point I’m coming around to is, on Saturday I actually tried to create something fun, just for myself. So I’m sure you already see it down there (lurking), but let me preface it anyway by saying that I recently checked out a library book about portraits that I found incredibly inspiring, and so I decided against all reason that a slightly abstract portrait of an old photo of Mik could be achieved without any training or practice, and that even if the results were hilariously bad, it would still be Interesting Art.

In some ways this is better than I expected (you can tell who it is, for example), but that just makes the hilarious badness shine through in ways I was not expecting at all. Somehow I made him look…sinister? And the whole thing has the gray-green pallor of disease and death? It honestly cracks me up.

I am memorializing this painting here because I think I might keep working on this canvas with some brighter colors. (P.S. to family members: Mik must never see this version.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The crush

Every morning M.H. asks me what my schedule is for the day, and every day I reply, “I need to work until I die.”

The crushing workload has not let up for one second in all of 2018, and the backlog is getting worse instead of better. A bit of this is my fault for not strategically saying no to things (though I have said no to some things), but the rest of it is sort of the price of being a freelancer. If six of your valued clients need you to work that week—well, you work for six clients that week, unless you want some of them to fire you. Which you do not.

Two things are holding me together, at least most of the time:
  1. I do not step into my office or look at my email until 9 a.m. We usually get up at 6 and sort of run around busily until 7, but then I have two hours to have leisurely coffee, leisurely breakfast, leisurely yoga, a leisurely walk, and a short, unsatisfying shower (LOL).
  2. I am still taking Saturdays off, though most of the time I am too fried to think of anything particularly fun to do and spend the evening wishing I’d gotten just some freaking work done. This might be part of the process of learning to take a day of rest from my labors, I don’t know.
I almost feel like all that leisure time is the source of my problem, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I mean, I’ve been working from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. or later six days a week…

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Made an art

My city has a quarterly event called ArtWalk where you go walk around downtown and look at local art displayed in galleries, restaurants, and other businesses. There are snacks and sometimes live music, and it is great, and I ALWAYS leave with a burning desire to create something of my own but never do.

M.H. couldn’t attend the December ArtWalk, so I invited a friend of mine to come with me instead, and we (she) got to talking to an artist whose work we loved. This woman had a series of workshops, including one called “Paint the Sky,” and my friend and I decided then and there to sign up.

Anyway, the class was last Saturday, we had a blast, and I painted a sky:

I am wavering about whether I’m satisfied with it and whether it’s actually done, but I certainly enjoyed its creation. Plus I have some supplies now, and sort of know how to use them, so I could make another something-or-other. Maybe on a Saturday, since I have the day off. :)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A habit challenge

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve gotten into a good habit of eating more vegetables this month, and it got me thinking that I have other habits—ones I want, and ones I want to lose—that I would like to address, maybe as sort of a theme for 2018. Maybe in a monthly challenge sort of sense. Maybe without going overboard and driving myself insane in the process.

But really. The first thing that comes to mind is that, while I’m a water conservation zealot in every other aspect of my life, I have a habit of taking long, hot showers. The longness of my showers makes me a hypocrite, which is bad, but the hotness of my showers may be even worse, because it’s really tough on my skin, especially in this climate, especially in the winter.

So a goal for February: Get into the habit of taking short, cool showers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Possible beginning of a new obsession

I’m still sticking to my Plant Paradox–approved diet, but that was a tiny change for me, honestly, and I don’t really feel any different after four weeks. (Maybe, possibly, I’m a little bit narrower in the waist and sleeping a little bit better?) But I am definitely eating a lot more vegetables, which seems like a good habit to have acquired, and I’ve decided to just take it on faith that some sort of internal healing is in fact occurring.

ON THE OTHER HAND, I’ve encountered a lot of information lately about light, and how energy-efficient bulbs and lack of sunlight are really bad for us. I heard one guru say that he believed health was about 10 percent related to diet, 10 percent related to exercise/sleep/lifestyle, and the rest was light, water, and electromagnetic fields. I haven’t had the chance yet to really dig into any of this, but naturally that didn’t stop me from making some immediate lifestyle changes:
  • Every morning that the sun is out, I get outside as close to sunrise as possible for a morning walk, sans glasses or contacts—apparently you need that morning sunlight right smack on your retinas with nothing in the way.
  • I started keeping my phone in airplane mode almost all the time, unless I’m actually expecting a call.
  • I’ve been trying to do as much as possible with the lights in the house off—seeing if I can read near a window, for example, or even doing things by candlelight.
It would sort of suck if it turns out that diet really is of minimal importance to health, because that’s the part I have dialed IN. That doesn’t seem like it can possibly be true, but I do like to keep an open mind and play with new ideas…