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.
seventhe: (Sorceresses)
For the record, I'm trying to post more; I've got a lot on my mind recently, and I've got a journal for a reason. I'm also trying to reply to comments more, which is something I'm bad at - I mostly reply via phone-Gmail*, at work, and it can be hard to keep up with. But anyway, I'm trying to post more consistently. For fun. And profit.

One of the things that has been dwelling on my mind lately is ... Well. I work hard. For the past 5 years I've been working doubletime, putting in 40 hours a week of a job and then grad school on top of that, plus I fill up the rest of my time with shit: running, races, taking care of people, bands, practices, exchanges, writing, commitments, hobbies, cons, cosplay, and an exhausting social life. As much as I joke about being a lazy fuck I'm not really sure I know how to 'take it easy' for more than a day or two; I just do stuff, I tend to do stuff, and I end up being busy by default. My job is both hard and a lot of work (they aren't always the same thing), and grad school is the same -- and even if the other things aren't 'work' and aren't 'necessary', they're still commitments, and they aren't 'taking it easy' either.

Nobody should be surprised to hear that I still feel burnt out, this year; my constant chorus of I'm exhausted should be familiar by now. I've been burning this candle at every available end for years. But I have this awful dichotomy warring in my brain about "deserving a break", and it's getting confusing.

What do you have to do to 'deserve' a break? I'll look at my shit some days and be like, gurl, all you did today was work your usual 11 hour day. You don't deserve a night off. You still have to run, and then cook, and then clean up at least half of it, and fold the laundry. Or I'll look at my week and be like, All you did was work and run and the usual chores. You didn't do anything extraordinary. You don't deserve a break. You still have shit to do! And I'll fill up my hours and my days with that to-do list that doesn't end.

And then on other days I will get to the point where I am like christ in a chevy, I am exhausted and I deserve a break and I am taking one so fuck the world, and I'll do something like drink an entire bottle of wine alone in my apartment while drunk-texting everyone I know and reading horrible fanfiction, or I'll spend an entire day knitting while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or I'll skip working out for an entire week and just lie on the floor instead. And I don't really feel all that much better or feel relaxed; I feel like a giant waste of space because that's what I was. It's a little better, but it's a useless better. Like I feel like I'm entitled to deliberately spend a day doing things that don't mean shit just to prove that I can, because I can, because I am stubborn and want to waste time like everybody else does and no one can tell me I can't, especially myself.

It's like I don't know how to moderate. It's either all or nothing. And thinking back I actually don't even think it's that bad in reality, but my perception of it is: in my head it feels like all or nothing, on or off. I don't know how to hit a happy medium and realize it; I don't know how to feel like I'm compromising. If it isn't all or nothing, my brain makes it so.

And underneath all of that is the fact that I've been working for basically over 15 years straight now, and yet I still feel like I don't 'deserve' a really big break until I finish my fucking graduate degree.

But I think about all the shit that I want to do - I would like to write some fucking novels; I would like to (re)learn to draw; I would like to take more pictures; I would like to actually travel - and first I go, okay, let's do(u) it and then I go, oh god, more things, when do I get a break?

So that's what's on my mind. I need a better system to deal with both relaxing and getting my shit done. Blah blah blah whine more.


*I'm only moderately content with Gmail's iPhone app. It's decent, but not ideal. And I moderately dislike Apple's/iPhone's default email interface. Any iPhone users who use a different mail app that they adore?
seventhe: (FFEX: Doink!)
I'm always surprised at how many hours there actually are in a day.

I really shouldn't be, because I've experienced this phenomenon once before, when I was still working my full-time long-day 40-hr-week job and also attending a 20-30-hr-week graduate lab class: if you literally spend every spare minute you have doing something, it's a lot of work. (And I mean it. Sometimes I see people posting, "I'm soooo busy~!" but if I've seen you posting 10K in fic in the last week, or reblogging tons of stuff on Tumblr, or otherwise hobbying-- maybe you're busy, but that isn't actually spending every legitimate moment you have on work-like things. I realize this makes me a judgmental ass and I'm sorry.)

But really, I'm still continually surprised at how much you can actually work in one day. Because I have basically spent every free hour I have had in the last 7 days helping to basically remodel a basement which is my responsibility to fix. I don't even have time to tell you everything handyman that I've done. But I'm just still for whatever reason surprised at how BUSY you can actually get. When you come home from work at 6:15 and change and eat and then drive up to the house at 7:00 and work until 11:00 and then come home and make a lunch and do the dishes and go to bed at 12 and get up at 6:30 and go to work at 7:30 and then do it all over again, for an entire week? I mean it, there is busy and then there is, "life sat on me." They aren't even really in the same order of magnitude.

Had I known the level of fucked this problem was, I wouldn't have started it now. But you don't know what's under the carpet until you pull up the carpet.

I thought I was busy before. Turns out, there were plenty of hours in my day that could be filled up with things that make me miserable.

I am stressed as fuck, I have gotten absolutely nothing done this week, my exchange ends this weekend, I am leaving tomorrow afternoon and I have not yet finished packing. This week has been just awful.

Some day I will turn this experience into a "Handyman How-To" post because I've actually learned a lot of fun shit. Today is not that day.

- - -

I just printed out all my itineraries and reservations and flight info and blah blah and it's basically a short novel, I've killed a tree doing it, it weighs more than my laptop, etc etc.

This trip-- I am not even looking forward to it. i'll be honest. Work is so awful right now, and there are a bunch of due dates WHILE I AM GONE, so I have to work ON my trip, and just. ugh ugh ugh first world problems etc but.

I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck, and I nearly can't drive a car right now. I am pretty sure my back is about to leave me for another woman.

Whirlwind tour of the US is as follows:
- to Boise this weekend for my cousin's wedding
- fly to Vegas Mon with family, night in Vegas
- drive to Grand Canyon Tues, two nights in GC
-- work due Wednesday, have to work Mon and Tues to submit Wed
- return to Vegas on Thurs, night in Vegas
- Fri, fly directly to Houston, spend weekend weeping in a pillow fort
- Sun, pick up Japanese BFF at airport and head off to the plant
- Mon, tour of plant with guest
- Tues-Wed, work at the plant
-- work due Tues, will have to work the previous week to compile it
- Thurs, return home

- THE FOLLOWING MONDAY, submit a report of the work I did on the plant trip to the Overlords because
- THAT WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY, our biannual meeting with the Overlords begins

- probably every day forever: cry into beer, from stress and frustration

- date of freedom: 20 June
- 21 June: lose self in Diablo III for three consecutive days

I am trying for serenity now and I'm not sure I'll make it. OH GOOD. When can I give up on everything and be a crazy cat lady hermit hobo who never goes anywhere?

ON THE PLUS SIDE, I now have an app on my phone that can send a postcard photo from anywhere for $0.99, so if you want a really dumb postcard from Vegas or the Grand Canyon, email me your address.

ADDITIONALLY ON THE PLUS SIDE, I've written 4 Korra drabbles in the past few days. On my phone. While in meetings or otherwise working. Seeing as I haven't written a thing since December, this is cool.

I HAD ANOTHER PLUS but I have forgotten it so.
seventhe: (Squall: dammit)
OH FUCKING HELL I FORGOT THE WORST PART ABOUT SHUTDOWN WEEK. THE PART WHERE BECAUSE THERE IS NO STEAM IN OUR FUCKING BUILDING WE DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKING HEAT. AND WITHOUT ANY FUCKING HEAT THE AIR CIRCULATION SYSTEM JUST BELCHES COLD FUCKING AIR BECAUSE NO ONE CAN TURN IT OFF OR DOWN BECAUSE I AM SURROUNDED BY FUCKING ROBOTARD COCKFACES. AND MY OFFICE IS IN A LAB, AND GOD FUCKING FORBID WE CARE ABOUT THE LABS BECAUSE ONLY HOBOS SIT IN THERE.

MY OFFICE IS 57 DEGREES, GUYS. 57 FUCKING DEGREES.

AND IT'S GETTING COLDER!

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT. SERIOUSLY. NO, SERIOUSLY. I WILL NOT DEAL WITH THIS BULLSHIT TODAY. I AM GOING THE FUCK HOME.

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