Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year's resolutions—oh, why not?

I’m a little bummed that I felt I had to break my own rule today and work on a Saturday. (My reasoning was that it would be far more stressful NOT to get some things done today, because I’m waaaay behind and am having computer problems that are making the situation especially dire.) But I would like to officially set a goal of not making this exception again in 2018. If I can get through January, the rest of the year should be easy.

I sort of thought I had moved beyond making a bunch of resolutions just because a calendar page is turning over, but I seem to have come up with several plans for January despite myself:

  • I want to take a break from self-directed yoga and do this 30-day program. These are always really good, and I feel like it will give me some new ideas and breathe fresh life into my own practice the rest of the year.
  • I really want to try the eating guidance from this book I just read—it’s an even stricter set of food restrictions, basically. But the author makes big claims, and it sounds like it would be interesting to try. (The only problem is that I’m not really prepared, grocery-wise, and the weather tomorrow is supposed to be full-on Arctic wasteland. With wind.)
  • Finally, I think it’s already time for another social media break. Not only for my health and productivity, but also because of all the privacy issues on Facebook and all the Nazi issues on Twitter. I just feel like giving those services less of my brain and content. You may have to just come back here if you want to hear my opinions on things. (Privacy good, Nazis bad!)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Status report

Saturdays off update:
Taking one day off a week is marvelous; however, it increases my workload by 14.3% every other day. Hoping that will not be the case after I get through my busiest time of year.

Work update:
Could not be more behind/oppressed/doomed.

Christmas update:
So much done and yet still not “ready”! Insert rant about how the holidays are just a giant to-do list!

Exercise update:
Yoga most days has dwindled to me sitting on the mat and trying to calm down for four seconds. It is neither too cold nor too snowy to walk, but do I walk? (No.)

Diet update:
Going fine, actually. I learned how to make a delicious cream of mushroom soup without cream (it does have lots of butter). I’m also experimenting with different forms of carb cycling, which is my idea of a fun and interesting leisure activity.

Social media update:
I’m a lot closer than I want to be to being right back where I was before I took the month off. I’m back to being online too much (though less) and getting most of my news from Twitter. However, I feel less impotently outraged than before, which is good. Probably when that happens again it will be time to think about another month off.

Trash update:
We don’t even put the garbage can on the curb anymore many times because we produce only about a grocery bag a week of trash. It grosses me out to look around at all our neighbors’ overflowing cans. Remember when I read that book and thought the author was insane? That’s me now. (Trash is on my mind because of a) Christmas wastefulness and b) M.H.’s new manuscript that I’m supposed to be editing, so that’s why you’re getting an update on it.)

(EDIT TO ADD: I’m not implying that M.H.’s new book is trash, but that it’s about trash.)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


In case you’re wondering how I handled my dental cleaning quandary, the answer is I really like my hygienist—she 100 percent understands and supports all my other preferences/requests (which I had forgotten also include a modified X-ray schedule)—and so I decided not to burden her with anything more. She didn’t bring up anything too creepily specific about my life anyway.

So I feel like that was the right decision and that I’m calming down a bit. I know I keep alluding to how bad November was for me in terms of stress, but the more I (slowly) return to baseline, the more I realize how bad it was. It’s vital that I start setting better boundaries with clients. I think the key thing is keeping in mind that I’m absolutely willing to be fired by a couple of them if they decide they need someone who’s more “on call.” So I’m going to stick to my guns, ignore any out-of-bounds requests, and physically separate my phone from myself when I don’t really need it.

Sorry in advance if you are trying to reach me, especially on a Saturday.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dental cleaning quandary

The stress of November keeps manifesting in unpleasant ways, and the latest is this:

I have to go to the dentist for a cleaning tomorrow, and I am literally dreading having to make small talk. I hate the fact that they keep notes about what you discussed at your last visit, and I think if the hygienist asks about my “son who swims” or whatever, I may actually snap. Honestly, if we have to make small talk, I would be much happier to repeat all the basics twice a year. I don’t expect them to remember one patient out of hundreds whom they see every six months, and it feels creepy to know that my dentist has an actual dossier on me.

Would it be weird and upsetting if I asked for my dossier to say, “This patient does not want any personal information recorded (or the plastic pouch of freebies)”? I mean, I have already asked to not be given the single-use plastics AND talked to this dentist about homemade toothpaste, so maybe I should go for broke here. On the other hand, it’s probably a really mean thing to do to the hygienist, who would then feel forced to try to remember me from visit to visit, which is not at all what I want. And I know this probably wouldn’t bother me if I weren’t already falling to pieces through no fault of the dental office…

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Transition Saturday

My first no-work Saturday was sort of a bust, because I ended up getting up at 5 and then spending all day working at a swim meet. THEN I had to go to my desk and do some actual editing work, because before my epiphany I had already told one of my clients that I’d be available tonight. (M.H.: “Oh, did you forget to explain your New Life Plan to them?” YES, dammit.)

But the concept is still sound, and I’ve already sent a schedule to the client for next week that includes the words “Saturday: Not available.” And I had a good 24 hours there with lots of fun and no paid work, so I am transitioning into my day off nicely.

Oh, I suppose it technically is a “New Life Plan,” except that that implies flightiness, and I need and expect this one to stick. It seems like the choice before me is:
  1. Work within your limits
  2. Early grave

Friday, December 1, 2017


It’s December, so I’m all detoxed and no longer have to put a positive spin on everything!

I joke, but actually the social-media-detox/positive-blogging-whatever worked well, so much so that when I went to see what was up with Facebook and Twitter just now, it was like the scales had dropped from my eyes. YUCK. Both sites made me insta-miserable. I couldn’t understand half of what anyone was saying or why they were saying it, and I did not want to find out. I got a literal and not figurative headache.

Unfortunately, both sites have things that I do value, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I’m re-addicted and clicking on them compulsively. But I’m sitting here thinking (yet again) of ways I can avoid that.

Look at social media only once a day? Take a day off every week? Take a week off every month?Take a month off every year? All of that combined?