the grid

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Sunday, 4 November 2018

September-December: Week 9

I hope this past week involved some careful tending, transplanting, or bringing things indoors to get ready for changing times and seasons--whatever those changes might be. Or, I hope, the week presented a good chance to take stock, at least, of which of those things might need to be done.

I thought this week we might revisit a topic from the past while doing so within the penumbra of our current gardening metaphor: Tools and materials. What tools and materials are keeping your garden (and its gardener) happy right now? However, instead of spades and watering cans, we can think about pens, notebooks, computers, desks, yarn, food, pillows, and more.

What tools and materials are you really loving right now? What things are really making your TLQ crops grow?

I hope those of you with illness begin to recover your health, I hope those who need sleep get some rest, and I hope NaNoers (and the rest of us) enjoying "making marks on paper," as JaneB phrased it last week.

Happy November, everyone.

Bardiac
1. Work on paper.
2. Get garden prepped for winter.
3. Keep practicing violin.
4. Get regular exercise.

Daisy
1) Finish all the half-done things from last week!
which includes:
1) Get the major figures for Northern Paper finished ONE FINISHED ONE TO GO
2) Do point form discussion sections for each figure NOT DONE
3) Write my section for cool joint paper ABOUT HALFWAY DONE

DEH
1. Health: eat safely, sleep 8 hours, stretch, cardio/walk, fun thing daily; weights 3x. Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck. 
2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages. 
3. Teaching: grade the next iterations of undergrad short paper, grad bibliographies. Design and post two new assignments for undergrads. 
4. Life Stuff: mail form, make deposit. Plan another trip to see my dad. Plan trip with Sir John in January. Two car things. 
5. Three boring work admin things.


EAM
Plan NaNo project.
Write for 3 hours as many days as possible. 
Straighten and organize on days I can't write.

GEW (held over)
1. Celebrate my 50th birthday [with] a party.
2. Move like water through daughter's Halloween party.
3. Grade a little bit on Sunday despite all inclinations not to.
4. Read for fun a lot.
5. Fiddle with the novel project just a bit.
6. Don't feel guilty about ignoring some work things.
7. Revisit goals to plan for rest of this TLQ session.

heu mihi
1. Abstract for Longer Impatience (which may be due on Wednesday)
2. Write x 4, sit x 4, language x 4 (because I am taking today *off*)
3. 10k of NaNo words (I cheat and start early to make the project less terrifying)

humming42
1 Blog post on book-related holiday project
2 Four hours on Tiny Project 
3 Draft curriculum proposal and send to committee

JaneB
1) start NaNo
2) my birthday falls on my nominal day off, so this week I intend to take it as an ACTUAL day off, for NaNo starting, fancy coffee consuming if I feel like it, and some knitting...
do an hour on straightforward research thing for FocusedWoman
3) type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.
4) reduced refined sugar (birthday. let's not even pretend there won't be sugar), make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing break every 45-60 minutes of desk time. 

oceangirl101 (held over)
1. Make decision about Spring semester leave
2. Email/phone meetings with potential graduate students
3. Read books x 2 and take notes
4. Exercise x 4
5. Help Mom with some estate planning loose ends
6. Think about work that needs to be done for collaborative paper
7. Liase with Mom's doctor and hospice team

Plant Girl (held over)
1. Finalize my conference paper, get to conference, enjoy/do well at conference. Try not to be shy/awkward at conference.
2. Try to squeeze in FL work in spite of conference travel
3. Keep on top of applications 
4. Try to at least think about chapter edits? I got some encouraging initial feedback from the peer review on my proposal so I really should be motivated/excited about it.

Waffles
1. Dyad and election portion of manuscript 
2. Interview 5 (I hope, don’t think my RA has scheduled it yet — although interview 6 is scheduled)
3. Work on intersectionality paper and try to get it completed
4. Email PhD advisor and ask for letter for K - ACTUALLY ALREADY DONE AND SHE AGREED AND EVEN OFFERED TO REVIEW MY K - WHICH IS FREAKING AMAZING!!!
5. Get biosketches from my K team
6. Write letters of support from K collaborators
7. Write mentor section of K
8. Edit K timeline
9. Start budget justification
10. Write institutional support letter
11. edit candidate section to talk more about independence, independent projects, goals for more first authored pubs, etc. 

35 comments:

  1. A few months ago, I started subscribing to Spotlight Stationary's monthly subscription box. I first did it for the notebooks, but I've found that I really like some of the pens, too. I recently got a Paper Mate, Ink Joy Gel 0.7 that I really like. One of the prettiest journals I've gotten from them is a Castelli with a floral cover and gold edging on the pages. Nevertheless, some of my favorite current notebook brands are pretty inexpensive: Eccolo and Green Room. I like the feel of the paper and the covers. I like to draft longhand, and I find that even though I love the Eccolo notebooks, I don't feel like they are too pretty to write in. And I'm still using my Moleskine calendar in order to stay on top of all of my gardening maintenance (I have a pretty, pinkish one this year). Also, lately, I've been drinking a lot of Pure Leaf Sweetened Iced Tea even though I shouldn't.

    1. Celebrate my 50th birthday [with] a party. YES. It was lovely.
    2. Move like water through daughter's Halloween party.YES. They had a great time. Quite the dance party with disco lights.
    3. Grade a little bit on Sunday despite all inclinations not to.YES. A little.
    4. Read for fun a lot.YES.
    5. Fiddle with the novel project just a bit.YES!
    6. Don't feel guilty about ignoring some work things.MOSTLY.
    7. Revisit goals to plan for rest of this TLQ session.NO. I'll go back to last week and add a comment doing this.

    I had a very nice birthday. I scheduled a last-minute party, told everyone I wouldn't be cooking, and quite a few lovely people came. I asked my daughter to make a cake that looked like books, and she did a great job.

    This coming Thursday, we're checking into a beach house just up the road to celebrate my 50th a little more. I need to power through work tasks this week so I can relax as much as possible at the beach house. I want to spend as much time as I can walking on the beach, reading while I drink tea and look out the window, writing fiction, and enjoying family time.

    I also feel some nibbles from the NaNo bug, and I'm really tempted, but I fear I'd just be setting myself up for failure. Still, yesterday, I typed over 2,000 words. Some of them were typed straight from my long-hand work on the novel, and some were new words. We'll see what happens. Regardless, I'm glad to being doing something with the novel.

    This week:
    1) Do all the grading and prep and service I can do so that I can do as few of those things as possible this coming Friday-Monday. Monday-Thursday will be painful and intense but worth it, I think.
    2) Test the NaNo waters (i.e., see if I can write 1667 words today and tomorrow, and, either way, try to write 5,000 words of fiction this week).
    3) Seven-minute workout 3x, 20-minute yoga 2x, daily beach walking next Friday-Sunday.
    4) Take son on a nice outing (cheating because I already did this today).
    5) Spend Friday-Sunday (and some of Monday) relaxing at the beach house.

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    1. Update: I just had a moment of clarity when I had trouble getting out of my chair, walking to my room, and putting on my pajamas because my hip hurts and is weak. I've had nerve pain in my neck/shoulder/back/arm from so much grading and computer work. For some reason, my hip has been so achy and painful today that standing up and putting weight on it is hard.

      Conclusion: I do not need to be sitting at the computer to write 50,000 words! I need to do some exercising. I'm glad I'm feeling inspired, but I'm going to stick to a goal of 7,000 words for the month and 2,000 for this week (in addition to the 2,000 I already typed).

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    2. Happy Birthday!!!! I love notebooks and pens - that monthly subscription box sounds super fun!
      Waffles

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    3. Happy Birthday and happy notebooks!

      My hip hates me whatever I do! I need to write for my sanity - but this does make me realise that what _I_ need to stop doing is playing with my phone, especially when I'm trying to wind down in the evening (I tend to put off going to bed because then work will come again, and I feel like I "deserve" some distraction... and it's all on my phone), because that is seriously messing up my neck and shoulder and hands and possibly ribs and definitely middle back and no doubt other connected ouches, even the stoopid hip.

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    4. Happy birthday! I am still surprised by how I am enjoying my 50s. No one told me how great it would be to know so much and have so few f***s to give. I hope you have these joys as well. Along with the incomparable joys of being at the beach.

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    5. Thank for the birthday wishes!

      And JaneB, I can related EXACTLY. I do the same thing before bed, and it's doing the same thing to my body. I am as stoopid as my hip. And happy b-day to you, too!

      humming42, Yes, I notice that the f***s I have to give are starting decrease at an increased rate of change (I think that's close to how my husband, the calculus teacher, would say it.)

      I also forgot one tool I'm loving: I got a four-subject Miquelrius spiral notebook that has pages with different colored edges for each section. I've assigned each class prep a color, and then I have another color for service- or admin-related stuff. It's great for keeping my teaching prep notes organized! And pretty.

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  2. Tools: I love graph paper and use a Rhodia graph paper notebook and have graph paper post its. I love them. I use a fountain pen pretty exclusively. I have horrific handwriting and I feel like this makes it slightly more legible. I love my laptop (macbook pro) - but she is feeling poorly. I have been trying to figure out if I can buy a new one through my grant, but it is’t looking good unless my college helps out (which they should for a variety of reasons).

    Last week
    1. Dyad and election portion of manuscript - NOT DONE
    2. Interview 5 (I hope, don’t think my RA has scheduled it yet — although interview 6 is scheduled) - NOT DONE, DID 3 INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS INSTEAD
    3. Work on intersectionality paper and try to get it completed - NOT DONE
    4. Email PhD advisor and ask for letter for K - (FROM LAST WEEK) ACTUALLY ALREADY DONE AND SHE AGREED AND EVEN OFFERED TO REVIEW MY K - WHICH IS FREAKING AMAZING!!!
    5. Get biosketches from my K team - NOT DONE, RIDICULOUS TO DO THIS 4 MONTHS BEFORE THE GRANT IS DUE
    6. Write letters of support from K collaborators - NOT DONE
    7. Write mentor section of K - DONE
    8. Edit K timeline - DONE
    9. Start budget justification - DONE
    10. Write institutional support letter - NOT DONE
    11. edit candidate section to talk more about independence, independent projects, goals for more first authored pubs, etc.
    relate to F32 goals - DONE

    Some of my goals were pushed to the side because I had to re-analyze and write up some data for another project and because I would pretty much rather obsessively work on my K than work on anything else. I'm not sure why I feel so much more confident about grantwriting than writing manuscripts as I’ve gotten far more rejection for my grant apps than for my manuscripts. I desperately need to get multiple publications under review before I submit my K though - so I have to push some things through. I gave the draft of my K to my mentor to review - and I think she will take at least a week to do that (she is traveling), so I want to stop working on the K and focus on getting manuscripts done.

    This week.
    1. Dyad and election portion of manuscript (to be frank, I resent this project - it is a review paper and one that I’m not sure we should be prioritizing).
    2. Intersectionality paper: flesh out discussion and send to co-authors
    3. Asthma paper: If get feedback on results from co-author, revise and then create plan for completion of paper (am trying to get the senior authors to actually write parts of the paper)
    4. Diss manuscript: This really needs to be under review soon - big tasks are to reduce word count by 1000 words and email co-authors to get them to review it quickly or be removed from the paper. This paper is so fraught for me - I just want it under review. I actually don’t care if it actually gets published.

    Of note - election day is weighing on me heavily. I really hope for many good outcomes - but I am so worried it is taking a toll.

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    1. One of the notebooks I received through my subscription is a Rhodia notebook. It's small, and I can't remember whether or not it has graphs, bullets, or lines. I have never had a fountain pen (as an adult). I always assume they will scratch on the paper in ways that make my arm hair stand on end (and that the ink won't be even).

      Great news about your PhD supervisor's feedback! That's fantastic! And I hope this week, you're able to focus on those papers to start wrapping them up and putting bows on them to send them off. You sure have a lot of them going!

      Let's all cross our fingers for election day tomorrow.

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    2. These are the rhodia pads I use: https://rhodiapads.com/collections_spiral_reverse.php

      And these are the fountain pens I use (no scratching!): https://www.amazon.com/Pilot-Disposable-Fountain-Assorted-90029/dp/B00092PRCA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1541538968&sr=8-3&keywords=pilot+disposable+fountain+pen

      I forgot one of my newest tools - OneNote through microsoft office. It's like word except that you can have different sheets like in excel (but you can group them into folders - which is super nice) and you can write anywhere on the page (including with a pen). I use it for my qualitative study - I can record right from onenote and it embeds the recording in the participant's section. Some of the PhD students use it for their to do lists. It is super flexible and super easy to use.

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  3. I love stationary. I like all notebooks, and pens, and washi tape... I've been watching bullet journalling videos lately as part of my general online procrastination, and for the last few weeks I've sat down with my "day book" on a Sunday and made myself a pretty list for the week, with a banner heading and washi tape and sometimes some doodles in coloured pen. It's not a bullet journal, but it WAS an excuse to buy myself some cute tape and fancy pens, and it's surprisingly relaxing to do. My day book is a hardback A5 notebook that I use for notes from more serious meetings and project conversations and the like, and for longer term lists (currently a cheapish black mock leather covered notebook from a supermarket's own brand line, which has remarkably nice paper for such a source), which goes along with a lab book which lives at work in a dusty corner with my microscope and doesn't see enough action lately (these are hardback, 10x8, with quadrille paper, like Waffles I do like squared paper!, and sourced from Canada, because I'm picky about notebooks), an A6 Moleskine week per view academic year diary (appointments for the week on one page, the opposite lined page for my DONE list, priority to dos on postits), and a cheap spiral bound reporters notepad which I scribble in a great deal - I tear out a lot of pages and give them to students or colleagues, sometimes paste them into the lab book or the day book, type up notes - I get through these really quickly.... For big writing phases I get very cheap A4 spiral bound notebooks, and fill them up fast - I usually have one on the go for novelling and weekend list making and personal stuff on my desk at home, the equivalent of the reporters-pads at work. I really like NICE notebooks too, but don't tend to use them consistently.

    And I do like a fountain pen but they tend not to enjoy the sort of writing I do at work, which tends to be very discontinuous, so the nibs often block at inconvenient moments. For the office, I order black gel pens and mechanical pencils by the box, and feel guilty about the plastic waste...

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    1. Last week:
      1) start NaNo yes. I'm using Scrivener, for a change from constant using word for work, and so far having fun, which is the whole point
      2) my birthday falls on my nominal day off, so this week I intend to take it as an ACTUAL day off, for NaNo starting, fancy coffee consuming if I feel like it, and some knitting... I had an actual day off. it didn't have fancy coffee as it had hail showers and I didn't want to go out, but it had naps, novel reading, very good lentil soup and cheesecake. It was SO nice to actually have a DAY OFF!
      3) do an hour on straightforward research thing for FocusedWoman NO
      4) type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.no
      5) reduced refined sugar (birthday. let's not even pretend there won't be sugar), make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing break every 45-60 minutes of desk time. the last few days have been especially good for this. And today I did some sensible food prep instead of doing the overdue paperwork for something I don;t want to do - I made a big pan of roast vegetables, cooked a couple of packs of vegan sausages, made a large veggie frittata/ovenbaked omelette to cut into wedges, and filled up jars with frozen fruit, sugar free granola and live yoghurt, so that I have breakfast, lunch, snack food and dinner all ready to grab from the fridge for the first part of the week. I need to remember how satisfying that can be! The paperwork, however, is now very TRQ

      the coming week:
      Is mixed. It SHOULD be easy - all my big classes are having a break week, and I "just" have a few seminars to deliver. In practice, I'm fighting to keep diaried time down to 6-7 hours per day on campus, which is BAD as I have a lot of teaching prep to do for the following week and an even worse research and paperwork backlog than I started with thanks to the cold and its after effects. Which still are around - I've had a couple of days of being completely disinterested in food and achy and nauseated this week, and keep having "oops, overdone it" spells - and my voice has been coming and going. It feels suspiciously like the post-viral fatigue problem I had a few years ago, but could equally be another virus (there is an "atypical cold" going around), or just tiredness, or perimenopause/PMT type stuff. Or stress. All that TRQ is STRESSFUL. Anyway, I was as kind to myself as I could be, left early when I could, went in later than I usually do, and did not do a lot of things on the list. I do feel healthier today - but I DID just have four days out of the office. And Fluffball got boxed and went to the vet, one BIG "I am a failure" thing off the list! He doesn't hate me today, so I'm hoping it will be possible to do that again in three weeks time for the second lot of cat vaccines....

      So, lots of TRQ and a desire to keep up NaNo, and my TLQ list is going to look very samey.

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    2. 1) keep NaNo-ing - I'm aiming for 500-1000 words a day on office days, 2000-3000 a day when out of the office (I am allowed to count worldbuilding and description, and I can rattle off 1000 words of "describing the library" or "I wonder how dementia manifests for a witch in this magical system" or "what would the inn staff put in the Stew in this part of the country?" in half an hour, which is very useful writing in terms of advancing the novel and helps NaNo wins but leads to unwieldy and crappy drafts!)
      2) do an hour on straightforward research thing for FocusedWoman - I am SO BORED of this nagging at me. Going to try & tick it off on Monday.
      3) do half an hour on knitting project - do something like type up the patterns for the first two squares of the blanket. Either work on the next design, or start on a re-knit of the one I just did.
      4) eat limited refined sugar, make sure I drink enough fluids, and take a minute's standing/moving break every 45-60 minutes of desk time (aim to work through my six minutes of basic stretches list over the course of the day). If I have good days, do a five minute cardio work-out thing as soon as I get in the door after work, Fluffball's tea-needs allowing.

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    3. I so admire your NaNo-ing. Fantastic!

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    4. I love hearing about how you divide up and designate your NaNo time. I like idea of not always working on cohesive narrative but maybe developing a particular scene or description.

      What exactly do you do with washi tape? I thought of buying some the other day but had no idea what I would do with it.

      I'm so glad you had a day off! That's wonderful!!

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    5. I mostly just enjoy having it... ;-p

      actually, I use it sometimes in places where I'd just draw a horizontal line under a title or whatever, or to divide a page in half for lists, and I use it a LOT to make little page tabs for my notebooks (by doubling a piece over the page edge) which are exactly where I want them for refinding stuff - it stays on better than post-it tabs and is easy to write on, but can be peeled off once I'm done with that page.

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    6. Washi tape is awesome for tabs!!!

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  4. I'm very tired of this pesky cold, which is still lingering--and now my son has it. I feel the lack of exercise and I can't sleep well. Ugh. What I really want for this week is to just get back to normal!

    Last week:
    1. Abstract for Longer Impatience (which may be due on Wednesday) - Done
    2. Write x 4, sit x 4, language x 4 (because I am taking today *off*) - Wrote x2, sat x1, language x1. Really lame.
    3. 10k of NaNo words (I cheat and start early to make the project less terrifying) - Done. I will say that writing a story that already has a plot makes things a lot easier! Plus I have a very clear sense of the story's voice, at least for the most part, so sometimes I can just sit down and type and out it comes. It's a nice change!

    This week, I have a relatively light week work-wise, so I hope to get back on track in at least some respects!
    1. Write x5, sit x5, language x5. Exercise x2.
    2. NaNo: 12k words.
    3. Do something ahead: Prep next week's lecture, and/or the guest-teaching class, and/or do a grant review.
    4. Read essay for writing group.

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    1. So impressed by the NaNo progress! Fantastic! How many hours did it take you to write the 10,000 words?

      I hope your son gets better quickly and that you'll be resting better soon. And three cheers for a light week at work so you can focus on your own TLQ work.

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    2. Oh, I don't know, though probably more than I'd care to confront! I've been writing in a long jag or two per day, but also in odd moments--a sentence her and there. I wrote a few hundred words while in a waiting room, a few hundred more at my kid's swim lesson (I have a small notebook that's convenient for these things).

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  5. Lately I have abandoned my bullet journal and moved back to online spreadsheets and calendars. I seem to drift back and forth between systems over the years in order to rejuvenate my scheduling processes. My favorite pen is a Pilot Metropolitan rollerball, because they are retro adorable and fabulous for writing. I have two, and they make me very happy. I am inspired to think more about the tools I use all the time and take for granted.

    My uni now has a whole week off for Thanksgiving, and while I usually look at Thanksgiving for an opportunity to get caught up on grading (I have no family/travel obligations), this year I’m trying to get caught up now so I can enjoy that week off. And maybe stain my bookcases and restore my office to a space I can use.

    Last week:
    1 Blog post on book-related holiday project: No, Ran out of time
    2 Four hours on Tiny Project: Two, but seriously working on integrating this into my everyday
    3 Draft curriculum proposal and send to committee: Still working, now TRQ

    This week:
    1 Submit current book review
    2 Four hours on Tiny Project, including Actually Writing (session goal of 2500 new words)
    3 Send out curriculum proposal

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    1. A WHOLE WEEK OFF YIPPEE!!

      Have a wonderful time!

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    2. gotta get through 2 weeks of classes first, but SO HAPPY!

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    3. Definitely something to look forward to!

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  6. I love good black pens and good mechanical pencils. I also like Moleskin leather notebooks. I travel alot and find that having lots of small bags/pouches to use as electronic carrying cases (for external hard drives, usb sticks, chargers, international plugs) is essential. I also really rely on Write in the Rain notebooks in the field and their paper for my field forms as I work in the rainy tropics. I hate to admit this but I love using fanny packs in the field as my purse when not in the bush- I sling them over my shoulder and find its just the right size. Its not a good look but it works. I have found a sporty bag that takes the place of fanny packs, but I still sort of miss them. Shows my 80s roots I guess.

    Last week: 1. Make decision about Spring semester leave DONE and paperwork signed
    2. Email/phone meetings with potential graduate students DONE and probably over for now
    3. Read books x 2 and take notes DONE
    4. Exercise x 4 DONE
    5. Help Mom with some estate planning loose ends IN PROGRESS
    6. Think about work that needs to be done for collaborative paper NO
    7. Liase with Mom's doctor and hospice team YES

    This week:
    1. Try to write 3000 words on puff piece Encyclopedia entry as way to get back into writing
    2. Write grant annual report
    3. Read and comment on grad student dissertation chapter
    4. Liase with Mom's hospice team
    5. Liase with Mom's lawyer re: estate planning
    6. Get travel plans set for nephew that Mom wants to see
    7. Figure out if I want to rent house in spring or find new house sitter etc.

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    1. Oh yes, you remind me how much I love my Waterbook notebooks for fieldwork, and just general outdoors stuff. I love being able to make a quick note in the rain without any faff (my field sites are northern temperate and my favourite ones are all oceanic or HYPERoceanic climates. definitely in the hundreds of words for rain zone!). That said, my former postdoc had a WeatherWriter which is like a clipboard with a little tent of its own which she seemed very happy with when she needed larger sheets of paper...

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  7. Alas, I've been so overwhelmed with stuff that I've not even made time to join in this lovely little convo for the last two weeks. Because this is my first foray into teaching full time (albeit without any kind of full-time job security), I think I'm just letting the course load get in the way. It seems to be all I can manage, on top of a few other "must get done" things (none of which, tragically, has involved working on my book). However, I'll get a break from teaching soon and plan to devote a tremendous amount of time to the book. That doesn't solve my complete lack of exercise problem, though... I am really so bad at making time for healthy things amidst all the work.

    As far as tools go, I'm not sure...my computer? That sounds silly and probably unhealthy. As my husband always says, I need hobbies outside of work. And I definitely, at this point, do not have any. I used to paint and be crafty, but I've kind of gone away from all of that post grad school. It seems like all I can do to keep my head above water and I feel like trying to add another thing to my to-do list, even if it's fun, seems intimidating.

    On another note, I feel like it would be helpful for me to see a therapist again, but having just moved to a new state with new insurance, I'm also intimidated about having to find someone new. I've dealt with finding new therapists a lot, but I hate the process and it's always stressful. We also probably don't have the spare funds to pay for therapy right now, unless this new insurance somehow magically doesn't require anything but a co-pay for those visits. It's been easier just to muddle along and take the same meds, but I'm wondering if that's not the best course of action in an ideal world. Of course, as I said, the lack of money kind of keep one from being in an "ideal" world.

    Goals for this week:

    1. Keep up on applications
    2. Manage last few days of teaching prep
    3. 3x FL work (got one in already)
    4. Read something for fun!
    5. Plan next weekend's trip

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    1. Teaching anything for the first time is hard, and exhausting, and eats all the time it can get! And so does being in a new place... we're all heering for you behind the scenes!

      This may sound silly, but I've found that even the simplest bits of craftiness/artiness in my day make me feel more like there's something to me other than work - hence the nice notebooks and pens thing. And making a pretty list on the weekend - just because it's a list of teaching prep, I've found that writing a header with drop-shadows and maybe drawing a simple book symbol in the corner and adding coloured boxes to check stuff off in takes maybe a couple of minutes but feels fun, and is a dash of my more creative self in a busy day. (which is also a job served by the snoozing cat washi tape that lives in the pencil tray on my desk along with the utilitarian stuff - I could just have cheap uni issue tape, or no tape, but I am a person who attaches notes to her monitor or any handy vertical surface with tape with snoozing kitties on it, not JUST a person who can't remember things without notes stuck up everywhere... (I also have silly things in my office that remind me I'm not just work, even when this week I have to be - a cute note my neice wrote me, a ceramic cat paperweight, some postcards from favourite field areas, some Interesting Stones and a few small print-outs of fiction characters I like to spend time with in my imagination. My "all life depends on plants" coaster and my dinosaurs-in-armchairs-drinking-tea mug. That sort of thing.

      Get you completely on the adding anything to the list is intimidating. Sometimes even MAKING the list intimidates me... empathy!

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    2. Hey Plant Girl -
      I'm with you on the hobbies. I had a ton of art/craft projects but now have few. Part of the issue is living in an NYC shared apartment (no space for stuff or to make things) and some of it is other stuff. Maybe we can compact to add some time each week to doing hobby-type things? I also need to be reading for pleasure more.

      On the therapy front - an option that might help you find someone and help a little with the $$ front would be to see if your workplace uses an EAP? Usually those are free for 3 sessions (and sometimes 3 sessions per issue). And often if you don't like the person, you can start again with someone else. They will also then help you find someone covered by your insurance.

      Hope that helps!
      Waffles

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    3. Echoing JaneB on the way new preps eat time. If you're doing anything else, you're doing very well!

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    4. Hi Waffles,

      Thanks for your helpful reply. I think it would really help to have a little compact to try to do something fun or crafty or at least non-work related each week. I'll try to see if I can squeeze something in this week and then go for more attempts next week. Thanks for the idea!

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    5. Great! Let's both include it in our goals for next week!
      Waffles

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  8. I recently posted chez moi about my calendars, so I'm going to leave that as my answer to the week's topic.

    How I did:
    1. Health: eat safely (ugh, one deliberate test of a very small amount of something that was Not Good), sleep 8 hours (4 or 5 nights of 7), stretch (4/7), cardio/walk (6/7), fun thing daily (yes, mainly reading); weights 3x (once). Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck (NO: things keep coming up on my free day. Sigh).
    2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages. (3 hours; 1963 words, mostly notes that will boil down to much less; barely on languages.)
    3. Teaching: grade the next iterations of undergrad short paper, grad bibliographies (NO, YES). Design and post two new assignments for undergrads (NO).
    4. Life Stuff: mail form, make deposit (YES, NO). Plan another trip to see my dad (NO). Plan trip with Sir John in January (NO, but we talked about it a bit). Two car things (YES). ALSO DONE: packed summer clothes, unpacked winter things; retrieved some boxes from storage.
    5. Three boring work admin things (YES? I'm not sure which three I meant, because they keep piling up, but I've done three. OTOH, some of the old ones are still with me).

    New goals:
    1. Health: eat safely, sleep 8 hours, stretch, cardio/walk, fun thing daily; weights 3x. Make appt with doc and request referral to physical therapy for neck.
    2. Research: put in 4 hours and/or write 2000 words; keep up with languages.
    3. Teaching: grade the next iterations of undergrad short paper, grad proposals. Design and post at least one new assignment for undergrads.
    4. Life Stuff: make deposit. Plan another trip to see my dad. Plan trip with Sir John in January. Unpack boxes.
    5. Work admin: spring book orders, watch some required videos.

    Another thing I've done is update a yearly planning document, originally from get bullish dot com, but adapted to my own purposes. If anyone would like to see it, send me an e-mail at dame dot eleanor at mail dot com (yes, just mail), and I'll send you a Word document.

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