seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)

So over my brief microsabbatical I decided on a list of things I want to get done by the end of the year: thus, New Year's Resolutions, in reverse, ie my resolution is to have this done before the new year. See? Get it? It's like I'm clever instead of backwards and wrong!

  1. Get Healthy [metric: exercise 3+/wk; lose 10+ lb]
    Content note / Note this: being healthy and losing weight are not always the same thing! Health has a unique meaning to every individual body!
    That being said: for me getting healthy and knocking off weight go hand-in-hand at this point in time. From May-September I ate poorly, rested poorly, drank too much, drowned in stress, and had no time or motivation to work out at all. That plus medication changes has resulted in what is, for my body, unhealthy poundage.
    I miss swimming. I miss yoga. I don't miss running, fuck running, but I miss being able to run I guess? I miss punching my bag. I want to have Korra arms. And I have, quite reasonably, 10-20 lb I could lose before being even close to "danger". (Trust me, I'm a Taurus; we don't diet.)
    This is something I can make happen by 01 Jan 2016.

  2. Inhabitable basement [metric: obvious]
    Right now the basement is storage, which is part of what basements are for, but mine opens up to my patio (and grill, and fire chimney) and has a nice little area by the windows where friends could sit and drink wine and grill things. I've two drum sets in my basement and my keyboard, all of which I have been missing desperately. (I miss music! I dream about pianos.) My workout area is functional, but not at all welcoming. My laundry area could use some sprucing.
    Much of the storage is related to the above, which means I just need to sort it and work through it. A good part, however, is my grandmother's stuff. She finally passed away in August (I am not sure I even mentioned it here; I was too broken by it to do so) and I do not mind storing her things forever but need to go through them and decide which way makes sense.
    This is, also, quite doable by 2016, and having those areas back in my life will please me immensely.

  3. Shame room --> Craft room [metric: obvious]
    I want to turn my spare bedroom into a crafting room, to house sewing / knitting / beading / anything else I may start doing. Right now it's a shameful repository of clothes-to-be-donated and a few boxes from moving (not original boxes - these were empty boxes that were repacked with "shit i do not want to deal with rn" and hidden).

  4. Plan for the greatroom [metric: having an estimate / loan]
    I have plans in my head to redo my entire greatroom, which started with my neverending desire to replace the horribly stained carpet in there and grew into a really, really epic floor plan. I need to get it from my head onto the page, then find a contractor who can give me estimates on time / cost to make it happen. Why not? Houses are investments, and my cafe-bar thing will be incredible.

  5. Work-Life Balance [metric: ???]
    I need to prove to myself that I can, in fact, work the kind of job that pushes all of my success buttons without killing myself. The next 3 months will be busy, as always, but not deadly, so it's time to fucking do it. I still don't know how to make a metric for this; maybe I can use success on the other Resolution points, because they won't happen if I continue to use my energy on work.

  6. Mental Peace [metric: ???]
    I went back through some journal entries and I've been in a massive depression funk since early 2014. That's too long. It has started to severely affect my health and my job. I need to attack this. I realize depressions don't "go away" but I haven't tried anything really and I at least deserve an effort.

  7. Write Again [metric: get some word count] No real comments. I just miss writing.

I stopped there, since there are really only 3 months left in the year, and they will contain not only the major hols of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but also the birth of my newest niece or nephew, so I'm well aware that this is a lot to do in that time frame. (Obviously they won't need to be complete, but I work better with deadlines, even self-imposed ones. Better to not let myself cheat.)

There. Public posting makes it real, right?

seventhe: (SAZH)

it's incredible how much my mental shitshow fog has calmed down, knowing that I am going to get a break this week. It's like my whole body is sighing in relief.

I came in today to finish up some stuff - leave the office in a decent state, so that I can come back to a decent state, and so that I have less to worry about while I am out. (It isn't much - it's like saying 99 is less than 100 - but it's less.)

I'm leaving work early today, and then I will be off until next Monday. I talked to my boss, and there's only one major thing I would be expected to work on if it comes through - it may not - and if that's the case it can be done for home and I won't lose the hours I spend on it. I talked to a couple other managers briefly about my health as well, not because it's their business but because I know gossip can fly, and I want them to know what's going on with me, in case it takes longer than expected. I'm covering my bases the best I can. This place doesn't need me to run in the short-term, but that doesn't mean it's easy to slip out of its clutches.

Last night I sat with a glass of wine and tried to make some plans for this microsabbatical. I realize that the goal is to de-stress and Curaga the burnout, but part of that involves doing things I've been wanting to do for a while, doing things that will make me happy. So I made a list of everything I wanted to do around the house so that I could cherry-pick the most satisfactory of those tasks and make sure I was armed and ready to defeat them. (It ended up being a matrix. Color-coded. Multiple pages. Engineering to-do lists are so grand.)

I also laid out some of my hobby-work in the hopes of sparking some creativity. I find that creative motivation is one of the first things to go when I'm overworking (hence, the extreme lack of words in the past two years), and I'd like to find a way to make creative expression more sustainable because I think it could be a good counterbalance. I laid out some knitting patterns, dug out some beads, and eyeballed the laptop that has the lesbian werewolves in space on it.

This way I have an approach that can be active, rather than passive. Even though it seems like all I do is sleep these days, I know I won't go back feeling any different if I just sit on my couch. I want to have some things mixed in with all the relaxing. Having said that now, I have guaranteed I will sleep for 42 hours straight.

I'm not going to say my brain feels anything like good right now, but it feels better than it has in a long time knowing that I will have a couple breaths of space in my hands very soon.

confusing

Nov. 14th, 2014 01:18 pm
seventhe: (Edge/Rydia: no return)
It is probably a side effect of the drugs, the stress, or the combination of both, but for the last few weeks I've been living in a state where my dreams contain very real things to the point where I wake up and go about my day and find myself unable to remember or differentiate which things I dreamed and which actually happened.

It's stuff that rides the edge of real and possible: the costume-armor I put on to become a dragon, probably not; the confession that a semi-distant online friend had a crush on me, though: real or dream? Conversations at work, communication exchanges. These days, I dream in email, in text messages, in tumblr and phone calls.

It's a very strange feeling to be struck by a recollection or a deja-vu only to then be sidelined by the question of whether or not what I'm remembering is a dream-image or a real-one.
seventhe: (Snorlax: fuckin owns)
I'd like to reach through my Inbox and strangle someone.

A specific someone.

who is currently achieving new and incredible levels of shitballery
seventhe: (chocobo: hey bb)
I come home from work every day with the intention of working more. I realize this sounds dangerously pathetic or pathetically dangerous - choose one! - but it's the way I get myself out the door: go home, just bring this one thing, NOT EVERYTHING, just this one thing; working from home is much more comfortable and productive than being in the office anyway, you can have no pants on and cats get in your lap and there is always wine and music and more comfortable chairs and your wife the hot pad! don't you love your wife? DON'T YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE SEVENTHE DON'T YOU

it's a fine compromise that I am actually more than willing to make: the workload never stops, but it's much nicer working from home, PLUS it's much nicer to come home and be able to focus and do a much better job on something. it's nice to come home to an hour of catching up on email, or 45 minutes of pulling data into a report: I don't work all night; it's just small individual tasks I can get done in a low-key and helpful way.

But lately. BUT LATELY: lately, I come home and my brain just won't focus on the work. I have this report about all of the kerfuddlefuckery that has taken my plant down for four weeks already that the CEO asked me to write and I am all yes sir please let me hand-deliver this horrible news to your office, shall I seal it in my blood now or later like I actually do want to write this report and show what we are doing, what we are fixing, what we are facing - what the dumb godsbefucked people before me left to us, what I have sacrificed the last fucking six weeks to defeating which is like running a thousand goddamn marathons all at once on three hours of shitty sleep because I have been up at night worrying about my plant and my people because everything is goddamn fucked right now and -- and anyway, I want to write this report. But I get home and I open it and my brain gives this long-ass, horrible groan-sigh noise just like : reeeeeeeally, Sev, we are going to do this?

I am not going that way. No.


I'm trying, I want to, I'm in a comfy chair with the laptop on my lap right now. Come on, fucker. I just need an hour of your energy and we'll be ok.
seventhe: (Rosa: pray)
I thought I was having a good night -- I left work only an hour late, got home, went for a swim, ate dinner, and did an hour's-worth of cleaning up in my bedroom; the floor's clear of traveling suitcases & clothes & shit. That's good.

Then 20 mins ago I just started crying, and there aren't any reasons for it that aren't imaginary.

It's also hotter than fuck and I'm so uncomfortable in my bed. And I'm still crying.


I even had a reasonable day at work. I got two list-things done - one off yesterday's list, one off today's - and a lot of non-list things done. And I left at 5:30 which is only an hour late.

I don't even know, I don't even know.

Might sleep on the couch. It's just fucking gross up here.


Edit-- then I went downstairs to set up on the couch and I went to steal the pillow & blanket I usually use in the hammock off of Gramma's couch and I just - I looked at Gramma's couch and remembered her house is sold, their house is sold. Grandpa's been gone for 10 years and Gramma's never coming home again.

It's just so fucking stupid. So fucking dumb. What is crying going to help? It isn't efficient. It's an irrelevant process.

The thing I hate most about (my) depression is this sudden shit. I can feel like a productive bitch mode amazon all day but then suddenly there's just a storm of tears.
seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
So I've been reading about stress management, and one of the things I've seen recommended a couple times is to keep a journal. I assume it's along the same lines as let it alllll out kind of thing, which often causes more problems for me than it solves -- much like the whole "talk to someone" thing; it doesn't work for me because while talking to someone about an issue may make me feel slightly better about that one issue, that gain is utterly and completely negated by the hassle involved in telling someone about my shit: background on the situation, background on me, background on my brain, what's bothering me, why it's bothering me, what I don't want to hear, what I meant because the first explanation of something is guaranteed to be shit; plus the neverending hassle of that person then, continually, and without fail, asking me, "so how is [issue]?" at a future date, which frustrates me so much that it literally undoes any small good I may have gained from the conversation in the first place: I don't talk to people because it doesn't help me, and that isn't because I think I'm some special snowflake and no one will understand my problems; it's because it quite literally on paper does not help me.

But! Despite the derail! Keeping a journal is supposed to be helpful, and luckily I already have a journal of sorts I use for this kind of thing, so here we go. I will probably be slow with replying to comments, because it's occasionally difficult to keep up with them via mobile, but please officially note that I read them and appreciate them.

SO today sucked. I could start off every day like that: Dear Diary, Today sucked nasty fermented goat balls. Gundam Wing was good today.

At one of the management trainings I was at recently, we went over some of those "life tips" they give you in classes like that. I've decided to give a trial run to one of them: do three things every day. It appealed to me: three things is enough that you're making progress, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. Just pick three things and do them. I figured I would start with work: Three things every day. On busy days I can pick three easy ones; on days I have no meetings I can try for one longer one. But three things a day, of my own, off of my own to-do list. Should be manageable, right?

I can hear you laughing. Shut up.

Today I came in and the first thing I did was pick three things: Finish slides for a training I have to give Thursday; print out training sheets for about 5 outstanding MOCs; compile a brief incident review on the last month that I also have to give Thursday. None of these are quite extensive.

I worked on my slides for approximately 7 minutes throughout the course of the day.

I started alright, but of course I've been out of the office for a while, so once I'm back everyone has to come in: how was the baby (cute), how was babysitting (exhausting), how was the weekend (fuck off), let me tell you this thing I did (fuck off), this happened last week (kindly fuck off), I did this thing (unkindly fuck off), did you get my email about (fuck right off with a british accent), I left you a note but (go fuck a rhino) -- you get the picture.

Had a meeting at 9:00am. Blew the entire rest of the day. Something exploded in the middle of the meeting, when E just exploded at Golem and the whole thing devolved into this weird yelling-and-cussing bit where they both snapped at each other (using stronger language than I've ever heard from E in all my days there) and then E calmly told Golem to fuck off, stood up, and walked out.

Because E is my Starbucks-and-texting friend, and because Golem is my eidolon team friend, and because this project directly affects my department, not their shit, so if something gets fucked I get directly fucked, I then spent the rest of the morning attempting to fix this shit. I took E into an abandoned conference room, let her rant, listened to what she was saying, and made sure I was picking it up right. That of course got invaded by L and L's boss, which threatened to devolve into a general wank-n-whine about this stupid godforsaken software system at which point I said nope nope noooope this ain't my problem, kindly fuck off and left to talk to Golem, who I got calmed down right in time for my 10:30 meeting on Running Chemicals In The Pilot Plant That We Aren't Electrically Classified To Run: An Exercise In Horribly Stressful Operation, By Me (Introduction written by Fuck Previous Management In This Plant And Their Complete Lack Of Oversight And Shits To Give).

Ran out for Starbucks and a Wendy's salad at 12 with E. Spent more time resolving the fight after lunch, in addition to having to deal with the fact that one of our monomer feeds is having a grand old time self-polymerizing and plugging up everything it finds up to and including an entire process area (joy; cue trumpets), and went right into the meeting I was running from 2-2:30 on the results of the alarm management workshop I did when I was in Midgar -- meeting #3 of a 4-part series -- which just infuriated me because no one understands the goddamn ANSI atandard, like, not that nobody understands the language, nobody understands why we want to align ourselves with an industry standard????????????? and they all keep insisting that the old system will be able to handle it, which is like telling someone that Internet Explorer 5.0 will be able to do your web browsing for you.

So that whole meeting got me riled up and went way over - despite the presence of my boss Bahamut, who claimed he was only trying to help - and fed right into the 3:30 meeting which was on a project for improving finishing that I desperately want and have been begging for but at that point had like 0.27 fucks left to deal with.

4:30. Out of meeting. Caught twice on my way down the hall. Sit down. Write up the follow-up minutes/record from the 10:30 meeting and send them out. Write up follow-up notes from the conversations I've had regarding the 9:00am shitshow and send that out. 5:45pm. I can finally start my workday.

5:48pm one of my second shift operators shows up in my office. I had asked for him to come down, because I'm promoting two of them this year (because fuck they deserve it), so I gave him the papers and congratulated him and we chatted a bit about the year and everything and then it's 6:20pm so I decide I am just going to go home

--and Golem catches me with a question as I'm passing his office, the conversation devolves into work shit we actually have to take care of, and suddenly it's 7:15pm.

My normal work hours are 8:00am-4:30, 4:45-5:00 if I have a long lunch.

I was home and changed and making dinner by 8:00pm. Watched one episode of RPDR, drank a glass of wine, and that's it.

This is how days go in this job though. Out of the 3 things I wanted to accomplish today? Ha. And that doesn't even consider 3 things at home, as well. This is an average day in my job.

I'm so tired. I'm so, so, so tired.

[EDIT] THE WORST PART OF ALL OF THIS is that I look back and there's this sick satisfied part of me that knows I was super effective today and that I, personally, just being me, made shit better by dealing with this bullshit today, and so there's like this load of angry exhaustion and then this tiny little shit candle of fuck yeah and that, my friends, is what keeps me from walking out the door and never coming back
seventhe: (Burger King: In the butt!)
Since I use this as a medical journal / history sometimes, I figured I would drop this in: yesterday my neck locked up again.

I realized that it hasn't done that - the thing where it actually locks and I can't move my head more than a few degrees on any plane of rotation, in addition to the stabbing pain - for almost a year, I think, so maybe those cortisone shots actually did something. However, no peace lasts forever.

I had to take the day off - which sounds more exciting than it really is, since I couldn't really do much (since I can't move) and I've now got a pile of things that need doing here - but today at least I can move, so I'm back at work.
seventhe: (SAZH)
...but I am, in fact, still here.

The latest wrench thrown into my plans to finally get my shit under control and become the Queen of Slack Ass Island is not a wrench at all, it's a beautiful exciting bunch of daisies: I have a niece. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed adorable bitty (and I mean it, super bitty, so tiny we were concerned) JA in the middle of October. The family all gathered for the birth, and since then we've been staggering vacation days to pitch in and help since newborns are, frankly, awful. Yeah the miracle of birth babies are a gift bundle of joy blah blah blah: newborns are awful. I said it and having done my share of screaming nights already I refuse to take it back. Don't get me wrong, I already love her like the goddamn sun, but yo gurl u r a handful.

Between the job that just won't quit!!!, a house that needs some TLC before the winter, and a suddenly increased travel schedule, I am (still) somewhat stressed. I had to take a leave of absence from DOINK, which makes me pretty sad, but I just can't handle it on top of everything and it wasn't really fair to the team. I've started taking work home on the weekends. I know it's a horrible habit to get into, but I just need to get caught up / stay on target / get ahead with a couple things before the year ends to keep my own sanity. I'm not doing it for the company (directly); I'm doing it for me. It is a sad state of affairs when doing work on a Sunday is the less stressful option but that's where I am right now, the Sad Captain of the SS Overworked, Angry, and Optionless.

I am - finally - learning how to work with my body and my schedule and my stress level, probably because I am at the point where I am being forced to adapt or die. I have become 90% hermit, which does make me sad but that recharge time is what keeps me alive so while I'm sad I'm not sorry about it; weekends where I don't have to leave the house and can spend a good portion of my time alternating housework and relaxing things are literally the only way I can face Monday mornings (whether it's work or adorable screaming niece). I've discovered that I have absolutely no energy when I get home from work, but I've also discovered that if I am smart - feed myself, crash on the couch for an hour or two with some episodes of Bones or Criminal Minds, decompress and relax - I recharge enough to get one or two small productive things done before it's time for bed. This has had much better results than the times I've tried to get things done immediately after getting home to "not lose momentum" and ended up in pain, miserable, and ineffective.

I am not yet sure whether this method will apply to working out as well; every week I tell myself I'm going to get back to the gym (which I'm still merrily paying for) and/or do something, but every week hurts. This week we've been back to stabbing knives between my spine and shoulder blades, which is a sensation I haven't missed. I'm pretty sure my body's serving me repercussions from a weekend full of raking, hours upon hours of leaf blowing, and a final mow before the snow comes (which may be today) -- I like working on my yard but I guess I need to be more on-the-ball and spread the work out better, because piling it all into three days means I can't turn my head for a week. Okay. Message received, you asshole.

Anyway, I do hope to get back into a workout schedule. I am thinking of signing up for some workout classes - not only because I think having a schedule will help me go, but also because having a schedule will help me leave work close to on time :/

I am also seeing a rheumatologist the first week in December to try to get some more helpful drugs and see how else I can deal with these weeks where my entire body just feels inflamed, on fire, sore and tender and weak.

And now, another meeting. Afters I may go up and down the hall and see if I can pay anyone $20 to poke repeatedly at my neck for fifteen minutes.

interim

Mar. 25th, 2013 07:53 am
seventhe: (Ondore: he lies)
It's that weird overlap time where you are moving and you know you are moving, but you haven't yet; the place you're in now becomes less home by default, just a feeling, but there's nothing yet to take its place. For a Taurus like me - grounded by the places I feel safe - this is a very strange and uncomfortable feeling.

I'm working on making the place feel like my home in my head though, so that once I get there, I will feel settled. Took the cats and had a sleepover party on Friday (Marzy had an absolute blast; Porter was pretty terrified and spent the first ~15min hiding under the laundry tub, but eventually warmed up to it. Rydia, showing once again that she truly is my familiar, somehow felt out which room was the master bedroom and spent most of her time lounging under my window); spent all yesterday afternoon putting up a first coat of paint in Becky's room. Going to spend time this week taking vacation from work to paint the other bedrooms, tear up the master BD carpet, fix a leaky sink etc.

I'm calling it the Feymarch. Although it also goes by Castle Gaylord (which is actually a more fitting name when you realize what an absolute dork I am for interior decorating. My dining room is going to be straight out of fucking Rivendell, you may all defriend me immediately.), but the Feymarch is fitting for a place that feels like it's out in the middle of nowhere.

Hard to believe I'm going to be living there in less than a month. When in the absolute fuck am I going to pack?

My moods are still, honestly, all over the goddamn place. I'm excited about it, but then I reach a point where I'm preemptively overwhelmed and just don't want to think about it - and then I start bouncing off all the other angles: I want credit for doing something this awesome all by myself; I don't want anybody else knowing or talking or helping because this is mine; I want to have a million parties; I want to be there alone forever. I swear my depression-brain is a manic depressive these days. I could deal with it when it was straightforward depression brain. I seriously don't know how to operate with manic depressive headbees.

But it's mine. If you're an address person and you'd like my new address, fire me an email -- I'd love to get some cute moving-in mail. :D
seventhe: (SAZH)
A quick update while I've got a few seconds'-worth of a breather here at lunch.

(edit) QUICK UPDATE ACTUAL LOL i have managed to turn "quick lunch update" into gigantic emotional tl;dr diatribe god I am the best/worst blogger in the history of the internet

general
I've been excessively shitty lately. My workload - not just job but life, because apparently the amount of general bullshittery around me increases directly proportional to my stress load due to specific work bullshittery - has been godawful. I actually started typing out a list of the many things I'm trying to handle right now but deleted it because a) it was depressing me and b) it sounded like I'm playing Stress And Workload I Am The Busiest Ever Olympics which isn't ever really what I want to sound like. Suffice to say I was up to item 12 before I stopped, and that hadn't even covered work; if you'd like to play Olympics with me I guarantee I will win, which actually means I lose, I think.

additional rambles that got long )

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