Thursday, April 20, 2017

Day in the Life: A Year After Quitting My Full-Time Job

Best friends.
6:30 am - Alarm goes off. Hubs, followed closely by Daisy the dog, goes and pulls the boy out of bed and brings him, hanging by his feet (at his constant request), into the living room to wake up. The dressing saga begins.

7:00 - Breakfast is beginning for the Greyson. Usually it's cereal, pancakes, cinnamon toast, fruit, or a breakfast burrito. We've added 2mL of ADHD medication to our morning routine.

7:40 - The boy is out the door to school. I'm ready to shower and go to class or sit down at my work-at-home desk in our master bedroom.

9:00 - MWF: I've commuted 30 minutes, and I'm in my first class with a giant cup of coffee.

TTh: I've had time to drink a cup, grab some breakfast, make a quick pass through my work email accounts to see that nothing is on fire, post announcements for my online classes, decide what I'm going to call my Representatives about, and cruise through Evernote and my planner to make sure I'm not missing anything major; time to work on a prioritized list of daily tasks.

Typical MWF morning.
11:30 - MWF: I'm home from my on-ground classes, ready to jump into the next thing.

TTh: I've done most of the highest priority teaching tasks. This is usually grading, prepping for the next week, or filming a video or screencast for my online classes.

Noon to 1'ish: Lunch and a break to play SIMS 4 or watch The Office with David while he's also on his work-at-home lunch break.

Afternoons are "as-needed." I always work on something. Since Readathon is coming up, I've been sending out emails, working on scheduling, or doing the tedious Wordpress stuff like making post templates or laying out mini-challenges.

When Readathon is not in session, this is usually sticker time: design, print, cut, pack, ship.

3:00: Wednesdays: Off to work. I commute 45 minutes to teach a night class from 6-10pm.

3:30: MTThF: Time to pick up the boy!

Sticker cutting aftermath.
4:30: Homework is done: one or two worksheets, spelling word practice, a "baggie book" sent home to practice toward his reading level. Since we started the ADHD meds, his reading level has jumped four levels. After homework, he's usually out the door to play with friends, or here lately, he gets some time on his new Nintendo 2DS. I usually finish up stickers or other online tasks while he's out playing and David is wrapping up his work day.

6:30: Dinner! David and I shoot for having this ready at 6, but you know how that goes. We've been doing fairly well at meal planning lately, so that helps.

8:00: Time for the boy to hit the sack. Tooth brushing is no more pleasant or less dramatic at night than it is in the morning. Bedtime book, prayers, and snooze.

10:00: I'm usually ready for bed by now, or a little earlier. We are definitely not night owls. Lately, I'll watch a SIMS 4 or planner video as I'm drifting off to sleep since it doesn't seem to affect my sleep cycle. The water I drink before bed usually does that (re: interrupting).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is This the Goodbye Post?

I was sitting on the couch yesterday, bored. Not interested in books. Not interested in the bookternet. Not interested in writing, or stickers, or running. Not interested in anything but sitting in quiet and wallowing in it.

Many times I've thought about shutting this blog down. I don't read for a month or more at a time. I don't prioritize it among all the other things going on. I've been neglecting Book Riot. My sticker shop is closed when it was supposed to reopen last Friday. I haven't been running.

This is what depression looks like for me. It's a distinctive lack where there was, even recently, an abundance. An abundance of enthusiasm, energy, drive. Now, silence or a nagging in my head.

I've certainly known this cycle for long enough that I realize I shouldn't make major decisions when I feel this way. I miss writing here, I miss writing at Book Riot, I miss it.

I miss you.

When I'm out of this funk, I hope I'll feel differently. I hope I'll feel something.

Note: Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'm on meds. I've lived this for 30 years. Just another cycle. But, alas, I share it because I want others to feel less alone.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Doable Daily Action and a Catch-Up

Well hello there! It's Monday, I'm sitting here with my second cup of coffee. My husband is out of town, I got kiddo to school successfully, and I'm thinking about my day.

My night classes are on break for another week. Somehow just knowing I don't have to commute an hour each way in the evening makes the day seem so much longer and filled to the brim with productivity opportunities. I woke up with a bitchin' headache and my allergies are trying to kill me, so I called in to my morning classes in favor of having them do work online today. Again, the day feels so LONG.

I have a mind to do some grading today. I'm perpetually behind. Can I get an AMEN from my fellow educators out there? I also need to begin doing some bits and bobs for a new online class that starts next week. Stuff. So much stuff. And stickers, but I won't even go into those specifics right now.

But really, this post is supposed to be less about mundane bullshit and more about specific mundane bullshit. Ever since the election, I've begun daily action. Do I skip days? Yes. Do I forget days? Yes. But more often than not, I'm calling my representatives to bug them about something or other--an appointment hearing, a bill. Because I am progressive-in-Texas, more often than not, I'm calling to oppose something that I have no faith my representatives will actually oppose. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised.

When I started this process, like so many of us, I was on fire about EVERYTHING. I could literally feel my heart rate rising and my anxiety kicking up the further I read through the news. Now, I've upped my anxiety meds and fallen into a groove of things that I do, and it's a lot easier. It's a part of my day. It's fairly mundane but important. It's an adulting step just like doing work or cleaning the house.

Here's a quick list of the things I do. This is less about patting myself on the back (I have a headache and I can't reach) and more about hoping it'll help you fall into your own groove:

  • I skim through the news to see what fresh hell is brewing. I prefer the New York Times Daily Briefing which is delivered to my inbox. Or, if I'm already on Facebook, I'll zip over to the Washington Post's page to see what's shaking. 
  • I usually have an idea of what I want to call about as I'll hit on the latest thing or I'll cycle through a few issues, but if I need help, a reminder, a script, I'll go over to CallThemIn because it's so damn easy. Script, check! Input your ZIP and get your reps' phone numbers, check! 
  • If I'm floundering for something to do/say, I'll also check out the "Do a Thing" tiny letter. Also delivered to my inbox. 
  • I have my representatives on speed dial. No, literally. I told my husband a couple of months ago that I was putting John Cornyn and Ted Cruz into my "favorites" call list so they'd be close at hand. I guess he didn't listen or didn't take me seriously because when he actually picked up my phone and went to the faves (I think he was calling my mom), he laughed out loud. THEY ARE LITERALLY ON SPEED DIAL.
  • Because I like to call them in the morning...when I'm sitting down with coffee, before I'm completely coherent, sliding into my day, and before their voicemails are full (except you, John Cornyn, I see you). 
  • I also added all of their addresses (US, State) to my planner because I'm trying to write more postcards when I have spare moments. 
So that's it. That's how I've kinda/sorta streamlined contacting my representatives on the daily. Because hey, if Trump can be president, I can be politically engaged forever and ever amen. Because every voice matters. 

Go raise some hell. 

OH, and before I forget, Daily Action has a way of reminding me of things I forgot. I follow them on Facebook and LOVE THEM HARD. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Running Journal 1: Don't Call It a Comeback

A couple of weeks ago, my husband came barrelling through the kitchen with his planner in hand with a look of purpose on his face. When I asked what he was up to, he said, "I'm going to run the Fox Fest 5K in May."


So back up to the end of August 2016. The ridiculously hot weather completely zapped my energy and will to run, and I started to fade in my regular running practice. We had planned to do a 5K in September or October, but my son's Cub Scout camping trip changed those plans.

Alas, since then, my running has fallen off. I've made a few unsuccessful attempts to re-start to no avail.

Until hubs declared his 5K participation. Now it looks like I'll be running my first race in two months, whether I'm ready or not!

I'd rather be ready, so I'm back to work. The first time around, when I blogged about Couch to 5K last year, I said I wish'd I'd kept a running journal, so here we are. I rewound my C25K plan to Week 3 in order to get level with my current fitness and get ready for the race in time. I've been at it a week or so.

The first run was great. Never felt better. I even did a few extra intervals because I had some gas left in the tank. On the second day, I was a little slower and felt heavier. I had some mild knee pain and just felt slow. Today, run three, was a beast. Mild knee pain, foot pain that faded, and a bitchin' heel blister that came up halfway through. But it's done, and overall, my pace is markedly improved from last year when I started this journey.

The truth of the matter is that running will never be as hard as it was the first time. The days when I would run 15 seconds and wish for death. Ha! I've never felt as healthy, strong, and badass as I did when I was running regularly, and I desperately need those positive feelings these days when my creativity has largely been sapped and overwhelmed.

Wish me luck friends. I'll need your good thoughts.
Images by Freepik