the grid

the grid

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Summer-North, Winter-South, Week 3

We've probably all run into some version of the Serenity Prayer, about changing the things we can, accepting those we can't, and learning to tell the difference. I'm deliberately re-phrasing: I don't expect to be given the wisdom to tell the difference, but to come by it through some combination of rational thought and trial-and-error.

If this topic speaks to you, tell us about something you have changed, or about your path to acceptance, or about the ways you differentiate between what can and can't be changed.

Also post with your results from last week, and what you're planning for the week ahead. In accordance with heu mihi's question last week, if there's some particular kind of encouragement that would be welcome, please let us know how we can help.

Last week's goals:

Dame Eleanor Hull
1, gym/walk/swim x6, stretch x6, usual low-FODMAP cooking.
2, some gardening and other House Stuff.
3, finish reviewing past plans, work on outline, start writing.
4, Finish reading one scholarly book.
5, continue planning courses, ~ 2-4 hours.
6, read at least 1/2 hr x 3 in a strong language, drill grammar or vocabulary x 5 in a weaker one.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
Half an hour x 5 on decluttering/organizing craft closet.
Half an hour x 3 on faculty review document.
Half an hour x 3 on work email.
Email associate dean to schedule meeting.
One hour x 3 on article review.
Call to reschedule doctor’s appointment.
Call to reschedule dentist’s appointment.

Good Enough Woman
1) 5 hours of exercise
2) 5x meditation
3) 5 hours of writing
4) 5 hours of prep work
5) 5 hours of house chores per week (pay bills, tidy the Witch Hut, clean daughter's room as part of her b-day present)
6) Finish knitting scarf for MIL
7) Read 300 pages of leisure book (is it still leisure if I set a goal?)
8) Surrender goals when necessary for doing b-day things for daughter, but don't totally abandon them.

heu mihi
1. Submit conference abstract (June 3)
2. Read/finish two books
3. Revise Amy (due June 15)
4. Wrap up incomplete
5. Read grad student's work
6. Language x5, sit x5, exercise x4, garden 3 hours

Humming42
1 Draft Time abstract
2 Read a review book
3 Build online component
4 Draft one module for online course

JaneB
1a: water, finish the summer bullet journal set up, if the cold allows do 5-10 minute exercise routines
1b: the decluttering woman is coming next Sunday - I have three possible areas in mind, need to make a decision. Regardless, having a good session with her will advance this goal.
1c: pick up the square I was working on and make some progress
2a: Spend half and hour each on Fragment and FlatProject 2b: start making some lists, send email about recce visit
2c: Find samples for FavouriteIslands analysis and pass them on to technician
3: extras: half an hour of office decluttering, watch my marvel movie treat

Susan
1. 2 days on Violence
2. Morning on collaboration
3. Finish book order #1, start #2
4. Walk three times
5. Keep planning vacation
6. Read dissertation draft

Waffles
1. Once get final edits to JAMA paper from collaborator, finish it up and submit it.
2. Once get final analyses from statistician for PTSD paper, finish it up and submit it.
3. Connect with colleague about interactions in victimization paper. Finish writing discussion.
4. Once these three are done -that will be the last few manuscripts I have been dragging my heels on - and I can start working on manuscripts from my own study!!!
5. Draft ppt for presentation
6. Make to do list for R&R of diss manuscript

33 comments:

  1. Topic: I had a bad week, and the topic is much on my mind. The main reason for the bad week was a test of digestive enzymes, which disagreed with me, with the resultant sickness and poor sleep. My sleep schedule is now skewed several hours off where I'd like to have it. This is not the first time that I have tried some remedy that has harmed rather than helped me. In place of my own work, I spent several hours reading the abstracts of scientific papers about IBS and its treatment (how I love having proper access to academic databases, so I'm not reliant on the popular press and anecdotal reports), only to conclude that really, not enough is known about causes to be able to do other than observe that this or that treatment has worked for some set of patients. In my case, the low-FODMAP diet works wonders; supplementing with supposedly beneficient bacteria/enzymes/yogurt/fermented foods always makes me ill; and I react badly to all the various FODMAPS, though to some much worse than others. I think I need to accept this and stop trying to change it.

    It's hard, because I was once something of a foodie, and I certainly socialize in foodie circles. Many of the world's cuisines rely heavily on garlic and onions, both of which are very bad for me, especially onions. I like to travel, but eating out has become fraught, so I have to stay in places with access to a kitchen or spend a lot of time/energy on providing myself with safe food. It's a hassle, but I don't think this is going away. Some degree of it has been with me since puberty, and over the decades I have tried all the yogurt, enzymes, etc, so you'd think if they were going to work, they would have. This appears to be the body I was issued and I need to deal with it as it is, not as I would like it to be.

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    1. What would help: encouragement/permission to do what I know works for me and to stop trying to achieve some ideal state of health in which I can eat "normally." I'm really tired of getting advice to try X or Y. Low-FODMAP is my new normal.

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    2. I am sorry you had a bad week. Follow your intuition, you know your body best. If low-FODMAP is your new normal, I say embrace this as something that works and be happy about that when you can. My own experience is that my long term health issues led to a rather prolonged period of grieving the body that I once had and it took a long time to accept living in the new one I was left with and all the accommodations that that this meant. But as you intimate above, it was only when I really accepted that things were never going to be get better, so I had to give up certain things (bumpy boat rides, horseback riding, skiing, ice skating, tennis, basically anything that would jostle or twist or potentially injure my back if I fell)that I was more at peace with it myself. I still cannot do most of those things, but it keeps me from having to be on debilitating pain killers that do not let me do the work I want to do, so I have to live with that. And with the weekly massages and exercise, my back is a tiny bit better in the short term now, so I will take that too. This is a long way of saying that body/health stuff can be such a struggle so I hear you and understand you and support you!

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    3. Sorry, that was me above

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    4. Thank you, oceangirl. That is helpful.

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    5. Food issues are so frustrating - you can't just quit food, food is so tied into all sorts of really deeply wired things like comfort and hospitality and nurturing. I haven't found the right diet for me yet, but I do have a list of things I am more or less intolerant of (not helped by tolerance being stress-mediated for many of them), and yet I get so annoyed at how COMPLICATED everything is that I keep breaking "rules" just to see what happens even when I know exactly what will happen, or I think I;ve been really "careful" and get blindsided anyway, or get into a situation where I'm just looking for "least bad" (and trying to resist the urge to say oh sod it and just go for the chocolate and junk...). So much empathy - there is grieving and anger and all sorts of frustrating Bugges to deal with around having to come to a new normal.

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    6. This is so familiar: "I keep breaking 'rules' just to see what happens even when I know exactly what will happen." Part of my problem with this is that when I feel well, I feel so well that it's hard to believe that I'm not normal; I think (insofar as this is a conscious process) "maybe I'm over this!" or "I can probably manage just a little!" I don't know why it's so hard to learn that the results are going to be the same. It might also have to do with the difference between allergies (avoid that thing entirely) and low-FODMAP (where quantities matter, and it might be possible to have a little of one thing with, say, fructans, but then it's not okay to add another thing with fructans).

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    7. No great words of wisdom, but as someone who did FODMAP for a while, I sympathize. It's a pain when you go out "I'll have steamed vegetables and plain grilled protein".
      That said, the column against the wellness industry in Sunday's New York Times, talked not about loving our bodies but respecting them. I found that helpful. So you might want to think of how you eat as a way you respect the body you have...

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  2. How I did:
    1, gym/walk/swim x6, stretch x6, usual low-FODMAP cooking. YES.
    2, some gardening and other House Stuff. YES/NO.
    3, finish reviewing past plans, work on outline, start writing. NO.
    4, Finish reading one scholarly book. ALMOST: one chapter to go.
    5, continue planning courses, ~ 2-4 hours. NO.
    6, read at least 1/2 hr x 3 in a strong language, drill grammar or vocabulary x 5 in a weaker one. NO, x1.

    So let's try this again! New goals, same as the old goals:
    1, gym/walk/swim x6, stretch x6, usual low-FODMAP cooking.
    2, some gardening and other House Stuff.
    3, finish reviewing past plans, work on outline, start writing.
    4, Finish reading one scholarly book.
    5, continue planning courses, ~ 2-4 hours.
    6, read at least 1/2 hr x 3 in a strong language, drill grammar or vocabulary x 5 in a weaker one.

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  3. I take my understanding of the granting part of the Serenity prayer from my Grandmother's theology, which was basically built around "that's why the Good Lord gave you fingers/reasoning" and "the Lord helps them who helps themselves" (along with rather more "get up and wash your face and you'll feel better" and "plenty of people are worse off than you" than is probably good for me). The old give a man a fish model - it makes sense to me that we get the tools to get the stuff we need, apart from anything else "Satan finds work for idle hands to do" (another Grandma-ism), the world made us curious.

    That said, yes, this is very much something I've also been wrestling with this week - I've had a minor cold which became laryngitis and have been bone-tired and brain-foggy and sorry for myself, and deeply frustrated with many work things at the moment which I need to rant about (which may also explain the blooming laryngitis with its deeply annoying psychosomatic component). Grrr.

    I have a lot of issues with the boundary of the nexus of control, where I can affect things and where I can't, and this is definitely made worse by the increasing bureaucratic oversight - "you shouldn't care about having to document that you are doing the right things if you are doing the right things anyway", I have been told, but I DO care, plus it takes time, plus people are never content with JUST getting the forms, they have to show they are actively engaged by making suggestions or asking for changes or requiring that one wait for approval - and by team teaching all my modules (sigh). Also if stuff you want to control involves people, people are HARD, and inconsistent, and if I don't understand why I always do stuff, or change what I do depending on how tired and up or down I am, why should I expect to be able to understand what other people are doing, and WHINE WHINE WHINE.

    Basically, working on this is always part of my agenda when I get out of basic scramble-mode, and it's annoying and hard. JaneB does not like.

    last week's goals:
    1a: water, finish the summer bullet journal set up, if the cold allows do 5-10 minute exercise routines Yes, nearly, no (I keep having coughing fits when I do anything exciting like load the dishwasher or walk upstairs, so...)
    1b: the decluttering woman is coming next Sunday - I have three possible areas in mind, need to make a decision. Regardless, having a good session with her will advance this goal. cancelled due to voice issues and cold. BOO
    1c: pick up the square I was working on and make some progress no. Just not in the mood
    2a: Spend half and hour each on Fragment and FlatProject yes
    2b: start making some lists, send email about recce visit no and yes
    2c: Find samples for FavouriteIslands analysis and pass them on to technician no
    3: extras: half an hour of office decluttering, watch my marvel movie treat No, yes but it invovled a couple of hours of trying to work out how installing windows the tenth had made my laptop stop playing DVDs, frustration, a spilled water bottle, three boxes of drawing supplies all over the floor, and late night stubborn I-am-going-to-enjoy-this film watching after all of that was cleared up which actually wasn't much fun.

    Next week: pick up and start over, for the most part:
    1a: water, if the cold allows do 5-10 minute exercise routines, sleep schedule
    1b: I have another decluttering appointment next weekend... - I have three possible areas in mind, need to make a decision.
    1c: pick up the square I was working on and make some progress
    2a: Spend half an hour each on Fragment and FlatProject, review an article and a grant application, make comments on drafts from both LikesMaths and DrVisitTheSecond
    2b: start making some lists, send more emails about the recce visit
    2c: Find samples for FavouriteIslands analysis and pass them on to technician
    3: extras: half an hour of office decluttering

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    1. Well, it makes me feel better to have company in the "pick up and start over" category. I also feel like I might be getting a cold. Here's hoping we can both make progress this week.

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  4. Hi Everyone,

    A quite apropos theme for me. I need to accept that the writing of this book is not going to be fun, for various reasons, but that I do need to just get on with it. I need to accept that my book writing will likely not be finished by the end of the summer as I had hoped, which means asking for a third extension from the book editor, which seems scary but will just have to be done. Only I can reload my summer experience, so here goes: I can try to relish in one summer thing per day, whether its my garden or being outside in the rain or going to the pool for a short swim. I can try to not freak out that things are going slow and not switch into wanting to work all the time to make up for lost time, as this is not good for my life outside of academia, which is something I want to nurture as well. So in this vein, I can choose to work on the weekends if it works better for my schedule, but then take time off during the week (which will be done today as I have a friend visiting in town). And, I started off by just wanting to get back into the writing and fostering that, which is happening. But now I am ending up with a bloated repetitive chapter that is not well structured. So starting this week I will be writing less and editing more as I go!


    Last Week:
    - write 4,000 words Ch 3- maybe finish it, yes on the words, no on the finishing it
    - talk with grad student who wants to work on my project- yes and went well, yay for good news!!!!!
    - exercise x 4, fun x 2 x3 and x2 so ok
    - something for house- garage door, possibly weed garden garden, not garage door
    - a few admin bits for trip planned in July no

    This week:
    - write 3,000 words Ch 3 and 30 minutes of editing per day
    - exercise x 4, fun x 2
    - something for house- garage door, possibly weed garden
    - a few admin bits for trip planned in July and/or book

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    1. I very much like the idea of "one summer thing per day." I also support the "write less, edit more" strategy, because it can be quite discouraging to have to sift through many pages to find the bits one can keep.

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  5. hi!
    Daisy here, just to drop in and say hi! I read the bit about the Serenity Prayer and it reminded me of a version my mother had on her office bulletin board forever (she managed an agricultural organization and dealt with many ornery farmers every day...)

    Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the intelligence to hide the bodies of the people I had ti kill because they pissed me off...

    I always quite liked that version!
    Happy summer/winter writing everyone!
    Daisy

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    1. Hi, Daisy! I hope you're having a good summer! Are you doing field work?

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    2. Hi Daisy! I used to have that one up in the office but the guy who was head of department four people ago didn't have much of a sense of humour and said it was inappropriate to have up where students could see it...

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    3. Sad to have no sense of humour! Oh well...

      I'm waiting for the near-constant rain to stop so I can go do field work... Right now we have a typical spring combination of lots of rain, melting snow, lots of bugs, and cold temperatures. No Northern trips for me this year, that is very sad, but I have lots of work planned for driving/ferry distance areas, one new one too so I'm excited about that. And I might actually get to see the place I live in summer when it gets warm - most years I get back here at the end of August and everyone is all happy about what a lovely warm summer it was and I basically lived in a parka for 2 months and then it starts raining again...

      Will drop in for visits here, I love seeing what everyone is up to!

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  6. Things I can't change: I have a child, and sometimes he needs attention. I don't want to change the fact that I have a child, for he is a delight about 95% of the time and I love him to bits, but I do have little fantasies about living all by myself somewhere and being able to do whatever I want. (I have a spouse, too, so I'm doubly not-by-myself, but spouse gives me considerably more space than child does.)

    And child's school lets out on Friday (which is also his birthday), so there's going to be a LOT of him around here.

    So I need to stop pretending that I have the whole week, every week, to do my work, and begin to make reasonable accommodations to Kid Summer Schedule.

    What I can change, maybe: My tyrannical attachment to Lists and Productivity. I *love* my lists because they help me do things and then I feel really good about doing them, but I can become a bit of an Unyielding Bitch when I let my lists take precedence over, you know, my family. So. Working on that.

    Today is my birthday, and I'm having a very good day so far doing my biggest List Things (exercise, language, writing, yard work) *first* so that I can spend several hours doing whatever I want. Which might be more writing and yard work. We'll see.

    Last week:
    1. Submit conference abstract (June 3) - Done
    2. Read/finish two books - One finished. It was long (but good). Reading the dissertation took the place of reading another book.
    3. Revise Amy (due June 15) - Mostly
    4. Wrap up incomplete - Done
    5. Read grad student's work - Done, finally!
    6. Language x5, sit x5, exercise x4, garden 3 hours - Language x4, sit x3, exercise x4, garden yes.

    This week--is busy. I committed to chaperone an all-day, all-school field trip on Wednesday, I'm going to a neighboring state for a medievalist mini-symposium on Thursday, and Friday is a half-day for my dear boy as well as (as aforesaid) his birthday. The birthday party is on Saturday. So.....

    Goals:
    1. Finish Amy (due 6/15)
    2. Language x5, writing x5, sit x5, exercise x5, garden 3 hours
    3. Detailed research/writing plan for coming weeks
    4. Read a book
    5. Read essays for symposium
    6. Email collection contributors
    7. Enjoy my birthday!

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    1. Happy birthday! Maybe focusing on the journey would help, as suggested here: https://carolbaby.com/2019/06/10/small-reset/
      I like that because I get rebellious even when working with my own goals.

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    2. Thanks for the recommendation! Great post--I'll have to do some thinking on it.

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    3. Happy birthday from a Gemini sister!

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    4. Happy birthday! We share it :)

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    5. Hey, hooray for shared birthdays! And Geminis!

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  7. I can't change my mentor (as in, she is not likely going to ever change). Le sigh. I had a realization a couple of weeks ago that if I stay at my current institution as faculty, I will always be in her shadow and will depend on her to share opportunities with me because she is a huge name and all relevant ones will go to her first, most likely. Unfortunately she seems to be keeping ones that are 100% relevant to me to herself. If she weren't constantly throwing opportunities at the two male postdocs she works with, it would be less painful. Although I did kind of get her to give me an opportunity to give an invited talk in October. This is something we will have to talk about at some point, but I don't have a lot of faith in our ability to have a good productive conversation about it.

    This list was intended to span last week and this week.
    1. Once get final edits to JAMA paper from collaborator, finish it up and submit it. STILL WAITING
    2. Once get final analyses from statistician for PTSD paper, finish it up and submit it. DONE - SUBMITTED
    3. Connect with colleague about interactions in victimization paper. Finish writing discussion. WILL DO THIS WEEK
    4. Once these three are done -that will be the last few manuscripts I have been dragging my heels on - and I can start working on manuscripts from my own study!!! HOPEFULLY IN JULY
    5. Draft ppt for presentation - WILL DO THIS WEEK
    6. Make to do list for R&R of diss manuscript - DONE AND REVISIONS BEGUN

    Okay, so specifically for this week.
    1. Once get final edits to JAMA paper from collaborator, finish it up and submit it.
    2. Connect with colleague about interactions in victimization paper. Finish writing discussion.
    3. Draft ppt for conference presentation
    4. Keep working on R&R
    5. NIH progress report (UGH).

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    1. Your mentor sounds very frustrating, especially when she's favoring men. I wonder if she realizes that she's doing this. The patriarchy is deeply embedded in many of us; I have to make conscious efforts to make sure I'm treating men and women in my grad classes equally. Fortunately I don't have any male dissertators.

      Do you want to move to another institution or are the advantages of your current place large enough to outweigh your mentor's reputation?

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    2. Yeah - I brought it up to her once bc she has a tendency to disbelieve things I say until a man repeats it. She got super mad. The next week she told me something a male faculty had said, and I said, "Yeah, I told you that last week" and she said, "Yes, and male faculty confirmed it." UGH.

      I plan to keep my options open. I will apply to multiple places and see what happens.

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  8. Oh, that's interesting. I can't change the people I work with, I can't change that I have an elderly mother who is increasingly needy. (And I'd rather have her as a needy person than not have her, which at some point I won't.) Making peace with the work end of this has been one of my goals. My mother had (probably) a TIA or small stroke at the end of May; she's now recovered significantly -- she says she wants to live to vote against Trump -- but I can see she's really tired. So my mother's decline is something I can't change.
    What can I change? My attitude? The things I take on? try to give myself more space? I think these things will change my feeling about work and life.

    Last week:
    1. 2 days on Violence Yes, and I think I've got it sorted out
    2. Morning on collaboration Yes, will probably finish it today
    3. Finish book order #1, start #2 No, but main decisions made
    4. Walk three times - Yes, maybe 4? Lots of walking
    5. Keep planning vacation Yes
    6. Read dissertation draft No, but talked to student

    Well, as if my mother's crises had not been enough, last week my computer decided to throw a tantrum. The system has been reinstalled, and I've mostly got it back the way it worked for me, but that took a day or so. I even had fun, and went to the county fair. Otherewise, just slow. Figuring out how to solve the problem of violence was key, and I think that I can finish it this week.

    Goals for the week ahead:
    1. Finish Violence
    2. Finish Collaboration
    3. Finalize travel plans and hotels
    4. Read dissertation draft
    5. Walk three times
    6. Do something fun

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    1. I went through this the last several years with both parents. It is so hard to see them decline and so hard yet rewarding and fulfilling (in my case) to take care of them. Remember to also take care of yourself through this.

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    2. Thanks! I'm deeply grateful for the time I have with my mother. One of the things that's been hard is that I once again confronted her mortality.

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  9. I need to learn that resistance is futile (in this particular situation) because I cannot change how other people act. I can only change how I react to them. I need to find the courage to step away and not be hurt by other people’s anger.

    This week
    1 Draft Time abstract
    2 Write and submit a review
    3 Finish next review book
    4 Blog post

    Last week:
    1 Draft Time abstract: no
    2 Read a review book: yes
    3 Build online component: yes
    4 Draft one module for online course: no, but due today so TRQ

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    1. Oh, yes. I can't change other people. You'd think at 65 I'd have learned that one. Sorry that you deal with this too.

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