the grid

the grid

Sunday 19 October 2014

Week 4 ahead (and hungry for it)

Super lite question for this week, and maybe it’s a sign that I’m just hungry at the moment...but I find that when I prepare my space for a solid block of writing, I’m usually looking for something to drink and/or a snack. So I thought this could be a good opportunity to tap the collective wisdom for ideas for fulfilling beverages and healthy snacks.

Allan Wilson: No check in.
Amstr: 1) re-read my article and highlight where changes should go (due 10/31, so it will become TRQ soon); 2) skim what I read of diss this summer and finish chapter I was on; 3) exercise 3x and track eating; 4) work on 1 job app (3x20min).
Contingent Cassandra: 1) continued work on self-care, especially exercise (walking & weights) & cooking (large batches to both eat & freeze); (2) continue work on garden; (3) do some financial work.
Daisy: any work at all on Paper 2 will be a win.
Der Modell Wissenschaftler: No check in.
Earnest English: 1) exercise once this week. 2) take care of self re: food and panic and rushing around. 3) sessions with Beloved Field, including sending work out to that call due this week. 4) get next step done with gardening projects.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: 1) Another 1000 on the article. 2) FInish the statement on research for the dossier. Must force myself! 3) continued self care--walks, creative activities, time to daydream, in addition to the yoga and meditation.
Good Enough Woman: 1) Set up a proper system for goal setting and progress tracking. 2) Walk 3x with dog.
3) Review construction quotes for bathroom renovation, take next steps. 4) Read 25 pages of theoretical context source. 5) Review feedback from PhD supervisor about Chapter 3 of PhD thesis.
Humming42: 1) keep a daily log. 2) write three days this week. 3) meet my standing commitments, including a weekend visit with an old friend.
Ivy: 1) Try not to stress about Papers 1a and 1b.  2) First draft of Discussion for Paper 2. 3) Head out to field sites. Check out plants, start collecting samples for analysis. 4) Start processing samples from FNQ trip a month ago. Again any move here is a win. 5) Do something fun!
JaneB: 1) infrastructure. Sort out scan for cat, make decisions about money things and garden things. 15 minutes of chores a night. 2) 3 x 45 minutes on Crunchier, send to co-authors. 3) application for university grant thing. 4) turn the computer off by 10pm each evening [because SLEEP is going to be important...].
KJHaxton: (1) polish and submit CPD thing, (2) finish 1st year teaching and make serious headway into 3rd year teaching, (3) do some non-work things: finish knitted blanket, make hair appointment, do something creative each day that isn't work.
Matilda: 1) exercise once this week. 2) take care of self re: food and panic and rushing around. 3) sessions with Beloved Field, including sending work out to that call due this week. 4) get next step done with gardening projects.
Susan: 1. two more writing sections. 2. promotion review and ms. review while traveling. 3. (Possibly) order door and lights for new porch. 4. Eat well, get at least one walk in. (My conference is in a foodie city, so I will eat well. It won't be low calorie, though.)


  1. Mmmm, food! Yes snacks and writing go together, in a very 'waist expanding' way. I've started going for nice tea instead of chocolate. I have a tea drawer in my office with about 10 different flavoured green and black, and herbal teas and I make a cup of one of those. Even the more expensive tea is cheaper than a trip to the coffee shop (and far less calorific than chocolate). If left to it, I'd graze all day when writing and I have to remember I can't eat like a teenager anymore :(

    Week 3 Goals: (1) polish and submit CPD thing, (2) finish 1st year teaching and make serious headway into 3rd year teaching, (3) do some non-work things: finish knitted blanket, make hair appointment, do something creative each day that isn't work.

    Achieved: 1 - DONE (a deadline did help, now the nervous nail chewing can begin awaiting the outcome), 2 - yes mostly done, I'm struggling with the 3rd year stuff for various reasons, 3 - yes mostly done, particularly if we call watching a movie or going for a walk a creative thing. At least they aren't work, so it's in the spirit of it (and on a couple of evenings I was simply too exhausted to do anything more than passively ingest television).

    This weeks goals: (1) Start on CPD thing 2 and workout what must be done for CPD thing 3 (my theory is that there is so much overlap in this kind of thing, one might as well do many at the same time). (2) write exam questions for 3rd year module and finalise the content of the other 5 lecture hours for that course. (3) eat properly, remember to drink enough, finish blanket - generally do something not work but that feels productive everyday.

    It's going to be a wretched week, typically when 'freshers flu' hits, and I have 8 lecture hours, a course to attend, lab supervision and a day trip to big city. Little time to do much beyond the admin associated with teaching. Bah!

  2. Last week's goals: 1) continued work on self-care, especially exercise (walking & weights) & cooking (large batches to both eat & freeze); (2) continue work on garden; (3) do some financial work.

    Achieved: some cooking & freezing, and not much else. I don't really have an explanation, though rain and lot of grading probably played a role. The good news is that, while I still have some produce from the farmer's market that I need to turn into soup (or at least soup base; in addition to freezing portions of actual soup, I chop and sautee fresh vegetables in batch-of-soup quantities, then freeze, adding water and beans/lentils later, to save on freezer space), I'm getting close to having no freezer space left, which will be a signal to stop trying to make the most of the last of the summer produce, and concentrate on other things, while drawing down the soup supply. Greens planted over the last month in the community garden (plus some still going strong from the summer) are also providing plenty of salad makings, so the possibility of eating conveniently and well is there. While I'd prefer to have made progress on everything else, too, that's a start.

    Next week's goals: (1) try to get back into exercise (walking/weights routine): at least twice on each; (2)cook the rest of the soup ingredients; (3) return to work on garden; (4) some financial work (if this doesn't happen this week, it needs to take higher priority the week after).

    Food: tea (w/ milk) is my standard working drink (iced mint tea in summer). Snacks usually include some combination of nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and/or candied ginger. Because I'm not terribly good at stopping work once I get started, I also sometimes end up eating something approximating a real meal while working; that's usually cheese or peanut butter and crackers and/or apples or oranges (clementines, actually). When there's bread in the house, open-faced toasted-cheese sandwiches are also a favorite. I even eat yoghurt while working, but that can get messy. The two things I don't try to eat while working are the soups and salads mentioned above (which is another argument for starting and stopping work on time, and taking real breaks; when I'm eating haphazard meals while working, I tend to get a reasonable amount of fruit, but little veg.)

    1. Your garden descriptions are inspiring!

    2. You make me want to get out into the garden or into the kitchen! Awesome!

    3. I'm also inspired to be more mindful about what I eat...I think there was a thread in some of the posts here that led me to think about how I might better manage food, and it's a good thing to think about.

  3. As per usual, things in my life have been distracting and chaotic. I've been up with my parents providing in-home health crae for Mom, while Dad was in the hospital again. When I came home from that after Dad was back on his feet, Hubby got a stress fracture from running and is now on crutches. He kind of turned in to a man-child with this, so has been needing lots of extra care too. I have a hard time denying him this, as I spent the first 3 months of the year on crutches myself and he bent over backward helping me out.

    So, with all of that I still haven't met my goals from week 1. I told some coauthors I'd have an article revised and to them by two days ago, but am still only half done with completing the revisions. Uck.

    This week's goals:
    1) Finish paper 1/Chapter 2 and turn in to coauthors
    2) Figyure out if we are moving overseas in 6 weeks
    3) Get my planning together to see if it will be realistic to graudate this semester

    As far as snacks, I'm at a loss right now. I've been through various phases throughout gradschool, including a very healthy period where I lost a ton of weight and was almost to a healthy weight for once in my life. But, with all of my stress, I've dumped my healthy habits and have regained everything. It is so embarassing! I do buy veggies trays to have in the fridge each week. It costs ~ $10 a week, but I do like having something ready to munch on and not have to mess with it.

    1. With so much energy devote to the care of other loved ones, I hope you have time for a little self-luxury in the mix too. The physical and emotional strain that caregivers experience is often not accounted for because the well being of the patient is the focus.

      Two of those three goals are pretty substantial--moving overseas and graduating. Wow. Sounds like a week of serious contemplation and planning.

  4. Last week's goals
    1) Try not to stress about Papers 1a and 1b - complete fail. Ended up in tears of frustration
    2) First draft of Discussion for Paper 2 - well started
    3) Head out to field sites. Check out plants, start collecting samples for analysis - yes! now need to process
    4) Start processing samples from FNQ trip a month ago - nope, not even started
    5) Do something fun! - yes - went to a cheese and beer tasting on the weekend, mmm cheese…

    This week's goals
    1) continue to try to be zen about the papers. I have a bunch more analyses to do.
    2) Keep working on Discussion for Paper 2 - unlikely to happen with sample processing
    3) Processing samples - has to happen so priority!

    Re snacks - to be perfectly honest, I'm not much of a snacker. I do drink copious quantities of tea. And since cooking (not baking) is one of the things I do to de-stress, I don't find the food side of things falls by the wayside…


    1. May cheese and collecting samples take precedence over tears of frustration. There's much wisdom in being zen about the papers. Lately I've been whipping myself to panics about how I will never be able to finish my papers. Not a helpful approach.

    2. You're so right there's wisdom in being zen about paper - I just wish I knew how to achieve it…

  5. Hi all,
    sorry to miss last week. I have been in the field for a couple of weeks, and struggling with completing basic admin tasks as a result, although I seem to have had some comments disappear somewhere also - not sure what happened there. Anyway, back to business, the office, and hard work of a different kind. . .
    My last set of goals published here are still as relevant as ever, so here goes. . .
    1) exercise 4x,
    2) redo the last analysis for my FS paper,
    3) recheck comments from a colleague critique for FS.
    I will also add
    4) eat healthily, with increased protein and vegetables and less carbs, 4 days this week
    At least I have sorted some things like the dentist!
    I would like to work on eating better snacks- lately I have been heading for chocolate, which I do when especially tired. But, if I get it together, I find apples much more satisfying. I also bought a beautiful water jug to put on my desk at work- a little overkill, but I find it too easy to forget to drink water. And I love drinking tea!
    allan wilson

    1. Hi, Anonymous, I like water, too. At the moment, I drink a glass of sparkling water when I get tired or want to change my mood. I used to dislike that, but now I love it. (I love chocolate, too, but now I am trying to avoid whenever possible...)

    2. Bringing beauty and health to your desk could not possibly be overkill! Seems like a winning solution.

      Fieldwork not only means tabling admin responsibilities and paper revisions but can also be draining, exhilirating, and a world of its own. I'm reminded of the old mantra "it will all get done," because of course it will.

    3. one of the nice things about fieldwork commitments crowding out other work is that "I'm sorry, I was in the field" seems to be more readily accepted than any other excuse you can come up with! despite field stations having internet and little to do in the evening…

  6. I am just traveling back from an exhausting but satisfying conference. Since, as I noted last week, it was in a place famous for food and drink, we can say that I did not starve. But I also managed to start talking with a friend about a potential project going forward, which is kind of exciting: that when this book is done, I have three different projects perking.

    As for the question: I don't do lots of snacking. If I have anything like tortilla chips open they disappear too quickly, but I don't open them for myself. Sometimes I do nuts, and sometimes I bake muffins and have them with my morning coffee -- they are mine, so not sweet, and relatively low fat. Some fruits -- when I have grapes in the house, they can be a favorite nibble. I like almonds, but find I don't go to them as a snack as much as I'd expect. Sometimes I buy those small packages of cheese: when I teach at 4:30, I don't eat dinner, but I need some serious protein.

    In terms of my goals, I flunked the exercise, but the eating (until I got to Sin City) was good. The writing moved forward, and I have begun to work out what the knot was, and how to get past it. I've also talked to some friends about it, and the peculiar genesis of this project. I read all the stuff I needed to read on the plane, but didn't draft any reports. Maybe that was hoping for too much!

    Week ahead: I won't get home until after midnight, so tomorrow is not a full brain day.
    1. Finish reports -- one on admin role in national organization, a promotion review and a ms. review.
    2. Three more sections of the chapter.
    3. Three walks and fairly abstemious eating for a few days while I recalibrate my metabolism from the excess of the last three days.

    1. Hello, Susan,
      Satisfying conference is motivating, I think. Good luck for your book and projects!

    2. As Matilda says, it sounds like a very satisfying week. Ironing out knots, new projects bubbling up, lots of moving forward.

  7. Last Week's Goals

    1) exercise once this week: I did this! I did this! I did it on Sunday, but I did it!
    2) take care of self re: food and panic and rushing around: I'm doing a pretty decent job of this, though I scheduled my conferences in such a way that it makes it pretty difficult to take care of myself regarding food very well. I have another week of conferences this week, but then it will be mostly over. I still need to work on getting enough sleep and not overscheduling. But I'm getting better at scaling things back as I realize how unsustainable my first take at planning is. I was also really proactive in stating my needs for planning to a colleague who often gives me work at the last minute.
    3) sessions with Beloved Field, including sending work out to that call due this week: I decided against sending work to that call due last week, and have done a number of sessions with Beloved Field at night.
    4) get next step done with gardening projects. Epic fail.

    I also reorganized my expectations for my child's homeschooling, which has made that much more reasonable and sustainable. Yay!

    This Week's Goals

    1. Live through it. This week is my son's birthday, complete with kid party on the weekend. We're also having work done on the house and my husband's got to take his car in on warranty work. In short, just getting through it with some amount of grace is my highest goal. Mantra for the week: Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
    2. Take super care of self this week, including getting foods that will keep me from eating really bad food. Sleep. Get the best sleep I can.
    3. 3 30-minute sessions with Beloved Field. More is great, but it's a difficult week.
    4. Turn in assessment plan and get student papers graded.

    Good snacks? Ones that won't cause me to want tons more or procrastinate by eating. So nothing with sugar. Popcorn, tea, trail mix (which I need to buy), almonds.

    Have a great week, everybody!

    1. Good on you celebrating your exercise. Sometimes it seems unsurmountably hard- but you did it! Congrats! Allan Wilson

    2. There have been many writing group weeks in which I have posted on Sunday or Monday just so I can something on my list done...and know that it would not be done at all if I didn't have the list to which I hold myself accountable.

      I appreciate your focus on process and seeing how you can make things work more efficiently and be in the best possible space for yourself.

    3. I homeschooled my son (3rd grade) last spring. It's quite an undertaking! Good for you for recalibrating your expectations. I'm cheering you on.

  8. Hello, all,

    Last goals:
    1) Finish and submit the grant application. - Done. Yay!
    2) Exercises, 2 no midnight snacks day’ a week, French. - Exercises, 3 days; no-midnight-snacks day, 2 days; French, 1 day. Not good.
    3) 15-minute-writing, 5 days. - 3 days. I used most of my energy on the grant application. It is very important, anyway.

    Next goals:
    1) Plan for the paper I am supposed to submit in coming May.
    2) Revise my book plan with its research theme.
    3) Write at least 15 minutes. Exercise 10 minutes every day. Two no midnight snacks day.

    Topic: I have read other posts and find how they are healthy. Having some nuts and vegetables are good and you can have them without regret. For me, I usually don’t have snacks while working. I don’t want my desk messier - it is already messy enough with papers and pens. However, I do have snacks before starting work. As I repeatedly put ‘no-midnight-snacks day’ as goals, I do love snacks. Usually, even worse, I cannot help having unhealthy ones. After having snacks and a coffee with lots of milk, reading today’s paper, then I slowly to go to my desk and open the computer. How long it takes to reach my desk!

    1. Incremental steps forward mean a lot...I think most of us tend to minimize the significance of our progress because we come up short of our bigger expectations. I need a mantra for affirming this!

      I should admit here that my snacks tend to be terribly unhealthy. I do have options of grapes or carrots, but need to make a better commitment to them so I don't reach for the bad choices.

    2. You need to erase that "not good" after #2. You did all but one thing, and you even made a little progress there! Or divide #2 into 3 different items, so you get two successes and one progress. Congrats on getting the grant application done and some other things accomplished in the same week. I find that big projects always sink me in other areas because they take so much energy.

    3. Thank you for your comments! It is good to find a way to be more positive, yes. Writing the grant application form was a hard work for me, but it encouraged me to think what I am going to do next a few years.

    4. I'm pretty bad at unhealthy snacks as well - particularly chocolate based ones! I try to use them as bribery/reward for doing a certain amount but don't always have the will power!

  9. Goals for last week:
    1) re-read my article and highlight where changes should go--nope.
    2) skim what I read of diss this summer and finish chapter I was on--nope.
    3) exercise 3x--yes, 5x.
    4) work on 1 job app (3x20min)--yes, drafted letter and found out process and items needed.

    The past week was busy (and my husband was out of town), but I really could have finished my list. Some laziness took over. And then Sunday, my plans to cram were derailed by the need to clean for everyone’s sanity. I’m hoping to be more disciplined this week. It did start raining today, and I always seem to get more done when it feels like fall.

    Topic: I usually go for some plain yogurt with a little bit of jam mixed in. Or a cup of tea (peppermint or Xiao’s Blend from Peet’s) or coffee.

    Goals for the week ahead: 1) re-read my article and highlight where changes should go; 2) skim what I read of diss this summer and finish chapter I was on; 3) exercise 3x; 4) work on job app (3x20min); 5) declutter (3x20min)

    1. Your comment about the rain leads me to think that maybe my yearning for cooler weather is about changing the environment for a change of inspiration. Curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee (I'm odd one out among all our tea drinkers!) and a draft in progress seems ideal.

      I hope rain is motivating for you to accomplish your goals for the week.

    2. I absolutely love the rain as 'thinking' weather. There is a very beautiful poem in this part of the world by Hone Tuwhare, which begins
      'I can hear you making/ small holes in the silence/ rain. . . '. It is a truly stunning poem.
      allan wilson

    3. I love that poem…

      One of my issues about the city I'm currently living is the lack of a proper winter. Turns out I have a cold climate physiology (this is the first time I've actually lived somewhere hot).

      Coming up will be the 3rd summer here (Southern Hem) and I've hated the past two (it's October and we've already had days 30C+).

      So for me, it's not rain per se but temperature - I want to be somewhere cooler!

  10. Last week's goal: Any work on paper two - I did a little bit of data analysis, for a talk I'm giving at huge conference this week that is related to Paper 2, so I'm calling it a win!
    Helps to have super low expectations...
    Skipping next week's check-in, will be back the week after because it is just too crazy with traveling to two conferences in one week. Seriously regretting that... Oh well, still fun.
    Favourite healthy snack - grapes (if I take the off the stems in the mornings I will eat them, if not I don't, so I have to prepare them.) and almonds. Healthy drink, fruit based teas with no sugar necessary. And rooibos, always rooibos :)

  11. Here I am, late, grumpy and shambolic. I seriously thought about not saying anything this week, but avoiding writing or not-writing has never made it any better...

    goals for last week: 1) infrastructure. Sort out scan for cat, make decisions about money things and garden things. 15 minutes of chores a night. 2) 3 x 45 minutes on Crunchier, send to co-authors. 3) application for university grant thing. 4) turn the computer off by 10pm each evening [because SLEEP is going to be important...].

    achieved: 1) cat had scan. Cat needs operation, as her problems have recurred. Cat had operation today, and is in the vet-hospital... the decision about the money thing was to postpone making a decision. Fine. Garden decision sort of made, I have another meeting with the person who is probably going to do the work if I like the final plan for a couple of weeks' time. chores wot be chores? I made a nice laundry-sculpture and had a fruit fly invasion caused by a plum which rolled under the microwave and became warm plum cider, that's how good I was at chores this week. 2) 1 x 45 minutes. SIGH!! Things keep going wrong with teaching that take hours and hours to sort out and I'm very tired right now, the emotional kind not the physical kind, which make evenings rather dead zones. 3) DONE. 4) hahaha yeah. I was turning it ON some evenings at 10pm, to try and make my stupid squirrelly brain shut up a bit.

    analysis: I could be doing worse, I really could. Getting sleep better would help, but it's hard. everything is hard. ::pout:: pity me Alice! But I did get some things done, and we also finished off the first (lab-intensive) phase of data collection for Summer Project last week, so not as bad as I thought it was.

    goals for this week: what with the furry one's chauffering needs (and the time likely to be taken catching the furry one to be chauffered - this morning by the time I got to work I was ready for a nap! on the bright side, a lot of furniture got moved and I found several missing cat toys) and having a field trip on Friday and having been roped in to do one of the Stressful Events Which Occ Health Says I Am Not To Do (for very good reasons, the roping in that is - one colleague has to go to a grandparent's funeral, another is moving house, another is in a hot tropical country on the far side of the world etc. etc.) on Saturday, and still not having sorted out the away-overnight field trip (aargh) I am having/anticipate a hard week. So I am setting small goals: 1) talk to one person about something other than work/work crises for a few minutes every day (if I have to spend all this time around people, I need to remember they are PEOPLE TOO - today one of our technicians told me a story about their cat getting stuck inside a chair, and it was a nice little pause and reconnection, we'd both been getting grumpy because there was just Too Much, you know?). 2) 1 x 45 minutes on Crunchier. 3) pull out journal formatting and submission instructions for the target journal for Easy Win paper (which is jumping into the queue because I so need a quick submission this year... and can get it done between sending Crunchier off and getting it back, I think, as it really just needs the intro and discussion polishing and some general formatting...)

  12. On topic:

    I wish we had more rain. Rain is just generally good.

    I tend to go for unhealthy snacks, because I tend to only snack with work when I'm stressed, which clearly needs to be counter-attacked with desserts (or toasted cheese, or crisps, or...). But healthier ones...

    In the summer, frozen berries, mango pieces, or grapes, and a pickle fork or fancy cocktail stick to spear them with out of a dish and keep the juice off my keyboard or paper. Fresh peas (mmmm!). Popsicles; you can get make your own ice lolly moulds and make ones with fruit juice, or sugar-free squash or soda, or use a smoothie blend, or iced tea or an iced latte (decaff for me)... a mix of herb tea and apple juice is good.

    All year - black olives preserved in brine, with herbs - yum! And it's hard to eat more than a few without feeling satisfied. Bendick's Bittermint chocolates - thick mint fondant discs in very high cocoa dark chocolate, one is perfection and quite enough.

    Drinks - currently fruit-broo, which is concentrated apple juice with honey infused with spices, and you make it up with hot water to make a nice drink. Chai (that can be calorific, but it's delicious, and the most tolerable way of drinking soya milk (which I hate the taste of) when I'm having a dairy-free spell and really ought to keep up my calcium. Also, at the office, the 5 minute walk to the odd little cafe run by the couple from somewhere in Central Asia who sell soya chai is a really good thing too). Interesting teas - apple and ginger is a current favourite, some green tea blends as long as I make them weak, sometimes peppermint. Hot water with a slice of ginger and a teaspoon of honey in it, maybe a dash of lemon juice...

    Cinnamon almonds. YUM cinnamon almonds. (very hard to get in the UK. Anyone know a reliable supplier?).

    low-fat quorn sausages, cooked, cooled, cut into rings - good for nibbling.

    Pocky or other kinds of bread sticks/pretzel sticks

    The kind of sodas we had as kids - but diluted about five times with water as the fizz and the sugar are far too strong for me these days. They taste like a treat but really are just flavouring the water (one bottle of full-sugar dandelion and burdock or ginger beer lasts me a couple of days of steady working drunk like that).

    I'm hungry now :-(

    1. Thank you for your delightful post, and my apologies for not getting back here sooner! I hope you've had a marvelous week.

    2. I've never heard of fruit-broo before but it sounds lovely, particularly for the autumn weather. I'll keep an eye out for some - limit to how many cups of black tea I can drink in a day!

  13. Wow, your list of great snacks made me feel so hungry ;)

  14. Last week's goals:
    1) Set up a proper system for goal setting and progress tracking: I started this, but not really.
    2) Walk 3x with dog: Only twice, I think. But once was a great hike with the dog AND the family.
    3) Review construction quotes for bathroom renovation, take next steps: We went over the quote, but Hubby is supposed to be doing next steps.
    4) Read 25 pages of theoretical context source: Read some primary sources instead.
    5) Review feedback from PhD supervisor about Chapter 3 of PhD thesis: YES--a cursory overview of her comments.

    It's been a crazy week. I had lots of grading, and one kid was sick with a fever. Now, as I type this, second kid is trying to nap in a dark fort because he has a killer headache (he gets migraines on rare occasions). Several viruses (including a stomach one) have been going around, so at this point, I'm actually HOPING it's a migraine. We are hosting a Halloween Dance Party tonight for my daughter, so we just can't have stomach flu in the house!

    I'm not going to bother with goals for this week since it's already Saturday, but I'll be back tomorrow to read everyone's posts and and list goals for next week!

    1. Sounds like a crazy week! hope you are all healthy :)