Archive for the ‘Overworking’ Category

Five Question Friday – “Holy Crap This Was Actually Posted on Friday” Edition

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Howdy folks!

…No, I have no idea why I talk like that sometimes either.

This week has mostly centred around the themes of “Trying To Figure Out What Balance Of Work Vs Play Would Be Most Appropriate For Me Right Now And Best For My Overall Health Because I Know I’m Prone To Pushing Myself Too Hard But I Also Feel Crummy When I Don’t Accomplish Anything And It’s Hard To Tell How Much Of That Is That Any Productive Member Of Society Should Be Accomplishing Things And How Much Is Me Being Too Tied Up In That For My Self Worth And Needing To Learn To Be Okay With Just Relaxing,” and “What The Heck Am I Going To Do About Work Once I’m Well Enough To Do Something About Work Because Sometimes Now It Seems Like I Should Be Thinking About That But Also Sometimes I Get Milk In A Day And That Feels Like A Huge And Poignant Undertaking.” It’s important to have themes that are concise like that.

As per usual, the week’s questions come via Mama M, and I would love to hear your perspective on any or all of them in the comments.

The Questions:

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
2. What’s your biggest pet peeve right now?
3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
5. What is your one “splurge” item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?

My Answers:

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
I’m not a big re-watcher of movies in general. Even when I really love a movie, something in me is too aware that there are other things out there that I have never experienced, and makes me want to explore them rather than going where I’ve already been. I’ve watched a few movies several times in theatres (Lord of the Rings), watched a couple several times when I was younger (The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and some other Disney stuff my sister watched 5000 times, The Princess Bride, Titanic, …and for some reason Face Off). I’m starting to get to a point where I’m ready to watch some of the things that I know were really good but I haven’t seen in a really long time, but if I still remember what happens, movies lose a lot for me. Too much craving for new experiences and the unexplored, I guess.

2. What’s your biggest pet peeve right now?
One of the cats threw up this morning. I know it. I heard it. …But I can’t find it (which is weird…They’re usually pretty much the opposite of stealthy when they do that. In fact I’m pretty sure I could limit the area I needed to clean in my home by planting an easy-to-wipe-down pedestal in the middle of my living room and draping it in gold ribbons and sparkly arrows).

Anyway, I know it’s out there. Somewhere.

Surely this counts.

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
Rebellious, ardent, intelligent, complex, husband.

(yes, gag gag, but it’s true)

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
If I did not have to worry about money, I probably would go to school. Permanently. …Though only part-time.

I don’t think I’m one of those people who needs work of some kind for fulfillment. But if I had to choose something anyway, I guess I would be a psychological researcher, novelist, study coach, broadway star, who made funny videos for weddings and other special events. What’s the job title for that, I wonder?

5. What is your one “splurge” item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?
House cleaning service. Hands down. I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago.

Many of my splurges are for experiences rather than permanent items (occasional nice meals, activities, etc.). I like to make good memories. …Although I do also like a computer that is capable of doing what I want it to do.


Monday, April 26th, 2010

It occurred to me the other day how much “Victoria’s Secret” sounds like “victorious egret.”  I would probably buy a lot more underwear from a triumphant bird.

Victoria's Secret Model

Victoria's Secret Model

Egret Bird

Not a Victoria's Secret Model

(in my defense, they do look kind of similar)

I wrote out the priorities for my life today.  The point being to take note of them, and then try to make sure that my life, time, and money are going towards the things that are really important to me.  It was supposed to be a list of things that really “make life worth living,” free from guilt, or potential judgment, and without concern for how big or small an item something might be.  The results were relatively predictable, although some things definitely ranked much higher in importance than I might have thought they would.  My top fifteen (I think):

  1. Quality time with my husband and a super-close relationship with him.
  2. Being creative (in a variety of random ways).
  3. Exploring new experiences (not so much the “leap from tall buildings” kind, but more the “hey, I’ve never had green tea ice cream or been to a rodeo!” kind).
  4. Weekend getaways (we’ve only done this a couple of times, but I LOVED it.  I would very much love to be living a life in which we could take off to wine country and stay in a cute hotel, or go horseback riding, or get spa treatments once every couple of months.  I think that would make a big difference to my stress level the rest of the time).
  5. Meals at nice restaurants (again, this is one of those things that would be fantastic to be able to do regularly.  Is there anything better than talking together over crusty bread and a bottle of wine?  I think not.)
  6. Laughter (lots of it.  …This is probably actually much higher on the list, but laughter-related activities sort of go here, I think.).
  7. Our cats (because snuggling up with them is such a comfort right now, I can no longer imagine not having kitties around).
  8. Opportunities to shine (I know this one now, because I have worked at a job with no positive feedback of any kind.  I need to do a good job with things.  And I need to have somebody know it.).
  9. Games (video, board, or otherwise.  …This one was a bit of a surprise to me, but as it turns out, it seems important.  Yes, this makes me a geek.  I have a blog on the internet, and I’m a geek!  Who’d have guessed!?)
  10. Stretching my brain and/or learning new things (in case you didn’t catch that geek bit above).
  11. Pleasing surroundings (I have decided that I do not need a super-large house with super-expensive furnishings. …But I do ideally need an environment that does not create additional stress because it is broken or dirty or cramped).
  12. Good health (in the form of quality food, vitamins, exercise, etc.)
  13. Friends (yes, I know this is relatively low, but I don’t really have that many close friends right now.  No guilt, dammit.  …Do not even notice that “family” has not made the top fifteen.  No noticing.  Or I will say “no noticing” again.).
  14. Peace (in the form of yoga, meditation, tai chi, chi gong, or something similar).
  15. Paying people to do things that are unpleasant (I do not mind needing to do other things to make the money to do this.  But in my ideal life, I am not mopping my own floor.  Ever.)

It’s a pretty quick list, so don’t judge me too harshly, but I would say that it’s probably fairly representative of where I am right now.  Of course, I expect that some things on there will change greatly over time, but for now it sums it up well.  I wasn’t really expecting the trips away and nice meals out to be quite that important in the grand scheme of things, but I treasure those times, and they are definitely go-to items for lovely memories.  Lovely memories are extremely important to me.  Notably, working is not.

So…I don’t think I need to be fabulously wealthy in my dream life, which is good.  But I do need to have enough free cash that I can drop a few hundred dollars on luxuries here and there without worrying.  I also will apparently have nothing to show for it, as most of my large expenditures will be experienced or eaten.  Still, I think I would be a lot happier and healthier all around if I was actually living in line with this.  How nice would it be to come home from work knowing that there was something energizing and wonderful waiting for me?  Too often when I was working full-time, I used to end up coming home completely drained and doing nothing but watching TV or otherwise killing time.  Maybe if I was refueling more often with meaningful things, then I wouldn’t get too wiped out to do them.

Or maybe I just want to drink a lot and eat nice food.

That’s good too.


Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

It is super cool having new visitors stop by here.  That is a side effect of sending those cartoons that I totally wasn’t thinking of at the time, but it’s nice.  …You see how I made a point of saying that there?  Because I realized at some point today that people might assume I was trolling for traffic.  And I worry about things like that (because heaven forbid that someone I’ve never met should temporarily have a mistaken impression of me.  I also dislike Rod Stewart, cram my freezer full of crap I’ll never eat again, and have a thing for goats.  Because they’re wily.  In case that helps to clear anything up.).  Anyway, there were no ulterior motives.  My brain just grabs onto things and runs with them in strange ways sometimes.   Which is probably better for my popularity than if it was the rest of my body grabbing things and running with them in strange ways.

And since I try very much to be sincere here, I will also mention that I do get a bit of a crazy high from feeling socially validated in even small ways.  …Probably more than I should (Shhhhh…don’t tell the new people!).   I think I may also get smarter.

My little burst of energy has made it a bit more difficult to keep myself from overworking, though.  Remember how I had mentioned that having been so low previously, I was having difficulty keeping a reasonably accurate relative scale for how I’m doing now and what I should be expecting from myself?  Yup.  Still am.

At the beginning of the week, I was hopeful that maybe, possibly, I could try to accomplish some task during a day (one whole thing – wouldn’t that be nifty cool!).  Yesterday, I scheduled car maintenance, had my tires changed, researched mosquito repellants, read a chapter in my self-help book, purchased new furnace filters and miscellaneous hardware supplies, purchased ant and mosquito killing supplies, purchased tea tree and citronella oils, got groceries, implemented the anty death, did the household laundry, phoned my doctor, rescheduled a massage appointment, spoke with my mom, mixed up a batch of essential oil bug repellant based on the morning’s research, made dinner, and probably did at least a few other work tasks that I’m not thinking of right now.  And I was about to do a bunch of putting things away when I was forced to pause.

But we needed the mosquito repellant, see, because we finally got some cheapy patio furniture for our back yard, and we had these grand visions of us eating dinner out there, carefree and laughing, with a steak knife in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, talking about the high points of our day, and maybe politics or philosophy, as the warm spring breeze kissed our hair, and the subtle scent of flowers wafted by.  Except that a couple of evenings ago, when we were out there around dinner time putting the stuff together, we discovered a tiny, itchy, West-Nile-carrying flaw in our dramatic plans.  Important, right?

My husband had to tell me firmly last night that I should not do anything work-related for at least the next couple of days.  No mail, no paperwork, no phone calls, no errands, no shopping, no laundry, no cleaning, no organizing, no work of any kind.  I can see his point.  I’ve been feeling almost able to get things done lately, so I’ve been naturally falling back into go-go-go mode, and getting guilty twinges when I pause to do anything unproductive.  A lot of the time, I live in a state of chipmunk-on-crack activity.  That is a lot of my problem, though.  I need to learn to balance, and to moderate, and not to push myself too hard too fast.  This seems so obvious looking in on the situation that it’s laughable.  In my head, though, woo-boy, I better get on that laundry or the hubby will think I’m a slacker.  And hello?  I can’t work less than an eight hour day now that I’m off work for medical reasons!  And there are things.  And they need doing.  How can I not do things??  I had to think his proposition through for a moment, as I already really had been (unintentionally) creating potential to-do lists in my head for the next few days.  But I agreed in the end.  No work.

At which point, he promptly told me not to fill that time doing nothing but light therapy, and visualization, and meditation, and yoga, and tai chi, and reading self-help books instead.  Because my baby knows me well.  And I was totally mentally crossing out every administrative item and replacing it with something I feel like I “should” be doing from the getting better list instead.

And I may have ended up just sitting down now, at 6:13pm, for my first focused bout of “relaxation time.”  But I had good excuses, I swear.  Okay, maybe not good ones, but excuses.  Okay, maybe I can’t remember what I did between 3 and 6 today.  But I’m sure it was important.  It’s just so freaking hard to STOP when I think I can manage to GO.

I think I currently only come in the flavours of Burnt Out or Hyperdrive.  All poetically cyclic, I know.

Also, in answering comments on the previous post, I realized that stick people cannot hug and kiss at the same time, nor can they look at each other during sex.  Poor stick people.  That would be sad for them.

Large, bulbous heads are not always as much of an asset as one might initially think.