Wednesday, 25 February 2015

trying to let it flow...

Sad week, as Auntie Barb has died. Makes me miss Grandma as well. Really need to sort out a card to send to Yellowknife, since I obviously can't attend the funeral...

In other news, my non-resolution is going pretty well. I have made some changes based on minimising annoyingness and things I have to force myself to do. First among these is the gym. Del got me a membership last year, but it's downtown, so an annoying bus ride both ways. It also involves collecting a large number of important things into a bag (lock, towel, shoes etc), all of which I will be annoyed if I forget. This wreaks havoc on my poor ADHD brain. Then when I get there, it's full of horrible grunty men who throw their weights on the floor. Takes a while to shower and change, so what with everything, if I leave at 7.30 I barely get back by bedtime.

So I thought about how to make this better, and the upshot is I stopped by SweatShop (yup, that's the name) a couple of weeks ago and got some nice spongy New Balance shoes. It was hilarious because they got me to run on a treadmill, in my dress and borrowed sneakers, to check my gait and running style (they film it). Anyway, ever since then I've been running every other night or so. I've got a 2.5 mile route (out to Hollow Way and back) that mostly goes on a bike path so I don't have to puff my way past too many other people. It goes right past a fox den, so I usually see Mr Fox and sometimes Mrs Fox as well. AND I saw a badger**! (pretty sure anyway). I haven't actually managed to run the whole thing, but I figure a run/walk combo is better than nothing, and then I stretch at the end. This is only possible due to Oxford's ridiculously warm/snow-free winters*. The only thing I am worried about is my knee, but had the MRI a couple of weeks ago and no word yet, and running doesn't seem to be hurting it, so am going with it.

The sewing project is going very slowly. I've got a muslin cut out of an old sheet, but am having an impossible time working out how to do the pleats. Thinking about giving in and taking a class - 100 quid, just down the road, 10 sessions April-July. However, will see if I can at least do the skirt by myself before then and maybe do a dress in the class.

 The annoyingness of mornings has been cut down somewhat - I finally got a chest of drawers! After the epic furniture hunt last year, I thought I should leave it for a while, and then every likely contender on Gumtree was snatched up before I got there for more than a month. I am pretty certain there is someone out there buying the cheap-but-made-of-actual-wood stuff, painting it Annie Sloan Gray or whatever the hell, and then selling it again on Gumtree for three times the price. Anyway. Finally got one, which unfortunately was 45 min away in Kingston Lisle, but Del kindly drove me last night. It belonged to an awesome old couple and the wife was so sweet and conversational - one gets the impression there aren't many people for her to talk to in Kingston Lisle. So yeah - no more underwear in boxes! Hoorah!

Everything else continues more or less as usual, but the longer days are making me much happier. Pretty sure the extra time outside isn't hurting either.

* and on the cold days, I luckily have a set of fingerless gloves Christine made me!

** apparently badgers and foxes sometimes share different ends of the same tunnels - although the badgers are much cleaner and even have their own latrine outside the den!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Ha, just read an awesome article that encapsulates what I'm trying to do here. Work WITH my off-kilter brain, instead of against it. And try to minimise stress/beating myself up. I love coming up with ideas and get a huge dopamine hit from idea generation, but then get annoyed at myself when I haven't finished most of my thousand new projects by the time I think I should. But really, better to wait until I'm feeling it (for anything that doesn't actually have a deadline attached) because everything flows so much better at that point. Otherwise, it's all anxiety, all the time.

Luckily for me, work is pretty conducive to that - in fact it's perfect for me. Big list of projects, just have to get them done as I can. I set my own milestones and my supervisor always seems pleasantly surprised when I turn up with something finished. Just submitted a commentary to the Lancet Psychiatry which it seems they will be happy to publish (!) which was entirely written by me with minor input from a million other authors...

But yeah, have to remember it's okay if some things sit on the back burner for a while - especially home/side projects - as long as the general momentum is in a forward direction.

Luckily Del is very helpful for anxiety-quelling purposes, so I think I'm doing better this year than usual.

Not much going on, really. Bit of a January/February hibernation. Super tiring week - went on a very useful course on Qualitative Research on Thurs and Fri, since I'm supposed to be writing a qualitative paper. Or rather, my supervisor thinks one, I am thinking at least five! He sort of panicked for the two days I was out of the office, though, so am thinking most of this week will be dedicated to catch-up and annoying admin.

Other than that, everyone has suddenly turned up pregnant (seemingly at least half my friends from my Masters), so have brought in a large supply of washable yarn, rolled up my sleeves and started on the baby gifts. Have some great ideas for fun things to make and thinking about the Etsy shop idea again, but maybe best to just wait and see how it goes. Also have a backlog of presents in progress (sorry Grandma!) but everything is moving along, although perhaps more slowly than I would like.

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of fleeing Yale and arriving in Oxford. In retrospect I really should have given myself more time. However, all worked out WAY better than I ever could have dreamed, so all's well and all that. Think Del and I are going to do a pilgrimage to Dover next weekend, as a joint anniversary trip/in memory of Auntie Barb sort of thing. She wanted "The White Cliffs of Dover" on the wedding playlist since she couldn't be there.